The Move from Progressivism to Libertarianism and Why

I used to be a nosering wearing, feminism-espousing, Obama House-Party throwing, capitalism-hating progressive.  I believed that the Republicans were mean people, war mongerers, and that I was the only non-crazy Christian in the United States pretty much.  I claimed to love people and would say things like, “All we need is love” and then distrust people so much that I honestly believed that we need the government to write laws to protect us from each other.  Like Michael Moore, I sorta thought that Dick Cheney and Bush may have had something shady going on with that 911 thing, but I really thought that Obama would be different.  Senator Obama said everything I wanted someone to say.  He was going to:

  1. Repeal the Patriot Act
  2. Close Gitmo
  3. Bring about universal healthcare
  4. Restore the economy from the ground up
  5. Restore our privacy rights
  6. Bring the troops home
  7. Fix the prison system

When we got none of the above and his biggest accomplishment is to force us to purchase insurance from the very same people he was telling us were heartless bastards my days of believing in a Democratic savior were gone–and before you say I shouldn’t be so cynical, blah blah Elizabeth Warren, I ask how is her record better than Obamas as Senator?  It’s not.  People just have to move their adoration from one to the next or they lose it.

I lost mine.  Sort of.

I have to thank Obama for making me wake up and realize a lot of very important things.

  1. We can’t fight against mean people labeling other people when we use labels ourselves.
  2. Groups are made up of individuals
  3. Groups are an illusion because like snowflakes, no two people are alike
  4. Individuals are important and have unalienable rights
  5. We are our interests, not our bodies
  6. Beer does help
  7. Winter is Coming

If someone looked at me the labels they would use to describe me on first glance are “female”, “white” “early 30s”, “attractive” (It’s true).

If they talked to me for 5 minutes only they might add “straight”, “libertarian”, “Christians”, “nerd” to it.

While most might not admit this, it is that 1st and 2nd layer of labels that we hardly ever get past–not because of the assholes of this world (whom I maintain as being fewer than the good people) but because good people in their fight against labels have inadvertently maintained that labeling system by supporting legislation to protect people who have been labeled!

They do this for good reasons.  Good people don’t want bad people to hurt other good people.

The problem with this is not the “why” but the “how“.  Back in the 1850s when the Congress was fighting about the Peculiar Institution of slavery, an anarchist named Lysander Spooner was planning on kidnapping the governor of Virginia to ransom him for abolition.  It would have been a bold move, an appropriate move since blacks had been kidnapped and sold, and it shows that when you forget government is there, you’re more willing to do something than you are if it exists.

Need more proof?  When Detroit went bankrupt did the city meltdown for lack of police?  Did it fall apart?

You would expect that, right?

Crime went down because people purchased guns and suddenly average people took charge of their city.

Detroit less violent in 2014, police data show

According to the police chief

Police Chief James Craig noted back in January. At a press conference following the most recent self-defense shooting, he stated:

It does appear that more and more Detroiters are becoming empowered. More and more Detroiters are getting sick of the violence. I know of no other place where I’ve see this number of justifiable homicides.

People who are faced with a dangerous situation are taking matters into their own hands. We’re not advocating violence; we’re advocates of not being victims. We’re advocates of self-protection. We want people to be safe.

This should be a message to those who continue to perpetuate violence on Detroiters that enough is enough…. Detroiters are fed up and they are taking action.

And what of the city looking like a giant garbage dump (sorry, mom, it does)

People got sick of it and realized that no one was going to fix it so they started doing it.  Read the story.  You’ll be amazed at what people will do when they have to.

Okay, okay, you’re thinking, but what does this have to do with gay people being denied cupcakes and pizza?  We have to make sure gays can buy pizza from bigots because mean people should have to serve gays their pizza.  We need the government to force them to work against their will because they are mean people.

I’m glad you asked.

