Here’s a post you won’t like. Let’s see how long it stays up.
Warning, some caps used for clarification, not for shouty, shout, shout. Also /rant
Libertarians are reductive, extremely stupid, and extremely intelligent. Fundamentally I think Libertarians are intelligent thoughtful people, perhaps even more than other parties, and yet, like all parties, you are por(be)trayed by your loudest and least intelligent members. It just so happens that the least intelligent members of your party are really, really unintelligent.
I’ve only had an, admittedly, small sample size of the unintelligent, but my god it was bad. “Carnige built libraries therefore taxes aren’t necessary (forgetting that he left maintenance and all else to municipalities)”, “train tracks were laid by private industry previously (baring all discussion of slavery to prove their point) therefore Google will eventually build roads”. “Anything taken from me without my express consent is tyranny” (forgetting that many countries were built on the backs of those not allowed to say no), “slippery slope”, “do your own research”. The arguments are so reductive and like the house made of straw, fall to the slightest breeze/testcase. These ideals are great, until you apply the real world to them. Every single party, wants more freedom of choice and wants their hierarchy of needs met (Maslow). We all just fundamentally disagree with how to get there, I propose that the least intelligent Libertarians haven’t considered anything necessary to the amount it takes to be realistic. Not to say I’m some divine wizard of knowledge, I just can’t understand the reasoning, and I’m astonished anyone can.
Then there are the intelligent in you. Wow, you guys are smart. Really, genuinely, deep thinkers. I see posts saying something like: “I don’t like taxes, but unfortunately they are necessary”. THOSE are the type of people that I can understand and communicate with. THOSE are the types of conversations where I could be a convert (Big time liberal/NDP). I would love to communicate with THOSE people. I seriously would like to know more and have discussions about this.
Here are my sticking points with Libertarians, and this is just one cunt on the internet (me), no one NEEDS to convince me, i get it, but I’d like to know what ya’ll have to say on this anyways:
People are inherently selfish and don’t want to pay for systems they see no immediate and/or personal benefit in.
This unfortunately doesn’t work for any social program. The buy-in has to by nearly 100%, and be definition involuntary, in order to be effective. This means that some people need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future, vis-a-vis taxes. This then leads us down that HUGE rabbit hole. Some of you have said “taxes are a necessary evil”. Couldn’t agree more (again, remember I’m a hardcore lefty) and yet I am proud to pay mine. Why? Because it is necessary to help EVERYONE not just those who pay into it. I have a disability that will eventually make my life impossibly hard. Should I be creating my own safety net even when I wont be able to effectively use it eventually? Is it up to me to make sure that every single one of my future needs can be met, even when i can’t foresee them? If you take a second to realize that not everyone’s the same and that not everyone gets a “fair shake” then you must inevitably come to the conclusion that at some point you want: 1. To allow those people to suffer under their own fate, or 2. Sometimes you need to think about your fellow man (hello social programs).
Yes, I realize this is reductive also, I just don’t want to make this post longer than it already will be and this seemed emblematic enough to be exemplary. So, which is it? 1. Sucks to suck or 2. Okay, we make this exception? If you make this one extension, then you MUST make others. You, internet stranger, cannot decide what needs can be met for whom, we must endeavor to meet, at least Maslow’s needs, for EVERYONE.
Consider “The tragedy of the commons” Whereby everyone feels like they are going to be cheated out of their “fair share” if they dont take lots, and take fast. That’s the same thing here, IF we don’t have buy-in from people who seem to think taxes someow = tyranny then why would anyone else contribute? I’m all for paying taxes and gladly will until my dying breath, and yet, I cannot be the only person paying for a system, whether you chose to admit it or not, does help the whole. Sure, your mileage may vary, but on the whole, more people are helped than are not. If one person is allowed to, on the grounds of some quasi religious belief, disembark from the social system, then why wouldn’t every selfish person disembark? Suddenly every cunt on the planet is a “Libertarian” (quotes because I know y’all stand for more than just that and they wouldn’t be true Libertarians) and we have complete societal collapse? Is that what y’all want?
