Rand Paul

"Why Libertarianism is Closer to Stalinism Than You Think": Except for, you know, mass murders, gulags, and all the rest.

Sociologist Alan Wolfe rants against Rand Paul & a philosophy that would legalize drugs, allow gay marriage, open the borders, and avoid non-defensive wars.

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Quick, somebody check on Alan Wolfe, the super-respected, 73-year-old sociologist and political scientist at Boston College. Call him up on his Jitterbug phone and make sure he hasn't had a stroke or something.

His June 15 piece at Reuters, "Why libertarianism is closer to Stalinism than you think," reads like the work of somebody undergoing severe brain trauma.

"Libertarianism has a complicated history, and it is by and large a sordid one," charges Wolfe. It is "a secular substitute for religion, complete with its own conception of the city of God, a utopia of pure laissez-faire and the city of man, a place where envy and short-sightedness hinder creative geniuses from carrying out their visions."

I'd call him the Hitler of Hyperbole, but that seems, I don't know, a tad over the top. Sort of like equating a live-and-let-live philosophy such as libertarianism to Stalinism. Which I confess it totally is. Except for the gulags, the mass murders, the forced relocations, the belief in statism, a demonstrably insane economic policy—I'm probably forgetting one or two other points of similarity.

Predictably, Wolfe disinters the corpse of Ayn Rand and insists not only was the Atlas Shrugged author "an authoritarian at heart" but that she remains the beating heart of an intellectual, philosophical, and cultural movement that includes a fistful of Nobel Prize winners (Friedman, Buchanan, Smith, Hayek, Vargas Llosa, etc.); thinkers such as Robert Nozick and Camille Paglia; businessmen such as Whole Foods' John Mackey, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Overstock's Patrick Byrne; and creative types ranging from Rose Wilder Lane to the creators of South Park to Vince Vaughn. Sound the alarum, folks! Team America: World Police and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story are running on Comedy Central again! 

Ultimately, it's the specter of Rand Paul, son of Ron (who "adhered to such radical positions as abolishing the Federal Reserve"!), that's making Wolfe tear through his Depends like Stalin through his former revolutionary comrades in the late '30s.

Libertarianism now has a certain freshness because it seems to cross the otherwise impregnable line between right and left. Sharply reducing the role of government in American life, libertarianism's primary objective, appeals to conservatives because it offers an end to Obamacare, Social Security and other programs that transfer public money to the less well-off. Yet it also attracts liberal voters who ardently oppose invasions of privacy and bloated defense spending.

Paul's appeal doesn't stop there, however. He understands that the GOP base is getting older and whiter — which bodes badly for the party's future. He is reaching out to minorities. By attacking his party's attempts to restrict the vote, Paul could attract many African-American and Latino voters. He has also appealed to younger voters by calling for less restrictive drug laws, for example, and speaking at college campuses, where older Republicans have been loathe to appear.

Let's be clear: Libertarianism doesn't seem to cross lines between the right and left in contemporary America. It ignores them with impunity, which is one of the reasons why libertarians can embrace, say, transgenders in a way that drives the right insane while also standing up for the rights of Indiana pizza shop owners not to cater a hypothetical gay wedding reception (which drives the left batty). Looking over the wreckage of these first 15 years of the 21st century, where the federal government was run first by awful conservative Republicans and then by equally awful liberal Democrats, only a true believer in ideological stasis like Wolfe could be mumbling a variation on "Keep Calm and Carry On." As Matt Welch and I argued in The Declaration of Independents,  we live in a world of dizzying possibilities and innovation where people are gaining more and more ability to pursue their dreams as they define them. The last redoubts of failure and sclerosis—education, health care, and retirement—are those most under the control of government. Add to that the erection of warfare-surveillance state that is heartily funded and supported by the two major parties and, well, nobody should be surprised that libertarianism is ascendant, especially among younger Americans. It offers a hopeful, inclusive, idealistic alternative to the world of ashes in which they have been raised.

If you're wondering where Wolfe ends up in his piece, he concludes in an intellectual funnel cloud that unlike liberalism and conservatism, libertarianism is a rigid ideology that cannot compromise in any way, shape, or form. Where Republicans and Democrats will (thankfully) agree to increase spending on both social welfare and defense, a truly principled libertarian wouldn't and hence would fail. Which is good, because libertarianism is bad. And Rand Paul isn't really libertarian, so he won't get the nomination anyway. Because nobody really likes libertarianism, which is why it's dangerous that it seems to be getting so popular, know what I mean? Then there's this:

The good news is that if Paul were to win the Republican nomination, libertarianism's unfitness for the modern world would be revealed for all to see. The bad news is that the poison of its extremism would enter into the body politic, perhaps never to be fully ejected. 

Reading this sort of piece makes me feel sad for the centrist-liberal public intellectual, who must be experiencing that sinking feeling that happens when your entire life's work and political philosophy comes a cropper not because they weren't tried but precisely they were tried again and again and again. After decades of expounding the need for, among other things, a literal Return to Greatness in the guise of national campaigns to advance his particular predilections when it comes to politics and culture, Wolfe is now forced to live in a historical moment when, gag, libertarians doth bestride the narrow world like pint-sized Colossi, arguing that America should invade fewer countries, lock up fewer non-violent criminals, and give fewer tax dollars to billion-dollar corporations and super-wealthy individuals via government handouts. The horror.

Among the many ways Wolfe is wrong: He errs in thinking that libertarianism is a set of distinct policy proposals, all of which must be adhered to in all instances. As I'm fond of saying, libertarian is best understood as an adjective, an attitude, a temperament. Do you agree that individuals should be given more choices when it comes to making decisions about where to live, how to work, whom to love, what to eat? All things being equal, do you trust not just yourself but your neighbors and especially people you don't even know to come to voluntary arrangements based in respect and mutual benefits?

Like Seinfeld's George Costanza convinced of his jerk-store comeback, Wolfe drops what he doubtless thinks is a rhetorical A-bomb part way through his wretched essay: "Truly principled libertarians believe that government should refrain from telling women what to do with their bodies, but should there be no regulation of medical procedures?"

Well, no. Even in the absence of, say, a government-run Food and Drug Administration or medical-procedure board, there would be all sorts of certifying agencies, insurance companies, reputational proxies, grading services, and more to give consumers all sorts of information about the efficacy and safety of whatever you could dream up.

That world is, of course, already growing up all around us, on everything from Amazon to Uber. If Wolfe could only take a deep breath or two, he might realize that libertarianism isn't the Stalinism-lite system he's cracked it up to be. To the contrary, it's profoundly liberating and humane set of beliefs that are flourishing precisely because the old ways of maintaining control and power are fading like the worst excesses of the old Soviet Union.

NEXT: Can total passivity = 'victim indicat[ing] by speech or conduct that there is not freely given consent to performance of the sexual act'?

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  1. I’d call him the Hitler of Hyperbole, but that seems, I don’t know, a tad over the top.

    You now who else used hyperbole, especially when his Xbox Live account was banned?

    1. Hitler?

      1. Mao. It’s always Mao. Always.

        1. Mao was a filthy casual?

    2. Gillespie?

  2. Okay, people. Let’s settle on what libertarianism is right here and now, once and for all. (Also, his wife is in a coma.)

    1. All I know is that he’ll be the first to go into the Leave You Alone camps.

      1. Oh, I severely LOL’d and OMG’d my AO on that comment.

        I doff my chapeau to you, SIR!!!

        *adjusts monocle*

  3. People who hate Ayn Rand are way more into her than people who like her.

    1. She’s a lot like me that way.

      1. She was the worst? Or do you mean that she also wore goofy hats?

        1. Well, she did wear goofy hats…

          1. As does someone else, who may or may not be the worst.

            1. Hitler?

              Wrong game?

            2. Women at the Kentucky Derby?

              1. Pisshat blog?

        2. My hats are super cereal, dude.

          1. Hey, I can’t judge; I have a Dick Towel hat.

            1. Of course you do.

              I have a cunning hat that absolutely does not fit–it’s all floppy and what not, but I don’t care.

              1. Is that the one with the goofy veil and the flask?

              2. Please tell me that cunning hat is mostly orange.

  4. Haters gonna hate..

  5. and other programs that transfer public money to the less well-off
    *eye twitch*

    1. Your twitching eye betrays your crimethink, citizen. Please report to special education center delta.

    2. Yes. What is this public money of which he speaks. Obamastash ?

      I once heard a deconstructionist, which this guy seems to me to be in his view of Libertarianism, explain why Huck Finn and Jim were obviously homosexual lovers.

      His reasoning (loosely used) was that in the entireity of the book it never came up, the topic was so studiously avoided that it became obvious that they were bumping uglies.

      1. You could argue that Huck and Jim were both werewolves, using the same “logic”.

        1. Look they may have identified as gay werewolves but dammit that does not mean they in reality were gay werewolves.

          1. Gay Fish

        2. Zombies. It is zombies all the way down.

      2. I was once diagnosed with major depression on the grounds that I exhibitted no depressive symptoms whatever. The psychotherapist argued that since one would be expected to be somewhat depressed in the conditions I faced that the total absence of depressive symptoms then demonstrated the presence of severe, clinical depression. Apparently a symptomless disorder which in no wise impacts one’s life, except perhaps if we view the absence of depressive symptoms as a symptom, in which case, it would seem that symptomless depression actually renders one more able to manhandle problems in life. And yet treatment was recommended to alleviate this severe disorder of the soul. Then there was the time I got diagnosed with narcissicistic personality disorder because I drew a tiny clock. (I had practical reasons for getting these of-n?-face-utility assessments.)

        1. One of the fundamental principles of diagnosing mental disorders is that the symptoms must INTERFERE with a person’s daily living or quality of life.

          If you are depressed and can barely get out bed and you can’t manage to accomplish even routine daily tasks, that’s a problem, not simply the fact that you feel sad for no real reason.

          They even apply that to things like delusions or hallucinations. If I believe aliens are talking to me and, as a result, I am unable to hold down a job, practice basic hygiene, or manage real world relationships — then I’m crazy. If I can do all those things fine but I still vividly imagine talking with E.T. — I’m just super imaginative and creative and will produce novels or screenplays. Your therapist sounds incompetent.

      3. Fucking decon-artists. Textual evidence or it didn’t happen, dammit!

        /English Major

    3. I caught that, too. No idea that the problem libertarians have is where that “public money” comes from. Its just “public money”, and thats it. Taxes, government debt, and money printing don’t enter the picture, because it’s just “public money”.

