Burning Man

Yes, Burning Man Is Pretty Libertarian in Many Respects

Which is a shame for those who can't tolerate any space not managed by compulsion

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Keith A. Spencer at Jacobin notices something he thinks is very alarming and he wants his proggy audience to be very alarmed about as well: The Burning Man festival has an easily-detectable libertarian subtext, and that's why rich people go there!

Burning Man, that curious art festival/experimental temporary community that rises and disappears every year before Labor Day in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, has become a true American phenomenon, its every business decision, culture warpolitical imbroglio, and insect infestation making national news.

As someone attending since 1995 and writing about it since 1999, it's been an interesting ride to watch. The event, though, even though it has adopted "10 Principles" to define its meaning, has always been, to its credit, wide-ranging in the set of beliefs and attitudes it can swallow up or be seen to embody.

What's great about it is the experience, never the ideology that does or does not underlie it. At root, it is a great experience almost to the degree that it is not a political experience.

Some of Spencer's observations, with comments. Although one of ethos/rules of the event is that no vending (except for ice and coffee at event-run venues) is allowed:

capitalists also unironically love Burning Man, and to anyone who has followed the recent history of Burning Man, the idea that it is at all anticapitalist seems absurd: last year, a venture capitalist billionaire threw a $16,500-per-head party at the festival, his camp a hyper-exclusive affair replete with wristbands and models flown in to keep the guests company.

Burning Man is earning a reputation as a "networking event" among Silicon Valley techies, and tech magazines now send reporters to cover it. CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Larry Page of Alphabet are foaming fans, along with conservative anti-tax icon Grover Norquist and many writers of the libertarian (and Koch-fundedReason magazine. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even went so far as to claim that Burning Man "is Silicon Valley."

Spencer hat tips to the experiential surreality of the actual experience, of its very effective and rich recreation of modern urban life as a near-Situationist orgy of play and behavioral revolt. You can get away with appearances and behaviors that would get you shunned, mocked, or avoided in normal life and have them treated as play here.

That sort of social liberty is rich and real, even if cops descend like flies on the event and try to enforce silly laws against nonviolent behavior. (Though one can still, as always, get away with such behavior more often than not.)

Spencer then goes on to raise eyebrows over the fact that the event's ethos of participation and "no spectating" allows people with more money to, well, have more money to spend on supplying spectacle and gifts to the other citizens at Burning Man. Yes, rich people go there to have fun. Why? Because it's a lot of fucking fun. Yes, an airport operates there now. Why? People want to fly there, and it's a long hard drive down an often cramped two-lane road for nearly 100 miles out of Reno.

Much of the rest of it is a tired re-hashing of stories of rich people running camps in which they hire people to serve them, questionable given the event's supposed ethos and rules but something that should, absent New York Times stories getting them riled up, have no effect on the non-envious' ability to enjoy whatever experience they want to have at Burning Man. Just ignore the walls of RVs. If the thought that someone is eating a better meal and sleeping in a nicer accomodation than you out there ruins your experience, that might be your problem.

The emergent class divides of Burning Man attendees is borne out by data: the Burning Man census (yes, they have a census, just like a real nation-state) showed that from 2010 to 2014, the number of attendees who make more than $300,000 a year doubled from 1.4% to 2.7%. This number is especially significant given the outsize presence 1 percenters command at Burning Man.

Hm, that sounds bad, huh? I guess. Why, again? Spencer will tell ya:

In a just, democratic society, everyone has equal voice. At Burning Man everyone is invited to participate, but the people who have the most money decide what kind of society Burning Man will be — they commission artists of their choice and build to their own whims. They also determine how generous they are feeling, and whether to withhold money.

Spencer then goes on to connect Burning Man with Mark Zuckerberg giving $100 million to Newark's schools, which was bad because it overwhelmed democratic control of the schools, which had done so well for Newark's kids, apparently.

