Statists in Libertarian Clothing

Everyone is a libertarian when it comes to his or her own choices:

  • My speech should be legal (though those other guys are over the line)
  • My choices, diet, lifestyle should be legal (though those other guys need to be protected from themselves)
  • My personal interactions are fine (but those other guys are all racists, threats to children, indecent, etc)
  • My business is great (but those other guys are all evil exploiters)

The hard part about defending freedom is not defending it for oneself.  The hard part is defending other people's right to be free.  TJIC makes this point quite well in response to a Boston Globe editorial.


  1. Zach:

    You forgot the most important one:

    "I'm too poor to pay taxes, but those other guys are rich and can afford to pay their share and mine."

  2. Manny Davis:

    I can think of one counterexample. I have known several illegal drug users who support the drug war. They will typically support legalizing MJ, but not other drugs, including drugs they themselves use. The argument goes, "I personally know how bad X is. It needs to be illegal."

  3. Blackadder:

    The drug war involves sending people to prison. Do the people who use drugs but favor the drug war think they should be sent to prison? If so, why haven't they turned themselves in?

  4. AK:

    What about the "social metaphysicians"?

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