Libertarians are naïve, at least as naïve as hippies. Both “movements” are at their essence the product of selfish little privileged twerps who have forgotten exactly how privileged they are. Hippies preached peace and free love (another word for sleeping around with no consequences) Libertarians preach “free markets and according the libertarian bible and inconsequentially Koch funded “Reason” magazine, free minds (ha!), which translates into “fuck the poor, they, like us have an equal opportunity to get along in this country and are poor because they want to be.” The fact that a relative handful of people per generation climb out of poverty, let alone make it to the top 50% is statistically nonexistent (though like UFOs and Conscious Capitalism, there have been sightings) notwithstanding.
When the punks came along they all but held the door for the current crop of moneyed anarchists.
I wish I were exaggerating.
Several years ago, as I was struggling even harder to make ends meet, I encountered a squirrely little man in his late 20’s early 30’s who either ran or worked as a supervisor for a national chain of auto repair shops. It was early in the dawn of the rebirth of the “Libertarian” movement, Lyndon LaRouche its ideological grandfather was being prosecuted and was eventually jailed and his brain-children were making noise person to person. I remember being stunned to silence at the unabashedly ego driven spew he set forth, it was so long ago and I was caught so off guard that I don’t remember how it started but what followed was the most passively hateful, frighteningly certain and stunningly idiotic screed I had heard coming from someone not in a hood.
When I think of the modern Libertarian party, its foot soldiers and its current leadership, I always remember that guy. The gut who said that he had no problem with welfare because it kept poor people out of the free market (what?!?), that taxes should be illegal and we should have to pay on an individual basis for roads, fire and police protection commiserate to our use of the above services and a whole host of other statements that sounded like Ayn Rand violated LaRouche and this socially deformed love child was the result. Statements that you could, clearing all the reality we know about human nature and human behavior, on some other rational plane possibly maybe after we’ve been all turned to egoless automatons, possibly be true.
Yes I said egoless, this ego driven philosophy would require a world with absolutely no ego to be fair and equitable, if that were really the point and not a colorfully hypnotic wrapper meant to distract while it steals your wallet. Actually conversely Libertarianism REQUIRES ego as its primary concern is the individual, which unless you are that pill popping, “think for yourself as long as it agrees with my philosophy” Ayn Rand person, you wouldn’t have many people to deal with anyway.
I have at least one friend who espouses loudly a “libertarian” philosophy. I suppose in a way if you were to follow the rationale that it was better to stand for something than nothing at all it is admirable, but no, it isn’t. It isn’t admirable to stand for something simplistic and venal, that couches its “truth” in logic but because of association has to align itself with some of the most contrary and destructive philosophies and racist, sexist and anti-Semitic tendencies. All in the name of freedom, which as those of us who are at least 45 know is just another word for nothing left to lose…
Which brings us back to…hippies…
I was born as the hippie movement was “selling out.” The yippies were taking over, getting respectable, tripping on the weekends, bathing… Eventually they would give birth to the Yuppies and the DINKS who would become the Libertarians. The Yippies really tried, really hard, to bring the scrapings of values the Hippie movement managed, it its LSD infused haze, to stumble across. Peace, love, all great concepts, all great in concept, but none as tangible (or marketable) as the peace signs and “Have a Nice Day” obnoxiously yellow and cheerful smiley faces that they sewed on their hash stained Levis denim vests. They tried to sell peace and love, while supporting famine and war, the hippie generation voted overwhelmingly for Regan, the excesses of their youth both forgotten and held in a cigar box deep back in the darkness of their walk in closets. The hippies discovered money, something they could reject as teenagers and young adults, largely because they knew it would always be there at home.
My Libertarian friend, by the way, was born into an upper middle class family, which is important to mention…
The Hippies came mostly from middle and upper middle class families, after all who could afford to drop out, and who would it occur to do so? The idle hands of the sons and daughters of the first great middle class generation and the rebellious sons and daughters of the upper echelon would be in great company, one would be rejecting the values of their parents by engaging in as much sex and drugs and acid rock as their parents sacrificed for in order to get them to turn their backs on their parents values and not end up, really, poor. The object was to lose the ego of the greatest generation and walk away from its trappings of work and commitment for “freedom.” In this case, a word for nothing really to lose at all…
Under the guise of Peace and Love there was also a tribal nature to that freedom that was largely white.
White, upper/upper middle class…privileged.
The reaction to the hippies were no better. http://www.mariabuszek.com/kcai/PoMoSeminar/Readings/BangsWhite.pdf
It all comes from some form of privilege.
