Can Libertarians Be Funny?


Libertarian Humor, a Facebook page of topical comics, has garnered nearly 10,000 "likes" in less than a year of operation. It features an ensemble cast of characters familiar to free market fans, from Lysander Spooner and Murray Rothbard to contemporary libertarian writers such as Jeffrey Tucker and Walter Block. Antagonists include John Maynard Keynes, Ben Bernanke, and Barack Obama.

The stiff bodies and exaggerated faces make the comic feel more like folk art than professional cartooning. Keynes and company are consistently buffoonish, demonstrating the broken window fallacy by elatedly throwing bricks through windows in the hope of stimulating economic activity.

The comic is an interesting example of the ways nonmainstream ideologies are buoyed by social media and Internet meme culture. But only libertarians are likely to enjoy it, mainly as a reflection and reaffirmation of their own offbeat, cerebral interests.