Thursday, June 10, 2021

Self and money

Some guy on Twitter was apparently angry that libertarians exist. So, in a response to a thread of libertarians discussing an issue, he posted:

A libertarian’s priorities:
1. Themself
2. Money
3. That’s it.

(Then why am I broke?)

Anyway, isn't it odd that the most selfless and truly generous of philosophies is characterized this way?

Libertarians recognize that no one has the right to violate the life, liberty, or property of another, and that everyone has the right to defend themselves and others from anyone who does so anyway. I describe this as the Zero Archation Principle: "No human being has the right, under ANY circumstances, to archate, nor to advocate or delegate archation."

That is, at its heart, what makes a person libertarian. That is the opposite of selfishness, and money isn't even mentioned.

One time, when I couldn't afford to do so, I bought a set of tools for a guy I'd just met so that he could get a job that required him to bring his own tools. That act certainly didn't benefit me, nor did it say much about money being my priority. There are plenty of other examples of me putting others ahead of myself, and other things ahead of money, but that's one that came to mind because it was the most personally difficult example.

There are so many examples of libertarians I know being selfless and generous with their own money-- often with me as the beneficiary-- that the claim is completely ridiculous.

I think what this guy is really objecting to is that I don't think "taxation" is ethical, and he can't imagine a way to support the helpless without forcing people-- through "taxation"-- to do so. In fact, this is what he later claimed as he tried to make his point. He rejected every voluntary solution suggested as a way to help such people. That says much about his non-libertarian character.


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  1. People who describe forcible redistribution as charity, remind of this quote.

    "the louder he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted the spoons" - Ralph Waldo Emerson