Jonathan Murphy provided a rejoinder to libertarians and anarchists about taxation not necessarily being theft, that in purely hypothetical terms may have some validity, but which is so non-existent in both past and present, and so close to being impossible that the entire exercise is one of futility, and therefore, dare i say, of pedantery? Continue Reading
Just in case you didn’t know, the state makes laws.
The state is also allegedly supposed to protect people, and their rights.
Which makes it seem that the purpose of laws is to protect people.
All of this is based on a completely naive view on the nature of the state, and on the way in which the state keeps its power. Continue Reading
An oft-repeated slight of libertarians by statists, is that people tend to support libertarianism when they’re young, but reject it as they mature. Supposedly this is because only immature or juvenile people would see merit in libertarian philosophy.
Aside from the obvious question whether this claim as a whole is even true, it is also seriously begging the question if, and why, libertarianism would be popular with people that are immature, and less so with people that are mature.
In order to answer this question properly, one simply needs to look at just what the political philosophy of libertarianism and the overall political attitude called statism represent.
First of all, we need to comprehend just what makes immaturity and what makes maturity. In my estimation, immaturity in an incapability to deal with the world, with reality, and with life itself without what one might call a “security blanket” close by. Reality, the world, and life itself can be very rough and unforgiving, and can for these reasons be very scary for those with little stamina or a solid backbone. Just as they would be for children. How will people find and keep a job, in order to be able to pay bills? How will they get healthcare in the case of a medical issue? How will they deal with the existence of injustice and crime in society? The list of worries about the reality of existence goes on and on. For many, it may be simply too much to bear, and the notion of having to navigate life independently, maturely and without the constant presence of a guiding and protecting presence may resemble a nightmare. Immature people will tend not to take the consequences of their actions and decisions very seriously, so long as there is a safety feature that can be used when things may get dire. To be completely dependent on oneself if one has to face the consequences of one’s actions and decisions, would certainly either act as a wake-up call for those looking to live life irresponsibly, or confront them with those hard consequences if they resume their irresponsible and immature lifestyle.
In our youths, we have parental figures that basically allow us to live life without having to worry too much about the consequences of our actions. Those parental figures will generally take the blame, and the responsibility of any negative consequences. They will bail us out; they will pay the costs of the damage we do; they will offer us the services we need free of charge. And all of this, they will do provided we accept that we generally have to live by their rules and obey their directions. As adults, we go it alone, decide for ourselves what we spend our money on, choose who we associate with, buy the services we need, and face the costs of the damage we may do.
As we mature, we take more and more responsibility for our own lives and our decisions, and we accept more and more that making bad decisions will confront us with the consequences of them. We realize we cannot have it all, and we must make choices that we have to live with.
When we look at the state, what we see is essentially no more than a political form of a parental figure on the societal level. It is there to ‘guide’ us, to ‘bail us out’, to defend and protect us from the angry outside world, to ‘teach’ us, to ‘soothe’ us and ‘nurture’ us, to ‘fix’ things for us, and to instill us with ‘norms and values’. The price for this parental replacement of our parents at the level of the family unit, is that, just as with our parents at the family unit, we have to live by its rules and obey its directions. We are supposed to love our government and our state, the way we loved our parents as children (and usually continue to do so). We are supposed to be loyal to it, and trust it, preferably without many conditions or questions. We are supposed to see it as our own, much more so than other states. As we would fight to defend the honor of our parents, we must be willing to fight for the honor of our state.
Is there any question that the arrangement that most resembles life as a dependent and immature person, is the statist arrangement? Is there any question that the move toward maturity; the move toward independence and dealing with life and reality as a grown and responsible person, most resembles what is expected of one from the philosophy of libertarianism?
There is a reason that protective family bonds are often associated with the state. The “motherland” or “fatherland”, the “mother” tongue, Big Brother, etcetera.
The state serves the function of the parent to its citizens. It can be a nurturing mother, a stern father, or both. It serves as a security blanket for people who fear the unknown that a stateless society would represent. It is no coincidence that a stateless society is associated with “chaos” and “Survival of the fittest”. For if one kind of person is not regarded as fit enough to be self-reliant and independent, it is the child. It is the state that takes care of people through various departments and the provision of services, such as public education and healthcare, because the assumption is not only that most people cannot take care of these necessities themselves in a voluntary manner; they should not even be expected to. Are we going to leave the ‘weak’ to their own devices? Would it not be essentially the same as parents leaving their children to their fate? The state serves to protect its citizens from threats internal and external, but threats from itself are not regarded as threats, but as discipline for disobedience. The state tells us what ethics, norms and moral values we ought to have, just as parents try to instill the ‘correct’ values in us, because parents assume they know better than children, and to know more about life. The state feels it is its responsibility, at least publicly, to treat us as equals amongst each other, and to remedy any great inequalities between us citizens that exists. It admonishes those of us who are not eager to share what is theirs, as it would admonish its children when they are not eager to share with their play mates. Despite this, both parents as well as the state do not actually themselves share all they have, for they are regarded to be superior and to have special privileges by virtue of their role. Especially in modern times, the state even uses verbiage about “free” services, the way a child receives free services from its parents. Of course, in reality there aren’t free services in either case. In both cases, money first has to be earned in order for any services to be provided at all, and in both cases loyalty, obedience and respect for their dictates are default demands.
