George Floyd

Bourgeois Libertarianism Can Save America

Reliance on persuasion, freedom, property, and markets might deliver both peace and justice where "No Justice, No Peace" has so far failed.

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As various American cities descend into weeks or even monthslong street disorder, launched by anger and anguish over police brutality, standard American political ideas and groups seem equally powerless to preserve the domestic tranquility for which Americans theoretically give over large chunks of our fortunes and our choices to government. Many of these protests have evolved into generalized orgies of destruction and even arson, which is the most fiendishly destructive thing the average person can do in dense cities and which has been done with careless glee dozens of times.

In the places Americans gather to publicly reason with each other via awkward two-sentence chunks and snide insults, a disturbingly large number of people are insisting we recapitulate the stark choices that Germany seemed to offer its citizens a century ago between the world wars: a controlling, decadent left out to destroy private property, and a right that embraces a harsh, violent authoritarianism suspicious of outsiders of all stripes. 

Both sides' appeal is energized by the existence of the other, and both seem so obviously intolerably evil to each other that they agree on one thing: that no moral or prudential choice exists other than to join one of those two sides and come out swinging. 

The blood on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin (Kenosha, Wisconsin!) this week is a small preview of where that path leads.  

Traditional American libertarianism, to the extent either side acknowledges its existence, is seen by both leftists and rightists as either supporting the Evil Side or, at best, a pusillanimous, pie-in-the-sky distraction from the necessary business of seizing state power to crush the enemy.

But that old school, non-revolutionary, bourgeois American libertarianism, if actually embraced by most Americans, remains the only peaceful way out.

That it's a mistake—both morally wrong and likely ineffective—to use government force to solve most social problems is one of libertarianism's staid tenets. As the past months should have made evident, police power in the conventional sense can't keep cities secure if even a small number of people are unwilling to live and let live. State power simply cannot rule a people if even a small, energized minority refuses to let it. If you actually care about a functioning civilization, it is never enough to have the state controlled by the "right side." 

What makes civilization work, when it does, is people roughly hewing to libertarian principles, which, fortunately for Western civilization, most people do even when they are not being governed in a libertarian manner. 

What makes civilizations collapse, as we are now seeing, is people relentlessly seeking state or state-like solutions to their perceived grievances, particularly the kind that threaten your fellow citizens' liberty to live, think, express, work, save, and do business in peace, even if you have a good reason to be angry and feel a burning, even justified, need to see things change. 

To begin at the root of the current unrest, a more libertarian world would not have a police force engaged in continual series of overaggressive assaults on citizens, whether or not suspected of crimes. We suffer that now because police, as representatives of the state, are not subject to the same discipline for their crimes that most citizens are. 

At that same time, a more thoroughly libertarian world would not see certain tactics pursued by some on the progressive left who agree with the libertarian goal of reducing police's unjust spasms of "authority." For instance, that world would not have angry mobs insisting threateningly that random fellow citizens join them in some public expression of political piety, however noble the cause. It would also lack roving mobs setting fire to buildings and breaking windows. 

Those actions, unchecked and continual, tear at the roots of civilization that have made us as wealthy as we are—the relatively free and unmolested ability of people to possess wealth and space and use it to offer goods and services to others for a price. 

American movement libertarianism was revolutionary—but only intellectually so. Most American libertarians, even in the face of continual obscene injustices on the part of the state, never figured that reducing the civic order to a violent battlefield was the just or prudent response, especially in a world where most fellow citizens didn't want libertarian governance. The mission has always been selling people on the idea that they would benefit from more libertarian governance.

Thus, the notion of "no justice, no peace" that animates both angry anti-police-brutality progressives and major aspects of historic American foreign policy doesn't quite ring true for most American libertarians. Another country's criminality has often been insufficient to convince many libertarians that the mass life and property destruction of war were justified. Likewise, even though they are inspired by justified anger at recalcitrant and evil government policy, the weeks of property destruction and occasional attacks on bystanders are perhaps not the just or effective response.

Libertarians have a narrow sense of when and how force can be justly brought to bear to right wrongs. When it comes to either overseas war or domestic battles to change government policy or public attitudes, most libertarians can't agree that the lives and property of those innocent of committing the crime should suffer, especially when the connection between the violence or destruction and righting all relevant wrongs is tentative and uncertain.

The standard American libertarian has been traditionally and boringly bourgeois. Many think that while preserving life is indeed a higher priority than preserving property, property's vital role in human flourishing and happiness both individually and socially means that one cannot blithely treat it as sacrificeable to make some point about how angry you are or to pursue a vaguely seen path to "justice" for others.

The fanaticism of seeking to bloodily right all the world's wrongs, then, was never really the libertarian thing. The love of peace and prosperity that motivates libertarians to embrace liberty inclined them to think that truly effective and secure social change came not from violence, chaos, and force, but from treating fellow human minds and bodies with respect, as ends not means, and attempting to persuade them that libertarian ideas ought to shape human social life. 

The fanatical pursuit of "no justice, no peace" makes any reasonable civic life impossible. In a polity where agreement from a critical mass of your fellow citizens is necessary, certain sacrifices of peace in pursuit of justice will likely damage your chances of getting the kind of justice you say you want.

Such possibly counterproductive sacrifices include large scale denials of the right to use public streets unmolested and the idea that the livelihoods and savings of people with no direct connection to the wrongs can be justly ruined, most especially given what we know about how weeks or months of urban violence destroy prosperity for decades 

Those craving hope for America's near future might take small comfort in the fact that, as newsmaking as they rightly are, as fascinatingly grim as they are to discuss, as much as they dramatize in a colorfully violent way real fault lines in the beliefs and hopes of America writ large, the number of people so far fighting in the streets, breaking windows, and setting fires is very, very tiny in comparison to the vast number of Americans who do in fact, consciously or unconsciously, live their lives according to the tenets of bourgeois libertarianism.

That is the lived philosophy of the peaceful enjoyment of life and property, mostly minding one's own business, living and letting live, not enforcing orthodoxies of thought and expression no matter how good the cause, or treating other people's lives and property as sacrificable for a political goal. We are seeing that even a small number of people choosing to not live in accordance with those libertarian principles creates civic spaces in which no one can thrive—not even, in the long run, the people choosing to create chaos in the name of justice.

NEXT: Chicago Police Sued Again For Botched Raid, Pointing Guns At Grandma and Child

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  1. The blood on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin

    It’s up to my ankles.

    1. The blood on the streets, it’s up to my knees.

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  2. A more libertarian world wouldn’t have drug prohibition which is what causes the majority of police violence.

    1. Do you have a source for that? I’ve heard that about half starts with DV calls.

      1. Anecdotal, but not irrelevant: the cops I have talked with over the years, and they are numerous, tie between 80% and 90% of violent crime, directly or indirectly, to the War on Drugs. This also includes, of course, a lot DV incidents.

        1. That’s beyond absurd.

      2. the drug war is what has led to the militarization of police forces and the “warrior” training now in vogue.

        1. Lack of training looks a lot more likely for most of these incidents.

          1. When you train police to line up outside someone’s home at 2 a.m., click off the safety of their full-automatic AR, break the door down, and rush in in a burst of adrenaline; to serve a routine warrant on someone who may or may not be there, people on both sides are in mortal danger.

            No amount of extra training in 2 a.m. SWAT raids is going to improve anyone’s odds.

            1. Yes, that’s why I said “most.”

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        2. I’ve always had a problem with paramilitary police. It gives them an air of superiority over “civilians”.

    2. No doubt. But we also have to keep certain personality/character types away from law enforcement.

      1. And change the whole police culture in this country.

      2. and allow bad cops to be removed from street duty early on in their careers, before the citizen complaints start to pile up. which means replacing the ineffective political leaders of the ineffective political party who have allowed the public employee unions to protect the bad cops.

        1. …and not encourage people to resist arrest?

    3. But there would be cops enforcing bathroom policy, cake baking, and nuns buying birth control. So how do you square that?

      1. Every government policy is enforced by men with guns, there’s no way around that no matter what amount of mental gymnastics you perform

        1. That’s not true. In Norway, England, Ireland, Iceland, and New Zealand, the police don’t carry guns.

          1. Are there any other differences?

          2. You’re joking, of course. The fact that police don’t carry guns does not change the fact that government edicts are enforced with force.

            You don’t get to pick and choose when you want government to enforce your beliefs. It’s all or nothing.

            1. Yes, I was joking and pointing out that you were technically incorrect. Wait, is that the best kind of incorrect, or the worst kind of incorrect?

              1. Except he isn’t. Because behind the guys without guns are guys with guns.

                1. As seen in New Zealand with their lockdown edicts enforced by regular military

                2. Wait. You can look past the obvious and further deduce something? How novel. Is that like the seen and the unseen or something?

          3. I thought your phrasing was off so I checked.
            Norway: Police guns are stored in a vehicle secured container. Last fatal police shooting was in 2016
            England: I thought it was weird you said England when we could talk about the whole UK. For instance in Northern Ireland all police carry firearms. In the rest of the UK only certain police carry firearms.
            Ireland: Some of the Gardaí carry firearms
            Iceland: The Lögreglan don’t typically carry firearms, but they are in their vehicles in a secured container.
            New Zealand: The New Zealand Police are similar to Iceland. Most don’t carry and weapons are stored in a secured container in the vehicle

            1. Yes he was wrong several times over.

  3. I agree that libertariansim could solve a lot of problems, but it would only do so if people could not fall back on siccing Big Brother on their perceived enemies.

    I believe what went wrong in the Kenosha shooting was the cop pulling his gun too soon; now his hand had a tool ready to use, a problem in itself, but it also meant he had one less hand for other uses.

    Same thing with SWAT teams in general. You got these highly trained fast operators sitting around in patrol cars doing mundane cop things, all that training going to waste; so why not use them to serve high velocity warrants on 16 year old car thieves? The tool is at hand; it distracts from the main task, makes it harder to stop and think and use a better tool.

    Government is such a tool. They have become so pervasive in daily life that it is much easier to sic them on your enemies, whether politicial, business, or imaginary.

    Libertarianism’s big win is removing that tool, making people stop and think on how to solve problems themselves, or realizing that not all problems need immediate addressing, or even recognizing opportunities where government-thinking only see problems.

    And that means libertarianism will never be implemented when there is this much government already at hand, where the only real question is who controls it, not whether it should exist.

    1. In most cases, the police were responding to domestic violence calls for help. In the 1970s many such calls were taken by squad cars NHI. NHI meant No Humans Involved, go slow or no show. That was racist.

