everything wrong with free software

 "obedience breeds foolishness"

### why-libertarianism-is-a-childish-fantasy *originally posted:* jul 2022 i didnt choose a title that minced words, nor is it untrue in one of the contexts i talk about here. though it probably wont change your mind (if i thought that was possible, id choose a softer and more diplomatic title) my position on this more nuanced than one might assume at first. we can say christianity is a childish fantasy too-- like libertarianism, its based on trusting an invisible hand. like libertarianism, it doesnt scale well. and like libertarianism, it is very (very) easy to dismiss on superficial grounds. like libertarianism, i dont think christianity is worthless either. so when people talk about getting rid of religion, im the one who speaks up for it. but lets talk about how it scales. if you measure it in "marketshare", christianity (much like microsoft windows...) is an overwhelming success. its survived a span of thousands of years, with a historical count of BILLIONS of believers. not too shabby, right? but i also judge it based not only on the number of adopters, but on the effects and side effects. and im not even writing this to talk about the side effects-- thats where dawkins would start. and i dont even think he was honest. i believe christianity is harmless in small doses. it may have unwanted side effects when it combines with certain personality traits, political opportunism or when used to mitigate certain tragedies, but every kind of medicine comes with risks and interactions worth avoiding. the fairest (or most charitable) way to begin judging a religion is based on what it does to the individual. i think individually, most people can handle christianity just fine. it can get a bit dodgy when found among groups. i think its fair (but not the angle im coming from or a point im stressing here) to point out that christianity does seem to recommend group usage. im not sure whether i recommend it or not. i would advise keeping that dose low too. (jesus himself kept just a few people around, but obviously he spoke to countless people in his travels). do i think (in small doses) that christianity can help a person become more whole, more thoughtful, a better person with a more developed moral compass? YES, actually. used properly, i think most religions (including christianity) can have that effect on an individual. the atheists narrowly focus on whether humans can have a moral compass without religion (insisting that religion is therefore redundant and useless). i dont agree! thats like saying that schools are useless (which i think is true in some examples, but not necessarily always) because you can learn things without them. i think religion can help you DEVELOP your EXISTING moral compass. like a gym for the soul, as it were. but like a gym, people get out of religion (on average, at the most) what they put into it. i didnt go to the gym long enough to get toned and fit, so what do i expect? i had reasonable expectations, and predictable results. most people dont put much into religion. and though they claim otherwise, they dont get much from it. if we talk about scale in terms of results, fuck-- maybe we are better off on average that even (relatively) few people get something (debatably) from religion. and ill make the same argument for libertarianism. but if we talk about religion like some kind of product (its definitely more of a service!) thats supposed to turn mediocre people (or even BAD people) into GOOD people, what can i say? its not very reliable. to an atheist (im more agnostic-- i give real consideration for these old stories and what they mean to people-- why not? id do the same for star trek. you think fiction has never had a REAL impact on my daily life? i think ruling out god is an unnecessary and unscientific conclusion; we dont truly know the universe itself, we just make these very nice maps of it and call that science: nothing to sneeze at, of course!) religion is always a childish fantasy. to me, it depends what you do with it. if you can use something (even "harold and the purple crayon") as a kickstart for growing as a well-rounded, thoughtful human being, i almost think you should. i think theres probably exceptions to this-- we should be REALLY REALLY careful with that idea though, because people who think they know whats best for your head can get very high on their own authority very quickly. this is part of the reason i defend religion (as a basic human right-- im hardly the first to call it that) in the first place. i think you have a right to have beliefs. i think that MUST include a right to express beliefs, otherwise society is just trying to push all your feelings and thinking back into you. who in the gay community believes that any meaningful RIGHT to BE homosexual exists WITHOUT a right to express it? of course people who stay up at night thinking the world would be better with less free speech love to trot out mantras about the obvious exceptions-- like christian missionaries, they always think its the first time weve heard this shit. "you cant yell 'fire!' in a crowded theatre! [when there isnt one]" oh thank you kindly, brother obvious! i do think quite a few missionaries talk shit, because theyre generally selling the most superficial, useless, CHEAP generic "christianity" that can possibly be synthesised in a chapel-- like "spiritual enhancement pills" sold in spam emails (and just as spammy). thats not even "low dose", its a fucking placebo. and while a placebo has a place in a scientific experiment, treating most of the world with one with no followup would be bullshit. this is just one of many reasons why religion probably scales