Monday, April 06, 2009

Another Reason Why I Could Never Be A LIbertarian

Like NNW, I actually think this isn't such a bad idea. Still, it took me a while to work out just what it is that's annoying me so much about the reaction to this plan.

Basically, it's the humbuggery of it all. Libertarians have spent every waking moment since September 11 fantasising about the shadow government using terrorism as an excuse to create a unaccountable paramilitary state, complete with torture chambers, death squads and mind control satellites. Now we have an initiative that's the complete opposite of all that, a plan that involves training up people in how they can use their pre-existing skills to defend their own communities and that just proves how evil the nasty old statists are.

What it all boils down to is reaching out to the guy running a hairdressing supplies business and telling him that if some bloke claims to be setting up a new shop and wants to order one pair of scissors, one razor, one tub of gel and 2500 litres of hydrogen peroxide, dial this number. That's it. This kind of local, grass roots initiative is the very thing that normally sends libertarians weak at the knees.

As NNW points out, this plan is quite in order with the British way of waging war. To add to his examples, consider the trawlermen whose skills (and boats) played a vital role minesweeping in WWII.

But no: the self-same people who've been telling us that, gosh darn it, they do hate terrorists too, but they're a little concerned about freedom, turn out to oppose counter-terrorism even when no black helicopters are involved. I guess that's what you get when 70% of your ideology rests on the ability put sneer quotes round everything.

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