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    • jeff
      Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeReading streakScout
      4 months ago

      Yikes! Fun read but unfortunately not too surprising to see how the experiment turned out. If I had to put myself in a political box I'd call myself a libertarian but definitely with a lowercase "L" for many of the reasons highlighted in the article. I'm squarely in the purple quadrant according to the Political Compass but I really think there needs to be an additional z-axis for indicating where you are for different levels of government. There are entire departments of the federal government that I'd like to see done away with but I'm a big fan of local libraries.

      There's also the whole social aspect of libertarianism which wasn't even really touched on in the article. I'm much more dogmatic when it comes to supporting policies that allow consenting adults to do whatever they want as long as they're not directly harming anyone else but laws governing drugs, prostitution, gambling, alcohol, etc. are usually not implemented at the local level so there unfortunately wasn't much they could have done in Grafton on that front.

      • SEnkey
        ScoutScribe
        4 months ago

        That is a great point on federalism. There are a lot of things I am for at the local level, okay with at the state level, and against at the federal level. Or maybe put more clearly, if one level of government is going to be in charge of something that touches my life frequently, I want it to be the level that is most responsive to me.

        Military, borders, trade agreements, foreign policy, and lots of national issues need to be handled at the national level. But lots of things are so much better when handled at the local level.

      • KapteinB4 months ago

        There are entire departments of the federal government that I'd like to see done away with but I'm a big fan of local libraries.

        You're not alone in loving local libraries, so I'm sure someone in a libertarian utopia would find a way to make one work even without public funding, maybe the way you suggest in your other comment.

        Then of course Amazon would hire some goons to burn it down in the middle of the night, because there's no rules against arson in a libertarian utopia. I mean, if the people running the library didn't want it burned down, they'd just buy some guns and protect it themselves, right?

        I think it's important to have a libertarian or two in parliament, to champion personal liberties and small government. But it seems pretty clear to me that if they ever end up running things, it will end badly.

        • SEnkey
          ScoutScribe
          4 months ago

          Haha, I don't think libertarians are against arson laws. The general mantra I hear from them is 'as long as it doesn't harm other people (or their property)'.

          There's a them there that what prevents people from going crazy is the law and the cops who enforce it. This is on my mind as I finished reading The New Jim Crow and Crime and Punishment in America. But most people don't not commit arson because it's illegal or because the cops are there to stop them, most of us don't do it because....we aren't maniacs.

          I don't think that is what you were saying, it was just a somewhat related thought on my mind.

          1. Update (12/20/2020):

            *theme not them

    • SEnkey
      ScoutScribe
      4 months ago

      There’s a lesson in this for anyone interested in seeing it, which is that if you try to make the world fit neatly into an ideological box, you’ll have to distort or ignore reality to do it — usually with terrible consequences.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        4 months ago

        Super interesting. I used to live right near there and I never heard about this, although I did experience some bear problems - attacking my chicken coop, going through my garbage.

        New Hampshire isn’t as “Live Free of Die,” as people suspect. I spent more time at the DMV there than in any other place I’ve lived, including NYC and SF, where I also at one point bought vehicles. Eventually I had to bribe a rural mechanic for an inspection sticker (come to think of it, that happened VERY near Grafton) even though the vehicle surely should have failed. I remember joking, “What happened to Live Free or Die?” and the mechanic just looked at me like, that’s what outsiders say about us, but everyone here knows it’s bullshit.

        Our current government is a dystopian nightmare - so massive, powerful and entrenched that we don’t even have the vocabulary to talk about how to improve it. Instead, we argue for our teams (go blue! go red!) as though the solution to what’s happening is right up ahead, “our side” just needs to defeat the “bad guys.” It’s a spiraling cycle of absurdity which will only break with a snap.

        Libertarianism is interesting, but nowhere near the final answer. It focuses way too much on “kill the government” and not enough on “build community.” I think that a true libertarian wouldn’t waste any time thinking about how to defund a library. Instead they get to work building a volunteer-run book exchange and learning center, so thriving, so deluxe, so well-managed that the “city library” just starts looking kinda shabby.

        • SEnkey
          ScoutScribe
          4 months ago

          Great point, I think anyone who has spent time at the DMV should question how much they want the government in charge of a given service. That doesn't mean I'm for privatizing everything, it just means we should be realistic in understanding the limits of government.

          The state care inspections are a whole other topic! There are movements to get rid of them as they are basically an annual shakedown on car owners. And they've been shown to improve safety.....in no way.