Rebuilding the Economy: We’re All Libertarians Now
Econo Commentary From Your Libertarian Opinionizer
An endless amount of ink, decibels and pixels have been spilled trying to cover every conceivable aspect of Covid-19 aka Coronavirus aka Chinese Virus aka The Wuhan Pandemic. So what could possibly be added by yet another commentary?
Well, here’s one possibly unique observation for what it’s worth:
Remember the old “Six Degrees of Separation” theory? The idea is that all people in the world are six or fewer social connections away from each other—everyone is connected through a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend social chain, like “A buddy of mine has a neighbor whose cousin is married to a guy whose uncle knows someone who can get you that wholesale.”
This also became known as the “Kevin Bacon Game” in which the goal is to link any actor to actor Kevin Bacon through no more than six connections where two actors are connected if they have appeared in a movie or commercial together.
Thanks to the coronavirus lockdown our social connections have shrunken; we now live in a word not of “Six Degrees of Separation” but of “Six Feet of Separation.”
We’re All Connected to a Libertarian Now
That may be how everyone is ultimately connected to a libertarian now.
Since the current issue of protecting human health versus reopening boarded-up businesses has become profoundly politicized as a false choice between death versus dollars—aka health versus economy as though we’re all children so stupid we can’t possibly walk and chew gummy worms at the same time—the stage is now set for everyone to start thinking for themselves the way individualist voluntaryist freethinking libertarians have always been thinking.
So you want to reopen your business? And reopen your life while you’re at it? Then this is the perfect time, if you haven’t already, to adapt and adopt the libertarian ideal in which your goal is to live according to the non-aggression principle against coercion, intimidation and fraud while simultaneously avoiding as much of the anti-ideal real world bureaucratic bullying as possible.
Risky Business vs. Taking Care of Business
This means that morally you should take every precaution against spreading the virus to or from your customers, co-workers and compatriots while rationally protecting yourself from any legal threats compulsively imposed by the powercrats infected with the dread Governmental Virus—aka Govid-20.
Never forget that you own your own life, not politicians or societies or communities or any other group. And by the same reasoning you don’t own their lives either. We are all individuals and therefore free to make our own non-coerced and non-coercing decisions.
It isn’t time to ignore the medical mavens or the governing gods but it is time for imaginative and creative critical thinking.
Every person makes constant ongoing risk-reward calculations even though few actually realize that they’re doing it. Every time we get into our motorized vehicles and rev up the engines we’re taking a risk. Distracted driving is the Numero Uno cause of auto accidents.
Get out there on the public pavements and a multitude of misadventures can materialize. A child darts in front of your grill before you can stop; Someone runs a red light and T-bones your truck; glance at your radio to change the station and the driver in front of you stomps on the brake before you can react; an eighteen-wheeler takes a curve too fast and unloads its load all over the highway in front of you or maybe even on top of you; you’re talking on your @#%&! Cell phone again when…
Or nothing unhappy happens, as it routinely does day after day after week after month; go to work, to store, to church, to doctor, to fast food, to Grandma Gertie’s retirement residence without a worry.
Defensive Driving and Defensive Living
Either way, if vehicular maneuvers require defensive driving it’s equally true that virus evasion requires defensive living. If you can’t use your brain, pay attention and think for yourself you had better damn well stay home, keep the doors locked and the windows closed, make everyone else risk Covid contact by delivering meals, mail and packages to you, picking up your garbage, mowing your lawn, walking your dogs while you turn a pasty indoor shade behind your shades while experiencing vitamin D deficiency as you spray spray spray everything that enters your personal little hidey-hole.
Yes, yes, you may be in a high risk group with a severely compromised immune system and other medically compromising conditions. But that’s exactly why you must make your own risk-reward decisions and tell anyone who disagrees with you to go shuck an egg.
Defensive living is little different in concept from defensive driving; it just takes adopting the tactics and adapting them to different situations. If you’ve learned not to ride the bumper of the car in front of you then you’ve learned to maintain that six foot spacing from others. (Bumper distancing equals social distancing.) If you’ve learned to use the sun visor to protect your eyes you’ve learned to use a mask to protect your lungs. If you’ve learned not to blow your horn in traffic because it aggravates others you’ve learned not to blow your nose in public because it contaminates others.
Consciously, subconsciously, unconsciously we are all making our own risk-reward judgments dozens of times every day, typically operating on decisions made ages ago. Are you a fear of flying fatalist or a fearless frequent flyer? Unwilling to risk your heart or willing to take the lover’s leap of commitment? Okay with buying an unknown product or sticking with your favorite brand?
Breaking the Manic Pandemic Polemic
Americans voluntarily submitted to house arrest, solitary confinement, self-imprisonment, Home Alone lockdown without GPS tracking bracelets because it was generally understood that under the circumstances at the time it was seemingly the best, logical thing to do. But circumstances have changed even as the ruling classes, true to their scheming controlling mentality, are loath to loosen their grip on our lives. And the only way to unloosen their nooses is to jerk the jerks loose.
And therefore the demonstrations, the protests, the crowds, the mobs forming across the country demanding their freedoms back.
The message is becoming ever more clear. Most Americans are not consciously Libertarians in name but they’re damn sure libertarian when it comes to their constitutional rights, their liberties, their freedoms, their individual choices and their personal responsibilities.
The libertarian principle against coercion, intimidation and fraud does not exclude the right of self-defense. It’s time to fight back, defensively. If you can’t be Libertarian at least you can act libertarian.
Maybe a buddy of yours has a neighbor whose cousin is married to a guy whose uncle knows someone who’s a libertarian. That six degrees of separation is a whole lot closer than you might realize.
References and Links
Ten Principles of Reopening The Advocates for Self-Government were, as usual, already on top of this reopening stuff from a rational, thoughtful, realistic libertarian perspective. First stated in 1992 and still true is “It's the economy, stupid.”
No Production Means No Recovery This from the Future of Freedom Foundation is about as basic as it gets: We need markets to be open and free, now, for people to make their own best decisions about the trade-offs and risks.
Crony Capitalism versus Free Markets The Libertarian Party has always championed free markets over government-controlled “corporatism.” That means we shouldn’t just reopen the economy but FREE the economy as well.