Endless Curiosity

June 9, 2009

Libertarians are Pussies

Filed under: Economics, Psychology — Alec @ 7:21 am

I’ve always thought of myself as a bleeding-heart liberal, but recently have changed my mind. Now I think that even Libertarians are wimps and pussies.

Why? Because they believe we have rights.

Let me explain. Liberals, Conservatives, and Libertarians all believe in rights – they just believe in different rights.

Liberals believe in “Freedom From”, while Conservatives believe in “Freedom To”, which pretty much defines the rights they believe in. Let’s take a look.

Liberals believe that they should be free from fear: fear of danger, fear of poverty, fear of insecurity, fear of loss of health. This leads to a belief in rights such as the right to health care, the right to unemployment benefits, the right to regulate companies, the right to regulate guns, and so on.

Conservatives believe that they should free to make money and free to control other people’s lives. This leads to a belief in rights such as the right to own companies that pollute the water, the right to take away their children’s incentive to work by leaving them large inheritances, the right to tell people who they can’t marry, the right to tell people what they can’t ingest, and so on.

Libertarians believe that government should be small and should leave them alone. They believe in freedom from government interference, except when it comes to things like maintained roads, and being protected by police forces and armies.

But the bottom line is that all these groups believe we have rights. I don’t. That’s why I think they are all pussies.

“No rights?” you ask. What about our Declaration of Independence, which says “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”?

Well, tell that to the slaves. Tell that to God (Read the Book of Joshua, or Numbers 21, or think about Noah’s Ark).

I don’t believe in rights. I believe in reality. Throughout human history, people have banded together into communities for protection – living by yourself meant almost certain death. Initially this meant that power was limited to the strong, and this is still true today in dictatorships and tyrannies.

Throughout history people have fought, spilt blood, and died to wrest power from the powerful. Sometimes the winners of the struggle simply replaced one authoritarian regime with another – after all, power corrupts (see Stalin or Robert Mugabe). Sometimes, they replaced it with democracy, where everyone is given the opportunity to vote and select the people who will make key decisions that will affect them all.

But there will always be people who want more, which is why we have structures of rules and laws – to try and prevent a predatory system where the powerful prey on the weak.

Of course, many of the people who want more simply game the system, often by bribing the elected people who make the decisions. Called corruption when it happens in other countries, lobbying is a time-honored way of changing the laws to benefit the people who can afford to bribe or threaten the decision makers.

So over time we move to a system where laws are written to benefit those who can buy the lawmakers, or who can buy the media and persuade the voters to believe in the stories which benefit those who can buy the media.

In other words, none of the laws we have reflect “rights”. They simply reflect the most current choices that our lawmakers have chosen to enact into law, biased towards those rich or powerful enough to exert influence.

So forget rights. Look for the outcomes you want and try to influence the lawmakers into crafting laws that support those outcomes, and try to influence the voters into believing in those outcomes.

There are no rights, and libertarians are pussies. There are just only laws enacted by lawmakers acting under the influence.

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