Libertarians: The Bolsheviks of the Right

Kunk Fu Zoby Kung Fu Zu   12/28/13
Much of what Libertarians preach is simply a rehash of classical liberalism or constitutional conservatism. To a very great extent, American Conservatives fall into the category of classical liberals and wish for the smallest possible government consistent with maintaining a peaceful and orderly community. If Libertarians could focus on this broad area of agreement, there would be the normal back and forth on specific policies, and a working political coalition between Libertarians and Conservatives could be established.

Unfortunately, this is not likely to happen because, at the heart of the Libertarian philosophy, there is the desire for a Utopian paradise which is based on a profound misunderstanding and denial of human nature. This Utopian dream has pronounced similarities with Marxism. Some may find this statement outrageous but the following quotes should give those people reason to reconsider their position:

“The interference of the state power in social relations becomes superfluous in one sphere after another, and then ceases of itself. The government of persons is replaced by the administration of things and the direction of the processes of production. The state is not “abolished,” it withers away.”

The above statement was made by Marx’s good friend and financial supporter Frederick Engels. Many have forgotten this part of Marxist theory, but the end point of Marxism was the state of no State.

The next quotes are from the famous Libertarian Murray Rothbard.

“It’s ours to right the great wrong done,\\ Ten thousand years ago — \\ The State, conceived in blood and hate, \\ Remains our only foe! \\ Oh, join us, brothers, join us, sisters,\\ Victory is nigh!\\ Come meet your fate, destroy the State,\\ And raise black banners high!”

“The State is in no sense required by the nature of man; quite the contrary.”

“The great non sequitur committed by defenders of the State, is to leap from the necessity of society to the necessity of the State.”

The similarity in thought is striking. Both groups have the political end of doing away with the State. We know how Marxism’s most successful proponents, the Bolsheviks, and their cousins the Maoists, tried to attain this goal. It was by the slaughter of tens of millions of people. The Libertarians’ method is not yet clear, but perhaps they hope to bring everyone around a campfire and get them stoned on weed.

Why any rational human being would entertain the thought that humanity could function without the “State,” (however one wishes to define it — society, community, etc.) and some sort of communal coercion which comes with being a part of a political group, is something which psychologists should further study. Yet in their Muenchausian world, Libertarians such as Rothbard appear to believe that each individual is completely autonomous and can act without affecting others. This leads to several questions.

Do Libertarians truly believe that, all or even most, individuals left to their own devices could exist in harmony together, as everyone would be “reasonable”? If so, they should cite an example of such a town, state or country. Have Libertarians no idea of the volatility of human nature? Do they think by wishing to change human nature they can simply say “make it so” and it will be? Such magical thinking moves one to say “God save us from all social engineering theorists.”

Throughout history, groups starting at the family level have determined through experience that a minimum level of unity and cohesion are requisite for survival. They established rules of conduct in order to promote such unity and cohesion. These rules have sometimes been maintained by group force. Such rules, developed over time within the tribe and larger units, eventually evolved into the “Rule of Law.” The fact that the “Law” was known and everyone was, at least theoretically, subject to it, is one of the greatest achievements of mankind. Limits were imposed. People knew what the rules were and could adjust their lives accordingly. Order, safety — and freedom itself — grew from this.

Libertarians claim they set their own standards and do not wish to impose them on others. This sounds nice, but in reality they would impose their standards on others. To take an extreme case, let us imagine a Libertarian decides to walk naked down the street in a modest community and someone objects. His answer to the objection will be, “you cannot restrict my freedom to walk down the street naked as I am not hurting you. I am not imposing my beliefs or will on you. If you don’t like me walking down the street naked, don’t look.” But this is a disingenuous argument because he is restricting your freedom. He is using your communal morals against you making you avoid a public area in order to keep from seeing him. The fact that the majority of people don’t wish to be confronted with his public nudity is not relevant to the naked Libertarian. To his mind, others have no right to proscribe his behavior. But clearly, communities must set standards. Knowing this, one can conclude that Libertarians desire the advantages of the community without being subject to the demands of the community. This is a type of Egotism which if nurtured and allowed to stand would create monsters and lead to the tyranny of the individual over the majority.

