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    The Will to Create

    Entries in equal opportunity (2)

    Wednesday
    Apr142010

    Between liberty and equality

    Now we are down to the issues of liberty and equality. This could be the final quandary to be resolved, but how it's resolved is critical to our future. Because if it's not resolved properly, there will be many quandaries in the future -- and no peace. Peace will come about when there's a balance between liberty and equality -- when there's no more right and left to speak of. Even if this is resolved in liberal democracies/republics, yet there are other States where people live under different forms of tyranny, the modern world will have found the way to peace, and the tyrannies will be anamolies, resisting peace, stuck in the past.

    The idea that we must balance equality and freedom has been weighted on the side of equality, but as in the old Soviet Union the new inequality is a reality of political power dominating the private sector. The communists proposed equality but they created a great inequality. The main area of focus for America regarding inequality is corporate welfare. Our unlimited government is in the process of picking winners and losers, and this must stop if equality is a goal. You don't create equality by advancing some and holding others back - you remove all barriers to advancement, then allow people to equally pursue happiness. Unnatural advantages are worse than natural advantages. It's true that some people have a natural advanage in a free market in some areas of endeavors -- some people are more naturally suited to business, some more naturally suited to art, and some are more naturally suited to science -- on and on. But, if each of us has the opportunity to learn and become the best at what we strive to accomplish, then hard work and perseverance can many times trump natural ability or the accidents of birth if those with natural advantages don't use their gifts to the fullest extent.

    The problem on the left is that they don't truly believe people can overcome natural disadvantages, so they opt for political power which feeds an insatiable State with more and more power. Some writers talk about how women and blacks have a particular disadvantage because of historical social influences which have worked against them cause psychological barriers to success in a free market, yet these same thinkers appear unconcerned about State influences which create an insidious dependency which is even more psychologically destructive in the long run -- at least society began changing and accepting women and blacks as equal and competent, but the State still acts as if they're incapable of competing. In fact, the Democrats have an unconscious need to maintain this dependent relationship -- the incentives are screwed up. Empowered women and minorities succeeding in the private sector, in no need of State assistance, signals the end of the Democrat Party as the Moral Gatekeepers. Once women and blacks realize that unified, creative efforts in a free market will overcome historical disadvantages, they'll see political power as a stepping stone which is now transcended and actually holding them back -- it will be in their interest for the market to be as free as possible from government interference and heavy taxation.

    As the market is made up of more and more successful women and minorities, it will be in their interest to limit government. The statist policies being implemented or proposed will be damaging to economic growth, and opposition to an over-reaching government will include minorities and women, especially as they think about their families and equal opportunities for the next generation. This is where Republicans can make a distinction by standing up for liberty while showing how liberty is the sine qua non of economic opportunity and advancement for all.

    Sunday
    Dec282008

    White, male libertarians -- where's the diversity?

    Recently, I saw a Google query in my website statistical function that asked -- "Why are most libertarians white and male?"

    This is a good question - a difficult question. I can only speculate since I don't know of any studies to rely on. I'm sure it has something to do with the image of libertarianism being a radical philosophy that champions a free enterprise system, which is seen as rigged in favor of white males, and opposed to the state, which is seen as the protector of minorites and the oppressed, plus the simplistic popular version of libertarianism as a dog-eat-dog proposition.

    There is nothing in libertarian thought, per se, that excludes females or non-whites. Libertarian thought, as far as I can tell, is not directly concerned with these differences. When considering principles, we should all have an opinion, and one has to wonder if state promotion of minorities and women at the expense of white males is fair -- should the state be able to violate the rights of white men, who didn't cause the inequality, since they weren't alive when the inequalities were established, to promote minorities and women? This is one of the underlying controversies. Was the state responsible for the past inequalities which orginally rigged the system in favor of white males -- if not, then how were the inequalities forced on minorities and women? Perhaps societal norms played the largest part, but without legalizing inequalities society would have experienced much more turmoil and resistance early on in the history of our country. The problem seems to be the existence of a state with the power to create inequalities and violate rights. This was a problem in the beginning and it's a problem now.

    So, in essence, a truly limited government appears to be the best situation for all. The value of affirmative action will be determined sooner or later, but it's partly beside the point. I don't see any way to enforce equality without violating rights, and that makes the cost too high and morally wrong, so what other ways can equality be pursued? Even if we agreed that past oppression caused an unlevel playing and all the efforts of LBJ and others were necessary to adjust the playing field, and aside from the question whether this has been helpful or harmful, what do we do now? We aren't locked into past decisions and we aren't responsible for past sins forever. The main concern that's pertinent to the question of why libertarians are made up of white males begs another question  -- would embracing libertarianism be beneficial to minorities and women?

    The Founders had the right principles in mind even if the exucution was flawed due to government intervention and societal resistance to freeing slaves and women in order for them to take advantage of equal opportunity. Now that, for the most part, societal attitudes regarding minorities and women have changed, it appears the largest opportunity for advancement of a woman or a person of color is through the free market operating under a limited government. If it's economic advancement that's desired, then the myriad choices open in our diverse global economy are staggering -- with the right education, training, investment, etc. Minorities and women need no longer operate under the stigma of affirmative action, especially if limited government entailed no state involvement in education. Freeing education to become creative through innovation would allow free market solutions to direct all individuals in the right direction in the modern economy. Public education has been an obstacle for minorities.

    We have to imagine what a true free market would look like in order to determine if minorities and women would benefit. If we established a truly limited government with responsibilites reduced to protection and courts, taxes would be lowered and the economy would be incredibly charged with new activity. This would free up a lot of misdirected money to be used by wealthy women and minorites, if they so choose, to start companies, expand companies already in existence and provide opportunities for those previously held back. We see an increasing amount of wealthy minorities and women already -- this would grow quickly with a charged economy. With the right, innovative education spurred by need, a free market would offer solutions to under-education and incompetent education, thereby preparing minorities for a technological society. Minority owned companies could pool resources and fund local education to be a part of the solution -- we wouldn't be shackled by limited, public education offerings which haven't been successful.

    Perhaps it's asking a lot to have faith in the free market, but once an individual considers what would be created, they begin to see possibilities that government interference has blocked. In a free market no one can be prevented from applying creative solutions as long as they don't violate the rights of others. Also, in the case of industries violating someone's rights because of skin color or sex, there is always the court system set up to settle disputes and violations. But if companies simply make free choices to hire whom they want to hire, then in a diverse market there are other options for workers, and there is public exposure of bigots which could hurt their business in a senstive society. Society is now sensitive to discrimination and it's not tolerated for the most part. With companies competiing for workers, being a company with tolerant open policies is a business advantage against a company that has been pubically outed as applying racist, sexist policies. This kind of pressure is more effective than affirmative action and no one's rights are violated.

    We have to learn how to take care of our own problems and quit relying on a Big Brother government to make everything right -- they can't, and the power they grab as a consequence is not good for anyone. So, yes, women and minorities, as individuals, would benefit from operating under a limited government that protects individual rights and leaves the market to compete on an equal opportunity basis of performance and results. Companies being big, white and male is not necessarily an advantage in these times when the right idea from a few kids in a garage can change the whole game. We need freedom to innovate, with no government protection for the big-ass white guys, and the rest will be up to individual initiative and creative solutions.

    Don't believe it? I do, with all my heart.