Why Progressives Are Attacking Libertarians So Frequently Lately

Max Borders, writing over at The Freeman's website, has some interesting observations on why progressives seem so especially mad at libertarians lately. (For some Reason blogging on this, see here, here, and here.)

Borders argues that libertarianism is now the new center and progressive dreams of big government programs and management are no longer progressive but old-fashioned and quaint; that libertarians' vision of a free people building a free and rich world is powerful and inspiring; that libertarians transcend a dying partisan politics and that libertarians are clearly the real communitarians; and most importantly:

the old rules are becoming obsolete. People are connecting and cooperating across national boundaries. They’re practicing what James C. Scott calls “Irish Democracy,” which is another term for people simply turning their backs, on a massive scale, on an imposed order. Together, whatever our moralistic stripes, we are simultaneously creating a new order while rendering the old order obsolete. And now we’re aided by technology. This is not a libertarian ideology, but a libertarian reality carved out by people who simply refuse to be controlled by peers who purport to be superiors.

All the way back in 2001 I was predicting that the progressive left would more and more realize that libertarians are a more serious foe to them than is the conservative right.

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  • Bardas Phocas||

    It does seem they're sweating the vast libertarian hordes more than usual.
    Does that mean we're winning?
    Probably not - but I feed upon their fear, so we have that going for us.

  • CE||

    Has the budget gone down? Or is it still somewhere around 3.8 trillion?

  • The Last American Hero||

    No, but neither has it caused economic recovery like the left predicted. They got their health plan, and it's been a clusterfuck from the word go. And now they're a little bit scared because 2014 is starting to look a bit like 2010 in terms of electoral projections.

  • waffles||

    You mean 2010 was a great year for liberty where the monocled hordes swept down and deregulated the country?

    I can't wait for part two!

  • Cytotoxic||

    It certainly took the wind out of progressive sails. 2014 could be more 2010 than 2010.

  • Root Boy||

    Yes, it's more that they are afraid Team Red will get ever so slightly nudged libertarian that they actually take big government seriously and instead of being a mild brake on liberals, try to reverse things.

    The Horror!

  • cuntface (fka Tonio)||

    Winning is a slow and gradual process. First we get to the point where they stop laughing at us and start debating us. That's where we are now.

    Then once they start debating us, our ideas gain traction and candidates start running on those ideas and occasionally winning.

    Then after a few more election cycles we start getting bills passed, etc.

    These are going to be an interesting couple of decades. Remember that the SoCons hate us just as much as the proggies.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The SoCons are literally dying off. A short term hindrance.

  • Virginian||

    The SoCons are literally dying off. A short term hindrance.

    lolwut? Who do you think has large families?

    Bill and Chelsea have one designer daughter, who at 33 is childless. Sarah Palin has five kids, and two grandkids already.

    SoCons are not dying off.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Yes they are and they're kids aren't like them. That's why gay marriage is so accepted by the young.

  • Acosmist||

    So the indoctrination of the young by the radical left is cause for hope for...libertarians.

    Yeeeeeahhhhhh.

  • Irish||

    lolwut? Who do you think has large families?

    Irrelevant. The large families of SoCons tend to result in a lot of mildly rightwing children who are more like us than their parents.

    I know a lot of people who are the children of rabid SoCons and almost without exception they're closer to our side than either the SoCons or the progs.

    I mean, Jesse got sent to a therapist to try and reeducate him into not being gay. I don't know that you can get more SoCon than that, but he turned out all right.

  • cuntface (fka Tonio)||

    They do have large families, but there is no guarantee that all those kids remain socons.

    But, yeah, statistically they have an advantage.

  • Virginian||

    They do have large families, but there is no guarantee that all those kids remain socons.

    Definitely. But all the childless liberal couples are guaranteed to never raise kids who share their ideology.

    The future belongs to those who show up. SoCon 2.0 is a lot less annoying then SoCon 1.0, but they aren't going to disappear into thin air.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort."

    -Heinlein's Lazarus Long

  • PH2050||

    Fuck man, I love Heinlein so much. When I was younger, I cried when I found out he could have opted for cryonic suspension but refused. I wanted to meet him.

  • ||

    Assuming this is true, you know what their response will be. Demonize harder, hate more, project more, and tighten their grip that much more no matter how much slips through their fingers.

