Why Are Libertarians So Stupid?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen libertarians make claims like “we don’t need to regulate manufacturers, they won’t make things that harm people, otherwise they’ll go out of business!”  In fact, one of their greatest desires is to shut down the FDA and other federal regulatory agencies because clearly, the people will make sure that products that are bad for you go away.

So why is this true?

Yes, they made less money overall and their profit was made on cost cutting measures, but with all the force brought to bear against tobacco manufacturers by… wait for it… the government, why is the public still giving them billions of dollars a year?

Don’t they know it’s bad for them?

Seriously, most libertarians live in a complete fantasy world, filled with magical unicorns and rainbows.  They think that if the government were to magically disappear, everyone would suddenly become intelligent and rational and responsible for themselves, crime would vanish and we’d all sit around singing kumbayah.  It’s just not so, of course, it’s just not something we ever see.  When the government pauses in most countries, you don’t have peaceful capitalism, you have riots and anarchy.  Civil order collapses.

It reminds me of one guy I used to know, long, long ago, who espoused anarcho-capitalism.  He was convinced if the government went away, it would be a capitalist utopia.  So I asked him where people would get the currency to be used in this utopia and he was convinced that we’d all just invent a currency, whether it was backed by anything tangible or not, and it would be adopted universally.  Of course, he was 15 at the time.

What an idiot.

Of course, most libertarians I run into have a vastly unrealistic view of themselves.  They think that in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, they’re going to be Lord Humongous, when in reality they’re more likely to be the dead guys hanging on the front of his car.  Or, to be more accurate, they think they’re Rambo, but instead they’re this guy.

The first thing that’s going to happen when you declare that you have property rights in the absence of a government agency to back you up is that Rambo is going to shove his M16 straight up your ass.

Scream about your “inalienable rights” all you want, just don’t be surprised when you get your fat, stupid backside kicked down the road.

Libertarians are such morons.

50 thoughts on “Why Are Libertarians So Stupid?

  1. I couldn't agree more. Somalia has had no effective government since 1991. According to libertarians, Somalia should be a capitalist paradise. Sweden, on the other hand, has lots of what libertarians hate about government. So, where would you rather live? Sweden or Somalia?

    1. Well, neither, but I take your point. Libertarians come off very much like theists in a lot of ways, they don't deal with reality as it actually is, they live in a magical fantasy world where things only operate the way they wish they operated and when you examine the actual evidence and find that the libertarian fantasy is bunk, they wave their arms around and insist that they're right. They have faith. They don't have facts.

      It's no wonder most rational folks hate them so much.

    2. Oh the Somalia/Sweden arguments. Ok, to counter this I first have to underline the difference between goverment and society. The society is the interactions between the people within a nation. The goverment are the goons who think they have the right to exercise power over others. Sweden has a strong society. Somalia does not. That makes all the difference.

      1. No, you're absolutely wrong. In democratic nations, the people who are a part of the society are the ones who PUT THE PEOPLE INTO POWER! It's called voting. Maybe you've heard of it? The majority decide what will be done within a nation. If you happen to be on the side of the majority, you're usually in good shape. Libertarians in the United States are pretty much never in the majority. That's why they whine and cry that the government is some foreign power forcing itself on them. It's not. They're just not a part of the voting majority.

  2. ad hominen ad hominen ad hominen ad hominen ad hominen ad hominen…

    the above is the quick read version of your posting

  3. actually true libertarians are for a smaller government, not a complete absence of government. Libertarians believe the government should be around to protect citizens and uphold contractual agreements, so your property rights would be a-okay in a libertarian society.

    1. There is a very wide range of people who openly call themselves libertarians, it's difficult to come up with a single definition. Lots of people who are anarchists and anarcho-capitalists are also very solidly carrying the libertarian banner.

  4. so in generalizing all libertarians (a pretty moronic goal to START), you used a 15 year old as an example. think his age might have had more to do with his idealism than his political affiliation? hmmm??

    1. Not my fault that people with such a widely disparate collection of views all choose to label themselves with the same label. I really don't think that most libertarians agree on much at all, their base of ideas is so fragmented that building them into a cohesive voting block is likely impossible. I could have used many other examples, of course, that was simply the one I had at hand. I don't base opinions on a single case.

      1. riiiiight. and I suppose all republicans agree on things? and all democrats too?

        satire just doesnt suit you, friend. try objectivity.

