Michael Lind Pretends I Don’t Exist

Michael Lind, who asked that question that libertarians are supposed to have such trouble answering (if libertarianism is so awesome, why aren’t there any libertarian countries?), is back with a reply to all the criticisms. Or rather, he’s back with a reply to one criticism.

I’ve already explained to Lind why his question is an absurd one. Then I dismantled poor E.J. Dionne’s effort to help Lind out. (I rather suspect Lind also buys into the third-grade propaganda Dionne peddles — why, without the state we’d have monopolies and poverty!)

Lind’s latest is called “Libertarianism: Still a Cult.” Right. Libertarianism is the cult. Not the state! There’s nothing cultish at all about allegiance to the state, with its flags, its songs, its mass murders, its little children saluting and paying homage to pictures of their dear leaders on the wall, etc.

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  • Anonymous

    Cult? Herding libertarians is worse than herding cats. At least all cats can agree on what to have for lunch.

  • Mike

    Libertarianism a cult? Maybe neo-fascist Michael Lind needs a convenient mirror? His projection is pathetic.

  • Anonymous

    Since fascism, dictatorship, and tyranny have been tried many times, those forms of government must be AWESOME!

  • Ethan Garofolo

    “If taxation with representation is so good, how come no one anywhere has ever tried it?” — Michael Lind, circa 1776

    “If space flight is so good, how come no one has ever tried it?” — Michael Lind, shortly before the first space flight

    Something not being implemented is hardly a standard by which to judge the thing’s merits.

  • Darryl Schmitz

    Um, aren’t the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution documents steeped in libertarianism? Minor technicality, I suppose.

  • Anonymous

    No, because of (cue the zombie). “Slavery”.

  • TJ

    Let’s have fun and go with this argument for a moment and accept the premise libertarianism is a cult. At least it worships and demands loyalty to principles – not flawed people – like freedom and independence and nonaggression and treating people as individuals with natural rights instead of categorizing them into groups to be scapegoated and harassed and persecuted. It doesn’t demand unwavering loyalty to sociopaths who believe they are gods and worship an entity comprised of habitual liars, cocaine users and alcoholic skirt-chasers responsible for the worst crimes in human history.

    Calling libertarianism a cult is a simplistic way of saying “I want to use the state to force my beliefs on everyone and unlike the rest of the masses libertarians don’t believe this is morally acceptable and are resisting so I’m going to accuse them of being anti-social instead of debating them because I’m too uniformed and insecure about my own beliefs to defend them with actual logic or moral principles.”

  • DJ

    yeah, they’re awesome for the tyrant! “It’s good to be the King” ;)

  • Anonymous

    whats libertarian about creating a federal government with enormous powers?

  • Jag D. Panxer

    I guess he (Lind) doesn’t know what entropy is.. (^_0)

  • Anonymous

    it really is a ridiculous illogical arguement.

  • Squid Hunt

    Which is the issue I’m having the hardest time swallowing about libertarianism. It’s rapidly devolving into anarchism, which isn’t the intent from what I hear from it’s major proponents. Can someone clarify this? Because it seems to me we need a thorough education on the differences between the two before it gets dangerous. I can’t support anarchy.

  • Onlooker from Troy

    You’re just NEVER going to get an intellectually honest argument out of the likes of Lind. But kudos to you, Tom, for at least trying to wage battle with these statist asses.

  • Anonymous

    libertarianism is anarchy.

    if you dont have the authority or power to rule over your neighbors why and how does someone else?

  • David

    Sure glad Orville and Wilbur Wright never got the Lind memo. In fact, EVERY person who attempted heavier-than-air-flight before the Wright Brothers died.

  • Toad squish yuck

    Why not ? With anarchy you would have no one with a gun in your face and a hand in your pocket ! Though the roads God save the roads might suffer a tad until someone found the interest to do something bout them.Coarse the propaganda machine might have to slow down a tad,and rewrite some history again.Meaning that the schools might actually have to teach how to think instead of what ever it is doing now.

