Libertarianism is a philosophy of might makes right. The natural philosophy for the age of neoliberalism, as well demonstrated by the Koch brothers, but also, it would appear, a justification for the ugliest elements of United States history.
When libertarian leaders talk about “freedom,” what is really meant is freedom for the holders of capital to pursue profit maximization without limits. The cult of the market is a logical expression of the extreme individualism embodied in libertarianism.
One of the most influential articulators of that was Friedrich Hayek. The Austrian School economist asserted that solidarity, benevolence and a desire to work for the betterment of one’s community are “primitive instincts” and that human civilization consists of a long struggle against those ideals. “The discipline of the market” is the provider of civilization and progress, he wrote.
Thus, unregulated capitalism is “civilization” and anything else is a product of “primitive” group instincts that have survived from our prehistoric hunter/gatherer ancestors in the Hayekian worldview.
From these ideas, it is a small step to the concepts of “money equals speech” and “corporations are people” promulgated by the U.S. Supreme Court. This is an extension of “shareholder rights” to the political sphere — the more you own, the more say you have. A form of conquest and domination for the age of financialization.
If there is no community, no common interest, then why can’t someone, anyone, take whatever they want from the less strong? Give Ayn Rand credit for one thing: She stripped away all the accretions of individualist verbiage, all the rarefied theory of orthodox economics, and enunciated with unusual clarity what lies at the core of capitalist triumphalism. It hasn’t served the world very well."
Freedom for Capital, Not People: A Philosophy of Greed by Pete Dolack (via dialecticsof)
Link to the complete note at Counterpunch.