Salon: "Libertarianism is juvenile," "stupid," "silly," "bratty"

Over at the publication famous for (among other impressive accomplishments) having a political columnist write about licking doorknobs at Gary Bauer's campaign headquarters, Gabriel Winant uses the Rand Paul/Civil Rights Act controversy as a teaching moment about the irredeemable immaturity of libertarianism. Sample:

It's not just that he screwed up and said something stupid because he's so committed to a purist fancy. No, it's worse than that. Libertarianism itself is what's stupid here, not just Paul. We should stop tip-toeing around this belief system like its adherents are the noble last remnants of a dying breed, still clinging to their ancient, proud ways.

Now, to be clear, before continuing: there are legions of brilliant individual libertarians. [Dave] Weigel himself, for example, is a great writer and reporter, and a true master of Twitter. We've never met, but by all accounts, he's also very much a stand-up fellow. But brilliant, decent people can think silly things. And that's what's going on here. It's time to stop taking libertarianism seriously. [...]

Think about the New Deal. Although libertarian ingrates will never admit it, without the reforms of the 1930s, there might not be private property left for them to complain about the government infringing on. Not many capitalist democracies could survive 25 percent unemployment, and it doesn't just happen by good luck. [...]

The government didn't just help make the "free market" in the first place -- although it did do that. It's also constantly busy trimming around the edges, maintaining the thing, keeping it healthy. The state can think ahead and balance competing interests in a way that no single company can. [...]

The libertarian who insists that the state has no place beyond basic night-watchman duties is like a teenager who, having been given a car, promptly starts demanding the right to stay out all night. Sometimes, someone else really is looking out for your best interests by saying no.

And that's why the best rap on libertarians isn't that they're racist, or selfish. (Though some of them are those things, and their beliefs encourage both bad behaviors, even if accidentally.) It's that they're thoroughly out of touch with reality. It's a worldview that prospers only so long as nobody tries it, and is too unreflective and self-absorbed to realize this. In other words, it's bratty. And that's bad enough.

As a longtime if lapsed fan of Salon, who I've both written about and for multiple times over the years (including a piece in 2005 encouraging then-wilderness Democrats to embrace their inner libertarian, proving once again that no one loves libertarians more–and more shallowly–than the major party out of power), I must express my deep chagrin that the Frisco kids have now officially rejected brattiness. Good luck with that job hunt, Havrilesky!

As for the main argument here–that libertarians and their policy preferences are "out of touch with reality"–the same could be said, at minimum, of Glenn Greenwald's principled fight against ever-expanding executive power, and Salon's long-running critique of the War on Drugs. (Each of those categories of government abuse, by the way, are often defended precisely on grounds that "someone else really is looking out for your best interests by saying no.") When reality is unconscionable, and you are an opinion-journalism outfit with principles (or just a human with a functional spine), you tilt at the goddamned windmills, without first vetting it through a reality check.

I will let our commenters take a swing at Winant's curious grasp of economic history–you really need to read the whole thing to bask in the sophistication. (Sample sentence: "To summarize very briefly a long and complicated process, we got capitalism in the first place through a long process of flirtation between governments on the one hand, and bankers and merchants on the other, culminating in the Industrial Revolution.")

Instead, I'll close with this: The "worldview" of libertarianism suggested, back in the early 1970s, that if you got the government out of the business of setting all airline ticket prices and composing all in-flight menus, then just maybe Americans who were not rich could soon enjoy air travel. At the time, people with much more imagination and pull than Gabriel Winant has now dismissed the idea as unrealistic, out-of-touch fantasia. They were wrong then, they continue to be wrong now about a thousand similar things, and history does not judge them harsh enough.

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  • Vajazzling||

    Dear Gabriel Winant,

    Dave Weigle is a POS putz.

    Best,
    Vajazzling

  • Mike M.||

    Yep, it's really shocking that the douches at Salon love Weigel as one of their favorite "libertarians" to go along with Greenwald.

  • ||

    I wonder if they pet him and give him treats.

  • Fluffy||

    Nobody would call Greenwald a libertarian, and he doesn't claim that title for himself.

    But I note with interest that there hasn't been a peep out of Greenwald about this CRA "scandal".

  • ||

    Greenwald doesn't usually do politics, he does policy.

  • ||

    Greenwald is no more of a libertarian than you are a serious thinker

  • Charles||

    I don't know why people hate Weigel, because being dicks. I miss him and his open political weekend threads. He wasn't a perfect libertarian in every single way, but such a creature has never existed.

  • Charles||

    because = besides

  • SIV||

    Weigel is not, and never was a libertarian. I don't think he ever claimed, or even pretended to be one. He is a good journalist Reason hired, presumably for peanuts*, to cover the 2008 campaign.

  • The Gobbler||

    He is a good hack journalist Reason hired

    FIFY

  • ||

    Everyone must concede that Weigel's use of a safety pin to drain all of the fluid from his scrotum was a stroke of creative genius.

  • ||

    Talk about proving his point!

    Most liberals distinguish themselves by their use of name calling and lack of reasoned arguments. These comments sound like that.

  • cynical||

    We're self-aware in our embrace of juvenile name calling, like hipsters think they are with irony. You ignorant twat.

  • hipster||

    such a cynical world view you have...

  • ||

    The state can think ahead and balance competing interests in a way that no single company can.

    Now this, THIS is a stupid immature fantasy.
    What is the state, the mommy and daddy government that takes away your car keys?

    No. The state is a bunch of competing interests. Short sighted competing interests vying for advantage. With guns.

    What kind of immature pre-adolescent looks up to the state with adoring eyes as a paragon of responsibility and adulthood?

  • ||

    What kind of immature pre-adolescent looks up to the state with adoring eyes as a paragon of responsibility and adulthood?

    They are referred to as "millenials", Hazel. See also: Social Networking Generation.

  • ||

    Whose interests weigh more? Why, those who pay or vote the right way, naturally. Is that the kind of balancing that gives us optimal results? Does anyone believe that, really?

  • ||

    Because before the State jumped in, rich people NEVER had an unfair advantage over the rest of us. Feudalism = the new libertarian ideal. Thanks for gulf oil spill and can someone please get rid of these terrible Health Departments.

    Jesus, it's like no one here ever heard of "The Jungle"

  • smartass sob||

    Because before the State jumped in, rich people NEVER had an unfair advantage over the rest of us.

    Oh, is being rich an unfair advantage? What's unfair about it? How about being strong, or intelligent, or good-looking - or even well-educated - are those unfair advantages, too?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Being rich was an advantage for anyone named "Kennedy", but that's just a bad side-effect of capitalism. Gotta take the lumps as well as the gravy.

  • Paul||

    The state can think ahead and balance competing interests in a way that no single company can.

    Now this, THIS is a stupid immature fantasy.
    What is the state, the mommy and daddy government that takes away your car keys?

    It's not a stupid, immature fantasy. It's dangerous, immoral totalitarianism, pure and simple.

  • ||

    The "State" is purely reactionary, not forward thinking. Something bad happens, and in the rush to "do something", they studiously avoid addressing the root causes of the issue at hand. See all the "Homeland Security" laws and regulations that prohibit proper terrorist profiling and border security (because Islam is a "religion of peace"), and more recently the financial regulation bill that studiously ignores Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  • ||

    If this is about Rand Paul's comment, and I think it is, digging thru all of your obtuse prose, then consider this: if a black guy owned a restaurant and some white guy came in a was obnoxious, then he could kick him out. Rand would agree with this. But you wahoos just will not understand the principles and just want to turn everything into racism.

  • Almanian||

    RACIST!

  • New World Dan||

    PEAK OIL!

  • Almanian||

    FUELIST!

  • ||

    PEAK RACISM!

  • ||

    To whom are you addressing your comment?

  • roshan||

    That is happening too frequently nowadays I mean blacks kicking out whites from the restaurants. It also happened very frequently in the pre 60's. Where was Jesse Jackson then?

  • bk||

    wow. so the act of being a black person is obnoxious?

  • cynical||

    What?

  • cynical...||

    Oh dear. For serious?

  • ||

    You could spend days picking over the ignorance of that article. How about this one.

    "Think about the New Deal. Although libertarian ingrates will never admit it, without the reforms of the 1930s, there might not be private property left for them to complain about the government infringing on. Not many capitalist democracies could survive 25 percent unemployment, and it doesn't just happen by good luck."

    Is it really his opinion that without the New Deal, we would have had a communist revolution and a resulting Marxist state that would still exist today? If he knew anything about history, which and judging by this article he clearly doesn't, he would know that US Democracy survived much worse downturns in 1873 and 1837. The Great Depression is only remembered as such only because Roosevelt made it last so much longer than other downturns. How can someone so ignorant be allowed to do anything but rave at people from the dumpster behind the 7-11?

  • Qualis Artifex Pereo||

    Because we live in a free society?

  • ||

    Yes, it's just depressing that in our free society people pay him for this idiocy.

  • ||

    Yes, it's just depressing that in our free society people pay him for this idiocy.

  • ||

    Depressing enough that it's worth saying twice.

  • hipster||

    word.

  • C-Dog||

    I always hear about how terrible the great depression was, but there is never any mention of the Smoot-Hawley tariffs from the left. The government basically destroyed world trade, but thank god for the new deal or we would all be communists!

  • ||

    And they also killed the world monetary system with World War I and insisting on Germany paying such reparations.

    Downturns do happen in the market. Sometimes markets get out of whack and there is no fixing them without a lot of pain. But governments have the unique ability of making that pain much worse than it should be.

  • cynical||

    Don't you remember that time we quit drinking and almost died from the shakes? We don't drink because we're addicted, we drink because alcohol is lifesaving medicine.

  • mark||

    +1 and they're gonna do it again!

  • alan||

    In the viewpoint of many members of that administration, it was America's fascist revolution, until they got the memo in the second term that fascism was now a bad thing.

  • jdd||

    More importantly, only through socialist-interventionist policies of the Hoover admin did unemployment reach 25%. But for price and wage fixing in a deflationary environment, unemployment never gets anywhere near that high.

    The New Deal was not that new. It was Hoover Supersized. More intervention, more subsidies, more government. I suppose it had a marginal, short-term impact at a high cost.

    I think Calvin Coolidge could have handled the recession of the late 20s and avoided the GD just fine.

  • ||

    This comment is as historically accurate as Belushi's line regarding "the Germans attacked Pearl Harbor."

  • ||

    Except that I reported at the time that the Japanese bombed Pearl harbor and also did indeed report earlier that Hoover was indeed pushing sustained high wages in coordination with industry and unions.

    Finally in 1932 everyone realized that that was goosing unemployment to high levels.

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj30n1/cj30n1-11.pdf

    For example, Business Week (1
    January 1930) published an article entitled, “This Time They Didn’t
    Cut Wages.” The great economic historian Joseph Schumpeter (1931)
    also noted the same thing, as did Carter Goodrich (1931). Further,
    labor economist Leo Wolman (1931: 2–3) wrote, “It is indeed impossible
    to recall any past depression of similar intensity and duration in
    which the wages of prosperity were sustained as they have been in the
    depression of 1930–1931.”

