Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Working Together

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by Morley Evans

In the current U.S. Presidential election some are wondering if libertarians and progressives could not work together. The Republican and Democratic Parties satisfy neither. Both libertarians and progressives oppose the U.S. Empire, endless war and the grotesque corruption of the political system. Neither condones exploitation of the powerless. Can they work together? Probably not:

Libertarians, especially anarcho-libertarians, think that the State and its power is the root of all social problems. They believe in voluntary, lawful, transactions between free people. They think that taxation is theft and everything funded by taxation is the poison fruit of the poison tree. They are influenced by thinkers like Adam Smith, John Locke, Thomas Paine, Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek. They favour peace and prosperity for everyone. Libertarians are dead set against fraud, robbery and murder.

Progressives and socialists think that the State and its power is the solution to all problems because power can be used to correct social problems when kind and just people wield the power. Like Zeus, good people can smite evil with bolts from heaven, they believe. Progressives too favour peace and prosperity for everyone. At the extreme end of the progressive spectrum are anarchists who like anarcho-libertarians think the State and its power is the root of all problems. Left wing anarchists admire Trotsky who ran the Red Army and have disdain for Stalin who ran the Soviet terror state. Libertarians wonder if they were really different or simply the same inevitable result of the progressive program.

Most academics and broadcasters have tended to belong to the left wing because they don't ignore society's problems and they care — unlike élites with whom socialists often confuse libertarians — understandably because élites sometimes masquerade as libertarians to conceal their true vicious nature.

Conservatives share with libertarians a cautious approach while providing the usual home for élites who like everything as it is — with them in control, wolves in sheep's clothing busy bilking the masses.

While libertarians and progressives are united in what they want to achieve and what they don't like — namely, élites who appropriate everything at the expense of everyone — their solutions are diametrically opposed. Libertarians think when actions are governed by a few simple universal rules, society has a self-correcting mechanism that benefits everyone. Progressives think they need to fix things that are wrong — post-haste. Live and Let Live is not part of their philosophy. You must conform to them, or else. Progressive like to forget people like Felix Dzerzhinsky and the other Bolsheviks and Communists, while remembering only Hitler and the Nazis.

How could libertarians and progressives work together? A circle cannot be a square and the road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of the progressives.

NOTE: Where are liberals on the left-right political spectrum, you may be wondering? They are in the middle, with one foot on either side. Where does one put the élites? Where where does one put the Mafia? The measure of right and wrong is not who has wealth, but how they got it. The "soak the rich" mantra of the left leads to disaster. The Soviet Union is an excellent example of what to avoid. The United States, which is well on the way to repeating the Soviet and Nazi experiments provides one more cautionary tale.

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