Libertarian capitalists are amazing in their ability to be so intentionally myopic. It's a tactic. It's even a strategy. In fact, they hope against hope to win the war of ideas with it. They want everyone to join them. If only everyone will be self-centered in just the right way, then everything will be the best it can be. We're not talking here about transcendent self. We're talking about its opposite. We're talking about self-idealized rugged individualism that can't stand bleeding-heart liberalism (soft-heartedness; weakness) and masks that loathing behind a criticism of a conveniently defined notion of coercion.
There is no better way known to human kind than laissez-faire capitalism. It's the natural law. It's responsible for eliminating more poverty in history than any other system. Don't raise the issue of the negatives of capitalism. Those negatives are only due to monetarism and other regulations. Monetarism and the vestiges of mercantilism and other regulations caused the environmental damage you only imagine has anything to do with any capitalist enterprise. Those aren't capitalists doing it. Those are corporatists. Those are crony capitalists. Real capitalists don't rip off the tops of mountains (because they haven't done away with all regulations yet – what?).
Regulation is removing all those mountain tops to get at the coal. Capitalism has no negatives. Capitalism has built-in traffic lights to control the flow and speed and volume of everything, because when whole peoples crash and die they learn not to kill themselves.
To the Libertarians, even what Jesus offers is inferior even though Jesus is even less coercive than are the Libertarians, who never quite get to total pacifism. There's always self-defense that's justified in the end with them.
There goes the whole theory.
You see, they can use this self-defense to defend their property. They can band together to do that too. Never mind that who owns what might be subject to debate. Might does make right in the end. Am I being unfair here? Am I mischaracterizing this let-do system that is based always upon me-first or actually me, me, me?
Look, if we're going to offer and debate what is truly the best way and the natural law, etc., then it's completely fair to compare what the Libertarians offer against what Jesus said people ought to do toward one another. Why anyone would rather be on the receiving end of what Ayn Rand would dish out versus what Jesus would do for one were one half dead by the side of the road after having fallen in with thieves, I just don't understand. Alan Greenspan can't tell us now. Of course, he lost the Libertarian faith long ago when he caved into monetarism and became the Fed Chairman.
As I said, even what Jesus offers is inferior is their position with the exception of the self-styled Libertarian Christians. Now that's an oxymoron.
Here's a quote from 1943 that was included in a piece from 1967 by Murray N. Rothbard that Lew Rockwell's Ludwig von Mises Institute recreated on it's site and to which the Libertarians point from various websites, including on "liberal" sites, such as OpEdNews:
Or, as Isabel Paterson put it a generation ago:
The humanitarian wishes to be a prime mover in the lives of others. He cannot admit either the divine or the natural order, by which men have the power to help themselves. The humanitarian puts himself in the place of God.
But he is confronted by two awkward facts; first, that the competent do not need his assistance; and second, that the majority of people ... positively do not want to be "done good" by the humanitarian.... Of course, what the humanitarian actually proposes is that he shall do what he thinks is good for everybody. It is at this point that the humanitarian sets up the guillotine.
(Source: "The Great Society: A Libertarian Critique," by Murray N. Rothbard. The Great Society Reader: The Failure of American Liberalism. 1967. Republished by Ludwig von Mises Institute. December 4, 2008. [.])
Look, let me say from the start that Lyndon Johnson lost the support of liberals on account of the Vietnam War, which was a dumb venture that was supported by nearly every so-called American conservative. Okay, so the Libertarians consider themselves conservative and did not support that war. Good. However, the whole Rothbard piece fails to allow for any such thing on the liberal side of the equation. For the purposes of Rothbard's piece, all liberals supported the Vietnam War. How dumb is that? The answer is, really dumb.
This is exactly what they do concerning everything, such as with environmental issues that they completely ignore other than to pooh-pooh the damage. They never look at the liabilities in their own philosophy.
Let's take apart Isabel Paterson's quote above to see what's really there.
