Criticisms of the Non-Libertarian FAQ.

Part of the "Critiques of Libertarianism" site.

Last updated 01/25/09.


Many libertarians agree with much of the Non-Libertarian FAQ, because its aim is mostly at bad arguments rather than libertarianism. But the Non-Libertarian FAQ also outrages a great many libertarians who happen to treasure those arguments. Here are the known responses on the Web. The quality is generally very low: if you enjoy critical thinking, you will find these criticisms to be mostly laughable, inaccurate, or irrelevant. Libertarians who need their shaken beliefs affirmed, no matter how poorly, will find solace in these.


Mark LaRochelle's "A Non-Statist FAQ".
By far the largest of the criticisms, though it is fundamentally flawed. The biggest error is his misunderstanding of FAQ-nature: presentation of useful background for newsgroups, rather than the most rigorous possible argument. Comical touches are accusations of fallacies (which he commits frequently in his criticisms) and the frequent portraits of the authorities he likes. Major flaws include definition of libertarianism as the glittering generality "libertarianism is the ideology that aggression is bad", assumption that rejection of libertarianism means preference for its diametric opposite, and the pretense that property, rights, and common law are not created by force, without consent. (I found a text-only version: the original doesn't seem to be available anywhere.)
Mike Huben's comments on "A Non-Statist FAQ"
Alexander Khan's "Some criticisms of LaRochelle's Non-Statist FAQ".
David Friedman's Response to the Non-Libertarian FAQ
A disappointingly standard selection of weak libertarian arguments. Better than the other criticisms, but that's a very low hurdle. A response is planned.
Jonathan Andreas' Response to David Friedman's FAQ Critique
An unsolicited (but welcome!) rebuttal of some of David's arguments.
A Response to a Rebuttal of a Critique of an faq
David's response to Jonathan.
Jonathan Andreas' Response to David Friedman's Response
Jonathan continues his rebuttal.
NEW 1/09: Reply to Huben's "Non-Libertarian FAQ"
Another one who won't understand social contracts. Tedious.
Julian Sanchez' Response to the Non-Libertarian FAQ
One of the few criticisms that doesn't display hostility.
Glen Raphael's critique of the Non-Libertarian FAQ.
A typical kind of libertarian apologetics, heavy on misreading what is plainly stated to make it fit cut-and-paste libertarian arguments.
Willis Boyce's critique of the Non-Libertarian FAQ.
Another libertarian who ignores the stated purpose of the FAQ in the introduction and presumes that the FAQ is about opposition to the Libertarian Party.
Howard Spews on Anti-Libertarianism
A much milder and more agreeable statement than it sounds.
Opposing Mike Huben's "A Non-Libertarian FAQ"
Sampo Syreeni's demonstration that making a response doesn't mean it's a good response. A reasonable tone dresses up really poor arguments.
Libertarianism and some points in its favour: A response to 'The Non-Libertarian FAQ'
Marc Geddes has problems with the social construction of property rights and the nature of social contract.
Response to Marc Geddes
Mike Huben answers the criticisms.
Henry Blaskowski's FAQ criticisms (via Google Groups).
An extremely sloppy response to the FAQ, fraught with the usual fallacies of libertarian apologetics. It was only posted to the net.
Mike Huben's reply to Blaskowski's FAQ criticisms.
A Response To The Non-Libertarian FAQ
Brian Carnell's second version of his rebuttal. Primarily based on arguments I didn't make.
Email to Brian Carnell describing his erroneous criticism.
Huben's FAS (Frequently Asserted Strawmen)
An ad-hominem rant by "Lazarus Long", based on the presumption that his opponents use the same attack tactics he does. His most glaring double-speak is that he claims the arguments are strawmen, but he defends them anyway instead of disclaiming them.

My normal policy is not to engage in ad-hominem pissing matches with libertarians, but Lazarus Long has been impugning me for quite a while now. So, I'd like to set the following straight, since it illustrates his debate style. Also, this can serve as an example of how argument with him can mire you endlessly, even when he is grossly wrong.

In his FAS , he writes:
Incidentally, even though this article was not written at the time of Huben's e-mail to me, he stated "I'm hardly upset by your "refutation" or any of the other rather pathetic attempts (and yours is indeed the weakest by far.)" In other words... although the refutation had not been written, Huben miraculously claims that it is the weakest by far.

In an ad-hominem web page titled Who is Mike Huben , he writes:
An example of his obsession, and lack of intellectual integrity can be seen by a visit to his "Critique of Libertarianism" site. He listed a link to my critique of his Non-Libertarian FAQ, before the critique had been written, along with a description of what was contained in the critique. A most impressive stunt, considering that the critique, not only was not on this site at the time, but hadn't been written.

Now, I'm not known for my psychic powers: how could I have known about his document to criticize it or create a link to it?

Very simple. He had posted it (or an early version) as Huben's FAS (Frequently Asserted Strawmen). in talk.politics.libertarian July 2, 1996. He wrote:
This article will appear in full form on my webpage as within the next few weeks.
I criticized his post by email, and made a link to the URL he had announced. No magic involved: I was just responding to the information he made publicly available. I'd like to know how he construes this as "obsession, and lack of intellectual integrity".

Most of his attacks and his FAS can be similarly handled. However, responding to them just gives him more material to similarly misuse. He likes to misinterpret non-response as his own triumph over the cowardly, but I trust most readers can see that he's a legend in his own mind.

[4/13/99: "Prince Lazarus", age 67, given name Howard Turney, has been hit with an SEC restraining order for his New Utopia internet scam.]

These could be rebutted at greater length (indeed, they already have been in lengthy email to their authors pointing out their errors), but unless I get get many requests for rebuttals, I'll spend the time developing further criticisms rather than being sidetracked.

Counter image omitted.

Copyright 2007 by Mike Huben ( ).
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