      1. +1 “Self-cleaning oven”

    2. This is a reasonable and thoughtful comment. I have reported it as SPAM.

    3. tl:dr,
      When all you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail

    4. Your comment in general stands, but in Kenosha specifically what should the cops do when he pulls a knife, the taser has no effect, and he makes a move to get into the car (which happens to have children in it)?

      1. Shoot Blake right away when he first pulled the knife.

        In other news, it appears the Democratic leadership narrative on the protesters may be changing. Chicago is preparing for a LOL-BLM protest on Michigan Avenue set for Saturday. If you’re wondering why BLM is now being so considerate as to give the cops a few days warning, you’re not the only one.

        My guess is that this is a setup for the remnants of CPD that still want to do their jobs, to go kick ass on a Potemkin Village-equivalent group of ‘rioters’, and thereby revitalize Mayor Beetlejuice’s law and order bona fides. Expect similar bullshit in a variety of Democrat cities.

        1. Makes sense.
          I saw Biden was out with the whole “these are videos from Trump’s America”
          Leftists, and their allies, think this will work – they literally cannot conceive of people perceiving something any other way than they’re instructed to.
          The more pissed off they are, the better Trump’s doing

  4. Who sent the memo?

    1. Dunno, but Don Lemon was stupid enough to explicitly state publicly why the memo went out. Not because people are dying, not because hindres of millions of dollars worth of property has been destroyed, not because hundreds to thousands of small businesses have been destroyed, but because the poll numbers for Trump are going up.

      1. Every once and a while the mask slips.

  5. “No Justice, No Peace” has so far failed.

    Based on all the factors, players, participants and history of the phrase, it can be generally understood that “justice” is defined within the framework of “equity”. Equity is an impossible standard, unachievable and ultimately dangerous to even attempt to pursue. So when someone says “give me something that’s impossible, unachievable and dangerous to society, or you’ll get no peace”, I try not to expose my back to them.

  6. O/T – Pelosi says there shouldn’t be any debates between Biden and Trump

    “Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday she doesn’t think there should be any presidential debates ahead of the November election, arguing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden shouldn’t “legitimize” a discussion with President Trump.”

    1. At this point, Biden should probably avoid legitimizing a “discussion with a kitchen faucet”.

    2. It’s a legit perspective. Not going to happen but worth mentioning. The “debates” are crap anyway.

      1. So why would he avoid a debate where he could showcase that personality right alongside Trump. Sort of how Clinton was able to show everyone how warm, human, and tolerant she was through her debate performance?

    3. Really? That’s a relief, because Biden’s keynote speech at the DNC was so wonderfully delivered that I was worried he’d rhetorically curbstomp Trump in a debate.

      1. Biden was clearly medicated for the speech and the problem with that medication is the persons mental acuity is worse after every dose. so its a loose loose and now he probably can’t even function long enough for a debate that last longer than 20 minutes

    4. Damn, shit like this makes me start to really believe Biden may be in a pretty shitty state. I’ve mostly just been supporting the meme to piss off his supporters.

      1. He is completely there mentally. He puts his shirt on one leg at a time

    5. Biden continuing to bravely show leadership by having no platform and making as few public appearances as possible. Is it possible that this might backfire and hurt his poll numbers in the way that Dem mayors and governors handing out get of jail free passes to arsonists and violent mobs has started to? Time will tell.

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  8. But that old school, non-revolutionary, bourgeois American libertarianism, if actually embraced by most Americans, remains the only peaceful way out.

    If there was actually any chance we could be left alone to be old school, non-revolutionary, bourgeois American libertarians, you might have a point. Given that in our current environment, old school, non-revolutionary, bourgeois American libertarianism amounts to unilateral disarmament, I’m calling bullshit.

  9. “What makes civilizations collapse, as we are now seeing, is people relentlessly seeking state or state-like solutions to their perceived grievances, particularly the kind that threaten your fellow citizens’ liberty to live, think, express, work, save, and do business in peace, even if you have a good reason to be angry and feel a burning, even justified, need to see things change.”

    Well now that sounds real nice. But as is often the case with such “nice” messages, the audience that most needs to hear it will not:

    “Nah.

    I’m not going to call for peace.
    We’ve tried peace.
    For years.

    Y’all don’t understand that language.

    We are calling for a complete
    dismantling of American policing.

    It’s NOT broken.
    It was built to work this way.

    And mayhem is the consequence.
    You earned it.”

    Shaun King
    August 24, 2020

    1. Civilizations collapse when people stop acting civilized.

      1. True; unless every other person is literally deputized to force the other person to do their bidding.

        It really is a very thin blue line; case in point, several hundred rioters show and the cops stand down. It’s ok to be full of virtue and safely ensconced in your gated community with the belief that “help” is only a phone call away. When that breaks down, it’s a whole ‘nother matrix.

    1. As Nancy has often put it, “if the Republicans win it will be the end of civilization as we know it.”

  10. Bourgeois Libertarianism Can Save America Reliance on persuasion, freedom, property, and markets might deliver both peace and justice where “No Justice, No Peace” has so far failed.

    Bourgeois libertarianism (formerly known as liberalism) is what has given us the mess we’re in. That is, when the bourgeoisie adopts liberal/libertarian ideas in a democracy, they do so highly selectively, and in a self-serving, unprincipled, corrupt way. That is, the support libertarian policies that serve their interests while being unwilling to support libertarian policies that are inconvenient or costly for them.

    In the end, “bourgeois libertarians” are just a bunch of useful idiots for socialists, driving a free society off the cliff.

  11. Now say it with me. A libertarian government would throw every single person that burned down a building, stole someone else’s property, or assaulted another person for disagreeing with or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time in jail. A libertarian government would have cracked down on the riots that Reason supported right up until someone they knew actually went down there and took a look around. That or a libertarian government would have given an attaboy to the Kenosha Kid and anyone that followed in his footsteps as they enforced the NAP.

    If you want to know why libertarian ideals aren’t catching on, look at the articles Reason has written recently, and ask yourself if they are willing to call the riots completely unjustifiable. If you can’t say that the rioters are completely unjustified in attacking innocent bystanders then your not really a libertarian.

    1. You seem to have confused libertarianism with tough-on-crime Republicanism. Spare no expense to protect property and wealth from the masses; fuck the masses, they don’t get government help. At the very least I expect a somewhat more permissive attitude toward public demonstration than your typical fascist, but then I don’t actually expect that from libertarians, do I?

      1. This is two sides talking past each other based upon the media they consume. Tony you see a “public demonstration” where the Illocust sees a riot. The truth lies somewhere in-between I’d assume…But I’m having a hard time giving a shit anymore.

        1. I imagine it’s hard work sorting out the vandals from the protesters, but a free society doesn’t have the option of collectively punishing people for the crimes of a few among their number. Not even a libertarian society.

          It’s not my place to tell libertarians that they can’t focus on “law and order” to the exclusion of individual freedom issues, but protecting wealth and property over the lives of marginalized people is what Republicans are for, so what do libertarians have to offer that’s any different or interesting?

          1. “ but protecting wealth and property over the lives of marginalized people is what Republicans are for”

            This isn’t the 80’s. Republicans are for whatever the party leadership says they are for. Or more precisely Republicans are “for” whatever the Democrats are “against”, and vice versa.
            You’ve also bought into the idea that marginalized equals more-melanin. Ask those poor bastards in the white ghettos of eastern Kentucky and West Virginia how thier white privilege is working out for them.

            1. To be fair, they tend to vote for “pull yourself up from your bootstraps” policy, so they should get on that and stop complaining.

              1. They’re not complaining, you are.

          2. By “collectively punishing”, you mean arresting someone who filmed themselves on social media lighting cars on fire?

            1. If your primary policy concern is ridding the streets of undesirables, you can just go ahead and knock yourself out.

              1. If by “undesirables” you mean psychopathic Marxist thugs killing, maiming, beating, and raping people whilst destroying public and private property, then yes, my primary concern is ridding the streets o “undesirables”.

                1. What does their economic philosophy have to do with it?

          3. “but a free society doesn’t have the option of collectively punishing people for the crimes of a few among their number”

            If only we could take that principle and, you know, extend it to actual policy.

        2. I’m not John. If you don’t throw bricks and any other objects at people, you can stand on the street and scream all day and night long for all I care. The second a mob that’s been getting violent every single night for 3 months violates the NAP in even the mildest ways you need to lock the violators down hard, though. Let them cool their heels in jail for the night and let them out with a fine, but your not required to stupidly work themselves up to the beating bystanders with skateboards point. Your allowed to hall them off the street when they shove.

          1. I should clarify because far too many apologist for rioters will refuse to use common sense, but the they in my above post only applies to the ones actually violating the NAP. Two people beat someones skull in and the third just shouts an annoying catch phrase. Annoying catch phrase guy shouldn’t be thrown in jail. Even if he is a truly awful person for not trying to help their fellow human beings.

            1. You already supported the murderous kid who fired into a crowd.

              Your “clarification” is an obvious lie.

              1. You mean the kid who self-defensively ventilated the Marxist psychopathic violent thugs who were trying to kill him?

                Fuck yourself with a rusty rake you stupid piece of subhuman shit faggot. Come bring your little twink ass down sometime and try something, nothing I’d love to more than to watch your walnut sized brain evacuate out the hole left in the back of your skull from a nice 5.56mm piece of hot lead.

          2. Double restitution. Maybe a fine too.

        3. I watched the news, there was an ongoing riot. There is no “in between” about that. Entire lots of cars did not spontaneously ignite due to their anger over police violence.

          I also watched the videos. I saw a belligerent asshole repeatedly attempting to incite armed people who were seeking to defend private property from being burned to the ground.

          I then saw that same asshole chase, and throw at least one object at a fleeing guy armed with a rifle. The asshole continued his approach even after the guy turned and raised his rifle.

          Your willingness to see “two sides” is predicated upon your unwillingness to accept reality.

          1. Yeah. I should just join a team and accept that team’s narrative. Then shout down anyone who opposes my team… while obediently ignoring all of the unbelievably stupid shit people on my team say and do.

            1. Lol

              He’s correct and you have no response that maintains your “both sides” dogma (from which you derive your self worth), so you retreat into repeating shibboleth “sarcastically”.
              So transparent

              1. You’re right that he’s correct Nardz. I’ll give you and him that.
                But here’s the rub: I’m sure that the video and narrative were edited and packaged just for his fear-stoked conservative hippocampus. And I’m also sure that there are all kinds of progressives on the other side of this argument that watched it on MSNBC or the Daily Show and would argue the other side Based upon their media’s narrative…which is also correct.
                As I said upthread. We’re all talking past each other based upon our own truths.

