Libertarian Girl: The End of Left vs Right

One thing that’s always surprised me when it comes to politicians is their utter certainty that they are right. Obviously one could draw the conclusion that much of this is simply rhetorical bluster our largely careerist politicos use in a desperate bid to secure their place slopping at the trough; that it doesn’t come from any deeper moral or philosophical sentiment. However, while it’s very fashionable to bash politicians (many would argue with good cause), I find it hard to believe that any of them truly align themselves wholeheartedly with any political party or philosophy.

The reason for this is that face it, life’s so damn complicated. For example, much as I adore the idea of a perfectly egalitarian society and believe that Karl Marx is underrated (he, after all, successfully predicted the globalised crony capitalist world we live in today 150 years ago), the pragmatist in me always comes out to play asking pretty darn awkward questions. These range from: “But what would be the incentive to create wealth when you could just have a cushy life with no effort,” to: “How can we ensure that the assumed benign group of redistributors in a socialist utopia (ie the government), will be somehow incorruptible (ie saintly deities) enough to not fall foul to the double temptations of power and money?” History isn’t exactly on the side of a centrally planned economy when it comes to that last question, is it?

I have to confess at this stage that I am definitely more swayed by the Libertarian Right (unsurprisingly, since I am blogging at the epicentre of radical, groundbreaking thought 😉 ideals of voluntaryism, free markets and free speech and am extremely suspicious of any attempts by governments to intervene in our lives, don’t like centrally planned economies, nor large, creaking institutions which we are forced to pay for via taxation. However, I find myself nodding my head up and down in agreement with the Guardian when it comes to their crusade against the NSA and their generally liberal approach to lifestyle and behaviour; while equally eschewing the general nonsense written about government spending (cuts? What cuts? When we’re borrowing 120 billion a year?) – although I do wholeheartedly agree with them about the banking classes having got off scot-free (personally I think we should have let them gone under Iceland style.)

So there you go. Not very easy to categorise – but in general I veer towards the Libertarian end of the spectrum. And I’m sure I’m not particularly different to anyone else. A bit of this, a bit of that mix it up and there you go. I agree with Russell Brand for example, about the failure of democracy but I don’t agree with his solutions.  I was sympathetic towards the Occupy movement, but their focus on cuts for me was wrong – getting everyone pulled into the government’s net of benevolence was always going to end in tears. Perhaps I question too much, but it’s tough to be a complete purist in a complex world.

Ultimately though, however, I believe one thing is clear. In this post-democratic era we’re moving away from old paradigms of Left and Right. Some would argue they always were a smokescreen, but they’ve fooled the electorate for many years now and at least there was a bit more difference during the good old days of Thatcher versus Foot. However, since the war there’s largely been consensus politics in play, apart from a few smatterings of four-day-weeks, 90 percent tax rates and the like. I mean, as the old joke goes, no matter who you vote for you still get the government – and let’s face it – it’s not like the Conservatives over the last fifty years have massively decentralised and reduce the powers of the State is it? And since 1997 State spending’s massively increased with the 2010 coalition continuing in the same way – what’s the difference?

With a cigarette paper between Left and Right when it comes to policy (all parties in the UK are largely pro-EU, pro-welfare state, pro further moves towards internationalism and centrally planned economies), where does the real discrepancy comes in? This is where I would argue that the ground’s truly shifted, where the boundaries are being redefined. The only relevant debate is between those in favour of the system as it stands namely large, cumbersome, top-heavy social democracies and those wanting radical change. Change as in less interference in our everyday lives, a move towards true local representation where representatives can’t hide behind unaccountable walls of bureaucracy, true free markets, a guarantee of the freedom of individuals to run their own lives as they please etc etc. Obviously the details will vary, depending on what strain of Libertarianism you favour, but one thing’s for sure: it’s definitely not what we’ve got at the moment. What’s also interesting is that Left-leaning Libertarians have much more in common with their Right- leaning counterparts than they do with the Authoritarian Left. There are some differences evidently – they tend to believe more in the Green agenda and don’t focus on private property rights – but when it comes to the localism aspect, from what I can gather, they’re bang on the money.

This is why I truly believe that the minor spats about details are irrelevant when it comes to the new battlegrounds going forward. It’s Authoritarianism versus Liberty. And was always thus – it’s just never been so evident as it is today.

16 comments on “Libertarian Girl: The End of Left vs Right

  1. dr
    November 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    Welcome to Bogpaper, and thank you for making a written contribution to the site.

  2. dr
    November 27, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Hannah Lippitt wrote:
    “much as I adore the idea of a perfectly egalitarian society”
    So you believe that everyone should experience equality of outcome, (the removal of economic inequalities amongst people) which I think is the definition of an egalitarian society?
    So you are happy for one person who works hard, to receive as much as someone who is lazy?

    • Hannah L (@HannahLonline)
      November 27, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

      I think it’s unrealistic but a nice idea. I’m only happy for it in my dreams, not in the real world.

