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Friday, May 06, 2011

Anti-Freedom Libertarians

Maybe this shows my illiteracy in political philosophy, but I haven't seen this argument before. I get so sick of seeing people who claim to be "libertarians" wanting to eliminate all government programs that people want, and nobody pointing out the logical fallacy in it. Here is a comment I put on another political blog website:

OK, you so-called libertarians out there determined to end Medicare and Social Security as we know them simply because they are government programs: have you considered how illogical your position is? You believe in freedom, right? The overwhelming majority of Americans want health insurance for senior citizens and retirement income security to be available to everyone through our Federal government. After all, if you believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, it is supposed to be "our" government, not just "the" government. But you would use the power of government to impose your ideology even though the majority of Americans, exercising their freedom, want the government to run these programs.

What in the hell is "libertarian" about that? If you want to try to convince people that they shouldn't want such programs because they are some kind of interference with liberty, fine, have at it. But when you have failed to make that case successfully and the people have spoken, especially when it's this clearly, then your job is to shut up about eliminating the program and work to make it as consistent with shared notions of liberty as you can.

Otherwise, if you encourage your representatives to try to eliminate a program the majority of Americans want, especially when they try to pretend that's not what they are doing -- e.g., pretending that privatizing Social Security into forced 401 Ks is not eliminating Social Security, or that a voucher program for private insurance is not eliminating Medicare -- it is perfectly fair to call you an Anti-Freedom Libertarian. You are against the people exercising their freedom to ask their government to do certain things they want it to do, and you would use the government to deny them their freedom.

I like the ring of that: Anti-Freedom Libertarians. Maybe it will catch on. Is that how you want to be known?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

They want freedeom to abolish freedom. Liberius Dementius.

7:52 PM  

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