Libertarianism

The Dream City of the Libertarians

The Dream City of the Libertarians

Libertarianism is a political belief that government leaves dirty fingerprints on everything it touches and is best when it does the absolute least. Libertarians oppose all taxes, and have a deep abiding belief in the power of the Free Market and guns. About the only thing they’re interested in having the government do is have an army. By now you should be wondering what the difference is between a Libertarian and a Conservative, and the answer is: Libertarians enjoy smoking pot.

Geeks enjoy being Libertarians for two reasons. First, it allows them to be Conservative without having to belong to one of the two mainstream parties that the regular sheep are part of. Second, it gives them a political party that is just as self-absorbed as they are. Conservatives don’t care if you think they’re selfish pricks. Libertarians wonder why you don’t admire them for it.

Since many geeks are unable to care about or even imagine the existence of the feelings of anyone other than themselves, the fact that Libertarianism ignores the unpleasant reality that we live in a society that requires certain things to function is not a problem to them. As far as geeks are concerned, society is lost anyway since it refuses to respect the geeks as the superior members. (The collapse of society is perfectly fine with the geek since it would allow him to act out his post-apocalyptic fantasies in which he would be a dune-buggy driving, grenade launching warlord, in defiance of all the evidence that demonstrates a more probable outcome.)

Libertarianism assures the white male upper-middle-class geek that he has gotten where he is solely because of his big brain and amazing talent for knowing the entire history of Middle-Earth. It assures him that he is the master of his destiny, the only force responsible for his fate. He owes no favors nor allegiance to anyone else. He is his own ideal. Most geeks reading that paragraph are now re-reading it slower and will soon achieve orgasm.

Of course, the other benefit to Libertarianism is that it doesn’t come with all that religious baggage that the Republicans come with. Geeks love not being Christians (Spoiler!) so the Libertarian Party is a better fit for them. It also doesn’t hurt that since the Libertarians never win anything, they can be an actually reviled minority instead of a pretend one like the Conservatives.

Some famous Libertarians are Penn Jilette, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, Robert Heinlein, Ayn Rand, Matt Drudge, and Howard Stern. Possibly related is the fact that all of the above are also assholes.

A political affiliation where they are the smartest people on Earth and everyone else can go screw themselves? No wonder geeks LOVE Libertarianism!

40 Responses

  1. Brilliant! That is the greatest summation of Libertarianism I have ever read. You should really use this as a springboard for a book on the subject.
    The only odd libertarian trait you left out is the fact that they almost never breed, which is probably because if they did they could no longer bitch about paying taxes to fund public schools. That and they either don’t vote or they voted for Bush twice.

  2. What I find out about Libertarians is their claim to be Jeffersonian. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Jefferson design things so they could adapt and change with the changing needs of the future population? So by wanting to undo all these changes, they are actually anti-Jeffersonian rather than Pro…

  3. I dunno: South park’s had it’s moments

  4. I’d disagree Jenny. Being an asshole is in no way an impediment to being funny or occasionally making a good point.

    I’m pretty damn sure Parker is an asshole.

  5. The article is quite close to the mark, but it totally leaves out the fact that geeks have been the object of public scorn long before they grew up into self absorbed Libertarians.

    Geeks were picked on by people whose ruthlessness and disposition towards violence was and is far more dangerous to society than geekish selfishness is now. Geeks faced far more criticism and ridicule than those among them who were flunking out of school and who were getting in trouble with the law. As for pot? Jesus, people. You have rich people smoking powder but hey, we’re gonna spotlight a few geeks for smoking the odd reefer or two? C’mon now. Most of the people ridiculing geeks were binge drinking by high school, for God’s sake. And some were also driving intoxicated. But since, to this author, geek is the new swarthy, we’ve got to blow their all too human flaws up to monstrous proportions.

    I don’t know of too many geeks responsible for 9/11, the war in Iraq, the Subprime collapse, or coal fired power plants. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure I know of any geeks who have committed forcible or statutory rape – and I’m sure there are some geeks out there somewhere who do this – but not as many, per capita, as, say, jocks, soldiers, or even law enforcement personnel.

    Libertarianism is a defensive thing for geeks. They’re reacting to generations of being demonized without cause, being made fun of, and being generally marginalized for no good reason.

    My bets are that the article writer dated people with worse failings than those of the average geek.

    Geek libertarianism is the symptom, not the cause, of a greater societal problem. A problem most likely fueled by the writer of this article when they were a kid taking part in the virulently Machiavellian and militantly anti-intellectual feeding frenzy that is typical school age life.

