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I'll be honest here: I'm getting sick and tired of being a libertarian.

Oh no, that's not to say that I'm getting sick and tired of supporting individual liberty. Far from it. No, I'm getting sick and tired of having to defend my philosophy from pseudo-intellectuals.

While libertarians like myself use logic, reason, and evidence in order to refute statist arguments, statists try to refute our arguments by refusing to address them, opting instead to create strawman versions of them and declaring victory after "defeating" them.

Take Paul Krugman--please!

This economist (and by "economist," I mean hack columnist who has been routinely wrong about everything, including the internet, and yet still manages to be a Nobel-winning Princeton economics professor) recently penned a screed again "libertarianism populism" which he dismisses as bunk.

And what is his idea of "libertarianism populism"?
The idea here is that there exists a pool of disaffected working-class white voters who failed to turn out last year but can be mobilized again with the right kind of conservative economic program—and that this remobilization can restore the Republican Party's electoral fortunes.
And what proof does he have that this "populism" is "bunk"? Paul Ryan.

You know: the Republican VP candidate that no self-respecting libertarian liked because his proposed "budget" included increased military spending and corporate handouts for his cronies? (You know, things libertarians normally oppose?)

Seriously, all Krugman had to do was perform a simple search in Reason Magazine or Lew Rockwell or Mises Institute to realize that most, if not all, libertarians were opposed to Paul Ryan and his budget, thus making Paul Ryan the anathema, rather than the epitome, of a libertarian politician.

If Paul Krugman wanted to criticize a real libertarian politician, he could have criticized Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, whose proposed balanced budget would have slashed military spending and ended corporate welfare.

But then, that would be assuming that Krugman is interested in fairly and honestly critiquing libertarianism, which he clearly isn't. He much rather construct a strawman version which he can more easily knock down and declare victory over. Whether this is because of ignorance or intellectual cowardice is debatable, though my guess is that it's both!

Reason Magazine editor Nick Gillespe described Krugman best in his rebuttal to him:
Krugman has attained that rare level of eminence where he doesn't even have to engage the very opponents he dismisses as beneath contempt. Like Kurtz in Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, he just needs to wave his hand, mumble vague abjurations, and rest assured his devoted minions will finish his work for him.
Indeed. And this seems to be true of most critics of libertarianism. They don't bother addressing actual libertarian arguments, but rather, strawman versions of them. I can't count the number of times I've seen Somalia cited as an example of a libertarian country, or seen libertarians accused of worshipping the free market like God, or seen libertarianism dismissed as a Koch Brother conspiracy, or seen the philosophy summarized as "I've got mine! Forget you!"

The problem with addressing arguments against libertarianism is that most of them are strawman. Krugman could easily argue that libertarians believe that bananas have wings and taste like mint chocolate chip, and his acolytes would accept his counter-arguement that bananas don't fly or taste like ice cream as a legit refutation of libertarianism.

When your political opposition clearly doesn't care about honest discourse, is there any use trying to engage them? Trying to argue with a painted fence seems to be more profitable.
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer

krugman is also an 'expert' on climate science :roll:

So yeah, Ivory Tower type, no connection to Reality.

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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Just goes to show that just because you're an "expert "doesn't mean that you're an automatic authority.
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:icongraeystone:
Graeystone Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013
I call it, "Disconnected from reality to the point that a person a is disconnected from the disconnect."
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I know Exactly what you mean!
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:iconaaaaceace:
aaaaceace Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013
I am no libertarian but I understand your annoyance. I have found that because I believe in reasnable busniess regulations and government welfare programs some people believe I'm a socialist. What they don't understand is that I am also against the corprate welfare system that has become a corner stone in our politics, or how some busniess find ways to create regulations as away to smother out potential rivals. Yet for some reason I keep running into people who keep calling me a socialist.
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
What you need to do is provide examples, reasonable vs radical regulations. The EPA's current assault on coal-fired power plants, would be a perfect example.
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:iconkitsumekat:
kitsumekat Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013
The one problem with coal fuel is where it goes.
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
To China? :P
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:iconkitsumekat:
kitsumekat Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013
Nope.
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:iconaaaaceace:
aaaaceace Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013
You think giving examples matter? If someone is calling you a socialist then telling them that all you believe that the use of coal needs too be restricted because it is bad for the environment isn't going too change anything.
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Not sure I understood that...
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:icongrimdrifter:
grimdrifter Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I really don't believe Krugman's rhetoric is geared for scholarly reading, or to be read by anyone who is interesting in investigating facts. It's probably not even designed to actually argue or advocate anything. It's like anything else mainstream, it's designed to narrow the perceived field of politics and economics down to the two biggest players. If this is Krugman's intent, I suspect he succeeded, but only because the rest of the mainstream is doing the same and pretending that real libertarians don't exist.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Of course. That's what they want you to think. They don't like libertarians because, unlike them, we don't kowtow to the status quo. So they have to make us appear as far on the fringe as possible. That's why they're the mainstream media.
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:iconjon-the-hillbilly:
Jon-The-Hillbilly Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Student Filmographer
"When your political opposition clearly doesn't care about honest discourse, is there any use trying to engage them?"

