Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Full Circle Jerk

This post is upgraded and adapted from Comments.

Some recent market libertarian readers have taken umbrage at my claim that they deserve some measure of blame for the catastrophic corporate-militarist policies of the Bush Administration when the truth is that they "hate Bush" quite as much as I do.

Once again, without feeling: The rhetoric employed by the market fundamentalist so-called "liberty movement" has been instrumental in no small number of the crucial moves of the "fascist Republican party" these libertopians otherwise claim to oppose, from the "deregulation" and selling off of public utilities, public assets, and social functions, to the drumbeat for social security privatization, to the contracting out of warfare, reconstruction, and disaster relief to unaccountable corporate cronies.

This brings us right back to my initial point from Sunday's editorial about Ron Paul's "anti-war" position: In my view the fact that his anti-war stance is yoked so conspicuously to his anti-government stance should make the democratic left more qualified in their praise of Ron Paul's position than they sometimes seem to be, since this sort of market fundamentalist anti-governmentality continues to this day to provide the motivation and justification for much of the actual shape the war and current catastrophic occupation have taken.

Market libertarians can claim to hate Bush all they want (and no doubt many earnestly do hate him), but the fact remains that market libertarian theories and rhetoric have provided the soundbites and background noise that give ongoing "plausibility" to numerous disasters of the Bush Administration.

Just because market libertarians may feel that Big Business Republicans have "distorted" the never-existing and never-to-exist ideal "free market" worldview the libertopians champion doesn't insulate them from culpability as their very words are used over and over and over again to justify corporate-militarist politics.

Sure, libertopians can gasp in horror at the catastrophes that ensue when their abstract formulations are imperfectly and bloodily translated into the real world, but when libertopians fail to learn the lesson of these catastrophes and simply clap louder and louder about the need for "free markets" even as the corporate-militarists literally pound the planet to rubble in the name of "free markets" my libertopian peers will simply have to forgive me if I fail to expend much in the way of sympathy for them and their fellow free-marketeers as they whine about the misrepresentation of their snow-pure ideals.

In conclusion, the conflict remains as clear as day: Behind all the digital utopianism and smart bombs and technophiliac hype of contemporary neoliberal, neoconservative, and libertopian cheerleading, there remains a story and a struggle as old as the hills, a basic struggle between democratic against aristocratic forces, a struggle that remains to this day largely (although not exhaustively) a struggle of labor against capital. Libertopian critics of authoritarian abuses can either join with the democratic left in the struggle to democratize the state to redress the grievances that so exercise their attention (many of them perfectly legitimate concerns about State sponsored violence and corruption), or they can continue to indulge in the puerile fantasy of "smashing the state" and thereby keep on complacently bolstering the rule of corporate-militarist oligarchs claiming to express the "spontaneous order" of the "free market."

Apart from this, there are a whole lot of hysterical, aggressive, paranoid, weirdly personal accusations and demands that seem to have been prompted in my libertopian peers by my concerns about Ron Paul. For most of that stuff it is hard to know what to say, apart from recommending that some of you might try finding a decent therapist.


Eric said...

Let me ask all the libertarians: when it comes time to vote, and assuming a Liberarian candidate is not an option, who are you more likely to vote for, a Republican or a Democrat?

Every libertarian I've known has proudly voted Republican and lectured me as to why using the exact same reasons Dale sets forth. That is, in short, that the Reps are the party of 'small gummit'. I also know from exit polls that libertarian voters are much more likely to vote R than D.

So then, maybe instead of attacking Dale for pointing out the obvious, you all could instead reflect on why it is the Republicans cruised to vicoty in part on libertarian rhetoric and then the part that libertopian idology has played in this disatrous time.

JayDee said...

"If you wish information and improvement from the knowledge of others, and yet, at the same time, express yourself as firmly fixed in your present opinions, modest, sensible men, who do not love disputation, will probably leave you undisturbed in the possession of your error. And by such a manner you can seldom hope to recommend yourself in pleasing your hearers, or to persuade those whose concurrence you desire" -- Benjamin Franklin

If you know everything.. and you dont care what others think.. who might you be talking to?

Do you often find Scott that the only people who give you any credit at all are the people who already agreed with you in the first place? Perhaps this is what people call "being open minded".

I have rebutted your comments over and over and over and I see your aim is not to educate about "libertopians" is it to spread fear of them.

Anonymous said...

or Dale or Jack or whatever you name is.. point is I'm trying to help you understand that you are in error, and you dont care, your whole 3 posts now are ..

"libertarians are bad, and I cant cite any sources but just take my word for it.. fear them." -- signed dale.

I've posted all kinds of resourses that you like to delete.. so.. whats the point of this? Zombies follow.. Yay for you.

Dale Carrico said...

Nobody's begging you guys to stay.

Robin said...

I got to this party late, but when I read your "magic beans" comment in the previous post, I laughed out loud and decided to file it away as my own future response to the libertarians in my life.