Oh, yes: Burning Man full of white men. Some of them rich. And it's a world where people make their own decisions about how to use their resources for their own or others' pleasure, not one where some democratic decisionmaking process forces people to do with their resources what a majority say they want (in a system where anyone familiar in any way with actual working democracy knows, the linkage between a vote and a policy result that directly reflects exactly what the voter wanted is practically nonexistent).

That is what Spencer calls "the dark heart of Burning Man"—that insufficient decisions about people's resources are being made by others and enforced by violence.

Progs should have been suspicious about this whole Burning Man thing from the beginning, Spencer points out, since one of the event's core stated principles is "radical self-expression," defined in part as arising "from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient."

Dark indeed!

The root of Burning Man's degeneration may lie in the concept itself. Indeed, the idea of radical self-expression is, at least under the constraints of capitalism, a right-wing, Randian ideal, and could easily be the core motto of any of the large social media companies in Silicon Valley, who profit from people investing unpaid labor into cultivating their digital representations…

It doesn't seem like Burning Man can ever be salvaged, or taken back from the rich power-brokers who've come to adore it and now populate its board of directors. It became a festival that rich libertarians love because it never had a radical critique at its core; and, without any semblance of democracy, it could easily be controlled by those with influence, power, and wealth.

Or Burning Man can continue to be what it started as and has remained: a self-created civic space for people to come together with other people in an atmosphere of expected creativity, refreshing non-judgementalism, revelry, and comedy and do for the most part whatever they want without a commissar telling them how they must participate.

There is a reasonable story about a diminution in the spirit of Burning Man to be told, but it has to do with the event becoming more like a modern democracy, in the sense of the imposition of rules and cops and cop-like entities to enforce some collective vision-from-above of safety for the masses and environmental consciousness.

That said: Yes, there is still something very anarchistic about Burning Man. (Notwithstanding that, like everywhere else in the territory of the United States, cops choose to flood into it, mostly to harass people over innocent behavior.) It's a functioning city where attendance is voluntary and the only things like public services—mostly road grading and porta-johns—are paid for out of the voluntary ticket price.

Actual free markets in the form of vending are prohibited, which of course makes it a purely fantasy mini-anarchy, one that can only survive for its limited time over the incredibly leisure-wealth thrown off by capitalist society. You must bring everything with you that you need to survive.

It's no coincidence that the first (and still the best!) history of the event was written in 2004 by a libertarian, me. (It's called This is Burning Man, available as a 10th anniversary ebook with an updated 5,000-word afterword.) (Before the book, I wrote at length about the event's troubled relations with government in a February 2000 Reason cover story.)

I've noted before here the animating spirit of Spencer's overly long essay: the regrettable progressive tendency to get really pissed off about any interesting or useful part of reality not managed via centralized force, from self-publishing to bitcoin to Kickstarter to the "maker" movement. It sucks, but at least it helps show what the progressive impulse is really all about: not making a better world, but making what they believe would be a better managed one—managed by people like them, for their goals.

Jacobin itself is fond of the "a wonderful area of human life isn't sufficiently controlled by 'democracy'" article; see me taking on David Golumbia in 2013 on the terrible problem of how overly libertarian the Internet itself is.

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88 responses to “Yes, Burning Man Is Pretty Libertarian in Many Respects

  1. wants his proggy audience

    Spoken like a commenter! Well done!

  2. (and Koch-funded) Reason magazine

    Lift your monocle, pinky finger, and take a DRINK!

    1. The Koch Brothers should contribute $1 to every political organization under the sun, so that they are all “Koch-funded”.

  3. Also, I find it disturbing that I don’t have a say in how Jacobin Magazine spends their resources. How unjust and undemocratic.

    1. Sure you do — see, by not subscribing to it, you… oh shit.

  4. In a just, democratic society, everyone has equal voice.

    What the world needs is more meaningless pablum!

    1. Holy Shit, I didn’t even notice that the name of the magazine is Jacobin. What laughable tripe they spew. Everyone has an equal voice, and they all just happen to agree with Robespierre!

  5. what the progressive impulse is really all about: not make a better world, but making what they believe would be a better managed one?managed by people like them, for their goals.

