2018-09-13 02:30:32 UTC
The Comedy of Libertarian Hypocrisy
By Dan Agin
One of the great jokes of modern America is so-called
libertarianism an ill-defined ism with a multitude of
meanings in a spectrum of attitudes about government intrusion.
At one extreme, the libertarian is a total anarchist, a
believer in no government at all, and a hundred years ago a
terrorist and bomb-thrower convinced that the road to
libertarian dystopia demanded destroying civilization.
At the other extreme, the so-called libertarian is a
proto-fascist conservative who uses libertarian buzzwords to
achieve a political agenda that would actually involve more
government intrusion and not less government intrusion
intrusion to foster business and protect wealth at the expense
of the unwealthy.
The underlying joke across the entire spectrum of political
libertarian attitudes is an underlying hypocrisy illustrated by
Consider a libertarian named Self Reliant. Mr. Reliant,
fifty-five years old, suffers a sudden heart attack. He calls
911, and when the paramedics arrive he directs them to the best
hospital in town, which happens to be the university hospital
attached to a state university. Mr. Reliant is rushed to this
hospital and receives treatment in the emergency room that
essentially saves his life.
Mr. Reliants comical hypocrisy is that nearly every step along
the way hes acting in contradiction to his loudly broadcast
1) Dialing 911 and asking for paramedics is asking for help
from local government.
2) Directing the ambulance to a local state university hospital
emergency room is asking for help from the state in which he
3) Once inside that hospital, accepting emergency treatment is
accepting help from the federal government, since its the
federal government that funds nearly all the research and
development in cardiac infarction emergency care.
At every step along the way, Mr. Reliant has asked for help
from the very local, state, and federal institutions that he
claims are intrusions in his self-reliant life and that he
would like to see disappear.
Its a comedy of hypocrisy. Were Mr. Reliant a true
libertarian, he would treat his heart attack himself (and most
likely die), or at the least, when the paramedics arrive, he
would direct the ambulance into the woods to die among the
trees. (Actually, the woods may be off-limits also, since they
may be maintained by a local, state, or federal forestry
Like many comedies, this comedy has a tragic side if you flip
the coin. The tragedy is that too many Americans are currently
behaving like imbeciles in their adoration of absolute and
total individual freedom when the reality of our time is that
such freedom is incompatible with individual survival.
The libertarian ambulance always rushes to a government funded
Our current libertarians dont die. They just shout that
other people should die.