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.