Friday, November 18, 2005
Why Hate Republicans?
As most of you know, I pay attention to politics. I don't have time to watch it as much as the real bloggers; maybe not that much interest, but it gives me something about which to complain.
As most of you also know, I'm a libertarian. A pretty radical one. When I say radical, I mean that it all starts from the fact that no individual may initiate force against any other--never, never, not ever. Even the National Libertarian Party, which once required one's signature on a pledge of non-initiation of force as a term of membership, has continually been trying to get its members to put an end to the requirement to sign that Pledge. I'm not sure if they still require it or not. I do.
My handy-dandy quick-snap gauge to separate capitalists from socialists is the following: Any individual who advocates government's right to forcibly tax its citizens, that is, initiate force to raise revenue, that individual is a socialist. Any individual who denies government (or any entity) that right, is a capitalist.
Which brings me to my point--why hate republicans? Well, I don't only hate republicans, I also hate democrats, greens and other assorted socialists. The thing is....democrats, greens, peace & freedom types, etc. are so nearly incoherent, are so opposed to everything that sustains life and makes it worth living, that only the very worst victims of the government's alleged school system can be taken in by them (the bad news: thanks to these same schools, the incoherence is growing). Republicans at least sound as if they have coherent arguments. That, of course, deserves more scrutiny.
If you listen to most conservative (republican) intellectuals, politicians and pundits, they talk a fairly good game proclaiming their interest in and perference for capitalism. They praise the virtues and benefits of the free market, individual rights and the wonder of individual initiative. They proclaim that capitalism makes us free. That the free market raises the tide of man's ability to live in comfort and happiness. That the tide of a free society "raises all boats." Indeed it does.
When we see the inconsistencies inherent in the conservative philosophy (such as it is), we have to wonder, though, what do they mean when they call up the revered word "capitalism?" Of what, to a conservative, does a free market consist? What is the philosophical justification for individual freedom?
Here, my friends, is where conservatives stand foursquare, unmoving and unmoveable, rockribbed and square-jawed, on a foundation of quicksand. They base their entire (some dare call it) philosophy on the christian god. They're ever so fond of pointing to their "god-given rights" as an answer to just about any political question or challenge. Oh, my!
When one answers any question with, "because god says so" or "it's in the bible," there is no where you can go with that. It's of course, not true, but there's a not-so-implicit moral sanction that says, "say no more, god said it, I believe it and that settles it."
God didn't say it. It may be in the bible, but who wrote the bible? How many times has it been translated and retranslated? What about the inconsistencies from book to book? Why do so many people read the bible and come away with widely differing conclusions? It makes no sense.
Man's rights derive from his nature as man. Every individual has the same rights and there is no multiplication of rights by virtue of number. These are rights to life, liberty and property. Therefore, to deny an individual's right to his property by force is to steal. George Bush has no more right to steal my property (my money) than does Alfredo Simpson of Merced. 290 million Americans don't have the right to vote to take the farm of one--no matter what the intended use.
Republicans often (not always) agree with much of this, although they grant government the right to steal some portion of my property for various purposes "as long as it's reasonable." This is where they fail, but it gets worse. Republicans espouse the virtues of a gruel of capitalism mixed with a reasonable amount of government theft, regulation and redistribution (the degree varies with the individual republican), as long as it's for "good purposes," but hold that, to a certain degree (the degree varies), that men should be free and have the right to life, liberty and property. To a degree.
Ok, you can kind of live with that. Now, wait until the republican runs for public office and gets elected. His conservative philosophy is so tenuously held and so ill-defined that when the left opposes him on any issue, he always folds. Always. Republicans, when elected, check their spines at the door of Congress (or whatever office to which they are elected).
That's why I hate republicans. I grew up in a republican atmosphere. It was from conservatism that I moved toward libertarianism. I get their philosophy, even though I no longer agree with much of it. Would that they could actually firm up their principles (such as they are), take them to Congress and fight for them, they'd win. If they would actually firm up those principles, though, they'd either move farther toward socialism--or maybe toward libertarianism. Republicanism is kind of an icky place filled with soft, wet things like Dennis Hastert and Trent Lott. No thinker would want to stay there.
No Republican will vote to deny the government to prerogative to initiate force against American citizens. They won't.
Remember, VOTE FOR NO INCUMBENT!