Since the “glibertarians” (that is: libertarians who call themselves glibertarians) noticed Friday’s article, I started thinking about libertarians again. There’s one thing that especially annoys me about libertarians: the claim that they agree with liberals on half the issues. That is to say, libertarians might be totally against taxes and such, but they agree on social issues. They also agree about war. This is hogwash.
Let’s discuss war first. Libertarians claim that they are against the war machine. In most ways, libertarians are stuck in the 18th century when having a voluntary militia could keep a country safe, as long as it didn’t have any major resources that a large empire wanted. That’s just not true anymore. So if libertarians ever got their utopia, they’d need a great big military to protect it.
Property Rights Lead to War
Think about how focused libertarians are on property rights. There’s pretty much no level of government that they aren’t in favor of when it comes to protecting those rights. Well, when it comes to the military, the situation is even more intense. After all, what would you not do to protect your utopia?
There is, of course, disagreement among libertarians on this point. They can be roughly divided into two camps: those who have thought about it and those who haven’t. Those who have thought about it, understand that they will have to protect their utopia and that it won’t be cheap. Those who haven’t thought about it push fantasies about how libertarianism requires a change in the way people think.
I’ve had many conversations with the latter type of libertarian. I point out that there will always be some Genghis Khans around who think that the best way to get ahead in life is to just take what they want. So libertarians have to protect against that. And if they think they can fend off such an attack with a volunteer army funded by voluntary taxes, I have a whole herd of unicorns for sale at a great price!
So libertarians may be anti-war in theory, in practice, they are very much for it. And there is no distinction because “they crossed our boarders” and “they interfered with our supply chains.”
Social issues is the primary idiocy of libertarians. Let’s look at this from the issue of drugs. There are a lot of people who are libertarians because they want their drug of choice (usually cannabis) to be legal. But libertarians always caucus with Republicans. Which political party has moved toward more sensible drug policy? Not the Republicans. It has been the Democrats — and not for libertarian reasons.
So on a practical level, why would these people not support the Democrats? Because the libertarians talk a good game? When a libertarian manages to get into Congress, they show themselves to not really care about the liberty of being able to put whatever substance you want in your body. That kind of liberty is way down on list. At the top of the list, it’s always the same: tax cuts — almost always highly regressive.
Libertarian Answer to Bigotry: Nothing
But let’s look the rights of different “races” and the LGBT community. These are illusory. They are much like the Republican’s new healthcare bill: you have the right to the best healthcare in the world — if you can afford it. Since there wouldn’t be laws against discrimination, all these groups would get would be platitudes like, “Racism is bad for business.”
Guess what? Racism isn’t bad for business in a country where about 30 percent of the people are explicitly racist. So libertarians don’t agree with liberals on social issues. Their ideas are just not to make any laws like, “You can’t run for president if you’re black or queer.” They don’t do anything else. In the libertarian utopia, we would have more public bigotry. Life would be harder for minority groups. How is that agreeing with liberals on social issues?
Really what libertarians are saying is, “I’m not racist!” There are a couple of issues there. One is that at this point, there is damned little difference between libertarians and neo-confederates. But the second is more important: who cares what you specifically believe; the system of government you are pushing would make bigotry worse.
Libertarians Don’t Agree With Liberals
Libertarians can live in their own little fantasy world built on top of a huge pile of unstated assumption with no concern for the practical effects of their policy prescriptions. But I do wish they would get off this arrogant kick of claiming that they are “economically conservative” and “socially liberal.” Libertarians are just conservatives who are smart enough to realize that “conservative” has been poisoned and now can be defined as “hateful bigot” for the vast majority of people.
Since libertarian policy would make intolerance toward minority groups worse, they don’t get to claim the liberal mantle when it comes to social issues.