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December 30, 2013


One of the required reading books assigned by my Political Theory professor when I was in college right after WW II was The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens (Harcourt, Brace, 1931). Steffens was an energetic reporter and author whose forte was the exposure of those involved in municipal corruption. It seems like an “old book” now but at the time it was descriptive of the earlier corruption rampant in the political class in municipalities across the country. It was published when Hoover was still in office and the Great Depression was beginning to take hold of America and the world in earnest. I was four years old and was destined to live out the years of the Great Depression and World War II that followed.

Steffens had a Mencken ring to his reporting, perhaps a necessity to keep from going mad himself – and that was long before Watergate and the libertarian thievery since the 1980s with its Abramoffs and  Norquists leading the way, a tsunami of greed unleashed by the election of Reagan and the return of laissez faire policies and renewed calls for privatization of all public assets and resources.

Per libertarian nonsense passing as theory, all government is bad, you know, except for the armed forces, which protect their current assets and the assets they are pressing full bore to privatize both here and abroad. Drug laws are bad. Anything or anybody who would restrict their freedom to do as they please is a communist, liberal, fascist et al. (Choose one – or more.) Government in healthcare? Forget it; it’s none of the government’s business. How about slavery? Let the market decide. This and the rank cynicism of capitalism run amok that necessarily accompanies it comprise the heart of the libertarian soul, we are told. I disagree.

I think we are confusing tactics with goals. I think the movement is a front for the political arm of plutocracy in its continuing quest to gobble up all assets on the planet Earth without regard to the poor, the unemployed, the displaced, and those otherwise left behind as human debris to be washed ashore on an uncaring tide. I think that so-called “libertarian principles” are not principles at all but mere means of persistent attempts to justify acquisition; that, politically speaking, they could be communists, fascists, liberals, socialists or whatever served their twin ends, which are the total and final acquisition of all the world’s wealth and the necessary destruction or neutering of governments as an essential prelude to such acquisition(s). The rest is pretense – propaganda and red meat for the howling masses.

How to achieve such ends is not determined by politics as we understand politics; it is rather achieved by the exercise of raw and naked power. “Politics” merely describes the means to be in a position to enjoy having such an exercise available. It does not provide an end in itself.

Libertarians have no governing political philosophy. As I have blogged before, libertarians are soft anarchists. Since they have no governing philosophy and no goals other than that of plunder of resources and destruction of government (accompanied always with cries of freedom) and no party apparatus or other organizational framework within which to achieve their goals, they are currently piggy-backing on the Republican party while running as Republicans. They are not Republicans, not even tea party Republicans, but they have managed to ally themselves with the tea party as the political hooligan branch of the Republican party in their attacks on moderates and conservatives alike within the party. As we shall see, hatred of government and greed know no political nuance. Stay tuned. GERALD  E

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