Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Thick Libertarians Don’t Get it

It seems rather important for thick libertarians to confuse the message of liberty.  Your guess as to why is as good as mine.  They claim they want to make the philosophy more appealing, broaden the audience, etc.  Or that the NAP is too simple, not capable of providing benefit in such a complicated world.

I have found it important to respond, even to some of the more obscure posts.  No need to guess why – I will tell you.

First, responding affords me the opportunity to continue my own development – to try to write logically in counter-position.  Second, voices must be raised – even tiny ones like mine.  The posts advocating “thick” will be read.  A rebuttal should be out there, to ensure that the true objective (as well as I understand it) is always available for those who care to look.

So why do I suggest that thick libertarians don’t get it?  What don’t they get?

Thin libertarians want no part of it; in order that I don’t incorrectly speak for others, I will speak for me: if “thick” is what is needed to broaden the appeal, you can have it.  Thick means nothing will change; the elite and the politicians that serve the elite will be very happy with “thick.”

What do I care about broadening the appeal of a philosophy that a) has no meaning, and b) is nothing but more of the same?

If the “thin” crowd stays small, so be it.  I’ve seen the so-called Reagan revolution, the useless-yet-supposedly-radical contract with America.  I used to believe that the Constitution meant something; that Americans won their independence 230 some-odd years ago.

What about the full-blown, everything goes lifestyle that some of the “thick” crowd seems to want to peddle as part of libertarianism?  Heaven help us if we get there (wait – aren’t we already witnessing the fruits of this?).

The oldsters writing such “thick” nonsense should know better.  The youngsters should learn how to use a good search engine.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.  As this is what you’re peddling count me out.


  1. A small thin crowd would certainly be better than what we currently have, which is several teeny-tiny thin camps sniping at each other, wasting effort that does nothing to advance the movement in any way. Any newcomer quickly finds himself in the middle of this internecine war where the Randianish are trading shots with the Rothbardianish, etc. Supporters of IP get branded as statists, Christian-influenced types get branded as mystics, and everyone brands everyone else a cultist. All over minor disagreements among those who are as thin as it gets.

    Meanwhile, there are some thicker libertarians and non-libertarians who are actually getting some important messages out the door of the church instead of preaching only to their sect of the converted. Even a thin type can find much of value in Jacob Sullum, Vin Suprinowicz, Walter Williams, Radley Balko, Sheldon Richman, etc. as long as you can grit your teeth while wading through the thick stuff and bear stumbling across the occasional pro-war statement.

    How many thin libertarians do you know who jumped straight from mainstream political thought into radical thin-ness? I certainly didn't. It took a long time to even find that little tent, much less embrace it. Perhaps we should rejoice every time someone is enticed to enter the thick tent because they may have the most potential to move on to the thin side.

    1. I find no simple answer to this. On the one hand, any movement toward liberty and less state intervention is better than the alternative. On the other, unless the concept of the NAP is always kept in focus, it will be lost and there is no hope to even get close.

      My concern isn't with the Walter Williams' of the world - he doesn't claim to be a libertarian, to my knowledge.

      My concern is toward those who claim the name, but advocate points outside of the principle. In the examples that I have dealt with over the last few weeks, it is clear that the proponents of thick cannot reconcile their dreams with the notion of property.

      I conclude this must always be challenged.

  2. Fully agree. It's the lack of acting on good fundamental principle that has gotten us here. Abandoning principle for feel-good motivation will only lead to more ruin.

  3. There's more to the thick "libertarians" crowd than meets the eye. By definition, the NAP constitutes a genuine threat to the elite's MO. A cognitive infiltration tsunami has been unleashed to drown an idea whose time has come, methinks.


    1. Yes, this recent wave doesn't seem to be by accident; and, as always, nice to hear from you, Abu.