                1. So your “truth” is based on videos you haven’t seen and are making assumptions about.
                  That’s a you problem.

            2. You mean like when you sit here every day making excuses for violent Marxist psychopaths?

          2. Someone should have told that guy that shops are covered by insurance if anything happens to them during a riot, and that there is no need for vigilantes shooting people indiscriminately. But they’re not really there to protect property, are they?

            1. I told you this yesterday, Tony: pick your damn battles with some discretion.
              There are dozens of videos from numerous angles that we’ve all seen showing that the kid did everything but shoot people indiscriminately.
              Indeed, his poise and restraint would be remarkable for anyone, let alone a 17 year old kid.
              Maybe just move on from this one.

              Besides, people have health insurance, so no biggie

            2. Do you have insurance on your house? If so, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind sharing the address.

      2. Yes, defending people from having their body, rights, and property (extension of their rights) violated is the only legitimate purpose of the government. The entirety of libertarianism is based on the Non-Aggression Principle. Until you violate someone else’s rights, property, or body they have no right or justification to violate your rights, property, or body. So yes, real libertarians see the riots as 100% unjustified.

        Libertarian split into two camps on how this is achieved. Minarchists, who would follow the throw them into jail path I described, and anarchists who would follow the attaboy Kenosha Kid path I described. Either the government defends the individuals rights or individuals defend their own rights, but no form of libertarianism requires the allowing of violent riots that violate the NAP, they only disagree on who gets to put a stop to it.

        1. I doubt rioters are looking to libertarians for permission. If vigilante justice is sometimes permitted, it becomes a matter of opinion whose extralegal violence is justified by the cause. I don’t think property should have more rights than people, so I don’t think you should be able to get away with exploding someone’s head if they threaten a convenience store. This property exception for the NAP is highly problematic. At a broad level it makes it seem as if libertarianism is a set of justifications for why property owners should get all the government to themselves; the better to control everyone else, who I presume are still expected to pay taxes.

          1. What is this “property shouldn’t have more rights than people do” horseshit your side keeps spouting? There’s no such rule as “I’m existentially angry about some abstract concepts that I believe affect the world, therefore my human right to destroy whatever inanimate objects I want, regardless of who owns it, is more important than that inanimate object’s right to exist.”

            So according to the left, someone can violently rob a convenience store, the owner isn’t allowed to defend himself, the cop isn’t allowed to restrain or shoot him if he decides to ignore the cop’s commands, he’s not allowed to engage them in a chase. So the violent, now desperate perp, who is armed, is just allowed to slink away into the night and seek shelter, which won’t be his home since the cops are waiting for him there.

            He’s free to go jack a car, because the car owner isn’t allowed to defend himself or run him over, break into a house because the homeowner isn’t allowed to defend himself or start robbing people at gun point, because they’re not allowed to defend themselves. Maybe when they make 911 calls the dispatcher can just start asking if the caller can get the consent of the perp to go to jail so they don’t waste anyone’s time.

            So the only people that are going to go to jail are the people that defend themselves and actually listen to the cops when they arrive on the scene. Genius. Why don’t I come to your home, ask you to exit nicely and you can watch me burn it down while we have a nice discussion about how you gracefully let my human rights take precedent over the rights of your property.

            Of all the unbelievably stupid horseshit, made-up arguments your side has started making in the last couple years – and there’s A LOT – this is among the stupidest.

            1. Dude traveled from another state to harass protesters with a war machine. He was not protecting his property.

              I’m fine with property; it’s people who profess to have an ethic based on government minimalism that have to justify this massive exception. And explain why nobody else gets any exceptions for their pet desires.

              Self-defense is not one thing. Team NRA wants to make it so broad a right that you can shoot someone dead for looking at you funny. Same people think it should be restricted to desperate situations.

              Because, and I wish I weren’t surprised I have to explain this, human lives are the more valuable commodity in any and all scenarios we are discussing.

      3. The NAP doesn’t impose a means test. Your person and property are to be protected regardless as to whether you’re a plutocrat or a pauper.

        These aren’t public demonstrations. These are riots. Riots are, by definition, a threat to persons and property regardless of the underlying resentments which preceded them. Those that threaten persons and property are to be prosecuted. That is literally the one legitimate function of state power.

        Your handlers have been running this sock for over a decade. How did they not brief you on this?

        1. It boggles my mind that there are grown ass men who think the entire world can be run by a single principle.

          1. “It’s wrong to kill people and steal their stuff”. Yeah, what kind of simpleton would try to run a society on *that* basis!

              1. You are a sociopath that is unfit for civilization.

                Exile should still be a legitimate punishment for people like you. But libertarians don’t believe in borders, so there’s no way to kick you out of our civilization so you can experiment with your own.

          2. Libertarianism isn’t Scott running the world at all, it’s about not hurting people and not taking their stuff. It’s about letting people chose their own principles by which to run their lives.

            Libertarianism=millions of principles adopted voluntarily. Progressivism and socialism=a small set of principles imposed by force.

            1. Just so fucking dumb. Is anyone preventing you from having your stupid beliefs? No? Then we get to have our beliefs that are better than yours win in politics because that’s how it works.

              1. Then we get to have our beliefs that are better than yours win in politics because that’s how it works.

                You’re right: ideas like yours always end up taking nations and civilizations sooner or later; democracies are particularly susceptible. That doesn’t mean that your ideas are “better”, just that they are popular/populist.

                You can see what happens next by looking at ancient Rome, 20th century Italy and Germany, Venezuela, etc.

                I hope the US will make it another few centuries. I expect it will make it another few decades before people like you destroy it. But just in case, I’m keeping my options open, as does anybody who knows history.

      4. public demonstrations are fine. until the first window is broken and the first building is set on fire.

      5. You seem to have confused libertarianism with tough-on-crime Republicanism.

        No, you keep confusing libertarianism with communist utopia.

        Spare no expense to protect property and wealth from the masses; fuck the masses, they don’t get government help

        That’s indeed libertarianism: the people who pay for services decide what those services are. You don’t get a say in other people’s business (i.e., you don’t get political power) simply for having been born.

        At the very least I expect a somewhat more permissive attitude toward public demonstration than your typical fascist, but then I don’t actually expect that from libertarians, do I?

        Libertarians are perfectly fine with public demonstrations. As soon as those demonstrations are connected to widespread property damage, they are riots and they have to end. And the people making that decision ought to be the tax paying property owners, nobody else.

        1. Libertarianism: spare no public expense to protect the property of the rich, even the trivial luxuries, but spend not a dime on the basic needs of the poor.

          What an inspiring philosophy when can I sign up I’m sure.

          1. Last I checked, your side is the one that insists (under threat of violence) that the government gets a monopoly on violence and all policing must be run by the state. If you’re willing to say that policing is no longer a public good and we’re free to create a system our own systems and implement them as we see fit, I’ll be the first to sign up!

            1. Everyone’s “side” believes in government having a monopoly on force. That’s the definition of a government.

              1. No. No it isn’t. At all.

              2. Socialists and fascists believe that. People like you.

          2. Libertarianism: spare no public expense to protect the property of the rich, even the trivial luxuries, but spend not a dime on the basic needs of the poor.

            What you call “public expense” is stuff stolen at gunpoint. And systems that operate the way you want are the primary cause of poverty and suffering in the world. Your approach, in addition to being authoritarian and illiberal, doesn’t even accomplish its goals.

            What an inspiring philosophy when can I sign up I’m sure.

            The world is full of fools like you, which is why societies keep degenerating into socialism/fascism.

            1. “What you call “public expense” is stuff stolen at gunpoint.”

              Be that as it may, you think that stolen money should be spent on protecting the luxuries of the rich but not the basic needs of the poor.

              1. Be that as it may, you think that stolen money should be spent on protecting the luxuries of the rich but not the basic needs of the poor.

                Taxation doesn’t “address the basic needs of the poor”. The only way the poor get actually richer is when stuff is produced cheaper and in larger quantities. Taxation and redistribution accomplish the exact opposite.

      6. Which part is it that you believe to be tough on crime? Is it punishing arson, property destruction, attempted murder, actual murder or assault that ruffles your feathers? We’re not talking about minor drug possession here, everything Illocust mentions is actual violent crime with an easily discernible victim. How fucking hard is it to say that people that do those things need to be kept out of polite society? That’s not anti-libertarian, maybe anti-anarchist, but the vast majority of liberals, conservatives, socialists and libertarians think that if you narrowed the list of legitimate crimes down to only 10, all of those would be on it. I simply don’t understand why this is a hill you insist on dying on.

        I’ll start for you. That guy who ran over people in Charlottesville should be in jail. Now it’s your turn.

    2. a libertarian government wouldn’t lock people up for property damage, it would sentence them to restitution to the victims and garnish their paychecks.

      1. And when they didn’t pay that? They would either lock them up or it would be meaningless. So yeah they would be locking people up

        1. They could sentence them to be the victim’s butler

          1. You’re supposed to see your face in there! Do you see your face in there?

      2. A libertarian government would also exile people for serious violations of the law.

      3. ” garnish their paychecks.”

        Forcibly enlisting others, not originally party to the issue, in the enforcement of financial penalties is not remotely libertarian.

        That way lies Leviathan.

      4. it would sentence them to restitution to the victims and garnish their paychecks.

        “sentence”. Enforced how? Oh and “paychecks”. How fast can you recover several million from a bunch of unemployed humanities students?

      5. The guy burning down the store doesn’t have the cash to pay restitutions for rebuilding the the building, lost profits due to having been destroyed, and any form of inflation that would prevent the full value from being repaid. Also, no amount of garnishing wages would ever make them have the cash to repay. They destroyed something they literally don’t have the means to make up for.

    3. I am not sure where you got the idea that libertarianism is equivalent to police state fascism, but it isn’t.

      1. I am not sure where you got the idea that using force against violent antisocial Marxist psychopaths murdering, raping, maiming, and beating other human beings whilst destroying their public and private property was police state fascism, but it isn’t.

        Go star in your own snuff film you Stalinist piece of shit. God I hope you die of pancreatic cancer.

        1. Hugs and kisses to you too, asshole.

  12. A truly libertarian regime would leave so many people in poverty and at the mercy of private tyrannies that violent protest should probably be taken as a given.

    1. What’s the solution then? Socialism? Obviously there’s no poverty or “have-nots” there. Just look at China, The Soviet Union, Venezuela, et al. Each a beacon of egalitarian-bliss across a classless society amirite?

      1. If you can’t see a middle ground between a laissez-faire hellscape and a Stalinist hellscape, you should read more books.

