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Tom Woods, Matt Welch, and Michael Malice Discuss Libertarian Infighting

Philosophical differences of opinion, Libertarian Party spats, Ron Paul newsletters, you name it.

"Libertarian Party Rebuffs Mises Uprising," ran the headline on my first dispatch from the L.P.'s biennial national convention, which talked about how the party's growing Mises Caucus fell far short in its effort to dislodge Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark.

This analysis did not prove popular among the Libertarian friends of the Ludwig von Mises Institute (LvMI) in Auburn, Alabama. "Reason Editor Gets it Wrong," was the headline on Eric July's video response. "Someone's been eating Gary Johnson's edibles," tweeted Comic Dave Smith. Mises Caucus Chair Michael Heise, in a rebuttal email to me, wrote (among many other things): "We have been directly credited by Tom Woods and Dave Smith joining the party which has caused a number of new members to join the party and the caucus. We are the biggest and quickly coming up on the strongest caucus in the party. We were able to knock down resolutions that downplayed the importance of property and I spoke against them which rallied the delegation floor."

Then something interesting happened. Rather than wash their hands of a party they have criticized for drifting too far from core philosophical principles, the friends of the Mises Institute doubled down on their involvement. Smith and podcaster Jason Stapleton announced post-convention that they were joining the L.P. The biggest fish of all to become a sustaining member of the party was LvMI Senior Fellow and popular podcaster Tom Woods. In August 2017, in the wake of the Charlottesville riots, these people and Libertarian Party leadership were engaged in a war of words. Eleven months later, they're all under the same big tent.

It was in that spirit that the quick-witted anarchist media weirdo Michael Malice invited Tom Woods and myself to a bread-breaking edition of Malice's "YOUR WELCOME" show. The three of us discussed any number of internecine divisions within both the libertarian and Libertarian movements, perceived snubs from Reason, incrementalism vs. Evangelism, Murray Rothbard, the old Ron Paul newsletters; you name it. You can watch here:

Related reading: Brian Doherty's 2009 essay "A Tale of Two Libertarianisms," our magazine debate forum that same year on "Are Property Rights Enough?", and this 2011 piece from me. Bonus Michael Malice-related content here. ALSO: Watch your mailboxes for a forthcoming issue of Reason that includes all manner of libertarian debates.

Photo Credit: YouTube

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  • John||

    I just wish Reason had been as eager to excuse Ron Paul for the newsletters as it is to excuse Sarah Jeong of her tweets.

  • Libertymike||

    Tom Woods is a libertarian with whom you could get along and wouldn't mind having as your neighbor, co-worker, colleague, boss or employee.

  • Tony||

    Some of us wish that slack-jawed morons could figure out the difference between advocating genocide against blacks and jews and making whitey so lame jokes with your friends.

  • ||

    advocating genocide against blacks and jews

    Not what Ron Paul did.

    making whitey so lame jokes with your friends

    Not what Sarah Jeong did.

  • Agammamon||

    You don't seem to be able to.

  • Tony||

    One is emblematic of a persistent social evil that has done untold harm to humans for centuries, and the other makes rednecks pissed off for 10 seconds until they move on to the next thing.

  • ||

    One is emblematic of a persistent social evil that has done untold harm to humans for centuries

    Are you talking about "racism?" And implying that only one of these two people is indulging in it?

    Or are you talking about "white racism" and pretending that it's the only kind that's ever existing or done harm in the world? Because there are some people around the East Asia/Pacific Islands area that would like to have a conversation with you about the history of Chinese and Japanese racism.

  • Agammamon||

    Except you don't seem to be able to tell which is which in the real world.

  • CE||

    Well since one of those two wrote the offensive material herself, yes.

  • Longtobefree||

    The really nice thing about being a libertarian, as opposed to a member of the Libertarian Party, is that there are no Philosophical differences of opinion. I go my way, and do not infringe on the rights of others, and all is well. I just don't care what you think.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its very easy to pick out a Libertarian based on what they say. Lefties and anarchists think they are fooling Libertarians. The LP is jammed with non-Libertarians. Its almost like these non-Libertarians are set on destroying the LP from the inside.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Are you Hihn's child? By proclaiming yourself as the model libertarian, you sound just like him without the profanity and caps. You're so far right EVERYONE sounds like a 'leftie' to you. You're like the anti-Tony and just as annoying.

