In looking through my twitter feed, I see the usual stuff. Most people don’t like the GOP. Or Democrats. Or the president. Or congress. Or the _________ (insert shitty government agency). Or the government.
So it continually amazes me that most people (especially the majority that don’t belong to either of the major parties) haven’t uprooted and come running to the libertarian philosophy, looking to get as much of the bullshit that comes with an imperial government right the hell out of their way.
Then I remember all my libertarian brethren. To be specific, it was a tweet in my timeline:
— Libertarians of IN (@LPIN) April 15, 2017
Now for those of you who are not that familiar with libertarian policy, Statism is essentially the polar opposite of a pure libertarian “state.” and I have to put that in quotes, because the end of the libertarian philosophy is a stateless world, or more likely a minimal state whose only function is the protection of life, liberty and property (sorry to all you anarcho-capitalists, but you might be a little Utopian in your thinking).
But philosophical infighting aside (PLEASE!?!?!?), the above tweet, of course, devolved into what I’d expect, with all the humor and gusto of people shooting down easy targets. But among the responses I realized something. We are libertarians because we have come to an understanding that the governing philosophies we were taught growing up were comprised mostly of bullshit that most everyone accepts.
The “Who will build the roads?” question is a perfect example. Until I really began looking at it, I, like almost everyone, assumed it would be the government at various levels. Like the most justifiable parts of a minarchist government (police, judiciary, roads), people treat almost everything in government as a bare necessity. They may have a pet program or two they’d like to see die in a fire, but people are comfortable with the level of government we have. When the government says we need to fight a war, the majority cheer for war. When a president says we need to go to the moon, we go to the moon. We, as a country have accepted the idea of a big government, even most people who rail against it.
I have ho clue how the hell you overcome a century of what is effectively brainwashing that we are a democracy (FUCK DEMOCRACY!!!), that government is here to help, and there are things only government can do/solve. But do it we must.
This is the task for Libertarians to achieve though. And it doesn’t start by calling the person who repeats “patriotic” mantras that have been shoved in their eyeholes and earholes (and a few other holes) a statist. Education has always been the means of bringing about a libertarian reality.
So while playing Statist Bingo (found that in the tweetstorm that followed) is always fun, the statists win when we make our position sound like it’s held by a bunch of assholes (even if, as libertarians, we tend to be assholes). After all, the shithead president trump was elected largely on people being pissed about being talked down to by the establishment, among other things. That trump was actually the establishment in the guise of a snake oil salesman doesn’t matter. It came down to perception. And that’s where we need to change who we are. Not the substance (oh HELL no!), but in the perception of what we believe and more importantly, why.
It’s really up to us, those who see the lie that is statism, to help others see what they’ve been taught all their lives is really the greatest lie ever told.