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Journey into a Libertarian Future: Part II – The Strategy

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By Andrew Dittmer, who recently finished his PhD in mathematics at Harvard and is currently continuing work on his thesis topic. He also taught mathematics at a local elementary school. Andrew enjoys explaining the recent history of the financial sector to a popular audience.

Simulposted at The Distributist Review

This is the second installment of a six-part interview. For the previous part, see here. Red indicates exact quotes from Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s 2001 book “Democracy: The God That Failed.”

ANDREW: Do other libertarians agree with your idea of a libertarian society?

CODE NAME CAIN: Well, we do have our differences. For example, the Cato Institute is severely compromised by numerous left-leaning libertarians such as David Boaz. The Cato tag-alongs and certain other prominent libertarians imagine that an extremely small government would be better than no government at all. They are, of course, wrong. They have not yet recognized that every government is destructive of what they want to preserve [235-236].

ANDREW: It sounds like you and Dr. Hoppe and Murray Rothbard are strongly critical of those other libertarians. But when I looked through the Cato web site, I found that while they sometimes express disagreements, they are surprisingly respectful of Rothbard and Hoppe. Why do you think this is?

CNC: Three reasons. First, pro-government libertarians have probably realized how difficult it is to refute Rothbard and Hoppe, and so prefer instead to learn from their ideas. Second, many agree with Tibor Machan, who says that libertarians should not let their small differences over this issue “distrac[t] from the far more significant task of making the case for libertarianism in the face of innumerable bona fide statist challenges.” But third, you have to reckon with the Human Shield Effect.

ANDREW: The what?

CNC: Libertarian Bryan Caplan says that “hard-core libertarians’ comparative advantage is to play watchdog for moderate libertarians – and make them seem reasonable by comparison.” You see, on many areas other libertarians secretly agree with us, but they are afraid to acknowledge it openly. Instead, they prefer to let us take the heat for our principled positions, and to wait for us to turn previously “radical” ideas into common sense.

ANDREW: So you can count on at least some support from other libertarians. But in order to make your revolution happen, you will have to convince other people as well. Are you going to try to get a majority of U.S. voters to support the future libertarian society?

CNC: It won’t work – persuade a majority of the public to vote for the abolition of democracy and an end to all taxes and legislation? [...] is this not sheer fantasy, given that the masses are always dull and indolent, and even more so given that democracy… promotes moral and intellectual degeneration? How in the world can anyone expect that a majority of an increasingly degenerate people accustomed to the “right” to vote should ever voluntarily renounce [it]? [288].

ANDREW: If it’s not a good idea to try to persuade a majority of Americans to surrender the right to vote, what is the right approach?

CNC: It has to start with a small elite. As Étienne La Boétie said, these are “the men who, possessed of clear minds and farsighted spirit, are not satisfied, like the brutish mass, to see only what is at their feet, but rather look about them….” These people will start to secede from the United States.

ANDREW: Meaning?

CNC: It means one regard[s] the central government as illegitimate, and… treat[s] it and its agents as an outlaw agency and “foreign” occupying forces [91].

ANDREW: You don’t pay your taxes?

CNC: One tries to keep as much of one’s property and surrender as little tax money as possible. One considers all federal law, legislation and regulation null and void and ignores it whenever possible [91]. One needs to be ready in case the government makes a move, and invest in such forms and at such locations which withdraw, remove, hide, or conceal one’s wealth as far as possible from the eyes and arms of government [92].

ANDREW: Is this why you have a code name?

CNC: It took you a while, but you figured it out in the end.

ANDREW: How will a few people seceding lead to an anti-state revolution?

CNC: It won’t. … it is essential to complement one’s defensive measures with an offensive strategy: to invest in an ideological campaign of delegitimizing the idea and institution of democratic government among the public [92].

ANDREW: Did you say earlier that trying to convince the public would be difficult?

CNC: With the secession strategy, you don’t need a majority. That’s good, because [t]he mass of people … always and everywhere consists of “brutes,” “dullards,” and “fools,” easily deluded and sunk into habitual submission [92]. Still, there can be no revolution without some form of mass participation. … the elite cannot reach its own goal of restoring private property rights and law and order unless it succeeds in communicating its ideas to the public, openly if possible and secretly if necessary… [93].

ANDREW: Even if you do it secretly, convincing the masses that they are inferior sounds tricky.

CNC: That’s true, but you don’t have to convince Joe the Plumber that he is a brute. You can convince him instead that he is a hardworking, productive individual, and that other people are brutes who are making it so Joe has no control over his life.

ANDREW: I see.

CNC: Still, you’re right. Convincing the masses of the superiority of the natural elite is not the most important part of our communications strategy. The central task of those wanting to turn the tide… is the “delegitimation” of the idea of democracy… [103] It is not enough to focus on specific policies or personalities… Every critic and criticism deserving of support must proceed to explain each and every particular government failing as an underlying flaw in the very idea of government itself (and of democratic government in particular). [94]

ANDREW: Now that I think of it, I have heard people saying things like that.

CNC: There is still a long way to go. There remain far too many people who make unnecessary compromises with the idea of democracy. In fact, there must never be even the slightest wavering in one’s commitment to uncompromising ideological radicalism… Not only would anything less be counterproductive, but more importantly, only radical – indeed, radically simple – ideas can possibly stir the emotions of the dull and indolent masses. And nothing is more effective in persuading the masses to cease cooperating with government than the constant and relentless exposure, desanctification, and ridicule of government and its representatives [94].

ANDREW: A lot of Americans think that democracy has helped the country to be prosperous.

CNC: What better evidence of the limited mental horizons of the so-called “ordinary person”? Hans-Hermann Hoppe has debunked this idea entirely, but too many people still think that the collapse of the Soviet Union had something to do with the absence of democracy! [A]s for the economic quality of democracy, it must be stressed relentlessly that it is not democracy but private property, production, and voluntary exchange that are the ultimate sources of human civilization and prosperity. [105]

ANDREW: So let’s see if I understand. At this point, there will be a small elite dedicated to revolution. Meanwhile, many ordinary people will no longer believe that democracy is a good system. Will you try to do this everywhere, or just in a few key places?

CNC: It doesn’t matter if people in any one city think that what we’re doing is wrong and dangerous. As long as the people who oppose us continue to wring their hands together and to talk only to people who already agree with them, they will not obstruct our efforts to find or create secessonist majorities… at hundreds of locations all over the country [290].

ANDREW: Aren’t you a little worried about how the government might respond to all of these people choosing not to obey the law?

CNC: You mean, considering how the U.S. government has become entangled in hundreds of foreign conflicts and risen to the rank of the world’s dominant imperialist power[?] [How] nearly every president [since 1900] has also been responsible for the murder, killing, or starvation of countless innocent foreigners all over the world [244]? Of course I’m worried. The U.S. president in particular is the world’s single most threatening and armed danger, capable of ruining everyone who opposes him and destroying the entire globe. [244]

ANDREW: But then, what will you do?

CNC: We will work to create a U.S. punctuated by a large and increasing number of territorially disconnected free cities – a multitude of Hong Kongs, Singapores, Monacos, and Liechtensteins strewn over the entire continent [291]. This approach offers two advantages. First, a “piecemeal strategy” will make secession seem less threatening. Second, the more the secession process continues, the more the government’s strength will be eroded.

ANDREW: But there could still be conflicts between the new libertarian mini-states and the existing democracies.

CNC: If there is a conflict, it will be because a democracy has not respected the rights of the free mini-states. But you are forgetting that the mini-states will not be defenseless in such a conflict.

ANDREW: What will they do?

CNC: Since they will be no-tax free-trade haven[s], large numbers of investors and huge amounts of capital would begin to flow immediately. [132] It will therefore be possible to pay large multinational insurance companies to develop military forces capable of defending the free mini-states against government aggression. Keep in mind that, unlike the military forces of the democracy, these military units will be provided by private firms, and so will be much more efficient. If there were to be a conflict, these insurers would be prepared to target the aggressor (the state) for retaliation. That is, insurers would be ready to counterattack and kill, whether with long-range precision weapons or assassination commandos, state agents from the top of the government hierarchy [from the] president…. on downward… They would thereby encourage internal resistance against the aggressor government, promote its delegitimization, and possibly incite the liberation and transformation of the state territory into a free country. [264-265]

ANDREW: Will it stop there? Or will you eventually get rid of the small city-states as well?

CNC: At the correct moment, all remaining governments will be dissolved. Protection against violence will be provided exclusively by insurance firms. As I see it, public property should be distributed among taxpayers, with shares based on how much each individual or firm, up to now, has been forced to pay in taxes. Since public employees and welfare recipients are obviously recipients and not victim of taxes (theft), they will receive nothing.

ANDREW: Would you like to say anything else before I end this part of the interview?

CNC: Let me quote the conclusion of “Democracy – The God That Failed.” If and only if we succeed in this endeavor, if we then proceed to return all public property into appropriate private hands and adopt a new “constitution” which declares all taxation and legislation henceforth unlawful, and if we finally allow insurance agencies to do what they are destined to do, can we be truly proud again and will America be justified in claiming to provide an example to the rest of the world. [292]

In part 3 of this interview, Code Name Cain will show that he is unafraid to explain how a libertarian society will work in detail.

The Étienne La Boétie quote is from “The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary
Servitude,” New York, Free Life Editions, 1975, p. 65 (cited at Hoppe, p. 93).

