Posted: January 8th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian
The name of the elephant is Government Coercion.
Neither right nor left want to openly admit that in order to impose their agenda on the population of a country the size of the United States there is no way to do so other than to use government coercion.
The majority of Americans would never accept either socialism or fascism if those ideologies were offered, so left and right disguise their agenda as “progressive” or “traditionalist” and seek the cudgel of government power to impose it on all of us.
Doug Carkuff, in his January 4th article “Neither Left Nor Right,” said it perfectly:
“After all, both the left and the right are fundamentally the same – authoritarian statists who wish to use the force of government to make society in their own images and to compel others to live in ways that they approve of.”
There are historical examples of both small voluntary collectivist and individualist societies scattered here and there around the world and throughout history.
But it’s demonstrably obvious to anyone familiar with history that virtually all the great accomplishments that have benefited humankind have come from “self-serving” individuals (Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, da Vinci, Shakespeare, Jefferson) while little more than never-ending mass murder has issued from coercive statist entities like kingdoms and empires and conquerors and Medieval Christian Crusaders and Islamic Jihadis right on through to the 20th century’s greatest mass murderers of all time, the National Socialists of Germany and the Soviet Socialists of Russia and the Maoist Communists of China.
There seems to be little conception by either right or left that any government with sufficient coercive power to establish their agenda for them could and inevitably would turn on its creators and grind them into dust for the benefit of the government itself. Or more precisely, for the benefit of the rulers who run the government.
For government, after all, is a power base, and a power base by definition attracts not the best and brightest of society but the worst of society, the people who lust for power over others.
Further, there’s apparently little concept by either right or left that coercion always and inevitably begets counter-coercion, known as “blowback.”
Imposing racial integration on everyone is just as immoral as imposing racial segregation on everyone. Creating government-contrived corporatism is just as anti-freedom as creating government-contrived labor unionism. Forcing developing countries to accept “democracy” is just as counterproductive as if developing countries were to force tribalism on us.
Since right and left are unlikely to kick their addictions to coercion we can expect America to sink into a mutant socialist-fascist polity with grotesquely expensive and useless state welfarism at home and crusading Christian empire building around the world, and we can all live in the misery of militantly enforced equality together.
Only libertarians and their likeminded freedom-lovers openly identify and reject the elephant in the room.
But for left and right, openly acknowledging that their isms can’t be established through persuasion would be an admission that their isms are failures. But refusing to even discuss the elephant is in itself a tacit admission of that failure.
And so the elephant stands.
NOTE: “Neither Left Nor Right“ by Doug Carkuff is an excellent read for its insight into the intransigent rift between the left/right and libertarians.