Archive for March 2nd, 2018

I’m really, really sick of deeply-stupid internet commenters using the word “libertarian” to mean “Republican”, “Nazi”, “plutocrat”, “Monsanto” or other bogeyman.  Now, I obviously have no problem with anyone using rhetoric to attack one’s opponents, and the “your life belongs to almighty ‘Society’ and ‘rightful authorities’ have the right to use violence to compel your obedience” crowd are obviously going to be opposed to any philosophy which embraces self-ownership and rejects collectivized violence.  Furthermore, libertarians only have themselves to blame for this; after all, the entire movement is based in the recognition that nobody can be trusted with power, and yet libertarians allowed racists, dissident Republicans and other malign filth to apply the term to themselves after Obama’s election ten years ago, when they should’ve shut that shit down immediately to avoid guilt by association from collectivist nitwits.  Moreover, as I wrote in “To the Ground” over three years ago,

…I only call myself a libertarian because it’s the only popular term which has some general resemblance to the way I see the world.  Technically, what I am is a minarchist, someone who is to an anarchist what an agnostic is to an atheist; I’m also more or less an agorist.  But use either of those terms to most people, even to many libertarians, and you’ll be greeted with blank stares…For most uses, “libertarian” is good enough, though it means that I have to endure opprobrium from semi-literates who…seem to believe that “libertarian” means “caricature of a fundie plutocrat” or even “whatever I don’t like”…

Well, I’m exercising a woman’s prerogative and changing my mind.  Though I’m still friendly with many people who use the term “libertarian”, the same holds true for the term “feminist”…and for me, both terms are polluted beyond reclamation by the behavior of bad actors and the one-dimensional thinking of authoritarians.  While I’m still going to describe myself as a minarchist or anarchist, when I want a more general term I’m going back to the traditional one for the philosophy opposed to authoritarianism: “liberal”.  At least until the American Civil War, the term “liberal” meant more or less what is now properly meant by “libertarian”:  the belief that each individual owns himself and no other, that fundamental liberties are inalienable, that differences between individuals should be tolerated and even embraced, and that large collectives (especially governments) are to be distrusted and controlled.  It’s the sense in which George Washington was using the word when he wrote, “As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government.”  At some point in the late 19th century, people largely abandoned those old liberal ideals, and though there were people calling themselves liberals for most of the 20th century, they were actually progressives still clinging to a few liberal points (but willing to compromise on even those in order to establish their social engineering schemes and/or “beat” their so-called “conservative” opponents).  Then, less than a generation ago, the term “liberal” was unceremoniously dumped as the progressives finally embraced being just a different flavor of authoritarian, one committed to licking the boots of “experts” while their opponents preferred to lick those of preachers (and both loudly proclaim their love for cops and caging people by the millions).  Well, if they’re not going to use a proud old term (whose memory they insulted by misusing it for a century anyway), I’m going to.  And if people are confused by that, good; maybe they’ll ask what I mean instead of ignorantly imposing their weird wanking fantasies onto me like the “sex trafficking” fetishists do.

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