One reader thought I was, in my article today, expressing displeasure with the midwife-neo-hippie-organic-food-extended-breastfeeding crowd, of which she is a member. Well, I certainly didn’t say there was anything bad about being a member of the midwife-neo-hippie-organic-food-extended-breastfeeding crowd, and in fact, some of my favorite people are members of the midwife-neo-hippie-organic-food-extended-breastfeeding crowd. My wife for example.
But, as the reader pointed out, libertarian ideas are a natural fit for this lifestyle, and I think I have to agree. In fact, I think I would benefit greatly if some women who practice midwifery, extended breastfeeding, and the like would write articles on how just how inherently libertarian these things are.
Take breastfeeding for example. Would could be more naturally libertarian? It conforms perfectly to natural law, it’s enthusiastically individualistic, there’s no tax on breastmilk, it is a relationship between a child and a woman that the state can not possibly replicate, and it is a big screw you to the corporatist pharmaceutical companies who make sure that you go home from the hospital with 3 cans of free baby formula just to make sure you wean your child as soon as humanly possible. Plus, a lot of “normal” people find breastfeeding to be “icky.” So what’s not to like? Separatists like the Amish do a whole lot of breastfeeding. Good for them.
Midwifery, natural family planning, and home-birthing all seem ripe for libertarian analyses. They all keep people off drugs and out of hospitals. They are all devoted to fitting the needs and prerogatives of individual persons in ways that are far less regulated, taxed, subsidized, and mandated.
Thus, the midwife-neo-hippie-organic-food-extended-breastfeeding crowd is a natural fit for libertarianism. Indeed, it would seem their activities are as naturally libertarian as powerlifting or any other activity that seeks to improve one’s health and life in accordance with natural law.
At any rate, I’d love to see more libertarian analysis of these topics.
Update: Says one reader:
“You forgot to add “raw milk, pastured hens and beef and eggs, homebrewing, home-fermenting, organic gardening,etc”
True enough. Although I might add that I’m still pro industrial revolution, and all that.
“The real point is that one can be absolutely in favor of free exchange, free enterprise, free association but not be part of the monolithic, consumerist, hedonistic, materialistic, capitalist culture. Serious libertarians can definitely be opposed to the capitalist system as it is popularly constructed. I would much rather hook up with someone on Craig’s List to purchase an item second hand than go to the store and spend more money on more junk at a higher price. Even better would be to go on Craig’s List and find someone who wanted to trade something I had for something he had. Beautiful! And very libertarian.”
PS(!) – I’m not saying that you’re a bad person if you, for whatever reason, were unable to breastfeed.9:24 pm on May 18, 2007 Email Ryan McMaken