  • ||

    This sounds way more Hihnian than what lc1789 posted.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Sorry, I should've said 'everyone'

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Which troll are you mcgoo95?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    What, specifically, do you have against Rothbardian AnCaps? How come they aren't "real" Libertarians.

  • CE||

    or maybe they want it to be a viable political party, and aren't purists?

    I will give them the benefit of the doubt, even though I'm a purist myself.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Why would Libertarians want Socialists in their party?

    This not about a meeting where the benedits of Libertarianism are explained to non-libertarians. This is allowing people who want to destroy you to run your party.

    There is no way in hell that Democrats would allow a Libertarian to run the Democratic Party.

  • TLBD||

    The core principle of being a libertarian is to increase freedom. Sarwick was busy on Twitter the other day defending communist sensibilities.

    If the Mises group takes over, I'll consider registering as a Libertarian. Otherwise, I want nothing to do with the yahoos that run that party.

  • Brandybuck||

    ""The really nice thing about being a libertarian, as opposed to a member of the Libertarian Party, is that there are no Philosophical differences of opinion.""

    Welcome to the libertarian movement. I can tell you're new by your incredible naivete. I hope it's not too painful when the ideological pogrom comes for you.

  • Tony||

    I think I want some of your stuff. I don't believe in property, and I especially don't believe that you are entitled to any of it.

    Oh suddenly you care what other people think.

  • Lowdog||

    Not really. Come and get it. If u can take, enjoy being a piece of shit. If I catch u, bummer for u.

    U can vote for ppl who agree with u, but since all pols are looters, basically, there's nothing new about it.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    We know that this is how you really think and what you truly believe, deep in your heart of hearts.

  • ||

    We know that this is how you really think and what you truly believe, deep in your heart of hearts.

    And that he is completely blind to the inherent contradiction in "I don't believe in property rights, therefore I'm going to take your stuff and keep it for myself."

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tom Woods, Matt Welch, and Michael Malice Discuss Libertarian Infighting

    Jesus Christ, more non-Libertarians acting as if they are Libertarians.

  • Juice||

    Oh, I see you've used the capital L. Well, not only is Tom Woods a libertarian, he's now a Libertarian as of recently, as if party membership mattered for anything.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Tom Woods is a lamer.

  • Juice||

    How so? He's a great communicator of the liberty message, in my opinion.

  • JFree||

    Not in this clip so far. To me he appears to be an epic whiner with a chip on his shoulder. Which may make for good radio - but if you are selling liberty I don't see what the point is of selling a mere idea of liberty in some abstract future lifetime.

  • Juice||

    I didn't really watch this clip. I'll try listening to the podcast later, so I'm not sure what he's whining about. But his podcasts aren't really talking about some abstract future. They usually address real world issues, so I'm not sure what you're talking about there.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    BUCS, I can't believe what you said to Michael Malice.

  • Libertymike||

    Bucs, themz is fightin' words.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tom Wood's bio says anarchist.

    Anarchists are not Libertarians.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Neither are racist authoritarians.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    What, exactly, do you disagree with?

  • Juice||

    Since the mid-20th century, the term "libertarian" has referred to someone who believes in self-ownership and self-sovereignty, and by extension, the non-aggression principle. Take those principles to their logical conclusion and you arrive at anarchism. In fact, before the mid-20th century the word libertarian was synonymous with anarchist (but in the leftist anti-property sense). Since progressives stole the term liberal from classical liberals, anarcho-capitalists stole the term libertarian from anarcho-communists. The original late 20th century "libertarians" were the Rothbardian anarcho-capitalists.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Pure bullshit. Anarchist refers to a communist who just threw a bomb or shot at someone. Search newspapers for the past 150 years and you'll find the true meaning. True, some would have you believe an anarchist is a "fomer" communist who just infiltrated a libertarian blog. Accept no substitutsky. Libertarians vote libertarian.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I imagine that would come as quite a surprise to the diverse array of anarchist intellectuals who apparently don't count because they're not communists and never threw a bomb at anyone.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Hank is nuttier than GORP without raisins.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    I'll do that, if you'll search a dictionary.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anarchists do not support a government.

    Some of them advocate voluntary power structures like government but it all falls apart when someone does not commit violence against others but refuses to follow the commune rules. Anarchist are supposed to be for absolute liberty, which means that you can stop someone from interrupting a town meeting.

