The Bionic Mosquito on a “Bait-and-Switch”

The Bionic Mosquito has an expert eye for spotting left libertarian efforts to import extraneous social and cultural views into libertarianism. He displays his gift to the full in a recent post, “A Leftist Wolf in a Libertarian Sheep’s Clothing.” Here his target is an article by Sheldon Richman on the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision. The Mosquito agrees with Richman that the state ought to have no role in marriage, but he nevertheless accuses the well-known left libertarian of perpetrating a “bait-and-switch” operation. In the course of a seemingly straightforward libertarian argument, Richman claims that to say that same-sex couples should be satisfied with civil unions is “insulting and condescending.” Why, the Mosquito asks, should this be of concern to libertarians? He finds in Richman’s comment an insinuation that libertarians must hold cultural values of a leftist sort, a position he sharply contests. Are business owners and others required to treat same-sex couples with respect? The Mosquito says that libertarian theory does not require this and appropriately warns us against tacking leftist cultural dogmas onto the unvarnished Non-Aggression Principle.


4:00 pm on July 12, 2015