Garry Reed combined a professional technical writing career and a passion for all things libertarian to become The Libertarian Opinionizer.
Commentary From Your Libertarian Opinionizer
Libertarians should remember that no matter how rude, crude, insulting and outright unacceptable the anti-libertarian mockery gets on the internet it means one thing—Modern American libertarianism is here to stay!
A familiar quote from Gandhi about virtually any movement that actually moves is “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Right now Modern American libertarianism is in that transitional wedge between “laugh at” and “fight you” where fighting often takes the form of laughing at.
So with clowns to the left of us and jokers to the right, here we are happily stuck together in the middle between left collectivism and right collectivism with our individual freedom and personal responsibility, our commitment to life, liberty and property, and our understanding and embrace of the non-aggression principle against coercion, intimidation and fraud.
Funny about that. Literally.
Book Break: Your Libertarian Opinionizer’s Pick:
Gotchas and Back Atchas
Thankfully libertarianism has sunk deep roots into the online world, university campuses, and the minds of freedom-loving people everywhere. For every snidely snarky spiteful cynical – even funny! – putdown put down on the online pages of the Internet there is a super surplus of cartoons and caricatures, icons and images, memes and metaphors, photos and figurations to ensure that every anti-libertarian backhanded backstabbing “gotcha” gets a “back atcha” comeback. Here are some . . .
Who Will Bilk You for the Roads?
Perhaps the oldest moldiest folderol on the rollcall of callowness is “If there’s no government who will build the roads?”
Does no one get that “governments” don’t build roads? Road-builders build roads. Politicians, bureaucrats, civil servants, public officeholders, tax collectors do not build roads. Has anyone ever seen one of these people wearing a hard hat spreading asphalt at a road-building site? Well, okay, other than posing with their polished footwear on a spade during a five minute groundbreaking photo-op ceremony while wearing their best suits and pantsuits?
So the real question is “Who will pay for the roads?” The answer is the same in a government-run society and a laissez-faire free market libertarian society—you will.
Governments, run by the ruling class power players like corporatists and banksters who own and are owned by politicians, will forcibly extract money from you via taxation under threat of kidnapping and caging if you don’t give it up without a whimper. Then they’ll spend most of the money on:
- Their own pet projects where they’ll get the most campaign loot and future votes
- Wherever the professional lobbying pimps tell them to spend it, like on bike paths, commuter trains, electric streetcars and bus lines that never make money but always need more of your income to keep them maintained and running
- The bloated guaranteed salaries, benefits and retirements of politicians, bureaucrats, top administration officials and every kind of special interest hanger-on who can get his and her hands on our hard-earned earnings
Roads are paid for by all taxpayers everywhere through every kind of tax that can possibly be imposed on you, and then as often as not you’ll get to pay tolls on top of the taxes you already paid. All money paid to a government under threat of imprisonment is a tax whether it’s called a toll, a fee, a fine, a charge, a penalty, a forfeiture, a tariff, a duty, a levy, an excise or whatever other word some cynical lawdogs can dream up.
In the libertarian small- or non-government society you’ll pay for the roads too. Roads will be paid for by a combination of tolls and by manufacturers, businesses, companies and consumers who directly benefit from the roads. All the goods and services you pay for will already have transportation costs embedded in them at the point of sale. Even in today’s world there is no such thing as “free shipping;” the shipping costs have already been factored into your purchase price.
But remember, you’ll be paying for those roads instead of paying for armies of inefficient bloated bureaucracies so you’ll almost certainly be paying less, not more, for your roads.
Besides, in the future interstate highways may be replaced by high speed rail, mag-lev or vacuum-tube train systems that can transport both you and your vehicle or certainly offer rental cars at your destination. In a free society the future is wide open, not pre-ordained by self-serving tax-taking control freak centralized social planning apparatchiks.
Who Will Save the Poor?
It’s always about “government” for the anti-libertarian. “Without government the poor will starve, the disabled and special needs will be thrown out into the streets and the old will simply be ignored until they die.”
This is how the common “Binary Brain” works: If government doesn’t do something nobody will do something. It’s an either/or world for these people. What they’re really saying is “I want to sound like I really care but I just don’t want to dirty my hands with those people so I want government to take care of them.”
In a free, peaceful, voluntary libertarian society—guess what—no one will stop you from helping others. We know you will because you said you care. Millions of people just like you also care, including libertarians.
People in the 18th and 19th centuries cared in the US, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. People in the private sector in those countries, not the governments, created wide-ranging and highly successful social welfare programs.
