Tag Archives: libertarian socialism

Debunking Libertarian-Socialist Nonsense

It takes a concerted effort and a persistent willingness to suspend disbelief to be a life-long libertarian-socialist (and its closely-related Marxist variants). Most people outgrow it by their late 20′s upon learning that Marxism is far more violent, ruthless, and just all-around awful than the capitalism it is supposed to replace.

Libertarian-socialism is predicated on imagined oppression of workers by a so-called ‘capitalist elite’, and that workers should ‘free’ themselves from this oppression to control the production and spread the fruits of labor more equally. ‘Libertarian’ is not used in the American sense of the word, but refers to the lesser-known European definition. That’s pretty much the entire 3,000+ word Wikipedia summary, condensed into a few sentences. But anyway, libertarian-socialist arguments are easy to refute through simple common sense and empirical evidence.

Here is one such, easily refuted argument alleging ‘worker exploitation’:

This implies profit margins of over 900%! But then why are so many companies unprofitable, or why retail companies have profits margins between 3-5%? Or why the average S&P 500 company has profit margins between 10-20%. Public companies have to report their operations through public disclosures (forms 10-Q, 10-K), and there is no evidence any public companies are producing 900% profits…even the most profitable handful of public companies only have operating margins around 30-40%. If exploiting workers is so profitable, why were so many jobs lost in 2008? Why do so many companies fail every year and have to terminate all their employees? Hmmmm? When a company fails, employees always get paid first and the common shareholders, upon liquidation, last. Maybe workers have a better deal than commonly believed. The reality is, although a company may generate $200/hour in value from an employee it pays $20/hour, most of the remaining $180 goes back into the company to keep the entire operation running. If the operation fails, the employee loses his job and thus gets $0/hour. Some of that $180 goes into – gasp! – profit, but without profit there is no incentive to create or invest in businesses.

As I explain in Is Going to Work Really So Bad? Jobbers vs. Self-Actualizers in response to a similar argument by James Altucher, in giving up the $180/hour you gain access to the company’s resources: clients, infrastructure, network, and office. An entrepreneur has to provide all of those things himself, but all an employee has to do is show up and perform his assigned job. Entrepreneurship has a very high rate of failure, and most solo-endeavors make very little money (much less than minimum wage), an example being self-publishing, as I describe in Pencil Pushers and The Miracle of Capitalism. Most people, if left to their own devices to make money, would starve to death…which is what happened China and Russia during communism, if history serves me correct. And then there are the empty food shelves of Venezuela, another country that decided it was ‘too good’ for capitalism. With the workers liberated, they can enjoy their non-existent provisions and control of the means of the non-existent production.

Zerohedge, Trump and Anti-Establishment Liberalism

In response to a reporter being choke-slammed at a Trump rally, ‘Tyler Durden’ of Zerohedge writes:

Last week, in what some view as a prelude to a fascist future for America, Trump suggested he would change libel laws in order to give himself greater scope to sue journalists who pen negative articles about him

This affirms what I suspected for years that Zerohedge is run by leftists or at least some variant of Chomskyesque socialist libertarianism. They whine about the national debt, Wall St. being rigged, banker meanies, and ‘big bad trump’[1], etc. Zerohedge envisages a ‘recessionary utopia’, where bubbles never form, where there is no national debt yet abundance for everyone, where stocks don’t go up too much, where despite the permanent recession banks are always able to pay 5% interest on deposits but inflation is otherwise nonexistent (the joke, of course, is that such an economy cannot exist), where wealth is only accumulated in ways they approve of (which excludes banking and speculation), where everything is transacted in gold, and society somehow reverses to a simpler, idyllic, more ‘wholesome’ state spared of all greed, excess, and irrational exuberance. In 2009, Zerohedge heavily promoted Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, a leftist who achieved fame for his expositions against Goldman Sachs. Recall that Rolling Stone was behind 2014 UVA rape hoax. In March 2012, Taibbi wrote an obituary in Rolling Stone, titled “Andrew Breitbart: Death of a Douche.”

