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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 7/26 (309 comments)

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  •  Can we stop calling far-right Tea Partiers... (8+ / 0-)

    Who want to cripple the government and grind everything to a halt "libertarians"?

    Why not just call them what they really are?

    When you're at the point where all you want to do is repeal laws, prevent judges from being confirmed and boards from being filled, block executive agency functions, defund federal programs, shut down the government, slash federal spending indiscriminately, end taxation, encourage citizens to defy federal laws, proclaim the doctrine of nullification by states of federal authority, and claim that government can't do anything right, then you've gone beyond trying to defend civil liberties and curb the expansion of government. You've gone into advocating for essentially no government at all.

    I'm done playing this "libertarian" game. It's time we called these people what they are. They're anarchists.

    •  And they flip like mad. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChadmanFL, lordpet8, MichaelNY

      They were silent on torture and actual wiretapping under Bush, but cry out over NSA gathering metadata and investigating leaks (like House Republicans suggested they should do).

      "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

      by KingofSpades on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 10:03:31 AM PDT

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    •  Most libertarians I know (11+ / 0-)

      Concede their vision is essentially nonviolent anarchy.

      The main problem with anarchy is that it is, essentially, a utopian vision. The problems with one utopian vision are the problems with all of them, they basically assume that people can change into what their system needs them to be. The rational economic actor is about as likely to come to pass as the New Soviet Man.

      •  Precisely. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SaoMagnifico, MichaelNY

        Marxism dissolving into Stalinism is comparable to libertarianism dissolving into Somalia-ism.

        "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

        by KingofSpades on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 10:13:32 AM PDT

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        •  I have agreement with Thomas Hobbes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          on the nature of humanity when left to its own devices.  I also have agreement with the radical author assaulted in the book A Clockwork Orange who compared a human to an orange, a thing capable of growth and sweetness.  The "clockwork orange" is a metaphor for a human who has been brainwashed into something mechanical on the inside and artificial, robbing the person of free will.

          "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

          by KingofSpades on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 10:18:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  heh (4+ / 0-)

        I like behavioral economics, which starts with the question "how do people actually act?" instead of "how would people act if they were perfectly informed, rational, and future-oriented?" as most other branches of microeconomic theory do. The second question has its uses, but it isn't a premise to build a governing philosophy around.

        The field I actually work in is forecasting, which is entirely concerned with what people do, not what they "should" do.

        SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 10:35:12 AM PDT

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        •  Right (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sacman701, MichaelNY

          The best way to understand economic libertarianism is as an attempt to reintroduce largely abandoned 19th century ideas back into the mainstream. Rational economic actor theory first among them. Thinking about humans as fully rational beings was a hallmark of the Victorian era, a trend which gave us Sherlock Holmes, among other things. It's been out of fashion ever since (though Holmes has not, as there is more to the character than that, and thank goodness).

          Behavioral economics is pretty hot right now, and there have been plenty of academics who have been able to come up with a theory of markets that doesn't rely on people thinking fully through all their choices with no degree of bias or distraction. Certainly, researchers in many disciplines have taken the hatchet to every component of that theory. But academic debates rarely end with one side admitting the other side was right all along, it's more that all the people believing the other thing have to die off before things can move on.

      •  Well, that isn't exactly how anarchists view this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Depends on definitions. The word libertarian has been used since the mid-1800s to indicate libertarian-socialism, and this was not at all right wing. They were, and are, anti-capitalists. Basically, they are non-authoritarian socialists.

        And anarchism was/is used as a synonym for libertarian socialism, dating back to the 1800s in Europe and the US. Historically, these terms (libertarianism and anarchism) are the polar opposite to right wing, free-market capitalists who advocate for less government interference in the market place.

        Right wing American style "libertarianism," which became popular in the 1970s, more than a hundred years after the use of the term began in Europe, isn't truly libertarian, since they strongly support private property, and private ownership of the means of production, and thus support the associated wage slavery and hierarchical dominance of the working class by the capitalist class. For the same reasons, the right wing free market advocates are hardly anarchists, since the workplace is based on vertical, hierarchical structures, and is considered authoritarian by anarchists. Private ownership of the means of production is not anarchism, since private ownership is established unequally and is used to created a ruling owner class.

        The two very different philosophies should not be conflated as the same, because they are based on opposing concepts.

        Allowing the right wing to use these terms in typical Orwellian fashion would make Orwell, who had sympathies for anarchism and socialism, and who was familiar with the correct usage of these terms, turn in his grave.

        And most anarchists do not consider anarchist social organization to be utopian. It is simply a better way to self manage the society based on egalitarian principles of equality and horizontality. The real utopians seem to be capitalists, and their notions of magic of the market place lifting all boats.

        There are examples of anarchism working in various historical settings.

        Anarchism is also not disorganization. In fact, an anarchist society would be very efficiently organized, contrary to popular myths.

