What Libertarians Believe – NOT!

L. Neil Smith and Rylla Cathryn Smith have a piece up entitled: What Libertarians Believe. The problem is that they are… Idiots.

Some of what they write is correct:

“If there is a central tenet, or key belief that all libertarians share, it is that each and every individual is the owner—the “sole proprietor”—of his or her own life and of ‘all the products of that life’.”

Some is mostly correct:

“Most libertarians agree that all rights are, in effect, property rights, beginning with this fundamental right to self-ownership and control of one’s own life. “

The correct version of the above should read:

All libertarians agree that all rights are, in effect, property rights, beginning with this fundamental right to self-ownership and control of one’s own life. “

Some is just plain dangerously wrong:

“A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being for any reason whatever; nor will a libertarian advocate the initiation of force, or delegate it to anyone else.”

The original American Libertarians (the Founding Fathers) had no qualms about initiating force against whomever they deemed necessary be it the British, Hessians, indians or anyone else. This “Zero Aggression Principle” is Surrender-Monkey fantasy bull-crap thought up by the “hide behind mom’s skirt” crowd.

Of course, these are generally the people who scream that we should completely open our borders and “let everyone be free” completely ignoring the cold hard economic facts of flooding the country with poor people with 3rd world mentalities.

F’ing idiots.

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29 Responses to “What Libertarians Believe – NOT!”

  1. kentmcmanigal Says:

    You couldn’t be more wrong. I think your mistake is in not understanding “initiating force”. He who “starts it” has initiated force, even if it wasn’t directed at YOU. You can, and should, come to the defense of the innocent victims of abuse.

    I am not one who even believes that you must only respond “proportionally” to the force used against you. If a big guy attacks you with his fists, he can clearly kill you, so draw your gun and shoot him. Don’t wait until he has beat you to a pulp, and then pulls out a gun, before you get yours.

  2. yinepuhotep Says:

    Well, it’s nice to have that cleared up. Now that we know that Mr. Enfield is an Idiot (and not even a particularly useful one), let’s take a look at what the Smith’s said and use some intelligence in analyzing it, shall we?

    Does Mr. Enfield not comprehend the concept of INITIATING force? In other words, the person who makes the first credible threat, or use, of force, has INITIATED force. Thus, a libertarian is perfectly free to RESPOND to that credible threat or use of force, in whatever degree the libertarian believes is appropriate, whether that is fists or rocket launchers. As kentmcmanigal says, you don’t wait until he has beaten you to a pulp, and then pulls out a gun, before you get yours. As soon as he slaps leather, raises a riot baton, or whatever act he does that makes it clear he is ready, willing, and able to cause harm – whether to you or to another – you have full clearance to take him down, as thoroughly as you deem necessary.

    Now that THAT is out of the way, let’s talk about Mr. Enfield’s apparent ability to perform mental telepathy. While the Smiths were talking about reality, Mr. Enfield has apparently decided that he is in a position to enforce his own opinion of what the libertarian view of property rights will be. Regardless of whether most or all libertarians agree on the view, the fact that Mr. Enfield has decreed it merely demonstrates that he is no libertarian – but is, instead, a jackbooted thug wannabe, masquerading as a libertarian. Then again, his bigoted raging against people with libertarian ethics, people with an understanding of the English language, and people with brown skins demonstrates that.

    I have a suggestion for Mr. Enfield. Stop trying to pretend you are a libertarian, until you actually can demonstrate that you are one. If you will do that, we’ll stop pointing out what a bigoted, illiterate idiot you are.

    • Lee Enfield Says:

      I love this… You are the arbiter of who initiated force??? The concept of escalation is beyond you? People don’t just wake up on morning and decide to initiate force on someone or another group, it’s always small steps (except in the case of random acts of violence).

      Example: I said that George Washington initiated force of the German Hessians. You say, “nuh uh! The Hessians initiated the situation because they were there”. Then I say “they were there because the colonists started revolting”, then you say “they started revolting due to the oppressiveness of the British”, then I say “the British oppressed because of the anti-tax sentiment of the colonists”, then you say “the colonist only had anti-tax sentiment because the taxes were too high”, then I say “the taxes were that high because Britian needed the money to pay for the operation and protection of the colonies while having a war with France”, then you say… Ad nausium.

      So tell me Mr ‘True-Libertarian’, at what point do you say violence/force was initiated???? I say since the Germans hadn’t actually attacked anyone, Washington initiated the force. Which would prove you and you’re “We’re the True Libertarians” pals to be a bunch of idiots.

      I’d also like to know how “bigotry” came into this?

      Lastly, since I wrote these pages, I think it pretty much proves that I’m not illiterate and that you’re a moron who has to resort to petty name calling because your argument is flawed.

