Libertarians: Never got over the fact they weren’t the illegitimate children of Robert Heinlein and Ayn Rand; currently punishing the rest of us for it. Unusually smug for a political philosophy that’s never gotten anyone elected for anything above the local water board. All for legalized drugs and prostitution but probably wouldn’t want their kids blowing strangers for crack; all for slashing taxes for nearly every social service but don’t seem to understand why most people aren’t at all keen to trade in even the minimal safety net the US provides for 55-gallon barrels of beans and rice, a crossbow and a first-aid kit in the basement. Blissfully clueless that Libertarianism is just great as long as it doesn’t actually involve real live humans.
Libertarians blog with a frequency that makes one wonder if they’re actually employed somewhere or if they have loved ones who miss them. Libertarian blogs even more snide than conservative blogs, if that’s possible. Socially slow — will assume other people actually want to talk about legalizing hemp and the benefits of a polyamorous ethos when all these other folks really want is to drink beer and play Grand Theft Auto 3. Libertarianism the official political system of science fiction authors, which explains why science fiction is in such a rut these days. Libertarians often polyamorous (and hope you are too) but also somewhat out of shape, which takes a lot of the fun out of it.
Easily offended; Libertarians most likely to respond to this column. The author will attempt to engage subtle wit but will actually come across as a geeky whiner (Conservatives, more schooled in the art of poisonous replies, may actually achieve wit; liberals will reply that they don’t find any of this humorous at all). Libertarians secretly worried that ultimately someone will figure out the whole of their political philosophy boils down to “Get Off My Property.” News flash: This is not really a big secret to the rest of us.
Yesterday, I asked the following:
I’m really curious what the libertarian response is to the Governor of Michigan seizing a town, firing the elected officials, and then handing it over to private enterprise.
The reason I asked is because it seems to me to be precisely the kind of thing libertarians would rightly be up in arms about. It’s just a crazy, crazy situation. So, what do libertarians actually think:
John Cole asks what libertarians have to say about Benton Harbor, Michigan (Hint… he’s not “really curious.” He just says he is):***
What I’d like to hear most in the comments is not how I, personally, am to blame — via some absurd mishmash of things I don’t believe anyway, derived, you’ll swear, from books you haven’t read anyway.
What I’d like to hear are people making the case for and against what’s happened in Benton Harbor. Yes, I’d really like to hear both! Reference to actual events, and to anticipated outcomes, will do much more to help me form a considered opinion than will reference to ideological judgments of any type. Oh, and please cite your sources. I’ll want to check those as closely as I can.
So one response is “He doesn’t really care, and don’t blame me, and sure it’s bad, but what do you think?”
Next up, the perpetually vexed and self-annointed defender of all things libertarian, Radley Balko:
John Cole commits the Balloon Juice fallacy once again. Jason Kuznicki responds here.
I’d add a couple things. First, to say that what’s happening in one town in Michigan is “light years more egregious” than the widespread eminent domain cases that gave rise to the Kelo v. New London case shows a pretty astonishing indifference to (or ignorance of) just how often eminent domain is abused, and who tends to get abused by it. Of course, the fact that libertarians have been leading the fight against government efforts to take property from low- and middle-income people and hand it over to rich developers tends to get in the way of Cole efforts to portray “glibertarians” as corporate whores who eat poor families’ babies for breakfast. So it’s in his interest to play down its significance.
By the way, a search of Balloon Juice archives shows just two mentions of “eminent domain” since 2005, about the time John Cole converted from warmongering Bush hugger to blogging cheerleader/fundraiser for Democrats. There hasn’t been a single mention of the Atlantic Yards, Port Chester, National City, or Montgomery eminent domain outrages, all covered by Reason, and all of which involved governments taking land from poor people to give to wealthy developers. Applying the Balloon Juice fallacy, I hereby declare this silence “suspicious”! And I wonder: Why do John Cole and his Balloon Juice co-bloggers hate poor people?
The deep answer is- “John Cole is a poopyhead for asking!” And for the record, Radley probably should have searched for “Kelo,” given that was the most widely given instance in the past few years since I was a “Bush hugger.” I was against it.
By the way, it looks like it was a hole in one again for Scalzi.