  6. Statists gonna state.

  7. I swear to god, these people are viewing the collapse and failure of all their own policies and deeply held beliefs and are projecting that anger and disappointment on a new target (what a surprise!), and have decided that libertarianism is their new projection boogeyman.

    It’s the only thing that makes sense. More and more rants about stuff that sounds a lot more like what these people actually act like is instead being ascribed to libertarians? Got it.

    1. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

      And if you can’t recognize the libertarian shithole you’re living in right now, well you’re clearly blind.

      1. Listen, I had to flee California because of just how fuckin’ libertarian it was.

        1. Go on … Tell me more about leaving California …

    2. “I swear to god, these people are viewing the collapse and failure of all their own policies and deeply held beliefs and are projecting that anger and disappointment on a new target (what a surprise!), and have decided that libertarianism is their new projection boogeyman.”

      I would expect nothing less than a persecution complex, from a Koch brothers stooge.. All your hoarding and wrecking has destroyed this almost great nation.

      1. Yeah ever since we started following libertarian policies by setting up a police state, invading random countries, socializing the airline security workers and ratcheting spending to the moon things have really fallen apart. I mean our current governing structure looks just like Galt’s gulch.

        Its right there on page 842
        “Dagney Taggert unsheathed her sword speaking in a thunderous voice. I demand you regulate the the dimensions of a grilled cheese sandwich! The children cannot wait and if you won’t act I will!”

        1. My bad. I thought this was actual trolling not sarcasm.

    3. They do seem to have become exceptionally unhinged lately. It’s a bit frightening though. An animal is never more dangerous then when it’s injured.

      1. Yes.

        That they have taken it to a level where a young man can pass out, and while he is alseep some freako chic starts sucking his dick and thenhe gets punished for rape.

        Not charged, not tried, just punished and branded a rapist.

        The times they are a changing.

        1. If it weren’t those libertarian kulaks, that would have never happened.

    4. This smoking turd only reinforces the dynamic I’ve time and time again: Even the smartest people become utter morons when it comes to politics.

      In this case, it’s spectacularly gobsmacking just how moronic he is and how wrong he is about nearly everything in his piece. It’s almost like he was doing something fantastically stupid, like blaming everything horrible that his side has done on someone else.

      Is there a sociological terms for that?

      1. Is there a sociological terms for that?

        Progressivism?

      2. “Is there a sociological term for that?”

        Not sure. But I can think of a scatological one.

    5. It’s because libertarianism is the new rebel cause for the youngsters. Both Red & Blue hate it like their parents hated Elvis. They also know it is unstoppable, you can’t stop an idea, but they try their best to subvert it.

      1. Libertarian s will get fat and wear tight jump suits and have grandma groupies

        1. ….and the mashed potatoes

  8. Libertarianism sounds terrifying.

  9. I’m just gonna shake.

    1. Shakers gonna shake…

      1. …it off?

      2. “. . . it up, baby”?

      3. Shake your booty?

      4. ” . . .your groove thing”?

    2. “…it down the line?”

  10. If you’re looking around for the singular, flagship achievement of libertarianism, its high-water mark, etc., I would have to say it is the founding of the United States.

    Libertarianism has a complicated history, and it is by and large a sordid one,

    Geez, I mean, sure the US has had its moments, but I wouldn’t say that relative to its peers, its history has been a sordid one. And those episodes where it has not exactly been exemplary are mostly episodes where it was abandoning its libertarian roots.

    It is “a secular substitute for religion, complete with its own conception of the city of God,

    Err, no. A libertarian society is one where you are free to have a religion or not. This sounds a lot more like a description of Marxism than libertarianism.

    a utopia of pure laissez-faire and the city of man,

    Libertarians are not utopians. Again, this is a much better description of Marxism.

    a place where envy and short-sightedness hinder creative geniuses from carrying out their visions.

    Wait, he’s saying that the libertarian utopia is one where creative geniuses are hindered by envy and shortsightedness? I thought it was just the opposite, a place where creative geniuses could pursue their vision without being hindered?

    1. See my comment above regarding projection. It’s telling that every single thing he whines about sounds a hell of a lot more like his ideology (in practice, not rhetoric) than libertarianism.

    2. Please Mr. Wolfe.. save of from the seething envy, and dystopian hell of 29 types of cereal.. Show us the path and guide us with your asserted wisdom..

      1. +1 FOURTEEN DIFFERENT CHOICES OF TENNIS SHOE!!!

    3. Beat me to it, regarding Marxism.

      Also, it’s not only “creative geniuses” who get to pursue their visions unhindered. It’s basically everyone. Everyone is supposed to have the same right to pursue their interests within a framework where everyone has equal mutually compatible and consistent rights. Anyone should be allowed to innovate and employ themselves in whatever creative way they want. Some will be brilliantly sucessful, some will not. But everyone should have the right to pursue their goals and not be subject to arbitrary interference.

      I think the key issue is that we don’t think that “creative geniuses” have any sort of innate duty to society. There are no positive obligations, only negative ones – the obligation to respect other people’s persons and property and freedom of action. There’s no moral obligation to obey whatever arbitrary restrictions that society places on your vision. There’s no moral obligation to spend your life serving others instead of pursuing your dreams. That’s what sticks in their craw – the horrible, horrible idea of an individual unencumbered by the chains of social obligation.

      1. Like Bob Dylan, the ex-folkie sellout. Or the pointless obsession of what such-and-such could have done if he didn’t burn out or do too many drugs. Who cares? They didn’t do it. There’s no shortage of talent in the world, but there’s often a shortage of opportunity when walls are built to exclude the talented and able. OMG! But you’re not saying there shouldn’t be regulation! Nooooo!!!!

      2. I get in arguments with National Socialists all the time over the fact that NatSoc asks me to give of myself for the good of society. I ask, “Why? What do I owe society? It never did anything for me.” They reply, “What have you done for society? Why does society owe you anything?”

        Society doesn’t owe me anything, and I don’t expect it to.

        1. This converstaion seems incomprehensible. Also, please tell me there are folks out there that call themselves the National Socialist American Workers party. Because that would be awesome.

    4. It also seems like he might be confusing libertarianism with objectivism a bit. Libertarianism is just a simple set of principles, while objectivism tells you how you should live your life. Big difference.

      Libertarians (as I understand them) don’t favor laissez-faire because it leads to a utopia. They favor it because it is the right thing to do and leads to better outcomes in most historical examples you can find. One of the best things about libertarians is that unlike a lot of political philosophies, they don’t, for the most part, think that theirs will lead to a perfect society.

      1. Just the fact that we support the 2nd amendment PROVES that libertarians know that it won’t lead to a “perfect society” (whatever that is) and have policies in place to deal with that eventuality….

        1. They don’t know why the 2nd amendment exists. Disregarding all of history, they truly believe that a band of self-interested folk could never fight off the might of a governmental professional fighting force.

          They’re stupid, in this case, not evil.

      2. Clueless pundits like this always confuse Libertarianism with Anarchism or Objectivism.
        They then go on to show why the world will collapse into dystopian chaos, based upon a false premise of what libertarianism is.

        1. Or in his case, progressivism.

    5. And libertarianism is nigh unto itself as a political philosophy not resting upon a fundamental premise that man is perfectable. Everything else I can think of at some point demands an assumption of perfectability (or even perfection) of human interaction. Only libertarianism provides something for the here and now that is based on how people really are, not as some ideal someone imagines they might be able to become someday. It’s strange, then, how it’s so often criticised as being na?ve and impractical and what not by adherents of the utopian, eschatological fantasy orientations.

  11. “”a secular substitute for religion, complete with its own conception of the city of God”

    If there is a secular religion with it’s own conception of the City of God, it’s Marxism. I don’t think libertarianism claims that it’s end state is literally going to be a “worker’s paradise”.

    In fact, few libertarians claim that their ideal state would be any sort of paradise. Optimal distributions of resources don’t make them any less scarce. There wouldn’t be a chicken in every pot or free universal healthcare. There would merely be the opportunity to pursue your own interests without unjust hindrances. A libertarian society is a community of mutual respect for one-another’s equality and independence and right to self-determination, it’s not a promise than manna will fall from heaven and everyone will hold hands and love eachother, unlike many other political philosophies i could mention.

    1. Libertarians tend to appreciate self organization and understand that we don’t know what the optimal arrangement of society will be in the future. Most other political philosophies seem to see the world as static and controllable. I think that might be the thing that people really don’t get. The human world is amazing and dynamic and constantly surprising. It is just idiotic to think you can make a top down plan for that which will work out.

      1. Because we appreciate that human ingenuity is the true endless natural resource… and know that we cannot predict how it will shape the future so we don’t try to control it…

        1. That’s the thing the aggravates me about people who whine that some-group-or-other either has or will eventually get “all the wealth”, as if it was some pile of coins that people are pulling coins from, and once it’s gone, there’s no more. Never mind that the actuality is that wealth can be freely created pretty much without limit.

    2. And why exactly does Nick describe this douche as “super-respected”?

      1. Respected has only to do with whether or not people respect you, not any inherent respectability. Presumably he is well respected in whatever academic circles he moves in.

    3. But, you forget, we have come to live in an age where “justice” is no longer self-evident and needs to be painstakingly explained to anyone under the age of the thirty (and over the age of ten). It’s got to the point where even when the idea seems to get across, the opposition treats it as though justice were some fantastic impossibility unworthy of consideration by serious adults, whereas fairness and “social justice” (which is to say, whatever else it may be, not justice) all sorts of other bizarre utopian schemes are taken up by these same bozoes in their guise of the serious, practical ones.

      1. I don’t know if justice has ever been all that self evident.

  12. This seems like a variation of the ‘logical’ strategy employed in the argument “Hitler was a socialist; ergo Obama is Hitler.”

    1. Obama is Hitler

      Obama is missing the mustache.

      1. And three shades off.

  13. This guy sounds like a total cunt.

    1. There are medical procedures for that.

  14. I know we will never reach peak derp, but this might be peak projection at least. It’s truly incredible.

  15. To paraphrase Whitaker Chambers: From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: “To a woodchipper ? go!”

    1. +1000

      I really wish we could vote on comments like Reddit.

      1. Or at least have an edit feature.

  16. Ya know, the more of the excerpts I read, the more I think this is a big prank, that he wrote a scathing indictment of Marxism, and then search-and-replaced Marxism with libertarianism. Tell me this doesn’t make more sense:

    The good news is that if Paul Bernie Sanders were to win the Republican Democrat nomination, libertarianism’s Marxism’s unfitness for the modern world would be revealed for all to see. The bad news is that the poison of its extremism would enter into the body politic, perhaps never to be fully ejected.

