Welcome to Reason's Debate Issue: 'You're All a Bunch of Socialists!'

How to disagree with other libertarians


In Milton Friedman's memoir, written with his wife and partner Rose, he recounts the story of the founding of the Mont Pelerin Society in the late 1940s. "Although all of the participants shared the same basic values," Friedman writes of a crew that included Friedrich Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, and Karl Popper, "they were by no means agreed on how to counter the attack on those values, or on the politics required to implement them." This disagreement culminated in a particularly touchy meeting where the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, frustrated with the direction of the conversation, stood up, declared "You're all a bunch of socialists!" and stomped out of the room.

If that is what happens when the gods gather at Olympus, what hope is there for peace among mere mortals?

This story comes up with astonishing frequency whenever a group of libertarians assembles. (What is the collective noun for libertarians, anyway? If it's a herd of cows and a murder of crows, is it a solo of libertarians? A prickle?) The story is typically presented as a fable, a cautionary tale about hot-tempered absolutism. And once someone gets rolling on the oral history of Mont Pelerin, the phrase "herding cats" is rarely far behind (perhaps libertarians could borrow from the cats and use clowder for their collective noun).

To be fair, it isn't hard to draw a dotted line between an individualistic, anti-authoritarian ideology and a distaste for being told to sit down and shut up at a conference. The implied conclusion is fatalistic: Libertarians are uniquely doomed to struggle against our natural extremism, factionalism, standoffishness. Our inability to face the same direction and march together is an inextricable part of our characters and will always spell our defeat against our collectivist enemies.

At least in my experience, however, there's nothing uniquely feline about fans of free markets. Instead, humans everywhere are fractious beasts. PTA meetings and church youth groups can be indistinguishable in tone from the most contentious libertarian gathering. In fact, the situation in the PTA meeting is often worse, because there aren't shared principles to appeal to for resolution. Certainly any colhose of communists (why do they get their own collective noun?) will report similar woes—except, of course, in communist states where dissent means death. And sometimes even then.

What distinguishes libertarians is not the existence of fervent intramural disagreement. But libertarians do have an edge when it comes to finding a way out of conflict. It's a lot easier to solve problems when you aren't trying to get everyone on the same page at the point of a gun. If you don't think there's one right way to live or think or speak, but instead want to build a society where people can make their own choices, form their own institutions, and live as free as possible from coercion, that opens up a larger, clearer space for debate and persuasion without fear.

Reason is, and has long been, a big tent project. Even in the early Objectivist-inflected days, the crew producing the publication could best be described as motley. Reason is the unlikely lovechild of a philosopher, a lawyer, and an engineer (Tibor Machan, Manny Klausner, and Robert Poole, respectively). All three of those paternal lines weave through this issue, which grapples with the abstract (consequentialism or deontology?), the legalistic (is baking a cake speech?), and the practical (how much should we worry about corporate data collection?).

But Reason has been running point/counterpoint articles for its entire history. In the 1970s, the magazine hosted debates over the goals of the Libertarian Party. In 2005, Reason ran a face-off between semiconductor magnate T.J. Rodgers, Whole Foods founder John Mackey, and Uncle Milton himself; Rodgers out-Friedmanned Friedman on the question of whether "the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits," while Mackey articulated a view that went on to form the basis of his "conscious capitalism" philosophy. In 2016, we published a heated debate over immigration between two immigrants, Shikha Dalmia and Harvard economist George Borjas.

Political disagreements can often be sorted into two types: "Where are we going?" and "How are we going to get there?" At some point, of course, some people's answers to "Where are we going?" get far enough apart that they must splinter away. The historical alliance between libertarians and conservatives (especially William F. Buckley's carefully curated National Review variant of intellectual fusionist conservatism) started to decay over the draft and the counterculture, then crumbled at the end of the Cold War, when "We're going to defeat communism" was no longer a useful answer to that question. More recently, some people who once called themselves libertarians departed the movement to pursue a politics based on racial identity and nationalism. When an already-small movement loses members or allies, it's a good time to reflect on what it means to be a libertarian. But it isn't always a crisis—it may even be a good thing.

I don't know whether free speech and open inquiry necessarily lead to the right answers on either type of political question. In fact, I'm skeptical of the idea that enough hollering at each other will eventually hoist us all up to a higher plane of human understanding somehow. But institutions that enable debate do pretty clearly produce higher quality arguments. Airing disagreements requires everyone to strengthen their cases.

If the place you're headed is a world characterized by free minds and free markets, there will always be a place in Reason's pages to hash out the question of how to get there and room for plenty of different responses. (And not just in our print pages: Check out reason.com for several additional debates.)

Latter-day Misesians are often quick to contest the traditional story of what went down in that fateful mid-century Mont Pelerin meeting. They think Friedman's version of events makes their guy look bad; they prefer to cast Mises as a defender of ideological integrity in the face of a pernicious pre-emptive watering down of principle. In his account, Friedman dryly notes that by his lights the assembly "contained not a single person who, by even the loosest standards, could be called a socialist," which seems undeniably true in hindsight. But the specific point of disagreement that drove Mises from the room in anger—the "appropriateness of government action to affect the distribution of income"—remains unresolved in libertarian circles.

Sometimes the questions we argue about are pure déjà vu. The cover of one of the very first issues of Reason asks the question: "The Cops: Heroes or Villains?" That's a topic on which one could easily hold a debate today at any libertarian gathering and find robust disagreement.

The fact that many of these debates may never be resolved once and for all is no excuse not to have them. Mises and Friedman may not have been able to agree on everything, but they—along with other powerhouse brainiacs before and since—became pillars in a movement that has valiantly kept a crucial strain of pro-freedom ideology alive in even the most dire political conditions. Engagement with people who argue in good faith from outside of libertarianism is both inevitable and desirable. But internal debates are just as important to figuring out how to make the world free. This issue of Reason is our latest installment in five decades of contributing to that project.

NEXT: George Papadopoulos Gets 14-Day Sentence over Lies to FBI About Russian Contacts During Trump's Campaign

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  1. A genocide of communists.
    A freedom of libertarians.
    An oppression of socialists.
    An asylum of progressives.
    A congregation of Republicans.

    1. A scold of SJWs.

      1. A swamp of politicians.
        An inertia of government employees.

        1. An immunity of police officers.

          1. I thought it was a Sounder of Cops?

            1. Using that word to describe a group of cops is an insult to swine.

            2. I thought it was a murder of cops?

              1. Using that word to describe a group of cops is an insult to swine crows.

                Even if it is very appropriate.

              2. Statistically it should be a murder BY cops.

                1. Statistically it should be a murder BY cops.

                  This sounds like a threadwinner to me! 😀

      2. I like it.

      1. That meme is okay, but falls down at the “-ism”.

      2. Reminds me of Freud’s “the narcissism of small differences.”

    2. I kind of like “motley crew” of libertarians, although “crew” implies “captain”, it is easy enough to think of a pirate crew electing a temporary captain who can be de-elected at any time except during battle.

      1. We take it in turns to act as sort of executive officer for the week…

        1. It gets more interesting when None of the Above (NOTA) wins for a week.

        2. Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help! Help! I’m being oppressed!

          1. I don’t smell like shit. Does that make me a king?

    3. An ignorance of democrats.

    4. A bureaucracy of progressives.

      1. A landfill of progtards.

    5. A gulag of progressives.

    6. A rabble of rebels
      A conundrum of conservatives
      A litany of liberals
      A failure of fascists
      A junk of journalists

      I like this game 🙂

  2. “More recently, some people who once called themselves libertarians departed the movement to pursue a politics based on racial identity and nationalism.”

    Who? I know this has been pushed by the left. But are there actually any noted ex-libertarians pursuing politics on racial identity?

    1. Yeah. That one surprised me too. It would’ve been nice if KM-W provided some sort of link.

      1. I thought it ran in the other direction… people over at Huffpo started using alt-right as a universal slur and lumped libertarians into their version of a basket of alt-right deplorables.

        I remember someone on HnR linking to an article explaining the “alt-right” and listing libertarians as part of the alt-right. It generated a lot of surprise and discussion. It did not generate any assent.

        1. I believe Jack Hunter lumped libertarians in with the “alt-right” in one of the earliest uses of that term. That would’ve been before Richard Spencer claimed it for “race-realists” or “white nationalists” or whoever.

          Steven Pinker recently included “anarcho-capitalists” as part of the alt-right while talking about toxic hate ideologies that young men were discovering through the internet.

          Neoreactionaries are thrown in with the alt-right too

          1. Anarchocapitalism is a “toxic hate ideology” to someone other than LC?

            These people truly are deranged.

            I wonder how long it’ll be before they’ve diluted the term “alt-right” so much that it’s become entirely meaningless, a’la “racist” or “fascist”.

