Libertarian History/Philosophy

5 Myths About Libertarians: Nick Gillespie in Wash Post


The Washington Post asked me to debunk 5 Myths about Libertarians and I was happy to oblige. Among the misconceptions: that libertarians are a fringe band of "hippies of the right"; that we don't care about the poor or minorities; that we're an all-boys club; and that we're pro-drug, pro-abortion, and anti-religion.

And that we're "destroying" the Republican Party by actually insisting on, you know, constitutionally limited government. Here's a snippet:

Republicans acknowledged the need for a major reboot after the 2012 election, and that's precisely what libertarian-leaning politicians are offering. Paul has proposed a budget that cuts about $500 billion in annual spending, and he has called for reform of unsustainable entitlements and an end to overseas military adventurism. What's been dubbed his "hipster outreach program" is an attempt to appeal to a wider slice of voters than middle-class whites. Republicans "need to be white, we need to be brown, we need to be black, we need to be with tattoos, without tattoos, with ponytails, without ponytails, with beards, without," he told a New Hampshire audience in May.

That's a message that might rankle stand-pat Republicans but is likely to appeal to younger voters who, according to a recent College Republican National Committee study, want government to be smaller and more inclusive.

Read the whole article.

Related: "Is Libertarianism the next big thing?" (National Review Online).

NEXT: Cal Ripken Jr. Offers $100,000 Reward over Mom's Kidnapping

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  1. There are no myths about Libertarians. I already summed it up earlier today. Here are the facts:

    1. Libertarians are Anarchists.

    2. Libertarians love drugs and hookers.

    3. Libertarians hate roads.

    3. Libertarians want women and children to die in the streets.

    4. Libertarians wears monocles.

    That’s all, folks.

    1. And first.

      1. In case you missed it on the Brazil thread, a co-worker offered this for “I’m partying”: T? na gandaia!

        1. That’s strange. Must be some type of local slang, there’s lots of it in Brazil, just like here. I’ve never heard that term before.

          For instance, in one area of Bahia, they say something like ‘seca fresa’, I know that spelling is probably not correct, but it means something like drink all the alcohol until there is no more left. Or in other words, if a couple of your amigos show up at your place and you have a fridge full of beer, and they say that term, that means your beer is soon to be all gone.

          1. “drink all the alcohol until there is no more left”

            Does that really need to be said?

          2. It’s “Drink Canada Dry” without the Canada or capitals.

    2. Why would I want children to die in the streets when they can be put to work in my salt mine?

      1. salt mines, sorry
        I don’t want you to think I just have the one.

      2. Salt mine? You’re too kind. All my child slave labor work in the coal mines.

        1. Still in Coal, eh?

          Well, I’m sure you’ll get a salt mine one day.

          1. LOL. Salt, you slay me Pantsfan. It’s all about conflict rare earth metals.

            1. rare earth metals are too important for children.
              that’s where the homeless who wander onto my properties go.

              1. They have nimble hands and the cocktail of performance enhancing drugs that supplements their gruel makes them strong enough to the do the work. Besides the homeless are always trying to steal my yttrium. I really don’t know why they love yttrium so.

          2. Some of us had to work our way up. Not everyone gets born with the monocle on their eye.

            *runs off crying*

          3. My child labor-driven salt mines are powered by wind and solar… for the children.

      3. Salt mines? You sell salt? Are you…*whispers* poor?

        I send my child laborers to work in my gold mines for a dollar a day and a bowl of broth. And they are thankful for the gainful employment.

        1. you’re aware of their feelings? I guess you could care about that.

    3. my friend’s step-aunt makes $74/hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for six months but last month her pay was $16982 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more…

    4. my roomate’s mom makes $87 every hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for 9 months but last month her paycheck was $12646 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site.. http://WWW.CNN32.COM

  2. Those WaPo commenters are just full of insight.

    Don’t go read it, you will suffer brain damage.

    1. Yeah, I made it about 5 comments in and my head melted. Our ideas are “simple” but FREE SHIT FOR ALL is deep, man.

      1. Complexity means one-size-fits-all programs for any conceivable issue.

    2. That like staring into a sun of derp.

      1. “Please, do keep quoting Ayn Rand. That tells thinking people all they need to know. Thanks!”

        Nick did not present Rand’s quote in a positive light. Makes me think Tony is one of the smarter ones.

        1. I have my doubts many of those commenters even read the article. They say libertarian and then all they saw was blah, blah kochtopus, killing poor people, slavery, somolia somolia somolia.

    3. Wow, the haters and the marginalizers were out in force in the WaPo comment thread. Not that I thought Gillespie’s article was all that great. But it was as if most of the contributors didn’t bother to read that, and instead reacted to the use of the word “libertarian” with whatever prejudices and talking points they took to heart at some time in the past and have never since re-examined. Libertarianism is bad because it is bad. Libertarians will never win because they are losers. Etc., Etc. Where do these opinion drovers COME from, anyway?

  3. I would say one big perception of libertarians, which possibly undergirds all the others, is that libertarians lack empathy, or at least are not as empathetic as others. I’m not actually sure that it is a misconception, though (and no, I am not equating empathy with government social programs). I’m curious if other self-identified libertarians share this perception?

    1. I’m curious if other self-identified libertarians share this perception?

      I do. I mean have you read any of the comments here?

      1. But you aren’t a libertarian, you’re a progressive, which is precisely why you have that perception.

        1. Perfect example. Advocating libertarian policies, but not showing sufficient hatred for non-libertarians == You must really be a progressive.

          1. Perfect example.

            Of what?

            Advocating libertarian policies, but not showing sufficient hatred for non-libertarians == You must really be a progressive.

            Oh, that. Yeah, that’s what I said Stormy, that’s exactly what I said.

            You are a progressive. You may believe that you are a libertarian, but you are not. You advocate for or defend progressive policies with near as much frequency as you do libertarian ones (that notably aren’t anathema to progressivism). I’m hardly the only person who has noticed this.

            And my post has nothing to do with “hatred” you weasel, just your fucking dishonesty.

            1. Just think of how pure Stormy and Shrike’s kids would be…

            2. Please point to an example of me advocating a progressive policy?

              1. You believe George Zimmerman should have been gone to prison for using force to defend himself from a violent punk who was beating the crap out of him.

                1. Except no, because I said given the lack of evidence as to how the fight started, he ought to be acquitted, but that I don’t personally believe his account is accurate.

                  But again, perfect example of the lack of empathy I was referring to. Thinking Zimmerman ought to be acquitted is not enough, you must also think he is a hero and be glad he removed Martin is dead. Any signs of sadness that Martin is dead render you an irreformable progressive.

                  1. Any signs of sadness that Martin is dead render you an irreformable progressive.

                    If you actually believe in the concept of justifiable homicide, remorse for the victim against whom the homicide was justified is kind of… odd. But then, failing to feel sufficiently as all right-thinking people feel renders you an un-empathetic libertarian.

                    1. I don’t think it’s odd, PM. There’s nothing about thinking Martin was in the wrong that precludes being sad that he’s dead. I’d much prefer he was still alive, and not simply because of the positive effects for Zimmerman.

      2. I like to counter that what a lot of people propose to do flies in the face of the rule of law, and that you can’t care about the children if you don’t want to bequeath them the rule of law.

      3. Yes, and that does partly influence my opinion, but it is an internet message board so I take a lot of stuff with a very tiny grain of salt. There is also a lot of thoughtful commentary.

      4. I don’t think raving partisans who turn half the world into demonic straw people, despite behaving essentially just like their rivals, get to talk to anyone about empathy. In the end, libertarians have a tendency toward rationalism — it doesn’t mean we don’t have emotional responses or see emotions as bad or invalid, but we recognize that emotions can deceive and distract.

        I do think libertarians are much less tolerant of bullshit than the other groups, and thus attach less value to image and empty hypocrisy, whether we’re talking about security theater or compassion theater. For those who value theatrics, or (worse) actually buy into it, they are going to be labeled as not caring about security or being cruel.