  3. fitz4 Says:

    though there is much to admire about the man, Goerge Washington was not really a libertarian. and even those of us who try to live by the non-agression principle occasionally fail to adhere to it. despite that, support the non-agression principle is, in fact, the defining characteristic of a libertarian. perhaps you are confusing ‘libertarians’ with ‘Libertarians’, an entirely different sort of critter.

    • Lee Enfield Says:

      Thank you Fitz for having a decent comment.

      Actually, I’m both a Big-L and a little-l libertarian…. I am a member of the Libertarian Party and I do support them (both monetarily and issue-wise (on most things)) so, by definition, I’m a Big-L but, I also “view democracy as ‘the tyranny of the majority’ ” so, per “The Libertarianism FAQ” I’m also a little-l Libertarian.

      And since L. Neil Smith claims to be the arbiter of ‘what is a libertarian’, you need to make a 3rd version: LNSibertarian so he can have his own little club and dictate as he wishes.

  4. atfsux Says:

    Well now,…I haven’t seen such pseudo-libertarian claims to being a libertarian since Bob Barr!!

    It is plain to me Mr. I-Can’t-Even-Name-Myself-After-An-American-Rifle, that you are another one of these disaffected Republicans who has wandered over here into the Libertarian sector hoping to take it over for your own ends of countering or re-capturing the Republican mantle – or whatever the hell it is you’re actually after. If you had even the most basic and tenuous grasp of libertarian ideology, you would understand that no libertarian is a “Surrender Monkey”. That’s why we’re still here despite all efforts to get us to “surrender” our goals and hopes and dreams. It is also why the LBT will never be surrendered to the likes of Barr or you. Spout all you please. You will give up and surrender before we will. You’ve done it before, when you fled the Republicans.
    And speaking of facts about the border,…if you have a pile of sugar in the middle of your kitchen floor, and ants are invading your home to get at the sugar on the floor, what do you do? I guarantee you that if you plug evey entryway, caulk every seam, lay biological agents along every path,…unless you eliminate the sugar on the floor, the ants will continue to invade. For the Mexicans, Uncle Sugar attracts them with all the welfare state crap that they refuse to remove. When our borders were previously open, we had very peaceful and non-impactful migration of Mexicans here in my home state of Arizona,…until the welfare began. That was when things changed. And until it is eliminated, things shall remain the same, whether the borders are strung with razor wire or not.
    And speaking of razor wire,…need I remind you that fences work both ways? How are surrender monkeys like you going to flee future oppressive regimes when there is razor wire in your way?

  5. fitz4 Says:

    Lee,
    I can only surmise that you are not the sort of libertarian who believes in natural rights. That sort of libertarian is, in fact, defined by a belief in the Non Aggression Principle. the more utilitarian type of libertarian seems to think NAP is “Surrender-Monkey fantasy bull-crap” as you so eloquently put it.
    As you seem to be the latter, I am curious to what circumstances would justify aggression on the part of a libertarian, aside from the war-related examples you gave earlier.

  6. Lee Enfield Says:

    Atfsux, I must tell you how delighted I was to read your post! Posts like yours are GOLD! I could have written volumes and never gotten across to readers how rambling and mindless some people could be but you have shown them in one (admittedly sizable) comment! Well done.

    Fitz4, again I must thank you for standing out compared to the other commentors. You strike me as level headed.
    To answer your question, I really don’t believe there is any reason for aggression towards other people EXCEPT in war conditions**. This has been my position from the beginning. The problem being that the original L. Neil Smith article didn’t make that distinction, it was basically a declaration that L[l]ibertarians can NEVER instigate aggression (otherwise they lose the secret handshake and can’t wear the lapel pin).
    This of course in nonsense because when I did point out L[l]ibertarian acts of aggression, their response was, that wasn’t aggression, that was retribution (al la my Washington example (I know you don’t believe that Washington was a Libertarian but, that’s another discussion)). The problem being, people arguing with you will claim one thing is aggression but the other was retribution to suit the needs of their argument.

    **UPDATE: Let me add that I can also see aggression being okay for preemption. Now I said this before and the response I received was “they are threatening you so it’s not aggression” which is not always true.

  7. atfsux Says:

    “I must tell you how delighted I was to read your post! Posts like yours are GOLD! I could have written volumes and never gotten across to readers how rambling and mindless some people could be but you have shown them in one (admittedly sizable) comment! Well done.”

    You are quite welcome,…though your admission of defeat is a bit mystifying. Oh wait,…that’s right. You’re a surrender monkey.

  8. atfsux Says:

    You’re a funny guy.

  9. scottrogerson Says:

    I find it slightly humorous, and quite hypocritical that you chastise anyone for name calling. In the sentence containing your “scolding” you call that person a moron. Quoting:

    “Lastly, since I wrote these pages, I think it pretty much proves that I’m not illiterate and that you’re a moron who has to resort to petty name calling because your argument is flawed.”

