As in 2016, again Libertarians are making a showing in Progressive groups. This becomes somewhat questionable to me when they have been mostly silent in these groups since the 2016 election ended.
The biggest problem I see with this is that they are being welcomed as allies. I am not stating they are exactly complete opposites to Progressives because there are some areas of alignment on civil rights issues. They do have similar goals when speaking of legalizing cannabis and ending wars. That tends to be where any similarity begins and ends.
The biggest problem with Libertarians is that while they verbally support human and civil rights causes, they actively oppose the funding or specific civil liberties required for those same causes.
Examples. To give a few examples, Libertarians:
Object to the very existence of a minimum wage. Yet claim that wages would somehow magically increase if the minimum wage ceased to exist.
They think all social programs should be privatized, all the way down to Social Security and public schools.
They support corporations being allowed to police themselves. Because that has worked out so well that we have over 1300 superfund sites in the US alone. Never mind the environmental damage done by the US military and corporations in other countries.
They are actively opposed to bank regulation and consumer protection laws. In their view, business should be able to behave in any way that benefits business, no matter the cost to the individual or society.
Regarding gun ownership, they sound exactly like far right Conservatives.
While they claim to oppose censorship, they support the right of corporate censorship completely. That poses and extreme problem when 95% of the media is owned by only 6 corporations in bed with the government and intelligence agencies.
Never a clear answer. It is possible that I am incorrect and Libertarians have been quite visible for the last few years but under cover. Their visible absence has corresponded to the annoying push for MMT, which I have written about previously. MMT sounds exactly like Libertarianism because it favors the same fiat currency, “free market” concepts that Libertarians consistently promote.
When questioned, those promoting MMT offer the same responses always heard from Libertarians. “Here’s a link to a website explaining it.” I already understand it quite well. I want you to answer my questions in plain language to show that you understand it. “Well, you just don’t want to learn.” I already said I understand it. Now show me your own understanding. “Here’s another link.” I don’t want links, I want answers. “You should read this book. That will explain it.” No, I am not buying a book from a capitalist promoting capitalism. Just explain it right here. “See?!! You call yourself a Progressive but close your mind to any ideas different from your own!!!” You haven’t given me anything to explain your view. You gave me links telling me someone else’s view. “It’s not my fault if you don’t want to spend your money and time reading something because I tell you to to understand something that I support but can’t explain!!!”
From there it literally goes downhill if allowed to continue. I learned my lesson on that the hard way.
Vague terminology. Libertarians promote “liberty” and “free markets” and “freedom of choice”. What they do not tell you and many seem to not understand is that these are only available to those who can purchase them. Free markets do not equate to your freedom, only the freedom of the market to charge as much as it can while paying as little as it can.
Elitism and religious fervor. In promoting their illusory belief system, Libertarians and MMTer’s give off a distinct air of elitism. Like they are members of an exclusive club they are inviting you to join. You just don’t get to know what the dues and fees are until after you join. They promise benefits and a paradise which cannot be defined and offer no clear path to get there. You just have to be a believer in the One True Path and oppose anyone who questions it. In this, they act with nothing short of religious fervor, as they are the Ones Who Are Enlightened and you are the Barbarian Who Must Be Saved.
Too harsh? Maybe I am being too harsh in my judgement of Libertarians and MMTer’s. However, I have been dealing with them on social media for several years now. Each encounter is nearly identical to the previous encounter, as if they were cloned. On that I do not exaggerate. I can generally predict their responses almost but not quite word for word. I am always open to honest debate when a person can explain the mechanics of the theory they are promoting. Until those details can be offered, I see as much reason to believe in their ideas as Russiagate.
Care to debate? Pack a lunch. So, if any Libertarians or MMTer’s read this and want to have a substantive discussion which includes the actual mechanics of how their concepts work, I am ready. If, as I have had occur in the past, you want to attempt calling in someone else and holding a lame attempt at a group beat-down using insults and lots of links, don’t bother. It will only serve to prove my point and I will block you very quickly.
This is about ethics and lives. While some may find this to be nothing but some academic exercise which affects nothing but who can feel most superior, it’s not. Any conscious participant in our society knows that we cannot separate our discussions of economics and human rights. They are one and the same discussion.
When tens of thousands die every year from exposure or lack of medical care or being unable to afford medications, economics and human rights are bound together. When we are bombing other countries to steal their resources, economics and human rights are bound together. When the majority of divorces occur because of financial disputes, economics and human rights are bound together. When people sell their bodies to keep their homes or lights on, economics and human rights are bound together. When children go hungry or shamed in school, economics and human rights are bound together. When our elections are mostly decided on who spends the most money rather than the best policies, economics and human rights are bound together.
Call it virtue signalling or whatever you like. I’ve never backed down and not about to start. “If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values. They’re hobbies.”- Jon Stewart