In order for any of this to be remotely possible it would send us back to the stone age. If you, and you alone, are responsible for you. Then by that logic you cannot participate in any of the modern amenities (including using Reddit). Yes, private corp has done a lot in the way of innovation, however innovation is (quietly) funded by “Us” the TAX payers. Vaccines, internet, transport, energy, healthcare, computers, etc. Almost every single thing of modern amenities are funded either directly, or on the backs of, tax payer research funds. Does everyone want to go back to the stone age? This falls apart as soon as we consider what money is.
Money is a system of promises to pay. No one person can grow enough food to feed their diet in a way that is similar to what we eat now. Importing goods from other countries has allowed us to eat better than we ever have in the history of the world! Without taxes there would be no trade, there would be no infrastructure to carry foods and goods, there would be no exporting of goods (looking at you wheat farmers). The exchange of goods allows us to feed people, I give you one chopped tree you give me one bushel of apples. Fine, easy enough. Yet, there are not enough hours in the day to facilitate the labour required for every transaction you’re going to need. How many chopped trees do you think you’d need to pay for a spleen removal? Maybe you work all day and just chop trees for 12 hours a day. You still wouldn’t have enough wood to pay for a necessary medical treatment, food, water, shelter, roads, television, internet, Reddit, etc. You physically cannot chop that much wood. Modern amenities are funded by us and paid for by us. Even with the increase in “corporate social responsibility” from companies. They are still profit machines (and by definition selfish Read: shareholder), there is no way a corporation is going to provide all your needs no matter how much “good will” it generates. Do you think nerd Jesus, Elon Musk, is going to provide you with a cheap internet because you can chop wood? Hell no!
Without the government, money is useless, the promise to pay off that note you are handing out would be as strong as a fart in the wind, it is only through government adjudication and backing (taxes) that you can even trade your wood chopping for internet.
Now I know what you’re saying “But Choui4, I am a lawyer, I’ll lawyer my way to the internet” no, you won’t. You cannot trade your skills directly for enough to live your life as you have it now. You need money, if you need money you need a government to adjudicate it, If you need a government, you need taxes. If you follow this to the Nth degree (Which is necessary) then you see that any claim of “Pure self-reliance, No taxes, Corps will save us” eventually and inevitably, fall apart.
I was going to go on, but this is already a super long rant so I’ll yield the balance of my time. I would just like to point out that You and I are fundamentally after the same thing. I want personal freedom, I want freedom of choice, I want the freedom to not have to worry about my every past, present, and future needs. This only happens when we, as a community, work together and contribute to a better world TOGETHER, This happens through government (and thus taxes) who administer our baser needs to ALL (they’re supposed to but have been failing as of late). The answer I believe is more taxes, more government, better oversight.
You’ll be hard pressed to find any person of any party, who doesn’t feel like bureaucracy is bloated and overreaching (in some areas). I believe the path forward is accountability, transparency, and clarity. This means we ask more from our government, not less. Just because your selfish ass can live off twigs and hunted squirrels, doesn’t mean that you’ll always be able to and it doesn’t mean that everyone can. If you want to preach more self reliance, sure I’m all for that (in fact I take a very proactive approach to becoming more self-reliant). You know what helps self reliance? When your Hierarchy of Needs are met, you can concentrate on being more self reliant. You know what drives innovation? Not having to worry about where your next meal is going to come from. You know what creates a better world for all? When the most vulnerable among us doesn’t have to worry about LITERALLY whether or not they can SURVIVE.
I know not all of you subscribe to this methodology, I know a lot of you are extremely intelligent, I literally cannot understand how those people can subscribe to Libertarianism and still think its “RIght”. Please try to help me understand. If you feel it’s necessary to pick apart my every word in order to disprove me, this post isn’t for you. This post is for those intellectually honest, and intelligent among you, whom I am (perhaps unfairly) asking to help me understand how those few relatively small, circles can be squared.
Thank you for attending my Ted Talk. Love you all.
Article from r/Libertarian: For a Free Society