The Dirty Little Secret of #Libertarians? They’re Really #Corporatists.

First, the obvious. Not all libertarians are alike. The same, of course, is true for conservatives and liberals.

That said, I’ve had my fill of libertarians acting like they are the only ones who believe in a free society. That’s total bullshit, of course. I don’t know anyone who likes “state oppression,” do you? The debate needs to be – oh, eff that. I’m done debating strawman arguments like that.

from http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/FreeMarket.html
Murray N. Rothbard, who died in 1995, was the S. J. Hall Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. (Image and text from http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/FreeMarket.html)

Where I really part company with libertarians is in their naive belief that markets operate in the way that Murray Rothbard describes them. They don’t. That “philosophy” requires a belief in something called, “Equal and simultaneous information.” It’s actually how the financial services industry is supposed to operate but doesn’t. And, why doesn’t it? Because of the lack of vigorously enforced and sensible laws and regulations.

What’s worse is when libertarians use phraseology like “state oppression.” They come off sounding like they have a tinfoil fear of the state.

Yes, of course, there are things about “the state” that libertarians and I want to change; from NDAA to NSA to KXL. Their incessant vilifying of “the state,” however, without including corporations and Big Money as the driving forces is, at best, disingenuous and, at worst, revealing of their libertarian naivety or outright corporatist obfuscation.

Remember this. WE ARE THE STATE.

Unlike government, corporate boards – and let’s not be naive about whatever paltry shares we as individuals may hold – are not elected by we ordinary citizens. We have no way of holding corporations accountable EXCEPT through the state regardless of the fantasy of the Invisible Hand libertarians may worship.

We do – or, rather, we’re supposed to, but too many of us don’t – elect those who are supposed to represent us in our government. We can control that.

Milton Friedman, the University of Chicago economist who, it's now known, was discoveed by the Buchanan Committee in 1946, to have arranged along with with George Stigler, an under-the-table deal with a Washington lobbying executive to pump out covert propaganda for the national real estate lobby in exchange for a hefty payout. (http://www.alternet.org/visions/true-history-libertarianism-america-phony-ideology-promote-corporate-agenda)
Milton Friedman, the University of Chicago economist who, it’s now known, was discovered by the Buchanan Committee in 1946, to have arranged along with with George Stigler, an under-the-table deal with a Washington lobbying executive to pump out covert propaganda for the national real estate lobby in exchange for a hefty payout. (http://www.alternet.org/visions/true-history-libertarianism-america-phony-ideology-promote-corporate-agenda)

For me and for as long as I’m able, I’m going to try to influence my fellow Americans to vote against libertarians (and conservatives) because of how their philosophies manifest into their policies; policies that put all but a few wealthy and powerful individuals in real peril because they stem from beliefs based on the fallacy perpetuated by people like Rothbard, the Kochs, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and all the devotees of Milton Friedman.

Libertarians are probably not Statists, whatever they think that’s supposed to mean and whatever is meant by it when the “purists” accuse Rand Paul of it. He and his “mainstream” libertarians are, however, most certainly Corporatists in the mold of his fore-bearers.

And that, dear reader, is the dirty little secret of libertarianism as it’s being practiced today. It is a front for Corporatism, and it’s far more dangerous to our society, to our democracy, and to our planet than some misplaced and misinformed hand-wringing about “the state” somehow holding back “free markets.”

Call them out on it, and vote against every single one of them and their big brother proxies, the Republicans.

That is, of course, unless you prefer to be just another resource used by the rich and powerful to become more rich and powerful at your expense.

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#Independents, #Democrats, and Rational #Republicans: You control November and the Senate

Left-leaning Independents and Democrats, if you stay home this November, a Republican Senate will basically be on you.

Republicans can be ousted, but only if you show up and vote against them. You can be damn sure that our fellow Americans who think they’re Republicans will be showing up.

Yes, vote against Republicans. All Republicans.

What the GOP Stands For

The GOP has become a party of extremist ideology that no longer resembles the core values of America.