    1. Yes it does, although I would have thought the complete failure of Marxism to ever actually work, the billions dead, and the complete economic basket cases that every nation that tried it turned into would have been enough to demonstrate its unfitness to the modern world, but apparently not.

      1. Why would you think that? When has ANYONE ever learned the lessons of history?!?!

      2. Be careful or Joe will show up and tell you how great it’s working in Venezuela right now.

    2. Madlibism.

      FWIW, I had the same thought.

    3. Reminds me of a gal I knew who wrote religious children’s stories. She’d write a story, designed to teach a lesson from a particular religion. She’d sell it to a publication bent toward that religion, and then she’d change some of the jargon to make it fit a different religion, and sell it again, and so on, till she ran out of ways she could chaunge it coherently with find and replace.

  17. Ultimately, it’s the specter of Rand Paul, son of Ron (who “adhered to such radical positions as abolishing the Federal Reserve”!), that’s making Wolfe tear through his Depends

    Thanks, now I have a mental image of that crusty old shit stain blasting a geyser of explosive diarrhea clean through his old man diaper and his pants and blasting into the air like a rocket.

  18. Libertarianism is not a party with a platform made of rigid planks. It can never be that. It is the simple ideal of self-ownership. Positions grow out of that, not party interest.

    People who have no ideals can’t understand what having them means or why people who do have them behave the way they do.

    Prepare for much more of this kind of shit, cuz it is all they’ve got.

    1. Indeed. As libertarianism rises, you will see the enemies of liberty rise to meet it. Freedom scares the fuck out of these people.

      No one said it was going to be easy.

  19. The thing is, Sociology is a fake science. It is built on the idea that masses of people act like ants, which is the core of the collectivism that became Communism. Oh, it could be a real discipline (though probably not a Science), analyzing the social currents and how they interact (which is, I suppose, a subset of History), but any real chance of that has to wait on several generations of Statist idiots to retire and/or die. I’m not holding my breath.

    But to a Sociologist, the idea that The Masses should be allowed to do what they damn well please without the guidance of their Betters is Anathema, the Sin of Witchcraft. Absolutely terrifying. Why, if it caught on, people might question the right of Sociologists to occupy cushy sinecures in Academia. They might have to start WORKING for a living. They might have to deal in TRADE!

    I don’t embrace Libertarianism without demure. But “Stalinist”? Really? This guy is completely panicked. He’s raving. Like a man afraid that his whole personal is going to be exposed as a fraud?…

    1. They might have to deal in TRADE!

      “I’ve worked in the private sector! They expect results!”

    2. Herbert Spencer was a sociologist and his book, Social Statics, is considered by some to be the greatest work of libertarian political philosophy ever written.

      His ideas form the basis for modern libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism.

      1. Perhaps, but it doesn’t change the fact that if you started executing every tenured Sociologist in the country as a clear enemy of the people, you wouldn’t be wrong often enough to matter.

  20. Yeah, see, Stalin didn’t want to use force, right? I mean he was a nice guy, but all those guys around him, they did that stuff, so it’s just like he was for freedom and shit, see? And that’s just like, uh, those libertarian guys, they want to do shit like that, see? Right? Right?

    1. Errh, nope. See, that is the deception in the headline.

      He says libertarians are as stubborn ideologically as were the Stalinist.

      And, we are.

      Our stubbornness, however, never killed anybody.

  21. Only in academia and government (especially government public education) can one be so absolutely incorrect about everything and still remain employed and even “well respected”
    what amazes me is that this idiot is at Boston College which I always thought was an excellent university – just goes to show that no academic institution is immune to this kind of blinding stupidity.

    1. The key to being “well respected” in academia and government is writing shit like this that confirms the statist’s preconceived biases about what horrible people libertarians are. As long as you continue to tow the party line, you can always count on having a nice, cushy job in academia or government, and that “the right people” will continue to respect you.

  22. This isn’t just writing, it is prose. Well done.

    1. Yes, very good Nick. Is it me or is the reason staff becoming more aggressive recently? I like it, and I hope you all increase your donations this year.

  23. I tried to respond to Dr. Wolfe on June 15th, when his blog first came out. And it was rejected by Reuters (shocker).

    Here’s another shocker – Dr. Wolfe was once an ardent Marxist! Hard to believe it today, ain’t it?

    Bottom line – libertarians are ideological purists. To which I say, yep. Thanks for noticing. Voluntary associations are our mode.

    Then, the good doctor (Wolfe, not Gillepsie) goes on a general rant about Ayn RandRand Paul. (Poor Ron Johnson).

    Of course, Salon and Mother Jones LOVES Dr. Wolfe and his blog.

  24. But is it as bad as connecting Nietzche and Austrian Economics?

    1. No.

  25. Nowhere in here did he mention anything authoritarian at all about libertarianism ideas — just some projection of such an ethos onto Ayn Rand and then projecting SJW fanaticism onto the general libertarian straw man that he took all of 5 minutes to construct.

    Also, Nick should give Hinkle some pointers on actually analyzing things in a thoughtful manner.

  26. To put it a bit more succinctly, Alan Wolf is a lying cunt.

    -jcr

    1. To put it a bit more succinctly, Alan Wolf is a lying cunt dog shit, to be scraped off of your shoe.

      1. ha. I lol’d hard. Hopefully the apparatchiks-that-be don’t take this as a threat and get another subpoena….

  27. Between Kevin Drum and this joker, I don’t know whose description of libertarianism is worse.

    I’ve asked this and I’ve seen others ask it here, but are there any articles in places like Mother Jones or Reuters that offer an intellectually honest critique of libertarianism? Because I’ve yet to see one yet.

    1. Because I’ve yet to see oneyet.

      Damn it. Edit button!

    2. Kevin Drum is a dick. The son of Snare and Bongo

    3. Twenty-five years ago I had an American intellectual history professor who at least gave the basics on what libertarianism is about on the way to John Rawls and the usual stuff. He didn’t seem to like libertarianism much, but he at least let his students in on what it is to a certain degree. That seems so quaint now.

      1. I’m guessing he was later denied tenure. Can’t have someone like that in a tenured faculty position.

      2. There was a leftard douchenozzle in my high school who taught Social Studies. The kind of asshole who poisoned kids’ minds by pretending to be their friend, smoking dope with a few of them, that kind of thing.

        He paraphrased the LP platform from the Clark campaign, leaving out all explanation of our reasons for the policies we advocated, and handed it out to his class saying “this is the Libertarian platform, it should be good for a laugh”.

        That’s when I realized that some government school employees are political operatives.

        -jcr

        1. They all know where (and why) their bread gets buttered.

  28. Note to Nick – aren’t you swimming in the same Phd pond as is Dr. Wolfe?

    You need to challenge him to a debate. And when he brings up Ayn Rand, ask him about Eric Hobsbawm.

    1. You need to challenge him to a debate. And when he brings up Ayn Rand, ask him about Eric Hobsbawm. drink a tall glass of [redacted]..

      1. I’m reminded of the immortal words of Socrates who said “I drank what?”

      2. Iocaine Powder

  29. Wow, this guy threw Stalin under the bus in order to discredit libertarianism. He must really be scared of libertarianism if he makes that concession.

    1. OMG
      That is so true!

      How scared must a Marxist be of libertarianism, to say it is worse than Stalinism?

  30. The supporters of Dr. Wolfe, when confronted about libertarianism’s ideological founding (Locke, for instance)- always say – well, that was THEN. But modern libertarian is “Atlas Shrugged”.

    All libertarian critics can’t get past a book I have never read. And I just can’t get past their own ridiculousness.

    Debate me if you must, says I. But do put some effort in your critique because I loath wasting my time.

    1. That’s because the left is about narratives and boogeymen. They can’t engage with libertarianism in an intellectually honest way, so they screech about Ayn Rand and the Koch brothers.

      1. Fucking asshole slavers! That’s how my debates end. 🙂

        Oh, well

    2. This is Eric Hoffer territory – you must have someone to demonize as part of your mass movement. And to be fair, Objectivists fit the True Believer model pretty well too.

  31. These people who attack libertarian philosophy are, when it comes down to it, stupid. I’ve given them the benefit of the doubt for far too long.

    They seem unable to grasp the concept of spontaneous order in markets.

    They seem unable to distinguish between positive and negative rights.

    They seem unable to determine right and wrong from first principles.

    They seem unable to distinguish between the initiation of aggression and the defense against.

    Most importantly they can’t look at world and individual issues and apply these concepts in a meaningful manner.

    I mean just look at most journalists today. They can’t write a proper argumentative piece. Unsupported assertions, ad hominem, appeals to authority, etc. Their brains developed up to their teenage years and peaked. And just like teenagers they lash out violently when their world view is shown to be incorrect.

    1. Some are liars, but yes, most are just stupid

    2. No disrespect to Reason staff. They confirm my biases.

    3. I would only add:

      They seem unable to distinguish between society and the State.

      1. That too.

      2. Always this.

    4. No, our problem is that we understand that these simplistic presumptions about how human societies work and deontological proclamations are batshit stupid and don’t apply to anything resembling reality.

      Spontaneous order in markets… is fine. But the stretch is when you imply that whatever the market does is good, i.e., not to be corrected. Libertarians by necessity don’t pay attention to historical evidence, and even in theory their requirement of an unadulterated market is obviously ludicrous. Your approach to the magic of markets resembles religion. A lot.

      Even if there is a meaningful distinction between positive and negative rights (and there’s not), you have to prove the case why we aren’t allowed positive ones when modern society has done so well for freedom by implementing them. And explain why law enforcement and property rights don’t constitute positive rights.

      First principles: you haven’t figured those out. No philosophy has. Society is what we make of it, and your principles are not entitled to self-justify; like everyone else you are required to explain why your policies are good for people, not how perfectly they accord with axioms somebody made up.

      The distinction between initiatory and reactionary force has been well understood in millenia of law. It’s just that libertarians use it as an unconvincing means of justifying why it’s OK to tax me to pay for what they want, but not OK to tax them to pay for what I want.

      1. Re: Tony,

        No, our problem is that we understand that these simplistic presumptions about how human societies work and deontological proclamations are batshit stupid and don’t apply to anything resembling reality.

