I admit having government out of my life and out of my pocket sounds like a pretty damn good idea, especially when I consider the fact that I could get locked up for something as harmless as ripping a bong. But then again, Karl Marx makes a pretty damn convincing argument for communism. We all know how that worked out. Libertarianism, like communism, is a simple and beautiful idea. However, it is completely unrealistic. It never has been done and it never will be done.
I When I was first gaining interest in politics, I was strongly attracted to the Libertarian philosophy. It seemed so right. Freedom for all, just like the founders intended! This was the article that brought me down to this brutal place we call earth. maybe it will do the same for some of you.
Successful Libertarianism on a national scale would require all people to be content with strict social Darwinism, with a harsh every-man-for-himself mentality, with a government that can’t offer you a hand up in times of tragedy, a government that doesn’t collect taxes, and, in turn, can’t maintain the infrastructure. A Libertarian society would be a society that feels it is okay if the government has no hand in making sure the trade of fuel, medicine, water, or telecommunications can't be exploited. For everyone to succeed in such a society—for everyone to even have a chance to succeed—everybody would have to be fully dedicated to the free market, everybody would have to be a businessman of some sort. This simply isn't the case; there will always be a population who would rather not invent or innovate; they'd rather work hard and be fairly rewarded for that work. These are the people who would suffer first and suffer the most in a Libertarian "utopia"... but they're certainly not the only ones who would suffer.
Most alarming is the fact that a Libertarian society would be a society of people who take Darwinian concepts—concepts intended to be thought of in the context of biology and the natural world—and try to twist them until they can be applied to the free market economy (an entity that is in no way biological or natural.) A Libertarian society would be a society that does not believe in checks, balances, or regulations when it comes to the “free” exchange of goods and services. As such, it would be a society that believes in monopolies, believes that monopolies have a “right” to exist because a certain corporation was smart enough, or strong enough, or—more often than not—just plain rich enough to do away with all of their competition.
Libertarians want to eradicate big government for fear of totalitarianism, but they fail to see how the gross deregulation of trade would lead to a different, and more dangerous, kind of totalitarianism: market totalitarianism. If the government had no authority to break up monopolies, how long would it be before the biggest telephone company bought out its competitors? Then bought out all the cable companies? Then bought out all the radio stations and magazines? And then how long would it be before the richest oil company bought this mega media/communications company? Eventually, we’re left with a single company that solely controls the distribution all of the things we need and want. They could charge whatever they pleased, leaving one single rich corporation at the top and an entire nation of oppressed masses struggling in the dirt.
The excuse that somebody else could get out in the marketplace and compete is invalid and untrue. The “invisible hand” that magically regulates a free market is a complete fallacy. Even today, it works only
in theory. A handful of companies already own the majority of the telecommunications infrastructure. Clear Channel, Charter, and SBC aren’t going to let some young, upstart company share their resources. Why would they? And in a Libertarian society, the government would have no way of forcing big companies to share the market with young competitors. The government would have no way of doing anything because—taxes having been cut or eliminated—it would have no resources to fight the corporations or enforce its policies; it would be as helpless as the average consumer.
The main problem is that Libertarians see the free market as an inherently stable entity, something that it regulates itself via supply and demand. This is old and inaccurate thinking. The free market should not be seen as a perpetual balancing act, but as a long, brutal tournament. Producers constantly compete against each other for market share. These competitions are sometimes to the benefit of the consumer, sometimes not. Either way, it is a constant series of battles, and the end result—if left unregulated—would be one mega-powerful winner left standing. This huge "winner" corporation, being the only entity with any significant resources to its name, would in effect become the new government.
Charles Bukowski once wrote “Before you kill something make sure you have something better to replace it with.” I hate bloated, cumbersome, ineffective government as much as the next guy. But before you blindly revolt against the oppressive nature of big government, ask yourself whether you’d really be happier living under the rule of unregulated corporations.
Edited by Jimi Thing, 17 December 2010 - 06:54 AM.