The Null Device

Galt's Gulch, NH

20,000 Libertarians to move to New Hampshire, vote as a bloc, create anarchocapitalist utopia, where Man can smoke dope, fire guns and be free of the depredations of evil collectivist parasites. (via bOING bOING)
Although Jackie Casey had voted for Wyoming, she just moved from Portland, Ore., to Merrimack, between Nashua and Manchester, renting a basement apartment with her cat, Soopa Doopa Hoopa, and her two 9-millimeter handguns. (She wants a machine gun "or at least a rifle" for Christmas.) She has already hung one wall and her bathroom with framed posters of Frank Zappa, who was a libertarian himself.
Dr. Sorens wrote that "within about 10 years after our move, we should have people in the state legislature and we should have entrenched political control of several towns and counties." He added that "once we have control of the county sheriffs' offices, we can order federal law enforcement agents out, or exercise strict supervision of their activities," and "once we have obtained some success in the state legislature, we can start working on the governor's race."

(Why does the name "Clearwater, FL" come to mind at this point?)

Libertarianism, of the American Ayn Rand-influenced Propertarian bent, is weird; in particular, the part about putting property rights above all other concerns. I half suspect that, had Libertarianism as we know it existed during the American Civil War, most Libertarians would have sided with the slave-owners, whose sacred and inalienable property rights were being threatened by the evil statist Abraham Lincoln (the "American Lenin", as some Libertarians call him).

There are 5 comments on "Galt's Gulch, NH":

Posted by: William Denton Mon Oct 27 17:49:32 2003

"That's libertarians for you - anarchists who want police protection from their slaves." - Kim Stanley Robinson, <cite>Green Mars</cite>

Posted by: dj Mon Oct 27 23:39:16 2003

You can just imagine that if a poor Spanish worker from Barcelona got transported in time from the late 1920s to now, she would think these people, being libertarians were her friends. For all of about 10 seconds.

Posted by: gjw Tue Oct 28 04:15:18 2003

A lot of libertarians are under the impression their philosophy is something entirely new, and they all demand a little slice of the planet to try it out on and "proove" how well it works.

But, I recall after the fall of the USSR, news reports described various countries (Bulgaria, Armenia) as "sliding into anarchy". They didn't slide into anarchy, the slid into libertarianism. And it didn't take long before they demanded some order once more.

Posted by: Anton Sherwood Fri Oct 31 08:11:33 2003

Property, in mainstream libertarian theory, is an extension of personal autonomy: you own yourself, therefore you own your labor and its products (until you sell same). Hence it is incompatible with slavery: a slave is always stolen goods.

Lincoln is guilty of plenty even though he didn't free any slaves. His first day on the job, he signed a proposed amendment to <i>protect</i> slavery, in hope of stopping the secessions. (That it failed should cast some doubt on the dogma that secession was all about slavery.) He sent troops to steal elections and suppress the peacenik press.

(Other slams at libertaria here are too vague for ignorant little me to address.)

Posted by: acb Fri Oct 31 15:06:32 2003

Is property an absolute right? If someone is starving (and has no money) and I have a loaf of bread lying around (assume, for the sake of this argument, that I'm a selfish bastard), does my right to my property override the starving man's need for sustenance? (Yes, it's an extreme situation, but it's at the extremes where ideologies often fall apart.)

What about intellectual property? If I create a program or piece of music, do I have the right to control how others access it? What if I come up with an idea? Is the idea my property, and am I entitled to demand payment from those who use it?