Liberaltarianism Twitches in the Morgue?


Center for American Progress blogger Matthew Yglesias has gone on a minor free-marketish tear this week, arguing against barber licensing, refudiating his past opposition to Dubai Ports World buying American port companies, pointing out deficincies in the L.A. Unified School District, bemoaning rent-seeking attempts by radio broadcasters, denouncing mandatory parking regulations, touting private bus lines, and arguing for the long-term phase-out of housing subsidies.

It had been so long since I read liberal commentators even tiptoeing where neoliberals once stomped that I thought it worth pointing out.

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  1. Is “refudiating” one of those classic H&R neologisms like “tow the lion” that I just didn’t get the memo on? Because I like it – the language needs a hybrid of “refute” and “repudiate”, dammit! 🙂

    1. it’s from Palin, a wordsmith if there ever was one.

      1. It just might turn out to be her greatest accomplishment.

        1. Nope. Death Panels FTW.

          1. I like all of them!

        1. But I want to see Caribou Barbie in the t shirt.

      2. And since she is just such a libertarian hero to the people, we’re a’keepin’ it.

      3. Sarah or Michael?

        1. I’d vote for Michael, even if he’s way left of me.

      4. What’s the difference between Sarah Palin’s mouth and Sarah Palin’s cunt? Retarded shit only came out of her cunt once.

        1. No it didn’t!

        2. I think joking about a 2 year old boy with Down’s syndrome as “retarded shit” is pretty uncalled for.

  2. Suckers be suckin’.

  3. I just don’t see how left-libertarianism is possible. How can one be a statist and anti-statist at the same time?

    1. Be the spoon.

      1. it is “Be the ball” and “there is no spoon”….jeesh, maybe “”be the spoon” should be the next neologism on Reason.

      2. Man, you’re as dumb as Palin.

    2. Glad you agree with me that the liberaltarians that post to H&R every day aren’t worthy of the label libertarian. (Or maybe they are nowadays, in which case I’m wondering why I’d want to be associated with libertarianism).

      Just don’t forget that being statist isn’t the only defining characteristic of leftism. Von Kuehnelt-Leddihn gave a pretty good definition of leftism in his book Leftism Revisited some years back. Well worth the read for any anti-statist, if you can find a copy.

      1. I suppose it depends how we defend “left.” After all, there are plenty of places in the world where classical liberalism is viewed as “left.”

        1. The left pretty much defines itself as statist; we don’t have to do any defining on our own.

          1. That’s really what I was thinking. I think that there may have been a time where at least some leftists in the U.S. were not statists, but that seems not to be the case today.

            1. There are. They are there for the civil libertarian bits the left dangles on occasion (see Obama on med pot during campaign), because they absolutely hate the moral majority bs on the right.

          2. The left pretty much defines itself as statist; we don’t have to do any defining on our own.

            Yeah, but that gets confusing because the right does the same.

    3. Doublethink.

    4. I reject the notion that anti-statism is simply a right wing cause. After all any antiwar movement is anti-statist movement.

      1. …as well movements to legalize drugs and any other ‘crime’ committed between consenting adults.

        The right is every bit as statist as the left, the difference is in the form that statism takes.

        1. That’s right. That goes for civil liberties as well. Right-wingers are not calling to close down Guantanamo Bay or for prison reform.

          George Orwell was one of the greatest anti-statist writers of the 20th century and a left winger.

          1. “I reject the notion that anti-statism is simply a right wing cause”

            wait, who said that? who are you two responding to? nobody?

            1. The original post was from Pro Lib who said, “I just don’t see how left-libertarianism is possible. How can one be a statist and anti-statist at the same time?”

        2. As far as the politicians of each major political party go, yes. But I don’t think statism is as inherently fundamental to the right as it’s become for the left. As I said elsewhere in this thread, statism has not always been as dominant on the left as it is today.

  4. So its libertarianism when a corporation which is 100 percent owned by the government of Dubai buys something. What next, is the US Post Office libertarian?

  5. “Center for American Progress Douchebag blogger Matthew Yglesias”

    Fixed it.

