Thursday, January 24, 2008

Libertarians are retards

Big Ell Libertarians piss me off worse than Christians (worse than Muslims even, and you know how much they piss me off). Theistards have at least the defense that they're either stone-cold stupid and/or have been massively indoctrinated since childhood. Libertards (Libertarian retards) have no such excuse.

Libertarianism rests on absurd hypocrisy. Pacifists notwithstanding, I don't think it's rational to absolutely denounce coercion (you have to defend yourself); Libertarianism denounces, rather, the "initiation" of coercion. However people have been coercing each other since the dawn of recorded history. Denouncing the "initiation" of coercion means just, "Go back until someone else acted coercively, and then justify my own coercion as a defense against that coercion." If (American) Libertarians were serious about the "initiation" of coercion, they'd give their land back to the Indians and move back to Europe.

Any notion of property rights requires the acceptable initiation of coercion. If something is property, then someone has to make that something his property for the first time. I have to, for example, fence off some piece of land to make it my property. But how is that not the "initiation" of coercion? Until I put up the fence, you were free to use that land as you pleased; now I'm forcing you to stay off of it; only I can now use the land as I please.

Libertarians refuse to be obligated to protect my rights, but demand that I protect their property. Fuck you. Defend your own damn property against robbery and theft. If those ten guys over there can overpower you and take your stuff, what business of it is mine? You should have hired more bodyguards. (And if your bodyguards realize they can take your stuff, too bad for you.)

Libertarians tend to be upper-middle-class professionals. What these Libertard upper-middle-class professionals fail to realize is that their status and wealth is protected by un-Libertarian law and custom (i.e. requiring law degrees and bar examinations; why not let the market decide who should be a lawyer?)

The truly wealthy realize they don't need a political philosophy to protect their wealth. Indeed, the very wealthy usually realize their wealth — just like the wealth of most of the middle-class — derives precisely from the non-Libertarian structure of society. Henry Ford couldn't have become rich unless his workers were paid sufficiently above cost to afford to buy his automobiles. Welfare props up the above-cost value of lower-class physical labor, which props up the value of middle-class intellectual labor, which props up the value of upper-class ownership.

Positive feedback dominates a finite free market: the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Most of Libertarianism's economic absurdities come from extending the simplifying assumptions of infinity to actual truths about the finite world. Given that the "initiation" of coercion is an inherently incoherent, contradictory concept, in a finite free market, power will accrue not to the most "productive" but to those best able to marshal coercive power: To borrow from Napoleon, "The coercion was initiated by the side with the worst artillery." The last "free market" society was 18th century France, and look how that turned out.

There's nothing wrong with individual liberty and property rights. Both are valuable tools for managing a productive economy which provides happiness and material benefits for everyone, not just the ruthless few. But they are human constructs; they were not written by God Himself into the fabric of the universe.

Libertarianism is nothing more than the infantile, puerile whining of children who demand to keep the toys the other children shared with them.

36 comments:

  1. Dude. I'm glad Jon Swift linked to your post. The more I read, the more I'm enjoying.

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  2. Dude. You've done called down the thunder of teh intertoobz. There are entire legions of engineers who think they're libertarians that have nothing better to do than trawl blogs in order to defend the ghosts of Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand.

    But I agree. Libertarians come in three forms: crypto-capitalist anarchists, "fuck you I got mine" types, and people whose growth was stunted by reading Atlas Shrugged.

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  3. I don't know if I qualify as a big "L" libertarian, but I share the libertarian philosophy of maximum freedom for the individual.

    You decry the idea of a refusal to initiate coersion. What this means is that it is wrong to kill someone unless that someone is trying to harm you. They are the one initiating the coersion, and you are responding to it.

    Maintaining my property isn't coersion. You don't have a right to my property. By attempting to interfere with my property, you would be the one initiating coersion.

    You don't appear to have done much reasearch on the tenets of libertarianism. It is a philosophy that says that you should be free to do what you want so long as you don't initiate force against anyone else. Why would that threaten you so?

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    1. The entire planet's societal structure is based upon coercion and stealing from one another. Any land you own was provided to you through acts of coercion. But, as long as someone else is doing the coercing you're fine with that? What kind of madness is living in your skull?

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  4. There are entire legions of engineers who think they're libertarians that have nothing better to do than trawl blogs in order to defend the ghosts of Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand.

    Yeah, James. My blog is all about avoiding controversy and trying to kiss everyone's ass.

    Compared to the theistards, the libertards are a giggle.

