Wednesday, March 23, 2016


This is a reaction to the book, Freedom for Alaskans, by Dick Randolph.

Chapter 1
"I have always taken pride in the fact that I put myself through college with no outside financial assistance."

This is absolutely something to be proud of, but it dates the author considerably.  It is harder and harder to meet growing tuition costs for the average and even above-average student.  I wouldn't judge someone's motivation or work ethic these days based purely on their school debt.

"A Libertarian has a distrust of governmental taxation and regulation."

Why?  Taxation is necessary for the government to regulate and enforce.  The alternative is for the users of such services to pay for them.  This is something that the Mr. Randolph suggests, and I don't think this is right.  Having to pay for justice is not the hallmark of a society that cares anything more than to enforce the "rights" of the rich.

"It became obvious to me that government cannot subjectively determine what peaceful personal behavior is acceptable and what is not."

Amen to that.  Legislating the fine-points of morality is borderline ridiculous.  However, it is very common in this country, and is a problem with both of the mainstream parties.

"I will oppose all federal restriction of Alaskans' rights to live their own lives."

 I wonder if this means Mr. Randolph supports the legalization of drugs?

As far as the pictures go, Mr. Randolph has got some pipes on him!  I can easily see why he included that photo!

Chapter 2
"What sets Libertarians apart from other politicians is that our primary reason for entry into politics is to provide a set of true philosophical principles as an alternative to the sameness of the Republicans and Democrats for voters to see and evaluate when making their decisions at the polls."

I would love for there to be real alternatives to the two-party system.  However, I don't see why the Libertarian party would be any different than the other two parties in the long run.  This might be a rather negative assertion, but one that I would expect to hold up.

"Life, liberty, and property are essential to our full development as human beings."

Why?  This, to me, seems to be just as much of an indoctrinated idea as ones about authority and government.

"Socialism or collectivism holds that all property is to be owned and controlled collectively and that government shall be the owner or controller.  Close scrutiny of such systems reveals that they are really not representative, freely elected governments."

Is ours?  I think there would be some very good arguments made that even democratic systems are not at all representative.

"Nearly every monopoly that exists in the world is a coercive monopoly that keeps its power only with the help of government ownership or favoritism."

I wonder what Mr. Randolph thinks of patents.  I also wonder what he thinks about other unfair business practices, tariffs, "free trade", and some of the lunacy surrounding branding and protecting brands.

"To those who argue that the free market causes the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer I say that history proves that under freedom the rich may get richer, but so do the poor...  ...Obviously, those who traded with the rich person are better off for what they received, or they wouldn't have made a trade...  ...If this were not so, how is it that we became the first society in history in which a well-to-do middle class is a majority."

A number of issues here.  My primary problem is that dealings with the rich are in their favor due to the information that each party has at the table.  Further, income disparity and wage stagnation are serious issues currently.  We are rapidly becoming a society where the well-to-do middle class is disappearing.

Chapter 3
"The Tundra Rebellion seeks to pass a law that would declare that most federal land in Alaska is henceforth the property of the state of Alaska to hold in trust for the people of Alaska."

I think this isn't a bad idea at all.  I definitely think that Alaskan government would definitely be more sensitive to the needs and wants of actual Alaskans.

"Each of those individuals is the best judge of what's good for his or her life."

Again, I have issues about how informed those individuals are.  I understand that Mr. Randolph tries to put the onus of responsibility on the individual, but there are a lot of individuals who naturally do not have a great capacity to evaluate their choices.  Further, in a society with people who are either chemically or naturally unable to make good choices, don't we need government to address this issue before these individuals become a problem for us all?

It's all well and good to have a SWAT team busting down a door and arresting a problem, but I have heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  It's cheaper, too.  I understand that with government, cheap can suddenly become a lot more expensive, but it goes for both the prevention and the cure.

In general, I actually like what Mr. Randolph has to say, but just about any ideology can seem attractive until reality hits.  I also am concerned that the liberties afforded to business will create turn of the century have vs. have-not issues.

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