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BARRERA: Libertarianism Is Not The Answer!

March 16, 2012

Our last blog post was titled “Capitalism vs Corporatism” and the premise was that our current form of democratic capitalism has been corrupted by a “corporatism” that has historically evolved into fascism.

Joe Barrera is a Viet Nam Veteran and a member of Veterans For Peace who teaches at Colorado College here in Springs.  He was one of the prime movers of the Veterans Remember Community/Military conference on the CC campus last Veteran’s Day.  Joe takes issue with the authors, Edmund S. Phillips and Saifedean Ammous, maintaining the arguments are too fully based on Libertarian concepts.

I am gratified that this post has elicited such a strong response.  I encourage all our readers to carefully consider the arguments and to offer your own responses.  As well as the outcome of the 2012 elections, this intellectual debate will determine the future of the United States in the Twenty-First Century.

Libertarianism is not the Answer!


Well, the article on the link sounds too much like a Libertarian rant. I don’t believe it represents what the 99% are all about. Libertarianism is just another right-wing ideology, but disguised as extreme individualism and freedom from government regulation. This may appeal to ordinary folks, but it is not in their best interests. Some government regulation is always necessary, as are gov’t programs to help the marginalized and powerless in society. Libertarianism is an invention of privileged classes who already have their share of the economic and social pie and don’t want to share with the have-nots.  And we will always have the have-nots.

Most Libertarians see the powerful 1% elite who run the country as their enemies. But not for the same reasons that the rest of us do. That’s where the anti-corporate argument comes in. Corporatism is indeed the problem, in the sense that powerful elites have subverted capitalism and the government which should rightly regulate capitalism for the maximum good. What these rich people have done is to create a system in which their interests are “more equal” than the interests of the ordinary citizens and the gov’t has become their tool to preserve inequality.

It’s the same old story. Governments, no matter what form they take, are always on the side of the rich and powerful. If they don’t start out that way, over time they become that way. Occupy Wall Street is about stopping this trend.  Libertarian solutions are not the OWS solutions. Libertarians believe that a level playing field exists and that everyone would benefit if the gov’t would just “get out of the way.” But this ignores reality. The reality is that it’s a jungle out there, and government’s rightful role is to protect the weak before they get eaten up by the lions and tigers.

Government exists to keep the law of the jungle from becoming the law of the land. But right-wing propaganda has convinced many people that government is the problem. We have forgotten that we are the government. And that when it serves us we serve ourselves.  Unfortunately, because of misguided  right-wing ideology, we have more poor people now, more jobless people, more homeless, more desperately struggling families than we’ve ever  had before. OWS is about trying to get the government to take care of these people.


Joe Barrera


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One Comment
  1. Crystal permalink

    I agree with Joe.
    Have a problem supporting a system where large corporations and the wealthiest individuals reap unfair advantages through a skewed apparatus of “money talks” lobbying, and broken campaign finance policy, to name a few methods.
    Thanks for a very well written rejoinder to the libertarian agenda.

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