Corey Robin Responds to His Critics

Corey Robin, whom some of you may remember from the book club devoted to his The Reactionary Mind, had a piece in The Nation recently that got a handful of libertarian academics extremely upset. Robin’s thesis is a touch complicated, so I’d recommend you read it for yourself rather than go by my quick-and-dirty summary. The short version: Robin makes a damn strong case that libertarians are inherently rightwing, despite their protestations to the contrary.

Anyway, Robin’s response to his critics is possibly even better and more clarifying than the original piece. If you’re only going to read one, give it a go. And next time a libertarian tells you they’re of neither the Left or the Right, try not to laugh.






133 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Water is wet

  2. 2
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Second link needs “TK” removed.

  3. 3
    PeakVT says:

    Second link is broken.

  4. 4
    Elias Isquith says:

    Fixed the link. Sorry/thanks.

  5. 5
    Triumph says:

    Libertarians: Republicans that like weed

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “Libertarians” are basically assholes who want to bring back feudalism.

    Fuck them all.

  8. 8
    mouse tolliver says:

    @Triumph:

    Libertarians: Republicans that like weed

    And porn.

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    Robin makes a damn strong case that libertarians are inherently rightwing, despite their protestations to the contrary.

    This needs a long essay? Anyone who doesn’t know this isn’t paying attention. Triumph is right–they’re Republicans that like weed.

    The Libertarians I see mostly seem to be white and male. Wonder why that is? Hmmm….

  10. 10
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Robin makes a damn strong case that libertarians are inherently rightwing, despite their protestations to the contrary.

    Wow, very brave and risk-taking of you to front page this assertion here at Balloon Juice, where such a concept has surely never been considered or screeched from the rooftops a million times.

  11. 11
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    None of your scary tumbrels today?

  12. 12
    beltane says:

    @Violet: Libertarianism is a fancy word to describe spoiled, middle and upper-middle class men stomping their feet and whining “You’re not the boss of me!”

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    @beltane: Yep. There are a few token women, of course. But largely it’s men, and white men at that.

  14. 14
    stratplayer says:

    @Ted & Hellen: And never has the case been made better and more clearly than by Professor Robin, who applies to his work an intellectual rigor that people like you could never hope to achieve. Have you even bothered to read his piece? I thought not.

  15. 15

    Libertarians, rebranded Republicans, the ones I have encountered in IRL have mostly been male.

  16. 16
    Tone in DC says:

    Didn’t expect a theoretical discussion of Hayek, Nietzsche, Marxism and paleo-liberalism here, but it beats the hell out of some the surrender monkey commentary I’ve seen lately (by some) at B-J.

  17. 17
    maya says:

    All these academics and texturists on the SCOTUS peering into the minds and intent of dead people. Can one of them can tell me how The Mystery of Edwin Drood ends?

  18. 18
    A Ghost To Most says:

    It all comes down to selfishness; Fuck You, I Got Mine. Ain’t no diff on that score.

    Oh, and fuck you with a sequoia, Bob&Carol&Ted&Asshole, also, too.

  19. 19

    @Tone in DC: I think we have some new Republican trolls, who are pretending to be liberal and writing dispiriting comments. We are doomed, things will never get better and now lets us curl up and die.

    ETA: I say, lets feed them to Tunch, if they show up again.

  20. 20
    Chyron HR says:

    Once again we see the Zimmersplainer complaining about the front page content of somebody else’s blog. One wonders why the Zimmersplainer does not simply go to a blog that more closely shares his views, as he advises others to do on a regular basis.

  21. 21
    Tone in DC says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I figure you’re right.
    Maybe a few rather rabid firebaggers who have changed nyms, as well.

  22. 22

    @Tone in DC: The troll who calls himself/herself nemesis is new, as far as I can tell. His arguments didn’t seem to have the self righteous flavor that most firebaggers have. They were just extremely negative in tone.

  23. 23
    Yatsuno says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I say, lets feed them to Tunch

    I dare not risk tummy upset for his Lord and Tunchness.

  24. 24
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @mouse tolliver: But no labor law protections for sex workers.

  25. 25
    Tone in DC says:

    I say, lets feed them to Tunch, if they show up again.

