We’re advised to avoid religion and politics in mixed company. There are reasons. For one thing, our heart-of-hearts beliefs aren’t necessarily the next person’s beeswax. For another thing, we probably don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about. The most complex, abstract ideas tend to inspire the most worthless, uninformed chit-chat. Actual libertarianism is one of the more logically consistent strains of American political thought. It effectively debunks the left-right continuum, it’s optimistic about human nature, and it’s “pro-choice on everything.” (If you’re curious, Brian Doherty’s sprawling history Radicals for Capitalism is a good place to start, and the pithy Reason blog will keep you up.) Compressed, it looks like that “Don’t Tread on Me” flag with the coiled rattler, which, whether or not it’s your style, looks pretty cool on an old Mustang. Of course, as the Republicans learned with the “Southern Strategy,” no American political movement can sustain itself without courting its share of retarded reactionaries. Thus, most of the libertarians you meet don’t study Hayek, Friedman or Stanhope. They can be easily identified - they’re the assholes that'll talk your ear bloody about their sacred right to privacy - and they typically fall into one of these subgroups:
1. CRYPTO-FACIST RANDITES - These overindulged nerds read the stifling dogma of Ayn Rand and decide that it was written for them, the elite. They are the chosen ones, the beautiful stars who have every right to create crushing monopolies and exploit the weak. Invariably, they’re atheists – not because they know shit about science, but because “conventional morality” is for peons like you. CFRs should be free to prosper; you should be free to serve. They’re pretty insufferable, at least until they graduate, get crap internships, and notice that the world isn’t breaking out the bubbly for them. 2. SOUTH PARK REPUBLICANS - These smug beasties have turned their lack of compassion into a bastardized, know-nothing laissez faire philosophy. These are the storied “conservatives who smoke pot.” They don’t think free markets will fix anything; they just don’t give a shit, and they love being contrary. They tend to be huge comedy nerds who can’t comprehend satire. To crib from columnistJohn Dolan, SPRs hate “liberals” because they hated Mr. Van Driessen on Beavis and Butt-head. I hated that twerp, too. I’m not a particularly “PC” guy, although I don’t think “political correctness” is as big a problem as, say, cancer. I like South Park. I am no one’s moral superior. I’m not smarter than you. Just quieter.
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