Friday, April 27, 2012

Creeds, screeds, mockeries, Thackerays...

In my last post, I snarked that "I also think, incidentally, that maybe [libertarians] should reconsider the perfection and rightness of their ideology."

To which one of my commenters responded with an off-the-cuff masterpiece of sheer lulzy brilliance. From commenter JohnR:
Oh, c'mon now; no religion ever wants to be the first one to do that. What we'll see first is a schism, where the Galtians decide that the Roarkians are virulent heretics deserving of the harshest punishment ("She's a witch!") and they both agree that Ron Paul is an apostate if not a vile blasphemer. Soon the fun will start and there will be sects, sub-sects, deviant sects, consensual sects, chemically-enhanced sects, incense-free sects, creeds, screeds, mockeries, Thackerays, Inquisitions, Crusades, Reformations, Restorations, Abominations and Free Love. Only then will the One True and Holy Church of Rand be fully established as the single pure essence of Libertarianism, with the ruling that the other 7,843 "Libertarian" churches are merely cults to be stamped out with an iron boot.
Wow. All I can say is, when this happens, I hope my house is well-stocked with popcorn, because it's going to be fun to watch.

10 comments:

  1. Actually, you've come generations late to the party, Noah: that's been going on at least since Hayek decided he didn't agree with Mises in the 30s.

    Objectivism had a major schism after Branden broke up with Rand, and several purges besides. The libertarian party has had several schisms and purges. Cato is in the process of yet another schism/purge (Rothbard and the Mises Institute were the products of the first.)

    David Friedman famously said "There may be two libertarians who agree with each other, but I am not one of them."

    (These are from memory: please forgive any innacuracies.)

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    1. Drat, scooped again; it's like grad school all over! Actually, darned few religions have escaped the human need for uniqueness. I think what it boils down to is that each adherent wants to be the head of his own particular religion, which everyone else will follow. Libertarianism just takes this to its logical extreme, where each person is not merely the head of his own church of one, but also the head of that church's chief schismatic rival (with perhaps Mitt Romney setting the standard there, by holding the papacy of essentially innumerable distinct (yet fundamentally inseparable) churches in some sort of Schroedinger-esque fashion. I'm amazed he hasn't achieved transfiguration yet, receding into Nirvana on a giant Lotus leaf, hand held vertically, with that beatific smile of his).
      (Oh, and thanks for the kind words, Noah - they should probably be properly directed at Hedley Lamarr and Sir Isaac Newton, the former of whom inspired me and the latter of whom realized the importance of inertia as a physical force - once you get going, it can be hard to stop.)

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  2. thanks for the late friday laugh.

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  3. Wait. Where's the Church of Heinlein?

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  4. "[T]hey both agree that Ron Paul is an apostate if not a vile blasphemer."

    Right there, that's the single biggest issue facing libertarianism today — to many, if you don't swallow the whole pill, you're an apostate. If you compromise you're an apostate. If you're just an ordinary guy who accepts maybe 25% of the libertarian program — and most ideological programs try to at least be friendly to people leaning their way — then you're a corrupt government loving statist.

    I am libertarian-leaning myself, and I end up getting flamed by Galtians and Rothbardians no end.

    For a movement of so-called individualists, that different groups can have something so close to a party line is — shall we say — quite unsettling.

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  5. Anonymous9:45 PM

    A libertarian is an anarchist is a communist. Why don't you use an accurate term for these right-wingers? "Propertarian" is perfectly serviceable.

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    1. "Propertarian" is perfectly serviceable.

      Narcissist or solipsist would also work

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    2. "an anarchist is a communist" ?? Excuse me, comrade, but where the hell did you get that?

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  6. If you're into this stuff please look up the history of socialist groups anywhere in the world, the schisms in the british left since 2001 are particularly hilarious/tragic. Libertarians will always be miles behind the left in sectariana.

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  7. Yes, I was going to make the point that Objectivists (aka randroids) have always hated Libertarians-- Libertarians are interested in a coalition of people who've come to the same conclusions about free markets, but Objectivists insist that you start from the Correct Premises, i.e. if you're a Christian they don't want to hear from you (which one suspects is why Paul Ryan has flip-flopped on being a Rand fan-boy).

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