Some misunderstand what they criticize …


But it doesn’t stop them.

Over at the Kansas Jackass blog, it appears there’s been a discussion about libertarianism and how it doesn’t work. I think however, that the Jackass and some of his sycophants are misinformed about a few things.

Here’s something the Jackass wrote: “The Libertarian views the world like nature. If a lion eats a zebra, we shouldn’t interfere because that’s the way of nature.”

This illustrates the Jackass’s lack of knowledge about being a libertarian, for one of the most important things about libertarianism is the nonaggression axiom. Quoting from Rothbard in chapter 2 of For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto

The libertarian creed rests upon one central axiom: that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else. This may be called the “nonaggression axiom.” “Aggression” is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else.

I would suggest that a lion eating a zebra is an act of aggression. Libertarians are opposed to violence like this.

The Jackass also said, referring to libertarians, that he’s concerned about “the human affects of their philosophy.” But what is less human than government? As Rothbard says, from the same chapter:

While opposing any and all private or group aggression against the rights of person and property, the libertarian sees that throughout history and into the present day, there has been one central, dominant, and overriding aggressor upon all of these rights: the State. In contrast to all other thinkers, left, right, or in-between, the libertarian refuses to give the State the moral sanction to commit actions that almost everyone agrees would be immoral, illegal, and criminal if committed by any person or group in society. The libertarian, in short, insists on applying the general moral law to everyone, and makes no special exemptions for any person or group.

For good measure, the Jackass throws in the “we’re in this together” argument. He asks “What affect would the application of my theory have on the average person?”

The answer is we wouldn’t be suffering under an oppressive government using paternalistic arguments to maintain its sense of necessity. Rothbard again:

In recent decades, as the divine sanction has worn a bit threadbare, the emperor’s “court intellectuals” have spun ever more sophisticated apologia: informing the public that what the government does is for the “common good” and the “public welfare,” that the process of taxation-and-spending works through the mysterious process of the “multiplier” to keep the economy on an even keel, and that, in any case, a wide variety of governmental “services” could not possibly be performed by citizens acting voluntarily on the market or in society. All of this the libertarian denies: he sees the various apologia as fraudulent means of obtaining public support for the State’s rule, and he insists that whatever services the government actually performs could be supplied far more efficiently and far more morally by private and cooperative enterprise.

How, may I ask, is reliance on the coercive force of government “human?”


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