The Libertarian’s “Nuclear Button”

During casual observations throughout the libertarian section of the Net, I’ve come across many who are advocating the “nuclear button” option as a political solution.

Their strategy is to hasten the demise of the state, specifically the federal government, by electing the worst candidates possible. It is under this rationale they opt for Clinton or avowed socialists like Bernie Sanders.

This goes back to my theory on why libertarians doom and gloom. They’re impatient and anxious. They want things to change now rather than later and believe the only way for that to happen is for some sort of collapse to occur. A cultural collapse is already taking place before our eyes, but an economic and political one may take much longer.

Such a strategy requires several things. One, a very pessimistic and borderline sardonic perspective on politics. Two, a bit of clairvoyance and presumption. The clairvoyance to see what will happen once the candidates they vote for take office, and the presumption that their policies will hasten the demise of the state. Additionally, one assumes that the collapse is right around the corner, perhaps within our lifetime. Better to have it happen when you’re young then when you’re old, right?

Or it could merely make things absolutely wretched for another three decades.

Except this also presumes that good things will arise from such a collapse. One could certainly argue that it will simplify life, but that doesn’t make it easier. Nor does it necessarily lead to greater freedom. Just ask the Russians who watched the czar get overthrown, only to see him replaced with Lenin. Not the best tradeoff in history, one might argue.

And the Soviet Union lasted nearly a century – bad things can last for a long, long time.

Meanwhile, Aaron Clarey, .k.a. Captain Capitalism, advocates or has advocated the opposite strategy, voting for the lesser of two evils, i.e. Republicans, in order to starve off the Day of Reckoning. At the same time, he’s also accepted America’s demise is inevitable, hence his book Enjoy the Decline (which I’ve purchased and highly recommend).

What are my thoughts? It’s rather a moot point. Aside from the 2000 election, libertarians are not a big enough voting bloc to influence the outcome, albeit this may not be the case with other political elections like state reps and senators. If enough people participated, it might have a noticeable effect, but again I don’t think libertarians have the numbers to sway enough political offices in any particular direction, and even if there were, the difference between Republicans and Democrats in terms of overall policies isn’t significant enough.

I’ve also always opted to be the sideliner, the spectator, the watcher and observer. I like to be the one who witnesses, but doesn’t participate. Not out of cowardice, but pragmatism. I’m looking to survive and remain free; that is my ultimate and highest goal. Getting involved in who gets elected distracts from the bigger picture.

I don’t know what come if there is a collapse, but neither do I want to starve off the inevitable by maintaining the unsustainable. Having said that, I believe something is coming soon – be it a cultural, economic, or political collapse – much sooner than I imagined. Looking at the degradation on all three fronts, and how it has accelerated in the last eight years, I don’t see how it can continue much longer.

As we lose more and more control over our lives, the best strategy is to focus on the parts of it where we still have the power to do something. With that in mind, it would be wise to maximize your mobility, minimize your liabilities, hope for the best, but plan for the worst, and invest your resources so that no matter what happens you don’t get caught up in the collateral damage if the worst should occur. Better to prepare for when that day comes.

If you don’t have a passport, get one. Tomorrow. Get your house in order. Have a plan for what to do if you need to get out of the region, or the country, next week – and determine where you would go. Decide what you would have to take with you, and keep it together and within easy access.

Make no mistake: the Piper is going to collect his due payment. The question is when he’s going to demand that payment, and who’s going to be forced to pay.

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3 Responses to The Libertarian’s “Nuclear Button”

  1. Pingback: The Libertarian’s “Nuclear Button” - Freedom's Floodgates

  2. Opting out of the political process is useful only if one is replacing this with an alternative strategy such as Agorism — building protected markets and lifestyles with survivability.


    • The Question says:

      I agree. I need to write a post about this, but despite being a libertarian I believe we have to acknowledge the political system as a matter of practicality. The focus, however, should be on getting those in office, particularly at a state and local level, to thwart efforts to centralize power in D.C. I think it is far more effective than trying to get “the right person elected.” We’ve seen how (in)effective that strategy is too many times. At the same time, libertarians should never put their trust in politics and concentrate on sustainable institutions that have lasting value. It’s a multi-front campaign. Showing people the alternative to the state is one such front.


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