    All our trolls are belong to CATS, huh?
    Don’t think Tunch n Munch would want ’em, personally. These idjits probably taste like pork rinds dipped in WD40.

  26. 26
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Whoa, don’t threaten him with a good time.

  27. 27
    mclaren says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    “Libertarians” are basically assholes who want to bring back feudalism.

    All conservatives for the past 30 years have been assholes who want to bring back feudalism. It’s the new medievalism — the Great Endarkenment. Denial of global warming, denial of evolution…and soon enough, denial of the roundness of the earth followed by witch-burning, policy determined by the reading of bird entrails, and periodic purges of heretics.

  28. 28

    @Yatsuno: @Tone in DC:
    Our kitteh of the Blog has a robust constitution, I wouldn’t worry. Or he can just head bat them, to the next dimension.

  29. 29
    Paul in KY says:

    @Yatsuno: I’m sure he could handle them.

  30. 30
    Paul in KY says:

    @Tone in DC: There is ‘pork’ in that dish, so it can’t be all bad.

  31. 31
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Penn Jillette is a perfect example. If you watch bullshit it’s clear the man is big, tall, loud, and a massive bully who is not at all shy about being physically, verbally, and financially (to employees) intimidating. I quit watching in disgust. Rights and privileges to those who can yell and shove the loudest. No wonder Teller is shveig.

  32. 32
    El Cid says:

    One problem is that today’s conservatives and property-fetishist libertarians define ‘right wing’ as ‘all things good’ and ‘left wing’ as ‘anything bad’.

  33. 33
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Penn Jillette is a perfect example. If you watch bullshit it’s clear the man is big, tall, loud, and a massive bully who is not at all shy about being physically, verbally, and financially (to employees) intimidating. I quit watching in disgust.

    @AHH onna Droid: Interesting. I was a huge fan of his until that show as well.

    I made it through most of the first season, but by the fifth episode I realized the guy was nothing but a raging dick, and then turned it off for good when I realized he certainly wasn’t above a little bullshit of his own (lying his ass off to promulgate what turns out to be an extremely conservative worldview). I can only assume Teller agrees with every word out of his mouth. No use for either one of them.

  34. 34
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @stratplayer:

    I don’t disagree with the premise he states. Calm yourself.

  35. 35
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Why would I want to try to not laugh at Libertarians? It would be a far better reaction than my urge to beat the shit out of them for letting Republicans get away with stuff in their name.

  36. 36
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Chyron HR:
    Or indeed start a blog of his own, where he need never encounter any opinion but his own, and we need never encounter him.
    I second A Ghost To Most’s recommendation, and add my own in honour of asiangrrlMN:
    Fick Spezialtimmeh mit einer rostigen Heugabel!

  37. 37
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @AHH onna Droid: yes, Penn Gillette strikes me as the quintessential libertarian; glib, selfish, and convinced of his own superiority.

  38. 38
    Violet says:

    @AHH onna Droid: Weird. When i click on the link to schrodinger’s cat’s comment that you replied to, I can’t see the post. I can’t see schrodinger’s cat’s original post and it looks like several people have responded to it.

  39. 39
    Tone in DC says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I don’t speak German, so I have to extrapolate what I can from that…

    “Get outta my grille, Timmeh, before I have to hurt you.”

  40. 40
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Cause no one else at BJ ever criticizes the content of the front page content.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Robin’s response to his critics is possibly even better and more clarifying than the original piece.

    Robin’s response kicks their asses all over the place.

  42. 42
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Shitting your pants and smearing it on the wall does not constitute valid criticism.

  43. 43
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Tone in DC:
    Here’s a hint. The last three words of that sentence translate as
    “… a rusty pitchfork.”

  44. 44

    @AHH onna Droid: I am not sure who that is, is he a magician?

  45. 45
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    And yet you continue to do so.

  46. 46

    @Violet: I think the comment in question is the one at #15.

  47. 47
    Tone in DC says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I like it.

  48. 48
    Chyron HR says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    But, but the Botsplainers do it!

    I thought you were supposed to be better than us, Tim?

  49. 49
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Shitting your pants and smearing it on the wall does not constitute valid criticism.