            1. How long? ‘alt-right’ was created as a meaningless term to explain something that didn’t exist. If there really *is* anyone who identifies as alt-right, it’s simply a matter of a self-fulfilling prophecy on the part of the originators.

            2. Already happened.

              1. Clearly, I am not properly operating on Internet Time. Doh. :-/

            3. I think Anarcho-anything is moronic by certainly not hateful.

              Pinker was pushed by Reason too if I remember. I am not sure the editors realize where their friends are and are not.

            4. Racism is racial collectivism pure and simple, and fascism is religious socialism or mystical altruist social-collectivism. Both are bound up with eugenics and the idea of altruism as a hereditary trait. Watch Cecil B de Mille’s “King of Kings” (with Ayn Rand as Jewish slave extra 237th from left to right in row 143 of the crowd scene). Small wonder she understood Christian National Socialism way ahead of the curve.

            5. Funny how the only haters were anarchists around here.

              These psychopaths think calling an Anarchist and Anarchist is equivalent to calling someone a bad name.

          2. Lauren Southern might qualify as “libertarian to racial identitarian”. I recall there are some identitarians who profess to be ex-libertarians but I can’t think of any who were “known libertarians” before they switched.

            As American has been pretty damn diverse for a long time, nationalism here is not synonymous with racial identity at all. Hell, neo-Confederates will proudly brag how much more diverse we were than the Union.

          3. Lauren Southern might qualify as “libertarian to racial identitarian”. I recall there are some identitarians who profess to be ex-libertarians but I can’t think of any who were “known libertarians” before they switched.

            As American has been pretty damn diverse for a long time, nationalism here is not synonymous with racial identity at all. Hell, neo-Confederates will proudly brag how much more diverse we were than the Union.

    2. Maybe they’re trying to allude to Augustus Sol Invictus quitting the Libertarian Party, or Christopher Cantwell?

    3. I canceled my Reason sub due to the ongoing immigration stupidity, but I’m certainly not giving up the libertarian ideology.

      1. You already have.

        1. By canceling reason?

    4. Who?

      Ron Paul. But extreme homophobia has replaced his the earlier racism, and that of Rothbardians and Miseans. The States Rights bullshit masquerading as federalism and constitutional conservatism.– for the constitution that once enshrined slavery and racism.

    5. Richard Spencer claims to have gone this route.

      1. Oh, yes, and Christopher Cantwell now identifies as “race realist”, but still AnCap,

        1. He’s also incredibly hilarious. I listened to his alt-right or whatever podcast a few times. If you can take extremely offensive humor, it’s kind of ridiculous. You just don’t hear people being as brutal as he is, so it’s almost like, errr refreshing or something to just hear somebody rippin’ on people as hard core as he does. The funny thing is he doesn’t even HATE black people or whatever, he just thinks they’re kind of fucked genetically and doomed to be a wreck. He has black folks, Jews, and others that call in. A lot of them agree with his race realist positions, and it makes for interesting conversations.

    6. A lot of people that fall into the nationalist, identitarian, white nationalist, or alt-right camp are former or current libertarians. Many of them weren’t very well known before becoming known in those circles, but say they came from the more libertarian side of things. Most of the rest came from more traditional conservative angles, with a few former outright leftists sprinkled in too.

      Basically, it’s people that mostly are still libertarian in most beliefs, BUT who have come to begrudgingly accept objective reality for what it is, instead of clinging to utopian fever dreams like many libertarians do on some touchy subjects.

      Accepting that culture matters, and will make or break a society. Accepting that race always has and always will be a major divisive thing in a society. Accepting that not all cultures/ethnicities are the same and interchangeable as widgets… Hence deciding that those areas are spots where strict application of the NAP or libertarian principles may in fact not be advisable. That’s where most of them are at.

      I’m pretty much there myself. I think it is a hands down objective fact that diversity is NOT a strength. All the most successful countries in the world became such as nation states that were fairly ethnically and culturally homogenous, with only minor variations throughout their lands.

      1. A simple example is look at Japan versus the USA. Look at how much time and effort, heartache, trouble, abridgements of freedoms, and let us not forget TRILLIONS of dollars wasted the USA has had because of ethnic minorities in the USA. Japan has NONE of this. They have to expend zero mental energy or money dealing with race relations, because they’re all Japanese! The headache saved is immense.

        Look at Europe now being politically torn asunder after bringing in a shit ton of low education foreigners for the first time, especially the ones that don’t seem to want to even try to integrate. No immigrants, or at least vastly smaller numbers of only high quality ones, and that wouldn’t be happening. They’d be avoiding a TON of real world problems.

        I have yet to see any objective facts that show any benefits that outweigh the known troubles caused by mass migration. Diversity is our strength is a mindless mantra mostly being pushed by the left, with no facts to back it up. Diversity gave us ethnic food restaurants, which are cool… But that’s about it.

        IMO the trouble simply isn’t worth it. I think nations function better when the overwhelming majority of the population are on the same page. I think allowing in smallish numbers of high skill immigrants is still advisable, but not to the point where you overwhelm the native population as will happen in Europe if current trends continue.

      2. This is without even getting into the race realist arguments, which if one is being honest are actually quite strong and scientifically backed. Not a SINGLE test/study/survey ever, in the entire history of the world, has even shown the same outcomes for different major ethnic groups. Instead they somehow always exactly mirror the results found in IQ and other cognitive tests. Outcomes are consistent worldwide based along ethnic lines.

        Ashkenazi Jews, then East Asians, then Europeans, followed by other groups. That is always the order everywhere worldwide. The fact that 100% of testing EVER done has always shown the same results, including in real world outcomes like income/criminality/etc, and yet 100% of the evidence is waived away as being racist/whatever is kind of ridiculous. It’s not like we’re talking 50/50 or even 60/40 pointing one direction, it is literally 100%. And nobody has ever been able to find any way of explaining it away as being something other than largely genetic, despite countless studies trying to do so. They’ve all just reinforced the genetic argument.

        So for the libertarians that accept race realism on top of the cultural issues, it certainly seems to be a reasonable area to make an exception in the NAP given the known practical problems. But yeah, lots of people that are otherwise libertarian are willing to make exceptions to strict dogma when they think the practical downsides are simply not worth adhering to the principle in some instances.

        1. So, keep out all the Irish, Italians, Spanish, Portugese and Germans along with the Africans and Middle-Easterners. They are bringing down the national average IQ. Just accept immigration from Ashkenazi Jews and Asians.

          You have to let the Nordic in because otherwise we’d run out of blonds.

          1. Well, that wouldn’t be my take away!

            The general sentiment from ethno-nationalists is that nations have a right to maintain their identity, whatever that is. I 100% agree, especially in the case of long-ish established lands like Germany for Germans, France for the French, Japan for the Japanese etc. America was a nation that started out as being Anglo-Saxon almost in its entirety, with a few Scots and Irish. We let in a decent number of other Northern Europeans who melted right into the pot with little trouble. Then southern/eastern Europeans, who also integrated reasonably well after a short time.

            The argument that those people would make is that Europeans are all close enough where it works well.

            Funny thing is though that none of the non white groups ever fully mixed into white American society. Blacks didn’t breed themselves out through intermarriage. Nor did the many Chinese we brought in, they kept themselves separate. SOME mixing occurred, but not full melting. Why is that? People of all races stick to their own statistically, with only a bit of overlap on the edges, both in terms of friends and who they breed with. Enclaves form.

            This is simply reality. So every new group you bring in is going to turn into a new ethnic enclave. How many of those do we want? How many before a society no longer has cohesion? These are the questions such people ask. I myself am fine with high skill immigration from anywhere, but the numbers should also be kept in reason IMO.

          2. I think America is already doomed because we lost what EVERY nation needs to remain stable: A super majority ethno-cultural group. IMO a nation without that will devolve into endless group in fighting. Which is exactly where America has ended up once whites slipped demographically enough to not simply call the shots completely on their own.

            In Africa, this should be Africans of whatever nationality calling the shots. In Asia, Asians from the nation in question. And so on. In America it was our mongrel white race that was created anew on this continent, but that shared a culture. Now that that is gone, we have chaos because no group is in charge, and every group has different opinions on things, and often has legitimately different interests.

            There objectively ARE things that are good for saaay black Americans, that are BAD for white Americans. There are things that are good for whites, that are bad for blacks or Hispanics. Asians tend to fall into the same interest group as whites since they’re affluent, but not always with them either. WHY should blacks do something AGAINST their interests? They’re never asked to in the current climate, but whites sure are!

            So you have infighting forever, and it ends up being de facto along racial lines. This will be the undoing of America IMO. I just don’t see people being able to ignore their base tribal instincts anytime soon.

