Posts Tagged ‘Libertarianism’

Libertarianism

Sunday, December 22nd, 2019

Libertarianism is classical liberalism. Classical liberalism is, or was, the Puritan sect known as the Levelers, who opposed aristocracy, Kings, and Bishops, but supported private property in the means of production, supported natural inequality, opposed socialism and communism, opposed them for a mixture of religious reasons(God ordained private property and capitalism in the fall) and quite modern reasons (price control and debasing the currency has the consequences that it does, therefore wrecking the market does not work)

Trouble with the Leveller-ClassicLiberal-Libertarian theory is that if everyone is equal before the law you have to give everyone the vote, and then someone comes along and says “Vote for me and I will kill all the classic liberals and you can take their stuff”.

The libertarians, the levelers, were of course correct on capitalism. We intend to revert to the most recent known working social order, the one that gave us science, technology, industry, industrialization, and empire, the social order of Restoration England.

Puritan England was capitalist, had been capitalist since a brief interruption to capitalism which ended in the twelfth century, and remained capitalist because Cromwell crushed the Puritan extremists, who wanted communism.  But the restoration introduced corporate capitalism and the joint stock for profit publicly traded corporation, which made possible Rand’s heroic entrepreneur, who uses other people’s labor and other people’s capital to advance technology and make it widely available and widely used.

Without rich people, no mills, no abundant cheap good quality steel, no transistor, no integrated circuits, no computers. Without billionaires, no access to space. You cannot make a pencil unless the boss provides you with custom made tools and tells you how to use them.

Way back in the beginning, the people who were to become what we would later call Classic Liberals believed that blacks were equal to whites, and not only before the law, but in the sense that they were as capable of adhering to contracts and working for a living as free laborers as whites are.

It seemed absolutely obvious to the abolitionists that if you abolished slavery, the former slaves would contract with the former masters to the same work as before, at a fairer reward, and without the very considerable overhead of whips and chains.

This did not in fact happen, because the slaves were an inherently low trust, less trustworthy, group.

The libertarians/classic liberals were unable to realize the problem of keeping low trust peoples away or under control, because of Christian universalism. They were the levelers, and in substantial part, they still are.

Obviously, if you believe in freedom of contract, private property, and all that stuff, then affirmative action and all that is the grossest possible violation. Affirmative action and all that is also wildly unpopular, yet where do you hear libertarians campaigning on that?

Libertarians are not people who believe in private property and Ayn Rand’s account of economic growth and technological advance. They are Puritans.

“I, Pencil” is a libertarian tale about how no one knows how to make a pencil but through the magic of markets lots of people cooperate and pencils get made.

Ayn Rand disagrees.  In Ayn Rand’s version the pencil factory owner understands how to manufacture pencils better than the workers, the lumber company owner understands how to get men to produce lumber in exchange for money, the shipping company owner understands logistics and ships things on schedule even though the parts of his operation don’t have to understand the whole.

On this, Reactionaries are on board with Ayn Rand.  But where Ayn Rand is very wrong is that good governance does not fall from the sky.  Leftists think that goods fall from the sky.  Libertarians think that knowledge and ability to make goods fall from the sky.  And Ayn Rand thought that good governance falls from the sky.

Ayn Rand thought that warriors “mystics of muscle” were dangerous and useless, and priests “mystics of spirit” were merely peddling foolishness, much as commies think that capitalists do not do anything useful, and progressives think that factories and capitalists do not do anything useful.  Supposedly stuff just magically appears on the supermarket shelves, and the evil capitalists cruelly charge people money for stuff that they had nothing to do with.

The entrepreneur has to outsource stuff outside his core competence to the market, which the libertarian version gets right, but he is the business of insourcing his core competence, which the libertarian version ignores.

Rand, unlike the libertarians, got both the outsourcing and the insourcing correct, but neglected the problem of defending property rights. You need warriors to actually defend property rights, and priests to give the warriors cohesion and to get everyone on the same page about what rights are rightly defended by what means.

If libertarians are people who believe that the economy should run on freedom of contract, they would be in favor of feeding low trust people into the wood chipper, feet first, slowly, but observed libertarians are in favor of open borders and less incarceration. Puritanism strikes again.

Today’s leftism is organizationally descended from Puritanism (when the former headquarters of the former state Church of Massachusetts declares that Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia, every academic everywhere outside of China and Russia instantly and completely agrees, and not only agrees, but is entirely certain without a shadow of doubt that he always has agreed) but while leftism has rejected every tenet of puritanism except war on Christmas and war on marriage, through one heresy after another, Libertarians are descended memetically from the leveler sect of puritanism, pretty much unchanged, their error and their failure being the original error of the levelers, still doing wrong what the original levelers did wrong.

If you are a libertarian, you don’t believe in welfare. So what do you do if someone finds it difficult to get a job because of a past history of misbehavior, and is unmotivated to get a job because he cannot think ahead all the way to payday, and is likely to be fired before payday anyway.

Well if you are a libertarian, you say that there are no such people, abolish welfare for the undeserving poor and everyone will behave well when they get sufficiently hungry. That is the leveler speaking. “No Bishop, No King!”

If you are a reactionary however, you suspect that some people are more likely to try to eat you when they get hungry, and therefore such people need to be enslaved, exiled, or otherwise taken permanently out of circulation.