Friday, September 2, 2011

The Libertopian Ideal

Sally Kohn:
Don’t like the idea of tax dollars paying for public schools or highway construction or Medicare — or don’t like the idea of taxes at all? The brave new floating world offers just the solution. And if the self-appointed creators wish it, there would be no restrictions on guns or automatic weapons. Or, for that matter, no prohibition against murder. Pesky “moral suasion”!

The seasteading project is a bright and shiny warning buoy, heralding the dangerous agenda of otherwise tame-seeming libertarians. It raises the question of whether libertarians want to prune back American government or eliminate it altogether. This is not an idle concern. Prominent Libertarians want to abolish the Federal Reserve, FEMA and the TSA and that may be just the start. Until 2006, the Libertarian Party Platform explicitly supported the right of political entities, private groups and even individuals to secede from the federal government. Fearing this seemed too extremist, Libertarians replaced that platform plank with a clause about the right of people to abolish the government anytime it destroys individual liberty — a very narrow and ominous reinterpretation of the Declaration of Independence.
David Harsanyi takes issue with it:
No, I don’t “like” the idea of forcing citizens to join a Washington-run health care program or forcing parents to pay for crappy schools that fail their kids year after year. But I’ve yet to meet a libertarian who opposes restrictions on homicide.
Harsanyi hasn't yet met the libertarian who wants the right to shoot someone because they're on his proppity? He goes on:
Perhaps I don’t get out often enough. I always knew there were many schools of libertarian thought, all of them having something to do with an underlying belief that an individual ought to have the freedom to live his/her life as he/she likes as long he/she respects the individual rights of other hes /shes. Critics always seem to ignore the latter half of the idea. Imaginary anarchy, racism and hedonism ensue.
Hmm. Was the West Wild or was it not?

Anarchy is a funny word as a pejorative, usually meaning "people doing stuff that transgresses the rules I think should be there" and given that Harsanyi is a libertarian who the fuck knows what he means? But given the beloved Paultards and their idiotic positions on the Civil Rights Act I don't think anyone's worried about fantasy racism. And hedonism? No, legalizing methamphetamines, underage sex and prostitution could never lead to anywhere becoming a preferred destination for child rapists.
Do libertarians like Peter Thiel really want to live in America? (Evidently he doesn’t? Right?) I suppose you’d have to ask him. I’m only a mushy small “l” classical liberal type and I like living in America. But if America becomes a place where government has its coercive hands in every aspect of life and business — the kind of America that Kohn envisions – then seasteading is going to look mighty attractive
Oh I'll bet.

16 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Yikes!

It's Kevin Costner!!!
~

Mendacious D said...

I recommend investing in torpedos. Maybe they can be held hostage.

Also, I seriously doubt that an island full of libertarians wouldn't descend into anarchy. Delicious, cannibalistic anarchy.

vacuumslayer said...

Come for the homicide, stay for the child rape! Your last two entries seem related to me.

Mandos said...

Did I mention that I really liked Max Barry's Jennifer Government? I think I did. On VS' blog.

Substance McGravitas said...

That looks pretty funny. Is there a market in which the corporations can trade for employees?

M. Bouffant said...

Is there a market in which the corporations can trade for employees?

Pro sports?

mikey said...

HEY!

Free Agent over here!

You don't have to give up a player to get me!

Let's go!

Mandos said...

Substance: Well, obviously. The Free Market. And the loyalty points programs (US Alliance vs. Team Advantage) happen to fill some of this role. But most of the time, it's a world of at-will employees with no employment laws. It's actually remarkably familiar...

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I always knew there were many schools of libertarian thought, all of them having something to do with an underlying belief that an individual ought to have the freedom to live his/her life as he/she likes as long he/she respects the individual rights of other hes /shes.

Of course, breathing clean air and drinking untainted water are not rights enumerated in The Constitution.

mikey said...

Your freedom ends where my requirement to eliminate my waste products begins...

Smut Clyde said...

"This link is funny"

Indeed it is. The comments enter Heinlein-level reductio ad absurdum without even realising it:
Airlines could still operate, but it would force them to get an easement to travel over private property, negotiated with the homeowner NOT a pseudo entity like a government. If they choose not to, then their offending property is forfeit, simple as that.

mikey said...

Ahhh. Totally makes sense.

It's in the great American tradition of speaking without actually listening to what you're saying.

This is why we can't have nice Thanksgiving Dinners...

Another Kiwi said...

negotiated with the homeowner NOT a pseudo entity like a government.
This has got to be enacted. Massey University Flight School goes over our house every day and I want one of those planes.

Whale Chowder said...

I'm for it. I'd chip in so long as every asshole libertarian agreed to ship off to someplace out in the middle of the Pacific.

I'd give 'em six months, then go in for the handful of survivors. They should be glad to see the helicopters by then.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

They should be glad to see the helicopters by then.

Hopefully, said helicopters would be armed with Hellfire missiles.

Substance McGravitas said...

Hopefully, said helicopters would be armed with Hellfire missiles.

Oh, what a giveaway! Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That's what I'm on about! Did you see him repressing libertarians? You saw him, Didn't you?