    @A Ghost To Most: But oddly enough it describes his artwork perfectly.

    I think I now understand Special Timmy much better. He just does the one thing and extends it to everything he does in life.

  50. 50
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Squirrel!

  51. 51
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    “I know you are but what am l?”

    – snappy repartee from Special Ted

  52. 52
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Chyron HR:

    I thought you were supposed to be better than us, Tim?

    I don’t recall ever saying that. Link?

    P.S. What’s your first name? I’d like to return the affectionate familiarity.

  53. 53
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Lots of people like my shit paintings, so I just keep on smearing on canvas and cashing their checks.

    It’s sad that you’re jealous and bitter.

  54. 54
    Chyron HR says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Well, I’m pretty sure you have expressed your moral and intellectual superiority to Bots in the past, but I don’t feel like sifting through the archive to find examples, so I withdraw the accusation.

    P.S. You’re the one who originally chose to post as “Tim” before the Botsplainers forced you to change your name by repeatedly banning you from the site. I thought I was being polite, but if it makes you uncomfortable I’ll stop.

    P.P.S. My condolences on the results of yesterday’s special election.

  55. 55
    Eric U. says:

    I tend to think of myself as having libertarian leanings. This is what led me to become a Democrat, because in almost every case that matters to me, the Democrats support freedom. They aren’t perfect by any means, but after the Bush/Cheney administration I don’t understand how anyone that wants to live free from government interference could possibly be a Republican.

  56. 56
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    …and you consider your original insult to which I responded to be “snappy repartee?”

    You get back what you put in, cudlip.

  57. 57
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Oh, I don’t mind the first name basis. I’d just like to return the favor, since I know you meant it affectionately.

  58. 58
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Please; I wouldn’t use that as a shield in a shit fight.

    There is no accounting for taste.

  59. 59
    SatanicPanic says:

    I wanted to read Robin’s post, but honestly why even bother trying to reason with these people? Libertarians just use these intellectuals as tokens in the same way Teabaggers use the Founders.

  60. 60
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Well, I’m pretty sure you have expressed your moral and intellectual superiority to Bots in the past

    Absolutely false.

    I say what I think and Bots, aiming from a tribal crouch, project their insecurity and defensiveness onto me. Bots, who frequently shriek about the alleged emo purity of real liberals, are the most sensitive of all tender-fee fee’d creatures.

    Disagree with them and a pat response is YOU THINK YOU’RE SO MUCH BETTER THAN US, OH BOO HOO.

    Discuss.

  61. 61
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Eric U.:

    The Dems have this tendency to support freedom for EVERYONE. This does involve curbing the freedom of some to afford a reasonable amount of freedom for all. The inevitable clash of “rights” between individuals requires someone to referee and make the call, but the problem with libertarians in general, at least in the US, is that inevitably their selfish desires should trump that of everyone else, and any restriction on their freedom to even inadvertently fuck someone over is tyranny of the worst kind.

    Locally, we’ve got a case where a property owner wants to saw off the top of a hill for gravel mining. The problem is that this process will negatively affect the property values of people in the area. So, by restricting what this guy can do with HIS property out of respect for he property of others, he’s being brutally repressed.

    Libertarians never ever seem to get this. Other people have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, too.

  62. 62
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    hahaha…

    I got big bucks for that piece, little bitter one.

    What do YOU do for a living?

  63. 63
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    “Cudlip”? You know, that feeble attempt at an insult never worked for the commenter who coined it. And, as annoying and full of it as she often was, she still got more respect here than you could ever hope for.

  64. 64
    Yatsuno says:

    @Amir Khalid: I think Timmeh just made the matoko-chan cry. She does still lurk.

  65. 65
    p says:

    trying to get thru “the nation” article, my neural circuits are frying. (can’t believe I got thru “the will to power” 40 years ago).
    ala “the greek state”, work is a disgrace and has no inherent value? the aristocracy deserves to be pandered to and waited on hand and foot?
    too many Leona Helmsley’s in our world today.

  66. 66
    raven says:

    At it again today. How about everyone just pie the motherfucker for a couple of days?

