blue bits. red rocks.


…it’s a delicious treat to watch libertarians rise to the defense of Protestant evangelicals this week. The libertarians are allergic to religion yet speak out in ringing endorsement of the right of the fundamentalist Christian employers to exercise a line-item veto over the contraceptives their employees may access under their health plans. Godless Libertarians Find Their Religion

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The internet is a giant collection of connected computers that only works because of communally agreed protocols. You can’t invent a better metaphor for the way that society and the rule of law allow individuals to band together and become more than the sum of their parts. It’s kind of ironic that the world’s largest metaphor about functional government spawns so many libertarians. Squashed: Society, Technology, and the Libertarian

Libertarians know that social conservatives are losing badly on this issue, and they also intuit that the gay marriage issue is such an emotional one, and has been made to carry such symbolic weight in American politics and culture, that to have been wrong on this issue (“wrong” = on the losing side of the argument) carries with it a stigma. Libertarians don’t want to be tainted by it — and, given how fast the culture is moving in their direction, they don’t see what’s to gain by tolerating social conservatives. And not only that, many younger libertarians believe now that social conservatives are positively malicious, given their stance on gay marriage. The Political Benedict Option

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Libertarianism, as it’s generally taught and understood, isn’t a philosophy of government so much as an argument against the possibility of legitimate government. Liberalism, Libertarianism, and the Illiberal Security State

After leaving my small town upbringing, I learned that libertarians are made for lots of reasons, like reading the bad fiction of Ayn Rand or perhaps the passable writing of Robert Heinlein. In my experience, most seemed to be poor, white and undereducated. They were contortionists, justifying the excesses of the capitalist elite, despite being victims if libertarian politics succeed. If you think that selfishness and cruelty are fantastic personal traits, you might be a libertarian. In the movement no one will ever call you an asshole, but rather, say you believe in radical individualism. Why I fled libertarianism — and became a liberal

From the Founders’ first act of radicalism — the breakup and redistribution of British lordly estates — to the populism of Jackson, to the shattering of slavery to the freedom of movement engendered by railroads… all the way to anti-trust enforcement and civil rights… there have been vastly more uses of government tools that removed shackles from average folk than those that today’s libertarians obsess upon and denounce as limiting. And if they disagree? Fine… then show us how things were better under feudalism and tribalism. David Brin

Three fundamental components of libertarianism (live and let live, smaller government, and anti-militarism) are dear to me. However, I reject libertarianism as a whole, because at its heart lies a profound misconception. Libertarianism is predicated on the assumption that people are rational. The libertarian refuses to believe that the government is smarter than he is. He rejects the notion that the government should tell him how to live his life, or that the government should take care of him or anybody else. His attitude is that the individual is always smarter than the government. If the individual makes an error in judgement, reality will quickly impose its consequences, and that person will learn and improve. Pleistocene Hunter Gatherers

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