    Actually, it just seems like a sociopathic impulse to me. Instead of viewing other people as independent actors making their own choices, they view people a cogs in the machine they want to tune, namely, society. Cogs that don’t do their part need to be “fixed” so that they do. They’re not people, just things for them to manipulate.

    1. Yep. Ditto when it comes to doing stuff with other people’s money — it’s not really other people’s, in the way that theirs is theirs, it’s just a resource that’s out there, like air, water, etc. Never occurs to them that money is a very real (the only) representation of a person’s toil & sacrifice, because they are psychopaths, incapable of empathy. Which is one reason why with them it is always supposedly about charity, about helping people; this is nothing but a self-deception purposefully designed to hide from themselves the fact that they don’t actually care about anyone or anything — that they’re literally incapable of doing so.

    2. It’s very child-like. All I can picture is a 5 year old in a game, stamping his feet and yelling, “You didn’t do what I told you to do! You’re ruining everything!”

  6. Yeah except for it being a massive police state held on federal land, burning man is the epitome of the libertarian moment!

  7. I need to get your book. I’ve wanted to go to Burning Man, but Mrs. Almanian would just hate it. And I can’t get away long enough to go by myself (any vaca that long would require her attendance).

    Hmm – maybe fly out to save some time and rent a car. I think I could pack light enough to do that.

    Just want to go to see it myself and decide if it’s cool, just weird, all of the above, none of the above….

      1. Pick you up? (I’m leaving from Michigan….)

        1. Sweet, I’ll tell my boss.

  8. That said: yes, there is still something very anarchistic about Burning Man. (Notwithstanding that, like everywhere else in the territory of the United States, cops choose to flood into it, mostly to harass people over innocent behavior.)

    I’ve always had the impression that the ‘anarchy’ in Burning Man is a childish the-‘rents-are-gone-let’s-party version of ‘anarchy’, that true anarchy; people blowing shit up heedlessly, slaughtering things on a whim, voluntary abusive or violent behavior, *posing* a danger to self and others would be similarly opposed by the local law as well as the “libertarian” (i.e. populist) elements of the festival.

    Am I wrong? I never see any really unpopular speech/act come out of Burning Man, just a bunch of behavior that attendees want people to perceive as edgy or unpopular.

    1. Uh you do know that anarchy is different from chaos, and that anarchists by and large aren’t about killing people, right?

      1. ANARCHY!!!! Hugh. ANARCHY!!!!!

      2. Apparently not.

      3. Well there’s those socialist who call themselves anarchist cause they think it sounds cool and edgy even though they don’t know what it it actually means that occausonaly do the molitave cocktails at the G6, 7, and 8s.

      4. Uh you do know that anarchy is different from chaos, and that anarchists by and large aren’t about killing people, right?

        OK, Hugh, now that your apoplexy has hopefully cleared up go back and read what I wrote.

        I didn’t say actually killing anyone or forcing anyone to do anything, I just described actions that lots of people, progressive leftist hippies included, would find offensive or unacceptable.

        I’d hardly describe a prison yard as chaos but I’d certainly consider it to be closer to anarchy than Burning Man. I get the impression that Burning Man is a place where neck tattoos are cool and rebellious but having a swastika or identifiable gang tattoo would get you ejected.

        Mainly, if I head out to the desert because I wanna enjoy a nice kitten pie in piece, am I gonna get a lot of flack for being cruel to animals? How about if I snap their necks first?

        1. Your exact words:

          that true anarchy; people blowing shit up heedlessly, slaughtering things on a whim, voluntary abusive or violent behavior,

        2. Ahem, in peace. Damned edit button.

          1. “kitten pie in piece” was better

          2. Left in piece? Sure, maybe. Shunned is more like it.

        3. Well you probably would get flack because anarchy isn’t the absence of social censure. In fact that’s one of the main means of social regulation in the absence a coercive state. And ejecting someone from a community where they don’t share the values is a pretty reasonable method of maintaining the integrity of a community and the safety of its members.

          And we can add ‘apoplexy’ to the list of words you use without actually knowing.

