Why People Become LibertariansPosted: August 7, 2008 | |
I think that everybody goes through a Libertarian phase while growing up. This phase tends to begin during college and lasts all the way up to the point where the you actually have to live in the real world, make a real living, and realize that the world around you doesn’t really give a damn. Libertarianism lasts until you have two kids, rent or a mortgage, and your job has been outsourced to Timbuktu. That social safety net starts looking pretty damned good when you have to explain to your landlord why the rent will be late, or your sitting by the phone afraid it is going to be the bank asking about your mortgage payments. To give another example, when Mr. or Ms. Libertarian comes down with cancer and cannot cough up the co-payments for the treatments and feed the kids, then suddenly it looks like the government just might be able to do something better than the private sector after all.
From my limited experience, internet companies tend to be Libertarian. This really makes sense to me. If I were the CEO of an internet company I would certainly foster a Libertarian corporate culture. Could Yahoo have supported their Chinese overlords in the suppression of human rights if Yahoo programmers and technical people had a union that could strike in support of human rights? Would Google be able to discriminate against older workers if there was a union to file a discrimination suit? Now that the major internet companies are outsourcing their jobs to Israel, it’s too late to unionize. All they can do is sit in their foreclosed houses and wait for the sheriff to turn them out in the street. Maybe if they pray in front of a picture of Ron Paul, the great god Market Place will readjust the economy in their favor.
Another thing I have noticed about Libertarians is that they entirely miss the correlation of cause and effect. They remind me of my oldest boy when he was three years old. We would tell him not to touch the stove and he would touch the stove as soon as our backs were turned and then get angry at us because he got burned. Five minutes later he would be trying to touch the stove again to see if it would burn him again. Our oldest grew out of that phase, but I have met Libertarians in their 60s who are still don’t believe that a hot stove will burn them every time they touch it. I am still waiting for them to make the basic correlation between the rise in the cost of food and the persecution of undocumented workers. On the subject of undocumented workers, I cannot believe that a group of people who are so paranoid about “big government” can support a fence across Mexico. I cannot believe that a group of people who are so adamant about the sanctity of property rights would support a wall that illegally cuts through Apache-owned lands, and which disrupts and destroys the Apache’s livelihood. The United States and Homeland Security have no right to build anything across the Apache Reservation. I suppose that sacred property rights only apply to White Anglo Protestants. I can’t wait until the Libertarians figure out that governments only build fences to keep their own citizens in. I can’t wait until the penny drops on that one. I will laugh myself into a hernia when the border guards turn their guns on U.S citizens for trying to follow their outsourced jobs into Mexico. You will be able to tell which U.S citizens are Libertarian, because they will be the ones who charge at the armed guards a second time.
It also never ceases to amaze me the other basic results of cause and effect that Libertarians simply don’t get. In one breath they will berate the FCC and then kvetch about Fox News. I understand that many of them are simply to young to understand that the FCC had prevented obscenities like Fox News before Reagan deregulated it, but I simply cannot believe they have not made the correlation between corporate crime and deregulation. They keep insisting that corporate crime and the Media can be controlled through some mysterious, unseen omniscient force called The Market Place with the same vehemence a Christianoid argues about The Rapture and with just as little evidence.
As a salesman and former Public Relations worker, I often wonder what attracts otherwise intelligent people to a political cause that accomplishes the opposite of their stated goals. Libertarians claim to be in favor of liberty (hence the name) yet their entire philosophy guarantees the opposite. They reject unions and labor laws and then they blame “big government “when they are illegally fired and there is no union to protect them. They claim that business laws and regulations are a waste of tax payer’s money and a threat to their liberty, and they don’t seem to notice that it’s not their mortgage broker who is losing his house. Government deregulation has successfully disempowered everybody and has made us all subject to the whims and fancies of the corporation without any legal recourse, and yet Libertarians continue to place the blame government for their problems and see the solution as continuing to surrender more of their legal rights to the very corporations that are screwing them.
Of course a big part of it is that Libertarians identify with those whom they see as having power. This is the same social force that inspires Bill Cosby to blame his fellow African-Americans for the very bigotry that oppresses them and which made a flaming queen like J. Edgar Hoover to hide in the closet and oppress his fellow homosexuals. It is the basic psychology of the schoolyard; if you stand behind the bully, defend the bully, and do what the bully tells you, and bully those you see as weaker than you, the bully won’t pick on you. This is why Libertarians who claim to support the separation of church and state support a flaming Christianoid like Ron Paul. As Libertarians surrender all their power to the employers and live in constant fear of outsourcing, workplace discrimination and, illegal termination, they pass on their fear and frustration by supporting Ron Paul. Ron Paul would allow discrimination against women by removing the federal protections for abortion. Ron Paul would remove the federal civil rights laws which would allow corporations and the southern states to continue and increase their discrimination against minorities. Libertarians have already supported Bush, Clinton and the rest of the neocons in taking away the social safety net, but Ron Paul would take away what few shreds were left. Ron Paul would end the drug war, the Libertarian would argue. If American society was a schoolyard, Ron Paul would be the bully who beats up the little girl, the black kid, the poor kid, and the disabled kid for their lunch money, and ending the drug war could be seen as Paul giving his schoolyard cronies a nickel of it.
In my opinion, this is why so many internet Libertarians are also trolls. Rather than empower themselves through unionization, political unity against corporate abuse in the economy and the workplace, and aiding others to empower themselves through an intelligent and compassionate social safety net, they take out their abuse on others. Then, when they discover that their victims also have power and legal protections, they cry and scream like elementary schoolers being sent to the principals office. They cry censorship and constitutional violation with the same immaturity as a little kid screaming obscenities in the classroom to see what the teacher would do. I suspect that most Libertarians have deep seated boundary issues, and that would certainly fit into my school bully analogy. Ultimately I think that is the true appeal of the Libertarian party. It appeals to the inner child who still thinks that he can have ice cream for dinner every night when he grows up. Libertarian propaganda stresses the concept that nobody has the right to say no to you no matter how badly your actions inflict the rights of others, and ignores our responsibilities to our fellow person, our children, our grandchildren, our nation, and the world.
So is it any wonder that a rapture believing Christianoid like Ron Paul would become the candidate of choice for internet trolls?