An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Libertarianism’

The Future of America and the Entire World

There is a concept that was covered rather nicely in the film, The Social Network.  It was how everything that we understand about society and the world is changing.  This change has been brought about by the internet.  Really, the internet has changed everything that we understand about how society works.  How civilizations were ruled is radically changing.  When one looks at Egypt and wonders about how this came about, it was brought about by the new.  It was brought about by a young generation that wants the world to change, and for the better.

Nobody could have predicted what the last 20 years would do to the entire planet.  When the internet started to connect everybody, and access to it was becoming easier and easier to come by, the world saw a sweeping revolution of change.  To quote the character Sean Parker from The Social Network

First we lived in villages, then in cities, and now we will live on the internet!”

This is an apt quote.  The invention of Facebook has revolutionized the entire planet, and every single interaction that happens within it.  The social world that we live in is null and void if you don’t have an internet connection.  If you are unable to get online, you are dead to the world.  Those who make a joke about a person who has a broken computer and therefore feels rather lost are people who are unable to see the writing on the wall – that the internet is our civilization.  As such, because so much of the world is now online, there is a revolution that is beginning to occur – the young are gradually beginning to pose a new direction to society.

As America is gradually losing power, we are beginning to understand that the only way that our nation is going to survive is to rethink our paradigm and to make our nation more active in promoting the things that are able to do the most good.  As such, the typical left and right battles that come up are being decried on both sides because both sides are sick of hearing it.  A new view of society is replacing it – that all groups and grow, and that government power should not be more centralized and authoritative, but rather, as Jeremy Rifkin brings up in an article that was published on The Huffington Post,  distributed and collaborative.

Now, one could look at things like Occupy Wall Street and think that this is a sign of things, but that is just a symptom.  That is just something that rose up because of the fact that the interneat has changed everything forever and for always.  So, what is it a symptom of – how the young are looking at the results of what the authoritative powers like the American government have done and are now attacking this system.  There is a growing number who take the Randian Libertarian model, which is a farce and is ultimately more dangerous, and then there are those who believe that the world’s efforts should first be united by continent, and the by planet.

Rifkin called this “The Third Industrial Revolution.”  As more and more nations that were not in the sphere of power are becoming more active, as more nations are able to have access to energy and more access to other materials, there is a growth that is occuring.  And while things are growing everywhere else, America and other nations of power are on the decline.  America rode the wave after World War II.  We believed that we would be able to make the world whatever we wanted it to be.  It got us out of a Depression.  We believed that everything was going to be great forever.  But history has shown that economic success is never eternal.

So the question comes to – what will America’s involvement, and better yet, what will Alaska’s involvement be?  Well, the goal should be obvious – change the entire system to what works.  A global economic model that actually works.  One of the strangest things about the new GOP paradigm is their belief that we can continually spend and spend and spend, but not have to raise taxes.  They want to funnel money into the military efforts overseas, in a vain attempt to have global power, which is outdated, to be honest, while trying to make their power base at an unsustainable level for the entire country.

America has to change.  Alaska must change with it.  We have to move from an economy based on oil, for starters.  Renewable energy, on a large scale, could be a global effort and provide the entire world with cheap renewable energy.  It would help economies grow.  It would be good for the planetary biosphere.  It is just a good idea.  The next thing is to drastically change global relations by getting rid of the military deterrant that we have, but doesn’t work, and could eventually come back to bite us.  Nukes have to go.  The bases overseas have to go.  All of our military might in the third world has to go.  We have to change the balance of things by not coming into discussions as the superpower who will have a gun to your head, but as a voice that is adding an opinion to the discussion.  That is how it has to work.  The next thing is to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid, and institute universal health care.  America’s health care system is a broken, patch-work system, and while universal health care is by no means perfect, it really is the best option that we have.

Alaska must leave behind the oil-based mentality.  The idea that mining, oil, and our “frontier spirit” is going to save everything is a farce that is almost dangerous, when one examines these issues critically.  Alaska has a vast wealth of renewable sources that we could harness, leaving behind the finite resources such as oil and coal.  With Alaska’s small population, universal health care is almost too practical.  We are unique in that regard.  We have a large population that is spread out.  We can also afford to raise the taxes on all brackets, back to where they were under Clinton.  But most of all, we need to drastically rethink what we want to do.  The Libertarian views of me-me-me is starting to become a bad joke that is told by people who don’t want to face reality.  The Milton Friedman economic model doesn’t work.  It never has.  Clinton said in a recent interview that the Randian model has never worked, never been proven to work.  When Ron Paul runs America into the ground, that will be a sad day.