    They're Vader without the intelligence, the Force, or the wherewithal to realize when they need to give up.

  • kinnath||

    I need that image on a full-sized poster.

  • ||

    So many articles so fast, who can keep up?

  • kinnath||

    The staff are clearing their desks before heading out for the weekend.

  • ||

    And Salon is right on cue.

    The cult of the libertarian-minded ultra-weatlhy would make an intriguing anthropological case study. But it would be a case study with a twist: its research subjects increasingly control our economy, our politics, and even our personal lives.

    We’re dealing with a cohort of highly fortunate, highly privileged and highly unaware individuals who have been inappropriately lionized by society. That lionization has led them to believe that their wealth and accomplishments are their own doing, rather than the fruits of collaborative effort – effort which in many cases was only made possible through government support.

    But instead of thanking the government and the taxpayers for their good fortune, they’ve allowed their own good press to go to their heads. And they’re biting the hand that feeds them, attempting to shut down the system of taxpayer support and government action which created their world.

    Cult. Coming from people who literally worship violence, that's cute.

  • Virginian||

    That's some weapons grades stupid. Which of the "ultra-wealthy" are trying to dismantle the system that made them rich?

  • sarcasmic||

    Kochtapus!

  • John||

    And who other than the Kochs are ultra wealthy and libertarian?

  • pmains||

    Are you trying to summon the one, true, purity-test passing libertarian?

  • Brandon||

    Yo. Somebody call?

  • CE||

    The cult of the progressive-minded ultra greedy would make an intriguing case study too. Why would those who have accomplished so little presume to tell others how to live? Why would those greedily eyeing other people's money get anything but blank stares when they call productive people greedy?

  • ||

    The winning paragraph:

    Whether or not Mr. Bezos is aware of it, the fundamental pattern undermining our educational system is a simple one: first, starve school districts of needed funds. Second, lament their declining performance. Third, claim that something called the “free market” can bring the innovation necessary to rescue it. Fourth, make greater sums of money available for private corporations than you were willing to do for public education.
  • sarcasmic||

    That poor straw man! If someone doesn't help him he's going to bleed out!

  • ||

    The projection is epic beyond comprehension. As always. It's actually starting to get a bit boring at this point since it's so predictable.

  • ||

    I can't decide if scare quotes are the best part, or if "make greater sums of money available for private corporations" is. Delicious.

  • Calidissident||

    Yeah, it's a tragedy that school funding has been cut so drastically over the past few decades. If only we threw more money at it, the problem would go away.

  • pmains||

    I am constantly amazed at how teachers everywhere are absolutely convinced that they are the victim of never-ending budget cuts. You would think they were using cardboard boxes as podiums and teaching beneath the shade of oak trees.

  • Mr. Soul||

    and conversely, try explaining to them that you have lived through real budget cuts at your private-sector gig. I get a divide-by-zero error every time.

  • Virginian||

    They actually are. The money, as a general rule, is not going to infrastructure improvement, to hiring more teachers, or to improving the instructional abilities of those already employed. It's going to pensions and to hire more and more administrators.

    Employment in the school systems is up big, but class sizes are the same, or larger. Because they aren't hiring teachers, they're hiring three and four vice principals, and entire departments of guidance counselors, and all this other bullshit.

    If all the money they spent on education went to teachers and stuff that the kids actually saw and touched on a daily basis, our schools would be the best in the world.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I'd like to take this moment to rant about what a colossal waste of space every school 'career counsellor' is. Not only are they useless, they 'know' absolute shit. All they know is buzzwords, their favorite back in my high school days was 'knowledge economy' which would make any researcher laugh bitterly given how they are paid.

  • Irish||

    If all the money they spent on education went to teachers and stuff that the kids actually saw and touched on a daily basis, our schools would be the best in the world.

    Doubt it. A large problem with American schools is the fact that there are huge parts of this country that flat out don't give a shit about education. You can't fix that by spending more on schools. It's a problem of parenting.

    Anyone who has ever been ever been to an inner city school and seen the way smart kids are treated knows this. Same with the bad parts of the South where the only book the people own is the Bible and most of them rarely read that.

    There's not much a school system can do when smart kids are bullied into behaving like idiots and the average student has fewer than ten books in the house.

  • Irish||

    If all the money they spent on education went to teachers and stuff that the kids actually saw and touched on a daily basis, our schools would be the best in the world.

