Thursday, May 20, 2010

Atlas Drubbed


I have to apologize that I'm still only at about maybe 35% around here these days -- meaning that I just don't have the time to put up a lot of content, to say nothing of the functioning brain cells necessary to make any of the content I do put up worth a damn.

Thankfully, for the time being anyway, I can allow guys like Cesca to speak for me. His new HuffPo column -- which not only tears libertarianism's freshly minted ambassador, Rand Paul, a new asshole, but also points out the ridiculous folly of libertarianism in practice -- is the kind of thing I would've written if I had anything approaching free time right now.

It takes balls of fucking titanium to offer public paeans to the notion of an absolutely unrestricted free market these days, after the abuses of power we've witnessed over the past several years -- the ones that essentially ran a train on the poor suckers dumb enough to put their their trust in the American dream and their money in banks that were always betting on them to lose. But I'll give old Rand this: He's a True Believer, almost religious in fervor, in the idea that only laissez-faire capitalist Darwinism will save us.

And as such, he proves with almost no outside effort just how impractical, stupid and outright dangerous genuine libertarian ideology can be.

The Huffington Post: Rand Paul's Underscores the Tea Party's Connection To Race/5.20.10

7 comments:

kanye said...

Private industry can pave roads, educate children, put out fires and protect our streets from drunk drivers. It can shuttle our kids to corporate schools and back, it can provide clean water to our homes and they can guarantee our meat and vegetables aren't contaminated with diseases. And by the way, in a nation that's 70 percent white, private businesses can choose to do all of these things for white people only. Private businesses can provide everything we need, but only offer those services to white people.

This paragraph perfectly highlights the main difference between the conservative/liberterian politics of "the right" and the neoliberal politics of "the left" (including those of the current administration).

The right wants these things for whites only, the left wants these things for everybody and the overwhelming majority of Americans don't want these things at all.

Only 21% Say U.S. Government Has Consent of the Governed

CNNfan said...

Well, Chez, since you may not be publishing around here lately, perhaps you won't mind if one of your readers goes off (topic) and gets published elsewhere?

Like say one of your readers gets published by Microsoft ;-)


In SciTech News

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Deborah said...

For a long time, despite being a registered Democrat (that's because I lived in an area where there were, at one point in time, literally NO Republican candidates; and, my grandfather was an immigrant, which says a lot, too), I identified as a libertarian. I don't identify as anything, these days, because, quite frankly, no one is really getting it right - and that's in my opinion, which is just that. At any rate, I always did feel, though, that libertarianism is the flip side of communism, both of which are, ideologically speaking, never going to happen in the purest forms because they essentially discount basic human nature. In short, they give people too much credit. Whether things are private or totally public, no one is going to do what's best for his neighbor, and both of these orientations philosophically presuppose that. What Cesca did was take libertarianism to a conclusion that, while it could happen, was never the intent of it. But then again, Stalin and his ilk never employed true communism, either. I know this much: The system we have isn't all that great, but I'm at a loss for a workable solution; thus, I try not to criticize too harshly, except, of course, when the infractions are egregious. But as long as man exists in his present form (and possesses and id), there will always be the potential for - and the existence of - corruption.

Eric said...

...libertarianism is the flip side of communism, both of which are, ideologically speaking, never going to happen in the purest forms because they essentially discount basic human nature. In short, they give people too much credit. Whether things are private or totally public, no one is going to do what's best for his neighbor....

Is there any such thing as human nature? If there is, isn't it likely to be a complicated thing that encompasses both our primal, selfish drive to survive as individuals and our equally-primal altruistic drive to survive as a species. We are a creature that is instinctively capable of great ruthlessness, it's true; but most people seem to be far-too-quick to overlook that we are also a creature that instinctively takes care of its young, old and sick, that instinctively and empathically ascribes its own qualities to other animals and identifes with them, that is wired by our evolution as a social, reasoning animal to form bonds beyond kinship and reocgnize ourselves in others.

We are not saints, but we're far more than sinners.

I suspect that pure communism--and perhaps, for that matter, pure libertarianism in the form of true anarchy--is a viable model for small, simple populations. An extended family tribal unit might well be able to share everything with no real concept of individual ownership. But this is obviously an outlier, a hypothetical sort of human population, perhaps found in stone-age populations or modern cults. The bulk of humanity lives in large groups with a boggling number and complexity of interactions and outcomes.

Which is where "purist" models fail, I think--not because of whatever human nature might be, but because contemporary human societies aren't simple enough for simple models of conduct.

Bill Orvis White said...

Free unfettered markets is what made the US of A the greatest nation on Earth. More rules, regulations and strangulations led us to where we are at today. Let's not forget that Jimmah Carter and Bubba Clinton are the ones who made it so easy for deadbeats to get into houses that they didn't have any money for.
The hard working men on Wall Street lost their way because of Jimmah, Bubba and now Lil Hussein. How did the hard working men on Wall Street do this? Just because Jimmah, Bubba and Lil Hussein were presidents who made them do it because they were afraid of their high taxing systems which made these hard working men make bad decisions. The fact is that the long period of economic expansion during peaceful times was under the Honorable President Ronald Wilson Reagan. The markets did so well because the Gipper got out of their way!
I like the Libertarians for the most part, but they get wierd on me with the drug thing. The Gipper's gorgeous wife was right to help expand the drug enforcement because drugs and drink of all kinds are the work of The Devil. And if those Libertarians are OK with unlimited drug use, then they're OK with unlimited sexual debauchery which is happening now more than ever. The funny sex between man and woman and the gay sex needs to be outlawed because if we all did that, then society loses more and more of its moral compass.
God Bless this once-free nation,
Bill Orvis White

Michael said...

God damn BOW, I can never be sure if your serious or pulling a brilliant Kaufman on everyone here. Its all just TOO fervent so I think I lean towards Kaufman. Your great buddy!

ntx said...

I want to go to a Bill Orvis White show. Would you call it more performance art or spoken word? When and where are you appearing soon?