In continuing with this week’s earlier Star Wars theme, there may be a little “new hope” for those on the Left. (See what I did there?)
Although the Left’s general consensus remains the same (“we lost the election, we’d better not lose again“), their talk of #Calexit, Vermont secession, and “sanctuary cities,” embraces some of the ideas expressed by Lew Rockwell in a Feb. 21, 2017 article:
“How about we call it quits? No more federal fiefdoms, no more forcing 320 million people into a single mold, no more dictating to everyone from the central state.”
In the last week, I’ve had several conversations with friends on the Left who have been very receptive to federalist arguments. Specifically, they are attracted to the thought that, if given the power, several states would be free to institute the big-government reforms that they want.
Although this isn’t the ideal Rothbardian/Ron Paul conversion that we are looking for, it is a little silver lining in the looming dark cloud of national (global) democratized politics.
Some of my friends have even realized that, with more power, it would be easier for liberties to be destroyed at the federal level rather than the states. This is huge (and may or may not be attributable to just how much the Left distrusts Trump).
Many minds in Liberty Weekly’s corner of the movement have been less than optimistic about our chances of getting through to the Left. In the above linked article, Lew Rockwell is clearly exasperated with the Left (aren’t we all?). Tom Woods has also recently lamented the Left in several episodes. Surely, if the Left was still in power, they would continue to embrace it.
In general, the feeling of watching the Left grapple with decentralization is akin to watching a lame younger sibling discover your favorite bands.
From a libertarian outlook, secession and federalism have an immediate role to play going forward, but we must recognize how democracy (mob rule) has brought us to this point in history.
Our Founding Fathers had a deep-set distrust of democratic rule and the “tyranny of the majority.” This lack of faith was baked (imperfectly), into the foundation of the Constitution. Examples of these republican safeguards are/were: the electoral college and the indirect election of senators (pre-17th Amendment).
Hans Herman Hoppe takes this mistrust of democracy further with his fundamental work, Democracy, the God that Failed. The thrust of his argument being: democracy equates to public ownership of the government. As libertarians, we know that public ownership doesn’t work because of the socialist calculation problem asserted by Mises.
Democracy has had a powerful hand in shaping the intense political polarity that exists in this country. As a result of centralized politics and democratization, almost every single aspect of American life has been politicized. Americans cannot work, travel, eat, die(!), or even go to the bathroom without being confronted by political issues.
“The case against democracy is being made right in front of our eyes.”
“Democracy was always a bad idea, one that encourages mindless majoritarianism, political pandering , theft, redistribution, war, and an entitlement mentality among supposedly noble voters.”
I’ll cap today’s article by further quoting Jeff Deist:
“The future of liberty is decentralized, and will be led by smaller breakaway nations and regions where real self-determination and real consensus is not an illusion. Jefferson and Hoppe were right about democracy, but it took Trump and Brexit to show the world how quickly elites abandon it when they don’t prevail.”
Lefties probably won’t ever agree with us, but with decentralization, they won’t have to.
Thank you for reading Liberty Weekly for today! Don’t be afraid to let yourself be heard in the comments.