"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Anti-Crowd (A Rant)

What happened to the anti-war movement?  You don't see them on the news anymore.  It must have something to do with that Nobel Peace Prize that Obama won.  The anti-war candidate sure has shown his true colors with this whole Libya escapade.  I guess bombing a country into peaceful submission qualifies as peace now.  This leads me to believe that the main focus of the anti-war movement was really just an anti-Bush movement all along.  Now we see that the majority of those anti-Bush protestors were really pro-war all along as well.  Where is the dissent from the political left on Libya?  I guess violence is okay for them as long as they get to pick the leader who initiates it.

The only difference I see between Libya and Iraq is that Obama actually admitted at the beginning that he was trying to depose an tyrannical dictator.  Bush went with that whole WMD story and it didn't really work out too well.  Those voters who believed that Obama was going to end war must be kicking themselves.  Do you feel duped yet?

This provides some valuable insight into the near future.  In either 2012 or 2016 we are going to have a new president.  If that president is a Republican, the Tea Party is going to go the way of the dodo just like the Bush era anti-war movement.  That is because deep down, the Tea Party is no longer a movement with any real philosophical roots other than establishment neo-conservatism.  Presidential candidates Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum all claim the Tea Party as their own; but they are all just neo-con republicans.  The Tea Party is an anti-Obama / anti-government-run-healthcare lobby, and nothing more.

A republican president will also provide an outlet for the left to be opposed to something again.  Then another media sanctioned anti-whatever crowd will spring up, only to wither away in four or eight years.  The progressives may actually go back to being anti-war for a while.  Americans have a short attention span.

My issue with all of this, is that libertarians are the people who formed the philosophical basis for these movements.  Libertarians are, and always have been a peace movement.  Libertarians started the "Tea Party" back in the 90s by protesting taxes, and then restructured it in 2007 with the Ron Paul campaign.  The Tea Party concept has since been lost to ambiguity.  Again, Americans have a short attention span.

To answer my opening question, "What happened to the anti-war movement?" I will say that it is still around.  It is called libertarianism.  We just dropped the progressive strap hangers when Obama got elected.  In the same way, libertarians will still be supporting free markets long after the Tea Party is gone.  Even if they manage to repeal government mandated health care, we will not have a free market.  We are consistent through the political changes, and we are always vocal.

Libertarians consistently apply the non-agression principle to all areas of life, and then point out the specific instances where force is used.  Once things get started and are moving along nicely, the "anti-crowd" decides to hop on the bandwagon and take over.  They say that being a libertarian makes for politically strange bedfellows, but this ends up with libertarians getting passed back and forth between the neo-cons and the progressives.  I don't know about you, but I feel used.

I read articles all the time on libertarian websites with titles like, "Should We Partner With the Left?"  or "Can the Neo-Cons Help Us Win the Economic Battle?"  My question is, do we really need them at all?  We are philosophically consistent in our thinking and actions.  Why do we let the "anti-crowd" pervert what we build?

On a side note:  Stating that you are anti-anything can be extremely counterproductive.  In the logical dimension of language, using a word like anti-war is perfectly understood.  But in the psychological dimension, the prefix "anti" carries a negative connotation.  The images and emotions associated with "anti" are all negative.  A perfect example of how this is used is the abortion debate.  People are either pro-life or pro-choice.  Both sides have scrapped the anti prefix in favor of a pro prefix.  This is somewhat propagandistic in nature because no one will ever state that they are anti-life or anti-choice.  

So, to use some psudo-propagandistic language of my own:  Libertarians are a pro-peace, pro-market, non-violent, rational, consistent movement.  Argue with that!

Consistent philosophy will win in the end.  Success in this competition of world views may require a multi-generational change, so let's cut the strap hangers now and get on with business.  We don't need the support of the anti-crowd.  They just use us for their own selfish ends anyway.

See you at Galt's Gulch!


Craig Cavanaugh said...

The only constant I've found where politics is concerned is that contradiction is the norm. To put it nicely. Otherwise I would have said politicians are a bunch of f*$kin' liars. You can tell they're lying when their lips are moving. Oops, I said it...

Libertarians (small "l") are the only intellectually honest people there are. The rest are a bunch of strong-arming mouth-breathers, hell bent on forcing others to conform to their particular ideology, because they're "right". News flash- one size does not fit all. Trying to convince them of that fact is like trying to herd cats into a dog house...

Dave said...

History and a look at every leftist socialist government proves , the left while talking a great talk about human rights and peace, are the bloodiest force in the history of mankind. When they gain power, if the masses don't go along with their agenda, they just kill them until they do. Don't know why anyone is surprised when Obama tries to represent American values and looks like a hypocrite (and a fool) when he does. 1272 pruacy