        1. No, they don't, but on the basics they typically do. We're talking about people who believe things that are fundamentally and diametrically opposed to each other.

          1. Funny how these same people that say "we aren't all alike" seem to switch gears about all government regulation(beyond property rights) are all alike: bad. So this rational deciding making population, how are they educated to be so? The Judges that do uphold property rights, How are they selected? How are they paid? If that is determined by the free market, then shouldn't they just decide in favor of who bribed them the most? So many many many obvious flaws in all, yes ALL, libertarian thing no matter what the flavor.

          2. It's really bizarre how libertarians think that, when it comes to society, everyone is going to magically be good and operate in the best interest of society when that's just not how people act now. If even a small percentage of people act like lots of people act today, the libertarian utopia fails. Yet you point this out to libertarians and they get upset and stomp off to pout.

  5. The libertarian platform is that there should be a repeal of all taxation if any of you libertarian morons actually read it. No taxation = no prisons, no road maintenance, no military, etc.
    Libertarians are the kinds of people who put up dead end signs at the beginning of roads that go on for over 5 miles of houses (seen it in Washington). Oh yeah, they generally don't know a single thing about politics but are self-described know-it-alls and obnoxious people.

    1. To be honest, it's really 3rd parties like the American Independent Party and the Constitution Party that want to repeal all income taxes, etc. I've yet to see many libertarians say there should be absolutely not taxes at all, although there are a few, especially people who identify themselves as anarcho-capitalists, who want exactly that, but cannot describe exactly how the world would work if everything operated entirely on the barter system.

      1. Most of them can't read and seem to believe random things unsubstantiated by anything. My wife's sister claims she is a libertarian but has never read the platform and knows nothing about the government or politics (she once tried to argue with me that Virginia is not a state). They're generally people who don't have the brain power to make it past the first amendment of the constitution (they loosely understand the second amendment).

        1. You're a complete liar and a rhetorical poser. You literally have no idea what you're talking about when it comes to Libertarianism. You both read an article trashing Libertarians, with no sources or proof listed whatsoever, and you suddenly think you know everything about it. Arguing with you and the guy who picks real hard targets in 15 year old kids is pointless.
          PS: I guarantee that I'm far more intelligent than you, and I'm willing to prove it in any way you want; just name the process and I'll prove you wrong; of course, afterwards, you'll just hurl some rhetorical excuse toward me and keep believing what you WANT to believe, rather than the truth.

          1. Yeah, you know, I think this is one of those "battle of wits" situations, honestly. If you don't like what's written, don't read it. It's that easy. This is one of those "freedom of speech" things that you people don't seem to comprehend. Everyone has a right to say what they want and if you don't like it, go start your own blog and respond to it there to your heart's content. I don't mind a bit.

  6. You have zero understanding of libertarianism. Your views are not what we disagree with. Merely your inability to grasp the difference relationship between government and society. The only people who live in a fantasy world are the people who think that it is the governments job to bring you happiness. It isn't, its only to protect you from other people in your pursuit of happiness. It's funny, I've actually never met some one who actually understands libertarianism who is not a libertarian. Do research, learn before you fart out of your mouth.

    1. Oh, I agree, it isn't the government's job to do that, it's people's job to bring themselves happiness. However, the government is not some bizarre alien entity that was thrust upon humanity without it's consent, the government is the way it is because the people have made it that way. It exists to do what the people decide it ought to do, it is not bound by some archaic rules that will never change, it is a fluid thing. You may disagree with what the government is currently doing, I know I do, but I at least have an accurate picture of what the government is and where it derives it's ultimate power.

  7. Actually, since Somalia stopped having a government, it’s living standards have gone up across the board. There are more doctors, more births, longer lifespans, less disease etc. In fact, almost all of Somalia’s violence stems from the UN using force to establish a government that the people don’t want. Consider yourself more educated.

    1. Then please do relocate to that great paradise of Somalia. The recent famine in Somalia must be a great improvement in your view, along with the piracy, lawlessness and warlords.

  8. Libertarians support less government not no government. there is a difference. also capitalism works with light regulation. with no regulation its unpredictable. with heavy regulation your bound to have a corporate oligarchy like we have now. because its those corps you hate so much that owns the government that regulates them. how crazy is that?

    i'm not saying get rid of the FDA. get the FEDERAL government out of schools, and give it back to the states, and communities. get the FEDERAL government out of healthcare, marriage, and religion.

