The Terrifying Future Envisioned By Libertarians

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posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 10:18 PM
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www.alternet.org...



Consider the example of Tyler Cowen, conservative/libertarian economist and pundit, writing in POLITICO Magazine [3], celebrating a future in which a few technically skilled "economic winners" in cities will lord it over a mass of rubes left behind in an era of mass mechanization:

"...Whether you are a factory worker or an accountant, a waitress or a doctor, this is the wave that will lift you or dump you."




Cowen sees it similarly, but instead of a rethinking of the social contract, he sees a glorious libertarian Social Darwinist paradise:


The rise of intelligent machines will spawn new ideologies along with the new economy it is creating. Think of it as a kind of digital social Darwinism, with clear winners and losers: Those with the talent and skills to work seamlessly with technology and compete in the global marketplace are increasingly rewarded, while those whose jobs can just as easily be done by foreigners, robots or a few thousand lines of code suffer accordingly. This split is already evident in the data: The median male salary in the United States was higher in 1969 than it is today. Middle-class manufacturing jobs have been going away due to a mix of automation and trade, and they are not being replaced. The most lucrative college majors are in the technical fields, such as engineering. The winners are doing much better than ever before, but many others are standing still or even seeing wage declines.



Cowen goes on to argue that all the poors will simply fight and eat each other rather than focus their gaze on the 1%, and that a new dawn of libertarianism tingned with slight neoliberalism will rise in America's technocratic urban centers. It's well worth reading his piece in full to appreciate the giddiness with which he anticipates this Malthusian nightmare.


It's an interesting read for me because I just don't understand the delight this Cowan takes in this possible future.

It rather reminds me of those fundamentalist christians that are down right giddy over the rapture. Not so much that they will be raptured but that others will suffer.

I just don't understanding reveling in other peoples misery, cheering on their suffering.

edit on 18-11-2013 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 





I don't, however, think it will end that way. The history of middle class societies that lose their footing in an age of mass inequality and labor destabilization suggests that a more progressive social contract will emerge under the threat of revolution. The other, only slightly less likely possibility is a fascist regime that attempts to lay all the blame on "The Other". A slow, comfortable descent into class-based Social Darwinism seems less likely than either option, though it's certainly possible.

"fascist regime that attempts to lay all the blame on "The Other". Sounds kinda familiar, No?
The buggy whip makers changed or starved and in my opinion what is talked about in your link is already happening all around us.. Everyone seems to think it will be a wake up one morning and hear everything on the news about some dastardly turn of events but, IMO, it will be more like each individual wakes up from their own sleep and figures out for themselves things are not like they used to be and have changed in a very fundamental way forever.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 10:38 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


You gave the editorialized points but not the actual article by Politico? Interesting.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in reading the "first" hand account/report about Cowen, here is the Politico Article

OP -- What a crock of nonsense you are pushing....****shakes head****



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 10:49 PM
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Cowen concludes the piece:


One day soon we will look back and see that we produced two radically different countries: a fantastically successful nation, working in the technologically dynamic sectors, and everyone else. It may not be precisely the dystopian future for our dying democracy that Isaac Asimov envisioned. But it won’t be too far off, either.


Notice that he doesn't seem particularly pleased with that outcome. I find his observations pretty much on-the-money. He's not championing social Darwinism; he's just pointing it out. Seems to me he finds it distasteful, as Libertarians tend to do. Certainly I do....



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 10:55 PM
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ownbestenemy
reply to post by FyreByrd
 


You gave the editorialized points but not the actual article by Politico? Interesting.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in reading the "first" hand account/report about Cowen, here is the Politico Article

OP -- What a crock of nonsense you are pushing....****shakes head****


The actual article referenced in the commentary really has nothing to do with the question/point I was asking and that was about the tone of glee at the possibility of millions of people suffering.

That was what the OP was about - not the article.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 10:58 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


Nice try, but the very next post in this thread addresses the "tone" of the piece far more effectively than you have.

