Thursday, June 04, 2015

The false ideology of libertarianism

Long ago in a past life, sometime around 1992, I was introduced to libertarianism. I took their survey to see where I fit on the political spectrum and at that time, I was clearly a libertarian, by their own measure. From there, I got onto sort of a lost weekend, politically speaking.

I was thrilled to see how "B-1 Bob" Dornan lost his seat to Loretta Sanchez due to the libertarians splitting the conservative vote. I attended their meetings and learned about their ideology. I developed a sense of perspective that I did not get from our two dominant parties, the Republicans and the Democrats. I saw that a third party could actually influence the outcome of elections and wanted to learn more.

Come around more than 20 years later, and I see that in this article that the entire libertarian ideology is just a front for big business propaganda. That article in Alternet has the gory details and from what I gather, that is just the first installment. As I read that article my mind flooded with all that I thought I knew about libertarianism. I thought that Ayn Rand was the mother of libertarianism. I had no idea that Milton Friedman, purported economist, was at the center of it all.

One of the organizations mentioned in the article was the Foundation for Economic Education. One of the early contributors to that organization was Merrill Lunch. What became clear was the irony of the terrible investment advice Merrill Lynch gave to Orange County, California, leading up to the bankruptcy of that county. Merrill Lynch paid $400 million to settle claims against them. Merrill Lynch clearly didn't learn anything from the Foundation for Economic Education. They lost big time holding mortgage backed securities during the housing crisis and were eventually acquired by Bank of America.

These are the kinds of people backing the libertarian "ideology". They talk a good game about "the rugged individualism" they say that this country was founded upon, but will run to the government when it looks like for sure they're going to lose money. Lots of money.

If anyone ever approaches me about joining the libertarian party again, I will just say no. I'm with Bernie Sanders for now.
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