Rand’s Baby Daddy Problem

As Betty mentioned earlier, the child who’s the lesser Paul has decided to take a little time out from uterus policing and praising our one true Lord and Savior to comment on policing. Unlike the god-bothering part of his program (which is the only part palatable to rank-and-file Republicans), he’s on solid Libertarian ground when he criticizes shitty cops. The downside with that is that full-blown libertarianism risks the age-old problem that bedevils Rand and his daddy: most of the positions of the consistent libertarian go over like a fart in church with voters.

Let’s take one example, unearthed by Matt Breunig: Do libertarians have any responsibilities to their children? Those of use unfettered by a deep study of the Austrian school might think that this question is pretty well settled in American politics. That’s probably because we’ve been marinating in moocher culture, at least according to one of Ron’s favorite economists, Murray Rothbard. Writing in his seminal work, The Ethics of Liberty, on the topic of consequences of spreading around one’s semen, Murray says this:

Applying our theory to parents and children, this means that a parent does not have the right to aggress against his children, but also that the parent should not have a legal obligation to feed, clothe, or educate his children, since such obligations would entail positive acts coerced upon the parent and depriving the parent of his rights. The parent therefore may not murder or mutilate his child, and the law properly outlaws a parent from doing so. But the parent should have the legal right not to feed the child, i.e., to allow it to die.[4] The law, therefore, may not properly compel the parent to feed a child or to keep it alive.[5] (Again, whether or not a parent has a moral rather than a legally enforceable obligation to keep his child alive is a completely separate question.) This rule allows us to solve such vexing questions as: should a parent have the right to allow a deformed baby to die (e.g., by not feeding it)?[6] The answer is of course yes, following a fortiori from the larger right to allow any baby, whether deformed or not, to die. (Though, as we shall see below, in a libertarian society the existence of a free baby market will bring such “neglect” down to a minimum.)

Let me translate from the native Austrian: “Kids, they’re such a pain in the ass–what the fuck can we do with them? Well, we can’t kill the little shits, because freedom. But the devil government can’t make us feed the little ankle biters because they’re fully formed free agents the minute they exit their baby momma’s vaginas (so, obviously, they should be able to fend for themselves). However, we can definitely starve them–especially the mal-formed and/or ugly ones. I do realize that the more squeamish among you might be worried about a libertarian baby holocaust. You wimps should think about this: in my free market paradise, the good looking ones will get a decent price at the baby auction, so most of you assholes will just sell the little parasites.”

To put it in bumper sticker terms: “‘Babies, you can’t kill them, but you can starve them!’ Rand Paul for President”.

50 replies
  1. 1
    lamh36 says:


    To quote Maleficent, “Well, Well…”

    “@TerriG_KVUE: BREAKING: per @tplohetski Grand jury indicts @GovernorPerry on 2 counts – Abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. @KVUE”

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    You know who else was Austrian and advocated eugenics?

    Hint: he’s on the Tea Party 3 dollar bill.

  3. 3

    Markets are their answer to everything, from pollution to raising children. But markets do frequently give rise to monopolies and oligopolies, what then? For example, Cable TV.

  4. 4
    Skerry says:

    In other news. Rick Perry just indicted by grand jury for abuse of power.

  5. 5
    Splitting Image says:

    If Rand Paul were seriously interested in civil liberties, he would support Griswold v. Connecticut.

    And Roe v. Wade, which follows from the first.

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @lamh36: The glasses, Rick. They’re fooling no one. We know you’re a stupid shithead.

    P.S. Good luck with the indictment, future inmate.

  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Or the British East India company.

    Oh, dear, there’s that history coming back to bite the asses of the “libertarians”, again…

  8. 8
    Betty Cracker says:

    I’m sure Paul will deny buying into that facet of his favorite economist’s thinking, but hey, if the media can hold Barack Obama liable for every utterance ever made by Jeremiah Wright, I don’t see why Baby Doc should get to wave this away. Also too, Ayn Rand!

