No phone. No pool. No pets. No cigarettes. Ultimate freedom… No longer to be poisoned by civilization, he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become Lost in the Wild.
Oh, they seldom admit—even to themselves—that their vision of America is a halcyon illusion that serves as the “Mommy” they run to for comfort when frightened by reality or hurt by their evil stepfather, whom they point to as the source of their misery and all manner of generic misfortunes. Of course that evil step-dad is none other than the Federal Gubmint.
While libertarians are prone to prattling how States’ rights and local government should supersede federal authority; in reality, most simply dislike all forms of government. The rest look upon state and local government as an acceptably diminutive degree of authority that they can grudgingly accede to. If you think about it, isn’t it the local government that has the most impact upon those same people in terms of regulating their freedom of movement and affecting their relative daily comfort?
If a citizen wants to park on his own lawn, or add a room or a porch or other structure to his property, it is not the Feds but the local Code Enforcement that he must kowtow to. If his back yard cookout gets too rowdy, or his driving or his public behavior appears erratic, then he has the local constabulary to deal with. Virtually every aspect of our collective daily lives and freedom are regulated, policed, and held to account by our sacred benevolent small government. So rather than stand cursing and shaking your fist at the heavens, it somehow feels more “righteous” to misdirect those frustrations and animus at Washington.
Anarchy was the rule of humanity up until we became agrarian. Having people living in permanent settlements of greater populations than a small family or tribal unit required that we establish expectations of each other in order to peacefully coexist.
What libertarians are either incapable or afraid of acknowledging is that government is the natural evolution of civilization. Tyrannies, despotisms, and other unilateral-rule systems are a perversion of the entrustment of power.
The truth of the matter is that all governments, no matter how despotic, rule by the consent of the governed. The complacency of the populace is not a conviction of the system, but of the people within the system.
Libertarians’ desire for watered-down anarchy comes not from a belief that it’s the best possible solution to our corrupted systems of government; it comes from their frustration that they are unable to effect the “positive” change they want among their fellow citizens. Eschewing their 1st Amendment rights as a civilized instrument of persuasion, they regress to fetishized, feral talismans of the 2nd Amendment, and sedition as perfectly satisfactory remedies.
I am endlessly fascinated by frequently citing the 1950s as the favored model of “when America was great” tropes, while touting primitive lassez-faire capitalism and discredited “free-market” economic policies as the only conceivable return ticket. Never do they acknowledge that we live in a different world today.
By 1960, global population stood at 3 billion. Today it is 7 billion. The US was the dominant economy, whose hard and soft infrastructures were undamaged by WW2 as in Japan and Europe; whose growth and innovation was unrestrained by communist revolution and totalitarian government, as in USSR and China. The vibrant U.S. economy and flourishing middle class portrayed on black-and-white TV was the product of robust Keynesian economic policies and hybrid-socialism. Prior decades of endured economic hardship, the horrors of war, and the subsequent explosion into a nuclear age had forged a determined futurism and an expectation of progressive civilization as the peoples’ reward.
However, the central folly of orthodox libertarian dogma is that it ignores the magnified global impact of 7 billion people yearning for a berth in some degree of middle class security, which simply does not suggest a comfortable fit into any existing models of neoliberal Laffer-curved, trickle-down economic theory. And since no actual model of a libertarian State has ever existed, isn’t it high time we called out libertarianism for what it is—the adolescent fantasy of naive Ayn Rand-inspired ideologues, and ignorant ammo-sexual misfits; and is a quasi-formula for institutionalized chaos dressed in a cool-sounding name?
(h/t to Imbecile for this space)