  6. I just don’t see how left-libertarianism is possible. How can one be a statist and anti-statist at the same time?

    With a little “freedom for me, but not for thee”, a little “but not when the wrong people are in charge”, and a little “I approve of your freedom to do what I think you ought to do”, any leftist can come up with a few exceptions to the Total State.

    1. I guess. I mean, I can see the same argument being made by anarchists about minarchists, but I do think there’s a fundamental barrier here.

      1. I just don’t see how left-libertarianism is possible.

        It’s the area on the Nolan chart above the center to the left.

        You either are or are not statist about particular topics, and can have those topics be severable. My wife is generally non-statist, but when it comes to doctors, she is all for the licensing cartel that pumps up her income, because it is in her perceived interest to keep that cartel going.

        And the difference between minarchists and anarcho-libertarians is that minarchists are statists about a few things such as the military, police, and roads, but otherwise non-statists, where anarchos essentially aren’t statist about anything.

        1. Splitters!

        2. I’m a med student and I hate the AMA. Perhaps it helps that my girlfriend is a pharmacist, and I have seen first-hand how the medical (read doctor) establishment screws over all adjunct therapies to keep prices pumped up and themselves in power.

    2. Absolutely. To a leftist, the State is the default, with the occasional exception, a preserve where individual choice is condescendingly, if not grudgingly, tolerated.

      To a libertarian minarchist, individual choice is the default, with the state grudgingly tolerated in strictly limited areas.

      Completely different mindsets.

      1. Completely different mindsets.

        It’s a continuum that blends into each other, a difference of degree rather than kind.

        Yes, the statist default results in a really large area where deference is granted to the state, but that default can get chipped away bit by bit — or removed in one really horrifying epiphany when the state totally fucks a True Believer TM over to the point that the mask drops.

        1. Don’t make me refute you with the blink tag.

          1. It’s “refudiate”

            1. Refute you!

              1. okay, this has gone too far.

                1. Of course. But this will be a day long remembered by Hit & Run regulars. It’s almost like the antithesis to the day they imposed threaded, nested, endlessly looped comments on us.

                  1. You are a fucking animal. I didn’t think you, of all people, would be the one who sunk so low. I figured it would be me, or NutraSweet, or Warty, or possibly Terry Michaels, but not you.

                    1. It’s like the early days of the Internet, all over again. When professional coders used the blink tag for commercial sites.

                2. Whatever do you mean, robc?

                  1. Dammit, they’re synced.

                    PL…I hope today never ends…This is what people in the matrix felt like when it was shown that the life they knew was a facade.

                    1. What surprises me is that Episiarch hasn’t one-upped all of this with some new visual exploitation not conceived of by the rest of us. It’s in his Hit & Run Commenter contract, after all.

                    2. You’ll get what’s coming to you, ProL. Just you wait.

                    3. I bet tomorrow you’ll have the whole blog blinking. I know you can do it or something equally awful!

                3. Use chrome. No blink.

                  1. Blinks in Firefox, bless Mozilla.

                    1. No blink in IE. Ironically.

                      Why is it I don’t feel a lesser person somehow?

                    2. BTW, everyone should know better than to show ProL shiny new forum toys. He just can’t help himself and turns into a 10-year old boy with a magic marker in an art gallery. Mustaches and eyeglasses everywhere.

                      Not that I blame him, but you should know better.

                    3. Oh, I don’t think I’m the worst abuser here. I’ve seen the other threads.

                      Did you see what happened on Lonewacko’s blog (scroll down)?

                    4. Oh, by no means are you the worst offender. It’s actually quite fun to watch you work.

                      You just take the most joy in it, reveling, really. NTTAWWT.

                    5. No blinking on my computer, either — not sure if it’s the Firefox or the Mac-ness shutting down Teh Stoopid.

                    6. Banhammer! Blinking is beyond the pale!

        2. I think the fundamental distinction is that today’s left tends to be dismissive of the very concept of strictly defined and limited government. If there’s an end they desire, they aren’t overly concerned with established limits and will, in fact, work to get rid of such limits.

          That doesn’t mean that leftists will be for things like torture or banning gay rights, but they fail to see the inevitability of civil liberties vanishing before an all-powerful Leviathan.

