What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/what-america-would-look-if-libertarians-got-their-way

What if you cut all benefits? What if all of public life were a giant competition? What libertarianism would look like in real life.

By RJ Eskow
December 25, 2013

These four libertarian/conservative dystopias are offered, as Rod Serling used to say in “The Twilight Zone,” “for your consideration.”

The “Libertarian/Conservative”

I’ve qualified my previous writings on libertarianism with disclaimers explaining that I’m addressing a specific, popular subset of libertarian thought. But I’ve still run afoul of dozens of people who say, “I’m a libertarian and I don’t think those things.” I’ve still received comments like those from David Brin, who correctly notes that I’m not addressing libertarians like Friedrich Hayek in my criticism.

True. But Hayek ain’t in the saddle these days. Ayn Rand is leading the posse, to the extent any intellectual figure is. But I’ll put my disclaimer upfront this time: I acknowledge that, as libertarian-friendly writer John Danaher puts it, “’libertarianism’ has come to denote a broad, often fractious, group of political theories.”

I suppose it’s only fitting that a philosophy celebrating competing markets would, to a certain extent, be a set of competing markets itself.

But it seems even clearer that a “libertarian” in today’s political environment is almost always someone who ascribes to certain core philosophies: He abhors government, hates taxation, and is hostile to collective action on behalf of the less fortunate. Name any prominent modern libertarian—Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, Ron Paul, Peter Thiel, Rand Paul—and they are likely to fit this description.

These figures represent a singular and increasingly dominant libertarian vision. To avoid future confusion, I’ll give their brand of thought an admittedly imperfect name: “libertarian/conservative.” It is that vision, and their future, which I address here—and it’s a frightening future.

1. What if you cut all benefits?

You’ve heard it from Sen. Rand Paul and other conservatives this winter: unemployment benefits increase unemployment. It’s an enormously destructive idea, though absurd on its face. It’s like the argument that hospitals create sick people; after all, there are so many of them there.

We usually consider such thinking “primitive” in modern societies.

Continue reading at:   http://www.alternet.org/what-america-would-look-if-libertarians-got-their-way

2 Responses to “What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way”

  1. Bonze Anne Rose Blayk Says:

    Oh, lord.

    Ayn Rand was not a libertarian: she explicitly disavowed the ideology, and disdained the capital-L “Libertarians” as (more or less?) flaky anarchists.

    And Paul Ryan is to Libertarianism as Joseph Stalin is to Marxism.

    Friederich Hayek is a classical liberal, in large part worthy of the title, and is an inspiration to a number of people who identify as libertarians, and are genuinely interested in promoting individual liberty while encouraging compassionate social values… including programs which may be organized through the agency of the State.

    “But Hayek ain’t in the saddle these days.”

    Guess who’s dislodging him: transparent frauds (like the State-Corporatist Paul Ryan) promoted as “libertarians” by shallow political analysts (like Eskow)…

    Bah, humbug.

    thanks,
    – bonzie anne

    • Suzan Says:

      I think the whole Libertarian thing is total bullshit. I actually have a much higher opinion of anarchists ie democratic socialists who believe governments should be run by and for the benefit of the people and not the corporations, who believe corporations are not people and should be run to benefit the people who work for them and society, not some elitist rich scum suckers.

      Hayek is a basic fascist asshole and moron. Worse than Hitler and Stalin combined.

      As for the no true Scotsman argument and libertarians it carries about as much water as the Mao and Stalin weren’t real communists argument.

      Democratic Socialism prior to all the internationalist corporate monarchism seems a pretty good alternative to both.

      Lastly that bastion of capitalism, Switzerland is talking about giving (no strings, no means testing but simply giving) every citizen a basic income of some 2500 dollars per month.

      Actually Ayn Rand plays a far greater role in the current fucking of society than you care to acknowledge. The modern conservative movement grew out of the Nazi symps of the 1940s who were brought together in the 1950s by Robert Welch (yes, Welch’s grape juice), the Koch (father to the current Koch brothers) and other ultra right wing assholes. Ayn Rand was the L.Ron Hubbard of their movement which was based in her philosophy of “Objectivism”.

      Their “Christianity” is actually Dominionism, a religion that in reality has only tenuous ties to actual Christianity.

      Their “Free Market Capitalism” has destroyed actually capitalism and has converted it into a monopolistic juggernaut that has replaced democratically elected representative governments with oligarchies that select puppets like Bush and Obama who are open to naked manipulation of the sort Orwell only imagined in “1984”


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