  • Some Guy||

    Is it really his opinion that without the New Deal, we would have had a communist revolution and a resulting Marxist state that would still exist today?

    You certainly could make a case for it. If we went commie (which wasn't outside the realm of possibility) then who would have been around to spend Russia into oblivion?

    Of course how that comes out to be an argument against the market is a mystery to me. Sort of like saying that, "We don't kidnap journalists quite as much as we could have."

  • ||

    Or maybe he remembers more than Amity Shales? Maybe he read about groups of vigilantes attacking bank mortgage process servers in Iowa. Maybe he heard of Hoovervilles and the Army attacking veterans' campsites?

    "How can someone so ignorant be allowed to do anything but rave at people from the dumpster behind the 7-11?"

    Well, Matt Welch apparently is FREE to live in behind that dumpster and assert his ridiculous, unworkable, moronic absolutist belief in "libertarian" ideals

  • hipster||

    The New Deal may indeed have pacified the people, but that in no way proves that intervention such as that was the correct answer. Indeed, the protectionism of Hoover (among his other policies) greatly worsened the great depression; prior to the government "doing something" unemployment hadn't reached 10% (nationwide iirc), and had begun to decrease in much of the nation.

    Also, the New Deal was NOT the only way. FDR didn't run on the platform of the government coming to the rescue, but rather of stopping the bad hoover policies.

  • ||

    It's amazing how much projection is displayed in these "libertardz ur teh stupidz" articles that Welch finds. I mean, isn't your shrink helping you with that, Gabriel? I mean, what the fuck are you paying them $200/hour for then?

  • ||

    The klonopin scripts.

  • ||

    They aren't that expensive. Gabriel really should shop around.

  • ||

    They are working through the issues he has with his mother and his trying on her underwear during his childhood. They have a lot of things going on here. One thing at a time. They will get to his projection issues one of these days.

  • ||

    That's no excuse. I, uh, have a friend who tried on women's underwear as a child and he turned out all right.

  • Fuddy Duddy||

    That's offensive. Stop it.

  • ||

    Here's an idea... delete all the troll posts on this thread. I know this is controversial, but what are they going to say that Winant hasn't already? Hasn't the troll here already had an entire Salon drivelburp to say his peace?

  • ||

    Bratty comment to Winant. Lick my doorknob.

  • ||

    "Or, take a couple more recent examples: savvy health insurance executives were quite aware during this past year that, if reform failed again, skyrocketing prices were likely to doom the whole scheme of private insurance (itself a freak accident of federal policy) and bring on single-payer."

    That is another gem. I don't even know where to begin. It is so stupid it is not even wrong. His solution to rising prices is to create a system where by healthy people have to subsidize the sick who game the system and it is cheaper for corporations to pay a tax and drop coverage and stick people in the state run pool? We are doomed. If this is what passes for intelligence in this country, we need to all leave now while we can.

  • ||

    Where can we go?

  • ||

    TEH SOMALIA!

  • Almanian||

    ...sigh, keeping drinking, cl :)

  • Actually No||

    With no tribal allegiance,Somalis would consider us outlaws. Then again, it would probably be safer than Detroit, DC or any one of those other liberal paradises.

  • Actually No||

    With no tribal allegiance,Somalis would consider us outlaws. Then again, it would probably be safer than Detroit, DC or any one of those other liberal paradises.

  • ||

    China.

  • ||

    "Imagine the moment in, say, twenty years, when the evidence of climate change has become undeniable, and there’s an urgent crackdown on carbon-intensive industries. Then coal companies and agribusiness will be wishing they’d gotten on board with the mild, slow-moving reform that is cap-and-trade."

    Yeah let's imagine. If you guys would just let government do something stupid and unproductive now, it might prevent government from doing something truly sinister and monumentally tragic later.

    What a dumb fuck. I refuse to read the comments on that article. I can't even imagine the idiocy and the horror.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    I read the first page of comments and just couldn't go any further. It was horrible.

  • ||

    Need a Klonopin?

  • hipster||

    no, but i could do with an enema.

  • skr||

    i got to page 2. I think my personal favorite was, "the free market wouldn't even exist if government hadn't created it." Yeah, tell that to Ugh and Eek who were trading obsidian for animal hides some 100,000 years ago.

  • ||

    That wasn't a free market. Ugh would have had no reason to trust that Eek wouldn't just bludgeon him with an elk femur and take it all.

    A free market is more than just the exchange of goods -- it requires that coercion is unthinkable among the participants. Otherwise the drug trade these days could be considered a "free market" which I don't think we want.

  • skr||

    first, tell that to Rothbard since I basically substituted obsidian and hides for berries and clams (or was it fish).

    Secondly, if coercion must be unthinkable would that not preclude government (a sanctioned coercive agent) from creating it?

  • ||

    I'm really not worried about contradicting Rothbard. He had a lot of interesting ideas but he was an anarcho, which means I have extremely basic disagreements with him.

    My wording wasn't clear -- I meant coercion on the part of market participants, not a government that is hovering around outside the market.

  • skr||

    also, i think that many aspects of the drug trade can be considered a free market. That doesn't mean I want people to think that because it would be argumentatively disadvantageous with all the violence and so forth. However, on the retail level, my dealer and I exist in that "coercion is unthinkable" realm created by over a decade of free and honest exchange. The same could have of course been true for Ugh and Eek. The first time may have held fear but after a dozen or so exchanges trust would develop.

  • ||

    But then it's not a free market, because there's no competition -- you only trust your dealer (or Eek). You can't walk away from him easily, because you can't trust most possible trading partners.

  • mark||

    wtf?

  • hipster||

    you could just be trading in a society in which violence etc is simply unthinkable. and he could go to a friend's dealer if his began giving him bad prices.

  • ||

    Hmmm. Perhaps what we need is to redefine some terms, and reorient our perspective.

    I am accustomed to thinking that the "free market" is the natural state, and would exist in any society.

    But I also agree that institutions such as property rights, contract enforcement, and the equal justice principle are necessary to make markets "work" in a way that allows people to interact as free individuals.

    As some observers have pointed out, "free markets" seem to be able to exist alongside authoritarianism in a way that can result in some pretty gross injustices if you don't have those institutions. Say the way Tibetans are oppressed in China. And there's nothing about markets in themselves that makes those legal inequities disappear, or else we wouldn't have had centuries of feudalism and merchantilism.

    Now, you can say "well, that's not really a free market". But perhaps a better way to put it is to say that markets exist everywhere and are the entirely natural state, but that *freedom* requires particular political institutions, among which are the sacrosanct natural of private property, and a legal system which treats all individuals equally. If you don't have those things, you'll still have a market. You might even still call it a free market, but it's not going to be the kind of free market that libertarians envision.

    In fact, I'm not quite sure that many libertarians recognize the need for equal enforcement of laws and equal treatment of all individuals under the law as crucial to making the market work in the way we envision. Perhaps this is the difference between an anarchist, a libertarian, and a liberal. An anarchist would have no legal mechanism for equal justice. A liberal wants the government to take positive action to favor disadvantaged groups, and a libertarian wants the government to enforce a strict legal equality regime - blind justice.

    Perhaps if we spent more time pointing out how legal mechanisms such as contract enforcement and property rights promote equity and fairness better than having the government make specific interventions on behalf of some groups, we would make more progress convincing people that libertarianism is a better system.

  • ||

    Call me a Hobbesian, but the natural state is that the strongest guy around takes what he wants, and then the next strongest, and so on. That's the way things work in the animal kingdom and it seems likely that's how it worked in early human groupings.

    Trade is a fundamentally unnatural activity, and requires some features unique to humans (trust, as I said). And as I opine above, markets in which you can only trust one trading partner are not really free.

    And the existence of semi-free markets in authoritarian states is not any kind of contradiction. Yes, the Chinese government strictly controls political discourse over all mass communication media, but that doesn't really impact market activity directly. If Eek had been known to kill anyone who says his mother had sex with a mastodon, that doesn't affect his trade with Ugh in the way that Eek having a reputation of killing people after he traded with them would.

  • mark||

    Who are you some kind of sock puppet?

  • ||

    Trust isn't natural to humans? Even apes form relationships based on trust. And recent experimentation has showing that markets can exist between groups of primates. I believe that all species engage in forms of trade at some level. Trade is very natural. I think this really is just a problem of defining terms and separating philosophy from observation of nature.

  • callin it||

    In fact, I was reading an article saying that when chimps where trained to value money (much like we have been)they formed small interconnected groups of trade, placed trust in each other and began (apparently) creating rules around money (ie. don't steal) oh and they "invented" prostitution among chimps, as South Park so eloquently displayed.

  • callinit||

    youz is dum.
    dum dum dum.
    you think you smart, but you dum.

  • ||

    I am accustomed to thinking that the "free market" is the natural state, and would exist in any society.

    It is, and it does. In some countries they try to suppress it, they call it the "black market".

    -jcr

  • cynical||

    "That wasn't a free market. Ugh would have had no reason to trust that Eek wouldn't just bludgeon him with an elk femur and take it all."

    Well, he might be suspicious, but they were probably related, and that counts for something.

  • ||

    If you can only trade with relatives it's not a free market. No competition.

  • ||

    Nobody is restricted to trading with only relatives. Their is an increased potential cost with trading with untrustworthy outsiders in a closed society, but that doesn't mean that the market isn't functioning. As long as people can act voluntarily, even if they are succumbing to fear, temptation, and authority, the market can still be considered "free." However, my modern philosophical concept of "free markets" means something that is free of violent coercion, but that is more of a philosophical stance than a natural observation.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    The important part is the voluntarism though Tulpa - just cause Ugh might not have fully "trusted" Eek not to bludgeon him, they still traded in that example, which means they did respect each other's property rights and operated via exchange for mutual benefit.

    Sounds like free market in action to me. Just cause some other troglodytes would be cool with theft and murder doesn't mean trades don't happen naturally all the time. As humans have evolved, we've only gotten more and more socially interconnected anyway - and that can only happen with some basic levels of respect for other people's stuff. It's not perfect but ya know what, people steal & murder now... There's just a better framework for restitution.

  • skr||

    My second favorite was, "every market is sanctioned by the government". Yeah, tell that to my drug dealer.

  • Random Dude||

    Totally.

    The drug trade, prostitution, and other forms of illicit behavior completely demolish the idea that government is needed for markets to function.

    Illegal behavior has even higher barriers than unrestricted free trade, and it organizes just fine.

  • ||

    Trust me, your drug dealer is "sanctioned" by some coercive organization -- probably a far nastier one than the govt.

  • ||

    I wouldn't say that at all. It's likely that my dealer simply purchases product from any of a number of competing distributors. Those at the end of the chain are often too small to be "sanctioned".

    And FWIW, I've had far fewer nasty encounters with drug dealers than with the govt.

  • ||

    I've never been air bombed by any level of the drug trading apparatus. Not even once.

  • ||

    "Sanctioned"? Like what the US government did to Iraq for the years between the Bush league presidents?

    -jcr

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Think about the New Deal. Although libertarian ingrates will never admit it, without the reforms of the 1930s, there might not be private property left for them to complain about the government infringing on."