            But yeah, Jewish and Asian immigrants will at least be economically productive, if not great for politics!

  3. lc shouted “You’re all a bunch of anarchists!” and ran out of the room crying like a little girl.

    1. Wrong. He will continue to stay in the room crying like a little girl

    2. Funny how upset the anarchists get about being anarchists and how nobody accepts their fromge definition of a subset of anarchists.

      Then they keep bringing it up without convoncing other to accept their definition.

      1. I have two responses, and I doubt you will enjoy either of them.

        The first involves a delightful soliloquiy on American English being a quintessential market language, accordingly pawing through other languages’ vocabulary for anything useful; and a compare-and-contrast of our Latin and Greek etymological roots.

        -archy in the Greek language meant ‘ruler’ or ‘leader’ or even, to American context, ‘government’. Maybe think of -ism as Latin for ‘worldview’ or ‘narrative’, except conceptually these days it may be an equivalent to -archy.

        Capitalism would be a Latin-based word meaning roughly “worldview revolving around capital and the private ownership and direction of same”. Like, for example, that’s not terribly exact.

        Minarchy would be a Greek-based word. -archy is a suffix that means ‘ruler’ or even ‘government’, and min- is a prefix that means ‘small’ or ‘less’ while an- is a prefix meaning ‘without’. QED, minarchy means ‘small government’ or ‘limited/lesser rulers’ while anarchy means ‘without rulers’ or ‘no government’. I trust that I do not have to explain that the difference between ‘small’ and ‘none’ is quite a distinction.

        Mono-/Monos- in Greek means ‘only’. Monarchy is a Greek-based word meaning ‘the only ruler’.*

        *There may be overlap here, but I ain’t looking up Latin equivalents that I don’t know offa me head. Communication is a two-way street, man, work with me.

        1. Compound words. It’s just like English, we’ve been talking about earthquakes and cheeseburgers all our lives, we get the linguistic concept.

          This may be new information, and that’s okay. We’re either learning or dying, I suspect, so hey, here’s a new thing. Immortality secured for this week. Go you. *solidarity fist* And I could be lying my ass off about all of this but here’s a thing. If I’m wrong, then you can do as you wish and the only one who looks bad is me (and Sarc, and Perl, and KMW, and 184,000 returns on Google, and Wikipedia, and Reddit, and….) but if I’m right, then you look like a bit of a tit to people who know more Greek etymology or (admittedly obscure and even arcane) politics than you do.

          The other thing is that I’m enough of a social anthropologist too recognize this schtick of yours is done. You’re being poked at by the crowd for not knowing what minarchy means. Anthropologically, you have exposed a weakness (ignorance of a word’s definition around a bunch of competitive smarties) and it only gets worse from here. Remember the whole “Winston’s mom” thing? Or the “Irish is racist” thing. Or the “ChemJeff is socialist” thing.

          The “Uncivil doesn’t like anything” thing.

          The “Illocust is Tulpa” thing that inspired the “we are all Tulpa” thing.

          The “Preeeeeet” thing.

          Remember when everyone decided I was Tim SomethingWhiteBread from Manassas, Virginia? You ‘member.

          How badly do you want to be a social meme?

          1. We are all Tulpa, LC. We are fucking cunts. Bro. Bro. Don’t show us your throat like this; we cannot be trusted to behave when someone is enthusiastically digging holes for us to push them into.

            The good news is that you are smart and funny. Forget it, and no one is likely to mention it again except maybe Sarc, who is (rationally) perhaps a bit het up. ROI doesn’t pay enough. Human attention spans are so short than, three months from now, there’ll be, like, five people who even remember this happened.

            So you made a mistake. It’s really not a big deal. Harassing Sarc over a mistake… kind of a big deal… but the mistake itself is really not that bad and nothing that can’t be gotten past with a minimum of discomfort. It’s okay. Really. So you hadn’t heard the word before, big whoop, I have whole reams of vocabulary that I can use and spell with precision but I regularly pronounce wrong. Never heard the word used in conversation, and lemme tell ya, ‘hyperbole’ isn’t exactly intuitive.

            Everyone makes mistakes. If libertarians can’t figure out how to account for that, well… we’re fucking doomed.

            C’mon, LC. Let’s be pals.

            1. When he started this shit he had more than a few people thinking that he knew what he was talking about.

              Now he fools no one.

              He is intent on hanging himself. You can’t convince him otherwise. I say give him all the rope he wants.

              1. Says the dipshit who is anti-libertarian.

                You outed yourself and you clearly get angry over others pointing out what you are.

                Its funny how weak you are.

                1. >>”Says the dipshit who is anti-libertarian.

                  Trump Trollsters calling anyone anti-libertarian is why you are laughed at as much as Tony or Hihn.
                  On this one, more.

          2. Hamster, All that work to say nothing.


            1. Took you that long to gather the balls, eh. Good luck, LC. May the odds be ever in your favor.

        2. He lacks the intelligence to understand what you explained. He mostly trolls these pages, sneering at “lefties” and “anarchists” (which he doesn’t understand) and “libertarians” (about which he is equally clueless).
          In other words, a Trump clone.

          Even crazier, he inserted “a subset of anarchism” pulled out of thin air. (That sneering often screws him up).

          One suggestion: “an” means “not”, “without” or “lacking” (a ruler) (or any appropriate synonym )

          Well done!

          1. Thanks, Michael. The validation is nice. But… and look, this isn’t a let’s-fight thing (please let’s not fight, it’s the weekend, I fucking implore you here)…

            I don’t want this to be a we’re right/we’re the best/he sucks thing. He made a mistake – you know that, I know that, at this point thousands of readers and lookie-lou-lurkers know that – but we cannot fix that without his cooperation. Humans cooperate with tribemates. Not opponents. Eusocial apes we are not, and I’ll die on that hill. It isn’t our nature to be ants or bees – it’s our privilege, freely chosen or discarded or adapted or deep-fried and made into porn.

            He’s one of ours. We may not have picked him out, and yet he’s still one of ours. I’m sorry, Michael, because I agree with you; except if I have to choose between LC and you, I’m picking him, because he didn’t force me into that dichotomy yet and may be still be valuable. I hate leaving value on the table. It’s inefficient.

            Look on the bright side. Any time I’m asked to pick between other people and you ‘coz rightness and ideology, I’d pick you. Same reason. Fuck a bunch of superiority of social tactical position. If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything.

            1. Who’s the “us: you claim he’s part of? Over 60% of Americans would self-define as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. He has nothing in common with our 60%. The 60% that defies government force in both fiscal and personal matters.

              I don’t sacrifice the values of individual liberty, especially not to align with a small minority of authoritarians. I can count.

  4. Maybe reclaim the word liberal.

    1. I think the progs have so sullied that word that no one wants it, even them. That’s why they went back to progressive since no one remembers that they did the same thing to progressive 100 years ago.

      1. This is my point entirely. You can’t get anywhere by creating strawmen of your opponents (eg proggie) and then perpetually stomping your feet in opposition. Or rather you’re gonna end up exactly where your opponents end up – and pissed off as to why that happened. Gotta have an achievable goal of your own. Otherwise ain’t gonna get there on their train. That is precisely what Hayek argued in Why I am not a conservative – and unfortunately a lot of that same tactic has been adopted by Hayekian ‘conservatives’ now calling themselves libertarian.

        At least there’s more potential with the word liberal (which still retains its meaning in most of the world) than with libertarian (which is a meaningless abstraction everywhere).

        1. “You can’t get anywhere by creating strawmen of your opponents”

          The Left has successfully cowed the Right for decades by shrieking “Racist!”.

          Rhetoric works on the simple minded.

          1. Charlottesville. (lol)

            1. Ugh. Half or better of the people AT Charlottesville weren’t with explicitly racialist groups… But even if they had been, a handful of people out of the 150 odd million people who are at least center right doesn’t make them all Nazis! Fucktard.

              1. vek

                Wait for it …

                The initial assault, Charlottesvile– Nazis and white supremacists attacking peaceful protesters with clubs
                “Alt-Left” standing peacefully, no visible clubs or bats.
                Alt-Right Facsists/Racists crash into them en masse, swinging clubs.
                Fascists are carrying the same shields as cops in riot gear. The motherfuckers CAME for violence
                Shame on Trump and the party who defends him
                Giving aid and comfort to the enemy is … treason

                These are Nazis, Racists and Jew-Haters. Ivanka and Jerod are Jewish.
                Trump threw his own daughter under a bus, playing to the very worst in his base SHAMEFUL.

                Anything else?

                1. Ugh. As I’ve said before, you’re an idiot.

                  That wasn’t an initial assault. The right was attacked on the way into the fucking march. The leftists tried to block them even being able to get in. Both sides came armed, because everybody assumed it was going to be a shit show. At least the right didn’t fill up bottles full of PISS in advance like ANTIFA did!

