No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.....
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
- John Donne
Libertarians, or 'Libbies' as I call them, are a strange breed and when one assesses their doctrines and dogmas (many based on Ayn Rand's 'Virtue of Selfishness' and assorted fiction freak shows, e.g. "Atlas Shrugged") one can grasp why they've remained a minority party never ever seriously competing for votes in major elections. What would you expect of an odd lot that professes to be ultimate individualists yet on further inspection can't really make a living without being part of the larger society they despise?
The classic twaddle at the core of this misgotten system of thought is perhaps best embodied in Charles Murray's essay ‘What it means to be a Libertarian’ (p. 6):
“It is wrong for me to use force against you, because it violates your right to control of your person....I may have the purest motive in the world. I may even have the best idea in the world. But even these give me no right to make you do something just because I think it's a good idea. This truth translates into the first libertarian principle of governance: In a free society individuals may not initiate the use of force against any other individual or group”
Of course, this is also undoubtedly where the pet Libertarian canard that “taxes equal theft’ comes from. But looking at it objectively this is illogical. I mean “libertarian principle of governance”! This is an oxymoron! Governance presumes and demands the non-passive act of governing, which means someone is actively setting standards of expected action, and also providing the means to uphold them. Else, what’s the point? It’s all an exercise in mental masturbation. In other words, unless someone (coercively) possesses the means to enforce governance, it will be meaningless and chaos ensues. Every man makes his own laws and devil take the hindmost. Now, maybe there IS a docile libertarian principle of “governing suggestion”- but this in no way is the same as “governance”.
Anti-statism is a central tenet of libertarianism, but it rests on no foundations, other than the so-called libertarian principles babbled by Murray and others. For example, Frank Chodorov, quoted by David Boaz of CATO Inst. in ‘Libertarianism: A Primer’, goes so far as to write:
"Society is a collective concept and nothing else; it is a convenience for designating a number of people... The concept of Society as a metaphysical concept falls flat when we observe that Society disappears when the component parts disperse”
Well, if Society "fails" as a metaphysical (or even, evidently a practical ) concept, no wonder the Über- Libertarians have a Jones to escape it. Case in point, one Peter Thiel, founder of Paypal, which purpose (as Thiel explains it, SPLC Intelligent Report, Summer 2012, p. 49) was:
"to create a new world currency, free from all government control and dilution..the end of monetary sovereignty as it were."
Hmmmm.....but looks like the monetary "sovereignty" is still standing, and Paypal kind of remains in the background. So much for that. But Thiel's real hobby horse and issue is the apparent spread of too many social lowlifes dependent on government largesse like food stamps, welfare, or even Social Security. According to Thiel, in a 2009 manifesto published by the Cato Institute:
"I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible. Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficaries and the extension of the franchise to women - two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians - have rendered the notion of 'capitalist democracy into an oxymoron."
Okay, so like most libbies, Thiel has major problems with welfare beneficiaries because evidently they're never satisfied and always want more each political cycle. (Never mind, most have been put on 'welfare to work' programs since Neolib Bill Clinton signed the 'Welfare to Work' legislation in 1996, requiring welfare recipients to work for their money....at rates of around $3.15 /hr. Evidently then, neither Thiel or Clinton got the message that was so well articulated by author Charles Reich ('Opposing the System', 1995, p. 125):
"The claim that government is free to reduce or cut off welfare and other forms of support for people in economic need is totally mistaken. Welfare is not a gift, nor is it, despite frequent assertions, a transfer from those who earn a living to those who are not. Welfare is rather an obligation from society – and from those who are working- to those who have been deprived of work and the opportunity to earn a living. If we want to speak of transfers, it would be more accurate to say that those with a secure place in the economic system are enjoying a transfer of wealth from those who have been excluded from the economic system. Welfare then is partial compensation for a deprivation of livelihood that allows others to work."
SO, take that Thiel! Now as to women, why does Thiel object so much to their "franchise"? Here's a clue: Ever ponder the origins of the term "Nanny State"?
Thiel then goes on to bemoan (ibid.) that the "smartest libertarians" have been so bummed out by the state of capitalism that "they escaped not only to alcohol but beyond it". Don't think so! From where I sit and observe, most seem to have escaped to infiltrate the high IQ societies, including Mensa and Intertel. Every issue of their publications (e.g. Mensa Bulletin, Integra:Journal of Intertel) appears to be laden with libertarian piffle whether in letters, articles or editorial opinion. (Integra is especially noted for this, with current Intertel prez Kort Patterson incessantly offering his two-bit libbie "freedom insights" at the outset of nearly every issue in 'Notes from the President').
So if Thiel is so bummed out by the lack of ideal (e.g. no state interference) capitalism, what does he propose to do about it? Why, set up an independent floating nation as a Sea-steader! Sea-steading (think of all those floating giant platforms in the flick, 'Waterworld') was originally the brainchild of Patri Friedman, a former Google software engineer and grandson of Randian acolyte Milton Friedman - also of the "Chicago School" of Neo-liberals.
As Patri acknowledges "all the land on Earth is already claimed making the oceans humanity's last frontier"
The prototype Sea-stead "nation" was probably 'the Principality of Outer Baldonia' set up off the coast of Nova Scotia some years ago as an independent "micro" nation. It is best known for issuing a 'declaration of independence' that included (ibid.): "the right to lie and be believed, the right of freedom from questioning, nagging, shaving, interruption, women, politics, war and tax".
Hmmmm.....one wonders how this micro-nation would continue to exist minus women! Oops! Never mind! It's been defunct for years! Wonder why?
Thiel, of course, has his main objective of escaping taxes. No longer does he wish to support grafters, beggars and lowlifes, or the gazillions of females who insist the weakest need basic security and protection in their "Nanny state". So no surprise Thiel is busy helping to fund his own micro-nation, sea steader kingdom...a floating Utopia to be named "Blueseed". It is to be anchored in international waters twelve miles off the coast of Silicon Valley.
According to the SPLC Intelligence Report (ibid.):
"Blueseed, which plans to launch by early 2014, intends to circumvent U.S. immigration law and be a haven for 'the boldest, brightest and most talented tech entrepeneurs in the world"
A bold and ballsy concept from Thiel to be sure. But one question: when a monster tsunami strikes - whether from a quake off the Alaskan coast or other - can we expect Thiel and his cossetted brainiac brigade to save themselves? Or.....are they going to call on the Society they despise...you know, there on the mainland...to bail their butts out? Enquiring minds want to know!