Libertarianism (or anarchism) explained

In Intro to Libertarianism on September 4, 2012 at 9:41 am

[Editor’s Note: The following was gleaned from Flyover Press (link at top of page), an outspoken anarcho-capitalist site put up by Dr. Jimmy T. “Gunny” LaBaume. “Eric” does a magnificent job of using very few words to outline the basic ideals of libertarianism (“Peaceful anarchism” is redundant since all true anarchists are peaceful.). It is presented here to help my readers understand why libertarianism is the only movement that truly embraces personal freedom, economic choice, and peace. Enjoy!]

Why won’t they leave us alone?

August 30, 2012

By eric

The simple answer is – because they can’t.

Cloverism is a one-way street.

[Editor’s note: : “Clover” and “cloverism” may be unfamiliar terms for some readers. HERE is a link to where the terms are defined and used in examples.]

Libertarians, anarchists and others who hew to the philosophy of live – and let live – aren’t the least bit interested in controlling other people. It does not occur to them. In fact, it goes against their nature. It’s an affront to their very core because, after all, if you wish to be left in peace you must also wish that others be left in peace, too. And more, you must accept this as just – as the right and proper order of things. The liberty of others must be as sacred to you as your own liberty – and require a defense (when necessary) every bit as vigorous.

Otherwise, you’re not just a hypocrite – you’re a narcissist and possibly, a psychopath.

The freedom philosophy is an outgrowth of empathy. Of a gut awareness of the other as a mirror image of oneself. It therefore deeply troubles the Libertarian and the anarchist to think about someone else, anyone else, being bullied – a more honest term than merely controlling someone else. It is literally nauseating to contemplate. It makes one physically ill – then angry – to witness blue-shirted TSA goons degrading old ladies and children (and adult males, too). It is enraging to hear about people who are harming no one being thrown into cages as a result of having offended against some manufactured statute. It is depressing to look about one and see a world in which men feed on men – via the ballot box, via the bureaucracy. In which all it takes to take your neighbor’s property – perhaps even his life – is a voting majority in the next election.

[Editor’s note: Eric is 100% correct in saying that libertarianism is an outgrowth of empathy. I find it deeply troubling and ironic that nearly all of my fellow Jews fail to embrace libertarianism and, instead, cleave to the very thing that has sought to destroy the Jewish people over, and over, again…the state. Are we not told to remember, “You were also once slaves/strangers”? One of the greatest Jewish Sages, Hillel, said: “Do not do to others that which is hateful to yourself. That is the whole of Torah. Now, go and learn.”]

The Libertarian and the anarchist do not want anything from others that isn’t the result of peaceful, free consent. The Libertarian and the anarchist proceed from the old common law idea that for their to be a crime there must be a victim – and that absent a victim, any harassment or prosecution is itself a crime. Where we, as individuals, personally disagree with the choices made by others is insufficient cause for forcible interference. It does not mean approval. It can even mean avoidance – or censure. But it can never mean force in the absence of a victim. The “greatest good” is liberty – free will, free choice – and can never flow from the barrel of a gun.

We accept that we must live – and let live.

Even when it chafes.

Even when we see it as foolhardy.

[Editor’s note: Eric is rightly decrying legal positivism  here. It is all well and fine to tell someone that their conduct chafes you or that their own conduct is destructive to them. It is not all well and fine to create laws that punish people by tossing them in cages because we don’t like what they do or, worse, we see their conduct as self-destructive.]

And even when there will be negative consequences – because we know that it is better for individuals to face the negative consequences of their individual actions than it it is to impose negative consequences wholesale on others who have given no cause to warrant it. We know there is no justice in this – and much tyranny.

Clover is the dark matter opposite of this at the core of his being. Though he will speak in terms of “cooperation” and “helping” others, his voluntarism ends when the volunteering does. Decline – and you will face force. Clovers cannot abide agreeing to disagree. If you do not agree to “help” – you will be forced to help. If you are not interested in “cooperating,” you will be compelled to cooperate.

[Editor’s note: What is the difference between me rousing my neighbors to confiscate cars from other neighbors and giving them to people who don’t have cars…and taxation for hospitals, schools, police, fire, etc.? That a bank robber gives his loot to charity does not mitigate his crime of theft. Yet, the “clovers” see nothing wrong with enacting government fees and taxes (legalized theft) to pay for public works.]

It is the Clover’s way – or much worse than merely the highway.

There is no yours. Only ours. The collective, with Clover as its arbiter. “Society,” “our children.” The relentless We.

The Clover is like a suffocating parent in being suffused with the desire to control – and to control for the “good” of the “child.” There is the always-present self-righteousness, the moralizing, that accompanies Cloverism. The Clover is possessed of superior knowledge in all things. He knows it. He feels it.

[Editor’s note: There it is! Power is an absolute intoxicant. Remember grade school on someone’s birthday? The birthday kid always brought cupcakes or cookies to share with the class. The teacher invariably asked for volunteers to help distribute the goodies. Eager hands shot up. Who did the class clamor to? The kid who brought the treats? Nope. They appealed to the kids passing out the treats brought by the birthday child. The kids passing out goods provided by someone else learned the most basic rule of politics: “It is better to be the one passing out stolen loot, than to be one of the faceless in the mob begging for the loot.”]

And he will make you do it.

But he is worse than a suffocating parent because one cannot quit him, ever. A child may have to endure while he is a child, but emancipation is always there on the horizon, a beacon of hope in the midst of temporary oppression. He knows that, come 18, he will be free. That his parents will no longer be able to oppress him – unless he freely consents to be oppressed. He may leave – and be done with them. The worst they can do to him is rant and rave, or withhold affection. But they are powerless to control him.

Yet he is not free.

The impotent rage of his parents against his willfulness, his determination to live his life as he sees fit is replaced by the potent rage of the Clovers all around him. The ones who, like the parents he has left behind, know best about what he must believe, with whom to associate (and not), under what conditions he shall live his life – and so on – and are determined to compel his compliance to a degree beyond the most hysterical rantings of Mommy Dearest.

And who, unlike Mommy Dearest, have an enforcement mechanism at their disposal. Not merely the apparatus of the state, but millions of little helpers. The small-fry Clovers who suffer from the same defect of mind and soul. Who are prepared to man the checkpoints, the cubicles, the squad cars and the prison cells. Who are ready – and more than willing – to do their job.

[Editor’s note: If you have not yet done so, read (at least a summary) of Dr. Stanley Milgram’s work and also about “The Stanford Experiment”. Both works were completed in the early 1970s and remain salient to the concept of submission to authority today.]

There is no reprieve, no escape – no light at the end of the tunnel.

Cloverism is eternal, because it is congenital. A defect in the human genome.

Until this cancer can be excised, liberty will be imperfect – and ephemeral. Brief respites, temporary beacons of light – invariably snuffed by the urge to control, the incapacity to live – and let live.


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