Absolute good is sitting on a fluffy white cloud in the sky. Absolute evil squats in a lake of fire deep within the earth. The two are at constant war with each other with domination of the earth and possession of our souls are the spoils of victory. So we poor mortals are caught between two sides in an invisible war. Of course good is going to win. The dude on the fluffy white cloud is God after all. So we all better get right with God to make sure we are on the winning side.
This is the basic underlying myth of Christianity, and it is the myth that underlies all of Western Civilization. This is the myth that the pilgrims brought over from Europe. Since only the pilgrims had the true religion, only the pilgrims represented absolute good. The pilgrims added an interesting twist in their myth. They added the Protestant Work Ethic, which came from Calvinist predestination. They believed that God revealed who was saved by making them rich. Conversely, God revealed who was damned by making them poor. The Puritans saw wealth as a sign of innate moral superiority.
To this day, the battle between absolute good and absolute evil remains the cornerstone of Western culture, but only America still has a twist of Protestant Work Ethic. Europe could produce James Bond, who fought the absolute evil of Russian Communism while screwing anything in a skirt. America had The Gray Lensman, who would never think about touching a girl before marriage. Europe has a long string of myths about the wandering hero who wins the heroine only to discover that she is his long lost sister. In America, absolute evil reveals that Leia is Luke’s sister. There is no greater example of the American Protestant Work Ethic than Stephen King’s The Stand, where the most unexpected people join with the absolute evil Randall Flag.
Libertarians buy into the myth of absolute good vs. absolute evil as well as the Protestant Work Ethic. It’s all a part of the American Religion. Even non-Christian religions such as Judaism or Neo-Paganism fall into it to one degree or another, but Libertarians accept it on a mystical level. One does not question the Libertarian doctrine, because theirs is the interpretation approved by the Founding Fathers. Any others are seen as the works of absolute evil.
Since Libertarians see themselves as absolute good, they need their absolute evil to war against. Libertarians see the government as the absolute evil because the government follows a different interpretation of the Constitution. Corruption in high office is not seen as something to be corrected, but as an excuse to destroy the entire institution. More unstable elements of the Libertarian movement claim that the Second Amendment gives them special dispensation to destroy the Government by armed force. The myth that might makes right is a very important element of Libertarian philosophy. It ties directly into the Protestant Work Ethic, where only God chooses the victor.
In American myths, evil conspires against good. So the Libertarians see the government as a massive conspiracy against them. It never occurs to them to stand up to the Government to change the obvious problems in the system. That would be unAmerican. Everything from the war on drugs to the Income Tax is seen as a massive conspiracy against them. They see the only way that absolute good to triumph is to destroy the present incarnation of the Federal Government. They want to move time back to an era where the country was ruled by the Free Marketplace and American Citizens had no limits. We will examine Libertarian Never-Never-land tomorrow when we look at Libertarianism and the occult.
There are few things that threaten corporate profits more than human rights. Laws that protect the rights and dignity of humans beings also protect human beings from corporate exploitation. Human rights include the right to housing, the right to medical care, the right to a living wage, and the right to legal protections from abuse. Each of these rights limit corporate profits. All fascist movements exists to destroy all laws that limit corporations. That is why eliminating human rights is amongst the Libertarian Party’s highest priorities.
Disdain for human rights goes along with the rampant nationalism. In Germany the Nazis had their myths of genetic superiority. Nationalism was equated with Aryan purity. If you were pure Aryan, you were superior to non-Aryans, and that gave you more rights than everyone else. So the rest of the population had to identify with Aryan superiority or be treated as a lesser person with fewer rights. Sympathy and compassion towards the genetically inferior people (Slavs and Jews) was seen as inferiority by the master race. This perceived inferiority became a reason for arrests and imprisonment in work camps.
In the case of the Libertarian movement, disdain for human rights is presented as a religious principle. (We’ll go into the confusion between government and religion in the appropriate place.) The American myths taught in the school rooms take on a religious aura. The westward expansion stops being the story of blatant imperialism and becomes a myth equal to Moses leading the Children of Abraham into the promised land. Native Americans cease to be the victims of Imperialism and become “The Enemy”. Minorities who have been exploited by Corporate America become naturally inferior to those Americans who have embraced the values of our pioneer ancestors. African Americans, Gays, and Hispanics who have been historically oppressed by American Society, are seen as weak and inferior for demanding their Constitutional rights through the courts rather than embracing the Social Darwinist principle of survival of the fittest
The myth of individualism and dog-eat-dog Capitalism extends to the Libertarian’s own rights as workers and members of society. This is shown by the heavy influence that the Protestant Work Ethic has on the Libertarian movement. The original Protestant Work Ethic of the Puritans stated that wealth was a sign that you were going to heaven. Poverty was God’s way of telling the world that you were damned. Amongst Libertarians wealth is seen as a sign of superiority and poverty a sign of inferiority. Therefor, impoverished African Americans are impoverished due to their inferiority, not because of prejudice. Their inability to find work is not due to the fact that American jobs are being outsourced but through some imagined inferiority. Like all other movements where religion gets confused with politics, Libertarians see no need to be logical.
Our Puritan forefathers also believed that illness and tragedy were signs of God’s displeasure. If you were wealthy and died of pneumonia, it was a sign that God wanted you in heaven early. If you were not so wealthy and died leaving a small estate or no estate, it was a sign that you were screaming in hell and that your wife and children would soon be screaming with you. So in the Libertarian mind set, getting a fatal disease or suffering a disabling accident is a sign of inferiority. Only the inferior demand a national health plan because true Americans can pay their own way. If a True American gets sick or injured he has the insurance or the Capital to pay outrageous medical bills. If he is too sick to work and the medical bills are too much for him, then he is inferior and he can beg pennies in the streets or die in the gutter.
Any one of us can find ourselves in financial trouble through no fault of our own. As one speaker I heard stated it, “we are all one paycheck away from homelessness”. Tragedy can hit any one of us at any time, and it is not a sign from a non-existent God nor is it a sign of inferiority. The only people who benefit from the Libertarian movement are the corporations. As corporations have the most money, they are perceived as being superior and having more rights than the rest of us. Collective bargaining, employment laws, and nondiscrimination laws are seen as weaknesses. Therefor corporations can under pay their workers, can have dangerous work environments, and discriminate without restraint. Corporations can also hire goons to break strikes, refuse medical treatment to the terminally ill or indigent, and evict poor people from their homes. According to the Libertarian movement It is the fault of the victims for not being “American” enough.
The myth of the individual is simply a divide and conquer tactic designed to prevent Americans from working together. If we work together for common goals, such as human rights for everybody and not just the wealthy, we are a threat to corporate profits. We will look at this in more detail in my next post, which will concern the Minute Men.