Galt's Goof
July 5, 2017 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Usually, libertarians trying to organize don't do very well: The Libertarian Utopia That’s Just a Bunch of White Guys on a Tiny Island

But sometimes they succeed. And that's when things really go bad: The Short, Unhappy Life of a Libertarian Paradise
posted by Chrysostom (131 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
 
"I want to do Liberland yoni massage conferences," he tells me.

ho boy.

Not sure how we got from curtailing the power of the state to yoni massage.
posted by GuyZero at 10:51 AM on July 5, 2017 [13 favorites]


"That's libertarians for you - anarchists who want police protection from their slaves." - Kim Stanley Robinson.
posted by JohnFromGR at 10:54 AM on July 5, 2017 [179 favorites]


I read that as librarians at first which puts an entirely different spin on things.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:56 AM on July 5, 2017 [32 favorites]


The difference is that a state run entirely by librarians would be a good thing.

(and would probably work)
posted by Naberius at 10:58 AM on July 5, 2017 [83 favorites]


The intellectually honest libertarians I know will at least acknowledge that a world without interventionist government would be objectively worse than a world with it. They just think that living in a shittier world is a fair price to pay for "freedom".

"Life will be worse but it's worth it" is almost definitional for libertarianism. If you took the simple stance that government should only regulate when cases where it improves the overall well-being of its citizens... that's just liberalism. If you want to be a libertarian, you need to not regulate in order to improve people's lives.
posted by 0xFCAF at 11:06 AM on July 5, 2017 [14 favorites]


The difference is that a state run entirely by librarians would be a good thing.

(and would probably work)


you'd certainly be able to find things
posted by philip-random at 11:16 AM on July 5, 2017 [78 favorites]


MartinWisse: "I read that as librarians at first which puts an entirely different spin on things."

Vermont groans under the iron rule of jessamyn.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:17 AM on July 5, 2017 [102 favorites]


Vermont groans under the iron rule of jessamyn.

Justice of the Making a Desert and Calling It Peace
posted by Etrigan at 11:20 AM on July 5, 2017 [11 favorites]


The difference is that a state run entirely by librarians would be a good thing.

We thought, so, until they instituted... The Weeding.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:23 AM on July 5, 2017 [72 favorites]


Copper thieves, emboldened by the opportunity to work without fear of electrocution, had worked overtime scavenging wire. Some, the City Council learned, had even dressed up as utility workers and pried open the boxes at the base of streetlights in broad daylight. Keeping the lights off might have saved some money in the short term, but the cost to fix what had been stolen ran to some $5 million.

Help I'm dying

“Sometimes the best-laid plans don’t work out the way you’d hope,” says Merv Bennett, who served on the City Council at the time and asked officials at the utilities about whether the savings were real.

I'm sorry, what was that? You....you say you had a plan? Other than flicking off a light switch?
posted by Existential Dread at 11:24 AM on July 5, 2017 [24 favorites]


We could do worse than rule by wise Librarian-Kings
posted by thelonius at 11:25 AM on July 5, 2017 [5 favorites]


"Don't servants create lunch?"

Of course, the technotopian Randroids likely will first build themselves an inexhaustible supply of robots when they head off to their island.

...but they'll still be very surprised when the pirates turn up to rob them all.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:25 AM on July 5, 2017 [8 favorites]


yoni more like jabroni amirite
posted by entropicamericana at 11:25 AM on July 5, 2017 [5 favorites]


They just think that living in a shittier world is a fair price to pay for "freedom".

No, they just have the delusion that they'll be the ones at the top of the shit heap.

Steve Bach seemed like a man with an answer. What he promised sounded radically simple: Wasteful government is the root of the pain, and if you just run government like the best businesses, the pain will go away. Easy. Because he had never held office and because he actually had been a successful entrepreneur, people were inclined to believe he really could reinvent the way a city was governed.

I'm so tired of this fucking shit.
posted by Squeak Attack at 11:29 AM on July 5, 2017 [82 favorites]


@dril:
me and a bunch of stupid assholes are going to start a community in the middle of the desert to either die or prove a very important point
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:33 AM on July 5, 2017 [54 favorites]


That Colorado Springs article isn't so much "Libertarian government-as-a-business doesn't work" as "Nothing works if you're gonna be a fucking asshole about it"
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:33 AM on July 5, 2017 [41 favorites]


Why do we fetishize businesses like this? There are dozens, nay hundreds of things that are in no way like a working government. Why don't we insist government be run like any of them?

Like why not, "Well, you'd solve these problems if you just ran the government like a role-playing campaign with a lot of interpersonal relationship drama among the players and a grandiose narcissist for a GM!" But no, it's always got to be, "run the government more like a business."
posted by Naberius at 11:34 AM on July 5, 2017 [107 favorites]


No, they just have the delusion that they'll be the ones at the top of the shit heap.


That pretty much sums-up every libertarian argument I've ever heard.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:36 AM on July 5, 2017 [43 favorites]


Like why not, "Well, you'd solve these problems if you just ran the government like a role-playing campaign with a lot of interpersonal relationship drama among the players and a grandiose narcissist for a GM!"

The bumper sticker would be too big.
posted by Etrigan at 11:36 AM on July 5, 2017 [15 favorites]


Why do we fetishize businesses like this? There are dozens, nay hundreds of things that are in no way like a working government. Why don't we insist government be run like any of them?

Like why not, "Well, you'd solve these problems if you just ran the government like a role-playing campaign with a lot of interpersonal relationship drama among the players and a grandiose narcissist for a GM!" But no, it's always got to be, "run the government more like a business."


Because that's the closest you can get to saying "run government like feudalism" without people noticing that's what you mean.
posted by dng at 11:37 AM on July 5, 2017 [84 favorites]


The bumper sticker would be too big.

Make America like a role-playing campaign with a lot of interpersonal relationship drama among the players and a grandiose narcissist for a GM again.

I don't see the problem...
posted by Naberius at 11:37 AM on July 5, 2017 [9 favorites]


I want to suggest that Colorado Springs' mascot should be the This Is Fine dog but things turned out kinda fine in the end because they ran out of insanity?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:38 AM on July 5, 2017 [3 favorites]


Several years ago (around the time the first "Atlas Shrugged" movie came out), some clowns decided to get together and buy some property in Central America and sell plots of it for like-minded people go to Galt for real. I ran across the advertisement and clicked in to the website, and for a reasonable price, you would get a few acres of decent farmland, and it was near a village but otherwise not near any major cities, and you had to fly in and then drive a couple hours to get there, blahblahblah. I checked back a few months later and they were still selling properties, but had agreed that instead of raising crops yourself, you could hire locals to farm your land for you.

