Skip to main content

View Diary: No, Seriously, What is Libertarian Populism? (124 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  well they think market forces (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    would take care of things if governments stop propping up corporations.  Our food stamp program is welfare for Walmart, McDonalds, JP Morgan chase, you name it.  

    I tend to think that many of our large companies would go the way of the dodo if they had to compete without subsidies or preferential laws.

    The flipside is that other countries use their corporations as weapons (China) so we feel if we don't prop up ours, we'll get taken over by theirs.

    "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

    by sujigu on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 04:38:26 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I think you're right, many of those (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Corporations would go belly up without gov't subsidies.  But I guarantee nobody would be unaffected by, or enjoy the aftermath.

    •  No they don't. (4+ / 0-)

      Most of the grassroots Libertarian and rightwing movement would not know what a market force was if it hit them square in the nose.

      In fact, that's what happened and they were easily conned into thinking that government was the problem when the reality is that the absence of decent, democratic government policy was the problem.

      Democrats have done a piss poor job of arguing the alternate, too by the way.  The economic collapse was a great opportunity to reestablish the importance of third leg of the stool which is government.  Most Democrats including our President went to great lengths to distance themselves from the notion that government could help anyone other than the financial institutions.  I have no idea why or what they thought would happen as a result, but I remember thinking that having a lot of disgruntled unemployed people with time on their hands to watch the likes of Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich espouse lies was never going to work out well for our President or the Democratic Congress at that time.  For some reason they did not anticipate the consequences to their timidity on the need to help Main Street.

      •  The President did not understand the meltdown (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        He was a one term senator with no experience in the field and he probably just listened to the free market Democrat crowd from the Clinton years.  You see where that got him.

        I have to take issue with populist libeterians not understanding market forces.  They do.  You just don't acquaint yourself a lot with their thought.  

        "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

        by sujigu on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 06:45:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you are talking about movement (0+ / 0-)

          populist, grassroots participants, then I whole heartedly disagree with you.

          If you are talking about leadership, we share the same view.

          But it is really important to understand and take each constituency as unique forces with their very different understandings of the situations if you want to fight the movement effectively.  You have to understand how the movement is being driven to stop it.

          The people holding signs saying, "Keep government out of my Medicare" are ignorant sods who have been captured and used to great effect by people who do indeed know better, but that doesn't mean they know anything at all about what they are protesting, voting for or working to take down.  That's the point.  They are ignorant.  Seriously.  They are pawns on a chess board.

          •  I disagree with you (0+ / 0-)

            The constituency is not the "Keep your government hands off my Medicare."  That person is a classic Republican . They want the government to take care of them, they just think too many Black people are winning in the system.  Populist Libertarians don't, and they think that the government stepping into charity, healthcare, you name it, has a detrimental effect.  Populist Libertarians are pro gay-marriage (Medicare guy isn't because of Jesus) and they usually are way more knowledge.

            Liberals don't get this.  If you visit more libertarian websites and actually interact with them, you'll find that despite their far right views they're far from idiots.  

            They're not always right and they do have a different moral standard in some cases, but writing them off as idiots is idiotic in and of itself.  

            "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

            by sujigu on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:18:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  They don't. They've turned it into myth. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          They talk of "the markets" as if its a deity. They actually think it's all "democratic" in nature.

          In reality, it's all top down, and based on autocratic businesses, with the biggest businesses having the most say in what "the markets" do.

          Talk to a right-wing libertarian and you'd think it was all the most egalitarian activity on the face of the planet. Everyone wins, apparently. Everyone has an equal shot and say.

          It's actually embarrassing in its naivete.

          •  It is democratic (0+ / 0-)

            if by democratic you mean majority decides.  McDonald's sales volume tells us that the majority of Americans like them and vote with their dollars.  That part is undeniable.  

            Americans also don't really care about the authoritarian structure either, because they believe that's what gets them the goods and services they want.  

            "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

            by sujigu on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:19:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not democratic in the slightest. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              And what majority? Do you honestly think that a majority of Americans eat at McDonald's? That would be more than 160 million.

              Uh, no.