  67. 67
  68. 68
    A Ghost To Most says:

    I design and build extremely large oracle databases, and the applications that use them. I get paid 6 figures, work from home, and currently have multiple companies trying to hire me away from my current employer. I’m almost certainly better at my vocation than you.

    Oh, and I do wood sculptures in my spare time (which I don’t need to sell to eat).

    Try again, asshole.

  69. 69
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @raven:

    Agreed. Stop feeding the energy creature. The slime is not worth your time.

  70. 70
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    she still got more respect here than you could ever hope for

    Could you please explain to me why it is that you think I want your respect? Thanks.

  71. 71
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @raven:

    Feeling left out again, killer?

    You SURE you have me pie’d? Come on…tell the truth. It will set you free.

  72. 72
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    You offer zero proof of your assertions. Links please?

    Why do you look down on artistic expression as a source of income? That seems rather…republican of you.

  73. 73
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Perhaps you should build a special tumbrel just for me in your mind, and then think about carting me off in it…or something.

  74. 74
    Chyron HR says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Absolutely false.

    Well, I did already say I withdrew the accusation, but you can go ahead and present a counter-argument to prove that you don’t consider yourself superior to the Bots in any way.

    Bots are the most sensitive of all tender-fee fee’d creatures.

    And that rather conclusively settles that.

    P.S. I both admire and envy your bohemian artist lifestyle, but sadly I am not on a career path that would be enhanced by using my real name to tell people to fuck off on the internet, so I must decline to disclose it.

  75. 75
    Trollhattan says:

    @mouse tolliver:

    Wait, there are Republicans who don’t (zecretly) like porn? Zounds!

  76. 76
    A Ghost To Most says:

    You have yet to prove you are an artist, so we are even. I could write software that creates better work than you.

    Fuck off, asshole. I’m done with you.

  77. 77
    kindness says:

    I got about half way through both of Robin’s articles and had to stop. Dry, dry dry. He writes like a math proof.

    That Conservatives have taken the term Libertarian (big L) and made it their own because of von Mises & the others isn’t surprising. In fact it is a feature that von Mises disdained data to back up his theories, not a bug. A theory with no annoying ‘facts’ to get in the way is much easier to preach. And the fact that the preening princes of the Libertarian movement call themselves superior (in all ways) because they use von Mises as a defense is par for the course.

    Idiots. They are freaking sociopathic idiots. nuff said.

  78. 78
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Libertarians: forever writing checks with their imaginations which reality stubbornly refuses to cash.

  79. 79
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @kindness:

    Yeah, I wish Robin would be less verbose and more, well, targeted. The initial essay was eye-glazingly esoteric. The rebuttal essay somewhat less so. But still, the main point is the Austrian School was all about the “superior” enforcing their superiority over the masses, and Libertarians, who all imagine themselves to be John Galt, naturally applaud and approve.

  80. 80
    Lawrence says:

    The confusion about libertarians arises from the fact that one could reasonably imagine a political species which derived all of it’s policy positions from cherishing individual liberty. In practice this almost always ends up looking like an alternate theory of conservatism that tries not to be an appeal to tradition and authority, but has the same policy positions. This is similar to the concept of a person who is anti choice because of their genuine agonized Concern For The Unborn, and who is not at all a Papist zombie or patriarch apologist. Let me know if you ever encounter a genuine specimen of either.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Baud: That’s the first that came to my mind too.

    Ok, so that’s a me-too, as is thirding or fourthing “they’re republicans who like weed”.

    Libertarians are a particularly naive kind of republican. Before the ascendency of the Teabaggers I would have said Libertarians are Republicans who are utterly clueless about realpolitik, but I guess that distinction is blurred now.

    The tell is libertarians never believe the downsides to their fantasy world will happen to them. No different from republicans. It’s always going to be others who have to learn the hard way, whether it’s getting poisoned from contaminated food/water/air or killed or maimed from quackery, or getting cheated out of their life savings because of lack of oversight.

    They always assume someone else and someone else’s family are going to be the ones to get fisted when the invisible hand runs amok.

