Pharyngula

Annoying libertarians

Ah, the funny cartoon yesterday rankled the libertarian contingent again. I’ll explain a few things that will get them fired up even more.

  • Get over yourselves. Mocking libertarians does not bring me a swarm of traffic — you’re like a tiny swarm of self-important rodents who will natter on endlessly in protest, but most normal people laugh once, shrug, and move on. The major traffic-getter on my site yesterday was a post inviting women to express themselves. If all I cared about was sucking in clicks, I’d do that more often; women matter, libertarians are a negligible blip.

  • The funniest thing to me is how quickly libertarians get indignant and demonstrate an absence of a sense of humor. It never fails. Make a joke about libertarians, and they don’t get it, but they will sit there and explain how the joke doesn’t work, endlessly, becoming a new variant of the joke themselves. Please, get some self-awareness!

  • There were the typical claims that government would be at the mercy of whatever rascal we elect to the presidency. I would like more government. A well-regulated civil service would be an excellent buffer against the whims of the executive. Why do you anti-government guys always think so simplistically, assuming that big government means concentrating more power in the hands of an autocratic individual? You do realize that we live in a representative democracy with more than one person at the top, and that non-partisan institutions within government can function without an overlord?

  • The alternative to regulation of basic services by the government is privatizing them and giving more power to corporations — whose goal is to increase profits. Personally, I like to see the Invisible Hand shackled and restricted to doing useful work, rather than picking pockets.

  • I actually do like civil libertarians very much. The rights of the individual to think and speak as he or she pleases should not be compromised. However, the social machinery that maximizes civil liberties is very much the product of cooperation and secular social institutions. Most of the oblivious libertarians — the ones who can’t get the joke — don’t realize that their advocacy of mindless laissez-faire capitalism and unfettered industry is about destroying the social fabric that allows each of us to be something more than a serf. Freedom is worth paying taxes for, unless all you think freedom is about is gathering money.

My apologies for the link to the malware site in that post, too, and I’ve removed it for now. I hope the bad stuff gets fixed soon; Barry Deutsch at leftycartoons.com (right now, go there at your peril) actually has page after page of absolutely marvelous cartoons that will make pro-union, pro-equality, pro-socialism, pro-goodness and light people feel all happy and warm.