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  5. Hi Larry,

    Having been involved with my local Libertarian Party chapter during my libertarian phases in the early 90's and around 2000, it was my impression that most Libertarians were not particularly wealthy or successful people. For the most part, they struck me as oddballs and underachievers. I guess they felt that they could get ahead if only the "guvmint" wasn't holding them back.

    Their mantra was very simplistic. Every problem was caused or exacerbated by the government. Eliminate government interference, and the market will step in and magically cure everything.

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  6. Curiosis:

    I don't know if I qualify as a big "L" libertarian...

    Judging from your comment, you're retarded enough to qualify.

    I share the libertarian philosophy of maximum freedom for the individual.

    The "maximum freedom for the individual" is as incoherent, hypocritical and stupid as "God loves you, and will punish you forever if you put your dick in the wrong hole".

    Do you support my freedom to hit you on the head and take your wallet? No? Well then, retard, you do not support maximum individual freedom. You support only enough "individual freedom" to hit me on the head and take my wallet.

    You decry the idea of a refusal to initiate coersion. What this means is that it is wrong to kill someone unless that someone is trying to harm you.

    Quit studying logic from Christians and Ayn Rand. Do you know the difference between "always", "sometimes" and "never"? You might not have heard about it; it's a brand-new concept: Aristotle invented it a mere twenty three centuries ago, which apparently is an amount of time insufficient to overcome the "ideological viscosity" of... well, it must be a brain, it's in your head.

    Maintaining my property isn't coersion.

    What, are you fucking kidding me? How are going to protect your property without coercion. See the pistol on the cop's belt? The handcuffs? If you don't think that's not coercion, come over to my house and we'll have some real fun.

    You don't have a right to my property.

    Calling Captain Obvious! Your property is by definition, that which I do not have a right to. What constitutes your property is the issue.

    By attempting to interfere with my property, you would be the one initiating coersion.

    God damn, son, get Milton Friedman's cock out of your mouth long enough to actually read:

    Denouncing the "initiation" of coercion means just, "Go back until someone else acted coercively, and then justify my own coercion as a defense against that coercion."

    ... and ...

    Any notion of property rights requires the acceptable initiation of coercion. [In other words, you have to start actually forcing people into respecting your property rights.]

    Libertarianism doesn't "threaten" me, the stupidity of Libertarians irritates me.

    And son, I don't flame people for spelling but really: if you're going to defend Libertarianism, you should not only learn the definition of "coercion", you should learn how to spell it correctly as well.

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  7. Sorry: "If you think that's not coercion, come over to my house and we'll have some real fun."

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  8. Tommy: I bow to your more comprehensive experience. Most of the Libertarians I personally know are (as James mentions) engineers, as well as some lawyers, doctors and self-employed business owners. Of course, I myself am an engineer, so that does bias my sample considerably.

    Of course, lower-class Libertarians are even stupider than middle-class Libertarians: They'll be the first to be enslaved in a Libertarian Utopia.

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  9. The big-L libertarians are generally nuttier than a fruitcake. But they actually don't concern me as much as the big-D democrats and the big-R republicans because they are nutty as well and, unfortunately, they also actually have power. Or at least the R's do. The D's wouldn't know what to do with power if they had it, other than cave in to everything the R's want them to do.

    I almost wish there was a better word to describe someone like me, who is in favor of smaller government (but recognizes the need for government and certain government services), strong protection of civil rights, sane laws, less power for corporations (which can be as bad as bad government), recognize the usefuleness and the limitations of the "free market" (as well as where it really isn't free), and so on. I use "libertarian leaning" for lack of anything better. Not that it matters, much. Looking at the current political situation, we're all fucked anyway no matter what happens.

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  10. Judging from your comment, you're retarded enough to qualify.

    I've often wondered about people for whom civility is impossible. Do they assume that no one will like them so they compensate by creating that dislike themselves? Or is this just an attemp to beat Ann Coulter at her own game?

    The "maximum freedom for the individual" is as incoherent, hypocritical and stupid as "God loves you, and will punish you forever if you put your dick in the wrong hole".

    I'm sorry that you find it so hard to understand. You do what you want, and I do what I want. The only things that we are not allowed to do is initiate harm against others.

    Do you support my freedom to hit you on the head and take your wallet? No? Well then, retard, you do not support maximum individual freedom. You support only enough "individual freedom" to hit me on the head and take my wallet.

    See above. If you hit me on the head, then my freedon from harm has been seriously minimized. That would be the opposite of maximized.

    Quit studying logic from Christians and Ayn Rand.

    I'm an atheist and not a big fan of Rand's.