    It isn't necessary for libertarian "ingrates" (or anyone else) to "admit it", since nobody at Salon (or anywhere else) is the least bit capable of proving that statement is true.

  • DRATER||

    The article is just a warning-shot to unhappy Democrats ("stick with us and you're still cool; move toward Libertarian and you're a loser"). The author doesn't want to prove anything; just recycle some old Dem talking points and toss in a handfull of insults. Just enough to shame the fence-sitters and avoid a real debate. All that heavy think'n ya know...

  • mark||

    +1

  • ed||

    It's time to stop taking libertarianism seriously.

    Dear Lefty: You and your ilk have a full-court, freakout smear campaign going against Rand Paul. Because you don't take him seriously? Gotcha.

  • marlok||

    I'll be perfectly happy if the left decides to stop taking libertarianism seriously. Let them insulate themselves with their dreamy thoughts of FDR, while the debate slips away from them. The decision to start ignoring the opposition always comes right before a big shift in public perceptions (see Carter 1980 or Bush 2006).

  • ||

    I guess Reason takes Islam very, very seriously then.

  • cynical||

    What, an ideology whose very name suggests the absence of freedom, and factions of which have murdered thousands of people in this nation, and many times more around the world? Why would anyone take that seriously?

  • roshan||

    DOOD, that was totally serious.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    That whole article is merely another example of a tactic that liberals have been engaging in for decades - affecting an air of intellectual superiority. Essentially running a bluff - since they don't have any actual intellectual firepower to back it up.

  • roshan||

    totally man

  • ||

    Jumping back in ... I'm supposed to give up my cash to the government, because the government is so much more responsible than me.

    The government that has trillions in unfundend liabilities, runs a continuous budget deficit, and burns through billions of dollars a year bailing out everyone from farmers to wall street banks.

    I pay off my credit card balance every month. I have savings, DESPITE the government efforts to take as much money as it can from me.

    It is a demonstrable fucking FACT that I am more responsible than my government.

  • Almanian||

    Hazel, there you go, being "bratty" again. See, Gabriel Wingnut's right.

  • ||

    ::applause::

  • Qualis Artifex Pereo||

    Social Security makes Enron look like PwC.

  • Some Guy||

    The correct analogy was Madoff. Enron makes zero sense there. Enron is more like "green collar jobs."

  • SWAT||

    Free thinker alert! Free thinker alert! Proceed with caution, she may have a gun and dog! And notify the IRS. She has "savings". Unless she has drugs, then we can "forfeit her assets". (sick double entendre intended)

  • roshan||

    Hazel should totally give some classes or something teaching about her "demonstrable fucking fact"

  • ||

    He also conflates the social welfare system developed by Bismark with the governments that were around for the commercial and industrial revolution. Government was necessary for building the capitalist system we have today. Okay, I will buy that. But, I don't think many or any libertarians would object to going back (sans Slavery) to the federal government as it existed in say 1850.

    Somehow I don't think he would like that very much.

  • Actually No||

    To the extent government played a role in the development of our market based economy (and the historical record indicates it did), it is not an indictment against the free market, but proof of the continuing of state capitalism. There has never been a completely free market system. In every time and every age, government has used its majesty and force to subsidize or penalize one economic interest over another.

  • mark||

    this.

  • Addie||

    Wow, someone is threatened by Rand Paul's victory. Score one for the libertarians and champions of individualism. We're doing something right to provoke such a reactionary article.

  • robc||

    Big question is, who will freak out more between now and November, the big government Democrats or the big government Republicans?

  • marlok||

    Democrats.
    Republicans aren't gonna throw any elbows this way until they're back in power.

  • SIV||

    When Sean Hannity is shilling hard for Rand Paul you know the GOP establishment is on board 100% for the time being.

    When RNC fundraising cold calls are met with "Fuck No! you Godless RINOs" they have to hitch the wagon somewheres.

  • j||

    "The libertarian who insists that the state has no place beyond basic night-watchman duties is like a teenager who, having been given a car, promptly starts demanding the right to stay out all night. Sometimes, someone else really is looking out for your best interests by saying no."

    So the act of saying "No" to teenager's unrealizable request cannot be performed by his mother, father, uncle, family friend, priest, or older sister.

  • ||

    Can't resist. I wonder if Salon would agree with this, and if not, why not:

    "The libertarian who insists that the state has no place beyond basic night-watchman duties is like a teenager who, having been given a car started dating, promptly starts demanding the right to stay out all night an abortion. Sometimes, someone else really is looking out for your best interests by saying no."

  • ||

    I see what you did there, RC. Well done.

  • skr||

    i was expecting the dating thing to culminate in a race argument but abortion works too.

  • ||

    The Dirty Mac likes this.

  • cynical||

    Win.

  • roshan||

    FIXED

    "The libertarian who insists that the state has no place beyond basic night-watchman duties is like a teenager who, having been given a car started dating, promptly starts demanding the right to stay out all night an abortion. Sometimes, someone else really is looking out for your best interests by saying no/yes/maybe."

    I think Salon will agree with this, if not then why not?

  • callin it||

    *bows*
    very nice.

  • jtuf||

    This quote gets to the heart of the Liberal mindset. The author believes that all Americans should be treated like minors with the government playing the role of parent.

  • ||

    A parent that doesn't know when she's had too many martinis and likes to smack her kids around, cause it's fun.

  • ||

    A parent that runs up her credit card bills and steals her kids paper route money to pay for her drug habit.

  • ||

    A parent that sells her kids into a lifetime of indentured servitude to pay for her habit of meddling in other family's business, often violently.

    -jcr

  • ||

    +1

  • skr||

    this

  • cynical||

    It's the progressive man's burden, bringing civilization to all the benighted peoples of the world.

  • Actually No||

    In the Church of "Liberalism" they give homage to their god, Leviathan, and pray for its glory to endure unto the ages of ages.

  • Random Dude||

    "The author believes that all Americans should be treated like minors with the government playing the role of parent."

    Even worse.

    The role of a good parent is to make their child grow up into an adult.

    The role of government is to grow adults into children.

  • mark||

    And minors playing the role of government!

  • In Time Of War||

    While I appreciate that metaphors and analogies simplify thinking and may make ideas more visual, the problem is that even in the best examples the map ain't the terrain, and they're almost never used honestly.
    Hence, I refuse to use them in debate and will reject other's use of them. Argue the point or talk about teenage driving, don't mix the two.
    But that's just me, and apparently I'm immature.

  • Anonymous||

    I hear killing off large swathes of your working population by getting into a world war is a great way to reduce unemployment. That's just what I heard though.

    (Not saying WWII wasn't justified, but it's a big reason why it is foolish to cite employment statistics to make the case for the New Deal, especially considering unemployment had remained high after 7-8 years of New Dealing until we started shifting to a war economy.)

  • G-Love||

    +100

  • ||

    Yes. Also forced rationing and forced savings in the form of war bonds to create pent up demand for four years has a great way of creating a boom when the war is over.

    Leftists also never mention how they wanted to keep the war controls (rationing and central planning) in place after the war was over. That is why they lost control of Congress in 1946. It was only the ending of those policies that created the boom. A boom which shocked the leftists of the time who thought for sure the returning soldiers and ending of the war was going to create another depression.

  • mark||

    Good points... sources?

  • pmains||

    He's making a complex point that can't be reduced to a mere "fact check." If you want to verify or falsify his assertion, you're going to need to do some research.

  • ||

    ...it's also nice when your global competitors attempt to completely destroy their own infrastructure with some of the instruments you sold them--later contracting you to incinerate two large cities after bombing and firebombing all major cities.

    And after global assistance in priming the US industrial pump, rebuild.

  • ||

    You mean, like Britain did with Atlee?

  • horsewithnonick||

    Not to mention bombing the ever-loving crap out of Europe's industrial capacity, ensuring that the U.S.A. could sell as much as it could produce for the next couple of decades or so...

  • ||

    A decade or two ago, this type of comment would have introduced you to the gibbet; the children of the Greatest Generation spoiled by geography and drunk on 'new' markets.

  • j||

    Unreasonable.

  • ||

    Drink!

  • ||

    The state can think ahead and balance competing interests in a way that no single company can

    This is sort of true. They can stand on one part of the balance with their rent-seeking cronies and think ahead to how they'll stick their hand in our pockets.

  • ||

    They can think ahead as far as the next election cycle.

    And they can balance the Jewish vote in Florida against the union vote in Ohio.

  • James C Bennett||

    "The state can think ahead and balance competing interests in a way that no single company can"

    Fortunately, we don't have to rely on a single company; there are lots of them.

  • ||

    "The state can think ahead and balance competing interests in a way that no single company can"

    Uh, no it can't.
    I believe it's called the 'knowledge problem', and the USSR (not to mention a couple of still-running dictatorships) show the results quite clearly.
    If you're going to lie, try not to make is quite so obvious.

  • ||

    The "lie" comment was directed at the story, not at JCB.

  • ||

    A monolithic mass of stupid. To summarize:

    "All good things come from the State. Oh, and libertarians want to lynch African-Americans with blowtorches."

  • Almanian||

    But, do they want to lynch them if the African Americans put the blowtorches down...?

  • ||

    For the right price.

    /snark

  • SWATzi||

    I like the cut of your job, sailor.

    **offers employment application and background check forms**

  • SWATzi||

    DOH! "...the cut of your JIB...I Freudianed that already picturing you on the job young man. Hahahahahahaha!"

    **continues to offer employment application and background check forms**

  • In Time Of War||

    He's incorrect. We want to sell them blowtorches and give them the liberty to choose how they use them.

    Somehow that is racist.

  • Progressive||

    We know that if you give the African fire, in his primitive ignorance he would simply burn himself to death along with his tribesman in the urban jungle.

    It is out of compassion and responsibility as more intelligent and civilized people than the African to keep these advanced tools out of their hands until their culture is prepared to use them wisely.

    When Libertarians develop the wisdom to understand why we are right to make this decision, then they can truly be considered worthy of being granted treatment as political equals, as we benevolently bestowed on women last century.

  • PicassoIII||

    Exactly what Spooner suggested back in 1858.
    http://praxeology.net/LS-PAS.htm

  • ||

    "The libertarian who insists that the state has no place beyond basic night-watchman duties is like a teenager who, having been given a car, promptly starts demanding the right to stay out all night. Sometimes, someone else really is looking out for your best interests by saying no."

    Notice the strange separation between the government and the populace that statement assumes. A teenager is not an adult. He is a different sort of person than his parents. He is not capable of making fully rational decisions. Thus his parents are responsible for making some of the important decisions for him.

    A government on the other hand is by necessity a human institution. Since it is made up of people, it can only make decisions as well as the people in it. He assumes some kind of weird collective wisdom that occurs in governments but somehow does not occur in individuals or private associations. I doubt he is smart enough or open minded enough to really think through what he is saying. But when you think about it, he really looks at government as some kind of magical entity that is capable of wisdom that no other individual or group can attain.

  • Government||

    I am the Lizard King,
    I can do anything.

  • ||

    Well said. This is the best comment so far. It captures the arrogance of collectivists in a nutshell.

  • VoxPatriota||

    "It's time to stop taking libertarianism seriously."

    When did they ever take it seriously to begin with?

