Monday, September 16, 2013

The Libertarian Hypocrisy Test

Ever find yourself in a discussion with a self-proclaimed "libertarian" who believes in "free markets?" They can't accept that some rich people aren't rich because they deserve it, but because they pillaged, looted and plundered and then got away with it.

Our friend R.J. Eskow wrote a great piece for Salon in which he exposes the nuttiness of the libertarian beliefs that order in society arises "spontaneously" and that market forces always produce the best outcome.

The Benedict Arnold Koch brothers are big advocates of what they call libertarianism. They spend millions on think tanks and front groups that claim to promote libertarian views -- mostly because that sounds better than "we're tools of greedy corporations." The brothers are notorious for benefiting from huge amounts of government largesse while demanding spending cuts for everyone else. They get big government contracts, enormous ethanol subsidies, use taxpayer-funded roads for logging operations and graze their cattle for free on federal land.

So if you find yourself talking to someone who claims to be a libertarian, try the Libertarian Hypocrisy Test out on them:
  1. Are unions examples of "spontaneous order"?
  2. Are you willing to admit that production is the result of many forces, each of which needs to be rewarded?
  3. Can you acknowledge that employees who bargain with their employer, either individually or collectively, are employing market forces?
  4. Are you willing to admit that the "free market" requires regulation?
  5. Do you believe in democracy? If yes, what's wrong with democratic governments that regulate?
  6. Do you use wealth that wouldn't exist without government in order to preach against government?
  7. Do you reject the government's protection of your intellectual property?
  8. Do you recognize that democracy is a form of marketplace?
  9. Do you recognize that large corporations are a threat to our freedom?
  10. Do you agree that Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi are parasites?
  11. Why weren’t you willing to accept as final the judgment against libertarianism rendered decades ago in the free and unfettered marketplace of ideas?
Read the whole thing here.