Focusing Solely on the State Further Enables the State
why it's an unfocused approach and why I’m a paleo-...libertarian(?)
A few months ago when Project Veritas released the tape of the CNN reporter they secretly recorded the reporter disclosed CNN's desire to shift their fear-mongering Covid coverage back to the environment. Covid was fading away and they needed a new scary narrative to sell, and what better than to return to one that often tells us that this planet has somewhere around 12 years left in its life expectancy. Which unfortunately might mean that we’re not yet done with lockdowns, only that the next ones will be “environmental lockdowns.”
And sure enough, not long after the Project Veritas recording was revealed, Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced a new line of attack on Bitcoin, the decentralized digital currency that’s difficult for government to monitor and control. Her method of attack: Bitcoin is bad for the environment.
This example appears to give credence to idea that the corporate press actually dictates the direction of governance, as opposed to it being the propaganda arm of government. But regardless of who comes first, it’s clear that the two are joined at the hip. The trail is fairly simple to see: the media needs a new bogeyman, so they bring back an old reliable one in the environment. The government then responds accordingly by shifting their enforcement powers on not just one bogeyman, but on two, by adding in another “problematic” issue.
But we don’t have to stop with just these two entities as the prominent dictators of society as whole, or even with this particular Bitcoin issue. Higher academia is involved as well. Why? Because college classrooms are where the environment is most heavily pushed onto people as not just something to take care of — which is in and of itself fine — but as something that should be religiously and fanatically used as a divisive and line-drawing issue, as well as a weapon utilized to control the general populace.
Not to be left out, a corporation also made an appearance in the Bitcoin example. Shortly after Warren’s Bitcoin charge, Tesla’s Elon Musk announced that the company would no longer be accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for car purchases, citing the negative effect it has on — you guessed it — the environment. It should be mentioned that Musk may not actually care at all about the environment and is instead attempting to drive down the price of Bitcoin so that he can swoop back in and invest at lower price. Regardless of his intent, though, the reality is that Musk was able to manipulate a currency, which of course is one of the many issues libertarians have with the Fed’s relationship with the dollar.
Which brings me to an appeal, one based off of all of the above and simple observation of the surrounding world.
I’ve recently seen repeated calls for libertarians to collectively intensify and straight-line their focus on one common enemy — the state. The rallying cry is to cut-out the infighting and cease with all of the “culture war stuff” and instead place laser focus on the evils of the state. But what of these other entities? The media, higher academia, and corporations — all of which have either great influence on what government does, or in some cases even dictate what policies and governmental actions the state chooses to enforce.
The answer, as well as argument, in regards to this question will be that all of these entities are simply implied as being a part of the state when calling for an all hands on-deck laser-like focus on the state, because they’re all in some way subsidized by the government. This is not something I disagree with, but ultimately the argument still seems like either a bit of a cop-out, or a partial admission of what I’m eventually leading to with this writing.
First, it’s a cop-out because our government is not a democracy insofar as it applies its governance in a majority rules sort of way but rather in a rule by public opinion sort of way; this being where the already mentioned media and higher academia, as major players in formulating public opinion, get their power. But public opinion is also influenced by all levels of education, as well as by the entertainment industry — another private entity. So either you’ve got to add those into an ever-ballooning definition of the state, or you’ve got admit that laser-like focus on that one common enemy actually might not be the most effective line of attack.
In fact, “line of attack” isn’t what I want to advocate for at all. Because you can’t simply attack a culture to win a culture war. You’ve got to actually create and promote a better one. It may have seemed to be a throwaway line towards the beginning of this writing, the one about “cutting out the culture war stuff,” but it wasn’t, because through observing the stranglehold that all public opinion formulators have on the culture and concluding that the culture indeed needs changing means that focusing on it shouldn’t be neglected at all. Despite some calling for just that.
And herein lies the biggest reason for my growing disillusionment with libertarianism. Neglecting to place any focus whatsoever on culture enables some of the more grotesque parts of our culture, some of which some libertarians even embrace. This is how things like “woke capitalism,” fascist social justice purveyors, and critical race theory become the dominant voices in the culture.
For example, expressing indifference, or God forbid, embracing, drag queen story hour in elementary schools, doesn’t result in a healthy or wholesome culture. It results in sexually and behaviorally confused children, eventually creating more activists for social justice and critical race theory-led social policies and world-views to impose upon culturally traditional homes, families, and churches.
This is not me advocating for laws to ban all things I don’t like. It is, however, a call to not embrace or not simply dismiss certain gross and perverse behaviors, especially when children are involved. And if failing to embrace all things resulting from “live and let live” and instead engaging in culture war rhetoric by denigrating sexual perversity while advocating family values makes me Not A Real Libertarian, then so be it. I’d rather be labeled something else and not be culpable in creating a society that I’ll come to regret.
So focus on and call-out the state all you want, the criticisms are deserved. But if that’s all you do, it’s not likely that much change will come about. Instead, maybe we should place a majority of our focus on so-called “cultural stuff” so that we can create a better culture than the one we have now, which would also subsequently undermine the state much more effectively than focusing on it solely does. Because changing the culture is where true, lasting gains will be made.