Following Libertarian logic, the only norms which society can impose on the individual are those prohibiting physical assault and theft. In the end, such thinking will lead to the point where exhibitionists, oddballs and malcontents will redefine acceptable behavior and, as Moynihan said, define deviancy down. Effectively, extremists and types who fancy themselves Nietzschean Supermen will rule because the simplistic non-coercion rule of Libertarians is an opportunity for the most ruthless to rule. If you have no authority (a State) to say “no,” then the law of the jungle reigns. These Nietzschean types will not be satisfied until they have brought a large percentage of society down to their level and literally forced the rest out of the public square. Their political reply to those who disagree with them is essentially, “get used to it.” This sounds very similar to what the Left is trying to do to the country and, knowingly or not, the Libertarians are simply abetting the Left in the race for the bottom.

Although Libertarians such as Rothbard may think they are moving forward, they are really regressing to some imaginary Rousseauian State of Nature. They are pining for a time when rules would become blurred and changeable depending upon each person’s whim. In reality, they would be on the road to a place where, at any given moment, the law becomes what the strongest decides. Unrestrained passion would flourish, as rules restrain such passion. The law would become capricious and capriciousness is the enemy of the individual and group. If Libertarians were foolish enough to follow such philosophy they would end up in a “State of Nature” i.e. a place where the life of man would be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” as described by Thomas Hobbs. Luckily, we are not yet there and it is the State which has saved us from such an end.

Politically, I am a constitutional conservative. I believe our Federal Government, in its present form, is an abomination that has overstepped all bounds with regards to the rights of U.S. citizens. I believe it is corrupt to its core and is in collusion with big business, big labor and others, who Burnham describes as the “Managerial Class,” to the detriment of the individual citizen. In my opinion, the present Federal government is bloated beyond reason or need, is intentionally profligate with its citizens’ money, and its size and power should be dramatically reduced. However, I do not think it should be abolished. The only hope we might have to turn around our badly off-course ship-of-state is to recognize and understand human nature and the human condition. The quest for an earthly paradise is a fool’s errand. History has shown us that the pursuit of Utopia is too often a bloody journey. We should keep this in mind, as simplistic remedies with little basis in human reality will not be very helpful in reaching our political goals.

Self governance is one of man’s great treasures. The ability and right to have a say in how one’s society is ruled is something which should be highly prized. Keeping a skeptical eye on those who govern us is a duty required by all citizens if we intend to maintain our freedoms. But freedom from societal governance is a pipe dream and something beyond the moral ability of mankind. As Madison said, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” • (2853 views)

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36 Responses to Libertarians: The Bolsheviks of the Right

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    An excellent example of the effect of libertinist libertarianism on society. I consider myself a constitutional conservative with a strong libertarian bent, but I reject the absolutist ideology that is common among libertarians. A good example of where this can lead is an SF series by L. Neil Smith (beginning with the novel The Probability Broach), which is entertaining at times but completely unrealistic and written by someone who had too little knowledge of history. (The key difference between his libertarian US and ours was that the Declaration of Independence insists on the “unanimous consent” of the governed — something the revolutionaries knew they could never achieve, and which no one familiar with Poland and its “liberium veto” would ever have considered.)

    A more realistic look at a libertarian society can be found in Freehold by Michael Z. Williamson (and other books in the series). Two stories that present a view of what might happen under conditions of pure anarchy are “Coventry” by Robert Heinlein and “Cloak of Anarchy: by Larry Niven, though neither is entirely fair.

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    “Poland and its “liberium veto”

    A good thought. Historians consider this insane rule one of the main reasons Poland as a nation disappeared a couple of time.


    KFZ – this is a good description of the impracticality of practical Libertarianism. A desire for anarchy always lurks in the Libertarian heart, the practical consequence of which is such terrifying disorder that men accept the first strongman able to quell it. Thus Libertarian anarchy leads necessarily to dictatorship.

    The behind-the-scenes culprit is Libertarianism’s value-neutral approach to politics – it claims to “value” Liberty but can’t explain what individual rights are (see Steve Lancaster’s recent pieces here on ST for perfect examples of this lapse) – I use the quotes because having nullified the concept of “value,” Libertarianism has to posit something it calls “liberty” as good while being unable to define what “good” means, leaving it with nothing more than libertinism.

