The laissez-faire argument relies on the same tacit appeal to perfection as does communism.
Blithering Idiot came across an interesting piece this fine morning, and what with all in the world that is inherently maddening and juicy enough to write about (the VA crisis, the Snowden revelations, the fact that Michele Bachmann may or may not have said on Fox News that we needed a president like Benjamin Franklin again…), this is what fired me up. I haven’t written in almost 5 months (yes, I call it “writing”–let’s not quibble), so bear with me. I have been much more accustomed to retweeting other people’s pithy offerings than forming coherent sentences of my own. Today’s subject: Libertarianism.
lib-er-tar-i-an-ism (noun)- an extreme laissez-faire political philosophy advocating only minimal state intervention in the lives of citizens
The article, written by Nick Gillespie, amused and yet angered me enough to dust off the keyboard and hunt-and- peck away. The subject was the Koch brothers and libertarianism. If you are at all politically adroit, and whether on the left or right, you know who these men are. If you don’t, perhaps this
dreck blog posting will enlighten you. I sincerely hope it does. For those who do understand what the Koch brothers are all about, and why they are important to expose, hopefully my piece of crap might be worth the 5 minutes out of your life to read.
The author Gillespie is a self-avowed libertarian, which as defined above, means he hates government. Fair enough. Hate government. La la la. We all hate the government, right? It totally sucks. However, he likes the Koch brothers. A lot. Gillespie does provide a caveat in his article, when he admits that hey, while he works for the Koch boys at Reason.com and Reason.tv as editor-in-chief, and he received a grant from the Koch’s organization in order to complete his Ph.D., please don’t think he’s biased or something (nooooooooo).
Gillespie, the guy who loathes big government and exults the Kochs (and really, it’s not because they sign his paychecks or because they paid his way through school), comments on the new book written by Daniel Shulman about the brothers. According to Gillespie, this book is not the hit piece that the left would like to think it is. Nuh-uh. Instead, it shows how incredibly consistent the Koch boys have been throughout their lives about their views on government’s role in our lives. Kind of like how consistent Hitler was about blaming the Jews for all the ills of Germany (hey, everybody else uses Hitler to compare everything to everything so back off). The author then gives us a mini history lesson on libertarianism, and re-brands the most recent version, “libertarianism 3.0.” Here is his take:
1. 1960’s and 70’s- The rise of libertarianism due to the desire to not be a “liberal who grokked free trade or a conservative who was against the warfare state. ” The real division came between conservatives and libertarians over the Vietnam war, which libertarians were against. Conservatives thought they were pansies for it.
2. Libertarianism “2.0”- has been around about the last 30 years or so. In that time span, Charles Koch co-founded the conservative think-tank, the Cato Institute, and was admittedly, “the organization’s wallet.” Then, in 1980, David Koch ran for vice-president as a libertarian. The ticket called for the abolishment of Social Security, minimum-wage, and almost every government agency ever established.
3. Parallel paths-Supposedly, the “new and improved” version of the Libertarian Party has its last, best hope of succeeding through getting the Republican Party to embrace not only its economic ideology of laissez-faire, but its social tenets of “live and let live” when it comes to telling people how to conduct their personal affairs. Immigration and civil liberties are two more areas that the Koch brothers are supposedly just crazy for. Gillespie spells out just how groovy these Koch guys are. Hey, even the lefty author of the book about them, Shulman, told Gillespie that they aren’t really all about lining their pockets, so you should look at them as “outside the political villain-robber baron caricature.”
Are we talking about the same guys who are vehemently opposed to combatting climate change, bankrolling outfits like ALEC who are writing laws and handing them off to lawmakers to make voting infinitely more difficult, and are against raising taxes on billionaires?
Not to mention, aren’t these the same fellows who use shadowy organizations and PACS to lobby and push for their own agendas like continued government subsidies to prop up their oil conglomerates and their billions in profits?
Aren’t these the same bro’s who never come out in support of anyone who attempts to support all of their supposed “loves” like immigration reform, gay-marraige, and all manner of “civil-liberties,” like being able to vote without being purged illegally from a voting list or standing in line for 8 hours?
Well then, I have some questions for the author.
Have these “liberty-lovers” ever expressed outrage at the Texas legislature for trampling on abortion rights through ridiculous regulations putting the bulk of abortion providers out of business? Who does that hurt? Poor women.
Do these tycoons sleep well at night knowing they spend millions to front climate denier groups, using organizations like Americans for Prosperity, the Mercatus Center, and the Cato Institute to do their dirty work?
Are the “freedom-fighters” proud of their environmental record of paying over 50 million dollars in fines because their companies pour benzene into the water of our communities?
Also, if these businessmen are supposedly so “anti-tax”, then why are they pushing for taxes on people who install solar and wind energy in their own homes?
Gillespie is right about one thing. Charles and David Koch have remained consistent.
Sprung from the loins of their John Birch Society founding daddy, and propped up by oil wealth, they have been attempting like hell to manipulate our democracy very much behind the scenes. From the founding of the bogus Tea Party, to their disgraceful methods of hiding behind nefarious organizations that distort the truth about some of the most important issues of our lifetimes like climate change, these brothers are anything but righteous. They are not patriots in any sense of the word (hear that Morning Joe?) They are the very definition of crony-capitalists. They spend millions of dollars brainwashing middle America to vote completely against their interests. For all of their supposed libertarian ideals, they think nothing of trampling any community to further their business ventures. They are in a word, megalomaniacs. Fortunately for them, their wealth buys them privilege, the ultimate of which is the privilege of becoming unelected oligarchs.
Believe the hype.