– Nope, the Libertarian Party ain’t about freedom.
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Working-class Libertarians how does it feel
Helping billionaires manufacture widespread appeal
You claim it’s about freedom, it’s not freedom for all I see
Just concentrated wealth and power and corporate tyranny
They’ve got you fooled, they got you fooled
You corporate tool, they got you fooled
You’re their tool
Working-class Libertarians why do you stand
For a ruling class to be free to pollute our lands
You believe the company that cancer alley is just a fluke
But there’s places where the drinking water would make you puke
Working-class Libertarians why do you fall
For that free-market sham which really harms us all
Capitalists rationalize their greed, their morals bankrupt
Buying up our democracy, their souls corrupt
I share my thoughts humbly because I have a lot to learn (as do most people), though I also have the ability to think for myself rather than put blind faith into any politician, political party, pundit, or anyone else. But from what I can tell, the Libertarian Party is made up of right-wing greedy capitalists who don’t want a democratic government in their way of making as much money as they possibly can – and also their members from the working-class who’ve fallen for their propaganda. A functioning democracy that protects people and our environment would certainly get in the way of capitalists making the enormous profits they can make whenever they operate in dangerous, irresponsible, or cruel ways. The Libertarian Party platform (lp.org/platform, Aug./2020) gives words to good-sounding ideas that left-wing people would agree with. But it’s flawed in major ways, as you can see if you know anything about people’s history, including the labor movement. Hopefully someone somewhere has written plenty on how the Libertarian Party is made in an effort to convince the public that the rich should be free to exploit people and the environment; below are just a few of my examples from reading their platform.
The Libertarian Party does not think we should “grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.” At face value, sounds nice, right? Who wants their lives regulated by an “omnipotent state” and who would want the fruits of their labor stolen? Not me! And not democratic-socialists! But don’t be fooled by their misleading words. They don’t care about protecting the fruits of workers’ labor from being stolen by capitalists. They’re talking about protecting corporations and the ultra-rich from paying taxes they owe to our democratic society (or what’s supposed to be our democratic society). Did these people never read Upton Sinclair’s novel “The Jungle” or any of the countless non-fiction accounts of what happens when the public puts no restraint on capitalism? Do they really want to forgo all accountability and just trust unregulated businesses to do the right thing and not sell us a can of beans that got contaminated with a cluster of rats, cockroaches, or the fingers of workers who had to work 16-hr shifts 6 days in a row in dangerous conditions with scarcely any breaks or pay? How often do they think businesses will choose to do the right thing when it’d cause lost profits and there are no regulations to hold them accountable? Anyone with a grain of sense can research the rampant corruption and fraud that kicks into high gear as soon as corrupt politicians (such as the current president) lifts regulations meant to protect the public. Libertarians also don’t care about creating a society that could eliminate poverty and help everyone live a decent life. They’d rather leave that up to the rich to decide whether to give charity handouts rather than using our democratic government to ensure everyone’s needs are met. They’re perfectly fine with the existence of a ruling class which can get away with murder, deadly pollution, and owning slaves.
The Libertarian Party says they don’t want the government spying on people. Me neither! And neither do democratic-socialists, progressives, Justice-Democrats, or leftists! But ask Libertarians if they’re ok with Amazon or Koch Industries spying on their employees, or if they believe in the businesses’ freedom to do so because the employees are “free” to not work there (despite the fact that the ruling class owns all the land in their town and all the jobs, and the workers may be too poor to have any other choice but to work there). People born into the ruling class tend to feel entitled to buy up the world and do with it what they see fit. The rest of us understand the world is not for sale and we all have a human right to live in it freely. True freedom-lovers, who would not be Libertarian, don’t want to be spied on by government OR by corporations or a ruling class.
I whole-heartedly agree with the words of Libertarians when they talk about freedom to follow our dreams and not live under an authoritarian government. But what I don’t hear them saying is how society should deal with it if it’s an individual’s dream to become a multi-millionaire / billionaire / trillionaire, hoarding as much of the world’s resources for his own selfish gain as possible, and creating a company where his fossil fuel byproducts are poisoning his workers or destroying waterways or groundwater. Libertarians don’t mind creating a society in which people are either of the rich-born ruling class or they live under a corporate tyranny…As long as it’s Walmart or Amazon that ends up owning the world and calling the shots, that’s fine by them because at least it’s not big bad government, right? Wrong! Restrictions on our freedom are bad whether it’s caused by government or by corporations. If we nix a democratic government and further deregulate corporations, that will result in less freedom and more suffering (unless we come up with a better alternative than what Libertarians propose). – This is something you can easily learn from history. We can create a truly democratic government that is for the people, by the people, and benefits all of “we the people”. And that is something Libertarians don’t want.
