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Republicans And Anarcho-Capitalism, One And The Same

One of the requirements in talking about politics is being able to accurately describe yourself and your opponents. This is required so you can understand what their goals are and then predict what their tactics will be. I have come the conclusion that we are engaging in a category error when we define the current Republican Party as capitalist.

A more accurate description of modern conservatives and the Republican Party is anarcho-capitalists. The difference is small but telling. In capitalism there is an understanding that there will be limits on the market, for socials purposes, for the purpose of having a stable economy, for the purpose of health and safety of the population of a nation. While capitalists might argue for less regulation anarcho-capitalists argue for none of any kind.

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They believe the invisible hand of the market, if left completely unchecked will correct any and all problems. An anarcho-capitalist is all about private property rights and the exchange of those property rights as a market. Does this sound like a Senate Minority Leader you know?

Sen. Mitch McConnell (Putz-KY) is pursuing a strategy of lying about the facts of the financial reform bill before the Senate. He taking the up-is-down, black-is-white stance that a bill which is designed to structure the winding down of so-called too big to fail companies is in fact a permanent bailout bill.

Now we all know this spin is the result of Frank Luntz and his merry band of reality distorters polling. They are same people who gave us the idea that the flawed and minor changers to the health insurance system in the United States was a government take over of health care. Luntz’s job is to find out what the worst image for Democratic proposals are, then push those wordings into the mouths of Republicans and Fox News news-models.

We have to ask ourselves is why would Sen. McConnell want to keep the nation (and frankly the world) in a state of extreme economic peril? Part of it is because Ol’ Sen. Mitch is a bought and paid for shill. He has learned to say anything, as long as he gets to continue to be a United States Senator.

But it is the other part of this which interests me. Since the days of President Regan the Republican Party has been saying that government is the problem, never the solution. This may or may not have started out as Luntz style spin; regardless it has now been completely absorbed as an article of faith in the Republican Party. It is so entrenched that members of the Republican base can rail against a government take over of health care while at the same time insist that Medicare not be touched.

When something becomes an article of faith, there are always those who are still further to the fringe. This is where we are seeing the emergence of anarcho-capitalists. People like accountant turned CEO Don Blankenship who, while never a miner or a mine engineer insists that the Mine Safety and Health Administration does not know anything about running a safe mine. Even though his non-union mines have an injury rate twice that of other mines, he believes that his “coal pays the bills” point of view is the only right one.

The anarcho-capitalist point of view was rampant in the criminal Bush administration. It is the reason they reduced inspections and enforcement across the board. It is the reason that they entered into so-called public-private partnerships so industries could police themselves. If you are an anarcho-capitalist, you believe that the force of the market will have companies do the right thing. The problem with this idea is that what is right for a nation is not the same as what is right for a profit making enterprise.

My Dad used to say that greed knows no boundaries. He was right; once the primary goal becomes the pursuit of more money, more profit, it eventually pushes all other goals and intentions out. This is what corporations are for, the pursuit of profit. If they are not limited, then they become rapacious entities which will cut any corner, bend any rule to make more and more money. Corporations are prone to this kind of behavior even when they are limited by regulation, which is why there must be strong enforcement as well.

When you have a political party that is unabashedly pro-business and has as its primary tenet that government is the problem, you open the door for anarcho-capitalists. It is an ideology which leads us to legislation like the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act, with the lovely little provision that prevented any federal regulation of derivatives.

It is time to start pushing back on this by calling the Republicans in Congress what they are Anarcho-Capitalists. Part of winning in politics, both at the ballot box and in policy fights, is framing your opponents, framing them in accurate and negative terms. It is time to stop calling the Republicans capitalists, they are no longer that benign, we need to strart pointing out the fact they would be happiest with no regulation.

This is a powerful meme, if we are willing to use it. No regulation means a return to acid rain. No regulation means not knowing if your medicines are safe. It means that our drinking water could have lead and PCP’s and other contaminants. It means that we would be unable to have an confidence in the safety of our cars or washing machines or ovens. It would take us to a society where the only motto is Caveat Emptor, buyer beware.

The completely callus nature of this world that anarcho-capitalism leads to is a way to revive the mean-Republican meme. It also ties the Republicans to the idea of anarchy, which to the whishy-washy Independent voter will be a scary and bad thing. All of this has the advantage of being true and letting us talk about why it is better to keep the Congress in Democratic hands while also moving our agenda forward.

So, say it loud, say it proud; Republicans are Anarcho-Capitalists and they want to end all regulation.

The floor is yours.

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Bill Egnor

Bill Egnor

I am a life long Democrat from a political family. Work wise I am a Six Sigma Black Belt (process improvement project manager) and Freelance reporter for