    Doubt it. A large problem with American schools is the fact that there are huge parts of this country that flat out don't give a shit about education. You can't fix that by spending more on schools. It's a problem of parenting.

    Anyone who has ever been ever been to an inner city school and seen the way smart kids are treated knows this. Same with the bad parts of the South where the only book the people own is the Bible and most of them rarely read that.

    There's not much a school system can do when smart kids are bullied into behaving like idiots and the average student has fewer than ten books in the house.

  • Square||

    Absolutely. In CA we spend a lot in infrastructure, so we have these really nice buildings with incompetent teachers teaching classes that are far too big with few, if any, supplies.

    Meanwhile, at my daughter's school, for example, they don't have a full time nurse. They do, however, have one student at the school who is epileptic, so the State provides one full time nurse to be in the classroom with that one student and serve no one else.

    When you total the number of dollars spent, it is high, but you look at how those funds are allocated, and you still see why the essential services are underfunded.

  • Cytotoxic||

    There is no evidence that large class sizes are a bad thing.

  • Square||

    It depends on the subject, actually.

  • Root Boy||

    As Bill Gates found out when he wasted a few hundred million on small schools (which had small class sizes as well).

    With my elementary aged kids, I realize unless the parent pays attention and spends about an hour a day with each kid checking homework and projects your kid will not learn much.

  • Virginian||

    There is no evidence that large class sizes are a bad thing.

    Having sat in classrooms that were at double capacity, I can tell you there's a point where it gets insane.

    It's probably a curve, where having too few students in the room doesn't allow for proper cross pollination, while too many makes it unbearable.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Having sat in classrooms that were at double capacity, I can tell you there's a point where it gets insane.

    This seems to be an argument against lack of space, not one against size.

    As someone else said just above - there is zero evidence large class sizes negatively affect students.

    & yeah, I've been in a few classes with 100 or more and at least did well enough to type this.

  • Irish||

    They don't care about such bourgeoisie concepts as 'facts' or 'evidence.'

    That's the only way they could possibly think school districts are being starved when America is number 1 in per pupil education spending.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    first, starve school districts of needed funds.

    Jersey funds disadvantaged districts, called Abbott districts, at nearly twice the per pupil level as other districts. For example, Newark funds half its costs from local property taxes but then receives state funding for the other half. Newark spends close to $20,0000 per pupil while high performing districts spend around $12,000. The original funding mechanism was enacted in the '80's and schools have received this enriched funding for 30 years. Oh, academic outcomes? Not improved. Same dropout rate, same SAT/ACT scores, same outcomes.

    MOAR MONEY, MOAR MONEY, MOAR MONEY, BITCHES.

  • Virginian||

    Newark spends close to $20,0000 per pupil

    The best private K-12 school in my city is 18,9500 a year. The second best is 16,000.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    The best private school in my area costs about 35k. Now, you can get a good Catholic education for 14K or so but you don't get the prestige factor.

  • Virginian||

    The best private school in my area costs about 35k

    Woah.....

    How many Super Bowl champion QBs attended that school?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Here it is: http://www.mbs.net/

    It's a ivy feeder school.

  • califernian||

    those prices are 'list' prices too. Anyone in the middle class can often get half off or more.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Does this moron know that total government spending on education is the same percentage of GDP as it was 40 years ago, and more than during the Eisenhower era?

  • R C Dean||

    first, starve school districts of needed funds.

    Yes, per-student spending has already crashed through the floor and is now trying to dig a hole in the basement.

    What a moron.

  • ||

    What gets me is that tone of the peice. "Look at the sinister attempts to advance the values they believe in!! Those dirty nasty libertarians are using politics to get what they want! How dare they!"

  • Square||

    And, and then! And then! They'll make SURE those private schools function better than the public school ever could have, and THEN they'll try to use that to push their "free-market" agenda even harder!

  • ||

    Oh dear, the libertarians are engaged in an elaborate plot to LET PEOPLE CHOOSE THEIR KIDS SCHOOLS!!!!!! OMG! SCARY!

  • sarcasmic||

    But it would be a case study with a twist: its research subjects increasingly control our economy, our politics, and even our personal lives.

    The government is the people and the people is the government!

    Except that the rich control the government! So they control the people!

    The government needs more power so it can control the rich who control it, giving power back to the people!