    I'm all for socialized medicine which is voted upon locally. not shoved down our throats from the federal level.

    i'm a libertarian who voted for genesee health plan, mandates on green energy to consumers, more money for veteran health care. ect. why? because its local. which libertarians fundamentally support. Small government.

    problems should be solved in a bottom up fashion, not the other way around. Local>State>Federal as a last resort.

    1. Actually, libertarians span a very wide range of positions, there are plenty of self-professed libertarians who think that anarchy, the total lack of government, is the highest possible success for their movement. Personally, I agree with you, we could do with less government, better regulation, etc. Not sure where you get the idea that I have corporations, clearly you've just shown up out of the blue and decided that anyone who dislikes libertarianism as it's typically professed must be a liberal. I am not, I am a classic conservative. I don't necessarily think that we ought to give things like education back to the states however, I think that individual states will only mess it up and since I would like *ALL* students, regardless of state or local desires, to receive a high quality, fact-based education, I think we need a single national standard for education, where a 9th grade education in one state will equate to a 9th grade education in any other. I don't think "local" makes it better, in fact, in many cases, I think local makes the problems worse.

      1. So what you're saying, is that a Federal government that makes general laws, can solve the specific problems that a certain region faces? That's nonsense, and literally everything you have responded with shows the positives of Libertarianism; it's quite funny. You claim to be a Conservative, but you're advocating more government control on education, which in itself is nonsense because the government is not the group responsible for the advances in science, art, mathematics, and education, yet you think they should decide on the specifics? You say we're stupid, but then in the comments you consistently concede points to us, and then you make a predictable excuse about how "not all Libertarians are the same," ad nauseum, in a rhetorical attempt to not appear wrong. You can say that about any group, therefore every point you made is ridiculous, and if you have to resort to that excuse, then you're argument is poor in the first place. You failed to make any point, or to make Libertarianism look bad; I suggest you actually look up intelligent Libertarian posts, and not Google things like "why are Libertarians stupid?" and then proceed to to regurgitate this biased, un-sourced information.

        1. It depends on what the problems are, of course. When it comes to a major problem, a natural disaster or terrorist attack, for instance, the federal government can and does step in to help. They are not there to handle every minor, tiny little problem on the state and local level, that's why we have state and local governments as well. Those are the ones that need to be taking care of local issues that do not fall on a national scale.

          As for being for "more government control", no. I'm for appropriate government control. Education is a national issue and we need to have a single national agenda, a single national curriculum that says "this is what all kids everywhere are expected to know." Reality, whether you realize it or not, doesn't change from place to place. It makes no sense to say we're going to teach kids X about science over here, but Y about science over there. Science doesn't change. Neither does mathematics. Neither does history, although I can certainly see many school districts which would want to go above and beyond the national curriculum and teach things about their local and state histories and I'm fine with that, I'm advocating a minimum curriculum upon which more can be added, but nothing taken away from. The government isn't responsible for advances, but then again, neither are local school boards, yet the government has the ability to pull together the experts as an advisory panel to decide what ought to be taught. Local school districts cannot do that and are often so absurdly biased that they would refuse to do it if they could.

          And Libertarians are probably the most politically fragmented group in the nation, you have people who identify as libertarian-left, people who identify as libertarian-right and everywhere in between. In that post though, I was speaking specifically about the people that I talked about and if that wasn't you, you have no business taking it personally, yet you choose to get incensed because I used a word that you identify with. That's your problem, not mine.

          And besides, why are you Googling things like "why are Libertarians stupid" if it bothers so you? It seems like there's a rather simple solution there somewhere.

  9. the way I look at it, Libertarians have an answer for everything – because they think they can start over and have a perfect world where no one bothers anyone else. This will not work in our society today. There are too many people in the world to ever expect everyone to believe in the same thing (non-aggression). You cannot control the actions of others, or the thoughts of others for that matter. I think Libertarianism is fine if someone wants to think like that – but it is not likely that it will ever be more than that.

