Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rand Paul & the Myth of Freedom

Rand Paul's
Ideal Business Model

There has been a major focus of attention toward Rand Paul, the winner of Kentucky's Republican Senate primary.

I've felt that Rand's father, Congressman Ron Paul, has made some valid criticisms of the government & financial institutions like The Fed. Especially in the years of Bush/Cheney regressive Republican rule, Ron Paul seemed like a semi-sane voice from The Right. However, I've also seen him make arguments for his "Libertarian" ideals that just aren't practical or reasonable at all.

The big ideological problem (that his son Rand Paul has seemed to adopt) is the belief that government intervention in almost any matter is negative & should be minimized to practically nothing.

This is the crux of the sudden spotlight following Rand's primary win under the 'Tea Party' banner. He has been on the record repeatedly saying the the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is flawed because it intrudes on personal ownership. His argument is that the Civil Rights Act was good for removing institutionalized discrimination, but business owners should not be told what to do by the government. He contends that the conservative Golden Calf, aka 'The Free Market', will sufficiently affect businesses to prevent social discrimination. This is, of, course, f*cking stupid.

US News & World Report:

Rand is already complaining he's "insulted" that people are insinuating he's a racist. Whether or not he's a racist isn't the issue, however. The real issue is his naïve & dangerous political ideology that sees the federal government as only a problem to be eradicated- instead of a possible source of social solutions. Unlike alot of media nitpicking over the controversial statements of public figures, this actually deserves scrutiny because it is representative of the broader political philosophy of Rand Paul & his fellow Teabaggers.

The very sharp Rachel Maddow devoted ten minutes of her show to the visual spectacle of Rand Paul dancing around the direct question, "should the Woolworth's counter have been allowed to remain segregated in 1964?" He could not say "Yes!" because that would have been a historic political suicide. However, his delusional fantasy of personal freedom & property rights prevent him from saying "No" because he seems to feel a business owner should be able to do whatever the hell he/she wants without government intervention. Therefore, he floundered around the TV screen like a fool without the courage to say what he obviously believes- that a business should be able to refuse service to a person for any reason, such as being black, foreign, gay, or Ginger.

The only problem with Rachel's interview was that she didn't push him enough in defending parallel scenarios. If the government has no place regulating business, than why have health inspectors, building codes, or liquor licenses in restaurants? I guess any place, even Chuck E. Cheese should be allowed to sell booze, build with hazardous materials, & let roaches all over the food. Sure, people may stop patronizing businesses that suck, but the whole system will have devolved into chaos in the meantime with countless people being negatively affected.

Government is not perfect- no human institution can claim to be. However, there are alot of things that the federal government is best suited to deal with. Whose going to maintain public land, invest in infrastructure, & prevent Wall St. mega-banks from preying on consumers?... a bunch of Teabaggers w/ "Obama=Stalin" signs???

This notion of "Personal Freedom" that is so dear to the Libertarian perspective is a silly myth that clouds their worldview. The idea that government doing less will always makes us more "free" is idiotic & counter-productive. No matter what, we humans are always slaves in some way - from birth to death. Freedom is an imaginary concept that has no functional meaning in the real world. If government isn't making us do things against our will, then corporate interests will find ways to enslave us. If we can somehow shake off the shackles of the business & financial world, we will still be inhibited by our environment, other people, or even our own body & mind.

These short-sighted Teabaggers with no sense of social responsibility or ability to reason outside their own narrow & selfish self-interests are hopefully playing their only practical role... winning GOP Primaries. This way, these extreme right-wing dopes can be more easily defeated by more moderate or even progressive Democratic candidates in the general election.

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