poorly. (others will argue that all religion is placebo anyway, but i think they need to take another look at the primary scientific purpose of placebos, and the effects and purpose of storytelling in human culture-- a placebo is ideally inert and non-reactive as possible. while stories actually affect people). when religion is empty and meaningless and people lean on (solely) it for a cure, they might just keep upping the dose until there ARE harmful side effects and... voila, dystopian extremist bullshit. and thats not all we could say about placebos, because theres still one other obvious angle this can be critiqued from, but i still dont agree and this is getting farther from the point. (also, i think there are many reasons for extremism, funnily enough i dont think religion is the primary cause of it-- i think desperation from OTHER factors is the leading cause. this should really be more obvious). and its not just the missionaries. some christians believe that EVERY ("true") christian is really a missionary, of a sort. and if youre spreading bullshit, it doesnt always matter much if its christian bullshit, chinese bullshit, internet bullshit or opportunistic political bullshit. often people mix a bunch of different kinds of bullshit together, and they think that makes it UNIQUE bullshit. but even if its unique-- its still bullshit! the number of people who can take something like religion and really make it look GOOD, is too small to say religion scales well. which doesnt mean im against it! i believe i called it a basic human right. thats generally the opposite of being against something. by the way, im not nearly as "kind" to christianty right now, for reasons that may or may not be REALLY obvious. the REAL christians already understand this, and wont be offended-- and its not even directed at them, in fact. but the ones who ARE offended can suck a giant bag of dicks, because theyre moral cowards who hide behind jesus and use him as a moral shield for their own (damnable) sins. fuck them. and if you think i believe only christians are capable of such hypocrisy, youre way off. even atheists and narcissists do the same kind of thing with "causes", even if theyre secular, completely non-religious causes. i WISH we could just blame religion, and go for an easy fix. it wouldnt work! they tried roughly that (no religion) in china, what more proof do you need! do you think everybody suddenly became rational and reasonable? fuck no! but similarly to christianity (and i think for a variety of reasons) the number of libertarians who can take something like libertarianism and really make it look GOOD, its too small to say it scales well. most of its proponents (not counting the ones ive never met or spoken to) are generally selling the most superficial, useless, CHEAP generic "libertarianism" that can possibly be outlined in a pamplet-- or bumper sticker. and maybe thats all there really is to it. i personally think some of the BEST libertarianism was inspired by the american revolution. please feel free to mention other examples you prefer. but the american revolution is a great example of what i mean in a number of ways: 1. it was sold as being about freedom (and i think it contributed to that ideal for many people) but largely it was really about defending rich landowners-- just like most of our bogus wars. im not trying to paint it as a complete farce and tragedy, but its NOT half as noble as people claim. the people FIGHTING were fighting for freedom, as far as they knew. i think thats fairly noble. the people who SENT them? rich opportunists with some "fun" ideas they borrowed, perhaps from someone more honest (you know, like the roman empire "borrowed" from jesus... / jews / egyptians / zoroastrians / babylonians). 2. it had very mixed results, like being about freedom... unless youre not a white dude. now this is a bit cynical, because women were already poorly off under the crown and arguably better off (on average) after the revolution. so lets be fair. but not unreasonably fair! i mean its nice to talk about freedom when youre sending people off to die for you, but when they get back, they need to know their place. a bit! i mean, boys WILL be boys! mixed results. 3. if you look at the results TODAY, things are both better and worse. on the one hand, id rather be around today than in colonial america. im pretty confident saying this! and yet, in other ways we seem so fucking far from whatever the fuck we were SUPPOSED TO learn from the revolution. whats the percentage of american taxes that go to illegal wars, INCLUDING the blatantly unconstitutional war on EVERYONE that "most people" (?) support? its fucking batshit crazy! what the fuck did anyone actually GET from the revolution, lesson-wise, hmm? perhaps this doesnt appear to be a coherent theme, and yet i really think the parallels are worth further exploration. but! once again, the RESULTS of libertarianism remind me very much of the RESULTS of christianity. is it good for the individual? i mean, which ones? some? yeah, i think i can make a similar defence of libertarianism. for one, libertarianism is NATURALLY dissenting. EVERYBODY can dissent! in theory. but i LIKE that theory! and i can certainly understand the appeal of that theory. is it realistic? i dont know. neither jesus or freedom have returned yet, and ill be honest: im not too sure the messianic age of christianity OR libertarianism will ever be here. because reasons. also because its a childish fantasy. but! im not kidding that ill think about it. i have thought about it. i would even consider it again, but the odds arent looking good for it as a conclusion-- most of all in any of these superficial forms most people carry it around