I was like, a) that's not how it works, and b) if civilization does collapse, what are the chances that the locals are gonna come farm YOUR fucking fields? Basically zero. (Well, okay, maybe 100% after they've re-appropriated the land.) Good luck being miles away from anywhere with no practical skills, no money and a lot of entitlement.
posted by Autumnheart at 11:38 AM on July 5, 2017 [24 favorites]


Make America like a role-playing campaign with a lot of interpersonal relationship drama among the players and a grandiose narcissist for a GM again.

Aren't we already doing this?
posted by Autumnheart at 11:39 AM on July 5, 2017 [23 favorites]


Liberland receives $10,000 monthly from Bitcoin's angel investor Roger Ver, and the President has repeatedly vowed his commitment to keeping the cryptocurrency as the basis of the nation's economy.

"I thought you wanted to abolish the welfare state?"

"No, no. You misunderstood. I wanted to BE A welfare state."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:42 AM on July 5, 2017 [8 favorites]


Even with that small-government mind-set still relatively intact, three times in his first two years as mayor, Suthers has gone to voters either proposing a new tax or asking to keep extra tax revenue. By overwhelming margins, he has now persuaded the supposedly anti-tax zealots of Colorado Springs to commit $250 million to new roads, $2 million to new park trails and as much as $12 million for new stormwater projects.

It's still incredible to me that we are so insulated in our privilege that you actually have to strip away the amenities of civilization from (generally wealthy, privileged white) people in order to convince them that yes, actually, paying for sewers is a good idea.
posted by Existential Dread at 11:46 AM on July 5, 2017 [37 favorites]




things turned out kinda fine in the end because they ran out of insanity?

They drained the boil?
posted by fatbird at 11:47 AM on July 5, 2017


Make America like a role-playing campaign with a lot of interpersonal relationship drama among the players and a grandiose narcissist for a GM again.

Aren't we already doing this?


Yeah, and he fucking home-brewed a bunch of shit that he keeps trying to make part of the campaign, and the buddies he's brought along are a bunch of asshole Marty Stu powergamers.
posted by nubs at 11:50 AM on July 5, 2017 [4 favorites]


The Libertarian Utopia That’s Just a Bunch of White Guys on a Tiny Island

Wow, such hatred of women. What did we ever do to you, anyway??

But sometimes they succeed. And that's when things really go bad: The Short, Unhappy Life of a Libertarian Paradise

Isn't this what happened in Kansas?
posted by Melismata at 11:54 AM on July 5, 2017 [10 favorites]


Why do we fetishize businesses like this? There are dozens, nay hundreds of things that are in no way like a working government. Why don't we insist government be run like any of them?

Because the assholes who assume that they must know better are generally businessmen.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:00 PM on July 5, 2017 [8 favorites]


Because the assholes who assume that they must know better are generally businessmen.

Oh, trust me, assholes who assume they must know better are found in all walks of life. It's not just a businessman thing.
posted by Naberius at 12:05 PM on July 5, 2017 [5 favorites]


Lord, I tried to read both of those articles. I just couldn't. Did it work out for them, are we there yet?
posted by glasseyes at 12:06 PM on July 5, 2017 [2 favorites]


The difference is that a state run entirely by librarians would be a good thing.

Well... all information, public and private, would be classified!
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:07 PM on July 5, 2017 [12 favorites]


Any libertarian utopia is easy to destroy. Buy said utopia's water supply and dump toxic waste in it. If they switch to a new supply, form a new company name, buy the new water supply, and destroy that one too.

Either they die or they develop regulations and clean drinking water standards. Either way they've lost.
posted by Talez at 12:13 PM on July 5, 2017 [48 favorites]


I always wish with this stuff, someone would take all these libertarians etc and put them in Nigeria or South Sudan or Pakistan and let them get on with it. Or let them have an island all of their own where they can practice stuff like ...not liking women and not liking food and not liking each other etc and not having the benefit of established systems protecting them and thinking they're so hard hahaha
posted by glasseyes at 12:13 PM on July 5, 2017 [12 favorites]


> They just think that living in a shittier world is a fair price to pay for "freedom".

So...freedom really is just another word for nothin' left to lose?
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:14 PM on July 5, 2017 [13 favorites]


We could do worse than rule by wise Librarian-Kings

DEWEY DECIMAL DEFEATS TRUMAN
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:16 PM on July 5, 2017 [91 favorites]


Wow, such hatred of women. What did we ever do to you, anyway??

I wouldn't say that they hate women as such....they only hate women who step out of their very finite, preconcieved notions of what a woman is "for". We are supposed to be ready and willing for sexytimes but that's it.

The "yoni massages" are just one dude's way of trying to get a sexytime going.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:16 PM on July 5, 2017 [17 favorites]


On top of everything else that's wrong with it, Liberland has a really crappy flag.
posted by TedW at 12:17 PM on July 5, 2017 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't say that they hate women as such

OMG, why waste your breath? They all want to be Shit King of Slut Island, where women are just fuck-holes who have to serve them due to them controlling all the resources.

Why would you even split hairs about them hating women?
posted by Squeak Attack at 12:20 PM on July 5, 2017 [40 favorites]


on the other hand, government by librarian would be groovy and full of unexpected references
posted by glasseyes at 12:21 PM on July 5, 2017 [5 favorites]


They all want to be Shit King of Slut Island, where women are just fuck-holes who have to serve them due to them controlling all the resources.

Adequately summed up by this little exchange, I believe:
While we wait on the street with our bags, I introduce myself to an American woman, here with her husband, who wears precisely the facial expression of someone whose spouse has flown her out to small-town Serbia to attend a poorly organized conference for a nonexistent country populated by men exercising their right to offend.

