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The Libertarian Case for Legalized Plunder

9 Dec
The Libertarian Case for Legalized Plunder is Craig Biddle’s fairly accurate characterization of Matt Zwolinki’s argument at Cato’s website for something like a negative income tax or reparations to the victims of past coercion.  This “Bleeding Heart Libertarian” idea has some traction.  In the past one had heard liberaltarians like reason editor Matt Welch (who gets more libertarian I think as each year passes, so you will have to check with him for his current beliefs) on FOX shows profess allegiance to some minimal “social safety net.”  (But then Matt Welch does go bravely preach to the whores and lepers and tax collectors, appearing on MSNBC on the Medusa Hairy Kerry show.)  But I’ve also heard it from interns and associates at the Charles Koch Institute.

I think libertarians have been unsympathetic to the BHL enterprise before, putting up with it because they wanted some place to hangout if they viewed themselves as feminists or socially liberal personally, or because as a practical matter they think engaging and persuading people in free market ideas requires attending to consequentialist arguments, not just moral ones.
I think the idea is that because the public already thinks in terms of a moral/practical dichotomy, and to engage it it is good, one must lead with consequentialist discussions. I know when I read Ayn Rand the summer after my freshman year of high school, even though I was a socialist I immediately identified with Rand’s sense of life and view of how one should live. But I wondered about how society would not even have more poverty, racism and depression, as my previous influencers at NPR and NBC had told me, if we had capitalism. I had to spend the next few years, pre Internet, buying books or using inter library loan to find Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal, and then from there find von Mises, FEE,  Hayek, Rothbard, reason, and other discussions of how economies work.
That said I think Zwolinski, even as he cast this as a Freidmanite plan of making the welfare state more efficient (dangerous since Milton brought us withholding for the same reasons), has gone just far enough to exhaust what patience libertarians, as opposed to liberaltarians, had for him.
Maybe that is why Cato published this; give him enough rope…. Or maybe they like the idea of “enlivening” their blog with a “debate,” which they do need to have, since he claims to be a libertarian.
It will be interesting to see who takes up the Biddle “challenge.”   I’m not going to elaborate an argument for individual rights there, at this time, since my own ideas about that are more or less the same as Rand’s, with a little Straussianism tossed in. It is sad that the libertarians who used to work in that area, like Eric Mack and Tibor Machan, aren’t being followed up by a new crop of people saying something interesting about rights theory.

Is there a reason to talk to leftovers?

25 Jan
(This post is a stub, because i am writing it on an Ipad.  Come back tomorrow for the end.)

Libertarians spend a lot of time discussing whether they should spend more or less time doing outreach to the left or the right, to Occupy or to the Tea Party.  Typically those who want to appeal to the left end up being called Beltway libertarians or liberaltarians by their opponents (though liberaltarians also call themselves that).  Those who want to appeal to the right are variously told they are pragmatist, Zionist, Randroids, Republicans, etc.  Objectivists stand on the sidelines and call the whole kit and kaboodle stoners, etc.

I think the whole debate is flawed in that appealing to members of the political class and their media brothel , whether they are right or left, is usually a waste of time.  These people are life long, careerist minions of the tax predator ruling class, including those scribblers, chatterers, and campaigners who think they are radicals or reformers because of their bold ideas about how to tweak State power.  The only important debate, if there is one here, is whether to appeal to the audiences targeted by the left or the right.

It may be that the answer is to target the audience you personally like most or have the best success with.  I suspect this will often include many overlooked and not easily categorized niche audiences.  In the recent discussion, sparked by Julie Borowski’s vlogs, on “where de libertarian women at” I observed that women already active in the libertarian movement, especially the Libertarian Party, seem to be slightly more likely to be socially and sexually nonconformist, so being sure to do outreach or invitations to Pink Pistols (gay and lesbian 2nd Amendment supporters) or polyamory groups, seems like an efficient use of resources.

You’d think being gay I’d like appealing to left audiences.  The left would certainly like you to think so.  But I find people on the left, again more the professional chatterers and not so much their targets, heinous, pathetic, dishonest, subnormal, almost subhuman creatures.  Bereft of intellect, all they do is smear.  Their entire political philosophy consists of branding opponents “racists” even as they round up poor black and brown children and sell them to educrat cartels in exchange for donations to Democratic candidates.

Their mindlessness is on the increase.  Their Obamanomics is crashing all around them and their response is to trot out old ENRON economist Paul Krugman to advocate wars against space aliens to increase  government spending or to advocate minting a trillion dollar fiat coin.  Someone should actually do a regression analysis on the upswing of “biographical” smear pieces attacking Ayn Rand by people who say they never read her, or they read one book by her but outgrew it when they were no longer a teen.  All of these articles, and the readers who follow and post about them, repeat the same old lies.  Ayn Rand is in their minds inconsistent because she got some of her money back by accepting Social Security and Medicare (she was self employed so like many of us she paid double the FICA tax, both the employee and employer taxes, and was like all of us self employed people, ineligible for collecting unemployment even if her business or career hit a dry patch).  Or they will say Ayn Rand collected benefits under a fake name (that is, her legal name, Mrs. Ayn Rand O’Connor).  Leftovers’ idea of argumentation is name calling and repeating (fabricated and dishonest) tabloid trivia.  Leftovers are basically rapists, which is the ultimate expression of their belief that the powerful and the collective can do as they will with any individual.  When a socialist website like Salon experiences a lag in web traffic, they trot out an asexual nerd boy like David Sirota to rape Rand’s corpse on their pay per view, and get their readers to gather round the pool table for the gang bang.  (Joan Walsh stands nearby in her leather chaps and strap on waiting her turn.). Leftovers never realize the hellish pedigree of their whole worldview.  They demand that libertarians shut up if they ever step on a sidewalk the State has monopolized (or get back some money from a retirement fund the State monopolized) – if Persephone eats a single pomengranate seed while held captive in the underworld, then she must agree to be raped half the year by Hades.  Leftovers are rapists; socialism is rape.

So one should not be surprised about the recent dust up by leftover middlebrow flak Thomas Hartmann on his show on Russia TV.  He invited libertarian Austin Petersen, a frequent guest, on his show to discuss government control of healthcare, and began by again ttrashing a dead person, Ken Snyder, Ron Paul’s 2008 campaign manager.  My understanding is that Kent Snyder, who was like me a gay Ron Paul supporter, was the campaign manager and so was in control of whether to buy campaign staff health coverage and what kind of coverage to buy. He had AIDS and whatever he did back then to manage and treat it, he chose not to buy insurance through the campaign. I don’t buy health insurance either currently (I am self employed and also HIV negative) and just pay for doctor and dental visits with cash, which usually means I am actually charged less on my medical visits because I save them paperwork.