Beautiful Anarchy

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Bobwhite
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Beautiful Anarchy

Post by Bobwhite » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:56 am

I have a good friend who is a libertarian, and an anarchist. He's very intelligent, well-spoken (bi-lingual), a fly fisherman (and mentor), and is passionate about the value of personable liberty for all. So, I'm learning about the libertarian beliefs, and anarchy.

He sent me this article, which I found to be well written and accessible.

I thought some of you might too... and I'm interested in your responses.



Will Rand Paul Improve Liberty’s Prospects?

“Do you think supporting Rand Paul for President is good for liberty?”

Here is my incredibly unsatisfying answer: I don’t know.

Truly, I don’t. Neither do you. Why can’t we just admit this?

There is something about politics that elicits in everyone a faux sense of certainty. No matter how many times that political results contradict political promise, we still mostly pretend as if we know for certain what will happen when so and so wins. We know that Jim would be better than Jane, that Joan will be better than John, and so on. How do we know? How else? By what they say in the campaign, as if that is decisive. The truth is that rhetoric is not decisive.

I’m not saying that all politicians are liars, even if most are. The problem is more fundamental. No single elected official has the power to change the system. The system is, in fact, largely unelected. Their bureaucracies are massive. The regulations and legislation that empowers them are monumentally complex, impossible for any single mind or any one generation to comprehend. The process of reform is messy, structured so that it is highly unlikely that any change results in an overall net good for the cause of human liberty.

This is why there seems to be so little relationship between promised results and actual results. Reagan was going to cut the budget. It doubled and then tripled. Bush was going to have a humble foreign policy. Instead we went full imperial. Obama was going to break down the prison state and empower minorities. Instead, he added the surveillance state to the existing architecture of oppression. No matter how far you look back in time, you see a massive disconnect between the platform and the policies that emerged. The presidency of FDR is the paradigmatic case: a guy who ran on frugal government and no war gave us corporate fascism and entry into the second world war.

In the postwar period, there was one slice of time where good things all happened in a bundle. Trucking, airlines, and oil prices were all deregulated. Monetary policy shifted from loose to tight. Telecommunication deregulation was set in motion. We still benefit from these reforms today. Who was the impresario of these changes? The liberal Democrat Jimmy Carter, working in Congress through the offices of the liberal Democrat Teddy Kennedy? Who expected that?

Politics produces counterintuitive results. Under whose rule did we get the repeal of the national speed limit plus welfare reform, plus a nearly balanced budget? That would be Clinton.

Maybe you disagree with me. You can say, as bad/good as so and so was, the alternative would have been worse/better. Maybe. Maybe not. We’ll never really know because, in the world of politics and human action generally, there is no possible way to do a controlled experiment. One person’s opinion about what “would have happened” is as good as any other.

As for Rand Paul, I have no problem granting that he believes he has figured out the right way to make America a freer place for everyone. On paper, he looks better than any other candidate, so far. It’s wonderful that he is accepting Bitcoin. His economic program is sound. His outreach to diverse demographics: brilliantly overdue. His foreign policy seems slightly better than the alternatives.

But will he get his way? That’s an open question. The “deep state” is not going to respond well to a temporary manager who swears to put it in its place. The result can be the opposite of what Rand intends.

People who invest themselves in the presidency somehow never come to terms with the reality that under the democratic nation state, no man or woman is a dictator. In fact, real dictators are not even dictators. Even Nikita Khrushchev at the height of Soviet centralized power privately expressed nothing but frustration about his own inability to control or change the system. He once compared the system with a huge tub of dough. You punch it, squeeze it, manipulate it, but it pretty much stays the same.

There’s no doubt that most presidents feel the same.

Clarity about presidential reality comes with realizing the first big responsibility that a president has. He or she has to appoint 800 employees — subject to Senate confirmation — to pretend to run the government (pretend because lifetime bureaucrats mostly ignore political appointees).

Where do these people come from? To get them through the process and assure no scandal, they are drawn from 1) a pool of D.C. politicos who specialize in the affairs of government, 2) prominent and vetted supporters during the campaign, 3) big shots among the special interests that the new president favors. Immediately, all these new employees start receiving a government check, and suddenly have a stake in perpetuating and even expanding the institutions for which they work.

It’s a particularly weird job for a libertarian to accept, to say the least. Imagine, too, the potential downside to putting hundreds of the best libertarian minds going to work in government. Maybe some good will result. Or maybe the result is a brain drain out of the productive sector into the parasitic sector.

One way to think about government is as a giant corporation with its own interests to better its position and power. The president is the CEO. How do you do a good job and earn the support of the stockholders and customers? Not by cutting the budget, driving down the stock price, and pulling back its market share. Everything that hurts government as an institution will be resisted at all levels and in every conceivable way. You win by boosting the prospects of the state.