    Do you know the difference between "always", "sometimes" and "never"? You might not have heard about it; it's a brand-new concept: Aristotle invented it a mere twenty three centuries ago, which apparently is an amount of time insufficient to overcome the "ideological viscosity" of... well, it must be a brain, it's in your head.

    I can only assume that there's a point here someplace.

    What, are you fucking kidding me? How are going to protect your property without coercion. See the pistol on the cop's belt? The handcuffs?

    I should have said that "maintaining my property is not an initation of coercion."

    If you don't think that's not coercion, come over to my house and we'll have some real fun.

    I'm starting to think that you're not really my type, but thanks anyway.

    Calling Captain Obvious! Your property is by definition, that which I do not have a right to. What constitutes your property is the issue.

    My property is that which I have acquired through legal means. If something belongs to no one, then I can take ownership as I so choose. If something belongs to another, then they must agree (without coercion) to give it to me, usually in an exchange of property or money.

    God damn, son, get Milton Friedman's cock out of your mouth long enough to actually read:

    Freud would have loved you.

    Denouncing the "initiation" of coercion means just, "Go back until someone else acted coercively, and then justify my own coercion as a defense against that coercion."

    That would be why we have a justice system. To determine if the coercion was valid.

    Any notion of property rights requires the acceptable initiation of coercion. [In other words, you have to start actually forcing people into respecting your property rights.]

    You don't have to force anything. By not respecting my property rights, they are the ones who initiate force.

    Libertarianism doesn't "threaten" me, the stupidity of Libertarians irritates me.

    Well, clearly you are irritated by something. Libertarians believe that you should be free to do as you wish so long as you don't harm another. Yeah, that sounds completely idiotic.

    And son, I don't flame people for spelling but really: if you're going to defend Libertarianism, you should not only learn the definition of "coercion", you should learn how to spell it correctly as well.

    You're right. There are so many words in the English language that end in "cion" that I should have known better.

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  11. cognitive dissident1/24/08, 12:04 PM

    Calling them Libertards may be a bit much, but you do make a good point.

    It is precisely the privileging of property over people that is the essence of my disagreement with doctrinaire Libertarianism. In the idealized Randian world, nothing would remain to curb crony capitalism or rein in the rampant rapaciousness of plutocracy; there would be no counterbalancing concern for the commons, the general welfare, or the interests of anyone except lobbyists and campaign donors.

    To quote from Hobbes, life in such a world would truly be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

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  12. DBB, I think that "libertarian leaning" is a misnomer. You're leaning at best towards the superficial propaganda that Big Ell Libertarians cloak their craziness.

    One might as well say that, because he thinks someone running a business deserves to make a living, that he's re "Republican" leaning. Well, making a living at business has as little to do with the actual Republican party as does ending the Iraq war has to do with the actual Democratic party.

    Mere dumbness aside, if the world comprised only well-meaning reasonably responsible adults, you and I could figure out how to organize our society over a long weekend, and still have time for a few beers.

    The problem is that there's a small fraction of the population who are both very clever and completely batshit insane, and the well meaning but kind of dumb people don't know how to tell the difference between the crazy ones and the sensible ones.

    (It's actually worse: The crazy ones are willing to promise a Big Rock Candy Mountain for ever and ever after you die. How can a sensible person committed to the truth compete with that?)

    You're right in the end: We're completely fucked, politically, socially and environmentally.

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  13. I agree, libertarians are retards. Pure libertarianism is pure anarchy. Check out the discussion they got going at the new social networking site Know Me Now.

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  14. Don't get me wrong. My comments were not meant to imply that my knowledge of libertarians was superior to yours or that there were not self-identified libertarians who were well educated and wealthy.

    James Elliot summed up the categories of libertarians nicely, and I would say that a lot of the ones I met fell into the third category.

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  15. DBB, try on "classical liberal" for size. A lot of libertarians (like John Stossel) claim they're classical liberals, but they're not.

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  16. The bare footed one thus declared:
    "Big Ell Libertarians piss me off worse than Christians..."

    I bet you just love Vox Day then.

    Vox is both a big el Libertard and a Christian. He calls himself a "destroyer of disbelief."

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  17. I'm more than happy to leave the future toddler chopper to you, Norm.

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  18. Curiosis: I've often wondered about people for whom civility is impossible.

    Oh, it's possible for me to be civil, but only to those who deserve it. Always, sometimes, never. Learn these words and their meaning. You might want to look up maximum as well.

    The rest of your post is too retarded to spend any time on. If any of my readers can stop laughing at you long enough to respond, I'll leave the rebuttal as an exercise.

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  19. I don't think you understand the concepts of libertarianism at all, but you will believe what you believe.

