Days of Change

Captain Libertarianism | May 30, 2016

I went to see the “new” Captain America movie Civil War today. In this movie, the aftermath of a massive attack in the previous Avengers movie leads to a UN treaty where anyone with superhuman abilities has to register with an international authority or risk being arrested for being a vigilante. This is actually a classic story conflict, going back to myths of men fighting against gods.

Now, laws are what separates governments from a bunch of people fighting each other to be king of the mountain. Since movie heroes are often dark and complicated, they have little in the way of internal direction. If such people really existed, any fight they were in that resulted in death and destruction should lead to arrest and lawsuits. Police and soldiers are given certain immunity due to the fact that they are acting in the interest of the state and according to their rules.

Spoiler Alert.

In the movie, Tony Stark is moved to work with the government by a death caused by  events of the Avengers’ battle with Ultron. Most of the others comply initially, except for Captain America. Even though he served as a soldier for years and is freaking named Captain America, Steve Rogers apparently saw a bunch of Ron Paul rallies and decided that most governments intervene for no good reason or stay out of moral conflicts that aren’t in their petty interests. Ultimately, the movie decided to chicken out and made the registration law part of a plot to break up the Avengers through internal conflict. Captain America was right, mostly because registration was never the goal.

In a way, this represents the way I feel about Plan B, voting for the Libertarian candidate. A pure libertarian is sort of an anarchist. They believe that chaos resolves itself into order. If people are free to do almost anything, their enlightened self-interest will keep things going. Unfortunately, it sounds a lot like socialism, which relies on enlightened self-interest to guide people when their labors no longer match their compensation.

Having a choice in a democracy means using judgement. The Republican platform is more in line with my beliefs, but the party’s representative has never held political office and has never expressed a Republican position that wasn’t contrary to an opinion he stated previously. The Libertarian nominee is Gary Johnson, a former Republican governor who decided that the GOP was less freedom oriented than it should be. I can live with that.

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