Reductio ad statem

The argument implicitly given here has long been clear to me; I’m glad someone took the time to flesh it out.

ANDREW: Let’s see if I understand. In poor neighborhoods, most people will not be insured, and it will be legal to kill them. The people that are insured will be encouraged by the security GLO to carry weapons that are as technologically advanced as possible. It sounds to me like this would be bad for the poor neighborhoods.

GLO == “government-like organization”.

My version of this:

Libertarian: government currently has a monopoly on (legal) violence aka “coercion”

Libertarian: so if we get rid of government, we’ll get rid of the coercion! What could go wrong?

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Bloated tick tells all

Libertarian academic admits he’s an unproductive parasite feasting on the blood of society, vows to keep pincers in until forcibly removed:

I’ve been in school for the last 35 years … As a result, the Real World is almost completely foreign to me.  I don’t know how to do much of anything….

I’m glad I have a dream job for life.  I worked hard for it.  But society would be better off if taxpayers saved their money, students spent fewer years in school, and sheltered academics like me finally entered the Real World and found a real job.

Retraction!

No, not by me. Daniel Klein, a libertarian economist at GMU (of course) who wrote what I thought of as a very smart paper a few years ago; then wrote a very dumb one that was turned into a WSJ op-ed and internet meme in 2010. The latter work purports to show how liberals are ignorant of economics because they failed to agree with his particular ideology. (Oddly enough, I detected this exact same thought-bug in his GMU colleague Bryan Caplan’s book, so I guess it’s something in the water, probably Koch effluvia).

Well, Klein is mensch enough to retract and sort-of apologize for his error. I guess this cements him as the paradigmatic libertarian — combining intelligence and stupidity in fascinating ways (yes intelligence, if libertarians were only dumb I would not be the least bit interested in them).

διώτης

A good example of the contempt the first democrats felt for those who did not participate in politics can be found in the modern word ‘idiot’, which finds its origins in the ancient Greek word διώτης, idiōtēs, meaning a private person, a person who is not actively interested in politics;[10] such characters were talked about with contempt and the word eventually acquired its modern meaning. 

From Wikipedia.
Not to spell it out or anything, but this means that libertarianism, with its inverted political virtue, is literally idiotic.

Ad Hitlerum

The wingnuts are trying hard to pull some advantage out of the Penn State child-rape scandal. A naive person might think that the primary political damage ought to be to the right-wing hierarchical authoritarian jock culture out of which this emerged, but no, it’s really all the fault of the socialists you see:

Penn State is a tocsin, warning us what happens when our cultural paradigm encourages us to pass the buck. … Barack Obama has stated clearly that his goal is to create precisely the bureaucratic, dependency culture that makes Penn State’s (and Nazi Germany) possible. 

And then comes the Jonah Goldberg What-you-don’t-think-I-was-serious-do-you move:

This is not to say that Barack Obama and his team have as their goal mass child rape, genocide, crime waves, etc.

That’s a mighty generous admission.

Oopsies!

100,000 copies of Atlas Shrugs DVDs recalled because jacket states:

“AYN RAND’s timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice comes to life…”

<nelson>Ha-ha!</nelson>

The new title sheet will more accurately read “AYN RAND’s timeless novel of rational self-interest comes to life…”

Or maybe “Ayn Rand’s excruciating novel of sociopathy and adolescent wish-fulfillment lies there and stinks like a dead mackerel”.

Actually this is an instructive episode, Rand’s attempt to graft a heroic narrative onto the worst kind of behavior just doesn’t work; even cultists have a difficult time keeping it straight in their heads.

(h/t @shownde)

Whiter Whites

This comment at Crooked Timber is made of win:

There was a time when watching ex-libertarians grope their way toward higher brain function was diverting, and I would’ve been at least amused at the image of Will Wilkinson blinking in the glare of the sun and marvelling like a newborn foal at the discovery of these things called “social forces,” and that unfair things can actually happen to people. But really, it’s not funny anymore. It’s just sad. It’s like encountering a man in his thirties who’s believed all his life that he was washing his laundry with the power of his mind, and has just now figured out that his mom was actually doing it all that time.

The comic book covers are fun too.