Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ask a simple question...

A while back, on Facebook, I asked a question:

I have a question for a couple of specific people. For this I chose the most vocal "liberal" on my facebook, and the most vocal "conservative". I realize it may take a while to get both to answer, but I am really curious and hope others will wait to see how the question is answered by these two. (If you would like to "share" this status on your own timeline and tag your own favorite "progressive" and "conservative", feel free. Maybe this could be the start of an interesting experiment.) 
PLEASE NOTE!: ***I don't want this to be a debate over the relative superiority of either side, nor an attack on the other.*** I just want to get a feel for how a (mostly random) "representative" from each side "feels" about the situation. Please don't make me regret asking this! I will delete this status if trouble ensues. (Remember that as a libertarian/voluntaryist/anarchist I agree with each side some of the time and roll my eyes at them the rest of the time. 
To lead into my question: It seems that both the "liberal/progressive" side and the "conservative" side lament how much power and influence the other side has over politics in America/The United States right now. 
So, my very simple question for y'all is this: 
Do you see "society" moving in the general direction you would prefer? Yes, no, other?
And, after getting some answers, I have come to some conclusions.

Will people follow instructions? Not really. I wanted everyone to wait until the people I asked had answered before chipping in with their own opinions. They didn't. I wasn't surprised. And some people just went off on strange tangents that had me confused from the first. 

Will people respect a polite, sincere request? No.

Will people stay civil? Not looking good. The barbs were somewhat veiled, but were still there.

Who will get nasty first? Pretty much the first person to actually answer the question. See above.

Will libertarians be able to resist commenting even though they weren't asked? No. LOL. I knew that would happen, since I probably would have been fighting the same urge to weigh in.

Do people see "society" moving in the direction that makes them feel like the underdog or like the victor? "Conservatives" seem to see themselves as the righteous underdog, and "liberals" seem to see themselves as the "victims" of a rich conservative smear campaign (but still on the winning side). So, it's a little of both, but probably depends on how they want to see "their side" at the moment. Funny thing is that neither side sees the same position applies equally well to their adversaries- depending on the issue.

How strongly will their own biases color their response, and how they phrase it? Their biases seemed to color who they saw as the ones causing the political system to be broken, but neither side saw allowing the political system to exist as a problem. That's a problem. 

So, "both sides" see a problem, and interpret the problem differently, but neither sees themselves as the root of the problem. It's all someone else's fault. "The Rich", the irresponsible, the stupid or gullible. They blame "money in politics", but don't see that the root of the problem is allowing anyone to make up any rules which will violate the rights of some people for the "benefit" of others. Money isn't all that causes that harm- the "capital of victimhood" is even stronger in some cases.

Although I didn't ask, it seems that the libertarians who responded see "society" going the wrong way, too, similar to the reaction of the "conservatives".

Personally, I think it's not as cut and dried as that.

Yes, politics and its shadow, "The State", are growing more tyrannical and evil. Those thugs are trying to squeeze the last drops of liberty out of our lives. But... in many ways the technology which empowers the bad guys also empowers the good. The internet is letting more and more people see just how ridiculous Rulers really are, and the real-world destructive consequences of allowing them to have any "authority" and power. For each new strike against liberty by The State, a new weapon to defend liberty is created. The control freaks are busily created the tools of their own destruction, and the more frantic they get about the threat liberty poses, the fasted they work to destroy themselves. It won't be a comfortable trip, though.

It isn't that "we" need to elect "the right people", or get money out of politics, or force everyone around us to wisely be responsible for themselves. The problem as I see it is that way too many people still believe it's OK to coerce others to live as we want them to, and to violate their property rights as a way to finance their own slavery. You can't do the right thing in the wrong way- you can't be helpful by being evil.

What you can do is be responsible for yourself and your own property. Don't violate any other person's life, liberty, or property, and come to the defense of those who you see being violated by anyone. If it neither "breaks [your] leg nor picks [your] pocket", butt out. Drop the delusion that you should control other people for their own good, or protect them from the consequences of their own actions against their will. They are not your property to control. Get over it. Politics has no place in life.


  1. That was a very interesting idea.

    The increasing nastiness between the two political parties and liberal/conservative factions reflects the growing presence of the state in the lives of individuals. The Obamacare fiasco is the most obvious example. Because the state's presence is growing, there is a lot more at stake in politics and elections than before. It also reflects that a growing number of people are becoming dependant on the state so their livlihoods are at stake, and a person who's frightened will frequently overreact to opposition. If the state were a smaller presence, there would be less to be angry about. Neither political party is great on individual liberty, but it's obvious that one is far more destructive than the other.

    1. "Neither political party is great on individual liberty, but it's obvious that one is far more destructive than the other."

      Hmm, I wonder which you mean. In my experience, overall the Democrats talk a good game, but Republicans get things done. The world was going to end when Clinton got elected, but not much of anything happened, certainly not more than usual. Reagan was the savior of individual freedom, but it was he who started the current debt madness in large part and turned us into tax slaves. Bush the Elder followed the same career path as Putin, and promised us The New World Order. His son is the President who chose to save the economy by ruining it.

      And while it's true that only Democrats voted for Obamacare, it's also true that it wouldn't exist now except for the Republicans wanting it to exist; they could've stopped it cold any time in the last two years. To understand why they didn't, one would have to understand the relationship between the Republican Party and the insurance industry. The union/Democrat axis is a tough one alright, but it doesn't compare in either money or influence to that one.

      So intellectually, if we go by what they SAY, it's obvious that Democrat ideology is far more collectivist/altruist in nature, and so is more against individual liberty. But, "We are what we do, not what we say we do." On that basis, it's either a tossup or the Republicans win.

      I'm not sure why it matters anyway. One of the cons that led us into slavery, is that individual liberty is a matter of degree. We love to say that America is the freest nation on Earth, but in truth the old Soviets would be envious of what we've become. I suppose that's little consolation to the millions snuffed out in the Holodomor, but likewise the alternative is little consolation to Mrs. Guerena.