        You mean wanting to cocoon people from the vicissitudes of life is not being simplistic?

        But the stretch is when you imply that whatever the market does is good, i.e., not to be corrected.

        Indeed, that’s a stretch, because it is not even the argument. Markets are driven by people’s choices. That doesn’t mean people are perfect or that people don’t make mistakes. YOUR assumption ?that people are too stoopid to make good choices, from whence comes your anti-market argument? IS simplistic, moronic and downright pedantic.

        1. Re: Tony,

          And explain why law enforcement and property rights don’t constitute positive rights.

          I don’t need no stinkin’ cops.

          First principles: you haven’t figured those out.

          IGNORING them does not translate to “You guys haven’t figured them out!”

          Society is what we make of it,

          It would seem so just by seeing how you give “society” organismic traits that does not have. Society is a concept that helps communication, but it is NOT a thing.

        2. You mean wanting to cocoon people from the vicissitudes of life is not being simplistic?

          I don’t know how to make people like you think beyond all-or-nothing terms. It may not be possible, but I’d like to think it is. I suggest reading lots of books that don’t confirm what you already believe. I don’t want to cocoon people, I just think human beings have figured out impressive means of reducing risk for people, and while those means should always be measured against any potential loss in individual liberty, going to either extreme is, well, extremist.

          1. Re: Tony,

            I don’t know how to make people like you think beyond all-or-nothing terms.

            Depends. When it comes to liberty, I am not willing to compromise. How about that, Tony?

            I suggest reading lots of books that don’t confirm what you already believe.

            Ha! Have you?

            Fuck you!

            1. When it comes to liberty, I am not willing to compromise.

              But your policies result in extreme lacks of liberty and mine expand liberty hugely. Or is liberty just a word that means nothing, but you’re for it!

              Ha! Have you?

              I am a regular reader of Reason magazine, for one thing.

              1. Re: Tony,

                But your policies result in extreme lacks of liberty

                That’s not true. I’m not the idiot who confuses Freedom (the ability to act) with “free of want.”

                I am a regular reader of Reason magazine, for one thing

                Congratulations! I am an avid reader. Period.

              2. “But your policies result in extreme lacks of liberty and mine expand liberty hugely.”

                You are fucking delusional.

                1. Yeah. This is the same guy who puzzled over why scotch eggs are being confiscated from English schoolchildren. He has no clue that the shit he pushes leads to exactly that.

                  Fuck you Tony.

              3. Your policy does not “expand liberty”. And you know it.
                That’s what I mean by trying to debate someone who is objectively dishonest. Do you think throwing in “liberty” now and then makes your argument better?Admit it. You USE the word liberty as a “bait-and-switch”. Because you think in the Libertarian Universe, there will be poor souls left behind. And you don’t think leaving people behind is FAIR.
                It is not liberty you desire. It is fairness.

                1. It’s not even fairness. Fairness would be to leave everyone alone to succeed or fail on their own merits. It is equality he wants. He wants everyone to be equal. Not have equal rights, mind you, but equal outcomes. And he’s willing to drag the successful down to the level of the lowest amongst us to achieve that goal.

                  HE. IS. A. FUCKING. MONSTER.

                2. Fairness is essential to liberty. And I don’t know why anyone would be against fairness. Again, libertarians turn being assholes into being virtuous. It’s very very strange.

                  I think liberty should mean what it does. If ten people have all the wealth, they are certainly free. Everyone else however is only potentially free, with the assumption that by some means that don’t exist in nature they can theoretically become number 11.

                  1. Fairness is essential to liberty.

                    *barf*

                  2. And you think government stealing that wealth, shaving off pieces, and redistribution is “liberty enhancing”?

                    You still don’t fucking get it, do you?

                    Dumb ass, Tony Hobsbawm.

                  3. Tony, I wonder whether you think California’s recent requirement that Uber treat drivers as employees is “liberty enhancing”.

                    Liberty enhancing for whom exactly?
                    How does a network of complex regulations designed to distribute benefits to the states favored interests enhance liberty? Please explain.

                    1. I’m for more centrally administered benefits for all humans. See, I actually favor policies that allow capitalism to work in its own sphere, creative destruction and all. But the only way we can do that while still ensuring that citizens of the wealthiest society on earth do not want for basic needs is to socialize access to those basic needs. Let Uber operate in a competitive market, with respect to both customers and employees. When people don’t have to rely on an Uber job to meet basic needs, we need not require intrusive regulations to ensure the company Uber meets the requirements that trigger employer-focused benefits. Similarly let’s unburden businesses with providing healthcare access and free them to do what they are set up to do; let’s provide nationalized healthcare.

                    2. You’re a well-trained Parrot, Tony Hobsbawm. You appear to be ‘reasonable’, when all you are is deceptive and oily.

                  4. Again, libertarians turn being assholes into being virtuous.

                    Nobody here has called you virtuous.

                  5. Exactly what Gamerfromjump said:

                    That’s the thing the aggravates me about people who whine that some-group-or-other either has or will eventually get “all the wealth”, as if it was some pile of coins that people are pulling coins from, and once it’s gone, there’s no more. Never mind that the actuality is that wealth can be freely created pretty much without limit

              4. your policies result in extreme lacks of liberty and mine expand liberty hugely.

                Rent-boy lies in such predictable ways.

                -jcr

          2. and while those means should always be measured against any potential loss in individual liberty

            Measured?

            You statists promise free shit to 51% of the voters at the expense of the remaining 49% and then say let’s vote on it.

            You are a disgusting, immoral, fucking thief.

            HUZZAH! Democracy! Free shit for the voting majority!

            Pig!

            1. For Tony, freedom means to be “free from want.” It is an obvious equivocation but that is the gist of most of his tirades and criticisms of libertarianism. That is why he argues with a straight face that liberty is an actual IMPOSITION on people.

              You know, like opening the bird cage is bad for the birds!

              1. It’s a deliberate obfuscation. He knows they are not the same, but it’s the only way his argument works.

                It’s 1984 doublespeak. Theft is freedom!

            2. As you express your contempt for democracy you fail to explain your alternative. Who gets to impose all the true and righteous policies you support and you think nobody should be allowed to challenge?

              1. Um, democracy isn’t freedom.

                But you have completely changed my mind about everything! All of my personal liberties should be based on the view of 50.0001% of the population.

              2. You have contempt for individual rights.

                Fuck you.

                1. Worse than that, he doesn’t believe in self ownership. Which is, really, all that libertarianism is. It’s just that self ownership has a multitude of implications and most people can’t connect the dots. If you are not a libertarian (or voluntaryest or whatever you want to call it) you necessarily believe that some people have the right to coerce other people and to inflict violence on them and to take what they have. However these people couch it in nice sounding language, it all comes down to the belief that some people have a legitimate right to aggress against others.

              3. “Who gets to impose all the true and righteous policies you support”

                You mean “lack of policies”, right?

                1. Tony – I believe his brain is filled with sawdust from all those libertarian wood chippers

              4. Who gets to impose all the true and righteous policies…

                The point , douchebag, is that nobody should be imposing anything, merely allowing.

                You know, liberty and freedom.

              5. You dum-dum, libertarianism seeks to minimize one faction imposing its policies on another. And no, before you answer, one party resisting another’s aggression isn’t the same as initiating aggression, as you would have it.

              6. Democracy is useful as a tool that people can use within a context of a larger legal framework whose sole purpose is to protect people’s rights. If we get to vote on who protects our rights the assumption is we will pick people who do it well. Most people don’t have a problem with democracy used that way. We do have a problem with it being use as a tool to give 50.1% of the population whatever the hell they want or rather what they can be manipulated into wanting usually through propagandizing fear.

                I really believe progressives latched on to the whole democracy thing because if they could convince people that government should do whatever the people want then they could also deceive them into following various forms of progressive idiocy and then retort with cuz democracy anytime anyone complained.

                Democracy gave us Nazi’s, Bush, Obama, and FDR. It ain’t all that great.

                1. Democracy has given us many bad things. So, for the millionth time, please explain what alternative you propose; what or who implements the policies that are superior to what democracy delivers? The guys above you seem to think it all happens by magic. I crave to be enlightened on this issue.

                  1. I just did propose something. Democracy is a legitimate element in a system it should not be “the system”. Your question is like giving me a bowl of flour, telling me its a cake and then asking “Well how would you propose making a cake?”

                    That’s easy I would add eggs, some oil, sugar, etc, mix it together, bake it.

                    The problem is not that democracy should not be an element in our system. The problem is it should not be the system in its entirety. Democracy is fine as a way to help people select “employees” which is what politicians are. It is not legitimate to use as a weapon against fellow citizens who are not doing exactly what you want them to do. Keep democracy to choose politicians whose job it is to protect us from those who would do us harm. To use it for anything else is 2 wolves and a sheep deciding on dinner which is what democracy always turns into when stretched any further.

                  2. You already know the answer. Quit playing games.

                    Admit it. Democracy ALWAYS turns into Mobocracy. Every damn time. Your ‘mixed’ economy/society fuck-fest is still a mobocracy. It just takes a bit longer before you mobbers destroy everything.

                  3. How about a Constitutional Republic, with the government being granted a small list of specific powers, and with any powers not explicitly granted to the Federal government being reserved for the States or the People?
                    How’s that for an alternative to an all powerful central government that crushes freedom while enabling cronyism and state sponsored violence

              7. As you express your contempt for democracy you fail to explain your alternative.

                A constitutional republic where the only power granted government is to protect the rights of its citizenry.

                (For the 1000th fucking time, you mendacious twat.)

              8. Who gets to impose

                You let the cat out of the bag tony.

          3. don’t know how to make people like you think beyond all-or-nothing terms.

            That is a finer projection than the mirror on Mt. Palomar’s Hale telescope.

        3. “YOUR assumption ?that people are too stoopid to make good choices, from whence comes your anti-market argument? IS simplistic, moronic and downright pedantic.”

          And, at the same time, that some people are possessed of perfect knowledge and total purity of intention, and that they somehow also happen to be those in power. It reminds me of Fromm’s many analyses of Nazism, which he held to be an orientation really devoid of any real political content, other than submission to the powerful. He gave abundant examples demonstrating the Nazi’s lack of commitment to a consistent policy, so long as the leadership continued to keep up a fa?ade of authority. The infallibility of that leadership seemed to proceed forth directly from its violent overbearance of the opposition. Might makes right is somehow more sensible and mature to these people than any childish principles.

