Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bill Maher's new rule on libertarianism

At about 50:35 in this video he lays out his new rule. He supports some libertarian notions like keeping government out of the bedroom, the medicine chest or our consumption of marijuana. Today the movement is more about "being a selfish prick" than a reasonable limit to government power. It morphed into an obsession with free-market capitalism along the way based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand. A philosophy which, Maher accurately points out, appeals to impressionable 19-year olds, as well as those adults who never socially develop beyond that immature phase like Paul Ryan and Rand Paul.

Today the movement so anti-government it ends up defending ridiculous notions like the elimination of regulation on banks, guns, schools, civil rights and environmental protection. Or even helping out after natural disasters. The free-market's invisible hand can take care of all that. If we just rely on enlightened self interest it will all work out on its own, the market being a sort of benevolent God. We've seen most dramatically the effect of this God in the financial disaster of 2008 and the effects continuing to this day. Greedy self interest overrode any sense of public responsibility and hence those who caused the meltdown are incredibly well off while most of the rest of society is still suffering badly. Yes, free-market capitalism and libertarian self interest work just fine, for a very few. But they are the ones that deserve to survive after all, right? The rest of us can just go to hell because it's our own damned fault.

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