  83. 83
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Lawrence:

    Well put. I cherish liberty and I don’t so much mind the strong tone of selfishness exhibited by Libertarians. What does annoy me is that they seem to believe that they each sprang full blown from the forehead of Zeus. They never acknowledge the millions who collectively built the infrastructure, schools, the economy, and all of the other things that enabled them to become the smug, self-seeking assholes they so truly are.

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Lawrence:

    This is similar to the concept of a person who is anti choice because of their genuine agonized Concern For The Unborn, and who is not at all a Papist zombie or patriarch apologist.

    Well, they’d be a tad more convincing if their Concern For The Unborn included rabid support for contraception so that every pregnancy is a wanted one.

    But, astonishingly, such support is not present. Because the fucking sluts MUST BE PUNISHED!

  85. 85
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: brilliant! I’m normally not a fan of Michael Lind, but his “Why are there no libertarian countries?” article on Salon was spot on

  86. 86
    gVOR08 says:

    IIRC George Lakoff correctly, and paraphrasing extremely freely, Libertarians are psychologically conservatives, but not irrational enough to go whole hog.

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    They never acknowledge the millions who collectively built the infrastructure, schools, the economy, and all of the other things that enabled them to become the smug, self-seeking assholes they so truly are.

    IMHO, IT glibertarians demonstrate this trend the most clearly; if it wasn’t for the evil government spurring on computers and the intertubes, they wouldn’t have careers in IT.

  88. 88
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    What makes you think I think you want anyone’s respect? A person seeking respect from others doesn’t go around showering them with abuse the way you do. You’re just a toddler throwing tantrums.

  89. 89
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, they’d be a tad more convincing if their Concern For The Unborn included rabid support for contraception so that every pregnancy is a wanted one.

    They’d be much more convincing if they applied their principles to a woman’s right to choose. Inasmuch as they aren’t at present convincing about anything else that would be a huge step forward for them.

  90. 90
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Chyron HR:

    I both admire and envy your bohemian artist lifestyle,

    Ha.

    My modestly comfortable home in Jamaica Plain, MA is very mainstream.

    The Bohemia takes place mostly in my mind. Leaving it there keeps me out of trouble, of which there was plenty enough in the day. :D

  91. 91
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Fuck off, asshole. I’m done with you.

    So I guess you were lying then.

  92. 92
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Don’t engage with it. Although the temptation to step on the dung beetle is strong you just end up with shit on your shoe.

  93. 93
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    What makes you think I think you want anyone’s respect?

    Um…to announce that so-and-so got “more respect than you (I) could ever hope for”(as you babbled at me upthread) would seem to imply, on its face, that I am “hoping” for said respect (you know, cause that’s what your typed), and thus the implied hoping would thus and therefore also imply the “want(ing),” no?

  94. 94
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Shhh…one of the Pretend Hall Monitors has arrived…

  95. 95
    mattH says:

    Only thing about Robin’s piece is that he gets the relationship between Hayek and Nietzsche wrong.

  96. 96
    GxB says:

    @AHH onna Droid: @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    As I recall, Penn explained libertarianism as “A philosophical right at money and a left at sex…” Unfortunately there’s a metric fuckton of other issues where libertarians fall squarely on the right – sex and drugs seem the only exceptions. When thinking about it more, P&T remind me of Parker and Stone, initially getting points for questioning all the horseshit we’re being fed, then losing them all and then some as their agendas start showing through their work in the most contrived ways. They’re all stuck at that pubescent Ayn Rand wanker age – a stage I thankfully outgrew.

  97. 97
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    “The short version: Robin makes a damn strong case that libertarians are inherently rightwing, despite their protestations to the contrary.”

    No shit. :) They do have compatriots on the left though, as the Snowjob/Backwald saga has shown. Daily Kos is infested with the lefty libertarians with an unhealthy salting of right wing libertarians and ratfuckers.

  98. 98
    libarbarian says:

    Too many libertarians are armchair philosopher-wannabes who have grown up in comfortable idleness and have never had to face the real world … and therefore advocate policies that would certainly result in civil-war/revolution

  99. 99
    MikeJ says:

    @GxB:

    As I recall, Penn explained libertarianism as “A philosophical right at money and a left at sex…” Unfortunately there’s a metric fuckton of other issues where libertarians fall squarely on the right – sex and drugs seem the only exceptions.

