Libertarians and public infrastructure reform

 Governments have always been around to keep social order. In theory they can accomplish things that individuals and private collectives can’t afford or don’t have an interest in. Plato said that the commons is neglected by the polis and is the worst kept area in comparison to private interests. Private interests though have their own interests in mind and not those of the public. A libertarian society, if such could actually exist except in a frontier setting with corruption being the rule rather than the exception and a Frank Reed like character needed to free the town of its soapy Smiths, would likely be a rathole.

Private interests haven’t any implicit obligation to pursue the public good so much as their own. They may leave toxic waste sites for the public to clean up when they are done extracting their profit from the environment. They may own slaves to build up their wealth or decide on euthanasia to increase their profits in private hospitals. That is, private interests haven’t any obligation to pursue the good of the state- that is a task for civic minded political leaders who hopefully have a clue about what the public good actually is.

The nation today has people going off in a zillion directions chasing after tangential political ideas that will not allow the national or global economy to continue to exist very far down the road with more than 12 billion people on Earth by the end of the century. Excellent new ideas need to appear that can coordinate planetary redevelopment toward a new direction of ecological economic synthesis and libertarian won’t do that. Neither will communism or socialism- each have problems in repressing free enterprise where new structures need arise from invention.

Americans in the private sector are quite concerned with getting their special economic interest gored when new and massive government-directed changes take places that would allow an infrastructure that sustainably support 12 billion people. Governments don’t have a surfeit of inventive people able to originate and explain great redevelopment ideas obviously. Jacque Cousteau and James Lovelock each expressed the idea that humanity has fewer than 200 years left before collapse and I tend to agree with that prospect. On basic political facts and forms they are confused and splintered chasing after things that won’t work very far into the future.

Public and private interests each can mismanage infrastructure and keep existing forms long beyond their historical time for utility. In the present global environment that is akin to packing gunpowder for storage in a warehouse on the waterfront as occurred in Lebanon las year.





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