In an earlier blog entry, I referred to the Articles of Confederation as the ultimate expression of Libertarian thought and noted their complete failure. Of course, the term libertarian was not used back then; what we call Libertarianism now is merely a repackaged form of “classical Liberalism”, much like today’s Tea Party is merely a repackaged form of the “Religious Right” that plagued American politics in the 1980s. Same shit, different label. Now two channels on YouTube, Extra Credits and the Alternative History Hub, have teamed up to give the Articles of Confederation the public beatdown they so deserved but never seemed to have gotten. Why not? Perhaps because their failure shows that the Founding Fathers of the USA were not after all the nearly infallible saints they are often depicted as, though I suppose George Washington comes close. Anyway, here are those videos:
Freedom is a precious thing, but the best way to promote it is to take all facts into account, not merely the ones that make your cause or extreme positions look good. That’s cherry picking, a classic tactic of denialism and thus dishonesty.
Check out this statement on the The Future of Freedom Foundation website. It will be in red and my responses will be in blue.
Our nation was founded on the principles of individual freedom, free markets, private property, and limited government. As the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution reflect, people have the natural and God-given rights to live their lives any way they choose, so long as their conduct is peaceful. It is the duty of government to protect, not destroy or infringe upon, these inherent and inalienable rights.
Note that the Articles of Confederation are not mentioned. This was the first actual Constitution of the United States and was based on pure “libertarian” ideals (then known as “classical liberalism”). But reality eventually proved the Articles unable to maintain order in the USA. Government that is too limited leads to anarchy, which benefits only would-be tyrants that flourish in a society where they can engage in abuse of others and not fear punishment. Eventually, a tyrant may become popular enough to impose his own law on the society, resulting in despotism. But despotism and anarchy have no provisions for human rights. Only a government can protect them. And if rights are given by God (who is by nature an absolute monarch), they can also be taken away, making the concept meaningless. And rights cannot be natural because animals do not have any, as their behavior shows. Only humans have rights among themselves and those rights only exist when they are recognized by both governments and the people.
For well over a century, the American people said “no” to such things as income taxation, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, public schooling, economic regulations, immigration controls, drug laws, gun control, paper money, the Federal Reserve, overseas empire, militarism, entangling alliances, and foreign wars. Despite the tragic exception of slavery, the result was the most prosperous, healthy, literate, and compassionate society in history.
Wrong! The people did not say no to income taxation, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, public schooling, economic regulations, immigration controls, drug laws, gun control, paper money, the Federal Reserve, overseas empire, militarism, entangling alliances, and foreign wars. Many of these were simply not political issues at all until the 20th Century, the public schooling was done as early as the mid-19th Century, and the first of the foreign wars was the Mexican War of 1846-1848. Slavery was not merely a “tragic exception” (what an insult to the descendants of those slaves); it was a basic part of American society and thus proving that America was not at all the libertarian paradise being implied here. Slavery was ended by federal government force as a result of the Civil War (a denial of property rights of the slaves’ owners) , and more federal government force was eventually required to end the institutional racism that remained in the Southern states. The proliferation of bureaucracies resulted from the people demanding more and more services from their government, which must be paid for.
In the 20th century, however, America moved in the opposite direction—in the direction of socialism, interventionism, and imperialism. The result has been massive infringements on our economic liberty, civil liberties, gun rights, and privacy, along with out-of-control federal spending, debt, and inflation, all of which have reduced our prosperity, damaged our families, and weakened our sense of morality, self-reliance, and voluntary charity.
Again, only because the people have demanded certain things to improve their lives and then we become dependent on them. An example would be the interstate highway system. Without that, trade, tourism, and other matters relating to commerce would be far more difficult and would thus limit our economic growth. And the very reason government welfare programs were established was because with welfare being only voluntary, people still starved. People simply are not generous enough to provide for the needs of all without government intervention and force. If they were, we would not have so many billionaires in America, along with so many that are impoverished, even with government helping the poor. So that statement above is simply absurd!
The time has come for the American people to lead the world out of the statist morass in which it has plunged. The time has come to restore libertarian principles to our land. It is to that end that The Future of Freedom Foundation is dedicated.
We never had the kind of freedom they are calling for, and we likely never will. What they may really be saying is that we need to use force to overthrow the government and have libertarian extremists take over and run it their way – which would negate their entire premise of promoting freedom. If the people WANT an authoritarian government and elect one, via a free and fair democratic process, it is the height of arrogance for anyone in the name of “liberty” to say that is unacceptable.
Over the past several years I have gone from being sympathetic to the ideals of Libertarians because of their opposition to the Iraq War and their support for drug decriminalization, to being highly skeptical of some of their claims and dogmas because of practical experience. But now, I am ready to publicly declare that Libertarianism as a political force has been completely debunked and should be abandoned as unworkable. It should not be contained in either a political party called the Libertarian Party, nor in the Republican Party. And here is why: http://www.viralnova.com/walmart-turned-library/
Check out this nonsense on the official U.S. Libertarian Party website. I will post the original statements in red and my responses in green.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
A Libertarian’s New Year’s Resolutions
As a lover of classical music for decades, I have been dismayed by its gradual decline in our society. In most record stores today (at least in north Texas), it is increasingly difficult to find a section of the store dedicated to classical music, or even new age music for that matter. Instead, I find our culture swamped constantly by rock, country, and even rap music. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with those genres, since I listen to plenty of rock and even some country myself (indeed, I grew up only with country since that was all my parents would listen to). OK, I don’t like most rap. Want to call me elitist for that? Be my pest!
Take a look at this op-ed piece by Wayne Allyn Root, who ran for Vice-President in 2008 under the Libertarian ticket. It might explain the Tea Party and its anti-Obama madness that has possessed so much of the American population. I will post parts of it and respond directly to it here (the numbers refer to my answers).