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  20. I feared that responding to your childishness was a waste of my time. I can now see that I was correct.

    I was prepared to have a mature discussion on libertarianism, but I can see that this is simply not possible for you. Mores the pity.

    You clearly regard anyone who doesn't agree with you to be a moron. You have ceased to learn because you refuse to entertain the idea that you might be wrong.

    This would all be funny if it weren't so sad.

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  21. Kent McManigal:

    I don't think you understand the concepts of libertarianism at all...

    Perhaps you're correct. I've studied and discussed the subject a mere 30 years. Can you set me straight?

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  22. A big problem is that most libertarians don't agree on what libertarianism entails. They range from CATO to Reason to Ron Paul's troglodytes, and can 'nary agree on a thing.

    Libertarianism, at its best, is simply utopian thinking. At its worst, it's John Stossel claiming that a guy in the middle of New Orleans immediately post-Hurricane Katrina is justified in selling his 8 oz bottles of Arrowhead Water for $25 a pop.

    Me, I say that action in turn makes the mother of a three year old who beats the shit out of him and takes a bottle completely justified.

    But then, who instituted the coercion there? Not the mother.

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  23. I was prepared to have a mature discussion on libertarianism, but I can see that this is simply not possible for you.

    You came to a post entitled "Libertarians are retards" and expected what now?

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  24. "libertarian philosophy of maximum freedom for the individual."

    Well now curiosis, that’s the crux of the gist of the center of the meaning of all things isn’t it? It’s so simple, why didn’t someone think of maximizing freedom for the individual before?

    And if I can't keep up in this economic Darwinesque free for all, I have the rights and freedom to die in the gutter and be left to rot.

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  25. or have been massively indoctrinated since childhood

    Amen to that, brother. ;-)

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  26. Mentally retarded people are decent individuals who take you as you are without judgment.

    Libertarians are just assholes.

    Please, let's not insult the mentally challenged. ;)

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  27. Please, let's not insult the mentally challenged. ;)

    I appreciate the sentiment, but I don't call people with developmental disabilities "retards".

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  28. I appreciate the sentiment, but I don't call people with developmental disabilities "retards".

    So you want to take advantage of the commonly understood pejorative meaning of the word "retards" while simultaneously claiming that it has nothing to do with the developmentally disabled?

    I eagerly await your posts about "niggers" and "fags" that have nothing to do with black people or homosexuals.

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  29. Anonymous: You're a complete fucking retard. And a coward as well. If you don't like the way I use the English language, don't read my blog.

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  30. "I don't think it's rational to absolutely denounce coercion (you have to defend yourself" - the non-aggression principal clearly provides justification for self defense. Most Libertarians believe in this. There may be some pacifistic libertarians, but most will readily defend themselves against violence. And rightfully so.

    "However people have been coercing each other since the dawn of recorded history." - Therefore we should continue destitute practices?

    "If (American) Libertarians were serious about the "initiation" of coercion, they'd give their land back to the Indians and move back to Europe." - This is a point of contention amongst even libertarians. There are historical reasons why this is near impossible seeing as how American Indians are fewer in numbers than they were at the beginning of colonization. The main problem with American Indians now is that those still living on reservations must consult with bureaucrats every time they want to start a business or generally improve their lot in life. Most Libertarians are disgusted by the fact.

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  31. "Any notion of property rights requires the acceptable initiation of coercion. If something is property, then someone has to make that something his property for the first time. I have to, for example, fence off some piece of land to make it my property. But how is that not the "initiation" of coercion? Until I put up the fence, you were free to use that land as you pleased; now I'm forcing you to stay off of it; only I can now use the land as I please." - This entire notion is based on fallacious line of reasoning. Lockeian property rights and the homesteading theory clearly espouses the 'mixing of labour with the land' to establish the property rights of individuals. If one simply puts up a fence when someone else is using the land for productive purposes, that is tantamount to theft. However, when fencing off the land you've paid the price of utilizing it for productive purposes, you're morally entitled to that land.

    The moment you try to assert that property is a coercive, and therefore illegitimate, institution, it becomes impossible to own any kind of possession whatsoever. All possessions that man must deal with come from the land. In producing any kind of good, man mixes his labour with the soil and takes from the land what he needs. If you disallow for any kind of property ownership, then the logical conclusion must be a lack of any kind of ownership whatsoever. The whole thing falls apart.

    The problem we are having now is the government's refusal to enforce property rights.

