Mieville and the Lefty Killjoys

I read the anti-libertarian article by China Mieville. OK, the big ship concept is an easy target, but not on libertarian grounds.

In fact Mieville is a good wordsmith who launches some pretty deadly torpedoes at the floating paradise, but his real target is libertarians. His motive, like most leftists nowadays is not to propose any credible plans for humankind’s improvement but to cut down or hollow out the plans of anyone who doesn’t agree with their authoritarian, collectivist, universalism.

Just what upsets Meivlle so much about the idea that people might want to pursue this enterprise or any enterprise for that matter?
His analysis of libertarianism is not entirely off base. For example he points out that most libertarians are not the super rich. He correctly points out that the people who have made it are already comfortably ensconced in their protected and controlled venues and need not take to sea in order to live like royalty. Many are politically connected and protected and feast at the public trough. A trip to Palm Beach or Ft Lauderdale, Fl will suffice to inform the uninitiated that the truly rich need not board ships peopled by 40 thousand. They already have their own 5 million dollar yachts parked behind their 20 bedroom mansions. When libertarians see the cozy relationship between the powerful wealthy and government, it does not make them love government. For doing things for themselves and succeeding anyway, the hungry, hard working, creative searcher gets cut down by the collectivist intellectuals.

It is not dreamer utopians sitting idly under trees that Meiville attacks but those entrepreneurs who would actually take the financial risks to do something. He hates the “free-market vulgarians.” The thing that Meiville and other intellectuals can’t stand is that a lot of Americans are individualistic, competitive and acquisitive. At the same time don’t love or trust the government and want it out of their business. In other words they are libertarians whether they verbalize it or not.
One observer ( Nicholas Capaldi) has identified intellectuals as secular individuals who believe that there is objective righteousness that is perceived exclusively by their own cognitive community and which gives them legitimate claim to direct the various institutions of the world. And they don’t want selfish, vulgar, freedom loving people to be able to escape this by boarding a boat. This the way Meiville thinks.

Of course the leftist intellectual can not literally shoot people who disagree with them and only want to escape, like they could when they had the Berlin Wall. They can’t even keep them from building a boat. Their weapons are not guns but words. Essentially they just call people names. Maybe they can make other people hate them and thus damage them. So you get “(Libertarians are)tragically non-ambitious, crippled with class anxiety,-- and maundering about a mythical ideal-type capitalism, libertarianism betrays its fear of actually existing capitalism, at which it cannot quite succeed. It is a philosophy of capitalist inadequacy.” Becoming ever more shrill- “Whites live among Whites and separate from Asians and blacks,” - and winding up with “The libertarian seasteaders are a joke. The pitiful, incoherent and cowardly utopia they pine for is a spoilt child’s autarky, an imperialism of outsourcing, a very petty fascism played as maritime farce---”
Stephan Hicks” Explaining Postmodernism” has described this snide attitude as the result of the collapse of leftist ideology due to of the failure of Marxism and its derivatives and the persistence of vigorous capitalism. Post modernist thought, reduced to utter fatuity, lashes out venomously hoping at least to ruin other people’s fun.

If you really want to have fun and a good laugh, look at the Freedom Ship’s website. For instance, why build the thing in Honduras? Oh it is too big to build in a shipyard. So it will be built by natives whose experience in ship building consists of building small coastal fishing boats. The Freedom Ship will get around the problem of big waves breaking the keel by making it like a barge like they use to transport bulky stuff along the protected waters of the intercoastal waterways, except topped by a massive city complete with airport, subways, storage for private and commercial planes, a marina, shopping malls, a football field, a hospital and plans for a medical school.
Environmentally pollution free toilets will electrically vaporize all human waste, thus saving the local waters from contamination by filthy bilge water. The thing will be the world’s slowest ship and will be driven by 400 high tech propellers driven by undisclosed means. Just don’t be late with your monthly mortgage payments. Since the thing is unsinkable, it won’t carry any life boats. I don’t think Katrina would have much trouble chasing down and dismantling this tub.

There is not one word in the document touting the project that mentions libertarianism. It clearly states that the investors who own this seagoing condominium will abide by local and international law and pay taxes in their country of origin. Its schools will teach all children bilingually and encourage the children to think environmentally and internationally. It will move in a circuit around the world every two years. Sounds pretty progressive to me.

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