        1. “Compassion theatre.” That’s good, Auntie. Thanks.

          1. I like David Thompson’s term “moral preening”.

        2. Exactly this. Its part of the reason why libertarians skew largely male. We tend to try and subordinate emotion to our rational selves. We have empathy (albeit we may have a greater percentage of unempathetic insofar as we also have a greater percentage of sort of aspie types), we simply realize that sometimes the greatest way to achieve a better world is counterintuive and that people must be accountable for their own actions. Moreover, we empathize with those who are victimized by the current structure, those who work their asses off to become marginally better off but see their neighbor ciphoning their hard work through the dole, etc.

          1. We want to teach a person to fish. Liberals want someone else to give a person a fish…every day.

            1. I think they want to turn a person into a fish.

            2. Which is why the world’s fisheries are being depleted. Because they’re everybody’s fish and it’s our *our* right!

      5. I mean have you read any of the comments here?

        Ya, libertarians have a monopoly on internet flaming.

        1. Speaking of which, why would you advocate using government force to prevent me from depositing my money in the kind of bank I’d want to?

          But this is really a much better question for AlmightyJB.

        2. But is it a natural monopoly or a government-enforced one?

    2. I don’t; I see libertarians as generally being more empathetic.

      Having someone else do “good” things for people is not equivalent to getting off your ass and helping someone else yourself.

      1. I find helping people only occasionally helps them, and then someone tells me I’m not allowed to help.

      2. I completely agree. But are libertarians any more or less likely to take charity into their own hands? I honestly don’t know the answer to that but I would love to see a study that answers the question.

        1. While not specific to libertarians, the general evidence is that conservatives are much more personally generous (in terms of charitable giving) than progressives.

      3. Libertarians are not empathetic because they are not smart enough to see the only entity capable of provide help to others, always and exclusively, is government. And you are only empathetic if you believe that supporting policies that amount to confiscation of wealth from others, to do good things, is what makes you empathetic.

        /progtard off

      4. The usual form of help is stealing money from productive workers to send people to prison or shoot them.

    3. Libertarian philosophy does require a devotion to logic and reason, which means ignoring THE FEELS in favor of evaluating the evidence and the facts in a thoughtful manner.

      I don’t see that as a bad thing at all since look how deranged and retarded the compassionate left went over the Zimmerman trial. No amount of evidence could convince them that Zimmerman was not guilty and that Martin probably wasn’t an innocent victim. Nope, it just FELT like Zimmerman was a murderer.

      1. Heck, its even okay to FEEL like Zim was a murderer as long as, the the juror, you dont actually use those feelings to make decisions.

        My favorite all time response:

        Dont you have a heart?

        Yes, I use it to pump blood, I use my brain to think.

        1. like that juror. Typing is not a libertarian skill.

      2. “Libertarian philosophy does require a devotion to logic and reason, which means ignoring THE FEELS in favor of evaluating the evidence and the facts in a thoughtful manner.”


    4. I haven’t observed that to be the case. That “big perception” seems to come mostly from progressivists who are all too eager to pat themselves on the back for giving away other peoples’ money.

      1. ^This^ Listen to an NPR fundraiser sometime. I’m surprised those folks don’t dislocate a shoulder from patting themselves on the back…

    5. I’m not sure how advocating for the minimum amount of coercion in society is somehow a sign of lack of empathy.

      To me, the ones who constantly demand that more and more and more coercion be applied to more and more and more people are the ones who should have their empathy questioned.

      1. The lack of empathy isn’t in what libertarians advocate for, but rather how they advocate for it.

        We can, for example, look at Detroit and feel horrified by the number of people who’s lives are going to be hurt, if not positively destroyed, by the bankruptcy and argue that more libertarian policies could have avoided it.

        But if you look around here a lot of people seem positively giddy about it because now they’re going to get to see the infidels suffer for their failure to recognize our superiority.

        1. Empathy is caring that a child burned his hand on the stove. Seeing an adult doing it day after day after even though you keep tell him not to do it just becomes funny at a certain point.

          1. This. At some point you just run out.

          2. Sympathy dude. Empathy is knowing that the child was exploring and had no idea that the burner was hot.

            1. Not to get hung up on the pedantry, but I think that most of us are using empathy in the modern usage: to feel the pain or needs of others. Sympathy is the acting upon the empathy in expressiveness or deeds.


              1. screw the modern usage then. It’s wrong.

              2. to feel the pain or needs of others.

                yes. the ability to understand how someone else thinks or feels.

                My first reading of Sugar’s comment missed that interpretation.

              3. to feel the pain or needs of others. Sympathy is the acting upon the empathy in expressiveness or deeds.

                That’s not right at all. Sympathy literally means same feeling and is used when you know what another person is going through because you’ve experienced it before. Empathy means you feel something through another person, meaning you feel their pain or whatever even though you’ve never been in that situation yourself.

            2. Go yell at the people tell us we don’t have empathy. They started this semantic war.

              1. sorry dude

                1. I was just being snarky. I don’t really want to yell at anyone except JW. Who is the worst. Ugh. JW is the Britta Perry of Hit & Run.

                  1. who said I was sincere 😉

                  2. What’s worse is that he doesn’t look like Gillian Jacobs.

                    1. What’s worse is that he doesn’t look like Gillian Jacobs.

                      That you know of.

              2. Them fuckin anti-semantics!

                1. We just need to give everyone a Voight- Kampff test. Problem solved.

        2. We can, for example, look at Detroit and feel horrified by the number of people who’s lives are going to be hurt, if not positively destroyed, by the bankruptcy and argue that more libertarian policies could have avoided it.

          I’ve mostly moved beyond empathy at this stage, to pointing and laughing.

          The statists created this mess, the statists can live with the results. I’m done trying to teach pigs to sing.

        3. Short Stormy: “derp”

        4. The only people I feel bad for in Detroit are the one’s who have no choice to leave because their parents decided to stay.

          At some point, at a state level, you have to say enough is enough, pack up your shit, and head for greener pastures.

          Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to do when the entire country gets swallowed into the madness.

        5. Stormy, I don’t think that’s at all unique to libertarians.

        6. But if you look around here a lot of people seem positively giddy about it because now they’re going to get to see the infidels suffer for their failure to recognize our superiority.

          I think that’s not it. I think its our policy recommendations, or rather, the cartoon versions of our policy recommendations (“every man for himself! let the poor starve!”) that are the root of this canard.

          And I’m not taking any lessons in empathetic communication from Statists, who traffic in demonization, dehumanization, and inciting mobs.

        7. horrified by the number of people who’s lives are going to be hurt, if not positively destroyed, by the bankruptcy


          The shit’s been going on there for FIFTY years and progressives were at the heart of it. Why ignore the 50 years of lives destroyed by the coercive policies and pretend MORE lives are going to be ruined by the current bankruptcy? I suggest that ZERO lives will be destroyed by the bankruptcy EXCEPT for those who were busy destroying the lives of other Detroiters over the last 50 years.

          The bankruptcy is the beginning of the end for most of these scams and I’m supposed to find something bad about it? Sounds like psychopathy as empathy and I want no part of it.

        8. You have to be careful because this is and has always been a favorite ploy of totalitarian scum. They demand to be allowed to screw things up as badly as they want, then once the situation becomes untenable, they demand everyone “put aside their differences” and help fix the mess they created.

          If you make your bed, you must lie in it, otherwise there can be no learning.

          If the various powers in Detroit will loudly admit they’re idiots and they suck and promise to never place themselves in a position of power over others, ever again, in any fashion, then I’ll feel sympathy.

        9. Except statism fueled by empathy has become the new coin of the realm. Listen to the discussions about Detroit. The proglodytes are treating it like its some sort of natural disaster that is divorced from policies. Joining in on the empathy-fest just lends credence to this sort of nonsense. Also, at some point, empathy should entail some sense of justice. The people of Detroit chose their policies. Consistently. Seeing the consequence of those policies being visited on them is just.

