Libertarians: “deadbeats, living off Mom”
Maoist Rebel News fans some of you might be aware of this symbol. Its a symbol that is very fashionable for Libertarian youth to go out and get tattooed on themselves to show that they’re individuals. Of course they don’t actually see the irony in all of them getting the same tattoo to show how they’re all unique.
This is a symbol that Libertarians use to express who they are and what they believe in it. It is supposedly ancient Sumerian cuneiform symbol. It was popularized by the Liberty Fund, a Libertarian organization funded by the Koch brothers to produce all the Libertarian propaganda.
If you actually go to their website is says that the symbol means “freedom” or “liberty”. It says it was taken from a document written about 2300 B.C.E. in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash. They go on to make this argument that it represents the struggle against big government and proclaiming freedom.
Lagash was the site of the first recorded social-reform movement. Once considered a relatively free society of farmers, cattle breeders, boatmen, fishermen, merchants, and craftsmen, the Lagashites found that a change in political power had stripped them of their political and economic freedoms and subjected them to heavy taxation and exploitation by wealthy officials.
Sumerian historians believe that at this low point in Lagash’s history, Urukagina became the leader of the Sumerian city-state of Girsu/Lagash and led a popular movement that resulted in the reform of the oppressive legal and governmental structure of Sumeria. … On the tablets of the period is found the first written reference to the concept of liberty (amagi or amargi, literally, “return to the mother”), used in reference to the process of reform…
This is actually a very poor attempt to make Libertarianism appears as some kind of long-standing tradition. An attempt to show that Libertarianism is ancient righteous struggle, instead of it being something that was actually made up by 20th century corporate elite.
Unfortunately for the Liberty Fund they don’t know how to translate Sumerian very well. The amagi cuneiform doesn’t have anything to do with eliminating “big government” or Libertarianism at all. What they mistranslated was “return to mother”, meaning “debt forgiveness” or “freedom from debt.” This is what it really means according to David Graeber who wrote the amazing book – Debt: The First 5,000 Years:
Faced with the potential for complete social breakdown, Sumerian and later Babylonian kings periodically announced general amnesties … Such decrees would typically declare all outstanding consumer debt null and void (commercial debts were not affected), return all land to its original owners, and allow all debt-peons to return to their families. Before long, it became more or less a regular habit for kings to make such a declaration on first assuming power, and many were forced to repeat it periodically over the course of their reigns.
In Sumeria, these were called “declarations of freedom”—and it is significant that the Sumerian word amargi, the first recorded word for “freedom” in any known human language, literally means “return to mother”—since this is what freed debt-peons were finally allowed to do.
The word amagi has nothing to do with freedom from big government or anything like that. It means forgiving Sumerians of their debts so they don’t have to pay them and sending them back home to their mothers to mooch off them.
I could not think of a better symbol for Libertarians. A bunch of privileged white kids who know nothing of what it means to take a job to survive, welching on their debts and going home to mooch of their Mothers.
Liberty Fund definition: