Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Libertarianism vs. Anti-Utopianism

I have stated in the past that I am anti-Utopian but not libertarian.  I think the difference needs to be spelled out as I do have many libertarian leanings but I ultimately cannot bring myself to aspire to the title.

Firstly, libertarianism requires a certain level of optimism about human nature, much like communism does.  It believes that if many of the restrictions that the government places on human beings are lifted, then people will behave in a rational and responsible manner.

The trouble with this premise is that man is not a rational creature but a rationalizing one.  There are very few individuals in the world whole view it through the scope of pure rational thinking and usually they are so socially autistic, most people write them off.

Personally, I don’t know what the obsession is with rational thinking to begin with.  Irrational thinking is no more a sin than rational thinking a virtue.  They are simply two different modes of processing information in the world.

That being said, libertarians like hold themselves up as paragons of rational thinking to the point of foolishness.  In many cases, they assume falsely that all human beings are equal, that racial and sex differences don’t matter, and that everyone in the world yearns for freedom, they merely lack the means to do so.

Truth be told, human beings are perfectly comfortable with the path of slavery, provided the slave master doesn’t oppress them too much.  It took decades of oppressive slavery in Egypt before the Israelites finally rallied behind Moses and left that country to form their own, as an example.

As an anti-Utopian, I share the view that government should be minimal or eliminated (either way works for me) but because human beings are rationalizing creatures rather than rational creatures.  Because no matter who is in charge, you will always have a rationalizing sociopath or psychopath at the top running things.  Less government is preferable for no other reason than to limit the scope and reach of those kind of people.

Secondly, libertarians tend to derive their moral worldview from economics.  I’ve heard so many talk about how free trade would bring peace to the world, failing to recognize that the world has scarce resources and sometimes people want to violently seize those resources.

It’s like they have a complete denial of original sin or the seven deadly sins or any other real vice that we suffer from.  Greed and envy are usually the primary drivers behind war, not lack of free trade.  This is a level of magic thinking that is on par with modern cultural Marxists really whose own dogma seems to be that less white, straight, Christian men will lead to global world peace.

I believe that while free trade is a noble goal, it is a foolish one.  We have had a couple of decades of free trade with many nations now and all we have to show for it is the rust belt.  I know, many libertarians will argue that the US didn’t implement it right.

But that’s like saying the Soviet Union didn’t do communism right.

Instead, we should be mindful that other nations do not think as we do, even white European nations.  That we have our ways of preferable governance and they have theirs.  And that you will have to engage in some form of restrictive trade in order to maintain domestic stability in the job market.

Thirdly, libertarians have their priorities mixed up.  They advocate for things like open borders and drug legalization over and above advocating for a deregulated market and an end to the welfare state.

Open borders is really a pie-in-sky fantasy world.  The only feasible way that such a world would exist is if all nations decided to adhere to the libertarian principles and abolished their governments in favor of private markets for everything.  When that happens, open borders isn’t even an issue because, guess what, there are no more goddamn borders anymore anyway.

Drug legalization is something I agree with.  I think too many resources have been used to focus on activities that I don’t consider crimes.  I agree with libertarians that crimes should only be when an individual takes away another individual’s life, liberty, or property through force or fraud.  This is because I believe true justice is about restitution, not punishment.

The trouble is, legalizing drugs only further enables a regulated market and the welfare state.  The welfare state will be further abused to enable the moochers to sit at home and enjoy their cocaine whilst getting their monies in the mail from the ever shrinking productive class.

Only when the welfare state is more or less dismantled and the labor market fully deregulated will drug legalization make any kind of sense.  At that point, using drugs will require you to deal with the consequences of your bad decisions and there’s a better chance you’ll do it rationally.

Lastly, libertarians seem to have a huge boner for democracy and the democratic process.  What they fail to acknowledge is the fact that the Libertarian party never even comes close to a majority, that most people disagree with them, and that libertarianism can exist in a nation that isn’t a democracy or republic.

In fact, I’d argue that peasants in feudal Europe during the Middle Ages had more rights and protections than the average US citizen does today.  And an abusive government was often met with the end of a pistol or rapier during those times as well.  We do know that the largest massacres in those times occurred at the hands of foreign invaders and diseases but not at the hands of their own governments, unlike today.

My view is that humanity is largely stupid, irrational, and easily driven to violence.  I don’t hold out hope that this is going to change if we stop spanking our children, ensure that boys keep their foreskins, or eliminate all forms of government.

But it is precisely this view which leads me to many of the same conclusions as libertarians.  Because in the end, we really don’t want a stupid, irrational, and insanely violent group of people ruling over us.  Best to play it safe and limit the power and scope of government.