Sanders, who wants to spread your wealth if you make too much money, is much more ‘fascist’ than Trump, who wants hard-working people to keep what is rightfully theirs. But, according the left, disposing of an unruly reporter makes one a ‘fascist’. Zerohedge is good controlled opposition, a way of pushing the ‘right’ to support libertarian variants of socialism. These types of leftists, related to post-structuralism and the Frankfurt School, tend to promote ‘blank slate‘ views of humanity, where no one is intrinsically better than anyone else and differences in outcomes are attributable to environmental factors such as ‘racism’ and unfair advantages owing to class differences, not genes. Examples of such thinkers include Slavoj Zizek [2], Foucault, and Jean-François Lyotard. They reject ‘grad theories’ and reductionist views of humanity, including economics-based/orthodox Marxism, Fascism, Democracy and The Enlightenment. This is similar to Zero Hedge, which also has very anti-establishment views. Although Trump is running (and perceived) as an ‘anti-establishment’ candidate, his policies themselves are too ‘structural’. They, these socialist libertarian leftists, despise the idea of any semblance of ‘favoritism’ or ‘elitism’, be it biological (HBD/IQ) or economic (crony capitalism, bank bailouts, etc). Although NRx is anti-democracy, which I agree with, it’s also elitist and pro-’structure’. The far-left, on the other hand, are anti-democracy because they view democracy as too elitist, too structural, or not leftist enough, whereas we view it as too liberal. The far-left seeks disorder, a society devoid of hierarchies and ‘order’ – be it biological, cultural, or economic.

Zerohedge, along with liberals and turncoats like David Stockman, Karl Denninger, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Peter Schiff, Bruce Bartlett, Zerohedge writer and Sanders supporter Phil (who rails against low wages and the fed), and Charles Hugh Smith, always blame Wall St., the fed, or some ‘shadow entity’, never individuals, in agreement with the left, who are always looking for ‘villains’ to explain-away differences in socioeconomic outcomes and why some groups of people are always falling behind. Some blame ‘broken families’ for underachievement, but even that has a biological component.

[1] To my surprise, it seems some on on the ‘NRx-sphere’ want Trump to lose because he won’t collapse the system fast enough but rather keep it hobbling along:

The fear among reactionaries is that Trump will take a fundamentally evil, unsustainable, and spiritually/morally broken system that is in the process of self-destructing and fix it *just* enough to keep it limping along a few more decades, neither fixing its basic flaws nor allowing it to collapse so that something better can rise from its ashes. This is what Gorbachev tried and failed to do in the Soviet Union of the 1980s. It’s what Deng Xiaopeng tried and succeeded at doing in China. Decades later, China is stuck with an evil, but still functional government that keeps limping along because Deng fixed it *just* enough to keep it going indefinitely.
That seems like a pretty unpleasant prospect to me.

However, there is no guarantee that collapse will usher in the right-wing government many seek, but rather the opposite as history has shown in several instances: The 30′s, with FDR rising to power during the depths of the Great Depression. Obama in 2008 and 2012 in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the backlash against Bush. And the biggest ones of all: the French Revolution and the English Civil War. And probably the America Revolution, too. All three overthrew monarchies. The Chinese Civil War of the early 1900′s, ushering Communism, overthrew the Qing dynasty.

The whole thing is confusing (because just a few months ago everyone seemed so resolutely pro-Trump) and ties into the differences between HRx and NRx, which I’ll discuss later.

[2] The far-left is renouncing Dr. Zizek for speaking the truth about liberalism, about how oppressed people are not always right. In 2014, I penned an encomium about Dr. Zizek, suspecting he was on ‘our’ side despite being branded as a ‘liberal’. His anti-PC idiosyncrasies go against he grain of liberal conformity and ‘social skills‘. The analogy about liberals being modern ‘Puritans’ seems apt, as liberals are always imposing their moral superiority, persecuting those who don’t conform. Rather than damnation, the punishment is losing your job, being forced to resign from academia, being blacklisted, etc. Like during the Salem Witch Trials, those targeted by the SJWs never get a fair shake and are presumed guilty rather than innocent until proven guilty.