    And if that doesn't work, it's because we didn't give enough power to the government, so it's still controlled by the rich! And if that doesn't work, it's because we didn't give enough power to the government, so it's still controlled by the rich! And if that doesn't work, it's because we didn't give enough power to the government, so it's still controlled by the rich! And if that doesn't work, it's because we didn't give enough power to the government, so it's still controlled by the rich! And if that doesn't work, it's because we didn't give enough power to the government, so it's still controlled by the rich!

    .
    .
    .
    .

  • Riven||

    Libertarians: controlling our personal lives by refusing to control other peoples' personal lives.

  • sarcasmic||

    Libertarians would force those who initiate force to stop initiating force, and that is an initiation of force!

    Thus libertarians are tyrants!

  • Riven||

    Harrumph harrumph!

  • sarcasmic||

    Libertarians want to forcefully impose liberty on society by forcefully stopping those who forcefully impose their will upon society from forcefully imposing their will upon society!

    Liberty is force!

  • Riven||

    It's not just about me and my dream of doing nothing! It's about all of us!

    Because don't we all deserve to sit around on our asses and sponge off others?

  • Specail Sauce||

    +1 TPS Report

  • JEP||

    "We’re dealing with a cohort of highly fortunate, highly privileged and highly unaware individuals who have been inappropriately lionized by society."

    I've got a friend who is leaning towards libertarianism. She voted for Gary Johnson. But she gets hung up on economics and welfare programs.

    I tried explaining the arguments against the minimum wage, but she seems convinced that because my parents aren't low class, I'm smart, and making a lot of money for someone my age then I'm out of touch with reality. Therefore, I'm arguing from ideals instead of realistic application.

    Maybe we should start listening to the successful people and mimic what they do, instead of giving voice to all the idiots too lazy to get off their ass and do something for themselves.

  • Virginian||

    Maybe we should start listening to the successful people and mimic what they do, instead of giving voice to all the idiots too lazy to get off their ass and do something for themselves.

    Racist!!!!

    Yeah, this kind of crab mentality never ceases to amaze me. I see it a lot with weight loss too. I'm down a good amount from my previous high, and people ask me how I did it. I tell them "I count my calories, I exercise more. I maintain a weekly deficit where I burn more every week then I consume"

    But that's not the answer people want to hear.

  • Irish||

    I worked with an obese woman recently who always talked about losing weight and about how hard it is to lose.

    This woman would sit at her desk and eat entire bags of Doritos. Whole bags in one sitting.

    She'd tell everyone who would listen that she couldn't lose weight because she didn't have time to make it to the gym. I didn't want to be mean to her so obviously I didn't say anything, but my immediate thought was that she probably could have lost 30-40 pounds if she just replaced her daily Doritos binge with a turkey sandwich or something.

  • ||

  • Virginian||

    See that's another thing. I do not eat well. I eat fast food a lot, I drink, I eat a lot less veggies then I should. I'm still losing weight. You can eat fucking McDonalds every day. The calories are printed on the menu. Consume fewer than you expend, and you will lose weight. It's that simple. If you're honest about your calorie budget, and sticking to it, you will lose weight.

  • waffles||

    But you could be fat on the inside. Exercise really is a cure-all for that though.

  • JEP||

    People want someone to design a pill that'll solve all their problems.

    And you know, not everyone is equal. But sometimes life is about playing a bad hand well. And you might not go from rags to riches in one generation. My grandfather was an auto mechanic. My mom and dad worked an average of 4 jobs the entire time I was growing up, and now I have the opportunity build on top of that.

    Not everyone has the same opportunities, but your goal should be to take advantage of every opportunity that crosses your path.

    I'm not perfect. I've probably missed a few opportunities, but I think I've used the large majority of them.

    Is that really too much to ask of people?

  • Riven||

    It's definitely present in weight loss. I don't want to use an anecdotal example... but here it is. I've recently had some success losing weight using the exact same methods (calorie counting, exercising regularly, maintaining a weekly deficit and sufficient protein levels), and a friend is always asking me how I do it. No matter what I say, she's always running out to try the next green coffee bean/raspberry ketone/cleanse fad that's going around. No one wants to put in the time and the effort; they all just want success right now.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    No one wants to put in the time and the effort; they all just want success right now.

    Agreed - they try it for a week or whatever, don't see the fabulous results they expected and they quit.

