Friday, May 21, 2010

Libertarianism Revealed

I miss William. F. Buckley. Buckley liked to use elongated and near-dead words delivered with his reptilian eyes aglow.

Rand Paul offers but a pale version of his erudition. On TV the other night Paul’s applied credo spilt the beans from the tea bag and he stood there naked with his calloused foot in his mouth.

The Libertarian creed was revealed as the self-serving, counter-clockwise, morally repugnant force that it is.His statement denouncing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 reminded me of Buckley's utterance at the time. Buckley said the White community must take what measures are necessary to prevail because they are the advanced race. Years later he retracted and the next day Rand Paul was still trying to eat his words.

He can’t because the supremacy of property rights over human rights is the logical extension of the Libertarian creed. The right to refuse service to anyone, whose skin shade is found to be disagreeable, or to deny facilities to the disabled, trumps any immoral considerations in their minds

Libertarians are the latest incarnation of the 18th century anti-Federalists. They would have us return to a loose confederation of states with no enforceable federal laws; no oversight over food or drugs, no regulations over reckless oil companies, surely no concern with how Wall St. squanders pension funds, abolition of the Federal Reserve, the Dept. of Education and EPA.

Aside from the two Adams, our first seven presidents were Southern slave-holding plantation owners. Their arguments, in varying degrees, against Federalism were a thinly veiled defense of that peculiar institution. Washington and Madison had divided sympathies. To this day the noisy vehemence of Conservatives is little more than an excuse for continued abuse of power by local bigots or corporate thugs.

In hard times there are always a body of displaced workers, latent racists and low-information malcontents whose rage is easily harnessed by Libertarians. They speak for the inarticulate and turn their anger away from the very forces which set it in motion and toward this easy abstraction called big government.

We should have learned by now how scapegoats misdirect and dissipate legitimate anger through simplistic rhetoric. Will they prevail or will this become the teachable moment?

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