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143 comments

  1. jake chase

    It sounds silly put this way, but I have understood since 1965 that only our federal government could really hurt me. It wanted to send me and others like me to Vietnam so that a few corporations could plunder the Treasury. It was clear then to anyone who looked that the Vietnam War was a corporate boondoggle, but it took ten years to end it by which time tens of thousands in my generation were royally screwed. Of course we make up for it now with sentimental bank commercials glorifying military service, and today’s victims are volunteers which is nearly impossible to explain. Putting aside all the rhetoric about democracy, what our government does, basically, is enable corporate looting. That we get to choose regularly between clown stooge A and clown stooge B makes it all kosher to those philosophers who don’t bother to examine the results. Who wants to argue with that?

    1. Anonymous Jones

      The federal government is the only thing that can really hurt you?!?!?!

      You’re like a effin’ superhero!

      Can you fly through the sun? Are you made of shark cartilage? Show me some tricks. Please.

      Heck, I’m not even mad; that’s amazing. How ’bout we get you in your p.j.’s and we hit the hay?

      1. Piano Racer

        Far be it for me to impugn on an opportunity for you to be churlish, but I think that when Jake wrote “only our federal government could really hurt me”, it was fairly obvious that what he meant was “the Federal government appears to be the most likely threat to my health and my way of life, all things considered.”

        Correct me if I’m wrong, Jake. For the record, I 100% agree with you. I have a whole new appreciation for the second amendment these days…

        1. Marat

          Piano Racer,

          He made a sweeping claim and said that he had understood this as a general guiding principle since 1965. If he meant it in a limited sense of a few situations I.E. talking about the Vietnam War, etc. than I apologize.

        2. different clue

          If a bussiness puts cancer gas in the air or cancer juice in the water, that can really hurt you.

          1. Piano Racer

            “If a bussiness puts cancer gas in the air or cancer juice in the water, that can really hurt you.”

            Excellent points, Different Clue, and valid. I think in this context I would point out that in many circumstances, the Federal Government claims sole right and responsibility to create and enforce the rules that said businesses must adhere to. If the Federal Government gives the business a legal permit to put cancer gas in the air, or turns a blind eye to cancer juice polluting our natural water, and ALSO prohibits any local authority or group of individuals from enacting positive change to protect the local environment, then the argument could be made that the buck goes back to that remote source of authority in Jolly Olde Engla- er, I mean Washington, D.C.

            I am not trying to advocate a dogmatic focus on the federal government’s role in the circumstances you cite, I am merely arguing that it plays a significant part and is far more relevant than I think most people realize.

            Solutions have to be local; central planning just doesn’t work. My personal philosophy is “the further away the decisions are being made, the worse they are for the people they actually affect”

            Thanks for the response and enjoy pursuing different perspectives.

    2. Jesse

      I always shake my head when people talk about the “threat” from Iran, the “threat” from al-Qaeda, etc. I fear my own government’s actions related to those entities far more than I fear them. We’ve now lost twice as many young men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan than we lost on 9/11.

    3. Marat

      Thats right, Jake. The Federal Government is the only body that could possibly cause you any harm whatsoever. We can file that along with “peace is war, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength” as eternal apodictic truths.

      1. Jesse

        Thats right, Jake. The Federal Government is the only body that could possibly cause you any harm whatsoever. We can file that along with “peace is war, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength” as eternal apodictic truths.

        It’s pretty clear, from the context, that he is referring to the fact that his government is a far greater threat to him than any foreign power. After all, the US government was the one that could pick him up and ship him off to Vietnam to be shot at; the Vietnamese didn’t come here to shoot at him.

        You then, in an attempt to mock him, went on to quote 1984: a book about 3 super-states that dupe their ignorant citizenry into fighting constant warfare against each other based on lies and propaganda. Define irony.

        BTW, you got the quote wrong.

        1. Marat

          “It’s pretty clear, from the context, that he is referring to the fact that his government is a far greater threat to him than any foreign power. After all, the US government was the one that could pick him up and ship him off to Vietnam to be shot at; the Vietnamese didn’t come here to shoot at him.”

          If the claim was that his government is a greater threat to him than any foreign power than it is exactly as ridiculous than my snarky tone suggests. If his claim is that in the particular case of the Vietnam War his federal government was a greater threat to his safety than the Vietcong I would happily agree, but as a general rule of thumb (and he was applying it as a general rule of thumb) in regards to foreign conflicts or otherwise it is patently ridiculous.

          “You then, in an attempt to mock him, went on to quote 1984: a book about 3 super-states that dupe their ignorant citizenry into fighting constant warfare against each other based on lies and propaganda. Define irony.”

          My dictionary is at home so… Merriam-Webster defines it as:

          the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning

          Given the reason I used the quote was to mock him for taking what might be prudence in certain situations too far in his reasoning I do not think I have committed irony. If I was arguing that anyone who says the government may pose a greater threat than a foreign power in any given situation is some kind of slack-jawed conspiracy theorist than I would agree my use of a 1984-quote would be ironic. Given that I am trying to talk him down from an absurd position seeimingly taken on faith, not to attempt legitimize any government’s foreign policy platitudes, I see no irony.

          “BTW, you got the quote wrong.”

          I know the quote was from 1984, but I wasn’t actually quoting 1984 so your issue is not with me. I was quoting another person mocking someone for reaching an absurd conclusion when applying a principle too far (I believe the claim in that case was “exactly, all government is civil war!” or some such nonsense.

          1. Jesse

            Since you’ve presented a far more nuanced argument than I’d expect based on your original post, I’ll happily walk back the tone of my criticism while not necessarily agreeing with you.

            “If the claim was that his government is a greater threat to him than any foreign power than it is exactly as ridiculous than my snarky tone suggests.”

            Over the past decade (and during Vietnam), it indisputably is/was, and it continues to be. The US (and state) government(s) can lock you up for something as small as possession a small bag of weed, they can tap your communications relatively easily, and now they’ve claimed the power to kill US citizens under considerably broader circumstances than ever before (i.e. non-imminent threats). While still unlikely, this is many many many times more likely to impact an individual than the infinitesimally small chance a country like Iran decides to attack the US, and these policies continue to spiral out of control.

          2. Marat

            I think that claim is quite fair and defensible. I’m certainly not trying to say the federal government is your/my best friend, but I sometimes react to sweeping claims with unapologetic snark (I do, however, withdraw that tone and apologize for offending you).

            Over the past decade (and during Vietnam), it indisputably is/was, and it continues to be

            During Vietnam I’m quite sure it was, but right now even given the abuses of power we’re seeing I’m not sure local and/or state governments aren’t more threatening depending on where you live (hence why I brought up context). I think we probably agree that the fact the policemen that is beating you up isn’t a Fed doesn’t make it right. Where I live, for instance, abuse from local or state government is far more prevalent historically. That doesn’t mean the federal government isn’t more of a threat to Mr. Chase and that means the snark was a bit unfounded. Sometimes we forget to apply the nuances of our own argument to other people’s claims!

            In comparison to other national governments though I certainly agree it holds (as you said Iran is not likely to attack us and America’s “natural rivals” are also some of its biggest trading partners).

          3. Christophe

            You have certainly argued a brilliant defensiveness. However, lacking any content, it makes a poor defense.

          4. Marat

            Christophe,

            I would give you credit in that you are *certainly* brilliant at ad hominem attacks, but throwing them at someone because you haven’t comprehended what was written is no virtue!

          5. Christophe

            I encourage you to look up the meaning of “ad hominem” in a dictionary. Returning to the lack of a defense issue, claiming that your critic did not understand what you wrote does not qualify.

    4. sherparick

      You are very wrong if you think it is “only the Federal Government” that can hurt you. Once free of Government, all the bullies who are bigger and stronger than you can hurt you. Wealth is Power, states Adam Smith quoting Thomas Hobbes. Once it becomes obvious that if one has less wealth than another you could become their slave, then not only greed, but fear, will drive you to amass as much wealth (and power) as one can at the expense of others. The more one is hard, calculating, and cruel in one’s use of others, in other words the more inhuman one can become, the stronger one will become. Men will be wolves to men.

  2. Philip Pilkington

    “Keep in mind that, unlike the military forces of the democracy, these military units will be provided by private firms, and so will be much more efficient.”

    I wish them luck.

    The whole ideology stands or falls on a cartoonish understanding of how ‘the Market’ operates.

    Think of it this way: neoclassicals make a lot of assumptions about ‘the Market’ and all that. But the better of them know that these are assumptions that do not work in reality. (This doesn’t stop them from imposing them upon reality — but to talk about that would be to talk about the role of ideology generally).

    With libertarianism there is a subtle difference: they believe in the toy-models that early marginalist and Austrian economists put together.

    Why? Well, this is a bit complicated but it runs something like this: early marginalists ignored indeterminacy to make their models work. This made their models ridiculous, but logically coherent. Keynesians — real Keynesians — claimed that this undermined the models themselves and ignore or ridiculed them. But the Austrians took a different tack.

    They claimed that since price determination is marked by substantial indeterminacy, we should leave this up to the Market as no human agency could do so ineffectively. I won’t go into why this argument is internally inconsistent — even though it clearly is (if there is fundamentally indeterminacy the Market itself disappears as an entity). Instead, we should note what happens here: a leap of Faith. A truly Kierkegaardian leap of faith.

    So, now the libertarians firmly BELIEVE in the Market mechanism. Not for logical reasons — indeed, since they recognise indeterminacy logic falls apart. Instead they believe in these models for reasons more akin to a religious or faith-based mindset.

    And THAT makes them as dangerous and fanatical as any Stalinist or Fascist. At the heart of their economic doctrine lies a very dangerous and irrational belief in models which their recognition of irrationality itself undermines. Very strange altogether. I must do a piece on it some time…

    1. mansoor h. khan

      Philip Pilkington,

      It is of course ok to refute un-workable models so we don’t go down the wrong path. But we should also propose a way forward or at least frame the the issues we face which will “suggest” what are the jugular issues.

