How Steemit Turned Me Away from Libertarianism and Freedom/Free Market Principles
These posts feel pointless because they fall on deaf ears and are hidden by Steemit's algorithms, but I have nothing better to do, so.
Yeah, I said it.
I no longer believe in freedom, or the free market. I'm sorry, but I don't.
I used to.
But then I spent two years on Steemit.
That's been the biggest value that Steemit has brought me, honestly. Seeing freedom in practice - probably for the first time ever. Until Steemit, freedom was a theory. And I believed in the theory.
I thought that the free market would be a meritocracy, and that in the end, it would all sort itself out. The cream would rise to the top, and bad actors would be punished by the market.
I'm finally ready to admit that it doesn't work out that way. The market is more than willing to reward bad actors quite handsomely.
In fact, I started thinking about why I hate democracy so much. And I hate it because it gives power to idiots. The vote of an abusive alcoholic is worth the same as a productive and intelligent person's vote.
And that's always rubbed me the wrong way.
Unfortunately, the market kinda has the same problem: idiots have the power.
Yes, the market can theoretically self-regulate the harmful idiots out of the picture to a degree, but libertarians seem to think that it's more foolproof than it is.
Steemit is freedom in practice, not just in theory. We can call it "not true freedom" all we want, but what, then, differentiates us from the "That wasn't TRUE communism!" people?
Freedom will never be meritocracy, and I understand that now. This is elitist of me, but I can't help it anymore. I've been fighting with it for a long time.
My old self is shouting: "Value is subjective!"
But forget Steemit, just look at YouTube and Twitter. Shadow banning, demonetization, censorship is going on all the time when unpopular opinions are voiced.
Because no one wants to risk making the advertisers mad.
You see, it's not the government that's making everything terrible. Culture comes first, the government is then a reflection of it. And culture consists of people.
It's always the culture of the majority that rules over everything. Not the government.
Ask yourself this: how do the people in charge get into office?
And how does one get elected?
Ding, ding, ding. By pandering to people. They simply look at what's popular and appeal to whatever the culture is at that time.
Us libertarians have made the mistake of thinking that government comes before culture, but no, it doesn't. I think that's what leads to a lot of the confusion.
Instead of punishing bad actors, Steemit has gone out of its way to reward and over-reward them. Time after time. And there's no reason to think that it's going to stop. People caring about things such as the community and the platform's long-term future have always been the underdogs.
Short-sightedness and greed rule über alles. The only thing that matters is the profit to be made, and the quickest way to make that profit is the one people choose.
People around here don't think twice about turning their backs on their friends if said friend threatens their money-making potential. Not twice.
People smile at you to your face, then mock you behind your back to another Steemian with a bigger wallet who also dislikes you. Just to get that vote. Maybe even a spot on that autovote list.
Steemit is just Real World 2.0. and now we know how freedom turns out. We haven't tested it out yet in our bigger version of the real world, but this miniature version has been pretty telling.
This is why leftists are probably right in their claims that capitalism will fuck up the environment.
If there's profit to be made, and especially if the consequences of your profit-making won't affect you directly during your time here, why not make the fucking profit? Just do it. Who cares!
There's absolutely no incentive to care. Just like there's no incentive for anyone to care about Steemit. Who cares if the vote bots are used to upvote shitposts? You're making a profit.
We can't turn this thing into a charity, God forbid! This is a business!
God forbid someone just got rewarded for creating something that someone finds valuable. A whale is supposed to click on his mouse for free?
Jesus Christ. What a ridiculous thought. Just one click that can be used more efficiently to making a profit by partaking in a vote collusion, and don't you forget it.
Instead of the meritocracy that I thought it would be, freedom seems to be the exact same set of under the table deals, backstabbing, corruption, nepotism, and sycophantry that we already have.
So, maybe, just maybe, the government was never the real issue here? Maybe it's something else.
As a libertarian, I am very, very familiar with the following argument: "No, that's not capitalism that's causing all these problems, bro, it's corporatism, and it's caused by government subsidies".
But what if it isn't? I'm just throwing it out there. What if we've honestly been wrong all this time? See, contrary to popular belief, a lot of libertarians are very cool people. A lot of them are the first to help you out. I've experienced that myself. For a lot of libertarians, the ideology stems from the idea of non-violence.
If you don't believe in the initiation of force, libertarianism/anarchism is what logically follows.
But maybe that's exactly why so many libertarians are so naive - because they project their own views of the world onto others, which results in them becoming the useful idiots used to ensure the profits of those smarmy enough take advantage of others.
I'm not saying I'm right. I'm not. I'm just saying that I'm challenging my views. I was a hardcore libertarian. A true and true boneheaded libertarian. I had an argument for everything. Every single problem anywhere ever was because of the government.
And if we only got rid of the damn government, everything would be sunshine, rainbows, puppy dogs, and especially otters. Lots and lots of otters. The world would be right and just! The market would reward the good people, punish the bad people. It would incentivize good behaviour, disincentivize bad behaviour. You would be rewarded for providing value to your community.
It would be the perfect world.
All I'm saying is, I'm finally ready to question my views. You can call it being a traitor, I call it being mature.
And you know that the really, really sad thing is?
If I was autovoted to triple digits to shut up, I most likely would.
Because I'm human. Nothing supernatural. Just a human. And so are you.
And I'll answer the first comment that I know I'm going to get right away:
"So, @schattenjaeger, basically, because your account died and you're not making any money on Steemit anymore, that means freedom and capitalism have failed?"