Posts Tagged ‘Libertarian’

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Regarding the “MORON”…

December 14, 2016

part of oxymoron and reason number 999 why I hate Facebook….

I don’t go looking for this stuff, honestly. It just seems to jump out of the bushes at me while I’m on the way to something else, like that goddamned Chihuahua that jumped out of a hedge line and sunk his miserable little teeth into my ankle back when I was in college. I tried to punt the snarling coprolite into the next county but he was too quick for me. The upside is that the little shit likely died fifty years ago.

But, I digress. I was talking about those off-the-wall websites and other waste products that some jerk I never met, sitting in an office thousands of miles from here, decides I really need to check out, join, or at least pay attention to so the referral source gets that fraction of a penny for a “hit.” Facebook is one of the worst for presuming the right to dwell in the global mind, heart, soul, and rectal orifice, and it was there that I was threatened with a web-group called…get this…”Libertarian Socialism.”

I’ve been trying to reconcile the use of the adjective “libertarian” in combination with “socialism”, but so far have failed. Perhaps it’s at an intellectual level beyond my reach, but I can’t get past the thought that “Libertarian socialism” has a bit of an oxymoronic ring to it, you know, sort of like “Celibate Prostitution.”

Of course, I had to check it out.

First of all, I have to say that the concept is real, in the sense that such a political philosophy has been around for a long time. I didn’t know that until I looked it up. Being given shelf space in some remote lexicon closet does not legitimize or validate the term, or any other, however. It merely acknowledges that the term had been coined and enjoys a reasonably stable definition, and is therefore, at least on that score, equal to any other “ism.”

That doesn’t belie my assessment, though. I stand by it. My first involvement with Libertarianism began many decades ago, whenever it was that I first read something by Ayn Rand, and later during the seventies when I registered as a Libertarian and voted for Ed Clark for President. My understanding has always been that “libertarian” referred to a concept of community that eschewed force in favor of volunteerism. Liberty.

Secondly, the first thing I encountered upon tiptoeing through the iron gate of the Libertarian Socialist page was the welcoming message:

“this is a place to discuss libertarian socialism. trolls, reactionaries, racists & race realists, etc. are not welcome. ableism, queerphobia, transphobia, misogyny and other forms of reactionary discrimination are not welcome. this includes libertarian capitalists/ancaps/right libertarians and so-called “anarcho” nationalists. violations of these rules may result in a ban, both for the person who does them and possibly the person who invited them to the group as well.

Here again, I was tripped up by my preconceptions regarding definition. I thought I had learned way back when that “socialism” was an economic idea based on social, society-wide, ownership and democratic control of the means of production. I’ve never liked it because it disenfranchises the individual in favor of mob rule over the utilization of one’s assets, and it depends upon force to maintain its form. Despite verbiage to the contrary, it does not represent liberty.

Obviously then, the philosophy of “libertarian socialism“, at least the form offered by the internet group in question, eschews liberty and freedom of speech in favor of an authoritarian, narrowly prescribed menu of permitted sub-philosophies of the newspeak variety. The only reason I could think of why someone would wish to “join” such a group would be (1) if they could be in charge, or (2) could be located near enough to the emperor’s ass to facilitate profitable sycophancy.

Sycophancy has never been my strong suit, however, due in part to an unfortunate lifelong bilateral Tourettes-like tic in my middle digits.

They (Faceplant, et al)really should let me window-shop for my own points of interest and curiosity.  Nine times out of ten while at the end of Mr. Zuckerberg’s tether and choke-collar I find myself misdirected to some flame hole or digital Rubber Room that lacks any compatibility with me or my vapor trail. Just because I spent 30 seconds on Tuesday, 1988 at the urinal next to a guy in a blue suit in the Boston airport does not justify non-stop ads for blue suits or job offers from American Standard…

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On minding one’s own business…

August 9, 2016

and remaining heavily armed ….

Much as I hate to admit it, “sides” are a normal part of the universe. I have been particularly rabid in my efforts to be oppositional and critical, and to avoid championing a “side” during this phase of the perpetual election cycle, but it finally dawned on me……

Even a handful of decades ago, when I was helping a friend of mine on his lobstah bo’t, I had enough sense not to relieve myself into the wind when the need arose, but I fear that is just what I have been doing politically.

