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The Libertarian Mirage

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Captain Vancouver View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Aug 2014 at 11:57
I find it curious that so many in the US  are swept up in a currently fashionable (in some quarters) vision of a sort of corporate anarchism, that would see community and self government given over to a marketplace of voracious raptors and scavengers, who would somehow find some magical balance in their materially lustful desires, and their fearful inhibitions of loss or lawsuit (one supposes). Who would have guessed?

What sort of psychology drives this? What sort of resources feed it?

"...Smart libertarians have always realized that there are problems free markets alone can’t solve — but their alternatives to government tend to be implausible. For example, Milton Friedman famously called for the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration. But in that case, how would consumers know whether their food and drugs were safe? His answer was to rely on tort law. Corporations, he claimed, would have the incentive not to poison people because of the threat of lawsuits...."

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/11/opinion/paul-krugman-the-libertarian-fantasy.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region
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toyomotor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2014 at 17:40
I would think these people are disillusioned with the current social rules and controls, and are looking for an alternative.
 
BUT, I think the alternatives they posit are not realistic. Unfortunately, one suggestion is publicised, others of the same frame of mind jump on the bandwagan, and it snowballs out of control.
 
Anyone who thinks that abolition of the FDA would be a positive, is simply unrealistic.
 
Maslows Heirarchy of Needs places security of self as the second most basic need.
 
 
This is the point that the "corporate anarchists" either overlook, or don't understand.
 
Humans feel the need for rules and laws, and more importantly perhaps, upholding of those laws.
 
To trade what we have for something other than government for and by the people is not the way to go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2014 at 06:35
I used to think it was just a handful of nutters that believed in this sort of thing, but now I'm not so sure. There really are a lot of people in the US, some definitely in the mainstream of society, that harbour an almost paranoid distrust of government and public institutions, and apparently think we would all be better off hold up in our gated communities, shotgun at the door, all scrambling for our own interests in the mystical belief that the universe will flatten out the playing field, and all will be well.

This is particularly odd coming after the crash of 2008, which was essentially the final collapse of laissez faire notions about the economy, for anyone that was really listening.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Windemere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2014 at 07:30
That's a bit of an exaggeration. The vast majority of Americans don't live in gated communities or keep shotguns at the door. But hard economic times have caused many Americans to put humanitarian sentiments aside and concentrate on personal economic issues, a matter of survival.

It's true that many Americans distrust government and public institutions. They equally distrust the large corporations. But they feel powerless to have any effect on the corporations, while, through voting, they do perceive that they have some effect on the government. People tend to criticize that which they are involved in. And so they criticize the government, and ignore the corporate interests. They blame both the government and corporate interests (banks, corporations, etc.) for the crash of 2008. (Actually, for many working-class people, the Recession began even earlier, in 2003. It became national in 2008, when it hit the middle-class.)

 The government and the corporate interests were closely entwined in 2008, and it was the government that bailed-out the corporate interests. The distrust  and resentment accrues to both, but most of the public criticism is directed toward the government, for failing to make things better. Personally, I think that the bad economy (which we call the Recession) is here to stay, and middle-class Americans will just have to adjust to  a permanently lowered living standard. The party which began in the 1950s is now over.

The Libertarian philosophy is attractive on the surface, but I think that most Americans, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, can see through it. I was watching a political debate  on TV during the 2012 presidential election. One of the issues was universal health-insurance. The Libertarian candidate stated that he was opposed to public health-insurance, or to any mandate on the part of the government that the public be required to have health-insurance. (He favored the then current policy of private health-insurance). A reporter asked him, in the event that an uninsured individual acquired thousands of dollars of urgent medical-care, who would pay the bill ?  Or would the medical care  just be withheld, and the individual allowed to die ?  The Libertarian candidate replied that  he believed that any prudent individual would have had the foresense to purchase private health-insurance voluntarily.  The reporter persisted with the question, alluding to the millions of uninsured people with no access to private health-insurance. The Libertarian candidate attempted to change the subject, but the reporter was persistent, and kept repeating the question. Finally the candidate said that churches and private charities should step in, and pay for the required medical care, and not the government. This was his final answer. I suppose some of the public might agree with that. But most would realize that it wasn't a realistic solution. Most churches are themselves just barely hanging on economically, and the charity that they dispense is on a small-scale. And the large corporate charities would soon be overwhelmed if they had to begin paying for public health-care for uninsured persons. The Libertarian philosophy of no governmental involvement can be superficially attractive, but the concept of applying it in reality is a different story.


Edited by Windemere - 14 Aug 2014 at 08:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2014 at 11:48
Currently, I think there is little difference between government and business in the US. Even Obama, carried forward on a tidal wave of "yes we can's", seemingly could not resist placating the corporate world. Distrust is understandable. We're not much better in Canada, where cross-pollination between business and politicians is in a relative high point.

I also think though that the virtual deification of private industry that has gained so much traction during and after the Reagan administration, and has been amplified since, has taken a place in accepted folklore, and many- probably not a majority, but almost certainly a substantial minority- are now immersed in this worldview in a way similar to Catholics being immersed in the Holy Trinity not so long ago. The logic is: public is wasteful and corrupt. Private works efficiently, guided by the invisible hand of John Adams. This has scant support among informed and dispassionate economic observers, but is tossed out shamelessly by politicians during campaigns, and media commentators at any time. Of course, one has to ask, who would benefit more by a smaller government, lower taxes, less regulation, and a freer hand for business interests.

