The Ultimate Guide to American Libertarianism 2022.
Whist libertarianism might be basic, it is not binary—thus a more nuanced knowledge on the topic is vital. (Note US libertarians who support the rather irrelevant Libertarian party would argue that they should not be associated with the selfish Ayn Rand notions—and Ayn Rand would likely agree. Theoretically this party believes in civil rights and free trade etc.—making this strand both progressive and thus irrelevant in today’s America. I’m writing this piece in the context of America’s Idiocrasy 2022. You think a MAGA can distinguish?)
This piece was written as context for a now posted on expose Peter Thiel. This man is apparently situating himself to be the most dangerous person on the planet. He is openly attempting to destroy western democracy. Peter Thiel who uses libertarianism as a fig leaf. Few understand that that cover is actually poison ivy.
Micro V Macro Libertarians.
Libertarians argue that they they are the opposite of fascist and indeed mean no harm. They have a point. I have a libertarian streak within me. Call me a libertarian journey man, a micro libertarian. On short car trips, I might not buckle up, happy to listen, as a matter of principle, to the constant “your safety is our number one concern”, beeping. Ticket me for a rolling stop? You little fascist! The laws about cannabis are often absurd—shoot me! It is healthy for normal mortals to push back. When a politician says all regulations should come with an expiration or reevaluation date—I’m fine with that. My little acts of defiance will indeed not hurt any one? Well not in my own clearly prejudiced and thus meaningless opinion, anyway. But it might give pause to further erosions of common sense “freedoms.”
But I am not concerned about us every day journey men. I am really discussing libertarian fundamentalists. Ayn Rand devotees, who obliviously want to rob me of my freedoms, my love of the natural world, of my democracy. Let’s call these people macro libertarians. For these people, being a libertarian is their social media profile. It’s a core of their self identification. It’s their ego—positing; I not them, me not you. I have a constitutional right to be a jerk. Yes you do. This trait is more important to them than say the ending world hunger, injustices in society—world ending “comets” heading right into their homes. But hey, live free and die—right?
People who bang on about their freedoms are also usually not that smart. Take an easy issue—they declare on the one hand that they should be free not to take the Coved vaccine—whilst declaring they mean no harm to others. Blind much? The two key principles of their philosophy can only dwell together if they live in a cave and paid their own medical bills. They have a driving license. They can’t drink and drive. In all likely hood they have been vaccinated themselves anyway.
*May vary by state.
On a micro scale libertarianism is healthy. But on a macro scale and in the hands of the the ever more powerful Oligarchs—be terrified. Basic logic dictates that there is only one final destination. So what are these macro libertarians not acknowledging and why?
Ayn Rand—simply not equipped to mold economic theory.
To understand this endgame one must first understand the Goddess who turned a healthy hobby into an industrialized death star. Ayn Rand’s critically panned book—is a tool for the naïve or malignant seekers of unlimited and unfettered wealth and power. America already has a huge Income discrepancy trend problem. This trend is so longstanding and so obvious that allowing this trend to continue can only lead to one very miserable place.
First imagine a world like today where the macro Libertarian’s have not taken over. Now look at the below graphs and then trend them for the next 20 years or so…
Now imagine what would happen if these libertarians took over the the whole national agenda. They want unfettered capitalism. No regulations, no taxes, no consequences, no democracy. This allows an ever shrinking number of sociopathic sharks to swallow up, Pac Man style, every living thing, every resource, in their orbit. A sort of black whole where either one is sucked into place without light—or situated at an event horizon waiting for your personal being to be sucked out of existence. Some special type of freedom right there. Freedom for some, to one, to Zero. This must be what Peter Thiel means by his latest book. Whilst not quite getting his title correct—he really means “One to Zero.” But more about Thiel in a follow up expose.
This mathematical certainty (assuming no checks and balances) is one of the two huge abysses to be found in the juvenile macro libertarian philosophy.
Juvenile, Adolescent, Childish—the most apt and tolerant descriptions of Libertarians
The New Yorker explains why:
Most people have the sense that they haven’t achieved everything they’re capable of (though many mature into reasonable perspectives about their decisions and their use of time, as well as a more accurate assessment of their talents relative to the wider world). People often feel possessed of energies that their ordinary lives prevent them from fully tapping into. That’s why libertarianism so often appeals to adolescents, and why there’s something perpetually adolescent about the doctrine: it arises from a self-centeredness—an affirmation of a strength seemingly ever-renewed in the face of external opposition—that young people feel daily. The simplification of society and the reduction of its ills to a single issue lends the doctrine further youth appeal.
