About the Buffalo Libertarian “Movement”

30 May

Here’s a comment I posted in Ostrowski’s thread, and I’m reprinting here.

The United States has evolved over its 200+ year history, and with each election, the social contract changes. Sometimes rightward, sometimes leftward. Never has it gone to either extreme, however. We have never had a fascist nor communist coup or government of any sort.

Libertarianism is an extreme concept, and one that obviously appeals to some people. But by no means a majority. By no means in any sort of numbers that would tend to lead to the sort of anti-government, every-man-for-himself utopia you envision.

The ideas you are proponents of simply don’t compete when it comes time to vote for people. You can tout your microscopic menagerie of occasional libertarian conquests (like supposedly defeating the penny county tax), but that’s the smallest of small potatoes and hardly equivalent to convincing a mass of people that what Hayek and von Mises think is the bees’ knees.

And yes, in order to prevail in a marketplace of ideas, you have to sell those ideas to people who may be uninformed or ignorant or disinterested or beholden to some other ideology. Otherwise you’ll be stuck with 5% of the Republican electorate, like Rep. Paul was.

So, the point of Chris’ post was that you need to grow beyond 5% if you expect to make any sort of real difference. Seriously, it’s basic mathematics.

And if you continue behaving like you’re the only ones who are right, and everyone else is wrong, that in and of itself is, I guess, fine. But to add in what you do – that those who are wrong are also stupid sheeple, then don’t be surprised if that 5% shrinks rather than grows.

You guys don’t get the message, and persist in being fucking assholes all over the local internet, parroting the same tired lines, the same easy one-line answers, the same links to the same posts from websites more obscure and dull than those belonging to the CPUSA or National Alliance.

And then, when you go around behaving like assholes all over the internet, you bitch and moan that people won’t “debate” you in a serious manner. Make up your minds.

So, the social contract in the United States shifted leftward in 2008. It continues apace, given the blind flailings of the rudderless, extremist Republican Party.

Libertarians actually have an entree into the debate. But because they generally act like jerks, freaks, or both, their ideas are generally rejected by the people. Remember the libertarian candidate in NYC who decided to hand out toy guns to kids in Harlem when the state required toy guns to be colored in a way so that they are easily identified as toys and kids don’t get shot? Yeah, keep doing idiot stunts like that and you’ll guarantee the perpetuation of the general rule:

You’ll never win a meaningful election because of your extreme views and nasty attitudes, and you’ll continue with your extreme views and nasty attitudes because you can’t win an election.

7 Responses to “About the Buffalo Libertarian “Movement””

  1. Jim Ostrowski May 30, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    Why should libertarians take advice from a liberal Democrat who supported Obama, a horrendous president in my view, and who runs a blog that caters to government employees?

    I wouldn’t take advice from a neocon either.

    Here’s my libertarian advice to you. Repudiate all your views immediately.

  2. Larry Castellani May 30, 2009 at 7:03 pm #

    BP is definitely a mainstream pundit. But the danger here is that you might not get the critical distance necessary to provide insight into the fact that there are systemic problems in American politics, national, state and local, that are never seriously objected to and become so acceptable that even the most egregious deviations become overlooked rather than thematized as something that should be discussed in a way that we might be able to do something about it. Case in point is the incestuous relation of Goldman Sachs with the Government not to mention the gazillion dollar giveaway to the financial sector. Local example is the NYPA rip-off of millions to bail the state out while the locals pay more for electric than those that buy it out of state. Case in point is Obama’s sellout to militarism and his jumping into Afghanistan with little attention really being paid to the lessons of history and the obvious fact that he begins to look more like Bush every day. …. On the other hand Ostrowski’s ideology-bound politics may have too great a distance, his ideology preventing a closer look at how his distance forces imposing his concepts on the real rather than questioning the limitations of the concept. Case in point, there emphasis on the primacy and priority of the “individual” which to me displaces and devalues the primacy of community and any possible insight into the fact the “individual” today has been essentially and as a whole co-opted by a narcissistic consumerism and a culture industry that has colonized the mind of the individual today to such an extent that they can’t tell the difference between alienation and autonomy. On the other hand Ostrowski is paying attention to the problem of bureaucratic centralism and the need for decentralization in a way that ought to be addressed. This would involve addressing the extent to which government has become constitutive of the cultural lives of people to such an extent that it has lost touch with the limits of government in terms of its proper regulative role of relations between regions/states/communities and “national” defense rather than attempting to control every feature of everyday life in the name of either universal rights, the nature of man, “liberty,” or what America “stands for.” …. Both the systemic social whole and the character of individuality have to bought into question rather than somnambulistically addressing every issue of the myriad topics that arise on TV and the internet and descending into either a mainstream pragmatism or a radical pragmatism of such things as Tea Parties and the like, but to what end? BP and Ostrowski are two sides of the same myopic coin me thinks, and thus the love/hate fest we see in this ongoing blog feud.

  3. mike May 30, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    wow that was deep, all i got is “That a boy Larry!! Good to see our tax dollars are well spent, enjoy your summer vacation.

  4. Mike Walsh May 30, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    “Case in point is the incestuous relation of Goldman Sachs with the Government not to mention the gazillion dollar giveaway to the financial sector”

    We’ve talked about this long before most Americans even heard of Goldman Sachs.

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