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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Our chilling future

Jim Quinn is terrified.

So terrified, he deleted my comment. So it's expanded upon here:

Hunger Games: Catching Fire is out, and Lew Rockwell and others are giddy over it, like they were over V in 2005.

I'm not sure how these silly, overwrought movies turn middle-aged libertarians (who doubtless consider themselves critical, skeptical thinkers) into teen-aged groupies. 'V' was the typical Atwoodian fever dream about the Christian theocracy the Left is convinced lurks everywhere just one election cycle away, ready to outlaw sex and turn women into brood mares. When the future rolls out and large swathes of liberal, feminist Britain are under the control of patriarchal Muslim imams, 'V' will be remembered as low comedy.

'The Hunger Games', where a decadent central government devotes huge amounts of resources to training teenagers to kill each other in elaborate settings, would make a good after-school TV special for alienated teens feeling their oats. It's a compelling tale for imaginative 14-year olds: paternalistic government (Dad!) lives off the fat of the land while good looking teenagers out in the sticks are taken from their barely-fed parents, who toil night and day in the mines. Having the kind of brain I do, the questions started right there. What are they mining? Coal? Metals? Dirt? Doesn't that require refineries and transportation infrastructure? And don't you need a well-paid workforce that goes to engineering and business schools to run those operations? And doesn't all that have to be paid for? How much wealth could the government extract before people decided it wasn't worth it to work so hard at the government's steel refinery? Didn't we get to see exactly how this sort of thing played out from 1945 to 1991 across much of Eurasia?

In the real world, resource extraction supports a lot of blue collar and middle class prosperity, and any society wealthy enough and technologically advanced enough to host such fantastic, rococco pageants would just automate the mines and pay their lower-skilled citizens not to work. (This should be sounding familiar already, and you'll note our teenagers aren't being drafted into unisex gladiator contests. In fact, they're given gladiator video games and everybody's fat and happy instead of skinny and resentful.)

Libertarians lap up this flapdoodle like sweet cream, donning their sackcloth and warning us that Fascism Is Here. Where do they come up with this stuff--Mother Jones? Even I know fascism was a political creature of inter-war Europe and a reaction to Soviet-sponsored, internationalist Marxism. I'm not sure Americans could be fascist if they wanted to be.

I've mentioned Rockwell's constant drumbeat about the evil autocratic State (which admittedly can be all of that) before, and it's getting tiresome because out here in reality some very ugly conflicts are shaping up. Lew's sites go on about State Oppression so much, and do backflips around so many other obvious issues, I'm wondering if it's deliberate.

In particular, libertarians never mention that vast, r-selected proletarian tide which is literally waxing fat off transfer payments from K-selected producers. What happens when that multi-billion dollar system of payments goes down? In all their "collapse" scenarioes, libertarians never seem to have thought about places where the civil order really did break down, like in Yugoslavia, or New Orleans after Katrina, or Syria this very minute.

When the system collapses due to a plundered tax base, there isn't any “police brutality” or “TSA thuggery” because the government can't make payroll and all the police and TSA employees have gone home to protect their families. And if there's a systemic breakdown of the civil order here, we are going to deeply regret all that r-selected, Third World vibrancy the libertarians screamed simply had to be let in.

The organic fault lines are not really between governors and governed, because once the money runs out that no longer matters. The real fault lines are between K-selected groups and r-selected groups, tracking mostly but by no means exclusively along racial and ethnic lines. But libertarians never seem to recognize any form of social organization other than the State or the Market. They will tell you that the State exists and that Corporations exist, but somehow Nations, Faiths, Tribes and Clans do not.

This is more of that backward-looking perspective I've been on about: clerics wringing their hands over London chimneysweeps; modern liberals shrieking about brutal WASP overseers horsewhipping their servile African workforce. And libertarians, who seem to think only in terms of the State and this large, featureless Peasant blob, and they're out there on the ramparts with them, in the streets of Paris, in 1789.

When the big shift from managerial democracy to anarcho-capitalism happens (and it's going to look a lot like Dubai and Singapore if you're lucky, and if you're unlucky, Mogadishu), I think the people least prepared for it will be a lot of nominal anarcho-capitalists. When it’s back to blood, which has been the cycle for all of human history, they’ll weep like orphans.

14 comments:

Scotsman said...

After awhile I realized that about 75% of what libertarians talk about is alot of noise; social experiments they get to play because of the liberal secular state. Example - gay marriage supporters will have to pound sand when there is no central power to enforce recognition of these fictitious unions upon property owners.

I think it was Rothbard who said the future won't be 1984, it will be Brave New World.

CJ said...