If anyone is gleeful here it is the far left, whose policy of convincing others that there are "not as good" as anyone else has created millions of people who will never be able to compete at anything, with anyone.

And it's sad.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 10:58 PM
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Ex_CT2

Cowen concludes the piece:


One day soon we will look back and see that we produced two radically different countries: a fantastically successful nation, working in the technologically dynamic sectors, and everyone else. It may not be precisely the dystopian future for our dying democracy that Isaac Asimov envisioned. But it won’t be too far off, either.


Notice that he doesn't seem particularly pleased with that outcome. I find his observations pretty much on-the-money. He's not championing social Darwinism; he's just pointing it out. Seems to me he finds it distasteful, as Libertarians tend to do. Certainly I do....


Interesting, I don't get that vibe from Libertarians in general. Meaning that they fine the logical conclusion of libertarian policies distasteful.

Could always be wrong.

I'm editing to response after reading the original quoted article which I found to be so much guessing as to border on the ridiculous. That is my common response to unsupported blather.

He states that because the US population is getting older it will become ever more conservate. That's not supported by any research. It may be true today but going towards his 2030 with the baby boomers becoming that older generation, I 'guess' it will be somewhat more liberal especailly when it comes to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

His envy is local has some truth to it but what's the point....

Crime rates falling - what does that have to do with increasing lack of work. As more people becomes more desparate it will climb.

He predicts the winners and losers of the future. I can do that with as much validity as he.

And he does say:



What will become of the economic losers? They will not be out leading the charge for higher rates of progressive taxation or trying to revive the memory of George McGovern. Instead, a radically conservative mood will be even more common among lower earners. Just look at what is already happening in parts of the United States where incomes are relatively stagnant. Political conservatism is strongest in the worst-off, least-educated and most blue-collar states: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming—key outposts of Tea Party support. As the urbanist Richard Florida puts it, “Conservatism, more and more, is the ideology of the economically left behind.”

Read more: www.politico.com...


Which is hardly a rousing endorsement of big business libertarianism or conservatism or current tea party. Who co-oped the Tea Party (which started as resistance to the Bush Bank Bailout) - big business.

The orginal article is rubbish, it's tone (my take) condensending to just about everyone.

Still not the point of my post.



edit on 18-11-2013 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)
edit on 18-11-2013 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 11:44 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


Let's see if this helps. It's from 1992, but since I couldn't have said it any better....




Los Angeles Times, October 31, 1992

I really must object to the characterization of the Libertarian Party in your Decision '92 section (Oct. 25) as promoting "a synthesis of social Darwinism. . . ." The Libertarian Party clearly takes a position in opposition to contemporary social Darwinism, which manifests itself through well-organized political minorities, who, by marshalling 218 congressmen or 54 Assemblymen, can and do engage in the systematic plunder of the taxpayer.

You ignored the emphasis, clearly seen in the Libertarian Party's Statement of Principles, of the principle of voluntary action in society and the eschewing of coercion. Coercion is the essence of social and biological Darwinism. For instance, Libertarians do not advocate that the poor should not be helped, but that they should be helped by voluntary, not coercive, means.

To describe us accurately, you should have said: "Libertarians promote a synthesis of the principles of voluntary action, individualism, the free market, and respect for the free choices of individuals in all areas of life, while recognizing the individual's responsibility for the results of his own choices."

JOHN VERNON

Member of the Executive Committee

Libertarian Party of California


If you're interested in putting words in the mouths of Libertarians, I must insist you do some basic research....



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 11:46 PM
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FyreByrd

I just don't understanding reveling in other peoples misery, cheering on their suffering.

edit on 18-11-2013 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)


It's an unfortunate circumstance that so many people do understand it, and that they don't understand what it is to be human.



posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 01:49 AM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 



FyreByrd
It rather reminds me of those fundamentalist christians that are down right giddy over the rapture.


Strange you would say that.
Although Libertarians do believe in freedom of religion, they are the atheists of politics IMO.
Libertarians usually give priority to the (sometimes hard) truths instead of believing in the fairytales of unsustainable fiscal policies.



posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 02:24 AM
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This is the trend. However;

Two things are to be noted.

