Actually Jeff you referred to “successful mid-level businesses”. As a sex worker (perhaps a “criminal” in the eyes of government), you could say I have a small (one-person) business myself (although I don’t always think of it in those terms), and am libertarian*.
On the other hand, most of the other sex workers I know who have similar one-person businesses are liberals*. I rely a lot on bullshit detection in screening client (or purported client) inquiries, and think I am fairly good at it. Mostly it’s about protecting myself from undercover law enforcement trying to persecute me, secondarily from people just wasting my time, although I tend to be pretty patient/tolerant.
On the other hand, there are other skills that come more into play in mid-level business that I think I’m not as good at, like managing people and their schedules, accounting, etc. I thought you were saying it’s those mid-level business people who are more likely to be conservative, which seemed astute to me as it reflects my own experience and intuition as well.
As sole practitioners though, my liberal sex work colleagues and I are even less insulated from having to produce a genuine product/service than those mid-level (or mid-size) business folks however. If we don’t satisfy clients, there’s nobody else at the “company” to share the responsibility, it’s all on us.
More food for thought: Is a “successful” business one which endures, one which makes money, one which does a good job satisfying its clients, one which adds value to the world more broadly, or some combination of these things? Something else? How about a “successful” person? I think people who would answer those questions too narrowly (perhaps being too “practical-minded” and focused strictly on money?) are missing important parts of the picture.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
*Like most things, I think it’s technically a matter of degrees, so these labels are a kind of shorthand.
On Dec 11, 2020, at 8:06 PM, J Olson firstname.lastname@example.org [LeftLibertarian2] wrote:
I define practical-minded in this context as having the knowledge of socio-economic reality sufficient to run a successful business. Of course, a dictator or an academic could be practical-minded in other contexts, but I’m talking specifically about being able to generate an income non-parasitically without artificial subsidies such as those that fund academics, attorneys, and a whole host of other basically parasitic professions… I think people who generate products and income non-parasitically have to rely on their own wits in detecting deception and avoiding being manipulated. To the degree that you’re insulated from having to produce a genuine product/service you’re more susceptible to fraud/lies. It’s just a hypothesis - not a truth written in stone. Of course, some criminals might have even more accurate bullshit detectors.
A couple of studies I just looked at say small business owners are significantly more likely to lean Republican or Independent, confirming my experience and intuition.
Why did I say “small business”? Because it’s fairly easy to see that big businesses in this country tend to be corrupt - with the biggest being the most corrupt. I’m not sure why, though I speculate that has to do with the way our system is set up - that is, it rewards corruption on the highest wealth levels. Why that might be so would involve a helluva lot of research to answer.
The question of how much conservatism and practicality in a business sense are entwined is an interesting one. It seems difficult to determine the interplay of cause and effect. For instance do people running mid-level businesses (and why not small or large ones?) tend to be more politically conservative* because they experience taxation and regulation as obstacles more than most people? Or are they less liberal because they live lives in which they are less likely to run into various other types of rights violations by the State (e.g. restrictions on drug use, freedom of movement, sexuality, etc.)? Or are people with more conservative personalities more likely to be drawn to careers in business?
I question the idea that conservative = practical minded, and liberals are inherently less practical. What does it really mean to be “practical” anyway? Doesn’t it depend on which values you hold? If productivity or making money is your highest value, then certain things are practical in light of that value which might not be practical in light of a different set of values.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
*I would agree with you insofar as I agree that such folks are more likely to be politically conservative than people in many other segments of the population.
“Even in dangerous times, life is only worth what one lives. We must have prudence, and I realize I’m not good at it – and others such as yourself are. But if prudence doesn’t guard the kind of world worth making this effort for, it becomes merely what C. Wright Mills called ‘crackpot realism’.”
– Aster Francesca
On Dec 11, 2020, at 11:36 AM, J Olson email@example.com [LeftLibertarian2] wrote:
That kind of recognition, by the way, is one of the great values of the conservatives libertarians such as Dan love to hate. A large majority of successful mid-level businesses are run by conservative/practical-minded individuals, I suspect (though I don’t know the actual statistics, assuming they exist; I can only say of the business people I’ve worked with or for, only a tiny percentage would be liberal; all my university customers, on the other hand, were liberal and removed from the reality of earning a living to an extreme)…
On Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 1:33 PM J Olson firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Well, one obvious problem is the basic unwillingness of libertarians to “shadow” government positions they oppose.
