September 23, 2014
Pot and gay marriage aren”t going to stop national bankruptcy here or anywhere else. There is no “libertarian moment” that will change the precipitous cliff we find ourselves on. What Barney Frank calls libertarianism is just normal self-interest shaking off the bounds of tradition. There is no righteous defense of liberty behind the movement to legalize weed. State and local governments just find it too costly to enforce. When it comes to gay marriage, sexual liberation is the driving force of acceptance. Government approval of same-sex ceremonies isn”t a new freedom. It further enshrines the state as a social molder, while making us slaves to the pleasure of our body parts.
As philosopher John Gray puts it, “to think of humans as freedom loving, you must be ready to view nearly all of history as a mistake.” America is not exceptionally immune to this cold, hard reality. What started off as an experiment in liberty and self-rule has resulted in empire. Freedom has never been the prevailing principle of mankind. So much of world history is marked by servitude and bondage. From the Israelites enslaved by the Pharaoh to migrant workers in modern Dubai, man has always had a problem with forcing others into his subjection. Americans have reached a point where they see themselves as free and liberated, when they merely answer to different masters, who disguise subjugation with the rhetoric of entitlement.
“¨Most libertarians are scared to face the truth: freedom will not be waiting for us at the end of history. American society, and Western civilization in general, will continue to go back and forth between liberty and tyranny, never reaching either end point. In some ways, the mix leaves plenty of room for a happy life. On the other hand, it can make for some frightful prospects. The despotism of the nation-state isn”t going anywhere for the time being. People are, above all things, too comfortable with the way things are. As David Byrne once sang, it’s the same as it ever was. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.