  • ||

    They never did. They're telling YOU to stop taking it seriously. It's obvious they think they can win over some Libertarians by appealing to their social liberalism and trying to rationalize their collectivist economic policies. They just....don't get it.

  • Ryan M||

    It really is amazing to me how they (liberals and conservatives, but the latter almost, sometimes, kinda get it) just fundamentally can't understand the principles. My coworkers are constantly saying some insane thing and suggesting I would agree with it, and then when I explain why not they say that makes no sense and is inconsistent. I think their inability to understand the principles of Libertarianism is due to their inability to understand making political decisions based on principles. I think it's all just gut reaction for them.

  • VoxPatriota||

    The fact that heads are exploding because Rand Paul expressed a very basic libertarian concept is telling. For the statist, "freedom" means coercing others to do what is "right", rather than letting the market determine that on its own.

    Like Paul said, "I would't go to the Walgreens..."

  • qwerty||

    Exactly. Piaget proved that only about half of people are smart enough to even think abstractly (formal reasoning). People in the left half of the bell curve can't even understand libertarianism, much less agree with it.

  • .||

    People in the left half of the bell curve

    Hot Dam! So that's why they're called Leftists!

  • ||

    And yet open borders libertarians would like to import millions of foreigners from continents where the average IQ is in the 70s and 80s.

    *Facepalm* that'll work!

  • ||

    I think they need to phrase is "I think it's time to stop taking liberty seriously." since that is what they really mean. I wouldn't mind it if they would at least be honest about their contempt for the fundamental principles on which the "sweet land of liberty" was supposedly founded.

  • Joe||

    When debating political philosophy, one must ask engaging questions in order to participate in a meaningful debate. Rand Paul made an obvious political blunder when he waxed philisophical on MSNBS of all places, but you have to admire him for sticking to his ideals. While the extremes of Libertarianism may fly over the heads of liberals. I think alot of people beleive in the basic merits; less government intrusion into our daily lives, banishing drug laws, lower taxes, free market etc. I think Libertarians need to streamline their message if they are ever going to be taken seriously. Oh ya .. and this Salon piece is pure non-sense!

  • Invisible Finger||

    Rand Paul has to know what MSNBC and Rachel Maddow are all about. So he knows almost all of their several hundred viewers are already against him and have no interest in supporting him.

    Likewise, there can't be any Paul supporter who doesn't already know that he's basically against the CRA. Sure, few of his supporters understand his actual viewpoint, but that has nothing to do with his use of MSNBC. In this environment it will trigger a torrent of people forwarding transcripts, videos, etc. of his appearance. And 1% of those people will actually pay attention to the content and understand what he means. And when a fellow liberal realizes his cohorts are knee-jerk non-thinkers, he'll switch his association from the left to non-partisan.

    At this point, if the choice is between a racist who won't steal anyone's money and a non-racist who is otherwise corrupt as hell, the racist will win easily. It's just not the hot-button issue it used to be simply because it's been overplayed minorities are starting to get sick of hearing it.

  • ||

    Rand Paul has to know what MSNBC and Rachel Maddow are all about. So he knows almost all of their several hundred viewers are already against him and have no interest in supporting him.

    Rand Paul announced his run for the Senate on the Rachel Maddow show.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    I'ma post this again now that this article has its own thread.

    for the system to work, you need some kind of bare bones apparatus for enforcing contracts and protecting property.

    Well, first off, you don't necessarily need that, not really. It's nice, it certainly helps, but it isn't 100% essential.

    Secondly, as Salon would know if they'd done any research beyond talking to That One Guy Who's Always Reading Ayn Rand in the Break Room (what's up with him, lol), most libertarians agree that one of the proper roles of government is enforcing contracts via the courts system. So Salon is essentially beating on a straw man that doesn't even exist here.

  • skr||

    again, my drug dealer and i get along just fine without either of those.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Sure you are getting along fine now. Wait until the shit hits the fan.

    How happy is he going to be when he realizes that while he has been giving you perfectly good drugs, all you've been giving him are pieces of paper?

    Other than being able to wipe his ass any time he feels like, he ain't gonna be happy with that deal.

  • skr||

    lol

  • skr||

    well it was the agreement we entered into. caveat emptor and all that

  • Sam Grove||

    Maybe he buys gold with the proceeds.

  • Warren||

    --most libertarians agree that one of the proper roles of government is enforcing contracts via the courts system.--

    And they would be incorrect.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Um, how so? Should we not have the ability to sue someone if they break a contract? And what should we do instead?

  • skr||

    he's saying that it is conceivable that entities other than government could fill that role.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Uh, well, as I said in my initial post, having a government to enforce contract law isn't necessary. If done well, it's a helpful thing to have, but not essential.

    But seeing as we do have a government, and that's one of the things it does (and I'm not saying there isn't room for improvement there), it's not one of the functions I would choose to cut were I able to reshape the government to how I think it ought to be.

  • skr||

    hence the strawman where none exists. right. damn threaded comments. (that should be part of the drinking game now too)

  • Warren||

    You can still sue.

    Before entering an agreement the parties would have to agree to respect the decisions of a private court should any disputes arise. Also all parties should carry insurance. A company that could not get insurance is not one I would like to be in business with.

    If the losing party does not abide by the decision (including an appeals process) then by contract the winning party can claim money or property that has been placed in escrow or can make the loser's insurance carrier pay who would then get the money back from their customer.

    In addition the losing party risks having their actions broadcast throughout the business world which could cause them to lose clients and future business.

    The combination of escrow, insurance and reputation would work as well and probably a lot better than the current system. And no one is forced at gunpoint to pay for it and it never becomes a political issue. Double Super Bonus!

    One of the commentators at Salon brought up falsely using a trademark and what is to stop a company from doing that.

    The answer is the customers that have been defrauded can sue, using the ideas outlined above.

    The link below is a novel that shows how a non-coercive society could work.

    http://www.anarchism.net/steppes.htm

    And this link is a non-fiction work by the same author that lays out the social technology needed to make such a society function.

    http://www.naturalrights.us/

    Also there are other examples of non-state justice such as the ancient Saxons, the modern Somalis, The Law Merchant, the California '49ers (the gold miners, not the football team), mediators and arbitrators, and so on.

  • Warren||

    I didn't auto-clickify my links? I'm so suing!

  • ||

    Or is this one of those cases where I hire Justice Company A to go rough up the hot dog vendor as punishment for giving me a contaminated weiner. Of course he's probably foreseen this, and has Justice Company B dug in in front of his establishment. And as the pitched battle goes on, the legions of starving children lick up the mustard that flows into the gutter.

  • ||

    Before entering an agreement the parties would have to agree to respect the decisions of a private court should any disputes arise. Also all parties should carry insurance.

    And the market grinds to a halt as transaction costs approach infinity.

    You're saying that, every time I buy a hot dog I have to negotiate on a private arbitrator and buy insurance, or else I have no way of getting reparations if the hot dog happens to contain botulin virus?

  • Warren||

    No, you would both already have insurance. Your daily, mundane transactions would be the same as now. It is the unique and or complicated transactions that would require extra clauses in the contract.

    Any protective agency that failed to abide a legitimate ruling and chose to use violence would find themselves sued, have their insurance revoked and be bad repped out of business.

    In addition if I owned the space the misbehaving hot dog vendor rented I would evict him for violating the contract *we* have that would be written to disallow such douchebaggery. If I didn't I would be in violation of the contract I have with my other tenants to expel asshole vendors and to prevent violence on the property. Also my insurance costs would go up as I would be a riskier client and I could lose business current and future tenants from the bad publicity.

    So it's a web of voluntarily entered agreements that constrains bad behavior and provides restitution if needed.

    No peaceful,innocent folk are forced to do or pay anything. Unlike all manner of government there is no violence inherent in this social structure.

  • roshan||

    Keep spinning those voluntary agreements with an anal leak to hide.

  • Guy living in the real world||

    I have been to this "real world" Gabriel speaks of. I even know how it works. If this is the best, Gabriel and his fellow government fetishists can do, I am not fucking impressed.

  • Lloyd Benson||

    Gabriel, I work with The Real World. I live in the Real World. The Real World is a friend of mine.

    And Gabriel, you're not living in the Real World.

  • robc||

    very nice.

  • Lloyd Benson||

    Dammit, git off my lawn, you trouble-making whippersnapper!

  • ||

    You mean in your real world, you don't take money from people because you know how best to spend their money? You don't break into other people's houses and shoot their dogs? You don't send hordes of stormtroopers to foreign nations to blow the shit out of brown people? You don't go up to someone you think has money and influence and extort them? You don't double the amount of money you spend on, say, education over, say, the last 30 years, and realize NO gains? You don't snoop on your fellow citizens because they might disagree with you, or because you think they might do something wrong? You don't prevent four year olds from getting on planes because your database says they might be a terrorist? You don't confiscate private property to give it your corporate benefactor because your just another corporate whore? You really just let people live their lives?

    God, you fucking libertarians are fucking nutty children. GROWN UP YOU SNIVELING BRATS. WE KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU.

  • ||

    Well done.

  • Almanian||

    *applauding*

  • ||

    It's amazing how twentysomethings can lecture to their elders about "the real world."

  • ||

    Such a childish article cries out for a response in kind.

    Hey Salon! I'm rubber and you're glue! Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!

  • Wicks Cherrycoke||

    Damn it, you beat me to it!

  • mr simple||

    Oh snap!

  • Fluffy||

    Think about the New Deal. Although libertarian ingrates will never admit it, without the reforms of the 1930s, there might not be private property left for them to complain about the government infringing on.

    This appears to be claiming that, to be a "realistic" political philosophy, one has to take into account the threat of revolution.

    The direct and inescapable implication of this is that if libertarians themselves dramatically ramped up their threats of violence, in order to be considered a "realistic" political philosophy, liberalism would have to give us what we want.

    It basically defines down realism to "whatever will make your extortionist happy", and if that's the case libertarians should get into the extortion business, too.

  • ||

    "The direct and inescapable implication of this is that if libertarians themselves dramatically ramped up their threats of violence, in order to be considered a "realistic" political philosophy, liberalism would have to give us what we want."

    That approach seems to be working well for Islamic fundamentalists.

  • BRS||

    I stole this and reposted it over there.

  • SWATzi||

    We got a thief over here. Take him down..WAIT, shoot his dog, THEN take him down...

  • ||

    The extortionists in this case would have been all the people out of work at that time (largely because of Hoover's long-forgotten economic interventions after the Crash), not political socialists. Though of course the socialists would try to direct and use the anger of the people to advance their own agenda.

    The problem with libertarianism emulating that is, libertarians don't claim everything will be fine, everyone will have a job, everyone will have enough to eat, etc, if you just give them the power. People want someone who tells them they will be taken care of.

  • cynical||

    Muslim radicals aren't promising anything but not being killed, and they're still making progress.

  • ||

    To quote a really wonderful, insightful writer:"For many progressives it all seems to be about how they feel about themselves and the sense of self-righteousness that their "generosity" affords them. Of course, self-righteousness is hardly the domain of the left. Having lived through the reign of terror of the "religious right" and their devotion to their belief that they are God’s true representatives on earth, well, it was scary stuff. The left thinks they are on the side of the angels and the right thinks God is on their side. Libertarians don’t presume that they can divine the intentions of the almighty beyond the fundamental belief that we are all created equal and are endowed by our creator (whatever "creator" means to you) with certain inalienable rights."