          1. They haven’t stumbled onto the sociopath problem.

      2. To a libertarian minarchist, individual choice is the default, with the state grudgingly tolerated in strictly limited areas.

        Minarchists accept that government monopolies like the military and the courts are a necessary evil. We also don’t forget that half of “necessary evil” is evil.

        1. Whereas we anarchists think “necessary evil” is an oxymoron, at least when referring to the state.

        2. What’s evil about having a court system? Seems to me you’re all just whiny bitches about the fact that you have to share this planet with other human beings.

          1. Especially grasping cretins like you, tony.

          2. People depriving other people of freedom is evil, in and of itself (that is to say, before you consider any evil that can be prevented or good that can be accomplished by doing so).

            But sometimes the only choice is big evil or little evil. The world sucks that way.

            1. Totally agree. And sometimes the choice is a no-brainer. Preventing the evil of anarchy is well worth the cost of the evil of taxes. So if we are so pedantic that every government program is defined as in some minute part ‘evil’ because of the taxes required, then all we can possibly differ on is the number and scope of government programs. There’s not some moral bright line between freedom and statist oppressor. Just different policy priorities.

              1. Nope, you’re still a cunt.

              2. If the choise is a “no-brainer”, then Tony is the one who should make it.

  7. You know government regulation is becoming ridiculous when someone douche like Matthew Yglesias complains about it.

    1. Or that the Obama ship is sinking fast, and it’s time to jump….

  8. One need not be a “left-libertarian” who waffles on the welfare state and budget deficits to appeal to the left. It’s more a matter of focus. Radley Balko has shown that you can be a down-the-line radical libertarian but regularly run into more hostility from the conservative-right than the liberal-left. It just depends on whose sacred ox is getting gored.

  9. Liberaltarianism Twitches in the Morgue Mosque?

    Just for fun.

    1. It’s a firestorm!

    2. My thoughts exactly – glad I checked downthread before posting.

      And thanks for FIFYing that…

    3. No thanks, we already mosquerbated enough today.

  10. This is a good time to emphasize that a stopped clock is worthless as anything but a source of spare parts for other clocks.

  11. “I can’t even begin to imagine why it was that I thought Chuck Schumer was right about this.”

    Gee, I wonder if it had anything to do with which party held the presidency?

  12. Yglesias is a smart guy, but he’s stuck on John Stewart Mill’s “maximum total utility” concept. Of course, the Soviet Union maxed out everybody’s total utility… about $3K per capita.

    1. Gimme time, comrade.

  13. Haters! Liberaltarianism will never die.

    1. And this thread was pure. Restraint, man, restraint!

      1. Ratfucker!

      2. Says the guy who used the blink tag.

        1. That was after. And with provocation.

          1. what provocation? i made a reasonable statement, you blink-tagged it and never bothered trying to offer an actual counterargument.

            1. Whatever are you talking about? There’s no evidence of a blink tag here. Not anywhere.

    2. Jesus monkey-raping Christ. I didn’t think I could hate you any more than I already did.

      1. You have to give him this–it’s the most cogent and relevant comment in this thread.

      2. Hey, give the man credit where it’s due. He has good taste in offensive photography, which I suppose isn’t that strange in an authoritarian. You know who else had good taste in photography?

        1. You’d think a heinous mass murderer would draw a hotter crowd of babes. Who knew?

          1. It was the weirdest Hitler photo I could find on short notice.

          2. Germans…

            They don’t get hot until the generation after they mix with the Irish or Dutch.

      3. I give you Lobster Girl and this is the thanks I get? I give and give and give and give and never get ANYTHING in return, wasting the prime of my life on you, and this is how you repay me?

        1. :::sobs:::: SLAM

    3. I think this is a good use of the image feature.

      Anyone figure out a way to make the photos smaller so they don’t take up so much real estate?

    4. Dear God, What have I missed?

  14. So, could all of this inline coding be used on other blogs? You know, ones that would actually be markedly improved with blinking, underlines, colored and enlarged text, and, most of all, images of dubious legality?