          1. Have a piece of kitten pie and relax, Hugh…

            1. I want a piece of kitten pie

          2. In fact that’s one of the main means of social regulation in the absence a coercive state.

            Witness justice (for lack of a better term) in the twitterverse.

          3. Hugh, I’m a fellow libertarian Reason forumite. I’m fully aware that anarchy does not mean chaos and libertarian does not mean anarchy. I’ve been around for the consistent ‘if not the state, then… anarchy!’ logic fails. I’m also rather first-handedly aware that one person’s notion of anarchy is, intrinsically, not the same as the next. I’m just trying to tease out if libertarian vs. anarchy vs. *libertine* and it very much seems like the latter; nudity/lax dress code, no showers or curfew, possibly some drugs and, therefore, free!

            The association with Silicon Valley and the Maker movement consistently gives me the impression of libertinism rather than anarchy or libertarianism. The kind of culture that’s brilliantly free and open to everyone right up until Cody Wilson prints a 3D handgun, then all bets are off. Considering they ban anything up to and including slingshots and pocket knives, it sounds about as ‘anarchic’ or ‘libertarian’ as the local grade school or playground. It sounds about as libertarian as the Boy Scouts (with less gay sex even!).

            It’s not libertarian/anarchy/anything goes because it actually has any real principles about freedom(s), just a niche notion of idological non-conformance that keeps everyone (including the larger society around it) comfortable.

    2. Anarchy!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okSbhtjK2EU

      I don’t even know what that means, but I love it!

  9. Progressives are just another breed of squares and control freaks

    1. read through these comments. libertarians here are frothing at the mouth to control and regulate the writer that doherty’s made into a pariah. shun the nonbeliever!

      1. Uh, shunning is the exact *opposite* of controlling.

      2. [Looks for posts demanding that the writer be controlled….] Nope.

        You don’t sound very smart. Does it hurt to be this dim and angry all the time?

  10. The American Left appears to be progressing nicely into a Stalinist phase,

  11. I was beaten by a cop for getting an abortion at burning man by an illegal immigrant while getting called a bimbo by Donald Trump. Best day of my libertarian life.

    1. An abortion, or a gay abortion? Or a Gay Witch Abortion?

      1. OMG! What’s better than a Gay Witch Abortion. A band called Gay Witch Abortion that’s what! sweet

    2. Gee, all I got was the T-shirt.

  12. Speaking of “faggot ass pink” . . .

    Many years ago, when I was in RIP (that’s Ranger Indoctrination Program for the initiated), one of my buddies was this soft-spoken pretty boy by the name of Private Pepe. He was one of those guys the instructors needled relentlessly at every opportunity, and he happened to be a devout Christian.

    At chow one night, while we were hunkered down under the stars on that hell hole known as Cole Range, one of the Ranger instructors wandered around the muddy gaggle taunting us with all the alcohol we were missing out on.

    Jack Daniels. Jim Beam. Colt .45. You know, stereotypical soldier shit.

    Finally, the RI got around to my buddy and looked him in the eye. “So, Ranger Pepe, what do you wanna drink?”

    Pepe didn’t miss a beat. “Pink lemonade, Sergeant.”

    “Pink lemonade, Private Pepe!” the RI roared back. “You know who else drink pink lemonade? My fucking uncle drinks pink lemonade . . . and he’s a flaming fag!”

    1. Which, looking back on it, was kind of a weird confession for him to make, considering he was the same NCO who on the day he picked us up from the Airborne School barracks, welcomed us to RIP side with a long rant that included gems like, “Are any of you fags? You better not be, ‘cuz I’m a proud homophobe, and there are no fucking fags in my goddamn Ranger Regiment!”

      Also, incidentally, one of the dudes glorified in Black Hawk Down. You can see a picture of him in the book.

      Ah, the memories.

      Oh, yeah, and before I forget, fuck the army. Just had to get that out.

