Wednesday 30 September 2020

Looking for balance

 Are the woke really that bad? 

In these surreal times, it is time for another reality check.

It is easy to demonise the left as violent and stupid, but they once were liberals, like us.

Did our (classical) liberal and libertarian policies once look as stupid to conservatives as modern woke policies now look to us? Libertarians have always believed that individuals should be free to make their own choices about gender identity, sexuality, and consenting sexual behaviour. Has that changed? 

Many so-called libertarians do not believe fully in freedom of speech, where you can say anything that does not result in real-world actual harm, as opposed to disagreeable or unpopular or insightful language. They would seek to silence or cancel some forms of speech which they believe is excessive. 

Libertarians cannot agree on the subject of abortion, although the rights of a woman to make her own choices about the body she owns should be paramount. At least the wokerati are consistent here.

The woke left seeks to invoke the power of the government to enforce their ideas, which is wrong. So do the vast majority of libertarians.

Most libertarians would agree that the police have frequently exercised their powers with excessive force, in the USA and in SA. Most Libertarians believe that the police should be held to the same standard of accountability as ordinary citizens.  Most libertarians believe that rogue cops should be prosecuted and imprisoned if necessary.  Most libertarians would believe that citizens have the right to resist  the use of force by the police  with equal force.  How does that make us different from Antifa? When Antifa  initiate violence in the form of a riot then most libertarians would reject that. 

When large corporations collude with government to undercut the rights of individual citizens, most libertarians would object.  This is cronyism, not capitalism, they would say.  they might even come out on the streets and protest against this abuse of power by large corporations.

The individual freedom of choice that capitalism represents is never wrong. 

Empathy is important, despite that woke people think so too.  All people, including selfish libertarians,  must feel an obligation to care for children, the sick, the elderly, even when they are strangers. We cannot ignore this obligation to the tribe and the possible costs it might incur. 

Immigrants are individuals with rights too. Individual rights do not only apply in  certain geographic locations.  Libertarians reject governments, states, nations, public borders. Like the woke left, we should welcome all individuals,  of whatever current nationality, to share in the wealth we believe we can generate,  while always respecting individual property rights.

Unity is not strength.  Progress is not dependent on us all working together towards some common goal.  The idea of a common goal is anathema to most individualists. Progress is dependent upon the spontaneous actions of individuals free to choose within a market. Working together substitutes the retarded mind of the mob for the brilliance of the individual.

Democracy is a resounding failure. It is an inherently collectivist concept that substitutes rule by beauty queens chosen by the mob for individual responsibility. It appeals to the inherent laziness and gullibility of the masses. It is a useful way for six people to decide what  flavour of pizza to buy, but it is an awful way for 60 million people to decide what economic system they must all pursue. 

In the future we should all live in enclaves of approximately 300 people where we make our own governance rules as we go along,  and coexist with our neighbouring enclaves in a confederation of tiny States. 

In South Africa there is an endless whine about how stupid the ANC is. Yet they are smart enough to be the ones in charge, and get to do pretty much as they please. Their policies are exactly right for them,  otherwise they would have different policies.

There is a constant complaint that Cyril Ramaphosa is a weak and indecisive leader.  There are endless calls for a stronger leader to tell us what to do.   Thank your lucky stars for a weak leader, because the alternative is a strong one, like Bheki Cele. The only thing worse than incompetent government is competent government, 

The response to covid19 demonstrates that the vast majority of society are mindless drones, doing whatever the loudest voice tells them to do. Why is everyone trying to save these surplus-to-requirements people?

In the immortal words of Ayn Rand, “ Check your assumptions”.

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