        1. What libertarians argue is that once you enable the government to address all of your grievances you empower it do do anything. And that sounds great when it’s your guy in charge. But can you image a Donald Trump at the controls of a truly authoritarian state? I’d think that Progressives would have started to see the benefits of limited government post 2016.

          1. Maybe that’s because they do not so much hate Trump for anything other than him being at the levers of the power they so greatly crave.

            All the stated particulars being nothing more than horseshit to hide that one truth.

          2. So government can address the grievances of property owners, but then it has to stop otherwise we might get a slippery slope.

            Redress for the merest scratch on your yacht; not a dime spent to save a child from cancer.

            Very intriguing philosophy where do I sign up.

            1. Your philosophy of “free shit for everyone” sounds great and I can see why so many young people who don’t understand economics would sign up. But you’re old enough that you should know better Tony.

              1. It’s not free. We pay taxes. Same as for police and courts to protect your interest in your yacht. In fact, I don’t see any difference in principle whatsoever from spending public money on that and spending it on cancer research and treatment, except that the latter is far, far more worthy.

        2. If you can’t see a middle ground between a laissez-faire hellscape and a Stalinist hellscape, you should read more books.

          I have yet to see an example of a “laissez-faire hellscape”. There are numerous examples of socialist hellscapes.

          1. Usually democratic forces or leaders who want to keep their heads intervene before a society even approaches a full laissez-faire situation (because it immediately and predictably results in mass poverty for the 99%). Pinochet’s Chile was a nice experiment. Anything pre-welfare state counts to some degree.

            1. I’ll let you think for a minute about how a country can simultaneously be laissez-faire and have a violent dictator in charge of a massive central government that controls commerce.

            2. In other words, you can’t provide a single example in which laissez faire resulted in mass poverty.

            3. Chile under Pinochet was not libertarian or laissez faire.

              But ending Marxist rule in Chile resulted in strong economic growth. So, not the example you’re looking for.

          2. an example of a “laissez-faire hellscape”.

            Hong Kong until they were handed over to the ChiComs.

    2. “poverty” in a libritarian state would look like the top 1% in socialist, or most other countries.

      1. I think it would look pretty much like poverty everywhere else, only the floor on misery that a normal government has placed will be gone, so we get to have all the magic that an unrestrained market can offer to put the children of unlucky parents into abject destitution. I know, I know “They can just sell their bodies.”

        1. I think it would look pretty much like poverty everywhere else, only the floor on misery that a normal government has placed will be gone

          You think wrong. The effect of socialism is to make the rich poor, and the poor desperately poor or starving.

          The effect of free markets is to make the rich obscenely rich and make the poor well-off.

          so we get to have all the magic that an unrestrained market can offer to put the children of unlucky parents into abject destitution

          What puts the children of unlucky parents into abject destitution is people like you.

          1. You are just saying things that sound good to you. You can’t explain even in theory how a laissez-faire economy would prevent destitution. You’re literally just saying “because magic.”

            1. Mises and Hayek, just for starters, wrote volumes and volumes about it actually. They can explain it to you in much more detail than we can do on a comments section. I’m fairly confident that you won’t find the words “because magic” anywhere in the many thousands of pages they wrote on the subject.

              Now tell me about the science of MMT!!!

              1. “probably nothing has done so much harm to the liberal cause as the wooden insistence of some liberals on certain rough rules of thumb, above all the principle of laissez-faire.”
                -F.A Hayek, The Road to Serfdom

                You mean that Hayek?

                1. Hayek made the point that people use “liberal phraseology” to advance corrupt ends. For example, zero-tariff trade with China is a laissez-faire policy, but it is not necessarily a free market policy.

                  Tony responded to my point that the effect of free markets is to make … the poor well-off with a comment about a “laissez-faire economy”.

                  It’s not my fault that Tony (and you) don’t understand the difference between those two terms and keep trying to derail arguments by manipulating language. Pay attention and use terms correctly.

                  1. Huh.

                    There is no reason why, in a society which has reached the general level of wealth ours has, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom; that is: some minimum of food, shelter and clothing, sufficient to preserve health. Nor is there any reason why the state should not help to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance in providing for those common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision.

                    F.A Hayek The Road to Serfdom

                    I note your citation curiously missing.

                    1. My statement was: The effect of socialism is to make the rich poor, and the poor desperately poor or starving. The effect of free markets is to make the rich obscenely rich and make the poor well-off.

                      Tony claimed that there was no theory to support that statement, and CS correctly pointed out that both Hayek and von Mises provide that theory.

                      Now you’re just bringing up one red herring after another.

                    2. The red herring that the philosopher you used to justify your anti–safety net stance explicitly endorsed a safety net?

                    3. The red herring that the philosopher you used to justify your anti–safety net stance explicitly endorsed a safety net?

                      You said:

                      This was in response to your absurd and false claim that:

                      A truly libertarian regime would leave so many people in poverty and at the mercy of private tyrannies that violent protest should probably be taken as a given.

                      I responded:

                      You think wrong. The effect of socialism is to make the rich poor, and the poor desperately poor or starving. The effect of free markets is to make the rich obscenely rich and make the poor well-off.

                      The fact is that the bigger and more powerful government gets, the poorer people get. A free market minarchy results in the greatest wealth for all, while a fully socialist state ruling the same people results in the greatest poverty for all, with a smooth progression between those two extremes: a minimal safety net (like Hayek suggests) makes people somewhat poorer, a social welfare state with mandatory government insurance plans makes people a lot poorer (something Hayek hadn’t seen yet in the 1940’s).

                      There is nothing in that observation about my personal preferences about a “safety net”. I just point out that Hayek’s “safety net” is radically different from what you call the “Nordic Model” or a social welfare state.

                  2. Mises Institute libertarian/anarcho-capitalist economist Walter Block has observed critically that while The Road to Serfdom makes a strong case against centrally planned economies, it appears only lukewarm in its support of a free market system and laissez-faire capitalism, with Hayek even going so far as to say that “probably nothing has done so much harm to the liberal cause as the wooden insistence of some liberals on certain rules of thumb, above all the principle of laissez-faire capitalism”.

                    1. Yeah, Hayek did not fully embrace free markets in the 1940’s. So what?

                      Hayek gave an excellent theoretical explanation for why socialism doesn’t work, answering Tony’s question. The rest of Hayek’s work or political opinions are irrelevant to this discussion.

                    2. I’m not citing any socialists, nor am I a socialist. You are citing Hayek.

                    3. I’m not citing any socialists, nor am I a socialist. You are citing Hayek.

                      I didn’t cite Hayek, Qsl did.

                      And you’re still missing the point. For a given society, the poorest will be economically best off in a minarchist state (preservation of property rights, national defense, and sanctions against violent crimes) and will be worst off in a fully socialist state. In between, the bigger government gets, the worse off the poor are. This is both theoretically supported and an empirical fact. The Nordic countries, for example, became relatively poorer as they created a massive social welfare state, and recovered as they eliminated part of that welfare state again.

                      As for Hayek, he is making a political point: he believes that political reality is that we need to institute some kind of government safety net even if there is an economic cost. I happen to agree with him in the short run, but we’re talking government-run “soup kitchens, free clinics, and shelters”, not “food stamps, free healthcare, and rent control”.

            2. You can’t explain even in theory how a laissez-faire economy would prevent destitution.

              Free market economies don’t try to prevent destitution; they simply produce so much wealth that absolute poverty (destitution) is non-existent.

              This is not just an empirical fact, the reasons are well understood. You should read some basic economics.

              Socialists and progressives are like the flat earthers of economics.

              1. It’s not an empirical fact because there has always been a combination of market economy and regulation/redistribution. I’m crediting both; you’re leaving the other one off, when empirically states with more regulation and redistribution, up to a point, do better than ones with freer markets.

                But you don’t care about social outcomes really because yours is a normative claim that the freer the market the better, period. You tack on “it helps the poor too” as a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. It doesn’t obviously help the poor. It does obviously concentrate wealth in the hands of a few, and there is no reason at all to assume they are entitled to it even under strict market ethics.

                1. I’m crediting both; you’re leaving the other one off, when empirically states with more regulation and redistribution, up to a point, do better than ones with freer markets.

                  The Nordic countries themselves show your belief to be false. Nordic countries became wealthy under a free market regime; then they created a massive social welfare system and their economies faltered and low income earners in particular were hurt; when they cut that back, their economy improved.

                  But you don’t care about social outcomes really because yours is a normative claim that the freer the market the better, period. You tack on “it helps the poor too” as a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.

                  Given a century of experience with social welfare states, anti-poverty programs, and redistribution, both in Europe and in the US, have shown that the policies you advocate hurt everybody, and in particular hurt the poor. It is government regulations and policies that keep people out of the labor force, give them poor educations, and subsidize self-destructive behavior.

                  The policies you advocate are a reprehensible destruction of human life, human dignity, and human potential.

                  1. That’s just false. I’m sorry if it’s inconvenient for you, but social security is one of the most successful anti-poverty measures ever taken by human beings. We came up with the welfare state for a reason, that reason being all the poor and sick people.

                    1. That’s just false. I’m sorry if it’s inconvenient for you, but social security is one of the most successful anti-poverty measures ever taken by human beings.

                      That is true only in the limited sense that Social Security nominally reduces poverty of the elderly relative to what it would be without Social Security, assuming the same low savings rates; but that’s a useless analysis.

                      You need to compare a society with Social Security against one without Social Security. Without Social Security, savings rate and personal wealth would be much higher. In addition, the costs Social Security imposes on the economy, businesses, future generations, and individuals result themselves greatly increase poverty.

                      Social Security overall increases poverty and decreases wealth in the US. And it’s not sustainable either.

                      We came up with the welfare state for a reason, that reason being all the poor and sick people.

                      In fact, Otto von Bismarck came up with the modern social welfare state, as a bulwark against socialists and communists.

        2. Maby not sell their bodies, but the poorest Americans could afford slaves if they lived in lybia

    3. It’s against my policy to dialogue with troll provocateurs like yourself, but I just have to ask: how old are you?

        1. Then you are old enough to know better. I would make allowances from someone under the age of 12, but you are clearly in love with your ideology of what amounts a vague “social justice.”

          So how is your world to take shape? Any living breathing examples or such a welfare state in which all need and want is virtually eliminated, and any opposed get it put to them by a selectively authoritarian regime, that somehow always seeks to project your personal notion of what is right?

          Hint: it does not, and will not, exist, except in your fantasy.