    The current Duck Dynasty controversy provides a perfect illustration: Lancaster and other Libertarians, unable to make value judgments, take a let’s-stand-on-the-sidelines approach, with Phil Robertson able to express his views and A&E able to express theirs, and let them slug it out! The fact that the Left-wing Establishment, through proxy bullies like GLAAD, is attempting to stifle free discourse by intimidation, means nothing to these Libertarians – they don’t bemoan the attempt to create an illiberal society because they don’t value a liberal society in the first place! And that’s why Libertarians are useless or worse in our ongoing cultural struggle against the Left. Note that today’s victory over GLAAD (i.e. the lifting of Robertson’s suspension from A&E) came about because Conservatives refused to allow Robertson to be bullied, or to be bullied themselves by the cultural commissars of the Left, while Libertarians, as usual, were absent from the fight.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I believe many who call themselves Libertarians are really people who are fed up with the Republican party and have several points on which they strongly disagree with traditional conservatives. These points deal with sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, ok not rock-n-roll, but foreign policy and privacy. I believe these disagreements can, to a large degree, be either compromised on or lived with.

      However, the “Libertarian” movement as exemplified by Murray Rothbard would appear to contain too many kooks, anarchists, confused individuals, egotists, dishonest opportunists, pie-in-the-sky dreamers and shallow ignorant people. Am I being too hard?

      When asked to give examples of a time and place their “beliefs” have worked in the real world, they can’t.

      When asked to consider the possible real world consequences of their fatuous philosophy, they are unable or unwilling to explore the question with much depth.

      I find it interesting that they claim to believe that large groups of people can live peacefully together with minimal governance, but if Steve is representative of them it seems that when it really gets down to it, they are all too ready to resort to violence at a pretty early point in the discussion. Steve’s post to Brad under “City of the Lowered Gaze” would seem to indicate the possibility, if not probability, that given the proper circumstances, he would be the first to use violence to impose his will on others. Could one read from his post that Steve considers himself a law unto himself? That he brooks no opposition? That he is an anarchist, a god in his own mind? If he were walking naked down the street and the police told him to put his clothes on, would he shoot them?

      It is hard to answer these questions without knowing Steve personally. Very often, people write things on line that they would never actually do or say in person. Steve may be as cuddly as a pussy cat.

      Nevertheless, I do find it odd that someone who so quickly states he will use violence if it suits him, could, with a straight face, use the name of Jesus as an example of his, i.e. Steve’s, Libertarian philosophy. Jesus is non-violence personified. He said to” turn the other cheek.” “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

      Frankly, it doesn’t sound like Steve’s brand of Libertarianism has a lot in common with Jesus. But perhaps that shouldn’t surprise me, because anyone who can claim that Marxists, conservatives, liberals and progressive can all be “Libertarians” has stretched the definition of the word to the point of making it meaningless in any political discussion.

      Furthermore, the statement that “they all embrace freedom as they see it” is nothing more than a meaningless platitude. Does he seriously see no difference between freedom as understood by Marxists, liberals, conservatives and progressives? The Bolshies saw freedom as lining people who disagreed with them against the wall and pulling the trigger.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Perhaps some of that libertarian preference for abstract principle over practicality stems from Rand’s attempt to make the moral case for Objectivism (though she also argued that it was superior pragmatically). Some may also stem from failing to consider the difference between short-term pragmatism (beloved of Beltway Bandit Republicans) and long-term pragmatism.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Ditto, and plainly spoken. And please forgive me for comparing you to Mark Steyn. Ann Coulter would have been close to the mark. 😀

    • Timothy Lane says:

      One must remember that “anarchy” has more than one meaning. If one refers to the absence of a central government, then an anarchy is viable, at least for a while, though it devolves into domination by local strongmen (as happened in medieval Iceland). But “anarchy” also refers to social chaos (which tends to be the consequence of the other kind in the modern world), which is unworkable as a basis for society (as Jose Maria Gil Robles pointed out in an important debate in the Cortes in 1936, discussed by Hugh Thomas in the Spanish Civil War). Given the choice between chaos and autocracy, most people will indeed choose the latter.

      By libertarian standards, A&E was perfectly within their rights, as was GLAAD in denouncing Robertson. The fact that the practical result would be to suppress politically incorrect views about homosexuality is irrelevant — especially since libertarians probably mostly disagree with them anyway. Thought police are acceptable as long as they aren’t G-men.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Perhaps we should modify anarchists with nihilistic. These people have no moral grounding thus rules can change at their whims. What is acceptable to them can vary from moment to moment. It would seem they are led more by emotion than reason.

