In a previous post I recanted from my position of “I don’t care if the government knows who I call”. I had held that because it was a step closer to my ideal of Radical Transparency – under that ideal everyone who be able to see who you called, but in return you’d also be able to see who’s looking, and see everyone that the looker has called. It was pointed out to me that advancing one half of that equation (the watchers can watch everyone) without advancing the other half (everyone can watch right back) leads away from what I want, as the watchers gain more power and have less reason to return transparency. The only winning move is to hold on tightly to secrecy and only trade it in fair exchange. Simply giving it away may look like its closer to Radical Transparency on the surface, while actually moving to Totalitarianism (the polar opposite of Transparency) in reality.
While I support many Libertarian ideals (not all… some I think are downright dangerous), it seems to me that Libertarians are doing the same thing all the time. They want to end government welfare, which currently supports both the ultra-rich in the form of corporate welfare and the poor in the form of plain old regular welfare. They will often vote with parties and interests who strip welfare from the low income population to move towards this ideal. But those parties and interests never move to strip welfare from the rich, and in effect the libertarians end up supporting a system which strengthens an unproductive ruling class that siphons off wealth. Deregulation often follows a similar track, wherein the only regulations that are repealed are those that protect the weak at the expense of the powerful, and never the other way around.
I know enough libertarians to know this is not what they want. The goal is an equal playing field, which the government may referee but never give preferential support to any one entity over another. They are being promised their ideal, with the politicians they vote for promising to level the whole field, starting at this side and moving across over time. One has to start somewhere, after all. But by “leveling” only one half of the field they are giving even MORE preferential support to the side who isn’t being focused on. It’s not a coincidence that the side left unmolested is the rich and powerful, the oligarchs and mega-corps. Allowing them to accrue all this excess power during the leveling process will make it much harder to reign them in when the time comes. And, call me cynical, but I doubt that there was ever any intention to level the other side anyway. I think the libertarians are being manipulated just as much as I was being manipulated.
The only way to advance without being exploited into strengthening your enemies is to demand both fronts are pushed at the same time. For everyone increase in our transparency to the government, we must demand an equal increase in government transparency to us. For every reduction in populace welfare, there must be a proportionate reduction in corporate welfare. Anything else is a losing move.