Really, we have to rethink how we view wealth, our fellow man, and the pursuit of money.  When the need for money is worth more than human life, as was shown by a Ron Paul supporter at the Tea Party debates, that is a model that is doomed to fail.  We have to start thinking about how we want to treat the least among us, and people have to be willing to make sacrifices, and the first who need to are the wealthy.  The real challenge is that we all have to start looking out for each other.  Until we can do that, America, Alaska, and the entire world is doomed to fail.

Peace out,

Lefty

Libertarianism is flawed to its core

It is impossible for a person to have anymore, a rational discussion with the Libertarian crowd.  It is becoming almost a little bit upsetting trying to talk with these people rationally.  Because if you go on YouTube, and there was a great video made about this (http://youtu.be/xYaujnR_8NE), you will see this huge group of cultish followers of the Libertarian philosophy.  There was a video that came out recently from a favorite political commentator, Sam Seder, about the YouTube Libertarians (http://youtu.be/0Htf0IgrJrs) and how these people are completley impossible to argue with them.

So, here I am, and I will try and talk rationally.  After my last post talking about how Ron Paul is not the God that they all seem to make him out to be, I didn’t get a single smart argument.  Instead, it was just angry lambasting from people who didn’t want to discuss things rationally.  So here we are, going to give this another shot.

Libertarianism is flawed to its core.  Sorry, but that is the truth.  That idea that little to no government is going to produce a better society is complete and utter nonsense.  One big one that they talk about is no regulation, that the market should take care of itself.  There are not enough hands to do enough facepalms for the idea.  Yes, if we do nothing, if we free up business’ hands, then things will be better.

First off, let’s take a look at the food industry.  A recent report from the CDC said that food-borth pathogens are on the rise here in the US.  Why are they on the rise?  Because we have a horribly underregulated food industry.  We have disease-ridden cattle that we feed to people in this country.  We have produce that carries diseases because there aren’t enough regulations, and those that are in place, the FDA and other groups don’t have enough people to look into them.  It’s the same with airlines industry.  Airline safety is another area that desperatley is underfinanced, and the Libertarians are just fine with looking the other way.

Rand Paul made a statement during an interview with George Stephanopoulos about the BP Gulf spill (forget the Deepwater Horizon BS, this is BP’s spill, just like the last one was called Exxon Valdez) –

 And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault. Instead of the fact that maybe sometimes accidents happen. I mean, we had a mining accident that was very tragic and I’ve met a lot of these miners and their families. They’re very brave people to do a dangerous job. But then we come in and it’s always someone’s fault. Maybe sometimes accidents happen.

You know, if there wasn’t a mountain of evidence as to the fact that the drilling that was going on in the Gulf was horribly underregulated…no, even then he wouldn’t have a point.  The problem with the Libertarian ideology is that it believes three things to be true

  1. That people will be able to keep informed about all markets, and that businesses will never withhold information about those markets.
  2. That all people are good and want to help everybody else at all times.
  3. That businesses work for the interests of the community, not for the bottom line.

All three of these things are not only ridiculous, but they are impossible to believe.  And when you try to show that the Randian philosophy (Ayn Rand) about free markets is nothing more than a greed-driven mentality designed to help the self is morally repugnant, they all just scream about how you hate their freedom.

This is what TJ Kincaid was talking about in his video.  Because the Libertarians have some ideas that people, those who like those ideas will put the other ones, the horribly socially and morallly corrosive ones out of their minds.  They will forget about the fact that Ron Paul may not have said that the man should just be left to die, but he did say that there should be no establishment effort to help.  He said that the church and the community should step up.  But they didn’t!  They did not step up!  So to tell them that these ideals are wrong, you are just wasting air.

And a lot of their heroes preaching is morally and socially corrosive.  Let’s get rid of the FDA, so people can test for E Coli themselves!  How about getting rid of the EPA?  Yeah, because they’ve never done any good for anybody…except how their regulations got rid of the smog that had infested LA.  How about throwing out the Department of Education?  Yeah, because inner-city kids are going to be able to afford private schools!  Oh wait, they won’t.  Or how about getting rid of the income tax!  Oh right, then this nation would completely collapse.  I keep forgetting that one.  Or let’s go all-out and get rid of the entire social safety net!  People forget that doing that would be tantamount to murder.

