Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Libertarian "freedom"

Libertarians, so they tell us, care about freedom. Not just the freedom of the rich not to pay taxes, or the freedom of the strong to victimise the weak, or the freedom of the wealthy to impose their peculiar religious, racial or moral views on others through economic coercion ("we do not serve dogs or Jews" is perfectly consistent with Libertarian philosophy), but also - at least so far as the freedom is freedom from the government, rather than one of them - traditional liberal freedoms such as freedom of speech. If the government is censoring people, or persecuting them for their views, you expect libertarians to oppose it. So I was shocked today to see a press release on Scoop from the "Sense of Life Objectivists" - a Rand-cult - calling for the revival of the House Unamerican Activities Committee (a key institution of McCarthyism) to persecute Hollywood filmmakers for making bad science fiction movies about climate change and being insufficiently gung-ho in the "war on terror".

It looks like the cynical view of Libertarians is once again proved correct: the only freedom they really care about is their own.