tatjna (tatjna) wrote,


Finally got my mark back for the climate change course. A+. Because it's only a letter grade I will never know if it was because of that group work poster or despite it. Frankly I thought my essay was pretty good but again, I'll never know if it was that that saved me or whether I had underestimated the quality of the work produced through the torturous group process. Anyway, I'm glad it didn't blemish my record. Only 2 courses more and if I keep my socks up I will have aced my entire degree. After which I shall brag - in full acknowledgement that it's wanky to do so and also in the knowledge that it's nowhere near as important to anyone else as it is to me, I will shout "I'VE GOT QUALIFICATIONS!" from the rooftops.

You see if I don't.

I've toyed with the concepts of libertarianism a few times. As a personal philosophy I find it quite engaging - the idea of personal freedom, unlimited by state regulation, to go about my business in whatever way I choose, really appeals to me. As an advocate for legalisation of recreational drugs you'd think I'd be a flaming libertarian, right?

But you see I'm aware that part of the reason I'm in a position to entertain a libertarian personal philosophy is because of the free education I got (at school that is), because the NZ government's immigration policies when I was little allowed my working-class parents to relocate here, because wealth redistribution and social services have given me advantages I wouldn't otherwise have had. My employment is with an organisation that would not exist if it weren't for a nationally-recognised qualification system (I work for a quango btw not a Ministry or govt dept).

So it would be really hard for me to rationally suggest chucking all that out in favour of the freemarket utopia that is espoused by full-on libertarians. Yes, I gripe about the government's latest bullshittery and I will continue to do so alongside working both individually and as part of various collectives to do my version of making the world a better place - but in my opinion government-related crap is not a justification to dispense with it altogether and fall into an 'every person for themself' kind of situation.

My two main issues with libertarians seem to be thus:

1. They assume everyone starts from the same place and has the same opportunities and advantages. They tend not to recognise privilege and thus don't acknowledge its impacts on individuals. Therefore they object to any kind of action to help those that start under a pile of crap to at least get out from under the crap so they can recognise an opportunity when it arises, claiming this is shackling those with more ability and skills to those with less (thus disadvanataging them) and that tax is a theft from the advantaged. Oddly enough, most of those espousing this view haven't had to dig themselves out from under too many piles of crap and therefore feel it's them who are supposedly carrying the so-called lesser people. And yes, they believe that their advantaged position is purely a function of having more ability/skills rather than any kind of privilege.

2. Free market theory relies on everyone acting with perfectly rational self interest and with perfectly complete information. Can I just say here *cough*bullshit*cough*. This may happen occasionally but we are humans, this is an imperfect world and not everyone is honest. The likelihood of those three things happening concurrently every single time a decision is made is 0.

Therefore to me, libertarianism is a utopian ideology that's fun to play with but ultimately must be discarded in favour of more realistic approaches to freedom vs regulation, and how to deal with the needs of society without overburdening anyone with rules or taxes. This is why policy interests me - it's a constantly changing balancing act and it's infinitely challenging.

So when the Libertarians turned up at the Hand Mirror, I knew lulz were going to be had. I predicted, in this order: mansplaining, hurt indignance, followed by a pompous flounce.

Go read it and see how it actually went.

The question was "Why don't feminists in general support libertarianism?" The libs (notably all men), in the guise of wanting to learn, actually seem to want a platform for explaining to feminists why they should support libertarianism, and when the feminists wouldn't give them one their wrath was Mighty. And I think the order for my prediction was almost exactly right. I'll be interested to see if the flouncer comes back or if he stays in his flounce-den surrounded by other men who will massage his ego and despair with him over why Those Evil Feminists don't gratefully accept his pearls of wisdom and acknowledge his superior ideology as The One True Way.

So yeah, that was entertaining.

I seem to be getting more political again. I've had a break since the election but things are starting to happen that make me want to rant again. Note to self: keep it in check to make sure it's balanced with things that don't make me want to bang my head on a wall.

Final note: Dr Wheel is going to Chicago! Only for work, but I'm envious. I'd like to go to Chicago. Will there be snow there or is it getting too late in the year?
Tags: in which i brag some, lolbertatrianz, waiting for anonymous
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.