      2. Or to put it another way, “I’m teaching the children to think for themselves. You’re teaching them to use the bully power of government to get what they want. How is that good for the children?”

        (That you of course doesn’t refer to the previous poster, but the generic sort of person who claims libertarians don’t have empathy.)

      3. I’m not sure how advocating for the minimum amount of coercion in society is somehow a sign of lack of empathy.

        Individual rights are human rights.

    6. I think some of us have empathy. We just think it has no place in the government sector and so compartmentalize it to our private actions.

      1. Agreed, we don’t lack empathy. We just don’t consider it to be the first consideration.

        1. Or third, or fifth.

          1. Why do you hate people?

            1. Why do you hate people?

              Have you met them?

        2. How can you claim to have empathy when you clearly oppose the creation of a Department of Empathy?

          1. The Dept of Statism
            The Dept of (empathetic War) Offense
            The Dept of Just (trust) Us
            The Dept of the Entirety

            One more little department couldn’t hurt.

      2. robc, that is a very interesting description. I totally understand where you are coming from. But I worry that divorcing empathy completely from the government sector dooms libertarianism from the beginning, because it seems like a vast majority of the public doesn’t want that. So I wonder if there is a way to allow empathy and government to mix, at least to a degree, while staying true to libertarian principles? It is a strategic consideration on some level, but an important one, I think.

        1. So I wonder if there is a way to allow empathy and government to mix, at least to a degree, while staying true to libertarian principles?

          Well, as mentioned somewhere else, Im probably also confusing empathy and sympathy, as I was using the terms as the progs do, so, no, there is no place for sympathy in government.

          You can go back to the Davy Crockett speech and see what sympathy in government leads to.

          1. alleged speech.

          2. sympathy in govt leads the same place as that ROADZ paved with good intentions

        2. Libertarians have empathy for the Little Red Hen. Team Blue has empathy for the Duck, the Pig, the Dog, and the Cat and despise the Hen. Team Red in theory supports the hen, but the Dog, Duck, Pig and Cat provide more votes.

          1. The hen was hardly Red. She was a Kochian Kapitalist…and she used GMO wheat!
            If she wasn’t so juiced on antibiotics, she should be beheaded, plucked and eaten.

    7. Considering that the compassion that the statists claim to have is a completely false compassion (see: Other People’s Money) and is one based on coercion and dependency, not agency and voluntary transactions, I’d say that libertarians are fucktons more compassionate.

    8. Well, it’s not necessarily untrue. In fact, it’s kind of the point. We don’t give a crap what other people do, which is to their benefit. The empathetic ones are the same people who want to put you in chains “for your own good”.

      1. Compassionate Fascism.

      2. They SWAT-raid us because they care.

        1. Federal hollow-points- “When you care enough to send the very best”.

      3. “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 number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

    9. Progressives routinely misuse empathy (the ability to understand another person’s point of view) when they really mean sympathy (feeling concern for someone else).

      In reality, most progressives utterly fail at empathy because that cannot possibly fathom anyone thinking or feeling anything other than they do.

      1. Perhaps I misused it, too. What I was talking about was more in line with what you describe as sympathy.

        1. sympathy depends upon empathy, but they are not the same.

        2. Note that the “sympathy” of people that have no real empathy is false. They feel concern for other people, but expect that the right answer for those people is what would be right for themselves. This can lead to disastrous results for the people that progressives so desperately want to help.

      2. I think it’s that progressives, moreso than any other political group, are masters of projection. Once you get done conjuring imagining illusory flaws and traits in everyone else in line with your own, it’s pretty easy to believe you really understand everyone.

        1. Progressives “project” (what they think other people think) because they actually have no empathy (the can’t understand what other people actually think).

      3. ya, I tried to say this below.

        I’m empathetic as a mofo, at least compared to starbucks-progressives.

        It’s sympathy that has been drained slowly from my body over time. Forget about the esoteric hairsplitting dorm room conversations about the fine line between minarchism and anarchism; We can’t even get basic concepts like “Price Caps Make Shortages” across, so when morons vote for other morons who create shortages through price caps, you got two choices: you let the morons make you cry, or you laugh at them for being morons.

        1. Empathy is not inherently good or evil.

          Con-men are some of the most empathetic people you will ever meet.

    10. I have a friend who identifies as liberal. She is very smart, reasonable and agrees with me on a number of issues. But she told me one reason she does not identify as a libertarian is because she thinks libertarians lack empathy.

      I tried to tell her part of the reason I am persuaded by libertarianism is because it’s better for the poor/less fortunate/etc.

      I think for people like her, it’s more of a “I don’t want to appear less empathetic to others” rather than “libertarians are heartless.” That’s a big problem, though (mostly) no fault of our own.

      1. *Sympathy, not empathy.

      2. Well, liberals used the whole “we’re not anti-American, we’e just against America’s foreign policy, because blah … ” argument to good effect, maybe we could try something similar.

        We’re not against poor people we’re just against the policies the government is pursuing, because it won’t help them and will make things work.

        1. I guess what I’m trying to say is that she would agree with that point, but she’s not willing to hold her self out to the world as agreeing with that point, as she doesn’t want to seem uncaring.

          She mostly agrees with us, but doesn’t want anyone to know.

          1. Gee, in another 25 years, we’ll be able to shake liberal’s hands in broad daylight…

        2. I’ve had liberal friends get really confused when I’ve told them that our current immigration system is inhumane. It’s like a sucker punch when you can explain your point in their idiom.

          1. Good call. I think that’s why Kling’s “three-axes” model is so appealing to me. I don’t use it enough when conversing with liberals/conservatives but will try to remember going forward.

      3. Yep. What progressives call empathy is more accurately described as VANITY.

      4. I don’t even think “libertarians have no empathy” is a pretext for “I don’t want to appear less empathetic to others”.

        I think its just convenient excuse for claiming moral superiority (“I’m empathetic and you’re not!”) over someone who is an “other” to her in-group (liberal/progs).

    11. would say one big perception of libertarians, which possibly undergirds all the others, is that libertarians lack empathy, or at least are not as empathetic as others.

      Do libertarians lack empathy? No. Do libertarians lack SYMPATHY? If the commentariat is any indication, yes.

    12. liberals are worse about this than conservatives because liberals, by and large, tend to measure empathy by the amount of taxpayer money can be funneled to some project or other. Study after study has shown conservatives more giving of their own cash and I would assume libertarians fall into that camp. To the left, empathy is only possible thru coercion.

      1. They’re just lazy. It is far, far easier to vote “Yes” than to, y’know, actually donate your own money, volunteer your time, let homeless people crash in your living room, that sort of thing.

        They’re lazy and they’re smug about it.

      2. Progs don’t trust people to manage their own time and money to help others. They only trust themselves and see no problems confiscating other people’s wealth to achieve their moral vision. Progs are arrogant, cynical thieves.

    13. It’s not empathy that I lack. It’s sympathy.

      I see your view point. I understand how you (rherotical you, not you Lynch) feel. I just don’t give a shit, because I’m tired of you pissing on me and telling me it’s raining.

    14. That misconception is progtard projection plain and simple.

    15. “I would say one big perception of libertarians, which possibly undergirds all the others, is that libertarians lack empathy, or at least are not as empathetic as others.”

      I don’t understand how people can think this.

      1. First, jack up your ego.

        It’ll come pretty quickly after that. “Hey everybody, look at how empathic I AM!!! I AM BETTER THAN YOU!!”

        1. I guess my joke wasn’t as good as I thought it was. 🙁

          1. Don’t worry, I understood it.

    16. Actually, no. By and large, libertarians tend to actually be pretty kindly people. The difference is between empathy and unthinking reaction based on empathy. That is to say, between empathy and allowing empathy to trump thought.