    1. Depends on whether they have defenses against it. I suspect that H&R will soon have defenses against it as well.

      1. I tested it a bit over at Urkobold (on Blogger)–nope.

    2. Most blogs have some pre-made system for handling comments, and it’s pretty easy (I can tell you it’s maybe 3 lines in PHP) to filter HTML tags, so there aren’t many.

      I was surprised Tulpa was able to even format text, but I guess you get quirks like that with a (presumably) homemade setup.

      1. I would like some liberality with HTML in the comments. Like unordered lists, some formatting, etc. And, of course, the blink tag for my own personal use.

        1. And, of course, the blink tag for my own personal use.

          If you are going to do the blinking text at least make them a different color….i always want to click em.

          1. It can be done, but I have no time at the moment. Perhaps later.

      2. They really should have just switched to vbCode anyway. Then you just dump anything in angle brackets and you have total control of what people can and can’t do.

        1. They fucked up. They trusted us.

      1. You know, there are times–rare times–when I am overcome with respect for the commenters here.

        1. Thank you. Now I just need to change my IP…

          1. I mean really. I had a tear in my eye and heard Sousa playing in my head when I saw that.

            While we may lose our unrestrained freedoms here, there are other blogs, my brothers (and sisters!). Blogs more deserving of the total chaos only we can provide. For are we not libertarians (and anarchists!)?

        2. How about the commenters on LW’s site?

          on working poor, in my outfit we have 11 working homeless all are white all are not on any durgs all have kids all have been put out of work by white business people who want more money and fired whites and replaced whites with hispanic who make 60 percent what the white guy made.
          now we see the hispanic being fired and poor from other parts of this earth being hired from south america and other places. the people we have hired in my outfit make about $8 dollars per hr for 8-32 a week meaning homeless, many go nuts and disappear into the monkey world.

          1. Needless to say, I “go nuts and disappear into the monkey world” every weekend…So I know where this guy is coming from.

      2. That is fucking awesome.

      3. Fucking Awesome.

  15. I like how the commenters on Yglesias’ site gamely rise to the challenge of predicting a nightmare dystopia where western civilization ends if we didn’t license barbers.

    1. Honestly, I thought it would be nearly unanimous agreement, because the idea of licensing someone to hold a pair of clippers (or someone with dye or a straight razor who would have to be insured for customers to come) is profoundly stupid.

      But man, I should never underestimate statist types.

      1. It shouldn’t surprise you too much. These same people think Joe the Plumber is incapable of being a plumber because he isn’t certified or something.

    2. To be fair, this is what happens if you don’t license barbers:

      1. There was supposed to be a witty image.

  16. The left pretty much defines itself as statist; we don’t have to do any defining on our own.

    The lefties believe “rights” are granted by the State.

    End of story.

    1. That’s a real problem. Rights aren’t something that emanate from the state. Viewing them that way means that they can be taken away as easily as they are granted.

    2. And libertarians believe they come from santa claus or whatever. That’s not an ideological difference, that’s you being idiots.

      1. Then why should laws ever change? If the state says one time that slavery is permissible or prohibition is good or gay marriage shouldn’t be recognized or that we need wars on drugs, and if rights truly come from the state, then what do you appeal to if you object?

        1. With luck you appeal to a decent system composed of checks and balances, protection of individual rights, and uncorrupted democracy. You’re missing the forest for the trees. Yeah government can be imperfect, that doesn’t mean it’s unnecessary, because the state of nature is a lot more imperfect. There’s no such thing as rights in anarchy, and there wasn’t really any such thing for most of human history.

          1. Under anarchy you have every right you can imagine. You have the right to eat, sleep, kill, rape, anything you want to do. Unfortunately, others have the same rights to do the same things to you. Order comes when people give up some of these natural rights to a society in order to gain some security. Give all your rights to the state and you can have potential total security, however, in practice governments tend to be happy to take rights, but fail to provide the security that should go with it. For example, Libs will be happy to take your gun self defense rights, but will be remiss in preventing hoods from taking your money or life.

