Tomasky: Libertarianism is kookoo
Some wierd freaks ill-informed brash opinion. I am interested in your response.
Intellectual consistency can be overrated
When we write about libertarianism, most liberals feel compelled to say something like, you know, I disagree with that viewpoint, but I respect that it's principled and intellectually consistent.
I say balderdookey. Libertarianism is kookoo. There can be no such thing as a basically stateless society (except for national defense and barest administration of law, I think are the exceptions they typically allow for). It's just ridiculous. Civil society would collapse without the state.
I've written this before, a few months ago. Conservatives, and libertarians, seem to think that we have regulations in this society because we have a bunch of underemployed pencil pushers sitting around dreaming up ways to make small business people's lives miserable.
It's ridiculous. We have regulations because throughout history people in various pursuits did really sleazy and unethical things. They swindled investors, they dumped toxins into bodies of water, they made children work long hours for slave wages. Et cetera. And so laws were passed and regulations were written.
And unfortunately such is man's endless capacity for sleaze and unethicality that this process will never end: as technology presents new ways to be sleazy, we'll always need to invent new ways to prevent sleaze from happening.
Yes, fine. Some regulations are onerous. Liberals should always be sensitive to legitimate concerns along these lines.
But you need a state. Time and history have proven no one else will perform these tasks.
So there's nothing in the least inellectually respectable about libertarianism. Intellectually consistent? Great. So was Goebbels. That doesn't mean much to me.
We all support a few libertarian-ish principles; we all agree that the state should have some limits. For example, I think it's perfectly fine for the state to make fast-food joints post nutrition information. But I would oppose the state having the right to ban the Quarter Pounder. So we all get that kind of thing.
But big-L Libertarianism is vapid. I hope in the next few months it is properly exposed as such.