I’m not a libertarian.
I’d kinda like to be, but I’m not simple enough for that. Or, in a way, not complicated enough.
Fundamentally, I’m an anarchist. But you can’t really tell people that, because no one knows what anarchism is. It’s not a mohawk and chains on your jacket and grandiloquent, choleric barking in a mockney affectation; it’s just the absence of archism. Much like atheism is the state of being without theism—without deital beliefs—anarchism is the state of being without government.
Of course, there’s that one subtle difference: governments provably exist. Or occur, to be more accurate. I just lament them specifically, notwithstanding the endless rhetoric about ‘some people need[ing] them’.
I can’t be a libertarian because I’m not psychotic. Which is another lamentation. I mean: I don’t mind being sane [even if it is more work]; I lament that, damned near by definition, you can’t be a libertarian without operating as though the lizardpeople hired Elvis to shoot JFK from the Lunar Soundstage. You can’t apparently be a libertarian without being also a conspiratard.
‘I’m not crazy! Or else!!!1
Of course, if we’re gonna talk about this, I suppose we should define a few terms. But that’ll be easy: the terms I use are precise. I’m not gonna insult your intelligence [I'm being optimistic here] with stupid words like some. Nothing annoys me faster than any given idiot missing the point of a statement in its efforts to BrainySmurf its way in with meaningless augmentations:
GREM: People are morons.
TARD: You mean some people!!!1
GREM: Covered when I didn’t say all people. Though I’m starting to think that I shoulda.
There’s no weaker dodge than stumbling over an adjective I never wanted to use.
If you wanna see how stupid that looks to me, let’s change a couple of variables.
GREM: There are forks in the drawer in the kitchen.
TARD: You mean some forks!!!1
TARD: Because also there are spoons!!!1
TARD: And some forks are in restaurants!!!1
TARD: And some cultures use chopsticks!!!1
GREM: Remind me why I know you.
TARD: And you’re excluding the handicapable who lack fingers!!!1
GREM: Hell. Goto. Now.
Okay? People are morons. And, if I need a supplemental adjective to delineate the percentage of people who are morons, then I’m not sure it oughtta be some anymore.
Of course, I’m being colloquial with morons. In fact, by definition, a moron is one whose IQ [wot dont proove nuthun] ranges from forty to sixty. Though, all things being relative, you could also define that as an IQ thirty to seventy points beneath average. So, if I’m being relative, Steve Hawking and I see Einstein as a moron, just based on the spread.
Not really the point.
I’m not a libertarian for a number of reasons. In a way, all those reasons add up to my disinclination, inasmuch as possible, to be a hypocrite. But that’s not gonna mean anything until I explain all the minutiae.
I’m not a conspiratard. Which in its way kicks me outta all politics. I don’t fall for the New Lizard Order because dollars display pyramids; I don’t fall for deities because science uses big words; I don’t fall for global warming because Starbucks print Save the Planet on napkins.
Before BrainySmurf comments, I should mention that, as a palaeontologist, I do know a little about climateshift: global means rise and fall, and no animal protects entirely against the butterfly effect; I just don’t pretend that one hominid’s actions are gonna ‘destroy’ a planet capable of surviving a collision with Theia and the death of Sol by raising temperatures back up to Jurassic levels. To my thinking, the problem is selfsolving: humans might be able to make the planet warm enough for sauropods, then die out in the heat, then stop making the planet warm enough for sauropods; the extremophiles down in the lava vents aren’t gonna care about any of this while waiting to HorrorVacui their ways out and up, taking over the world. Again.
As for deities: I still haven’t seen anything resembling evidence of those. And I’ve been watching. The instant someone gets the Nobel for proving them factual, I’ll know about it.
Conspiratards are ultimately a form of thinkaboutitists. See thing: misunderstand: makebelieve explanation: call explanation fact: tell those laughing to enjoy their sleep. Because thinkaboutit: lizards. Thinkaboutit: deities. Thinkaboutit: you can’t save a planet if it’s not in danger; and Starbucks wouldn’t lie to me.
I can’t be a libertarian because I don’t do thinkaboutitism. So I can’t be a republican or democrat either.
Also, I can’t be a libertarian because not everything’s simple. Libertarians, by definition, are isolationists. And, as much as I might prefer it if America got its dick outta everyone’s pie, the sad fact is that it’s functionally impossible. The rest of the world might like to whimper about Team America, World Police; but they rely on the US to greater a degree than they likely realise. It’s not strictly that the US spend more on military elements than any X nations combined; it’s that those X nations have come to expect the US to provide them with a military. At this point, few people are left alive who remember a time before Japan had an American garrison in place. On the one hand, the Americans are nastily preventing the Japs from developing nuclear weapons; on the other, America is reminding China to decline to annex Japan.
