Friday, August 10, 2012


They want to take over and leave you alone!

Great bumper sticker philosophy.  Too bad that many of the people who would be attracted by it would be repulsed by the corollary:
Libertarians:  We want to take over and make you leave the other guy alone!
even if most Libertarians, or ("small 'l'") libertarians, would do so by moral suasion, and making sure "the other guy" was able to defend himself, as opposed to actually, you know, somehow forcing you to mind your own damned business.

In my previous post I made a joking reference to the fact that the Libertarian Party  is commonly viewed as the Party of Legalization of Drugs, and little else more.  I really do think they should start emphasizing the economic liberty aspects of libertarianism, and let the whole "Declare victory in the War on Drugs and go home" thing wait until they have the ability to do more about it than debate esoteric points of political philosophy...

Speaking of which...

The AnarchAngel : Two libertarians walk into a bar...
Aretae's lovely wife ran out of steam just around the time we (just barely) started talking about compatibilism, utilitarianism, determinism, associationism, the veil of ignorance, the social contract, and the fundamental nature of rights.
See, we barely know Chris and Mel, other than by their blog, although I did enjoy swapping war stories with Chris, and Mrs. Drang talked spinning and other crafty stuff with Mel, at Gun Blogger Rendezvous IV.  I can just imagine him rubbing his hands in anticipation at being able to have that kind of discussion with fresh meat a new victim friend.

Me, my eyes glaze over just reading about it.  So that's another thing: Go ahead and debate those esoteric political philosophical points all you want with each other, but know your audience.


Bear said...

"...and make you leave the other guy alone!"

Well... No. Unless "the other guy" wants help resisting an act of aggression. Maybe he thinks he can handle. Maybe he thinks it's his _responsibility_ to handle it himself. Maybe he's submissive and that's his dominatrix (oopsie).

As for the "take over" part... Dear Bog, that phrase alone can set Libbie pindancers* to arguing for freaking days. My personal take when I accepted the label was that I didn't want to take over anything; I just want to be left alone.

* Libertarian philosophy majors who incessantly argue over how many Ayn Rands can dance on the head of pin, most likely because they (the arguers) can't get laid and need something to occupy their time.

Drang said...

As a bumper sticker or t-shirt, "take over and leave you alone!" is a great slogan. Doesn't make it a complete mission statement.

And I knew when I typed that "make you leave them alone" was a mistake, I just couldn't figure out a better way to put it. "You need to return the favor!" just isn't very bumper stickery...

Bear said...

(l)ibertarian bumpersticker:
"Question Authority"
"Golden Rule"
Any questions?

NLP bumpersticker:
We're the Republicans who'll promise to leave you alone. Mostly. Unless the steering committee decides that's offensive.

Chris Byrne said...


If you ever read Aretae, you would know that he is WAY more on the philosophical side than I am... at least in his writing.

I've thought about a lot of these things in great depth, and debated them with other intellectual libertarians, but rarely write about it because

1. most people don't have the background to follow the discussion (nor do they want to).


2. most people would be bored by it.

AuricTech said...

Here's my idea of a bumper-sticker distillation of libertarian thought:

Libertarians: We only respond with force against those who choose to initiate force.