      I would like to see more of that on NC comments.

      Mansoor H. Khan

      1. Philip Pilkington

        My proposition is that we stop trying to capture the complexity of the world in silly little logical models and adopt a rule-based approach. Models need to be thrown to the wind. They only constrain the mind and, when adopted as Holy Writ on pure faith, as the libertopians do, lead to fanaticism and fundamentalism.

          1. Philip Pilkington

            Sure.

            => What sets price in a capitalist (NOT ‘market’) economy?

            The models say that supply and demand sets price. More specifically they say that price is set at the margin for the last produced good or service in line with the marginal productivity of labour.

            This is not true. The empirics say it is not true and Steve Keen suggests that it is not even theoretically consistent.

            So, what really sets the price in a capitalist economy? Well, we cannot say. It’s too complex. We cannot build a model and say: “THIS IS HOW PRICE IS SET”. That’s solipsistic and absurd. Instead we take a rule-based approach.

            And so we us the following guiding principles to understand how price is set:

            (1) Price is generally set through mark-up pricing. A firm produces a good or service and then charges a mark-up in order to accumulate profit.

            (2) Mark-up pricing generally follows other prices in a given market. These are usually set by a ‘price leader’ within that market. Firms will then try to either undercut that price leader to gain market share or they will copy the price and try to expand market share through advertising or innovation (usually they will pursue the latter strategy, I should think). Note that undercutting does not usually result in an outright price war (that is: ‘true’ competition). Eventually firms will recognise that it is not in their self-interest to undercut beyond a certain point.

            (3) Any increases in inputs — including labour inputs — are pushed onto the consumer to maintain profit levels. However, sometimes they are not. This is a CHOICE on the part of the firm and ties into their long-term plans. If profits have been good for a few years and the economy enters recession, they may not push increased prices onto consumers and instead use the period to pursue market share.

            (4) Firms do not simply respond to so-called market pressures. They usually plan their approach (where they will be in two years etc.) and make decisions based on this long or medium-term plan. They are not just passive islands in a giant sea of market forces. Instead they are active participants in strategies that ultimately set prices and which we cannot hope to model with even the most sophisticated mathematical apparatus.

            They’re just some of the rules we could use — and they’re just off the top of my head. In the real world, lots of things happen and we never know what is determining price. But we can say with confidence what almost NEVER sets price: pure supply and demand, and, more specifically, the price of labour inputs at the margin.

          2. Philip Pilkington

            For more information see:

            http://www.amazon.com/Industrial-Madison-Library-American-Politics/dp/0691131414/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322667401&sr=8-1-spell

            In the book Galbraith assumes that he is describing the technostructure — that is, larger firms and not smaller ‘competitive’ firms. I’m coming increasingly to think that there is no smaller sector at all. Smaller firms probably operate in line with the way Galbraith portrays large firms in many regard. In short: they are part and parcel of the technostructure itself.

            Also look at all the literature on monopoly and oligopoly. I think much of this applies to how prices are set generally in modern capitalist economies…

          3. mansoor h. khan

            Philip Pilkington,

            All you are doing is building a more complex model which is more “true” to reality and has different social implications than the “standard” model sold by our economics departments.

            Ok. That just means much, much more education needs to be done with respect to:

            1) what influences supply and demand (and sets prices).

            2) how the monetary system relates to supply and demand and the production process (in particular Say’s law is not true, which is implicitly believed by most people).

            What you are really saying is that our economics departments (and by extension all other institutions of our society) are either “stupid” or “captured” by the bad elements of our civilization.

            Economics profession serves as the priesthood of the modern civilization and economics (money) has corrupted all social relationships (I would agree with that assessment and F. Beard would probably agree too).

            What this means is that we need to get to work and start educating those around us. It may take long a time for our efforts to bear fruit. What else can we do?

            Mansoor H. Khan

          4. Philip Pilkington

            “What you are really saying is that our economics departments (and by extension all other institutions of our society) are either “stupid” or “captured” by the bad elements of our civilization.”

            They aren’t stupid. They are closed-minded. They need their models to close. They need everything to add up. They need to be able to recreate the world on a blackboard. In short: they have a childish and undeveloped sense of Reason and Rationality.

            “What this means is that we need to get to work and start educating those around us. It may take long a time for our efforts to bear fruit. What else can we do?”

            I fear that Man in the abstract has an innate need for such closure. It’s the same need that leads him to religion etc. It’s very difficult to get people away from this. But modern physics etc. has succeeded, so maybe there is hope…

            “All you are doing is building a more complex model which is more “true” to reality and has different social implications than the “standard” model sold by our economics departments.”

            No I’m not. Models are closed. In a model X leads to Y. What I just wrote is far from closed. It is open. X may lead to Y, Z, A, B… and so on ad infinitum.

            Another way of putting this is: I don’t believe in determinism and any model that uses deterministic will only teach you how NOT to think.

        1. Philip Pilkington

          “What you are really saying is that our economics departments (and by extension all other institutions of our society) are either “stupid” or “captured” by the bad elements of our civilization.”

          They aren’t stupid. They are closed-minded. They need their models to close. They need everything to add up. They need to be able to recreate the world on a blackboard. In short: they have a childish and undeveloped sense of Reason and Rationality.

          “What this means is that we need to get to work and start educating those around us. It may take long a time for our efforts to bear fruit. What else can we do?”

          I fear that Man in the abstract has an innate need for such closure. It’s the same need that leads him to religion etc. It’s very difficult to get people away from this. But modern physics etc. has succeeded, so maybe there is hope…

          “All you are doing is building a more complex model which is more “true” to reality and has different social implications than the “standard” model sold by our economics departments.”

          No I’m not. Models are closed. In a model X leads to Y. What I just wrote is far from closed. It is open. X may lead to Y, Z, A, B… and so on ad infinitum.

          Another way of putting this is: I don’t believe in determinism and any model that uses deterministic will only teach you how NOT to think.

          1. mansoor h. khan

            Philip Pilkington,

            Ok. fine. You don’t like the word model. Let’s say a thought process. Still. You will have to verbalize it in a “succinct” digestible form and teach it to those around you.

            I like your idea of “broad” form of reason and rationality.

            Mansoor H. Khan

          2. Philip Pilkington

            It’s not simple dislike of a word. It’s dislike of what it represents. Closed models have no place in economics. They lead people to close their minds and adopt dogmatic positions — they even lead some, the libertopians, to a sort of religion.

            Marxism was such a closed system too and that accounted for a lot of it’s appeal.

            Yes, we have to teach these things. But teaching them as closed models cause the best of us to think in closed terms. Just look at Paul Krugman. There’s a walking tragedy if ever I saw one. A smart, open-minded, practical guy. But due to his neoclassical training he’s become closed-minded and doctrinaire even when he thinks he’s going against the grain.

            Closed models rid us of all thinking — even attempts to think outside the box remain thoroughly inside the box. It’s very sad.

            I’ve written a few pieces on this — one on Krugman in particular — I hope they’ll start going up next week.

          3. patricia

            “I fear that Man in the abstract has an innate need for such closure. It’s the same need that leads him to religion etc. It’s very difficult to get people away from this. But modern physics etc. has succeeded, so maybe there is hope…”

            Yes, and because man has an innate need for closure, it also has an innate need to learn how to think openly, if it doesn’t want to be reduced to brutishness. This has been the traditional function of creativity, but we don’t teach it any more.

            So we now point to the creative edge of science, modern physics, which is too complex for most people. It would be broader, richer and more accessible to bring back drawing, music, theatre, painting, poetry, etc. As participants, rather than merely as consumers (readers, audiences).

          4. patricia

            Philosophy is paramount. They aren’t teaching that anymore either? :)

            I have become annoyed by how the value of higher education has been reduced to qualifying for a job.

          5. mansoor h. khan

            patricia,

            yes. we need to learn how to use our right brain more. It is said that left brain is logical and right brain is imaginative. But the way I think of the right brain is that the right brain executes a logic of much higher order and asks bigger questions than the left brain can ever do. It is the right brain that sets us apart from animals.

            The right brain can pierce through a “matrix” (sophisticated lies).

            Left:

            1. Logical and Disciplined
            2. Helps us to deal with the material world (hunger, need for water, shelter, etc.)
            3. Embodies Discipline (the goods and services production process, the Judicial System, the Military)
            4. Embodies physics and physical laws
            5. Uses strict hierarchy
            6. This is the focus of the old testament (eye for an eye!)
            7. Symbolized by the Roman Empire and focus of Greek thought
            8. Symbolized by the state (as opposed to the individual!)
            9. Embodies submission and compliance (Opposite of freedom!)
            10. Cold, strict and impersonal (opposite of warm, flexible and forgiving!)
            11. Focuses on this life (as opposed to a possible after life!)
            12. Has a difficult time with coming up with new models or theories or ways of solving problems
            13. The left brain will take a civilization over a cliff when the civilization encounters a problem requiring adjustment to the models executing (like a computer executes code) in the left brain if not restrained by the more “flexible” right brain

            Right:

            1. Creative and Imaginative and Artistic
            2. Able to come up with fresh approaches, new models and new theories and new ways of thinking about the natural world
            3. Embodies emotion (love and hate), falling in love, patriotism, empathy, motivation
            4. Is able to increase the spirit, the desire to live, the desire to fight, the desire to carry on
            5. Is able to conceive of infinity (in time and space) and even in power (able to conceive omnipotence)
            6. Wants to procreate (one way to defeat death in a sense!)
            7. This is the focus of the New Testament (mercy and forgiveness!)
            8. Symbolized by the east and focus of much of eastern thought
            9. Focuses on the individual and freedom of the individual
            10. Is in control of person’s free will
            11. Is able to conceive of and focus on after life

            I will go a step further and say that:

            It is the right brain which guides and teaches the left brain. But left helps to keep the right nourished and healthy on the physical level.

