Sunday, July 3, 2016

On The Libertarian Concept of Giving To The Oligarchs Infinite & Unchecked Power

At the end of the Libertarian hero Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, a socialist dystopian government is overthrown and replaced with oligarchy. During the "transition" millions of non-rich folks (whom Rand refers to as parasites) are killed (or exterminated) when the selfish rich f*ckers "go on strike" and civilization collapses.

Proving that the Libertarian idea of "utopia" is mass death for all who are not wealthy (AKA "moochers"). Given this fact, I say we only entertain such nonsense at our peril, as going full Libertarian would surely involve counting the body-bags, coffins, mass-graves, etc.

The Ayn-Rand-worshipping Libertarian blogger Willis Hart, in typical Randian fashion, frequently extresses his hatred for democracy (WTNPH: "democracies have a penchant to devour themselves"). These screeds usually taking the form of condemnation as "teft" that people might vote for "free stuff" that increases taxes on wealthier people.

In a recent commentary, Willis clearly alludes to the Randian idea that democracy leads to totalitarianism.

Willis Hart: On the Concept of Giving to the Government Infinite and Unchecked Power... At one's peril, would be strong advice (that along with counting the body-bags, coffins, mass-graves, etc.) (7/2/2016 AT 3:13pm).

Yeah, his post is a little vague, but how else could one GIVE a government "infinite and unchecked power" if not by voting for it? Obviously, if he wasn't referring to democracy he'd have used the word TAKEN. You could argue that "giving" of such power could occur after a revolution, but I'm going with this being an anti-democracy screed, given his FREQUENT lamenting of people voting for "free stuff" (WTNPH: "people when given the choice will almost always vote for those who promise them the most while making others pay for it").

Hate of democracy and love of oligarchy is, in fact, a major theme in Atlas Shrugged (here, the author of the article I quote refers to Rand's defense of monopoly).

The way the villains of Atlas Shrugged accomplish their evil plan is [by] voting for it. One of the major plot elements of part I is a law called the Equalization of Opportunity Bill, which forces large companies to break themselves up, similarly to the way AT&T was split into the Baby Bells. It's passed by a majority of Congress, and Rand never implies that there's anything improper in the vote or that any dirty tricks were pulled. But because it forces her wealthy capitalist heroes to spin off some of their businesses, it's self-evident that this is the worst thing in the world and could only have been conceived of by evil socialists who hate success. (10 Things I Learned About the World from Ayn Rand's Insane Atlas Shrugged by Adam Lee. AlterNet 4/23/2014).

Although deluded Libertarians like Hart deny they favor monopoly. They actually blame monopoly on government intervention and say (without it) monopolies would never form because "companies are always trying to undercut each other but in those rare instances in which a monopoly does occur, the prices never shoot up because that would just invite new entrants to the market". (see the WTNPH post Monopoly Mythology).

Although this idea is false.

Despite what free market advocates believe, there are ways companies maintain their monopolies without governments' help. One of them is "economies of scale", where it is less costly to be big than to be small, as making a product on a massive scale is more efficient than producing just a few. This makes it almost impossible for new companies to challenge a monopoly. Those favoring the American Airlines-US Airways merger boast that airline mergers will increase economies of scale to make airfare cheaper. But if this trend continues, it is possible that we reach a point where this leads to only one remaining player in the game, having acquired all the rest.

Another danger... is that the presence of only a small number of companies would lead to price collusion, where large firms agree to maintain the price higher than the efficient price. In 1993, Kim and Singa, in a study in the American Economic Review, found that airline mergers caused prices to spike, likely due to collusion. (Free Market Supporters Always Get This One Thing Wrong by Wi Wu. Policy Mic 8/19/2013).

This fantastical idea (that free markets self regulate) is one of the primary delusions that form the basis of Libertarianism. They believe it because it justifies giving the oligarchs infinite and unchecked power. The imaginary free market will check their power, Libertarians say.

This despite the fact that "the market" wouldn't exist without governmental rules and regulations governing how it should operate. Fact is, Libertarianism is nothing but a series of nonsensical proposals used to justify the handing off of power to the oligarchs. Because if The People don't decide on these things democratically, then those with the most money will decide.

This is why, if any country ever decided to go full Libertarian, the result would SURELY be a granting of infinite and unchecked power to the oligarchs. A VERY bad concept, most people agree (explaining why Libertarian potus candidate Gary Johnson received less than 1% of the popular vote in the 2012 election).

OST #154


  1. Full full big L Libertarianism would lead to anarchy. Or put another way anarcho-capitalism. Rand did not advocate either. In fact she admired Aristotle and the representative democracy (democratic republic) and the rule of given us by our founders.

  2. So, what you're saying is that Rand was down with the fact* that "people when given the choice will almost always vote for those who promise them the most while making others pay for it" (a "fact" according to a Big L Libertarian named Willis Hart).

  3. I said that which I understand (know) having read a great deal of Rand's non fiction as well as her fiction.

    I no longer concern myself with Will or his ever more strident irrationality.


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