        When passion and nihilism mate, chaos is their offspring.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          When I was a high school senior, I came across a working description of anarchism, I believe from a British writer, which I mentioned in my English class (and the teacher agreed with it): 1. There shall be no government. laws, organizations, etc. 2. No one can be forced to obey #1.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Timothy (and Mr. Kung), I think the impulse to anarchy (no, are almost no, government) stems from (surprise surprise) a quite Leftist Rousseau-ian impulse: that mankind is inherently good and acts badly only due to external corrupting forces (for the Left it is oppression due to “race, class, or gender” and for Libertarians it is “coercion or government”). It is yet another flavor of “the noble savage,” the naïve belief that man is basically good.

        As Madison said, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” And Mr. Kung, I believe, has reminded us with this quote before. Libertarians either believe that men are angels or (as is my preference) they have not thought beyond or through their superficial dogma. The idea just pleases them so much that to hell with what reality actually says (Sowell). It could be both.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Note that today’s victory over GLAAD (i.e. the lifting of Robertson’s suspension from A&E) came about because Conservatives refused to allow Robertson to be bullied, or to be bullied themselves by the cultural commissars of the Left, while Libertarians, as usual, were absent from the fight.

      Right on, Nik. And as some commentor said to an article that I read this morning, the Left throws the Libertarians a bone now and then (gay marriage, abortion) and somewhat keeps them mollified.

      Libertarians (at least today’s breed) should stop pretending that they are on the right. Most of their traits align with the Left even if the word “liberty” is central to their own self identity. But what kind of liberty? The Left believes in liberty as well – freedom from want, freedom from unemployment, freedom from sexual responsibility, freedom from human nature (and gender), freedom from homelessness, freedom from the effects of irresponsibility, freedom from mental angst, freedom from self-responsibility. Libertarians just add in “freedom from government” and suppose this means the same thing as the conservative and American belief in limited government.

      That we live in a country where the men have tended toward eternal juvenilism is indisputable. I think Libertarianism reflects this, in part. Most of their ideology is ill-considered and superficial, at best.

      That we life in a country where bumper-sticker slogans and soundbytes replace deep understanding is also apparent. I’ve argued with enough libertarians to come to a reasonable conclusion that their mode of thought is the equivalent of taking a half dozen fortune-cookie slogans and trying to make an entire life philosophy out it. All you end up with then is a cultish mode of thought.

      But this phenomenon is by no means restricted to libertarians. It is a culture-wide phenomena to be versed in a few supposed Googled “facts” while having little, if any, grounding in the deeper realities of the world. Any ideology can do well if it doesn’t need facts or wisdom.

    • steve lancaster says:

      To use the Robertson case as an attack on libertarians is at best a straw man. This is not an issue of free speech.

      The issue is one of contracts and contract law. A&E’s contract apparently did not give them the authority to censor Robertson for comments made in another context other than the show itself. By suspending Robertson A&E violated that contract and gave the Robertsons cause to seek permanent separation and to contract with another network. Thus, to prevent the loss of the show entirely A&E caved to the reality that they would suffer irreparable loss if the show was cancelled and that the Robertsons would certainly sue for damages and win, and take their program to another network.

      To the best of my knowledge the Robertsons did not make any disparaging remarks about A&E or the restrictions that may exist in contract about the show, thus, showing their intent to honor the terms of the contract. I suspect when renewal time comes around that the show will move to another network.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        But you fail to get our point, that a group of lavender thought police (the fag-boys from GLAAD) seeks to intimidate dissenters from their orthodoxy so that only the most determined will dare to speak out against them (and pay a heavy price for doing so, such as the California orchestra director who lost his job for having contributed to the campaign against homosexual marriage). To us, it is a free speech issue (even private or quasi-private groups can have a “chilling effect”, as the lavender though police seek to do), but libertarians evidently can’t see that.