From Merriam Webster

Full Definition of SLAVERY

:  drudgery, toil
:  submission to a dominating influence
a :  the state of a person who is a chattel of another b :  the practice of slaveholding
Remove the “why” for one moment and look at the principles (we’ll get to the law and people in a second) and the desires at work here.
1. The desire to purchase over buy
2. The desire to purchase from a particular store over another one
3. The desire to choose when, where, and who we work for
Which of those is a right, which of those is a desire, and which of those applies a fundamental principle?
–we’ll get to the gas station in the middle of nowhere that won’t serve blacks in a second–
1. I may want to purchase something rather than make it myself because I don’t have the time and I don’t think I would be able to create a beautiful cake, but do I have a right to purchase something rather than make it?  Yes.  I have the right to purchase something.  We can all agree on that, I think.  You have the right to pursue happiness.  This is an individual right.  You also have the right to try and outswim a shark.
2. There are four bakeries in town, is it my right or a privilege to be able to buy from one of them?  Here is where things get tricky.  The progressive would say “yes” because “no one should be allowed to discriminate” ignoring the question and throwing the onus on the store owner.  I would say it is a privilege because no one has a right to another person’s time or labor unless they willingly choose to provide it.
But, but, you say, it’s a public business license that enables that business to operate.
Laws don’t mean something is moral.  Jim Crow laws prevented businesses from serving blacks.  They weren’t written to say that blacks couldn’t be served at businesses.  The laws were immoral (and unconstitutional)
From a legal standpoint I would ask, what right does the government have to determine how we make a living or prohibit us from doing so?  Where in the Constitution does the government have the power to prevent individuals or regulate the ability of individuals from working?
3. When an individual no longer has the right for any reason to say “no” to working, that is slavery.
You can say that they have a choice to lose their livelihood, and I’ll say blacks had a choice to stop working in the field and get beaten.
Some choice.
Now, I’m not heartless but when principles compete, especially where the law is concerned you must look at where that law will go not just next year but 50 years from now.
Back when the FDA got started people thought that was a good thing.  It floated in on angel’s wings, and now today we have a generation of black men behind bars because we allowed the government to tell us that it has the right to say what we put in our own bodies “for the greater good”.
The principle is the same.  Lose individual freedom and it never comes back and it only gets worse.
Preventing businesses from selling bad milk led to you being told that if you willingly choose to smoke this plant or sell some of that plant to your friends that the state has the right to remove you from your home and lock you away.
Telling a business it must serve everyone for any reason will lead to people not being able to quit their job in the future.  It will.  There will be service contracts mark my words.
Where am I going with this really long post?  To a happy place, I promise.
People are good.  Those same people who didn’t want to serve a gay couple, if they were able to hang out with them for more than ten minutes would probably change their mind.  No one wants to tell someone they know “no”.  Strangers, yes.  Neighbors, no.
There is power in individualism.  You can turn down a gay couple.  You can’t turn down Kim and Laura or Ross and Salvador.  You know them.  You don’t want to hurt their feelings.

There is power in someone walking into a bakery and saying, “I’m not going to buy from you anymore because you turned down that couple last week because they were black or gay or whatever”.  You have the power, just as much, if not more than the state doing it–and here’s why:

The state takes time.  Boycotts do not.

The law says they get their day in court.  The gay couple will have to prove that this is why they were denied.  With the right attorney this will take forever and the next bakery will be smarter about how they phrase it and eventually like racism it will go undercover and boil over 50 years later.

We have a lot of power and that power is immediate.  We choose not to use it because the crutch of government exists and because we believe The Grand Illusion that government will save us and yet…what has it actually fixed?

The War on Drugs–people not only still take drugs but we spend a half trillion each year in enforcement, rehab, and incarceration across the US.

The War on Poverty–not only are people still poor but ghetto culture has taken root just like institutionalization and people are unable to escape.

The War on Terror–what started as a small group of terrorists is now a global movement and we have lost most of our rights to privacy.

And look how government fixed our problem with insurance companies–we now have to buy insurance or we’re penalized.

Now, as you struggle with this list you’re thinking, but what about the Civil Rights ActWhat about the Civil War???

Civil Rights Movement was powerful when people ran it.  When the government took it over it caused resentment and hostility.  See recent police shootings.  The Civil War was still governments fixing governments.

The most peaceful regions of this world are those regions with fewer laws and less government, not more.  We were pointed to Somalia as anarchy in motion, because it’s a lie.  Somalia was not “anarchy”.  It had a government that fought with warlords.  Somaliland (a region of the former Somalia and now part of it) was anarchist-tribal and was 5000% less violent.

Zomia is a large region with next to zero law enforcement.  Do you want to know why you’ve never heard of it?  Because it’s peaceful.

I believe in people.  I don’t pretend to believe in people and then assist in the creation of more laws to punish them.  I don’t believe that laws are required to change minds because mine has changed a thousand times since I was born.  I don’t believe that people are powerless.

I am not a progressive because I do not believe that I have the right to use force and power to assert my will over others even though I believe I am right and what I believe is right.

Kind people don’t use jails and courthouses against their enemies.  Kind people love them.


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