    Or: people alienated geeks as kids. What in God’s name makes them obligated NOT to be alienated from YOU now?

    Me? I am a geek, too. I got into a LOT of trouble punching out bullies who tried to prey on me. It ended when people realized I did not care about the law as much as I cared about [i]being left alone.[/i] I shunned the anti-intellectualists, I shunned the druggies, I still abhor sports and despise jocks (I only paid for a sporting event once, and that was women’s pro basketball, and they had quite a hill to climb against decades of sexism), I shunned their entire world. I even spent some time as a Republican. But you know what? This geek fell off the truck at the gates of Libertaria. I’m fairly close to the profile of the geek this article is badmouthing, except I don’t care if anyone admires what I stand for. I do what I want and if you don’t like it, kiss my ass. Yet I realized that there are boundaries and, because of that, society just can’t work with Libertarianism. However, unlike the article writer, I also know you can’t go around alienating geeks. They’re the cause of society’s technological evolution, and why we’re not still chiseling porno pictures onto cave walls.

    Incompassionate, unempathetic judgementalism. This article oozes it. It is certainly a core element of the Religious Right, and I sincerely doubt the article writer wants to have much in common with them…

  6. I think someone’s had a hard time letting go of high school.

  7. I think someone named Ken is running his mouth without thinking.

  8. […] Libertarianism « Stuff Geeks Love – It#039;s funny because it#039;s mostly true […]

  9. Bg:So it’s wrong that I enjoyed the South park film, imaginationland,and the passion of the jew episodes of the show?

  10. I think someone named “Le Jacquelope” took the article way too seriously, indicative of someone consumed by rage and bitterness at his life, incapable of self-reflection and self-mockery, and in desperate need of a target for his wrath.

    All who oppose him should thank their Invisible Sky Daddy that he’s not there to “punch them out” like all those hordes of bullies back in the day.

    He’s probably good with a bow staff too.

    And Jenny…if that’s wrong I don’t wanna be right.

  11. yeah, leftofzero, join the occasional south park lovers club.

  12. Jenny: no, it’s not wrong that you occasionally enjoy South Park. As Bg said, “Being an asshole is in no way an impediment to being funny or occasionally making a good point”, and South Park is both funny and occasionally makes a good point. Doesn’t mean Stone and Parker aren’t assholes.

  13. lol at Le Jacquelope, son you need to release some of that frustrated tension

    I suggest compulsive masturbating until you are 45-50

  14. […] still has not become comfortable with the idea of homosexuality, and the middle-class, white, right-libertarian tendencies of the geek are well documented. There is no realistic other option for a group for them […]

  15. With this obsession with their lifelong history of persecution (so ably demonstrated by thie Jackalope person), it’s a constant wonder to me that geeks are as anti-semitic as they are. I suppose they want to believe THEY are the chosen people.

  16. I know this is an old entry, but I gotta agree that this is the best summation of Libertarianism I have ever seen.

  17. @Tom, since when are geeks antisemitic?

  18. This piece is a classic. You nailed it. Spoken as a geek who was once infatuated with Libertarianism, and has since reformed.

  19. Everyone votes their self-interest. As a moderate libertarian, I’m in favor of the government only funding a few things like education and health care ’cause it would benefit me.

    In this respect, we geeks are no different than the Cheeto-eating, reality TV-watching, IQ-of-50-having dumbfuck who either votes for “reelijus valyews” (perceived self-interest) or gummt cheese (real self-interest). We vote self-interest.

    And, hey, yeah, I’m fully aware that society isn’t driven strictly by people who create vaccines and rockets and Internets and whatnot. The 20 percent with brains can hold 80 percent of the wealth, and the remaining 80 percent can, well, bag our groceries. I have absolutely no problems with this arrangement whatever.

  20. speking as a geek, my only real problm with this ariclie is the idea that “many geeks are unable to care about or even imagine the existence of the feelings of anyone other than themselves” there are asshole geeks but they make up a minority. or at lest they do in my experince. i think your spot on about libertarians though

  21. “Geeks faced far more criticism and ridicule than those among them who were flunking out of school and who were getting in trouble with the law.”

    …and female geeks who weren’t as hot as the cheerleaders faced criticism and ridicule even from male geeks.

  22. Then there are the self-proclaimed libertarians who claim stuff like this:

    http://blog.jim.com/science/why-women-want-assholes.html

  23. “And, hey, yeah, I’m fully aware that society isn’t driven strictly by people who create vaccines and rockets and Internets and whatnot.”

    Does the “and whatnot” you speak of include food? Society is also driven by the people who create our food (farming, fishing, etc.).

