March 19, 2009
The main form of libertarianism in Australia is an utilitarian one in which the maximization of utility serves as an axiomatic first principle. These Libertarians believe that individuals and groups should be free to trade just about anything they wish with whomever they wish, with little to no governmental restriction. They hold that free markets and private property generate good utilitarian outcomes.
This variety of libertarianism holds its political principles to be grounded not in self-ownership or the natural rights of humanity, but in the beneficial consequences that libertarian freedom and institutions produce, relative to possible and realistic alternatives.To the extent that such theorists hold that consequences, and only consequences, are relevant in the justification of libertarianism, they can properly be labeled a form of consequentialism.
Libertarians hold that most, if not all, of the activities currently undertaken by states should be either abandoned or transferred into private hands--hence the idea of the minimal state --a critique of ‘governing too much.’ This critique is different from classical liberals. The latter tend to share libertarians' confidence in free markets and skepticism over government power, but they are more willing to allow greater room for coercive activity on the part of the state so as to allow, say, state provision of public goods or even limited tax-funded welfare transfers.
What we represented with is the liberal myth of the self-generating natural and organic body of free markets, which have “self-correcting tendencies”. The natural and organic is, more often than not, interpreted as a machine that needs a good motor and re-engineering to keep ticking over. The recent language of an order of economic growth, efficiency and productivity comes from neo-liberal mode of governance in Australian political culture. It is the logic of finance capitalism-- the finance markets will decide the trajectory of Australia--that emerged with Australia becoming a part of the internationalisation of the world economy in the 1980s.
Rather than being linked to substances and objects, in finance capitalism money relates abstractly to other monies, producing new forms of abstraction especially those derived from speculation on the volatility of inflation and deflation of money. Money takes flight from the ground on which it is generated, not to be re-invested into machinery or land, but rather to be invested in the deterritorialized cyberspace of financial markets viewed as numbers on computer screens.