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L. Neil Smith's
Number 816, April 5, 2015

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The Cult of the State
by Sean Gangol

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Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

While skimming through videos on YouTube I have come across several videos that have reinforced the notion of how certain atheists seem to have traded a blind faith in a deity with that of a blind faith in the state. One particular video that I find intriguing was done by a YouTuber who goes by the name of Cult of Dusty. Dusty is what I like to call a redneck atheist, which is actually a rare breed in the secular community. He seems to have a rather large following, but I have been somewhat put off by his attitude.

His entire persona seems to revolve around the whole "you're an idiot if you don't think like me" premise. I know that he isn't the only one who uses this premise. Richard Dawkins is so famous for this line of thinking that he was once parodied on a two part episode of South Park. At least Dawkins is more tactful when he tries to get his message across. Dusty on the other hand has more of "Screw you, you're a moron" type of approach to his opponents.

It definitely came as no surprise when he posted a video titled "Why Libertarians are Idiots." I know that it's probably starting to sound like a broken record for me to keep comparing a statists' understanding of libertarianism with a creationists' understanding of evolution, but in this case I would have to say that Dusty's understanding of libertarianism is comparable with that of a young-earth creationist, who believes that dinosaurs and man lived side by side. Before I respond, I want to point out that I am mostly paraphrasing what the man said.

"I have been talking to libertarians lately and they tell me that we don't need regulations because the free market will force the corporations to behave. That's bullshit. "

You would have a stronger argument against this line of thinking if the government had a better track record. Have you ever seen the government in action? Take a look at the FDA whenever there is a salmonella outbreak. It's like watching a dog chase his tail. I don't pretend that the free market is always fair, but they do have a better track record then the government. At best the government is incompetent. At worst the government is corrupt and will never allow itself to be held accountable. At least in a free market, one who would dare put out a dangerous product or perform unsavory business practices has a chance of being held accountable by consumers who would refuse to do business with them. With government it's not that simple.

"People aren't going to spend their spare time researching every product."

Apparently, you have never heard the praise, bad news travels fast. This is especially true in the technological age that we are living in. If a product has a reputation of causing bodily harm, I can guarantee that there aren't going to be too many people who are going to rush out and buy it.

"You can't trust the market to regulate itself, since people are assholes and some are idiots."

So you have resorted to the old "if men were angels, we wouldn't need government" cliché or the less refined version of it. So if people are idiots and assholes as you say they are, then why would you trust people to rule over other people? That is unless you think our government is occupied by angels or demigods.

"We need more regulation, not less. We need so much regulation so that it will be impossible for corporations to buy off the government."

I find it hilarious that this same government, which by your own admission is heavily corruptible, is somehow going to have the moral fortitude to stop the very people who are feeding their corruption. For some reason you statists don't seem to understand that corporatism and free market capitalism are two different things. Corporations exist, simply because government exists. Only the government has the ability to use force. Without government, corporations would have no power. In the end your regulations would likely have no effect on the large corporations, while overburdening all the smaller companies, who don't have as many resources to comply with the rules. Not much different then what we have now.

"Libertarians are always talking about privatizing schools, which is stupid because it will make schools want to compete with each other instead of educate."

This is by far the dumbest thing that I have ever heard come out of the mouth of a statist. Just how exactly does one expect private schools to compete with each other? The other serves lobster for lunch, while the other serves Salisbury steak? Is it possible that they would compete with each other by showing who has the better ability to educate? Once again you would have a stronger argument if you had success on your side. I think it is worth pointing out that even religious schools that teach creationism as a science curriculum actually have a better track record of educating kids then those government schools that you love so much.

"All the libertarians that I have talked to, pretty much have the same attitude towards poor people who can't find a charity to help them. Fuck them."

I seriously doubt that you have talked to a single libertarian. I have never met a libertarian that said "fuck them" to the less fortunate. I guess the argument wouldn't be complete without the famous "why do you hate the poor" straw man. I just love how statists like to pretend that they have a monopoly over compassion. Yet they like to make it difficult for people to prosper with their job killing regulations. I also have to wonder how much Dusty has contributed to private charities. Normally I wouldn't care, since I believe that people have a right to do whatever they want with their own money. It just annoys me how the left likes to act self-righteous about supporting some wealth distribution scheme, while not showing any generosity themselves. I think Dusty would be shocked to learn that the people he despises the most, Christians and those with conservative beliefs contribute more to charity than so-called liberals.

"There is plenty of money to go around. All we have to do is print more."

Why is it that a buck is worth less now then it was fifty years ago? That's right, inflation. What causes inflation? If you have trouble with this question, then let me tell you a little story. I once thought the same thing that you did. I thought that the government could easily give everyone a million dollars. What changed? I turned nine. In the fourth grade, my teacher told me that it would cause prices to rise. If we keep printing money without limit, then it will be worth less than the paper that it is printed on. Don't believe me? Look up, The Weimer Republic.

"You don't succeed on your own, you benefited from the system."

Wow, another "you didn't build it argument." That argument didn't sound any wiser when Obama or Elizabeth "Fake Native American" Warren said it. I have always wondered if you statists would actually have the gonads to go up to a business owner and give him the "you didn't build that" speech. What you statists never seem to realize is that most businesses don't make the Fortune 500 list. Most of them are small businesses who invest time and money while taking all the risks. I can only imagine how they feel about snarky politicians and smart-ass commentators who like to take credit for their success, while not taking any of the risks. By the way the system isn't rigged in their favor. With all the high taxes and complicated regulations that they have to comply with, they succeed despite it, not because of it.

"It's the government's job to keep the people as happy as possible."

How exactly would you expect the government to do that? Different things make different people happy. If you truly want people to be happy, stay out of their way and let them discover happiness for themselves. There is a reason why the Declaration of Independence mentions allowing "the pursuit of happiness" instead of expecting the government to provide it.

"You libertarians and conservative are cut from the same cloth. The reason why I don't support your side: reason."

I could spend time explaining the difference between libertarianism and conservatism, but this article is already too long. I will say that I think it is amazing how many atheists are good at applying reason and skepticism towards the supernatural and certain pseudo-sciences, but not towards the government. Personally, I think having blind faith in the latter is far more dangerous.

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