      2. Pardon me, but your ignorance is showing.

      3. The question is whether a “right” exists even when it cannot be exercised. If you think of a right as a moral truth, then this makes perfect sense. It’s wrong to violate people’s rights, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. You can do it as easily as you can pass a law declaring pi to be 3.

        Besides, the state is just a group of people. Maybe they protect your rights, maybe they don’t. In general, unless you’re in the political upper class, they do far more violating than protecting.

        Even if we had some word for “right-enforcer”, that concept would be completely separate from the concept of “states” and “criminals”. If a cop beats your ass for not doffing your cap and bowing when his carriage passes, and a couple of crackheads unwisely step in to save you, the criminals are “right-enforcers” in that situation, and the state agent is a “right-violator”.

        1. In general, unless you’re in the political upper class, they do far more violating than protecting.

          A lot of states, yes. Ours is making some progress in some areas (e.g., healthcare and gay rights, each through a different branch of government). There is no such thing as a right that isn’t protected by a state. You don’t have to like it, but we can’t be mystical and say santa claus bestows them. What is the libertarian doing to ensure that government is a strong “rights enforcer”? Arguing for less government and fewer rights (like healthcare).

          1. Wow Tony, I didn’t know that stupid went to 11, but you pulled it off.

            Congrats, and thank you for this exceptional exposition in inanity.

  17. Wild intertube is wild.


    Veeeeeeery thirsty.

    1. If someone had told me that we’d be able to run amok with coding in the comments when they imposed this threaded, undulating comments nonsense on us, I might have reacted differently.

      1. They came first for the thread-haters, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a thread-hater.

        Then they came for the Mohammed-dissers and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Mohammed-disser.

        Then they came for the HTML-taggers, and I applauded because that shit is fucking annoying.

        1. Well, yes, but it’ll be gone by morning.

          1. It’s already gone. ::pouts::

            They never let us have any fun!

            1. Reads down….never mind.

        2. I’m erecting an HTML guillotine for the coming Terror.

  18. I’m just grateful PL hasn’t explored the joys of scrolling.

    1. I don’t think I want to know what you mean by that.

      Looks like most of the exploit is now closed. At least for images.

  19. But the real nightmare is yet to come. Barber licensing laws will restrict the supply of barbers into the market, which will raise prices because of a high demand with a low supply; soon, poor people will have even longer neckbeards then they do now.

  20. NOOOO!!!!

    The squirrels have struck!!


    OVER 9000

  22. Whoops!

  23. That’s it folks. I tried to post an ICP picture and I think that was all H&R could take, because they shut us down.

      1. Full of typos. How appropriate.

        1. typos fixed and animated gif of large breasted girl pulling up pants added.


      2. This deserves a post by one of the editors, I think. I like how they pulled an Orwellian reversal on us–why, it never happened!

        1. i don’t know…what would have happened if we did not fill in the blanks to some of those image links.

          What if i wrote in 5000000000000 instead of 500 for image size?

          or allowed it to repeat?

          What we were doing could have really screwed up the web site. At least when people loaded it in thier browsers. And if we did it before they knew what was going on and made the page unloadable it could have been a bitch to fix.

          I think the webmasters are not liking us at the moment and the editors are hearing a much different story about the whole thing then the way we see it.

          1. Dude, you are being sooo paranoid, ha heh.

            Josh, man…dude, just chill for a minute//// you hear that!? No..


      3. I don’t care too much, but I was the first to post the inline CSS for images, both the crappy version that Tulpa used to block posts above him and the nice version that worked like an img tag. So edited.

        1. I knew about your great leadership during the Day of the Commenters, but I figured crediting you might be the same as blaming you.

          I’m Spartacus!

    1. Looks like we’re back to USENET-style ascii art. It was fun while it lasted.

  24. It’s worth repeating, even if the substance is the same: so-called “liberaltarians” are actually so far from being libertarians that it’s noteworthy when they say shit that isn’t 100% retarded.

  25. Obama, the left, Matthew Yglesias, the tea party and the five stages of grief.

    1. Denial – Astroturf!!
    2. Anger – Racists!!
    3. Bargaining – Umm ok how about barbers and dubi?
    4. Depression – ??
    5. Acceptance – ??