        • steve lancaster says:

          Perhaps you fail to understand mine. I support Robertson and I have the same feeling about GLAAD as you and the rest on this board. They have a right to voice their opinion, they have no right to listened to. The error A&E made was listening to an odious group who are predisposed to be offended. A polite “go to hell” coming from A&E would have given the network credibility with many more people who actually watch the show. How many wine sipping cheese eating homosexuals do you think watch Duck Dynasty? Robertson’s comments were in line with perhaps 90% of evangelical Christians.

          Additionally you have no right to be offended by speech of any kind; no one is compelled to listen YET!


          Exactly, Tim – that is what Steve doesn’t seem to understand.


        Steve – since you missed the point, forgive me for quoting myself in an attempt to make it clear to you:

        “The current Duck Dynasty controversy provides a perfect illustration: Lancaster and other Libertarians, unable to make value judgments, take a let’s-stand-on-the-sidelines approach, with Phil Robertson able to express his views and A&E able to express theirs, and let them slug it out! The fact that the Left-wing Establishment, through proxy bullies like GLAAD, is attempting to stifle free discourse by intimidation, means nothing to these Libertarians – they don’t bemoan the attempt to create an illiberal society because they don’t value a liberal society in the first place! And that’s why Libertarians are useless or worse in our ongoing cultural struggle against the Left.”

        Let me put the matter a little differently – there are many ways to stifle free speech, government censorship being only the most serious. But the successful application of The Argument from Intimidation, which the Left uses repeatedly and attempted to use in this case, is still very dangerous because it has the effect of shutting down speech not conforming to the prevailing orthodoxy while at the same time paving the way for future censorship by the government. Calling Robertson’s speech “hateful” (which it wasn’t) is a way of putting all criticism of the homosexual lifestyle out of bounds, with the intention of eventually criminalizing such criticism as “hate speech”. That you cannot see the danger is almost certainly the result of your discomfort with the necessity of making moral judgments – the central failing, once again, of Libertarianism.

        • steve lancaster says:

          To the self-styled social conservative. I find it troubling that you so readily attack libertarians. Libertarians are your natural allies on almost every issue of importance. I suggest you read or reread my first post on mostly libertarian point of view. Yes, there are issues that we differ on, but the central social issues of our times, abortion, taxes, government spying, freedom of speech and the liberty of the individual we are in agreement.

          Yes, there are issues we disagree, marriage; my view is not a government issue, but one for the individuals involved. In its most basic form it is a contract between two or more people. If any than a civil ceremony is asked, say of a church it is the decision of the church to agree that the people requesting a religious ceremony meet the standards of the church, not the other way around. In other words if you want the sanction of the Church of Christ, then you best be a man and woman. If you want a wedding cake from a bakery, and the bakery refuses to make it because of the theme; that is their right go somewhere else.

          Some posters have ascribed altogether too much power to libertarians. To read their posts you would think that libertarian thinking controls every election and that the only reason conservatives have lost is because libertarians “split the vote”. I find that laughable, as when social democrats lose elections they say the same thing. It seems that libertarians are out rigging elections and poisoning wells against both sides. How can we be so powerful and yet seldom get more than 3 or 4% of the vote on a good day? Lastly, I post under my real name, not some nom de guerre. My thoughts are my own, based on a career in government and private industry. I don’t apologize for them and I am open to real discussion.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            There are certainly pro-life libertarians (in fact, the LP gubernatorial candidate in New Jersey in 1997 ran as a pro-lifer), but that seems to be unusual. I will agree that there is a lot of overlap between libertarianism and conservatism, which is why Nahalkides has urged the former to support the latter rather than allow a liberal (i.e., fascist) Democrat win on a plurality (as happened in several Senate races in 2012).

            As for homosexual marriage, it’s not really illegal anywhere. The issue is formal state recognition for purposes such as taxes and inheritance — which you would gladly get rid of, but that isn’t realistic. And it’s also anti-discrimination laws that are being used to force small businesses (and Catholic Charities) to violate their religious principles. How many of your fellow libertarians agree with your opposition to such abuses?

            • steve lancaster says:

              Many libertarians are in complete agreement with you. By definition libertarians are a very independent group who do not fit a mold of any kind. I have no problem supporting conservatives. To paraphrase WFB, support the most libertarian candidate who can win. I voted for Nixon, twice and every GOP candidate to Romney; in some cases only because the alternative was so offensive, AKA Obama.

              Romney did not win because he was too conservative, but because he was a social democrat in republican form. Romney lost by some 5,000,000 votes most of those, 3,000,000 were republicans who stayed home rather than vote for either candidate and most of those I believe were conservative and libertarians.

  4. Kurt NY says:

    There is always the dichotomy between the humanity that seeks to be free and that part of humanity that needs to be restrained. Much of human history is the story of those who seek power over themselves and others, not least to be free of the power of others. Yet we also know that unrestrained power is ultimately always abused.

    Why do so many of our elites seem to operate in depraved or amoral fashion? And why is such characteristic of elites in every society in every age? Isn’t it really because their wealth/notariety/status renders them immune from societal pressure? How many of us if fully released from the bonds of society would continue to always act in moral fashion? Isn’t the very concept of morality that which we owe other humans? So isn’t social pressure from other humans also necessary to keep us moral?

    Yet such can go too far the other way and become stultifying to the individual. And it is individual genius which moves human progress along. And without freedom of conscience and action, can any of us reach our full potential?

    So there must always be tension between liberty and conformity. And to be absolutist in either way is to misunderstand the essence of what it means to be human. And, as shown with communism, no political system based on a false understanding of human nature can ever be stable or morally acceptable.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Yes, while I was doing some earlier posts today it occurred to me regarding libertarianism is that the problem with it is that it takes a particular value (individual freedom) and overemphasizes it — too much of a good thing, in essence.


        I would put it this way: Libertarianism posits individual freedom as a value while simultaneously attempting to negate the very concept of value, since all value judgments are anathema to its philosophy (except, self-contradictorily, the “value” of individual freedom). The result is an intellectually chaotic movement which cannot survive its own internal contradictions, nor motivate mass support.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Nicely put.

        • Kurt NY says:

          Exactly so. And you can see its mirror image in the value system of the counterculture left, which is so quickly becoming the default for our society. Their highest value is tolerance (stemming from the civil rights era).

          Yet when tolerance is your highest value, you cannot look critically at other people’s choices because such implies discriminating in some way. So all choices must be equally valid. Which seems morally vacuous and illogical.

          But then, in service of that tolerance, the left must insist we all be equally tolerant to themselves. So anyone who is not so must be condemned and silenced – intolerance in service to tolerance.

          Both libertarianism and leftist counterculture in their more extreme forms make the same error. By overemphasizing one moral aspect to the exclusion of pretty much all else, they misunderstand and misinterpret what it means to be human.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    “Why do so many of our elites seem to operate in depraved or amoral fashion? And why is such characteristic of elites in every society in every age? Isn’t it really because their wealth/notariety/status renders them immune from societal pressure?”

    Historically, it has been the upper and lower strati of society which have acted in the most depraved ways. The upper because, as you noted, their wealth/noteriety/status rendered them immune from societal pressure.

    The lowest because they had so little to lose that they felt no constraints. It might be added that it is probable that this lack of constraint helped keep many in the lower level of society.

    One of the things which people like Bortz and Rothbard hate is “middle class morality”. They do not like such bourgeous constraints to be imposed on them. Of course the fact is lost on these types that it is the middle classes and their values of thrift, hard work and moral living which are largely responsible for the great growth in prosperity we have enjoyed in American. Without the middle classes, I assure you, most of the types such as Bortz and Rothbard would be occupying the dregs of society and not the towering heights, which would be taken by the likes of the Marquis de Sade and the pederast Caliphs in Istanbul.

    For an interesting take on this subject , watch Alfred P. Dolitte’s in “My Fair Lady”.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Yes, I was thinking of Alfie (“the most original moralist in England”) as I read your post. Shaw expressed such disdain for the middle class and its values not only in Pygmalion (the source for My Fair Lady), but elsewhere as well (such as a letter from “J.C.” reprinted by Donald Rumbelow in The Complete Jack the Ripper that reads very much like Shaw, particularly its attack on the Epistles as “the silliest middle-class stuff on record”).

    • Kurt NY says:

      It is posts such as yours that make me itch for some facility for an “upvote” on comments.

  6. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Shouldn’t the libertarians come out to support this guy?