  • sparkstable||

    False. Anarchists respect rules and natural laws (rights). As such, while you have the physical capacity to interrupt a speaker... property and contract rights dictate that it is quite realistic that if you attempt to do so force would be justly applied to you in order to stop you from violating property rights. Whoever owns the forum would likely dictate that access was predicated on respect of the speaker. Entering means you agree. Disruption means you broke contract and can be escorted out in a just fashion. All still anarchy.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    What contract?

    What private property?

    Its unowned land for the town to hold a meeting. Communal land, if you will.

    Anarchists are not for having behavior prohibitions that do not hurt anyone else. Interrupting a meeting is not hurting anyone. Heckler's veto gets anarchists every time.

  • JoeBlow123||

    I don't know how anyone is for anarchism, it is a very logically stupid utopian position akin to the stupidity of the communist workers paradise preached by Lenin.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Libertarians are basically classical liberals.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    > Anarchists are not Libertarians.

    Bullshit. AnarchoCapitalists are the BEST Libertarians. We sign the pledge, and MEAN IT!

    I invite you to prove me wrong.

  • CE||

    if they are NAP/ZAP libertarians, anarchy is the only moral option.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Libertarianism supports small and limited government with rule of law.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    With the rise of Trump and Ocacio-Cortez, I'm a little iffy on the Libertarian Moment.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Joke best if used by May 2012

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Ideas best if used by October 1917.

  • Dillinger||

    was O-C old enough to run for office in 2012?

  • The Last American Hero||

    But you have a smart phone!!! And internet!!! And nobody liked Trump or Hillary!

  • Hank Phillips||

    Note to foreign readers. The cross-dressing sockpuppet is an admitted Trumpista, about as libertarian as Milo.

  • Dillinger||

    >>"Someone's been eating Gary Johnson's edibles,"

    be a stark difference in this place if the *authors* imbibed too.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    This is awesome. Kudos to Matt, Tom, and Michael for making this happen, Let's have more of these talks across the ideological divide in the movement. Thank you guys.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yup. Two Anarchists and Welch the Hillary lover discussing Libertarianism. Genius!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Who is a Libertarian to you?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Card-carrying, dues-paying, taking-orders-from-customers VOTING LP member, that's who. That rules out 2/3 of the sockpupperts who come here grasping for converts to mystical fascism or smug totalitarian looter factions.

  • Dillinger||

    I have to associate to be free to not associate?

  • ||

    Get your card, looter!

  • Agammamon||

    Its like you only get your right to remain silent if you speak up and tell the cops you're exercising it.

  • Juice||

    Bab Barr and Bill Weld are the real Libertarians.

  • Tony||

    Donald J. Trump, of course.

    LC is not a well person.

  • ||

    LC is not a well person.

    This is true. Why you keep insisting that he speaks for everyone here is beyond me.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony is a joke. He thinks people take what he says seriously.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Libertarians who advocate supporting Libertarian issues.

    If you dont want a government, youre not a libertarian, youre anarchist.

    If you want absolute liberty, youre an anarchist not a Libertarian.

    If you support small and limited government with rule of law, youre probably a Libertarian.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Calling Matt a Hillary lover is a strong claim. One I'm certain you wouldn't make without a sizeable (and linkable) body of evidence to support it.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Silly person, lc1789 doesn't do cites.
    He knows the truth and the awesome certainty he projects should be all anyone needs.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I looked them up like you can.

    Welch already made election 2016 statements about Hillary.

    I really REALLY upset the trolls today.

  • JoeJoetheIdiotCircusBoy||

    maybe he should check out Welch's cover story "The Censor in Chief". But then again, LC is just here to troll anyway. Case in point: he has called just about every single person in the liberty movement as a non-libertarian, largely because they don't meet his definition of libertarian (which to my knowledge he has never provided), and yet at the same time has never provided a single example of who would meet his definition of libertarian (whatever that definition happens to be). I can't even tell if he considers himself a libertarian.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Yep, lovecon89 is one of our lovable trolls. He just admitted to not having a social security number, and we know he was born in this country. So he is either a Georgian feral hog that got stuck on the grounds of the Vogtle nuclear plant and eventually grew human fingers from the radiation, giving him the ability to type, or he is some kind of Okefenokee swamp capybara that somehow survived the Ice Age and recently woke up from its ten thousand year hibernation.

