Matt Kibbe

President and CEO of FreedomWorks

Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff, 2014

I'm a libertarian, too. Kibbe writes of the terrible things that we pay governments to do to us, and I agree with him, within the boundaries he sets to his writing. I don't like the imperial presidency, imperious bureaucrats, and expensive/murderous hypocracy either.

However, I've met a lot of interesting people who work for the government. When I focus on libertarian views, so do they, we argue, and I don't get to learn about the interesting stuff they do. Even if they spend seven hours a day pressing their boot heels onto the necks of prostrate citizens, there is usually something else going on during the remaining hour that is more fun to talk about. A more practical libertarian goal is to help them expand that hour into two hours, than four, until they spend their days boot-free.

Another book about the crimes of government and the tools of opposition doesn't help me much. Kibbe writes well, and if you haven't read a book written by a libertarian, read this book. If you don't understand that libertarians have complaints with both the mainstream Demopublicans and Republicrats, read this book. I am waiting for another book that will help me design better alternatives for government workers; when they walk away towards something better, they will be happier, I will be happier both for them and for myself, and there will be nobody left to maintain the engines of oppression. Oppression is what happens when people have nothing better to do.

Kibbe avoids problems like farm subsidies, patents, pharmaceuticals, television, and other "private" institutions built on government intervention. He does take a swipe at perpetual copyright and the lobbyists who extend it; good for him. But much of government is built on interventions that must grow perpetually, or die; short-term copyrights (say, five years) have no focused constituency. Generally, a government is a steady accumulation of pathologies that results in violent collapse; we can work hard to slow the accumulation, but rarely can we reverse it.

My own "small-l libertarian" approach is to build new institutions that function best decoupled from government. Searching design space, and looking for environments incompatible with central control, requires a different mindset than attempting to build islands in a rising governmental sea. However, these environments will provide refuge for the agile, and make the collapse of government more survivable for those who can adapt. Opposing the government may only delay the inevitable, building the walls higher and making their collapse more painful.

These won't be a retreat into Galt's Gulch. Some friends head for Central America, others to Canada, others to Asia or Europe to escape the evil of the US government. That shows awareness of a portion of the problem, but is leaving the solution to people like me. If shining new institutions are growing in these other countries, I'm on the next plane. Otherwise, I'm here to fix problems, and the best place to do that is where both the problems and the tools to deal with them are.

The most likely new institutions to survive will be international, intergenerational, decentralized and multidirectional. Universal literacy and open publication, open technology, flexible manufacturing, long tail distribution, global interconnectedness, and universal part-time entrepreneurship can create a strong global fabric that can support individuals and collaborations everywhere. International volunteer collaborations like Wikipedia sometimes stumble (as do all human endeavors), but they tend to ratchet towards increased overall value without coercion. And we, the people, reserve the right to "fork" such collaborations and go in a new direction, if the owners of the old brand try to make themselves into a government.

The border walls rise, yet they are more porous than ever; many of my friends were born in Mao's China, but they are here now; many more are a few keystrokes away. A country can turn itself into North Korea, but it will disappear up its own anus. Our job is to make participation in the disappearance voluntary.

MattKibbe (last edited 2014-12-02 21:38:06 by KeithLofstrom)