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42 Libertarian Evangelistic Arguments - Part 5


This article is from the Libertarian FAQ, by Joe Dehn jwd3@dehnbase.fidonet.org, Robert Bickford rab.AT.daft.com, Mike Huben mhuben@world.std.com and Advocates for Self-Government http://www.self-gov.org/ with numerous contributions by others.

42 Libertarian Evangelistic Arguments - Part 5

30. Dred Scott and the Fugitive Slave Laws were examples of government
enforcement of slavery.

No. There's a subtle distinction: they were enforcement of property
rights of slaveowners. It was entirely the owners assertion that he was
property that the government was acting upon. If the owner had at any
time freed him, he would not have been a slave.

Libertarians would love to lay slavery at the feet of government
precisely because slavery is a sin of capitalism. The US government
NEVER enslaved the blacks. The US government never said "you must now
own this slave" or "you've never been a slave before, but you are one
now." US slavery was initiated by capitalists.

The US government was NOT in the business of proclaiming people free or
slaves: that was a private sector responsibility until that Evil
Statist Lincoln stole that sacred private right for the State. Until
that time, only private, capitalist owners had the right to declare
whether a black person was free or slave.

31. The World's Smallest Political Quiz. [Nolan Test]

This libertarian quiz asks a set of leading questions to tempt you to
proclaim yourself a libertarian. The big trick is that if you answer
yes to each question, you are a macho SELF GOVERNOR: there is an
unspoken sneer to those who would answer anything else. It is an
ideological litmus test.

The most obvious criticism of this quiz is that it tries to graph the
range of politics onto only 2 axes, as if they were the only two that
mattered, rather than the two libertarians want the most change in. For
example, if socialists were to create such a test, they would use a
different set of axes.

The second obvious criticism is typical of polls taken to show false
levels of support: the questions are worded to elicit the desired
response. This is called framing bias. For example, on a socialist
test, you might see a question such as "Do you believe people should
help each other?" Libertarians would answer "yes" to this question; the
problem is the "but"s that are filtered out by the question format.

Many libertarians use this as an "outreach" (read: evangelism) tool. By
making it easy to get high scores on both axes, subjects can be told
that they are already a libertarian and just didn't know it. This is
the same sort of suckering that cold readers and other frauds use.

32. The Libertarian Party: America's third largest political party.

Wow, third! That sounds impressive until you realize that the
Libertarian Party is about 0.1% of the size of the other two. Funny how
they don't mention that in their slogan. I guess they should get a new
slogan. Let's have a new slogan contest for the Libertarian Party!

o A party a lot smaller than the Communists used to be?
o The party that can't get as many votes as any one-shot third
o The party that's elected fewer to national office than the
o The party whose symbol is a big government statue.
o The party with the oxymoronic name?
o The party of Pat Paulson, uh, I mean Don Imus, uh, I mean Howard
o America's Third Most Comical Political Party?
o Preschool for hyperactive Republicans?

Join in! Submit your slogan today!

Almost as comical is the Libertarian Party's '94 election results. They
now have even fewer elected dogcatchers and other important officials.
Most notable, their loss of 2 out of 4 state reps in New Hampshire.

33. You're a Statist!

Don't be surprised if you receive some ad-hominem abuse from
libertarian evangelists when you don't accept their arguments. It's no
different than if a communist called you bourgeois or a Bircher called
you a commie lover. Sometimes they'll go overboard and even accuse you
of mental disease, at which time you can point out to them the fine
company they keep: Stalin, Hitler, etc.

34. Why do you spend so much time trying to debunk?

As I told creationists who wondered why I bothered, it's interesting to
me to study unusual beliefs for the same reason it's interesting for
doctors to study pathologies. You don't have to catch a disease to be
able to understand it, fight it, or vaccinate against it.


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