I hate libertarians.
by J.H. Huebert
Okay, not all libertarians. Just the ones in the Free State
Okay, not all libertarians in the Free State Project. Just the ones
in Keene, New Hampshire.
Okay, probably not all of them. Probably not most of them. Just the
ones I’ve noticed.
For something I’m writing, I’ve been researching the FSP, and I think
it’s a brilliant idea with a lot of potential to work. The
mastermind, Jason Sorens, appears to me to be a libertarian hero
worthy of much praise. The whole thing is extremely well thought out,
and the reasons for choosing New Hampshire as their state are
excellent. When I read his stuff, it makes me want to pick up and
move to New Hampshire.
The only flaw with the project is that it requires the members of the
libertarian movement to act like sensible, reasonable human beings,
which apparently is asking too much.
Overall, it seems like the FSP people, especially its leaders, are a-
okay principled libertarians. For all I know, they’re *all*
principled libertarians, or at least good enough for me
But in their approach, some of the people in Keene appear to be
The first and worst things are the “Sam Dodson” type stunts, where you
go do something pointless that you know is likely to get you
arrested. Or you just make an ass of yourself for no obvious reason,
like pretending you don’t understand a judge when he’s speaking plain
English to you. Typically the point of civil disobedience is to call
the public’s attention to an injustice. But if an anarchist
libertarian like me can’t understand the point of your protest, what
is it going to teach anybody else? It’s going to teach them that
libertarians are lunatics, or at least extremely frivolous people who
don’t have any serious ideas that would actually improve their
Then there’s their “parking meter Robin Hood” stunt, where they go put
money in people’s parking meters and leave a note explaining that
parking meters are unjust because people are forced to pay for parking
spots through taxes, then forced to pay again when they actually want
to use them. People may appreciate being spared the ticket, but
parking meters are one of the worst things you could use to try to
illustrate government injustice. It’s a fact that the government owns
streets and parking spaces, and that’s about the last thing that the
NH libertarians will ever change, no matter how successful they are
otherwise. So given that we’re stuck with government streets for the
foreseeable future, we can have free parking and therefore parking
shortages, or we can try to at least approximate a market. Of course
– as they’re showing their neighbors — libertarians prefer chaos.
And you know what these people would do if the town took the parking
meters away — they’d try to “homestead” a space permanently by
plunking some junk car or other big object in a space. Then when they
government tow truck came, they’d lie down in front of it, yelling
about how they’re being oppressed, hoping to god they get tased and
arrested so all their friends can see it on YouTube.
Now the latest is that some young women in Keene want to get topless
in public to fight for the right to do that. Of course, I’m of two
minds about this. But it’s an idiotic cause because it’s a fight over
what you can do on public property, and there’s no obvious reason why
your desire to be topless should trump some other person’s desire not
to run into topless women when going about their business. Plus it
needlessly offends a large segment of the community who might actually
appreciate you if you chose as your battle one of the hundreds of
issues that *actually matters*.
Actually matters? I would agree that there are more and less important topics and there are more and less effective means to deal with them. However, there are thick libertarian arguments to be made regarding a topless, gender equality protest… just as there can be one with regard the right to record.
What would Huebert prefer? Are not civil disobedient individuals necessary to help test illegitimate statute?