Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On being a REAL Libertarian

There's an old joke about Libertarians and their desire for purity.

Conservative guy is berating Libertarian:  "Why, if you had your way, there would be six-year-old kids working as prostitutes and shooting up heroin in public parks!"

Libertarian, instead of objecting that that's stupid, says, "Hey!  HEY!  What the $%^&*! do you MEAN, 'public' parks?"

I have a piece in the most recent print version of FREEMAN (the article).  The piece contains the following paragraph:

We are for a libertarian society, where a couple wakes up, in their own home, on land that they control, on property that they can defend with the help of their neighbors. This couple formed a bond, by mutual consent, without needing the license or endorsement of any outside agency. They send their children to schools that they have chosen, whose curriculum they endorse. When they go out to their car, they don’t take an I.D. It’s no one’s business who they are, or where they are, so long as they initiate no violence and break no laws. They work in jobs they have trained for, and they enjoy the full fruits of that labor. They contribute to charities or work for causes they believe, and are not forced at gunpoint to support causes they loathe. (emphasis added; you'll see why)

To be fair, several people have said they like this sentiment, and agree with it.

But. this morning (and I am absolutely NOT making this up), I got an outraged email that called me names and said, "Hey!  HEY!  What the $%^&*! do you MEAN, 'laws'?"

Sir, people like you are the reason that the Libertarian Party flounders when it tries to participate in politics.  If you don't concede that some sort of state--necessary or not--is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, why are you attending meetings of a political party whose avowed goal is to elect people to public office?  

11 comments:

MK said...

A-$%^&*!-men, brother.

Jim D. said...

Amen a thousand times over, Dr. M.

We have two major parties running retail politics, and the only viable alternative party treating public discourse as if life were a perpetual 2 a.m. dorm room argument.

We are going to have a government. We are going to have taxes. And you know what, we're going to have a Federal Reserve Bank. (Maybe one that reverts to its historical single-track mandate, but still.)

And the libertarians who succeed in politics will be the ones who are clearly *not* anarchists in disguise.

Art Carden said...

In any movement, there are two kinds of people: those who have betrayed it, and me.

Congrats on exposing yourself as a state-loving statist!

John Covil said...

hahaha

I laugh, but I'm pretty sure I know some people that would say that.

John Thacker said...

*shrug*

I'm pretty certain that both the Democratic Party and Republican Party have their share of crazies with extreme positions, and I'm definitely certain that if one writes an article for the Nation, or Mother Jones, or National Review, or so on, one will find commenters or letter writers attacking the author for not being far enough extreme Left (or Right) on some position. And yet they endure.

BR said...

The phenomenon exists as described, but I don't think it's why we lose elections. Rather, I think Libertarians lose elections b/c of one belief we all have in common - no special favors for wealthy companies.

Michael Smith said...

I just finished up a 10 year stay at the Republican kingdom and i now proudly hang my hat at the Libertarian clubhouse. At the kingdom I was always suspicious and moved my wallet from the vulnerable back pocket to the secure front one. The only fear I have now with my new friends is of "extremist" talk because that is what resonates with most of today's voters.
I remember watching the Republican primaries with Ron Paul participating. When he said he would do away with the EPA my wife turned to me and said "this guys is nuts, i need my water and air clean". My wife who has zero interest in politics other then when there is a Presidential election is how most voters behave I fear.
So I become chest thumping proud when I hear Rand Paul talk about working towards the things that Libertarians cherish instead of these dramatic proposals that eliminate entire departments of the bloated federal govt.

Michael Smith said...

I just finished up a 10 year stay at the Republican kingdom and i now proudly hang my hat at the Libertarian clubhouse. At the kingdom I was always suspicious and moved my wallet from the vulnerable back pocket to the secure front one. The only fear I have now with my new friends is of "extremist" talk because that is what resonates with most of today's voters.
I remember watching the Republican primaries with Ron Paul participating. When he said he would do away with the EPA my wife turned to me and said "this guys is nuts, i need my water and air clean". My wife who has zero interest in politics other then when there is a Presidential election is how most voters behave I fear.
So I become chest thumping proud when I hear Rand Paul talk about working towards the things that Libertarians cherish instead of these dramatic proposals that eliminate entire departments of the bloated federal govt.

TimmyD said...

Well said, Dr. M (and great joke!)

Political parties and elected party members are like lawyers you hire to represent you in a lawsuit or contract negotiations. If you want to participate in the "game" you have to let your representative operate according to the rules of the game in order to be successful. You don't have to like it, but you shouldn't play in the game if you refuse to accept that your reps need to make compromises and move at a pace that is slower than desired.

windwheel said...

Wow! Munger is still linking to an essay which praises 'Play-pump'- a stupid 'Let's be nice to darkies' swindle.
Play-pump, backed by Laura Bush, was totally shit.
Munger actually complimented me on my post abusing him and explaining why.

Anyway, fuck it, I resign as this blog's favorite Troll. Libertarianism needs me in the trenches and foxholes- living under a bridge is way too easy.

For what it's worth- this is my cri de coeur to Mungerwitzers everywhere
Dear Mike,
Either follow the Math & the Econ will follow or just follow the Econ.

For fuck's sake don't write shite. Angus doesn't.
Bro- u gotta accept some sort of Public Argumentation ethic & Non Coerced 'Self ownership' praxis of dialogic so as to be totally but venerably shite.
Still, Mike me old mucker,
Today, I write to you as a fan, not a troll.

You have some personal quality which other people respond to. That same personal quality can enable you to serve Humanity.
Alfred Marshall was a Math guy who took up Social Reform and Feminism and tramped the streets of the least salubrious, most deprived, parts of this country 'looking into the faces of the poorest' in a manner that was truer to Wordsworth than A.E. Housman's day trips to Shropshire.
Screw Freakanomics, fuck Landsburg, write in an autobiographical- not a fucking polemical- way. Emotions, Empathy, will show you the Math. The Math will show you the Econ. But, reversing Bentham, I would suggest you see Law as not a dog but God.

Ken Arrow was a sort of Huckleberry Finn; Ronald Coase was Pickwick.

Something fine and true can come from you.
God bless
Vivek Iyer.

P.S.- I'm not ashamed of my mental illness- indeed, I'm now moving towards a formal Peer Support role. I've never hurt anybody in life. But, when MY PEOPLE are threatened, I make sure the authorities who license our persecution FEAR US, FROM THE MORAL POINT OF VIEW.
Their Pavlovian reflex of Coercion- Legal or otherwise- is slowly but surely undermined. Some second rate attorney at Georgetown University really thought he could intimidate me till as recently as a week ago. I don't want to see the cunt fired but the message should get through. Nobody cares about money anymore. None credit Credit. Expiation is what is needed. It defeats Hysteresis and is the basis of the euvoluntary or Baumol Superfair.

P.S You do understand that your blog's captcha requirements have been instructing me to like genocidally distribute chocolate eclairs amongst Black and Asian people- KNOWN TO BE AT HIGHER RISK OF DIABETES?
Oh. You did know. My neighbor's cat told you.
Fuck you cat! I WILL get even.

Barbara H said...

Ha. As soon as I saw the word, "laws," I knew you would get letters. Good work, Mike.