    If Paul does gain traction in the primaries, it’ll be interesting to see the kookier aspects of libertarianism (and objectivism!) laid bare for John & Jane Q Public. It ain’t all like Ron Swanson on Parks and Rec…

  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    the existence of a free baby market

    Do they give Green Stamps?

  10. 10
    sufr says:

    Oh look, video of Micheal Brown robbing a convenience store just before he was shot.

    Yup, just an innocent church going kid about to go to college and who was widely known to help little old ladies cross the street and volunteered at the homeless shelter after working 3 jobs to support his disabled parents…..or whatever!

    Still excessive use of force for sure but kind of takes the wind out of the sails of some. Looking at you WRONG WAY COLE! Can ALWAYS always always count on Cole come out on the wrong side of EVERYTHING!

  11. 11
    Seanly says:

    The vaunted Spartans tried the throw-out-the-unfit-babies bit. It didn’t work out so well for them.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @sufr: derp.

    I said derp, dammit!

  13. 13
    KG says:

    Paul isn’t going to win Iowa, too “socially liberal.” He could win New Hampshire, depending on who else is in the race. I’m not sure his shtick will work in South Carolina or Nevada. Nor do I know how it looks for him in Florida for him.

  14. 14
    ant says:

    so I was just at a friends house, who is having a difficult time finding a bigger place to rent with another baby on the way next year.

    Anyways the topic came up about how many kids could share a room and so on, and according to her, it is against the law to have too many kids living in too small a house. Also, she said that it was illegal to have children above a certain age of opposite sexes sharing a room.

    Now I certainly understand, ah, what’s ideal, and what’s socially expected when it comes to issues like this, but sometimes babies happen, and parents are faced with compromises, and making do with what they can.

    My mother was the oldest of 13, and they all grew up dirt poor. I’m sure there was a lot of shareing going on.

    What is ethical in terms of setting laws like this?

    I don’t have any children of my own, so I can’t really speak to this, but I tend to lean more to the libertarian mindset on this topic.

    Parents should have leeway to do what they see fit I think. All parents fuck up to one degree of another from what Iv’e observed.

    Do we need a law that says you can’t starve your children to death? Who does that?

  15. 15

    @Villago Delenda Est: Had to be rescued by the Gubmint.
    ETA: Also too, without the Royal Navy and the military backing of the crown, where would they be?

  16. 16
    Wag says:


    Advocating the death penalty for shoplifting. My, my, my.

    And here I thought Sharia law and chopping off the hands of thieves was harsh.

  17. 17
    KG says:

    @sufr: if you want to live in a world where walking out of a convenience store with $50 of cigars you didn’t pay for is a capital crime, might I suggest going to Saudi Arabia? And of course, that ignores the fact that the police even flat out stated that the cop that shot Brown didn’t know about the robbery

  18. 18
    Russ says:

    Rands Libertarian world allows him to speak out against whatever “HE” does not like. Today it is the militarization of the police, tomorrow? Lottery odds are smaller than what tomorrows odds on what his against or for will be. Lick finger and……………..

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @KG: Paul not only isn’t going to win Iowa, he doesn’t even want to.

    The entire point of the Paul family enterprise is to get the dumbshit fans to respond to pleas for “money bombs” that finance a most cushy lifestyle.

    It’s televangelism without the supernatural bearded guy part, basically.

    It’s grift. Pure and simple.

  20. 20
    p.a. says:

    @Seanly: it worked quite well for quite a while.

  21. 21
    Valdivia says:

    I’m convinced it’s going to be Rand on the Republican side. The Village is already doing the work for him, specially younger (and lefty leaning) policy guys who one would think were smarter than that. Now with Perry under indictment even more likely.

  22. 22
    KG says:

    @ant: I doubt those laws (if they exist) about kids per bedroom are legal. The Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional laws that basically said a kid can’t live with their grandparent instead of their parent (they were basically zoning laws that worked to keep poor and/or minority families out of certain towns or neighborhoods).

    From a practical standpoint, I think it tends to be three kids per room. Gets more complicated as they get older, I’m sure

  23. 23
    KG says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: if I was a republican presidential contender, I’m not sure I’d actually want to win in this cycle

  24. 24
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    So, uh, what does this mean for his chances in 2016?