                  And as I mentioned, not ALL the people on the right were white nationalists, let alone Nazis. There were lots of more mainstream right wingers there, just as there were peaceful lefties there. Nobody ever said there weren’t people down for violence on both sides, because clearly there were.

                  I’m not going to argue this point beyond this with you because you’re a myopic moron.

                  1. SAME fuckup you always repeat!

                    YOU say the counter-protesters initiated violence …


                    Later … just stood there as the fascists marched toward them with clubs and shields.

                    1. Yeah, because there was only ONE altercation that whole day! Quit being a moron. Why don’t you link to the videos of right wing people being attacked as they try to merely enter the rally grounds? Why don’t you link to videos of the right just standing there, while they have bottles filled with piss thrown at them?

                      I don’t think EITHER side was innocent. You’re the one who is wearing rose colored glasses and refusing to look at both sides of the evidence.

                    2. Yeah, because there was only ONE altercation that whole day!

                      Umm, there was only one “INITIAL ASSAULT” … because that’s all there could POSSIBLY be! How can ANYTHING begin more than once? You have now gone totally off the rails.

                      You STILL make INSANE claim that
                      1) the counter-protesters initiated violence …then …
                      2) later … just stood there peacefully, as fascists marched toward them with clubs and shields
                      3) Because they were too farking stupid to think they would be be viciously beaten with clubs … in retaliation. OMFG.

                      That’s as stooopid as you kicking me in the balls … then just standing there. passively, arms at your sides SO I CAN SHOOT YOU.
                      Are YOU that stupid … or just “lefties”.


                      Find a 10-year-old to explain how INSANE that is.

                      Trump – a pathetic, crazed, psychopathic, racist liar.
                      And his puppet dancing on a string.

                      Shame on you both

        2. “You can’t get anywhere by creating strawmen of your opponents”

          The Left has successfully cowed the Right for decades by shrieking “Racist!”.

          Rhetoric works on the simple minded.

          1. It worked on you. Documented just above — the video at Charlottesville
            Simple minded? (lol)

    2. I took porch monkey back.

  5. An argument of libertarians.

  6. Ludwig von Mises, frustrated with the direction of the conversation, stood up, declared “You’re all a bunch of socialists!” and stomped out of the room.

    Well it’s good to see not much has changed when monologuing with the Mises crowd.

    1. That is the most hi-larious anecdote.

      “Haha, it’s us!”

    2. Mises, right then, still right now.

  7. Free trade leads to socialism and globalism and dilutes the purity of the people.

    1. Now don’t get me wrong, Mandrake. I like women. I like LOTS of women! But, I do deny them the purity of my essence!

  8. Does it really matter? Labels aside, any group of people who advocate individual liberty will eventually be overcome by any group of people who advocate the use of force to compel behavior.
    Simply because we cannot force people to be free.

    1. There is that illusory “don’t be an asshole and people won’t want to attack you” that libertarians still haven’t figured out.

      1. > There is that illusory “don’t be an asshole and people won’t want to attack you” that libertarians still haven’t figured out.

        Exactly. There are still Libertarians who think they can court both sides. Not going to happen, ever.

        If Gary Johnson had been elected, the media and the Peter Strzoks of the world would have destroyed him within an hour. He wouldn’t have fought back like Trump has. Trump is clumsy as hell, but I’ll take that over doormats like GW Bush and Romney any day. The left fights with brass knuckles. If you try to be their friend, then disagree with them even once, they’ll do everything within their power to destroy you. Unfortunately it takes a Trump type to survive it politically.

        1. Hrm. That’s got unpleasant implications for the future.

          1. Freedom isnt free.

            If you dont fight Peter Strozks of the World they round you up and murder you.

            1. Pretty much. Even though libertarianism isn’t strictly pacifist, I think there is WAY too strong a streak in most of them to ever get anything done.

              The founding fathers were basically strongly libertarian leaning folks who WEREN’T pussies, and realized they needed to kill people who were oppressing them, and ALSO force those that didn’t agree with them domestically to take the freedom that THEY were smart enough to realize was a good thing.

              If a libertarian nation is ever to exist, it would probably require the same thing. A group of men violently overthrowing a corrupt state, and then promptly ignoring the will of the majority of the people (who like government force in lots of areas of life), and forcing freedom on them via a strict constitution. Modern libertarians just don’t get that.

              1. Modern libertarians just don’t get that.

                Neither do you!
                Lots of babble about libertarian principles and a libertarian society, with no clue how to get one, no interest in doing so, and it’s a stupid fucking goal!

                They want libertopia for themselves … NOT a free society for everyone.

                In a libertarian society, we’d all live in gated communities with private police forces and competing court systems. A John Galt statue stands in every town square. Honoring, of course, the entirety of Mary Ruwart’s 1200 point checklist for a libertarian society.

                In a free society, Galt’s Gulch exists right next to a Marxist commune ? lesbians up the street from a community of Christian Fundies ?. retired Catholic priests across the field from Wiccans. Each community would be voluntarily populated. And that statue would be Voltaire, inscribed: “I disagree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.”

                Liberty is a mutual benefit society.
                Not a members only Country Club

                A free society CANNOT be for libertarians only. That’s a cult,, like the Moonies and Davidians.

                THAT is why Cato reports that libertarianism (the movement) is rejected by a staggering 91% of libertarians (the values).

                FAILURE A cult of self-righteous assholes, who expect libertopia to arise magically from the mists, like Brigadoon (which will never exist either)

                1. Hihn, you should know from my many posts I am NOT a purist libertarian or anarchist. I believe in limited government. I am fine with either private police forces OR publicly funded ones that are enforcing reasonable laws and administered semi decently.

                  People should be free to have their Marxist communes, provided I’m not paying for them.

        2. That doesn’t sound like you actually agree with Qsl’s point at all.

      2. Are you saying libertarians are assholes and that’s why people attack us?

        1. If by assholes, you mean anti-Democrats/anti-republicans/anti-lefties then yeah.

      3. It works on some. For others carry a big stick.

    2. Yes, Longtobefree, I can see you as “Brian” in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” giving the speech to the crown, about not conforming, and “doing your own thing”, and the crowd chants in unified reply, “Yes, Brian, YES!!! We will ALL do our own individual thing”!!!, or something-something-something such-sorta-like thing…

    3. But you can use LP spoiler votes to cause looter politicians to choose between advancing freedom and watching their adversaries get the boodle, pelf and wages.

      1. Not without a single policy solution, for anything.

        1. You noticed that, too?
          If you’re my son, I guess I did knock up Dagny

    4. It’s a law of cybernetics: in any given system, the element with the greatest variability of output will be / is defined as the controlling element. If a set of people is willing/able to murder, lie, steal they (obviously) have a greater variability in their behavior than those that don’t. The trick is to have a large enough population of law keepers such that the set of law breakers cannot reliably survive / succeed in their niche.

  9. the “appropriateness of government action to affect the distribution of income”?remains unresolved in libertarian circles

    The premise that taxation is theft is not settled dogma? The science is clear!

    1. Judging by these comment pages right here, I’d say abortion and how-open v/s how-closed the border should be (just exactly HOW evil the illegal humans are), are THE twin things that the “impure” (unlike MEEEE) libertarian crowd fights about.

      I do NOT mean to denigrate thick crust pizza and Mexican ass sex, but they just don’t really rank!

      1. What about Mexican Crust Pizza and Thick Ass Sex?

        1. If anyone wants to argue against Thick Mexican Asses I will fucking fight you right now

          1. Thick Mexican Asses are excellent when they are ALSO CRUSTY!!!!

          2. No need to do battle, you can have the thicc Mexican assses and I’ll take the small ones. All the women need some lovin’.

          3. You’re not a REAL libertarian if you’ve never looked up Thick Mexican Ass on a porn aggregator like Porzo.com.

          4. Now this is my kind of Hayek discussion…

            Salma Hayek, that is!

            1. Gigitty gigitty

      2. Don’t forget the Civil War….

      3. I give no shits about abortion, but see it as a valid point of contention since WHEN a person becomes a person is up in the air… As for open borders, it’s a practical argument versus principled. Not having open borders IS a violation of the NAP IMO. No question. However whether or not some principled positions are better left ignored in some situations is a valid question.

        There are many situations where adhering to the NAP strictly is NOT the wise practical choice. In a post apocalyptic scenario NOT proactively shooting somebody in a sketchy scenario could be a very dangerous choice to make, hence simply capping them is the best choice. That way you’re sure to be fine. Somebody adhering to the NAP would likely get themselves killed.