Simply packing everything up and retreating to the US is a bad idea. It’s a thrifty idea, and it would make the US look nice and feely; but it would lead to a global instability which even the US—presumably remaining a formidable if local military force—would have trouble quelling.
Philosophically, I’d love to the see the US recede back into its own borders and take a damned nap. But, realistically, it can’t simply do that. At best, it can teach Iraq [as an example] to develop a selfsustaining government and stand on its own without TeamAmerica’s help in overthrowing despots. Whether Iraq ever asked for that help is, in 2013, irrelevant; they got it, and now they need to rise from the ashes and become a real country on their own. Then the US can ignore them as a standalone nation able to repel a triumvirate of competing clans of the cavebear.
I can’t be a libertarian because, true or not, they’re advertised as a party hating roads and old people. Technically, that’s more external an issue—which, again, helps prevent me from being a republican or democrat—because it’s too easy for grownups to agree that the criminalisation of weed is an impotent waste of DEA funding, so everyone has to take things to the extreme and whimper that libertarians must logically want to kill the federal funding of highways.
I know some libertarians [See how 'some' works now? I don't in fact know all of them.], but I don’t know any who want the roads to decay into rubble. I know a couple who want the US to acknowledge its own constitution—specifically the Right to Travel [via Contemporary Conveyance, Which Is No Longer Horses]—and drop the authoritarian driving licence ‘privilege’; I haven’t met one who wants to start the ensmallening of government by sacking all the construction workers.
As for old people: I kinda have no opinion; we just try to avoid each other, for equal and opposite reasons.
I do get the idea of ending the SSA, of course. Not because it’s a laughable money pit [well: partly that], but because I’ve got firsthand experience in watching the Social Security Administration being criminally incompetent. It’s a fairly simple flowchart to follow: the SSA acknowledge that chronic migraine is a disability mandating entitlement to a few thousand bucks a month because people with paralysing headaches once a week can’t maintain a normal job; the SSA acknowledge that I’ve got chronic migraine; the SSA haven’t to date given me what’s now seven figures in backpay. That works out, because I’m unlumpy enough to make a buncha cash through selfemployment; but it doesn’t help me agree that these idiots should still be around.
And—and this is where the hypocrisy really becomes a problem—I can’t be a libertarian because, even to the extent that it should be the least intrusive form of government, it remains by definition a form of government. And I just can’t advocate government in any form.
Which reminds me: I made a new shirt.
I wouldn’t deny that government is good for a nation of intellectual invalids. And I wouldn’t deny that government has done some good things. But the simple idea of being governed by some phantasmagoric leadership is maddeningly insulting. I can’t rationalise losing elements of the basic freedom of existence because yeah, but X is a good idea.
Ultimately, if ironically, libertaria is still fundamentally authoritarian. And I have no interest in authority. I don’t want to be in authority [you literally couldn't pay me enough to run this diseased country], and I don’t want to be subject to it [which, if I agreed to that, would cost even more that you couldn't afford]. Which is sorta my point: I never agreed to be governed. And, no, my disinclination to leave the US does not impress me as some implicit contract to subject myself to authority.
It’s hard to explain that to those [read: approximately everyone, some be damned] who actually need government. Whether they really literally need government, because they can’t operate without it, or they simply prefer it because it’s so much easier this way; I’ve never been a fan of easier: I’m not that guy who can’t operate a bowl of food without whatever AS SEEN ON TV TardTray.
But le’me show you an analogy. You go to a restaurant. You look at the menu. A cheeseburger is ten bucks. Fine. You order a cheeseburger. You eat it. You’re done with that. You sit there, lurking, for a couple hours. Now you’re ready to leave, having done the math and figured that ten bucks and $2.79 for coffee is about thirteen, and there’s about ten percent in salestax [I like to round up, so I won't be surprised], and that’s around fourteen or fifteen bucks; and you get that servers never make enough money, so your twenty should just about cover it. But, as you’re heading out, the place wants fifty. Because, see, they changed the prices an hour ago. And you agreed implicitly to the new prices by not leaving.
That’s never gonna happen [probably], because it’s absurd. But it’s no less absurd, to me, to be bound by whatever rules in a place you kinda accidentally live, because you didn’t plan ahead and escape.
