Glibertarian baiting–it is just too easy!

Posted: September 1, 2011 in Delusional in AZ

Evidently my post asking Libertarians who don’t want to pay taxes to “leave” irritated someone.    Mr. Sandefur, if you’re reading this, I believe you missed the larger point of the post.  The more important point was that some people are “lucky” and some people are not. Those who are lucky, often claim responsibility for their luck when that is not the case.   Surely you are grateful for your native intelligence that was inherited so randomly as a result of the laws of Nature, evolution, etc.?  Who knows how many other advantages you started out with that others didn’t?  Why should those who didn’t start out with those advantages be allowed to suffer, when those disadvantages were no fault of their own?  Funny how you completely fail to address this point.

In re: to my admonishment that libertarians simply leave, you also missed an important point there.  I made the argument for the purpose of being snarky.  Since the right has been throwing the “love it or leave it” argument at liberals for decades now, I found it humorous to thrown their own silly, reductionist logic back at them.  Of course, you missed that.  It’s subtle.

Furthermore, when telling someone to “love it or leave it”, do you deny that it is one of the logical options that humans have employed throughout history? After all if a person doesn’t like the society he is living in, he has only three choices:  1) accept the existing social contract, 2) change the social contract, or 3) go somewhere else and adopt their social contract or create your own.

Now if you want to argue with me about the practicality of each of those choices, I’m happy to discuss that.  If you want to discuss how we disagree on what the REAL social contract entails, I’d be thrilled to do that.  However,  I never claimed that “leaving” would be easy–just that it was possibility.  After all corporations, now supposedly people, do it all the time.

You say that the argument (“if you don’t like it, then leave”) would allow for too many infringements on our liberties.  The first problem is that there is nothing in the Constitution that says you have the right to make a shitload of money while the people around you starve, die from untreated disease, suffer from exposure, etc.   It is perfectly possible in this country to work one’s ass off and still die from any one or a combination of those things.      The rights to life, liberty and happiness weren’t a part of the Constitution.*  So tell me to what individual right do you refer? The right to commerce–is there such a thing?  Where in the definition of commerce does it say you can make as much money as you want while your fellow-man dies through no fault of their own? I highly doubt that the person who originally proposed Capitalism as an economic model believed it should be so.  Indeed, Adam Smith, who never used the term capitalism but defined its first principles didn’t advocate for completely free, unfettered markets.   However, even IF commerce has come to be defined as such, then commerce needs to be redefined because it is unethical and therefore wrong.**

Ultimately my point here is that you are defining liberty as some kind of umbrella term that allows you to take advantage of a free market without regulation and without taxation, then that’s ridiculous.  No right is absolute.  They can’t be or our society would never work. You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater.  So you can argue all you want about our precious “liberty”*** but in very real terms, all rights have limits precisely because we have to live cheek by jowl on this little planet of ours.  For every right there is an obligation.  That’s the reality no matter how much Libertarians want to stamp their little feet and proclaim ‘But, but, it’s supposed to be…..’  Yes, yes, now calm down, go have a lollipop and  a nap.  When you feel all better you can come back to the circle and play nice with the other toddlers.


* But they should have been.  If life had been a right, we’d have universal health care. A de facto obstacle to life, such as no health care, would be the same as a de jure obstacle and therefore unconstitutional.  But I digress….

**I don’t make this claim on any religious grounds. I make it based on a strict interpretation and balancing of the concepts of Beneficence, Justice and Autonomy.

***I am sincere, our liberties are precious.  Too bad the other side of the coin, obligation isn’t as precious to libertarians.  If that were the case the world would be an infinitely better place to live in as people would actually give a crap about one another and we wouldn’t NEED government at all.


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