        IMO immigration is much the same. Unlimited immigration would surely destroy any 1st world country, since the world is filled with uneducated people who have no appreciation of freedom. So even if it is a violation of the NAP, I simply don’t care. I’d rather maintain the USA/Europe/Etc as first world nations, international freedom of movement be damned. The practical cost is simply not worth it to adhere to the principle.

    2. The premise that taxation is theft is not settled dogma?

      Umm, no. What to do about it.

      The science is clear!

      Only to those ignorant of Ayn Rand. The anti-guymmint goobers (not the pro-liberty types)

      1. Oh please. Ignorance of Rand is a blessing not a burden.
        Rand’s work is true and original. Unfortunately, where it is original it is not true and where it is true it is not original.

        1. Psh. I think she is a bit too extreme in some of her stuff, and just a bit silly elsewhere… But she is also VERY sharp in other areas. Although she comes to extreme conclusions sometimes, it is hard to escape her logical arguments. She is generally correct, even if that leads to crazy places.

        2. Not on this issue,

        3. Only to those ignorant of Ayn Rand

          What did she say about taxation in a free societ … in general. I guarantee you have no idea, Prove me wrong

  10. Meanwhile in the real world (outside of the theoretical one in Sheldon Richman’s head), libertarian minutiae surrounding the role (if any) of the evil empire are all just distinctions without a difference. Cutting spending currently means increasing spending slower than the aristocrats originally wanted to. Government power expands with every new nanny that joins the state at any level. Maybe someday we’ll have the opportunity to sort out the minarchy vs anarchy debate in a time where it actually means something but I doubt most of us will see that time in our lifetimes. Cut spending and curb government power anywhere and every way possible. Seems like having even the slightest amount of success with that will be difficult enough without needing to figure out the details of our privatized police force.

    1. In other words, let’s even go so far as to put out the house fire NOW before it spreads to other houses, and save the debate about, should the fire station be publicly or privately owned, for later!

      1. Hell, we can’t even get the firemen’s pensions reformed much less get them privatized. We are seeing some slight success with charter schools, but that’s one area where government ineptitude is so glaring to everyone that even union/media propaganda can’t cover it up.

        1. The thing that cracks me up with these state pensions is the military is forcing all new members to sign up for 401k style pensions as of this year. Can’t get fearless fire fighters to do it (they take overtime too, the jackasses) but the military can.

    2. This will be tough as long as most voters want free shit and believe government can help them get it through its armed agents.

      1. It doesn’t matter what most voters want. Consistent voters, the ones casting spoiler votes, rewrite party platforms and repeal bad laws. Thus far the LP has overcome and repealed landoverbaptist antichoice laws, queer-baiting laws, engineered the collapse of the Soviet Empire, cut many taxes, railroaded rafts of regulations, bludgeoned blue laws and similar efforts to turn the Bill of Rights into a dead letter. The Fisher-Pry and similar replacement model graphs absolutely show we are on the right track, commie-anarchist and mystical-prohibitionist infiltrators to the contrary notwithstanding. THIS is winning!

    3. It’s not all doom and gloom. A lot of things are trending in the right direction — home schooling, drug decriminalization, alternative currencies etc. Libertarian Moment and all.

      Just don’t sneak a peak at the 21.5 trillion dollar federal debt….

      1. $21T in debt is doom and gloom.

        The bubble will pop and set in motion hyper inflation around the World.

        Socialists hope to grab some scraps, communists some scraps, and anarchists some scraps.

        1. $21T in debt is doom and gloom.

          Where Trump has ALREADY added more debt than even Obama. (8-year forecast vs 8-year actual) But Trump’s bots are even more blind than Bernie’s bots.

        2. Not true but go on….

  11. Well, that seems accurate. We really are the best argument against the probability of a functional libertarianism. :-/

  12. I see only two ideas that all libertarians need subscribe to in order to be “real” libertarians.

    1) You must believe that people should be free to make choices for themselves.

    2) You must be able to defend your positions with reason.

    In other words, once we agree that we should all be free to make choices for ourselves, there is little else on which we need to agree–except for, perhaps, intellectual honesty.

    I do not take it as an article of faith that reason invariably leads to libertarian conclusions. There may be authoritarian positions that I simply abhor for qualitative reasons. That being said, I don’t hold any libertarian positions that can’t be defended with reason, and I can think of socialist positions that can’t be defended with reason.

    1. 1) You must believe that people should be free to make choices for themselves.

      I think you have to go a step further and say each individual exclusively owns himself, therefore he is the only person who can make choices for himself (his mind and his body) and his property. If you word it “should be free to make choices,” to certain types of people that sounds like you should be free to make some or most choices, but a few big ones could be made for you, especially if you’re “objectively” better off, like being forced to pay into and participate in “universal” health care or common defense.

      2) You must be able to defend your positions with reason.

      I agree that it’s better to be able to defend your position using reason, which I assume you mean your position when arguing that you are making choices for yourself that are not interfering with the free choices of others, ie finding the boundary between the rights of free individuals. But, if a person is truly free to make their own choices, then I don’t see why they should be bound by some requirement to be rational in those choices. Who can rightfully interfere when two parties have come to an agreement based on emotion instead of logic?

      1. The hardest part of growing up is realizing that other people have different priorities.

        1. Yep. It took me until I was in my thirties.

          1. Interesting, Same here. It took me until my 30s to realize this.

            And it started the process of me questioning the concept of the ‘greater good’.

            It’s also odd to hear people my age (I’m in my 40s) still talk like they’re in university and in their 20s. It doesn’t age well the progressive outlook.

            1. I should add I got into a discussion with a progressive who justified government intrusion (ie Obamacare) as ‘doing things for their own good’. When I began to unravel his position (eg. people have different needs, make their own choices to the point of making the ‘greater good’ basically an unworkable myth armed with unintended consequences) he just said, ‘I don’t care. People are too stupid to make decisions on their own anyway. Think seat belts!’

              There’s literally no hope for them. Let that conveyor belt move along. Try to get the next batch.

            2. Well, IMO, that’s the rub.

              Personally I think there IS a subset of people who are too dumb to know how to run their own lives. I think that is a fact. Everybody knows people like that. Just total disasters. BUT I also think it is true that MOST people can, and will do a far better job of it than being commanded by the government.

              I also think that even the dumb ones, in a truly free society, will end up better off, even with all their mistakes, than in one where EVERYBODY gets shafted by excessive regulation.

              So they’re both right and wrong. Right that some people are morons, but wrong that they can ever create a system that ACTUALLY makes things better than absolute freedom in the real world.

      2. “I think you have to go a step further and say each individual exclusively owns himself”

        When I reduce it to “We should all be free to make choices for ourselves”, it’s reduced to the point that people don’t need to agree on anything else–in order to be real libertarians.

        Can libertarians believe that we should all be free for other reasons besides self-ownership?

        Sure! It might even be a utility thing. Maybe someone thinks we should all be free to make choices for ourselves–because that gives us the best outcomes regardless of whether we own ourselves.

        Imagine a hundred different circles containing individuals arguments that justify libertarianism. If all those different schools of thought overlap in some way, it’s that they all hold that we should be free to make choices for ourselves. That’s the part that makes us all libertarian.

        The other part has to do with reason and intellectual honesty.

        1. When I reduce it to “We should all be free to make choices for ourselves”, it’s reduced to the point that people don’t need to agree on anything else–in order to be real libertarians.

          I think the point he’s trying to make is that the word “should” implies a lack of an absolute that he doesn’t like. That is, people who aren’t inclined to a NAP oriented way of thinking to start with may interpret “We should all be free to make choices for ourselves” as “It would be nice if we were all free to make choices for ourselves”, but not see it as a necessity.

          And that leads us down the path that we have ended up at here.

          1. We ended up here partly because of anarchists and socialists trying to steer society their way.

            Also because people hate to say ‘no’.

        2. > Can libertarians believe that we should all be free for other reasons besides self-ownership?

          The proggies at Center for a Stateless Society seem to think so, bless their hearts.

          1. Always safe to ignore anyone who says “proggies” or “progtards” as low IQ and authoritarian

            Left – Right = Zero

      3. “But, if a person is truly free to make their own choices, then I don’t see why they should be bound by some requirement to be rational in those choices.”

        I wasn’t talking about only making rational choices, which, in the face of uncertainty and qualitative considerations, especially, will always be questionable.

        I mean that if you hold Libertarian Position A, then you should be able to defend it with reason. If you can’t defend your position with reason, then you need to amend it. That’s what being persuaded by reason is all about.

      4. One of the reasons someone like Tony can’t be persuaded is because he doesn’t care whether he’s right or wrong or whether his positions are rational. I’m not like that. I could be persuaded to believe that the earth is flat, that the sun orbits the earth, or that central planning and communism are better than free markets and capitalism. You’d need to use facts, logic, and reason to persuade me, though–and that will be hard to do.

