David Simon, Creator of ‘The Wire’ weighs in on the absurdity of Libertarianism:
Ultimately we abandoned that [the idea that unions had a place in an economy] and believed in the idea of trickle-down and the idea of the market economy and the market knows best, to the point where now libertarianism in my country is actually being taken seriously as an intelligent mode of political thought. It’s astonishing to me. But it is. People are saying I don’t need anything but my own ability to earn a profit. I’m not connected to society. I don’t care how the road got built, I don’t care where the firefighter comes from, I don’t care who educates the kids other than my kids. I am me. It’s the triumph of the self. I am me, hear me roar.
It’s high time Libertarianism is treated for what it truly is: a childish, sociopathic ideology invented in the halls of academia that has virtually nothing to do with actual human societies. The philosophy has been foisted on the public by billionaires who use the state to enrich themselves but require scared, obedient workers to do the dirty work and accept the ‘natural hierarchy’ of a ‘free society’.
The notion that human societies can be built around the sole principle of self interest makes absolutely no sense given we are genetically geared towards cooperation and self interest. While the engine of the market is good for some things – like creating vast amounts of wealth, it doesn’t address issues that require cooperation. Why? Because inherently, it can’t. As Simon writes:
The idea that the market will solve such things as environmental concerns, as our racial divides, as our class distinctions, our problems with educating and incorporating one generation of workers into the economy after the other when that economy is changing; the idea that the market is going to heed all of the human concerns and still maximise profit is juvenile. It’s a juvenile notion and it’s still being argued in my country passionately and we’re going down the tubes. And it terrifies me because I’m astonished at how comfortable we are in absolving ourselves of what is basically a moral choice. Are we all in this together or are we all not?
And as of today in America, we are all not.
(Image Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.