I think we could be friends. Not a lot of estrogen around here, I remark. Her husband steps in to explain: Men are more adventurous, and they're the ones who like to conquer the world. Women, he says, prefer the security of the home.
I move we exile grant these men their Liberland on the condition that they surrender all contact with the outside world and never bother women again
posted by Existential Dread at 12:23 PM on July 5, 2017 [54 favorites]


I think that EmpressCallipygos was being tongue-in-cheek.
posted by Melismata at 12:23 PM on July 5, 2017 [4 favorites]


The thing that always gets me about these Libertarian utopias is that they are invariably promoted by the very same people who want to exclude all the folks who actually do the work of building and maintaining a functioning society. Like, construction workers, nurses, child care providers, waste management, teachers. These dudes have all these grandiose ideas about taxation and government and free speech, but they never actually have a plan for actually providing food, shelter and clothing in any meaningful way. In the GQ article, they can't even make a meal without leaving the "country" and hoping not to get arrested. But they *have* covered the rules about paying for sex and for being an asshole, because that's obviously important.

Even the basic premise of Atlas Shrugged meant that "going Galt" means you go off somewhere and build your own damn house and fix your own damn car and grow your own damn food, that your own labor primarily benefits you personally. But these would-be Galters seem not only unwilling to do any real work themselves, but it's like they don't even conceive that it's necessary. Maybe that's a side effect of a certain type of white male privilege, where one literally doesn't even see the labor that goes into the tangible objects in one's life. It's just assumed that those things will be there, and that "someone" will handle it while they do the important work of nation-building. They're never like, "Okay, we need to make sure our libertarian paradise has a plumber and an electrician and a doctor." Just prostitutes and criminal defense.

I hope somebody writes an article about the time all these software engineers and Bitcoin investors have to draw straws and remove the dead tree from the sewage plant. Or better yet, are constantly on latrine duty because they don't even have a sewage plant, because nobody paid $10K in "merits" to shovel shit for a living, but turns out that's exactly what you have to do if you have no infrastructure.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:24 PM on July 5, 2017 [75 favorites]


I move we exile grant these men their Liberland on the condition that they surrender all contact with the outside world and never bother women again

Do we let them keep their patron's welfare checks?
posted by Talez at 12:25 PM on July 5, 2017


But these would-be Galters seem not only unwilling to do any real work themselves, but it's like they don't even conceive that it's necessary

One of the more entertaining aspects of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation was the inability of these self-styled outdoorsy individualists to build and maintain a proper latrine, leaving it to federal authorities to deal with their...leavings.

So, basically, a toddler state.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:26 PM on July 5, 2017 [61 favorites]


Why would you even split hairs about them hating women?

Which is a bit ironic considering the author of their manifesto.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:31 PM on July 5, 2017 [2 favorites]


In which case, we just wait for them to be wiped out by cholera and dysentery, Oregon Trail style. Game over! That's what happens when you buy 1600 boxes of bullets, but only 2 oxen and 1 set of clothing.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:31 PM on July 5, 2017 [16 favorites]


Nearly 50% of businesses fail in the first year - 90% fail within five. You'd be hard pressed to find an organizational model more likely to produce financial loss and hardship than a business one. Putting a first-grade class in charge of city priorities and budgets is arguably better than a business leader, because at least with the first-graders we know when the lights go out, you know it's to support the candy budget.
posted by notorious medium at 12:34 PM on July 5, 2017 [40 favorites]


I remember that TAL episode about Colorado Springs and the update article is interesting. I don't know if it really proved the political ideas espoused were terrible? It sounds like the Bach guy made some good deals, and the main reason everything was fucked was because he was an asshole and he and the City Council didn't get along. The guy who succeeded him basically believes in the same thing.

I would really like to see input from people who are more familiar with the city. The unemployment rate is low, but how are the wages? The schools? All that? Was the economic recovery disproportionate to other similar cities? I kind of assumed from the title and my knowledge of the Colorado Springs approach that they were going to describe a complete tire fire, it really didn't, and that was totally unexpected.
posted by schroedinger at 12:35 PM on July 5, 2017 [8 favorites]


Did someone other than the writer of the article write the headline on Libertarian Paradise? Because I can't find anything the slightest bit "libertarian" going on in there. I realize you Americans have your own peculiar definition of the word, but even so, using it for an authoritarian "run it like a business" Trump-alike has got to be stretching it.
posted by sfenders at 12:39 PM on July 5, 2017 [2 favorites]


isn't the primary employment sector in Colorado Springs defense contracting? i.e. no matter how much they decimate local tax revenue, the entire thing is being propped up by federal spending?
posted by murphy slaw at 12:39 PM on July 5, 2017 [10 favorites]


I was just reading the story of Fruitlands, the utopian community that was founded by Bronson Alcott (Louisa May's father). It failed after only seven months (among other things, they refused to use animals to perform farm labor. In 1843.). There seems to be some human need to make other people live exactly the way we think they should live. Of course we never, ever learn from our mistakes.

(It's now a cool museum.)

On preview: writers of articles almost never write their own headlines; many a headline writer has gotten caught not RTFA.
posted by Melismata at 12:40 PM on July 5, 2017 [3 favorites]


I don't know if it really proved the political ideas espoused were terrible?

Yeah, I am not sure that Politico article really is about how Libtertopia Is A Lie as much as being about fiddly local politics and local political personalities in one single fairly prosperous and very white small city. Some of the things that Bach stopped did sound legit dumb in the same way that fiats handed down from On High in my large bureaucratic institution are also dumb and I wish I could shoot them into the center of the sun as well and I'm definitely not a libertarian. But, he was also a colossal dick that made enemies everywhere he went. Swings and roundabouts.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:48 PM on July 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


Never met a real libertarian. But have met a few who claim to be.

In my experience they have NFI how the real world works, nor how much they owe to it.
posted by Pouteria at 12:52 PM on July 5, 2017 [5 favorites]


Which is a bit ironic considering the author of their manifesto.

Rand was the original Cool Girl, so it's not actually all that ironic.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:52 PM on July 5, 2017 [12 favorites]


one single fairly prosperous and very white small city.

Which, as noted in the article, has two very large employers that ain't going anywhere (the Air Force Academy and the Olympic Training Center/USOC/USADA HQ).
posted by Etrigan at 12:53 PM on July 5, 2017 [3 favorites]


exclude all the folks who actually do the work of building and maintaining a functioning society. Like, construction workers, nurses, child care providers, waste management, teachers. These dudes have all these grandiose ideas about taxation and government and free speech, but they never actually have a plan for actually providing food, shelter and clothing in any meaningful way. In the GQ article, they can't even make a meal without leaving the "country" and hoping not to get arrested. But they *have* covered the rules about paying for sex and for being an asshole, because that's obviously important.