    "Libertarians refuse to be obligated to protect my rights, but demand that I protect their property." - this is absurdity with no basis in theoretical consistency nor empirical data. Those who would consistently taut libertarianism follow the liberal principle of individualism, and the right of the poor to establish themselves and achieve self validation through non-coercive property ownership and capital accumulation. These rights apply to all, including and especially the poor.

    "Libertarians tend to be upper-middle-class professionals." - this is a sweeping generalization with absolutely no grounds in reality. You've marginalized an entire group of people when the fact is that libertarians can (and quite possibly are) be just as diverse in culture and economic status as any other political ideological group.

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  32. "What these Libertard upper-middle-class professionals fail to realize is that their status and wealth is protected by un-Libertarian law and custom (i.e. requiring law degrees and bar examinations; why not let the market decide who should be a lawyer?)" - A lot of libertarians, myself included, would tend to agree that the law is very 'un-libertarian'. I would criticize many vulgar libertarians who cannot accept this fact.

    "Most of Libertarianism's economic absurdities come from extending the simplifying assumptions of infinity to actual truths about the finite world. Given that the "initiation" of coercion is an inherently incoherent, contradictory concept, in a finite free market, power will accrue not to the most "productive" but to those best able to marshal coercive power" - this is a gross misunderstanding of how markets work. When you interject political coercion into a market situation, you've immediately shifted a market from free to subjugated. Real free markets are not infinite and are clearly beholden to the law of reality which is the existence of scarcity. Scarcity is an economic law. Without scarcity, we would be in the garden of eden with no wants and no change. But that such a world does not exist, and that libertarian economic theory acknowledges this fact is a direct contradiction to your assertion. If, mayhaps, you were reading from the Chicago school analysis of markets, you may be right. But the Austrian scholars were the ones to identify markets as a process, and not a static entity. This process arises organically, utilizing market competition to keep the over indulgence of large business in check, therefore making them beholden to the consumer and not the other way around.

    "The last "free market" society was 18th century France, and look how that turned out." - France was an established empire with rampant militarism sapping necessary economic resources and an increasing destruction of the middle class through regulatory capture and state dominated interventionism. This is NOT THE MARK OF A FREE MARKET ECONOMY. You are falling for the same superstitious nonsense ingrained in your head by political power that has been proven fallacious time and time again.

    The market is either free or it's not. When the state interjects its values and decrees into a market, it is no longer free. There is no inbetween. There is a world of difference between Capitalism and Fascism. Free Markets and Mercantilism. Voluntary Exchange and State Coercion. Most of the problems arise when the government grants special favours and privilege of land ownership to businesses and/or militarists. This is a destruction of a free market, not a growth.

    "There's nothing wrong with individual liberty and property rights. Both are valuable tools for managing a productive economy which provides happiness and material benefits for everyone, not just the ruthless few." - this is the general line of most consistent Libertarians. I found nothing to disagree with in this statement, and I'm about as rabid of a libertarian as it gets. The problem you're having is you're basing your notion on who libertarians are on a select few. You probably listened to the hypocrite Milton Friedman and his intellectual devoid lackeys, not the words of scholars and intellects such as Murray Rothbard or a multitude of other established free market libertarians. If you go and research the basic theories and principles of real libertarians, you will find a much different embodiment of ideology and less hypocrisy.

    www.mises.org
    www.antiwar.com
    www.fff.org

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  33. The moment you try to assert that property is a coercive, and therefore illegitimate, institution, it becomes impossible to own any kind of possession whatsoever.

    Well duh. The unjustifiable premise there is that coercion is necessarily illegitimate. Property rests not only on coercion, but also on the initiation of coercion. You can't have all three: property, absolute illegitimacy of the initiation of coercion, and the ordinary meanings of "initiation" and "coercion". I despise Libertarians precisely because they compromise the third leg, which is fundamentally dishonest.

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  34. Sorry, CR. Blogger put a couple of your comments in the spam folder. They've now been restored.

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  35. The problem you're having is you're basing your notion on who libertarians are on a select few. You probably listened to the hypocrite Milton Friedman and his intellectual devoid lackeys, not the words of scholars and intellects such as Murray Rothbard or a multitude of other established free market libertarians. If you go and research the basic theories and principles of real libertarians, you will find a much different embodiment of ideology and less hypocrisy.

    I say this often, and to a number of theologians, anarchists, libertarians, and assorted ideologues: It is not my responsibility to carefully research your particular sect of Libertarianism.

    If we both agree that what passes for "mainstream" libertarianism is moronic, then we are in agreement. I don't object to you attaching the "Libertarian" label to some particular niche interpretation, but it's your job to carefully and thoroughly define it, justify it, and promote it.

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