Libertarians – Thomas Jefferson the Non-Argument

Since I did that post yesterday, I thought I would follow up on another thought.

Libertarians like to point to Thomas Jefferson quotes and claim him as one of their own, as if it would mean anything. But here’s why it doesn’t, and never will.

Let’s start with population. In 1800 roughly 5.3 million people lived in The United States of America. Jefferson was elected in 1801. So let’s think about that. Over 8 million people live in New York City today. LA has just shy of 4 million. Yes, take that in. The population of one city today is greater than the total population of the USA when Jefferson was elected president.

Most people lived in smallish communities. Now most people live in cities.
Back then, most people hunted for their food, made their clothing, and didn’t rely on mega-corp stores for everything.

There weren’t any massive corporations. Pollution wasn’t a thing. They had no idea about things like the Ozone layer, global warming, causes of cancer, etc.
The rights of anyone not straight, white and male were minimal to nonexistent. (I’m not one of those self-hating straight white guys, but this IS simple fact).

Practically everything was different in social, political and everyday life. Electricity! Cars! There was no issue of energy, no potential energy crisis. No nuclear power and all the concerns that go along with it. Or nukes for that matter.

Time did what it always does. Change things. Life is different. The world is different. The needs of the society are different. Trying to apply things Jefferson said 200 years ago to modern government is just stupid.

So the next time you seem some libertarian quoting Jefferson, let them know it’s been almost 200 years since he died and suggest they join us back here in the modern world.

Libertarians Defeated

This is a comment I left to respond to a libertarian fuckwit on youtube. Typical argument tactics for his kind. Ignore everything said to him and loads of logical fallacies. In this case he pretty much just kept telling me how I didn’t know what I was talking about. You’d think it that were the case he could have easily come up with some form of rebuttal to what I said, but nope. Just kept repeating that I didn’t know what I was talking about.

I can’t help but wonder in what world someone like that lives, where they don’t have to prove anything. They just have to say it, and that apparently makes it true.

Anyway, here’s the comment. It’s pretty long, but I got on a roll and decided to go for it.

 

The Comment

“You claim I don’t know what I’m talking about, but why can’t you resolve any of the fundamentally wrong issues with libertarian thought?

 

By what objective criteria is harm judged?
Or force, or aggression, or any other buzz word you all like to use?
How are you not making personal value judgements and expecting everyone to conform to what YOU think? Which is its self an act of aggression.

 

And at what point does this take effect? Some libertarians don’t think any action should be taken till some form of harm actually occurs. And yet, by taking actions that lead to harm, rights have been violated.
Aggression has happened.
You claim they wont do it anyway… then the regulations don’t matter. But if they would do it anyway, then the regulations are there to prevent such acts of harm.
Where does it start? Or end? Who gets to say when any given act of aggression is bad enough to warrant an act of aggression (regulation) to prevent it? Or not?

 

And what about consequences? Businesses aren’t afraid of lawsuits to begin with…
but who the fuck do you think you are to say that lawsuits should be the final arbiter of wrongdoing? That something has to go wrong before anything should happen?
What’s your math?
You say get rid of things like environmental regulations? What’s the value you’re placing on human life compared to the value of letting businesses risk them? Show me your equation. Go there. Show me how a human life is worth less than the “right” of a business to be allowed to decide to do shit that could harm people.

 

And how about drug testing? Do we get rid of the FDA?
How naive are you concerning businesses? If they can make 10 billion with a dodgy drug, and estimate the loss of 1 billion to lawsuits… then they will still sell the fucking thing! Hundreds of people could die, they would still make a fortune, and there’s a whole lot of your ilk that think that’s fine.

 

Why can’t you address the simple fact that the libertarian fantasy doesn’t take into account things like greed and apathy? If it doesn’t outright celebrate them in a sociopathic Ayn Rand war dance.
That the people you expect to self govern efficiently, are the same assholes who can’t even obey simple traffic laws.

 

You claim to not be anarchistic, but at a fundamental level libertarian thought is based in self-governing. One way or another you expect people to govern themselves. But you utterly fail to give a single shred of evidence to show there’s any veracity to the claim that they can.
You’re either imagining some perfect fantasy utopia where somehow the government is barely needed because people actually do the right thing…
OR, you’re one of those Rand freaks who thinks being selfish is a higher calling.

 

Just how far are you willing to take the whole “no harm” thing? How about Abortion? Outlawing it would be an act of aggression against the mother, but not outlawing it could be seen as an act of aggression against the child in potentia. And once you reach that conclusion, then surely you must conclude that the Catholics are right and all forms of contraceptives are acts of aggression against potential children. But to outlaw them would be an act of aggression against the people who don’t want kids.
That’s called taking something to it’s logical conclusion, and it’s unresolvable.
Hence the fundamental issue. At some point a personal value judgement will need to be made.
The same kind of unresolvable argument can be made for most things when you use something as arbitrary as the concept of “harm” or “force”.
And once it’s accepted that there are value judgements being made, you must admit that you think you know better than everyone else how their lives should be run.

 

How is it not hypocritical to claim to be against the use of coercion/aggression, then turn around and state that some laws, rules and regulations are correct? Are you not, at that point, making personal value judgements as to what constitutes correct?
Placing yourself above everyone to assume that your view of government is the correct one, and in doing so, becoming guilty of the very thing you are supposed to be against.

 

You can’t explain how, if things work so much better without all the government we have now, it came to exist in the first place. It didn’t just spring into existence spontaneously.
Ex nihilo ex fit.

 

If most, or all, currently public services are privatized, what will keep them all from simply serving the agendas of their owners?
That’s why they became publicly funded in the first place, so they would operate equally and without agenda.
What’s to keep the fire service in your area from letting your family burn to death because they don’t like you?
Who’s going to punish them? You’re going to sue them? How? The legal system is enforced by the government. What’s to keep them from just buying their way out of it? You got rid of the government agencies that are there to prevent it.

 

And as for those contracts you all love so much, they’re backed up by the government too. Who precisely is going to enforce them if the government has no power?

So you want the government to have enough power to enforce that stuff, but you don’t want to pay for it. Nor can you explain how precisely you expect it to enforce anything when dealing with corporations who will have more money and power than they do.
What are they going to do? Declare martial law and send the marines every time they need to enforce a lawsuit?
Not that there will be a military, because that requires funding too. What are you going to do? Privatize that? And then who makes sure they don’t just take over the whole country?

 

You all always claim private business can do anything the government does better. What evidence do you have?
I’ve looked. I can’t find any empirical evidence to support the claim.
The continued siren call remains based on the notion that private businesses can lose customers, and that always makes them superior. Which is false to start with, but also assumes competition, AND that if there is competition that they will provide anything better.
A belief that isn’t supported by reality.

 

What about something as seemingly insignificant as things like safety inspections? It’s easy to say that if something like a restaurant fucks up they will lose their customers, but food poisoning doesn’t happen immediately usually. How many people have to get sick, perhaps die? Again, you do the math. What’s the equation? Value of life vs value of business to be allowed to risk it?
How about the agency of standards and weights? Each state has one, and they make sure things like gas pumps aren’t charging you wrong. Without them a station could really fuck people over, and they’d never even know it as long as the discrepancy was small enough.

 

There’s hundreds of little things the government regulates and keeps track of. Mostly because at some point, someone tried to get away with some shit.

 

Tell me how you deciding what the government should and shouldn’t be involved in, isn’t you thinking you have the right to tell everyone how their lives should be run.”