Honestly, when I get into political debates, I become tired of them quickly and back out because, really, the opposition does not give a care about logic and reason more often then not. 
Same could be said about religious debates too. More often then not, I can use logic against them and I am met with dismissal of the question, a strawman, or, quite especially, insults and slander.


Really, I would say no. It's no use trying to engage with anyone who would rather believe what they do with stubborn rigidity.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Then by that standard, political debate is futile.
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:iconjon-the-hillbilly:
Jon-The-Hillbilly Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Student Filmographer
Luckily not all are stubborn.
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:iconjackkazim:
jackkazim Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013
Paul Krugman is an asshole.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's far too kind.
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:iconjackkazim:
jackkazim Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013
Sorry what I meant to say would violate the TOS of deviantart.
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:iconflipswitchmandering:
FlipswitchMANDERING Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013
Kock Brothers conspiracy, lol. I am so sick and damn tired of the left always bringing them up.  I think the koch's have actually surpassed Bush when it comes to blaming things on someone.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Kook Bros conspiracy? LOL! I need to remember that one.
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:iconstephdumas:
stephdumas Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013
I agree, the Koch brothers conspiration had become cliche. I wonder how they'll react if we apply the same medecine to them about George Soros?
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:iconflipswitchmandering:
FlipswitchMANDERING Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013
not kock, but coke.
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:iconnerudan18:
Nerudan18 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I feel your pain. People like him are why I don't waste my time explaining Anarchy to anyone I don't think will take it seriously. The slander is so casually accepted.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Society tells us to make our voice heard, but what's the point of speaking out if no one is going to listen?
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:iconnerudan18:
Nerudan18 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Maybe that's why not enough Americans are protesting the NSA and the IRS. Maybe they're afraid the media won't listen anyway, or if it does, it will only be to slander them as unpatriotic traitors.
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:iconlordthawkeye:
LordTHawkeye Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013
Tom Woods' followers raised several thousand dollars to be donated to a charity and all Krugman has to do is debate him.  A few hours of his time could feed hundreds of homeless in New York.

And Krugman won't do it.

That says it all for him.  His ego is more important than the poor to him.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Folks like him don't like debates because they know their bull:iconfluttershysqueeplz: talking points will be challenged.
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:iconlordmep:
lordmep Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I'm unaware of any leftists who are willing to address the arguement.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Indeed. Most of them do nothing by attack strawman.
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:icongrueler:
Grueler Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013
Since the dawn of time, halfwits whose social status outranks their intelligence have been coming forward with "armor piercing questions" that allow them to condemn an entire belief system on the basis of the fact that every human organization has it's fair share of morons.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's modern-day intelligentsia in a nutshell: halfwits whose social status outranks their intelligence. That's what people mean when we attack Ivory Tower elitists. It's not that we hate intelligence or intellectualism. We just hate people who only managed to graduate Ivy Leauge schools because mommy and daddy paid for their full ride. Just because you have a fancy piece of paper doesn't mean you're educated, just that you managed to leap through the hoops in order to obtain it. There is a major difference between anti-intellectual and being anti-pseudointellectual. Major difference.
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:iconcomradesch:
ComradeSch Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Presisely! I'm working on a story called "The Anthropic Principle", featuring a Canadian military officer who's a Communist, and has to work three jobs to survive- And all of a sudden, the idea of anthromorphs causing even more debate (Human/non-human, and should they have human rights), and also the personal side of this officer's life- To support his Communist cause, in utter rebellion against the now nigh-totalitarian Canada's federal government, who are starting to crack down on Communism/Socialism/Liberalism/etc., or support the military and be a good citizen? He makes good points when he's in court, how it's not "Treasonous" to be critical of power, and that the Prime Minister (who's becoming dictatorial) is his own enemy, and to surrender would mean victory for him- Besides the fact that this new dictator, like all powerful men, have a God complex- They believe that they have unlimited power and are insecure about maintaining it.
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:iconbttlrp:
bttlrp Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013
Admittedly Krugman's argument is tired and a bit crap, but it's good enough for the NYT readership.

I'm going to repeat my facetious argument along the lines of: "Well why not be free market about countries and move to a more libertarian one lol"
I'd genuinely be interested in a response from a libertarian as to why choosing a better country isn't the same principle as choosing a better place to work (albeit slightly more expensive, but the principle is the same).
You could of course set up your own, there is Center for a Stateless Society: c4ss.org/ but they describe themselves as "Left Market Anarchist" whatever that means.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Here's a better question: if people like government so much, then why not move to a country like North Korea? I know that seems unfair, but then so is comparing Somalia to a libertarian country.
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:iconbttlrp:
bttlrp Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013
I can't speak for government fans! It would make sense though, since North Korea seems to have the most pervasive one. 
I didn't mean to sound obnoxious, my question is a serious one. 
It is perhaps a bit strawman-y to say that Somalia is "libertarian country" but the govt has minimal control, there is a semi-thriving business sector and there is no national tax law which is fairly close I guess.
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:icon1fireycat:
1fireycat Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Student Artist
Something tells me Krugman was dropped on his head as a baby.. :iconfacehoofplz:
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Seems to be the case
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