  • ||

    Wow this is some pretty cool stuff dude. I like it.

    Lou
    www.complete-anonymity.at.tc

  • ||

    Anon-bot, sweetheart, I really like you, but your posting's been subpar lately. I think you might need to be reprogrammed.

  • The Gobbler||

    Cut him some slack. He's working a second job now to help cover his generous gift to the Reason Gear Girl of an eight week in-house drug rehab program. He's doing God's work out there.

  • Almanian||

    The government didn't just help make the "free market" in the first place -- although it did do that. It's also constantly busy trimming around the edges, maintaining the thing, keeping it healthy. The state can think ahead and balance competing interests in a way that no single company can. [...]

    **looks around, checks watch, checks calendar**

    Seriously, it's April 1, 2011 right? And I just Rip-van-Winkled what was left of 2010? And this is teh humour for next this year's April Fools Day?

    Right?

  • Almanian||

    Oh, also, Gabriel W's article offended me. Stop it.

  • guy in the back row||

    Amazing that a fellow who I'm sure is a proud angnostic is so willing to accept the superiority of government on faith. He has no facts in this entire screed.

  • The Mossy Spaniard||

    I think that's a safe bet (not sure, of course, but I doubt salon.com is a bastion of steadfast religious adherence). Liberal atheists have a passion for statism that manifests itself with oddly evangelical fervor.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Interesting how you phrased that, because there was an article linked to on here that made that exact point.

    The Varieties of Liberal Enthusiasm
    The Left’s political zealotry increasingly resembles religious experience.

  • ||

    The state can think ahead and balance competing interests in a way that no single company can.

    The housing bubble. The War in Iraq will pay for itself. The War on Drugs. Synfuel corporation. The national debt (a newborn's share is $42,096.10 and going up).

    What twaddle.

  • Almanian||

    Yep. And...

    MI Gov. Granholm's "green jobs", tax abatements to the film industry (yep, lots or movies shot...no so many $$ generated), anything in Wayne County/Detroit local gov't.

    It ain't just the Feds, Jsub, as Michiganders know all too well...

    Pretty much all levels of government are extremely competent and all-knowing, when you look at the results.

  • ||

    You go to easy on them J sub D. How about wage and price controls? Or if you really want to hit below the belt, The Great Leap Forward.

  • ||

    I could have reduced my comment to

    The state can think ahead and balance competing interests in a way that no single company can.

    How's that working out in Venezuela?

  • ||

    I have no doubt in the state's ability to think up exotic new ways to screw its population in the future, and its ability to balance the competing interests of big business vs. big unions vs. big banks.

  • ||

    There you and J sub D go again.

    You know those things only happened because the right people weren't in charge.

  • ¢||

    encouraging then-wilderness Democrats to embrace their inner libertarian, proving once again that

    there's no "inner libertarian" there, waiting for you to hold up a boombox playing Human Action on tape and hold her hand to ease her fear of flying to libertopia.

    It's more a Bates Motel kind of "inner" thing they have.

  • ||

    I smite you in the name of Jesus!

  • Almanian||

    This does not offend me. Sto...wait, never mind.

  • His Eminency||

    My only regret is that I can't quickly identify the people that believe the free market was created by the government. I figure they would be the most naive and least buyer-beware of "customers."

  • ||

    Holy fuck. What an infantile screed.

    Does Salon have editors or is it the honor system? They should sack the lot of them if the former.

  • skr||

    but then they would have to sack those responsible for the sacking until it got outsourced to Mexico.

  • George of the Jungle||

    JW, at least they didn't throw their poo around the cage. (They left that for their commentards.)

  • Oswald Acted Alone||

    Yeah, as if those chronically "underappreciated" yuppie twerps are in any position to criticize someone else's maturity.

    I swear that half of the writing on Salon these days is about how some author/artist/pundit/etc is getting unwarrented acclaim that the marginally witty, edging-past-middle-age Salon columnist more truly deserves.

    It's an intellectual graveyard for former Ivy leagers with more aspiration than ability and more snark than insight.

  • Fluffy||

    Well, let's enumerate what a free market requires.

    1. I have to be regarded as having the self-ownership of my own labor, and the right to dispose of it as I see fit, and to set whatever conditions I choose on my disposal of it.

    2. I need the right to retain the produce of my labor as my property

    3. I need the right to exchange my labor, or the produce of my labor, for the labor or produce of other men.

    In order for the free market to be a product of the state, one or more of these rights would have to not be rights at all, but merely privileges extended by the state. So which one?

    Whichever one they pick I can reductio right back into an endorsement of chattel slavery, so I guess it doesn't matter which one.

  • The Gobbler||

    "3. I need the right to exchange my labor, or the produce of my labor, for the labor or produce of other men."

    SEXIST!

  • ||

    In fairness it is not that the state creates these rights. You are correct that the rights exist independent of the state. But the state can help protect your rights. It can provide courts so that when someone harms you or welshes on an agreement you can be made whole. It can provide police so that you don't have to seek personal revenge every time someone commits a crime against you.

    The state is responsible for the rule of law and the enforcement of property rights. And if you don't have those, it is hard to have a capitalist system. But how you get from there to to the conclusion that we need to have a multi trillion dollar government that controls every aspect of our lives, is a mystery that is solved nowhere outside this douche's head.

  • ||

    It can provide courts so that when someone harms you or welshes

    GREAT BRITAIN-IST!

    (Or would it be UK-IST? I always get that shit mixed up.)

  • your coke dealer||

    Capitalism works perfectly fine outside the law as it does in side it. You can trust me on that.

    We don't need no stinkin' courts to make a deal, yo. What is a judge going to do? Does he know the first thing about curing cocoa leaves? Look at his hands? He don't know a thing about it.

  • ||

    coke dealer, I hear from my boys that you've been working your capitalism north of 35th Street. We need to have a talk -- I'm sending a car for you now.

  • your coke dealer||

    Sure, we can talk. I'm in the helicopter trailing 100 meters from your limo with two air to surface heat seeking missiles aimed at your exhaust pipes.

    Do you need me to throw down a bull horn so you can negotiate the terms of your surrender?

    'Tis a pity, without those bribes to judges to enforce corrupt drug laws to be used against your competitors you would have never found your self in this situation where the honest hard working dealers have to take you out of commission.

  • Attorney||

    On the bright side ...

    PEOPLE ARE TALING ABOUT US!

  • Attorney||

    MAKE THAT "TALKING"

    OOPS

  • ||

    I liked your first comment better.

  • MicroNomics||

    What childish libertarian said this?

    "The doctrine of regulation and legislation by “master minds,” in whose judgment and will all the people may gladly and quietly acquiesce, has been too glaringly apparent at Washington during these last ten years. Were it possible to find “master minds” so unselfish, so willing to decide unhesitatingly against their own personal interests or private prejudices, men almost godlike in their ability to hold the scales of justice with an even hand, such a government might be to the interests of the country; but there are none such on our political horizon, and we cannot expect a complete reversal of all the teachings of history."

  • Slowburnaz||

    Fisting Dutch Rectums?

  • Warty||

    Either the troll horde hasn't reached this thread yet, or the mods paid attention to SugarFree's suggestion.

    Oh yes: Winant, go impale yourself on a fossilized mastodon cock, you autoirrumating little pervert.

  • The Mossy Spaniard||

    And Warty wins today's Lexical Achievement in Vulgarity Award, for his use of "autoirrumating".

  • ||

    Libertarians: So unimportant as to be beneath contempt, but so obviously important that a concerted campaign against libertarianism is being conducted. Strange.

    I think the Paul win really freaked them out.

  • Erza Klein||

    No No, I've written about Paul about a million times today because I'm find him interesting, not terrifying or threatening.

  • GILMORE||

    Thats funny, I made the same point below just now... didnt see your comment.

  • GILMORE||

    Sorry, I was responding to Jersey's... So unimportant as to be beneath contempt, but so obviously important
    comment

    Ezra Klein... why would you bother hanging out at such a juvenile publication? Go work on post 1,000,001 or something.

  • GILMORE||

    crap. I meant Pro-L's comment

    Stupid threaded comments

  • Erza Klein||

    If only these comments were regulated some way. Clearly you can't handle the freedom to post at will.

  • GILMORE||

    Har har.

    No, I meant, what's your take on the "juvenile, stupid, bratty" thing... given apparently you read this paper, and the boards, and bother to post snark for no apparent reason...

    I mean, if the libertarian view is so silly to a die hard liberal, what in god's name are you doing here?

    It's just sooo *interesting*??

  • ||

    I'm getting a headache.

  • Mrs. Pro Lib||

    Not tonight, mister!

  • ||

    We're irrelevant, powerless and responsible for every disaster.

    Kinda like the kids in this article.

  • ||

    Well you people do float when thrown in icy water

  • Almanian||

    “if a child under the age of 2 screams in the night, cries and is always feverish with deteriorating health, he or she is a servant of Satan.”

    Huh - so we have to kill teh childrenzz to save them.

    Jsub, are you playing the role of Balko today....:)

  • Paul||

    Huh - so we have to kill teh childrenzz to save them.

    Kind of like how Obama and his merry band of Keynsians feel about the economy.

    *ducks*

  • Paul||

    Fuck me sideways...

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    That was...really, really confusing.

    So this woman makes films and preaches sermons about children being possessed by the devil, and then when blamed for people abusing their children because they think their children are possessed, she claims that her work is fictional, like Harry Potter?

    And she also runs a charity that's actually a scam?

    Did I read that all right?

  • ||

    I think the Paul win really freaked them out.

    Rand Paul's nomination is scaring the crap out of everyone in the political class, even more than Jesse Ventura or Ross Perot did.

    -jcr

  • Jersey Patriot||

    To summarize very briefly a long and complicated process, we got capitalism in the first place through a long process of flirtation between governments on the one hand, and bankers and merchants on the other, culminating in the Industrial Revolution.

    This is all true, and a good reason to remember that capitalism does not mean free markets and never has.

  • alan ||

    The best answer to the corporatist world view of the self proclaimed 'grown ups' comes from a little side reading I did today:

    France’s absolutism and strictly enforced mercantilism put it out of the running as a leading nation in industrial or economic growth, despite that its early industrial development had seemed promising and that its population was six times that of England

    From Murray Rothbard.

    For the full article,

    http://mises.org/daily/4315

    Mr whoever wrote that Salon shitscreed is of the sort who likes to blame 'robber barons' for all sorts of reasons the markets needed to be roped in, yet give incredibly naive justifications for the favoritism shown to those people as he does so here.

  • GILMORE||

    [Dave] Weigel himself, for example, is a great writer and reporter, and a true master of Twitter

    LOL x 10

    The only "libertarian" a liberal can love is someone that "libertarians" here generally revile as a closet liberal. Or maybe not so closeted. Thats probably something else.

    It actually reminds me of the recently-cited Mr Show episode, "racist in the year 3000", e.g.

    aw, not you Zaxxon, you're one of the good ones. There's white people made of gas, you know what I mean.