What you believe, in some ways, is a direct result of where you came from.
The more privileged you are, in many ways, the more naïve you are.
Even I am this, even I am both. Privileged, and naïve.
But thank god I’m not a fucking Libertarian.
I try to at least listen to all sides.
Barring the obvious (the sky is blue, water is wet. Etc.) and the inane (Obama is a socialist, only rednecks and interracial couples get abducted by aliens) I do try to listen to all sides.
I certainly have my own hang-ups about belief, despite any evidence to the affirmative I do believe we are not the only intelligent life in the universe, I also believe, despite what I’ve been seeing lately, that humans are equally loving, caring, compassionate and humane as they are cruel, hateful, violent, self-righteous and destructive. I “believe” that a 50/50 split down the middle on that one is as good as it gets, we’ve obviously developed some of these traits as a means to perpetuate our species and they do serve some purpose (as in protecting us from the aforementioned ETs which if they are anything like us will be just as likely to want to conquer and enslave us as they will be to assist and nurture, and we are also as likely not to know the difference until it’s too late) and are useful by virtue of their very existence.
Lots of grey.
People don’t like grey, they like tidy, black and white, yes or no, zero or one.
I probably have mentioned it in my personal life more than a dozen times, I HATE, froth at the mouth HATE, political memes. They are simplistic, gut reactive, vile pieces of distilled shit. I don’t post them, I don’t take them seriously, I don’t think they are funny and I don’t want them anywhere near me. Honestly, I hate some more than others. I especially hate the ones that engender hate, irony eh?
If you have been reading here you know that I would consider myself at least somewhat progressive, whatever that means. I’m pro safety net, pro gay marriage, pro military de-escalation and streamlining (through attrition, I am not in favor of stripping benefits from enlisted men especially) pro sexual, racial and religious (practiced in quiet) freedom. Lately I find myself gravitating again towards a more militant philosophy which does NOT include violence. I believe in the second amendment, to a point. I am at once a collectivist and an individualist, each in their proper place.
I have never in my life espoused racial hatred, sexual inequality, sexual violence. Does that cleanse me of impure thoughts? Does it automatically clear me of lascivious ones? Does it exclude me from responsibility? Absolutely not.
I’m comfortable in grey; actions speak louder and have more impact than random thoughts.
Everyone is, at times, a bigot of some sort, I take middle class liberals to task for this all the time.
And I constantly check myself for it.
Memes and their accompanying radio talk strip all this away. They erase thought, intellect, reason, and replace it with gut concentrate. They are like propaganda, they are propaganda. They are the herald of a new frightening fascism.
Images punch you in the gut; they cause a strong chemical reaction in the brain. All leaders know this and they use a considerable amount of effort to create an atmosphere of mistrust in institutions in order to take them over.
All leaders, all institutions of power use them, they can me benign, even at times helpful at galvanizing people to take action. The crying Chief in the old “Keep America Beautiful” ads was an early meme, instead of spreading across the internet it was posted in bus stations, train depots, airports… But most are used today as a form of gut propaganda, often filled with blatant lies, half-truths and selective quotes. And I hate them.
They are the bastard children of advertising and Pravda, Madison Ave. and the ministry of truth, they are little turdlets of evil.
And they need to be destroyed.
Only evil until you need it.
Climate change is real.
Americans may be exceptional, but the face we are showing to the world is anything but, unless of course you consider intolerance, religious fundamentalism no less worse than that in Islam, abject poverty less than a mile from garish wealth, historic levels of greed, and an unholy attachment to firearms signs of being exceptional.
President Obama is neither the devil, a Muslim, a socialist, a Kenyan….(see above)
We have no idea how good we have it.
We don’t care how bad you have it.
We don’t trust science, but we do trust (and forgive) preachers who “stray,” over, and over, and over, presidents who pass on a debt unsurpassed (until the next Republican takes office) and then has the gall to come out of hiding to denounce the current one, for trying to pay the debts we already owe.
We would rather incite a popular revolution than pay people a living wage.
We are fucked, and because of that, so are you.
Have a nice day!
Let’s not lie, more guns does not automatically equal more freedom. More privatization does not automatically give us more choice and less regulation does not automatically translate to more choice. No statement, without qualification, is true. The world is a more complex place than we could ever hope to map out without understanding that our communities, cities, states, countries, cultures and associations are so complex and vast, but at their core come down to a few basic concepts, which adds even more complexity as you sub-divide and mix and match them.
