Critiques Of Libertarianism

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Mike Huben (, editor.

Established 10/25/94.
Last updated 09/26/11.

Welcome to the web site dedicated to critiquing libertarianism!

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Introductory features:

A Non-Libertarian FAQ.
A general introduction to discussion with libertarians, with an extensive discussion of arguments commonly used by libertarian evangelists.
Unsolicited Praise for the Non-Libertarian FAQ.
Criticisms of the Non-Libertarian FAQ.
Marxism of the Right
Robert Locke's The American Conservative article is the best, simplest, clearest indictment of libertarianism found for this site. It will appeal to liberals and progressives as well as conservatives.
Libertarianism in One Lesson.
Mike Huben's guide to becoming a libertarian. If you've argued with libertarians, you'll understand them well enough to ROTFL. :-) for the humor-impaired.
Libertarianism in One Lesson; The Second Lesson.
Why is there a second lesson when the title says one lesson? Libertarianism is so double-plus-good.... :-) for the humor-impaired.
So You Want To Discuss Libertarianism....
Brief, basic ideas about how to discuss libertarianism meaningfully. Common sense that is often ignored.
Quotations relevant to libertarianism.
You've seen the quotes the libertarians select. Now see the others....

Topical issues:

NEW 5/10: Cato Scholar Scolds Rand Paul, Gives OK to Soup Nazi
Several libertarian scholars criticize Rand Paul severely. Not just because he's wrong, but because the old libertarian position that racism is a private right is embarassing to them.
NEW 5/10: The lesson of Rand Paul: libertarianism is juvenile.
Gabriel Winant's Salon article declaring: "Libertarianism itself is what's stupid here, not just Paul. We should stop tip-toeing around this belief system [....]"
NEW 12/07: Ron Paul: Quackery enabler
Orac's heavily linked post at Respectful Insolence is a good starting place for why Ron Paul is a loon. No other candidate sets off the alarms of skeptics for science, medicine, economics, racism, and religion the way Ron Paul does.
NEW 2/08: FAQ: Ron Paul and his Racist Newsletter
Ron Lawl provides a convenient FAQ rebutting the myriad excuses made for Ron Paul's longstanding activities with racists. Part of The Ron Paul Survival Report blog.
NEW 2/08: Ron Paul's record in Congress
Ron Paul's bizarre track record as a congressman, particularly those bills he sponsored or co-sponsored.
NEW 4/08: Ron Paul Is Crazy
A YouTube video from WebPundit points out why Ron Paul is an unrealistic candidate: because he offends almost everybody in one way or another.
NEW 1/09: Google Future - The Ron Paul Presidency
Front page news from Ron Paul's future presidency.

Subject indexes:

FAQs and reference documents.
An index to sites about logic, propaganda, historical documents, liberalism, and other information relevant to libertarian arguments. Very high quality!
Criticisms of Robert Nozick and "Anarchy, State, and Utopia".
The foremost philosophy of libertarianism has been thoroughly discredited.
Criticisms of Objectivism (or Ayn Rand).
Ayn Rand was a truculent, domineering cult-leader, whose Objectivist pseudo-philosophy attempts to ensnare adolescents with heroic fiction about righteous capitalists.
Philosophical Criticisms Of Libertarianism
Libertarians make many claims about how wonderful their philosophy is, but many philosophers think differently.
Reviews Of Books Related To Libertarianism.
An index to reviews that show libertarianism in an unfavorable light.
Humor, Satire, and Quotations.
These make an otherwise dry subject more palatable.
Liberal Criticisms.
Liberals understand that government has a useful track record.
Conservative Criticisms.
Few conservatives seem to feel much need to bash libertarianism: liberals are much bigger enemies.
Left-Libertarian and Anarchist Criticism.
A resounding clash of ideologies!
Objectivist Critiques Of Libertarianism.
While Objectivism is a type of libertarianism, there is a great deal of conflict between the two groups, sometimes resulting in some good criticisms.
Libertarians Criticizing Each Other.
Libertarians are by no means unified in their positions, and some of their strongest criticisms are aimed at each other.
The Liberal Alternative.
Some excellent liberal sources that contrast strongly with libertarianism.
Criticisms of the Cato Institute.
A libertarian quasi-academic think-tank which acts as a mouthpiece for the globalism, corporatism, and neoliberalism of its corporate and conservative funders.
Criticisms of George Mason U. Economics (and Mercatus)
An academic and think-tank duo which acts as a propaganda mill and training center for its corporate and libertarian funders, the billionaire Koch brothers.
Milton Friedman.
The most notable libertarian: a brilliant economic theoretician, policy advisor, popularizer, and propagandist.
David Friedman.
An anarcho-capitalist libertarian whose ideas undermine most libertarian's philosophy. His writings and criticisms of them.
Testimonials by former libertarians and objectivists.
Let's see what we can learn from some of the many who have left libertarianism.
Criticisms of the Libertarian Party.
There's lots to laugh at, behind the veil of propaganda.
Make Or Break Views Of Libertarianism.
Positions so absolute and extreme as to border on self-ridicule.
The "World's Smallest Political Quiz".
What's wrong with this prime propaganda.
Liberty And Government.
Most libertarians view government as a destroyer of liberty. But the fact is that government is essential to create liberty.
Government And Economics.
Libertarians tend to consider government a drain on the economy, when in actuality it is an active player in creating a more vigorous economy.
Austrian Economics.
A fringe academic view which is greatly preferred by many libertarians on ideological grounds.
Criticisms of Neoliberalism, Capitalism, and Free Markets.
Libertarians are unabashed promoters of capitalism and free markets, and generally can see no wrong with them, either historically, philosophically, or economically. The rest of the world can though.
Libertarian Economic Experiments.
Chile and New Zealand are often cited by libertarians as sites of successful libertarian economic reform. They tend to cite a few "benefits", but there are many downsides....
Freedom Through Technology.
Cypherpunks, high-tech libertarians, and various others mistakenly think technology will eliminate the need for government (if not outright eliminate government.)
The Constitution, Laws, and Libertarians.
Libertarians frequently parrot bizarre pseudolegal formulas or selective histories to justify militias, common law courts, sovereign citizenship, immunity from taxes, etc. They also adopt many right wing criticisms of modern court interpretations of the Constitution.
Libertarian Revisionist History
Ideologies often require revision of inconvenient history, and identification of famous historical figures as fellow believers. Libertarians have their own ludicrous literature and claims.
Society Versus Individuals Versus Markets.
Most libertarians myopically focus on individuals: indeed, they often deny that society exists at all. The problem is that individuals reside in an environment called society.
Libertarians are often grotesquely anti-environmental in terms of regulation. (Though some do like market-oriented pollution rights.) They frequently repeat anti-environmental propaganda.
Gun Control.
Libertarians tend to be strongly anti-gun-control, more so even than the NRA leadership, since ideology knows no bounds.
Privatization and Deregulation.
Libertarians are generally unabashedly in favor of privatization and deregulation, with only minor limits in the case of minarchists. It's not that simple.
Medical Care, Insurance, and Socialized Medicine
Libertarians, with their ideological demands of minimal government, see no role for government in medicine or medical insurance. However, the market failures are so severe, the incentives so perverted, that the mostly private US system has bottom-ranked health care outcomes.
Drug Regulation
Libertarians see no role for government at all in regulating or prohibiting drugs of any sort, for recreation or for treatment, to any age. Ridiculous.
Social Security.
Social Security is one of the biggest libertarian bugaboos. It's obvious success clashes harshly with the sink-or-swim ideology of most libertarians.
Transferring Power To The States.
Libertarians frequently prefer to decentralize government power by moving it to the states. Sometimes that's not good planning.
Public Schools, Education, and Vouchers.
Libertarians generally adopt anti-public school rhetoric, and recommend vouchers as a first step towards elimination of public schools.
Most libertarians are opposed to taxes, and make various arguments why they should be "equal" and not progressive.
Free Trade.
Free trade is arguable, except among libertarians where it is a basic of the ideology. What is not arguable though is the audacity of the false claims made for free trade.
Limited Property: Zoning and Takings.
Most libertarians are in favor of absolute property rights, in contradiction to essentially all traditions of property ownership.
Limited Property: Property Taxes.
Most libertarians are opposed to property taxes. The Georgists have an answer that libertarians are unable to rebut.
Reciprocal Links and other Resources Of Interest.

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Copyright 2007 by Mike Huben ( ).
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