I had the great displeasure of writing alongside a cadre of world-class assholes for several months on another blog. The thing that they all had in common was that they imagined themselves as libertarians, and I have learned a thing or two about libertarianism that I think may be worth sharing.
For one thing, libertarians are ingrates. They are ungrateful for everything, and they imagine themselves as self-made individuals who need no one else. They act as though they popped out of the womb fully educated and able to work for a living, and that so did everyone else. They are almost always over-privileged white males from a middle to upper-middle class upbringing.
They discuss public education as some sort of government folly in the same breath as decrying the rampant ignorance of America (which is only ignorant, in their mind, because Americans fail to latch onto their ideas). They oppose the police and any use of force by the government… while supporting privatized security which has no oversight or restrictions. They listen to conservative talk show hosts stroke their egos as they drive to work on public roads.
But perhaps most irritating is that Libertarians oppose liberty. Liberty is the freedom that comes from a society that actively fights injustice among the citizenry. Liberty is not some magical, natural state of mankind, nor is it the absence of laws or government. Those things are anarchy, and anarchy is little more than a power vacuum that will inevitably be filled by the worst kinds of abuse and tyranny. Liberty is the freedom of individuals to abandon the search for the basic requirements of life (security, amenities, etc.) to pursue greater things.
Libertarians, by and large, fail to recognize this, and it’s downright childish. Even their rhetoric is infantile: they say the government is a nanny, and they shout about oppression at their little Tea Parties (you know, that oppression that protects their right to freely assemble and voice their grievances, regardless of how baseless and rooted in a Fox News contrived fantasy they may be).
There is just nothing more pathetically misguided than a Libertarian.