The Libertarian Movement: An Oxymoron?

By: MARK W. HENDRICKSON, For The Bulletin

"The basic problem with libertarians is this: While they preach tolerance of individual differences in theory, they can't stand ideological nonconformity in practice. If you've ever spent time around libertarians, you know what I mean. Two libertarians may agree on 95 percent of issues, but they will end up arguing passionately and splitting over the other 5 percent. Essentially, for many libertarians, libertarianism has become a religion. Each faction has its own orthodoxy, and any self-professed libertarian who deviates from the orthodoxy is treated like a heretic or apostate. Thus, a potential ally in the fight for freedom becomes Public Enemy Number One, drawing fire from other libertarians that would more profitably be expended against those working for an expansion of government power."



Grey Man group said...

Yup, That's objectivist libertarians for you. They are always absolutely right and everybody else is absolutely wrong. No wonder when they disagree they become mortal enemies.
Nice color scheme , black and white that is. It matches their philosophy to a tee. Right or Wrong,
Black or White, Good or Bad. Off or On. It's so simple.

Dr. Dan Billiamson said...

Libertarianism in One Lesson

# Philosophy

* In the beginning, man dwelt in a state of Nature, until the serpent Government tempted man into Initial Coercion.
* Government is the Great Satan. All Evil comes from Government, and all Good from the Market, according to the Ayatollah Rand.
* We must worship the Horatio Alger fantasy that the meritorious few will just happen to have the lucky breaks that make them rich. Libertarians happen to be the meritorious few by ideological correctness. The rest can go hang.
* Government cannot own things because only individuals can own things. Except for corporations, partnerships, joint ownership, marriage, and anything else we except but government.
* Parrot these arguments, and you too will be a singular, creative, reasoning individualist.
* Parents cannot choose a government for their children any more than they can choose language, residence, school, or religion.
* Taxation is theft because we have a right to squat in the US and benefit from defense, infrastructure, police, courts, etc. without obligation.
* Magic incantations can overturn society and bring about libertopia. Sovereign citizenry! The 16th Amendment is invalid! States rights!
* Objectivist/Neo-Tech Advantage #69i : The true measure of fully integrated honesty is whether the sucker has opened his wallet. Thus sayeth the Profit Wallace. Zonpower Rules Nerdspace!
* The great Zen riddle of libertarianism: minimal government is necessary and unnecessary. The answer is only to be found by individuals.

# Government

* Libertarians invented outrage over government waste, bureaucracy, injustice, etc. Nobody else thinks they are bad, knows they exist, or works to stop them.
* Enlightenment comes only through repetition of the sacred mantra "Government does not work" according to Guru Browne.
* Only government is force, no matter how many Indians were killed by settlers to acquire their property, no matter how many blacks were enslaved and sold by private companies, no matter how many heads of union members are broken by private police.
* Money that government touches spontaneously combusts, destroying the economy. Money retained by individuals grows the economy, even if literally burnt.
* Private education works, public education doesn't. The publicly educated masses that have grown the modern economies of the past 150 years are an illusion.
* Market failures, trusts, and oligopolies are lies spread by the evil economists serving the government as described in the "Protocols of the Elders of Statism".
* Central planning cannot work. Which is why all businesses internally are run like little markets, with no centralized leadership.
* Paternalism is the worst thing that can be inflicted upon people, as everyone knows that fathers are the most hated and reviled figures in the world.
* Government is like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearsome master. Therefore, we should avoid it entirely, as we do all forms of combustion.

Cato said...

What this guy is saying is that Libertarians do not sacrifice principals for power and then says it's a bad thing.

We are a bunch of sunny-eyed idealists yes. We do seek to work for what we would like to see, yes. And we refuse to compromise food and poison, yes. But only death wins in such a compromise which is why we don't do it. Sure, we're not "pragmatic" like The Party, but we've got principals and that's more than any Republican or Democrat can say about themselves.