But many people never grow up, never evolve and the Conservative brain, by definition—struggles to evolve.
Ayn Rand: Having been born into a bourgeois family in Russia in 1905, she and her family suffered under the antibourgeois purges of Lenin that began in 1917. Against and amongst this background, she did, against all odds, get to study philosophy. This led her to have an understandable hatred of communism and God, but did not qualify her to write utopian fantasies with any grounding in economic theory and even philosophical rants (monologues) that bore objectivity rather than being born out of bitterness.
Ayn Rand does ask perfectly valid questions: Why is it moral to serve the happiness of others, but not your own? If enjoyment is a value, why is it moral when experienced by others, but immoral when experienced by you? (Someone with a tad of common sense might point out—A. that no one is saying don’t have fun and—B. helping others brings happiness to both parties). Herein is lies the death bed of virtually any form of fundamentalism.
So the question is a revealing one. Because of Rand’s formative years, she apparently overreacted, as a child might overcompensate for the perceived imperfections of her parent(s). To a person inclined to be somewhat self-centered, Ayn Rand offers wonderful rationalizations; the same applies to any prejudices one might have. In short, her philosophy allows a sort of “be prejudiced, be happy” vibe. Obviously, we only want government if it is good and efficient, and deep down most people are more likely to help others if they see some benefit for themselves. To live “free” is a double-edged sword; it has the potential for better or worse, depending on innumerable ever-moving factors. But by studying the goals of the Ayn Rand fundamentalists, we can see why the Stupidparty is so vested in bad government.
John Galt was perhaps Ayn Rand’s most famous character—a man in search of freedom from government intervention. Now, this is all fine in parable form— but reality can be a bit more inconvenient, as what we are really talking about is unfettered capitalism, unfettered prejudice, and unfettered power. H. G. Wells,
who, it seems to me, proved to be an awesomely prophetic writer, peering ahead of his time in his 1895 book, The Time Machine, envisioned a distant future in which humanity had devolved into two species—the subterranean masters (the Morlocks), whose food was the innocent and naïve above ground agrarian (Eloi). Here we have the logical end game of John Galt’s “paradise.”
How was Rand’s epic ramblings in Atlas Shrugged received back in 1957
But populist authors like Ayn Rand, Joseph Smith (provable nonsense), or Ron Hubbard (inventor of scientology, as a gag) apparently can hit a populist nerve, at any time, and attract cult-like followings. In the day, Ayn Rand’s books were not well received, and she fell into depression. Back in 1957 ( when Atlas Shrugged was published), people were less polarized and much more rational. But today we live in an Idiocrasy, so rational thought is diminishing into absurdity.
From The Los Angeles Times
But even with all the controversy about the message of “Atlas Shrugged,” there’s been little discussion of its literary merits. Is it a great book? Here’s what the critics had to say at the time of its publication in fall 1957.
Robert R. Kirsch, Los Angeles Times:
It is probably the worst piece of large fiction written since Miss Rand’s equally weighty “The Fountainhead.” Miss Rand writes in the breathless hyperbole of soap opera. Her characters are of billboard size; her situations incredible and illogical; her story is feverishly imaginative. It would be hard to find such a display of grotesque eccentricity outside an asylum.
Granville Hicks, New York Times
Not in any literary sense a serious novel, it is an earnest one, belligerent and unremitting in its earnestness. It howls in the reader’s ear and beats him about the head in order to secure his attention, and then, when it has him subdued, harangues him for page upon page. It has only two moods, the melodramatic and the didactic, and in both it knows no bounds.
Edward Wagenknecht, Chicago Daily Tribune
The worst thing in her book is her denunciation of what she calls mysticism, her ideas of which seem derived from Hitler rather than Meister Eckhardt or Rufus Jones. For her a mystic is a parasite in spirit and in matter, “a man who surrendered his mind at its first encounter with the minds of others.” No, Miss Rand, a mystic is a man who insists upon using those areas of his mind which you block off.
