(Originally written on
Today I’m going to address Dusty Smith’s review of Libertarianism, called “Why Libertarians Are Idiots.”
I’ll have to start with the tone. Obviously it is antagonistic in nature, which means he already will lose credibility in the eyes of some. It’s a very common mistake, which means it’s a very common type of post. On top of that, Dusty is obviously only dealing with one type of “libertarian” — the conservative kind.
All of his critiques involve the conservative, Americanized take on libertarianism, which overlooks a large variety of alternate takes on libertarianism, such as anarchism. Some would view this as a minor oversight, but there are plenty of anarchist-leaning people out there who do not propose corporations as alternatives to government, and do not want government to heavily regulate corporations, either. Quite simply, they dislike government AND corporations, and see them as largely interrelated. There are even libertarian communists out there, or communists who do not believe in government controlled economy. In other words, Dusty overlooks the simple fact that there are different kinds of libertarians out there.
Libertarianism doesn’t necessarily advocate for market solutions to everything. In fact, I myself don’t advocate private, capitalist owned property at all, and consider myself more of a libertarian socialist. I think workplaces should be owned by those doing the work, and be responsible to communities they are in, and also to those they do business with. Cooperatives are the way to go. Dusty says we have to heavily regulate corporations, but that would not be necessary if people organized the economy in a different manner. Unfortunately, Dusty claims that people are too lazy and stupid to do that, so we need the government to do all that for us. Isn’t that just encouraging people to stay lazy and stupid, and isn’t that the supposed problem to begin with?
Plus, the “government run watchdogs” thing isn’t good. The government is what protects corporations and private property to begin with. Governments engage in wars all the time, and America’s government has supported dicatorships, armed terrorist groups, overthrown foreign leaders and assassinated people quite frequently. Even JFK — considered one of our greatest Presidents — had supported Saddam Hussein back in the day (Yes, that is true. Look it up!). Asking the government to stop greed and violence is about as good as asking the Mafia.
This whole thing is obviously convoluted, and Dusty does make some decent points, but he overlooks something: At present we are basically locked into this system, so it’s almost tragic stupidity to call it an intelligent thing to advocate. When government and corporations own so many of society’s functions and alienate people from their own decisions and their own responsibilities, negative outcomes will abound. In this scenario, people who can’t pay their bills will have to turn to government assistance even if they don’t truly want to, and people who don’t want to pay taxes for government assistance would end up throwing people out on the street. And then what happens? Just as bad, many people end up working at dead end jobs they hate, just to give more wealth to people who tend to already have enough already.
So I’ll end by saying something Dusty should agree with: If people don’t want to see others on welfare, then offer them food, jobs, money and places to stay. Otherwise nothing good will come from it, at least until society is organized differently.