I really like this comment. My Grandma was a really lovely, playful, giving woman, but even so my uncle, the last child left at home, had a recurring dream about her in finger-wagging mode after she died whenever he failed to be sufficiently thoughtful about his actions. She could make a meal for 10 out of five potatoes and a tin of corned beef (with half an onion.) She would point at him in his dreams, and tell him where he'd gone wrong. These men have been coddled by the women looking after them all their lives, and they haven't noticed. What they've failed to internalise is a loving Grandma with an overview.
posted by glasseyes at 12:55 PM on July 5, 2017 [19 favorites]


I've noticed that the people who proclaim to love that book's philosophy invariably see themselves as the producers being unfairly taken advantage of, not the moochers enriching themselves through the exploitation of labor, even when they literally have enriched themselves for real through the exploitation of labor.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:55 PM on July 5, 2017 [14 favorites]


I think the "run it like a business" thing has to do with people wanting clear winners and losers. The assumption that a market-based approach can solve any problem. A problem is that countries, and to a lesser extent state and local governments, are by definition too big to fail. Bad businesses go under, maybe some people lose jobs or money, it's not the end of the world. A town can't just say "whelp, our plan for 2016 didn't work, everyone is fired and has to move to a new town." A category mistake, of sorts.
posted by Wretch729 at 12:55 PM on July 5, 2017 [12 favorites]


The thing that always gets me about these Libertarian utopias is that they are invariably promoted by the very same people who want to exclude all the folks who actually do the work of building and maintaining a functioning society.

In other words, Libertopia is the Golgafrinchan B Ark minus the telephone sanitisers.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:57 PM on July 5, 2017 [19 favorites]


These men have been coddled by the women looking after them all their lives, and they haven't noticed. What they've failed to internalise is a loving Grandma with an overview.

"They're English, male and upper class. A good dressing down from Nanny is what they most want in life."--The Crown
posted by Melismata at 12:58 PM on July 5, 2017 [12 favorites]


one single fairly prosperous and very white small city.

Which, as noted in the article, has two very large employers that ain't going anywhere (the Air Force Academy and the Olympic Training Center/USOC/USADA HQ).


i.e. there's a ton of government money flowing into the area.

Libertarian paradise - taking other people's tax money.
posted by GuyZero at 1:00 PM on July 5, 2017 [17 favorites]


The thing that always gets me about these Libertarian utopias is that they are invariably promoted by the very same people who want to exclude all the folks who actually do the work of building and maintaining a functioning society.

Well duh - all Galts, no railroad workers (all I really know about Atlas Shrugged is that it involves trains).
posted by atoxyl at 1:04 PM on July 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


Never met a real libertarian. But have met a few who claim to be.

My parents are Objectivists and I flirted verrry briefly with libertarianism in my youth--I hope y'all find it understandable given my upbringing and find it in your hearts to forgive me. But, in my greater-than-the-average-bear's experience there are two things that can result in libertarianism: extreme malice or extreme naivete. It's really kind of 50/50.

I dropped that ideology like a hot potato once I figured out that people are just hairless apes and social control is our killer app. Without that, we're fucking animals. I was raised to believe that each and every human being is deep inside a romantic hero or heroine, being held back only by The Man. I came quickly to realize it's the opposite.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:07 PM on July 5, 2017 [34 favorites]


The assumption that a market-based approach can solve any problem.

You throw enough money at any problem it can most likely be solved. Whether enough money can be thrown at the problem and whether it's economical or profitable are where the market falls down.

That's why we invest billions in dick pills and a comparable pittance in necessary antibiotic R&D. Men are more worried about their erections than possible infections and will pay more for the former than the latter..
posted by Talez at 1:07 PM on July 5, 2017 [2 favorites]


You throw enough money at any problem it can most likely be solved. Whether enough money can be thrown at the problem and whether it's economical or profitable are where the market falls down.

Because the money buys the labor that actually solves the problem. The money is not actually what solves the problem, the labor does. That's where the market falls down--when the people with the money forget that money doesn't chop down trees or build transistors. People do.

A functioning society requires labor. It doesn't necessarily require money.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:13 PM on July 5, 2017 [37 favorites]


It's still incredible to me that we are so insulated in our privilege that you actually have to strip away the amenities of civilization from (generally wealthy, privileged white) people in order to convince them that yes, actually, paying for sewers is a good idea.


I was just in the Springs talking about how it's my go to example about what happens if everyone votes to not pay taxes and constantly moves to the newer developments. People literally just leave a neighborhood once stuff starts needing work, and there's plenty of new stuff going up out north or east so there's places to go. I don't spend a heck of a lot of time in my home town any more, but every time I go, it seems more and more like the only good roads are the ones where new stuff is being built. I bet a huge chunk of the new trails\stormwater money ends up in those areas too.

I don't think the constant flight of those that can move from older neighborhoods gets nearly enough attention in these discussions about Colorado Springs, and on reflection it was as much part of the character of growing up the Springs as the huge amounts of Evangelical Christians and current and former military. I can't remember any of my friends families buying a house that WASN'T new. It was like everyone thought that the options were buy new construction or rent an apartment.
posted by Gygesringtone at 1:13 PM on July 5, 2017 [22 favorites]


That Colorado Springs article isn't so much "Libertarian government-as-a-business doesn't work" as "Nothing works if you're gonna be a fucking asshole about it"

Those two statements are the same. The second explains the first. Businesses can choose who they offer services to. They can chose who they want to work with. Entrepreneurs can choose to not suffer fools.

Governments cannot so choose, or better, should not. One of the best things about P&R was its representation of how public meeting really do go sometimes. How hobby horses are ridden. How you really do have to listen to people you find tedious and objectionable, even evil. Not just listen to, but take their concerns into account and make deals with. Because good government has to be about everyone, not just those that you like.
posted by bonehead at 1:14 PM on July 5, 2017 [27 favorites]


The thing that always gets me about these Libertarian utopias is that they are invariably promoted by the very same people who want to exclude all the folks who actually do the work of building and maintaining a functioning society

Would you like that in comicstrip form?
posted by gwint at 1:16 PM on July 5, 2017 [10 favorites]


previously... sort of.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:33 PM on July 5, 2017


Would you like that in comicstrip form?

