Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Let us break down what is actually going on in this picture. There is definitely a lot to unpack here. We'll start with the Libertarian Society half of the image.

We will start with the fundamental ideas behind Libertarianism.
  1. Don't hurt people.
  2. Don't take their stuff.
  3. Coercion is wrong.
  4. Voluntary human interaction.
What do we see in the first image?  A man pointing a gun another man is the first thing we notice, and has yet another man tied up with a bag over his head.  From this we can infer that this man is not a Libertarian.  Of course we can't assume everyone living in a Libertarian society follows the Libertarian ideas.

There will always be people who believe it is right to steel from one man to give to another. Let us assume this gunman was trying to gather some sort of resource from the man with a bag over his head. The gunman might work for an organization that collects resources by force from those that have resources, like maybe a warlord trying to set himself up as a ruler.

This warlord is just trying to help is needy followers to prosper so he needs the resources from the bagged man. The gunman's pay check comes from the stolen resources of the people that the warlord is the  ruler of, so the gunman is just following orders trying to collect the taxes from the bagged man.

The man in the helicopter appears to be coming to the rescue of the bagged man.  We can assume he's either family, friend or an employee of the bagged man coming to his rescue.

The neither the warlord, or the gunman are part of this libertarian society. They are imposing something entirely other than Libertarian ideals. What this tells me is that the person that made this meme believes...

the problem with a libertarian society is organizations that want to redistribute wealth to those they believe need it more.

Let's take a look at the fundamental ideas behind Socialism.
  1. It's the governments job to help those in need.
  2. Government ownership of the means of production.
  3. Coercion is okay for the government.
Wait, that sounds like that warlord and gunman in the first part. Does that mean that the meme creators believes...

the problem with a Libertarian society is socialists.

Wait, that doesn't sound like Star Trek at all.  There is no coercion in the federation.  Even in Star Fleet you can opt out when ever you want.  People have even opted out of the federation peacefully. I've never heard one line about taxes in Star Trek. Nothing is ever taken that is rightfully owned by a person if they don't want to give it up.  So in Star Trek the main rules for society are...
  1. Don't hurt people.
  2. Don't take their stuff.
  3. Coercion is wrong.
  4. All human interaction is voluntary.
Wait that sounds like... What, it is libertarian values, but wait.  There is no way they could have developed the technology that ended world hung and brought world peace without a centralized government controlling everything, or could they?

Well after the Eugenics Wars the world was nearly destroyed and there were no major governments. Small bands of people would trade with one another for supplies and technology in what you might call a market. They still had faction trying to for governments and take control back over the people, but a small bad of people was avoiding them and working on something big that would help them escape all the fighting among the factions, warp drive.  Yes! Warp drive was invented in an essentially free market environment.  The world peace of Star Trek was born from a group of "libertarians" that were in it for themselves.  Everything in Star Trek is all because every single person is acting in their own interest.

"You wanna know what my vision is? Dollar signs, money! I didn't build this ship to usher in a new era for humanity. You think I wanna see the stars? I don't even like to fly! I take trains! I built this ship so I could retire to some tropical island... filled with naked women. THAT'S Zefram Cochrane. THAT'S his vision. This other guy you keep talking about, this historical figure? I never met him. I can't imagine I ever will."  -Zefram Cochrane

Dollar signs, money!  That led to a boom in technological growth that ultimately led to the end of global hunger. Dollar signs, money! That's what saved humanity.

After this point in the history of humanity the growth of technology was very quick and led to a situation where we had solved all of the major problems facing humanity.  With food as ubiquitous as air it no longer became an economic good it was just there, because of the market. Not much is known about the period of time after this burst of technology due to the market, but at some point there was an innovation that arose among the competing currencies at the time that allowed economic freedom beyond what we can currently imagine as currency. This super currency that is beyond money that appears to be accepted by planets that we've never been to before. In Star Trek: Enterprise archer was able to take shore leave on Risa without having to worry about paying for it. 

Joseph Sisko, Benjamin Sisko's farther, was an entrepreneur and owned his own restaurant. The government didn't own his means of producing food.  

And then there is Quark's bar. Anytime you see an interior shot of that place there is usually a Star Fleet officer in there gambling, drinking, or playing video games in the holosuit. The federation must have some kind of currency that a ferengi would accept.  You see the real distinction between earth and Ferenginar is that earth has truly free markets not held back by the government, and Ferenginar the markets are closely monitored by the central government. Ferenginar is a crony capitalist system.

The federation doesn't deal at all within the economic system that's why you never hear it discussed in the show. Star fleet is self sufficient and doesn't require tax income to exist. The free market has created a situation where everyone is so wealthy that there is essentially no difference between the poor and the rich.

Bottom line, don't try and improve the world.  Don't force your self on the world to improve it. Be your self, improve your self, and let the world follow your example. Wait, there is one fictional man who said it best.

"Don't try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history make its own judgments." -Zefram Cochrane.