Keep a skulking lower lip...,
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just a little amused:
by the how-to-get-libertarians-to-vote-democrat discussion floating around. It's a little too reminicent of the how-to-get-greens-to-vote-democrat discussion, though I think Green demands are a little less demanding than tabula rasa's libertarian wishlish, which is pretty much just, well, turn the Democratic Party into the Libertarian Party. All I'm asking for from Democrats is either fair voting reform or an actually benign imperial policy, if such is possible. Anti-imperialism, I realize, would be asking for the politically impossible when in the belly of the global hegemon. Rasa's wishlist isn't exactly serious - I don't think a doctrine that leads to comments like "Do not confiscate my money to salve your guilty conscience" would go over too well with the DP's traditional constituency.
Rasa requests a formal written apology to gun enthusiasts from the DLC, and ask Democrats to "pay more lip service to individual liberty", translating this into making more attacks on conservation and environmental protection laws, somehow. To the extent that there is environmental protection actually happening that one could question I suppose, sure, but attacking environmental law isn't popular with an electorate demanding more environmental protection. Of course this is only a concern unless you're already in government, at which point a different shade of green takes precedence - libertarians considering a vote for a Democrat shouldn't worry themselves too much about environmental zealotry.
The idea of farming "out to the private sector any government service or program that can be farmed out to the private sector" is establishment politics at this point, the federalization of airport security not-withstanding. The latter is, actually, a good case for why farming out public services such as security to the private market isn't the cure-all some libertarians treat it, as is obvious if one recalls the reason why federalization was put on the table in the first place. Privatization is not the solution to every problem.
The libertarian hatred for the welfare state and such non-security services of government miss the essential economic purpose they serve and the reason they exist in the first place: if people who are put to no directly productive use by society (and lately this happens to have included me, via Illinois' 6.6% unemployment rate which I won't actually be factored into, rah!) can't pay for basic services (food, shelter, water, electricity, healthcare, etc) the providers of basic services suffer. In a surplus economy such as we have, where there's no actual shortage of most essential goods and services - at least if you're not dependent on California's electricity grid - there's no actual reason to do this. In a pea-pod, allowing potential consumers to unnecessarily starve to death is really bad for the economy.
Brother Henley, in comparison, just asks for them to act like liberals, rather than like Democrats. Amen.
1. Taking a defintion of "imperialism" from Michael Doyle: "Empire is a relationship, formal or informal, in which one state controls the effective political sovereignty of another political society. It can be achieved by force, by political collaboration, by economic, social, or cultural dependence. Imperialism is simply the process or policy of establishing or maintaining an empire." This happens to be a definition Ariel Cohen of the American Heritage Foundation uses to back the moot argument that the USSR, the self-described heart of Marxist revolution, was itself an empire, in Russian Imperialism: Development and Crisis. It would seem apropos.
2. Clinton's support for "free trade", namely, in Henley's list of the Good, deserves some special mention. Clintonite 'free trade', while not of the same variety persued by Reagan through a system of genocidal violence justified by hallucinatory Cold War propaganda, was achieved to a large extent by abusing economic dependence of the third world for our non-mutual benefit: if free trade policies were won not from a holdover tyrant from the Cold War that was politically dependent on Washington (Mobutu anyone?) than by holding a democratic government accountable for the fiscal policies of the previous politically dependent tyrant - as relates to all manner of IMF riot and "anti-globalization" protest. Clinton preferred the crook to the hook, which might be cause for measured praise, I suppose, if one is willing to overlook his record towards Turkey, Columbia, Sudan, Iraq, etc.
:: posted by buermann @ 2003-05-01 04:55:32 CST |