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Paradigm Shift

The old guard built this movement. Without them, it’s unlikely any of us would be aware that a liberty movement even exists! This alone is an accomplishment. And the history books will look favorably upon them for it - & justifiably so. Their preference for a political approach however, has been ineffective at bringing about liberty (just take a look around, if you’re still permitted). Progress hasn’t just stagnated, we’ve been losing ground rapidly. It’s time for a paradigm shift. One that moves away from the old way of thinking & instead focuses on teaching people how to opt out of corrupt systems & to build competing, market-based alternatives to state institutions. Like sports teams, ideas also get tired & worn out, old players retire, & new, fresh ideas take their place. In the world of ideas, when paradigm shifts occur, the old guard resists the change at first, but eventually comes around to seeing the benefits and virtues of the new way. This is how progres

Don't Vote for Alex

It is 2019 and in Norway, that means county and city-election year. You can vote for me, but this article is all about why you really shouldn't. [1] There are several ways to say 'No'. This is a story about the time I said 'Yes', what I will stay positive to and what I will be negative toward. 

"But it is immoral to support politicians to oppress us because they might relieve us one oppression" - Samuel Edward Konkin III

First of all, there is some explaining to do: In my last article on the New Libertarian I argued that party politics is a waste of time and that you could use that time more productive so this entire piece seems like its contradicting that one. It might, that is up to you to judge for yourself (and if you want a chat I'm very approachable on Twitter), but in my defense, I will highlight two things:

One: I'm not against solution-finding, culture-building or exchange of ideas. I can give no brighter example of this happening than the widespread positivity that Ron Paul had on the American election landscape in waking people up to the fact that there was a third, more free and peaceful alternative to the two-party system. I see that awakening as a win for the school of liberty. What I am against however is the parliamentary system that is becoming more of a burden and a restriction on personal liberty and by winning you are eliminating things that people like. [2]

Two: The amount of time and resources spent to get my name on the list is so low its not even a blip on the radar. I pay a membership fee of around $10 and said yes two times in a facebook-group. That's it. I give up one serving of my favorite burger (without fries) and help spread the ideal of libertarianism. That is a bargain in my book and I like when bargains fall straight into my lap. I'm not taking anyone's spot that might've been more passionate about putting boots on the ground, handing out fliers, I'm just adding +1 name to a list, bolstering the ranks passively so to speak.

So that's where I'm coming from with this. I'm open to the idea of being wrong and/or you disagreeing with me, of course, but there it is. A possible third point that I want to hammer through a bit more bluntly though is that you shouldn't vote for me (or anyone), because:

Politics is Power.

Idealism only takes you as far as your means allow you to. A daydream is, in general, fairly innocent in the thought bubble inside your mind, but much harder to manifest beyond that when you need to use energy to work towards it. You can consume all the self-help books and motivational Youtube-videos you want but you can never avoid the fact that results come from actually doing stuff, not the thinking about them.

Ideas and ideals are great to have, but if they are never tested they rest silently on pieces of papers or inside peoples minds. Modern-day politics is weird in this sense, because by voting the voter feels like he or she is doing "something", and indeed the person who is voting is taking a stance and an action toward "something", because the representative democracies allow people to be favorable of ideas and ideals, yet, let others carry out the heavy lifting of manifesting it out in the world.

There are an army of government bureaucrats, state middle-management officials, police officers, academics, soldiers, trash collectors, public school teachers, and many others just waiting for an opportunity to earn a paycheck by manifesting ideas into the world as cogs in a great machine - The perfect agents for the job, with no responsibility of the "why", because honestly its not theirs necessarily, to begin with, but they are still very concerned about the "how".[3]

The power of centralized politics is tremendous. It shouldn't be, but that is the world we live in - The outsourcing and transfer of power have always had the promise of making things easier for individuals or groups of people, especially here in the Scandinavian hemisphere. We are after all known as the non-socialist Socialists: The Scandinavian welfare states is world-famous for being used as a carrot for your typical Bernie, while economists on the other side of the spectrum like Per Bylund argues it isn't really that socialist. From the outside looking it, it looks like rhetorical disagreements, but in the end, someone has to win and gets the sketchy honor of running the ship based on who gets to gather the most support.

I have zero interest in being in the ship cabin, dictating with a bunch of other people what others should or shouldn't do, and by that pretending to be some sort of enlightened dude in a suit that knows what's best for everyone at all times. That entire idea is ridiculous. Even if there were enough people supporting the same things as me, we wouldn't need a parliament to go through with it and we definitely wouldn't need to pool together money and pay one of us to have the bigger chair to sit on.

Disagreements with the Official Party-line

Here in the Old World, we have more parties than in the United States to reflect the different interest-groups a society has and as time has passed the lines between the different interest groups has blurred more and more. If you add how big and powerful the modern government has become (there are rules, tax, and regulations on everything in society, and if there isn't they are just around the corner to become ruled, taxed and regulated) the parties that seek parliamentary seats "need" to have a plan for every aspect of life for every citizen under the flag - So even with 9 parliamentary parties to chose from, its almost impossible to find a party that you agree with 100%.

The Norwegian Libertarian Party is a minarchist, Nightwatch state party that is, in the party-program, a bit more Nozick and Ayn Rand in contrast with me leaning more toward David Friedman and Hans-Herman Hoppe. Naturally, this is a low-intensity conflict of sorts, but I get the idea behind using sugar instead of salt as a way forward, just not agreeing with it. It's a marketing strategy that is appealing to a certain demographic and maybe its a good way to inject some libertarianism into the bland social-democratic landscape of Norway?

There are several things in the party-program that I can't sign off on as representing me and my principles, some that could be formulated better and some that are outright contradictory to the ideas that the party is communicating on social media. In many ways its a string of Republican memes: More police officers, more prison time, more military. "We are the same-size government party, we just want the focus to shift on the really important things instead of everything.".

Peace and Profit
- Alex Utopium, Editor for Utopium - A blog focused on book-reviews and Scandinavian Politics

[1] I am listed as number 49 on the Norwegian Libertarian Party's official election-list and this essay is not endorsed in any way by the party. It hasn't been reviewed by any party-member before publication. I am officially electable for the party, but do not speak for the party or anyone but myself. Any negative press should be towards me, personally, not anyone endorsing, participating or being a representative of Liberalistene.  The official name for the party in English is The Capitalist Party, which I refuse to use, but need to mention for less confusion for anyone looking the party up.

[2] Which I think is one of the reasons every election is paraded around as "The most important!" because someone is, in fact, losing something they like. Or at least have to compromise to the point of absurdity on other things to get their priority-list somewhat checked off. Getting your will pushed through without bargaining needs super-majority or a dictator, neither which are particularly positive for the smallest minority - the individual.

[3] The police, for example, isn't concerned with protecting you, specifically - Their job is to uphold the law, no matter the law itself as I argued in my short piece "Grounding Your Thoughts on the Police". We can see this tendency in a lot of state-run public services. The city planning-board is only concerned with that they follow the regulations that come from above, or particularly strong interest groups with a lot of investments (which, arguably still is from above in a sense) in the particular areas they have formal bureaucratic control over. This phenomenon is the main theme of Kafka's best writing, where 'The Trial' is one of my personal favorites. Nobody can describe the robotic, horrifying experience of the heartless paper-pushing practices of Bureaucracy like Kafka does.


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