          1. To take it another way. He thinks people are too stupid to handle the nuances of their own life but so brilliant that they can pick which sociopath politician should handle the nuances of other people’s lives. If people are really as stupid as he thinks then to believe in democracy is an exercise on cognitive dissonance.

      2. I always knew you were the spawn of Eric HOBSBAWM, you fuckhead asshole pigfucker.

        The libertarian Stalinists have a special place in pigfucker hell for you.

      3. -No, our problem is that we understand that these simplistic presumptions about how human societies work

        Um… what was a presumed? Do you disagree that the concept I outlined exist?

        – But the stretch is when you imply that whatever the market does is good, i.e., not to be corrected

        The market is a description of one way in which humans interact. This description says exactly nothing about what is good.

        – Even if there is a meaningful distinction between positive and negative rights (and there’s not),

        There are two different words in there somewhere…

        – And explain why law enforcement and property rights don’t constitute positive rights.

        I’m an Anarcho-Capitalist so I don’t believe in law enforcement. As for property rights I suggest you head over to r/Anarchism and gargle their cool-aid. Those fools are ever attempting to create a system wherein there are no future disputes. Foolish stupidity.

        – First principles: you haven’t figured those out. No philosophy has.

        I was referring to applying logic to first principles. But I wouldn’t expect you to grasp that concept.

        – It’s just that libertarians use it as an unconvincing means of justifying why it’s OK to tax me to pay for what they want, but not OK to tax them to pay for what I want.

        See my earlier remark about AnCap…

        1. Forget it, S. Tony confuses freedom with “free from want”, the gist of his tiresome tirades.

          1. He doesn’t confuse it OM, he willfully misrepresents it as it is the only way to give his argument any legitimacy.

          2. Yeah, he kind of sucks

        2. Then you get points for not adopting the fatal contradiction that property-loving libertarians do. But here let us be instructed on the relationship between purism and radicalism. No law enforcement is nonsense; someone’s going to decide to enforce laws that benefit himself, without the benefits of checks and balances in a modern democracy, so to truly think anarchism can work you have to do exactly what the Wolfe said: require that all people behave in a specific and consistent way despite whatever incentives of desperation or greed may exist to tempt them. It is belief in magic.

          1. I know, right?

            But government intervention, boy, now *that* is magic. I mean, look at all the wonderful ways our massive, bloated government has made things better! Endless war, endless deficits/debt, the drug war, spying on everyone…

            And the war on poverty! Why, who can forget Poverty signing surrender papers on the USS Missouri? Magic!

            1. But you’re just listing the mistakes and neglecting all the successes. I could do the same for laissez-faire, except my job would be done once I listed all the problems.

              1. There are NO FUCKING SUCCESSES, fool

        3. “First principles: you haven’t figured those out. No philosophy has.”

          And yet he agonises over the good, despite rejecting idealism and first principles and objective truth. So, in the end all it can ever mean when he talks about the good or the preferable is “what Tony feels like at this moment, arbitrarily, and without rational basis”.

      4. Markets are people interacting how they want. To interfere is to deny people can interact without approval (from who), and to suppose there is a higher authority to govern their interaction. You must not just establish that you think that people must be forced to interact a certain way, but there are somewhere humans who rise above the others who are fit to make such decisions. There’s plenty of history to show this isn’t true, but go ahead and make your case.

        People have been able to distinguish positive rights for hundreds of years. Are you asserting that your special level of retardation means there is no difference. That’s like saying since I can’t understand how a phone works it can’t possibly exist. It’s your problem you are too stupid, nobody else’s.

        “Society is what we make of it” implies someone above society should shape it. Like markets, you need to prove these people exist. I could make society slaves, without some guiding principles the revelation that society can be forced to act a certain way is not an argument that they should be.

        1. If you endorse leaving markets alone then you are claiming that doing such maximizes human well-being, even if you’re defining human well-being as the radically narrow, quasi-religious adherence to certain authoritative principles. How many get to die for your cause before we start approaching things with a more complex idea of what human well-being means?

          I neither believe in a meaningful distinction between positive and negative rights nor do I think any such distinction implies a necessary policy set. Many of the liberties I have on a deserted island are ones I’d gladly exchange for the ones I gain with a functioning governed civilization. I would even sacrifice some I cherish if it means we maintain a form of society in which people are free to decide for themselves how society should run. What that means when there are more than one person in the picture, of course, is voting. Unless you want to be the first to describe a better system for groups of people deciding things that affect them collectively.

          There is no choice between being governed and being government-free. Government will always exist; pray that it is contains checks and balances sufficient to make it function well and at the behest of the governed.

          1. I neither believe in a meaningful distinction between positive and negative rights

            *barf*

          2. There is an obvious distinction between between positive and negative rights. If people couldn’t see that distinction, we wouldn’t have different words “positive” and “negative” for them.

            Positive rights require specific actions on the part of other people to fulfill. Negative rights require inaction. If you have the right to a house, somebody else has to provide the house. To have the right to free speech, or to keep a piece of property, all they have to do is refrain from taking it or stopping you. They don’t have to buy you a printing press.

            1. If people couldn’t see that distinction, we wouldn’t have different words “positive” and “negative” for them.

              “Action” and “inaction” are different words and antonyms. But inaction is, also, action. You only “inact” relative to a defined action. Decline to tax a billionaire to pay to repair a bridge, you have acted, via inaction–and chosen–to let a bridge crumble.

              This is child’s play when it comes to most libertarians’ emphasis, property rights–obviously positive, requiring some form of collectively funded enforcement apparatus. But I maintain no distinction all the way down to supposedly passive rights such as speech. Does it really take no movement by anyone or any government to maintain a freedom of speech? At least, it took someone writing it down and making it part of enforceable law. (The writing and the enforcing are paid for by taxpayers.) But enforceable rights require courts, again paid for by taxpayers. With no positive contribution to establish this machinery, you have words and nothing else. Libertarianism in a nutshell.

              1. Nonsense. Everyone recognizes that action is NOT morally equivalent inaction. This is deeply established in our entire legal structure. You cannot be prosecuted for murder if you refrain from jumping into a river to save a drowning child, UNLESS you have under taken some legal obligaiton to do so, such as signing up to be a lifeguard. On occasion, we require bystanders to assist, but we don’t treat failures to save as equivalent to actions that harm.

                There’s another distinction. A requirement to perofrm a specific act constrains your choices in a way that a prohibition on a specific act does not. A prohibition leaves you free to perform an infinite number of other activities with the same time and resources, while a requirement to act constrains you to only ONE action. Positive rights are hence far more restrictive of other people’s liberty than negative ones.

          3. Government will always exist; pray that it is contains checks and balances sufficient to make it function well and at the behest of the governed.

            Libertarians are not anarchists; the argument is whether the government serves me, or I serve the government.

      5. Libertarians by necessity don’t pay attention to historical evidence…

        It’s confirmed, you’re trolling.

        Please, tony- please give me one example of a situation in which socialism has outperformed capitalism, even in terms of making life better for poor people. I challenge you to come up with even one.

        I will preempt your citation of the Nordic countries. Those countries got rich due to an embrace of capitalistic virtues, and, once rich enough, they decided to move toward the mixed economy/socialism lite they’re known for. Well, now they’re moving back toward capitalism as they recognize that what they had been doing isn’t sustainable.

        Here are some counter examples for you:

        North vs. South Korea
        East vs. West Germany
        The United States vs. the USSR.
        Plymouth from 1620-22 vs. 1622 and on.

        Socialism only works when there are non-monetary interests that motivate people in their interactions with others, and this, almost by definition, can only happen at a very small scale. We usually call it the family, but it can sometimes extend to slightly larger groups. Anything bigger than a group slightly larger than the family, and it breaks down.

        1. I have never endorsed authoritarian socialist regimes or authoritarianism of any stripe. I am not for abolishing capitalism. I’m for a mixed economy that maximizes the values of both capitalism and government intervention. I am for this because of what the evidence shows. If the evidence someday showed that a laissez-faire approached maximized human well-being, I’d be for it.

          1. How do you know you’ve maximized the value of government intervention? What is your scale oh pragmatic one?

            1. Which balance maximizes the standard of living for people is the standard. You believe this too. Everyone who is not a psychopath believes his political order maximizes human well-being. You just define that in terms of society adhering to strict principles, ignoring any and all physical measures, such as how many people die or starve. Not just religion, but old-school religion.

              We do not approach this in different ways, our values are simply different. I think society protecting people from starving is more important than society protecting a billionaire from a dime in taxes. You believe the opposite, for some unfathomable reason.

              1. “Psychopath” is anyone who doesn’t believe in government coerced altruism.

                That is what you fucking refuse to acknowledge – you don’t want to help the poor. You want government guns to ‘help the poor’.

                Just what does that make you? A tyrant,? A despot? A fucking fascist?

                All of the above – ding, ding, fuck you, ding.

                1. You want government guns to ‘help the poor’.

                  Whereas you want government guns to help the rich and ignore the poor.

                  1. Bullshit. I never said that, you lying weasel. Go back to pigfucking; you’re less annoying when you copulate with bacon.

              2. In a way it’s terrible to watch the back-and-forth on these comments. Ultimately it’s like a conversation between people who use the same words, but speak different languages where words and concepts have different meanings.

                Take the example of “human well-being”. Tony, you assume this is a thing that everyone can agree on in broad terms. To you this concept is obviously easy to determine across all of humanity, or at least sub-sets of humanity. And that it can be actively planned for.

                Most other people in this thread think that “human well-being” can only apply to the individual, and that no-one can generalize it across millions of people. They think that only the individual can decide what their own well-being means. Which means that any centralized planning for “human well-being” will eventually interfere with the actual perceived well-being of those being planned for.

                1. Tony is a paid troll. He doesn’t debate. He is simply here to antagonize.

                  You give him more credit for being sincere and honest than he deserves.

                  .

                  1. W4J: If he is only here to antagonize, he is doing libertarians a favor.

                    My comment isn’t necessarily for Tony, but for those who read this thread in the future (hi!).

                2. No social order will account for the needs and wants of all individual people. But we can reinsert our brains for a moment and describe, with very little effort, needs that are more or less universal. For some incredibly unfathomable reason libertarians think the right to own property is the one exception to their “derr what do we know, it’s all up to individuals!” mantra. But also, people don’t tend to like to go without sanitation and plumbing, transport, healthcare, education, air traffic control, and a hundred other things that we have discovered are best handled collectively. If we were an alien species perhaps our needs would be vastly different, though I doubt it. As humans we can be confident that leaving access to water up to the whims of Darwinian selection is perhaps not the best we can do.