      1. One of the classic examples of a reaction formation is someone with homosexual feelings being a raging homophobe.

        1. She me people are like that. But a lot more just hate fags.

  13. Yes, but can you be mellow on a budget?

  14. The problem with Burning Man is that it’s really hard to give Barack Obama or some other politician credit for creating it–so all the progressives can do is seethe and hate.

    It’s sort of like Hong Kong before it was handed back to the Chinese. What an embarrassment Hong Kong was to mainland China! There the CCP was, trying to create a perfect society and breaking all kinda eggs to make that omelet, and there’s Hong Kong, “the pearl of the Orient” sitting right next door and showing regular Chinese people how happy and prosperous they could be–if only the Chinese Communist Party weren’t in the way.

    Yeah, Burning Man is like that, too. Every year, just across the border from California, thousands of people show California what freedom and tolerance really looks like–putting the government of California itself to shame. Isn’t it Gillespie that’s always talking about how none of the coolest things in life were ever created by government?

    Punk rawk, miniskirts, surfboards, yoga pants, motorcycles, bikinis, … government created none of it.

    1. Are boners allowed at Burning Man?

    2. Punk rock sucks. And team building is for suckers*

      *courtesy of the now-defunct “Punk Rock HR” site

  15. No vending ? Ha

    I bet one might find a bag of weed for sale if he quietly asked around and looked cool.

    1. if you gotta pay for that in BRC, you probably came in an RV*

      *Now, I don’t really have anything against RVs**, not even the RV ‘resorts’ that have been popping up on the playa, but you do get a whole lot more people without a clue in those settings

      ** There’s one sitting down ther street. For sale. That I could make into something amazing–that I could live in at Burning Man. In air-conditioned comfort. I kinda want an RV…………..

  16. I’d rather spend 4 days at a Four Seasons.

  17. Brian, I’m fascinated and surprised that you took the time to write about my article. I used your book as one of the main sources for doing some historical research! It was well-researched and written.

    I’m disappointed, though, that you seem not to understand the democratic core of my critique. There is nothing inherently “central” about the idea of democracy, i.e. a direct democracy doesn’t require some central bureaucracy. I think that’s where you misread me?the core idea behind democracy, which libertarians frequently miss, is that it’s not just about empowerment. It’s about equality, making sure that the wealthy don’t have more of a voice than the poor. That’s the difference between, say, Burning Man and Occupy Wall Street.

    You try to paint my views as if I were jealous of rich people somehow, or if there was some hidden jealousy within. But it’s more about exploitation and the way that the rich wield power and privilege and how this reifies itself on the playa. There’s a difference between being jealous of someone who’s rich, and being exploited by them, or losing your participatory voice in determining the fate of your child’s school.

    Also, my article wasn’t really about the universal experience of BM, as it is pretty fun for most people, self included. It was purely about a small subset of people and how they control increasing swaths of the playa and increasing swaths of the real world, and how they interrelate.

    1. the core idea behind democracy, which libertarians frequently miss, is that it’s not just about empowerment. It’s about equality, making sure that the wealthy don’t have more of a voice than the poor.

      Ipse dixit ain’t just a river in Egypt, Mr. Spencer.

      1. the irony here is that doherty’s reply was literally loaded with ipse dixit statements. his argument basically comes down to, “oh well, it’s fun, it doesn’t matter if it oppresses or exploits people.”

        so here’s a question for Heroic Mulatto: why don’t you run your high school “logical fallacy checklist” through doherty’s article itself? Hypocrisy ain’t just a mountain range in Greece.

        1. Actually, you seem to have just missed the parts about how the entire argument can be reduced to bitching about how rich people can choose what to do with their own money at burning man like in normal society.

          Or Burning Man can continue to be what it started as and has remained: a self-created civic space for people to come together with other people in an atmosphere of expected creativity, refreshing non-judgementalism, revelry, and comedy and do for the most part whatever they want without a commissar telling them how they must participate.

          So, the argument boils down to this. Fuck off, slaver.

        2. Except there’s no actual evidence of ‘exploitation’ by anyone at Burning Man.

      2. Personally, I was going to go with [citation needed].

        There is nothing inherently “central” about the idea of democracy, i.e. a direct democracy doesn’t require some central bureaucracy.

