People often complain about libertarians being rude and obnoxious. It’s not nearly as widespread a problem as some would make it out to be, and contrary to popular belief, this did not begin with me. To the extent that it does exist, I have become to many this sort of picture of the asshole libertarian who doesn’t give a shit about your feelings or opinions. So I figured I’d put this list together of why libertarians aren’t nice to you. Even libertarians who are nice to you, I think will get a kick out of it, because despite their outward appearances, they are every bit as frustrated with your statism as we are. Feel free to bookmark it and produce it every time you hear someone make this complaint.
Libertarians Aren’t Nice To You Because,
10. Ridicule works.
Believe me when I tell you, we would really prefer it if mankind were a rational creature that responded to reason and evidence. If that were the case, we would have already won this debate, and we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. The State would not exist, and there would be no political arguments pertaining to it.
What we have observed from watching your elections and propagandists, is that there’s more of a “that guy sucks so you should support me!” type of psychology behind all of this. Leftists call everybody who opposes them fascists, and racists, and religious nuts, and homophobes, and greedy. Rightists call everybody who opposes them socialists, and enemies of God, they promote xenophobia about homosexuals, and immigrants, and foreign countries that they want to go to war with.
It’s unfortunate that this has become the nature of political discord, but that’s the reality we are met with. You folks have obtained such wonderful political success by being completely miserable towards one another, so we figure this is how to win political battles. Thus, we are sort of compelled to work within it. We make fun of you, because that is the nature of political discussions that we have been met with. We tear down your leaders and your people because they promote terrible ideas, and we don’t want people to take you seriously.
9. If you already have an ideology, we’re actually not terribly concerned with convincing you.
Most people have no concept of politics, economics, or philosophy. If they take an interest in these subjects because of something we said, or because they are genuinely interested in finding some kind of objective truth, then we have some hope of bringing them over to our side. Those are the people we are primarily interested in convincing.
Most people involved in these things aren’t actually interested in finding any sort of objective truth. As far as we’re concerned, the fact that they aren’t already libertarians is evidence enough of this. They chose a side for whatever reason, and they represent their team for better or worse. Liberals don’t tend to become conservatives, conservatives don’t tend to become liberals, and neither tend to become libertarians. At best for us, they try to get libertarians to assist them in their own anti-libertarian political agendas, and they’ve done an excellent job of accomplishing this. Trying to work with you then, generally ends up hurting us, and we’ve learned this lesson too many times to ignore it.
Having an ideology tends to imply some study of the subject at hand. If you have studied government, and determined that it has any potential to do anything positive, this implies you are really not very good at processing information. The failures of the State are so numerous and ridiculously obvious, that we find it difficult to believe any rational person could justify its existence. Your informed adherence to this absurdity tells us that you are pretty much beyond all hope of rescue.
So when libertarians argue with you, it’s not you we’re trying to convince. We’re doing it for the sake of others who might be watching. It gives us the opportunity to put information out there, and while you reject fact, after fact, after fact, we try to make you look like idiots so that others who may be watching have a negative opinion of you and your ideas, so that they do not join your cause and advance them.
8. We’re not trying to win elections
Any libertarian who tells you he is trying to win an election is either lying to you about trying to win the election, lying to us about being a libertarian, or terribly misinformed. As far as we’re concerned, elections are a bad thing. We’re trying to end them, not win them.
The nature of the State is to make false promises to bait support from the people it victimizes. They promise to protect you from boogeymen, they promise to solve your economic problems, they promise to carry out the will of your deity. We see this as completely ridiculous, we know it will fail, and we know that most people are stupid enough to swallow it hook line and sinker, so we can’t compete with it in a popular vote.
Libertarians are anarchists, whether they realize it or not. Even the ones who are delusional enough to think that they are going to get elected and restore the bloody republic, are little more than useful idiots who are repeating anarchist propaganda for us through channels normally reserved for government. The goal is not to win your elections, the goal is to turn a large enough minority against the legitimacy of the State as to make its continued function impossible. So there’s absolutely no incentive to work with you in promoting candidates, which is the primary function of your political activity. You’re right when you say “No candidate is good enough” for us, no matter who runs for office we will tear him down because nobody has the right to be our ruler.
7. We’ve already had this discussion a hundred times
If you had ever bothered to study the works of any of the great libertarian theorists, you wouldn’t be asking us the questions you are asking. You ask “Who will build the roads?” or “What about defense?” you tell us “There is no such thing as utopia” and a lot of other really tired arguments. It shows us that you haven’t taken so much as 10 minutes out of your miserable life to even make the slightest effort to understand what we are proposing.
In the meantime, we are always staying tuned to the propaganda you consume so that we can counter it. We write thoughtful articles, and make informative videos, and produce compelling audio content that explains in great detail what exactly it is your politicians and propagandists are saying, and why it is wrong.