You see, those who are identified as the “Left” malign the philosophies, policies, morals, intellect, shoe size, and favorite vegetables of those who are identified as the “Right” and vice versa. Despite what I think has been a gallant attempt to discover the legendary “Middle Ground,” my own idealism seems to have seduced me away from Truth. It might be compared to Anastasia or Drizella attempting to cram a size 12 callous mill into a size 5 glass slipper.

All is not lost, which can be interpreted to mean there remains a glimmer of hope for my mission, or that I remain engorged with horse feathers. We’ll see. In any case, I’ve decided that my error was in believing the hype that all references to “sides” mean “Left” or “Right”, and that no other arrangement or perspective exists. Heck, even a humble cube has four sides, so what’s with the two stuff? What if reality is actually more like a dodecahedron or something like that?

Ergo, I no longer subscribe to the Left-Right dyad, or to the self generated myth that there must for some reason be legitimate, identifiable space between them. Perhaps not. Perhaps they’re both full of crap.

History tends to bear out that point. Neither leftist nor right-wing schemes for running a society have ever lasted on their own momentum. Anything surviving more than a generation or so seems to have done so by virtue of continuously expanding levels and complexities of force. I might say that the answer is as clear as the nose on my face, which is true to the extent that it means I should stop worrying over the nose on anyone else’s face. What a novel idea.

Personally, I’m fine with that. Whether I am oppositional or just refuse to be bullied by majority opinion is, well, a matter of opinion. I’ve thought for many years that it meant being generally Libertarian.

…..which brings me back to the dodecahedron. If you have twelve people in a room, there are, by default, twelve opinions which may differ or agree with each other in many different combinations. When the potential mathematical computation poops out, kind of like mine did the day I walked into my first Statistical Analysis class, it boils down to the best solution being “To each his own,” as long as one does no harm to another.

Not everybody plays by the rules, though, or believes in math, Western ethics, or anything but their own particular concept of Existence, which may include extermination of all who differ. Cessation of such behavior can be incentivized by the possibility of a recall on that 62 grain chunk of lead a few milliseconds away from bisecting the brain of the self-anointed one. It is what it is. Nevertheless, the goal and method are both focused on my own nose on my own face right now.

Humanity is predisposed to King of the Mountain, and expecting others to respect my desire to be left to my own devices was proven to be a fool’s errand by the Pleistocene. Plan “B” meshes nicely with sort of a Libertarian approach, in that I should mind my own business but remain heavily armed.

That’s just me, however. What can a nation of some 325 million people do? Well, we did it during the late eighteenth century, but soon set about the business of everybody else’s business, ostensibly in order to prevent our having to do it all over again. Now, we live in a world, at least partly of our own creation, where the proverbial Rock and Hard Place are represented by the inevitability being part of a conquered world or being the one doing the conquering.

In case it hasn’t dawned on folks yet, the golden age of thundering in on horseback, honing one’s saber in the air, or roaring in aboard a Humvee shredding real estate, recalcitrants, and residents alike are the things of history and video games. Conflict resolution, conflict perpetration, and just plain trying to grab the other guy’s stuff are now the realm of Dirty Tricks and Cyber Mischief. I don’t have to shoot an adversary anymore. I just have to jam his phone and then extort his compliance. Then shoot him.

I know how to play. I just don’t want to.

…and since I live in a society that allows for limited opinionating and noisemaking without consequences, a society pretty much controlled by silent partners behind the ones we actually sort of elect through banter and ballot, I’ll contribute to the din. After all, even those who view me as just another beef critter on the ranch like to gamble that we won’t actually outplay them some day. Workin’ on it. Some day, hopefully soon, but probably not, a whole lot of beef critters are going to do their business on the Capitol steps…

Wait for it….

 

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Own it to Change it

May 24, 2016

“They” are imaginary friends…..

I was never a star student, tending to set my priorities elsewhere at the time, but I have always harbored a nearly insatiable and somewhat undisciplined curiosity. Whether or not that led to useful learning might be a matter of opinion, but it did place me right up front with my toes over the line when good and bad things happened. I learned far more after my formal education was completed than I ever did during its course. In defense of that education, I was taught how to learn should I ever have chosen to do so. I did.

Having said that, my rudimentary understanding of our system of government suggests to me that our government was put together with three branches for very good reason. We have a Legislative branch which is empowered to write laws, a Judicial branch which is empowered to interpret those laws, and an Executive branch that is responsible for implementing and administering the policies enacted by the Legislative branch.