    Mainly what they do is equate everything with money. That way they can be extreme right wingers on everything except their own personal kinks.

  100. 100
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Try reading the sentence I wrote right after that.

  101. 101
    muddy says:

    @MikeJ: I’ve had a few libertarians I know starting to go for anti-choice now. When challenged about Liberty, they say it is too about liberty, the liberty of teh babeez! With no sense of irony either.

  102. 102
    Bighorn Ordovian Dolomite says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Here’s a bit of unsolicited advice. You don’t seem stupid, but you do seem like a complete asshole. Maybe you could turn down the “jerk” and then you could interact with peple in such a way that they don’t constantly tell you to DIAF as soon as you start posting.

    Or you could just keep doing what you’re doing, which would pretty much indicate that you don’t care what people think–just so long as you can tell them you think differently in as insulting a way as possible.

  103. 103
    Yatsuno says:

    @Baud: @MikeJ: I’ve known libertarians *cough*RONPAULRANDPAUL*cough* who are virulently anti-gay. I think it’s hilarious how personal FREEDUMBZ doesn’t extend to sexuality if it makes them feel squidgy.

  104. 104
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    You wish. You are the one pretending to be an artist.

  105. 105
    muddy says:

    @Yatsuno: This one guy is totally against gay marriage because that gives him the ick. Lesbians are ok because he likes that porn. I said civil rights should not be based on what gives you the ick. I said plenty of people had the ick about guns, how would that be? OMG THAT’S NOT FUNNY!!1leven

  106. 106
    geg6 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yes, there is butthurt happening all over FREEDOM!11!land. Damn, Robin just kicks ass and takes names.

  107. 107
    MikeJ says:

    @Yatsuno:

    I’ve known libertarians *cough*RONPAULRANDPAUL*cough* who are virulently anti-gay. I think it’s hilarious how personal FREEDUMBZ doesn’t extend to sexuality if it makes them feel squidgy.

    But typically they wrap it in an economic argument. Like, “why should I have to hire somebody (pay them money) if they’re gay?”

    Speaking of which, do we have a pool going on who the first politician to complain about DOMA going down because of all the extra money benefits for gay people will cost?

  108. 108
    geg6 says:

    @Yatsuno:

    And don’t forget how many are anti-woman. Including hero of FREEDUMB!11! Rand Paul.

    Fuck all libertarians. Never met one that wasn’t a hypocrite or idiot or both. Regardless, every single one, without exception, suffers from arrested development that stopped their emotional and intellectual maturation somewhere between toddler and pre-schooler. Which is why I can’t stand Greenwald. He epitomizes “libertarian” in my mind.

  109. 109
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @geg6:

    I have learned not to ascribe to idiocy that which is more properly assigned to greed.

    Libertarians (and Publicans) are greedos, almost without exception. The only ones I’ve met who aren’t are deluded true believers.

  110. 110
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m glad you ‘cliff noted’ it for me. Don’t have the time to read it.

  111. 111
    JoyfulA says:

    @muddy: Yes, libertarians are all antichoice. It’s a male fraternity that won’t ever have a choice in the matter, but they’re glad to restrict someone else’s life.

  112. 112
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MikeJ:

    But typically they wrap it in an economic argument. Like, “why should I have to hire somebody (pay them money) if they’re gay?”

    Well, if you want them to do something for you that has nothing at all with their sexuality, and they’re the best person available to perform that thing for you, as ascertained by your own process of determining who can best perform that thing, THEN you say “well, yeah, you’re fully qualified and have all the experience I need and all the skills I need but you’re gay, and I find gays icky, icky, icky” then you’ve just undermined your own economic argument and have tossed it aside because you can’t get past said individual getting it on with a member of their own sex, and getting the work accomplished isn’t that fucking important to you, because, ick!

    The argument that it’s all about the money is blown to fucking smithereens and you’ve just surrendered to pure emotionalism and forfeited any claim to reason in your bigotry.