These voluntary mutual aid organizations, friendly societies and fraternal associations paid for medicine, doctors, hospitals, orphanages, burial expenses, education and many more important services, all for a small monthly household membership.
Think how much more you can do today with the internet at your fingertips connected to literally billions of people worldwide if you had no bureau bullies to thwart your efforts. You could join, help create and raise money for every kind of good works you could possibly imagine. And think of how much more money would be available to your efforts if governments weren’t sucking as much money as they possibly could out of people’s pockets.
Remember: Anything that becomes politicized ceases to be about that thing and becomes all about the politics.
You don’t need government and its massively politically-driven quagmire of bureaucracies to help people; people just need you and everyone like you to help them. To borrow a commercial catchphrase, “Just do it!” Libertarians will not stop you and virtually every one of them will step in to help some worthy cause in some way.
Hate Government? Move to Somalia!
Libertarians have been hearing this senseless rant forever. “If you hate government you should move to Somalia.”
This one is much easier and quicker to answer.
- Somalia is not libertarian.
- Somalia is a former socialist military dictatorship failed state.
- Somalia has more governments than before it failed. It has multiple heavily armed warlord-operated governments throughout the former country.
- Few people, libertarians included, know that the northern part of the former country seceded from the southern pirate-infested morass and established the Republic of Somaliland. By many accounts it’s mostly democratic, mostly peaceful, and while no other nation-state in the world recognizes it for their own political reasons many global corporations have discovered it and moved in where they’re building modern infrastructure, phone systems, port facilities, roads, shopping malls and pursuing oil exploration. So you and the rest of the world just don’t understand.
- If anti-libertarians want to sound at least a little bit semi-intelligent they should be saying “Hey libertarians, if you love freedom and adventure and want to pursue possible economic opportunities you should move to the Republic of Somaliland. If not stay in America and continue the fight for everyone’s freedom!”
Gotcha and Back Atcha
This one is so obscure and incredibly obtuse that very few libertarians and non-libertarians may have heard of it, but it’s illustrative of the lengths that desperate libertarian-haters will go to in their quest to denigrate libertarianism.
Let’s call it “The Great Libertarian Helicopter Hysteria,” a farce driven by feverishly dysfunctional ideological “left-wingnut” irrationality. It’s a testimony to how deep their fear of individual freedom and personal responsibility runs.
As best as can be pieced together the anti-libertarian “Free Helicopter Ride” memes about “libertarians-in-name-only” throwing socialists out of helicopters came about this way:
- General Pinochet overthrew the Chilean socialist Allende government in 1973.
- A classical liberal economist said Pinochet was preferable to Allende.
- Some Pinochet supporters threw some Allende supporters out of aircraft to their deaths.
- In the socialist “chain-of-logic” the term “classical liberal” means “free market” and “free market” means “libertarian” and “libertarian” means “right libertarian” and “right libertarian” means “Alt-Libertarian” and “Alt-Libertarian” means “all libertarians” which means “all libertarians” believe in vicious murderous dictatorial regimes that kill people by throwing them out of helicopters.
- Then since some libertarians like the US Libertarian Party, Anarcho-Capitalists and Voluntaryists use yellow and black colors in their logos and online memes that means that all black and yellow memes represent all vicious murderous dictatorial “libertarians” everywhere who are “guilty” of murdering socialists.
Just try to remember that it’s only people who can rationalize a psychopathic mass murderer like Che Guevera into a gloriously valiant, heroic, godlike “freedom fighter” who would have no problem believing that peaceful non-violent libertarians would throw someone like a left liberal Hillary Clinton or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez out of a helicopter.
Gotcha and Back Atcha
Libertarian Punch Line
The only thing worse than being laughed at is being ignored. Libertarians aren’t being ignored any more. The more desperately irrational the anti-libertarian crowd gets the more we can laugh back, with and at them. Let’s all laugh our way into a brighter freer future together.
References and Links
Who Really Pays for Roads?
Everyone pays for roads via gasoline taxes, income taxes, general taxes and sales taxes, meaning even winos pay for the roads they sleep under when they buy their bottle of Mad Dog 20/20.
Why do Health and Social Services Fail?
For the same reason virtually every government-run program fails: they’re government run. Yet social programs were incredibly popular and successful when the private sector created and ran them.
Somalia vs the Republic of Somaliland
The first is a failed former socialist dictatorship now filled with warlord strongholds. The second is a successful unrecognized democratic country. Surprised?
The Story Behind “Libertarian” Helicopter Rides
It takes a lot of illiberal illogic to turn a few words from one person into an indictment against all libertarians but many anti-libertarians are up to the task.
Libertarians Laughing at Themselves
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.