    1. I wouldn't even care if they could start over, but I think that many libertarians have a very unrealistic view of the world. They think that everyone would be honest and trustworthy and kind, just because that's the kind of world they want to live in, yet in the real world, that's just not the case. Some libertarians are looking at the world through a dozen pair of rose-colored glasses and really have no answers for the real-world problems that would accompany their views if they were ever put into effect. Like so many other philosophies, it looks so much like a religion, they have faith that what they believe works, but putting it to the test, it's plain that it's just a bunch of wishful thinking.

      The world has too much wishful thinking already, we don't need any more.

  10. i think you're confusing libertarians with anarchists. Anarchists are the ones who want to do away with government altogether, libertarians are just in favour of less government interference, not no government.

    1. No, many, perhaps even most outright anarchists self-identify as libertarians these days. While they do make up only a small percentage of self-identified libertarians, it's undeniable that they have moved in and made themselves quite comfortable there.

      1. That's not true whatsoever. Anarchism is a far right mentality, whereas Libertarian is more toward the center. Just because people say they are something, does not mean they actually are; you're committing a logical fallacy related to false attribution. Most people say they aren't stupid, when they really are. A label means nothing; Libertarianism isn't a "word" like you believe, but an ideal, and no matter how many Contrarians try to claim the Libertarian label to sound cool, it does not mean they are. We believe that there is a natural order to things, and with certain criteria might, things will balance out. The government has proven over and over and over again that the more you try to force things one step forward, the more steps backward they take. You make comments about education, but look are our pathetic education nowadays? In a world where information is found at the click of a button, people are SOMEHOW able to remain stupid, which should be impossible. Schools don't have to compete, and slip by with the bare minimum of education, protected by the disgusting Teachers Union who protect the worse teachers. You clearly have no grasp of what Libertarianism is, and it's sad that you resorted to such rhetoric.

        1. You really have no experience with the full range of self-identified libertarians, do you? There are tons of self-identified libertarian anarchists out there. While you're welcome to think of "libertarian" as an ideal, nobody died and gave you the ability to vote people into or out of the libertarian club. You're welcome only to speak for yourself and clearly, that's what you're doing.

          In fact, the reason schools are so bad is that they are largely run from the local school boards, there is no overarching national control that keeps them teaching consistent things in a consistent way. If a kid moves from one state to another, they can find themselves a full year ahead or a full year behind where they were in their own school, they can be learning things that are entirely contradictory to what they were learning before because local parents and local school districts have local biases about what they want to teach. I'm not arguing that the federal educational system has worked perfectly (or even well) in the past, but it's still something that can be extremely beneficial if it's changed to pursue a superior course. Most libertarians I speak to, and presumably yourself, just want to throw away the federal government, mostly because you cannot get any real representation there, and move everything back to the state and local level because that's the only place your political ideals get any traction, yet having things at those levels is what has caused the problem in the first place.

          I think maybe it's you who has no grasp of what Libertarianism is. You know what you think and that's fine, but you assume that because you think a thing, that's what everyone else thinks as well and you're just wrong. Maybe you need to do a little more research on your own before you start thinking you run the libertarian club.

  11. A bit of history – anarchists (specifically classical anarchism, which is tied in with the socialist movement) created the term libertarianism (specifically a french socialist/anarchist by the name of Joseph Dejacque: it was the title of his newspaper) as a means to disassociate the word anarchism from the anti-statist left, because obviously, especially in those days, people thought of anarchists as bomb-throwing terrorists (which some were, while many were not, media generalizations prevailed). The terms, libertarian, libertarian socialism, and libertarian communist are all words that were used by anarchists and anti-authoritarian socialists during the Spanish Civil War, decades before the American Libertarian Party appeared. Spooner himself declared that is was 'good that we (libertarian-right) took the word from the left' /roughparaphrase.

    Now, despite the genesis of the word – Libertarians in the Libertarian Party are often quite ignorant of this history. And my problem is that I don't necessarily think they're any more stupid/smart than most people in this country, or in our species for that matter… but many universal social services are necessary to prevent huge class divisions, and provide equal opportunity for the lowest rungs of society – public education is especially important. It doesn't necessarily mean that government *needs* to be the thing that initiates these programs, people/communities have done so without it (federal or state/local), but we typically allow taxation for this purpose, as it proves effective and easy to do – although they are mismanaged often in this country, and where they should be spent is another debate.

