Monday, July 25, 2011

Re: Re: I the Person

For example when healthcare is nationalized everybody feels a need to control what others eat because it's costing society (who are referred to as taxpayers usually) money when an individual is overweight.

-- ChristopherBurg, in response to Wendy McElroy's piece at Mises Daily
I disagree. The enlightened citizen takes pity on the individual who is compelled to make decisions that not only damage the individual's own health, but also the economic health and ultimately the actual physical health of neighboring citizens. An over-consumer is a parasite, not an activist for personal liberty. The individual who acts contrary to self-interest (by choosing to routinely avoid moderation) is not a beacon of individualism, but rather, an aberration of the natural order of things. Were such an individual to behave in such a way in a more primitive tribal culture, the individual would be culled from the society -- for the greater good. Or, such an individual would easily be dealt with by nature itself, saving the tribe the trouble.

Unfortunately, today, it is impractical (not to mention morally dubious) for society to expel or eliminate parasitic or criminal individuals. So instead, we have to imprison, rehabilitate, or marginalize them. This is just one of the the many costs of an advancing civilization that can only be brought about practically by the shared sacrifice between members and the distribution of such costs amongst its peoples.

And so we can see that the utopia of anarcho-capitalism in a modern civilization is an unrealistic fantasy. Following such reasoning to its conclusion, the application of deified individual liberty can only result in a regressive reductionism that culminates in a reversion to primitive tribalism at best, and the extinction of the human species at worst.

True liberty arises from the enlightened projection of the primitive and natural morality of the ideal tribal society to the gross mass of civilization with all of its deviation and extraordination, tempered by the pragmatic morality of the equilibrium of universal self-interest.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pedantic libertarian is pedantic

In true capitalist fashion, this guy abuses Hans Rosling's beautiful animated statistical charts in a dubious attempt to support his reactionary rebranding as "market empowerment" of the first-world capitalist exploitation of people in developing countries.

What Davies fails to grasp, or (likely) attempts to conceal, is this crucial fact:

Life expectancy in countries throughout the globe would likely have risen at a similar rate regardless of a lack of any so-called "market empowerment". It certainly would have risen at a noticeably more stable rate without the dramatic roller-coaster dips and drops seen in Hans Rosling's animated charts (that are so casually hijacked in this theatrically-produced, yet low-rent, obviously bought-and-paid-for, capitalist apologism video from the YouTube LearnLiberty user channel).

Such adjustments and swings represent huge tolls on human lives and well-being, since they are only represented here in the aggregate. Do you have any idea what sort of death and despair are indicated by these handful of years' worth of negative deltas? We're talking thousands of people who suffered an undoubtably brutal demise (starvation, war/mass-murder, disease) in each of those dots (likely hundreds of millions in sum) that are being repeatedly yanked backwards and downwards on that innocuous-looking chart.

Those plunges have in fact been caused almost exclusively by exploitative colonial powers expanding their empires into foreign cultures, or by depressions caused by corrupt first-world financiers and ravenous industrial barons. It is a matter of historical theory whether the Two World Wars could have been avoided entirely had colonialism been restrained by the establishment of true liberal democracies earlier than the late 17th century. But it is very likely -- every single other conflict in history has a clear and direct line that can be drawn from it to some predatory and gluttonous capitalist colonial empire.

The only disasters to human civilization that even come close to the unfolding global catastrophes that are European Colonialism and Western Capitalism -- were plagues. (I only neglect to include Nazism, Fascism, Stalinism, and Maoism in this category because they have been resoundingly subdued by the dramatic imperial triumph of Capitalist Power.) But even most epidemics of influenza and cholera can be attributed to the uniquely capitalist/feudalist socio-political causes of industrialization and agriculturalization.