  • Anonymous


    we’re all just a bunch of unpatriotic traitors and treasonists who want rich people to make slaves of us all, blah blah blah

    there really is no point in argueing with those poeple, but tom’s commentary is great stuff

  • Toad squish yuck

    What government subsidized yuck would you demand my cat eat ? Before I know, no thank you ! My cat is skinny which makes him very fast and he has no problem feeding him self.Though he is fixed ! But I would pay real gold to see you trying to herd a group of cats like my duffus You would get tore up, then eaten.Good cat !

  • Toad squish yuck

    All those who would vote Tom in against his will if necessary raise your hand.

  • Matthew Mencel

    well Libertarianism is the political philosophy that says that it is wrong to Initiate force, fraud, or coercion (aka. violence) against your fellow man, or harm their property. There has historically been three manifestations of “libertarianism” Those being: Classical Liberalism, Minarchism, and Anarcho-Capitalism / Market Anarchism. The latter has been on the rise in the last few years. I personally have went through all three stages of libertarianism. I’m currently on the Anarcho-Capitalist stage.

    Anarchism is in my opinion the most logically consistent conclusion of Libertarian philosophy and Austrian Economics.

  • Anthony

    They blame everything on Libertarians that government wasn’t there to prevent from happening. Then praising everyone who fought for the notion of government intervention.

    I must have been willfully ignorant to the amount of hatred that libertarians receive. It is really quite disgusting.

    Now If only we were capable of cherry picking facts and blame. Let’s see what the truly non-libertarian state is capable of, and I guarantee a whole lot isn’t on this list in this time frame even.

    1940s – nuked Japan.
    Death toll: 145,000 to date in Nagasaki, 250,000 in Hiroshima

    1947-49 – U.S. helps command extreme-right Greece party in Civil War.
    Death toll: about 70,000 contributed by US-backed forces

    1948-54 – CIA directs war against Huk Rebellion in Philippines.
    Death toll: about 11,000

    1950 – Independence movement crushed in Ponce, Puerto Rico
    Death toll: conservative historians estimated about 8,000 peasants

    1950-53 – Korean War
    Death toll: about 1,776,000

    1952 – CIA overthrows Democracy in Iran, installs Shah
    Death toll: about 20,000

    1954 – CIA directs invasion of Guatemala after new Democracy there nationalized U.S.-occupied lands
    Death toll: about 140,000 missing and dead

    1958 – In Lebanon, marine occupation against rebels
    Death toll: about 2,000

    1960-75+ – Vietnam War including Cambodia and Laos
    Death toll: about 4,502,000 including civilians and resulting famines (conservative estimates)

    1961 – Cuba’s Bay of Pigs Invasion fails
    Death toll: about 4,000

    1963 – In Iraq, CIA organizes coup against President and agrees to back formerly exiled Saddam
    Death toll: about 7,000 including civilians

    1964 – In Panama, troops kill protesters against US-owned canal
    Death toll: about 1,000

    1965 – CIA assists Indonesian coup
    Death toll: about 900,000

    1966 – Troops and bombers threaten pro-communist parties in Dominican Republic
    Death toll: about 3,000

    1966-96 – Green berets in Guatemala against rebels, US backs pro-American forces in country until 1996
    Death toll: about 200,000

    1970 – Directs marine invasion of Oman
    Death toll: about 2,000

    1973 – CIA directs coup to oust elected Marxist president in Chile
    Death toll: 30,000… 3,000 later disappeared under US-installed dictator

    1976-92 – CIA assists South-African rebels in Angola
    Death toll: median estimate at 550,000

    1981-90 – CIA directs Contra invasions in Nicaragua
    Death toll: median estimate at 30,000

    1982-84 – Marines expel Lebanese rebels, aided by Israel
    Death toll: 40,000

    1987-88 – US intervenes for Iraq against Iran
    Death toll: about 150,000 during time-frame, 100,000 during Desert Storm, 350,000 from resulting famine

    1989 – US invades to oust CIA-installed Panamanian government gone rouge
    Death toll: 2,000

    1992-94 – US-led occupation of Somalia during civil war
    Death toll: 50,000 in combat, 300,000 by starvation

    2001+ – US Occupies Afghanistan
    Death toll: 120,000 including civilians and combatants and resulting Opium Wars

    2003+ – Iraqi War
    Death toll: 665,000 also by starvation, displacement

    source: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081217214603AA4Ev5m

  • Onlooker from Troy

    That was excellent!