    & it's all from an adolescent aversion to delayed gratification.

    It's the same reason why "doing something" so long as it's quick, easy, meaningless, and flashy - it solves many peoples seeming need for any reward, even fake, so long as it's immediate.

  • FYTW||

    The guy spends like five paragraphs ranting about John Mackey's supposed hypocrisy because ROADZ!

  • ||

    Didn't the state pay someone to make those roads?

    Why do those roads become state property rather then the property of the people who built them?

  • FYTW||

    It's quite possibly the stupidest argument in the progressive arsenal (little wonder that Tony deploys it regularly).

    Every business relies to some limited and utterly unremarkable extent on goods and services provided at taxpayer expense, if for no other reason than government monopolies and crowding-out effects. Never mind that the business and its shareholders already are the taxpayers ponying up the funds to provide the goods and services that the business relies on; stupid progs nevertheless conclude that government is the single indispensable partner in every supposedly-free market endeavor, and that "the public" thus enjoys absolute discretion to micromanage and plunder the business notwithstanding the interests of the people who actually own it.

    They're slavers, plain and simple.

  • Virginian||

    I've been having a flame war for the last three days on Reddit with someone who thinks pushing over a rock formation should be punished with five years of prison time.

    He placed the value of the rock formation at around seven billion dollars.

  • cuntface (fka Tonio)||

    Yeah, all the outdoors types I know are pretty up in arms about that.

    I've been staying out of the debate. Things like this are really low down on my list of priorities.

  • Virginian||

    I'd like to give the guy a swift kick in the ass or a rotten tomato to the face myself.

    But the casual acceptance of years of time locked in a cage, away from hearth and home, for what is at worst a civil tort is the problem I have with the whole thing.

  • Root Boy||

    I would second and third your kick in the ass. If this is the boy scout leaders I hope they were kicked out as well.

    What part of leave no trace did they not read?

    Govt should fine them and move on.

  • Virginian||

    If this is the boy scout leaders I hope they were kicked out as well.

    Yes BSA has expelled them.

  • ||

    That lionization has led them to believe that their wealth and accomplishments are their own doing, rather than the fruits of collaborative effort

    Funny how the fruits of "collaborative effort" somehow become the property of the state.

  • cuntface (fka Tonio)||

    Salon is very much at the laugh-at stage of libertarian engagement. Although it's more rage than laughter. And that can be our strength. Instead of lashing out hysterically at them, calmly rebut them point by point. This is going to be a long slog.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    You know, just when I start to think the characters in Atlas Shrugged are just too cardboard cutout to reflect reality, I read a piece like the one Warty quoted.

    And I start to think Rand erred on the side of subtlety.

  • Riven||

    I always just assume that, under the thin layer of appropriate buzzwords, they're all James Taggert at heart.

  • Irish||

    You know, just when I start to think the characters in Atlas Shrugged are just too cardboard cutout to reflect reality

    The problem with Rand is that she wrote two dimensional characters when progressives actually only have one dimension.

  • ||

    Yeah, my moderate salary is the result of the "collobotative effort" by society to systematically deny me the right to working in my chosen career.

    So fuck you, progressives.

  • Brandon||

    We need an Eskow warning. This dipshit makes Amanda look eloquent and rational.

  • chmercier||

    Heh - for even more dark comedy, especially at Salon, the comments are worth a read. Why else go to Salon and check out their readership to view some overblown cliches, unsubstantiated fears, redefinition of terms, and pure emotional arguments?

  • Dweebston||

    Conservatism isn't the enemy of progressivism, they're confidants and mutual enablers. Libertarianism is the only earnest competitor for either.

  • CE||

    Leave the communitarian label to W and his ilk.

    And conservatives are fond of attacking libertarians as well.

  • Virginian||

    In my experience, usually the part they have a big issue with is the whole Team America: World Police bit. I've had some success pointing out the long tradition of nonintervention the Republican Party used to be heir to, and pointing to how the neocons have essentially hijacked the Grand Old Party.

  • Root Boy||

    That and the drug war/tough on crime.

    Republicans were non-intervention up to the cold war and the nature of communism was a good thing to fight in my mind.

    Now, Islamist terrorism is not a big enough deal to get our hands dirty across the world.