        It seems to me that the more people are committed to intellectual honesty, the more likely they are to adopt capitalist solutions. Even my libertarian ethics are defensible through reason. You might persuade me to abandon my ethics, but, again, you’d need to use reason and logic to get me to adopt authoritarianism, and that’s not easily done.

        One of the reasons socialists and authoritarians appeal to emotion is because their positions are hard to justify with reason. And if “appeal to authority” is the fallacy to which libertarians are least susceptible, that may be telling. We libertarians aren’t about to take anybody’s word for it because they’re so elite. It may be defining characteristic.

        A libertarian is someone who can be persuaded with reason.

        1. I agree completely.

          Frankly your rational argument criteria is precisely why I do not believe in strict adherence of the NAP in 100% of situations, just 98% or so! I think there are some areas where facts, statistics, and looking at the issue rationally lead an intelligent person to believe the practical downsides of strict NAP adherence are simply not worth it. I’m down with being super principled, up until the point where it becomes a suicide pact. Some libertarians are willing to jump off a cliff for principles, but I think that’s just dumb. Every rule has a few exceptions to it, the NAP is no different IMO.

      5. If you’re not even willing to pay for the common defense then I suggest that you are an anarchist, not a libertarian.

        1. I respectfully* suggest that anarchists might believe in the concept of a common defense without trusting the state to be competent to deliver it, and that this is quite compatible with libertarianism.

          *I have no idea how to say this respectfully except by throwing the word out there and hoping like hell you trust that I mean it.

          1. A :”common” defense means the defense of everyone, which requires a vote. It’s true that a libertarian can be an anarchist, but so can a communist, both of which fail to address obvious contradictions like that.

            And the worst of them say we have no right to form a government at all, which is obviously authoritarian.

            1. Why does the fact that ‘common defense means the defense of everyone’ require a vote? You begin with a non sequitur if not outright falsehood.

              1. You will defend me against my will? Without my consent?
                Still confused?

    2. Readers will observe that the sockpuppet infiltrator avoids mentioning voting! Mystics are fond of commencing their deontological perorations with: “You must believe…”

      1. This rather lengthy babbling about libertarianism confirms what is already known.
        The libertarian movement is deader than a doornail, as proven by the Cato/Zogby survey. When the libertarian label is rejected by 91% iof libertarians, that means the ideology is now the opposite of libertarian values,

        Not a single word on how to move toward a libertarian society, Not a single viable policy solution in the entire movement. No thought to governance. Mostly debating how superior they are. As progressives kick our ass on every major issue. Winning. By default. No competition. Now just a cult, like the Moonies, Davidians and People’s Temple.

        In a libertarian society, we all live in gated communities with private police forces and competing court systems. John Galt’s statue stands in every town square.

        In a free society, Galt’s Gulch exists right next to a Marxist commune ? lesbians up the street from a community of Christian Fundies ?. retired Catholic priests across the field from Wiccans. Each community would be voluntarily populated. And that statue would be Voltaire, inscribed: “I disagree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.”

        Liberty is a mutual benefit society. Not a members-only country club, for snobs.
        Americans can smell the self-righteous contempt at 1000 yards.

  13. The other day, someone reacted to a question I asked as if it were rhetorical.

    It wasn’t a case of a lack of sarcasm font; it was more like this person didn’t seem to think it possible that someone would knowingly admit he didn’t know something by asking a question.

    Are they not teaching Socrates anymore? You gotta get that near the beginning of your academic career somehow. I guess the goal of academia, these days, is to make everybody become an unquestioned expert.

    That’s not the way the reality thingy works in the real world. In the real world, we’re all subject to qualitative preferences and uncertainty. That’s one of the reasons why we should all be free to make choices for ourselves.

    1. I am an expert, and I think that the fact that gravity is holding my fat ass (very forcefully) into my chair is flat out WRONG!!! It is unjust, unfair, insensitive, and a travesty of justice!

      We need a selective and partial liftng of the punitive, insensitive laws of gravity NOW!!!!

      1. If I’d had to guess, I’d have thought the rational authoritarians would be our greatest enemies.

        Sadly, they’re not, and it’s hard to get traction with people who think that if hating capitalism is wrong, they don’t want to be right. I guess it can be hard to tell sometimes between the enemy and the battlefield. The authoritarian socialists are the enemy, and the battlefield is the people who might believe them.

        I’m not an objectivist. If we have to wait until everybody gets rational before we get freedom, then we’ll never be free. But there needs to be a critical mass who are rational and can preach the libertarian gospel. If throwing pearls before swine is irrational, there are other ways! Still, we gotta be able to defend our positions with reason–even if rational debate isn’t always the appropriate strategy for every situation.

        Sometimes, yeah, telling the slavers to fuck off really is the most rational thing to do.

        1. The authoritarian socialists are the enemy,

          Republicans and conservatives prancing about in unconvincing libertarian drag are among my favorite faux libertarians.

          1. That’s weird. Given how you constantly verbally masturbate yourself, I figured your favorite fake libertarian would be the one in the mirror.

            1. The good Rev prancing for himself in libertarian drag:


              1. Ha. I knew that was going to be Q Lazzarus.

            2. I hope early think he is some 4chan troll or someone who gets pleasure out of attention and hate. We should start ignoring him.

          2. Remember that time you actually had a few coherent thoughts?

            That was nice, try that more often. Quit being a complete fucking douche.

            1. Republicans and conservatives prancing about in unconvincing libertarian drag are among my favorite faux libertarians.

              The snarling goobers don’t even know they proved you correct!!

              It’s the hatred. Libertarian Trumpsters are like Orwell’s Newspeak.
              “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

    2. I suspect part of it is that unquestioned expert thing. Being an unquestionable expert is appealing.

      Another part is, I think, that we have severely disincentivized being wrong or uninformed. They make us vulnerable, or highlight our pre-existing vulnerabilities. In a society that rewards predatory behaviour, being vulnerable is a Very Bad Thing.

      My family has a motto. We can make mistakes – everyone does – except we can’t make excuses. Excuses are just reasons we tell ourselves that our mistakes weren’t our problem, and there’s nothing about us or our behaviour which needs to change. Excuses mean we’ll do it again, and be ever so surprised when it turns out badly again.

      There’s a crucial aspect to making this work. It has to be okay to be wrong. Without an environment where it is okay to make mistakes, I find that we still get a bunch of mistakes but also lots of excuses.

      1. Equating explanations for failure with excuses is an authoritarian attitude.

        1. Whatever makes you feel superior, dude.

          1. Well, at least I won’t be repeating my failures as a result of refusing to look at external causes and only blaming myself. I suppose that makes me superior in some small way.

            1. All is right in the world, then.

            2. Well, at least I won’t be repeating my failures as a result of refusing to look at external causes and only blaming myself

              You just admitted to having no control over the values you choose.
              An out-of-control life
              You’ve been whupped by a HAMSTER!

              1. If you think you’re in complete control of your life and your successes and failures are entirely the result of your own actions, you’re delusional.

                I said nothing about values.

                1. Diversion

        2. Well, that may very well be true, but what part of what Hamster wrote indicates any such action?

      2. I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.

  14. an island of libertarians

  15. A masturbation of libertarians.

    1. I literally just finished jerking.

      1. Waaaaaay TMI.

  16. >>>Our inability to face the same direction and march together is an inextricable part of our characters and will always spell our defeat against our collectivist enemies.

    This. There is no One True Way. Humans are unique individuals; it doesn’t appear to be in our nature. There isn’t even a OTW to stand against collectivism, and this is a reason why libertarians make such a diffuse, ineffective collective.

    Our message doesn’t help. We offer adulthood, the freedom of just enough rope to hang one’s self. And there stands the collective, selling fairy tales of safety that will never happen, COULD never happen – except it’s such a happy story.

    Why be responsible for one’s self when everyone else could be told to wrap the world in cotton wool they’ve been ordered to buy for the occasion? Some people already know the answer. Lots more are still working on it.

    1. Our message doesn’t help. We offer adulthood, the freedom of just enough rope to hang one’s self. And there stands the collective, selling fairy tales of safety that will never happen, COULD never happen – except it’s such a happy story.

      Yeah. We tell the truth. It’s not popular. The fairy castles of spun moonbeams and unicorn tails of our opponents are very enticing, even if they’re complete fantasy.

      If only truth in advertising laws applied to politicians.

    2. “Our message doesn’t help. We offer adulthood, the freedom of just enough rope to hang one’s self. And there stands the collective, selling fairy tales of safety that will never happen, COULD never happen – except it’s such a happy story.”