    It reminds me of the one-liner: “Profanity is the crutch of the inarticulate motherfucker.”

    Everyone you write about in your blog you are calling stupid idiots, right? Isn’t that your point? In the article above, your last words are what I can only assume you mean to be “Fucking Idiots”. What’s that? You might consider letting people slide on the ‘name calling’.

    You seem unable to grasp is the concept of “initiating” force. A retaliatory force killing the initiator isn’t addressed in the Zero Aggression Principle.

    • Lee Enfield Says:

      Actually Scott, you have mis-read. The ‘petty name calling’ that I was referring to was “bigot” and “illiterate”. My calling them a “moron” was not meant as name-calling as it is a fact.

      As for my grasp of ZAP, I understand it perfectly. It’s pretty much the same as pure communist in the fact that in a perfect fantasy world, it would be do-able but in the real world, it won’t fly. The viability of ZAP is not what I have a problem with, it’s the ZAP kooks telling me that if I don’t subscribe to ZAP, “I’m not a real libertarian” which is a load of malarkey.

      UPDATE: Regarding me calling everyone ‘idiots’ in my blog- Well, yeah, the blog isn’t called “Useful Idiot Watch” for nothing. If they weren’t idiots, I wouldn’t write about them. For my non-idiot blog please see my “Unicorns, Kittens and other Sweet & Nice Things” blog.

  10. atfsux Says:

    “A retaliatory force killing the initiator isn’t addressed in the Zero Aggression Principle.”

    I think you mean “…isn’t rejected or prohibited…”. In fact, though not mentioned in such specific terms, the matter is intimated as being perfectly fine. It merely finds “initiation” to be morally wrong. Enfield’s failure is in understanding the definition of “initiate”.

    • Lee Enfield Says:

      Atf, my understanding of ‘initiate’ is just fine the problem is that ZAP-ers CHANGE the meaning of initiate to suit their argument (see my George Washington/Hessian example).

  11. scottrogerson Says:

    I did not miss-read. You can pick out any name calling you want. I quoted the name calling I was referring to. It’s still name calling, no matter what you wish to perceive as fact.

    Your example doesn’t prove anything. I wouldn’t call George Washington the textbook “libertarian”, anyway. Each of those examples you list do not depend on previous acts. As an example: If you look to me as having the means and the motive to do me harm and I believe that it is occurring or is about to occur, I will shoot you twice in the chest no matter if we exchanged any ‘name calling’ first, or not.

    • Lee Enfield Says:

      Well, Scott, let me use another example- You. I have done nothing to you. I did not single you out. I in no way targeted you for aggression. BUT, you felt it necessary to initiate aggression towards me (e.g. calling me a hypocrite). So this proves one of two things-

      1) You’re not a ZAPer and therefore not a true libertarian. Since you are NOT a ZAPer nor a llibertarian, what kind of authority do you have to tell me “You seem unable to grasp is the [ZAP] concept of “initiating” force.”

      -OR-

      2) You do consider yourself a libertarian but by your actions PROVE that ZAP is a load of un-realist poop.

      Which is it? Is ZAP poop or are you unqualified to comment?

      One last thought, your next post may prove my “ZAPers like to twist the meaning of ‘initiate’ to suit their argument” by trying to claim that I initiated aggression towards you by inferring that you were and idiot by some broad argument.

      We are sitting on the edges of our seats to see your path.

  12. scottrogerson Says:

    atfsux:
    No, I meant exactly what I said. This is talking about what IS a libertarian. I do not think the author meant to imply that if you do NOT resist or retaliate, you are not a libertarian. You might be some other things, but you can still be a libertarian.

    I agree with your assessment of its findings, but I don’t think it matters as far as the definition of a libertarian goes. As the article say’s, it doesn’t REQUIRE us to turn the other cheek, but it does not prohibit such silly behavoir, either.

    And yes, the atf does, indeed.

    • Lee Enfield Says:

      Scott, I am confused by your aftsux reply… Do you buy into the ZAP-garbage or not? By my reading of your last comment, it kinda sounds like you don’t (but I may have mis-read).

      What’s the deal?

  13. scottrogerson Says:

    What I said was, “I find it slightly humorous, and quite hypocritical that you chastise anyone for name calling.”

    You said, “Fucking Idiots”. See the difference?

    Even if we (for the sake of argument) say that I DID call you a hypocrite, I hardly find that initiating force on you. I don’t think I even forced you to reply. Perhaps you misunderstand what was meant by FORCE. Think of it with this Jefferson quote in mind, “It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”.

    Also, you must simply have a slight grasp of the English language to be able to read your posts regarding the ZAP and conclude that you do not understand what it means. No particular ideology is required

    • Lee Enfield Says:

      “I find it slightly humorous, and quite hypocritical that you chastise anyone for name calling.” – I understand that you said that. Let’s look at the post in which you say that I’m hypocritical-

      I said: “…Which would prove you and you’re “We’re the True Libertarians” pals to be a bunch of idiots.”