What that means to me is that no one branch of government wields universal power, and for the whole to work most effectively, the three must respect those boundaries. Somehow, we the people have been remiss in allowing our elected representatives and those appointed or employed by them to stray and to rewrite those job descriptions for their own convenience over time. While I have no doubt that there are exceptions, I believe these course corrections were not made out of malice or as part of any great conspiracy. Corruption takes more than a bad guy to rear its head; it takes a complacent constituency to allow it to happen. Thus, as the public came to recognize and enjoy various aspects of our way of life, and were encouraged to do so by those empowered to manage and safeguard it all, the unmentioned fourth branch of government, the citizens of the United States, got lazy and let their guard down.

Consequently, over the past several decades, government authority and responsibility have grown and expanded. Whenever government assumes a responsibility, the public loses the power to fulfill that responsibility itself. This is progressive and cumulative.

Government has developed a system of checks and balances of its own, of sorts, not only ensuring it will maintain control, but that it will be in a position to expand it as well.

We have been subject to a federal Income Tax for the past hundred years or so, and the arguments about its legality continue. In and of itself, if the original checks and balances of the three branches of government had remained intact, such an assessment might be tolerable on a temporary basis from time to time, but that is not how it happened. As it turned out, the Income Tax provided a source of revenue, and various offices began to act on some of their ideas. In time, the onus reversed from a government constrained to manage within a budget to the taxpayer having to meet the government’s financial demands. Appropriate analogies have bred like June mosquitoes.

In recent years, the government has made inroads into management of the private sector through regulation and legislation. At the same time, the process was facilitated by a softening of the separation of powers among the branches of government. The Presidency has long had legitimate but limited independent powers of its own, but these have come to be used as a shortcut and a way to bypass a reticent Congress, drawing critical comparisons to “one man rule.” Similarly, the Judicial branch has ventured beyond its interpretational responsibilities into the realm redefining certain laws. In fact, if one were to strip away all of the regulations, mandates, and statutory parameters not specifically authorized by Congress, those who have come to harvest perpetual Free Lunch on the taxpayer’s dime would have to find another carcass to feed upon. I’m not talking about the people on welfare, I’m talking about the Welfare Industry and the tens of thousands of bureaucrats and employees of private sector “non-profit” entities who “profit”, ironically, from administering welfare programs. As with any industry, development of new products is a constant need. The welfare industry has a somewhat captive “customer” base, and a completely captive source of revenue, something private sector industries don’t enjoy. New programs require more personnel and more money and the bottom line of maintaining the “throughput” is job security.

So, how do we change all of this? How do we fix it? Without question, it will be a difficult task. People will fight to protect their jobs, as any of us would. There would most likely be a significant escalation in authoritarianism, which actually would only be a premature emergence of the inevitable mad scramble for universal control leading to fascism and other authoritarian structures. This is where the rubber will meet the road, so to speak.

We’ve been there before, to some extent. The Civil Rights movement literally involved “fire in the streets” and outright armed confrontations. People were assassinated. The Vietnam War controversy also came to a head with armed confrontations and citizens firmly saying “no.” The retaking of the reins of the existing government by an overwhelming force of citizens determined to return to Constitutional government could very well dwarf those two campaigns.

People are afraid. People are angry. Asked why, many cannot say. How else could we come to experience a Presidential election dominated by generally despised front runners who lead by the weight of phalanxes of dedicated and passionate minorities passively observed by disinterested impotent majorities? Change is inevitable, but it may not be the kind of change most would like to see, not as long as we remain passive and impotent.

I don’t wish to see the reins of government held by a naïve, bombastic businessman of questionable ethics and judgment. The world has not fared well in the past when such things came to pass. I don’t wish to see the Oval Office occupied by an avowed adherent to socialist principles who unabashedly intends to suck the economy dry to pay for a Christmas List of “free stuff”. I don’t want to see the White House become home once again to a former First Lady and Secretary of State who has had her eye on being the first woman President since the day she left that building. She promises “more of the same”, and “more so,” and she hauls a truckload of political baggage with her. I’ve had enough Liberal usurpation of liberty for this lifetime, and I’m not in the mood for any other brand of despotism either.

There are those who predict the demise of the major parties. Washington advised against party politics, but I think it is human nature to organize into groups. What would be welcome would be a change to major parties more aligned with Constitutional government and Libertarian values that would return government to its role as the public’s servants instead of the other way around.

I’m not so naïve as to believe these changes can be made peacefully and politely. They can’t. The question is, are there enough people who are fed up enough to support such changes anyway? Are we more in number or passion than those who rally for Trump, Clinton, and Sanders?

 

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