1) We as human beings are all capable of feats, the true difference between the top and those at the bottom is audacity. Those with feral instincts to survive and no sense of civility or humanity will be the majority of the big players. The concept in OP is worded in such that those at the bottom are unintelligent or lack capacity, this is untrue.

Our future is going to be damn interesting and definitely damn painful one. So don't think that if you live in the bread lands or if you pay up to the big man that you'll be safe from it. As this sort of economy develops, resources will only become more and more important and you'll be involved in what most in already urbanized and industrialized areas get a daily taste of.

2) The second point being; Do not worry. Just like the saying "not all angels are good", the opposite is true. There will always be a vigilante or several. Not all men can stand by and watch such monstrosity and loss of all sense of humanity occur to shallow elitism and the hysterical purging of "have-nots".




~BC
edit on 19-11-2013 by BlubberyConspiracy because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 02:27 AM
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So libertarianism leads to AI? That's quite a stretch.

Let's try to remember that basically all of the technology we now have is the result of, in one way or another, violation of libertarian non-coercion principles. We've all heard that war is the greatest impetus for new technology, right? Well, war is not something held favorably by any libertarian I've ever met.

Get my drift? War is but one example. This Politico guy doesn't know what he's talking about. At all. Nor the other commentator commenting on that commentator's comments.



posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 03:22 AM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


Most of it will become truth in the not-so-far future. Robotics is advancing very fast and the next sector to be overtaken will be the service sector. Most easy jobs will be lost, although the need for service technicians/engineers will rise a lot, but not enough. There simply will not be enough jobs for up to half of adults, if not more.

How it will affect the average person? Everything depends on how the political system will cope with it. I see two possible options - either what you describe, which happens if the system sticks to current economic situation or some kind of socialistic-capitalistic hybrid, where every basic need is covered by the government, from basic food to utilities, place to live, universal healthcare and basic tech/tools. I used the word basic on purpose. This simply takes advantage of there not being not enough jobs for everybody. People who go to work, go there for getting luxuries (a´la buying bigger house, buying a car, better tech, more luxurious foods (spices, imported foods, processed foods). Who does not want to work does not need to, who wants gets the job. The shift has to happen in the reasons why people work. Currently many people work for survival, that would shift it towards working for luxuries, not survival.

The other option would simply bring a dog-eat-dog society, a class society, where the wealth gap is enormous, the current one is a joke compared to that one. Something as described in movies, like Elysium or In Time is bound to happen in that case with the advances in technology. Social mobility is near to zero (where you are born dictates your life - if you are born in lower class, getting out is near to impossible) This might sound like doom porn, but IF service sector is overtaken by machines (in decades) something like that will happen, unless economical system and our way of thinking shifts significantly from current values.



posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 03:39 AM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 





I just don't understanding reveling in other peoples misery, cheering on their suffering.


In the case of Rapture believers, even if they are not taken up, they get to thumb their nose and say "Told ya so!!", while they burn right beside you.



posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 09:47 AM
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reply to post by Ex_CT2
 

Yah, reading through the original article and then the article about the article, to label Tyler Cowen as a Libertarian is a stretch.


In a 2007 article entitled "The Paradox of Libertarianism," Cowen argued that libertarians "should embrace a world with growing wealth, growing positive liberty, and yes, growing government. We don’t have to favor the growth in government per se, but we do need to recognize that sometimes it is a package deal". His argument was subsequently criticized by Bryan Caplan,[10] Justin Raimondo,[11] Christopher Westley,[12] and Doug MacKenzie.[13] Cowen endorsed bailouts in a March 2, 2009 column in the New York Times.[14] He was a supporter of the Iraq War.[15]

So he likes big government, likes crony capitalism and is an advocate for lie based, preemptive wars of aggression...

Thats pretty much the opposite of libertarianism...

