May 4, 2015 by Liberty
The title of this article probably sounds absolutely ridiculous considering this is a libertarian blog. How could a libertarian blog possible exist without actually discussing politics on a regular basis? That’s why I probably need to make a little bit of a clarification before digging into the actual subject matter.
This is not a political blog. This is an apolitical blog. The goal of this blog is to help you solve non-political problems despite the political world that you’re stuck in. The nitty gritty politics may change the individual things recommended but fundamentally, it’s about bobbing and weaving around politics. No matter what the politicians decide the laws are, there is a way that you can be on the positive end of it.
(As I’ve discussed a few times, I have objections to the way the world is run but ultimately,there is nothing I can do to change the way other people think. I can try but often that’s a pursuit that’s just as fast as them finding out for themselves.)
So, back to the title of this article. What do I consider a political discussion?
As a libertarian, I could easily discuss hundreds of individual decisions made politically. While I ultimately, don’t support anything done using violence (anything government does), I certainly do have preferences between political actions that I could be pointing out. For example, I may prefer to have no president but I could, theoretically, come out in support of Rand Paul as the lesser evil of the presidential candidates. I intentionally avoid doing that though.
There are a number of reasons for this decision that I’ve already discussed. One in particular is the fact that voting is statistically useless. Even omitting that reason. I still have one more fundamental problem with showing any political preferences.
Government Is Hard Decisions
There is no decision that is easy when it comes to politics because politics is the introduction of violence into the situation. At it’s base, everything done politically comes from people getting their money forcibly taken from them. (Either current citizens through taxation or unborn children through debt.) On top of that, virtually all political decisions involve some kind of a threat of violence.
Take the post office for example. If anyone tries to deliver first class mail in the United States. The government will come and shut them down by any means necessary. If the person delivering the mail defends themselves, the government will be willing to shoot the man over some damn envelopes. That’s the inherent threat with everything government does.
This threat of violence isn’t always an obviously bad thing. I, personally, am not too bothered by a threat of violence against people that killed other people. For government to say, “You killed someone so we’re going to imprison you. If you defend yourself, we will kill you,” doesn’t bother me much at all. That being said, as much as I like to think that’s an easy political decision, it’s not.
Look at any political decision deeper and you’ll find that it’s not as simple as it looks.
Looking at the murder regulation I was discussing. There are a whole slew of potential problems. First of all, how will this murder regulation change the murderer or potential murderers behavior. First of all, it will probably prevent some murders. That being said, after a murder takes place, the murderers life is put at risk. That means they’re more likely to kill more people to protect themselves (witnesses, police officers, etc.) Also, to get a bit crazy with this, would no death penalty without murder just encourage psychopaths to slowly torture their victim while letting them live? I don’t know but there are hundreds of questions like that.
Does that mean regulating murder is a bad thing? Probably not but suddenly a whole lot more facts need to be introduced to make a case either way.
Of course, another problem is actually finding the person who actually committed the murder. A ridiculous number of prisoners get released because of new evidence in cases. They are found guilty in a court of law despite their innocence. Imagine only 1% of prisoners are innocent of the accused crime. These men lose decades of their life. With the violence, sexual assault, and drugs in American prisons, we might as well be killing these men too. That, of course, is a horrible consequence of the regulations we have.
How can you possibly calculate the value of a persons life that gets stolen from them?
These are only the start of the thousands of problems we can find with virtually any political decision.
One of the fundamental problems with regulation is that people will change their behavior when regulations are introduced. Those behavior changes may or may not end up causing the result you’re looking for. Seat belt regulations are a classic example of this. As soon as seatbelts were required in people’s cars, people began to drive more dangerously. That kills more people. Was it a good decision? I don’t know. Look at the data and hope to god you can actually calculate the value of one persons life versus another persons.
Political decisions have to be hard decisions because ultimately, they’re questions about who you’re willing to kill.
Should you vote for Rand Paul?
Of course, I have an obvious no answer for this. If you’ve read much of this blog then that should be obvious. Ignore that though. Assume there weren’t the reasons not to vote. Let’s say you have to vote. How is choosing to vote for Rand Paul a hard decision?
Sure, Rand Paul is miles ahead of virtually every candidate philosophically (that has any chance of winning.) His father is the great Ron Paul, what libertarian wouldn’t like that? Ron Paul is a good guy. Sure, his son claims he’s nothing like Ron Paul but it may just be political talk.
There are two views of Rand Paul. The first is that he should be taken by his word. He says he’s a boring republican. That means he’s a Republican. He says exactly what he plans to govern by.
The other view of Rand Paul is that he’s pulling some sort of a ruse on everyone. He’s secretly just like his father but he’s acting like a Republican to get into a position of power. Then, when he gets that position, he’s going to whip out his libertarian secret weapons and blow the statists away (metaphorically speaking, of course.)
Which is right? I’ll be damned if I knew.
But either way, it would be tough to choose whether he’s really the right person to vote for.
Assuming he’s just a slightly libertarian republican then would it be better to just send your vote to a libertarian candidate?
Assuming he’s secretly a libertarian candidate then would his ruse even do the world good. Day one of his little charade virtually every union in the country would riot and kill him. Even if there weren’t riots, everyone would be suffering. (We all know what happened during the government shutdown. Government managers shut down the visible aspects of government just to make things worse for the average person. What would happen if he tried budget cuts?) No one will end up happy. Best case scenario, he would become a one term president that knocked libertarian’s back 30 years.
What about voting for the worst candidate? Perhaps what the government needs is to hit rock bottom. Maybe you should be voting for a hardcore republican or democrat. Then you’re speeding up the length of time to a major crash. The sooner the crash, the sooner the recovery. Is that a valid theory?
I seriously don’t know. Quite frankly, it feels absolutely ridiculous to try and know. Sure, I may have leanings in one way or the other but ultimately, the introduction of violence complicates the decisions dramatically.
Looking at political problems is a painful process. No matter how long you dig into them, you’re never going to reach anything substantial because you’ve already eliminated the chance of a non-violent solution.
Understand that whenever you start a political conversation. No matter what political side you or your opponents take, you’ll both have plenty of ammo to use against each other. Sure, there may be a good argument to be made one way or the other but it will never be simple. If it ever seems that way then you’re overlooking something important.
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