On Libertarians

by F.

I’ve been slumming, reading some of the libertarian blogs and periodicals. While many of my biases seem fairly libertarian (on drugs, concentrations of economic and political power, market mechanisms, and so on), I have to say I find US libertarians a pretty creepy bunch. Creepy as in that guy from high school you knew who buttoned his polo shirt up to the top and wore a trenchcoat, even in summer, then went on to get a law degree from George Mason.

Some of it is avidity. Avid people scare me. Avid about anything, really.

Some of it is this thing with guns. What’s that about? Why is this gun issue so interesting? I mean, I liked guns—when I was 8 years old. But at some point, you’re supposed to sort of grow out of that. The Europeans seem to get along pretty well without guns. I mean, maybe we should all be able to carry around dynamite, too. That would be great.

Some of it is this idea that people have free will. We don’t. People make what seem to be “choices,” just like shrimp do. But probably not for the reasons we notice from introspection.

Some of it is this idea that we get what we deserve and deserve what we get. Yeah. Right. This is like denying the role of luck, which is, to me, ridiculous—a complete fantasy.

Some of it is the obsession with Sci-Fi. Why do those go together, Libertarianism and Sci-Fi? Oh. Yeah. They’re both fantasies.

Some of it is Ayn Rand. Don’t get me started on that bullshit.

Some of it is the way these Libertarian think tanks are always bankrolled by ExxonMobil or Philip Morris or some other company. Now, you might think, Well, who else is going to fund Libertarian think tanks—the government! (Gasp!). Which is a good point. But there seems to be decent evidence that the funding sources for research induce bias, and I don’t see any evidence that the Libertarian nutjobs at CATO and the Federalist Society are correcting for this bias.

Classical liberal, yes; big-L Libertarian, hell no—get that ideology away from me, please. You’re going to poke someone’s eye out with that thing.