So if voting has limited or no effect Windemere, what is to be done? Is anything to be done? How to correct, if possible, distortions in today's economy? And how far will the current mania of non-government go?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2014 at 12:48
I thinks it's always wise to have a healthy mistrust, not of government per se, but of those administering it, the elected members.
 
What has been shown, repeatedly, is those who were elected to serve more often that not believe that they were elected to rule.
 
In a country where only those with access to millions of dollars can expect to be elected, the quid pro quo can usually come at the expense of the taxpayer. After all, past favours have to be repaid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2016 at 12:29
The government can take your money, your freedom, your life.  Anybody else do that, it is called "crime."  Government has a monopoly on sanctioned intervention in your private affairs.  (Although one could say that in the United States it is not a monopoly, but has a division between local, state and Federal officials.)  Business and religion doesn't have that kind of power, except insofar as government allows it.  And then add to that propagandizing, not only can government legally take from you, but it can paint the picture as all your fault.  

It is not that there is anyone who is particularly malevolent.  It is that government represents vested interests.  The more business legislation required, the more a large company benefits from its size.  Additional legislation acts as protectionist measures, make it more difficult for small companies entering the market place.  When libertarian leaning individual thinks about business, they think about the upstart, about the small business that they imagine themselves starting up.  When a liberal thinks about business, they think about regulating the big corporation.  Truth is, regulation actually favors big corporations, they can afford spending time and money jumping through hoops.  If you are large corporation, you have lobbyists to get the laws written in your favor, if you are a mom and pop shop, you probably don't have the time to write your representative.
Government favors cities over rural life.  If you are going to build a hospital, your going to build it some_where_, right?  Not the middle of nowhere.  Most poverty in the US is rural (and white), but that is not what you hear about, is it.  You hear about the poverty in the inner cities, that's where the resources tend to go.

If it moves, tax it, if it keeps on moving, regulate it, if it stops moving, subsidize it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2019 at 12:09
The problem with libertarianism is that in this day and age of high tech companies dominating social media, is that government is not the biggest threat to free speech, but big business (the tech companies) are.  The individual may have freedom of speech, but tech companies are able to muzzle undesirables, undesirable as they define it.  As "private" businesses, they do not feel any obligation for free speech.  Of course, they also play the game as describing themselves as a publisher (responsible for the message) when it suits them, or as just an intermediary (like the phone company), when it suits them as well.  They bait and switch as it suits their purposes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2019 at 21:53
The opposition of liberty to organisation is nothing new. it's a fundamental tribal dynamic that evolves from our primeval instincts as social animals. It will remain so.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2019 at 00:22
Many of these posts could have been written this year. 
toyomotor talkin' about "quid pro quo", francisosan just yesterday a flaming liberal was screaching about how people who live inn the country are spoiled and should pay more taxes bc they don't have to economize or operate with as many restrictions as the city leftist.

Yet liberals flock to the cities to vote among their own kind until it finally sinks in, that's what the electoral college was written to deflect. The sampling of liberal screamers is comparable to Twitter IMO. WSJ estimated that Twitter represents less than 10% of the population but Twitter drives some news stories and makes others disappear. 

The dignified Elijah Cummings has died after many years of service in the House of Reps. Although his dignity is a bit dingy in light of the national news concerning the state of his Baltimore Maryland district. The rats, trash and decline of the once beautiful row houses was an example of bad liberal policies. 
Those policies effected numerous democratic held cities, bastions of democrat districts are in desperate decline. A Twitter guy organized volunteers who cleaned up massive volumes of trash and waste in less than a day. Baltimore politicians actually said that he had "no business" doing the cleaning up, Elijah Cummings was still alive and he never commented, really? 
This organizer did the same thing in LA and San Francisco, one day and his people remove the trash and haul it off for proper dumping. Funds are all donated but the white guy on Twitter, brilliant at pulling these operations off is not praised but admonished for not minding his business. Thumbs Down
Don't trust people who help others- just ask a liberal.
A headline to be proud of Baltimore Sun!

We assume it was pure motives that led a Trump supporter to launch a cleanup in Cummings’ district, right?

The effort was organized by pro-Trump activist Scott Presler. He claimed the event was not political. Yes, he was inspired to come by tweets from President Donald Trump describing the area, represented by U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, as a “rodent infested mess.” But the visit wasn’t about showing support or animosity for either man, he said.

Caldrail says nothing new and that's correct bc any attempts to deal with the homeless now will be diverted by endless discussion of the homeless' right to stumble down the street to local heroine salon.
China kept drug users together in the opium dens, they were loathe to share poppy with round eyes.
And for good reason, there will always be users, homeless people and undocumented people in the US and the liberal answer seems to be equal rights for sidewalk sleepers.
Insane. 
A woman in LA found herself covered in a few weeks worth of dysentery when a homeless man dumped feces all over her face, into her eyes and her car. No one would stop for her except two out of town visitors. They had to hose her off on the street before getting her into an ambulance. Personal safety is not a concern for liberals if you are a white American. The perpetrator was released hours after his arrest bc he didn't seem to understand what was happening. Good argument for Bedlam.
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
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