                3. Well put. I really liked that explanation, and am going to copy/paste.

                  1. That was for HolgerDanske’s explanation of the different world views on Human Well Being.

          2. I don’t understand. I distinctly recall you arguing rather forcefully that North Korea was pretty awesome. Are you now suggesting that it isn’t?

            Stick to your guns*, man! Tell us how slavery is freedom!

            *The use of the word “guns” here should be interpreted entirely figuratively. I know you have struggled with that, too. Please refrain from threatening us, if possible.

            1. I do indeed suggest that North Korea is not pretty awesome. Neither would be the equally bizarre hermit kingdom of Libertopia, should it ever figure out how to become.

              1. How would you know if it hasn’t happened yet? Are you claiming to be a rationalist instead of an empiricist?

                I voluntarily exchange half my apples for half your wheat. Oh no, Libertopia is become real!

              2. Yes,a kingdom. Such bullshit. Libertarianism is the evil plot to take over the world, and then leave everybody the hell alone.
                Whether you are a sock puppet, or a Machiavellian genius, you provide a service: Forcing us to articulate where you are wrong, and giving lurkers a grasp on our philosophy.
                Take care, you statist SOB.

          3. I’m for a mixed economy

            So, you want to be a parasite rather than a predator. That’s SO much better.

            -jcr

          4. You lie.

      6. We’ve given you lots of good reasons why positive rights are unworkable. You just refuse to acknowledge reality.

        Resources are finite. Two people can’t have a right to the same apple.

        1. Sure they can. Apples can be halved. Since resources are finite, it seems prudent to consider ways to prevent them from accumulating in the hands of the very few at the expense of the very many.

          1. Four people can’t have the right to two half apples. Hell not even three people.

          2. What you have then, isn’t a right to an apple. It’s a right to some share of something to be determined later by a committee of other people. Which means your rights rae dependent on the whims of the people on that committee. And moreover, that the people on that committee are no long your equals, since they how have the power to determine what your rights are.

          3. And so, you prudently put them in the hands of bureaucrats, patting yourself on the back and congratulating yourself on a job well done.

            Just how stupid can you be? Every time you post, you outdo yourself.

          4. “Sure they can. Apples can be halved . . “.

            Until the farmer, seeing his apples confiscated, decides, “why the fuck should I bust my ass and only get 1/2 an apple, when the dick down the street does nothing but gets 1/2 none the less. Fuck this shit. I’m outta here. ”

            Thanks Tony. You got bubkus apples now. Good system you got there.

            Try dividing 0 apples by three. See how many starving people get apples.

          5. Or, or, now stick with me here, it gets complicated, but maybe we could plant some more fucking apple trees! you idiot.

      7. It’s just that libertarians use it as an unconvincing means of justifying why it’s OK to tax me to pay for what they want, but not OK to tax them to pay for what I want.

        I don’t want to tax you at all. I’m happy with true NAP, no confiscation.

        Your move.

        1. If Tony can’t steal then Tony has no utils of happiness. :0 (

  32. Yeah, I noticed the “libertarians cannot compromise” fallacy too. Does Dr. Wolfe not know there are different shades of “libertarian”? Minarchists and an-caps compromise all the time…errh, often. I mean

    1. In any compromise with the libertarian, the libertarian profits.

  33. Libertarianism does have gulags, they just call them cocktail parties.

    1. Family reunions.

  34. Okay, here’s my suspicion: Dr. Wolfe is a broken and broke academic, who, when Googling one day last week, discovered the blogosphere postings about Reason and her challenges.

    Sensing a way to make a quick buck, as well as an opportunity to stay relevant, the esteemed Dr. Wolfe put pen to paper and voila! – another hack takes a whack at Ayn Rand and her followers.

    What I don’t understand – what did we libertarians ever do to Dr. Wolfe? If we are so insignificant, why is he wasting his time?

    It’s almost . . . Personal. As if a libertarian broke his heart and he can’t get over it.

  35. The thing about Ayn Rand is she touted individualism, but she did it on THEIR territory, so her arguments contained the skeletal structure of Statism. You can’t argue with Statists on their ground. You automatically give into their paradigms in so doing.

  36. Salon is where the writers seem to be suffering from OCD when it comes to libertarians. Just in the passed year…

  37. Kevin Drum’s wonderful article on Monday, when responding to a libertarian blogger about being left alone, said – “no, we WON’T leave you alone”.

    I called him a stalker and stalking is a crime.

    1. You should’ve quoted C.S. Lewis back to him.

      1. Okay. But I think it is pointless. It’s Dumb Ass Drum we’re talking about here.

  38. Reason writer Robby right here at Hit and Run claimed #gamergate, the hashtag, made a time machine went back in time before it even existed and in March of 2014 made a bomb threat against Anita Sarkeesian.

    What Alan said about libertarians seems kind of small potatoes.

  39. Wolfe is following the Transitive Law of Liberalism: He hates Stalin, and he hates libertarianism (and especially Rand Paul, who has the potential of blocking Queen Hilly from her throne), so they’re basically the same thing.

  40. “Libertarianism has a complicated history,

    “I’m going to bloviate now. Consider yourself warned.”

    “a secular substitute for religion, complete with its own conception of the city of God, a utopia of pure laissez-faire and the city of man,

    “See? Didn’t I warn you before hand? I didn’t lie!”

    a place where envy and short-sightedness hinder creative geniuses from carrying out their visions.”

    “These libertarians are too shortsighted to see what magnificent plants we the smart ones have for everyone! Lousy bastards!”

    What does anything he said have to do with Stalinism is beyond me. I would say with his last paragraph he was LAMENTING that libertarians were too stubborn to let the great and wise Stalin types get on with their spectacular and stupendous 5-year social engineering programs.

  41. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……
    http://www.freelance-cash.com

  42. Sharply reducing the role of government in American life, libertarianism’s primary objective, appeals to conservatives because it offers an end to Obamacare, Social Security and other programs that transfer public money to the less well-off. Yet it also attracts liberal voters who ardently oppose invasions of privacy and bloated defense spending.

    And, well, we can’t have all that, of course!

    The good news is that if Paul were to win the Republican nomination, libertarianism’s unfitness for the modern world would be revealed for all to see. The bad news is that the poison of its extremism would enter into the body politic, perhaps never to be fully ejected.

    Of course, the intellectual who uttered those words does not pause to think exactly how any of that can be proven. He simply begs the question by assuming the goodness of all those things he believes are at risk IF a libertarian were to win the presidential chair to then conclude libertarianism is an ancient evil.

    1. +1 correct use of the term “begs the question.”

      *monacle tip*

  43. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……
    http://www.freelance-cash.com

  44. Ayn Rand may have hated libertarians but the reason she is important is because libertarians today hold beliefs that resemble hers more than any of the less radical and stupid actual philosophers of libertarianism. The idea that a social safety net is impermissible would be foreign to nearly all of them. The contempt for human beings for how they behave, which informs your beliefs about such programs, is pure Rand. And it is religious and radical and totalitarian. You wouldn’t know this, but you don’t believe in the value of evidence, and you wouldn’t know it because you don’t believe in the value of evidence. It’s not really optional. When laissez-faire policies lead to monopolies and widespread misery, and when government intervention improves people’s lives on massive scales, then you have to take that into account and not be a baby. A comparison to Stalin is stupid, but you guys do it to liberals all the time, because both philosophies by some amazing coincidence believe in government doing stuff; this is quite unlike you, who believe in government doing stuff, only no amount of democratic will or practical reality should allow government to do other stuff. It doesn’t matter that you wouldn’t necessarily put one dictator in charge of enforcing this regime against even unanimous popular sentiment; you don’t seem to feel the need to explain how your regime would work at all.

    1. Re: Tony,

      The idea that a social safety net is impermissible would be foreign to nearly all of them.

      To whom are you referring? If you meant Hayek, he was not a libertarian philosopher. He was an classical liberal economist.

      The contempt for human beings for how they behave

      What? Are you insane? The only ones who ignore how people behave are Marxians, by denying CHOICE.

      A comparison to Stalin is stupid, but you guys do it to liberals all the time

      Liberals are the ones coming up with 5-year plans, not libertarians. So YES, the comparison is MORE fitting.

    2. Tony|6.17.15 @ 6:56PM|#
      “[…]The idea that a social safety net is impermissible would be foreign to nearly all of them. The contempt for human beings for how they behave, which informs your beliefs about such programs, is pure Rand.[…]”

      The pathetic moral cripple checks in with the normal load of lies and bullshit.

    3. Fuck you, Tony Hobsbawm and pig you fucked in on.

      We have a place for pig fuckers like you. We’re Stalinists – and remember, as you squeal in front of the Government farmer – you had it coming.

    4. Let’s count the false premises in that post, shall we?

      1. Libertarians don’t believe in a social safety net.
      2. Libertarians have contempt for other human beings.
      3. Libertarianism is totalitarian.
      4. Libertarians don’t believe in the value of evidence.
      5. Laissez-faire policies lead to monopolies.
      6. You don’t seem to feel the need to explain how your regime would work at all.

      Tony, you’ve really outdone yourself. When all you have left to defend yourself with are lies, your side has lost the war.

      Buck up little cowboy, when the nation becomes libertarian due to the implosion of the current establishment policies, libertarians will still leave you alone.

      1. The implication is not just that libertarians are against a safety net, but that they would enact laws to keep people people from voluntarily providing a safety net. That’s the crux of it.

        1. Perfectly said.

          Thank you.

      2. “Buck up little cowboy, when the nation becomes libertarian due to the implosion of the current establishment policies, libertarians will still leave you alone.”

        And this is what bothers Tony and others of his ilk the most. He knows the productive don’t need him, but he needs them. And furthermore, Tony knows most libertarians would help him and the other less fortunate out voluntarily, and he just can’t abide that. He needs to have their wealth extracted by force and then lecture them contemptuously from his lofty perch of moral superiority.

    5. It’s not really optional. When laissez-faire policies lead to monopolies and widespread misery, and when government intervention improves people’s lives on massive scales, then you have to take that into account and not be a baby.

      CITATION PLEASE

    6. I especially like your use of the word “regime.”

      Because when I think of libertarians, I think in terms of empires and dictatorships!

      Very clever. I’m sure the rest of your post was equally clever, though I kinda lost interest early on and didn’t read most of it.

      Go for brevity next time.

