1/15/2009

Just Wondering

2008 Libertarian National ConventionImage via WikipediaSeveral years ago I flirted very briefly with Libertarianism. I was drawn to the idea of personal freedom because it reflected my own extremely liberal view. Unfortunately, with that personal freedom in Libertarianism comes a rather selfish-hedonistic component and a very unattractive social Darwinist bent reminiscent of the Gilded Age.

So, I eventually got over my infatuation with this little movement because, well, basically I'm a nice person. I don't believe in basically setting the disadvantaged afloat on an ice floe so they don't pull down society. I also believe that there are some rules necessary to keep a society running along smoothly and those sometimes require that we don't act only in our own self interest. In other words, while I support people being allowed to do what they want with their own property within reason I do think there are limits. In other words if you want to paint your house pink, green, and purple I won't deny your right. However, if you want to put a toxic waste dump on your property so that it makes my property uninhabitable then we have a problem.

Anyway, it's funny to see so many young LGBT people flirt with Libertarianism. But what I find most funny is just how many Libertarians refuse that Social Security check when they reach retirement age out of principle. It's funny to see how many who gnash their teeth over the government "forcing" businesses to bend to "pro-labor" rules still take their mandated breaks, their lunch hour and still collect their overtime pay. It's funny when they scream against health insurance and government programs to provide insurance but then file those papers to make sure they don't have to pay out of pocket.

I suppose, I sort of like Libertarians but at the same time, I find them highly amusing because of their moral indignation and claims of superior intelligence while continually adjusting their own ideals to take advantage of our evil "liberal" laws to make their own lives easier.

Here's an excellent site refuting many standard Libertarian arguments that rely heavily on quotations and worship of Ayn Rand and very little on actual data or experience.
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