Libertarianism and other links

One of the problems I have with some libertarians is that while they babble about freedom, they’re really authoritarians.
Tibor Machan, for instance, openly expressed his enthusiasm for a world in which everything is privatized. That way questions such as what is taught in schools, who can use the roads, which races have the right to eat in which restaurants (Machan’s of the school that segregation is less of a problem than interfering with someone’s legal rights) and which roads get maintained will be entirely the decision of the great and glorious owners. None of that annoying democracy interfering with the rights of property owners!
Or there was a writer back in the 1990s who argued that every homeowner in America should be forced to join a homeowner’s association. That way responsibility for roads, sewers, etc. could be taken away from the government, and this would be such a big step in freedom that the loss of freedom in forcing the owners would be inconsequential.
As raikoth points out in this long analysis of libertarianism, that sort of thing isn’t rejecting government, it’s just shifting where the power lies. Raikoth says specifically the analysis isn’t rejecting libertarian solutions in every case (there are times government solutions don’t work better), just as a general “government is the problem” view. I have a previous blog post on the same topic.
Here’s a more philosophical analysis of the differences between liberals and libertarians.
•This gawker essay pushes back against condemnation of snark, arguing that snark is part of the pushback against smarm and unctuous platitudes that fill up so much public discourse. His definition of smarm doesn’t match the one I know, but I still think it’s a good piece. And his discussion of how part of smarm is someone wringing their hands over the tone in which things are said made me think of this post of mine (on what constitutes a civil conversation), and then this one (on people who think moral condemnation is perfectly fine, so long as it’s directed at someone else).
And here’s my new And column, on comparisons to slavery.

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