            Mansoor H. Khan

        2. Seattle Andrew

          Mr. Pinkerton,
          The approach that is required is actually the complete opposite of a rules-based approach. Rules calcify, just like models. In the end both are fictions, useful fictions, but fictions just the same. What we need instead is a judgment based approach to managing the economy, where individuals with knowledge of the rules and models, make decisions and alter them based on the both the evidence and knowledge of our accumulated useful fictions. The main difference in a judgement based model is that it allows for cumulative weighting: It allows for the individual making a judgement to use history and a broader fact set, which may or may not conform to existing models or rules, to step outside them and act with judgement.
          You may say that we can’t get anyone to do that honestly, which is a fair point. However, I’d bet that if empowered, say, the SEC instead of hobbling them, and selected its employees based on whether or not they are committed to its (stated) mission, it’s possible for an institutional culture to change.

          1. JTFaraday

            Did you realize you said “Pinkerton”?

            What I find extraordinary is the contradiction between Pinkerton’s endless screeds about the limitations of models and the inability to model complex economies on the one hand, and the authoritarian will to concentrate power in the state.

            On thing I will give libertarians is that power is better distributed. Ironically, with reference to Pinky who despises them, distributed power is the best condition when your inability to generate accurate models or rules in theory is going to lead to continual failures in practice.

            Sure, unchecked power will tend to consolidate and that is a problem with laissez faire, but now that it has consolidated, Pilkie and the Neo-clas are suspiciously reluctant to construct a model of the state in which power is distributed again.

            Instead, we’re going to keystroke money from one central office and set up minimum wage work camps.

            The mind reels.

          2. JTFaraday

            “Pilkie and the Neo-clas”

            oooops! Pilkie’s boy band is, of course, “Pilkie and the POST-neoclas.”

            An unforgivable error on my part. :(

    2. TK 421

      Let’s entrust the defense of our nation to corporations and their perfect efficiency! After all, I’ve never had to wait 20 minutes at McDonald’s until they finally bring methe wrong order. And my bank has never sent me a letter–complete with 44-cent stamp– demanding I pay them the two cents I owe.

    3. Marat

      More Libertarian buffoonery:

      “First, you are standing on the balcony of a 25th story high-rise apartment when, much to your dismay, you lose your footing and fall out. Happily, in your downward descent, you manage to grab onto a flagpole protruding from the 15th floor of the balcony of another apartment, 10 floors below. Unhappily, the owner of this apartment comes out to her balcony, states that you are [trespassing] by holding on to her flag pole, and demands that you let go (e.g., drop another 15 floors to your death)… the only proper questions which can be addressed in [the libertarian] philosophy are of the sort, if the flagpole hanger attempts to come in to the apartment, and the occupant shoots him for trespassing, Would the forces of law and order punish the home owner?… When put in this way, the answer is clear. The owner… is in the right, and the trespasser in the wrong.” – Walter Block

        1. Marat

          When I first read it I thought it was reductio ad absurdum.

          Then I clicked on the paper and it turned out if you do start from faulty enough premises you can reach absolutely absurd conclusions.

  3. Yearning To Learn

    I think most rational people understand that absolute libertarianism is a utopian ideal not workable in actual reality. But then you hear this gibberish about insurance companies protecting us. Wow. Insurance companies screw you at the earliest opportunity. Relying on them for defense is insane.

    Places without central governments always end up the same… Think Somalia, Liberia, etc. There is no insurance company on earth that will go into places like those. They always devolve into wars with those with the most guns terrorizing everybody else. But even they live in constant fear…

    Kids in Liberia eat the hearts of their enemies. Just think about that.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      I’m sorry to keep harping on this, as I did in the other thread on this subject, but is Somalia really a country without a central government? I know there is no entity in total control of the country, and certainly no Somalian entity is in total control, but it is a society that is at war to decide who controls the resources and people there. There is a former central government that is trying to cling to power because it is being attacked by mostly outside forces.

      And guess what? The U.S. is the government leading the war there. The U.S. is the most powerful government on Earth. Why isn’t Somalia an example of Imperialism by the most powerful country on Earth rather than an example of libertarianism or statelessness? It’s more of an example of fascism than it is statelessness.

      Isn’t a better example of statelessness the more rural parts of Africa that are hardly effected by central governments? Are these bad places to live? I’m not so sure this isn’t a better model for people and the planet . . .

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Or, more accurately, one could say that a fascist imperial country, like the U.S. or Nazi Germany, usually wishes to impose “libertarian” rules on the territory it conquers.

      Libertarianism in this context is the scam. It’s used as a pretext and rationale for raping another country. The race based theories of the last century, where white Europeans are saving colored savages, has been replaced by the religion of neoliberalism. Now neoliberals like Obama are “saving” people (like Libyans) by imposing neoliberalism by gunpoint (or by drone and cluster bomb).

      See e.g. Iraq, Somalia, Libya, etc.

    3. propertius

      I think most rational people understand that absolute libertarianism is a utopian ideal not workable in actual reality. But then you hear this gibberish about insurance companies protecting us. Wow. Insurance companies screw you at the earliest opportunity. Relying on them for defense is insane.

      Absolutely. The question that’s never asked (much less answered) is “what prevents these well-armed insurance companies from turning on their clients?”

      If you’re a “rational economic actor” with an overwhelming force advantage, why wouldn’t you use it?

    4. TK 421

      I suppose you could say the government of Somalia is so small one could drown it in a bathtub.

      What about Afghanistan? There’s a country that, functionally, has no central government. Everything is pay-to-play, from trash pickup to police protection. Want a job? Pay the employer a bribe–I mean, fee, excuse me.

    5. JTFaraday

      “Insurance companies screw you at the earliest opportunity. Relying on them for defense is insane.”

      The solution here is to start your own. With Conservative Nut Case featured at the top of my “capture and expel” hit list, I am raising tons of capital already! :)

      1. Praedor

        “Capture and expel”? You are too soft.

        I go for simply: “Eliminate” (eradicate, erase, wipe out, splatter, pulverize, turn into a red mist)

        Short, sweet, very very personally satisfying. Just what a Libertarian calls for!

  4. toxymoron

    We have an economist (and an ex-ECB banker to boot) here in France who says that “globalisation” is the wrong term. “Somalization” would be a better word: business, but without any regulation, rules, oversight or government.
    That’s your libertarian worldview. Very nice, if you are at the good end of the rifle. But still a nightmare to the 99,9%.

  5. Andrew

    “today’s victims are volunteers which is nearly impossible to explain.”

    Try getting a secure job that pays ok with no thinking required.

      1. Mikhail Kropotkin

        There is also a proportion of the “volunteers” that took a stint in the Army over a jail term for some minor offence.

        If any one knows where to get the figure, I would be grateful.

  6. C

    I don’t know if it’s been mentioned in any of the previous commments, but the thing that strikes me the most about CNC is how much he sounds like a devout Marxist-Leninist. This is something I’ve noticed in my discussions with “Liberterians”. Both imagine that coercion can only be excercised by their specific boogie man: Capitalists or the State. They’re faith in the Market is akin to a Marxist’s faith in the Dialectic. Both share the same disregard for Democracy. And both seek out a Utopia that is defined only by vague terms. Growing up in an M/L household, its very easy to imagine changing a few choice words and picturing CNC as a Twitter-age Grasmci imprisoned in the jail of his mind.

    1. Philip Pilkington

      Yes, exactly. The early 20th century libertarians were always implicitly arguing with the Marxists. They took up Marxism and turned it around on its head. That’s how modern libertarianism was born. And it is just as dogmatic.

    2. Valissa

      The common man is still living in the mental world of Dickens, but nearly every modern intellectual has gone over to some or other form of totalitarianism. From the Marxist or Fascist point of view, nearly all that Dickens stands for can be written off as “bourgeois morality.”
      – George Orwell

      “It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.” — Lazarus Long, in Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein

      “Marxism and communism have failed … it’s also true that the dogma of savage neo-liberalism has failed, too.”
      – Hugo Chavez

      1. craazyman

        “The men of Europe, abandoned to the shadows, have turned their backs upon the fixed and radiant point of the present. They forget the present for the future, the fate of humanity for the delusion of power, the misery of the slums for the mirage of the eternal city, ordinary justice for an empty promised land. They despair of personal freedom and dream of a strange freedom of the species; reject solitary death and give the name of immortality to a vast collective agony.”

        Albert Camus, THE REBEL

        There are probably even more apropos quotes, but this is the one I found easily. Yes, Big Al was there and mowed that whole lawn by himself — the irreconcileable absurdity of any transcendent moral philosophy when put into actual practice by mankind. No need for us to strain our minds trying to figyur this stuff out. All we have to do is cite chapter and verse of THE REBEL. It’s like a app on your iPhone. lol

        1. craazyman

          and seriously Andrew, Mr. Cain is pretty funny.

          I hope you keep an eye on him in relation to potential disputes with his private security detail, who are no doubt not the sort one wants to stiff when their invoice is presented.

          I hope he makes it to part 6 of this series, although I’m scared for him, with all those dudes he has toting the heavy metal just to keep him safe from the criminal elements.

          Not all those guys have self-restraint or a refined understanding of political philosophy, if you know what I mean. A hair trigger is a hair trigger, and it often shoots before it thinks.

    3. Erik

      … and both the Libertarian and the Marxist will insist that the only reason their ideology has never succeeded is because it has never “really” been tried, in its true, pure, form.

      Unfortunately, mankind doesn’t work that way, but these people are nonetheless blinded by their own brilliance and utopian desires.