      I also said: “Lastly, since I wrote these pages, I think it pretty much proves that I’m not illiterate and that you’re a moron…”

      I don’t see the name calling… I see a test and then proof of what I said, they are idiots and he was a moron. I didn’t see me make any unsubstantiated statements like “you’re a bigot” or “you’re illiterate”. Those were said by him and were clearly name-calling.

      As for your options, I see you took the 3rd option… I have been in arguments with ZAPers that claim that voting, putting up signs, allowing a dog to come onto your yard and other trivial actions is ‘initiating aggression’. Now, you’re saying that the act of publicly calling me a hypocrite on my own blog and thus casting doubt on my character to my readers is not aggression? I’m sorry, you are “doin’ the ZAP twist”, Chubby Checker would be proud.

  14. kentmcmanigal Says:

    Words, even really mean and nasty ones, are not aggression and involve no force. It might show that you are not a very nice person if you call someone names, but there is no “force” (initiated or otherwise).

    Whether you think it makes a person a libertarian or not to live by the ZAP, I know I would not trust someone who thinks it is OK to initiate force (George Washington included). Just about every culture has recognized that as the mark of a good person, whether it was called “The Golden Rule”, “The Wiccan Rede”, or “The Zero Aggression Principle” makes very little difference in practice. Violating it makes a person dangerous and untrustworthy.

    • Lee Enfield Says:

      Kent, I’ve read your blog (still do from time to time), I think you are a nice guy. (Just wanted you to know that)

      My contention with ZAPers is not whether a person is nice or trust worthy, it’s the claim that if you don’t believe in ZAP, you’re not a libertarian.

  15. atfsux Says:

    Well, it IS at the core of the party’s founding, and was there long before you chose to identify yourself as a Libertarian. There is a small matter of who occupied that philosophical ground first, and thereby owns it.

    It ain’t you.

    • Lee Enfield Says:

      Actually atf, I see myself as more of a libertarian. As far as “There is a small matter of who occupied that philosophical ground first, and thereby owns it” goes, it ain’t the ZAPers either, there were plenty of (L)libertarians before those guys showed up on the scene.

      So, it ain’t them either.

      UPDATE: I also wanted to mention that I would guess that very few Libertarians agree 100% with the LP’s positions (just as surely not all Republicans or Democrats agree 100% with their parties positions) but, that still doesn’t mean that they are not L, R or Ds. Despite what LNS might want to claim, I am a member of the LP, I do send donations and therefore, I am a Libertarian-BigL. No, I don’t agree with it’s positions 100%

  16. scottrogerson Says:

    Look up the words “idiot” and “moron”. Tell me how you have proven mild or extreme mental retardation. You did no such things, but you DID call them names.

    Regardless of what anyone else has told you, I have not initiated force on you, whatsoever. The sentence you quoted doesn’t call you a name, but merely say’s that I find what you say hypocritical. Calling someone a moron, and then whining about name calling is the epitome of hipocracy.

    You don’t like that I didn’t pick one of your two options. You do not get to enumerate my allowed responses. Just set up polls with selected responses if you want to run your blog that way.

    If my response has caused your ‘readers’ to suddenly have doubt regarding your character, then you have had trouble brewing before this post.

    Aggression? We’re talking about FORCE, not aggression.

    • Lee Enfield Says:

      “Look up the words ‘idiot’ and ‘moron’. Tell me how you have proven mild or extreme mental retardation. You did no such things, but you DID call them names.” – We can go around and around about this…. I say they were accurate descriptors, you say they were hypocritical name-calling so, there we are.

      As for Force vs Aggression-
      1) You are coming into a ‘discussion’ at the tail-end. I have been arguing with ZAP supporters since I posted this ‘article’ (for the lack of a better word) way back in January (and across different blogs). The reason why I say this is because many ZAPers have used force/aggression interchangeably. I’m not the source of this interchangeability.
      2) Why is it called ZAP and not ZFP???????

      As for the picking of the options – I like your pick just fine. It proved me correct.

      As for polls on my blog, if I wanted people’s opinions, I’d post polls (or allow comments)… oh wait.

      As for the doubt of my readers – You ignored the point of me writing that. The point was to highlight the hypocrisy of ZAP… Care to read it again???

      (BTW, A stands for AGGRESSION)

      • Lee Enfield Says:

        I’ve left this comments open for 8 hours (since the last comment) so anyone else who wanted to chime in could (also to give the recent active commenters a chance for another rebuttal).

        Apparently, we are all done with this and I think you are are as tired of this as I am. I am closing the comments because I think everyone has said what was on their minds and I don’t want to have to deal with a new round.

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