    Oh well, back to the old drawing board, I guess…

  113. 113
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Paul in KY:

    It’s a tad more complicated than that. Robin argues that Nietzsche and Hayek were coming from the same “we’re superior, we can fuck you damn drones over” argument, even though they never collaborated, and says that the intellectual environment of the Hapsburg Empire in decline led to their two distinct, separate, but nevertheless related philosophical stances.

    Bottom line is it’s all about some people being better, inherently, than others, by breeding, or skin color, or embracing their tendency to selfishness, or whatever.

  114. 114
    priscianusjr says:

    “Robin makes a damn strong case that libertarians are inherently rightwing, despite their protestations to the contrary.”

    No shit, Sherlock. Or maybe I’m just old fashioned, because I never thought otherwise. A libertarian is a conservative that smokes pot.

  115. 115
    priscianusjr says:

    @beltane: Libertarianism is a fancy word to describe spoiled, middle and upper-middle class men stomping their feet and whining “You’re not the boss of me!”

    You got it.

  116. 116
    Alex S. says:

    Interesting piece. So basically, Nietzsche and Austrians tried to counter the challenge of the working class that had neither wealth nor power. Nietzsche bridged the way to fascism and designed the virtuous man of power. The Austrians bridged the way to libertarianism and deisgned the virtuous man of wealth. So in fascism, the strong man is supreme, in libertarianism, the wealthy man is supreme. In fascism, it’s total war, in libertarianism it’s the free market.

  117. 117
    Hoodie says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: In other words, the old Galbraith saying:

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

    Libertarians substituted the market when God and/or blood was no longer a reliable crutch.

  118. 118
    KmCO says:

    @A Ghost To Most: “Fuck you with a sequoia” is something I’m stealing, just so you know.

    And yes, from my experiences self-described libertarians tend to be:

    –overwhelmingly white and male
    –trust fund babies, or overly zealous entrepreneurial types who nonetheless have a decent security net
    –current or former frat boys
    –18-30 years old, or stuck at that maturity level
    –find sexist and racist “humor” funny

  119. 119
    KmCO says:

    @A Ghost To Most: @A Ghost To Most: “Fuck you with a sequoia” is something I’m stealing, just so you know.

    And yes, from my experiences self-described libertarians tend to be:

    –overwhelmingly white and male
    –trust fund babies, or overly zealous entrepreneurial types who nonetheless have a decent security net
    –current or former frat boys
    –18-30 years old, or stuck at that maturity level
    –find sexist and racist “humor” funny

  120. 120
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Bighorn Ordovian Dolomite:

    My commenting is done in a tone perfectly consistent with Balloon Juice norms.

    What is different is the direction in which my comments are aimed.

    People here pretend to be offended at HOW I express myself, which is mostly bullshit. They’re offended that I use their own basic style on them. I find this laughable.

    So I laugh. And comment again.

  121. 121
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Call it what you will. I am a person who makes a decent living selling something I create that a lot of people consider art.

    Apparently, smeared shit is quite popular these days.

    Sorry about your jealousy and bitterness, but I’ll try to carry on.

  122. 122
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Yours is the prettiest, best-spun description of poop-flinging I’ve ever seen.

  123. 123
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Jealous of a hateful little shit like you? I know you have an inflated sense of yourself, but it is worse than I thought.

    Van Gogh was a real artist who never made any money. Andy Warhol made a shit ton of money pretending to be a real artist.

    You apparently are trying to emulate Andy the Albino. Good luck with that.

  124. 124
    Marc says:

    Too bad that this thread is all about feeding a troll.

    My problem with Robin isn’t that he’s wrong about libertarians; they really are reactionaries. It’s that he has a Stalinist aesthetic – things associated with his politics are good, those that are not are evil, and all things must be sorted into column A or column B. He’s getting shredded at CT for his utter misunderstanding of Nietzche, for cause. In brief, he’s trying to apply some sort of transitive law to link Nietzche with far-right wing politics and libertarian theorists. And since Robin hates those targets, it’s pretty clearly an effort to demonize a long-dead philosopher and cram him into a contemporary political context. He does this all of the time, and it’s no more valuable on the left than it is on the right.

  125. 125
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Marc:

    I’m distracting it from shitting in the newer threads. Besides, Robin takes too many words to say “libertarians are greedy assholes”.

