Privilege and Pomposity in Politics

I take it as read, that no politician is worthy of anything more than scorn and derision, that the whole lot of them represent a system of power and privilege that amounts to legalized thievery on a massive scale. Now, with all of that said, Republicans — for their mind-boggling ability to detach themselves from reality — may hold the prize for “most out of touch.”

In an execrably ridiculous Washington Post opinion piece (“Mitt Romney: A good man. The right fight.” November 28), the man who worked as the Romney campaign’s chief strategist, Stuart Stevens, points out that his guy “carried the majority of every economic group except those with less than $50,000 a year in household income.”

Given that fact, Stevens argues, “any party that captures the majority of the middle class must be doing something right.” Stevens’s argument reflects another witless remark from the Romney side months ago, Romney’s 47 percent gaffe, the political lessons of which are obviously lost on Republicans (not that that’s a bad thing).

The campaign, through its candidate, was saying that poor people vote for Democrats because they’re dependent on the government. Now, Stevens suggests that people who work hard and make good money support Republican policies. The irony, of course, is one that market anarchists continually point out in the face of this kind of imbecilic insult to the working poor — it’s that the Republicans’ (and Democrats’ incidentally) version of “free enterprise” is a stacked deck that systematically disadvantages labor in favor of capital.

State privilege surrounds big business, protecting it from competition and throwing workers at the mercy of bosses who can pay them pennies on the produced dollar in wages. The rich can recline and skim off the top of labor’s hard work, because land grants, subsidies (direct and indirect), government contracts and costly regulatory obligations blend to protect elite economic interests from competition.

The pomposity of insinuating that Republicans are just fine without the votes of those unwashed masses making under 50k is amazing to behold. Stevens would benefit from holding the economic system of “Republican ideals” up against a legitimate — and now, of course, strictly hypothetical — freed market, especially when the median personal income in this country is about $40,000.

If he did so, it might become clear to him (though one has reason to doubt it) that, as Ezra Heywood said, “Rich people have been the subjects of charity long enough.” Market anarchists would remove the privileges for powerful and influential forces within the economy and thus dissolve the capitalist system in favor of real free competition and markets. Voluntary exchange and cooperation, when delivered from the fetters of what anarchists once called “class legislation,” are not only innocuous, but are a great blessing.

Republicans, Democrats and the rest of the political system’s constituent parts serve those abusive privileges — that’s their job on a fundamental level. Instead of granting them deference or even attention, we ought to get down to the business of creating the society we want to live in on a mutual basis, with our friends and neighbors, discarding practical politics for awhile, even forever.

Translations for this article:

Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory