It may surprise many here to learn that despite all my contrarian posts and behavior, I remain a left-leaning individualist anarchist. But since I love making lists, I thought I’d make one of why I’m so disenchanted with mainstream libertarianism and those who carry water for it. So here goes nothing:
1) Mainstream libertarianism is, for the most part, not terribly radical on the big issues that matter (war, nuclear disarmament, military recruitment, etc) and focuses on relatively petty things the state does (unemployment benefits, pork-barrel spending, public sector unions, etc). That’s not to say that I approve of those things, but it’s like complaining about the Autobahn while ignoring the gas chambers running in the background. Most self-described ‘libertarians’ are some variant of Dick Armey or Wayne Allyn Root. The movement has basically become “conservatives who are a little more sympathetic to gay marriage and legalized pot.”
2) Mainstream libertarianism’s stance on the environment is that corporations should be free to pollute other people’s property with impunity, and damage the planet’s ecological base as much as they wish. I hate to kill the pro-fossil fuels bukkake, but in a strict libertarian theory this is NOT the case. The fossil fuels industry, chemical corporations and all the rest are LIABLE FOR TORTS. So-called “tort reform” is a conservative, not libertarian, principle, yet it is one many libertarians embrace.
3) Mainstream libertarians take all existing property and land titles as a given (a position that was NOT, btw, held by Murray Rothbard and was radically opposed by Lysander Spooner, who demanded violent expropriation), without giving it more than eight seconds of thought.
4) Mainstream libertarians confuse a principle (“using aggression to help the poor is bad”) with an attitude (“the poor are bad”). Witness Doug Casey’s condemnation of private charity or Neal Boortz calling victims of Hurricane Katrina “human debris.” Or you can listen to Rush Limbaugh mock starving children (haw, haw, haw!). Are you laughing yet?
5) Mainstream libertarians blindly praise globalization, while ignoring the enormous role state authoritarianism and past colonialism have had in suppressing wages abroad.
Am I missing anything?