Because money does not come out of thin air, the expenses of the state must come from somewhere else, and the only place that generates money is people in the productive sector. So one of the few differences is that in the case of the state, the “children” are always paying for their own services. The more successful ones are admonished for having more, and perhaps not being willing enough to share, and the less successful ones are soothed and reassured, while it costs the state itself nothing. The state redistributes resources from its citizens the way parents may redistribute toys between children, the difference being, of course, that children all get their toys as presents, whereas citizens actually earn their resources through labor.
The analogy between parental figures at the family level, and parental figures at the societal and national level is so clear it is baffling how critics of libertarianism even dare suggest that libertarians, not they themselves, are the immature and dependent ones, desperately needing a government as a security blanket to feel safe in a scary reality.
Libertarians are the ones no longer needing mommy or daddy to guide them through life, to pay their way, to soothe their egos, to instill the correct values in them, to be there to support them when life seems unfair. Statists are the ones that do.
Grown-ups embrace liberty and the responsibility that comes with it. Immature people fear it.
It is statism, not libertarianism, that is tailor made for immature people.
So how long did it take for a movement called “libertarians for Trump” to realize that they are dealing with a politician? What is it about certain libertarians that they simply refuse to accept historical facts about the nature of politicians, and aspiring politicians once they are in power? The phrase “fool me once, shame on you…” does not even apply here, as these libertarians allow themselves to be fooled time and time again. Continue Reading
On Lew Rockwell, Jack Perry had this to say about the actions of Trump thus far:
I’ve tried to give Trump the benefit of the doubt and have applauded some of his actions. However, I can’t do that anymore. What I’m seeing is the same thing I couldn’t abide about Obama: The executive order dictatorship. We have invested the president with the power of passing policy without the proper actions of Congress and Senate. Mark my words, this is going to bite all of us. What, he sends an executive order telling SecDef to hand him the wish list of military spending? Ships, planes, and other weapons they want? Oh, I’m sure this is going to cost us, too.
Sorry, readers, I cannot support this man in good conscience. I am seeing the same executive order end-runs around due process of law that Obama did. Again, we are headed into tyranny with this. One man is not supposed to have this kind of power. I didn’t agree with Obama doing it and I’m darn sure not going to be a hypocrite and support Trump doing it, no matter what reasons are given. So, that said, I cannot support this man. What he’s doing is not right.
Now, it is certainly possible to criticize the very specific ends that Trump is looking to reach with the means of executive actions. But is Jack Perry REALLY suggesting that executive action as a means is intolerable no matter the ends? Continue Reading
Only a couple of weeks before Donald Trump takes a 4 year seat in the White House. Yet we are to wonder if nothing cataclysmic will happen before that happens, as, despite Trump’s promises to strengthen ties with Russia, the United States has now sent 100s of tanks and trucks to Eastern Europe, close to the Russian border, allegedly to “protect” the area from a “Crimean-style annexation.”
Never mind the referendum in Crimea that clearly showed inhabitants’ support for ties with Russia after a Russia-hostile coup took place in Kiev. Never mind that such a situation does not even apply in the smallest degree to any other country in Europe. Never mind that it will only be a few weeks before Donald Trump will take over the reigns from Obama. This all smacks of something sinister happening. Will we see an “incident” occurring just before Trump takes over, that would serve as an excuse for genuine conflict? To potentially force Trump to accept “reality” of a conflict between the U.S. and Russia and thus sabotage his intentions for peaceful relations? Continue Reading
The initiation of force against innocents by one person is WRONG.
The initiation of force against innocents by a group is WRONG.
The initiation of force against innocents by a group delegating this initiation of force to another group on their behalf is WRONG.
The initiation of force against innocents by a government as a result of a group of people voting on it is WRONG.
An action that in itself is WRONG, does not become RIGHT when a larger number does it, nor when they delegate the action to an armed group of proxies and call it “government.”
There is NO argument that gives logical or moral legitimacy to the opposite.
As far as the question goes if a Trump presidency would be good or bad for libertarianism, depends on various factors, themselves depending on exactly what Donald Trump will be doing as president (as opposed to merely spouting campaign rhetoric which is notoriously vapid coming out of any politician’s mouth). Continue Reading
Just a small conversation between an anarchocapitalist (AC) and a constitutional libertarian (CL):
CL: “The Non Aggression Principle you AnCaps believe in so much is stupid. How are you gonna force people to abide by it? Better to have a Constitution.”
AC: “We would insist on our NAP-derived rights and liberties through the supreme right to self-defense and by hiring the services of protection agencies that work in the free market, and thus need satisfied customers to flourish. How are you going to force people to abide by a piece of paper written centuries ago by elitists who had no societal unanimity for the document, and who were hypocritical slave owners?” Continue Reading