But I think your basic notion - we should have some organized methods for dealing with sociopolitical reality - is a good one. Some form of libertarian “resistance” - and I mean a serious organization that wields real political power - seems advisable. That organization would probably need to include relatively liberty-loving “enlightened” non-libertarians to have real power. I can’t see haters of non-libertarians such as Dan buying into that scheme. It’s always an issue of compromising between reality and idealism for we libertarians. One reason, I suspect, that many libertarians are woefully ignorant of the state of corporate-govenment propaganda and Big Lies: the idea of mass-deception does not play well in their idealistic heavily abstract-thinking minds that eschew practical reality.
I suspect more practical-minded reality-astute libertarians hail from business-oriented lives which fairly thoroughly educate them in the reality of deception and learning to recognize deception. I couldn’t have run a successful business without having an acute ear for bullshit which many libertarians seem to lack. Thus they can’t accept the notion that they’re being lied to (especially now) on a constant and massive basis. You learn to recognize the patterns of bullshit when you’ve run a business for a few decades.
I often notice libertarians, including sometimes myself, getting sucked into left/right, liberal/conservative, Democrat/Republican debates like this. Given that the left/right debate and its power players are what most of the media are usually discussing it's an easy habit to fall into, but I sometimes wonder how much it may be hurting our cause..
Libertarianism seeks a paradigm shift, in Nolan Chart terms, of getting people to look at up versus down, libertarian vs. authoritarian, rather than left vs. right. To the extent libertarians fail to talk this up but instead discuss mainstream politics through the lens of the established left/right paradigm, are we reinforcing that paradigm rather than getting people to rethink it? Playing into the public’s sick infatuation with power and those who hold it?
On the LeftLibertarian list we are essentially talking among ourselves, so to speak, so it’s perhaps reasonable to ask whether it matters here. Do habits of online argument risk becoming ingrained into more concrete action such as actually voting for Democrats or Republicans over Libertarians, or even actual belief? If one starts out as a supporter of X, but spends most of one’s time/energy arguing the case for A against B, or vice-versa, does this have a tendency to make one into a de facto combatant primarily acting in service of whichever “lesser evil” one is customarily arguing for?
One idea I’ve proposed for the Libertarian Party (not that I’m the first to think of it) is for the LP to create a shadow cabinet of individuals (preferably elected by delegates at convention) to fill the roles of Attorney General, Defense Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretary, Secretary of Labor, and so on. Maybe even shadow roles like “coronavirus advisor” or “special prosecutor”. Each member of the shadow cabinet could then appoint titled assistants, advisors, and so on, with the goal of these little offices being to follow the actions and statements of their counterparts holding actual public office and do whatever they could in these roles to push their way into the media spotlight and inject the libertarian alternative into the news of the day involving their respective areas of concern.
Among other benefits, it strikes me that the existence of such shadow officials could provide an angle that libertarians could use to make libertarianism relevant to discussions of current affairs and the doings of officials. E.g., “Yeah, I heard about Bill Barr saying _________ today, but shadow Libertarian attorney general Christina Walsh has a better plan…”
Do you think this would help Libertarians and libertarianism avoid getting sidelined in discussions as their defenders are sucked into siding with one half or the other of the conventional political spectrum? Do you even see people getting sucked into taking sides in the left vs. right conflict as a problem for our movement? If so, any other thoughts/ideas on combating it?
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
On Dec 10, 2020, at 1:04 PM, J Olson email@example.com [LeftLibertarian2] wrote:
Well, your post, as always, illustrates my point, Dan… Yes, there are negative things (and in toto, surely more), but BALANCED/IMPARTIAL analysis is not going on in your posts. I’ve never seen you acknowledge anything positive about people you don’t like - even when they clearly have positive attributes. I mean, NEVER. Ron Paul is a racist, Jesse Ventura supports a minimum wage, and Tucker’s against free borders. Nothing else matters, apparently. In that way, you’re totally “all or none” Juanian in your perspective.