  24. What can I say… this piece very accurately sums up one of many reasons I can’t stand so many geeks.

    Although as despicable as libertarianism is, it’s also a form of stupidity, much like creationism, that’s mostly exclusive to the US. (Which seems to be a damned hotbed of stupidity from this European’s perspective. And trust me, my own country is hardly full of geniuses either… but that doesn’t make the case for the US better. There’s people there who make the idiots here look smart by comparison!)

    Of course geeks can be obnoxious without being American too. And if their not American their generally not libertarian. And I think the root cause there is the same that attracts the American ones to libertarianism.

    You see libertarianism preys on egomaniacs. And a LOT geeks tend to be egomaniacs, who think their so frickin’ intelligent no matter how little they have to recommend it. They can be imbeciles of the worst sort (and libertarians have many of those, as you need to be utterly clueless about history and about how countries work to BE a libertarian.) and they’ll still yammer about how they’re so much smarter then average.

    Now I KNOW this is because said geeks have raging inferiority complexes and are often socially stunted. So they try to prop themselves up as great thinkers, even though most of them don’t make it much beyond something like some sort of kinko’s copyboy. But my patience for those people is quite limited. Call that one of MY flaws.

    Still no wonder geeks don’t get girls. Someone who combines being a loser, having an immensely inflated opinion of themselves and a little kid’s social skills and tendency to see the universe as revolving around them and their supposed genius… Uhm… of course girls can resist. But of course geeks think it’s their appearance or something, instead of their annoying personalities.

    I can tell geeks this, if they want me to think of them as smart, then they should become succesful scientists, or at least succesful in some other way. Then I’ll say there’s something to them. If their just loudmouth assholes or obnoxious weirdo’s, that’s exactly how I’ll see them and treat them.

  25. Libertarianism isn’t just a mustachio’d conservatism. Some people who are left-leaning and right-leaning tend to call themselves libertarians.

  26. Not every geek is a Libertarian!

    I’m a geek and not only I’m a Social Democrats but I find Right-libertarianism(you should know original libertarianism was anti-capitalist) one of the most incoherent,repellent and idiotic ideology on the internet

  27. NoPast: right on!

    Due to the creation of the Libertarian Party in the USA, many people now consider the idea of “libertarian socialism” to be a contradiction in terms. Indeed, many “Libertarians” think anarchists are just attempting to associate the “anti-libertarian” ideas of “socialism” (as Libertarians conceive it) with Libertarian ideology in order to make those “socialist” ideas more “acceptable” — in other words, trying to steal the “libertarian” label from its rightful possessors.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Anarchists have been using the term “libertarian” to describe themselves and their ideas since the 1850’s. According to anarchist historian Max Nettlau, the revolutionary anarchist Joseph Dejacque published Le Libertaire, Journal du Mouvement Social in New York between 1858 and 1861 while the use of the term “libertarian communism” dates from November, 1880 when a French anarchist congress adopted it. [Max Nettlau, A Short History of Anarchism, p. 75 and p. 145] The use of the term “Libertarian” by anarchists became more popular from the 1890s onward after it was used in France in an attempt to get round anti-anarchist laws and to avoid the negative associations of the word “anarchy” in the popular mind (Sebastien Faure and Louise Michel published the paper Le Libertaire — The Libertarian — in France in 1895, for example). Since then, particularly outside America, it has always been associated with anarchist ideas and movements. Taking a more recent example, in the USA, anarchists organised “The Libertarian League” in July 1954, which had staunch anarcho-syndicalist principles and lasted until 1965. The US-based “Libertarian” Party, on the other hand has only existed since the early 1970’s, well over 100 years after anarchists first used the term to describe their political ideas (and 90 years after the expression “libertarian communism” was first adopted). It is that party, not the anarchists, who have “stolen” the word. Later, in Section B, we will discuss why the idea of a “libertarian” capitalism (as desired by the Libertarian Party) is a contradiction in terms.

    Given the anarchist pedigree of the word “libertarian,” few anarchists are happy to see it stolen by an ideology which shares little with our ideas. In the United States, as Murray Bookchin noted, the “term ‘libertarian’ itself, to be sure, raises a problem, notably, the specious identification of an anti-authoritarian ideology with a straggling movement for ‘pure capitalism’ and ‘free trade.’ This movement never created the word: it appropriated it from the anarchist movement of the [nineteenth] century. And it should be recovered by those anti-authoritarians . . . who try to speak for dominated people as a whole, not for personal egotists who identify freedom with entrepreneurship and profit.” Thus anarchists in America should “restore in practice a tradition that has been denatured by” the free-market right.