        I look forward to hearing your ideas on how exactly this democracy enforces the laws it passes.

    2. It’s about equality, making sure that the wealthy don’t have more of a voice than the poor.

      We hear you progressives loud and clear, and when you say shit like that, it’s damned obvious that by “voice” you mean every aspect of life, including working harder and smarter to have more money to buy a nicer house, car, clothes, toys, food, vacations, and everything else. You fucking proggies can’t stand the idea of anyone using the sweat of their own brow to better themselves, so you do your damnedest to knock everybody down to some stuck-in-the-mud equality.

      The most frustrating part is not that you proggies are so envious of the results of hard work and want it without the hard work, but that all proggies want to freeze progress at the current time, not realizing that if your ancestor proggies had been successful 50 years ago, we would be stuck with the fruits of 50 years ago now, and if you proggies could freeze progress right now, your children 50 years from now would have none of the progress us individualists will bring the world.

      You are fucking ignorant and proud of it.

      1. how the hell did you come to believe this? it’s like someone tied you up in a room and forced you to listen to ayn rand and bill o’reilly lectures on repeat for days till you subconsciously absorbed them. your beliefs are nuts! you fall back on “hard work” while ignoring that most rich people do like literally nothing and soak up cash from the rest of us.

        if you want to talk about “hard work” as something “proggies” are “envious” of, why aren’t you critiquing finance capital or heirs and heiresses? they do literally nothing and make money.

        1. I’m sorry, but was there an argument in that response? I missed it.

          I guess the last point sort of stands for one. A weak one, but an argument none the less. I don’t champion ‘hard’ work. I simply believe in individualism and incentives. People, all people to include the poor, have agency and make choices that your worldview cannot and will never be able to account for.

          The progressive world view rattles on about equality without realizing that it has set up a set of objective end goals and decided these are good for everyone. Meaning, you have removed individual choice from the equation. I mean, there’s more to say, but this is what it boils down to. You would tell everyone else what to live, what they can have and how much of it.

          And investing your money – taking a risk with YOUR money unlike government which simply takes from others – is not ‘doing nothing.’

        2. I said proggies are envious of the results of hard work, not the hard work itself.

          Your economic ignorance is appalling and expected. Almost all rich people got that way by producing something that other people were happy to pay for. The exceptions are those who got the government to create and enforce a monopoly for them, and heirs. Guess what? Heirs usually spend most of their inheritances and have nothing left. Look at the lists of top 100 wealthy people from year to year, and you will find most were not on the list even 5 years before. But that inconvenient truth isn’t compatible with the proggie bible, so they ignore it and look at something shiny.

        3. why aren’t you critiquing finance capital or heirs and heiresses? they do literally nothing and make money.

          Why are you such a hateful, jealous person? Their parents love their children and want to leave them gifts but you want to steal that because…why?

          soak up cash from the rest of us

          Please, just shut the fuck up. Why don’t you move to Venezuela, where they really care about fairness?

        4. Check out a tv show called “Blue Collar Millionaires” and then get back to us.

    3. It’s about equality, making sure that the wealthy don’t have more of a voice than the poor. That’s the difference between, say, Burning Man and Occupy Wall Street.

      You keep using that word voice, first off. What part of having a voice means you get to pillage the property of others?

      Now, for the part I quoted here – your definition of equality is equal outcomes even if those don’t involved equal inputs. You don’t actually seem to understand what libertarianism is if you are confounded by his mockery of your critique. Because central bureaucracy or not, what you advocate for is a whole lot of people being able to force others to comply with their whims. You think that if the ‘people’ decide someone should do x with their property, then it is legitimate. The complete intellectual bankruptcy of this argument is readily apparent to anyone who spends more than several seconds pondering it.

      Your democracy is as legitimate as the divine right of kings.

    4. What you don’t understand about libertarianism is that it doesn’t allow anyone a voice concerning the actions of individuals. In order to have a voice you have to initiate force and that is prohibited in libertarianism.

