Libs, Corps, and UniesApparently there's a writer's strike going on out in Hollywood, which has brought all the usual suspects out to grumble on their various blogs about, you know, the usual stuff -- strikes suck, unions blow, corporations are evil, the free market should rule over all, writers make too much money as it is and are spoiled and lazy, etc, etc, etc.
John Rogers has some pretty good posts on it over at his blog, Kung Fu Monkey. In his comment threads, the libertarians are beating him up for being a union guy, when, in fact, they feel that unions are evil and every writer should be empowered to negotiate the best deal they can get for their work. Rogers disagrees, and has had to school a few people in his threads. Liberatarians tend to make me break out in hives, so I recently had this to say over there:
Well, maybe you'd want just a few cobalt warhead tipped missiles, just in case one of your neighbors on an adjoining continent/asteroid/planet gets uppity. But that's a LAST RESORT, buddy. Just don't mess with anyone, and you'll be okay.
Now here's Corporatism 101: Your 'fusion' reactor needs new power cells every six months and there are only five companies that sell them and, oddly, all of their prices are within a percentage point of each other. Your force field projector and matter re-arranger all run off the fusion reactor, so, you know, see you every six months. Prices are subject to change without notice.
Union 101: If you want to design fusion reactor power cells in THIS town, you need to join the union. We'll get you higher wages, better benefits, and a guaranteed higher royalty on every power cell you design, assuming, of course, that your dues are paid up and you've made enough power cells in the last quarterly period to continue to qualify for benefits.
In the end, corporations of all kinds suck hard, libertarians are infants, and unions are most likely the lesser of many, many real world evils. That doesn't make unions cool by any means, and strikes pretty much always end up hurting everyone involved, and, unfortunately, the corporations one is striking against end up being the ones hurt the least -- but if you can't hurt these guys at least a little bit every once in a while, well, you never ever get any ice cream.
And life without ice cream is a bummer, man.
This is vastly, vastly oversimplified, of course -- corporations exist for a reason and do contribute value to our culture, although I'm not at all sure that that outweighs or even counter balances the very real evil they do as well.
Unions also exist for a reason, and they do some evil too -- in this case, however, I tend to believe that the very real good they also do probably does outweigh the crap they make their members eat on a regular basis.
Libertarians -- glah. What can you say? I'd like to live utterly independent of everyone else, too, with every transaction that occurs between myself and others being an entirely volitional one in which I have full bargaining power. But the real world has never worked like that and never will, and libertarianism will always remain an adolescent fantasy due to this. Also, libertarianism isn't even a fantasy about everyone being equally empowered; when you get a libertarian drunk and therefore honest, you will always discover than in their hearts of hearts, they always want to go into every negotiation with superior firepower.