This Mother Jones blog post – “The Venn of Ron Paul and Other Mysteries of Libertarianism Explained” – is ostensibly a rebuke of libertarianism by dumping on its (alleged) chosen vessel, Ron Paul. Unsurprisingly, the author, Josh Harkinson, does not understand libertarianism. The diagram:
I know, ha ha. Especially with the additions of the accompanying “Libertarian Theology” glossary and the “Rand of the Free” poll. It’s so powerful.
If only it were true. To quote David Boaz:
… Libertarians are not against all government. We are precisely “advocates of limited government.” Perhaps to the man who wrote the speeches in which a Republican president advocated a trillion dollars of new spending, the largest expansion of entitlements in 40 years, federal takeovers of education and marriage, presidential power to arrest and incarcerate American citizens without access to a lawyer or a judge, and two endless “nation-building” enterprises, the distinction between “limited government” and “anti-government” is hard to see. But it is real and important.
A government is a set of institutions through which we adjudicate our disputes, defend our rights, and provide for certain common needs. It derives its authority, at some level and in some way, from the consent of the governed… What we want is a limited government that attends to its necessary and proper functions… Thus libertarians are not “anti-government.” Libertarians support limited, constitutional government — limited not just in size but, of far greater importance, in the scope of its powers.
Admittedly, in the comfortable mindset of someone who likes ignorant gotchas, I probably violated my libertarian principle of individualism because I let someone else speak for me. I just stole his words. Nevermind that I cited Mr. Boaz and provided the necessary links. As a libertarian, I’m required to live without assistance from anyone for anything, forever. Hell, I drive on government roads every day. Eventually I’m going to figure out that this makes me not a libertarian.
To show that anyone can have fun with drawing, I’ve attempted my own Ha Ha.
To finish the point, I have an entire blog category in which I explain why more state action is warranted and necessary. So, yeah, “anti-government”? Not so much.
Link via Boing Boing. (Note: Original venn diagram re-sized to fit my out-of-date blog template.)