  • Killaz||

    They'll grudgingly embrace libertarianism and credit it to socialism. I was interested in a Kickstarter campaign for a cyberpunk game from a creator on Syndicate Wars, this was in the threads:

    http://www.edge-online.com/fea.....ite-reign/

    [Comparing this game in creation with a FPS released last year in the Syndicate franchise] B1G_D says:
    10:52pm February 6 2014

    It's interesting that a game like Syndicate, with it's commentary on consumerism, can't be remade properly by current consumerist means (EA). Instead a more socialist means (kickstarter) was needed.

    What in Cthulhu's name could be socialist about people voluntarily funding a market product? But, there it is, and it reflects a common sentiment.

  • ||

    People cooperating voluntarily is social. Therefore it's socialism. See, it's right there in the name, see?

  • Virginian||

    Yeah I got an acquaintance who considers himself a staunch socialist. He's attempted to start two businesses, and now works for a small tech startup.

    Chew that over in your mind. This guy was a no shit entrepreneur, and somehow still think's he's a socialist.

  • sarcasmic||

    My father is like that. He tried and failed many times to be an entrepreneur, but at the same time he believes in a maximum wage (100% tax on income above some arbitrary level), somehow believing that the rich will pay themselves a hundred times that maximum wage, allowing that taxed income to be used to provide a minimum standard of living for the poor.

    He's really smart about some things.

    Economics and history are not among them.

  • Irish||

    The concept of a maximum wage is one of my favorite ridiculous prog beliefs.

    Apparently rich people would keep working if they could get no money instead of just sitting at home and producing less.

  • sarcasmic||

    Stop thinking and emote! We're trying to punish the rich and help the poor here!

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I think you can leave off the "help the poor" part. I think that's a justification that it's advocates look on as a nice side effect.

  • Riven||

    Well, of course they do! They would do it out of the goodness of their hearts. As a libertarian, that's obviously something you wouldn't understand. ... Because you hate children.

    /progderp

  • Brandon||

    Apparently rich people would keep working if they could get no money instead of just sitting at home and producing less.

    Some of the people who have actually thought through this, unlike, say, Richard Eskow, have told me that it is good for everyone if the wealthy work less, because that opens up more jobs. Which kind of makes sense, if you assume that the wealthy tend to work in jobs with defined salaries and specific production requirements.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    These are the people who have no idea what either Capitalism or Socialism actually are, yet accuse with frothed-mouths any and all who make criticisms of the actual philosophies and outcomes of state-controlled production as being indoctrinated by corporate propaganda, Fox, Koch bros. or whoever else is currently the target of their Two Minutes Hate.

  • chmercier||

    Precisely. I think this is one of the biggest issues - the completely differing definitions. I guess the question is which part of the trifecta do they fall in - actually ignorant, willfully ignorant, or deceptive?

    The cynics, of course, don't care - it's TEAMSZ! issues all the way, rather than ideology.

    But I think you and I have both met people who believe the reverse is true for Capitalism or Socialism (capitalism is evul rich fascists who enslave everyone vs. socialism where people own their own houses and build things and get along).

    If only the Koch Bros. relabeled themselves as "socialist" like Chomsky, Eagleton, Klein, or Moore, then I guess there would be no problem with their wealth :)

    Problem solved! We're really all socialists I guess...let's get rich!

  • ||

    Also don't forget that Syndicate's "commentary on consumerism" stems 100% from the fact that the storyline was written by Richard K. Morgan, author of the Takeshi Kovacs books. Now, I love those books (I'm rereading Altered Carbon right now) but Morgan has a huge bug up his ass about capitalism and free markets and, of course, that has nothing to do with the way it was funded.

    Man, these people are idiots.

  • Killaz||

    You have to have thick skin to be a libertarian and not be tempted to shut out the outer world. I just got around to reading Woken Furies this past summer and loved it. It took me so long because the second book in my estimation was awful.

  • cuntface (fka Tonio)||

    Woking Furries?

  • Killaz||

    eeeewwww! That can get messy.

  • R C Dean||

    Morgan's books, with one or two exceptions, are entertaining.

    Some of the idiot opinions voiced by characters or the narrator are just that: idiot opinions. No biggie.

  • Killaz||

    I didn't have a problem with them on that score. Now, he did a Black Widow series that was in large sections unreadable because it advanced a lie about the former Soviet Union, and that lie wasn't even entertaining in its delivery. So, there are limits. Kurt Weill saying he wasn't interested in setting the Communist Manifesto to music comes to mind.