  7. craazyman

    Mr. Cain actually makes a lot of good points.

    Is he going to be on TV at some point or is he going to run for president? He should go on the Jerry Springer show, or maybe even start his own TV show!

    It might seem hypocritical to run for president if you’re Mr. Cain, but as long as people voluntarily vote for him then what’s the problem? But he may have to mow the White House lawn by himself or pay a neighborhood kid to come over and do it.

  8. Thorstein

    I once had a relationship with one of Hoppe’s insurance companies. Once a month “Louie” would come around and collect the premiums. “50 bucks or I break your knees or sumpin.” Utopia.

  9. Moneta

    He says libertarianism is based on the conept of freedom but it’s a lie.

    He has no respect for people and his goal is to manipulate them into his way of thinking as he realizes that most people don’t want really want freedom.

    Freedom is only for himself.

    1. Th3T1ck

      What’s been described here is closer to anarchy. It is “absence of law”. There is no state (law) that defines property or personal rights in what he is describing. Similar to what we saw a couple weeks ago with the occupy protests being falsely embraced by politicians, he’s just trying to co-opt libertarianism as classical anarchy.

      There are really two steps between this, and libertarianism. There is what Nozick referred to as the “night watchman state” which is heavily based around the concept of private insurance and enforcement. Nozick refuted the viability of that pretty well in his book “Anarchy, State, and Utopia” (also refuted the viability of anarchy as suggested by this article). What libertarians espouse is a state with reduced responsibilities that maintains the right of force. The state defines personal and property rights. This means public police and military still exist. The laws it enforces are much simpler than we have today, and are rigidly enforced.

      Many people here seem to be succumbing to confirmation bias. To me, it is better to examine it, and recognize what strengths it has. I have always thought libertarians and progressives should agree on the non-interventionism. I would also expect significant overlap in the civil liberties views. There is going to be significant divergence in regulations, but not complete. As an example, libertarians recognize there is public property (such as the air) and that usage/abuse of that property is to be regulated (maintenance of the property rights of all/every citizen).

      1. Piano Racer

        +1000, my first thought that it sounded an awful lot like the “interviewee” was preaching anarchy, not libertarianism.

        Thank you for feeding my own confirmation bias… aaah, feels good after essentially every other comment on this thread thus far… I keep reading though because I think it is healthy to throw a few punches at your own confirmation bias every now and again. Builds character. Would that the other posters ’round here were able to do the same.

          1. Mikhail Kropotkin

            +1001.

            Anarchists oppose private property as it is a collusive form of oppression of the individual. Property rights are enforced by groups through violence.

    2. wunsacon

      Thoughts:

      - “Freedom” is a relative concept. If for any reason I have some power over others, then I have more “freedom” to do as I please. And they have less.

      - “Power” is a relative concept. In a world where government shrinks and disappears, citizens lose their voting power. In the absence of voting power, what remains to determine relative power? Wealth. So, if we minimize “democracy” (the role of “one person, one vote” in determining how society operates), then we’re giving more freedom to the wealthy, the property owners.

      Based on the foregoing, it sounds to me like “libertarianism” = “propertarianism”. In effect, freedom is for the property owners.

      Further, thanks to the elimination of estate taxes, propertarianism strengthens conditions for dynasties to grow and prosper. In effect, “liber”tarianism = plutocracy.

      1. psychohistorian

        I can’t believe that these folks think they can have a stable society where all property is held in the few hands of the “elite”. Just look around at the crumbling of the societies of “Western Democracies” that are controlled by the global inherited rich that already own most of the property of the world….and Libertarians/properterians think we need more of this. What a joke.

        If you think that those without current ownership of property are willing to become your slaves from now until eternity just because you say you are better humans than us, you are more deluded than I can imagine. You make the Tea Party folks look rational.

  10. jabre

    So, on to the next installment of defining the vilified label. It is really great to see this obscene and grotesque image of the infamous ‘libertarian’ created so that it can be appropriately be applied as necessary to paint others who express any reservations of the growth of government in the same vein. Perhaps you should contact some cartoonists from the 1930′s who created those wonderful caricatures of the undesirables to help in this endeavor.

    1. Yearning To Learn

      It is really great to see this obscene and grotesque image of the infamous ‘libertarian’ created so that it can be appropriately be applied as necessary to paint others who express any reservations of the growth of government in the same vein

      This article is far more than a straw man argument held up to promote big government.

      Let’s start with this part:
      obscene and grotesque image of the infamous ‘libertarian’

      In this case, this is a fictional interview, but all quotes in RED are from Hans Hermann Hoppe, a libertarian economist of the Austrian school.

      Mr. Hoppe has worked closely with poeple like Murray Rothbard, Lew Rockwell, he edited the Journal for Libertarian Studies, he taught libertarian ideals at Univ. of LV, and he is a fellow at Ludwig von Mises institute.

      in other words, “this obscene and grotesque image” of Libertarianism comes from the Libertarians themselves. If you don’t like it, then you need to take issue with Ludwig von Mises and the rest.

      Now you may say “this isn’t what i think about when I think Libertarian”. And that is a fair point. I, myself, wanted to be a Libertarian because I believe that we all should have far more rights (I believe in legalization of most illicit drugs, I am against War on Drugs, I am against foreign wars, I am pro-gay rights, etc). Thus, I thought Libertarianism would be for me. But then I had the misfortune of reading Libertarian literature, and it quickly disabused me of the idea that I am a typical Libertarian.

      I guess that I would be a “Left Libertarian” or something, but that is NOT what is out there when you read Mises or Michael Shedlock or Zerohedge or whatever. The Libertarian movement of America has been co-opted by the Chicago Austrian Economics think tank and by the Tea Partiers.

      (interestingly, I have de Soto’s “Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles” on my desk right now)

      next part:
      Destroying the ridiculous ideals of the utopianistic narcissistic Libertarian fantasy that is espoused by people such as Mr. Hoppe IN NO WAY means that one supports BigGov.com.

      Currently, we have a lot of Tea Partiers and “libertarians” running around talking about the transgressions of the Federal Government. There are also non Tea Partiers and non-libertarians who worry about the transgressions of the Federal Government (as example, OWS has many anti-Federal Govt messages). thus, an argument against the current crop of Libertarians is not an argument against big Government.

      If we are to foment change, we must be ready to put up a new system in the place of what currently exists.

      Many of us agree that the current set up IS NOT WORKING and that IT NEEDS CHANGE. For instance, Tea Partiers, Libertarians, OWS, and the Christian Right all think this!

      Where we disagree is what to put in its place. this article gives some compelling reasons why we need to beware the Libertarian vision. (and by Libertarian, I use it to refer to the political/economic/academic movement that currently uses its name in the US, regardless if that fits my own definitioin of what a Libertarian SHOULD be… much like the “Democratic” party doesn’t really mean that one is “democratic” and “republican” doesn’t mean that one believes in “the republic” and how “defense of marriage” doesn’t really “defend marriage” and so on).

      1. jabre

        YTL, I agree with much of what you say. But, the post(s) is not titled as an extreme, just as a generic Libertarian by omission.

        There are three parties from which you can choose in most cases (US). Of the other two, how would you paint their future and by whom would you choose to define them?

        Democrats == Obama == War Mongers? Captured by financial elite? Strong belief in growing government at the expense of deficit spending?

        Republicans == Limbaugh/Cheney/Bush == War Mongers? Captured by financial elite? Strong belief in growing government at the expense of deficit spending?

        I like to chat with people at every opportunity. The people I’ve spoken with represent themselves by a given party but are not exclusively colored by the primary color of that party. The vast majority (as you point out) are shades of the unfortunate choices they really have.

        I’ve been watching the comments in this forum for some time. Particularly lately, I see the label Libertarian used to paint individuals inappropriately and derisively.

        My fundamental point is simply that this series is demagogue.

        As you point out it hardly represents the diverse group that is Libertarian. Even Mike Shedlock believes in cutting defense spending in half – not simply dissolving it and putting in place private armies. So, where do you stand in this respect, closer to Mike the Libertarian or closer to Obama the Democrat?

        1. Code Name Cain

          You are asking for shades of gray, but what you do not realize is that the great virtue of libertarianism is that it allows you to make principled responses to complex questions. Once you favor compromises like “cut the defense budget by 50%,” you have abandoned the possibility of applying pure theory on a principled basis. Then you sink into the contradictory swamp of pro-state libertarianism.

      2. Az

        To put it in blunt terms, the People’s Power Party and the People’s Party, if we are to use the original Greek and Latin meanings.

      3. Moneta

        I’m Canadian and love reading US blogs because I get to understand the Amercian psyche.

        Let me tell you a little secret. We might be more socialist but our government, up to now anways, is way less intrusive.

        I never thought I would say this!

    2. wunsacon

      Unfortunately, a personal anecdote perhaps “clouds” my thinking on this, because this happens to sound too much like someone I know for me to agree with you. (Since this is a fictional interview, it really does qualify as an example of “Poe’s Law”, as someone here mentioned the other day. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Poe%27s_Law)

      Polls show many right-wingers think wealth is more evenly distributed in this country than it really is. Similarly, maybe you don’t know how far *some* people think they would like to push the envelope.

      Now, given humans’ track record for inflicting war/pain/suffering, I can appreciate “liber”-tarians’ wish to downsize government. (I hope to get the opportunity to vote for Ron Paul.) However, I don’t think the problem is that simple. And don’t believe the “ideal solution” is exactly as (right-wing) “liber”-tarians propose.