    17. Generally, I’ve found libertarians the most likely to feel enough concern to actually THINK about the nature of the problem. Throwing other people’s money at the problem for your own moral aggrandizement is not an act of empathy or sympathy. It’s an act of vanity. Considering the nature of the problem and identifying ways that the individual can resolve those issues on their own is an act of moral generosity.

  4. Libertarian personal life survey:
    White, more or less.
    Ponytail, no.
    Beard, yes.
    Tatoos, no.
    Hookers, never.
    Fringe, yes.
    Poor, have been poor.
    Rich, have been rich.
    Boys club, gods no!
    Drugs, no.
    Abortions, no.
    Religions, no.
    Destroying Republican Party, sure, where’s the backpack?

    1. White, check.
      Ponytail, not since most of my hair fell out.
      Beard, check.
      Tattoo, check.
      Hookers, nah.
      Fringe, well, on the inside, sure.
      Poor/”rich”, yes to both.
      Boys club, who cares.
      Drugs, some.
      Abortions, none personally.
      Religion, not organized, no.
      Destroying Republican Party, well, so long as it operates as a member in good standing of TEAM BE RULED, why not?

      1. White, check.
        Ponytail, nope, need to get my head buzzed, my hair is touching my ear.
        Beard, nope.
        Tattoo, nope.
        Hookers, nope.
        Fringe, sure, but in the opposite direction.
        Poor/rich, nope to both, Ive been on both ends of middle class, but dont think I broke out to either direction.
        Boys club? Dont know what that means.
        Drugs…does alcohol count? Otherwise, I dont even like taking sudafed.
        Abortions, nope.
        Religion, yes.
        Destroying GOP? They are doing that fine themselves, but thanks for asking.

        1. White, check.
          Ponytail, never.
          Beard, not since it started turning grey
          Tattoo, nope.
          Hookers, nope.
          Fringe, I haven’t worn fringe since the 60’s/70’s.
          Poor, does not having enought money to buy groceries for the kids count? Never been homeless though
          Rich, currently above the 90th percentile, but doctors and some laywers make way more than I do
          Boys club? Boy Scouts, never had an interest in the boys-club/girs-club
          Drugs, not in 2 decades
          Abortions, nope.
          Religion, nope
          Destroying GOP? Well,I don’t hate them as much as I now hate Democrats

        2. White, check.
          Ponytail, Never
          Beard, nope.
          Tattoo, nope.
          Hookers, No, but I’m willing to try
          Fringe, It was an OK show
          Poor/rich, Been poor, now solidly middle-class
          Boys club? Boy Scouts
          Drugs, Yes, please
          Abortions, Never had one.
          Religion, if it brings you comfort
          Destroying GOP? Is next Tuesday good for you?

    2. Libertarian personal life survey:
      White, yep.
      Ponytail, yep.
      Beard, no.
      Tattoos, yep.
      Hookers, never.
      Fringe, I don’t know.
      Poor, not really.
      Rich, pretty much.
      Boys club, no.
      Drugs, please.
      Abortions, sure.
      Religions, no.
      Destroying Republican Party, please.

    3. White, check.
      Ponytail, never
      Beard, check.
      Tattoo(s), check.
      Hookers, only once.
      Fringe, no doubt.
      Poor/”rich”, poor, only rich by “world” standards.
      Boys club, I don’t know what this means. A place to molest little boys?
      Drugs, a few times a year.
      Abortions, FOR EVERYONE.
      Religion, not organized, no.
      Destroying Republican Party, …and their partners in crime. You know, the Green Party.

      1. White,yes
        Ponytail, not since the early 90’s.
        Beard, also in the 90’s
        Tattoo, 1 in process of removing.
        Hookers, all for it.
        Fringe, hardly
        Poor, raised lower middle class,but never poor as I’ve always been employed – even when it meant 3 jobs.
        Rich, I don’t consider myself rich, I make a decent living, but piss away enough to still be paycheck to paycheck.
        Boys club? never
        Drugs, no, but just cause my mind/personality isn’t comfortable being out of control.
        Abortions, not moral, but often practical and shouldn’t be illegal.
        Religion, I try it once in a while, but basically agnostic. Told the last pastor where I went “my god doesn’t really give a shit about some of these things you spend your sermons on”. He was very cool about it BTW.
        Destroying GOP? given up on politics and parties

        1. Drugs, no, but just cause my mind/personality isn’t comfortable being out of control.

          Drugs don’t make you unstable, unstable people taking drugs cause drama.

    4. Libertarian personal life survey:
      White, more than less, but qualified
      Ponytail, God no.
      Beard, no.
      Tatoos, no.
      Hookers, in my youth.
      Fringe, hell, make that Edge.
      Poor, have been poor.
      Rich, doing okay.
      Boys club, boys are the competition.
      Drugs, yup.
      Abortions, no.
      Religions, starting my own cult soon. It’s gonna be great.
      Destroying Republican Party, I made Shreek a promise to do that if, was it Christie or Santorum?, got nominated. Anyway, the terms are flexible.

      1. Wait, I translated to mean if it was asking if I had an abortion or paid for one. It didn’t even occur to me that there was a legal stance to take here, which is, I’m an anarchist, I don’t even believe in jailing murderers of adults. Fucking rent seeking murder victim families. Pay for your own damn investigation and justice.

        1. Wait, I translated to mean if it was asking if I had an abortion or paid for one.

          That’s what I meant: What are you, or what have you done. Abortions? Never got one, never caused one, never paid for one.

          1. Glad you cleared that up. Well, for me, others likely didn’t get confused about it.

          2. I’m responsible for two. I’m fine with that.

            1. No problem. I think you should be free to abort them until they’re off your dime.

              I could easily have caused abortions. I have four kids from my two marriages, and two more kids besides.

            2. I wonder which one of your enemies among the commenters here is the one that survived. Who sounds most like they got a piece of wire hanger lodged in their brains?

              1. They were legal abortions, so only suction was involved, no wire hangers.

                1. +1 Joan Crawford

    5. Libertarian personal life survey:
      White, yes
      Ponytail, no.
      Beard, yes, but well kept if I do say so myself.
      Tatoos, no.
      Hookers, no.
      Fringe, sort of by default, right?
      Poor/rich: Neither. Comfortable and happy with that.
      Boys club, hope not. I like boobs too much.
      Drugs, no, but I’m curious. Just don’t know where to go and don’t want to take the risk.
      Abortions, no, but not for religious reasons.
      Religions, Yes, but not in my government.
      Destroying Republican Party, honestly, I don’t care. I just want someone to consistently stand on the side of freedom.

    6. White, Yes
      Ponytail, No
      Beard, Sometimes
      Tattoo, Yes
      Hookers, Yes
      Fringe, Yes
      Poor/”rich”, Somewhere in the middle.
      Boys club, Not really
      Drugs, Not anymore (Don’t want the State to take my son)
      Abortions, None, but have at it.
      Religion, Nope.
      Destroying Republican Party, Absolutely.

      1. The hookers were in my younger, pre marital days.

        1. Mine too, but I’m totally fine with couples who pay someone to come and play with them. A lot of people have better sexual imaginations that I do. I like being entirely focused on a soft, pretty woman exchanging tactile sensations. Boring to some, but that’s what has always puts me in my happiest place.

          1. Yeah, other couples can do what they want. Most people would probably think my wife and I are pretty boring sexually.

            1. You guys are so boring, I had to quit looking… after a while

    7. Libertarian personal life survey:
      White? Very
      Ponytail? N
      Beard? Y
      tattoos? N
      Hookers? N
      Fringe? N
      Poor? Grew up lower middle class, both set of grandparents extremely poor
      Rich? I do OK.
      Boys club? I am bepenised.
      Drugs? Yes, please.
      Abortion? Not that I know of.
      Religions? N
      Destroying Republican Party? I hope so.