    From:

    http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secA1.html#seca13

  28. “Still no wonder geeks don’t get girls. Someone who combines being a loser, having an immensely inflated opinion of themselves and a little kid’s social skills and tendency to see the universe as revolving around them and their supposed genius… Uhm… of course girls can resist. But of course geeks think it’s their appearance or something, instead of their annoying personalities.”

    As a certified American geek I bet you I could take any geek and make them at least as hot with women as you are. Of course I’m a liberal and don’t subscribe to Libertarian bullshit. Not all geeks are what you say they are.

  29. I have always considered libertarians closely linked to that other religion scientology. You pass through different levels, you have to do tests to find out weather you are compatible or an evil statist driven neo nazi liberal socialist trying to take over the world or a theatan threat on the soul of humanity. And you must be willing to spend all your hard earned cash buying books from authors who are world renowned best sellers overlooked by the mainstream statist dominated free press which is not free because the press don’t print what the people want which just happens to be a mirror image of your own religion/ideology LOL.

  30. (reference to baal) I no longer call myself “Libertarian” because the party has tended towards homophobic policies, which I dislike. I do, however, consider myself Jeffersonian. Jefferson did try to design the government such that it would be flexible enough for future changes, large organizations (including governments) are inherently inflexible. No government is simply impossible for a community of more than a couple dozen people, humans are programmed to form hierarchical societies, but smaller more localized governments are more flexible to the needs of the individual. Larger societies ruled by the democracy becomes mob rule (as Jefferson himself pointed out) even Republican government has issues of a similar nature.

  31. Before you write an article on a political and sociological viewpoint other than your own, it is always best to look at other sources than the usual extreme dogma against that view. I cannot imagine a more one-sided argument against Libertarianism than what has been presented here. I am sure that you as an individual enjoy the freedom of choice. How about the freedom to think, to believe what you want to believe? Libertarians simply believe that an individual should have complete freedom, as long as that freedom does not infringe upon the liberty of others. It supports freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of existence. It protects the rights of individuals wishing to take part in homosexual marriages. It denounces infringements of civil liberties, racism and fraud. To Kill a Mockingbird is a largely Libertarian novel. Honestly, before you begin tearing apart a different point of view from your own, at least do a bit of research and attempt to understand the underlying principles behind that view. People are currently denouncing Muslims everywhere because of a few right-winged extremists. Their existence does not mean that all of Islam is oppressive, it merely means that there is a right winged side to it, as there is in every religion and political dogma. In the same way, not every Libertarian is a gun loving nut. Oh, and Libertarianism is not solely reserved for capitalism. It also encompasses many communist ideals. If you had even read Wikipedia you would have realized that. Try some research before you spew out dogma.

  32. Let me just say that if your going to attack an entire political ideology, try to see things from their point of view or at least do some research on thier side. This article contains nothing but attacks on libertarianism and geeks, if you have a well thought out arguement againist them then fine, but all you did was accuse them of being selfish. The following will be a response to each of the paragraphs.

    1. Except for you know the part where the libertarian platform specifically mentions that they are a pro-chioce party, not to mention our support of gay marriage, opposition to censorship, opposition to creationism in public schools and opposition to the war on terror. Yeah, Libertarians are exactly like Republicans. Not to mention that there is nothing wrong with liking guns, but there is certainly wrong with using the government to enforce your point of view.

    2. As, a libertarian I both do volunteer and donate to charity. I find great importance in helping the less fortunate, that being said I’m greatly opposed to treated people like shit because they don’t. Also, there have been multiple studies proving that Republicans donate more to charity then Democrats, fiscal conservatism =/= greed. I do agree with you about Republicans playing the victim though

    3. So, geeks are extremely selfish and hate everyone, even if that was true it would be self fufilling prophecy, because if you don’t respect someone why should they respect you.

    4. How do you explain geeks who arn’t white or or upper-middle class, also amart people will often go to college and get a degree, thus allowing them to make more money, so yeah they did get where they are because of their big brain. Also, there is a difference between caring about other people and goverenment mandating you do, on that subject there is nothing wrong with someone being the master of their own destiny.

    5. If your going to insult us by saying we don’t have the religious nuttery of Republicans is a bad way to do it. Also third parties have trouble winning because of regulations on third party fundrasing.

    6. Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann are bigger assholes then that entire list put together. Anyway, both Bullshit and South Park are great shows, that is something most people can agree with if you don’t watch the political episodes. I also love Heinlein, and this is coming from someone who disagreed with the message of starship troopers. I’m indifferent about Stern, and my only problem with Rand was her opposition to some one chooseing to donate to charity. I will give you Drudge though, that guy’s a douche.