          Do I support Trump/ or the Republican candidate because I am a racist, bigoted mouth breather, among other vile qualities; or do I choose to do so because, compared to the alternatives of realpolitik, this is the best possible chance that I may continue to dwell the rest of my days in something resembling a constitutional republic? Where individual rights are protected such that where I can exercise my rights to express myself [and not be silenced by vague and malleable “hate crimes],” as a responsible, law abiding citizen I can exercise a right to own weapons and not be lumped into draconian restrictions based on a small criminal element, to enjoy due process vs. the pursuit of social equity as a more paramount consideration [Title IX under Obama, for example, and which Biden has clearly stated he intends to bring back], and not be regulated into oblivion by an increasingly overreaching government?

          Trump is an ass; say whatever you want about him, it’s probably true. This is not about whether people “like” a particular pol, or not, or if he or she meets our personal moral standards. If the best thing that comes out of his current term in office are the 200 judges that have been confirmed, and however many arise out of a next term, that will be enough for me. Kudos for any and all “deregulation” that occurs and a decrease in the un-elected and unaccountable power of a burgeoning administrative state. As for his personal lack of virtue he can burn in hell for all I care.

          As an “elder millennial,” you should know that the world at large is a much better and prosperous place than it was a mere 20 years ago; freedom of choice and a free market and innovation has begat a far higher standard of living for much of the global population. The only thing that will continue this trend is a continued emphasis on limited government, free enterprise, and the ability to generally go about pursing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and generally minding your own business without undue interference. Empowering a strong government in order a address your own personal grievances will never do that. It will in fact, inevitably, be used against you.

          If you choose to respond, I am going to ask that you stay on task and not deflect, as that seems to be a preferred [and rather troll-ish] tactic of yours.

          1. My society already has taken shape in various forms all over the world. I’m no utopian. In fact when libertarians speak of their preferred society, with all the shaving away of existing structures and all the assumptions about how things would work if only rugged individualism and markets are allowed to work their magic, I do not see it different from me daydreaming about a Star Trek future. I can describe my utopia if you want, but for practical purposes, I’m cool with a capitalist society with a strong welfare state. And the only reason I’m for that is because of the real-world evidence that places that have this system are the best places to live for human beings. Show me a laissez-faire society that has less poverty and more education than Denmark, and I’ll take a good-faith look.

            What’s a big galling about your worldview is that you haven’t come to your station in life because of a laissez-faire market or because some factory was allowed to dump mercury into the water supply. You have lived every second of your life in the exact type of mixed economy I described (albeit one of the less efficient ones) and benefited thusly, and now all of a sudden it’s time to tell the poor and unlucky they’re on their own.

            What exactly do you want to change about how government works so that you can have this idealized transcendentalist whatever lifestyle? Do you think externalizing pollution costs for industry helps you achieve that? Lower taxes on capital gains?

            You should oppose Trump not least because he hasn’t actually done anything for you but fail to respond to a major natural disaster and deliberately sow racial discord. Like, evil shit. Take the good with the bad, sure, that’s politics. But the “good” in this case is eliminating old-age safety nets. At some point it becomes less a well-considered policy and more plain vindictiveness. Your policies would throw a lot of people into poverty, and any claim otherwise is self-justifying magical thinking.

            But then we are at a point when libertarians are arguing for sacrificing all the elderly so they can go to football games again, so maybe the rank sociopathy was there the whole time.

            1. Uh, Denmark is actually one of the most laissez-faire economies in the world, even more so than the United States

              1. And a comprehensive welfare state and worker protections. If liberals and libertarians can agree that the Nordic model is acceptable, then we have solved everything! Just stop voting for Republicans and we can all get what we want and go home.

                1. Who should I vote for then? Because the Democrats sure don’t want the low corporate taxes, no wealth taxes, and minimal market regulation that allows the Nordic Model to actually work.

                  1. I’d be willing to copy paste the whole thing.

                2. Basically the Nordic Model has a ladder to climb, with a safety net below it if you fall off. Your complaint is that the Republicans don’t give you the net, even though you get the ladder. My complaint is the Democrats give you the net, but no ladder.

                  Given those options, I’ll take my chances with the ladder

                  1. Republican give you neither. You people have got to stop taking Republicans’ words for things. I mean how many economies do they have to ruin? Fuck.

                  2. Basically the Nordic Model has a ladder to climb, with a safety net below it if you fall off.

                    The Nordic Model doesn’t give you a ladder; it puts you into a padded cell for your entire life.

                    And the only reason its safety net seems good is because the expectations in those countries are so low to begin with. That is, their safety net seems good as percentage of GDP, it’s poor in absolute terms compared to what Americans already get.

                3. If liberals and libertarians can agree that the Nordic model is acceptable, then we have solved everything!

                  Under the Nordic Model, US middle class families would likely see their tax bills nearly double to pay for all the government services, while balancing the budget, even the lowest income tax rates would be 30%, and the top marginal income tax rate would kick in around $100k. On top of that, there would be a highly regressive 25% VAT. That’s what you want?

                  1. But then you don’t have to pay for the basic needs you’d have to pay for anyway, only far less predictably.

                    1. But then you don’t have to pay for the basic needs you’d have to pay for anyway, only far less predictably.

                      The US has public education, extensive government scholarships, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, EITC, disability insurance, food stamps, rental assistance, utility assistance, renter’s protection, and a host of other programs. The US spends more per capita on social programs than almost all other countries. What “basic needs” do you think are taken care of in Denmark that aren’t taken care of in the US?

                      And the fact is that those government programs are a lousy deal, both in the US and in Europe. That is, when services are provided through government programs, they cost a premium and are worse than when they are provided by the free market.

                    2. In a free market if you happen to have cancer, insurance companies can happily deny you coverage. And you could be and most likely are too poor to receive treatment. Efficiency is pooling the risk with as many as people as possible. It’s the insurance principle, except you can’t be denied your basic needs because of how poor you happen to be or because of the profit motive of a private company. Let the private market invent therapies and pay doctors and whatever. The point is to make access to these services universal so that we are not living in a barbaric situation where you are totally subject to the whims and risks of life. That does not make for a free market. A free market is made freer when people have actual choices in their life, don’t you agree?

                    3. In a free market if you happen to have cancer, insurance companies can happily deny you coverage.

                      In a free market, insurance companies are bound by contract. If they break contracts, they are subject to massive penalties and losing customers.

                      And you could be and most likely are too poor to receive treatment.

                      To the contrary: essential medical care is dirt cheap. It is the system of public and regulated private “insurers” that results in the massive costs in the US and Europe.

                      Efficiency is pooling the risk with as many as people as possible. It’s the insurance principle

                      The insurance principle is substituting a small certain loss for a potential large uncertain loss. Health “insurance” in the US and Europe, whether public or private, doesn’t do that.

                      Risk pooling is not only not insurance, it is responsible for the increasingly ill health of people in the US and Europe: 70-90% of cancers and nearly 50% of heart disease are caused by lifestyle choices. In a free market insurance system, insurers would give them immediate feedback through premiums. In the perverse system we have, more sick people actually means more profits. That’s what you are advocating when you advocate risk pooling, government regulation, and public health “insurance”.

            2. To be fair, as libertarianism has very limited sway with the public, it can best assert itself by advocating for the best versions of both leftist and rightist politics/policies. The half century stand of rugged individualism and shrinking the size and scope of government has amounted to naught. It is hard to champion markets without acknowledging libertarianisms’ abject failure in the marketplace of ideals (somehow market fundamentals don’t apply to them). That gentlemen, is pissing in the wind. Get with the fucking program already.

              1. ailure in the marketplace of ideals (somehow market fundamentals don’t apply to them)

                Yes, market fundamentals don’t apply to ideas, ideals, ideologies, or intellectuals. Good insight.

                The half century stand of rugged individualism and shrinking the size and scope of government has amounted to naught.

                Oh, I wouldn’t say that: the trust in politicians, government employees, and journalists has steadily fallen, and people are clearly getting fed up. People hated Hillary with a passion.

            3. A thoughtful response, credit where credit is due.

              But as for “the poor and unlucky;” where would you be without them, as your specious cause celebre, in whose name you can demand all sorts of justice and drive a sense of caring and virtue for doing so? Do you honestly want to see the “underprivileged” do better, or just use them for a prop?

              Star Trek future indeed; if and when the world ever approaches such a plane it will be due to innovation and free choice, not government mandates. There is a role for government, just not one that stifles. And that role would be to protect individual rights and property, not to take it for preference or redistribution to a select constituency.

              As for doing “nothing for me” I value things like the Bill of Rights; while Trump himself may not have a care or a clue as the the First 10 or any aspect of the Constitution, what has occurred on his watch gives me more hope and all of the doubtful promises of any Democrat.

              And I can, and will, live with that.

              1. I’ve always been partial to the veil of ignorance approach. What kind of society would you prefer to live in if you could be anyone in that society? That means much more likely poor than rich.

                A welfare state is simply a floor on the level of misery we permit people to sink beneath. And it is inherently pro-capitalist. Once people are freed from worry over acquiring basic necessities of life, they can innovate and be entrepreneurs. They can move from job to job more fluidly. It’s all in the service of making capitalism work better and at a more advanced level.

                People advocating against a welfare state see a pile of money they want for themselves, and they sell it by appealing to evil racist tropes. That’s modern American history. A welfare state is not just necessary for civilization, it is itself a main constituent.

                1. You simply cannot see beyond of veil of victimization.

                  1. “Now lower my taxes! It’s too much it huuurts!”

                    1. “Now lower my taxes! It’s too much it huuurts!”

                      You misunderstand. It’s “Either you lower my taxes, or you’ll have to do without the benefits of the value I add to society.”

                    2. Oh no what will I do.

                    3. Oh no what will I do.

                      Historically, there are three things that usually happen when nations see their redistributionary programs fail, see their tax base shrink, and see their wealthy and skilled population leave.

                      (1) They double down on the policy and self-destruct. (2) They keep the high taxes but end the redistribution, meaning 50% tax rates on the middle class. (3) They lower taxes across the board. Europeans have done (2) and/or (3) over the last few decades.

                2. What kind of society would you prefer to live in if you could be anyone in that society? That means much more likely poor than rich.

                  Funny, I made just that choice as an immigrant. I was wealthy where I came from and was poor in the US. And you bet I’d rather be poor in the US.

                  People advocating against a welfare state see a pile of money they want for themselves,

                  No, what we see is the destructive effect the welfare state has on people and society. Welfare states are dehumanizing. And they are not sustainable.

                  1. So everyone in the modern civilized world is dehumanized, and the only happy, self-actualized people live in poverty-stricken shitholes. I mean that’s just terrible luck for your argument.

