Anybody who has been reading this blog for more then a day has probably come to the conclusion that I hate politics. Politics, to me, is nothing more than a sick amusement. When politicians explain their next plan to fuck us over I just sit back, laugh, and try to let people know what the ruling party of this country are doing. We may not be able to avoid getting screwed but it’s still nice to know how we’re going to get screwed.
While politics is nothing more than a sick for of amusement for me it’s worth analyzing what politics really is. Politics is nothing more than a socially acceptable way to force people into doing what you want them to. Going up to somebody, putting a gun to their head, and demanding they dance like a trained monkey is generally frowned upon; but if you run for office, get elected, and pass a bill that legally requires people to dance like trained monkeys that’s perfectly acceptable. Every legislative initiative ultimately boils down to this: one side wants to force the other side to comply with a list of demands.
Nowhere is this more apparently than political conventions. I’ve already written two rants about the basic political organizing unit (BPOU) convention I attended last week but I feel a point needs to be driven home. At that convention I was surrounded by the most disgusting, vile, and monstrous people in existence. These people claimed to be there for the good of the country but ultimately they were there to force the country to obey one or more demands. Some people were there hoping to raise support for the upcoming vote to ban gay marriage in Minnesota. Others wanted to push for war with Iran. Many attendees wanted to push for laws that would make abortion in all forms illegal. There were even individuals who wanted to advocate for laws that would ban all gambling in Minnesota.
What every one of those individuals have in common is a desire to use the state’s gun to force people to comply with their ideals. Then you have the politicians, the people who are no longer content with forcing people through indirect means and have opted for more direct means. Political conventions really shed light on the political process, politicians show up and tell the crowd how what they will force people to do and the crowd bases their vote on those promises of force. If you want to stop gay marriage you vote for the politicians promising to prohibit gay marriage. Those who want to force people into sobriety can vote for the politician who promises to force sobriety through stronger punishments for drug use. Convention are where the monster meet. Those unwilling to directly force other into obedience can elect those who are willing to directly force others into obedience. It almost causes me to vomit thinking about it.
Politics is disgusting. It requires a devious mind in order to counter other people who oppose your desires. Underhanded trickery and schemes are de facto strategies at political conventions because power hungry monsters known only force but also wish to avoid being forced into a course of action. Eventually everybody who plays the political game gets burned by an opponent who is more devious and cunning. Decisions are never based on mutually agreeable terms because those who end up being affected have no say in the matter.
Libertarians suck at politics because we have no interest in controlling the actions of others. I have no interest in running your life so I’m ineffective when it comes to politics. Political deals can’t be brokered when you have nothing to offer. In order to make a political exchange one must have something to offer in the realm of force. For example, if one wanted a candidate to ban drug usage they may accept a law banning gay marriage as well. A politician who wants to ban gay marriage may be willing to support bans on drug usage if it means the advocates will provide votes. Basically one trades their form a tyranny for another’s form of tyranny.
The political ineffectiveness of libertarians isn’t due to apathy or laziness, it’s due to the fact that we have no tyranny to offer and therefore we have no effective means of making political deals. It always confuses me when people criticize libertarians based on our ineffectiveness at politics. People don’t seem to understand that our ineffectiveness derives from our beliefs in personal liberty, we have no interest in running the lives of others. Our ineffectiveness actually demonstrates our ideology better than any book, speech, or movie could. In the world of coercion we simply shrug our shoulders, tell everybody to run their own lives, and dabble in politics only as a means of self-defense (in general we are only interested in limited how screwed we’re going to get).
The people who worry me are those who are good a politics. Being good an manipulating others into supporting force is not something to be looked upon favorably. When somebody says the Republican Party is better than the Libertarian Party because the Republican Party actually gets people elected they’re actually saying the Republican Party is better at negotiating with force. Republican candidates can offer up ways they desire to force others, libertarians can not. A Republican candidate can say he’ll support another’s desire to enforce sobriety but wants the ability to stop people from gambling if elected. Such an ability should never be considered a merit. Politics is the art of force and being good at it should be seen as monstrous.