    After all, he didn’t hurt, or steal from, anybody. And he has the right to imbibe a mind-altering drug if he wants to. Besides, he only drank when he came to a stop at STOP signs or red lights.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Sadly for this idiot, the charge isn’t “drinking while driving” but “driving while intoxicated” or “driving under intoxicated”. And it’s rather obvious he was very intoxicated. I will note that National Review, even after turning libertarian on marijuana, nevertheless pointed to the desirability of banning driving when intoxicated by marijuana (or other hallucinogens) as well as alcohol. But actual full libertarians? I wonder what Ayn Rand would have said. Perhaps someone could ask Leonard Peikoff, who I understand is her top acolyte.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      He might have been drink and/or driving.

  7. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I have been reading quite a bit about Russia of the 19th and 20th centuries. This study introduces or re-introduces me to a cornucopia of screwballs, crooks, criminals, monsters, false prophets and psychopaths.

    One of the above, the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, is perhaps the great granddaddy of libertarians.

    Here is a quote from the man:

    “Therefore there is no fixed and constant authority, but a continual exchange of mutual, temporary, and, above all, voluntary authority and subordination. This same reason forbids me, then, to recognise a fixed, constant and universal authority, because there is no universal man, no man capable of grasping in all that wealth of detail, without which the application of science to life is impossible, all the sciences, all the branches of social life.”

    Sounds reasonable right, but it is actually an indication of the puffed up opinion Bakunin had of himself.

    Let Theodore Dalrymple put this type of thinking in the proper context.

    Of all human qualities, self-esteem is one of the worst and most unpleasant. It is the quality that allows someone to say to a world expert on a subject that he has studied all his life and about which he knows all there is to be known, “Well, I have a different opinion from yours, and mine is equally valid”—equally valid, that is, because it is mine and everything connected with me is of inestimable value.

    We should keep Dalrymple’s observation in mind when dealing with libertarians who accept no authority other than themselves, because they are obviously geniuses. Of course, dimwit leftists, who base everything on “feeling”, fall under the same category.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Bakunin did have the one merit of mocking Marxism as a pedantocracy, which is what leftism seems to seek today. Hugh Thomas noted in The Spanish Civil War that the Spanish anarchists (including one rebel who had a daughter named Libertaria) followed Bakunin. He noted that Bakunin once said that the world would be free when the last king was strangled in the guts of the last priest, and this seems to have been a big influence on Spanish anarchism.

      I find the People’s Will very interesting. You have a handful of middle-class students who claim to represent the whole nation (which mostly consisted of peasants). They did, to be fair, have a single working-class member. In the name of revolution, they sacrificed reform. Typical leftists. They were also phenomenally unlucky in their attacks on Alexander II. Too bad their bad luck didn’t last a little longer.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        The People’s Will, like most of these leftist cabals, was made up of “intellectuals” who seem to have a difficulty with reality. They are constantly cutting square pegs to fit into the round holes which they (the intellectuals) have decided are the only correct shape.

        The fact that they are cutting people does not seem to bother them in the least.

        I believe Bakunin also observed that the implementation of Marx’s ideas would lead to a centralized tyranny. Well, he got that right.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Of all human qualities, self-esteem is one of the worst and most unpleasant. It is the quality that allows someone to say to a world expert on a subject that he has studied all his life and about which he knows all there is to be known, “Well, I have a different opinion from yours, and mine is equally valid”—equally valid, that is, because it is mine and everything connected with me is of inestimable value.

      Confidence balanced with humility is a rare thing. You gotta have both. But “self-esteem’ has little to do with confidence. It has to do with coddling, with making the idea that one is worthy superior to whether one actually is.

      Atheists can never be humble. Religionists can often be arrogant. Atheist make an idol of their ego. Their sense of worth is all they have in a meaningless world. Religionists can be arrogant as well as they look to buttress their sense-of-self by connecting to God. (Thou shalt not take his name — use his prestige — in vain.) The correct approach is one more akin with self-denial and self-deflating of the ego.

      But inherently the path of atheism/materialism leads people to becoming little monsters. The path of what Dennis Prager calls “ethical monotheism” leads people to becoming civilized moral children of God.

      You’ll never win an argument out on the sidewalk with these thoughts. The immediate currency is ego, power, reputation, authority, money, etc. Every man is a fool in the eyes of those who don’t acknowledge those things as the true almighty. Bending reality to fit their individual ego is all the spiritually parched man or woman has. He must protect them beyond all reason. And usually does.

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