                    1. No, Tony, not everybody in a welfare state is dehumanized. The people who welfare states dehumanize are those people who the welfare state pretends to help; people whose agency and autonomy you deny; people whose water gets poisoned by government-run utilities; people who get hassled by police every day over pointless progressive laws; kids who are forced into dysfunctional, ineffective government-run educational institutions that fail to give them the skills they need to get out of poverty. And those are the kinds of dehumanizing policies you want more of.

                    2. Tony….I guess the problem I see with your ideal – put a floor on the misery that society will tolerate – is that we have now had a 50-years long experiment of doing just that. That is, the impact of Great Society legislation.

                      Well, the jury came back: Great Society legislation and the array of government programs supporting it enacted in the late 1960’s did not appreciably lower the poverty rate. That is the reality.

                      We tried your idea. It did not work. Tell me why we should consider your arguments in light of the track record of failure?

    4. a truly libertarian regime would make it much easier for millions of middle class people to become wealthy, by letting them keep the 50 percent of their income that now gets confiscated as taxes (state and federal income taxes, state and local sales taxes, local property taxes, fuel taxes, tariffs, etc.)

      And make it easier for wealthy people to start new businesses and increase wages and benefits and opportunities for the poor as they compete to hire and train them.

    5. A truly libertarian regime would leave so many people in poverty

      History shows otherwise.

      and at the mercy of private tyrannies

      There is no such thing as “private tyrannies”.

      that violent protest should probably be taken as a given.

      Violent protests against free societies and free markets are indeed a given. They are rooted in the fundamental principles of socialism: greed, selfishness, and violence.

      1. Greed and selfishness were considered the highest virtues by Ayn Rand, whose philosophy you are espousing.

        A private tyranny is when some non-governmental actor controls your life. What do you mean it can’t happen? If government doesn’t prevent indentured servitude, then indentured servitude happens. You really haven’t thought this through beyond the level of slogans, have you?

        1. Greed and selfishness were considered the highest virtues by Ayn Rand, whose philosophy you are espousing.

          No, I’m not espousing Ayn Rand’s philosophy. Ayn Rand is an objectivist. And “greed and selfishness” are not libertarian principles or virtues.

          What do you mean it can’t happen? If government doesn’t prevent indentured servitude, then indentured servitude happens.

          Indentured servitude is only possible because government creates and enforces the legal status of “indentured servant”. Slavery and indentured servitude are creations of the state and can’t exist without a strong, powerful state.

          You really haven’t thought this through beyond the level of slogans, have you?

          1. So without a state it is impossible for you to enslave someone?

            1. So without a state it is impossible for you to enslave someone?

              Of course it is. Warlords, gangsters, pimps, and others “enslave” people all the time. We call that “violence”. Contrary to what you said, a libertarian state protects people against that violence.

              Indentured servitude and slavery, on the other hand, are a legal status and can’t exist without a state.

              The term “private tyranny” that you used originally comes from Chomsky and refers to the supposed economic power large companies have over workers. There are several things wrong with that analysis, foremost that the existence and power of large companies are themselves not the result of free markets, but rather are again government creations. In a free market, “private tyrannies” can’t exist.

              So, in a libertarian society and a free market economy, the only way to enslave people is through illegal violence.

              Legal slavery, indentured servitude, and private tyrannies, on the other hand, are all creations of the state; all three are the antithesis of what libertarians or free markets stand for.

              1. But you just said that the prevention of things like slavery and warlords is done by the state too.

              2. But you just said that the prevention of things like slavery and warlords is done by the state too.

                Correct. And a “truly libertarian state” is a minarchy that protects you against warlords and enslavement by violent criminals. Therefore, your claim that a “truly libertarian state” leads to “private tyrannies” false. QED.

    6. A truly libertarian regime would leave so many people in poverty

      But enough about Chicago, DC and Baltimore, what about libertopia?

  13. Persuasion doesn’t work in the age of social media. Every conversation is now a battle, not an exchange of information or a search for rapport.

    1. That is as true as anything I’ve seen in a while.

    2. Oh hey look, Chipper the Marxist subhuman piece of shit is regurgitating the same years-old halfwit talking points

      When facts are always “alternative,” brute force is all that’s left in settling with intellectual opponents!

  14. I’m a libertarian who supports qualified immunity. The solution to police brutality is to decriminalize (drugs, guns, sex, etc) and then gradually reduce funding to law enforcement. We just don’t need to be patrolled and controlled as much as we used to. It’s a wonderful thing – liberation, much like when Jesus released the people from the punitive scrictures of Mosaic law. Perhaps I’m the only classical libertarian left here.

    As for the riots, they were mostly caused by months of unnecessary lockdowns and the resulting damage to the economy that disrupted lives and livelihoods. As well as socialist policies that allow people time to make trouble instead of sleeping because they’d have to get up early to work. But they are not an existential threat. I am disappointed at the absence of ‘well regulated militias’ but hopefully we’ll see more of that. It’s a war and you don’t send in the police to fight it, but your bravest soldiers.

    Anyway long term the problem is we’re in late stage capitalism and there are few opportunities left to strike it rich (unless you’re already super rich). So people are despondent and want to turn everything upside down to create new opportunities for fun and profit. However the solution isn’t socialism but for the rich toe establish low cost resort colonies so people can retire and leave jobs for others to work and support themselves and thereby obviate big government and charity. In return they agree to live by strict rules of conduct and vote for small government, low tax libertarians. Let the robots take over and plant a trillion trees to reduce global warming. This is the path to paradise and the vindication of the USA that the good lord has been blessing for centuries.

  15. This is why deep down, I like Ocasio-Cortez.

    “Defunding police means defunding police,” the congresswoman said in a statement. “It does not mean budget tricks or funny math. It does not mean moving school police officers from the NYPD budget to the Department of Education’s budget so the exact same police remain in schools.”

    *nods

  16. We don’t need any more “if only there were more people like me!” prescriptions. Libertarians are fast becoming even more self-regarding and self-righteous (in their own way) as progressives. Like progressives, they convince themselves that they are the demographic solution to the world’s problems by focusing too much on their virtues, which are real to be sure.

    Libertarians seem to have an admirable desire to become informed. So did dittoheads. And, like dittoheads, all of that industry collecting facts too-often ends as an exercise in collecting conclusions, confirming prior beliefs and personal biases. There is no emancipation from human nature.

    Knowledge is no guarantee of good judgement. Good judgement depends on humility. It isn’t enough to recognize the errors of others, you must be capable of seeing your own. Tying your opinions to naive assumptions like, “markets will fix that!”, is an obstacle to judgement and a prelude to know-it-all-ism, where clumsy judgement spoils the good reputation that facts ought to enjoy.

    Libertarians often sneer at the irrational extremists surrounding them without becoming aware of the rage building up behind that sneer. The aggressive tone of their communication is neither accidental nor incidental, even if it does express a healthy, honest culture of positive assertion that is becoming all too rare in today’s mainstream culture of passive aggression. They are no longer opposing the enemies of reason they are joining them in the escalatory spiral of dysfunctional rhetoric.

    1. Leftists think man can be perfected by government. Libertarians think man can be perfected by being left alone. Both ideologies are equally Utopian.

      1. Libertarians think man can be perfected by being left alone. Both ideologies are equally Utopian.

        Right wing libertarians don’t talk like that, and left libertarians hate them for it. That’s why I’ve never considered libertarianism a coherent ideology.

      2. ” Libertarians think man can be perfected by being left alone.”

        I do not think that is a fair representation of most libertarians, or even many libertarians.

        To the extent that man can be perfected I think libertarianism broadly (if not exclusively) inclines towards leaving the necessary details of that belief up to the individual.

        1. (The more libertarianism tends towards anarchism the more Utopian it becomes.)

          1. That’s just not true. The Mises an-caps are far less utopian than Reason and Cato.

        2. Put another way, if libertarianism tends towards perfecting anything it is liberty. Said liberty being (among other things) what allows every individual to choose their own notions of human perfection.

          1. Just not those who thing thievery is part of their self-perfection. They don’t get a seat at the table.

    2. Shorter version of this comment: Libertarians need to be aware of their own Utopian tendencies.

      1. Libertarians aren’t concerned with utopias; we’re concerned with individual liberties right here and now.

        1. No, sometimes we’re not concerned with utopianism. And we need to be careful of that.

          1. Yep, when your rhetoric includes words like “save” or “sacred” (to name just the two that I’ve read here today) then Utopianism is in the cards.

    3. Tying your opinions to naive assumptions like, “markets will fix that!”, is an obstacle to judgement and a prelude to know-it-all-ism, where clumsy judgement spoils the good reputation that facts ought to enjoy.

      You’re starting with a progressive mindset where you assume that optimizing society is the objective and then we get down to deciding whether regulation or free markets are a better, more rational approach. In that, you fundamentally misunderstand libertarians.

      Libertarians are primarily saying that most government regulations are intrinsically wrong, no matter what outcome they produce. It just also happens to be the case that they don’t even achieve the outcomes progressives claim for them.

      They are no longer opposing the enemies of reason

      Libertarians don’t believe in “reason” as a principle of government; that belief is the essence of progressivism and socialism We believe in individual choice and personal responsibility.

      The aggressive tone of their communication is neither accidental nor incidental

      No, it’s not. We just want to be left alone. And we adopt an aggressive tone to tell people like you to back off and leave us alone.

      1. No, it’s not. We just want to be left alone. And we adopt an aggressive tone to tell people like you to back off and leave us alone.

        I could reply to each segment of your comment, but this one summed it up for me. As a libertarian, yes, that’s the guiding principle. But as P.J. O’Rourke (correctly) noted in an interview with Nick Gillespie a few years ago, libertarianism will never be a success in the political realm because it’s not a political movement, it’s an anti-political movement.

        As a libertarian, all I want is to be left alone, but I know I’m going to be working within a framework where I’m not going to be left alone– even (and perhaps especially) in the absence of government regulation. So I adjust my expectations accordingly.

        The balance is trying to work within that framework.

        We’ve had this discussion on the boards before– there is such a thing as ‘libertarian marxists’. Every time that comes up– people wonder how that can be possible. But once you begin to understand Marxist philosophy– not how it ends up, but how its utopian adherents believe it will end up– you realize that it’s an idea where the state fades away, and left in its wake is a group of individuals, voluntarily collectivizing and building a society based on mutual need and aid. We all seem to be able to agree that this is a utopian ideal that is prone to go off the rails. So I say this: As libertarians, we need to be aware of our own utopian ideals- especially those in relation to the so-called NAP, and be careful that it doesn’t go off the fucking rails and get used by unscrupulous individuals as a wedge issue that will cause people to stand idly by while our society ( flawed as it is) is torn asunder by not-so-libertarian people.