I guess Prohibition, the Cold War, the War on Drugs, the War on Crime, and the War on Terror were all minor affairs that didn’t erode any liberties much less grow an authoritarian police/carceral state. All that stuff happened in 2020 and the Republicans never supported any of it, right?
And Noem seems to prefer keeping that Drug War going strong. You just plain ignore that again and again because she says stuff you like in the pandemic.
Regarding Trump on the 2nd Amendment, of course you’re not aware of his bump stock ban. That’s so 2019 (though proposed by Trump in 2018). You probably aren’t aware he wanted to raise the age limit on purchasing guns too.
Carlson opposes actual free market policies too, since he’s against free trade. Despite his long time association with the libertarian movement, he seems to have not learned much about what would actually constitute a free market. Nor did he learn about his restraint of trade tends to benefit certain big corporations at the expense of others but also at the expense of everyone else.
The best thing I can say about “conservative values” - and it’s no small thing - is that conservative governors and officials have been FAR more liberty-oriented in dealing with the biggest push for tyranny in American history - that is, the response to the Scamdemic. Just compare the record of Gruesome Newsome or Governor “Godfather” Cuomo to Kristi Noem or other conservative governors. It’s huge.
Democrats are now all-in for authoritarianism. The same can’t be said for Republicans… Of course, favorably comparing anyone to Democrats isn’t saying much.
I’m not aware of Trump being opposed to the 2nd Amendment, and during this manufactured crisis he has been fairly reserved in exercising federal power - said restraint I don’t see happening IF Biden assumes power.
Conservatives also generally oppose coercive aspects of the identity politics as well as the Propaganda Press, to their great credit. Conservatives like Tucker Carlson also oppose Corporatocracy/Elitism, which the Left/Democrats embrace - and libertarians often defend as “free market” (as espoused in Reason magazine, anyway). Conservatives are rightly skeptical of the Climate Change Hoax and the horrendously authoritarian Green New Deal. Conservatives tend to stand up for vaccine rights (the right to refuse them). Conservatives generally support free speech.
Today’s “liberals,” on the other hand, hate free speech, love the Corporatocracy and Agenda 21/Green New Deal/Great Reset, self-medicate with propaganda from CNN, et al, and just generally worship all forms of authoritarianism.
So there’s no contest between so-called “liberals” and “conservatives” these days, in my view. Conservatives don’t match up well with libertarians, obviously, though conservatives seem more skeptical of the PP and Elitism than many libertarians (Reason recently had a piece defending compulsory vaccinations!!??).
Right now, I say “thank God” for conservatives, because they’re the only ones who are standing up at all to the tsunami of tyranny drowning us. Believing in God/Jesus may be irrational, but as I discuss in my book, it beats worshipping Bill Gates, Fauci, the PP, and the Technocratic Elite. Since religionists already have a god, they don’t need to worship the State. That’s one good thing, anyhow.
So what remains of “conservative values,” at least the ones they claim to have, after Trump?
Not limited government, obviously. They’ve spent the last 4 years undermining the legitimacy of every restraint on the executive’s power.
Not constitutional government or even state sovereignty, clearly. There are 17 red states currently suing other states for not voting the way they want.
Not gun rights. Trump has been a more anti-gun president than Obama.
Not fiscal responsibility. Under a Republican Senate and White House the debt and deficit have absolutely exploded.
Not free trade or free markets. “The free market has been sorting it out and America has been losing.” - Mike Pence. Trump’s asinine trade wars speak for themselves. And if they don’t then Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders’ echoing of Trump’s rhetoric should tell you the tale.
Not freedom of religion. Muslim Ban.
Not even neoconservatism. Trump has replaced a foreign policy of evangelical imperialism with one of his own personal grudges, aggrandizement, and barbarity. And that includes spitting in the faces, repeatedly, of US allies. Not for any strategic reason but because they make Trump feel insulted.
As best I can tell, the only claimed conservative values that have survived this administration are opposition to abortion rights and and utterly obsequious devotion to the Israeli apartheid state.
Of course there are other de facto conservative values like nativism, Islamophobia, anti-LGBT bigotry, and anti-Blackness that are alive and well, but I’m talking specifically about values that they themselves claim.
How do these people ever open their mouths about any of this stuff again?
I mean the conservatives viewing themselves as for smaller government, markets, and freedom.
Posted by: J Olson firstname.lastname@example.org
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