Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Radical Individualism and Politics

I had a discussion today after soccer (which was good, apart from my heart acting up and benching me for much of the first half of the game) with a libertarian capitalist of the petit bourgeois radical individualist flavour. Radical individualism is something I see as a social ill, but .. there's a point to be made here (or maybe more than one) about how the value structures and arguments unfold. My memory may be slightly muggy.

  • What of public transit? You may be aware of how some car manufacturers bought up public transit in several cities and tore them up (often destroying the infrastructure) so people would buy more cars.
  • In an ideal system they wouldn't have the money to do such things.
  • Do you think public transit is a good idea?
  • I would prefer people have cars - having the government provide such things is a problem
  • What about efficiency? What about the environment? (blah blah I went on a bit further in this direction)
  • I think those should be a matter of personal choice.
  • Even if we can show that public, centralised services can be more efficient?
  • I don't want the government telling people what to do or how their money should be spent.
  • I can see how that makes sense from your perspective; I come from a very different one
  • I don't want you telling me how to spend my money.
  • I do want to do that.
  • Fuck you (turns away)

I don't think non radical individualists should ever yield on this point - anyone who doesn't want to let people put up a barrier against which the state can't seek the public good is so constraining themselves from potential perspectives on the state that they've substantially defined their philosophy right there (as so much can be derived from that position). It is not a pretty thing to enjoy squashing people who take that perspective, but it is such an early path in political philosophy that capitalists and communists, theocrats and liberals, and basically any non-libertarian who cares about societies and the state can and should join in solidarity in its rejection, for it would prohibit and negate them all.

I smell pleasantly of grass. I wish there were a grass-scented deodorant.

(clarification because somebody pointed out the other meaning: I am speaking of the green grass which we played soccer on, not marijuana)


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