    We will probably only sense number 4 after the election. I do not know how number 5 will play out if ever.

    1. 5. Acceptance – ??

      Actually it will probably come out as “Obama was not really a progressive and our philosophy has never been correctly/fully implemented”

      You can see the ground work of this with that talking heads video Matt had with’s Jane Hamsher:…..e-blogging

      She makes some pretty good arguments that Obama’s health care work was mostly corporatist and the bail outs can be spun pretty easy as the rich get richer and the poor getting poorer because of corporate interests. They are screwed on the stimulus though and will have to down play it.

      So we libertarians will be stuck back into the argument that the corporatist aspects of Obama’s agenda were caused by left wing statism. That they are a fundamental consistence of left wing worship of the state not a personality defect of Obama.

      1. Obama didn’t pass the health care bill, or even determine what was in it. The lovely “progressives” in Congress did.

      2. Sometimes you encounter a leftist with particular and strident venom directed at Hayek, joe for one, was like that. It is pretty jarring when you see it because Hayek is pretty much universally seen as a rational moderate, praised by both Keynes and Orwell who both were evolving to his positions late in their lives, and he died with a high degree of reputation in academia. However, I think what motivates them to hating Hayek is he more than any other political economist made a irrefutable argument that civil liberties cannot be separated from property rights without weakening them and creating dependence to maintain them on functionaries whose interest are not the same as the parties they supposedly protect. When Hayek’s rationale is taken to its logical conclusion it becomes apparent that the progressive deviation from classical liberalism is as futile as it is unnecessary, hence their hate.

        1. Hayek also pointed out that planners can never have the proper information to plan effectively. That completely destoys liberal conceit. It doesn’t matter how smart they are, if they don’t have the information, they can’t be effective. That kills them. And they really don’t have a response to it.

          1. Don’t be silly, totalitarianism is their means of acquiring that information. That’s why it’s necessary!

          2. planners can never have the proper information to plan effectively

            BS. They will never have perfect information to plan perfectly is what you mean. Do you build a house without a plan because you don’t have microscopic knowledge of the property? The problem with Hayek is that your interpretation is only a slightly shallow one. Also he did believe in some central controlling, such as a monetary system–to the extent that he pretty much undermines himself. Not that it matters since his principles themselves are the ones that lead to ‘serfdom’ in the first place.

        2. It’s not Hayek, per se. It’s all of the pedantic pricks who quote Hayek.

      3. So we libertarians will be stuck back into the argument that the corporatist aspects of Obama’s agenda were caused by left wing statism.

        The most left-wing people in our government are the most concerned with and opposed to corporate influence. Right-wing ‘statism’ is your enemy, whatever party it may inhabit. Healthcare was a compromise catering to right-of-center Democrats, not Bernie Sanders. You want to get rid of corporatism, get rid of the Republicans who invented it. Neither party is going to get rid of the state but only one is honest about that.

  26. Liberaltarianism Twitches in the Morgue?

    Get a wooden stake and a mallet.

    1. No kidding. Yglesias knows the Demcorats are going to get destroyed in November and Obama is discrediting liberalism for the next generation. So out of desparation he is pretending that maybe he isn’t so statist after all.

      Fuck him.

      1. umm, no, actually he’s been fairly consistent on these topics (with the exception of the DPW deal). he’s written before on professional licensing cartels (medical and legal), criticized minimum parking requirements and housing subsidies such as the mortgage interest deduction, and also has shown support for private intercity buslines. these are things i remember reading off the top of my head, but to say that he’s pretending he isn’t “statist” is just uninformed.

        1. Is there really an argument against private intercity buslines?

  27. The Dubai Ports deal made it hilariously obvious that the Left cares nothing about showing tolerance for Muslims if the alternative had the possibility of embarrassing George Bush.

  28. Yes, but is he still boycotting Whole Foods?

  29. I had a dream.

    A wondrous strange, blinking, illustrated dream…

  30. Well, it’s election season again, and given how close the parties seem in terms of who will control congress, that means they’ll both start pretending they’re libtertarians between now and election day in hopes that we’ll fall for it again and vote for them.

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