Thursday, June 8, 2006

Are libertarians against everything?

A common criticism of libertarianism is that we are intractable - that indeed, we simply don't like any use of political power at all, that we are unyielding, and that we simply won't allow people their own comfort, security nets, or what have you.

To a certain extent, this criticism is due to the political presence of libertarianism. When engaging on the public arena, libertarians tend to have to play a retreating battle, shouting briefly to protest a new law, then having to fight against the law that comes after that one. As the state constantly grows, very few victories can be won by a libertarian party.

Of course, the idea of a libertarian political party is absurd and laughable. Then again, so is the idea of a federal separatist party, and we have that too. Absurdity apparently does not prevent people from forming political parties - but why should it? Pretty much all politicians (there are exceptions that prove the rule) are clowns and the butt of ridicule already, so we shouldn't expect little incongruities like that stop them.

Should this mean that libertarians must always oppose, oppose, oppose? Not at all. In theory, I am not socially opposed to anything. I just don't want to participate in it. I believe that you should be free to join unions, have a minimum wage, ban guns amongst yourselves, prevent each other from having abortions or smoking pot, have social security, put a fucking hundred foot Ten Commandments monument on your lawn (which breaks one of the commandments anyway, but I suppose that's details to a fundie), or even start another holy war.

Statists, on the other hand, believe that I should be forced to finance or obey their insanities at the point of a gun. They believe that no one should have a different way of life from what they feel is best for society.

The real opposers, therefore, are the statists. They are the ones who want to suppress all other ways of life. I want to suppress none - in fact, I think society would be better off if everyone was free to live any way they want, even if they are so insane that they start a state amongst themselves.

In that regards, the difference between statists and anarchists is very much like the difference between Christians and atheists. Christians seek to impose a way of life on others as part of their worldview. It is part and parcel of being a Christian that one must attack other people's choices. Atheists don't mind if someone wants to be a Christian, as long as it is a personal, moral choice, and not the product of childhood brainwashing or social pressure.

We understand that some people are not strong enough to live in reality. We're not utopians. Neither are anarchists utopians. Utopian means a system that seeks to change human nature or clashes against it. Market anarchy is not utopian, since we don't want to change people - on the contrary, we take human nature as an inescapable premise. People will always have different value systems. That is a fact. Market anarchy permits them to express those value systems. It is statism, with its attempts to impose a singular ruling class value system at the point of a gun, which is utopian.

Take the example of unions. Are unions useful and progressive? You bet your ass they are. Should unions be able to use the power of the state to force everyone in a workplace to join them? No way. That's enslavement to other people's choices - and democratic choices to boot! Democracy is evil, and I wouldn't want to join any union which used a democratic process to take important decisions about my livelihood, let alone be forced to join it. Do I think other people should be able to join one if they want? Sure. Might I join a union which didn't use force to get its members, and which didn't use democracy for decision-making? Definitely.

Am I against unions? No. I am against the state. I want those groups of thugs and murderers to be judged for their crimes and recognized as the grand fraud that they are. When this is done, you can mushroom all the fucking unions you want - you can litter the whole landscape with unions if that's what you want. But leave the people who disagree with you alone, or deal with us like adults, not like children who need to be punished for talking back to their mother.