      1. Az

        To be honest, this sort of makes me wonder if the post-Soviet despot states of Central Asia (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and tonsome extent Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan) are the true libertarian states. After all, the ruling families there control all the wealth and the power, just as the libertarians want to establish here. Sure, they have a government machinery, (all of these states’ leaders except Turkmenistan are former Soviet apparatchiks) but they really only use it for personal enrichment and keeping the Islamists out of power. However, functionally they basically just established corporate fiefdoms. For example, the late Niyazov, president-for-life of Turkmenistan openly admitted to have $3 billion in a Deutsche Bank account – 15% of the country’s annual GDP

    3. Valissa

      “others who express any reservations of the growth of government”

      Governments are run by bureaucracies, and over time these become more convoluted, wasteful, and inefficient. The civil servants that run the bureacracies are mostly turf builders seeking larger fiefdoms, and more influence. Looting becomes more and more the name of the game, and bureaucracy enables kleptocracy.

      However, an intelligent disucssion of this issue and what to do about it is impossible in the midst of an ideological argument between liberals and libertarians, because both lock into their dogmatic beliefs, trying to use extremes to make pointless points, rather than talking about REALITY.

    4. Walter Wit Man

      Like Yearning, I too share many of the values self-professed right-wing libertarians claim to hold (e.g. civil liberties and opposition to foreign wars).

      But, I have discovered that the vast majority of libertarians are nothing but fascists with a belief in magic (“The Efficient Market Hypothesis” and the “rational utility maximizer”).

      If push came to shove, right wing libertarians would prefer fascism to a mixed socialist economy until their libertarian society came about. In other words, they would ally with fascists and abuse good people. Furthermore, even their ideal libertarian society is fascist. A child knows that these insurance companies will not treat people fairly. They will serve the interests of the top .1% that own the company and abuse their power even more than they do now.

      It’s like playing poker. Eventually, one person is going to get all the money and all the power. Libertarians are simply deluded into thinking they are the ones that will be so rewarded because they believe in magic and think they are the center of the universe and therefore in a just world would rule the world (or at least their neighborhood or castle).

      Right-wing libertarians have announced their alliance with fascist killers therefore they are my enemy.

      If the right-wing libertarians could reasonably be relied on to join left wing libertarians, I would view them as allies. Ron Paul and Matt Gonazalez and Nader flirted with such an alliance. And this alliance makes a lot more sense than the current alliance between the right-wing libertarians and the fascists and the leftists with the Democrats. The Democrats and fascists are better suited to an alliance as are the right-wing and left-wing libertarians.

    5. rotter

      Not ONE of you mighty would elite masters of “weak” slaves ever just outright defends your emaciated belief system when its justly attacked, do you? You always cryout “unfair” .

  11. YankeeFrank

    I assume the reason we are seeing these interviews on NC is that they display the idiocy of “libertarianism” for all to see. Just the notion that we would have corporate armies “protecting” us, beholden to those who pay their salaries, and really only beholden to their own desire for power and looting, the obvious breakdown in morale and discipline would lead to control of the people by unaccountable armies. I mean, why would these armies listen to their “employers” and settle for a salary when they can take over their “employer”/insurance company (whatever) grab the assets and become a roving gang of looters? And that is just one example of the ahistorical idiocy of libertarian “thought”. I say to CNC, whoever the fuck you are, be careful what you wish for, and go back to the drawing board you ass. You’re not an “elite”, and you’re not smart, and those brutes you despise will so easily form their own militia and take your shit, leaving your family raped and dead. The laugh is that the supposedly dull and indolent masses have greater depth of wisdom and common sense than any libertarian douchebag every will.

    That being said, I do love the notion, from the first interview, whereby people would be enslaved in a way that respects their individual rights. That was a howler.

    1. jake chase

      Nicely put YF. Now do you perhaps have a way to prevent our government and our corporations from conspiring to screw us? Our principal product seems to be debt slaves addicted to buying worthless drek and watching moronic entertainment.

      1. Moneta

        A first step in the right direction would be to stop electing politicans who are out to prove that government does not work.

      2. Yearning To Learn

        Now do you perhaps have a way to prevent our government and our corporations from conspiring to screw us?

        in the end, I think we all know that this is impossible. thus, the goal should be to reduce the screwing as much as possible.

        For my part, I think we should try to return to a time when one person = one vote (end Citizens United), drastically change campaign finance laws (have ONLY public funded elections, no outside lobby money), and consistently ENFORCEME the laws.

        we see here time and time again that impoverished minorities get 10 years for 1 oz of pot, whereas bank execs get bonuses for foreclosing on military families illegally. Disenfranchised people get put in prison for contempt of court, but financiers and lawyers get no penalty for bringing fraudulent papers to court.

        the rule of law is breaking down. In my opinion, the way forward is to RESTORE the rule of law, not break it down further.

        the way forward is clearly not to weaponize our corporations so that they can “protect” us. Clearly they’ll realize very quickly that it is most profitable to them to enslave us and take all the rewards… and then conscript us to help “protect” other municipalities. Again, Liberia.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Exactly.

      There is a reason our government is transitioning to such private entities right now . . . there is less oversight and less democratic control.

      For e.g., Blackwater type military contractors has exploded the last 10 years. And there is no law for these fascists killers! Any wonder that Iraq will be occupied by private armies rather than the U.S?

      Same thing with U.S. proxy armies like the the Libyan rebels or the Syrian rebels or the African Union in Somalia. The U.S. is learing to fight it’s wars with fascist right-wing libertarian entities.

      Or look domestically and PERF, http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2011/11/18/cop-group-coordinating-occupy-crackdowns, the law enforcement NGO that gets a ton of money from the government but isn’t subject to democratic control.

      Or simply look at the way that the health care insurance industry works. There is very little legal protection, as Congress exempted health insurers from normal laws, as IT IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO SUE THEM FOR BAD FAITH. So insurance companies routinely screw beneficiaries and deny valid claims all the time to make a little extra dough. Individuals have no power and no recourse and the idea of people going to another insurer is a joke.

  12. charles 2

    I agree completely that the US would be much better off if it was a constellation of Singapore-like independent cities. This was the secret recipe behind the rise of northern italy or the hanseatic league.
    Yet, calling Singapore a libertarian utopia is laughable. The hand of the state is everywhere in the economy and in people’s life (2 years National Service for men, the State owns 90% of undeveloped land, and lots of the remainder is leased, etc…).

  13. ambrit

    Friends;
    CNCs’ ‘Utopia’ looks a lot like Italy in the Age of the Condottiorie. Anyone reading the history of that time, especially a good social history, would run screaming back to the arms of Nanny State.

  14. walter_map

    Fraud has already been tacitly legalized. Libertarianism is about taking the next step, the acceptance of piracy. Despite what libertarians would have you believe, license is not liberty and a legal scam is still a scam.

    Naturally, libertarians complain about “the government”, and yet it is they themselves who have corrupted the government to serve their larcenies and avarice. It’s typical of how predators blame their victims.

    The whole history of Capitalism tells you that it is a useful but knavish servant, but as master a monster of malice.

    And Carroll Quigley may yet have the last laugh after all.

  15. walter_map

    We already know that libertarianism doesn’t work. It’s why democratic government was invented in the first place: to protect the rest of us from the predators.

    And it’s why the predators have deliberately and systematically undermined democratic government: to destroy the impediments to their predations. Libertarianism is the politics of wolves.

    1. wunsacon

      Spot on.

      But, the message of “freedom” is appealing. The “liber”-tarian think tanks rebranded “laissez faire” (“let do” — i.e., don’t interfere with exploitation, make no moral judgments) as “freedom”, to sell it to us the way Edward Bernays marketed cigarettes as “freedom” to women 100 years ago.

    2. F. Beard

      Libertarianism is the politics of wolves. walter_map

      Especially bankers.

      But not entirely. I have suffered for weeks with a nagging cough because the DEA has made doctors afraid to dispense codeine.

  16. C

    CNC: Since they will be no-tax free-trade haven[s], large numbers of investors and huge amounts of capital would begin to flow immediately. [132] It will therefore be possible to pay large multinational insurance companies to develop military forces capable of defending the free mini-states against government aggression. Keep in mind that, unlike the military forces of the democracy, these military units will be provided by private firms, and so will be much more efficient.

    This might be the most delightful nugget from the whole interview. The notion that market oriented efficiency models would apply to a military force. Would Multi-National Insurance Attack Force be more profitable than a nation-state’s army? Perhaps. But I’m not sure that means they would fight more effectively.
    Unfortunately for that idea “efficiency” as it’s defined within the context of modern shareholder capitalism, and understood by libertarians, is probably not good proxy for effectiveness. If anything, empirical examples of private sector “efficiency” should make this notion easily dismissable.

    1. MRW

      What’s even more ridiculous is that he cites “a multitude of Hong Kongs, Singapores, Monacos, and Liechtensteins.”

      Those places work BECAUSE of heavy government involvement. The Singapore government owns the telecommunications industry, the airlines, ad 90% of all rental properties.

      Monaco has exceedingly high social insurance tax, about 40% employers and employees, and an additional tax on employees, equal to what NYCers pay in fed, state, and city.

      This guy is uneducated, obviously, and untraveled.

  17. Paul Tioxon

    I came to NC for the inside upfront and personal unfiltered Wall St Confidential, wound up seeing political analysis and now a sci-fi panel has broken out over Libertarian Dystopian future worlds. After seeing the direct quotes from the theoreticians, please, European trained intellects, do you now understand why American analysis can simply and easily identify Libertarianism as indistinguishable from anarchy. The difference without a distinction between state power and mega wealth organizing private armies on the same scale of the state is like the aristocratic land barons resisting incorporation into the larger body politic the kingdoms of the core nation-states of Spain,France etc. The libertarian movement seems to me, in America, motivated by the same feelings, if not the same kind of ethnic history of European separatist demands for autonomous provinces, such as the Basques.

