It was obvious to me a long time ago that one area where libertarianism fails spectacularly is in issues relating to children — who tend not to fit into its very limited idea of what a human being is, since they are not autonomous, self-sufficient, rational, utility maximising atomic units (neither are adults, of course, but it’s more obvious in the case of children).
Well, the folks at Bleeding Heart Libertarians, who since they try to combine libertarianism with human values often find it necessary to engage in pretzel-like intellectual contortions, seem to have somehow come up with the idea that in libertopia it will be OK for the government to require child-rearing licenses:
With a parental licensing program, if you get pregnant, you go to get a license to raise the child or you decide to give up the child. You violate no law by becoming pregnant. Once pregnant, you violate no law until the child is born—and only then if you decide to raise it without getting a license. And perhaps you are allowed to take the licensing test multiple times if you fail at first.
Smell the freedom! I guess it’s on a par with current lib posterboy Ron Paul completely OK with allowing the state to control what a woman does with her uterus.
(via LGM, with the logic dissected in some detail, along with a good Murray Rothbard bonus.).
This is kinda inside baseball, and I’m definitely not inside, but I can’t resist posting this very minor discovery. Antiwar.com apparently posted this:
A Washington Post piece charting Ron Paul’s rise in the polls contains the usual “but he can’t win” caveat, along with this nugget:
“Yet, while the libertarian-leaning Texas congressman is earning support for his tight-fisted fiscal positions, he’s so out of step with the GOP mainstream on foreign policy and some domestic issues that even his most loyal aides doubt he can use his momentum to win the Republican nomination.”
Very interesting. Who are these “loyal aides” who snipe at Ron behind his back? And just how “loyal” are they? Earth to Ron Paul: rid yourself of these fifth columnists before they stick the knife in deeper.
Speaking of a libertarian fifth column: Matt Welch and the Reason magazine/Kochotpus crowd are at it again, crowing over the phony “Ron Paul newsletters” non-scandal, claiming “credit” for it — all the while claiming that he is “rooting” for Ron, really he is. He then treats us to five or six anti-Ron pieces, and then — in the interests of “fairness” — links to a few pro-Ron blog posts from the contemptible weathervane Andrew Sullivan and some others.
The only reason the Reasonids can get away with this without destroying Reason as a libertarian institution is because they are subsidized by the Koch brothers and big neocon money — they don’t have to answer to their libertarian subscribers. Welch, the human praying mantis, and Nick “I’m so hip” Gillespie tried to push Gary Johnson, but he’s even more unpopular than their boring magazine. So now they are sucking up to their friends on the Washington Beltway cocktail party circuit, showing how “anti-racist” and politically correct they are by joining the Republican Establishment and the neocons as they try to smear Ron. They don’t care about the libertarian movement outside of the Beltway — all they care about is pushing their vapid book and peddling their “hip” version of watered down “liberaltarianism
Isn’t it time to show the Reason crowd that the market rules?
And then retracted it, leaving only this remnant behind (the above text is from their RSS feed):
This is crap. You agreed that we would not attack other libertarians without talking about it. You are not the Obama of Antiwar.com, declaring war without a decision by the rest of us minions.
Hm…I thought one actual advantage of libertarianism (as opposed to more leftish anarchist tendencies) is that you don’t actually have to get consensus to do every little thing, and he who owns x controls x. Apparently not. Antiwar.com is an odd mixture of left and right anyway, and I feel slightly bad about poking at them since they are the type of libertarians I might want to have a beer with.
A charming Ron Paul/Dr. Seuss mashup, with pictures.
An excerpt, from Horton Deserves to Die:
…a case study of an affable, good-hearted taker named Horton. Dr. Paul shows you how we’d all be better off if Horton was dead. In real life, Horton is helped and in turn helps others, who in turn help others, who in turn help even more others. Dr. Paul patiently breaks down the cause and effect ripples and shows how not helping Horton in the first place, and allowing him to die, breaks this awful cycle of dependency.
This series (mentioned earlier) is quite a treasure. It draws heavily on the work of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, a leading libertarian theorist:
There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and removed from society.
Damn. I thought Mencius Moldbug had invented that particular schtick — that is, figuring out that a logically consistent libertarianism meant giving up almost all freedom, and celebrating the fact.
This is apparently a seasonal favorite, but it’s the first time I’ve come across it:
So let’s look without preconceptions at Scrooge’s allegedly underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit. The fact is, if Cratchit’s skills were worth more to anyone than the fifteen shillings Scrooge pays him weekly, there would be someone glad to offer it to him. Since no one has, and since Cratchit’s profit-maximizing boss is hardly a man to pay for nothing, Cratchit must be worth exactly his present wages…As for that one lump of coal Scrooge allows him, it bears emphasis that Cratchit has not been chained to his chilly desk. If he stays there, he shows by his behavior that he prefers his present wages-plus-comfort package to any other he has found, or supposes himself likely to find. Actions speak louder than grumbling, and the reader can hardly complain about what Cratchit evidently finds satisfactory.
And, hey, these days Cratchit could always start selling his and his family’s bone marrow and kidneys, so really, why all the whining?