The goal of the Libertarian Party is stated to be achieving “Liberty in our lifetime.” This is not a goal unique to the LP, though, and many have noted that it is also the stated goal of the alt-right, although they are under the impression that we must first “pass through the eye of fascism” to get there. So let’s address this concept in further detail.
Before we begin, I would point out that I don’t believe liberty can be achieved on planet Earth–period. Any successful anarchist society will draw the attention of the many states of the world, and would be invaded and annihilated before it truly developed the ability to defend itself. The state hates competition, and that isn’t going to change. The state won’t compete with a free and prosperous society if it can simply invade it, and that is what will happen; the state has no incentive to compete.
This is why I insist we won’t have a free society until we are colonizing other planets. The great distances involved, especially in those early days of interstellar travel, will make it nearly impossible for the state, which will by then likely be a world government over all Earth, to attack. The same benefit that the American colonists had will be ours then; it was not cost effective, or even feasible, for the British Empire to readily replace lost soldiers and equipment. That protection by distance no longer exists on Earth.
The argument otherwise appears to be that insidious state supporters will impose their worldview on others, and so the right must force its worldview onto them. The idea being that there is going to be widespread death and purging, and they, perhaps understandably, want to ensure their ideas survive the onslaught. I can understand the sentiment, but I still don’t agree.
This is because I believe the ideas of liberty, peace, and love are superior, and that these ideas will ultimately prevail. It is these ideas I advocate. Many on the right would agree that these ideas will prevail, but I’m not concerned with whether the left or right takes power between now and then.
Que sera sera.
The problem, from what I see, is not the left or the right, but statism as a whole, and blind allegiance to the state. There are simply too many statists out there, and if the destruction of the twentieth century was insufficient, then I dread to think what cataclysm may be needed to shake people loose from the bedrock on which they’ve planted themselves: that they are gods.
I discussed recently on Free Talk Live (or was it Freer Talk Live?) with Ian, and ultimately agreed with him, that the truest hallmark of the state was its religious garb, but, upon additional reflection, I am not sure this is truly the case. The religious undertones and overtones seem to be a relatively recent invention, beginning around the same time as aforementioned world wars, which is unlikely to be a coincidence.
It is an idea that I would say, based on my admittedly limited knowledge of ideological histories, began with Marx, and his statements that, in the socialist order, it was necessary to replace religion with the state–in other words, to turn the state itself into a religion. Prior to this, states were still states, but the pledge of allegiance did not come into existence until the twentieth century, and neither did government buildings look identical to religious ones until the same period.
Of course, we must note that Nietzsche called this from afar, with his often misunderstood statement that “gott ist nicht” (“God is dead”). Nietzsche observed that man had eliminated the primary roles filled by deities and, upon finding those roles newly vacant, placed themselves in them. Humanity lost sight of their inherent fallibility, their own innate subjectivity, and their own limited existence. However, I’m not convinced that religion has ever been anything but a proxy for worship of the self, with humanity’s ego placing us squarely at the center of god’s universe in nearly all religious traditions. Is it not self worship to create gods in our own image, and then imagine ourselves to be the center and focal point of this god’s existence, with an entire universe created solely for us?
Regardless, what we see now is an unmasking of the human ego, broadcast for all to see, with a multitude of humans refusing to see it because they imagine themselves to be a part of it. Enter Democracy, which achieves this directly, allowing each and every individual to feel that they are part of this wondrous thing that produces all good within a society, the ultimate arbiter of justice, and the benevolent protector of the meek and downtrodden.
How ubiquitous is the notion that “we are the government”!
It should be alarming, though not surprising, to connect this directly to the religious aspects of the state, and to conclude that the state is self-worship. I’ll remember until I die, hopefully many decades from now at peace in my bed (though more likely in a bullet from state enforcers, if we’re being honest), the eerie call of “amen” at the Republican meeting I recently attended. What else need be said, when religious trappings are so blatant that this can happen? The point need not be made further; the state is a religion.
Yet those on the left do not ascribe to its doctrines because of any particular religious zeal. They succumb instead to pure ego and vanity. Their allegiance is not to the denomination practiced by Republicans, but to a different denomination, though the goal is the same. The left praises a different set of ideas and motivations, one where their ideology supercedes even the state itself, and where the state simply becomes a servant for their utopian vision of tyranny. This is necessary for their worldview to remain intact, as the state itself is always the perpetrator of the very actions they condemn. The state cannot be supreme in their worldview because it is guilty of the crimes they criticize. In this sense, their worldview is at least more accurate to reality than the Republicans’, but it’s a sliding scale, and neither side is especially close to reality.