      1. Oh NutraSweet.

        White? Where does “swarthy WOP” fall here?
        Ponytail? Fuck no.
        Beard? Permastubble.
        Tattoos? Fuck no.
        Hookers? I don’t pay for sex. Ever.
        Fringe? I have no idea what this means.
        Poor? FUCK NO. Not ever.
        Rich? Me or my family in general?
        Boys club? I have no idea what this means.
        Drugs? FUCK YEAH. I’m loaded right now. At work.
        Abortion? At least two that I’m responsible for.
        Religions? Hell no.
        Destroying GOP? Sounds excellent to me as long as I can destroy the Dems too.

    8. Libertarian personal life survey:
      White: I tan well, but yes.
      Ponytail: rat-tail as a toddler in the ’80s.
      Beard: to excess.
      Tatoos: nyet.
      Hookers: when I can get it for free?
      Fringe: are we talking about the show? I liked the show.
      Poor: 0-9.
      Rich: 9-18.
      Boys club: no.
      Drugs: negligible.
      Abortions: not properly equipped.
      Religions: enjoy studying them, less enthusiastic about practicing.
      Destroying Republican Party: wouldn’t mind a major realignment, not holding breath.

    9. Libertarian personal life survey:
      White, yep.
      Ponytail, nope.
      Beard, nope.
      Tattoos, nope.
      Hookers, nope.
      Fringe, Sure
      Poor, not in any real sense.
      Rich, more than most and looking for more
      Boys club, yes
      Drugs, nope.
      Abortions, not for me but maybe for thee
      Religions, yes, Roman Catholic is my brand of choice
      Destroying Republican Party, can we take down the other one too?

      1. White, sorta- I’m from desert people.
        Ponytail, no, that’s just pitiful.
        Beard, yes, short and gray.
        Tattoo, not in this lifetime.
        Hookers, never needed to pay (I have alimony for that).
        Fringe, huh what?
        Poor, yes, in a financial sense (alimony again!).
        Boys club? I prefer girls, married a libertarian this time.
        Drugs, only if I could find some.
        Abortions, illegal once the fetus shows organized neural activity.
        Religion, skeptic.
        Destroying GOP? What, and lose the entertainment value?
        Monocle, if I could figure out how to not look so much like Col. Klink.

        1. Oh, monocle! I knew I forgot something important!

        2. White yes
          Ponytail, no
          Beard, more like really long stubble
          Tattoo, nope.
          Hookers, nope
          Fringe, isn’t that a TV show?
          Poor, only because i’m financing a wedding, a down payment, and law school all within 8 months of one another.
          Boys club? Boys club seals, boys club sandwich, boys club foot.
          Drugs, nope
          Abortions, Nope
          Religion, Yessir
          Destroying GOP? I guess, since having to waste my two first presidential votes on John ‘My Friends’ McCain and Mitt ‘RomneyCare’ Romney is what forced me out of the GOP.

    10. Libertarian personal life survey:

      Finally! An answer to the Buttplug Freedom Purity Test!

      1. I guess we need two columns for this, one for your own life (what I intended) and one for what you think people should be free to do.

    11. White, Yes
      Ponytail, no.
      Beard, no
      Tatoos, no.
      Hookers, once
      Fringe, Not really I’m no anarchist
      Poor, never
      Rich, not really
      Boys club, Male
      Drugs, Never
      Abortions, no.
      Religions, no.
      Destroying Republican Party, I prefer

      1. Subversion works for me.

        Frankly, I grew up poor enough I’ve always been to cheap to pay for it.

      2. Just to prove you don’t have to have a penis to be libertarian,

        White, yes
        Ponytail, not since high school
        Beard, no
        Tatoos, no
        Hookers, no (and should be legal)
        Fringe, like the show
        Poor/rich, yes and yes
        Boys club, no, but always had more male friends than female
        Drugs, back in the day, waiting for legalization to come to Texas
        Abortion, don’t like it, but should be available
        Religion, 95% of Christians give Jesus a bad name; trying to be one of the 5%
        Destroying Republican Party, meh, they can do that themselves

        1. White, yes
          Ponytail, too much hair, braids or bun if it’s up
          Beard, no
          Tatoos, no
          Hookers, no (also yes, legalize them)
          Fringe, LOVE the show
          Poor/rich, yes and yes
          Boys club, no, Girl Scout, feminist, women’s college grad, still libertarian
          Drugs, no, even though I live in Canerda now
          Abortion, no
          Religion, no, but I like my old church community
          Destroying Republican Party, yes pls

    12. White: EXTREMELY.
      Ponytail: NO.
      Beard: NO.
      Tatoos: NO.
      Hookers: depends on how pedantic your definition.
      Fringe: never had a Nehru jacket.
      Poor: have been poor.
      Rich: NO.
      Boys club: yeah so?
      Drugs: too much of a tightwad.
      Abortions: your business not mine.
      Religions: meh.
      Destroying Republican Party: they don’t need my help.

    13. White: Si
      Ponytail: Hell no.
      Beard: No.
      Tattoos: Nein
      Hookers: Considering, but no.
      Fringe: ?
      Poor, have been poor: No. Qualifier: was horribly broke for a six year period. I’m sensitive about the flagrant misuse of the word ‘poor’.
      Rich: In love: No. IN Wealth: No.
      Boys club: ? Huh?
      Drugs: Occasionally.
      Abortions: I’m male
      Religions: Nein
      Destroying the GOP: Yes, with fire.

      1. Sorry, misunderstood ‘boys club’.

        I revise to: Yes.

    14. Libertarian personal life survey:
      White: Doctor thought I was an albino when I was born.
      Ponytail: No.
      Beard: Teenagers can grow a thicker beard than I can.
      Tatoos: No, but always wanted an Ouroboros around my wrist.
      Hookers: No.
      Fringe: No, but everyone thinks I’m nuts.
      Poor/Rich: Various levels of middle class.
      Boys club: Sausage fests are no fun.
      Drugs: Not my thing, don’t care if others partake.
      Abortions: No (I had a friend in high school who did, and regrets it to this day. She described as the worst day of her life.).
      Religions: I enjoy learning about religion, but have a serious aversion to dogma.
      Destroying Republican Party: Only the Republicans? Party politics is a losing game, the only way to win is to destroy them all.

      1. Tatoos: No, but always wanted an Ouroboros around my wrist.

        Cowboy Bebop FTW!

    15. Libertarian personal life survey:
      White, half white, half sicilian.
      Ponytail, no.
      Beard, no.
      Tatoos, no.
      Hookers, no.
      Fringe, I’ve never been much of a joiner.
      Poor, have been poor.
      Rich, no.
      Boys club, no
      Drugs, no.
      Abortions, not personally.
      Religions, no.
      Destroying Republican Party, creative destruction

      As you can see I’m very contrary.

      1. Wait, number 11 should be yes. I guess I should have read the survey before answering.

    16. Libertarian personal life survey:
      White, yes
      Ponytail, no.
      Beard, no.
      Tattoos, no.
      Hookers, no.
      Fringe, no.
      Poor/rich, Comfortable
      Boys club, no
      Drugs, never
      Abortions, only in extreme cases
      Religions, Yes.
      Destroying Republican Party – we’re stuck with a 2 party system and Team D doesn’t understand fiscal conservatism and loves handouts, so I guess reform Team R it is.

    17. Libertarian personal life survey:
      White, yes.
      Ponytail, no.
      Beard, yes.
      Tatoos, yes.
      Hookers, never.
      Fringe, yes.
      Poor, middle class
      Rich, never.
      Boys club, Does Marine Artillery (no girls allowed) count?
      Drugs, no.
      Abortions, no.
      Religions, no.
      Destroying Republican Party, Take the Dems with them.