  3. dr
    November 27, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    Hannah Lippitt wrote:
    “believe that Karl Marx is underrated (he, after all, successfully predicted the globalised crony capitalist world we live in today 150 years ago)”
    I heard this claim a few weeks ago on the Sunday Politics show, made by Owen Jones.
    It seems to be an idea that because Marx wrote about our current problems a hundred and fifty years ago, he must be a visionary genius who can therefore describe how to overcome the problems of capitalism and whose ideas can elevate humanity to previously unimaginable levels of wealth and prosperity.
    Frankly, this is just lefty spin.
    I’m not sure when Thomas Jefferson said this, but it would have been before Marx writings, (Jefferson died when Marx was six years old):

    “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

    I am pretty sure that Adam Smith also warns about the dangers of banking getting out of control in his book “The Wealth of Nations” published in 1776.
    So was Marx a genius with godlike foresight? No. He was simply restating in his own words an idea that already existed in classical economics.
    As another example, in the book “Economics in one lesson” by Henry Hazlitt, written in the 1950’s, (obviously not before Marx), Hazlitt also warns of the dangers of banking getting out of control in the manner it is doing at the moment.
    So the idea that banking can mutate into a monster is not new in the world of economics, but our current situation is painted by the left as a unique situation, that can only be understood through the wisdom of socialism… A false statement.

    Here is an article that talks more about Marx and his legacy:

    • kevinsmith2013
      November 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

      Thomas Jefferson was a true visionary, he knew from the outset what the banks could and would do, all he could do was warn against it happening. Unfortunately we didn’t take heed, and what he predicted is upon us now.

      • Michael
        November 27, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

        The one thing I don’t see the majority of the “Left” taking on (except OWS to an extent) nor the majority of the “Right” is our fraudulent monetary system. Until the ability to counterfeit labour/added value is destroyed, it’s deckchair moving on the Titanic.

        Your labour/value add from your own or someone else’s business, for example, represents 40 hours of time per week.

        When someone at a bank can create, via data entry, 40 million hours of value in the time it takes to make the keystrokes, from thin air and without effort, it becomes easy to see the problem.

        This simple fraud is what makes all other financial and political frauds possible. The fantastic advantage this fraudulent ‘wealth’ gives to capture real assets creates the concentration and disparity of assets we see today. It is what makes the 1%, the 1%.

        A commodity backed and redeemable currency issued by the Govt. under close scrutiny and transparency without a central bank and eliminating fraction reserve fraud would immediately reduce wealth disparity because it would eliminated all fictional ‘wealth’ of which most of our current money is comprised. Reward would more closely align with effort rather than being close to the Big Government/Big Finance currency spigot.

        Note the use of the word “currency”.

  4. silverminer
    November 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    I think you’re bang on the money with this piece, Hannah. This Left verses Right thing is a divide and conquer strategy by the Elites which too many just keep sucking right up.

    Ron Paul had a good go uniting all strands of freedom lovers in his 2012 run, there was even talk of him running with Democrat Dennis Kucinich as VP.

    People want freedom and liberty for different reasons but unless we all get together and unite against those that don’t want any of us to be free we’ll be sat side by side in the gulag wondering why we were such a bunch of self righteous twats…

    I have to take exception to this statement though:-

    “all parties in the UK are largely pro-EU, pro-welfare state, pro further moves towards internationalism and centrally planned economies”

    You seem to have overlooked Mr Farage’s lot 😉

    • Hannah L (@HannahLonline)
      November 27, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

      Well, UKIP are a whole other story. The game is changing but that’s a whole other article – haha! 😉

  5. Rocco
    November 27, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    I like this. I like it alot.

    The man versus the State, that’s the thing.

    • silverminer
      November 28, 2013 at 12:13 am #

      Is it? Or is the man verses the banks, who own the State and own us all in debt slavery?

      Take it from a man who has been on the inside:-

      I think this line sums it up:-

      “As MIchael Hudson has informed us, the goal of the financial sector has always been to convert all income, from corporate profits to government tax revenues, to the service of debt. From the bankers standpoint, the more debt the richer the bankers. Rubin, Summers, Paulson, Geithner, and now banker Treasury Secretary Jack Lew faithfully serve this goal.”

      This is debt created out of thin air by nothing more than a key stroke. It’s fraud, plain and simple, and nothing will get any better until we deal with this issue.

      • Michael
        November 28, 2013 at 10:35 am #

        As a wise man by the name of Lord Acton once said:
        “The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.”

      • Rocco
        November 28, 2013 at 10:52 am #

        No. I’ll stick with my first answer, thanks.

  6. kevinsmith2013
    November 27, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    Hidden secrets of money video (as above from michael) are really very good and everyone should watch all of them (5 now), much better introduction to fait currency tahn moneymasters which is more a history of money. Each one is about 30 minutes long.

  7. Woorde
    November 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    First three paragraphs hard for me, but the rest was spot on and the last para sums it up very well.
    Question: is Web2 (sites like BPaper) going to turn the tide by empowering comment ? You would hope so

  8. David
    November 29, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    Ludwig Von Mises: ‘It is impossible to grasp the meaning of the idea of sound money if one does not realize that it was devised as an instrument for the protection of civil liberties against despotic inroads on the part of governments. Ideologically it belongs in the same class with political constitutions and bills of rights.’

    There will be no civil liberties if fiat money is allowed to continue – this is the real struggle – not left vs right but freedom of choice vs state interference – the latter enabled by a pact of evil between bankers and government, bankers getting obscenely rich by being able to create money out of thin air, as long as they lend it to governments who are more than willing to indenture future tax payers to increase their power today, and who are willing to further burden those taxpayers with more debt to bail out the bankers when their speculative bets inevitably blow up

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