  25. 25
    dmsilev says:

    I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.

    At last we know the identity of Swift’s ‘very knowing American’.

  26. 26
    Citizen_X says:


    Grand jury indicts @GovernorPerry on 2 counts

    Whew! At least he can remember that many.

  27. 27
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    WIN! The entire week’s worth!

  28. 28
    Citizen_X says:


    Oh look, video of Micheal Brown robbing a convenience store just before he was shot.

    For jaywalking.

    Derf on, moron!

  29. 29
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Also too, Ayn Rand!

    It’s in his name! No running from that one

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    The answer is of course yes, following a fortiori from the larger right to allow any baby, whether deformed or not, to die. (Though, as we shall see below, in a libertarian society the existence of a free baby market will bring such “neglect” down to a minimum.)

    If Rand promises to implement a free baby market as president, I may just have to vote for him.

  31. 31
    scav says:

    @Citizen_X: Summery instant executions for allegations of shoplifting and jaywalking, we all grew up in that environment. It’s what’s made ‘Merca Great! Unlike the namby pamby nonsense with jury trials and all the PC bullshit.

  32. 32
    SarahT says:

    ‘Babies, you can’t kill them, but you can starve them!’ Rand Paul for President” – please please please somebody make those bumper stickers asap !

  33. 33
    The Pale Scot says:

    Yeah, but everyone knows it’s the atheists at r/childfree that are the real monsters

  34. 34
    Origuy says:

    @scav: It’s just like that time in ST:TNG when Wesley Crusher was sentenced to death for walking on the grass.

  35. 35
    chopper says:


    “Yeah, excessive blah blah but still, darkies, amirite?”

  36. 36
    chopper says:


    Lol. It would be awesome if the grand jury said they had a third count but forgot it. ‘Oops’

  37. 37
    feebog says:


    Lol. It would be awesome if the grand jury said they had a third count but forgot it. ‘Oops’

    Your internets is in the mail.

  38. 38
    The Pale Scot says:


    topic came up about how many kids could share a room

    The number of persons law goes back to the Tuberculosis epidemic of the last century, simply put, breathing each others air is unhealthy, especially when the weather closes the windows, and the coming age of antibiotic resistance is going to make Tub. just one of the problems.

    This is all wrapped up in the debate on whether one has the right to breed even if they are incapable of providing for the child. There have been cases of women and men being forced to use birth control has a condition of their sentencing, some people have a problem with that. I’m not one of them.

    In NJ a decade ago they eliminated increasing welfare payments for more than 2 children, the abortion rate went up and the number of families having multiple children while on welfare went way down.

  39. 39
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Could it be true? Governor Goodhair indicted?

  40. 40
    Anne Laurie says:


    Do we need a law that says you can’t starve your children to death? Who does that?

    Yes, we do, because too many people did (and still do). And, yes, people at the time complained that these ridiculous new restrictions were just an attempt to keep the lower classes (“those people”) in line…

  41. 41
    Waspuppet says:

    Still excessive use of force for sure …

    So, um, end of story.

  42. 42
    Petorado says:

    A wise aphorism I once heard said, “Alcohol unleashes your inner a-hole.” This post affirms that libertarianism is the new alcohol.

    … And screw markets, personal profit does make the immoral socially acceptable.

  43. 43
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Betty Cracker: I think there is a difference between claiming to like an economist and claiming that someone is your “spiritual mentor,” choosing him (when you were an adult) as your pastor, using his favorite quote as the title of your book, and so on. Moreover, Obama claimed to be unaware of Wright’s repeated, public statements, not merely that he disagreed with them.

    Then too, Rothbard has also stated, for example, that he doesn’t like Ronald Reagan, in great part because of his escalation of the war on drugs and his anti civil liberties policies. Why not tar Rand Paul with that brush? Because “we” (us liberals, us Democrats) more or less agree with Rothbard in that instance and about the police generally? At least, as the post grudgingly concedes, when it comes to shitty cops, Paul agrees with Rothbard, so it would make sense to draw the connection there.