  • ||

    I'm gonna go with "Okefenokee swamp capybara." The image just fits better for some reason.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Probably because it's difficult to imagine LoveCon '89 without webbed toes.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

  • ||

    And that's exactly the look I imagine on LC's face when someone makes a point he has no response for.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I was going to take offense at being compared to a new world monkey, but after some consideration, "adept problem solver with a brain too small to form large social groups" does sound depressingly accurate.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Baculum thinks you have to get a social security number. Hilarious!

    Only lefties demand that socialism must be obeyed.

  • CE||

    People used to not get a SS number assigned at birth. You had to sign up when you started working, even if you weren't legally old enough to sign a binding contract.

  • Juice||

    He just admitted to not having a social security number, and we know he was born in this country.

    I didn't have one until I was about 14. I think my parents finally hit a wall to where they couldn't do something crucial for me unless I had a SSN. I don't know what it was, maybe insurance or something. Of course, I would have to have one once I got my first job at 16.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The master troll baculum accusing me of being a troll. That a good lie. I really must have pissed you off by calling the table team what they are...non-libertarians.

    Baculum, collect your bridge butter and pass it out among your troll friends so theyre not so butthurt.

  • Iheartskeet||

    It doesn't seem like that much of a divide. How about a panel of:

    Matt Welch
    Glen Reynolds
    David Harsanyi

    You know, at least get a broader spectrum.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You want a panel consisting of Matt Welch with two Republicans?

  • Libertymike||

    chemjeff, what I just posted above to John, would apply to you as well.

  • Iheartskeet||

    I think both Glen and David consider themselves lower case l's...and yep they lean Republican. Indeed, the majority of self-identifying l's in congress are...Republicans...and I'd guess a majority of self-identifying l's vote that way too. It would be a panel of one Trump hater, one Trump neutral (AFAICT) and one bemused Trump voter (AFAICT).

    That sounds reasonably diverse...and if we're gonna do some divide-reaching, well, here is a divide.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    That doesn't sound diverse at all.

  • Iheartskeet||

    So, three Trump haters is MORE diverse ?

    Three Capital L's yakking with each other is more of a "reach around" than a "reaching across". Not saying its a bad convo.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    This is about libertarian diversity, not about diversity inside iheartskeet's personal worldview nutshell.

  • Iheartskeet||

    I'd say my list is precisely about libertarian diversity.

  • prolefeed||

    J.D. Tucille and someone minarchist and some asshat from Reason would be a better spread of ideologies: anarchist, minarchist, fake libertarian.

  • JFree||

    I don't usually have the time to listen to these things - but this one seems worth it.

    On edit - 20 mins in - not worth it so far. Just looks like more self-indulgent sophomoric whininess.

    I have never seen a group of almost exclusively men engage in absolutely nothing beyond just talking about their differences like a bunch of women. And this is NOT a slam against what women often do - because they are actually GOOD at that and it can lead to action for them.

    Gawdalfreakingmighty. Set a goddamn political GOAL that can be agreed on. And talk about how to achieve it. Then achieve it. That's how most men 'bond'.

  • JoeJoetheIdiotCircusBoy||

    that wasn't really the point of the episode dumbass (i.e., set a goddamn political goal that can be agreed on. And talk about how to achieve"). But I get it, you have to criticize something because it didn't do exactly what you wanted it to do.

  • JFree||

    There was no point to the episode (now that I have listened to the whole thing and have wasted one hour of my life that I can't get back).

    There could have been a point if any of those folks had actually believed the basic premise behind the episode - ie lets pull together two people from divergent strains of the same political philosophy and see if they can agree on something. I think all three of them agreed that that was the 'point' (none imo thought the point was to start a gunfight at the OK corral for the ratings). And for about 30 seconds all three agreed on a particular (militarization of police) that could have been expanded into an actionable for those listening - regardless of what strain of that philosophy they come in with. An actionable is EXACTLY what the end result is of any 'summit' type meeting like this.

    Instead the show was basically a libertarian version - which means an audience that is probably 98% male - of The View. What a colossal misdirected waste.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Nobody important had ever heard of Von Mises or Hayek before Atlas Shrugged was published. Then when the Supreme Court copied Roe v. Wade from the LP platform, God's Own Prohibitionists and the Prohibition Party went ballistic in an effort to get people thinking about ANYTHING other than individual rights--especially for women. Fakes like Ron and Randal Paul still crop up, and Trojan horse infiltrators abound. But the truth of the matter is that it STILL begins with Ayn Rand.