        Bottom line, we shouldn’t let libertarianism be a suicide pact.

        1. there is such a thing as ‘libertarian marxists’.

          For the sake of clarity, there is only such a thing as ‘libertarian Marxists’. Libertarianism is a Marxist ideology promulgated in the 1960s and 1970s by radical groups and former Soviet-affiliated international communist organizations to insinuate itself into conservative and anti-communist communities to bring them along into the globalist new world order of supranational Marxist global governance. They got lucky in that the people they were targeting are incredibly stupid and incredibly short-sighted so that they not only didn’t notice the manipulation, but actually bought the false premise.

          1. Marxists try to use all political ideologies and movements to advance their ends; that doesn’t make all political ideologies and movements “Marxist”. Marxist societies have been deeply socially conservative; does that make social conservatism a Marxist ideology?

            Marxists try to destroy free societies through manipulation, lies, and creating antagonism.

            Like you are doing.

            1. If you guys are going to insist on calling everything you don’t like Marxist, you’re going to have to do a lot more reading about Marxism than what you get in 3-minute cable news segments.

              1. Tony: I am an immigrant growing up under Marxists, socialists, and communists. I know a lot better what those people are about than you do.

      2. Libertarians are primarily saying that most government regulations are intrinsically wrong, no matter what outcome they produce

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        Like compulsory cake baking? Like forcing Roman Catholic nuns to pay for abortion? Like closing up churches while Home Depot operates unencumbered? Like raising taxes? Like introducing a new national VAT on top of the existing tax structure? Like giving people a UBI in addition to welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and food stamps?

        That’s Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, Brian doughboy Doherty, Hayek, Friedman, and von Mises, btw. You know any libertarians that don’t love them some global Marxist supranational government?

        1. Who pays you? The CCP or Russia? Or are you just part of some neo-Marxist American outfit?

    4. And it is exactly this why I don’t really associate with libertarianism anymore.

      It is hard enough to constantly be on the defensive for any of the extravagances of libertarian thought to discuss with anyone that maybe more regulation isn’t the best approach (or at the very least federalism) without a ton of baggage proceeding me. Libertarians are their own worst enemies.

      But hey, libertarians can always be be sanctimonious in their shrieks of “I was right!” as the world descends into a socialist hellscape, ignorant of the role they played in its formation.

      1. So the government you got is doing great. It is not in any way libertarian.

    5. Very well said. The challenge is to somehow remain principle without becoming arrogant or foolish. We tend to apply the same arguments over and over again because, well, the same arguments apply over and over again. We have to figure out how to listen and just talk about things somehow. Yang was a step in this direction even though I disagreed with him on many things. We desperately need to more communicators and compassionate explainers in politics. I hope some of the most brilliant among us step up.

  17. Yes!

    Doh kicking butt and taking names!

    This is what I like to see around these parts. Libertarian arguments for doing things the libertarian way.

    1. Concur. Can we just make Brian editor-in-chief now?

    2. Did you read anything other than the headline? Doherty is spewing the same neo-Marxist indemnification of violent psychopathic Marxist revolutionaries that libertarians have been spewing since the late 1960s.

  18. Nothing can or will happen until the violence stops and talking won’t stop it either but thats their goal isn’t it change to our way or Die but the rest of us will not bow down to their socialist plans

    1. For the last three months there have been voices (in the comments) noting that, so long as there is violence there will be no real change. And also noting that, perhaps at least some of those who are either fomenting violence or giving it a free pass do so because they want it that way.

      Yet it appears what has really seemed to change hearts is bad polling.

  19. America doesn’t need “saving.” We’re actually doing really good, if people could just stop burning shit down. All we need is for people to stop doing that so we can keep the discussion on increasing police accountability.

    If people could take a deep breath and really examine just how good their lives are compared to just two generations ago, maybe they’d relax just a little.

    1. “we can keep the discussion on increasing police accountability.”
      Which is essentially impossible as long as what is actually happening is “No Peace, No Justice.”

      1. The left is psychotic and totalitarian.
        Have fun trying to reason with that

      2. Because “no justice, just complacency” has such a good track record.

        1. We have to destroy the village to save it, right? History doesn’t repeat, but it sure as fuck does rhyme.

    2. If people could take a deep breath and really examine just how good their lives are compared to just two generations ago, maybe they’d relax just a little.

      No jobs. A dollar worth 900% less. Astronomical costs for housing, education and medical care. Economic polarization as the wealthy get increasingly wealthier on the back of international globalism while working people get their legs broken, handed a crutch, and told how lucky they are to live in a society with crutches. Yeah what a motherfucking paradise bro. Not like the bad old days when 1 working person making the median national income could afford a house, 2 cars, and to put 3 kids through college while his wife stayed at home raising their kids.

      1. Two generations ago, black people couldn’t drink from the same water fountain as white people, much less send their children to the same schools. The poorest working people in the country today have Iphones and access to a manner of all kinds of services easily brought to their front door.

        No jobs? Every single day I drive past ten different business with huge “PLEASE APPLY WE ARE HIRING FOR FUCK’S SAKE GET A JOB” signs out front.

        Astronomical prices for housing seem to be a very localized problem. My parents just bought a new house in a small town for much less than what they paid for their last house 40 years ago, even though we’ve had 40 years of inflation.

        Wake up and smell reality.

  20. I do not believe that this strife is an organic result of internal forces. The timeline does not support this conclusion.

    A year ago the DNC was forced to admit that their strategy of using the Russia Collusion story to force Trump from office was not going to work. The many organs of the DNC spent quite a bit of time wringing their hands and searching for another tactic. The NYT famously had a meeting where their editors promised the staff that they would find an alternate strategy for getting rid of Trump. Out of this was born the 1619 project.

    The intention was to “inspire a national conversation on race”. In other words, they wanted to provoke racial unrest. They thought this would be to their political advantage.

    They tried several times over the last year to get things going. They picked a couple of incidents to gin up unrest, but did not gain any traction.

    Then Covid hit. And the lockdowns. Now we had people stuck home for months. Especially young people. Young people who were not allowed to go out and socialize. For months.

    Now we have fertile ground.

    What happened next? We had a couple of racially agitating incidents. Not just one.. it took a couple. But there still was no unrest.

    Everyone agreed that what happened in Minneapolis was wrong. There was no dissent. Even police were on board.

    Dang! That isn’t what they needed.

    So DNC associated non-profits began working. They kept pushing the limits of the agreement.

    Still, no opposition.

    Dang!

    Even the rioting and looting wasn’t really causing that much push-back. You can’t have a race war without someone fighting back….

    So they started really getting ludicrous. They came up with “anti-racism”, which they defined as “shut up and agree with an anarcho-socialist agenda.. oh, and you are racist!”

    Now they started to get a few raised eyebrows. But still not enough.

    Defund the Police!

    And progressive mayors made sure that no police were evident at demonstrations. They started moving to dismantle police departments in ways that absolutely fail to address the real issues in any way, but did work toward making the world a less safe place.

    Now they started getting the push-back they wanted. After months of fake stories about supposedly white supremacist groups roaming the riots, they had not been able to get anyone to buy in. But months of destruction and general chaos with absolute commitments from the government that they would not intervene or punish people who did violence to people or property took their toll. People are starting to fight back.

    Which is no accident.

    It is part of the strategy.

    That kid who shot those people in Wisconsin the other night is the result of this plan. So are the people who attacked him. Their strategy has made both of them think that they are the heroes.

    The BLM kids think they are the heroic defenders of the oppressed. They think that they are on the side of justice, and that the government will not punish them, whatever they do.

    The kid thinks he is the hero. He is also on the side of BLM, but he believes that burning buildings is wrong and hurts the cause.

    They are all inspired by the same set of actions. An actual strategy in play, being enacted primarily at the level of mayors and prosecutors who are withholding police and prosecution from interfering with BLM/Antifa. They are the reason that both of those groups were there, both believing that they were on the side of justice, and both believing that they would be protected by the state. And both willing to use violence… because they have been told that it is OK and they will be protected.

    This is one continuous movement, taking over a year. The objective was always one thing, and that thing was never “social justice”. It was never “police reform”. It was always “start racial unrest”. The reason? They thought it gave them an advantage at the polls.

    This is not new. This has been the democrat strategy my whole life. It is the first time I’ve seen it play out with such a long and determined effort… but back in 2000 I was in Cynthia McKinney’s district and I got to see the race-baiting machine up close and personal. They sent racist hate mail to my house every day… usually at least 3 or 4 pieces. For months.

    So getting folks talking about racism and getting black folks angry at whitey has been their MO for a long, long time. This one just happens to be on steroids. And people are getting killed because of it. It is the most cynical thing I have seen in my lifetime. All to win a stupid election that they didn’t even need to contest to win if they had just played it straight the whole time.

    1. Actually Trump was impeached because he unlawfully solicited a foreign power for dirt on his political opponent, and BLM is protesting police killings of black people.

      1. Is this a parody of Tony?

        In a long line of idiotic non-sequitur responses, well…. this is one.

  21. This is the speech Jo Jorgenson should give if she had 10 minutes on tv to give it. Still, similar sentiments have been spoken and written by hoards of libertarian thinkers and doers for generations and it seems pretty clear the American people aren’t buying it when it comes to a desire to control the behavior of others.

    1. Is it actively anti-racist enough?

    2. similar sentiments have been spoken and written by hoards of libertarian thinkers and doers for generations

      Yep, it’s been consistent Marxist apologetics ever since “libertarianism” sprang from the ether of left-wing think tanks in the 1960s, and not one motherfucking thing has changed. You’re right about that.

  22. “Reliance on persuasion, freedom, property, and markets might deliver both peace and justice where “No Justice, No Peace” has so far failed.”

    The African American Museum would like a word with you, Brian.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/museums/african-american-museum-site-removes-whiteness-chart-after-criticism-from-trump-jr-and-conservative-media/2020/07/17/4ef6e6f2-c831-11ea-8ffe-372be8d82298_story.html

  23. But, in the eyes of the people doing the harm to livelihoods and savings “systemic racism” Means we all have a direct connection to the injustice. There is your problem.

  24. Odd how when statist cops clash with statist rioters they all gain and only private citizens lose. Much of this is, but, sibling rivalry and squabbling between big government’s offspring over which gets to oppress us and take our stuff.

    Libertarian peace and justice is a hard sale resolution when all that either party to the conflict really wants is too wield state power to abuse and steal from a third party.

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  26. Wordy, but perfect aside from that!