Sometimes, a good guy with a gun manages to take down a bad guy with a gun, though usually that “good guy” is a trained officer. Sometimes competition is good for the consumer, until that innovative start-up is swallowed up by an even larger, more established monopoly. Sometimes there is a silver lining to climate change, but after more mild winters cause widespread disease it won’t be seen that way.
Sometimes taxes in a state become overwhelming and stifle growth, but often that state has a better long term future because those higher taxes go to bettering the living conditions of most people. Those low balling states that attract “business” have disasters to deal with and great uncertainty for the poorer classes, mine collapses, fracking disasters, oil spills, chemicals in the water, shootings in movie theaters and schools, explosions at fertilizer plants…. Granted there is never any guarantee and all disasters cannot be prevented regardless of law, and the most regulated states aren’t always the safest, sometimes culture plays as much a part as access to weaponry.
There are no safe and easy answers, and sometimes we are all wrong.
So this isn’t making much news outside more liberal circles and for some reason I feel it just doesn’t have the traction that the dick dynasty (NOT a typo) story does. Of course, because its much more important, and relevant.
So, I’d like to start at what is probably the news story that really put an exclamation point on the whole income disparity thing, the infamous 47% comment. Personally that comment, although basically the rallying cry for the Republican party for the last 100 years or so, and the Democratic party before that (when, of course they were keeping Black folks from voting as well, sound familiar?)…well actually it has been the rallying cry for BOTH parties pretty much from their inception…but I digress…that comment should lose every election in a democratic republic such as ours pretends to be for whatever party claims it.
Worse yet, there are many people who are a part of that 47% (actually, depending on how you work it out mathematically, the 47% is actually the 99%, especially if you figure in little things like roads and schools, cops and fireman, you know inconsequential shit like that) who had a little hard on in their dark, angry little souls over that one. I’m sure I’ll be getting to that angry white people voting against their interests because someone shouted “negro,” or “Hispanic” loose in a crowded RNC convention.
Since then, the President, pundits, and the rest of the mediatocracy have dubbed this the year of the income unequal. About 200 years too late.
Now this asshole.
Giving kids free lunch is the least of our problems. Some kids ONLY meal during the day are these “lunches.” And its been proven time and time again that hungry kids have more trouble learning, are more distracted and in some cases violent.
But this guy, all he can see is poor kids with their hands out. Poor kids who are leaches on society and will never amount to anything unless they get a healthy dose of you don’t get something for nothing…just like this guy…
Because, you know, school lunches don’t kill, kids who get school lunches do.
I don’t care, I don’t watch the show and anyone who takes religious advice from a reality show “star” should be hung by their own back-hair. That is all…. now can this story please go away?
GLADD, don’t feed the hairy redneck trolls, there are many more real threats to equality than this guy.
The irony of “Big Tech” going after the NSA is astounding.
Google, Yahoo, Apple, Twitter, companies that what your data all for themselves.
Yeah, I said it.
Let me first say that I think the NSA’s Big Brother programs that have become a monster unto themselves, aided by the USA Patriot act and depending on who you choose to believe, ignored, unknown to or hidden from the Obama administration, are no friend to privacy. But the irony of these huge tech companies and their Ad driven business model, where big data, linked or not to personal information about you and me, getting at all angry about the government beating them at their own game, is stunning. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-01/what-google-knows-about-you
So how does say, Google, use your data? There are a few guesses, some really good guides ( http://mashable.com/2012/03/01/google-privacy-data-policy/ ) but really, who knows? We know they do a few obvious things, when you go surfing after shopping you see ads on the sides of many webpages that either replicate or closely match recently viewed sites and items. Google uses both your browsing and shopping histories to show you things you really WANT to buy. Your phone records (Apple and Google especially) are up for grabs, data transmissions, that site you don’t want anyone to see that you think is safe to view in a mobile browser, all recorded. Information we share on Facebook, our pictures, baby momma drama, anniversaries, divorces and breakups, all saved in a file somewhere…indefinitely.
I’m listening to that guy Snowden, he’s talking about how he doesn’t want to live in a world where every conversation is recorded, every work of art, ever silent but deadly…(okay, he didn’t say that but it was heavily implied, I’m sure I heard a pause and an ever so slight squeal) . I really don’t trust Snowden, it isn’t because I’m an “Obamabot,” although I do feel he’s taken way too much heat, but it’s because of statements like this, that pin the blame squarely on government and give no mention to huge corporate data mining and collecting that we take for granted.
Because now, government is the bad guy. Corporations are your friends.
I have a healthy disrespect for both, equally.
Just completed the arduous task of adding twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr to the Blog, if it worked, you should be seeing this now, if not, just ignore what you aren’t seeing….