You don’t pay any attention to any of that content because it’s not coming from “your team”, and everyone on “your team” repeats the same propaganda. So every time we get into a political argument, we already know what you’re going to say as soon as we know which team you’re on. We already know what the proper response to your propaganda is, and we already know that you are going to act irrationally when we respond. This is extraordinarily frustrating, because we’ve actually put a great deal of effort into this, and these repetitive arguments are tiring, especially when they yield no results.
6. All those “what ifs” you’re so concerned about, they’re called choices.
The nice thing about freedom is, people get to make their own decisions. We’re not entirely sure why this bothers you so much. Every time you ask us “What if X?” we have a thousand different answers we can give you, if you don’t like the first one, we’re happy to give you another. The whole point is, you get to decide for yourself what suits you best in a market environment.
You have become so used to the State being the arbiter of all things, that you seem to panic at every uncertainty. The funny part about this is, the State hasn’t provided you with any certainty at all. There’s absolute chaos in the world, governments have murdered over 260 million of their own citizens in the last century, not including war, and you’re still freaking out about speed limits.
5. I can’t teach you economics in 140 characters or less
The nice thing about the internet is, it allows us to communicate with many people very quickly. The downside is that this instant gratification has led people to believe answers will just be fed to them without any effort. If you really think that you’re qualified to walk into a voting booth and decide who will run the world and how, then you should have the common decency to study economics first.
All these discussions we’re having really boil down to economics. Your politicians and propagandists feed off of your prejudices and religious ideas and emotions because that’s the easiest way to manipulate you into acting against your own best interests. These tactics allow them to operate in a soundbite world and oversimplify matters. For us to explain to you what’s wrong with those soundbites actually requires some understanding of how human beings respond to incentives in a market environment. We produce thousands of pages of text, and countless hours of audio and video explaining these things. The best we can hope for in a tweet is to link you to some of it and hope you read/listen/watch, but you never do, do you?
4. We actually are smarter than you
The Triple Nine Society, an organization whose membership is reserved for people with IQ’s in the top one tenth of one percent, even more discriminating than Mensa, did a survey on the politics of its members. The results don’t surprise us. Members overwhelmingly supported legalizing all drugs, prostitution, and gambling. They supported gun rights, and free markets. They opposed government involvement in medicine, and income taxes.
Government is a scam, and like other scams it relies on the gullibility of its victims. We’re not falling for it, but you are, and your support of that system harms us. Your stupidity literally hurts.
3. Our moral superiority is justified
We know that you have some pretty twisted ideas on morality that stem from religious doctrines and other ancient texts, but logically speaking, morality should be consistent. If your moral platform can’t be applied universally, then it really doesn’t make a great deal of sense.
That’s why your politicians, religious leaders, and propagandists are always getting caught doing things that go against the words they speak. Priests get caught having gay sex, socialists acquire vast amounts of wealth, “family values” candidates get caught cheating on their wives, gun control advocates murder millions of people. Their moral platforms are inconsistent, this makes them rather meaningless, and so there is no reason for them to adhere thereto.
Our moral platform is basically just the non initiation of force. As long as we don’t rob, assault, kidnap, and murder, we’re perfectly within our moral code. This is pretty easy for most people, since violence doesn’t appeal to us, and so we rarely end up looking like hypocrites.
2. We’re not asking for much
If you want to have people threaten you all the time and tell you what to do, that’s your business. We don’t recommend it or anything, but really you’re more than welcome to submit to someone else’s authority in the absence of the State. We might talk to you about the virtues of freedom, but we’re honestly not trying to force you to be free. All we’re saying is you have no right to force us under the same authority.
By contrast, you want to take our property, force us into wars, “educate” our children, and control our business and personal relationships. You have some really weird idea in your head that this notion of “government” makes that okay, but there is no other circumstance in which you would consider that socially acceptable. We don’t believe in government, so we look at this like any other lunatic trying to do these things to us.
Seriously, what the fuck? Just leave me alone.
1. You always resort to violence
Polite discussion in State politics is an illusion. At the end of this discussion, it really doesn’t matter who’s right or who’s wrong, the person with the superior numbers is going to force their bad ideas on everybody else at gun point. Just imagine doing this in reverse, where you start with a threat instead of ending with it. Nobody would try to be polite about their disagreement under those circumstances.
Since we know we have inferior numbers, and the minority always gets screwed and threatened by democracy, this is exactly what this discussion looks like to us. It begins and ends with the threat of violence, so the fact that we don’t shoot you in the face really speaks volumes to our civility.
You give us absolutely no option for escaping this violence. We are forced to choose between the violence of you, or the violence of someone else. You tell us “Love it or leave it!” or “Move to Somalia!” like I don’t have any right to be left in peace in my own home. The fact of the matter is, if you give us a choice of violence or violence, eventually we’re going to give some violence back to you, and making fun of you on twitter will become the least of your concerns.
Reprinted with permission from Christopher Cantwell.