Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's the paradigm, silly.

It is not even election season and I still can't shake the politics. The NDP have a new leader, the Liberals want to legalize pot, and the Conservatives are destroying the country or something. I might not be able to tolerate it as we approach the next election. I will likely check out. Except for the debate. I will drink on "fighter jet" and "deficit". I know how to party.

For those of us that think things are wrong and getting worse, politics is a convenient place to put your attention. It is all over the news, there is endless information, people to meet, events to organize and attend, and other people are often impressed by those who know and do politics.

Politics can be a useful tool. Gay marriage has been addressed through politics, and it looks like marijuana might start moving in the right direction. But there are plenty of money issues that cannot be addressed by politics. For example, giving politicians the power to redistribute wealth more equitably is also the power to redistribute wealth less equitably. And even the failure of the drug war is a sign that there is an entire class of social problems that cannot be addressed through politics. The drug war is not failing because we put the wrong people in charge.

 Likewise, the Soviet Union did not collapse because they promoted the wrong people. Yet, you can be sure that up to the last day there were communists who believed it would all work if only their guy were in charge.

So if not leadership, why did these experiments fail? It's the paradigm, silly. They are built around the paradigm of command and control, centralization and coercion, politics and the state. They have internal contradictions that make them unsustainable economically (search: 'calculation problem') and socially (search: 'universally preferable behavior').

It is certainly time for some new ideas. Or perhaps some very old ideas that have never been given a go. Luckily there is an entire tradition of thought that has been patiently waiting for such a shift. The tradition of classical liberalism goes back a couple of centuries, spinning off today's voluntaryism. This is the radical idea that you own what you make and may do with it what you wish, so long you don't harm another person or their property. That's right, nobody may touch you or your stuff without your permission regardless of how blue their costume, or how super their majority.

If these ideas are new to you then you may be wondering... That's right, no taxes. And when that firestorm of questions starts flying around your head (roads, welfare, education, defense) you should know that classical liberalism has been preparing for 200 years to address your questions and welcome you to the new paradigm.

--Ashley Johston


  1. Awesome :) Great job !!!!

  2. Spot on. I don't know how we will get there, but I've concluded that there is nothing in libertarianism that justifies any form of coercive government.

    1. How do we get there? The typical answer is politics. The angry answer is violent revolution. I am aware of two other approaches. The Free State Project is trying to get libertarians to move to NH and try to hit critical mass. I would like to join them and I may sometime soon. Stefan Molyneux promotes peaceful parenting as the way to limit the state. It is a long term project but certainly worthwhile. It is hard at times, but I like to think I am doing my part with my 2 kids.

      I'm not aware of any other approaches, but new approaches will likely come from children of peaceful parents in libertarian clusters like NH.


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