  • http://www.vitaminlawyer.com/ Ralph Fucetola JD

    I think we need to distinguish between the institution of the State with the claim to have power to coerce, and the function of governance.

    Libertarians oppose coercive institutions no matter what they are called.

    Libertarians may, however, recognized an activity called governance, just like the activities of, say, agriculture, crafting, teaching, etc. describe aspects of human action.

    Governance can be provided “on the market” and that would be the best governance of all.


  • http://www.praxacademy.com Rothbardian

    My God the roads! what would we do?

  • http://www.praxacademy.com Rothbardian

    Its not anarchy in the sense that there are rioters in the streets, its anarcho-capitalism. In this system there would be forms of governance, but nothing coercive. It is not anymore dangerous than having armed enforcers putting people in cages and robbing them at gunpoint (the government). Libertarianism is based on the fact that the state is inherently coercive; this problem cannot be reconciled so long as a state exists.

    Also, I would say that libertarianism’s major proponents are (among many others) Lew Rockwell, Murray Rothbard, Mises, Tom Woods, etc. Check out their intent.

  • http://www.praxacademy.com Rothbardian

    For sure. I’ve always envisioned a form of voluntaryism like you describe.

  • Mike

    Government schools tell kids what to think instead of how to think. Like you I say flush it all. I wouldn’t trust a mass murdering institution any more than I would Charles Manson. It’s the same thing only one is private, and succeeded in killing a few people, while the other is public and managed to murder millions.

    People just need to stop parroting what their taught to think and actually starting thinking outside the box for a change.

  • Squid Hunt

    Yes. I’m already in agreement with the proponents. It’s those that want to abolish government altogether and think it’s going to solve all our problems that I have a problem with. My understanding of libertarianism and what I’ve seen sold has always included laws and punishment for crimes against others. That does not seem to be what the new voices are selling.

  • Squid Hunt

    Thank you. I agree with that. I’m just not hearing a lot of that out of the internet libertarians of late. It’s sounding much more of anarchy that a reasonable person would want.

  • Squid Hunt

    You envision schools in anarchy? Also, those that have devolved into anarchy discover that others’ image of anarchy is generally a little different than theirs. It ends up being a militant dictatorship fairly quickly or just ongoing civil war.

  • Squid Hunt

    I disagree, but if that’s the case, then I would want absolutely nothing to do with libertarianism. Anarchy is never a genuine solution for anyone but thugs.

  • guest

    Maybe this will help:

    The Law by Frederic Bastiat

    If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force—for the same reason—cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

  • Squid Hunt

    It will if it’s explained to those that can’t tell the difference. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    With a smile I might add.

  • Mike

    Spoken with true ignorance. you got much to learn.

  • Mike

    “It’s those that want to abolish government altogether and think it’s going to solve all our problems that I have a problem with.”

    That’s because you’re still brainwashed.

  • Squid Hunt

    I havent quite made up my mind on that one yet.

  • Squid Hunt

    You know, without context, you’re starting to sound a lot like a liberal elitist.

    Do you really believe that men will walk around 100% of the time respecting one another and each other’s property just because they call themselves libertarians? And if not, who decides what laws they’ve broken and how they need to be corrected?

  • Anonymous

    Not any one entity.

  • Darryl Schmitz

    The Libertarian Party has been its own worst enemy. It beats the bible of personal liberty to smithereens with nary a discussion about practical application of the federal government’s legitimate roles. Hence, when people like Ron and Rand Paul try to integrate libertarianism into the public discourse and mainstream discussion about it, the Libertarian Party and its Reason Magazine have nothing but contempt and criticism for them.

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