Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Introduction To Libertarianism

I've finally produced a good enough Introduction To Libertarianism to place it at the top of my web site.

Please make suggestions or corrections.  My biggest concern is that it is too dense to read easily, and so I'm especially open to editorial suggestions.

Introduction To Libertarianism

What Is Libertarianism?

Libertarianism is a cacaphony of political ideas united only by a rhetoric of liberty and freedom. On this website, libertarianism refers only to the right-wing, capitalist versions. At this point, libertarian ideas have entered the mainstream media and are unavoidable. Some further description of the cacophony is available at What Is Libertarianism?

What Libertarianism Is NOT Considered On This Website?

Left-wing, socialist libertarianism's exist, but they are comparatively tiny and not problems. Nor are we discussing the ancient, nondeterministic, philosophical libertarianism concept that means free will.

Three Realms of Libertarianism.

Libertarianism can be divided into three major realms. (There might be unimportant others.)

Political Libertarianism

Political libertarianism is the libertarianism that we are exposed to through the media, a mass market astroturf libertarianism.
Political libertarianism, like the media, is controlled top-down by plutocrats and operated for the benefit of plutocrats. It is not about "liberty" or "freedom": it is about ownership. The plutocrats want to convince the populace that:
  • Ownership of the vast majority of the world's wealth by plutocrats is legitimate and untouchable.
  • Changing that distribution will result in assorted horrors for everybody, including loss of liberty and freedom.
The plutocrats objective is political change to get more wealth and prevent losing any wealth to taxation or other liabilities.
Political libertarianism is dominated by public relations programs that have been around since at least the 1930's, reacting to Progressivism. The Mount Pelerin Society in the 1950's began a great expansion of these programs. The Koch brothers have largely organized or controlled these public relations programs, and they scored their first big successes in the 1980's under Reagan. Without the hundreds of millions of dollars pumped into public relations programs, right-wing political libertarianism would be just another fringe political belief as small as left-libertarianism.
This is also called vulgar libertarianism by Kevin Carson. The message really is: “Them pore ole bosses need all the help they can get.”
Political libertarianism maintains a continual drumbeat of propaganda: attempting to inject libertarian ideas and terminology into almost every public issue while filtering out opposition, because repetition is the heart of propaganda. A more complete description of this methodology is found in Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. Political libertarianism is not the only plutocratic tool: much conservatism is similarly exploited, for example by the Heritage Foundation and most recently by the Tea Party.
Political libertarianism is why the Critiques Of Libertarianism site is so very large: propagandists attempt to shoehorn almost every issue and subject into libertarian ideology.

Individualistic Libertarianism

Individualistic libertarianism is what the targets of political libertarianism believe. This is a huge morass of conflicting ideas with only one constant: the political libertarian idea that ownership should be sacred. Ask a libertarian what part of ownership they would give up to achieve any other social end, and they will say no part. It doesn't matter if some socialistic government (such as roads or defense) would benefit the lives of everybody; they despise it because it conflicts with their property, no matter how meager.
Individualistic libertarians are in large part shaped by the propaganda organs of Political Libertarianism. For example, the Libertarian Party, the Cato InstituteReason Magazine and many other sources are parts of the Kochtopus, a huge number of organizations and publications founded, funded, or controlled by Charles and David Koch over roughly 40 years. These in turn direct recruits to a number of fundamental books that help indoctrinate the important propaganda themes.
Individualistic libertarianism is bottom-up: it is not controlled directly by political libertarians beyond manipulation by propaganda. These useful idiots can be relied upon to inject libertarian viewpoints into discussions that are not controlled by the mass media. They are as welcome as door-to-door evangelists from another religion.
Individualistic libertarianism ranges from the honorable and sincere to the vile and repulsive, with stops along the way for the immature, foolish, and intemperate. You've got your government haters, racists, sexists, pederasts, conspiracy theorists, tax evaders, exploiters and other socially repulsive types generously represented in this category. Especially because they are rejected by mainstream parties for obnoxious views. That's not entirely bad, as Noam Chomsky has observed: libertarians have great tolerance of diverse views as long as they denounce government and promote private property.

Libertarian Philosophy

Libertarian philosophy is mostly corrupt: much of it is funded by plutocrats to provide ideas and materials for their public relations campaigns. Hayek, for example, never held an academic position that wasn't funded by plutocrats. Milton Friedman and Robert Nozick might seem exceptions to this funding generalization, until you consider what class Harvard and the University Of Chicago serve (both are private universities relying on wealthy funders.).
  • apriori reasoning
  • natural rights
  • self-ownership
  • individualism
  • the assumption of property
  • single value reasoning
  • misframings
  • ignoring anthropology
These are all erroneous assumptions or fallacies of argument.
For more on this, see the Philosophy index.

Why Is Libertarianism Important?

For the same reason why Fascism is important: it is a noxious ideology that would lead to great repression and suffering. It is an ideology that would roll back the progressive policies that have diminished poverty and brought about the largest middle class ever known. It is an ideology that would diminish democracy. And because it is one of the major tools of plutocrats to justify and promote their plutocracy.

1 comment:

Mordanicus said...

I think this is an excellent text. It's not too dense, actually its current density is a pro, because it's short it's a good reference to point to in on line discussions.