(The statists are really getting scared now) Salon: America’s libertarian freakshow – Inside the free-market fetish of Rand Paul & Ted Cruz

crony collage

Let’s get one thing out of the way. Both Paul and and Cruz are libertarianish. Paul more libertarianish than Cruz. Neither however is really pushing a hard core liberty oriented agenda.

In the attached article Paul and Cruz aren’t the real focus anyway. Crony capitalism is.

The author tries to make the argument that crony capitalism is what capitalism actually is. There is no distinction between capitalism partnered with the state and capitalism in general. It’s the same phenomenon.

This is the argument that many big government people try to make all the time on this site, because it is what fits the statist worldview. It is what people have been taught all their lives. I was certainly taught this.

On one side are the “progressives,” owners of progress, good government, making the world better and more fair. On the other side there are the “capitalists” monsters of greed and exploitation. Angels and demons.

This worldview is as simple as it is simple minded.

It is hard for many to understand that this old way of looking at the world, a world where Marx defined “progress” is dying. The state isn’t the opposite of business. It isn’t a tool “of the people.” Nor beyond very limited parameters can it ever be. In a large (even in a not so large) and highly complex (and even in a not so complex) state regulations don’t do much to “tame” business. They typically just enable the connected. Witness Dodd-Frank and Obamacare, the Farm Bill, etc.

The state is the biggest enabler of bad business there is and by a long shot because the state provides a bulwark for business against the market.

Think business doesn’t like big government? Think again.

Government is the catalyst for the unholy concoction which is crony capitalism. And thankfully more and more people are beginning to see this.

Additionally many are coming to also see that the market is not something to be feared. The market in fact is a powerful tool for the disenfranchised, the non-crony part of society. (Which is most of us.) Couple this understanding (political consciousness?) with the new communication tools at the average person’s disposal and one has the makings of a seismic shift in politics and economics.

Think GM worries too much about Yelp (or similar websites)? Not much. Think a company which is not in the crony club worries about Yelp reviews? Yup, sure does.

So long as business operates within the sphere of the market it is subject to the will of everyday people. Once a company is able to get behind the crony barricades of government however the power of everyday folks is diminished if not extinguished.

Still, some, like the author of the attached article continue to rail against the “unfairness” of the marketplace. Check this bit for example. (It has a few kind of silly assumptions embedded in it, but go with me.)

So the solution provided by libertarian leaning individuals like Paul and Cruz is based on this false notion of what capitalism actually is. They say that government is always the problem, and that it is the states fault for the crony-capitalism of today. But it is not the state who has corrupted the corporations, but the corporations who have corrupted the state.

Getting rid of regulations and privatizing everything, as libertarians propose, would not create a pure form of capitalism where everyone has a fair shot — it would create a dystopia of abusive and uncaring corporations without any accountability to the public. The true answer to fighting the crony capitalism of today is to attack the nexus of corporations and their government sponsors. And Citizens United, contrary to what Cruz and Paul seem to believe, is one of the clearest examples. When politicians depend on millions upon millions of corporate campaign dollars, one cannot honestly expect them to be on the side of the common people.

“But it is not the state who (which) has corrupted the corporations but the corporations who (which) have corrupted the state.”

The truth is the 2 corrupt each other. One very important distinction being however that the state has all the guns and the force of law. The state is there to be corrupted. It is power embodied. The larger it is the more powerful the connected interests. And there are always connected interests.

In a small state only so many guns and laws can be commandeered via cronyism. In a large state – such as we have now – the arsenal is vast and becomes more vast with time.

Government is at best, AT BEST, a necessary evil. It must be trimmed and curtailed constantly so that as much of life as possible remains private and under control of individuals. We let government become unruly at our peril. History has shown us this over and over.

Even still there will always be people who believe in the myth of “good government” on a large scale. It is too tantalizing a dream. I understand it. If only man could create heaven on earth. If only we could get government to work “for the people.” If only…

Sorry folks but government just doesn’t work that way. Again, government is at best a necessary evil. And there is legitimate room for debate around even that assertion.

Click here for the Libertarian Freakshow article.