"The humanitarian wishes to be a prime mover in the lives of others." I don't. Am I the exception? I don't think so. Humanitarians want to help people. They don't want to make war. Lyndon Johnson was torn. The humanitarian side of Johnson is not the side that made war in Vietnam.
"He cannot admit either the divine or the natural order, by which men have the power to help themselves." What? Murray Rothbard was an atheist. Who has the power to help himself when he's born without limbs? People are born that way. Okay, so many Libertarians will say that people ought to help one another but that the state just shouldn't force them to do it. I actually agree with that; however, in actual practice though, the Libertarians run down or put down those who need assistance. Just look at that statement again by Paterson. She's ignoring those who cannot help themselves. There's more in that block quote that reveals this point.
"The humanitarian puts himself in the place of God." What did Jesus do? Jesus was a humanitarian. God is a humanitarian according to Jesus, only people slap God's hand away. Jesus teaches people to be Christlike and Godlike in that he did as God showed him, and he said that we should do as God does too. God gives. The libertarians are humanists. They don't credit God with prosperity or bounty. This is why it is incredible that anyone ever claims to be a Libertarian Christian. The atheist Libertarians are vastly more honest.
"But he is confronted by two awkward facts; first, that the competent do not need his assistance." Oh my, the competent don't need any assistance. Remember that when the whole system caves in and it's the humanitarians who are dishing out the only food available. The self-sufficient Libertarians can go foraging in the wild if there's any wild left after the laissez-faire maniacs get through destroying the Earth.
"... and second, that the majority of people ... positively do not want to be 'done good' by the humanitarian...." Where are the survey results for that? What kind of distorted question would have to be asked to garner evidence to support such a ridiculous generalization? Who in his or her right mind would say I don't want your help when help is exactly what the person needs? How many Libertarians have ever received assistance from the state in any form? Okay, so they'll say that that's only because the system is set up that way and things would be better if there were no such state.
This is fine if it's going to be held consistently and where the people will come together voluntarily in the spirit of giving and sharing, but where are the Libertarians now? What are they doing? What are they advocating? I don't hear them calling to each other to form the kinds of voluntary relationships that could handle a huge Tsunami. I hear them harping to go-it-alone as much as possible. I read here and there about their idea of forming contractual relationships to handle things, but the guiding principle of Libertarianism doesn't seem to run sufficiently in the direction of caring enough about the other person.
There are some people particularly in New Hampshire who are trying to take over that state to make it a laissez-faire utopia (meaning nowhere). Many of them are probably decent people relative to those who have no problem committing all manner of evil crimes against others. That though isn't good enough. It just isn't going to get us to the Heaven of Jesus Christ on earth. That's my vision. That's what I'm holding up against the Libertarian vision.
"Of course, what the humanitarian actually proposes is that he shall do what he thinks is good for everybody. It is at this point that the humanitarian sets up the guillotine."
No one who is consistent with the spirit of humanitarianism sets up the guillotine. People who set up guillotines are not humanitarians. They're executioners.
This argument of Paterson is like saying that when the Utopian Capitalists don't get their way, they set up guillotines. It's like saying that Jesus set up guillotines.
The Libertarians want to talk about the ideal condition when talking about capitalism, but they want to talk about non-Christlikeness when it comes to everything else. Why don't they compare and contrast the ideal vision of Jesus versus their own so-called ideal vision of capitalism? They'll say Christianity is pie in the sky. Well, where's the Libertarian utopia? They have money. They could come together to buy huge tracts of land where they could show us all how it's done. Why have they picked New Hampshire but haven't banded together? They want to be together while being apart, because they really don't love each other the way Jesus loves is closest friends, which way Jesus is, we all should be and could be and the remnant will be.
What the Utopian Capitalists are doing is giving only one side of the debate. They are ignoring Christianity. They only want to argue against coercive socialism (including democratic market-socialism) that they believe is the true aim of the mixed economy.
Of course, their approach is doomed. It's doomed regardless. If they stay closed, it's telling, and people will call them on it. If they open up, their positions won't hold up. They'll be confounded, just as by this piece if they'll be honest about it.