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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

A libertarian goes to college: behind the times?

In class today, the subject of the strength of man became a focus of discussion. Many in my class offered the theory that all people (can’t dare say man) are perfect and through societal reforms can become more perfect. I challenged this mind set as a bunch of baloney. Men, err people, are not angels! Men, argh people, are fundamentally egotistical and only improve their outcome and behavior, if not their interior character, so as to adhere to some incentive. (Thankfully a really hot girl in the class agreed with me, but that is another story…)

Eventually the teacher asked me (the hot chic too) if we had read too much Friedman or too much Ayn Rand. Once we said yes the teacher asked if we were Libertarians. I love listening to my profs on Libertarianism, here is why.

There are two main arguments they use against the fundamental principal of Libertarianism (as I define it, the ability of all people to act freely in the market to spontaneously create societal good [as luck would have it this is the same definition I discovered that this hot libertarian chic uses too]). First, Libertarianism is too simple for today’s complex world. Second, Libertarianism is now two centuries old; its glory days died with the Great Depression. Let me deal with these both in turn.

Libertarianism is too simple

Upon analyzing the way our society is, I have concluded that this complexity is a result of the elite wishing to keep it complex. The minute these elites say it is simple, they are no longer elite. It should come as no surprise that the tool of creating this complexity is the government.

So, to protect their elite-ness, they have made the world more complex, via laws and also via their discussion of “heady” issues. An example of these heady issues is their common cry that unless you understand that you can never really know anything, like natural rights as described by Locke, you can never really ever understand anything about the world, or, put differently, you cannot be elite until you understand this moral ambiguity. Well, I am in the top 8% of my class, apparently I know something – and I know enough to say %*** the &*** elites! Oh sorry, let me stop swearing.

The world is fundamentally simple, and operates better as such. If there are too many regulations, you just have trouble. Market forces are not allowed to work properly to solve social ills. Libertarianism does advocate this level of simplicity, and thus it works better than anything else.

It’s old and dead, bury it already

This argument cracks me up! Here is how it works: The 18th century saw the rise of Capitalism; the 19th century abused capitalism, and the 20th century saw why Capitalism does not work, and why we should ban it all together in the 21st century. Now I have a disagreement with their interpretation, as I think the 20th most clearly showed the strength of capitalism and the death of socialism. This is clearly defined in the Cold War; however, it can also be seen in the areas of society that innovated the most throughout the last century. Let me quickly examine as an example: education and technology. (To confess this example was originally offered in class by the loveliest Libertarian I have ever met, but I agree with it and am throwing in some of my own stuff.) Education saw little to no innovation in how it was taught; it saw innovation (if you can call it that) in the administrative process of education. There are more education regulations, but quality is dropping. Technology saw great innovation, not in the administration but in how it works. Computers are faster now than ever before. The quality has improved. I care a lot more about quality of the product over the administration of the development of the administration for the product. In other words, capitalism still works to this day and is not dead. (However, it is because of this professor that I have found at least one reason to support the Drug War.)

(P.S. – Although this may be a really interesting discussion, I must admit that I was struggling to prevent drooling while listening to the hot Libertarian chic, and therefore did not do the argument justice in class, hence my posting it here, after allowing time to regain some composure)

(P.P.S. – Point of clarification about my last post. It was not intended to defend sales taxes. They are wrong, evil, and nasty stuff for more reasons than what I mentioned.)

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