When defending libertarian policies, which we all should, it’s easy to get tripped up on definitions alone. Is a liberal in favor of liberty? In some areas. Most of the time. Probably? Is a conservative unlikely to advocate state intrusion into private matters? Yes. No. Wait. What day is it? Where do the Democratic and Republican Parties stand on the wars in Asia? (To be fair, I believe both have bravely come out in favor of “the troops”.) The so-called War on Drugs? Impossible to tell, because their platforms are not derived from any fundamental principles. Well, even in the confusing patois of policy discourse, The Free Agent came across this definition of libertarianism worthy of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth:
While Tea Party movement followers ran around Nashville last week dressed up in their Paul Revere period costumes, blathering about their heroic struggle against Obama’s Islamosocialist tyranny, the right-wing elite that nurtures them, and their paid libertarian ideologues, have been openly advocating the abolition of America’s democracy in favor of a free-market junta, because, as they say over and over, voters cannot be trusted to rule themselves.
The Minitrue drone responsible is Mark Ames, writing on a site called alternet.org, which The Free Agent optimistically thought would actually present alternative points of view. On the off chance you should encounter such black-is-white argumentation in your own circle, and The Free Agent offers her sympathy if you do, here is how to untangle the paragraph above, except for the expression “free market junta” which contradicts itself and is therefore untangleable. Ames’ reasoning is this: libertarians decry surrendering their personal decision-making authority to their representatives (and fight against our fellow citizens when they would take away our freedom) because we do not “trust” Americans to elect the best people to rule over us. When talking with your version of Mark Ames, shock him thus: libertarians trust their fellows so much that trust isn’t even part of the equation. We simply would accord our fellow citizens the exact same rights and freedom we demand for ourselves. No one accords individuals higher status than libertarians. You say we doubt Americans’ ability to elect representatives who will take care of them? We say we are confident in our ability to govern and provide for ourselves. Who has the greater respect?
One other thing—paid libertarian ideologues? The Free Agent is available!