Monday, 24 May 2010

Libertarians and woo (for @SaltedSlug )

Had a bit of a back and forth with the Salted Slug about libertarians being more prone to what he calls "endarkenment" - the irrational, the supernatural and various other forms of woo.

As I understand it, he feels that we are more prone to disrespecting "actual" authority as a consequence of our disrespect for "bad" authority. I say "as I understand it", because the fucker is, of course, too fucking lazy to blog about this.

Anyway, I don't think this is the case at all.

I have already alluded in the past to the fact that libertarianism's very tolerance and vigorous belief in true freedom of speech means that we always attract nutters like neo-Nazis, "New World Order" believers and conspiracy theorists. We don't necessarily believe the crap they spout, but we vehemently support their right to say whatever crap they're spouting. They confuse this with mutual admiration or something.

This is why libertarianism has such a bad rep for being tin-foil-hat-wearing loons. Real libertarians aren't, but because they defend the right of people to be tin-foil-hat-wearing loons, they get tarred with the same brush.

And I believe the woo thing is very similar. There are froot loops who call themselves libertarian and may even believe that they are libertarian.

But actually, they're just froot loops who can't find anyone else who will defend their right to talk crap as a matter of first principles.

18 comments:

Bobski said...

Obo, understand the sentiment but you are coming across as elitist.

It sounds like you have a similar (but not the same) attitude to fans of small football clubs about 'fair-weather fans'.

Support is support, continuing the football analogy you should be happy about the fair-weather support because they count for gate receipts.

If they are passing on an inaccurate message then educate, don't lambast them.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Ah, but if they supported us back, it would be a different kettle of fish.

No. They are quite happy to hang around with libertarians, but will never actually get around to sticking their hands in their pockets or campaign or do anything in return.

That's why I'm quite happy to slag them off.

marksany said...

Great post Obo.

You ate of course quite right, there's many a libertarian wearing his tinfoil hat too tight.

I get disappointed when I see otherwise intelligent rational people falling for the woo merchants, just because they are anti- establishment. That's whether the establishment is big pharma or global warmists.

I guess we all have our blind spots, sadly some kill people, such as Wakefield's. In our Libertarian utopia I'm hoping there is more honest debate and dialog where the correct ideas win out. I say correct in the sense that in science, some ideas are right, others are wrong, they are not equally valid "opinions". In other fields of science of course we only have "the best idea so far"

Anoneumouse said...

"first principles"

Every one has the right...

However, everyone dose not have the right to be defended.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Anoneumouse: free speech is always to be defended. Vigorously. ;o)

Anoneumouse said...

Obo, I agree with the premise that at all cost, free speech is to be defended. However an individual does not have the right to be freely defended for his speech.

The individual has to be sufficiently cogent to make defence of their own conviction.

As bystanders we defend the right for the individual to say whatever they wish but we have the right to agree or disagree with that individual.

marksany said...

What Wakefield did was shout fire in a theatre.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

His right to say whatever he wants is what must be defended - not what he actually says.

J Demetriou said...

Couldn't agree more. Mr AnCap.

:-)

TheUKLibertarian.com said...

I agree with Obo. I have certainly seen some libertarians who seem to distrust ALL science, but most libertarians are the way they are because they are naturally skeptical of authority, not skeptical of facts or evidence.

ACist yet obo?

Kingbingo said...

Anarcho-captalists being the perfect examples of such fruit loops. The people who brand me a fascist pig because I would welcome a government of around 15% GDP in this country which is vaguely achievable just as oppose 0%. Which is pie in the sky fucknuttery.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Kingbingo, the facts of that assertion are this:

1. I too would love to live in a country where the government was 15% of GDP. But:
2. The UK was a country once where government was 15% or even less of GDP. As was the US, as were many or indeed most countries.
3. Governments grow. That's what they do. The only way to stop government from growing is not to have one.

I don't honestly believe that we will ever achieve an anarcho-capitalist situation anywhere. People are too steeped in the belief that government is necessary.

But while your objective of a "15%" government might be achievable, it will only be a matter of time before it is once again a "51%" government.

And that is why I regard people who regard a small government as fundamentally wrong: governments grow and eventually every government winds up taking over more and more. The ONLY way you can stop governments from growing is not to have them at all.

kitler said...

Some consipracy theories turn out to be less theoritical than the official explanations.

Does anyone really think Dr Kelly killed himself?

Is no-one slightly intriguged by the reporting of the collapse of Building 7, 20 mins before it actually happened?

How did the smoking ban get implimented globaly with pinpoint precision? Was it some kind of coincidence or was there a plan?

Did global warming become the last word in science by accident? Did scientists collectively all go nuts at once, or is something controlling the flow of scientific nature?

Should such concerns be dismissed as foil-hattery simply so that Libertarians can all appear to the electorate as boring conservative twunts who never think about anything other than politics, business and slagging off gays.

Hows that tactic working for you guys by the way? I heard there was an election recently. How did you do?

kitler said...

Not scientific nature, I meant scientific information

SaltedSlug said...

Does anyone really think Dr Kelly killed himself?
Erm, probably? And if someone did 'off' him, it wouldn't require any kind of conspiracy so much as a couple of blokes and a knife; so the idea doesn't have the burden of contrivance that most moonbat theories do.

Is no-one slightly intriguged by the reporting of the collapse of Building 7, 20 mins before it actually happened?
Not even slightly. Why the fuck would the shadowy lizard people need to tell news outlets of their dastardly plans beforehand? Why not just blow the fucker up and let them report it anyway? Do they think newsreporters are going to sit on the story of this intricate conspiracy to murder thousands of Americans if they let them in on it? Sections of building 7 were in the process of collapsing and they misreported it in a day full of misreportings.

How did the smoking ban get implimented globaly with pinpoint precision? Was it some kind of coincidence or was there a plan?
What the fuck does 'pinpoint precision' even mean? Smoking bans aren't universal and were implemented by a series of nanny states copying each other. Government in copying vote-winning (which it is, however much we dislike it) legislation off each other shocker.

Did global warming become the last word in science by accident? Did scientists collectively all go nuts at once, or is something controlling the flow of scientific nature?
No it became the 'last word' because the vast majority of scientists working in the field of climate study agree with each other. Most of the disagreement is from either the non-scientific crowd or people talking outside of their area of expertise (normally physicists, engineers or software types). Anyone who thinks that the science 'agenda' can be controlled to follow a particular narrative for any significant period of time fundamentally misunderstands the dynamic of that community and it's funding. You don't make a name (or money) for yourself in science by agreeing with the norm; you do it by proving things wrong.

Should such concerns be dismissed as foil-hattery simply so that Libertarians can all appear to the electorate as boring conservative twunts who never think about anything other than politics, business and slagging off gays.

Such concerns should be judged on their merits, and if they are -as your suggestions are- utter batshit, then it is only right and proper that their proponents be taken to task for them, lest we collectively be tarred with the same fucktard brush.

Hows that tactic working for you guys by the way? I heard there was an election recently. How did you do?
Can't remember. We all got high and shared a couple of dubious Latvian hookers.

kitler said...

Touche.

I still think the conspiracy shit is more interesting than crying about the unfair actions of a government we shouldn't as anarchists even recognise.

And those are just training conspiracies anyway. For kids.
The grown up conspiracies take too long to explain.

bayard said...

Beliefs are not responsible for those who believe in them.

@kitler: the problem with conspiracy theories is that, unless you saw the relevant events with your own eyes, you are going on hearsay and have no way of proving that such hearsay is true.

aljahom said...

Busted :o(