  • Mcgoo95||

    And yet she completely disavowed herself of libertarianis, primarily because of the anarchist aspect, iirc. Maybe we a need new objectivist party, which in itself would be oxymoronic.

  • Mcgoo95||

    ...or better yet create an independent movement who's sole pupose is get people away from political parties. Political parties are the real evil in our form of government.

  • Libertymike||

    Maybe our form of government is the real evil.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Also very likely. It's been well know since ancient times that democrocies naturally devolve into tyranny at some point.

  • Dillinger||

    word.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    > the Supreme Court copied Roe v. Wade from the LP platform

    The LP had been in existence less than 2 years at that point. Highly unlikely.

  • CE||

    Even though Rand thought people would drop out of profitable society to keep 100 percent of less money?

  • Brandybuck||

    I once made a comment on a facebook post by Stephen Kinsella, and Tom Woods had to stalk me on my private chat to keep telling my I was ideologically in error to the point I had to actually block him. Crazy dude. He is the physical avatar of that nerd stereotype who can't go to sleep until he has corrected everyone on the internet who is wrong.

    So I look forward to this video just to see Matt wipe the floor with Tom...

  • Libertymike||

    Not the Tom I know.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's a difference between those who want to emphasize one aspect of libertarianism more than another aspect and those who want to reposition the movement .One of the hallmarks of those who want to change the nature of the movement is that they claim to be making the tent big enough to make it more appealing to the left when they're actually making the tent smaller.

    One example was when they changed the plank from acknowledging that there are legitimate arguments on both sides of the abortion issue to making the party exclusively pro-choice. That decision was not inclusive of more people on the left--it just excluded more people on the right. I've seen this happen repeatedly in various forms. No, making the movement explicitly about prostitution is not making the tent bigger. No, nominating Bill Weld will not make the tent bigger.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Open borders too. When you want the LP to give non-Americans more rights and say in how the formerly classically lineral USA is run, you lost a lot of non-Lefties to the LP cause.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I used to argue that "honest liberals" couldn't be trusted to support self-ownership if they didn't really believe in property, and as the left has turned further and further away from individual rights over the years and more towards outright hostility to them, I've become convinced that their rejection of us isn't a mere perception issue. They know what we are and what we're about--that's why they hate us. It will never become fashionable for progressives to support individual rights because being a progressive is fundamentallyl about using the coercive power of the state to force individuals to make sacrifices for the greater good.

    Any concessions made to appeal to the left are pointless. They are fundamentally opposed to what it is that makes us libertarian.

  • prolefeed||

    They know what we are and what we're about--that's why they hate us.

    As someone who lives with a bleeding heart liberal and knows a bunch of others, I surmise that the vast majority of leftists don't really grok the NAP or the concept of self-ownership, or, well, hardly anything that we actually believe. They seem to have a cartoonishly vague idea that we're for ... well, something they don't like, because we're evil, somehow.

  • ||

    They seem to have a cartoonishly vague idea that we're for ... well, something they don't like, because we're evil, somehow.

    ^ This.

    I find that almost no one who is not a self-identified libertarian has ever heard of the non-aggression principle or has any idea that such a thing has any relationship with libertarianism. Most hear "libertarian" as "someone who wants a corporate-oligarchical dictatorship to enslave women and minorities."

    At best you'll get a "you don't realize that the ideals you espouse are really just cover for a corporate-oligarchical dictatorship that wants to enslave women and minorities, you poor naive fool."

  • Dizzle||

    I had a super granola hipster bartender overheard me say i was a libertarian to a friend several years ago at a bar in Pittsburgh. She walked over to criticize me because "libertarians are just like the Russians, they want to put all the gay people in jail" and "we want roads but don't want to pay for them". No joke. I informed her the only openly pro gay marriage candidate in 2008, obamas first election, was Ron Paul. The libertarian. Her eyes crossed and her face turned red, but i dont think she understood it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I maintain that the more they learn about us, the more they hate us.

    When you point out that Barack Obama ran on a platform of "Marriage is between a man and a woman" when Libertarian candidates were openly advocating gay marriage--it doesn't make them like us more. It makes them hate us.

    They don't want the fact that they're hypocritical idiots rubbed in their faces.

    The more they learn about us, the more they realize that that all the phony shit they say about Republicans wanting to kill of social security, Medicare, welfare, etc.--when they say that about us? It's really true!!!