Now, it is easy to point out the flaws of one system, but if you have an established state, of any kind, you need a strict infrastructure to manage it.  Anarchy doesn’t work.  Anarcho-capitalism doesn’t work.  Nature abhors a vacuum, and with human nature, it’s a power vacuum.  So, you need an infrastructure that works.  And along with that infrastructure, you need people to manage it.  You need people to make it work.  Now, call it what you want, but a government by any other name is still government.  Regulation has been proven to work, and no regulation has been proven to bring things down.  The most recent financial collapse was a perfect example.  The government wasn’t watching the banks, and they did bad business practices because we also ignored the regulation to make sure they don’t get too big, hence the concept of “Too Big to Fail.”

But Libertarianism is a good thing for one reason – it allows us liberals and progessives to reevaluate why we believe what we believe, and why we will fight so hard to defend it.  But with the sudden and massive growth of this group, the question becomes, is it dangerous?  Is the ignorance that they display a genuine threat to this nation and its future.

Now that is something worth looking into.

Peace out,

Eli

Stop Worshipping Ron Paul!

There are two characters in the world of politics who seemingly are immune from any significant amount of scorn.  Anybody who says anything bad about them is quickly put to shame.  They have the plethora of supporters who seem to never notice the fact that these characters are not the people that they desperately believe them to be.  They want them to be these great people because if they aren’t, if the ideas about them are wrong, then apparently, the group who follows them are suddenly no longer able to support themselves.  They would lose all credibility.  These two people are Ron and Rand Paul.

The growing Libertarian crowd has flocked around these two hypocrites in gloriously huge ways.  Rand Paul isn’t the one that will be discussed primarily here because he isn’t the one who is making a run at the presidency, but he is no less of a hypocrite than his father.  But it is Ron Paul that will be being trashed in this posting.  He really needs to be.  Somebody needs to point out what a complete and utter hypocrite this guy is.

One really unpleasant point about talking about this character is that if anybody says anything bad about him, they are sure to be lambasted and insulted by his little cultish followers.  Really, there is something very cult-like about the worship that these people have for him.  Like something is gospel the moment it leaves the lips of this man.

He has said that he is against government inhibiting the rights of the people, that he is for small government.  And yet, in the next breath, he can turn around and say how he is for the overturning of Roe v. Wade.  Here’s a quote from the man himself –

The government doesn’t have the right to invade your home or have cameras in your home.”

Yeah, they just have the right to tell women what to do with their bodies. There was a comment on the Huffington Post article that was linked above –

Ron Paul idiots live in the country of ME.  It is all about WHAT I WANT AND MY MONEY.  I never saw a federal document that addressed, “ME the people” .  It is always WE the people.  You want ME, go live on an island somewhere.”

Touche, elr50!  That’s what it appears to be when the Libertarians talk about their political views anymore.  But back to Ron Paul, he is also a hypocrite to his own ideals in his belief that there should be no seperation of church and state.  Here’s another quote from the horse’s mouth –

The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion.”

As TJ Kincaid, a brilliant YouTube vlogger, put it, Thomas Jefferson might have a problem with that –

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law. In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”

The fact is that this country was founded on the belief that these two concepts should be kept incredibly far apart.  What’s more, the fact that Ron Paul doesn’t believe that, how is he for all people’s rights, again?  Even Bush II believed that these things needed to be seperate (even though his religion guided almost everything he did as a President).  Yeah, the government deserves the right to tell you how to believe.  That seems to for the rights of people, doesn’t it?

So, what makes this father-son duo so popular?  Well, they are against the wars in the Middle East, and they want to legalize drugs.  These are the only two selling points on a couple of guys who are nothing more than two more fundamentalist Christian politicians trying to push their political ideals on everybody else.  What’s more, people are buying into this!  People are setting aside their personal issues with their agendas for them!

The fact is that these people have blinders on.  They will follow blindly the rules of somebody who is just another crazy fundamentalist because they preach the message they want to hear – the the government won’t take the money that my greedy ass earned and give it to poor people, that we can have free drugs, and the troops will come home.  That is all that they want to hear, and the fact that Ron wants to destroy our nation’s already crappy infrastructure, that he wants to make women have no control over their bodies, that he wants to eliminate the freedom of belief that our Founding Fathers gave us, that apparently is completely able to be ignored.

As TJ saw it, and as I do too, the problem with people who are fans of Ron Paul is that they seem to have blinders on.  They also seem to take this man’s word as gospel, to give him “Messiah-like properties.”  They seem to believe he can do no wrong, and anybody who says otherwise is the enemy.  That is not a good progressive message, and it is also a very bad way to be in general, because if the future were to go the way that he wants it.  Well, it’s not really worth thinking about.

