Saturday, February 14, 2009
Liberaltarianism: Why It's A Bad Strategy
There has been a lot of talk lately about the fate of "liberaltarianism" (not to be confused with left-libertarianism). Is creating an "alliance" with left-liberals a good strategy?
I used to wonder about the potentials of such an alliance myself. That was before I started reading liberal responses to the idea on DailyKos (as well as Crooks and Liars).
It became pretty obvious--even during the worst parts of the Bush years--that no such alliance was going to work.
Liberals simply can't conceive of any way of doing anything that doesn't involve massive state violence and authoritarianism. Hiding behind each and every one of their "social justice" programs is a man in uniform with a club. Without Dr. Club, society would become a Hobbesian free-for-all in their eyes. Nobody can be left alone. Underneath the warm-n-fuzzy rhetoric lies a deranged, psychotic philosophy of ruthless, soulless violence.
In my libertarian life, I've had zero success converting liberals. On the other hand, I've converted a number of conservatives. Why are people on the left so much harder?
What I've ultimately learned to accept is that liberals are a group of people so terrified of becoming poor that they are willing to give up every last iota of freedom they have for a gargantuan nanny state that will (supposedly) be there to help them if they fall.
They're so afraid of people smoking, not wearing seatbelts or helmets, treating minorities badly, eating fatty foods, etc that they want the state to run every last detail of society at gunpoint. Like neocons, they think freedom should be sacrificed for the illusion of "security." Being a liberal or neocon means spending each and every day hiding under your bed, worried about the "bad, bad people" lying outside the door of your room. It's a dark, Hobbesian world where terrible consequences are always just lying right around the corner if freedom isn't ended.
Their fallacy is the idea that the state can protect you from every bad set of consequences--every case of bad luck--every bad situtation. It can't, and trying to make it do so will only create a nightmare. A life without risk is not only impossible, but would make for a terrible life.
Liberals have absolutely no use for liberty. Freedom is dead last on their list of priorities--maybe even lower. To be fair, I'm not sure if I've ever heard one claim to believe in liberty in the first place. Liberty isn't their goal: it's an irritating obstacle to their goals.
Obviously, there are liberals who convert to libertarianism, but these conversions usually seem to have more to do with life experience than with someone talking them into it.
So is liberaltarianism a good strategy? Hell no. It was a stupid idea in the first place.