Do not tread on me, I am from the government and I am here to help.
So begins my focused inquiry of this mess. Are social work and libertarians at odds with each other? It seems to be so. The field of social work is enmeshed in government, from funding of programs, to universities, and regulatory oversight for things like getting a clinical license.
Using California as an example, there are two primary master’s level degrees that are required for the majority of what we call “therapists”: Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) requires a MA in Counseling / Counseling Psychology. The Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) requires a Master of Social Work (MSW) … just a pet peeve. Carry on…
Presently, search engines do not have a lot to say when it comes to articles about liberty and social work. However, one of the readers of this blog directed me to an article that raises some really good points. One of them being this one:
Social workers work toward the “stabilization” of client populations rather then the “liberation” of masses of people from the exploitation of man by man.
I have been a government social worker. I worked for the local DSS, investigating elder and dependent adult abuse for adult protective services (APS). I was the guy telling people that I was from government, and was only there to help. And I believed it. Helping people is the only way I can make sense of spending so much time earning a living. I am not looking for a free ride. There are just some paths that must be taken at this point in history in order to maximize the ability to help.
I worked for many non-profits, that received exemptions, grants, matching funds … I did my best to provide autistic adults with a shield against exploitation by the very agencies purporting to be advocating on their behalf. This is an example of things at the micro level. The macro level of policy change and the flow of money is another matter.
Examinations of responses in comments on social media reveal the darker aspects of peoples’ characters. It seems many are truly heartless, with things like EBT cards, as one example. There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the food stamp budget, but in comparison, there are trillions that are unaccounted for simply due to a lack of oversight, apparently. This is more divide and conquer.
The heart of the matter:
Would libertarians give enough of a fuck about their fellow man to provide charity without formal intervention/supervision? To what degree has my having a degree in social work done harm, rather than “do no harm”? Is it possible for today’s social workers to embrace the tenets of libertarianism, and shift from stabilizing people to liberating them? What might this look like? What are the pitfalls? Can all of these questions be negated, simply? And first: What are the best questions to ask, to begin with?
He pierced my soul and jarred me to attention with this:
Most drug dealers are more virtuous than any government social worker, and prostitutes have far less to be ashamed of than political whores – Larken Rose
A tad more context:
Libertarianism does not address race, gender, religion, sexuality, or any other class the left would like to see protected from offense. Nor should it. Libertarianism makes the radical assertion that these subjects are irrelevant outside of our own personal preferences, and that our own personal preferences are not how the whole of human society should be organized. So the short answer to libertarian diversity is, I don’t care, and neither should you.
Now go forth ye blog and show up in searches ~ Getteth the conversation going…