1. Most I’ve spoken to aren’t. Happy, that is. But I’m sure another couple abortion bans will show’em the GOP’s where it’s at!

  2. Libertarians are indeed communists in all but name. They too want a society without government in which everyone out of the goodness of their hearts does their duty to “the greater good”.

    The only difference is in how they think to achieve this. Communists think it needs a massive state that will eventually dissolve itself (right…), libertarians think that if you just let the church and other charities run things everything will turn out fine (never mind that those would then become that massive state and do exactly what that communist state does where ever it is established).

    1. > Libertarians are indeed communists in all but name.

      That’s about the dumbest thing I’ve read on the internet this week. But it’s been a busy Monday, so there’s time.

      > They too want a society without government in which everyone
      > out of the goodness of their hearts does their duty
      > to “the greater good”

      You’ve confused certain branches of Anarchist with Libertarians.

      Libertarians believe that people are self-interested, and will generally follow the rules because it will be worse for them if they don’t. Things like reputation, and that if you threaten someone they’ll fookin kill you.
      Communists believe in using the state to punish those who don’t follow the rules until that state withers away, then MAGIC. And if they threaten you, they will be made a state Commisar…until the state withers away.

      Libertarians believe in, and almost worship “profit”. Communists believe profit, like property, is theft.

      Actual libertarians are all in favor of property ownership. Communists are absolutely opposed to anyone owning more than the clothes on their back.

      Communists believe that “the means of production” should held in common, by the state of course (until it withers away), for the good of everyone, and that everyone should have a say in how it’s run and what it produces.

      Libertarians think that it’s better for everyone if individuals own the means of production, and make their own decisions on how to run it, and pay attention to what “the market” tells it to produce.

      Libertarians oppose most general taxes. Communists love taxes on other people.

      Libertarians want a small, relatively weak government that enforces property rights and contracts. American Libertarians also want the government to adhere to and enforce the constitution.

      Libertarians support the human right of self defense and the right to the tools necessary to do so, but are ardently opposed to initiating violence. Communists are *absolutely* in favor of initiating violence and opposed to anyone owning anything that would prevent the state–prior to its “inevitable” withering away–from visiting violence upon enemies of the state.

      Communists *hate* enemies of the state.
      Libertarians ARE enemies of the state.

      I no longer consider myself a Libertarian for two reasons; the first is that Libertarians have no good answer for Charismatic Sociopaths (Clinton, maybe Trump) and Narcissists (Obama, Trump). Then again neither does Communism, nor does Democracy. So there’s that. The other reason is that too many of the Libertarian Party members are bugfuck nuts.

      Actually, that’s not true. Communism has an answer for sociopaths. Uncharismatic ones become the secret police. Charismatic ones head The Party…until the state withers away.

      Then again, I was at a Republican caucus here in Colorado, and it was almost as bad, so there’s that.

      1. dream on, you’re exactly as delusional as “true communists” who think they can scale up a small commune into a worldwide phenomenon.
        You think you can scale up your community farm or church council to a system to rule the entire world.

        1. I can’t say that was the dumbest thing I’ve read on the internet this week because it’s only Tuesday.

    2. I thought Libertarians (or libertarians, as some people think the capital makes a difference in analysis) believed that if everything were just the result of a transaction, freely entered by both parties for which both parties think is a fair amount is the secret to a peaceful society with everyone working and happy.
      Just as the Communists believe a gargantuan state before which the masses supplicate themselves in order to petition it for whatever they want, the Libertarians believe that if people can just purchase what it is from each other, equality and peace will result.
      Real people want some things they can buy via freely made commercial transactions, but they also want some things that are the result of them being people/residents/citizens.

  3. There are three big problems with his “analysis” (four, actually, but for the sake of this discussion, I am ignoring that.)