  • Bigotry towards our LGBTQ brothers and sisters
  • Paying women differently than men for the same work
  • Limiting and even ending health care accessibility to women and the poor
  • Protecting corporations instead of the environment by denying climate science
  • Enacting local laws to curtail voting
  • Walling off and arming the Southern border in the name of protecting the country and the economy
  • Perpetuating a belief in the failed theory of trickle-down economics

These disturbing ideas are among Republican dogma and policies. They are NOT core American values. They are, in fact, the antithesis of what America is about, and it is why every Republican must be defeated.

The Change That’s Needed – Real Leadership

The GOP in its present incarnation simply does not offer anything of value in the short or long term to anyone outside the Top 2% of wealthy Americans. The only way for the GOP to get the message and to change is for those of us in the middle and the left to outnumber and outvote our right-wing fellow citizens on Election Day.

What would cinch the deal would be to get some help from whomever is left in the GOP rank-and-file willing to accept the truth, and that is this: Your party does not care one whit about you and, in fact, they are dangerous to you and the rest of society. Right-wing ideology and policy are traceable as the primary sources of all of our geo-political and economic problems, past and present.

Thanks to the tea party and right-wing Big Money nowadays, the GOP has moved too far away from any middle ground or compromise worth considering. This is where Republican leaders have failed their party and their constituents. For anyone to believe that somehow the current crop of tea party Republican leaders is going to start moving the party toward the rest of us is naive fantasy and a denial of reality. Unless and until the American voting populace rises up to defeat EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN EVERYWHERE, the GOP will not change.

We Must Lead

It’s more important than ever that we in the middle and on the left step forward and become this country’s leaders.

Independent and internal change from within really isn’t in the nature of politicians and political parties. Current campaign finance laws more than ever ensure this by rewarding the self-serving and cowardly politician. Politicians do not lead, they follow. They follow the money that funds their campaigns and the follow whatever policy mandates that money issue to them. Unless you’re among the wealthy and powerful, you (and I) are not having the influence we should have.

It’s not just the GOP. This truth applies to ALL political parties, but the first thing we must do is to stop agreeing with the notion that the Republicans and Democrats are the same. They are not.

That is why we must vote and we must lead our fellow citizens and our elected representatives with courage, resolve, and conviction AWAY from ultra-conservative, right-wing ideals and ideologues, not toward them. The time for hope and compromise is over.

Show Us the Money

Politicians demonstrate daily that they have no courage and no real convictions other than to those people and the money that they believe will help them to get elected and reelected.

Let’s be clear on how we got to this.

Thanks to CONSERVATIVE campaign finance laws and CONSERVATIVE laws meant to restrict voting coming from ACTIVIST CONSERVATIVES on the Supreme Court, our politicians and elected leaders are ever more constrained to serve their Big Money masters, not us.

How is this manifesting itself this year?

As evidenced by non-partisan sources like OpenSecrets.org, the GOP is leading so far when it comes to money for the 2014 midterms.

2014 Election Overview. The 2014 mid-term elections promise lots of excitement -- and money. Take a look here at who's raising the most, where it's coming from, party breakdown, the most expensive races thus far, top donors, how incumbents are doing versus challengers and more. (Source: http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/)
2014 Election Overview.
The 2014 mid-term elections promise lots of excitement — and money. Take a look here at who’s raising the most, where it’s coming from, party breakdown, the most expensive races thus far, top donors, how incumbents are doing versus challengers and more. (Source: http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/)

While it’s pretty close right now, and while the Democrats are by no means pure on the issue of money and influence, it is immature, uninformed, and disingenuous to keep believing and to keep saying that both parties are the same and equally guilty.

They are not.

The Money Difference

The GOP demonstrates constantly that they have no appetite to move out of line with where the tea party and conservative Big Money powers are leading them. Therein lies a fundamental difference that separates them from the Democrats.

It’s important to understand this distinction: Conservative money leads Republicans toward politicians and policies like those listed above in this post. None of those ideals are designed to help anyone EXCEPT the rich and powerful conservatives in this country and abroad. (Think “abroad” is a stretch? Understand the ramifications and who benefits from the TPP and TTIP.)

