We all know two libertarians- one is an actual libertarian, hates unions, hates the minimum wage, thinks no one is entitled to anything. Has a giant hard-on for Ayn Rand, has quasi-elaborate theories about how “competition breeds success,” and has drank the Neo-Liberal Koolaid so much it’s a miracle that he (and it almost always is a ‘he’) doesn’t constantly vomit purple. But he knows what he believes, and as barbaric as his worldview is, you have to respect him for being able to defend it, which he can.
Then there’s the other one. Like the first person, he or she constantly rails against “big government” destroying American liberties. He or she or it hates the Patriot Act, hates the wars, hate the war on drugs, and hate the intrusion of fundamentalist Christianity onto public life. Now, these are all absolutely legitimate positions, but this individual errs by thinking they define what it means to be a capital-L Libertarian. Chances are, he or she is also very disturbed by cuts to higher education funding, challenges to Social Security, and workplace anti-discrimination legislation. He or she may think of Martin Luther King, who called for an end to capitalism and codified legal federal protections for minorities, as an inspiration, or most revoltingly, a libertarian himself. They may also think that “Anarchist” and “Libertarian” are roughly synonyms. It goes without saying, then, that this person is a fucking fool who lacks the political understanding to realize the difference between the State and the Government, to recognize what the inequalities he or she rails against would only be inconceivably deeper with Ron Paul or Gary Johnson in charge, or to understand what the term “Libertarian” means. Don’t like the fact that the US has the deepest economic inequality in the developed world? Don’t like the fact that banks get away with murder and paying zero taxes? Don’t like getting treated like shit at work? Do you like having things like affordable healthcare, infrastructure, higher education, and an at least pseudo-protected environment? Well guess what, you aren’t a fucking Libertarian. There’s more to political identity than being against Marijuana prohibition and our current wars- I know, since I’m a Democratic Socialist and I oppose these things as well. The difference is that my political worldview responds to prevailing socioeconomic patterns in society, rather than a few wedge issues. Read a book or two, you morons.