Libertarian History/Philosophy

A Great Christmas Season Rant Against the Unfairness of the State. (Warning! NSFW!)


Clark Bianco at Popehat has a bracing holiday rant against the state with the NSFW title "Burn the Fucking System to the Ground."

It's interesting in how it brings white-hot heat against the practices of the state without coming from an explicitly libertarian perspective about things like when and where it is appropriate for the state to act. There's no big controversial political philosophical premises or reasoning involved.

It's just pointing out–in ways that people who think of themselves as "left" or "right" should be able to understand–that the state acts in many ways to perform utterly unconscionable acts that ruin people's lives for no good reason–and does so in a way that can seem more based on class divisions than any "state vs. people's rights" calculus that has anything to do with beliefs in the necessity or propriety of government.

Some excerpts:

The older I get, the more I see, the more I read, the more clear it becomes to me that the entire game is rigged. The leftists and the rightists each see half of the fraud. The lefties correctly note that a poor kid caught with cocaine goes to jail, while a Bush can write it off as a youthful mistake (they somehow overlook the fact that their man Barrack hasn't granted clemency to any one of the people doing federal time for the same felonies he committed). The righties note that government subsidized windmills kill protected eagles with impunity while Joe Sixpack would be deep in the crap if he even picked up a dead eagle from the side of the road. The lefties note that no one was prosecuted over the financial meltdown. The righties note that the Obama administration rewrote bankruptcy law on the fly to loot value from GM stockholders and hand it to the unions. The lefties note that Republicans tweak export rules to give big corporations subsidies. Every now and then both sides join together to note that, hey! the government is spying on every one of us…or that, hey! the government stole a bunch of people's houses and gave them to Pfizer, because a privately owned for-profit corporation is apparently what the Constitution means by "public use".

….the system is not reformable. There are multiple classes of people, but it boils down to the connected, and the not connected. Just as in pre-Revolutionary France, there is a very strict class hierarchy….

Jamal the $5 weed slinger, Shaneekwa the hair braider, and Loudmouth Bob in the 7-11 parking lot are at the bottom of the hierarchy. They can,literally, be killed with impunity … as long as the dash cam isn't running. And, hell, half the time they can be killed even if the dash cam is running….

Next up from Shaneekwa and Loudmouth Bob are us regular peons. We can have our balls squeezed at the airport, our rectums explored at the roadside, our cars searched because the cops got permission from a dog (I owe some Reason intern a drink for that one), our telephones tapped (because terrorism!), our bank accounts investigated (because FinCEN! and no expectation of privacy!). We don't own the house we live in, not if someone of a higher social class wants it….And if there's a "national security emergency" (defined as two idiots with a pressure cooker), then the constitution is suspended, martial law is declared, and people are hauled out of their homes.

Next up from the regular peons are the unionized, disciplined-voting-blocks. Not-much-brighter-than-a-box-of-crayolas teachers who work 180 days a year and get automatic raises. Firefighters who disproportionately retire on disability the very day they sub in for their bosses and get a paper cut.

A step up from the teachers and firefighters are the cops: all the same advantages of nobility of the previous group, but a few more in addition: the de facto power to murder someone as long as not too many cameras are rolling….

Above the cops, the prosecutors, and the judiciary we have the true ruling class: the cabal of (most) politicians and (some) CEOs, conspiring both against their own competitors and the public at large. If the public is burdened with a $100 million debt to pay off a money losing stadium, that's a small price to pay if a politician gets reelected (and gets to hobnob with entertainers and sports heroes via free tickets and backstage passes)….

It is corrupt, corrupt, corrupt….

The system is not fixable because it is not broken. It is working, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to give the insiders their royal prerogatives….

Burn it to the ground.

Burn it to the ground.

Again, a kind of anger that theoretically could fuel a genuinely "populist libertarianism" without explicitly libertarian roots. Interesting to think about.

[Hat tip: the Twitter feed of magazine editor and TV talk show host Matt Welch]