      I can’t for the life of me recall who said this, it was some YouTube vid… Stefan Molyneux maybe? But basically they made the argument that the reason many people, especially poor people with the victim mentality fully taken on board, don’t appreciate freedom is that it has no utility for them. They’re just mindless cogs in the machine, they don’t pay much in taxes anyway, they benefit more from a big state (at least they think they do), they don’t have the freedom to go and do a lot of the things freedom would offer them anyway… So they just don’t care about it. It’s basically a utilitarian argument for them that there is no value in freedom, because for them it doesn’t really seem to do them any good. I didn’t put this well, but it was very mind opening in the vid I watched.

      You combine that with the opposition selling fair tales, and it is no wonder so many people buy into it. What utility is there in having extreme amounts of freedom for a barely above retardation level 50 year old dish washer? Basically nothing. Hence they don’t care, and the sunshine and lolly pops of the left sound pretty awesome, even if they suck in reality.

  17. A hermit of libertarians?

    I get tired of having the same conversations with a new batch of people who just discovered gun control etc.

    The only efficient response is “fuck off, slaver”.

  18. Wait… there are other libertarians?


  19. Are we saving the good articles for the weekend now? I’m not complaining, oh ho, no. I’m not complaining. This is great. These articles are great. The thinky-thoughts they’re generating are awesome. I’m just asking.

  20. That’s a pretty funny Mises anecdote, I’ll give you that.

    1. Mises’ Pieces are delicious.

      1. Okay, that made me laugh.

  21. For the party, without a written set of principles, to be used as a guideline to to determine positions on every issue, the LP will simply become another version of Republicans or Democrats. Whatever it takes to further the party.

    As for individuals, determine your principles and then live by them. They may be slightly different from other’s considered libertarian, but that’s because we’re all different, but as long as your prime directive is in the neighborhood of leave people the fuck alone, we can prolly get along.

    So…as opposed to Reason, my goal would be to have a big tent, invite everyone in AND THEN teach principles (and/or options for principles). Because, as we’ve seen, when you start taking positions without them (based on feelz?) you can go down the wrong road fairly quickly.

    1. Until you invite so many in, they take over and kick you out or marginalize you.

    2. my goal would be to have a big tent, invite everyone in AND THEN teach principles (and/or options for principles)

      That arrogance is how the movement became a cult.
      When even Cato reports that the libertarian label is rejected by 91% of those with libertarian VALUES.

      That says they’re way ahead of you. You need to become a student, THEY are the teachers. THEY are already there. You’re already “another version of Republicans or Democrats” … ideology has trumped values.

      Jacking off in a remote Ivory Tower — promoting conformity to your own values, instead of tolerance for all.
      I knew the real Francisco. You’re no Francisco.

  22. It’s nice of Reason to remember some of the libertarian fundamentals and remind their readers of them, too.

  23. I had “a friend” come over and tell me they were a libertarian because they didn’t want the government regulating abortion, didn’t care about whether gay people got married or not, were suspicious of the military industrial complex, were against basically ever war fought since they were alive, thought you should be able to take whatever drug you wanted to try and then fucking went and ruined our friendship by GODDAMN SAYING THAT THEY THOUGHT RICH PEOPLE SHOULD PAY A LITTLE MORE IN TAXES Naturally I threw him out of the house and shot him to death! I’m phoning 911 as we speak and invoking my “stand my ground” civil right. Clearly, I was provoked!

    1. The Honey Boo Boo of satire strikes again.

    2. Getting better. Still an idiot.

    3. Don’t feel bad, you’ve done a service to the world by ridding it of one more communist scum bag!

  24. From an outsider’s perspective, I’d say one of the biggest hurdles for libertarians is their knee-jerk hostility towards young people (especially Millennials). Maybe it’s a coping-mechanism for realizing that libertarianism isn’t exactly “hip”, maybe it’s Gen X’ers getting old and cranky, but it doesn’t help either way. It feels like in order to become a libertarian a Millennial has to “prove” that he’s not like the rest of his peers and cultivate some form of contempt towards them for being “foolish” and “emotional.” The whole “kids these days” spiel may be great for blowing off steam in a minarchist forum, but it’s no way to actually get out there and change shit. Which is what any ideology wants to do.

    1. Kindly get the hell off of my lawn. Thnx

    2. It probably has something to do with how a shit ton of millennials, especially on the internet, are openly hostile to liberty and the free market.

      Now get off my lawn.

    3. It’s the self-righteousness, — which causes the libertarian movement to be rejected by 91%% of libertarians. (Per Cato)

      Over 60% of Americans would self-identify as libertarian.. A voiceless majority with no identity and no voice. Don’t even know where each other is.

      So … who is driving the expansion of so-called libertarian values? Is it 60% of Americans, with 50,000-60,000 in elected public office, actively engage in their communities, with perhaps a quarter million activist supporters?

      Or is it fewer than 5% of Americans, who sneer self-righteously at everyone else, as they debate the deeper nits of libertarian ideology, in a the warm comfort of a remote Ivory Tower?

      That’s easy. Do the math.

    4. If you are a boomer, you shoud be realistic about your generation and the socialism loving persons amomg you. Not every boomer is a socialists but that generation defines itself by the generalization of being socialists.

      Millennials define their generation and they are the ones acting the way they act and saying the things they say.

      1. No different than your own proclaimed “entitlement” to slurp the gummint teat And only those others approved by yourself.

        I’m a libertarian adult, so I won’t blame your generation, your race or rour ethnicity for your moral hypocrisy.
        You’re welcome.

      2. Maga

        1. MAGA: My Attorney Got Arrested!
          MAGA: My Advisors Going Away!
          MAGA: My Associates Getting Allocutions!
          MBAL My Bots are Loyal, but their bullshit can;t keep me out of jail, or achieve anything at all
          GALT also means Get A Life Trumpster

    5. I’m an older millennial (almost 33 now), and I bitch about millennials all the time!

      Honestly I think the Gen Y thing, which is what I was originally going to be before the new term came into being and they rejiggered the generational break dates they were planning on using, would have been better and more accurate. It was going to be mid-late 70s through maybe the late 80s or early 90s. Culturally I think there was a breaking point at about 4-5ish years younger than I am. My age group seems to be closer culturally to late Gen Xers than later millennials.

      In short, younger millennials are waaay different than people my age, and they younger ones are mostly the ones that are fucking retards. My age group still got to ride our bikes around, grew up pre ubiquitous internet, didn’t get trophies for LOSING in sports, etc. I don’t know exactly what it is, but those few years really make a lot of difference. The younger ones seem to fit the stereotype a LOT, whereas my age group really doesn’t much at all.

  25. Yeah, but it all began with Ayn Rand. Without her, nobody would even know–much less care–who those also-rans were. Indeed, the also-rans are mainly Republican blow-up dolls, props in a theater to dissemble a fake interest in fiscal conservatism as camouflage for straight-up reenactment of the Comstock laws and Ceausescu-Teddy Roosevelt race-suicide eugenics!

    1. I’m curious about these parallels to Ceausescu. Could you elaborate on this? I wasn’t very old when he was… deposed, and I read about it as an adult yet nothing particularly stands out except bog-standard corrupt politickeering. Did you have a specific example in mind?

  26. Sadly, she describes a Reason that no longer exists, that is now unabashashedly right-wing. The editors praise Independents, while repulsing them with attacks on “the left” — but never — ever “the right.” So the libertarian label is rejected by 91% of libertarians.

    Cato survey conducted by a top independent pollster.

    “Would you describe yourself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, also known as libertarian? by 59 to 27 percent, poll respondents said they would describe themselves as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.”

    “… we (also) found that only 9 percent of voters with libertarian views identify themselves that way.” -David Boaz and David Kirby (page search for the words)

    More thoughtful readers will see the severe conflict between libertarian ideology and libertarian values.

    One reason is the self-righteousness glorified here. The movement no longer has any interest in CREATING a free society, or evolving toward one, so has not a single viable policy proposal. Libertopia is a society of only libertarians — like the Davidians, the Moonies and Jim Jones’ People’s Temple.

    The “movement” is now a cult.


    1. Americans can smell the self-righteous contempt at 1000 yards. A libertarian society for libertarians, NOT a free society for everyone

      In a libertarian society, we all live in gated communities with private police forces and competing court systems. John Galt’s statue stands in every town square.

      In a free society, Galt’s Gulch exists right next to a Marxist commune ? lesbians up the street from a community of Christian Fundies ?. retired Catholic priests across the field from Wiccans. Each community would be voluntarily populated. And that statue would be Voltaire, inscribed: “I disagree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.”

      The triumph of anti-gummint over pro-liberty. No longer any interest in expanding liberty, only in shrinking the state, which is not the same.

      Liberty is a mutual benefit society. Not a members only Country Club.

      Then reboot and start anew.

      1. Your free society works great until the authoritarian factions decide “fuck that Voltaire guy, he’s just some cis gendered white guy, lets go take some people’s shit. For the children or social justice or just because.