      1. Libertarian Personal Life Survey:

        White: No, Irish.
        Ponytail: Hell no, but whatever floats your boat.
        Beard: Why not?
        Tattoos: Used to be edgier
        Hookers: What Paul Simon said.
        Fringe: Suppose so.
        Poor/Rich: Played both parts
        Boys Club? Nah.
        Abortions: Tough question
        Religion: Gave up Catholocism for Lent
        Somalia: Strongly in favour of.
        Ayn Rand: Not a big fan
        Monocle: Only to count gold

    18. Libertarian personal life survey:
      White, yes.
      Ponytail, no.
      Beard, yesish.
      Tatoos, no but I want one.
      Hookers, no.
      Fringe, yes.
      Poor, college student.
      Rich, college student.
      Boys club, I am male but don’t like them!
      Drugs, all the time.
      Abortions, no.
      Religions, no.
      Destroying Republican Party, where do I sign up?

      1. Libertarian personal life survey:
        White, Swedish half yes, southern Italian half not so much
        Ponytail, no
        Beard, no
        Tatoos, not hip enough
        Hookers, too cheap
        Fringe,only on my buckskins
        Poor, a period cash starved but not “poor” in my mind
        Rich, doing okay with a walk in humidor for my monocles
        Boys club, not in my town
        Drugs, alcohol is my choice
        Abortions, improper genetic structure so none for me and not my decision for others
        Religions, study of primitive society is interesting-as an outsider.
        Destroying Republican Party, only if the Dems burn in the same flames

    19. Libertarian personal life survey:
      White, Yeah
      Ponytail, No.
      Beard, No.
      Tatoos, No.
      Hookers, In my youth.
      Fringe, No.
      Poor, Been There.
      Rich, Done That.
      Boys club, What does this mean? I have a penis. Is that it?
      Drugs, No more than the last three presidents.
      Abortions, No.
      Religions, Haven’t found one that works for me.
      Destroying Republican Party, Rather take it over.

  5. The Washington Post asked me to debunk 5 Myths about Libertarians and I was happy to oblige.

    “I just want to tell you both good luck. We’re all counting on you.”

    Maybe we should change our name to the Sisyphusians.

  6. Destroying the Republican Party is a feature, not a myth.

  7. The best argument for libertarian policies is to continue to expose the effects of the opposite. Drug war, over-regulation, and over-criminalization give us story after story of how people of all classes are being burdened. The loss of employment opportunities and the costs of bureaucracy are the best way to get the message across. People won’t respond to abstracts in list form.

    1. I think most people would agree that the opposite is bad. However, they think something in the middle between the extremes is best. That’s actually a pretty good heuristic when you think about most things in life, i.e. that the extremes are bad, somewhere in the middle is best.

      So arguing against the opposite extreme isn’t a good way to argue for an extreme.

  8. What about the myth that there are female libertarians?

    1. Not true! Um, Nikki, Kaptious, Lucy, Julie Browoski, um shit.

      1. I know one and a half. A friend from college, and one I’m trying to fully convert.

        1. There are two and three-quarter libertarians in my YAL group.

          Two full libertarians, one left-leaning, and two right-leaning.

          1. Female libertarians, or libertarians total?

        2. When I was an intern with the Koch Summer Fellow Program, the class was nearly half female. Same goes when I was an intern at Cato the spring prior. But that could be the result of a large number of applicants to choose from. Might not have been a representative sample.

      2. You left out Naomi Brockwell.

        1. Sallie James. Karol Boudreaux. Michelle Fields.

          1. Michelle Fields.

            Didn’t she get beaten by New York’s finest? If so, that gets her some points.

            1. Don’t think so. She’s formerly of Reason.TV (I think) and now is a correspondent who appears on Fox and FBN.

              She made Matt Damon look like an idiot once. Though progressives thought he made her look dumb, because, well, they’re dumb.

    2. Kennedy – duh!

      1. Well, obviously Kennedy. And Lucy. And KMW.

        1. You forgot Shikha.

          Oh, wait.

        2. What about Kerry Howley?

          1. She never claimed to be one and has formally recanted any implications that she ever was, IIRC.

            1. Something about how she and Will are so very, very smart they could make billionaires pay them to fake it.

    3. Actually one of my best friends is a female libertarian. Granted that’s the only one I know or even know of lol.

  9. Only a bizarre and twisted concept of “empathy” denies others the freedom to be left alone.

    1. Only a bizarre and twisted concept of “empathy” denies others the freedom to be left alone.

      I see it’s time for our friend Cass Sunstein to make another appearance.

      Sunstein has argued, “We should celebrate tax day.”[26] Sunstein argues that since government (in the form of police, fire departments, insured banks, and courts) protects and preserves property and liberty, individuals should happily finance it with their tax dollars:

      “In what sense is the money in our pockets and bank accounts fully ‘ours’? Did we earn it by our own autonomous efforts? Could we have inherited it without the assistance of probate courts? Do we save it without the support of bank regulators? Could we spend it if there were no public officials to coordinate the efforts and pool the resources of the community in which we live? Without taxes, there would be no liberty. Without taxes there would be no property. Without taxes, few of us would have any assets worth defending. [It is] a dim fiction that some people enjoy and exercise their rights without placing any burden whatsoever on the public? There is no liberty without dependency.”[26]

      1. Sunstein goes on to say:

        “If government could not intervene effectively, none of the individual rights to which Americans have become accustomed could be reliably protected. […] This is why the overused distinction between “negative” and “positive” rights makes little sense. Rights to private property, freedom of speech, immunity from police abuse, contractual liberty and free exercise of religion ? just as much as rights to Social Security, Medicare and food stamps ? are taxpayer-funded and government-managed social services designed to improve collective and individual well-being.”

        1. and this fucker is taken seriously, as if govt sprouted absent of any input from we teh people, giving itself magical powers to make all things right.

          Probate court was set up so that a person’s assets could be rightfully transferred to his/her heirs, and it was set up by we the people; it did not materialize on its own. And I’m pretty sure there would be liberty without taxes. People are kinda resourceful about working together to achieve mutually beneficial goals. That free will thing comes to mind. Again.


        3. And I’m sure dear Cassie is paying an 80% rate voluntarily, right?

          No? He doesn’t? He sucks money from the private sector based on his access to the levers of power?

          Oh, okay, so he’s basically a parasite trying to convince his host that there’s a symbiosis.

      2. Wow, just wow.

        Did we earn it by our own autonomous efforts?


        Could we have inherited it without the assistance of probate courts?


        Do we save it without the support of bank regulators?


        Could we spend it if there were no public officials to coordinate the efforts and pool the resources of the community in which we live?


        Once again, wow.

        There is no liberty without dependency.

        Fuck off, slavers.

        1. Could we spend it if there were no public officials to coordinate the efforts and pool the resources of the community in which we live?

          Holy shit. Ignorance has no limits, and an advanced Ivy League degree serves as booster rocket fuel.

  10. Among the misconceptions: that libertarians are a fringe band of “hippies of the right”; that we don’t care about the poor or minorities; that we’re an all-boys club; and that we’re pro-drug, pro-abortion, and anti-religion

    Those are the wrong myths to debunk.

    Here’s my list:

    1. Libertarians are defenders of corporate capitalism.

    Actually libertarians are against crony capitalism, corporate welfare, and special favors for anyone. In a truly free market everyone would play by the same rules, because nobody could get any special tax breaks or regulatory loopholes. Nobody would be allowed to buy a market advantage by bribing the right politicians.

    2. Libertarians believe that “greed is good” and that everyone should only pursue their self-interest all the time.

    This myth comes from confusion about the difference between the egoism advocated by Ayn Rand and libertarianism as a political philosophy. Egoism is a personal moral philosophy about how individuals should act. Libertarianism is a political philosophy about how government should treat individuals. Libertariansism *harnesses* individual self-interest and turns it into a social benefit, but it does not require that people behave self-interestedly. In some ways, libertarianism expects people to act in the public interest by *refraining* from using coercive means to get what they want. I.e. by not voting for more benefits for themself.