This is why it is such an enormous and implausible effort to use the presidency to enhance liberty. Everything we know about government pushes against this.

To see this reality requires that we look much more deeply at the problem than any debate or campaign can reveal. As entertaining as this season may be, we do well to keep in mind that politics is more about cosmetics than reality.

Those people who say that a President Rand Paul will save us or doom us are both wrong. We are all guessing, including Rand Paul himself. Therefore: let’s cool it on the saint making and witch burning and let the process play itself out. In any case, politics is most likely a lagging indicator of cultural, technological, and economic change — and in these sectors, there are very good reasons to be optimistic about liberty, regardless of whomever is ostensibly in charge.

- Jeffery Tucker, in Beautiful Anarchy , April 7, 2015
"Why in the fuck did I miss this place? It's like missing a raging case of the clap."

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kish
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Re: Beautiful Anarchy

Post by kish » Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:57 pm

That's kind of depressing, because it makes so much sense. I'm guilty of expecting too much from one man. I don't recall having high expectations after Bush was elected, but when Obama was elected, I hoped he would at least end the idiotic "War on Drugs". Maybe quit spying on Americans. Unfortunately expectations=disappointment when reality sets in.

But at least we are talking about a serious candidate with strong libertarian leanings. That' a pretty big deal if you ask me. I hope it's an indication of a real shift in the country's politics. If Paul does get the Republican nomination, and Gary Johnson again represents the Libertarian Party, I will be torn.

Reason Magazine is a great libertarian (small "l") magazine that's been around forever. It's refreshing to see a publication skewer Obama with the same zeal as they skewered Bush. And the Hit and Run blog on their website has some top notch debating. http://reason.com
“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” Charles Kingsley

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FormerlyChaseChrome
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Re: Beautiful Anarchy

Post by FormerlyChaseChrome » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:05 pm

Imagine, too...hundreds of the best libertarian minds...
Imagination would most certainly be required... :coffee


There is so much I want to say (will say)...for the moment, lets not confuse "politics" with political philosophy. Sounds to me Bob your friend is of the latter persuasion.
J. Tucker a shallow thinker at best...and if you chose to wade into this debate best consider the two great thinkers of the age:
Nozick and Rawls.

Kaveat: Nozick's Libertarian arguments are conditional upon an understanding of the Lockean Proviso...


more...............

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Upsetter
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Re: Beautiful Anarchy

Post by Upsetter » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:56 pm

ChaseChrome wrote:Imagination would most certainly be required...
Right...cause the preachy progressive and conservative fucks "thinkers" are sooooooo much better. Cause we stupid merkins need the shit coast elite to make all our decisions for us. :vomit

For my part, I dont put anything more in to the executive than that which the executive can achieve. Immediately repeal every unconstitutional, liberty destroying executive order / action put into effect as far back into history as those power grabbing motherfuckers have been up to that bullshit. If Rand Paul gets elected and he does that and only that, I consider it a groundbreaking success. Then let each successive president try and re-establish all the unconstitutional horseshit it promulgates after the sure to be monumental outpouring of support for the idea that the federal govt limit ITSELF in a proper manner, across the board, no matter the issue.

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FormerlyChaseChrome
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Re: Beautiful Anarchy

Post by FormerlyChaseChrome » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:39 am

Upsetter wrote:
ChaseChrome wrote:Imagination would most certainly be required...
Right...cause the preachy progressive and conservative fucks "thinkers" are sooooooo much better. Cause we stupid merkins need the shit coast elite to make all our decisions for us. :vomit
That does not follow from what I said, it's a far more nuanced position than your bile would otherwise indicate...
But thanks...again

:vomit
Indeed

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cantfishforshit.
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Re: Beautiful Anarchy

Post by cantfishforshit. » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:20 am

Nothing will change. Both parties run defecits for different reasons. Libertarians will cut taxes on the wealthy and probably increase military spending, all the while trying to convince the average man he is better off without social security, Medicare etc. The average American pays about 12% in taxes when all taxes are taken into account, yet libertarians would convince him he pays too much. The Koch brothers ruined this country.
“I am a fisherman. The work is simple, as is my life. Still, I take pride in my work because on these waters, I may think, and reason not to."

-Hindu Fisherman

"Do you remember, Odin, when in bygone days we mixed our blood together? You said you would never drink ale unless it were brought to both of us?" -Njal

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Bobwhite
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Re: Beautiful Anarchy

Post by Bobwhite » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:19 am

ChaseChrome wrote:
..and if you chose to wade into this debate best consider the two great thinkers of the age:
Nozick and Rawls.

Kaveat: Nozick's Libertarian arguments are conditional upon an understanding of the Lockean Proviso...
Admittedly, I have a lot to learn about Libertarian philosophy. Thank you for the direction.
cantfishforshit. wrote:Libertarians will cut taxes on the wealthy and probably increase military spending, all the while trying to convince the average man he is better off without social security, Medicare etc. The average American pays about 12% in taxes when all taxes are taken into account, yet libertarians would convince him he pays too much. The Koch brothers ruined this country.
I'm not sure what the Koch brothers have to do with understanding Libertarian philosophy.

