Sunday, April 20, 2014

Is Scott Walker a Fascist?

Written on June 19th, 2012

   I read an article the other day that described Scott Walker as taking the first step towards libertarian small-government ends. Canadian liberty activist Stefan Molyneux said that even if Ron Paul or some other libertarian becomes president, since they want small government, it will inevitably involve cuts in government services, cuts in the pay and benefits of government employees, and cuts in the size of governments’ work forces. Molyneux’s point was that a libertarian taking charge of a monopoly government that stays monopolistic will appear to most people as a corporatist (fascism minus the theocracy) system.

   I’d say that the more socially tolerant the libertarian president or governor is, the less he would appear as a fascist. This is why more liberals like Ron Paul and Gary Johnson than do Scott Walker; Ron Paul and Gary Johnson – although they may be far from enthusiastically pro-choice when it comes to personal ethics, and although their abortion policy is guided by the principles of dual federalism (states’ rights) – are not actively trying to make abortion clinics dissuade people from getting abortions, unlike Walker and the Republicans in the Wisconsin state legislature. And since most people who oppose abortion oppose it on religious grounds, that puts the theocratic element back into corporatism, making Walker appear as nearly a fascist to most pro-choice labor rights’ advocates.

   The problem I think we’re overlooking is the problem of monopoly government. Which government controls us depends not on our choice from among a varied selection of alternatives, but on where we live. A government monopoly (on the legitimate use of power) can easily engender corporate monopoly (by threatening to use that power).

   We have a “corporate government” to an even greater extent than that to which we have a “pay-to-play” system full of corruption, corporate welfare, and wealth disparity; we have a “corporate government” because it has the potential to exist indefinitely (like corporations), and because its debt is shared by people who – through the legal-fiction paper representations of themselves – are never given the ability to resist their government, or given enough information to understand why they might have wanted to resist becoming a corporate person in their first weeks of life.

   But a monopoly government also engenders monopoly unionism. It can be very difficult to criticize the most visible problems with the labor movement without offending leftists. It took me a long time to figure out what’s to like about the labor movement and what’s not to like about it. But what appears clear to me now is that there needs to be a way for government employees to keep their jobs and benefits, for them to compete against the private sector to provide similar services, and for them to choose who is their boss (or governor, president, etc.).

   My solution – as clumsily as I might phrase it sometimes, like right now – is to simply submit to “private governance”. The founding fathers intended for the General Welfare Clause to mean that federal spending should benefit all or most people in the country. But most people in the country are very wealthy, nor are most people government employees. Those types of people want specific welfare, not general welfare.

   If Walker’s opponents would just admit that they want special benefits for union members, and if we just change things to that the current governments have to allow other governments to co-exist with them – and compete with them for citizens in the same territory – then we wouldn’t see things like the Walker controversy happening; Democrats would be governed by Democrats, Republicans would be governed by Republicans, union supporters would be governed by someone to the left of Tom Barrett, and we would be having a very different conversation.

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