    We're the boogeymen they've been painting the Republicans to be--in real life. That just makes them hate us all the more.

    Make no mistake, the progressives/left hate individual rights--and they hate us for being more committed to freedom than they are. They hate us for actually being the free market capitalists of their nightmares, too. It isn't because they don't understand us that they hate us. Those who don't know anything about us hate us intuitively. The more they learn about, the more they hate us for real.

    Like I said, it isn't a perception issue. We can't attract progressives to libertarianism by presenting ourselves differently. They hate individual rights and free market capitalism for fundamental reasons--and that's what we're all about.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You are correct on that Ken.

  • schoolsucks||

    I don't see anything unsavory at the Mises Caucus website or twitter feed. David Boaz seems like a slimeball.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    A big part of why the Mises Institute is considered unsavory is the involvement of Hoppe. I wish they discussed him during the show.

  • Tony||

    You'll never be any more than a bunch of aspie numbers geeks arguing about a topic none of you ever studied. I mean, I don't go to engineering blogs and tell them how to build suspension bridges. Maybe leave political science to the professionals too.

  • ||

    I mean, I don't go to engineering blogs and tell them how to build suspension bridges.

    What if the people at those blogs never were able to build a suspension bridge that didn't collapse? Would there come a point where you may begin to doubt their expertise, or is their possession of a credential from a state-sponsored credential-factory enough for you?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Tony thinks that reality is established by majority vote.

  • ||

    Tony thinks that reality is established by majority vote.

    He thinks that until the majority doesn't do things the way he wants, at which point he suddenly believes in Rule by Experts. As long as the Experts recommend doing what benefits him personally.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Tony doesn't think anything. He just emotes.

  • Tony||

    What if the people at those blogs never were able to build a suspension bridge that didn't collapse?

    Apt analogy to libertarians, except they can't even get the first pylon up so there's nothing to collapse.

    If you're trying to argue that states always fail to be utopias, then I think you can see the problem with that.

  • ||

    If you're trying to argue that states always fail to be utopias

    Nope. As usual you dodge the question, which was:

    "Would there come a point where you may begin to doubt their expertise, or is their possession of a credential from a state-sponsored credential-factory enough for you?"

    And when did you switch from "the majority is always right" to "we should just be quiet and let the experts decide what's best for us?"

  • Tony||

    I've never expressed either of those sentiments. I apologize if I've been inarticulate.

  • ||

    I've never expressed either of those sentiments.

    Then I'm not sure you ever actually expressed any sentiment other than "libertarians are wrong about everything for reasons I can't articulate."

  • Tony||

    Certainty is valued most by those who know very little.

  • ||

    Certainty is valued most by those who know very little.

    You 100% lack self-awareness, don't you.

  • Tony||

    Well I'm not fond of mirrors. But the older I get, the more I am comfortable knowing that I don't know everything.

    Libertarians, in the most pristine political philosophy example of Dunning-Kruger ever conceived, think they know everything about how humans should live. They think they can weasel out of this essentially authoritarian attitude by slapping a bumper sticker that says "freedom" on it.

  • ||

    Libertarians, in the most pristine political philosophy example of Dunning-Kruger ever conceived, think they know everything about how humans should live.

    This is where you show how central projection is to your worldview.

    You, below, opine that the primary question of government is "how should men live," and you turn to those of us who say "I don't feel I have a right to tell other people how to live" and accuse us of arrogant authoritarianism.

  • ||

    But seriously - you just literally compared governing to engineering and came right out and said that people who have no credentials in political science shouldn't participate in government.

    If that's not what you meant to say, what did you actually mean to say?

  • Tony||

    I meant to say that libertarians, who tend to be good numbers geeks but not good critical thinkers, tend to gravitate toward a political philosophy that rewards itself for being simple, and sometimes, the simpler the better (NAP!). Which of course is absurd considering the nearly indecipherable complexity of the human experience in the modern technological world.

    The next time you think the answer to "How should men live?" is best handled by the simplest possible answer, stop and think about why that is fallacious, and perhaps about the people who've thought the same thing only with different means and ends in mind.

  • ||

    The next time you think the answer to "How should men live?" is best handled by the simplest possible answer, stop and think about why that is fallacious

    The next time you stop to think "How should men live?" realize that it's none of your damn business and perhaps think about the history of people thinking that it is.