Peace out,

Eli

A Question to Ron Paul and To Libertarians

Okay, after seeing some of the statements by people like Ron Paul, and listening to various libertarian elements, I have one question that I would like to ask – How many freedoms have you lost?

It’s not a difficult question.  The lack of the libertarians ability to answer the question does leave some questions.  I have talked to countless libertarians who are completely angry at our country over offenses that have not occured.  I like how Bill Maher put it, “people who think that the freedoms in this country are going away should be forced to watch the new Jackass movie.”  That is the absolute truth.  What exactly is the contention?

The only real loss of freedom that has happened in this country in a very long time was when The Patriot Act came into play.  Now that was when freedom was actually being hindered.  Of course, a very large part of the libertarian party was very silent.  Of course, there was Ron and Rand Paul who were vocally against it.  Of all the people who claim to be Libertarian, those two actually seem to stand by their message, although, like almost every single other libertarian, they seem to get a crucial definition of a concept that they claim to be against dead wrong.

Let’s clear up a critical misconception right now- the Founding Fathers were not against socialism.  In fact, they were very much in favor of it, but only for crucial functions.  Of course, like so many things that people who claim that the Constitution is completely correct about everything simply because something is in there, there were not a lot of crucial functions for government to serve, mostly because the technological and scientific knowledge wasn’t there.  We didn’t have a police force like we do today.  There was no fire department back in those days even remotely resembling the modern capacity.  We didn’t have medical help the way we do now.  These things just didn’t exist.  But the Founding Fathers were against public ownership of crucial services.

And that is another thing- socialism does not mean the government owns everything!  Socialism actually means quite the opposite.  It means that there is a collective public ownership of a service of business.  It means that the power is being taken away from the government and being given to the people.  This is critical to understand because groups like Fox News and conservative and libertarian groups continually and mercilessly misrepresent things.  The fact is that true socialism takes power away from the government, rather than giving it to them, as the common belief is on the Fox Network.  There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with a system, but if you are going to have a case to present, at least have your facts straight.

However, it does take away from the capitalist market.  However, this is another ugly misrepresentation.  The idea that the free market can take care of itself is a gross overstatement of things that have been proven by intellectual and economists to be false.  The free market taking care of itself has never been true.  If it had been, then there would never have been a recession during Reagan’s (the false conservative prophet of foolishness) time in the 80’s, and there certainly wouldn’t have been one as there is now.  The “trickle-down” model has NEVER worked, not once.  The Milton Friedman model has never worked.

The fact is that the only proven method of economic growth is a very precise mix of capitalism and socialism.  It is not an exact science, and it must be rigorously maintained.  That is the only way that it works.  And it is with that in mind that the statement can be made that free market capitalism is a farce.

Now, onto another topic.  Ron Paul recently said that it should be perfectly alright for a business to be able to tell a group of people that they are no allowed to shop there.  He is basically in favor of segregation.  His reasoning is because it is enfringing on the freedom of a business.  That may be true, but in what way?  They are not free to tell people that they don’t have a right to shop with them?  That’s interesting, because isn’t it infringing on the rights of people who are shopping by telling them that they can’t shop at your store?  Aren’t you getting in the way of capitalism by telling a group of peopel that they are not allowed to do business at your institution?  You are taking away from a person’s rights, and therefore, Ron Paul, your argument is taking away people’s liberties.  Interesting, isn’t it?

The fact is that the libertarian position is more childish than anything.  They don’t want to be taxed, they don’t want to be told no.  They tend to throw tantrums when people tell them what to do, because in so many of their minds’, it is wrong for anybody in power to tell them to do anything.

The Founding Fathers were against the government having too much power.  But they found this really cool away around that.  It is called “checks and balances.”  All three of the major areas of government have power over one-another, and therefore, the government is kept in check, or at least, it was supposed to be.  The fact is that the bulk of the libertarian movement came to focus during President Obama’s time.  Back when Bush was stripping away people’s right to privacy and their 4th Amendment rights, they were remarkably silent.  These people are not left or right of anything but helpful, and rather than try and fix the system, the choose to stand apart from it.  A lot of people would probably be on their side, were it not for the fact that they ignore the basic principles of different terms, and ignore evidence given by intelligent people about topics that are over their heads.

Government is made by people listening to the smart, not ignoring and saying no.

Peace out,

Eli

PS – here’s an article that can say it better than I –

http://www.examiner.com/atheism-skepticism-in-new-york/why-government-is-important-and-libertarianism-is-bollocks

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