Helen Beal Woodward, Saturday Review
Miss Rand … throws away her considerable gifts for writing by fixing her reader with a glittering eye and remorselessly impressing upon him her convictions. These range from a hatred of Robin Hood as “the most immoral and the most contemptible” of all human symbols to a belief in a kind of chrome-plated laissez faire. Much of it is persuasive…. But Miss Rand is undone by her prolixity and her incontinence. She sets up one of the finest assortments of straw men ever demolished in print, and she cannot refrain from making her points over and over…. Altogether this is a strange, overwrought book.
Donald Malcolm, the New Yorker
Apparently Miss Rand set out to write a novel of social prophecy, something like “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” But while Orwell based his predictions upon the nature of the police state, the lady who gave us “The Fountainhead” has based hers upon — well, it is hard to say. Miss Rand’s villains resemble no one I have ever encountered, and I finally decided to call them “liberals,” chiefly because I can’t imagine whom else she might have in mind. In her vision of the future, then, the liberals have brought the world to a sorry plight. America is plunged into a catastrophic depression, caused by the government’s infernal meddling with the economy, and most of the other nations of the world have become People’s States, whose inhabitants are actually grubbing up roots to keep themselves alive.
Whittaker Chambers, National Review
Out of a lifetime of reading, I can recall no other book in which a tone of overriding arrogance was so implacably sustained. Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal.
It turns out that if the source material is utter drivel, making a movie, even with a significant budget—is not going to end well.
Grossing less than $5m at the box office—not even her confused fans could sit through that pile of pooh.
The Movie about Ayn Rand is worthwhile though.
Hey, Ayn Rand fans—show me your ideal society and its end game:
But Rand did gain a few notable disciples. A rather chagrined Alan Greenspan for one, a tarnished ex-chairman of the Federal Reserve; another being Ron Paul—as this philosophy allows him to rationalize many of his more unsavory prejudices. Consider his racism, — honest rape etc., (standard GOP fare) now swept under the carpet—under the guise of being an “honest politician”. And of course he has that Fauci hating son of his. And of course, those hordes of adolescent fans, who are sometimes unable to move on from her rather childlike and remarkably self-centered visions of an ideal society. Which leads to the second massive dead-end brick wall in their philosophy. Simply ask such macro libertarians to name any society, country, empire, tribe, culture—since the dawn of time—that they would like to recreate. They would also then logically need to gain the support of more that 50% of Americans.
Of course micro libertarians will struggle to understand the only end game of the macro libertarians. They imagine running around free, living off the land, escaping the clutches of odd, rude, irritating, corrupt society. This dream can indeed work for a handful of society. In an economic or societal collapse, they are likely to survive a couple of weeks longer than those that they wish to escape from. But the thing is—this group can only ever be a fringe. If society followed suit—the amount of resources to be found via hunter gatherer outings would disappear within days. One can’t escape the reality that most people need to work for a weekly pay check and work near population centers.
Macro Libertarians: They want to remove any hindrances to asset stripping people…and everything else
The macro libertarians want those workers for as little pay as possible. They want to remove any hindrances to asset stripping people, and all the resources of the planet, for their own egotistical gain—leaving a desiccated wasteland in their wake.
So sadly, Ayn Rand’s infantile ramblings live on. But you would think that before the world’s largest economy ever turns to her for inspiration, an experiment should be carried out on a smaller scale—like a small nation state, or locality. I guess one can look at gated communities, or private Islands to get a glimpse from afar, of the future. The rest of us can only enter as a landscaper, cleaner, sex worker, or if you are really lucky—a caddy.
I say this because if we had listened to Ron Paul during the 2008–09 economic meltdown, we would have lost our homes. He learned nothing from the great depression. Thus the Great Recession would have become the Greatest Depression—making the events of 1931 look like child’s play. That and of course civil rights would have been overturned, and even the 1% would have had to turn on themselves.
“Atlas Shrugged. If you’re not familiar with the novel, it depicts a world where corporate CEOs and one-percenters are the selfless heroes upon which our society depends, and basically everyone else—journalists, legislators, government employees, the poor—are the villains trying to drag the rich down out of spite, when we should be kissing their rings in gratitude that they allow us to exist.”
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