        1. Umm, you just compared a remote possibility with something approaching white nationalism — which even Ayn Rand said could never work for a society, only a community

          …. While beating your chest as an “American Hero” defending a massively UN-American society (more akin to the KKK) So you’ve proven my point better than I could ever hope to do myself.

          THANK YOU!

    2. You talk of self righteousness then write some of the most self righteous bullshit imaginable, like you are some prophet of liberty. No thanks mate, I am not sure why you think people inclined towards independent thought would respond positively to your gospel of self righteous indignation.

      Buzz off Hihn.

      1. PISSED that he FAILS to challenge the definitions of a Free Society vs a Libertarian Society!
        So attacks the messenger.
        This proving my point! (duh)

    3. Reason is RIGHT WING???


  27. “Reason is, and has long been, a big tent project. ”

    A yuge Woketarian tent.

    1. To the Authoritarian Right, which mostly repeats memorized words and phrases.
      In TOTAL ignorance that libertarians have been fiscally conservative and socially liberal for a half century.

      Left – Right = Zero

      1. Hihn – Sock Puppet = Zero

        1. Loses on the facts.
          Invents a sock puppet.
          Feels manly again,
          For a minute or two.

          ANOTHER example of the Authoritarian Right?

    2. It’s very big tent… They’ll totally make concessions because of real world problems on EVERY ISSUE… As long as it’s not something that the progressive left says must be accepted. Gun rights? Suuure, we can have some common sense gun laws! Why not? Some states not wanting to let trans people shower at public school with people of the opposite biological sex? ZOMG YOU’RE A NAZI BIGOT!

      I don’t have a problem with concessions for trying to reasonably accommodate people in the real world… But Reason very clearly always takes one side on all these issues.

      1. One more time …
        Libertarians have been fiscally conservative and socially liberal for 50 years.
        This EXPLODES the brains of many on the extreme left and right. Totally unaware that left and right have been obsolete for 50 years. (as the only two tribes)

        What is so difficult grasping a fiscal conservative can be socially liberal? (Like over 60% of Americans)

        Still confused?

        The Authoritarian Right wants government out of your wallet and into your bedroom.
        The Authoritarian Left wants government out of your bedroom and into your wallet.
        ONLY libertarians DEFY government intrusion into BOTH economic and personal issues.
        And over 60% of Americans self-identify the same way.

        Your time has expired. Decades ago.

        1. Ugh. You’re so dumb. How many times have I told you Hihn, I am pro legal abortion, pro gay marriage, pro drug legalization (all of them not just pot), etc. Not THAT socially conservative am I?

          I am also obviously fiscally conservative.

          All of that said, that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasonable limits to some of the crazy progressive agenda that is being pushed. I know how to read statistics and scientific studies, hence understand that men and women are different in our traits, physical and mental. I can also understand people being uncomfortable with some stuff. Like having naked people of the opposite biological sex showering with their underaged children.

          With private businesses they should be able to do as they choose… Unfortunately as long as we have public facilities, this is something that will have to be fought out. Is it worth making 199 kids uncomfortable to coddle the one odd ball statistical anomaly who thinks it is the opposite sex from what it is biologically? Because that’s largely what half of this “trans rights” stuff comes down to. I have trans friends for fucks sake, and I have straight up discussed some of the trans issues with them. There’s a reasonable discussion to be had here, it’s not all just being a bigoted asshole.

          1. Challenged again.
            Changes story again.

            1. I have NEVER changed my story on the above stuff. I have ALWAYS said the exact same things, because that is what I have always believed. My opinions have shifted over time on some things, but if anything I’m MORE traditionally conservative than I used to be when I was younger, so any older posts probably would have been even more liberal on the above issues.

              1. Severe denial is a mental affliction..

                PLUS … what WTF are you BABBLING about NOW. This is about you changing your story IN THIS THREAD. .. not your fcking biography.

  28. “Reason is, and has long been, a big tent project. ”

    A yuge Woketarian tent.

  29. Re huge tent. I wouldn’t mind a differing article on immigration not by Dalmia or Chapman or even Nick.

    Incidentally, he was recently challenged by a youtuber (Don’t walk, run) who had their account flagged despite it presenting fair and valid rebuttals. Imagine that, you can cite Pew but if your position on immigration runs against the ‘open borders’ narrative, you’re literally Hitler and risk getting your account demonetized. Just crazy stuff.

    1. Was it these?

      PEW Research report on Muslim Americans
      Muslims Lean Democratic over Republicans over 6 to 1
      Muslims Want bigger government over smaller government over 3 to 1

      PEW Research on Hispanic Americans
      Hispanics Lean Democratic over 3 to 1
      Hispanics Want Bigger Government Providing More Services over 3 to 1

      1. (Laughing) Shit on people then get pissed if they don’t vote for you.

        Example: The ACTUAL Pew study on Muslims(CLICK THE LINK!) is titled No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Terrorists. Among Muslims. So much for that lie,
        Read the whole thing for their values. 100% middle-class Americans.
        (Also lies about the percentages

        The Authoritarian Right, Be very afraid for America and its core values,

        1. Put down the crack pipe dude.

          It’s simply a fact that people who come from different cultures have different values. Many of these values are NOT good values by libertarian standards. Deal with it! We may or may not be able to convert some of these people over time. Many of them will probably never come to accept proper American values. The black community NEVER has, and they’ve been here longer than any other group other than Natives and whites. The question is with some of these groups is will they end up being Italians who integrate, or will they end up being perpetual problems like blacks? Only time will tell.

          But the fact is that ALL foreigners statistically speaking, INCLUDING Europeans, have shit views compared to native born white Americans. Native born white Americans are the most libertarian leaning people on earth, sad as that is. It just is what it is. Again, deal with it. The idea that every person is a widget, with no history, no past, no culture, and is fully interchangeable at the drop of a hat is ridiculous. Deal in reality Hihn.

          1. You failed to address what he said. And apparently don’t understand it. Or the topic.

    2. Seriously. There is a TON of disagreement on some of the major issues within the libertarian community. I’m pretty sick and tired of Reason ALWAYS pushing just a single side of some of these arguments, immigration being a big one. It would not be hard to bring on board a right-libertarian writer or two, even just to put up a false front that Reason isn’t pushing certain stuff.

      1. You really have no idea what you’re talking about, ever, on libertarianism.
        90% of libertarian disagreement on immigration is totally open borders vs very minimal interference.(often tied to the welfare state)
        Open borders tend to be anarchists. Yes, anarchists can be libertarians (sigh)
        Pro-liberty libertarians (mostly minarchist) would privatize the welfare state,.
        Anti-government libertarians are … well … wacky.

        1. Sure Hihn. I have no idea at all. I understand all sides of that, and many other arguments. I personally am a libertarian with caveats, and have no qualms ignoring the NAP when I think it is a big enough issue to warrant it. Immigration is one of the few.

          But even on things that can be argued strictly within the NAP there can be differing opinions. Reason tends to push a single side of most of these splits, and it usually tends to be the trendy one that happens to align with progressives. Lots of libertarians and libertarian leaners like myself get annoyed by this. Reason would serve itself and the libertarian community better by having both sides of these split issues voicing opinions. That’s basically all I’m saying.

          1. Well Homer,

            That’s a total diversion from the topic

            1. Kind of like all your copy and paste responses that have zero relevance to whatever is being discussed?

              1. Now a psycho liar.

                You are way above your class.
                Stay at the kid’s table for a few more decades.

  30. As far as the actual topic of this article goes, I think there is room for disagreement. However I also wish some libertarians would become more pragmatic. Purist libertarianism is NEVER gonna happen IMO. But we could get a hell of a lot closer than we are now, and maybe closer than the USA was in the 1800s, which is probably the freest any society has ever been.

    We need to take incremental steps, not be dogmatic. We also need to accept that some things that are implied by a strict reading of the NAP are simply undesirable to most people. Push the arguments that can be won, and let some of the other stuff slide. Most of them just aren’t hills that are worth dying on.

    People don’t want open borders, and pragmatically speaking they’re a horrible idea anyway IMO. So how about just more sensible immigration policy that is quickly and efficiently administered? People don’t care about privatized roads. So how about just cutting the red tape, devolving funding, and otherwise streamlining the whole thing? Ditto with public schools. Bring in vouchers, charter schools, as competition etc.

    Those are things that could actually be done, but being dogmatic won’t get us anywhere. Note it’s been conservatives fighting and winning on those types of issues. In short abolish public roads won’t win any elections, or policy changes… But cutting the cost of building roads by 50% by doing XYZ things might.

  31. As evidenced on this thread, “a censorship of libertarians”.

    If you can’t handle the truth, don’t invite comments.

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