On the bright side—or the less dim one, anyway—it kinda works out for me. For the same reason that I don’t have to be some fluffbunny christworshipper, in fact. The laws I’m expected to follow aren’t laws I was in a hurry to break. I don’t need deities telling me not to steal your car, any more than I need laws telling me not to steal your car. It’s not something I was plotting to do. The atheistic movement, these days, is sloganing out this GOOD WITHOUT GOD rhetoric, to try teaching the abysmally theistical that we don’t need to makebelieve some invisible Willy Wonka to remember not to steal a damned gobstopper. I just take that a step further, I guess: GOOD WITHOUT GOVERNMENT. With or without laws prohibiting Grand Theft Auto [the actual thing; not the game] and punishing it with X years in prison, I can remember that ganking your Datsun is resolutely uncool.
Yeah: there are those—some or all; whatever—who need to be told under pain of incarceration that stealing a car is uncool. Great. But here’s the dichotomy: either I’m above the law because I can be good without it, or we’re all equal and the problem’s on your end. Their end. Someone’s end. Which isn’t mine. I don’t need biblical laws, so I’m above them; I don’t need legislative laws, so someone needs to make a decision on what that implies.
And, no: biblical and legislative laws aren’t the same thing. I’m not aware of a real, enforceable law in the US against cutting your hair or coveting your neighbour’s stuff [that latter is actually a drive for capitalism, which makes this nation work as well as it does]; and no law in the bible prohibits smoking in restaurants. So don’t bother telling me it’s a christy nation because thinkaboutit; I did, and you’re lying.
MondoHebe is a selfproclaimed libertarian [to be perfectly accurate, he's a selfproclaimed 'little L libertarian'—whatever the hell that means]; yet, when we clash on political ideologies, ironically, he favours the more liberal nannystate position. One thing we like to argue about is elements of driving.
||I’d just like to take a moment to thank Chrome for assuring me that defiantly is the wrong way to misspell definitely, since a world of illiterate imbeciles needs its help.
To Hebe’s thinking, the road is no place for bikes and skateboards. Because they have no right to be there. Even though the laws describe precisely their right to be there. His argument is that, while maybe they’re allowed by law to be there, that law is stupid and, when a car hits them anyway, they can have been right in the damned morgue. And I don’t disagree fundamentally that a hippy standing in front of a gun, screaming defiantly* that a soldier isn’t allowed to shoot him, can have been correct in the morgue next to the dead skaterpunk.
But let’s talk about that for a moment. The Right to Travel having been denigrated to have meant by horse in much the way that modern hippies try to denigrate the Right to Keep and Bear Arms to have meant blackpowder muskets taking five minutes to reload, you need a driving licence to operate a motor vehicle on the road. I on my skateboard need no such licence. So, figure that out: I retain the right to skate on the road; you require a stateapproved, privilegey licence; one of us has no business being there. As far as I’m concerned, that could be me; but, before that makes any sense, you’ll wanna change a few legal elements to make it the case.
I can’t care what the republicans and democrats are constantly squabbling about, because every word of it is, as spoofed above, my authoritarians are better than your authoritarians. I tolerate the republicans slightly more, simply because their stupid ideas are so massively stupid that few of them become laws; the democrats have more and lesser stupid ideas, and it’s rare that one isn’t ratified. I’ve put it this way, in relative private: If I voted for a republican, I’d look like a fool; if I voted for a democrat, I’d feel like one.
In reality, I rarely vote. Something else Hebe and I disagree about. My argument is that I won’t vote for someone I wouldn’t personally hire; that’s just my personal ethics. His argument is that, if I’m not voting for one guy, I’m implicitly voting for the other. Which sounds to me suspiciously like sleep with that fatchick, or you’re gay.
In explaining his ‘little L libertaria’ to people, MondoHebe has been known to say [goad, really] that he’s a libertarian because the republicans aren’t conservative enough. And I get the point; I assume, all things considered, that I’d be less repelled by a government of libertarians [not that we'll see one this century—if only because libertarians in power would lose their ability to thinkaboutitate a government of reptiles, in much the way that Biden has now changed his mind on warrantless wiretaps], simply because it would get in my way less often. But I’d still see it as a government of people, individually lesser than I am, and collectively worse than that, assuring me that they need to save three hundred million morons that Darwin gave up on long ago.
Maybe I should reword my initial premise. I shouldn’t say that I can’t be a libertarian. I should say that I needn’t be.
Regardless which group of emotionally motivated infants is in power, their power doesn’t particularly benefit me. I’m okay without them.
Have a webcomic: