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July 30, 2007

When Libertarians Rebut

Just wanted to acknowledge that many libertarian readers are disagreeing with me, or at least stressing that what I described below is a narrow subset of Libertarians.

Watcher of Weasels says I'm not talking abut true libertarians, but those who would use state power to impose a supposedly "libertarian" order. Ends-libertarians, he calls them, which he doesn't believe are real libertarians (which are means-libertarians).

GD says I'm describing Objectivists, not libertarians.

Well, in fairness, I kept saying "many" libertarians are this way and specifically noted that many aren't. I'm specifically talking about the personality type attracted to libertarianism as it gives them a sort of philosophical justification for acting like an asshole all the time.

OregonMuse cuts me deeply by suggesting "self-besmittenness" is a made-up word of Beauchamperian pretension. I like to think of it as more of a nonce word, a term I found when I was looking up "portmanteau" to see if I was using it properly. (Status: Unsure.) While doing that I stumbled across this wiki debunking of the old claim that Eskimos have sixty-three bazillion words for snow.

Okay, Okay: Gekkobear and Dave in VA are still pissed off, which wasn't my intention. I guess broad-brush attacks pushing forth stereotypes of large groups of people sometimes don't quite have the nuance one wishes.

Again, if I didn't say "many libertarians" every single time, I apologize.

If Gekkobear and Dave in VA (and Phinn, and Watcher, and GD, and etc.) don't know exactly what I'm talking about and exactly who I mean (do I need to be so impolite as to name names?), well, I'll tell them via email.

You guys are libertarians-- are you really telling me you don't know exactly the personality type I'd describing? You haven't been annoyed by this sort yourselves?

Really? Really?

One More Try: I really did mean that part about my humor being of the pandering variety -- and this whole libertarian rant was intended to be of that sort, too. I guess I didn't give it much thought, because I figured everyone -- including libertarians themselves -- would be on board with it.

I'm describing a sort of self-identifying "libertarian" drawn to the philosophy less by ideology and more by personality type -- the contrivedly contrarian sort, the spotlight dancer, the kind of person who always wants to set themselves apart and draw attention to themseves by saying patently absurd or offensive twaddle (like, for example, if parents don't want their chilldren viewed as sexual objects, they ought to just stop having kids).

As I said, if I'm not describing you, I'm not describing you.

And, not to get myself into trouble, but I endorse Rocketeer's corollary -- If you don't even know who am I describing, then odds are I am, alas, describing you.

If the sort of aggressively transgressive and caclulatedly contrarian and spotlight-seeking shock-the-bourgeoisie behavior I've described doesn't strike you as annoying or objectionable, but just the way a hip and happening person should behave, well, I guess I am describing you.

And I'd say further: Please stop. You're fucking annoying.

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posted by Ace at 04:34 PM

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