Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Why All the Criticism?

A correspondent just pointed out the following:

It's funny how your posts focus on a criticism of your opposition and offer little in the way of what you advocate.

I answered:

They do, don't they? I think it's because of what I see as a general tendency of libertarianism to infect itself with liberalism and, as I said, accept so much of the liberal narrative. Consequently, a lot of my energy goes into trying to thwart that. Before that happened, or before I became so aware of it, I spent rather more time on trying to spread basic libertarian notions. But many others do that very well, so maybe my time is better spent doing what I do, and trying to keep it all on the right track.

Also, libertarians, like any human group, like to be loved and respected, and what better way to do that than to follow the herd? In today's world, that means, usually, agreeing with the liberal trendy enthusiasms of the MAG (Media, Academia, Government). The most recent example is the almost 100% participation of libertarians in cheering on the replacement of Andrew Jackson (who used to be a libertarian icon) with Harriet Tubman on the currency. Oh, they have come up with lots of justifications for their participation, but their motivation is clearly a desire to fit into the crowd.

Interestingly, in replying to his remark, I reached a better understanding myself of what I'm trying to do here. Never ignore your critics. They can be very helpful sometimes.
Quibcag: The illustration of course is Haruhi of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱 Suzumiya Haruhi no Yūutsu) — Note that she's geturing to her right, and is therefore fitting into the spirit of the quote.


  1. Sir, you are correct. If I may add (hopefully positive) a bit of criticism: "following the herd" is indeed what "rabbits" do (referenced from the theory of r/K evolutionary biology/psychology). The cycle of politics and history seems to follow cycles of abundance and scarcity. In this age of nearly universal abundance in the West, the r-selected are totally dominant in all areas of social, cultural, and thus political arenas. Thanks for your blog.

  2. This parallels Molyneux's recent criticism of Atheists - although he too is an atheist.
    Why when giving up an irrational mythology about a deity do they not see the State is the same kind of mythical controlling force and become libertarian?
    This is the converse as freedom needs virtuous people, and many become libertarians to engage in usury, debauchery, or some other vice.

  3. Eh, I used to be a libertarian who favored economic nationalism and closed borders, I'm not sure what you'd call that but I got over most of that,

    In the end though the State does determine a huge chunk of social structuring, marriage is a state institution, education is, laws of some kind of personal conduct are (i.e drug use, carrying weapons)

    Its better in the end to simply say "Yep, the state is going to cooperate for a better society." and make that better serve human needs and nature not excessively abstract ideals with no basis in common sense.

    Natural law doesn't exactly exist but best practices do and a state that serves those is worthwhile.