Column by new Root Striker Brian Anderson.
Exclusive to STR
Nearly one year ago, Ron Paul and Ralph Nader appeared on “Freedom Watch” to announce a “libertarian-progressive alliance.” At first I was extremely skeptical; libertarians and progressives are polar opposites when it comes to the idea of positive obligation. The libertarian non-aggression principle (NAP) rejects the initiation of force, threat, and fraud. Most progressives agree with our rejection of these three actions, but their concept that an individual has a positive obligation to society is a huge fracture in the libertarian axiom.
In the progressives’ view, it would seem that refusing to provide food to a person unwilling to pay is neither legal nor in accordance with their version of the NAP if it ends with the person starving to death. I’d make the case that it wouldn’t be difficult for anyone to purchase food with without the FDA’s regulations and the government’s other subsidies interfering with prices, but the principle stands nonetheless.
I gave up on the prospect that these two sides of the political spectrum could ever form a coalition, but recently I’ve been optimistic about the idea. It is true that we hate many of the same things, so why don’t we use the thin tangent to educate progressives on the benefits of Austrian economics?
Fighting between the welfare system and free market capitalism is certainly a worthy conversation to have, but agreeing
on different aspects of life will strengthen our attempts at living in a freer country, at least temporarily. Chris Savvinidis has been doing this with the protestors in New York, and his month-old speech derailing the central bank has already enjoyed nearly 390,000 views
Young Americans for Liberty released “Philosophy of Liberty” palm cards in its website’s store
which clearly outline the political ideals that our two circles share: (1) individual civil liberties, (2) an end to corporatism, and (3) peace in international affairs.
It is evident in our everyday lives that authoritarian abuse is becoming the norm. Ever since the beginning of the War on Terrorism—a topic we’ll discuss in the third section—most of our civil liberties have been shattered. We were correct that the TSA’s creation and subsequent transference into the DHS would inevitably lead to even greater abuses; these crimes have come in the form of patting down a 19-month old toddler
, groping a 6-year old little girl
, leaving a lewd note
in a young woman’s luggage, breaking a cancer survivor’s urostomy bag
, reaching into another woman’s vagina, and many others.
Then author Ian Falconer included a sickening illustration
in Olivia Goes to Venice
of the main character—a young pig—being searched by two adult male pigs in security uniforms. He writes, referring to the young pig, “She was very pleased.” Luckily for lovers of liberty, many people have written negative comments
about the book on Amazon, warning parents to keep their children away from the indoctrination.
These offenses have also found their way onto our streets where individuals have found themselves cringing during the recent protests. Young females were pepper-sprayed
for no reason. Flashbang grenades
were thrown into peaceful crowds. A member of Veterans for Peace was shot in the face with a police projectile
, fracturing his skull. There are countless stories. Once again many individuals like US Marine Corps Sergeant Shamar Thomas can be seen standing up to the government bullies. Thomas shouted to
the cowardly police officers, “This is not a war zone. These are unarmed people. It doesn’t make you tough to hurt these people. It doesn’t make you tough to hurt these people.”
If anything else, government abuse, no matter what label on uniforms and badges, is a frequent occurrence that we can both fully agree needs to cease immediately.
An End to Corporatism
Monetary influence in government—or, rather, government influence in the economy—is a confusing divide for libertarians and progressives. Whereas progressives see regulations as harnesses to reign in irresponsible companies, libertarians see regulations as tools used by the same companies to restrict competitors from entering the market.
In the words of Jeffrey Tucker
: “The first great error here is the mental habit that many have of thinking that big government and big business are somehow at odds. The whole of American history from the beginning to the present suggests precisely the opposite. […] Without exception, the corporate elite were behind every push for expanding the leviathan state.”
I recently explained this phenomenon
with examples like the Federal Reserve Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act, but a discussion of loophole regulation requires an adequate and long-term comprehension of economic history. In the meantime, it is better for everyone if we primarily focus on direct copulation of corporations and government.
We’ve done a fantastic job so far of convincing people that the two-party system is really a one-party system that loves big government and big bankers. These common attributes of Republicans and Democrats allow people to see that there is no good guy when it comes to voting. There are certainly lesser evils, but how less evil are they?
Herman Cain had a two-year seat as Chairman
of a Federal Reserve branch. Rick Perry is in bed with the now-infamous HPV vaccine-maker
. Mitt Romney is receiving millions of dollars in donations
from his own private equity firm. This comes as no surprise since Republicans are frequently seen as the corporate-friendly candidates. However, upon further inspection, we found out
that Barack Obama “has brought in more money from employees of banks, hedge funds and other financial service companies than all of the GOP candidates combined.” Obama has also received tens of thousands of dollars from Mitt Romney’s own previously-mentioned private equity firm.
There is no candidate willing to turn his or her back on corporate influence in the government, and there never will be. The only constant factor in this mess is how much power the government has in the first place. This focus will allow us to pull our resources together for a stronger push against the corporatist sphere, and (perhaps the best part for libertarians) it’ll differentiate free market capitalism as a pure and voluntary economy.
Peace in International Affairs
Governments love war. Wars have never been fought by individuals. War allows government to swell up in power and oppress our societal and economic freedoms in the name of national security. The so-called “non-interventionist theory” on foreign policy isn’t so much a theory as it is a verifiable fact. When debating military interventionists on foreign policy, explaining peace as a moral virtue and war as an economic disaster won’t do anything because, above anything else, people want to be safe. Let’s focus on the natural instinct and tell them how unsafe their aggressive foreign policies are making us.
worked as Chief of the CIA’s Bin Laden Issue Station: “This war is dangerous to American because […] of what we do in the Islamic world – because ‘we’re over there.’”
Osama bin Laden
’s organization is the reason we went to war after 9/11: “[W]e, alongside the mujahidin, bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat. […] So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.”
made the same observation: “The US is the only reason for the survival of some governments in the Middle East. […] The US needs to support freedom and human rights in the Muslim world. The people in the Muslim world only saw America as their enemy when they saw America supporting these governments. They have nothing against America. They are concerned with what’s going on in their own countries.”
I sometimes wonder how many different sides of the spectrum we’ll have to present before people understand. We will only make progress once ordinary people—who currently blindly follow partisan decrees—realize that invasions and occupations of foreign countries actually make our country less safe. Getting rid of senseless military operations abroad will be the toughest and most valuable goal in terms of ridding our world of corporatism and expanding our civil liberties at home.
 When I use the word “progressive,” I refer to the younger generation of progressives who actually desire to live in a freer and more prosperous world. We agree on the ends but disagree completely on the means. I cannot say the same for progressive politicians—especially in relation to the Progressive Era—whose misdeeds were summed up well by Murray Rothbard
: “I regard progressivism as basically a movement on behalf of Big Government in all walks of the economy and society, in a fusion or coalition between various pups of big businessmen, led by the House of Morgan, and rising groups of technocratic and statist intellectuals.”