The Post-Political Age

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Recently by Barry Lyndon: On Class Warfare

If learning how to think for myself has taught me anything, it is that there is no such thing as “public” and “private” sectors. That distinction is unnecessary and distracting. A member of the public can walk into a privately owned shop, or even become a shareholder in a private company if they wish. And who would reasonably deny that the so called “public sector” is mostly controlled by private oligarchies and special interests?

Ultimately then, there are only different kinds of corporations. Some kinds of corporations produce products and services that customers are willing to buy, thus making a profit and growing, creating gainful employment. Other kinds of corporations hold a monopoly on force, and designate citizens as “national shareholders” where the whole public get to vote for the CEO. This kind of corporation takes its funding by force from the people, and channels it through a highly inefficient system of bureaucracies to provide other goods and services, usually defined by a commonized or philanthropic bent.

If one is brave enough to look at society in such non-ideological terms, one can measure which kinds of corporate entities produce the goods and services that humans need better than others. We can compare, for example, the fact that on average, 10% of donations given to the British Red Cross got spent on administration. Compare that to 70% of the money that goes to pay social welfare in Britain goes on administration. Clearly one type of corporate entity — voluntary charity — is far more efficient and sustainable than the other kind of corporate entity attempting to achieve the same humanitarian ends.

The 20th century is often referred to as the Socialist Era. After the classic liberalism of the 19th century, no idea was more in vogue than central planning, centralized control of society by the state. Communism, wherever it has been applied, only resulted in violence and lowest common denominator povertarianism. The most interesting similarity between the extremes of Communism and Nazism — the furthest extent of the so-called left and right — was the degree to which the whole of life was POLITICIZED. Those who want the state to fulfil a function — any function, be it humanitarianism, the mail, education, self-defence — end up distorting and politicizing it. The more politicized a society, the more time and energy people must divert from their own pursuits and priorities to focus on what’s going on in the Centre. As more people focus on the Centre, the less they can do by themselves or with others, causing a vicious downward spiral into dependence.

I believe with the rise of the Liberty movement, and an increasing rejection of politics as a means of solving problems, a Post-Political Age is on the horizon.

Other words have been used in the past to describe the kind of world where politics — defined as the pursuit and use of power — is no longer relevant. Voluntaryism. Anarchy, even. It is a world where the objective factors of supply and demand, self-ownership, trade, and kindness rule in the place of governments. The Post-Political Age has no government, though it does have law.

In such an era, law is built from ethical and epistemological first principles, centring on the citizen as a choosing, self-responsible individual who is free within the bounds of not stepping on the freedom of anyone else. It is a philosophical, rather than political endeavour. While such a sound law, applicable only over clear violations of universally preferable behaviour is fixed, its application is governed (for want of a better word) by a thriving, meritocratic market of arbiters and problem solvers, rather than parliaments and courts.

There is no limit to a society that can find the courage to dissolve the bonds of tyranny and finally embrace true freedom and sound justice. Since the dawn of Modernism and the Socialist Era, the western world has experienced a kind of cultural inflation. We have more money than ever, but less purchasing power. We have more laws than ever, but less justice. We have more music than ever, but less harmony. We have more books than ever, but less literature. We have more education than ever, but less common sense. We have more relationships than ever, but less love. More transparency than ever, but less trust.

What is needed is a total deflation back to sound principles, sound money, sound law, objective truth over subjective perception and lies. There may be some similarities in this sentiment to the Classical Liberal era, but it is radically different. The Liberty movement is on the forefront of something entirely new, something exciting: a true post-political world. And it’s up to you to make it happen.

Barry Lyndon [send him mail] is an Irish writer and entrepreneur. He is among the founding members of the Scottish Libertarian Party and is heavily involved in the Scottish Independence movement. His website can be found at www.barry-lyndon.com.

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