I guess it would be kind of like calling myself a vegan, then grilling up steaks for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
edit on 19-11-2013 by gladtobehere because: wording



posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 01:04 PM
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gladtobehere
reply to post by Ex_CT2
 

Yah, reading through the original article and then the article about the article, to label Tyler Cowen as a Libertarian is a stretch.


In a 2007 article entitled "The Paradox of Libertarianism," Cowen argued that libertarians "should embrace a world with growing wealth, growing positive liberty, and yes, growing government. We don’t have to favor the growth in government per se, but we do need to recognize that sometimes it is a package deal". His argument was subsequently criticized by Bryan Caplan,[10] Justin Raimondo,[11] Christopher Westley,[12] and Doug MacKenzie.[13] Cowen endorsed bailouts in a March 2, 2009 column in the New York Times.[14] He was a supporter of the Iraq War.[15]

So he likes big government, likes crony capitalism and is an advocate for lie based, preemptive wars of aggression...

Thats pretty much the opposite of libertarianism...

I guess it would be kind of like calling myself a vegan, then grilling up steaks for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
edit on 19-11-2013 by gladtobehere because: wording


Well, when you're right, you're right. Thanks for digging that up. I don't know who Cowen is, but from that he doesn't sound like much of a Libertarian at all. Self-labeling doesn't make a Libertarian of someone.

Nonetheless, he did seem rather appalled at the world he envisioned. I don't think he's recommending that particular dystopian future. He's just not very forthcoming in that essay about what exactly he is recommending.

In any case, there are radicals who call themselves Libertarian, just as there are radicals who hang out on the fringes of other parties. With Libertarianism, you really can't deviate very far without becoming something else entirely. So no: He doesn't sound like much of a Libertarian....

edit on 11/19/2013 by Ex_CT2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by gladtobehere
 


Thanks for giving me another reason to think this guy is full of rubbish.



posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 08:28 PM
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FyreByrd
The actual article referenced in the commentary really has nothing to do with the question/point I was asking and that was about the tone of glee at the possibility of millions of people suffering.

That was what the OP was about - not the article.


It most surely does as the commentary is based off the article and the spin thereof. Cowen doesn't exude libertarian in my mind, but when a commentator (blogger/editor/whoever) does their own take upon what was actually said, it adds a very subjective view upon an already subjective point.

For example: An article about a scientist that states "eventually there is a plausible possibility that we will all be cyborgs" goes on to be editorialized to claim that "Scientists want us all to be cyborgs"....

You don't see the implications there? The slight twisting of words, intent and context? That is exactly what the linked piece did in this case in my opinion.

You don't want to discuss Cowen or his words, you want to discuss an editorialized piece that fits your ideology; that is what I see.



posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 08:41 PM
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The thing you don't understand is that the hopeless class you describe is present in pretty much every type of society known to man, even the ones where you can attempt to assuage your guilty conscience by voting for a coercive government who steals food right our of your own kids' mouths to pay for them to have less than adequate everything.

I prefer the other type of society where I have to assuage my guilty conscience by actually having to get up off my butt and do something about the problem directly by donating my own time or money as I can afford either one to organizations I deem worthy. That way, I don't have to send either myself or my child to bed hungry in order to feed the government beast so that you can assuage your guilty conscience by feeling that you cast your vote and "did something" about a problem that government simply can never and has no interest in ever solving so long as you and people like you are content to give it ever more power to try to "solve" that problem.



posted on Nov, 27 2013 @ 06:04 AM
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Anyone who uses the word "social darwinism" in this way, as if it were a valid concept knows nothing about human society, or darwinism. Lots of people interpret "survival of the fittest" as "survival of the strongest". When in fact, it's more like "survival of the most adapted".

We are a social species. We have evolved as compassionate beings who survive because they protect and fend for everyone, even -and especially- the weak. Social darwinism is moronic. We are not lone predators, and lone humans who think that they are lone predators have never survived very well against *real* lone predators.

Proof ?

Easy. We are a social species. And *that* IS darwinism.
edit on 27-11-2013 by Ismail because: can't spell



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