I have a rule I try to follow the best I can – I don’t debate Libertarians. It’s usually a mind-numbing process of debating people who seem to have such a small vision of the world that I often question whether or not they understand how societies work at all.
In their world, regulations are the enemy. “Freedom” and “Liberty” – that’s all that matters. They’re quick to denounce the need for big government in certain areas of our lives and champion the “power of the free market.”
Well, that is to say most of them do this. See, that’s one of the things that drives me nuts about Libertarians, even they can’t agree on what is or isn’t a “true Libertarian.” Which you would think would instantly prove some of the major flaws in their ideology, but it doesn’t.
Libertarians are a unique bunch because they’re the only group of people I’ve met on both the far-left side of the political spectrum and the far-right. Again, another example that proves their ideology is extremely flawed, but it doesn’t. “Libertarians” on completely opposite ends of the political spectrum, with drastically different opinions on what “being a Libertarian” means somehow believing that this ideological set of beliefs is the “only true answer” – except they completely differ on their own set of beliefs.
What I always laugh at about their system of beliefs is how corrupt they view government as being. Corruption that’s caused by politicians who are heavily influenced by lobbyists, big businesses and the wealthy.
So what’s their solution? Remove government regulations so these lobbyists, big businesses and wealthy people don’t even have to buy off politicians. Nope, no need. They’ll have a deregulated nation to do whatever they want, whenever they want with only the “power of consumerism” to keep them in check.
After all, without the EPA and FDA, I’m sure companies would keep to these same strict standards of waste disposal and safe food handling, right?
Are you kidding? Look at what happened in West, Texas; West Virginia; the Gulf of Mexico. And that’s with regulations. You really believe big businesses would act ethically with how they dispose, or handle, harmful chemicals or toxins? Right. These companies would pollute our environment in whichever way was cheapest for them.
You think billions are being pumped into campaigns to end the minimum wage because these businesses care about paying their employees more?
Libertarians seem to act as if we live in a tribal society, which is where libertarianism might work. In small, tribal communities. There’s absolutely no way in a complex modern society you can sit back, have an almost non-existent government then truly believe that “consumer power” will be the saving grace for regulating the behavior of the rich and powerful.
Granted, I don’t always believe that more government is the answer. But it’s local governments, the one’s Libertarians think should be in charge, that are regulating the private lives of Americans. I live in Texas. I can’t buy liquor on a Sunday, smoke in most bars or restaurants in major cities (not that I smoke), casinos aren’t allowed, some counties don’t sell alcohol at all, new strict abortion laws continue to get passed all the time, same-sex marriage is forbidden – these are all restrictions on the private lives of citizens by government within Texas, not the federal government.
And if you shrunk the federal government to nearly nothing, giving most of the power to the local governments, then you’d just have that money pumped into corrupting local politicians rather than federal.
All Libertarian ideology does is cut out the middleman for those who are most responsible for corrupting our government. So instead of having to try to buy off politicians to get their way, there won’t be any need. After all, why try to buy off politicians to fight regulations you wished didn’t exist when there was no regulation put in place to begin with?
Trust me, there’s not a movement to eliminate the EPA, FDA and other regulatory agencies because these businesses want to act more ethically. They want these agencies abolished so they can get away with even more than they do now.
But the truth is, when you ask Libertarians a simple question, “Name a successful society that’s existed in human history, or even presently, that was built on Libertarian ideology” – they can’t answer. And no, the United States wasn’t built on “freedom.” We started this nation with slavery and expanded it with genocide. If anything more regulations were needed to ensure basic freedoms were being given to certain demographics because without those regulations, “the free market” often discriminated against them.
In fact, looking around the world, the countries which most closely resemble their system of beliefs (small government, little or no taxes, few regulations) are impoverished countries like Somalia. You don’t find successful societies built on their system of beliefs, you see disorganized chaos and poverty.
So while I meet many Libertarians who are wonderful people, and granted some of their ideas are decent, their overall system of beliefs is just so massively flawed I can’t take most of what they say seriously. And it’s not because “I don’t want to hear the truth,” it’s because I don’t see a point in debating with people who tell me “the government is corrupt” and their solution is to give even more power to those who are responsible for corrupting our government in the first place.
It just makes absolutely no sense.