    7. tony:
      ” You wouldn’t know this, but you don’t believe in the value of evidence, and you wouldn’t know it because you don’t believe in the value of evidence.”

      You win the award for “stupidest sentence I’ve read today.”

      1. I thought it was a tour de force of tautology myself.

    8. When laissez-faire policies lead to monopolies and widespread misery, and when government intervention improves people’s lives on massive scales, then you have to take that into account and not be a baby.

      I don’t think there’s any real evidence that laissez-faire policies lead to monopolies. Historically most monopolies have need established and enforced by the government. Lots of people were arguing not long ago that Microsoft was a natural monopoly. The Apple came along. Now we have Android as a majority operating system on Smart Phones and Tablets and Windows tablets and phones are a small minority. The economy is far too dynamic for any monopoly to survive for long.

      In my ideal world, the poorest people in society would be utterly free to employ themselves in any manner they saw fit. There would be no occupational licensing, no restrictions on selling food grown in your back yard, no laws against building a house on your own land in any manner you chose. What leads to misery of the poorest is that we have laws that prevent them from doing for themselves. They can’t open a shop in their own house due to zoning. They can’t sell vegetables grown in their yard due to food safety regulations. They can’t braid hair without getting a cosmetology degree. We forcibly make them dependent on welfare and minimum wage jobs instead of encouraging them to help themselves.

    9. Tony:
      A comparison to Stalin is stupid, but you guys do it to liberals all the time

      Eh, there’s a difference between the “comments section” and the “article titles” section.

      Unless, of course, you’re reading Salon.

  45. Ayn Rand did not like libertarians either, for exactly the same reason Wolfe gives. Granted, these with were 1960’s Libertarians (hippies of the right) that she disliked, not 2015 libertarians, but I’m still not sure what the old fart is up to with that.

    Rand promoted libertarian politics only to the extent that it was derived from reason. She did not like libertarians who thought liberty was a first principle. In fact, she thought they’d be the first to fold under fire.

    1. Re: Muhammad Finkenstein (widget),

      Granted, these with were 1960’s Libertarians (hippies of the right) that she disliked

      She was hostile to anarchocapitalists, especially because of their anti-State stance. Rand was not against the State, she was only against a State that stifled freedom on purpose.

    2. OM,

      You very well know why she thought that way. She accepted the State as the sole administer of justice, warts and all, and did not want gangs of anarchists making up their own rules as they go along.

      1. Re: Muhammad Finkenstein (widget),

        She accepted the State as the sole administer of justice, warts and all, and did not want gangs of anarchists making up their own rules as they go along.

        Possibly but then she showed a complete mistrust of her own philosophy. If people are all self-interested, they would realize the greatest utility is achieved by trading peacefully. Gangs of anarchists (actually, thugs) would not be populated by self-interested men of reason but unthinking savages, the very reason why guns were invented. If she had shown more trust for the ultimate consequence of her own philosophy, she would realize that the State IS a creature populated by unthinking savages who make the rules as they go along.

        1. If only we could do away with all the savages…

          Who engage in a mode of obvious self-interest that is terribly inconvenient for your beliefs.

          1. I know, right?

            I mean, thuggery, theft, and murder are all part of Marxism! Oh wait, you were talking about libertarianism?

            Again with your wicked insights!

          2. Self-interest doesn’t mean stealing. EVER.

            1. Woodchippin’ 4 Jesus|6.17.15 @ 9:07PM|#
              “Self-interest doesn’t mean stealing. EVER.”

              To lefty ignoramuses it does; commie-kid bailed on his mortgage and is proud of it! He feels that the bank got stuck with the loss, since he’s a lefty imbecile.
              I hope his retirement portfolio took a hit.

            2. Jean Valjean knows this, in retrospect.

              1. I’m pretty sure Jean Valjean was down with the social contract.

                1. Really, Jean Valjean?

                  If you’re trying to make a point about how wonderful laws and regulations are, that’s hardly the fictional example I’d bring up.

  46. Libertarianism… I do not think it means what you think it means, Mr. Wolfe.

  47. “Truly principled libertarians believe that government should refrain from telling women what to do with their bodies, but should there be no regulation of medical procedures?”

    Do you really mean you can’t reconcile those two propositions, Wolfe?

    What other regulation do you need besides effectiveness? It’s been a LONG TIME since doctors stopped using bloodletting as a procedure. Do you think that is because of regulation?

    1. Medicine is a science and as such has improved with time by the means of science (which is of course strictly regulated by internal checks and principles). Regulation, whether from government or nongovernmental bodies, maintains high standards. Licensing of physicians provides a measure of confidence for patients, and ensuring that practicing physicians are well-trained (evidenced by such credentials) means they are granted latitude when implementing their expertise. The regulations allow us to trust their judgment. A laissez-faire approach at the front end would (or at least might) result in saturation by charlatans, and god knows people are prone to victimizing themselves at the hands of charlatans, even with a modern highly standardized medical establishment.

      That’s why sometimes regulation is good, and you probably agree except when it comes to a sovereign government doing it. Nobody is forced to be a doctor! Of course nobody is technically forced to be a citizen of a particular jurisdiction.

      1. Of course nobody is technically forced to be a citizen of a particular jurisdiction.

        Those bullets just showed up in those bodies going from East to West Berlin.

      2. Code Blue: Get this man a copy of “Bootleggers and Baptists” and the collected works of Tullock and Buchanan, stat!

          1. Don’t bother. Tony does not come here to learn. He chooses what he allows himself to be taught based upon the politics of the teacher. If the teacher is a fellow leftist who is incapable of rational thought and bases everything on what they feel, then Tony is ready to learn. This is because Tony is immune to both logic and reason. All he can do is feel. If it feels true then it is true. Period. So any rational argument will be lost on him. You can’t reason someone out of a position they arrived at by emotion. And emotion is all Tony knows.

            1. Perhaps someday you’ll try a rational argument on me instead of this endless supply of hollow insults.

      3. Licensing of physicians provides a measure of confidence for patients, and ensuring that practicing physicians are well-trained (evidenced by such credentials) means they are granted latitude when implementing their expertise.

        It was also used to whiten up the medical profession and make sure doctors came from the right family background.

        A laissez-faire approach at the front end would (or at least might) result in saturation by charlatans, and god knows people are prone to victimizing themselves at the hands of charlatans, even with a modern highly standardized medical establishment.

        You’d better get rid of your TV, VCR, DVD, and computer — these are all “regulated” by the private entity Underwriters’ Laboratories.

        1. Anyone with any curiosity at about the truth of things would look into the origins and history of the AMA, but the truth of things is of little interest to “progressives”.

      4. I have multiple sclerosis, Tony. And “regulation” has not helped me.

        Why? Because, as the disease modifying medications (cures) have spent 25 years in FDA limbo, waiting for government approval.
        Do you know how many fellow MS sufferers I comforted as a MS Society volunteer as their MS progressed? Do you know how many PWMS are now permanently crippled or dead because the drugs that were invented in 1975 weren’t available to the MS suffers because of a regulatory black hole? The answer is hundreds of thousands, you statist fuckhead pig.

        Do you have any idea how repugnant your comment is? How stupid? How insensitive?

        You and your statist friends at the FDA have ruined the lives of millions of people.

        So take your statist “compassion” and shove it up your ass.

        1. Fuck, I hope they aren’t letting any of you smoke weed. How would that be explained to the children?

          1. I’m dopey enough just the way I am (smile).

        2. I can’t speak with authority to whether the FDA has maliciously stalled promising MS therapies. Maybe it’s true. If the FDA is stalling scientifically established effective therapies for whatever nefarious reason, I have no problem admitting that that is bad. I also have no problem having an agency whose mission is to prevent poison from entering the medicines market. I’m not for any and all government, but good government. When you have freed yourself of childish slogans and notions of black and white, government vs. goodness, then you can think about how to constitute good government. It’s always going to be there; death and taxes as they say. You gonna avoid talking about how to manage death by pretending it can be dispensed with too?

          1. ” I also have no problem having an agency whose mission is to prevent poison from entering the medicines market.”

            In Libertopia that agency is the insurance companies.

          2. “I’m for good government,” is a fucking cop-out. Hindsight is always 20-20.

            You’re fully behind government until it fucks up. Then, you beg for a mulligan, an edit key, as you equivocate “well, I didn’t like THAT xyz. THAT was BAD government. I only like GOOD government.

            We’re not letting you off that easily, Tony. You do not get the luxury of picking the winner AFTER the horse race is over.

            You own it all. And it is all FUCKING BAD.

      5. idjit

      6. “sometimes regulation is good, and you probably agree except when it comes to a sovereign government doing it. ”

        You’re starting to catch on!

        “The regulations allow us to trust their judgment”

        No – by your own logic in this very post it is the *licensing*, not the *regulations* that “allow” us to trust their judgment. The doctors don’t need to be forced to get licenses/certifications from the AMA in order for those licenses/certifications to carry authority.

        “Nobody is forced to be a doctor!”

        No, but the rest of us are forced to *only* use doctors licensed by the AMA. The piece you’re missing in your libertarian-hypotheticals is that a libertarian would argue that we should have the right to seek medical care from whomever we choose at whatever price we agree to.

        If I want advice from Rainbow the All Natural Healer down the street because she seems to be able to help people sometimes and she hardly charges anything, I should be allowed to.

        Your argument is that I should be forced to pay money I don’t have (or someone else’s money) to get health care from someone I can’t afford for reasons I don’t agree with.

        Again, to break it down – because you *are* getting there – it is not the regulations or the licenses libertarians have a problem with. It is the use of *force* in their application.

        1. Tony has high standards that everyone else should be forced to to both follow and pay for. Not only that, but he feels that this expensive care is a basic human right that is to be paid for by taxes. And this is good and just because government has the power to use violence on anyone who disagrees. Do you disagree? Well then he’s disappointed that he can’t send the Thought Police out to kill you. Though he hopes that someday he will.

          1. I actually can’t decide whether Tony is a paid shill or a sort of bi-curious libertarian who just can’t let go of his liberal programming. He’s here an awful lot for someone who just sees no value in libertarian ideas, so he’s either being paid to come here and try to refute us, or he’s attracted to the ideas but has some hang-ups.

            I can easily believe either one, as his absolute refusal to see reason on party-line issues does scream “I’m paid to have these opinions,” but I find the latter scenario more intriguing, so I indulge it.