              No business ever has a majority shopping at its store. And none of us has a voice in what products are sold, how they are made, what they cost, what workers make, their benefits, etc. etc. We have to take what is given us, and buy what others decide we should buy. We have the illusion of choice and freedom, but billionaires give us a very small range of choices and those choices are all too similar -- in price, quality, etc. etc.

              In a sane world, we'd decide this through democratic debate. The entire economy would be democratized. Not through the massively indirect way of dollars, but through actual debate and voting.

              As in, real socialism.

              It's absurd to think that where we spend our dollars constitutes a "vote."

              •  Totally disagree (0+ / 0-)

                When you pay money for a good you are saying you like the product and service of that business.  It's a "vote" in that it shows your support for that business over another business you could just as well have gone to.

                You do have a voice in how a business runs.  If tomorrow Walmart wanted to literally enslave its workers, pay them nothing, and beat them if they don't work harder (obviously picking an extreme example here), then would you buy any of their products?  No, of course not.  Without customers they'd just basically nothing propping them up unless they get government rebates (which they probably do).

                The problem is Americans choose not to let their voice be known, don't really understand what they're doing when they purchase things, or have the morality of Ayn Rand.  They just go to Walmart because it's nearer to them and cheaper and don't abstain from shopping their because purchasing Walmart goods fuels Chinese slave labor.  By purchasing Walmart goods, they are supporting that system and "vote" for it.

                It's not a hard concept.  Even when you vote for government officials, you can only hold them accountable for what they do in office so far as you can tell.  Don't research, you won't know, and you can't hold them accountable for their behavior in office which is not totally in your control unless you MAKE it in your control.  

                "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

                by sujigu on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:40:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You leave out need, time and access. (0+ / 0-)

                  You don't always spend where you think you get the best deal or actually like the product -- if you even have the time to make a good choice. At the store level and the product level. All too often, you spend where and when it's convenient to you, within your time limits, and you're naive if you think all consumers are happy with their purchases, and purchase X instead of Y due to their delight in X.

                  Walk down the aisle in any big store and you're going to find clones, endless rows of clones. The same garbage, at the same price, with the same rotten quality.

                  Smart shoppers do their best to get the best deal, but you're kidding yourself if you think they walk away from that experience delighted and happy they "voted" the way they did, or that they had the time to make a careful, informed "vote."

                  Or that they necessarily had the money to.

                  Consumerism isn't remotely the same as voting. Not in this universe, anyway. It's a complex interaction of need, convenience, time, access and income, all in a context of limited choices.

                  Buying slightly better crap doesn't mean you endorse it.

                  Oh, and your Walmart example contradicts your premise.

                  •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

                    You're not forced to go anywhere or buy anything.  People don't have to go to their local Wallmart if they really don't want to, or if morally it's repugnant to them.  It's why I won't go to the one near me despite the fact I'd save 25 cents on many things and maybe 15 minutes of time.  You'd probably argue that there is nowhere else for them to go, but that only applies to a limited number of places and if people make a point to not go to their local Walmart, they can get another business in their to fulfill their need or find some means of leaving where they are.  No one is stuck somewhere forever.  

                    As for the clone example, that's really silly.  Again, no one forces you to buy clones of anything and just because three or four people offer the same product doesn't mean anything.  You don't buy the cheap knock-off brand at the store, knowing it's not too far off the name brand item?  I do that all the time for cereal, and a lot of other people do.  So what?    

                    Paying Walmart money makes Walmart bigger and gives a return to their investors, prompting further investment, and the cycle begins anew.   I didn't say people walked away happy from their purchase, but when they swipe that card Walmart grows more powerful.  It is a vote.  It is a sign of Walmart's importance to the market.  You don't fix that basic problem you don't get anywhere.  

                    "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

                    by sujigu on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:02:52 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Capitalism itself would go belly up. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's the real irony.

      Since 1970, governments around the world have bailed it out more than a 100 times, to the tune of trillions. In the 90s alone, 72 times.

      Take away government supports, and capitalism dies. Its inherent contradictions won't let it keep going. It needs price and wage supports, public social safety nets, public infrastructure, R and D, etc. etc.

      If left to its own devices, it will keep reducing wages until their is no consumer base. If left to its own devices, it will keep hoovering up and concentrating wealth at the very top until there is no one left to buy its products.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site