Saturday, October 22, 2016

What if Trump won't concede?

What should libertarians do?

Now that Trump is hinting that he will not accept the legitimacy of the election results, my evaluation of the likelihood that The Shit Will Hit the Fan is going up. This is the fear that got me to start looking at the libertarian blogosphere again-- either that President Trump would institute mass deportations, or that nationalist nut-jobs would strike out against immigrant communities. The later fear has already been reinforced by recent announcement of a plot targeting Somali immigrants. But now that Trump is talking about vote rigging and rejecting the election results, there's also a chance of some organized civil disobedience. So, what to do? Here are the scenario's as I see them:

1. Trump elected. Help immigrants. Help refugees. Reinforce the global community by supporting nation-free institutions (e.g. BitCoin)
2. Anti-immigrant terrorism. Help immigrant and refugee organizations. Help law enforcement catch the terrorists, if applicable. Would we trust all law-enforcement agencies? The Feds would probably be safe.
3. Pro-trump demonstrations. Probably best to ignore them and just stay out of it. Of course, these could escalate into brawls if the anti-Trump people show up. Probably best to stay out of it, let the Clintonistas handle it.
4. Pro-Trump strikes (doubt it). Be a scab if applicable (and pays well)? Would they beat a scab? What industries would be impacted? Can we prepare ahead of time to avoid those industries (e.g. if coal is one, should be set up solar panels)? This scenario is very unlikely, probably not effective to try to anticipate them.
5. Pro-Trump blockades. Large protests and blockades would probably be unlikely to bring down the government, but would cost a lot of money. The blockades could be a form of anti-immigrant terrorism, so there could be some value in white men being available to transport supplies to blockaded communities. If these are general blockades, would this be an opportunity to develop libertarian counter-economics? The situation would probably be short lived.
6. Secession. This would suck. I don't know if any state really has so many anti-establishment white-nationalist residents that it would try to secede over this election. It's the worst case; probably would be impossible to stay on the sidelines.

At the end of the day, it may be good to get in touch with the following types of organizations:
1. Immigrant support organizations (World Relief, International Rescue Committee)
2. Your favorite religious activist group (Religious Action Center of Reform Judiasm; Unitarian Universalist Service Committee)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At this point neither side would accept victory by the other as legitimate. A Trump victory would be viewed by partisan Dems as a result of Russian government interference in US domestic politics. A Clinton victory would be viewed by partisan Repubs as a consequence of a corrupt liberal establishment conspiracy to protect "crooked Hillary"(side note: as a long time follower of wikileaks, it is a bit discombobulating to see wikileaks suddenly become the darling of the hard right) and illegal immigrant voting.

From a classic libertarian class analysis perspective, one might say that the only differences between the candidates is rhetorical. Either one would merge seamlessly with the security state bureaucracy. It is impossible to make a lesser of two evils calculation b/c with Trump you might actually see more popular resistance to exact same policies carried out by Clinton with barely a whimper. An obvious example: mass deportations. The Dems are mass deporters, but b/c the rhetorical is nicer, popular dissent is often muted(almost as if what you say is more important than what you do).

Personally, I find the behavior of liberal democracies dominated by a security state bureaucratic apparatus to be following a similar script laid out by Anthony de Jasay in the 80s re: communist governments dominated by a security state bureaucratic apparatus. The unitary firm. The real threat of someone like Trump to the Firm is the rhetorical legitimacy of the American polity.

One thing is clear: Both sides claim this a contest between apocalypse vs salvation.Neither, however, is willing to concede a reduction in state power to avoid an outcome of a state strong enough to execute an apocalypse. Each side is more than willing to gamble apocalypse as outcome as the price for a state strong enough to serve as means to their preferred ends. People are not Rawlsian liberals.