    Instead, the entire premise of the post is a bit lame. There is not a scintilla of evidence that Paul agrees with Rothbard viz a viz parents and children, and every reason to believe that he doesn’t. If the idea was that libertarianism, especially its extreme manifestations, espouses some hideous views, with Rothbard as Exhibit A, that would be one thing. But to call it “Rand’s Baby Daddy Problem” when it has squat to do with Rand Paul is just a cheap shot.

    And, as I pointed out above, actually CHEAPER than the Wright-based shots on Obama. “We” (again us liberal Democrats) didn’t like those cheap shots, so why are you using them as a predicate to justify this one?

    And just to preempt any knee jerk ad hominems and other fallacies, no, I am not a Republican, or a libertarian. I am a registered Democrat and will not be voting for Paul.

  44. 44
    Liberty60 says:

    The essence of politics is controlling your message and defining yourself, and what you stand for.

    Rand Paul doesn’t have to claim Rothbard- he claims the mantle of a banner that includes Rothbard, much like “Soshulism” includes Stalin.

    Which is why for 50 years every soshulist has been obliged to begin a discussion with a ritual denunciation of Stalin- it lets people knwo we aren’t a stalking horse for dictatorship.

    I debate libetarians quite a lot, and to be fair, most of them consider Rothbard an embarassing crank.

    But its still a fair target, because the sample quote only highlights the vacuous emptiness the theory itself.

    Notice the logic- people posess rights, which must be respected; however, people do not posess an essential dignity or worth, which is why positive rights don’t exist. There is nothing essential about your humanity that can compel others to act.

    So it offers a view of human nature that is preposterous- people have rights, but it can’t explain where rights arise from, or why they should be considered universally applicable, while human dignity should not.

    Rand Paul hasn’t said anything that I know of that addresses this. Right now he is hiding himself behind the mask of conventional American Christian ethics, hoping no one calls him out.

  45. 45
    aarrgghh says:

    If the kid was retarded I would… I would, you know, drive it up to the country and just like, you know, open the door and let it… say “You’re free now!” You know? Like, “Run free!” You know?”

  46. 46
    karen marie says:

    @KG: My guess is these aren’t laws but regulations. There are usually occupancy statutes that apply whether it’s children or adults, and possibly child welfare statutes about age/sex bedroom sharing, but they would only be enforced with respect to kids if there were issues of serious neglect or abuse, or the landlord wants an excuse to evict.

  47. 47
    karen marie says:

    @SatanicPanic: Actually his name is Randal Howard, and he was called Randy until his wife decided he was Rand. He is the middle of five. Can you imagine those family gatherings?

  48. 48
    karen marie says:

    @SarahT: I would buy one. And I know my brother would be giddy to get one for Christmas. Maybe in the BJ store?

  49. 49
    c u n d gulag says:

    I have read some deranged shit in my life – not that I wanted to – but this one takes the… well, I was going to say cake, but the kids could eat that… takes the… takes the…

    Can someone help me out here – takes the what?

  50. 50
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Liberty60: In other words, not only does Paul not endorse the statement at issue, but neither do most libertarians, and most of them consider Rothbard to be a crank, but it is still OK to take this cheap shot because (1) other groups are made to suffer similar guilt by association and (2) some theoretical mumbo jumbo about the origin of rights that still does not provide a scintilla of evidence that Paul supports Rothbard’s statement.

    You didn’t need to go to the “soshulist” (socialist?)/Stalinist example, as we already had the Obama-Wright example. A likes B in general does NOT mean that A agrees with B on every issue.

    On the second point, meh. If that was the claim, it could have been made dispassionately and fairly. IE the claim could have been that there is no intellectually honest and consistent way for Paul to distinguish his brand of libertarianism, and his view on the parent/child relationship, from Rothbard’s brand of libertarianism, and his view on that particular subject. Instead, we get what is about as far from “fair,” your assertions to the contrary notwithstanding, as is possible.

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