    My brother is quite a bit more sensitive than I am. He wont read William Gibson's works because he feels it is too leftist. I think Gibson is apolitical in my estimation, at least in his first two trilogies. Spook Town, yeah, but that is a different emphasis, altogether.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...why progressives seem so especially mad at libertarians lately.

    Because progressives are currently in power and libertarians are a potential hindrance not a help? During the reign of Bush, libertarians shared some great notions on civil liberties with progressives. But now libertarians are simply anti-government nutjobs who threaten the very utopia which we are so close in achieving.

  • Drake||

    Because, unlike SoCons, Libertarians don't follow the script. They don't holler back slogans and talking points. Libertarians engage in logical debate.

    Also, unlike most Republicans, they really mean it when they talk about less government.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, I'm not comfortable with the idea that the existence of the underground market, culture, etc., which is now more visible and easier to conduct business/communicate in because of the Internet, somehow makes us freer than we were in the past. The fact is that that underground existed all along. It existed in, say, Soviet Russia. But it doesn't change the fact that the rest of our lives is steeped in growing and increasingly more invasive oppression.

    In other words, all of this wild and free activity isn't changing the political reality--it's just action at the margin that has always existed. I'd love for us to all spontaneously wake up one day and reject the idea of a coercive government, but I don't see much indication that that's happening. Even now, when libertarian views seem on the upswing, how long will that last if enough change occurs to get the economy back in growth mode and to get the boot lifted off our neck a hair?

  • CE||

    I woke up one day and rejected the idea of a coercive government. They still rob me twice a month though.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Switch to monthly payroll and cut your nutpunches in half.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The underground markets is getting easier to access and it's probably expanding too. The key is to make the state matter less and less, and we're winning in that regard.

  • cuntface (fka Tonio)||

    In Libertopia the underground economy would be limited to for-reals human trafficking since everything else would be legal.

    I, too, have mixed emotions about the UE. At one end it's harmless like paying some kid cash to mow my lawn; on the other end you prop up some pretty unsavory types.

  • Square||

    The Soviet analogy is a good one - a robust underground economy is a symptom of tyranny, not freedom.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    Huh. That's a good question.

    Why WOULD a group of people whose entire life philosophy revolves around the belief that empty rhetoric about "caring" for other people make them their property to be controlled through government force have a a strong aversion bordering on hatred of other people who believe in self-ownership and limited government authority?

    Let's ask Mr. Owl.

  • Irish||

    Yeah, I can't figure out why petulant, envious control freaks might have a problem with people who don't spend their lives in constant emotional turmoil about mean old rich people.

    It's almost like progs are just puritans who weep and gnash their teeth when less gullible people reject their gods.

  • sarcasmic||

    Well what about those libertarians who spend their lives in constant emotional turmoil about mean old government bureaucrats who are trying to control their lives?

    What's the difference?

    Rich people do more harm by hoarding wealth that could be used to feed poor children!

    Why do you hate poor children?

  • Irish||

    I don't spend much time in emotional turmoil about government bureaucrats.

    Compare libertarians mocking government to progressives talking about how they burst into tears every time they think about politics.

    That actually is a fairly common trope on prog websites. The "I started thinking about Republicans and began weeping uncontrollably" article is practically its own genre.

    There are also genres where the writer cries about race, cries about gender, cries because they're gay, cries because KOCHTOPUS, cries because someone in school said something insensitive, cries because they don't make much money as a mediocre blogger...really, progressive seem to spend most of their time impotently weeping.

  • ||

    Dude, how about a trigger warning?

  • cuntface (fka Tonio)||

    Don't put your finger on it till you're ready to shoot.

  • Irish||

    Or that Xo Jane article someone posted yesterday where the writer began crying because she imagined what it would be like to be a black woman at her yoga class.

    This woman made herself cry by thinking about imaginary racism. She imagined fake racism and burst into tears.

  • FYTW||

    *tears hair, beats breast, covers self in sackcloth and ashes*

  • ||

    The impotent part is the most important part.

    Only through ganging up (in a collective,, of course) can these pathetic impotent crybabies ever do anything about the people they hate and envy injustices they see. No wonder they love collectivism. Mob rule is their raison d'etre.

  • Riven||

    There isn't enough cake in existence...