Here is the Libertarian position on military spending...

http://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/Libert ... efense.htm

Here is the Libertarian position on Social Security...

http://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/Libert ... curity.htm

Here is the Libertarian position on Medicare...

http://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/Libert ... h_Care.htm
"Why in the fuck did I miss this place? It's like missing a raging case of the clap."

"Make it matter, fuckos." jhnnythndr

" Herre jävlar vilka fiskar!!" P-A

"I'm no saint though, nor a judge. Rock that shit good and hard, and on your way out, wipe your dick on the curtains." - Kyner

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cantfishforshit.
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Re: Beautiful Anarchy

Post by cantfishforshit. » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:58 am

Thanks for the info, Bob. I was correct about SS and Medicare. By the way, SS is not bankrupt. The funds have been diverted on occasion, but it's not bankrupt.
“I am a fisherman. The work is simple, as is my life. Still, I take pride in my work because on these waters, I may think, and reason not to."

-Hindu Fisherman

"Do you remember, Odin, when in bygone days we mixed our blood together? You said you would never drink ale unless it were brought to both of us?" -Njal

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VTNZ
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Re: Beautiful Anarchy

Post by VTNZ » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:37 pm

Jeebus...it's like getting Cliff Claven and Frasier Crane all wrapped up in one.... :coffee
People are assholes because half the people around are of below average intelligence - Shunned

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Upsetter
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Re: Beautiful Anarchy

Post by Upsetter » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:06 pm

ChaseChrome wrote:That does not follow from what I said, it's a far more nuanced position than your bile would otherwise indicate...
Excuse me for reading between the lines. You start with a dig at the OP. Throw in an ad hominem against the quoted author:
ChaseChrome wrote:J. Tucker a shallow thinker at best...
Whose observations are fairly astute btw. Then throw a couple academic bones at the end, suggesting thats where libertarianism belongs: deep academia; suggesting to Bob that his friend must also be an academic, the implication being: "all rational libertarians must be academic". After all that, were NOT to assume that you think other progressive trains of political thought could easily present 100's of top minds on the oh so deep subjects of politics and governance where libertarianism couldnt dream of doing so? I quote again for effect:
Imagine, too...hundreds of the best libertarian minds...


Imagination would most certainly be required... :coffee
Simple deductive logic. There's no nuance to it.

Furthermore, although youd like there to be, there isnt much more to the equation than this: progressives want more money and laws to enforce their vision of how they think things should be; conservatives want more money and laws to enforce their vision of how they think things should be; libertarians want less money and laws to disable the government from being anyone's vehicle to extract blood money and curtail liberty to enforce any vision of how things should be; re-establish appropriate constitutional constraints on ALL govt action; and give far more room than we presently have in this country to pursue self-determination.

All pragmatic libertarians have lines they define for themselves where they think govt intervention is legitimate, that is the only nuance here...unless a person is a hypocritical libertarian, curtailing freedoms he dislikes while championing others. Where does rand paul fall on that scale? I think the OP article does a great job of illustrating why he probably isnt going to be enough of a force for individual liberty given the powers that be, their debasing levels of corruption, and constraints on the office. I also fear he is a hypocritical libertarian, especially given his suckling at the republican party's tit.

I only hope, as I said above, that Paul uses his power of the pen to revoke the hundreds of unconstitutional executive orders and illegal enforcement actions take by both repub and dem presidents for decades now, starting the day he takes office until the job is done.

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VTNZ
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Re: Beautiful Anarchy

Post by VTNZ » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:34 pm

Well played Up...

Rand is simply not going to be a libertarian while seeking the R nomination. The power and influence of the right wing fundamentalists and their social agenda flies right in the face of Libertarian ideals.

And as I predicted on some other thread down here months ago, he will have to capitulate to the National Security State/MIC to get elected and he already is; that's why the 2007 version of Rand says "It's crazy to think of Iran as a threat to the US..."; while the 2014 Rand says, "Well, I wasn't running for president then...."

At least he's honest about how he'll change his tune for power.... :bullshit
People are assholes because half the people around are of below average intelligence - Shunned

I hope I didn't infer that I was antifingerbanging. Its an art I hold dear. - RT

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Plow
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Re: Beautiful Anarchy

Post by Plow » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:27 pm

VTNZ wrote:... that's why the 2007 version of Rand says "It's crazy to think of Iran as a threat to the US..."; while the 2014 Rand says, "Well, I wasn't running for president then...."

At least he's honest about how he'll change his tune for power.... :bullshit
He also said a lot has changed since then. I'm glad someone running for president noticed.
Better Reds than dead...

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