Libertarianism is the freedom to oppress.

Anti-radical George Monbiot complains about Libertarianism because he doesn’t like anyone who’s against democracy (whatever- democracy is just a puppet game anyway), but what he has to say is still worthwhile:

But rightwing libertarians do not recognise this conflict. They speak, like Clare’s landlord, as if the same freedom affects everybody in the same way. They assert their freedom to pollute, exploit, even – among the gun nuts – to kill, as if these were fundamental human rights. They characterise any attempt to restrain them as tyranny. They refuse to see that there is a clash between the freedom of the pike and the freedom of the minnow.

Last week, on an internet radio channel called The Fifth Column, I debated climate change with Claire Fox of the Institute of Ideas, one of the rightwing libertarian groups that rose from the ashes of the Revolutionary Communist party. Fox is a feared interrogator on the BBC show The Moral Maze. Yet when I asked her a simple question – “do you accept that some people’s freedoms intrude upon other people’s freedoms?” – I saw an ideology shatter like a windscreen. I used the example of a Romanian lead-smelting plant I had visited in 2000, whose freedom to pollute is shortening the lives of its neighbours. Surely the plant should be regulated in order to enhance the negative freedoms – freedom from pollution, freedom from poisoning – of its neighbours? She tried several times to answer it, but nothing coherent emerged which would not send her crashing through the mirror of her philosophy.

3 thoughts on “Libertarianism is the freedom to oppress.

  1. Miep December 1, 2013 at 20:31 Reply

    Much of politics is about boundaries. Any philosophy that insists “my/our boundaries must be respected while your/their boundaries are irrelevant” is inherently unethical. But it’s not just personal boundaries, it’s also about geographical boundaries, who is allowed to live where, and how, and how to protect the rights of those whose language is not understood by the dominant caste. To argue that only the strong survive eventually nets one a world consumed by the most aggressive and selfish. Some people, even a lot of people, appear to think this an inevitable fate, which is why they invented delusional religious beliefs, far as I can tell.

  2. Luca Stranieri December 3, 2013 at 16:45 Reply

    He is attacking right-wing libertarianism and the randroid/mises/chicago cults and He is perfectly right.

    Libertarianism, these days, is a short -con for “i’m a republican who want to spoke pots” or straight-up sociopath

    Why Do you left-libertarian and libertarian socialist/communist still climb to defend the term?

    • Francois Tremblay December 3, 2013 at 18:25 Reply

      I’m obviously not. When have you ever heard me defend it?

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