Libertarians, Ayn Rand, Ron Paul, and the Blinding Glow of Freedom

To Rand Paul/Ron paulians/AynRandians, libertarianism means they can do whatever they damn please, and that is the ultimate good. However they have to rationalize the social viability of complete freedom from oversight so they invoke the invisible hand of the market and lawsuits to correct abuses.

“Do you believe in freedom or not?” they ask. But really, it’s about the libertarian desire to be unimpeded whatever impulse arises. With the more up to date, hipsterish, formerly lefty libertarians– it may *start* with a not-unreasonable “I should be able to do anything I want with drugs” (for example), but they misuse the just cause of decriminalization of pot to lunge into: hence, libertarianism is good. With the Cliven Bundys it’s “I don’t want to pay taxes”, so libertarianism is good…or Sovereign exceptionalism is good. With some, “I don’t want to pay parking tickets or traffic tickets” so libertarianism is good. And everything else is just an elaborate if, ultimately, feeble system of rationale.

There is a kind of glow of the glories of freedom on libertarianism, that gives it a superficial “rightness”. Freedom, yes, is indeed good–and its goodness is a sort of social camouflage for libertarians. It’s as if the shine of freedom gets in their eyes, so they see nothing else. But simply trumpeting the genuine goodness of freedom ignores the abuse of freedom. For example, it ignores the fact that the former head of NAMBLA–an organization favoring adult sex with small boys–proudly declared himself a libertarian…and obviously he chose libertarianism because he can use it to justify child molestation. “Don’t impose your fascist rules against buggering children on me!”

If freedom should be inviolable, then I should be able to freely drive my car down the sidewalk right over crowds of people. “Oh yes–but they could sue you,” say libertarians. However, lawsuits won’t bring those people back–and anyway isn’t the lawsuit itself an imposition on my freedom?

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