March 20, 2021

Perusing Comment's Sections is not a Productive Use of my Time

Over at Instapundit they are discussing the recent decision by Amazon to ban "When Harry Became Sally". 

Ed Driscoll ends the brief excerpt with this...

  "I’m so old I can remember when Jeff Bezos was believed to have been a libertarian."

...which kind have set me off more than mere words should have.

Because, while i used to consider myself a libertarian, or at least libertarian-leaning back in the '90s,. Indeed, I could have typed that sentence with a straight face a few years ago, but now? 

There is nothing un-libertarian about Bezos's decision, (at least not in practice, in THEORY this is an affront to the whole concept).

 Libertarians (at least the Reason-Mag hipster-douche libertarians) seem to be  fine with cancel culture as long as it's the 'squares' being cancelled. 

Back when it was the fringe case of a patassier asking govt. not to force him to participate in a religious ceremony forbidden by his faith, the libertarian mantra was "Bake the damn cake!" Now we hear a lot of "Muh private biddness!"...as long as the view getting defenistrated is not a view approved of by the 'clerisy'. 

They oppose the death penalty and implore us not to execute child-rapists, mass murderers or anyone. This has a very defensible argument behind it, particularly when one remembers how many people have been cleared of their charges after conviction...or if one just ponders the existence of the current Vice President.  However, to libertarians it does not apply to a complete innocent that happens to be conceived inside a woman who finds her inconvenient. 

Libertarians applaud the destruction of monuments and graves that memorialize our tragically misguided ancestors, because no time, context, nor cultural differences nor understanding can excuse the abhorrent practices of that age, but out the other corner of their mouth they lobby hard for 'frictionless' trade with China and every third world hellhole that cuts costs by substituting chains and a whip for paychecks. 

They rail against tariffs with an intensity that would make Fitzhugh proud. When the human cost of the exporting of jobs is brought up, they, after a moment of bewilderment that anyone should care for such inferiors that would not see a job loss as OPPORTUNITY, roll out their Gartmans to explain to us in small condescending words how no one should be asked to subsidize the job of an idiot who can't compete. ( compete against the aforementioned slave labor that is).  Someone's orientation should be respected (I agree!), unless one is a straight male or a lesbian then the libertarian chant of freedom is "Suck the d*** bigot!"consent be damned apparently. (I don't think Ayn Rand would approve.) 

 I used to consider myself a libertarian, considering it to be rooted in the enlightenment and not the style policing of upper-class mean girls. But I was young then and had not encountered the sneering disdain and contempt for...what exactly I'm not sure....perhaps those not high on the foetid air that collects in the mezzanines of law school libraries?  I dunno, in the last few years they've just gone full reta...oh wait we can't say that and it's OK because 'muh private biddness'.   

I think libertarians are right, or at least on solid ground on many issues, but they seem to attract autists who cary every single point to a ludicrous extreme and can't percieve (or care) about the societal costs of some of their policies. This is why I've been solidly conservative for many years, which might surprise some of you but conservatism in the U.S. is what is considered Liberalism in much of the rest of the world. (It's a conservative interpretation of the constitution placing limits on government power rather than a liberal interpretation of the commerce clause allowing the government to any old thing. ) I think that there are arguments for even the more hedonistic proposals of libertarians such as legalizing drugs and prostitution, but the societal costs and other second order effects have to be taken into account and factored in by something other than the market...which will be quite happy to to sell cigarettes to kids and the ultimate end state of legalizing prostitution might well be slavery for the sex-workers. The libertarian response seems to me to be the waving of the free-market totem and a recitation of verses from the book of Hayek. 

Free markets DO efficiently sort goods services and people, and will quickly find a correct price for anything, including your daughter's virginity and her organs. This is why I do not want to live in AnCapiStan. 

I think that Conservatism represents a good middle path between the post-Calvanistic scolds on the American left and the sort of atheistic rapaciousness and hedonism that libertarianism seems to increasingly represent.  (So much so that conservatives might one day corner the Buddhist vote.) 

I don't see Libertarianism in its current form as anything so much as a, destructive, frantic, and ill-advised overcorrection to the idiocies of neo-liberalism. It does, however have the very great advantage of being nigh-infinitely preferable to the attempts by the left to correct the same problems which are actively malign rather than merely oblivious. 

Still, I'll stick with the middle path for now. 


UPDATE: A rather less verbose comment I made at Instapundit was the origin of this post. I was surprised to see it getting upvotes, but when I refreshed the page it had been deleted. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 03:19 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 915 words, total size 7 kb.

1 I'm rather fond of L. Neil Smith's first few novels, which showcase a Libertarian paradise that's held together by a cadre of people who constantly violate its fundamental principles for good reasons.

-j

Posted by: J Greely at Sat Mar 20 16:32:42 2021 (ZlYZd)

2 Never been a libertarian, let alone the capital 'L' variety.  Occasionally having libertarian impulses on a subject every once in a long while, yes, but I have never been a libertarian even when I was young and dumb, and definitely not a(n) (American) liberal - and believe me, I had more people than I can count who tossed the "When your young and you aren't a liberal means you don't have a heart" line me back then.

Posted by: cxt217 at Sat Mar 20 17:14:33 2021 (4i7w0)

3 I'm still astonished that they deleted the comment at IP, and more astonished that it was getting upvoted. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sat Mar 20 19:42:56 2021 (5iiQK)

4 I'm not sure why you're astonished that it was upvoted at IP.  I'd probably have done so had I seen it.  Not sure why it would've gotten deleted--usually the only thing that causes that is swear words.  Now, the PJ Media site itself, yeah, they're a lot more nuke-happy, and they really hate, for example, being called cucks, so that's a word that will get your comment deleted toot suite.

Posted by: Rick C at Sun Mar 21 13:50:09 2021 (eqaFC)

5 Libertarians are not simply the autists. At least one autist was able to see through the libertarian arguments to come to a conclusion of conservatism. Libertarianism is mostly an information operation. The folks who are not in on the scam are ones who are tribal, who haven't done a full analysis yet, or who just didn't bring the right flavor of contrarian obnoxiousness to some of the sub-problems. Any close critical analysis of conservative media recently shows how heavily riddled with information operations it is. It is more information operation scammers than forthright, careful men. (In fairness, many of them are lawyers, and lawyers in particular have their nuts in a vice.) Conservatism has been for a long time weakened by having the official information channels within it so thoroughly suborned. From this perspective, it is unsurprising that a space that could be third way/half way is filled by something that is almost entirely information operation.

Posted by: PatBuckman at Mon Mar 22 11:06:15 2021 (6y7dz)

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