    1. 3. Libertarians think that wealthy corporations and rich people should be allowed to do whatever they want.

      Actually libertarians believe that everyone should be forbidden from using force or fraud. Rich and poor alike should deal with eachother through contractual relationships from which both sides benefit and voluntarily agree to. Libertarians believe that the courts should enforce all laws and contracts equally, for rich and poor alike, so that neither side has an unfair advantage.

      1. 4. Libertarians lack empathy.

        Actually we have lots of empathy. For instance, for homeowners who have had their homes seized through eminent domain. For business owners who have been driven out of business or shut down by regulation. For taxpayers who are forced to cough up ever larger sums to finance the government prolifigate spending habits. For people spending years in jail due to minor drug offenses. For people who have had their propery seized through civil asset forfeiture without being convicted of any crime. For immigrants who cannot legally work for anyone without getting permission from the government. For people trapped in poverty who can’t even open a beauty parlor in their house without getting a license. For people whose children are seized by the government becuase they were caught smoking weed.

        We have lots of empathy, for lots of different victims of government tyranny.

        1. I was going to give you a snarky “cool story, bro” for the lulz, but I can’t – VERY well done, HazelMeade!


          1. Yeah, I think #4 is well written.

            1. I need to add a few things though…

              For people whose dogs have been shot by SWAT teams.

            2. Not crazy about that one, because any argument starting with empathy as the reason for doing x can be turned on you. It’s not a good argument against positive rights claims:

              . . . homeowners whose living arrangement is spared by eminent domain. For business owners who have been able to get low interest loans through regulatory preference. For the working poor who pay no income tax but benefit from the earned income tax credit. For addicts who have cleaned up their lives with the aid of government sponsored rehabilitation programs. For the people who live in safer streets due to police having flexible means to do their jobs. For immigrants who, so long as they obey the law, cannot be exploited by employees who’ll pay them a fraction of their worth . . .

              On and on. From the standpoint of empathy when positive rights are left unchecked they have the upper hand.

              1. In other words, libertarians empathize with the oppressed, while progressives empathize with the beneficiaries and prospective beneficiaries of an oppressive state.

                1. We are put in the position of having to explain the unseen aspects of policy, that which is much difficult for the emotively inclined to understand. Why can an employer pay an illegal a fraction of what he would pay a legal migrant? Because the law forces him into the status of second class due to not having documentation. The same, of course, applies to prohibitions.

                  1. much most difficult for the emotively inclined to understand

              2. True, but it doesn’t hurt to show that there is empathy on both sides. You can make both arguments. The rational one and the empathetic one, and balance empathy for the people getting benefits with empathy for the people paying the costs. At that point, people have to weigh both sides and think about what’s fair. Is it fair for some people to get benefits at other people’s expense. You stop and make people think about it long enough to start making the rational argument. Neuroscience shows that the emotional reaction is rapid and then the rational logical reaction often follows and tries to justify the emotional reaction. What this does it is creates conflict for the emotional reaction – people don’t know who to side with. And that delays things long enough for people to start thinking rationally before they have made a judgement.

        2. That was well done, Hazel.

      2. Actually libertarians believe that everyone should be forbidden from using force or fraud.

        Not always. Every time fraud comes up here, you get libertarians arguing that fraud should be perfectly legal. If someone sells you sausages full of sawdust and glass, well I guess that’s your fault for not bothering to get your sausages tested before eating them (as well as getting the tester tested to make sure they’re actually doing the tests they claimed to be doing (and auditing whoever verified the lab to make sure they’re actually checking the lab properly)).

  11. anti-religion

    Based upon libertarian blogs-comments I get the impression that quite a few are very anti-religion and many of the newer and/or younger ones think we’re all “supposed to be”. I’m hardcore agnostic but think religion and its institutions are essential to a working minarchy or anarchy.

    1. My wife and I are Presbyterians, which is essentially like having no religion at all.

      Best of both worlds!

      We liked that the minister at our last church laughed out loud when I told him that. HE gets it…

    2. The anti-religion thing boils down to a misconception about what we think should be regulated vs what we think is right.

      I am a staunch atheist and have very little patience for religion. However, as a Libertarian, I believe that if someone wants to worship a golden thimble, they should be free to do so. I, likewise, am free to not worship anything and mock those that do.

      It’s the old “if we think government shouldn’t be involved in it, we think it shouldn’t be allowed”… Like education, or healthcare, or any other function of society that government has no business in.

      1. Why do you have “very little patience” for a voluntary institution which does so much good and offers an alternative to government social welfare?

        1. You misunderstand. I, personally, have little patience for what I believe to be myths and fairy tales. I applaud the good that has been done in the name of religions. I understand the solace and hope that religion gives to billions globally.

          I, personally, don’t want to have any associations with religious organizations and have very little patience for those who try to convert me.

      2. I don’t get the lack of patience and need to mock, either. Different folks believe in different things. Having a different viewpoint does not make a person inherently evil or stupid or whatever else.

        1. I didn’t say that a person who believes in something is inherently evil or stupid, so please stop putting words in my mouth.

          What I DID say, was that it is my right to do so. I don’t mock most religious people. My personal beliefs aside, I understand why so many are religious. However, if you worship a golden thimble or a similarly ridiculous belief (scientology), I will mock you mercilessly.

      3. Mock my golden thimble god at your own peril, non-believer. Who will protect you from the wrath of the silver needle in the end times?

  12. This:
    “I just want to tell you both good luck. We’re all counting on you.”

    Immediately reminded me of this:
    You’re a brave man. Go and break through the lines. And remember, while you’re out there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we’ll be in be in here thinking what a sucker you are.

    1. A life dedicated to the teachings of Groucho is sorely underrated.

  13. I don’t label myself a “libertarian”, and I don’t give a fuck what others (esp progtards) think about my views any more. Used to care cause…younger and learning. No more, now that I’m old and don’t give a shit.



  14. LIbertarianism takes on a whole lot of forms. It’s very hard to pigeonhole us. For instance, I’m pretty conservative in my personal morals and lifestyle, even traditional in a lot of ways, but I don’t want my views forced on others or mandated by law.

    There are also differing views on how much, if any, government we need. Which is probably the most obvious divide among libertarians. However, to the extent that minarchists and anarchists disagree, I don’t see that fight mattering much while we’re still united in fighting Big Statism.

    Maybe another division worth noting is whether libertarianism requires operating outside the system or whether we can get back to it within our system. I think most libertarians used to think
    that way. Probably less so now.

    1. Then comes Gladstone to prove your point…

    2. and I think the end of your first graph is the key: there is a difference between I believe this, and I believe this and want govt to force you to believe it, too.

  15. So Reason likes to complain about the Southern Avenger yet they pimp “Libertarian Populism” when the populists were racists who implemented segregation in the first place?

    1. Do you realize the “Reason” is not one massive entity but actually many different individuals with varying opinions?

      1. What varying opinions on the two issues I mentioned?

        1. How about you show me where every single reason editor/contributor has the same opinion.

      2. But if Gladstone can’t make generalizations about Reason as a massive entity, then what would he have to post about?

  16. About 30 percent of libertarians ? including many libertarian-minded politicians such as Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) ? are staunchly pro-life.

    Needs a cite.

    I would estimate the pro-life/pro-abortion split among libertarians in pretty darn close to the same as the public at large. The “libertarian-minded politicians” are almost exclusively pro-life. Name two who support abortion: GayJay and……?

    1. Most of the LP presidential nominees?

      1. You’re defining “politician” very loosely.

    2. I think that the reason most “libertarian-minded politicians” are pro-life is that most who get elected to office are Republicans, and it’s very difficult in most places in the country to win a Republican nomination if you’re pro-choice

      1. Thank God!

    3. Gary Johnson’s abortion platform was “legal for the first trimeseter, illegal thereafter”, IIRC. He’d be tarred, feathered, and run out on a rail at Reason HQ.

    4. Libertarian views on abortion hinge on metaphysics. If the fetus is a person, then abortion violates the non-aggression principle. If not, then its nobody’s damned business. The refreshing thing about libertarians is that they at least acknowledge that the question comes down to metaphysics and can often discuss the matter rationally without resort to religious doctrine (pro-life) or sheer political power (pro-choice).

  17. The first thing I noticed was how many times the word “equal” was used in the article (4), as opposed to how many times the word “liberty” was used (once, and only then as part of the name of an organization).

    That tells me everything I need to know about the current state of libertarianism. Fortunately, the neoreactionary movement seems to be gathering steam, and will hopefully supersede the libertarians as an alternative political movement.

    1. I know, having the law applied equally to everyone is horrible.

    2. neoreactionary

      Are they allied with the New Traditionalists?

    3. That’s pretty arbitrary, for a few reasons. One, of the four instances where “equal” is used, one of them is describing a caricature of libertarians (and the whole point of the article is to dismiss such caricatures) and one isn’t using the term in any sort of legal or social fashion (“libertarians often line up equally with the left and right wing”). The other two uses of the word “equality” refers to a movement that supported racial equailty in the 1800s, which was a huge liberty issue back then, and he other explicitly refers to equality under the law, which is a big libertarian value. Second, terms like “free trade,” “drug legalization,” and “economic freedom,” don’t have the word “liberty” in them, but those concepts are all about expanding liberty. Lastly, the article is about dispelling myths, not describing libertarian philosophy.

  18. Begone, troll.

    Lo, and behold!

  19. I had some fun over there in the comments section. Not as much prog-derp as I thought there’d be. Guess the OFA bots are focused elsewhere at the moment.

  20. I’m going to home to attempt to make hot and sour soup for the first time.

    /Soup Nazi

    1. Good luck. Tell us how it goes.

  21. Libertarians believe that economic deregulation helps the poor because it ultimately reduces costs and barriers to start new businesses. The leading libertarian public-interest law firm, the Institute for Justice, which has argued Supreme Court cases for free speech and against eminent-domain abuse, got its start defending African American hair-braiders in Washington from licensing laws that shut down home businesses.

    In Karen DeCoster’s blog a few weeks ago she gave an astounding number of times that business licenses have been refused by the city of Detroit in the last several years. Well over a thousand.

    1. This is why Detroit will never get fixed. When you’re in the middle of the predicted hurricane of shit, and the people who caused the storm still won’t change their behavior, you realize just how fucked you are.

      1. But don’t you just feel terrible about the plight of the people who elected the politicians that turned the place into an utter shithole? Doesn’t it just make all your feels start feeling all feely? No? THIS IS WHY LIBERTARIANS ARE HEARTLESS CUNTS! I’m going to go watch Crash and cry for a while.


        1. I almost half to laugh at the cognitive dissonance in so many of these comments.

          “Yeah that’s right, I love watching other people suffer! But how DARE you suggest that means I’m cruel!”

          1. “Yeah that’s right, I love watching other people suffer! But how DARE you suggest that means I’m cruel!”

            Which only a few of the posters have ever actually come close to stating.

            I suspect you get that impression because (besides you being a disingenuous progressive masquerading as a libertarian) every single post isn’t prefaced by some mealy-mouthed peon to how “sorry” the poster is for the people involved in the story.

            You also make the mistake of feeling (or just being totally dishonest) that criticism of you being a progtard is because you don’t display an appropriate degree of cynicism and hatred. Quite a few people here have expressed empathy for the Martins and the people of Detroit and not been called progs for their empathy. You’re called a prog because you are a prog, not because of your feigned empathy.

            1. Once again (since you conveniently refused to answer last time), please provide of the example of the progressive policy I’ve supported?

              The reason I think the accusations of progtard are bullshit is because whenever I ask that people either don’t respond, or accuse me of supporting something I didn’t support (like wanting Zimmerman convicted).

              1. Your preference of Detroit pensioners over other creditors in the bankruptcy mess, using, unsurprisingly, an appeal to emotion with an irrelevant hypothetical scenario to support your argument that people who were party to (and vacillated for) a completely untenable compensation structure.

                Your most frequent MO is the one you’ve used in this thread. Attacking the libertarian position based on what you perceive to be a lack of empathy on the part of the commentariat for the aggrieved parties.

                1. who were party to (and vacillated for) a completely untenable compensation structure.

                  *are victims.

                  Attacking the libertarian position based on what you perceive to be a lack of empathy on the part of the commentariat for the aggrieved parties.

                  While conspicuously avoiding making any policy statements.

                2. Excuse me, where have I said I think the Detroit pensions out to be preferred over other creditors in bankruptcy?

                  In fact, from a comment I made earlier this very day:

                  The contracts public employees in Detroit received were often overly generous, but they were contracts and the former employees have a legitimate gripe that the city isn’t keeping up it’s end of the deal.

                  Now this doesn’t mean future Detroit taxpayers should be saddle with making good on the debt, but I do think the politicians who originally underfunded the pensions out to be legally liable for failing to comply with the contracts they had negotiated.

                  So I say that the contracts were out of order and that the pensioners aren’t owed anything by the taxpayers. And I know you read this comment because you responded to it.

                  How is this not a libertarian position?

              2. The reason I think the accusations of progtard are bullshit is because whenever I ask that people either don’t respond, or accuse me of supporting something I didn’t support (like wanting Zimmerman convicted).

                Either way, you’ve repeatedly made a bullshit collective accusation that showing empathy is equated with progtardation. The “examples” you point to in this thread to support the allegation don’t support the hypothesis.

                You are accused of being a prog because you exhibit of qualities in addition to your Pavlovian devotion to emotion.

                If it were easier to search posts I would present examples, but honestly, I don’t have the time or interest to do so. I hate resorting to a logical fallacy myself, but when nearly every person here who responds to you accuses you of being a prog, that called a fucking clue.

                Be sure though, I will note every single incidence of you being a progtard by quoting the offending passage and leaving the following response, “Prog bullshit.” It will certainly make searching you posts easier in the future.

          2. And what about justice, Stormy?

  22. I was libertarian before it was cool.

  23. When I say that all men have the mind which cannot bear to see the suffering of others, my meaning may be illustrated thus: Now, when men suddenly see a child about to fall into a well, they all have a feeling of alarm and distress, not to gain friendship with the child’s parents, nor to seek the praise of their neighbors and friends, nor because they dislike the reputation [of lack of humanity if they did not rescue the child]. From such a case, we see that a man without the feeling of commiseration (i.e. sympathy and empathy) is not a man; a man without the feeling of shame and dislike is not a man; a man without the feeling of deference and compliance is not a man; and a man without the feeling of right and wrong is not a man. The feeling of commiseration is the beginning of humanity; the feeling of shame and dislike is the beginning of propriety; and the feeling of right and wrong is the beginning of wisdom. Men have these Four Beginnings just as they have their four limbs.

  24. Progs see hypersensitivity as a virtue, libertarians see it as an indulgent vice.
    Progs measure their virtue by how much time they spend thinking about feelings, libertarians generally find such navel gazing a waste of time.
    It totally is about moral preening. Just look at Tony.


    I’m shocked to learn Detroit is a Libertarian bastion.

  26. It would be cruel to end the support of 50 million Americans who are used to staying at home instead of being employed. They would rot in the gutters and pollute the air with their stench. We must wean them back to social health.

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  29. Most of the stuff listed there are so asinine it doesn’t even merit a response. Why would you even waste the time responding to it?

    The only one that has any merit to it is the pro-drug assertion. And that one can hardly be debated. Libertarians are overwhelmingly pro-drug. A large portion of people that profess to be libertarians only do so in response to the deluge of drug legalization discussion and activism.

  30. Why should we bother having any laws at all?

    This was not a good response from Gillespie, and he makes the libertarians sound as vague as they say they are not.

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