Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why a "Hooligan Libertarian"?

In some correspondence with L. Neil Smith a few years ago, he mentioned that someone he knows refers to him and those like him as "hooligan libertarians". I liked the sound of it and embraced the term.

I realize that in many European countries, a "hooligan" is a violent criminal; someone who initiates force. That is not what I mean when I use the term, nor do I expect that is what Mr. Smith or his friend meant. A few years ago, I saw a local newspaper call some teens who were being "typical-teen rowdy", but not causing any real harm, "hooligans". I still get a chuckle from that occasionally.

I see a "hooligan libertarian" as someone who is a radical libertarian and who isn't always exactly "safe for work". He will probably tell the truth as he sees it even if he knows it will offend someone's sensibilities. Even if every other self-proclaimed libertarian wants the message to be downplayed and softpeddled, a "hooligan libertarian" will probably not back down from what he knows to be true. This doesn't necessarily mean he is cold hearted, but that sometimes the truth hurts, and the kindest action, in the long run, is to "rip off the bandaid quickly".

So that is why I am "Kent McManigal, the Hooligan Libertarian".