    But if anything, I think pieces like this reflect the psychosis of liberals who now have some feeling of vindication, given they won a (more or less) no-contest presidential election and have control of congress, yet are still confused and defensive about themselves, because apparently they are incapable of *doing anything useful at all*. So they spend much of their time turning their perceived "opposition" (read: tea parties, libertoids, anyone critical of obama) into racist, sexist, classist, juvenile and irresponsible people who *must be silenced and shoved aside if the progressive experiment is to succeed!*

    Seriously. Much of what I read from liberal commentators is a bunch of harping about how screwed up and wrong their opposition is, yet hardly anything about the details or practical benefits of the policies they are supposed to be endorsing. Little to no discussion of the fact that many (if not most) of Obama's first year actions were either continuations of policies (many if not most, BAD policies) under Bush, or simply extensions of previously Republican initiated ideas. (e.g. Obamacare was once Romneycare, bailouts of same institutions, maintaining Patriot act, no real difference in approaches to Iraq/Afghanistan, etc)

    Basically, the liberal meme right now is that *bad people are the ones getting in the way of our great ideas*. Or at least they'd be great ideas if these people weren't so BAD. The fact that the ideas suck is swept aside, and the entire focus is on demonizing critics.

    What's more 'juvenile'? People who have actual principles about policy, and want to debate these principles and policy, or people who simply engage in vituperation and name-calling, dismissing criticism of policy as motivated by severe personality defects?

    If anything it seems to be a complement again, as liberals seem to keep vacillating between characterizing libertarians as an insignificant, tiny fringe cohort, without any relevance to national debates, yet somehow they are also some *uberpowerful clan of obstructionists* who stymie all that is good and right.

    Which is it? Irrelevant and ineffectual, or leaders of a burgeoning Evil Empire? Make up your minds guys.

  • ||

    Which is it? Irrelevant and ineffectual, or leaders of a burgeoning Evil Empire? Make up your minds guys.


    Neither. We're Cassandras. Accept it. Revel in it. Otherwise you'll go mad.

  • DRATER||

    This (and I'm still fairly new to the neighborhood)

  • Paul||

    Which is it? Irrelevant and ineffectual, or leaders of a burgeoning Evil Empire? Make up your minds guys.

    If we're winning the debate, it's option 2.

  • GILMORE||

    nice :)

  • Waggoneer||

    "So they spend much of their time turning their perceived "opposition" (read: tea parties, libertoids, anyone critical of obama) into racist, sexist, classist, juvenile and irresponsible people who *must be silenced and shoved aside if the progressive experiment is to succeed!*"

    Thats why even Stalin needed purges to enact his will.

  • ||

    mmm... seems like we have ourselves another delusional elitist liberal on our hand here... my favorite?

    'The state can think ahead and balance competing interests in a way that no single company can'

    because we all know that the government runs business soooo well. i mean look we have the amtrack, the postal service, medicare, medicaid, fannie maye and freddie mac... yea uhh cause those government enterprises are just so damn successful.

    what a douche.

  • Joey Buttafuco||

    So, Rand Paul is out of touch, adolescent with hint or rascist?

    What the fuck does that Make Robert Byrd?

  • ||

    BTW, love the alt text on both pictures.

  • ||

    Ha! I didn't even realize Reason had alt text on the photos... Who would have guessed that, without a government sanctioned entity, I learned something today.

  • Paul||

    The libertarian who insists that the state has no place beyond basic night-watchman duties is like a teenager who, having been given a car, promptly starts demanding the right to stay out all night. Sometimes, someone else really is looking out for your best interests by saying no.

    That requires this response:

    To the liberal, freedom concerns none of these things. Apart from freedom of expression, the liberal's idea of freedom is mainly about privacy. It is about a place for whoopee, and for not being held to account or morally judged afterward. In many ways his idea of freedom is the 15-year-old's: Stay out of my room. Show me respect. And hey, when's dinner?
  • ||

    This is a good example of the fundamental freedom dichotomy. On the one side, you have the freedom to determine your own destiny, and on the other hand you have the freedom FROM responsibility.

    Democrats & Republicans believe in slightly different flavors of the latter freedom for "the people." "We'll take care of you."

    Libertarians believe in the former.

  • Edwin||

    the critic's claims about libertarianism aren't accurate for libertarianism in the small-l sense. but she's right on the money for the more dogmatic types. Just look at the comments on this site for the Rand-Paul-Racist articles.

  • Steff||

    CINNAMON FRENCH TOAST

    Ingredients:

    * 1 egg
    * 2 egg whites
    * 1/4 cup milk
    * 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    * 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    * dash nutmeg
    * 8 slices French bread, sliced on diagonal

    Preparation:
    In a shallow bowl, whisk egg and egg white until foamy. Whisk in milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

    Have warming drawer heated or heat oven to 200°.
    Heat butter in heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Dip 4 slices of bread in the egg mixture, turning to coat thoroughly. Let excess drip back into bowl.

    Place coated bread slices in hot skillet. Cook, turning, until both sides are nicely browned, about 2 minutes each side.

    Transfer to a warm plate and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining bread and egg mixture. To serve, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if desired. Serve with maple syrup.

  • Michael||

    It's also constantly busy trimming around the edges, maintaining the thing, keeping it healthy. The state can think ahead and balance competing interests in a way that no single company can.

    You know what the problem is here? Liberal thinking tends to happen as an absolute. There aren't hundreds of thousands of companies with millions of individuals making millions of decisions at any given moment. No, there's just one. And government makes sure it makes all the right decisions. The whole worldview is akin to the kind of answer you'd get if you'd ask a toddler where something come from. Remind me again, please...who is immature?

  • Michael||

    "Comes" from. Stupid typing too fast.

  • ||

    Whoa, so no one reads rothbard or hayek on the great depression ? I suppose its too complicated for the Salon crowd, having destroyed too many brain cells with their excessive drug use

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard173.html

  • ||

    It's interesting the sheer number of attacks on Paul there are out there. Gawker has like three separate posts in the last day or so on him. His name has been on the top of the Google News page quite a bit.

    I think there's a real fear that anti-government feeling is on a major upswing. No idea how that could've happened!

  • Southern Poverty Law Center||

    I think there's a real fear that anti-government feeling is on a major upswing. No idea how that could've happened!

    It is, and we're going to stop it.

  • ||

    As always with this kind of stuff, the intensity of the responses is the most intriguing part. There's no critical thinking behind it all -- it's just unquestioned attack.

    You rarely see something like, "Well, it's true that the Civil Rights Act ran counter to the principles underlying the Constitution and the country's founding. So Paul is correct in that regard. However, I think this was one area where the founding principles didn't work well, and so this legislation was necessary because of X, Y, Z..."

    Instead, we just get this unbridled, no-quarter lashing out, and Paul's thinking isn't even given polite consideration.

    Just as an aside: Sometimes I honest to God cannot believe I live in a time and place where the human beings who operate the likes of Gawker have cultural and intellectual dominion. It's kind of sick.

  • PicassoIII||

    It's great news in every possible way.
    Ron has a record decades long all the way back to his run as the Libertarian candidate in 88.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHB2I83_N_k
    The randomness of the internets and the modern viral nature of the Paul franchise ('Moneybombs') will make a huge difference.
    There may be hope for 'Generation Veal' discovering Principled libertanianism yet.
    Hell they may even read the likes of Spooner, Mills etc.

  • bob||

    The libertarian who insists that the state has no place beyond basic night-watchman duties is like a teenager who, having been given a car, promptly starts demanding the right to stay out all night. Sometimes, someone else really is looking out for your best interests by saying no.

    ------

    Liberals saying no? HA!!! No, the liberal is given the car but blames the auto shop for charging too much for maintenance and wants government to make them work for free. The liberal gets the free car but is too selfish to pay for the fuel so blames the fuel maker for charging too much for fuel. You'd think they would be happy getting the free car but the entitled class is the most selfish, lazy bumfuck bunch on the planet.

    Liberals making the tough choices? Save me that shit. Tell a person not to have 5-10 kids they can't support then you'll really see who takes the tough positions in this country. It won't be long before some "-ist" is thrown in your direction. Tell a liberal money doesn't grow on trees and watch them throw a tantrum. The liberal is Greece, everyone else is the German citizen.

    That was real grown up and responsible when they kept the inflated housing market going to get votes and justify their existence in Washington. It's fun over paying for housing, cars and education. Maybe that's the liberal sacrifice, making people overpay for shit.

    And really why the fuck do I need to know what liberals think. The liberal establishment will never like libertarians so fuck them!! Let's advance the libertarian position.

    The dumbass @ Salon doesn't realize he has justified the whole Republican viewpoint.

  • JDD||

    I reject the premise that liberals think. Everything they support is justified with emotion and anecdotes as far as I can tell.

  • Attorney||

    Tell that to the poor homeless lady who was profiled on NPR today.

  • Tony||

    Not true. We don't even need anecdotes. The statistics are horrifying enough.

    Libertarians don't need proof of anything, because nothing in the real world reflects libertarianism. Which is convenient for those who would deny its many failures in practice, but at best still constitutes a lack of evidence.

  • ||

    nothing in the real world reflects libertarianism.

    I'll agree with that at least, because libertarians haven't had any meaningful power in the U.S. in decades. There are however plenty of things in the real world that reflect big government statism, of either the right (Iraq War, military-industrial complex, corporate welfare) or left (insolvent social welfare programs, ag subsidies, public education, urban governance) varieties, and with a handful of exceptions they're pretty much all colossal clusterfucks. So while us libertarians can say with reasonable confidence that we don't know whether our philosophy would work because it's never genuinely been tried, neither nationalist conservatives nor liberals like you can say the same, because the results are in and you've both failed the test.

  • Tony||

    Nonsense. You can hardly say the trajectory of civilization has always been toward failure. I would point to any number of liberal reforms that have led to a better society.

    And it's also not true that there haven't been libertarian ideas tried in practice (you guys just tend to revert to a No True Scotsman defense). The last 30 years have seen more or less libertarian policies applied to the economy, and they've been predictably disastrous.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    So, if we just shut up and do what we're told by liberal do-gooder powermongers, we'll have a perfect society. Got it.

  • ||

    At least libertarians can build cars.

  • cynical||

    I can't.

  • In Time Of War||

    Here's my immature thought on Gabriel's article:

    I hope he someday lives in the world he is working to create.

  • Awesome||

    "The state can think ahead and balance competing interests in a way that no single company can."

    just awesome. its like someone gave tony the bandwidth to write for salon. this is what happens when you don't ever have to examine your beliefs. lord have mercy this gabriel is a dip shit.

  • Dustin Townsend||

    Liberals are the real juveniles. They are always wining about every little thing and just want to spend money - without working for it...sounds like most teenagers I know.

  • GILMORE||

    They are always wining [sic] about every little thing and just want to spend money

    You are apparently confusing 'libertarian' with 'your wife'.

    Try reading "Capitalism and Democracy" (Friedman) It might help. Oh, and divorce your wife.

  • Sam Grove||

    Um, he was referring to "Liberals".