    And, secondarily, answer the fucking question for once:

    Are you saying that the government should be comprised of "experts" who are unaccountable to the people? Or do you think that the popular will should govern and that there are no principles by which the popular will should ever be over-ruled.

    Pro-tip: these two positions are literally mutually exclusive.

  • Tony||

    The next time you stop to think "How should men live?" realize that it's none of your damn business and perhaps think about the history of people thinking that it is.

    So you don't want a massive overhaul to the current system, changing everyone's lives almost certainly against most of their will? Because you just know better than all of them? That bumper sticker isn't convincing me. You want a thousand times more imposition on other people than I ever will. You just can't see it that way because it would render everything you believe a joke.

    these two positions are literally mutually exclusive.

    They absolutely are not. See the American system for a sturdy example of a combination of popular will and checks on popular will. See, I believe in actual freedom, and that means the freedom to vote for politicians who favor a strong bureaucratic state, which is, in the end, merely a tool, a technology, that when properly implemented makes our lives better. People should be free to choose that. Your idea of freedom is forcing them all to choose your way despite nobody wanting it but you.

  • Juice||

    Because you just know better than all of them?

    Yes, I know how to run my life better than they know how to run it. And they know how to run their own lives better than I do.

    You want a thousand times more imposition on other people than I ever will.

    If stopping you from forcing your will on others is an imposition, so be it.

  • ||

    So you don't want a massive overhaul to the current system, changing everyone's lives almost certainly against most of their will?

    I honestly don't have any idea what you're talking about, and I imagine you don't either. What is it that you imagine I want to force people to do?

    They absolutely are not.

    Just saying that doesn't make it true. Do these "checks on the popular will" include the EC that got Trump elected? You're all for that, since it is the result of the system that you think is perfect already, right?

    Do the Experts get to overrule the People when the People are wrong?

  • JoeBlow123||

    "The next time you think the answer to "How should men live?" is best handled by the simplest possible answer, stop and think about why that is fallacious, and perhaps about the people who've thought the same thing only with different means and ends in mind."

    This is astoundingly stupid. Everything in life works against complexity, one of the foundation principles of the universe is entropy, and you believe complexity in life is somehow a worthwhile endeavor? This must be why Google won the search war against Yahoo, their website was packed with so many features (sarcasm).

    You post a lot of nonsensical, random, totally garbage stuff hombre. I may not be a utopian hardcore libertarian, but I do have some bedrock principles I believe in. Your principles seem to shift with no apparent reason, you for instance just seemed to crap on democracy and technocracy in the same thread.

  • Microaggressor||

    Quite possibly the least self-aware post I've ever witnessed. Good job Tony.

  • ||

    Why don't you just leave commenting to the professionals.

  • Dillinger||

    don't unleash political science professionals on enemies even

  • CE||

    some of us have studied more poli sci than you knew existed

  • Tony||

    And you land on half-assed Ayn Rand or whatever other lame right-wing version of crypto-anarchism you think is so great? How embarrassing.

  • Nuwanda||

    Well, what's new? No much. Of the (so far) 95 comments we have usual clusterfuck of, I'm a libertarian, no I am, no you're an anarchist, no you're an authoritarian, stop using the big L, oops I meant to use the small l, Tom Woods sucks balls, does anyone know where I can find a good cobbler in the Detroit area?

    Sigh.

  • ||

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Nuwanda||

    Let me try:

    Fuck off, cunt.

    Hey, this is easy. Is it your turn again?

  • Tony||

    You people are terrible at this too!

    Suck a rancid cunt, you cumchuggling fist cozy.

  • ||

    Hey, this is easy. Is it your turn again?

    I do believe it is. Do you have a side? I'd like to blame your side for something.

  • Nuwanda||

    Oh, I see your strategy. First you hurl abuse, then you ask a question.

    What fun you must be at parties.

  • ||

    I thought you realized I was being sarcastic, and were playing along.

    *smdh*

  • Nuwanda||

    Don't shake your head.

    This is a forum where that kind of anti-intellectual response is commonplace. And since it's so common it's almost a requirement to take it seriously. Irony is a dodgy pursuit in the circumstances.

    You'll appreciate the pickle.

  • ||

    You'll appreciate the pickle.

    Oh, I do - it's why I assume a sarcastic stance by default.

  • Rockabilly||

    Get it together man.

    How hard can it be, really?

  • SparktheRevolt||

    Mr Woods sounds like such a crybaby.

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