My message to working-class Libertarians is to dig deeper into what you want our country and our world to be. The Libertarian Party doesn’t have your best interests in mind. They stand for the freedom for the rich to become richer, the poor poorer, and the powerful more powerful. They stand for the freedom of individuals to cruelly exploit others. We can do better than that. We can create a world where peace defeats war and where all people everywhere can enjoy liberty and justice. Libertarians claim the word “freedom”, but it doesn’t belong to them. If you want to see some people who truly love freedom, look at democratic-socialists, People’s Party, Working Families Party, and at progressives such as Justice-Democrats and Our Revolution who are fighting to take over the corrupt Democratic Party. Too much of the Democratic Party is tainted with status quo corporate-Democrats who would’ve been called Republicans in the days before the Republican Party was taken over by far-right Libertarians, racist extremists, and evangelicals who love to wield violence in the name of Jesus (a guy who’d roll in his grave to see what his so-called followers are doing). But so long as we’re using the un-democratic two-party system, the progressives who’ve fought their way into the Democratic Party give us some hope. Don’t bother with the Republican Party – the freedoms they care most about are the freedom to commit corporate or white collar crimes, freedom of politicians to lie to the public, freedom to kill minorities, freedom to suppress the vote, and freedom to die from being an “essential worker” in a pandemic (meaning they love giving billions to bail out their rich buddies during our economic crisis, but balk at giving workers a bare minimum to live on so that the vulnerable wouldn’t be desperate enough to return to deadly work environments, e.g. meat-packers).
The Libertarian platform lays out the guidelines for a grim, disgusting society in which the public good (which we should protect with a democratic government), would be destroyed (e.g. clean air and water, public lands, Postal Service, libraries, public schools, etc.). Parts of their platform were perhaps written by someone who lives in an alternate reality – their environment statement is a sick denial of all the corporate atrocities against our shared air, water, land, wildlife, and resources that occurred whenever the corporations could get away with it. They get away with it when the EPA and other regulatory agencies are under-funded or subverted by corrupt politicians (and also when mainstream news media serves corporate interests instead of being the check on corruption they’re supposed to be). Libertarians and Republicans like to play this sick game where they sabotage a really great government service or agency that millions were loving and benefiting from, so they can then say, “See! Government sucks! Privatization is the answer!” Don’t fall for it. Government sucks when the ruling class infiltrates and ruins it in their insatiable quest for wealth and power – but when We the People participate and fight for a true democracy, we can make it work really well. The Trump administration is playing this game with our entire democracy right now, as they suppress the vote and sabotage our Postal Service so they can then say, “See! Absentee Ballots don’t work!” Or when they sabotage Social Security, Medicare, or the VA which work great when we don’t defund them for the sake of more wars, militarization of police, corporate welfare, tax breaks for billionaires, etc. Or when they sabotage the CDC leading up to and during a pandemic so they can then say, “See! They can’t do their jobs anyhow, get rid of it!” Don’t fall for their sick game.
As mentioned above, the following is the Libertarian Party platform’s statement on our environment. Sounds just like a skilled PR liar for the fossil fuels industry or other polluting industry:
Competitive free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Governments are unaccountable for damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights and responsibilities regarding resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Where damages can be proven and quantified in a court of law, restitution to the injured parties must be required.”quoted from lp.org/platform on 8/22/2020
Again, this Libertarian rubbish is a sick denial of all the corporate atrocities against our environment that have occurred and continue occurring whenever corporations bet on profits outweighing penalties. Governments would not be “unaccountable” for anything if they are functioning democracies, and we would be a functioning democracy if the money-driven, ultra-rich and powerful, “competitive free market” propagandists would not subvert our government! And our government would not have a “terrible track record” with protecting the environment if it weren’t for the “competitive free market” powers-that-be who sabotage our government’s regulatory agencies! Libertarians fight tooth and nail against government protecting our environment; when they succeed in blocking protections, they then claim the government can’t adequately protect the environment so we shouldn’t let them try. They sound like a man punching his wife in the face then blaming her for having a broken nose and punching her again for it.
Working-class Libertarians, don’t be the subservient tool of the ruling class. You deserve better. Practice learning, loving, and using your imagination. Probably, if you have a desire to be a good person, you can come up with a more humane and moral set of principles worthy of consideration than the self-serving bullshit the billionaires want you to buy into. And if you can’t, no worries. There are many millions of people out there who have. You can just join us in creating a more peaceful and democratic world that truly fosters freedom for all.
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© Aug. 2020 Clay Babies