    5. the core idea behind democracy, which libertarians frequently miss, is that it’s not just about empowerment. It’s about equality,

      See Keith, that’s the core idea that you guys wrongly attribute to Democracy. You see it as *equality in all things*, we see it as simply equality under the law.

      And we firmly believe that the best way to empower people is to get the hell out of their way.

    6. You know all those people who start sentences with ‘Burning Man was better…….’ Normally, I give them a lot of crap, but there’s a way to do it right– ‘Burning Man was better before you and your ilk showed up’

  18. I bet I could take sections of the Jacobin article and place them side by side with sections of text taken from an Alex Jones-type screed about the Illuminati pedophile Bilderbergers whooping it up at Bohemian Grove and I bet none of you would be able to distinguish which was which.

    1. Whatever. No you can’t…

  19. So, this Spencer guy is an idiot. If he wasn’t, he’d realize that you can have something like a Burning Man, or pretty much anything else you want that doesn’t trample the rights of other people or harm them in some way, in a libertarian society. However, in a progressive utopia, you can have no such things. The state will decide for everything for you including what you do on a daily basis and they won’t have any patience for your silly creative wastes of time.

    How these people can be so damn foolish is just almost beyond belief.

  20. Fucking hippie shit. Seriously. Someone needs to start blasting Raining Blood at that place, because that’s a MAJOR infestation.

    1. Hippies can’t afford Burning Man.

      1. Never known any trustafarians huh?

  21. They also determine how generous they are feeling, and whether to withhold money.

    Well… withholding is stealing! Don’t let them take away your medicare!

  22. Oh, yes: Burning Man full of white men.

    Like pretty much everything else libertarian. Which makes you wonder why they’re so astonished that Trump is kicking their asses in the polls, after repeatedly kicking their largest (and quite possibly only) constituency right in the nuts.

    Prescience is clearly not a libertarian trait.

    1. What the fuck are you even talking about? What libertarian constituency has Trump kicked ‘right in the nuts?’

    2. What the fuck is wrong with you? Trump is kicking my ass in the polls because I hate his police state bullshit and I hate the fact that he became what is called the TRUMP brand off decades of failed attempts to get super rich until he learned that milking cities and bankruptcy laws and the plundering of the local tax basins can make a big crony get ultra-rich and then once the wandering bullshitter figured this out he made his vision and invasion of the American system. Utilizing the imbeciles called politicians of the main two stripes and their ego-centric utilization of this thing called a system that can destroy unless the weak pay. So Donald like all his peers figured out that a pile of millions is a gateway million to billions and the upper eschelons would provide transit for visions and failed bullshit no matter what because dreams form political careers and billionaires don’t exist without jamming greasy specialist cock into the collective assholes of millions.

    3. I thought trump was kicking ass in the polls because low-information democrats think he’s Bernie Sanders.

  23. I bought and read Doherty’s Burning Man book a couple of years before I became serious about libertarianism, then retired it to my bookshelf, which is sort of like what happens to the Ark in the end of Raiders.

    Imagine my surprise when, a few years ago, I was reshelving books and discovered this hippie guy who had the same name as the Reason author who wrote a Ron Paul book and the wonderful, must-read Radicals for Capitalism.

  24. It’s not called progfascism for nothing.

  25. Does the pope shit in the woods?

    1. A bear was taking a shit in the woods when a rabbit passed by. The bear asked the rabbit “Do you have a problem with shit sticking to your fur?” The rabbit replied, “No”. So the bear picked him up and wiped his ass.

  26. From the descriptions I’ve heard, Burning Man sounds distinctly Left-Libertarian (or Libertarian Socialist). This is a very important distinction to make lest those Conservatarians here on H&R actually go and are sorely disappointed.

    1. Fortunately, you’re wrong.

  27. I stand corrected. Apparently Burning Man consists of a bunch of libertah-lovin, gun-totin, good-ole-boys who just want to be left alone to smoke pot, screw mexicans in the ass, and bitch about progressives.

    Oh. And for you Azathoth…bomb brown people, because AMERICA.

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