            1. He’s a leftist dunce who actually feels that he is scoring points against stupid libertarians. Seriously. He really feels that he wins every argument. He’s that stupid.
              (notice I use the verb to feel, not to think. I would never accuse him of thinking)

            2. It is not rare that I agree with the actual article more than the commenters. I think libertarians are ridiculous, and am an avowed liberal/progressive/democratic socialist. But part of that involves advocating for personal liberties that are threatened by current law. Really the only significant way I differ is in advocating for higher taxes on the wealthy. And this just happens to be the SINGLE GREATEST HITLER EVIL according to you guys. But you’re not tools at all.

              1. See! You ARE the spawn of Eric Hobsbawm!

                Fuck you and the pig you rode in on.

        2. If I want advice from Rainbow the All Natural Healer down the street because she seems to be able to help people sometimes and she hardly charges anything, I should be allowed to.

          Who is disallowing this? No law is preventing you from getting therapy from your local yogi. Some of us however like having a formal system in place to put a floor (a high one) on how unscientific and predatory practitioners of medicine can be. Call us crazy.

          it is not the regulations or the licenses libertarians have a problem with. It is the use of *force* in their application.

          Get over it. Force, especially as thinly and metaphorically defined as libertarians make it, is part of life. A red light at an intersection is force. A request by your sister to be a bridesmaid is force. You people are the worst teenagers. That is really all that is going on here.

          1. ” A request by your sister to be a bridesmaid is force.”

            I don’t think force means what you think it means.

          2. “You people are the worst teenagers . . .”. Because that is what Team Rachel Maddow told you, right?

            Somehow you just cannot grasp the desire to be “left alone” is mutual, respectful and humble. It is beyond your comprehension. You only respond to your “better angels” when government force makes you be good. You cannot fathom that others do not require force to do the right thing.

            1. The issue is that libertarians suggest that everyone can and will fall in line. I don’t need government to protect others from me, because I’m a decent person. I need it to protect me from those who aren’t.

              1. I don’t think protect means what you think it means.

                1. Tony is all over the place on this thread. He starts out with his usual progressive-socialist government is liberty” and basically ends as a minarchist.

                  Maybe we’ve turned him – what do you think?

              2. No, you don’t. You have been brainwashed into thinking that you do.

          3. “Force is part of life”. . . Only YOU would muddy the waters with a red light and bridesmaid.

            And what you refuse to acknowledge – force (government force) is used to boost prior government force and coercion.

            When government fails, you guys never admit it failed because it sucked. You say it failed because it wasn’t FORCEFUL enough. So you create even more force. Which, of course, fails again. RINSE. REPEAT. And the circle of government fucktitude continues – because you can’t grasp you created the problem in the first place.

      7. “Dallas Buyer’s Club”. Watch it. You need to.

        1. Alright alright alright.

        2. +1

          Was thinking the exact same thing earlier.

      8. Medicine is a science and as such has improved with time by the means of science (which is of course strictly regulated by internal checks and principles). Regulation, whether from government or nongovernmental bodies, maintains high standards. Licensing of physicians provides a measure of confidence for patients

        Oh my god, that’s so funny. You didn’t write the dialog for Mars Attacks! did you?

        Professor Donald Kessler: We know they’re extremely advanced technologically, which suggests – very rightfully so – that they’re peaceful. An advanced civilization, by definition, is not barbaric.

  48. You know, people like this make it much less fun to rip on libertarians. So screw him.

  49. But how, exactly, does one get government “interference” out of business when business wants it there most of the time?

    Alan Wolfe not just believes in regulatory capture but thinks it’s a good idea?

  50. Ultimately, it’s the specter of Rand Paul, son of Ron (who “adhered to such radical positions as abolishing the Federal Reserve”!), that’s making Wolfe tear through his Depends like Stalin through his former revolutionary comrades in the late ’30s.

    I love you, Nick Gillespie.

    1. Ultimately, it’s the specter of Rand Paul, son of Ron (who “adhered to such radical positions as abolishing the Federal Reserve”!), that’s making Wolfe tear through his Depends like Stalin through his former revolutionary comrades in the late ’30s.

      I love you, Nick Gillespie.

      The link in the original quote sent me rambling down the Wikipedia rabbit-hole about Stalin’s showtrials, Kagonovich, Sid Reilly and the Trust, Nikolai Bukharin, and Vasili Blohkin (holy shit). Wasted basically whole workday.

      God damn you, Nick Gillespie

  51. Even in the absence of, say, a government-run Food and Drug Administration or medical-procedure board, there would be all sorts of certifying agencies, insurance companies, reputational proxies, grading services, and more to give consumers all sorts of information about the efficacy and safety of whatever you could dream up.

    Why no mention of Underwriters’ Laboratories????

  52. a place where envy and short-sightedness hinder creative geniuses from carrying out their visions.

    Creative geniuses hindered by being allowed to follow their muse? Or are you talking mother fucker, about TOP MEN and their plans? In which case you better have the balls and ammo to back up that kind of talk.

  53. Talk about a disconnect with reality…. where do you begin to catalog how flaw are his facts as well as his logic.

    “Know thy enemy” is apparently not a lesson that he took to heart.

    1. He doesn’t have enemies, at least not of the principled ideological kind. Wolfe desires success and admiration as an intellectual; the positions he needs to take in order to achieve that are immaterial. Since his progressive friends are in a “beat up the libertarians” mood, that’s what he’s doing right now. If Marxism or fascism became popular again, he’d convert back to that.

  54. Alan Wolfe is a “reformed” Marxist:

    Earlier in his career, Wolfe was a member of the collective that put out the Marxist-oriented journal, Kapitalistate, whose pages featured articles by such writers as Poulantzas, Claus Offe, Ralph Miliband, and Bob Jessop. By the early 1980s, Wolfe’s politics had become more centrist. In 2004, one author characterized him as a radical centrist thinker.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Wolfe

    Obviously, his Marxist days have left him with permanent brain damage.

    1. Nope, he merely realized that Marxism was discredited so he decided to disguise it.

  55. “Obamacare, Social Security and other programs that transfer public money to the less well-off”

    They transfer money from those who earned it to those with political pull, usually those who are better off.

    Obamacare transfers money from all Americans to the government and the medical mafia.

    Social Security transfers money from workers who are younger and relatively poor to the retired who are older and relatively wealthy.

  56. “Truly principled libertarians believe that government should refrain from telling women what to do with their bodies, but should there be no regulation of medical procedures?”

    Yes, no government enforcement of the medical mafia shakedown of American citizens.

  57. Hm. Late to the party here. The Stalinist comparison is funniest to me because he’s painting Stalinists as some sort of pure ideologues. Stalin didn’t butcher people because they weren’t true believers or Marxists. Stalin butchered people because he felt threatened by them. Stalin was the ultimate authoritarian statist. That’s it. He was no purist.

    Wolfe didn’t want to use the word Marxist or communist because then he would have offended by the special snowflakes on the left who, despite all protests, are pretty sympathetic when they hear those two words. So he went with Stalin.

  58. “All things being equal, do you trust not just yourself but your neighbors and especially people you don’t even know to come to voluntary arrangements based in respect and mutual benefits?”

    No, and as such I sure as the surest fuck don’t trust them to respectfully and justly apply the police power of the community without restraint.

  59. Paul Wolfe ladies and gentlemen… Living proof that no matter how long you spend your life thinking about stuff, there’s still a chance you’ll end up with dementia.

    1. Senile dementia was my first thought, too. But then I figured this guy’s probably been inventing stuff to demonize everyone he disagrees with long before now.

      I figure it’s bad parenting. When I was kid and I bad-mouthed someone, I remember my parents telling me, “If you have absolutely nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all.” I think Wolfe’s parents told young Paul, “If you have absolutely nothing bad to say about someone, just MAKE SOME SHIT UP.”

  60. “Can I help you?”

    “Why yes, mister. They tell me you’re a talent agent.”

    “Finest in all the land. What can I do for ya?”

    “My good sir, it’s what I can do for you. Don’t mind tellin’ ya, I have got a real hootenanny of an act I’m itchin’ to put out there. I’m sittin’ on a gold mine with yer name on it.”

    “Is that right?”

    “Yes indeedy. It’s a family act. First my daughter and I take the stage. She takes 10,000 troops and a tank division and invades France. I’m right behind her with fence and barbed wire, and me and a bunch of guards with machine guns herd a bunch of gays and foreigners into a small space. Then we put up the fence and barbed wire around them and – presto, a concentration camp. Next my son and a few thousand heavily armed thugs seize control of farmland and oil wells in southeast Asia, killing the natives in the process. He and his men live like kings from the oil money and from controlling the food supply while everyone else dies of starvation. Last, my wife comes on stage and sells a bunch of captured Africans to plantations in the American Southeast.”

    “Good God…what do you call yourselves?”

    “THE LIBERTARIANS!”

    1. *standing ovation*

      Bravo! Haven’t heard a good Aristocrats in a while…

  61. Return to Greatness?

    When I read what these people want, it sounds like they just won’t be happy until they’re living in the Roman Empire.

  62. I call it the Platinum Rule:

    All actions are allowed expect those involving the initiatory use of force, threats of force or fraud.

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  64. “that’s making Wolfe tear through his Depends”

    Cheap low comment.

    I’m sure Mr.Gillespie and his fellow travelers would not appreciate a similar comment made about their messiah Ron Paul, who is even older than Mr Wolfe.

    1. There are no fellow travelers in libertarianism. We all take our own vehicles and go whichever way we want, you cunt.

    2. “. . . their messiah, Ron Paul . . . “.

      Libertarians have NO messiah, you stupid fuckhead.

  65. Test

  66. This is VERY funny.

    I am always amused when pundits try to attack libertarianism.
    Their arguments run so thin, it is so easy to see the prejudice and fear of loss of power and control that drives their opinions.
    It also reveals their statist and socialist mindsets.

  67. I am reminded of my article The Libertarian Freeman Revolution, which predicted an orchestrated attempt to undermine and then eradicate libertarians from society, as McCarthy attempted to do with communists in the 1950s.

    The Libertarian Freeman Revolution
    http://tinyurl.com/no26zmv

    To me libertarianism is so benign, user friendly and non-offensive, it truly puzzles me when I see shit like this, Christie’s commentary was another.
    Libertarianism only asks that people have the right to be left alone. Anyone against that obviously does not want to leave you be, and has plans for you to work for their goals whether you want to or not.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they start attacking you, then they either join you or get left in the dustheap of failed ideologies.

  68. Benign is scary. People might starve (sarc)

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