Cleaning Out the Libertarian Backyard

I’m a libertarian. I believe in a free market, and no restrictions whatsoever on personal ownership of weapons. I believe that living in a Rothbardian anarchy should be an option for anyone who wants it. I also believe, most firmly of all, that the greatest threat to our economic liberty, our martial liberty, and other freedoms does not come from the political left. I also know, as much as I know unicorns don’t exist, that this threat isn’t posed by cultural Marxist werelizards who want to destroy Western culture.

Rather, the threat comes from within. The best “false flags” aren’t. That is, if an ideological movement is going to die it’s probably going to be from its own members’ poor behavior, doing damage the likes of which their enemies could only have dreamed. The Westboro Baptist Church (forty people total, remember) advanced our society’s acceptance of LGBT people to a degree no one but other hatemongers could have managed. When you go around saying “forsake the troops/thank God for IEDs” and say that it’s a sin to not rejoice over a tragedy, it’s going to hurt all of your other positions in the zeitgeist.

Again, I think that I should be able to legally own a machine gun. Obviously I disagree with these kids:

Yet I respect, and even admire them. This is the attitude we should have toward one another, when we’re sure someone is wrong about something: Think about why they took that position, what got them there, and where their logic is in error. In some cases, it’s going to be something like having a friend’s brains splattered across your face. Whether their remedy to mass shootings is right or wrong, I respect their initiative in doing something about it. Yet from most people who take the same extreme position I do on gun rights, I’m seeing things like this:

Score one for shifting the zeitgeist away from gun rights.

Consider also race relations: I think that the Civil Rights movement jumped the shark in 1964. It shifted away from equality under law, and began legislating morality. You can guess, with 99.9% certainly at this point, that I’m white. That’s a symptom of the greater problem, here. If government intervention isn’t the answer to irrational discrimination (race/religion/sex/etc.), we should be looking at what is. Instead, the libertarian and conservative answer has always been to whitesplain that it’s a non-problem, that it’s the business owner’s loss, that the market will sort it out (in the very long term). White people have to look hard and do some active listening to detect the racism that still exists, and to appreciate the problem that is people of a certain color having to consult a green book to know where they can get service on a road trip. Having said that, I’m now supposed to advocate the authoritarian answer, or if I’m opposed to the authoritarian answer then I’m supposed to whitesplain that racism doesn’t exist anymore…

“Oh, woe is me…” My point here is that we libertarians need to clean out our own backyard. We need to change the attitudes of those we mostly agree with, before we can expect to persuade anyone with mainstream opinions that more freedom, not less, is the answer to any given problem.

…But you live too comfortably.

I believe that part of the current United States of America should break off to practice anarcho-capitalism of the Rothbardian bent. What am I doing to make that happen? Nothing; I live too comfortably.

If you believe that abortion is murder, what are you doing about it? Nothing; you live too comfortably.

If you believe that American government should redistribute wealth under a democratic-socialist model, what are you doing to make that happen? Nothing; you live too comfortably.

If you believe that people (possibly yourself among them) who bust their butts 60-140 hours a week shouldn’t have more than half that income taken away, what are you doing to lower taxes? Nothing; you live too comfortably. (And yes, that’s taking into account how little time you have.)

If the Supreme Court were to reinterpret the Second Amendment in such a way as to largely eliminate (the legal) private ownership of firearms, and you’re opposed to this, what would you do? You’d complain a lot, and turn in your guns; you live too comfortably to do anything substantial.

If you believe that private ownership of weapons is barbaric, or not that but that we need more sensible gun control laws, what are you doing to make that happen? Nothing; you live too comfortably.

If you believe that human-induced climate change is going to cost lives if we don’t do something about it now, what are you doing to make that happen? Nothing; you live too comfortably.

If you believe the world is run by a pedophile satanist Illuminati, what are you doing to fight them? Nothing; you live too comfortably. (I would also argue that if you did believe that, you’d do something about it no matter how comfortably you live, but you don’t really believe it; it’s entertainment and escape from your real problems.)

If you believe that Barrack Obama is a horrible Kenyan-born Muslim communist who usurped the presidency, that he hates everything America stands for, that his wife’s a man, etc., what did you do about it during the eight years he was president? Nothing; you live too comfortably. (See also the parentheses comment above.)

I believe that Donald Trump, whatever the benefits he offers over Hillary Clinton as President, is exceptionally ill-suited to the presidency. What am I doing about this problem? Nothing; I live too comfortably.

We could change the world, but we live too comfortably. What’s on TV?