Libertarianism in One Lesson Part of the "Critiques of Libertarianism" site. http://world.std.com/~mhuben/libindex.html
Last updated 10/25/07.
No, this isn't David Bergland's evangelistic text. This is an outsider's view of the precepts of libertarianism. I hope you can laugh at how close this is to real libertarianism!
One of the most attractive features of libertarianism is that it is basically a very simple ideology. Maybe even simpler than Marxism, since you don't have to learn foreign words like "proletariat".
This brief outline will give you most of the tools you need to hit the ground running as a freshly indoctrinated libertarian ideologue. Go forth and proselytize!
Philosophy In the beginning, man dwelt in a state of Nature, until the serpent Government tempted man into Initial Coercion. Government is the Great Satan. All Evil comes from Government, and all Good from the Market, according to the Ayatollah Rand. We must worship the Horatio Alger fantasy that the meritorious few will just happen to have the lucky breaks that make them rich. Libertarians happen to be the meritorious few by ideological correctness. The rest can go hang. Government cannot own things because only individuals can own things. Except for corporations, partnerships, joint ownership, marriage, and anything else we except but government. Parrot these arguments, and you too will be a singular, creative, reasoning individualist. Parents cannot choose a government for their children any more than they can choose language, residence, school, or religion. Taxation is theft because we have a right to squat in the US and benefit from defense, infrastructure, police, courts, etc. without obligation. Magic incantations can overturn society and bring about libertopia. Sovereign citizenry! The 16th Amendment is invalid! States rights! Objectivist/Neo-Tech Advantage #69i : The true measure of fully integrated honesty is whether the sucker has opened his wallet. Thus sayeth the Profit Wallace. Zonpower Rules Nerdspace! The great Zen riddle of libertarianism: minimal government is necessary and unnecessary. The answer is only to be found by individuals.
Government Libertarians invented outrage over government waste, bureaucracy, injustice, etc. Nobody else thinks they are bad, knows they exist, or works to stop them. Enlightenment comes only through repetition of the sacred mantra "Government does not work" according to Guru Browne. Only government is force, no matter how many Indians were killed by settlers to acquire their property, no matter how many blacks were enslaved and sold by private companies, no matter how many heads of union members are broken by private police. Money that government touches spontaneously combusts, destroying the economy. Money retained by individuals grows the economy, even if literally burnt. Private education works, public education doesn't. The publicly educated masses that have grown the modern economies of the past 150 years are an illusion. Market failures, trusts, and oligopolies are lies spread by the evil economists serving the government as described in the "Protocols of the Elders of Statism". Central planning cannot work. Which is why all businesses internally are run like little markets, with no centralized leadership. Paternalism is the worst thing that can be inflicted upon people, as everyone knows that fathers are the most hated and reviled figures in the world. Government is like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearsome master. Therefore, we should avoid it entirely, as we do all forms of combustion.
Regulation The FDA is solely responsible for any death or sickness where it might have prevented treatment by the latest unproven fad. Children, criminals, death cultists, and you all have the same inalienable right to own any weaponry: conventional, chemical, biological, or nuclear. All food, drugs, and medical treatments should be entirely unregulated: every industry should be able to kill 300,000 per year in the US like the tobacco industry. If you don't have a gun, you are not a libertarian. If you do have a gun, why don't you have even more powerful armament? Better to abolish all regulations, consider everything as property, and solve all controversy by civil lawsuit over damages. The US doesn't have enough lawyers, and people who can't afford to invest many thousands of dollars in lawsuits should shut up.
Libertarian Party The Libertarian Party is well on its way to dominating the political landscape, judging from its power base of 100+ elected dogcatchers and other important officials after 25 years of effort. The "Party of Oxymoron": "Individualists unite!" Flip answers are more powerful than the best reasoned arguments, which is why so many libertarians are in important government positions. It's time the new pro-freedom libertarian platform was implemented; child labor, orphanages, sweatshops, poorhouses, company towns, monopolies, trusts, cartels, blacklists, private goons, slumlords, etc. Libertarianism "rules" Internet political debate the same way US Communism "ruled" pamphleteering. No compromise from the "Party of Principle". Justice, happiness, liberty, guns, and other good stuff come only from rigidly adhering to inflexible dogmas. Minimal government is whatever we say it is, and we don't agree. Government is "moving steadily in a libertarian direction" with every change libertarians approve of; no matter if it takes one step forward and two steps backwards. Yes, the symbol of the Libertarian Party is a Big Government Statue. It's not supposed to be funny or ironic!
Political Debate Strategy Count only the benefits of libertarianism, count only the costs of government. Five of a factoid beats a full argument. All historical examples are tainted by statism, except when they favor libertarian claims. Spiritually baptize the deceased as libertarians because they cannot protest the anachronism: Locke, Smith, Paine, Jefferson, Spooner, etc. The most heavily armed libertarian has the biggest dick and thus the best argument. The best multi-party democratic republics should be equated to the worst dictatorships for the purposes of denouncing statism. It's only a matter of degree. Inviolate private property is the only true measure of freedom. Those without property have the freedom to try to acquire it. If they can't, let them find somebody else's property to complain on. Private ownership is the cure for all problems, despite the historical record of privately owned states such as Nazi Germany, Czarist and Stalinist Russia, and Maoist China. Require perfection as the only applicable standard to judge government: libertarianism, being imaginary, cannot be fairly judged to have flaws. Only libertarian economists' Nobel Prizes count: the other economists and Nobel Prize Committee are mistaken. Any exceptional case of private production proves that government ought not to be involved.
Copyright 2007 by Mike Huben ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). This document may be freely distributed for non-commercial purposes if it is reproduced in its textual entirety, with this notice intact.