Thursday, October 13, 2011

COME LET US REASON MAGAZINE TOGETHER. At the Washington Examiner, "A libertarian camps out with Wall Street occupiers." The libertarian is Timothy P. Carney, whose bona fides are impeccable. Expectedly he finds the occupiers' grievances "unfocused," "scattered," "incoherent ," etc, but like Rod Dreher he has to admit, or pretend, that he sees something to approve in them:
They're right. It does undermine our democracy and harm our economy when hiring a former Senate majority leader, for instance, can be the best investment a company ever makes. Wealthy special interests do dictate policy too much, regardless of which party is in power. I don't know who made the sign under which I slept Sunday night, but I agreed with its thrust: "Separation of Business & State." The back read "I can't afford a lobbyist."
Aw, that's sweet. Inevitably, though, Carney has to explain to these kids why all their dreamy talk founders on the strong bedrock of libertarianism: they "don't seem to understand," he says, "that getting government more involved in the economy always gets business more involved in government." I'll bet if he said that to the guy with the sign, he'd be flummoxed! Maybe James O'Keefe can try it with a video camera.

Assuming, perhaps unfairly, that he hasn't already tried it and encountered an unhappy result, Carney should go back down there and explain to the protesters why they can't get something more for the 99 percent out of the 1 percent, because as Galtian supermen the 1 percent deserve every penny they've got. Also, that they should instead focus on reducing government to its libertarian essence, because in that state of nature everyone will get what they need -- except the losers, of course, who are always part of the libertarian vision. (In fact they're its most important part, because how could you be sure you've achieved Free Market Nirvana unless some people die because they don't have health insurance, or starve because they don't make enough money, or lose their home to conflagration because they didn't pay the Fire Department?)

He should tell them also that maybe 99 percent is too big a target -- they should count on ten or fifteen percent, or maybe more, remaining sunk in penury because they made bad choices. Couldn't we call our movement the 75-to-80 percent? Or better yet, the Winners?

C'mon, Tim, let's get the dialogue going. Maybe you can have 'em wearing tricorners before the weather turns cold.

No comments:

Post a Comment