    When I lived in Illinois and California I voted Libertarian for president. I was (and am) unhappy with the Republican party, and wanted to signal that unhappiness *and its direction*. Staying home, or voting Democrat wouldn’t do that. Also at that time there was ZERO chance that Illinois or California would go for the Republican candidate, so there was no chance my vote would prevent a democrat from getting elected.

    The first problem is that one assumes that if someone votes for a third party candidate, that absent that candidate they’d vote the way you want them to. People have multiple choices, INCLUDING NOT TO VOTE. There are, to my knowledge, no studies that show that MOST libertarian voters would still “hold their nose” and vote Republican rather than not voting at all, or spoiling their ballot.

    A subset of this is the assumption of a “rational” voter. Many libertarians are single issue voters, with taxes and drugs being the big two. And they’re *fanatical* about those issues. Trump was no different on taxes or drugs than any other president, so for an anti-tax or pro-drug libertarians

    The second problem is that the vote happened 8 months into the panicdemic. At that point Trump had demonstrated that he was perfectly willing to let *other* people be the Authoritarians. He had abdicated the decision making process to the CDC, Fauci and Birx by saying “The states can make the decisions”. Now, in doing that he was *right*, but he should have brought in some actual experts to force Fauci and Birx to show “The Science”, and had a heart to heart with the director of the CDC over “The Science”. There is also the issue of the massive printing of money that took place during that year. The lock downs (which IMO he did not fight hard enough) caused massive economic disruption, which caused the Democrats to do what they always do–try to give more money away. Libertarians, know more than most people (which isn’t saying a lot) about economics (or at least they have more interest in it) and you could already see what was coming–classical economics is “when too many dollars are chasing too few goods”, and what the government, signed off by Trump, did was to create that environment in spades.

    If Trump had been re-elected we *still* would have had the vaccination mandates because *they were developed on his watch* and under his direction. The only difference is that there would have been bipartisan support.

    This is the typical whiny bullshit of a loser who, rather than blame his party for *really* bad performance, blames someone else.

    The number of non-voters DWARFS the number of Libertarian voters.

    Which brings us to the third big problem.

    The GOP establishment, the party apparatus is absolutely CRAP about doing the things it needs to do to win elections. Almost 1/3 of the electorate DID NOT VOTE. That dwarfs the number of Libertarian votes by a HUGE margin. If the GOP had paid any attention to what was going on that year, and had made the effort to reach out to conservative and republican voters and potential voters to help them vote or get to the polls LIKE THE DEMOCRATS DID, then (again, ignoring the fraud) that would have been far more than the marginal votes of Libertarians.

    But they didn’t. They didn’t do anything to get the vote out, they didn’t do anything to educate and help their (often older and change resistant) voters adapt to new voting processes, and they aren’t doing ANYTHING to explain to voters how they’d be different and WHY THAT MATTERS.

    Mostly because the politicians in D.C. aren’t all that different than their Democrat counterparts.

  4. The fundamental flaw of the LP is that from the gitgo in ’72 they went in the deep end and attempted to play in national politics. If they had devoted the funds, time, and effort to identify and support officeholders at the municipal and county level, in a decade – Reagan time – they would have had candidates for State legislatures and for Congress who would have been committed, confident, and competent.

  5. The Free State Project of the Libertarian party intrigues me. It doesn’t appear to have been very successful though.

    The big L Libertarian party turns me off with their support for open borders, unrestricted availability of dangerously addictive drugs and their naive policy of isolationism.


  6. In my political evolution, which has always had Lockean Libertarianism in its DNA, I’ve been on both sides of Swoffard’s argument. In the final analysis of it, it amounts to applied pragmatism, which is exactly how our current partially collapsed post constitutional order came to be.

    (Sidebar, for those unfamiliar with my train of thought: In summary: the PCO is primarily a project of the Progressivist Left, with the institutional GOP happily plays a fully complicit role as junior partner. The PCO is the engine on both party’s gravy train, and the source of their power, riches and feast. Preserving the PCO is their mutual highest priority. )

    In light of that, Swoffard’s argument comes to a nullity: more Pragmatism, which brought us to the current state, lacks the capacity to actually deliver us from it.