This is what makes Big Money that comes from the likes of the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson different from money that comes from Michael Bloomberg, George Soros and Tom Steyer. The first two are trying to move the country in a direction that is harmful to everyone but them by backing Republicans. The others are not.

I’m not defending Big Money. I’m still doing what I can to support the work of others to reform our campaign finance laws and to amend the Constitution. (See the American Anti-Corruption Act, Represent.UsWolf-PAC, and MoveToAmend.)

The Choice That Must Be Changed

Where the money comes from and what it will be used for tells us about the choices being made by politicians.

This is why any politician who calls themselves a Republican must be punished at the polls. They have made a conscious decision to join the party funded for and rooted in ideals like inequality, bigotry, irrational xenophobia, science denial, and catastrophic economic theories.

No matter how moderate or reasonable any one Republican candidate might seem, any candidate who calls themselves a Republican is a representative of that party and so must be defeated.

It’s the only way to bring change to that party; to punish them for their ideology and their policies at the polls.

The Appeal to Republicans – Save Your Party

To all you rational and reasonable Republicans, you need to start voting FOR your best interests and AGAINST your party, too.

It’s your only hope of leading the GOP away from the precipice of political extinction to which it now races at full speed.

One day soon, this country will be a minority-majority country. The GOP has almost no appeal to minorities. Your party also seems intent on alienating women, and it already has nearly zero appeal to anyone who isn’t an aging, white, rural, male Christian.

You must know that that is a strategy that leads to extinction. So, this election is on you, too. Save your party and your future.

Out From the Left and the Middle on Nov 4

It’s on all of us in the middle class to save America from the disastrous ideals and policies of GOP conservatism.

If you don’t get to the polls on November 4 and if you don’t vote against every Republican, you simply cannot expect them to change, nor our society or our politics to improve.

The Democrats in their current incarnation are no prize, either, but it is the Republican party which must be defeated now if we hope to pull them back to the middle where some compromises are possible.

I’m done moving toward them. It’s far past the time that conservatives were called out for the damage they and their ideology have done and continue to do,

Koch Company and Labor Unions: One Degree of Separation

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

Strange brew cooked up on K Street: Charles, David and organized labor.

 

by Russ Choma on April 22, 2014 3:26 PM 

The influence industry sometimes produces strange bedfellows. Case in point, according to recently filed lobbying disclosure reports from 2014’s first quarter: The same lobbying firm that represents Koch Companies Public Sector and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in their efforts to keep the IRS from tightening up regs on dark money groups also represents one of the biggest names in organized labor.

Of course, organized labor is not necessarily unfriendly to the idea of outside money groups; unions have made great use of super PACs and have beenlinked to liberal dark money groups likePatriot Majority. But the prevailing narrative of partisan politics puts unions on the opposite side of the battlefield from the billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch (and by extension the conglomerate they own, KCPS).

<and the point not to miss>

The Carpenters union spent $20,000 on lobbying in the first quarter, and spent $320,000 in all of 2013. 

 KCPS, on the other hand, spent $10.4 million last year on lobbying.  Read more athttp://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/04/koch-company-and-labor-unions-one-degree-of-separation.html ;

Greg Russak‘s insight:

An interesting and important article that includes this fact:

 

The Carpenters union spent $20,000 on lobbying in the first quarter, and spent $320,000 in all of 2013. 

 KCPS, on the other hand, spent $10.4 million last year on lobbying. 

See on www.opensecrets.org

Who Are the Koch Brothers and What Do They Want? – YouTube

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

Sen. Sanders talks with Joy Ann Reid on MSNBC about his Huffington Post column on the Koch brothers. Read the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep...

Greg Russak‘s insight:

The more dangerous and extreme Libertarian ideals of the 1980 campaign – when Charles Koch as veep candidate and Reagan was too liberal for him – have become mainstream GOP ideals. Think about that.

See on www.youtube.com

Center for a Stateless Society » Charles Koch Clutches Pearls, Dies of Moral Rectitude

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

Charles Koch of Koch Industries, wounded to the core of his being by allegations from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and others that his championing of the “free market” conceals lobbying efforts to rig the system in his favor, suffici

See on c4ss.org