Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Conservative Elite (And Their Wannabes)

10 Feb 2010 01:36 pm
Shoe, Meet the Other Foot, Part III
I think it's a bit rich for the right to suddenly get all indignant about astroturfing. On the other hand, I doubt any of the lefties who were indignant about astroturfing three months ago will apply their outrage to this particular piece of work. More hilarity for libertarians!

Megan McArdle is a self-avowed libertarian, who sees herself as someone above the liberals and conservatives, neither poor like Democrats nor superstitious like Republicans. We have looked at McArdle's libertarian bona fides before, but let's revisit the topic.

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]

Libertarians are anti-authoritarian. They don't want the state to exist, and they want absolute freedom for individuals as long as they do no harm to others. The philosophy is impractical in any real sense, since we have created a complex society that requires mutual cooperation, a basic factor in the success of human survival. We need to work together or we will die separately.

Libertarians choose to ignore this and must settle for chipping away at society's social fabric, hoping to rip it to shreds but content with stiffing their waiters. McArdle, however, does not believe in discarding the social fabric. She enjoys the benefits of the social structure and the luxuries of upper-middle class life, and has no desire to eradicate it in the name of self-reliance.

I understand this guilt; I've wrestled with it myself. But it's logically all wrong. Why shouldn't we pay people to clean our houses? I don't get all vaporish because I pay people to cook my food or wash my clothes, two jobs that were the province of the lady of the house-or if she was very lucky, her hired servants-until very recently in human history.


Paying a cleaning lady to clean your house is good for the cleaning lady. She wouldn't take the job if it weren't better than her next best alternative. And it's good for you, since presumably you have something to do that you value more highly than the money it costs you to pay her. It's probably also good for your family, since that's one less fight you have to have about whose turn it is to scrub the toilet. That's the awesome beauty of trade: everyone wins.

No, there is a name for the group that seeks to preserve status and privilege, that want society just as it is. McArdle is conservative to her bones, supporting bankers, developers, manufacturers of cheap furniture, sweatshop exploitation, and just enough baksheesh thrown to the natives to get them out of one's face.

Megan McArdle is a conservative who rejects the name while enjoying all its benefits, and seeks to further its domination over her own purported philosophy. The right is currently dominated by the rabble and their puppets and Jesus freaks, and she enjoys laughing at their antics while they provide the hard work and money to get conservative politicians elected. The darling of Wall Street-centered media, she directly benefits from supporting conservative policies yet refuses to call herself a conservative. It's just so--common. When voice-of-the-turtle David Broder is kissing the high heels of Sarah Palin, you know that the populist image is the dominant one, and there's nothing left for an elite conservative to do but pretend she is part of a third party that will restore the conservative elite to social dominance.


Downpuppy said...

Megan is moderating now:

Megan McArdle
Thank you for commenting.
Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner.

Susan of Texas said...

What a dilemma--you can remove comments so you never have to read criticism, but then you won't have people telling you how smart and pretty you are.

Downpuppy said...

They let mine in.

The screener must be there for NoT.

Susan of Texas said...


Maybe Basic Fact/etc.?

Susan of Texas said...

She's saying now it's the spam filter.

"So just to let you know: the comments aren't being moderated any more than they've ever been, and you should let me know if you can't get your comments through."

Did you have a link?

Downpuppy said...

Of course I had a link.

All her wingnut fanboyz pretending there's no right wing astroturf, of course I had a link.

Glad they're harrassing her about the filter.

Susan of Texas said...

It's useless, they just dismiss anything they don't agree with.

I like how McArdle implies that the right astroturfed, though. I'll assume it's merely bad writing.

Downpuppy said...

After all these years of ignorant posts, astroturfing is finally a subject she should know something about.

So it's pretty much guaranteed that she won't say anything.

Mr. Wonderful said...

Nicely put, SOT. A friend of mine has another friend who "is a libertarian," and the accounts of their conversations could fry a person's medulla. One day MM will awaken to the fact (that everyone already knows except she) that TOTAL IDIOTS are the only sincere libertarians, and will announce that she's been a conservative "all along."

zhakora said...

I don't think it's necessarily either / or here, ie, that McArdle is either a Conservative or a Libertarian.

Modern-day conservatives want to destroy the country too, they've been working at it diligently since Reagan, and like libertarians, they're selfish mean-spirited monsters with the emotional maturity of a 5 yr old.

Kathy said...

It appears most Libertarians are just too yellow to admit they are Repugs.