    7. Still preferable to a party full of pussies that support P.E.T.A and hate the 2nd amendment, and a party full of assholes that support homophobia and hate the 4th amendment.

  33. You know, I was going to comment on this with a sad, confused defense of Libertarianism, asking what being a dick has to do with making fun of me. Then I read Tyler’s post. Comment redacted.
    But if I’m going to pretend to be all deep and above this, I guess I have to say something in defense of Anarchy (then I can clock out: This is one of those “leave no lie behind” political battles where if you aren’t loud and upfront with the truth US politics leaves you behind) and it goes like this: The definition of a nation state is a “monopoly of force” a polite way of saying “violent guy gets to decide when violence is okay” so the government is, in the sense of why is is different from other organizations, about violence. Violence is (possibly all, at least mostly) evil. So the government is about evil, and deciding when evil is okay and when it isn’t. If you oppose evil, then you must oppose the government.

  34. Meh, kinda gay. This is comedy right?

  35. In addition to other flaws, this article conflates members of the Libertarian Party, i.e. capital-L Libertarians, with small-l libertarians. And what’s the evidence Heinlein was a jerk?

  36. A shallow and half witted explanation of what libertariansim is and why geeks might be attracted to it. I also hear a slight tone of synicism in the article.

    Perhaps what is most disturbing is everyone agreeing with the article in the comments. Nothing here expands on what libertarianism is and why “geeks” might be interested in it. Yet all of these ingorant people are agreeing, circle jerkishly, as if they knew what the author was even talking about.

    Ell o ell

  37. Yeah, this is largely true about a certain type of extreme Libertarians. But it’s a bit unfair to tar a whole group with the same brush, no? It’s like saying that all Social Conservatives are retarded and repressed homosexuals, or that all Socialists are just driven by envy and a hatred of success. It’s true of some, those at the extreme end who also happen to be schmucks, but it isn’t true in general, and it’s unfair to say so.

    I call myself a Libertarian, but only because that’s the closest thing I can find. I think that, on balance, the market is a better form of distribution than central planning; individual endeavour is meaningful and worth encouraging; collective ownership wouldn’t work (though I don’t think it’s “wrong as such”) and that the case for government involvement in social and economic life can be made, but the burden of proof should always be on those seeking to extend control/management. Therefore, government becomes involved if and when it has to, but mostly people are better off engaged in voluntary trade pursuing private ends. So low taxes etc, but the state does have a role-healthcare, education, etc. Does that make me a selfish asshole? (As for the ignorant thing, I’ll happily talk about the history of capital/America-I recognise it’s pretty dire-left libertarianism, which I think is closer to “right” libertarianism than people on both sides allow for, or even Marxism) :)

    Concerning the geek thing, yeah there’s some truth to that too. Simple, people who are treated bad will react in an appropriate manner (equal and opposite reaction and what not). If you’re bullied to a huge extent, you’re bound to have little to no consideration for most people-your view on human nature is skewed. The individualism thing is true for this reason too. If you have a bad view of collectives (which the trolls in schools ultimately are), you have a pessimistic view of that too. But that’s cool. Society needs its individuals as much as its herd folk. There is a problem when the individualist geek sees themselves as better than others, but that egotism and individualism are not the same.

    Also, the aggression shown on here is interesting, to say the least. It’s all in good fun etc, but it still shows the sort of thing that causes the people you’re describing to go down the route they do. You can disagree without hate. (Incidentally, presumably most people attacking Libertarianism are Leftists of some stripe? I always find it bizarre when such people resort to aggression, given their arguments are based on altruism and collective endeavour…)

  38. Oh, and surely everyone writing on here, in defence and against, are all geeks? :)

  39. Anonymous is confused. First, we are libertarians, not Libertarians. Second, those who are consistent and principled should not be pejoratively criticized as being “Extremists” (or even “extremists”). This is just confused, unprincipled thinking. The state is evil and a criminal aggressor. Deal.

  40. Didn’t mean that everyone who was radical was extremist. By extremist I was referring to attitude, not beliefs. There’s a difference between holding strong “extreme” views, and being aggressive about it. That’s what I think a big issue for libertarians (small l :) ) is. A lot of people don’t want to hear the positive ideas as they’re put off by the lack of compromise, empathy and engagement with other arguments (including, and especially, those that are the complete opposite of what you believe). Which results in horrible (mirror image) articles like this.

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