in. what you do with such a "fantasy" (or whatever YOU prefer to call it) i think matters. ill probably never give up on libertarianism 100%. thats because i think a libertarian "spirit" if you will, is a fucking good thing to have. the idea that everyone should be free to "do their own thing" is an idea i dont think we should ever completely surrender. i might even say its part of the "human spirit" (but maybe not QUITE as MUCH as they think so in the west...) is it a reasonable, justifiable defence for being a completely self-destructive idiot that threatens the future of the entire species? probably not? but we dont have to agree on everything. the WESTERN version of "collective" is the family: its not "equal" but its definitely cooperative, authoritative, people in a family have EXPECTATIONS of each other. in the eastern version of this, it goes FAR beyond family. in the far right version of this, it extends (cynically) to entire "races" but then, you know, even being white with blue eyes wont help if you dont agree with the politics of the regime, so as a collective the far right really starts to cherry pick politics and dine from its own arsehole. in the most convincing argument for collectivism ive seen, the most realistic and scientific way to get to no -government is through gradually taking over the government, not fleeing the idea. certainly trying to avoid hiv is a great idea, but a cure requires understanding and working with it (in a lab) and overcoming it: finding a CURE. most anarchists simply want to "get rid of government". okay: then what? nothing! thats a terrible plan. of course if we are honest, thats NOT their plan. they DO plan more than that. but on the other hand, if we DO look at their plan, its not SO MUCH more than that. libertarianism is the spirit of the frontier. i can see how thats romantic-- you die more, you smell less good, you eat less fancy (granted soviet cuisine wasnt exactly HAUTE either, and i dont know how stalin was that much better than hitler) and you TAME the frontier. but then things change. every time. more people start moving to the frontier, as it gets more tamed. and ultimately you end up with an increasing amount of planning, negotiations, COMPROMISES-- some of which is quite welcome (lets get these parasites out of the water so we can stop spraying crap like shit cannons!) and some of which almost seems worse than the fucking water parasites! yet im really not a fan of government whatsoever. ID LIKE A SMALLER ONE, FOR STARTERS! but how we get there (and SOME of what the point of that is) is where we disagree. i dont believe boatfulls of minor reforms over the next 20 years will save us. people will be fighting for the future of mankind. a lot of their ideas are going to be VERY, VERY stupid. and more to the point: a lot of their ideas are going to make things even WORSE, not better! so thats the context where a childish fantasy that doesnt really scale is a problem. its a PROBLEM when people sit on their own dicks and are useless to the future because "jesus will take care of it." and for the most part, people who replace jesus with "the invisible hand" are just as fucking useless-- in practice, anyway. because they might be right-- but theres SO LITTLE evidence (historical or theoretical) that they are, when you really poke at it and stop licking the icing off the top. the value (if any) in religion or libertarianism is in its ability to REMIND US and help us develop our ideas and goals-- to be better people, to be more fair, to forgive (as christians) and be charitable (as christians) and to give a shit about the freedom of every individual (as libertarians). but it doesnt count (as a primary solution) the more and more we can PROVE that waiting for jesus or the invisible hand DOES NOT FUCKING WORK! and i think thats where you find that these really are fairy tales. if theyre based on true stories? thats okay with me. if they inspire you to do something meaningful? thats (truly) great. thats okay with me. if they keep you from solving the problems we need to solve to survive and thrive as a society and they hold us back more and more, the more we pretend these solutions are RELIABLE and GENERALLY EFFECTIVE? theres the problem. its in THAT context that i think these things are actually bullshit. we need a more scientific approach to solving the worlds problems. im truly okay with both religion and libertarianism providing inspiration and (some) guidance towards many of the ideals expressed in each. thats what they do best! the unscientific, relatively useless approach that will likely always result from relying exclusively on either or both of these philosophies (especially when in practice they will always be / always have been! superficial and RELATIVELY meaningless at large scales) is DANGEROUS to our species, our well-being, our happiness and a lot of other things that actually mean something to (most) people. but just like many things are reasonably safe if you dont drink them or swim in them, i think theres a place for both libertarianism and christianity. im far less certain either one belongs behind the wheel of the entire human race, and thats a problem when both seem exactly that ambitious. this work is freely licensed, per the terms of the license linked to below this paragraph. please DO feel free to copy it, rip it to pieces, read it out loud mockingly in a dumb-sounding cartoon voice, comment line-for-line... attribution is (technically speaking) required, as is (technically speaking) putting the work under one of the similar licenses that satisfy the "sharealike" clause. none of which means im a very big fan of copyright law: not the fuck at all. => https://wrongwithfreesw.neocities.org