    When the middle class develops wealth in such an accumulated mass as we have seen today at the top of the income stratification levels, we have an aristocratization of the wealthy who simply possess profits, privilege and power simply because they want to, by virtue of holding onto what they have amassed and destroying the mechanism for anyone following in their footsteps to replicate their wealth accumulation and possibly challenging them. After competition for more wealthy being added to their numbers is eliminated, only the power of the state stands between them and autonomy, to live without a ruler, an anarchist. Not one ruler, monarchy, no ruler, anarchy, much less thousands of rulers in the built out nation state bureaucracy. Poor libertarians, they will be forced out to sea where there is no law. I hope they don’t attract pirates before they develop their super weapons and death rays that can destroy puny mortals.

    1. Foppe

      do you now understand why American analysis can simply and easily identify Libertarianism as indistinguishable from anarchy.

      I’m sorry, but could you please clarify what you hope to imply by this?

      1. rotter

        I think its a fancy way of stating exactly what it sounds like:there is no difference between Libertarianism and Anarchy?

        1. RanDomino

          This is why I prefer the term “corporate feudalism” to describe what Libertarians advocate. They’re not Anarchists, not just because they’re not anticapitalists- they’re not Anarchists because they have no problem with private tyranny. In fact the only thing they seem to consistently be against is democracy.

        2. Paul Tioxon

          Yes, libertarians are anarchists. Whatever Rosa Luxemburg and Trotsky and whoever said, American cranks of a libertarian lineage simply do not like the nation state, the government, they just like freedom and capitalism. These are intellects without qualities. After you read the above quotes from Hoppe in describing the creation of a social order, if you can call it that, of people with all of the money, buying military protection from insurance companies which will protect them from the coercive monopoly of state violence, you realize just how stupid these people are.

          No taxation, no legislation, just insurance companies doing what they are destined to do, manage risk and drive down uncertainty, there by allowing the free flow of capital to invest and profit at a maximum rate.

          There will be networks of productive people who make money that constitute a free country. But no government calling the shots over the land of the free and the home of the return on investment. No society to speak of, social relations are one off contracts between free individuals.

          Now, this may diverge from the formal definitions of anarchy put forward by theorists, but the theories are speculation, as our lives are always malleable social fictions that we fabricate, just like Don Draper in MAD MEN. The libertarian in America has produce a variation of anarchism, society without state rulers, rules, or police power coercion. But then again, Rome had no police force. And the legions for centuries were not permitted across the Rubicon. Patricians ruled with whatever force of power they could muster in personal alliances and political change was the proscription list.

          In Ming Era China, the Zheng family created a commercial empire that expelled the Portuguese and defied Ming tax collectors as well as naval forces. They monopolized the silk and ceramics trade and created a sphere of influence from Guangdong and Fujian to Japan and Taiwan and SouthEast Asia. They set up a rebel state on the mainland and left for Taiwan where they expelled the Dutch and set up their own kingdom. They were ultimately defeated in battle in 1683 and lost it all during the Quing Era. They lasted through 2 dynasties. Not half bad. “ADAM SMITH IN BEIJING” BY GIOVANNI ARRIGHI P.333-335

          http://www.amazon.com/Adam-Smith-Beijing-Lineages-Twenty-First/dp/1844671046

          The overall assumption of individualism as the fundamental truth and meaning of human life, forms the basis of libertarian philosophy. Of course, these people have their individuality protected by the social order which enshrines personal freedom, not an atomistic world of individuals, an anti-social order and tearing down that hand that feeds them will lead to who knows what. Anarchy in the most pejorative sense, a yet unknown form of chaos between social orders.

          China has had historic antecedents of merchant powers, that rose up and commanded the political acknowledge of the state based on their ascendency via trading profits.

          1. K Ackermann

            Paul, if I may ask… what do you do for work? Beside great writing skills and a keen knowledge of history, you have excellent high-level vision, and are skilled at tying the threads together to come up with facts and not conspiriacies.

        3. Foppe

          Ah, sorry, I forgot to include part of the quote. I was curious why Paul felt such a need to emphasize that “American analysts” can see what “European trained intellects” cannot.

          1. Paul Tioxon

            I had responded to Libertarian Interview Part 1, and quickly drew the attention (ire?) of someone who I believe said he was from Europe. They have the dead weight of more history and the church, kings, military etc to contend with and which their left wing tradition has had to contend with. The have a much richer body of writing, more sophisticated and compelling, than what I find in America, often with the same name or similar ideas under slightly different names, due to the American Scholar rejection of European intellectualism as put forth by Emerson.

            “The scholar is that man who must take up into himself all the ability of the time, all the contributions of the past, all the hopes of the future. He must be an university of knowledges. If there be one lesson more than another, which should pierce his ear, it is, The world is nothing, the man is all; in yourself is the law of all nature, and you know not yet how a globule of sap ascends; in yourself slumbers the whole of Reason; it is for you to know all, it is for you to dare all. Mr. President and Gentlemen, this confidence in the unsearched might of man belongs, by all motives, by all prophecy, by all preparation, to the American Scholar. We have listened too long to the courtly muses of Europe. The spirit of the American freeman is already suspected to be timid, imitative, tame. Public and private avarice make the air we breathe thick and fat. “

  18. Jill

    In many ways we are now living in the utopian society of libertarians. While we do not have private armies which are the sole provenience of insurance companies, we do have private armies. The wars of empire are filled with them. The US has more private contractors than soldiers in all declared theaters of battle (and many undeclared ones!). We are able to assess the performance of mercenaries at this time. Their record on enforcing justice is dismal. Their record on killing the innocent, torturing and raping is outstanding! Their record on illegally stealing money for services which they did not perform is equally outstanding. This isn’t speculation, it’s fact.

    The ability to kill heads of state and citizens one does not like is in full swing as we speak. Obama has stated that he may legally kill anyone, anywhere, whom he declares a terrorist. He has done so. We have again, a real world test case as to what the results of people running around as judge, jury and executioner looks like. It is not a world I care to affirm.

    A group of elites should run things because the common man is too stupid and brutish to run their own lives! Welcome to GS and friends! Problem is, the supposed geniuses that want to run things turn out not to be geniuses after all. They just think they are.

    Here’s my start on a truly different future. Stop monetizing everything! Life is deeply complex. We cannot reduce our relationship to each other and the earth to private enterprise.

    What a dismal and empty life Cain proposes. It is also a life grounded in terror-just like the one we’re supposed to live now. Be afraid of your fellow citizen because they are brutish thugs out to steal your “things”. Be very afraid, danger is lurking everywhere!!! What a cringing way to go through one’s life. Again, I do not affirm this way of life. It is awful. I am interested in joy.

  19. Chad

    This is just another example of how “beliefs” are more valued than facts. There is zero evidence to support this idiot’s beliefs, but that doesn’t bother him a bit. Beliefs are killing us.

    1. mansoor h. khan

      Chad,

      Beliefs are important. These people don’t believe in justice and mercy. That is why they act that way. of course religion can be distorted for person gain and to impose oppression.

      Mansoor H. Khan

  20. rotter

    Hoppe is a paragon of “parasitism” by any definition but his own…whos checking the green cards around here?

    1. K Ackermann

      And even that word, paresitism, shows his disdain for people in general.

      He’s a preacher who believes himself a teacher.

      Hearing what he wants to hear, knowing only what he heard.

  21. tom allen

    Fucking libertarians. They always forget about the Amish. I have a rebutthole to this dude, but he couldn’t find it with both hands. :-)

    1. rotter

      The gaping yawning hole in libertarian “philosophy” (without discussing its absolute moral inferiority) is its fundamental misrepresentation of what Humans really are. To use an analogy of biological niches, and thats really what this is all about, the freemarketeers imagine themselves as sleek black pathers,solitary killing machines stalking the economic “jungle”. But humans are not cats.We are Dogs, or Marmotts really who rely on each other in our communities for warmth and food and protection and the jungle is an infinite black,cold universe.The relationships which “pus humpers” like Hoppe define as “parasitic” (and the rest of call familly and freinds and neighbors) are symbiotic. Hoppes relationship to his generous hosts is destructive and much closer to parasitism.

  22. Susan the other

    I think CNC is describing anarchy under the cover of some pretend natural law. But the funny thing about anarchy is that it can only defy gravity for so long and then gradually all those “city states” start to cooperate and come together in treaties and off we go again. What a total shakedown tho’ for a while. I mean I’d love to see insurance companies do an honest days work. Didn’t the spirit of insurance invent the criminal code and the military to protect its own interests? Talk about a derivatives market. And clearly, our modern military is still running a racket. We say we are protecting our national interests – which interests are in fact corporate islands similar to city states which have only been tamed a little bit.

  23. MG

    What always shocks me about ideologues is how they read & interpret history for what they want to see in very narrow limited circumstances and largely disregard the rest.

    They also have several other common characteristics including a vastly sense of ego, some level of greater insight into what ‘makes society work,’ a disregard of the ‘masses’ or common people, believe in the ‘Great Man’ school of history where select individuals or small groups direct societies and global events and not vice versa, etc.

    These kind of people are incredibly dangerous if they actually do rise to power which often leads to suffering for the people they are leading. Luckily in modern times, they are often in the extreme minority and it is only under select extreme circumstances with great turbulence in society that they are able to take the reigns of power. If you had a feudal system where succession was based upon blood/birthright, it was luck of the draw.

    What I would love to know is where exactly this utopian society of city-states that the interviewee is advocating has existed. Ready examples that come from in Western history are the Italian Renaissance period and Greek antiquity which were both marred by almost constant and never-ending warfare.