I think it was Rothbard who said the future won't be 1984, it will be Brave New World

Huxley himself wrote Orwell a letter that said as much. There's simply no need to maintain expensive and potentially ambitious Thought Police when people will police themselves through indolence.

Jason said...

Then there is the perspective that Orwell's "1984" was purposefully created as caricature, so that when the totalitarian regime took control, no one would react because it wouldn't be as bad as described in his book. Indeed, "1984" is still required reading across much of the nation's high schools, although presented by teachers under the false pretext of it being about communism. Huxley may have gloated, but Orwell probably flashed a shit-eating grin after reading that letter. I would argue that social stigma is used quite effectively against those that commit thought crimes, along with financial warfare, and so the thought police already thrive and exist just as the above poster describes it - through our own indolence.

Bob Wallace said...

I got booted off LewRockwell.com years ago for making off-site comments about blacks, homosexuals, Jews, Mexicans...all the groups that are now causing us some pretty grave problems.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Rockwell talks nebulously about statism for fear of running into the J.Q., were he to name names and draw up an organigram. Could he be forthright and not risk losing donors to LvMI? He chose Cultural Marxism over Paleolibertarianism, and note how infrequent Hoppe's presence has now become.

Anonymous said...

@ Jason:

The moment that social stigma ceases to have its paralyzing effect, expect the beefed-up security agencies to morph into something that approximates the NKVD, with the same ethnic complexion as Yuri Slezkin highlighted in his magisterial work.

Gyan said...

Scotsman,
"gay marriage supporters will have to pound sand when there is no central power to enforce recognition of these fictitious unions upon property owners"

Property owners depend upon State to secure their properties. No state, no property.
Without the framework of the state of laws, property devolves into mere possession.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

As State power recedes due to fiscal and imperial collapse, that is exactly where things will head. Democratic rule will give way to ownership, and no stand-alone State to enforce extruded, made-up 'rights.'

This is why I say the last people ready for anarcho-capitalism will be the self-styled an-caps.

Porter said...

AG,

You have a nice little redoubt here. And since I rarely find much with which to disagree in your comments I thought I'd say hello and respond to something you mentioned at Mangans.

Of course, the problem could be solved by simply eliminating entitlements. And by then we'll all be too old, tired and sick to do protest. It will be the New Americans' country then.

I hope you didn't intend this facetiously, since it's exactly what I assume to occur. The bi-polar racial aspect of the entitlement edifice is so obvious that even conservatives would notice--if doing so weren't racist.

A) Old whites anticipating SS and Medicare, and

B) Young diversities anticipating the full panoply of food, medical, housing, education...ad infinitum.

Which might we suppose the increasingly non-white political class will jettison? It's really a bit pathetic. At least Faust received mortal pleasures before being dragged to hell. The baby boomers sold-out for just a promise.

Anonymous said...


Gyan: "Property owners depend upon State to secure their properties. No state, no property. Without the framework of the state of laws, property devolves into mere possession."

As they say, possession is nine-tenths of the law.

Gyan said...

"possession is nine-tenths of the law."
perhaps, but a great moral gulf separates ownership and mere possession.
If I take something that you do not own, but merely possess, I do not commit a theft.

Gyan said...

Anti-gnostic,
Is An-cap viable?. Has any capitalistic system existed without the framework of laws and security provided by the State?

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Gyan: I'm not sure you actually read my posts, as I've already described this. As democratic governments lurch toward socialism then collapse and chaos, other institutions will fill the power vacuum. We are headed round to that very old arrangement, where the State was a matter of who owned the territory instead of the current stand-alone, mercenary arrangement with professional politicians. That's how the Gulf Arab monarchies are run to this day. That's frankly how the whole Middle East should be run; democracy is horribly destabilizing to their societies.

Eventually, for example, people will realize that Haitians are incapable of self-governance. Probably this realization will come when somebody posts photo's of the last aid worker down there being raped and cannibalized. Some organization will go in with a bunch of guns, bribe all the clans' Big Men, and kill all the troublemakers. Haitians, tired of decades of cholera and filth, will gladly sign on.

Also, I'm about to post an interesting link.

Dejected Embryo said...

In the Hunger Games universe districts are specialized. The 12th district is coal miners, various products are created in other districts.

I liked the Hunger Games books and movies, not that they are masterpieces by any means, but they portray convincingly enough how a simple girl gets caught in a survival game and how spectators care about contestants, in their own way, while at the same time thinking it is perfectly normal that these people die in a horrible manner. Sort of like parents love the children whom in different circumstances they would have aborted (and think there is nothing wrong with that).

And I like how the mass-media is appropriately portrayed as serving the nomenklatura and being solely interested in a good Hunger Games show, with a complete disregard for human life.