    Furthermore, it really comes off as another species of “WAAAAAH! Those (usually Libertarian, but could be anyone else) vote splitters deprived me of victory that was rightfully mine! I’m entitled to your vote, you maggot!”

    And this brings us to examining just what exactly it is that the GOP brings to the table. If we accept that the Democratic party has been thoroughly subborned by elements of the Progressivist and Marxist Left, and are therefore implacable enemies of Individual Freedom in the Lockean (as opposed to Rousseaunian) sense, the main value proposition they bring, which anyone who ended up subscribed to their money grubbing email lists can attest, is “We’re not Democrats! Fund and Elect Us Lest That Disaster Befall us all!”

    100 years of “We’re not Democrats, who else are you going to vote for” leading to our current situation isn’t very persuasive. The enemy of my enemy is useful, but not to be mistaken as a friend.

    There are certainly those who would argue (again, part of the pragmatic continnuum) that you vote your interests in the primaries and show party loyalty in the general. That all sounded well and good until folks actually did that, and saw what the the institutional GOP did to the TEA Party reformer crop from 2012, for which isolating/sandbagging was the most benign term you could apply. One might argue that this in fact was a big part of setting up the Great Electoral EffYou of 2016, in which many people recognized and capitalized on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give both parties the finger.

    One of the first rules of business is that you only deal with those who can deliver the goods. I burned my Libertarian Party card over 20 years ago when it became obvious that their highest achievement of the LP was obtaining ballot access at all 50 states, only to manifest the application of libertarian principles to random municipal level dog catching offices. Last time I checked, the number of representatives they sent to state houses was less than a dozen in 50 years.

    If we honestly apply that same rule of thumb to the GOP, their claim to a libertarian vote is feeble at best.

    As for jwenting: he’s taking low quality abstractions to create a false equivalence between communism and (right) libertarianism far to seriously to merit direct engagement. I will, however, grant that he indirectly aludes to some of the more valid criticisms against libertarianism.

    The most substantial critique is born out by both military and political history: the simple fact is that coordinated collective action of even mediocre and low quality actors will generally outperform and in the long run prevail over even maximilly effective actions of elite individual actors. The most elite SF guy can only do so much against a division of coordinated grunts. Similarly, libertarianism has completely failed protect its interests and hold its own in the combined social and political arenas: the siren song of free shit at other people’s expense, especially when you can fabricate and widely promote some fairy tale mythology why they owe it to you is just too strong for a sizeable, and therefore exploitable segment of society. Libertarians have no effective answer to that which is consistent with their ethics.

    There are other valid criticisms of libertarian outcomes, such as the inability to restrain malicious exclusionary action motivated by widely held beliefs against unpopular minorities that would also need to be engaged in a thoughtful discussion of libertarianism, but that’s neither here nor there, as none of it forms any sort of basis to justify the GOP’s claim of the libertarian vote.

    Both parties have created and are fully complicit in our post constitutional order, and at this late degenerate stage, their actions come down to fighting over who gets to impose their vision upon whom. Sure there’s a difference between them, but not nearly as much as is popularly believed. At the risk of going gauche, they argue over who is going to be the oppressor, and who is going to be the oppressee. In those terms, it’s obvious that not being the victim is better, but the price is being the perpetrator, and all the stains on your soul that go with it.

    1. >>”the siren song of free shit at other people’s expense, especially when you can fabricate and widely promote some fairy tale mythology why they owe it to you is just too strong for a sizeable, and therefore exploitable segment of society. Libertarians have no effective answer to that which is consistent with their ethics.”

      And not to put too fine a point on it: the GOP hasn’t effectively answered the siren call of free shit at other people’s expense either. The most they offer is “slightly less free shit at your expense”.

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