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Deda BS: How Many Mudcat Members are Libertarians (38) RE: BS: How Many Mudcat Members are Libertarians 16 Dec 05

I score as a liberal, which is fine by me. I think that there are different times in the development of a nation for the various political philosophies. When the USA was a baby nation, I think libertarianism was a necessary and good stage, particularly on the frontier. I guess that there is a form of republicanism that would have been practical and useful during our civil-war-era, industrial revolution -- although as soon as big corporate money, railroads and mines and Rockefellers came into the picture, there was an immediate need for democratic labor strength and protections against the depredations and abuses of Big Greed. But I really think that at this point in history, we have to regard ourselves as a society, not as a bunch of wildcatters. Libertarianism (and I've read the book, "Toward a New Liberty", by Murray Rothbard, the Libertarian handbook, as well as Ayn Rand) want us to be nothing but separate, politically isolated, unfettered individuals. That's great in a New World, or on a new planet -- but this place is crowded, and we don't have that kind of elbow room anymore. If we're going to survive, we have to take care of each other, and the most efficient way to do that is by means of an effective, well-administered government bureaucracy. (Ancient Rome had one, and that's how the empire survived and kept on running for centuries no matter how whacked-out the emperor was.) And modern Republicanism doesn't stand for a damn thing as far as I can tell, except radical religious self-righteousness, massive government corruption, irrational wars, international arrogance and imperialism, and empowerment of the worst aspects of corporate greed. I fell for the romance and appeal of Libertarianism when I was a kid, in my 20s, but I think that we have to outgrow it, both personally and politically. And I think that the "enlightened self-interest" of Ayn Rand libertarianism is just mean-spirited, selfish egotism.

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