  24. F. Beard

    I would point out to libertarians that the US Government did not get large until after the government backed/enforced usury and counterfeiting cartel, our banking system, wrecked the economy in the 1920s and 1930s.

    So the cause of big government in the US is not democracy but fascism.

  25. Unsympathetic

    CNC is just another control-hungry fascist.

    Steve Keen has workable models – there’s no need to revolt to implement what he describes economically. Of course, CNC wouldn’t have control without that revolution.

    The assumptions CNC makes are much more vast than anything currently implemented: What’s to stop those private firms from being filled with incompetence and fraud, if the fraud is promoted by the government.. or hidden from the public because there is no government? This was exactly the case of the mid-1800′s, but being a student of history might introduce facts that run counter to libertarian dogma.

    These discussions are certainly never boring, though!

  26. Anonymous Comment

    This guy forgets thats that anything run by ‘elites’ is eventually gonna become a hot bed for conspiracy and corruption.

    Either these kind of thinkers are totally naive to the amount of evil that conspires to take everything over, that would soon take advantage of all their ‘hard work’ and make it serve themselves, or they are tools of it.

    1. rotter

      My last piling on comment i promise. They havent
      “forgotten”. Not really. People like Charles Koch and yes, Ron Paul understand that the horrific outcomes of a society like the one called for by the Hoppe, would render any such society volitle, violent and unstable. In reality, its never a question of no government or government, because communities of humans form government without even thinking about it. Its what kind of government. While they keep us distracted arguing over the meaning of the word government, they are looking for the combination to the safe. Its really that simple. Stupid, specious, phony, arguments of morality and “freedom” are a cynical ploy. People like Charles Koch really have very a limited use for people like Hoppe or Hayeck and thier opinions about freedom, as Hoppe would find out, If Charles Koch, and Dick Armey and Eric Price ever get to finish building the hideous society they want.

  27. Schofield

    Oranisms when faced by change in their environment adapt either by adopting a competitive or cooperative approach. Nature does its best to keep the two approaches balanced. Libertarianism fails to understand this.

  28. drugstoreblonde

    Convincing the masses of the superiority of the natural elite is not the most important part of our communications strategy.

    So everything in the current system is invalid except the wealth hoarded under it?

    This is one of many issues I have with libertarianism: the notion that the game is rigged, and yet those that have won, are i no hurry to revise the scores.

  29. drugstoreblonde

    Another issue:

    Prefigurative libertarian models are rather…unimaginative.

    The best that CNC can articulate is, in summary, ‘a state loosely controlled by insurance companies and arms manufacturers’ where, magically, ‘our rights are respected by all’.

    Even if the rhetoric being implemented in the current political discourse leans towards libertarianism, it will take far more to agitate the Joe Plummer ‘brutes’ to give up the devil they know for one they don’t.

  30. Marat

    I like how he says in the first of the series “See, we could do dozens of worse things to criminals without a state to restrain us! But because I’ve changed the definition of coercion simply sending them to Antarctica isn’t a death sentence.”

  31. Marat

    “It has to start with a small elite. As Étienne La Boétie said, these are “the men who, possessed of clear minds and farsighted spirit, are not satisfied, like the brutish mass, to see only what is at their feet, but rather look about them….” These people will start to secede from the United States.” – CODE NAME CAIN

    “Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement … the role of vanguard fighter can be fulfilled only by a party that is guided by the most advanced theory.” – Vladimir Lenin

    Political radicalism from idiot savants who believe that they can apply the principles of the city of god to the city of man. It should be no surprise then that we can find another libertarian hero noting:

    “in the field of strategic thinking, it behooves libertarians to heed the lessons of the Marxists”

  32. steelhead23

    You know, I’ve enjoyed Andrew’s little romp, and the play between Mansoor Kahn and Philip Pilkington was quite fun, but is food without substance as the U.S. and globe teeter on fascism. Oh, I know, using that word diminishes the strength of my arguments, etc, etc. B.S. As proof of expanding fascism I offer SB 1867. If enacted into law, SB1867 would allow the indefinite suspension of Habeus Corpus, the ability to detain American citizens without charge or trial, anywhere in the world. Marry that information with the coordinated, brutish attacks on citizen protesters at OWS encampments, the replacement of European heads of state with bankster puppets… Need I go on?

    Andrew, you’ve got talent. Maybe you could do a similar piece on fascism. Interview Hitler. Or perhaps you could create parallels between certain events in the 30s and recent news. You would scare us all silly.

  33. Sauron

    Libertarians seem to rely on one or both of two premises: all government is repressive and/or all repression is governmental in orgin.

    1. Foppe

      Yes, and the rest is omission — they will never ever talk about what could go wrong in a society without a state, as all of those outcomes will be “just” (insofar as they don’t disapprove of monopolies), because “not-government”. It’s basically just a language game: all types of social organization are allowed, unless some libertarian figures out a way to declare that form of organization as being a type of “government”, at which point it is forbidden.
      As such, I wonder if there are any libertarians that forbid people from organizing in any way, shape or form, since whenever people do, they seem to find reasons to engage in behaviors that impinge on the rights of others.

  34. Mike Sax

    Yves this series is hillarious. I can’t wait for part 3. I was thinking about these issues just today when I came across the name of Hoppe-among the free banking theorists. Scott Sumner seems to have largely been inspired by George Selgin and in looking up Selgin I came across a debate that he was having with Hoppe over whether or not fractional reserve banking is or is not the work of the devil. Naturally Hoppe says it is.

    Please try this

    http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2011/11/reading-murray-rothbard.html

  35. F. Beard

    It’s interesting that CNC would have insurance companies as security but isn’t that how government got started, as a protection racket?

    Chasing your tail much Mr Hoppe?

    1. K Ackermann

      And there was my proof of his insanity. He calls them insurance companies, and people will buy military protection from them. They will compete against each other by offering bigger and better weapons than the next.

      They will, of course, be unchecked because there is no higher authority. We will simply have to trust they will act altruistically, or that other insurance companies will keep them in check because they are even more altruistic and want you business.

      They are for-profit, and would never consider doing anything underhanded for money, even though they bristle with weapons that they may or may not use for their own purposes.

      Bank will hire them to enforce loan terms, or… would that be against the law?

      Law? What law? Who wants to pay for a court that an insurance company will wipe out at first summons.

  36. Sanford Calef

    This is truly frightening stuff. I feel like I am in the 30′s and just read Mein Kampf. People dismissed it then as a crackpot scheme but look what happened.

    Libertarianism has been very successful recently. Look at the present GOP. Everyone must pass Libertarian muster or they are out.

    Every law the GOP has been involved with(or Obama has had to compromise with) has had two tendencies. The first: deregulation in the name of deregulation. and the second, when deregulation could not be done…complication. Making anything the govt does too complicated to function. Like the GOP changes to healthcare.

    Libertarianism is very well funded. For the super rich the govt is the only thing that can stand in their way. Weaken or remove that and we’re back to feudalism. which is what all radical elites try to achieve.

    It also seems to be the defacto philosophy of most political news shows now. The “govt is evil” crowd owns all the media and by extension their new outlets. without Hitler’s racist views it is quite trendy with the wealthy of all races and creeds.

    I’m glad you blogged this Yves. Hope you don’t end up in a Libertarian re-education camp someday. and for that matter, hope I don’t either.

  37. greg

    Libertarians want slaves.

    If they want to be honest, they should say that out loud. They want a world ruled, in all rights, by a hereditary elite, unchecked by church or “the mass of people…[that] always and everywhere consists of “brutes, dullards and fools, easily deluded and sunk into habitual submission.”

    They want slaves so bad, they are destroying our democracy to get them.

    Slaves are the only thing the wealthy don’t already have. The taxes they pay are a joke. They already control the most powerful government on the planet, and what to they do with it, but use it to deprive the rest of us of our remaining rights, and work its destruction.

  38. Robert Dudek

    I’m surprised there is anyone dense enough to think the way this imagined inetrviewee does. Stalin’s ideas made more sense than these theories.

  39. DDT

    Any time I hear phrases like “the unwashed masses”, or that the little guy is brutish or just plain stupid, the hair on the back of my neck goes up. This elitist crap is at the core of every great crime committed in our time. Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mao (and many others) all thought they were deserving of power over the little guy because they were smarter, possessed of true knowledge and not afraid to make the hard decisions. No so, they are serial killers pure and simple, and should treated as such.
    These criminals always hide their true brutishness behind social philosophies that appear benevolent, but are anything but. Even now we are discovering that macro-economic theories are little more than social philosophy wrapped in pseudo-mathematics. This nonsense has allowed the latest gang of rapists, the financial elite, to take whatever they want from us. Like their predecessors they are deeply flawed human beings and would sooner destroy the world than surrender power.
    That people like this have always existed is an unfortunate fact of human genetics. But the idea that we remove all safe guards against these murderous parasites is far beyond naive idealism. We are stuck with the whole of human nature and the need for an authority that keeps these thugs in check is obvious. We have known for millennia that we must preserve some semblance of stability and equal opportunity. So far democracy, despite its frailty, inefficiency and obvious flaws, is the only one that has worked over time.
    Our founding fathers warned us that “eternal vigilance” would be necessary, and anyone who can’t see that now isn’t paying attention. It was Thoreau who said “That government is best that governs least”. He didn’t mention no government at all.

  40. SqueakyRat

    It’s extremely difficult to believe that this is a real interview. Did I miss a disclaimer somewhere?

  41. enouf

    Sadly; although great insight/foresight and historical reality realized; what seems to be missing is what’s going on right now in Durban, South Africa — that “Ghidrah (3-headed monster) in the room” of Global Climate Change .. and how “libertarians” feel about all that. hrm;
    Freedom to Pollute and Poison for profit?

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