  • GILMORE||

    my bad

  • ||

    Best EVIDENCE of libertarianism benefit is that Reagan, the greatest president, was the most libertarian in his appllied politics. FDR's attempted packing of Sup Ct was an attempted coup to destroy Judicial independence, and his desire to enter WW2 was his own desparate attempt to stimulate US economy from his failing strategies. Abolish the Fed, Depts of Energy & Education, and IRS. I think all Pauls, and Reagan, would move in that direction ASAP. Compare this to Obama's claimed 'TRANSPARENCY' & corparatism.

  • Dylboz||

    The comment section was painful, but riveting. Anyway, why doesn't anyone recognize that many libertarians are anti-corporate, since corporations are essentially state entities given state protections like limited liability, and other such things that would be unavailable to businesses in a genuinely free market? That seems impossible for "progressives" to even imagine.

  • JazzPiano (Jamie Kelly)||

    MNG? Max? Dan T.?
    Come the fuck on! This is primetime for you!

  • ziggy||

    "Think about the New Deal. Although libertarian ingrates will never admit it, without the reforms of the 1930s, there might not be private property left for them to complain about the government infringing on. Not many capitalist democracies could survive 25 percent unemployment, and it doesn't just happen by good luck"

    what a shithead... I love it when arguments based on completely wrong information are used to prove something. This dipshit completely ignores that it was government policies that largely caused the huge unemployment... just as this "jobless" recovery will continue to fail in spite of several government interventions...

  • bob||

    After reading the article the Dummy justifies corporatism/fascism and market manipulation. Great job, Dummy. Someone get Fred Sandford. The article title should be "Liberals: We were for Wall Street & Corporatism before we were against it." It isn't a mistake that Manhattan votes for Democrats; Democrats protect them. Dummy just wrote an article explaining why. Remember that the next time you have to listen to their bullshit populist rhetoric. I know you have heard Democrat trot out that Wall Street does better under Democrats than Republicans. Now why would they want to brag about that with all the rhetoric you hear them spout against Wall Street? Why do they now rail against the bailouts that people knew would unfairly help Wall Street? Why do they rail against greed when they are the one's who enable it?

    What the Dummy doesn't get is I'm for a free market -- not government favors, not bailouts, not corporatism, not fascism. I'm for people being able to freely start business and for those businesses to freely fail if people no longer are served by them.

    And what's with this revisionism of the New Deal. Most of what I read is Hoover and Roosevelt's plans didn't work.

  • Franklin Harris||

    Funny thing about public accommodations under the Civil Rights Act. Apparently, per the ACLU, et. al., it is perfectly OK to be a vile racist thug on public property -- Klansman protesting at the county courthouse or Nazis marching on the streets of Skokie, Ill., etc. -- but you're not allowed to be a vile racist thug on your own property.

  • ||

    I'm sure you could hang Confederate flags and pictures of black lynchings up all over your restaurant, and make the employee uniform a white robe with white pointy hood with eyeholes cut out, if you wanted, without violating CRA.

  • Franklin Harris||

    I'm pretty sure someone would call that creating a hostile workplace.

  • Wisco||

    Throwing the completely gratuitous Al Franken photoshop in with your complaint doesn't really help your "I'm super-mature!" argument very much.

  • alan||

    That wasn't the argument being made by using that photo. Parsing is so tough for you guys, and I'm extremely tired of doing it for you, so why don't you give it another go.

  • Branden_X||

    There is no reason here, just an attack on a vague concept which the author doesn't grasp in the slightest. The name of the publication is nonsense. You have no faculty for reason. If you did, you might first properly define your terms. You use a connotation and base an argument on it. Socrates would scoff.
    So, on to the point. Liberty is a concept for the immature-well, from an ivory tower where you accept the handouts of those fortunate enough to AGREE with he status quo, that's a rather condescending stance. I won't expect a reasoned reply. Oh, I do love those with NO sense of irony.

  • alan||

    Oh, I do love those with NO sense of irony.

    Narcissist.

  • alan||

    I'm kidding, but you should note that --

    t. The name of the publication is nonsense. You have no faculty for reason.

    The way you worded that sounds like you may be criticizing a publication called Reason instead of the actual target Salon!

  • GILMORE||

    Thats a DRINK if I ever heard one. but i've already screwed up once today, so I leave it to others to decide.

  • ||

    The airline industry started with government subsidies and has continued to suck on the federal tit for decades.

    The notion that somehow 'deregulation' made it possible for poor people to fly is absurd.

    It has cost the taxpayers a fortune to keep the airline industry deregulated.

  • Vaccine||

    No, it has cost the taxpayers a fortune to keep politically-well connected airlines from reaping the effects of their own mismanagement. When was the last time Southwest got a government bailout?

  • Hacha Cha||

    and in the same page they praise libertarian republican Gary Johnson. they are hypocrites, they attack libertarians that have a chance of winning.

  • bleek obummer||

    Ah, yes. Another statist flailing away against the evils of libertarianism.

    I can understand where Gabriel Winant comes from - if the power of the state were reduced, the ability to play favorites and control a good chunk of your life goes with it. They can't have you making decisions that affect outcomes in your life - you might make mistakes and suffer the consequences or even worse - succeed and realize even more that you were able to make better decisions for yourself than a government entity ever could.

    lib·er·tar·i·an

    –noun

    1.a person who advocates liberty, esp. with regard to thought or conduct.

    2.a person who maintains the doctrine of free will (distinguished from necessitarian).

    –adjective

    3.advocating liberty or conforming to principles of liberty.

    4.maintaining the doctrine of free will.

  • daveinboca||

    I just submitted a comment to Weigel's "Right Now" WaPo spew-flusher merely denoting the absence of any Democrat rationale to s**tstorm Rand Paul except to divert attention from the Dems' own disasters, and the ridiculous statement of George Stephanopoulos that Dingy Harry is "leading in the polls." Of course, Reid is behind all FIVE of his Republican prospective opponents. I used no profanity, but the gutless Post serfs blamed me for too many posts in a short time [I submitted one] and erased my post which I had forgotten to copy [the Post has dishonesty and ethical treachery deep in its DNA].

    I think my big mistake was noting that Rand was 60-plus% versus the marxist Conway at 30%---that must have pushed the serf onto the 404 reset.

    Do the Dems really think stooges like Mary Lou on steroids and other Mess-NBC twits will keep the House Dem-dominated? And David Gregory is to Tim Russert as Barabbas is to Jesus Christ, to use a very un-PC analogy.

  • bleek obummer||

    Once is enough thanks

  • daveinboca||

    I just submitted a comment to Weigel's "Right Now" WaPo spew-flusher merely denoting the absence of any Democrat rationale to s**tstorm Rand Paul except to divert attention from the Dems' own disasters, and the ridiculous statement of George Stephanopoulos that Dingy Harry is "leading in the polls." Of course, Reid is behind all FIVE of his Republican prospective opponents. I used no profanity, but the gutless Post serfs blamed me for too many posts in a short time [I submitted one] and erased my post which I had forgotten to copy [the Post has dishonesty and ethical treachery deep in its DNA].

    I think my big mistake was noting that Rand was 60-plus% versus the marxist Conway at 30%---that must have pushed the serf onto the 404 reset.

    Do the Dems really think stooges like Mary Lou on steroids and other Mess-NBC twits will keep the House Dem-dominated? And David Gregory is to Tim Russert as Barabbas is to Jesus Christ, to use a very un-PC analogy.

  • bleek obummer||

    Once is enough thanks

  • daveinboca||

    I just submitted a comment to Weigel's "Right Now" WaPo spew-flusher merely denoting the absence of any Democrat rationale to s**tstorm Rand Paul except to divert attention from the Dems' own disasters, and the ridiculous statement of George Stephanopoulos that Dingy Harry is "leading in the polls." Of course, Reid is behind all FIVE of his Republican prospective opponents. I used no profanity, but the gutless Post serfs blamed me for too many posts in a short time [I submitted one] and erased my post which I had forgotten to copy [the Post has dishonesty and ethical treachery deep in its DNA].

    I think my big mistake was noting that Rand was 60-plus% versus the marxist Conway at 30%---that must have pushed the serf onto the 404 reset.

    Do the Dems really think stooges like Mary Lou on steroids and other Mess-NBC twits will keep the House Dem-dominated? And David Gregory is to Tim Russert as Barabbas is to Jesus Christ, to use a very un-PC analogy.

  • bleek obummer||

    Once is enough thanks

  • ||

    Reid is behind all FIVE of his Republican prospective opponents

    That's great news. I haven't been following Nevada's campaign because I've been watching Rand Paul's progress. I sure hope the people of Nevada are ready to send Harry to a retirement facility somewhere far from any decent human beings.

    -jcr

  • ||

    I don't know where you were in the late 60s and 70s but I was a poor student and aspiring poet whose only source of income was part time temp clerical jobs -- and I flew all the time, in a way, frankly, I couldn't afford now as a successful business owner. I flew frequently between SF and LA, between LA and NY, from SF to Tucson and back, between SF and Seattle, etc. Student rates and the red eye -- options that no longer exist or no longer offer any real savings made it easy. Plus, they served meals! Much better food choices than the bag of pretzels or stale sandwich you get today.

    over the country on

  • Steve Harris||

    Liberalism is juvenile: it's a tantrum against nature.

    Libertarianism? Well, in its economic form, very sensible.

    The "non-aggression" and "non-coercion" stuff is illusory bullshit designed to hoodwink the proles, but to me, that's not Libertarianism.

    Libertarianism is recognition that natural forces (free market, social Darwinism, meritocracy) are a superior method for living than having a moral government try to make everything alright.

    Libertarianism is a reaction to liberalism, which is juvenile, stupid, silly and bratty.

  • ||

    I almost, halfway think I know what you are saying, but you are wrong. The fundamental principle of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle. It doesn't mean you don't have the right to insist on justice for yourself or to defend yourself. The non-aggression principle can be applied across the board to nearly all aspects of our lives. It is illustrated clearly in that Principles of liberty animation most of us have seen.

  • ||

    For God's sake, you have to bring up the gross post from Salon about licking a door knob..how many years ago?

    Ten. Ten years. And it's beside the point - let's get to a current subject.

    And if you're going to talk about old issues, do you really not remember William Buckley's criticism of the War On Drugs?

    Hardly a great argument here.

    Air travel sucks now. Another bad argument. The things you miss. The ways you miss tha point. Way to state all that.

  • ||

    Oh and ..fixed yer big typo.

    "This kind of Libertarianism which is mostly about calling liberals names - is juvenile, stupid, silly and bratty."

  • ||

    Libertarianism is a bunch of bull.

  • bleek obummer||

    And so are you.

  • ||

    Say what you mean. Liberty is a bunch of bull. That is what you are really trying to say. You must really detest The Declaration of Independence.

  • MohawkJester||

    Oh yeah! and the Liberal agenda is where it really makes sense. You Libertarians and your LIBERTY! who the fuck do you think you are, with your concepts of rights and free will. Children.

  • Salon.com||

    Libertarianism is juvenile, stupid, silly, and bratty... but we're not elitists!

