Saturday, August 26, 2017

Libertarianism as a centrist ideology

In our current political situation in the US, where the left and right of the political spectrum appear as noisy fringes of Alt-Left and Alt-Right,
there is a lot of space in the center. Therefore, Libertarians have a chance to be seen as a centrist and moderate ideology.

And it is not a false choice. Libertarianism is clearly the core American ideology - one where the protection of individual liberty and autonomy of choice is the founding principle of the nation. Presently, many have lost sight of that fact.

To broaden the appeal of their ideology libertarians need to assert principles that appeal to their potential, and at once sympathetic and skeptical, wings.

The main principle was well stated by Penn Jillette, more or less so, - "if you think about solving a certain problem think how could you solve it by giving people more freedom". This applies to drug prohibition, health care and school choice. This is the core libertarian principle.

To reach the liberal left libertarians ought to assert the John Rawls principle - that change will cause no harm to the weakest in society. Not to "marginalized groups" but to those actually economically and politically weakest - the homeless, those afflicted with illness, single parents, the unemployed. The status of the weakest will not suffer setbacks as a result of policy.

To reach the conservative right libertarians ought to assert the conservation principle. That would mean that beneficial outcomes that have been already reached shall be protected. This means to protect the good things about the system that has been created. This means, for example, tax-protected retirement arrangements and availability of medical care.

Therefore we have three things:
  • be pro-liberty - this is the libertarian no-brainer, because - duh - it's in the constitution
  • protect the weakest - compassion in governance, the "liberal" principle
  • protect the gains - any future solution, market-based or not, will not compromise the existing beneficial outcomes

Professing such ideas, broadening the standard message of liberty, Libertarianism will have a chance of entering the center field of US politics.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Alt Left and Right and their maternal politics

Antifa and Alt-right - two twins (call them Alter-R and Alter-L) - both longing for the mother, for the maternal system of politics.

The mother is inclusive. But to be inclusive she needs to exclude properly - to discriminate. And here the Alter-R and Alter-L differ. For the Alter-L she only includes those she likes - those that have no fascism, no racism, no xxx-phobia, no hate. For the Alter-R she discriminates  on the basis of "blood and soil". There is a purity test in maternal politics. The impure shall be expelled.

Mother has to include and discriminate because she has only one womb. The beings that share it will be indulged in boundless communion with her body and other bodies like themselves. This is the fantasy that Freud viewed as the foundational human desire.(*)

But those of us who are not the Alter twins - are post-Oedipal. We are all different. We can be called all different names - conservatives, liberals, libertarians, traditionalists. We want a different system of politics. One where all the different people can commune and interact out of their choice. Out of their free choice because they each occupy their own apartment in the political space. In psychological terms that apartment is called the ego, in terms of personal power it is called "boundaries", in terms of politics it is called basic human rights.

I would call it the paternal system of politics. This term is inspired by Judeo-Christianity which is foundational to our civilization. The father is symbolic, he does not have a single womb - but a house with many apartments - as it says in the Gospel of John. We are gladly adopted children, individually adopted on the basis of accepting grace. This allows us to claim our "human rights." (**)

Some call this system, system that protects our individual liberties, an odious patriarchy. But in fact it is not at all male-dominated. It is the system where the male energy self-regulates by inhabiting the domain of the Word, the Logos. Consequently, the Logos regulates access to the Mother, to the place of desire. It's a post-Oedipal system. The satisfaction of desire, access to knowledge and power, are all negotiated by the word rather than conquered by force or obtained by a pious purity test.

The maternal politics project of Alter twin brothers is fundamentally aimed against the Logos. It is for people who are all alike to live in the unity and purity of the communal womb of the state. In essence it is fascist.

The paternal world is for a lot of different people to live independently and peacefully together and be able to approach each other safely by traversing the construct of the Logos. It is essentially liberal.

(*) Freud's identification between the mother and unconscious desire is confirmed by the unceasing popularity of the word "motherfucker".
(**) The father as a symbolic function has been developed in Lacan's psychoanalysis which modernized the work of Freud. Freud discussed a primordial fantasy of murdering the father to gain access to the space of desire, a story paralleled by the myth of Oedipus.