  126. 126
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Tell me more about your repressed rage and envy.

  127. 127

    @Marc:

    And since Robin hates those targets, it’s pretty clearly an effort to demonize a long-dead philosopher and cram him into a contemporary political context. He does this all of the time, and it’s no more valuable on the left than it is on the right

    Your point implies that you believe that Robin is emotionally motivated (i.e., hates) and is making a value judgement. I’ve read both articles and I don’t see that at all. He doesn’t go into what that means in regards to good v evil, he’s only noting the context–the similarities of opinions, goals and reasoning. How does that portray them as “bad”?

  128. 128
    Marc says:

    @Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:

    Nietzsche is a complicated writer and you could read him in many ways. Robin has chosen to cherry-pick through his writings to find ones that can be interpreted as hostile to the left – while ignoring other, prominent ones, that argue to the contrary. For example, Robin writes

    “The reason I bring together Nietzsche and the Austrians (as opposed to other figures) is that a similar project animates their thinking: the effort to repulse the socialist challenge of the late 19th and 20th centuries and, behind socialism, the elevation of labor and the laborer as the centerpiece of modern civilization”

    The idea that this “animates” Nietzsche is the parlor trick that he’s playing. I think that N. is much better understood as an explicitly atheist philosopher, and that his main concerns had little to do with socialism.

    Robin is focusing his claims on what he calls “elective affinities” :

    “The point of an elective affinity is that there’s something in the two traditions—a deep structure of thought common to both that might not be immediately visible in each or arguments peculiar to each that are nevertheless congenial to both—that draws their proponents to each other.”

    His critics are noting that this sort of game can be played to connect all sorts of things together, whether justified or not. Jonah Goldberg did this with Liberal Fascism. Comment #5 is very persuasive in that regard.

  129. 129

    I’m not sure I agree with Robin’s conclusion that it’s not because “…they derive psychic or personal gratification from how they position themselves”. My anecdotal experience is that they are fulfilling a deep seated need. Is fulfilling a need gratifying? Sure.

    In my experience it is the libertarians belief that they and they alone will survive the collapse of the gold standard and the global economy or the invasion of brown people or the coming zombie apocalypse. They’re braggarts who honestly believe that when society collapses (and they’re so certain they’ve cornered the market on clarity AND prescience don’t you know) they alone will have the survivalist skills to make it and the rest of us will perish. They love to tell me to open my eyes and stop drinking the cool aid. As if I am uninformed or too trusting, etc, etc.

    Such bragging is usually the result of deep seated insecurity. Whether they were unable to impress a beloved father figure as a child or had a sibling who routinely defeated them in everything or just have very tiny penises….whatever caused it, there is a gaping hole in their self-esteem. And quite frankly, it pisses them off, that the rest of the world doesn’t understand their value. They want so very badly to be among the elite–to be Galt screwing Dagny in their private train on the rails built by the rest of us whilst imbibing 64 year old Macallan neat. If they just keep repeating “I am special, I am special” while clicking the mud covered heels of their second-hand combat boots it will happen!!!

    I jest, of course. I’m sure there are some who genuinely believe that they ARE actually elite and some of them just might be. Ron Paul is no doofus. He didn’t become a doctor and millionaire without some hard work and intelligence. After all he has been able to bedazzle quite a few followers and voters. But the majority that I have met are simply insecure.

    As to Robin’s other point about them wanting to co-opt liberal ideas in order to defeat them, I wholeheartedly agree. Indeed the smarter the libertarian is it seems the more likely I am to encounter this song (usually as soon as they find out I’m a liberal). They’re on my side, they say. They’re the original liberals, they say. Sssssssssssssure you are.

  130. 130
    A Humble Lurker says:

    Hm…this topic must make some people feel threatened. Well done Mr. Robin.

  131. 131
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @Alex S.: This post is why I come here.

    Pure distillation of complicated paper (which I read and loved) into tasty truth nuggets.

    Werd.

  132. 132
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Same as it ever was ;-)

  133. 133
    Paul in KY says:

    @Marc: I’d say Nietzsche was certainly more in-line with facism/monarchism than he was with socia1ism/communism.

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