It’s the year 2016, and as a society (our media, and politicians especially) we continue to beat the drums of class warfare.
Economics-based “identity politics” are no less in full swing now than they were in 1917.
All around the world extremists on both “traditional” sides (right and left wings) have attempted to implement their policies, economics, governments, and views on entire nations and communities.
We’ve pandered to this imaginary conflict for ages, and yet strangely, [almost] no one has figured out that this approach doesn’t work.
From politicians, organizations, think tanks, and publications; many people on both sides have seemingly tried every system and every narrative. Yet, for some mind-boggling reason, they just can’t seem figure out why no one has ever successfully made the poor rich, or the rich poor. To be fair, some have, indeed, made the latter work, but I wouldn’t call that a success considering it led to absolute economic catastrophe.
You see, there are these strange people called “libertarians” that may actually have it right. The world needs to hear the truth: Class warfare doesn’t exist! Classes don’t exist! Economics-based identity politics is a fictitious invention of the jealous (the “downtrodden”), the ambitious (those hungry for political power), or, quite simply, the attention seeker (Donald Trump).
If we are truly concerned with our neighbor’s well-being, and with the poor, the disadvantaged, the hungry, etc. then we need to recognize and treat them as if they exist in a vacuum. Trying to resolve the problem by discussing it in relation to “other things” only worsens it.
Forget the government, forget the rich, forget these little boxes, boundaries, tools and metrics; forget all this divisive nonsense.
Why hasn’t this concept – of identity politics – magically solved all the world’s problems if it’s the correct way of thinking?
For one, libertarians don’t push their narrative in the way they need to; they address class warfare head on telling both the left and the right how they are wrong.
This gives legitimacy to the concept; but unfortunately causes people to focus on the problems rather than the solutions.
The best way to communicate the solution, is to show the current (classist) way of thinking as the ineffective action that it is; not simply telling everyone they’re wrong.
Anecdotal evidence can be powerful, and after a certain point, it can eventually pay off in a statistical form that intelligent people give more credence to.
What can you personally do to help your neighbor? This is the core of voluntaryism, is it not?
Many Libertarians are often guilty of saying “not my problem”, but this leads to the need for government or “rich people” or whoever and whatever else to step in, and is how the divisive politics were created in the first place (willingly or unwillingly).
If libertarians were louder about this message and backed it up with their actions, proving how their theories would work, then maybe the world would listen.
Libertarians need to push the voluntaryist narrative and show how it works. That is the first step to eradicating this fabricated notion of “class warfare”. It starts with us. It starts with the personal accountability of each individual libertarian. If every single one of us made it our life’s mission to operate independently, and help those around us do the same (of our own free will), the spread of voluntaryism would be astounding.
Too many libertarians are far too passive and complacent in their approach to life and politics.
We need to donate to charities and help our immediate, real-life neighbors when they are in need.
Provide employment if you can (I know many libertarians, like me, are business owners). Run for local office and advocate libertarian ideas, be as self-sufficient as possible, and, one person at a time, convince others to do the same.
Most of all, as you go about your daily life, live (as much as you can) as if:
- A) The government can provide nothing for you; and
- B) People who are richer than you do not exist.
It would take an entire book (one which I may yet write) to detail all the possible ways you, as an individual, can make a difference; but I think that most libertarians and minarchists are intelligent enough to stop, take a moment, and reflect a bit on the way they live their daily lives.
I’m sure we can realize the ways we could be more productive and proactive.
As Gandhi was so famously misquoted in saying (but the concept, nonetheless, holds true): Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Economics-based identity politics leads to the same result every time; various forms of communism, totalitarianism, fascism, and every sort of bad “ism” imaginable. We’ve it seen play out time and again.
It would be ironic, and both alarming and sad, if the “Land of the Free” walked itself down the same ridiculous path.
It’s up to libertarians to stop that from happening, because everyone else is perpetuating it in one way or another.
Don’t be complacent – Be proactive!
* Matthew Brammer is a father of three, a small business owner, musician (Agony By Default/Ashes of Denial), audio engineer, fire dancer, and author from Boise, Idaho. He currently lives in Laramie, Wyoming and is is founder of the Facebook page Rocky Mountain Libertarian.