El Coyote Gordo (supergee) wrote,
El Coyote Gordo

Recovering libertarian

In the 70s I was a libertarian (or perhaps just a fellow traveler; they never gave me a card to carry). The reason I’m not anymore is that we won. When I joined, people were going to jail for using the f-word in books or onstage; abortion and nonstandard but consensual sex were illegal almost everywhere; marijuana was legally indistinguishable from heroin; the state could arbitrarily refuse marriage to couples just because they both had the same sort of bits; the cops were in the men's rooms peeping or entrapping; etc.

OK, so there’s still work to be done. Total drug decriminalization is still in the future, as is minding our own business in Asia, but what we’re mostly left with is the bad parts. Privatizing the prisons was sort of a reductio ad absurdum of the horrors government was protecting us from, but our unlibertarian government is doing it and it’s at least as bad as was imagined. In the not entirely dissimilar area of schooling, private enterprise turns out to be even worse than the state, and the First World is right that medical care has to be socialized. In general, the Market is no better as a deity that will run everything right than the Dialectic or the violent prepuce collector who is supposed to have dictated all those rules in Leviticus.

Also in the Seventies, most of us had a good laugh when Secretary of the Interior James Watt said that his post didn’t require long-term policies because Armageddon would take care of all that. Gary Johnson has a longer-range secular approach: Wait for the Sun to swallow us.

Thanx to Charles P. Pierce.
Tags: johnson
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