  • Bill Dalasio||

    You know, I actually encountered that behavior live some years back. I was discussing environmental policy with a proggie girlfriend's friend. She actually started crying because I differed from her beliefs. I even took the liberty of trying to find out what I'd done wrong. It turns out I wasn't rude in my argument or dismissive or insulting. It was that I differed from her accepted political dogma. I was absolutely dumbfounded. The kicker is that, instead of wondering if the friend had a problem with neurosis, I was treated like the bad guy for making her cry.

  • Irish||

    See, I like when things like that happen with a girlfriend. It's like a blessing from above to see the insanity of a relationship early enough to get out.

    You didn't marry this girl, did you? Because the fact that she had friends like this is a wonderful red flag.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    No, didn't marry her. But, if "nutty as a shithouse rat" were a disqualifier on relationships, I'd have had a hell of a lot fewer of them. I seem to be magnet for loony.

  • R C Dean||

    Why do you hate poor children?

    They are ill-mannered, poorly washed, and require far too much training and discipline to produce a decently polished boot or monocle.

  • chmercier||

    Plus, poor children have little purchasing power, and thus have little importance.

  • ||

    Now you're getting it!

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    'Govt' seems to be an interchangeable thing to these clowns. OK, for the sake of argument, without local cops my house might (sans a private replacement) be robbed more often. Does that really mean everything I have is 100% dependent on every $1 the govt spends on every bureaucratic entity, with that debt shifted around from govt agency to govt agency as needed by progs?

  • GILMORE||

    Yes and why are you such a dick about it? you use roads don't you?

  • GILMORE||

    *Everyone* knows Libertarians are just a kooky racist fringe who no one takes seriously which is funded by evil billionaires and is crazy about guns and which controls the GOP and pretends to care about (scare quotes) "freedom" but just wants to make everyone a slave of corporations

    /Progressive Conventional Wisdom

  • chmercier||

    You left out that LIbevultarians hate women too, wishing only to hire them because they work for .09 to the dollar! And they want everyone to buy tanks because Somalia is libertarian land and sidewalks are evil gov't things.

  • Anvil||

    Progressives/Liberals are attacking us Libertarians because we threaten their ideals more than anyone else, especially in that we don't resort to politics to point out their hypocrisies, but rather facts, which are often hard to refute.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "This is not a libertarian ideology, but a libertarian reality carved out by people who simply refuse to be controlled by peers who purport to be superiors"

    That's a good line - peers who purport to be our superiors.

    It sums it up quite nicely.

    Pseudo intellectual bluffing with nothing to back it up is a universally distinguishing characteristic of liberals.

  • MoreFreedom||

    It's not just progressives who are attacking libertarians, it's also RINOs.

    Libertarians threaten the establishment's game of divide and conquer, and limiting our choice to two statist/authoritarian candidates. Instead of citizens voting for a statist, they are giving RINOs pink slips in the primaries. And that's leading to real fiscal conservatives getting elected and exposing both sides for the statists they are, in spite of their rhetoric.

    The people are more libertarian than the establishment, thus, libertarians have become the political targets of the establishment. They are the only ones actually trying to reduce the size of government. But they don't have the votes yet. And the establishment doesn't want that happening.

  • chmercier||

    *Turning on the irony dripping mock-the-prog mic*

    I don't know about you guys, but the Progs have my number. I'll admit it, really. I'm libertarian because I read a book about railroad barons who smoked tobacco in public areas and drank infants' blood after shooting them with Congreve Rockets that were protected by the 2nd Amendment of Evil.

    In fact, I've taken to wearing only low-wage suits that were made in factories where child workers cry and bleed their way through starvation and working the 38/12 workweek. It really matches my evil Imperial style moustache, waxed with extracts from peonage workers in Eritrea.

    Now, in all my true libertarianismness, I think it's high time we discuss the most libertarian of all businesses: slavery.

    This can only happen when we pool all of our enormous fortunes together to take over from the righteous, kind-hearted peoples of the world.

    *Mic off.*

    Sorry, had to mock the basic argument of the so-called "progressives."

  • iEagleHammer||

    Reason had what I thought was a good article showing how politics always lags behind public opinion.

    If you can believe that (I find it reasonable), then it's no wonder Libertarian policies haven't been implemented more. But that also means that those policies are forthcoming.

  • ramy||

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