  • Phil Daily||

    This post has been an eye opener; I'll add it to my :). The first advantage of condos is that they are cheaper than single family detached homes in most cases. Since condominiums are found in large complexes and do not include big back yards for each individual unit, the developers can sell them for much less than they would a single family home.

  • dug4000||

    You know, there is a place in the world where government doesn't get interfere with anyone. It's called Somalia. Strangely, businesses don't seem to thrive there. Unless you count small-scale arms dealers, that is.

  • Warren||

    The fact that there are privately owned and operated hospitals, schools, mail delivery services, telecommunications, radio and television stations, newspapers, airlines, airports, seaports, importers, hotels, canneries, bottling plants, power plants, some light industry, and many small goods and and other service businesses would contradict your assertion.

    At least in the more northern areas. Around Mogadishu there are still many problems, of course that is where what government there is is headquartered.

  • dug4000||

    Are they be hospitals that you'd care to get a bypass in? Schools that you'd like your kids to go to? You forgot to mention that private industry provides safe drinking water as well - to 29% of the population anyway. The rest are probably just moochers anyway.

    But to be fair to your point and give it a hearing, I Googled "Somalia industries" and this is the text of the top page I got:

    -------------

    Before the start of civil war in the early 1990s, the manufacturing sector was beginning to develop. However, all industries suffered major losses during the civil war, accounting in 2000 for only 10% of GDP. Industries mainly serve the domestic market and, to a lesser extent, provide some of the needs of Somalia's agricultural exports, such as the manufacture of crates for packing bananas. Most industries have been looted, however, and many sold for scrap metal.

    The most important industries were petroleum refining (as of 2000 shut down), the state-owned sugar plants at Jowhar and Gelib, an oilseed-crushing mill, and a soap factory. Other industries manufactured corrugated iron, paint, cigarettes and matches, aluminum utensils, cardboard boxes and polyethylene bags, and textiles. A cement plant at Berbera was completed in 1985.

    The fish-and meat-canning export industries operate below capacity. Textiles are produced at the SOMALTEX plant, which supplies virtually the entire domestic market. Most major enterprises were government-owned, but private plants produce food, beverages, chemicals, clothing, and footwear. There are also plants for milk processing, vegetable and fruit canning, and wheat flour and pasta manufacturing, as well as several grain mills. The country's first pharmaceuticals factory, near Mogadishu, opened in 1986. Local craft industries produce sandals and other leather products, cotton cloth, pottery, baskets, and clay or meerschaum vessels.

    The oil refinery at Mogadishu, with a production capacity of 10,000 barrels per day, has been out of operation since 1991. There is one natural gas field, but exploration and exploitation of oil and natural gas has been suspended since political conflict began.

    http://www.nationsencyclopedia.....USTRY.html

    --------------------

  • Bradley||

    It's absolutely fallacious to compare present-day Somalia to the first world and find it lacking. Of COURSE it will look shitty by comparison, along with every country in the entire continent. That proves nothing. Instead you should be looking at Somalia's development pre- and post-state, and how it compares to its neighbours.

    Here, you can thank me later:
    www.peterleeson.com/Better_Off_Stateless.pdf

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Huzzah! Someone discovers the "libertarianism = Somalia" line, and falls for it like the dumbshit he/she is!

  • ||

    It is amusing isn't it? Stuff like that is usually a clue about the poster: early 20s, maybe still in college; just got interested in politics the past year or two; has been making the rounds on the lefty side of the 'tubes; is not savvy enough to realize that the line in question (in this case, the Somalia thing) is not a trenchant observation, but is in fact a worn-out cliche.

    It's really obvious, and pretty funny.

  • Warren||

    To be fair, Somalia is mostly stateless and is mostly a shithole so it's an easy conclusion to leap to.

    Why people continue to live there is a mystery just like why people continue to live in Afghanistan or Detroit.

    What governments exist are not there to *help* business thrive it's the usually the opposite. If you are not in same clan or sub-clan that makes up the power structure you will get screwed over.

    The fact that there is any business that can survive is testament that people can organize without help from and in opposition to government.

    And that is why I point out that Somalia, while it is a big pile of fail, does manage to totter along without an effective government. I am not holding it up as a place to emulate nor do I encourage any one to go there.

  • dug4000||

    It is awesome watching someone with make-believe politics conjure up a make-believe opponent to mock. Everything you just decided was "obvious" about me was wrong. I'm not insulted or anything. Just telling you - You missed by a mile. Care to argue with a non-cartoon who doesn't live in your head?

  • dug4000||

    http://www.nizkor.org/features.....ttack.html

    Care to try reason instead?

  • Matt||

    Dug -- presenting Somalia as an example of libertarianism is like presenting a rock as an example of food.

    Seriously -- if you want to join the discussion, educate yourself first.

  • Matt N||

    The above post was me (Matt N) -- not Matt Welch =)

  • ||

    Another predictable response from the intellectually immature and misinformed American left.

  • ||

    The predictable response from this sort of Rightie, you mean. The usual way to act like bores (and/or boors) and name call. You use the absurdly overused "intellectually immature and misinformed American left " yaday And stop generralizing.adayadas.

    Do you really not bore yourself with these ancient, dull cliches?

    Name someone, specifically, at least. And stop generalizing, all the freaking time.

  • Dr. Q||

    Rand Paul isn't a libertarian; he's a fascist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOrVeUWTLXI

    So what he says or does should really have no bearing on how people perceive libertarianism.

  • ||

    Yes, we'd start enjoying air travel all the way to the scene of the crash because the airline decided to use 'cost saving' paper mache instead of aircraft grade aluminum in their airliner. Then of course after the crash they would use their millions to cover up the cause of the crash. Or just change their names from 'Paper Mache Airlines' to 'Xes'.

    Sorry I like having limits to the amount of rat that can be in my sausage and companies aren't going to do that on their own. History has already proven that because we wouldn't have laws about it if businesses weren't doing it in the first place.

  • Matt N||

    Hehehe -- "if the government did it then there must have been a good reason to do it."

  • ||

    Salon makes fun of libertarians which just steams Matt Welch’s glasses so he posts a sophisticated reply. Short version:

    Say what you will about libertarians, but they made air travel and airline food what it is today.

    Honest to Jeebus, that was the best he could come up with.

  • IceTrey||

    "The state can think ahead and balance competing interests in a way that no single company can."

    That worked so well for the Soviet Union. Enough said.

  • ||

    Come on Matt, you no damn well what lays behind the Paul family's disgusting right-wing populism: a barely coded kiss to the worst elements of Pat Buchananite paleo-conservatism!

    Maybe you've forgotten this gem from Reason just 2 years ago?

    http://reason.com/archives/200.....newsletter

  • ||

    ["Instead, I'll close with this: The "worldview" of libertarianism suggested, back in the early 1970s, that if you got the government out of the business of setting all airline ticket prices and composing all in-flight menus, then just maybe Americans who were not rich could soon enjoy air travel. At the time, people with much more imagination and pull than Gabriel Winant has now dismissed the idea as unrealistic, out-of-touch fantasia. They were wrong then, they continue to be wrong now about a thousand similar things, and history does not judge them harsh enough."]

    You are kidding. *This* is the one practical example you use where you claim to have been correct? Air travel is horrid today, precisely because of all that deregulation you claim was so great. Prices keep going up, the food sucks, the seats are too small, we're forbidden any space for carry-on luggage, and each year the airlines find new ways to squeeze us more. Deregulation has changed flying from what used to be a good and affordable way to travel into an utter nightmare.

    So yeah, way to disprove your own case.

  • alan||

    You honestly believe that there is less regulation of the industry now than in the 1970's?

    Or the entanglement of red tape that deregulation streamlined has not come back with a vengeance and then some in the time between then and now?

    Lol!

    Leftist. Retarded. Every Goddamned one of them.

  • ||

    Yes, the successful deregulation of air travel is a gift that may never stop giving. It might even have made flying accessible to everyone, had not the deregulation of banks precipitated a financial crisis.

  • alan||

    What deregulation of the banking industry would that be, Proudhon?

    Is this the part where you leftist share with us the retconned fantasy of life under that libertarian market anarchist George W. Bush who gutted the regulatory bodies of Federal Government and let his big capitalist vampires slurp on the blood of the defenseless American people?

  • ||

    really? deregulation? and here I thought there was massive amounts of regulation and corruption in the government and financial industry. guess I must have been wrong this whole time. and of course the Fed had nothing to do with it either! it was all deregulation's fault! lolol

  • ||

    Alan, you're right - you were wrong. I think the repeal of Glass-Steagall qualifies as deregulation by any standard.

  • Monkley||

    Lucky for you the English language isn't regulated either!

  • ||

    Good grief. What site zeroed in on the "airlines" part of this post and sent all you nuts suddenly scrambling over here to talk about it?

  • Rick Barton||

    Salon: "Libertarianism is juvenile," "stupid," "silly," "bratty"

    When you can't keep up intellectually. just call names. That'll fool some of the folks some of the time.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    InRe: the alt text on the internment camp photo

    Ouch.

  • CE||

    As usual, TJ already gave the definitive answer to this question, a couple of centuries ago:

    Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

  • ||

    Hang on, you're complaining that someone called you call "stupid," "silly," and "bratty," and yet your biggest initiative lately has been a contest to draw cartoons of Mohammed.

    Back in my day, Libertarians used to revel in how they were the "true rebels" for being willing to be stupid and silly and bratty when other people weren't. It's still Reason's reaison d'etre. Why take umbrage over it?

  • ||

    Matt, perhaps you should learn history. Mark Kleiman said it best (http://www.samefacts.com/2010/05/watching-conservatives/11629/):

    "Welch is wrong to pretend that de-regulating airfares was some sort of radical libertarian idea resisted by all right-thinking liberals; in fact and in truth, airline de-reg was a Ted Kennedy special, with Steve Breyer doing some of the staff work and Jimmy Carter signing the bill. Like trucking de-reg, telecoms de-reg, and market-simulating environmental regulations such as cap-and-trade programs, airline de-reg was part of the political worldview identified with the Brookings Institution (back when Brookings was liberal; the key players were Alice Rivlin and Charles Schultze) and sometimes known as “Brookings neoliberalism.” (This was before “neo-liberalism” came to mean the IMF insisting that third-world peasants starve in the name of “getting prices right.”)"

  • Bradley||

    On the bright side, if that "libertarian Democrat" idea ever comes up again, here's another example we can point to as we tell whoever suggested it to fuck off.

  • ||

    Like Raisa Gorbachev after the fall of the USSR lecturing anyone who would listen about the inevitable positive outcomes of "dielectric materialism", doctrinaire Libertarians lecture us about fewer market regulations after the financial meltdown from deregulated markets. Oh, you don't mean "that kind" of deregulation? You propose a purer form of deregulation.

    Here's a clue. The forces of natural selection delivered the only kind of USSR that was do-able and the only kind of PRC that was do-able. If a superior kind of communist state run by a better theory of dielectic materialism was do-able - that kind of state would have seen the light of day somewhere.

    Amsterdam is a better place to live than Somalia. At least one of your theories has been falsified. Please use your collective intellect (gasp) to come up with a better theory.

  • ผลบอล||

    People on this site often make up numbers. Or at least half of them do...

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