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Libertarians and use of Financial Violence

February 4th, 2009

I have issues with the concept of Libertarians. Specifically, I have issues with what Wikipedia calls Classical liberalism, that stresses laissez-faire free markets, and the liberty to do whatever the hell you want as long as you don’t physically infringe on anyone else’s personal liberty. To further clarify, if you are of the stance that the governments should be stripped down to police and defence, I’m talking about you. If you feel that you are a libertarian to whom the above description does not apply, then blame the often fuzzy nature of social movements and political stances.

The problem with the libertarian stance is that it is based wholly out of selfish motives masquerading as taking the moral high ground. It seeks to marginalize the less well off members of society for the purposes of financial gain via the destruction of social services, under the veil of so-called ‘liberty’.

Loosely speaking, the concept of social services fall into two categories; Natural monopolies where it is impossible to police free riders – such as roads, and social services that attempt to further society as a whole, such as providing a safety net to those who have suffered a physically or medically in some way, providing a basic education to ensure a certain level of participation, and so on. The net effect of this is that society as a whole moves forward, and those who don’t quite manage to move forward at the same rate don’t get mangled in the process.

The libertarian seeks to do away with all of the second set where they perceive it to interfere with right to pursue happiness, while keeping those that could conceivably be used to interfere with theirs. Notably, they seek to retain the comforts of controls against physical violence, while removing all controls that currently prevent them from pursuing financial coercion against anyone else. Price fixing, deliberate monopolization, and predatory market behaviour is now de-facto encouraged to stay ahead.

Of course, if you happen to be one of the few who already wield a significant chunk of financial power – the same few, who incidentally, seem to be the biggest proponents of this system – then this all works to your advantage.

The concept that every person has the right to pursue happiness – as long as it does not impact the right or ability of others to do the same – is basically sound. The problem is that it’s been co-opted by the might-is-right brigade to give them an apparent moral reason for being on top, and incidentally, why they should stay there via the means of legalized financial violence.

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  1. February 4th, 2009 at 12:02 | #1

    I used to have those kind of beliefs when I was a teenager. Mostly what convinced me otherwise was listening to Lindsey Perigo on Newstalk ZB and his explanation for how there was no need for an unemployment benefit because companies would step up and pay it, because it was in their interests.

    Absurd.

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