Ha! Yes I would. But if I recall correctly, one supposed premise of "going Galt" is that it's personally fulfilling to engage in productive labor whose purpose is to primarily benefit yourself. Maybe it's an artifact of the era in which the book was written, where people would assume that doing such a thing meant providing for your own food production and housing--whereas today, I get the feeling that a lot of self-proclaimed Libertarians don't understand that. They still think that a Libertarian society means that you can just choose not to do something if you don't want, and someone else *will* do it. They don't seem to get the idea that outsourcing wouldn't be an option, particularly for a high-labor basic requirement like farming.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:38 PM on July 5, 2017 [4 favorites]


Libertarian as in "buy your own streetlight." See Sandy Springs* GA, another model of privatization:
In the beginning, the gospel of privatization was as if etched in stone. It was handed down from Sandy Springs, the first new city, to generations of descendants: Dunwoody, Johns Creek, Brookhaven and Tucker.
The philosophy was simple: Any service the government could provide, the private sector could do better. Sandy Springs led the way in 2005, breaking away from Fulton County to incorporate. The new city hired companies to pave roads, provide court services and plan communities.
... “It wasn’t all that it promised to be,” former Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams said of the privatization model. “It was quite a learning experience. On paper, it seems like it’s cheaper to outsource rather than having your own employees. We learned that wasn’t necessarily the case.”
*[are springs the fount of libertarian governance pipe dreams?]
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:40 PM on July 5, 2017 [11 favorites]


> I get the feeling that a lot of self-proclaimed Libertarians don't understand that.

But it's all rational!
posted by farlukar at 1:43 PM on July 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


Libertarians almost by definition don't believe externality costs exist. Everything is separate from everything else and costs are clean and well-defined and controllable. It's as much a fantasy as communism.
posted by bonehead at 1:44 PM on July 5, 2017 [17 favorites]




I always wish with this stuff, someone would take all these libertarians etc and put them in Nigeria or South Sudan or Pakistan and let them get on with it.

I doubt Nigeria, South Sudan, or Pakistan would look kindly at us shipping off these home-grown assholes for them to deal with.
posted by Lexica at 1:47 PM on July 5, 2017 [15 favorites]


So there was a libertarian on the periphery of my drinking group many years ago. We tolerated him, for the most part. One day, one of the ringleaders got up to get another beer from the bar, and the libertarian asked if he would get him one, too (he had a tab).

"Get it your own damn self, Galt."

You could see the tears welling in his eyes.
posted by notsnot at 1:50 PM on July 5, 2017 [23 favorites]


I doubt Nigeria, South Sudan, or Pakistan would look kindly at us shipping off these home-grown assholes for them to deal with.

Yeah, Pakistan has its problems, but it's got a functional government and is hardly libertarian paradise. South Sudan is indeed #1 on the fragile states index. I think maybe Somalia fits the bill better but heck, even they have elections and a functional government is parts of the country. Trouble is that these are pretty much ethno-states and American libertarians aren't the right ethno.
posted by GuyZero at 1:54 PM on July 5, 2017


I flirted verrry briefly with libertarianism in my youth

Well, doesn't everybody do that? It's that period in your teenage years when you're smart enough to see everyone else fucking things up right and left, and you can see that most of them fail to live up to the standards they push on you. But at the same time, you're still too stupid to know what you don't know, and you're not sufficiently self-aware to see those same failings in yourself, so you figure you must be smarter and better than them, and therefore the reason life isn't going the way you think it should is because their dead weight is dragging you down.

For most people it passes. Others end up in a swamp in Croatia waiting for their natural superiority to lift them to the top.
posted by Naberius at 1:56 PM on July 5, 2017 [28 favorites]


Sounds more like Wankadia than Libertopia
posted by KateViolet at 1:59 PM on July 5, 2017 [2 favorites]


The GQ article just sort of threw this out: "Over 103,000 fully registered [Liberland] citizens are willing to suspend their disbelief that the overgrown, three-square-mile land mass could become Libertarian utopia." Then, later on: "This is a rich man’s SimCity, after all: Interested persons who earn 10,000 'merits,' for the equivalent of $10,000, receive citizenship to this country with no taxes, but also without public healthcare, education, or criminal defense." Does that mean that the overlords of this thing have something like a cool billion to play around with? Or is the author counting everyone who's applied online, or maybe just signed up for their mailing list?
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:12 PM on July 5, 2017 [2 favorites]


A hundred thousand people stacked within 3 square miles? That ought to be good. Pay 10K to live in a shoebox with no public amenities whatsoever, like the world's shittiest college campus. Everyone gets an A, but the elevators will always be out of order and nobody ever cleans the restrooms.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:31 PM on July 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


Of course there will be people to fix and clean things, that's what the women and PoC are for! Or failing that, since slavery is really just a "property rights" issue and they believe that the property of their fellow man (and he will be a man) is rightfully his, even those opposed to slavery wouldn't actually do anything if some of the moochers and takers and parasites are finally put in their place.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:36 PM on July 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


Show me a "Libertarian Paradise" and and I'll show you a millionaire organizer buying himself a summer home in Florida off the profits from it.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:37 PM on July 5, 2017 [6 favorites]


There is a character in Don Quixote named Chrysostom. In one of the "interpolated stories".
posted by rubber duck at 2:42 PM on July 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


...but they'll still be very surprised when the pirates turn up to rob them all.

Call it evolution in action. The standard pre-apocalyptic capitalism-is-brilliant Randroids will be supplanted by a new crop of post-apocalyptic Immortan-Randroids who understand that power comes from the barrel of a gun, and all else is euphemism.
posted by acb at 3:03 PM on July 5, 2017 [4 favorites]


Interested persons who earn 10,000 'merits,' for the equivalent of $10,000, receive citizenship to this country with no taxes, but also without public healthcare, education, or criminal defense." Does that mean that the overlords of this thing have something like a cool billion to play around with?

I don't think that everyone who has signed up to express interest has "bought" (that's how this works, right?) "citizenship" yet. But, things like the above and the fact that they are getting $10,000 a month from Roger Ver (a backer of Bitcoin) and some statements about the "lack of transparency regarding Liberland spending" and the "large percentage of donations" make me think this is, underneath it all, what it always seems to be about - grifters gonna grift.
posted by nubs at 3:04 PM on July 5, 2017 [2 favorites]


I doubt Nigeria, South Sudan, or Pakistan would look kindly at us shipping off these home-grown assholes for them to deal with.
No worries, the dealing with would happen in short order
posted by glasseyes at 3:08 PM on July 5, 2017


Hey, if you want to live on a boggy island in the Danube and not pay any taxes, don't come crying to me when a bunch of Huns show up and the limitanei are nowhere to be found (this is something that literally happened).



