To Sacha Dylan - The Standard: No, Somalia is Nothing Like A Libertarian State. Couldn’t be Further From it.

Mark Hubbard's picture
Submitted by Mark Hubbard on Sun, 2011-07-10 04:36

[Sorry I've been scarce. I've been making the odd post to my own blog, but thought I'd cross post this one here as every advocate of laissaz faire needs a 'no, free markets aren't comparable to Somalia' link.]

From: http://tribelesshispursuitofha...

A Libertarian always knows when he has met an intellectual lightweight who has never been concerned with understanding the philosophical underpinnings or consequences of his or her belief system: they bring up the ‘laissez faire is like Somalia’ argument. A little bit of every libertarian dies inside when we see it come up.

Added to the list of people who do a huge disservice to the Left by not being able to mount reasoned, principled arguments, is now Sacha Dylan from The Standard – who argues, incidentally, like a bully - hitting me with this stunning argument he no doubt thought would gob smack me off Twitter. He then closed down the debate by saying he wasn't interested in, quote, "re-litigating tired 80s discussions": I put it to him this is because the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, and he is arguing for the society that lived behind it beforehand.

Below is simply a post I made to a debate I had with David Cunnliffe a couple of years ago on the Labour Party Blog – a debate in which Mr Cunnliffe, further, could not adequately make his case for Keynesian socialism, despite the fact if he wins this years election he will be forcibly foisting it on us.

I don’t have time to clean this post up, I’m simply copying and pasting from here:

So, the final word on why Somalia represents Left Collectivism, and is the furtherest thing from a Libertarian state (small 's') that could be imagined.

Post follows:

[… trite allegation that Libertarianism equals Somalia … my argument.]

Once more for, and for the last time.

Characteristics of a humanist based classical liberal society, and it’s corollary economic system of laissez-faire capitalism. That is, a Libertarian Constitutional Minarchy.

The basis of this society is the individual, that is the primary focus. In such a minarchy, the rights, starting with property rights, of the individual are protected by a written constitution, that being the only function of the small state. Given this, consenting adults can live in full freedom, pursuing their goals, and what the founding fathers of America would call their pursuit of happiness, which is necessarily possible only unshackled from Nanny State governments.

Such a state of freedom can further only occur when each individual has nothing to fear from the initiation of force from another individual or group, and the role of state is thus to enforce the non-initiation of force principle. Thus the small state has some basic functions to ensure this:

An army to protect individuals from outside aggressors.

A police force to protect individuals from internal aggressors.

A criminal justice system to try abusers, and punish them.

The minarchy also has other basic functions such as a civil (precedent setting) and contract law system, and to provide for the rule of law, for a minarchy is certainly, per the above, founded on the rule of law.
Below all the above, and guiding the rule of law, is human reason.

Now, let’s look at Somalia.

The country is in a state of anarchy, where power is wielded solely by force: by the gun. That is, the initiation of force is behind every transaction (compare this with laissez-faire above!)

The country has no individualistic ethic, it exists solely on tribal allegiance: if you’re from the wrong tribe from in the wrong area, then that is the only reason needed to kill you.

The country has no rule of law. Again, law comes from the tribe with the biggest gun.

The affairs of the tribe are more often than not ruled by the opposite of reason: that is, primitive mysticism. And hence the barbarity and brutality we see practiced there, for as Voltaire stated, ‘those who believe in absurdities become capable of atrocities.’

So, [debatee] Somalia, and then the classical liberal laissez-faire society – given my analysis above, would you perhaps like to explicate for all of us what you see as the similarities that you can make your heinous and unfounded statement equating the two? I have demonstrated clearly, irrefutably, that they are as different as night from day. One is a state of freedom, the other a living collectivist hell, a form of societal insanity.

In fact, lets go a bit deeper – here’s an interesting question: does the barbaric, violent tribalism of Somalia have any corollary in the West? Well yes it does.

The political Left has as it’s basis the ‘common good’ of the collective. According to this life and liberty hating creed, of which David is part of, individualism is seditious, and the individual effort and life must be sacrificed on the altar of the common good of the majority, the tribe. And hundreds of millions of lives over the last century have been sacrificed on this alter, just as the butchery is set to start over again under the Left’s new darling, Chavez (at this stage he is just entering the stage of starving his populace out of resistance).

Here’s one thing I don’t understand about the Left. Through the last century they have had to wring their hands in anguish as one totalitarian after another slaughtered their populaces, when such tyrants always started out pursuing the common good of those populaces, the ‘common good’ always their catch-cry. After all the road to every totalitarian tyranny has always been paved with good intentions. For the rational mind, there is no confusion in this. Without the individual as the focus and primary unit of society, that individual's life and its pursuit of happiness the only morality, without that, and turning instead the focus on sacrifice for the common good, then why is it any mystery that tyrants are able to sacrifice the lives of individuals en masse in pursuit of the common good, which normally ends up, of course, their very own common good – Labour’s and the social democratic credo, their societies based on need, drip with the blood of the individuals it destroys, always. The smallest minority is the individual: protect him or her, then atrocity cannot occur.

Now here’s an interesting fact, to pull this back to economics. Ask a mainstream economist from NZ today what is their guiding ethic and they will ‘all’ answer utilitarianism. The mix of policies that produces the greatest good for the greatest number. Yes, the bloodied altar of the common good again.

It is no wonder that mainstream economic thought slavishly takes its starting point in Keynes, as David [Cunnliffe] does, despite the clear evidence of history showing the destructiveness of Keynesian collectivist socialism. Though never named as such, Marx still delivers the lectures from the lectern of every Western tertiary economics course. David’s header post shows why the cause of freedom, the once nascent classical liberal individualist ethic of western civilisation, is dead now. The irony is that tyrant of the twentieth century, National Socialist Adolf Hitler, did his best to destroy the beautiful blossoming classical liberalism that was flowing from the Jewish émigré communities of Berlin in the early 1930’s, which if they had been allowed to flourish, rather than killed off in the concentration camps, may well have brought the West to a new level of prosperity and civilisation – I can provide references to some of the brightest members – but fortunately he was beaten. However, the political Left have since largely finished his job for him in a way that was far more effective: brainwashing the minds of children through our state education systems into accepting the altar of the common good of the collective their guiding principle, thus slowly over time turning Western nations away from the road to freedom, and to the barbarity of the tribalism we can see in countries such as Somalia, where the gun and force rules. It’s just that in the West, the initiator of force and coercion, the gangs with the biggest guns, are our governments.

[Note in the above I use the terms ‘classical liberal’ and ‘libertarian’ as interchangeable. ]

Okay Sacha: not restricted to 140 characters here ...


Sacha's reply on Twitter:

you pissy little plonker. Get over yourself

Goodness me, after calling my position that of a teenager immaturely resisting authority. The Left - wouldn't want them running a country. Adult debate Sacha: look me up when you've grown up and actually want to debate the philosophical and economic issues.

And if you haven't got the wherewithal to make a reasoned debate, then please don't cheer lead the crowd that wants to run my life for me. The Left: they'd drive you to Libertarianism.


I note Sacha has now deleted all his tweets on this, demonstrating that other Left predilection toward re-writing history.

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