Sunday, November 27, 2011
There has been mixed responses to Occupy Wall Street by libertarians. Some see the movement as a positive, while others see them as little more than lazy hipsters.
But libertarians must be sensitive to why people feel the way they do about issues.
The occupiers point out a legitimate concern that "the 1%" control vastly more power and wealth than "the 99%", and corporations have accumulated more power and privilege than is healthy for an open society. Some other concerns and demands are absurd, but the heart of the matter is on track.
The question is why has this happened?
While many on the left are quick to blame a nebulous thing called "greed", or lack of regulation, the matter is more complicated than that. This calls for a Lord of the Rings metaphor.
Let's say that Sauron, the big cheese bad guy of Lord of the Rings, is the corporate hegemony. The 1%. Most people in Middle Earth agree that this is a problem, but there are a few different camps offering different solutions.
Group 1) OWS/"Left": Wants to confront the power of Sauron directly in battle using the one ring and "Occupy Mordor". They want to use the power of the state (the ring) to reign in and defeat the corporations (Sauron). Boramir counts himself among this camp.
Group 2) Libertarians: Understand the nature of Sauron's power and see that the key to his power is the One Ring. Rather than fight Sauron directly, or try to wield The Ring's corrupting influence, they seek to remove the source of Sauron's power. They seek to destroy the privilege granted by governments to corporations, they seek to destroy the One Ring.
Group 1 is also quick to blame most of Middle Earth's problems on Sauron's lobbyists, such as Worm Tongue. They say that if we were to just ban lobbyists from communicating to and serving kings and royalty (Congress) then Sauron Inc. would be put in his place.
But isn't it so that leeches like Worm Tongue are drawn to serve Sauron because of his power? The power that rests in the power of the State (The Ring)?
If government had no deals and privileges to dole out to the well connected then couldn't a free and fair market occur? So, we must destroy the One Ring and only a union of Occupy Wall Street, The Tea Parties, Independents, and Libertarians, (and even Democrats and Republicans) can make it happen.
Let us build a Fellowship to destroy the linchpin of state-corporate hedgemony! Let us do it today!
Regular Columnist, THL
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Occupy Mordor or Destroy the Ring?
Eric A. Sharp
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