    Political, economic, and social power also isn't entirely concentrated in government either, and the Libertarian Party's platform, nor my friends who are registered with em', talk about the need to watchdog and regulate corporations, bankers, the obscenely rich etc. They also don't adequately critique the organizational hierarchy of most workplaces (which are run top-down, not very libertarian if you ask me). They don't suggest any policy that would turn around low-income areas or prevent local governments from systematically oppressing peoples, like the homeless, or non-white people in certain states in the south and south-west.. It seems the Libertarian rhetoric is that these places will turn themselves around via some magical interaction with de-regulating markets, privatization, yada yada. In essence, they lack a larger cultural analysis, a sense of community-based work, and especially a class consciousness – which is also heavily intertwined with a consciousness of race, the continued subtle existence of white privilege, etc that needs to be confronted and deconstructed. If I was born in a middle-class family, maybe I would be a member of the American Libertarian Party, but I was born to a working poor family, grew up that way, worked since I was 14, and have my own life, fully aware that my employment 'contracts' with my employers in the past were obviously out of desperation cause' I needed fucking money to survive/help pay the bills. It wasn't a 'voluntary association' or 'mutually beneficial'. And employers, more often than not, like anyone in a position of power, will abuse it and cheat those underneath them. Since then my luck has been on the up, and I'm no longer living completely paycheck to paycheck for the most part. I digress! The reality is that a capitalist paradise is not very convincing or good to me if it resembles even slightly the kind of world we currently live in. In addition, we had the smallest government to begin with, and look where we are now? I also fucking hate Ayn Rand's guts… luckily none of the Libertarians I know read much from her backwards-ass ideology. I agree with a lot of the Libertarian Party's aims… but they fall short in many more aspects.

    1. Thanks for the history. I think the biggest problem among modern-day libertarians is that a huge number of really disparate groups are trying to use the same label and most of these groups have little or nothing in common. I have seen actual anarchists, people who want absolutely no government of any kind, they want complete and total self-rule with no degree of authority over them whatsoever, referring to themselves as libertarians and, of course, there are tons of registered Libertarians who want absolutely no regulation over any industry, group or people period, believing the free market will solve all problems.

      Capitalism can and does work, but it isn't magic, it isn't something you can just drop into place and never pay attention to again, it requires regulation, it requires control and it requires decent people to make decent decisions, which you really cannot get without some form of regulation over the various industries. Given none of that, you will get abuses, which is where ultra-free-market libertarianism fails.

      There are some things in the Libertarian Party platform that I agree with, but a lot more that I do not. I wrote a post a while back on where I agree and disagree with libertarianism: http://bitchspot.jadedragononline.com/2013/03/05/

      Thanks for your comment, it was very informative!

  12. oh yeah, and do some research on the Gold Standard. Oh, yeah, it's gone. Our current currency is already backed by–nothing. In fact, the only thing it represents to me, is our national debt. I see the value falling to laughably nothing, and I remember we are owned by our debtors.

    1. It's because it's unrealistic. Gold, or any other precious metal, is in limited supply, having it sit in a vault somewhere so that people can turn in their paper money for some small amount of it is ridiculous. You can, if you wish, go out and spend your paper money and buy gold at whatever the exchange rate is at the moment, does that make you feel more secure? Because even gold isn't a guarantee, gold is only valuable because people want it. If someone were able to artificially manufacture gold, like we're starting to artificially manufacture diamonds today, the value of gold could plummet.

      Then again, the money we borrow from China isn't backed by anything either, is it?

  13. We libertarians respect everone's political beliefs. We don't believe the minority should suffer from the majority's decision. Everyone is free to choose for themselves. Yes, smoking is bad, but that is not up to the government nor you to decide. It is my life. It is your life. Live how you and I want to live. It is a simple ideoogy.

    1. Well yeah, you're always the minority. However, the reality is, like it or not, that only the majority wins and everyone else has to live under their system of government. There isn't a minority government here, that's something practiced in other countries and if that's really what you want, you're welcome to live there. What you have is a simple ideology but it's not an ideology that really works well, it leads to a fragmentation of society, not to bringing people together to work on problems together.

  14. People are dumping money on tobacco because they don't care if it's bad for them- and it's for them to decide whether or not they smoke dumbass.

    1. Sure it is, so long as they accept the responsibility for paying for their own treatment. I don't see many of them doing that. Instead, they raise the premiums of everyone to pay for their cancer treatments because they have no self-control.

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