"I want to do Liberland yoni massage conferences," he tells me. He describes this as a “special, very powerful love-centric massage.” Later, via Facebook, he offers me a free yoni massage. He follows up with a GIF of one fox kneading another fox's back, a red heart rising above them and then bursting like a bubble.


Ugh- the willies and the heebie-jeebies.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:08 PM on July 5, 2017 [16 favorites]


Which is a bit ironic considering the author of their manifesto.

Ayn Rand is sort of like the Virgin Mary; a special exception who, having been a woman, in no way invalidates her followers' rules about mere mortal women.
posted by acb at 3:10 PM on July 5, 2017 [6 favorites]


What Randroids don't realize is that John Galt has already created a city. It is called Guelph, Ontario and it is a lovely peaceful slightly hippy university town and is considered one of the best places to live in Canada. Go Gryphons!
posted by srboisvert at 3:11 PM on July 5, 2017 [5 favorites]


I doubt Nigeria, South Sudan, or Pakistan would look kindly at us shipping off these home-grown assholes for them to deal with.
No worries, the dealing with would happen in short order.

I mean, there's a street in Ibadan where you can buy all manner of street lights, telegraph poles, electrical wonders, security furniture etc. When I go home, in the journey between airport and house, I start to wake up, my senses get attuned and i go into high alert. I start to lose weight. It's all very well. But being in a regulated society has it's comforts.

Like not having the hairs on the back of your neck rise when you hear the click-click of security forces in the car behind you ready their ak47s at the traffic lights just because a motorcycle ran the lights
posted by glasseyes at 3:19 PM on July 5, 2017 [6 favorites]


What Randroids don't realize is that John Galt has already created a city. It is called Guelph, Ontario and it is a lovely peaceful slightly hippy university town and is considered one of the best places to live in Canada. Go Gryphons!

It's also apparently where the Canadian Communist Party was started! Irony, thou art delicious.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:30 PM on July 5, 2017 [3 favorites]


Nearly 50% of businesses fail in the first year - 90% fail within five.

Apparently that's a myth
.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:08 PM on July 5, 2017 [2 favorites]


I think government should be run like a business. I also think cars should be driven like tennis rackets and cakes eaten like accordions.
posted by brundlefly at 4:19 PM on July 5, 2017 [32 favorites]


This is the throwaway passage about applicants that caught my attention:

"There's also a preponderance of white faces, most of which belong to Central and Western Europeans and North Americans. Conspicuously absent are Asians or Middle Easterners, who account for a vast proportion of the applications for citizenship."

I feel like there's an explanation missing here. Why are there so many Asian and Middle Eastern applicants, and yet why is the conference so white? Are there a bunch of refugees who applied as a sort of "why not?" thing?

These two articles were really interesting to read together. It's easy to feel smug about how things worked out in both places, and yet, these ideologies are still going strong.
posted by lunasol at 4:21 PM on July 5, 2017 [2 favorites]


Also, these articles were fairly chilling as someone who just tried to read Parable of the Sower and couldn't stomach it. It's essentially a near-future dystopia about a California where climate change and drought have decimated resources and services are so privatized that people don't call the fire department when a house is on fire because they can't afford the fee. In the book they deal with the "who will do the labor" question by privatizing whole towns, where the towns trade themselves and their labor away in exchange for private security forces.

Which seems to me the ultimate and ironic endgame of extreme libertarianism - a return to feudalism.
posted by lunasol at 4:25 PM on July 5, 2017 [14 favorites]


Call it evolution in action.

This, of course, is the tagline from Niven & Pournelle's 1981 novel of libertarian agitprop, Oath of Fealty. It's okay as a novel - there's a prison breakout that I remember as being pretty exciting - but it's basically the demarcation where Niven's unpleasant political attitudes began clearly manifesting.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:28 PM on July 5, 2017 [6 favorites]


Apparently that's a myth.

That was an interesting article, and ultimately it concludes that 50% of businesses make it to the 5-year mark, but the data isn't granular enough to discern what "failure" means. (Because people close successful businesses for various reasons, such as retirement.)

Even so, I think we can agree that a system of government should survive longer than 5 years before needing to change in a fundamental way, and that its failure has a hell of a lot more impact on the citizenry than a closing business. Business cannot just step in and pick up where government leaves off--just the bureaucracy alone takes time to adjust, and in the meantime there are critical services that people depend on. Hospitals, fire departments, water, sanitation. You can't just be like, "Nobody stepped up to take on water treatment, so go dig a well. And don't get hurt, because all the hospitals decided ambulances were too expensive, so they discontinued them."
posted by Autumnheart at 4:32 PM on July 5, 2017 [4 favorites]


This, of course, is the tagline from Niven & Pournelle's 1981 novel of libertarian agitprop, Oath of Fealty. It's okay as a novel - there's a prison breakout that I remember as being pretty exciting - but it's basically the demarcation where Niven's unpleasant political attitudes began clearly manifesting.

Niven was harmless enough in his early days, but he was a rich kid who wanted to go to SF cons all the time and basically bought his way into being a pro SF writer. He got enough tutelage and exposure and dinners with the right people to get over the transom, and spent enough time obsessing over SF to have a few pretty good ideas.

But the absolute worst thing that ever happened to Larry Niven was that he started hanging out a lot and collaborating with Jerry Pournelle, a man who clearly wished he was Edward Teller but knew he wasn't smart enough. He was smarter than Niven though, and Niven knew it and Pournelle's worldview infected Niven's writing like a spreading disease.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:51 PM on July 5, 2017 [11 favorites]


Nearly 50% of businesses fail in the first year - 90% fail within five.

Apparently that's a myth.


I looked up some numbers from the Bureau of Labour and Statistics and you're probably right - 50% fail within 4 years, and 3/5 are gone within 10. This is only reporting on businesses who at some point paid employment income (vs., say, the many LLCs who only provide dividends to their owner/owners) and stopped so the sample is not complete for what constitutes a business birth or failure.

But - government programs and services can't fail 50% of the time every four years. Startup thinking in particular is a scourge on the government that I work for now - people trying to implement concepts and methods that are not designed to grow healthy, long lasting companies but to exit and generate huge wealth for their founders. Meanwhile, their failures only embolden the libertarians who believe government can't do anything right and threaten the actual good work of government with their scandals, overrun costs, cost recovery methods, and other things that can be traced back to using a hammer to try to sink a screw.
posted by notorious medium at 6:45 PM on July 5, 2017 [7 favorites]


If you wish to maintain any positive impressions of Jerry Pournelle, stay away from his blog and the sad stew of Trumpism and Breitbart links circulated by someone with a political science Ph.D. It's a fascinating example of how malleable “values” are.
posted by adamsc at 6:49 PM on July 5, 2017 [4 favorites]


As I recall, he likes to call himself Dr. Pournelle a lot, and sort of imply that the Ph.D. is in something more like physics.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:51 PM on July 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


I wonder if anyone could convince these Liberland founders to issue free citizenship to all the MGTOW guys? Two birds, one stone. Maybe they could put these signs along the border checkpoints.
posted by Autumnheart at 6:59 PM on July 5, 2017 [3 favorites]


There's this little block in Brooklyn that I like to call Libertarian Paradise. By some quirk of city history, it's a private street. The pavement is a fucking mess, homeowners chain off their parking spaces and get vicious if you try to use them, and it doesn't get plowed in the winter. I mean, say what you will about New York, but we do have a bunch of useful public services here.
posted by the_blizz at 8:01 PM on July 5, 2017 [11 favorites]


I always wish with this stuff, someone would take all these libertarians etc and put them in Nigeria or South Sudan or Pakistan and let them get on with it.

In the eighties I played and recorded with a band with a degree of local fame. I moved away in the early nineties after being canned by the lead guitarist: they shuffled the lineup, played about three more shows and went on permanent hiatus. I was invited to a get-together two or three years later when the lead singer got married and the four of us got up onstage and knocked out two or three songs for the crowd. Then we go our separate ways.

Maybe fifteen years later the rise of social media comes along and within a few months, I am Facebook friends with the other three. I discern gradually that the lead guitarist has migrated politically from being somewhat conservative, greedy and vaguely racist/misogynistic/homophobic to full on one-percenter (or possibly one-percenter wannabe) libertarian. He would frequently rail at the inefficiencies of government and point how Ayn had a far clearer vision of how societies should work.

After a while I ceased arguing with him, but after each new screed I would search airfare sites and send him a link to the price of a one-way fare to Mogadishu.

Then one day I saw I was Facebook friends with two of the three.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:25 PM on July 5, 2017 [11 favorites]


Isn't this what happened in Kansas?

My understanding is that libertarian principles don't allow for theocracies, which is incompatible with the Brownback agenda.
posted by pwnguin at 8:51 PM on July 5, 2017


soren_lorensen

"I dropped that ideology like a hot potato once I figured out that people are just hairless apes and social control is our killer app. Without that, we're fucking animals. I was raised to believe that each and every human being is deep inside a romantic hero or heroine, being held back only by The Man. I came quickly to realize it's the opposite."

------------------------

Nailed it. We are one of the most social and interdependent species. We depend absolutely on high levels of social cooperation and organisation, which requires a substantial degree of social regulation and restraint, considerably more than just the enforcement of basic property rights. It is the basis of our civilisation and success.
posted by Pouteria at 9:38 PM on July 5, 2017 [16 favorites]


"“It wasn’t all that it promised to be,” former Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams said of the privatization model. “It was quite a learning experience. On paper, it seems like it’s cheaper to outsource rather than having your own employees. We learned that wasn’t necessarily the case.”"

So aggravating. Of COURSE it's almost always cheaper to do it in-house, because businesses have to turn a profit in addition to covering the costs of whatever they're trying to do. They try to make it up by paying workers less, but this turns out to either degrade service (because employees give zero fucks and/or turnover gets really high), result in hiring shortages (because the market-clearing wage is what the government was paying and you can't hire anyone to do the job for less than that), or fuck your local community by making jobs shittier so people pay less taxes so you have less budget although I admit that's a longer-term consequence that doesn't turn up for four or five years. I mean sometimes it works if your city has departments that are literally run by organized crime, or are major patronage dumping grounds that you are powerless to clean up (it happens!), but in general outsourcing only saves money if it's a sporadic function (redistricting, which is sporadic and requires considerable expertise which is too expensive for smaller cities to retain on staff), or a function you don't do enough of for a full-time person and can't split the job (Medicaid reimbursement for schools), or a function that can be significantly cheaper done in bulk, where that bulk is larger than just one city (food purchasing, where Sodexo is buying for 500,000 people in Illinois instead of just 14,000 in our local government unit).

(And in the case of Medicaid reimbursement, my district actually took in other districts' outsourced work, to the point where we were able to support a 4-person department processing our own stuff and stuff from rural districts in 10 nearby counties who only had 1 or 2 students filing and couldn't afford a full-time person to do it. We charged half what the private guys did and the department paid for itself and paid a small operating profit into other sections that were money-losing. Outsourcing to other government bodies can make more sense than outsourcing to the private sector! They do mention outsourcing cops to nearby cities or counties in the article, that's very popular and can be a good financial decision.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:13 PM on July 5, 2017 [24 favorites]


Hello delicious people. I would like to invite you all to the libeartarian paradise of Libearland. Absolutely bear safe. No bears involved.
posted by fallingbadgers at 10:34 PM on July 5, 2017 [10 favorites]


Hello delicious people. I would like to invite you all to the libeartarian paradise of Libearland. Absolutely bear safe. No bears involved.
posted by fallingbadgers


What about badgers?
posted by Carillon at 10:42 PM on July 5, 2017 [4 favorites]


Badgers welcome too. May wish to bring parachutes.
posted by fallingbadgers at 11:16 PM on July 5, 2017 [3 favorites]


Frankenstien Lloyd Wright's monster strikes again.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:22 PM on July 5, 2017


How did this thread go so far without the seasteading story shit?

http://www.mediafire.com/file/tvlxdb9f274stpt/In+Golden+Waters+-+Tales+from+the+Seastead.pdf

posted by hleehowon at 12:32 AM on July 6, 2017


I linked to the FPP of it earlier but just labeled it as a "previously". :)
posted by rmd1023 at 4:20 AM on July 6, 2017 [1 favorite]


Of COURSE it's almost always cheaper to do it in-house, because businesses have to turn a profit in addition to covering the costs of whatever they're trying to do.

I've had pretty good success using this line of argument with my mom (who is well-meaning but not particularly well-informed, and unfortunately has some friends who have drunk deep of the propaganda well). Profit is the very definition of inefficiency. It's literally excess money that doesn't get spent on the thing a company is supposed to be doing.

(Which is fine if it's like the medicaid reimbursement example where the "profit" in one department is being used to cover shortfalls in others, but not so fine when it's just vanishing into the pockets of distant shareholders.)
posted by tobascodagama at 5:53 AM on July 6, 2017 [10 favorites]


Libertarian wreckage is my favourite flavor of "look at these assholes." Short of that girl in "Island of the Blue Dolphins," humans are terrible at surviving completely alone, and she was just lucky an infected scrape didn't kill her. Sweet Clyde, laugh derisively at them!
posted by Kitty Stardust at 6:18 AM on July 6, 2017 [10 favorites]


I think we could be friends. Not a lot of estrogen around here, I remark. Her husband steps in to explain:

I see what the writer did there.
posted by Gelatin at 8:11 AM on July 6, 2017 [10 favorites]


Of COURSE it's almost always cheaper to do it in-house, because businesses have to turn a profit in addition to covering the costs of whatever they're trying to do.

We contract out for many of the reasons you note (low frequency, higher volume efficiencies, etc...), but there are a bunch you miss. Probably the most important is to access private sector experts to provide advice on their subject areas. We've even contracted the writing of government-issued guides because the consultants are the recognized best at what they do.

A second major reason is to get around the institutional and bureaucratic log jams that any large organization develops over time, but that government, through tragedies of good intentions and accountability, is so frequently prone to. It can, for instance, take upwards a year to edit and publish a report in house. The print shop is over-subscribed, there are many, many layers of approval to go through and horse-trades to be made, then we almost have to copy-edit the copy-editors themselves. Through contract, we can get that done in 3 months, a month of which is spent getting the contract ready. So avoiding administrative time costs and headaches is often well worth the trouble of a contract, even if it means you get a mild rebuke by the corporate services providers afterwards.

Contracting out is an option that always needs balancing, and, in my experience, cost is only one of the factors. Perhaps even a minor factor when compared with the needs of a mandate, the timeliness with which the organization needs to respond, the availability of expertise, even administrative and cognitive burdens.

Again, many of these considerations go well beyond how a business would function. They only have to care about being profitable and pleasing owners/shareholders. Governments have to worry about how best to meet their mandates. Very different pressures.
posted by bonehead at 8:50 AM on July 6, 2017 [3 favorites]


Much of the Colorado Springs problems could've been avoided if American Xtians were half as devoted to the actual messages in their holy book as they are to Capitalism.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 10:18 AM on July 6, 2017 [8 favorites]


And this: Observations like the fact that the city had a computer department with 81 people, while The Broadmoor employed only nine. is just plain dumb. Of course your resort doesn't need that many people, you're mostly scheduling rooms & taking payments. A city has way more information to track.

Ever notice how it's frequently the ownership class that indulges this fetish for running government like a business? They don't actually have to be subject to their own shitty workplace infrastructure. They're not the ones who have to make the damn inventory system cooperate or attempt to get a straight answer out of HR. Businesses for them are great because they're just fiefdoms. That's why libertarian groups tend to end up all lords and no serfs.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 10:28 AM on July 6, 2017 [11 favorites]


Ever notice how it's frequently the ownership class that indulges this fetish for running government like a business?

I've always thought that it's the assumption that because they're relatively successful in one area, they assume they're capable in all areas. Another form of Engineer's disease. Made even worse by the fact that many don't even understand that the differences between business and government induce a category error.
posted by bonehead at 12:22 PM on July 6, 2017 [9 favorites]


Short of that girl in "Island of the Blue Dolphins,"

Uhm Hatchet tho

Libertarian wreckage is my favourite flavor of "look at these assholes."

But yes, this, my friend. So this.
posted by augustimagination at 1:03 PM on July 6, 2017 [1 favorite]


Island of the Blue Dolphins girl was real.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:27 PM on July 6, 2017 [6 favorites]


Oh! I did not know that. #properlyschooled
posted by augustimagination at 1:31 PM on July 6, 2017


"If you wish to maintain any positive impressions of Jerry Pournelle, stay away from his blog and the sad stew of Trumpism and Breitbart links circulated by someone with a political science Ph.D."
Recommended.
posted by Pinback at 5:59 PM on July 6, 2017 [1 favorite]


Autumnheart: But these would-be Galters seem not only unwilling to do any real work themselves, but it's like they don't even conceive that it's necessary. Maybe that's a side effect of a certain type of white male privilege, where one literally doesn't even see the labor that goes into the tangible objects in one's life. It's just assumed that those things will be there, and that "someone" will handle it...
This is an astute observation, and I would make it even stronger, perhaps: they don't see the labor that goes into the systems that create the objects or the networks that create modern life. And this is especially odd because the modern libertarians are so often from STEM backgrounds. One might expect them to demonstrate reverence for systems and networks, to be skeptical of "disruption" and sudden revo!utuons.
posted by Western Infidels at 9:58 PM on July 6, 2017 [5 favorites]


The average lifespan of a company in the S&P 500 is 15 years (down from 67 years in the terrible ol' days of heavier regulation, fact fans). Tens of thousands of businesses go under every year.

I think we should have higher aspirations for our nation states than modelling them on fucking businesses. It's the argument of a simpleton.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:13 PM on July 7, 2017 [5 favorites]


Several years ago (around the time the first "Atlas Shrugged" movie came out), some clowns decided to get together and buy some property in Central America and sell plots of it for like-minded people go to Galt for real. I ran across the advertisement and clicked in to the website, and for a reasonable price, you would get a few acres of decent farmland, and it was near a village but otherwise not near any major cities, and you had to fly in and then drive a couple hours to get there, blahblahblah. I checked back a few months later and they were still selling properties, but had agreed that instead of raising crops yourself, you could hire locals to farm your land for you.

Galt's Gulch previously.

posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:48 PM on July 8, 2017


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