Local media in Mayflower have been hamperedin their reporting by a pliant county sheriff’s office who has been taking orders from ExxonMobil about who can enter the site of the spill. A no-fly zone was set up by the FAA after ExxonMobil requested it, and now news organizations must ask for the oil giants’ permission before flying over the site.
Okay, so this is what that post I quoted from Charles Pierce about Rand Paul is about, too, essentially — that it doesn’t matter if you call the instrument of unearned, unjust authority “the State” or ExxonMobil or whatever else. You’re still talking about the same thing. (And yes, I’m aware that the sheriff’s department doing the bidding of ExxonMobil in this case is an instrument of the state — but if they did not exist, do you think Exxon would not have a private organization in place to do that same job?)
It drives me absolutely nuts to hear terms like “Statism” tossed around by people who claim to be invested in liberty, like it’s the greatest evil lurking in the woods. There’s no functional difference between the impositions on liberty from “the State” that wants to force you to live a certain way and impose massive restrictions on your freedoms and a company like ExxonMobil that will keep you out of a neighborhood it has no right to — except that ExxonMobil fucking exists.
The strain of libertarianism that declares an overwhelming hatred of authority when it’s derived from the consent of a political commonwealth, but combines it with the dog-like obedience to that same brand of authority when it comes from a private actor, is a goddamn mental illness.