Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What Is a Libertarian, Anyway?

Megan McArdle has a shockingly immature and authoritarian post up about, surprise surprise, protesters. Basically she says protests are useless and fake, and some protesters are weird-looking. She ignores the raids of protesters in their homes and spends the post mitigating the importance and severity of the police actions. And yet, this woman purports to be a libertarian. So if Megan McArdle is a libertarian, who are these people?

The Libertarian Party says:

Libertarians believe in, and pursue, personal freedom while maintaining personal responsibility. The Libertarian Party itself serves a much larger pro-liberty community with the specific mission of electing Libertarians to public office.
Libertarians strongly oppose any government interfering in their personal, family and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another.
In a nutshell, we are advocates for a smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

From Wikipedia:

Libertarianism is a term used by a broad spectrum[1] of political philosophies which prioritize individual liberty[2] and seek to minimize or even abolish the state.[3][4] The definition of libertarian in a political sense is a contentious issue and there is no single principle or set of principles on which all libertarians would agree. The proper role of government is described from a number of different metaphysical, epistemological, and moral viewpoints.[5] 'Libertarian' is an antonym of 'authoritarian'.[6] says:

"Libertarianism is a philosophy. The basic premise of libertarianism is that each individual should be free to do as he or she pleases so long as he or she does not harm others. In the libertarian view, societies and governments infringe on individual liberties whenever they tax wealth, create penalties for victimless crimes, or otherwise attempt to control or regulate individual conduct which harms or benefits no one except the individual who engages in it." -- definition written by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (!), during the process of granting the Advocates for Self-Government status as a non-profit educational organization.

In no way do these descriptions match the words of Megan McArdle. She might have libertarian leanings, but someone who always sides with authority is simply an Authoritarian, and will support the most Authoritarian candidate of the most Authoritarian party. Her purported support of Obama is laughable. Remember:

'Libertarian' is an antonym of 'authoritarian'

Megan McArdle is simply a fraud. She is not libertarian, feminist, or even analytical. She adds nothing to the public discourse. In a world that treats Jonah Goldberg, peddling purveyor of political "porn," as an intellectual, Megan McArdle's rise is not surprising, but it is disheartening.

If McArdle is too vapid to be taken seriously and is exactly what the Atlantic wants to attract readers, why bother to complain in near anonymity on the internet?

Truth matters. Lies kill and maim. The lies of George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Douglas Feith, Dick Cheney, and many others have sickened us with their gleeful arrogance and deadly consequences. They must be called on them, each and every one. And so must smaller villains, who aid and abet crimes instead of committing them. Who cheer totalitarianism, sneer at defenders of the Constitution, and savage the poor and powerless. Their words flow through the public discourse like sewage looking for the lowest point before evacuating into the wide ocean.

What is this drive that they think is political theory? They want to deny others dignity and self-respect since they have none of their own. They fear and despise the poor, yet are so insecure that they depend on the poor to feel superior to the rest of mankind. And, selfishly, nobody else can have what they have, for that would cheapen it in their eyes. This isn't political theory, it's an empty-hearted callousness, a selfish facade to hide fear and insecurity.

Stop the lies. We can't afford them anymore. It's time to take a stand.


Anonymous said...

I know that cliche about a Libertarian just being a Republican that owns a bong is tired, but it's still true. Almost every self-described Libertarian I've met is basically a sheltered, right-winger minus religion. This party seems to be invented by people of a certain age group who are too insecure and immature to confess what they truly are because they still foolishly worry it will harm their hipster credibility.

Susan of Texas said...

You are very right. It's little more than a desire for popularity with the fashiionable people, which just boggles my mind.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the laughable attempt to extract an ideology from Ayn Rand's fantasy masquerading as sophomoric philosophy in Atlas Shrugged (and/or The Fountainhead).

The one-dimensional characters and risible story arcs of these third-rate soap operas are endlessly fascinating for certain segments of the high-school, early-college age group. You'd think they'd outgrow it at some point, but sadly, no.

Susan of Texas said...

Yes, usually life at some point slaps you upside the head and lets you know that you are not the center of the universe, but some people never learn that lesson.

It's hysterical how so many people read Rand and automatically assume that they are a member of the elite being dragged down by the rest of humanity. It never seems to occur to McArdle that she's one of the barnacles sucking off the Republican party's structure, dragging it down with dishonest excuses for stupid, greedy behavior. The Republicans have denegrated to depending on rat-fucking* to win elections, and McArdle makes a living out of dressing up the rats in little high heels and tiny fishnet stockings.

*h/t Sadly, No