Over the course of the past few weeks, while I have been commenting on current events I've been also mulling over in my mind various things. In particular, the painful powerlessness of the limited-government movement in popular politics, philosophical tactics, tracing back the current cannibalistic interpretation of representative government. While -- yet again -- expressing anger & sadness at a defeat tossed our way, these strains encouraged questions:
-Why is it that, despite being able to demonstrate at least a latent proto-libertarianism among a decent chunk of the population, when a call to electoral arms is made virtually no one shows up?
-we tend to blame one idea the current political system leans on or the other for what's wrong depending on our conversion route: either plurality-rule against hated minorities (thus, democracy), or narrow interests against the rank-and-file. Why does it seem that, in practice, populism versus elitism turns out to be no different than flipping a coin?
-outside of the groups that actually get involved in our national shouting match, why is the default position to not bother to have one?
I've come to a realization because of these, albeit one that doesn't directly answer them: the problem is the concept of politics itself is wrong
. Allow me to explain...
When you consider the extent to which american government has shot past any discernable restraint, any lover of individual liberty who is honest enough with themselves to take inventory of what they seek to revoke will notice the list is quite long: There is virtually nothing
that the reigning authority of this country does that is justified. Small wonder that people who confront us claim that we're anarchists, as in the current environment we might as well be. So, when election day rolls around we have a contradiction on our hands, in that we are attempting to round up for political purposes a truly apolitical constituency. It amounts to trying to gather up radical "animal rights" activists to go to a zoo.
Thus, we avoid the paegentry that runs the nation. Meanwhile, dueling banshees in business suits trade vitriol and blatantly dishonest rhetoric -- so'n'so hates america, senator whats-his-name is a sleazebag, Mr WhoCares wants your children to be molested, things of that nature. Some of these people then get control of trillions of dollars, along with the "right" to determine whether we go insane at an early age.
Contrary to what it said in your textbooks in social studies, "the people" control nothing. At all. Our job is to do one of two things, depending on the extent of our "connections":
1) the plebes' are to react, period. Politician X says "jump", we don't just ask "how high", we jump and then hang in the air & ask "when do you want us to come down?". Some people are still defying gravity as we speak...
2) the well-connected are invited to open their checkbooks & give 'till it hurts whoever they consider their enemy.
Either way, those of us who question the whole arrangement end up in the crosshairs. For us, representative government is a playground bully in reverse: instead of merely threatening to beat you black & blue if you don't
give it money, it takes more money from some people and then asks "now, whose arse would you like me to kick?"
From here, the conclusion that brought about that 3rd question seems obvious: ignorance is the closest thing to bliss much of the population has available. Unless you have an interest (read: an opposition that needs destroying for your benefit), what reason is there to bother? It'd be like intently paying attention to the performance of a stock you do not own.
Much as we complain about divide-and-conquer as a political strategy, we aren't realizing that it's even more: divide and conquer is the entire definition of politics. This is going to sound strange, even un-libertarian to say it, but the saying that "government is the problem" is inaccurate. If government is the problem, then why are some of us trying to get into it? Have we somewhere along the line convinced ourselves that everything would be A-OK as long as we were in charge? None among us is a perfect man; barring some sort of wipe-the-slate-clean event, the most likely of us to make it to where we're thinking we can change things for the better will be the ones weak enough of moral backbone to change their mind.
Far as I am now concerned, for a lover of individual liberty any use of politics as other than psychological release is worthless. I will not think less of you for doing so, and may even support you if I like you as a person, but understand, I do so because it keeps my head clear
. The problem is politics itself, that we even have reason to engage in tubthumping in hopes of doing what civil society should be doing by itself -- leave our simple, unassuming, otherwise mild selves alone
Unless there is a parallel -- and much larger -- cultural
movement to essentially banish politics itself to the deepest conceivable circle of Hell, we're staring at a revolving door. When that day finally comes, then I will end this blog, as I will finally have nothing left to talk about.
Needless to say, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.