Libertarians \"explained\"

Julia Gorin in the Wall Street Journal attempts to describe to Joe Q. Public what a Libertarian is in the context of a funny(?) monologue. Basically, many of the usual stereotypes abound: Libertarians are callous, hedonistic, atheist, and are generally obsessed with pot. Looks like I don't fit her framework definition to a T. Though I consider myself libertarian (in a mild small-'l' way), I tend to believe I'm rather compassionate, monogamous, Christian, and don't partake in drugs. But that's just me. :grin:

(Via Reason's Hit & Run)

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Well, it looks like there

Well, it looks like there are at least two of us. I try not to take it personally, as generalizations are sometimes unavoidable when trying to make a point. That said, the article was a bit too general and, I think, marginalized a ‘l’ibertarian worldview.

Until a few years ago, the

Until a few years ago, the only libertarians I had talked to seemed to be libertarians because they wanted to get high or get laid (well, I guess the same time). Not that those are bad goals, but I thought they were hardly the sort of things I could base my political philosophy upon.

Fortunately, one of the esteemed contributors to this site began posting on a site I frequented. I learned, not really to my surprise, than my view of libertarians was incomplete, and that my political views had a lot in common with his.

I've been a conservative all my life, but lately the Republican Party has drifted away from the small government goal it used to espouse. You know what- I really don't blame the GOP. It was purely a marketing decision. My disappointment lies with the American people, who have traded fiscal discipline for immediate gratification (government handouts).

I call myself now a conservalibertarian. One of my favorite quotes is "that government is best that governs least." Libertarians are the only folks who want to get government out of our lives.

Jay, if you would take a

Jay, if you would take a book recommendation, I'd suggest David Friedman's The Machinery of Freedom.

Some conservative libertarians, such as myself, have decided that small government is an unstable equilibrium--it will inevitably swell. As such, we want no government at all.

I'm glad that folk like Doug

I'm glad that folk like Doug don't fit the stereotypes, cuz if anybody says that libertarians are hedonistic, atheist, drug-loving, polyamorous, bisexual, gambling, purple-haired freaks, y'all are gonna need to hide me in the closet in order to dispute the charge...

Seriously, Patri is the

Seriously, Patri is the stereotype.

To a degree, I would argue

To a degree, I would argue Christian principles are at the very heart of libertarianism. I mean, true, many modern American Christians come across as neoconservative warmongers; they're certainly the ones who jump up and down the loudest in favor of bombing other countries (or finding weapons, or spreading democracy, or whatever). But the New Testament contradicts their pro-war fervor. Beyond its theological bent, it's largely a book about the non-aggression principle. So I would argue libertarianism is at least as conducive to Christians as it is to junkies, hedonists, and recorders of self-help tapes. That's my take anyway. Though, of course, I'm a beer-drinking Christian, so I could just be looking for a convenient excuse.

JDM - I've seen some

JDM - I've seen some excellent pieces making that argument. One interesting fictional version is _A Lodging of Wayfaring Men_. It's kinda like the pro-Jesus crypto-anarchic libertarian version of _Unintended Consequences_. While it could have used a real editor, it was quite interesting.

What I find strange is that often libs who come from the Christian direction have some strange (to me) inconsistencies, ie being pro-freedom in most ways, yet anti-drug. (not necessarily "drugs should be illegal", sometimes "no reasonable person would ever want to do those horrible things", but I think the latter viewpoint is at least as absurd). The above book has that pattern, and its especially strange since its pro-hot wild sex.

I respectfully disagree on

I respectfully disagree on this one. Advising against partaking in X activity, but still letting that person come to his/her own decisions, doesn't seem nearly as absurd as calling for legislation to ban it.

Someone can attempt to talk his friend out of a cocaine habit, yet simply say, "that's my advice, take it or leave it"... i.e. I don't see any inconsistency in being both vocally anti-cocaine and pro-freedom at the same time.

Patri- I'm with Doug on this


I'm with Doug on this one. I've always been pretty athletic, and have been going to the gym consistently over the past 5 years trying to fight off the ravages of age (suprisingly, I'm still losing).

I don't like to take even an aspirin, much less anything harder. Still, I don't care what you choose to do to your body, and would think it rather foolish if you were destroying it. But that's your business, not mine...

" many of the usual

" many of the usual stereotypes abound: Libertarians are callous, hedonistic, atheist, and are generally obsessed with pot."

Hey, two outta four ain't bad. ;)