        For more on this, read this anarchist faq:

        Libertarian socialism

        However, due to the creation of the Libertarian Party in the USA, many people now consider the idea of "libertarian socialism" to be a contradiction in terms. Indeed, many "Libertarians" think anarchists are just attempting to associate the "anti-libertarian" ideas of "socialism" (as Libertarians conceive it) with Libertarian ideology in order to make those "socialist" ideas more "acceptable" -- in other words, trying to steal the "libertarian" label from its rightful possessors.

        Nothing could be further from the truth. Anarchists have been using the term "libertarian" to describe themselves and their ideas since the 1850's. According to anarchist historian Max Nettlau, the revolutionary anarchist Joseph Dejacque published Le Libertaire, Journal du Mouvement Social in New York between 1858 and 1861 while the use of the term "libertarian communism" dates from November, 1880 when a French anarchist congress adopted it. [Max Nettlau, A Short History of Anarchism, p. 75 and p. 145] The use of the term "Libertarian" by anarchists became more popular from the 1890s onward after it was used in France in an attempt to get round anti-anarchist laws and to avoid the negative associations of the word "anarchy" in the popular mind (Sebastien Faure and Louise Michel published the paper Le Libertaire -- The Libertarian -- in France in 1895, for example). Since then, particularly outside America, it has always been associated with anarchist ideas and movements. Taking a more recent example, in the USA, anarchists organised "The Libertarian League" in July 1954, which had staunch anarcho-syndicalist principles and lasted until 1965. The US-based "Libertarian" Party, on the other hand has only existed since the early 1970's, well over 100 years after anarchists first used the term to describe their political ideas (and 90 years after the expression "libertarian communism" was first adopted). It is that party, not the anarchists, who have "stolen" the word. Later, in Section B, we will discuss why the idea of a "libertarian" capitalism (as desired by the Libertarian Party) is a contradiction in terms.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 01:47:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I commented on these definitions (0+ / 0-)

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 01:50:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They're not anarchists (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, Stephen Wolf, R30A, skibum59

      They're trying to destroy the government while it's run by the other party, so that they can take over.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 02:11:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They're no more anarchists than they are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        free market ideologues. Do you see the Republican party clamoring to dial down the defense industry or curtail the government subsidies both implicit and explicit to agriculture, pharmaceuticals, insurance, gun manufacturers, etc? Absolutely not. It's all about protecting the incumbent economic interests and things like "libertarianism" and "free marketism" are just Orwellian (in the politics of English sense) diversion tactics.

        As Joe Biden said, it's socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. Besides, you can't have private property if you have anarchy as you need an arbitrary 3rd power to define what is property and what is not aka a government which can set laws.

        That said, I don't think Anarchy in the political sense is or ever was either a logical position or ever existed. To interact with other people who have to have something governing conduct and that by itself is a system of government regardless of what it is. There's no evidence throughout human history of a Hobbesian state of nature ever existing; even in countries like Somalia you still have factions which have internal rules regulating behavior.

        My preferred term is of course troglodyte as those familiar with political philosophy might find it quite apt, but it's both quite didactic and very condescending to call someone that.

        •  Republican presidents like Reagan and GW (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          uclabruin18, Zack from the SFV

          were actually pro-oligopolist/-monopolist. They barely ever enforced anti-trust laws.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 02:31:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Orwell (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KingofSpades, Stephen Wolf, MichaelNY

          had sympathies for libertarianism in the original sense of the word. Orwell was anti-authoritarian, and a socialist. He expressed at times in his life agreement with anarchism (which is libertarian socialism).

          Thus, the right wing notion of libertarian is a particularity Orwellian twist of meaning.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 02:52:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Anarcho-capitalism is an established... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen, MichaelNY

          School of thought.

          Anarchism in general doesn't make sense; no variation on anarchism makes sense, perhaps anarcho-capitalism most of all; but at least while these guys are in opposition, they seem a lot like anarcho-capitalists to me.

          •  The original, established, traditional (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, PassionateJus

            meaning of the term anarchism dates back to the mid 1800s, and is firmly anti-capitalist. The more recent American usurping of the term by the right wing is a contradiction in terms. It is an oxymoron. There is simply no logic to calling capitalism anarchic, since capitalism always has a ruling class consisting of those who own the means of production and who thus exploit wage slaves to work for them. The capitalist workplace is structured hierarchically, with bosses at the top, and workers at the bottom. That is not anarchism.

            This is why capitalism cannot ever be accurately described as anarchism, which by the classic definition is a social organization without vertical, top-down rulership, but instead uses a horizontal, bottom up social structure.

            There is no good reason to cede to the right wing these terms, since it is a distortion of the original meaning, and speaking of Orwellian twists of meaning, Orwell in particular would have found the usage appalling, given Orwell's anti-capitalism, anti-authoritarianism, and his sympathies for libertarian socialism and anarchism. At times in his life he self-identified with anarchism.

            Here's a link debunking the concept of anarcho-capitalism.


            As to anarchism not making sense, that is simply false. There have been various examples of anarchist societies which were successful.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 03:57:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Given there is nothing anarchistic about them (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

      by tommypaine on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 02:14:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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