    Leave me alone, get the hell out of my way, mind your own business are truly the American way. Yes, we’ll stop to help someone with a flat, or lend a neighbor a chainsaw, but beyond that, we expect people to live their own lives, for good or for bad.

  27. GREAT piece of writing.

    In the places Americans gather to publicly reason with each other via awkward two-sentence chunks and snide insults, a disturbingly large number of people are insisting we recapitulate the stark choices that Germany seemed to offer its citizens a century ago between the world wars: a controlling, decadent left out to destroy private property, and a right that embraces a harsh, violent authoritarianism suspicious of outsiders of all stripes.

    Both sides’ appeal is energized by the existence of the other, and both seem so obviously intolerably evil to each other that they agree on one thing: that no moral or prudential choice exists other than to join one of those two sides and come out swinging.

  28. A careful reading of John Stuart Mill’s ON LIBERTY properly explains that it is Liberty that fosters the behavior that enables a prosperous society … and the phrase “Bourgeois Libertarianism” improperly characterizes what is a much more profound truth.

  29. Rather than both-sidesism and Godwinning, why not face up to the reality that the two parties in the U. S. are authoritarian and irresponsible, but one party is more authoritarian and irresponsible than the other?

    Like Alice in Looking-Glass World, we have to run just to stay in place. Just to prevent the corrupt status quo from getting *more* corrupt and more violent, we have to spend a lot of effort, much of this effort being against Democrats.

    Moving the country in the direction of more freedom would be great – right now it’s going in the opposite direction, and not because “both sides.” The “debate” nowadays, such as it is, is between a bad status quo and people (Dems and progs) who want to make it worse.

    1. Then there’s the national debt, but which party do we rely on to save us from *that*?

      1. Remy covered that earlier.

  30. As the past months should have made evident, police power in the conventional sense can’t keep cities secure if even a small number of people are unwilling to live and let live. State power simply cannot rule a people if even a small, energized minority refuses to let it. If you actually care about a functioning civilization, it is never enough to have the state controlled by the “right side.”

    Someone will probably have pointed this out here by now, but this is just the problem: that we disagree over this fact. It absolutely does matter which side controls the government, and it is sufficient to prevent violence as long as it’s not the Democrats. How can you look at where the riots are occurring and conclude otherwise?

  31. To begin at the root of the current unrest, a more libertarian world would not have a police force engaged in continual series of overaggressive assaults on citizens, whether or not suspected of crimes. We suffer that now because police, as representatives of the state, are not subject to the same discipline for their crimes that most citizens are.

    True.

    At that same time, a more thoroughly libertarian world would not see certain tactics pursued by some on the progressive left who agree with the libertarian goal of reducing police’s unjust spasms of “authority.” For instance, that world would not have angry mobs insisting threateningly that random fellow citizens join them in some public expression of political piety, however noble the cause. It would also lack roving mobs setting fire to buildings and breaking windows.

    A more thoroughly libertarian world would not have a progressive left! Their tactics are commensurate with their goals. If they seek a world where they can force fellow citizens in so many other ways, making them join them in some public expression of whatever is peanuts in comparison.

  32. What would save this country would be for people to reject systemic violence and peaceful cooperation.

    1. So, the exact opposite of Libertarianism, which is thinly disguised neo-Marxism that consistently and totally supports mob violence and race riots?

  33. The way Reason (and conservatives in general) respond to mass protests in America vs. mass protests overseas really highlights your hypocrisy.

    You’re only against tyranny and for justice when it’s comfortably “over there”.

    1. Go burn down another poor family’s apartment, pedophile

    2. Or maybe there’s a qualitative difference between Hong Kong murdering and disappearing protestors in broad daylight, and urban black people chimping out and going on a 2 month long robbery, arson, murder, rape, and assault spree every time a police shooting makes national news headlines, despite the fact that an order of magnitude more white people are killed by cops every year than blacks.

  34. Bourgeois Libertarianism Can Save America

    Might help if you didn’t keep offering full-throated support for violent psychopaths murdering, maiming, and beating people while destroying huge swaths of public and private property.

    1. Photos of these swaths?

  35. Leftist brownshirts are attacking people leaving the RNC, including Rand Paul.

    Gloves are about to come off.
    There must be blood

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  38. A society that abandons voluntary, peaceful cooperation and uses systemic violence to force one-size-fits-all solutions to complex, controversial social problems is not a free society. It is a society at war with itself, due to its intolerance of diversity: diversity of thought and action.

    The apparent power of the political class gives people at large a sense of security, since systemic violence can be stable, but it’s still violence, and it still violates the fundamental rights of most, if not all, of its citizens.

    It should be no surprise when citizens, subjected to systemic violence, choose violence for their own ends, since there society has deemed it an acceptable way to solve complex, controversial social problems. If anything, it’s incredibly hypocritical to support systemic violence and, yet, to denounce citizen violence, which is why the riots have so much support. Despite their acceptance of violence, at least they’re consistent.

    It’s sad that we see so many people choosing their side of the widespread systemic violence of our society, and so few voices urging people to put an end to it, and embrace the freedom that comes with renouncing violence and choosing voluntary cooperation to solve problems.

  39. A good essay, but there’s a problem with its central thesis.

    “That is the lived philosophy of the peaceful enjoyment of life and property, mostly minding one’s own business, living and letting live, not enforcing orthodoxies of thought and expression no matter how good the cause, or treating other people’s lives and property as sacrificable for a political goal.”

    Minus a handful of psychological aberrants, those who have ‘made it’ in life are generally happy to live and let live. But the problem with a hands-off system is that not everybody makes it, and when humans don’t make it they don’t tend to gracefully accept their fate.

    “We are seeing that even a small number of people choosing to not live in accordance with those libertarian principles creates civic spaces in which no one can thrive”

    That’s the rub right there. I’m not saying it’s impossible to have an organically grown libertarian utopia where people are so generally well off that they never accumulate a critical mass of malcontents, but that system is so far off from what we have it’s hard to see how we get from here to there.

    So to all true believers in this bourgeois libertarianism, I would ask to spend a little less time peacefully enjoying your life and property and a little more time doing the hard work of building the sort of non-authoritarian systems and institutions needed to make your free and prosperous vision of the future a reality.

  40. The attempt has been made, and wrongly, to make a class of the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie is simply the contented portion of the people. The bourgeois is the man who now has time to sit down. A chair is not a caste. But through a desire to sit down too soon, one may arrest the very march of the human race. This has often been the fault of the bourgeoisie.
    Les Misérables (Victor Hugo)

  41. I love the sound of this. I has just one problem. It assumes a nation of rational actors with sound impulse control and decent education. None of which we have in significant enough numbers to make it a workable approach to organizing human endeavor and our nation.

  42. …a controlling, decadent left out to destroy private property, and a right that embraces a harsh, violent authoritarianism suspicious of outsiders of all stripes.

    So, the U.S. “right” (i.e., Republicans) is violently authoritarian because . . . they would like to put a stop to the endless rioting/looting/arson? Talk about a low threshold!

  43. What makes civilizations collapse, as we are now seeing, is people relentlessly seeking state or state-like solutions to their perceived grievances, particularly the kind that threaten your fellow citizens’ liberty to live, think, express, work, save, and do business in peace, even if you have a good reason to be angry and feel a burning, even justified, need to see things change.

    Finally, a Reason writer who gets it.

    Can we make this article required reading for Boehm, Brown, Binion, Sullum and Bailey? They collectively have abandoned any pretense of libertarianism for progressivism, and now write like Pravda writers of old.

    1. Brown is sophomoric with her ‘Federal goons’ and ‘peaceful protests’ shtick.

      Bailey for some reason has bought into mask mandates which seems to be an oxymoron for a libertarian site.

      And I think there’s more going on than just ‘police brutality’.

      This is narcissistic nihilism further worsened by lockdowns.

      Taking a person’s ability to work and congregate is to take away their mental health and dignity.

      Public officials (politicians and health) who keep this going are acting with anti-human criminal malevolence at this point.

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  45. So tedious.

    Conservatives think their philosophy will save America, progressives think their philosophy will save America, libertarians think their philosophy will save America.

    If there’s a path to saving America, it begins with not being a partisan asshat with a savior complex, and instead discussing the actual issues at hand, and conceding to people with different views if they have a fair point.

    I have a political leaning, myself, as a moderate; but I don’t fall into this trap of “moderates will save America” — many moderates do and grate their teeth calling everyone that disagrees with them an “extremist.” I think often conservatives are right, or progressives are right, or libertarians are right. The editorial is based on a caricature, that libertarians never appeal to dislike of the “other.” Sure they do, and so do moderates. So do other centrists. All forms centrists have their elements that try make the case that they’re somehow “above” all the pettiness, when they’re not.

    Libertarians can be worse than other centrists, because libertarians often embrace the same extremes, but split them down the middle. So, you’ll have libertarians who are extreme social liberals and extreme economic conservatives. They think social conservatives are evil and are ruining America, or social liberals are evil and ruining America.

    Because of that, partisan libertarians of different stripes often push narratives that deepen our political and social divisions, and feed into conservative-liberal divisions. “Police are racist.” “All of our drug policies only exist because of racism.” “People on welfare are leeches/takers.” “Taxes are slavery.” “Government is evil.” “Democrats are evil.” “Republicans are evil.” They just get to push divisive partisan asshattery and then divest themselves of any responsibility for it, claiming they aren’t in power, so it doesn’t matter. They’re angels that would save America if they had the chance.

    No, I’m not talking about all or even most libertarians, and yes, anyone who reads that into what I’m saying is missing the point.

    1. *They think social conservatives are evil and are ruining America, or economic liberals are evil and ruining America.

  46. “a more libertarian world would not have a police force engaged in continual series of overaggressive assaults on citizens, whether or not suspected of crimes. We suffer that now because police, as representatives of the state, are not subject to the same discipline for their crimes that most citizens are.”

    Except that we have “a police force engaged in continual series of overaggressive assaults on citizens.”

    Ans, THAT, Biotches, is a function of Conservative Inc. – Which Libertarians have gotten in bed with because Derp Derp Derp Tax Cuts Dert Derp Derp.

    1. Typo: “Ans” should have been “And”.

  47. Are you kidding…Bourgeois Libertarianism is the source of our ills, all of them, and so for the past 20 years…the same disease of when journalists, CEOs and politicians starting their narcissistic voyage into “a country led by gentile aristocrats…”. Libertarianism in the USA is lead by to equally destroying factions…socialist feminist liberterianism, and Aynd Rand feminist Liberterianism…both toxic mixes to any democracy…and both movements are lead by snobbish wealthy ridiculously feminist and narcissistic “Bourgeois”…

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