Libertarian Hypocrisy

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The classic "I never got a government handout" from libertarians is usualy a hypocritical lie. Lots of them gratefully suck from the tit of the welfare state. For example, Friedrich von Hayek and Ayn Rand were both hypocritical users of Medicare. And often they request the state to compel others.


A Famous Science Fiction Writer's Descent Into Libertarian Madness [More...]
On Robert Heinlein: "Later in life, as a libertarian, he would rail against “loafers” and the welfare state but in his leftist days he knew how much he depended on the government."
Anything private enterprise can do, government should be able to do too. (1 link)
Libertarians frequently condemn government for doing things that libertarians would permit to private enterprise. This is a simple hypocrisy or special pleading. Between property and private contract, there is hardly anything government could do that hasn't already been done by private enterprise.
Ayn Rand and the VIP-DIPers [More...]
Ayn Rand secretly took Social Security and Medicare. "In the end, Miss Rand was a hypocrite but she could never be faulted for failing to act in her own self-interest."
Ayn Rand Railed Against Government Benefits, But Grabbed Social Security and Medicare When She Needed Them [More...]
"Rand also believed that the scientific consensus on the dangers of tobacco was a hoax. By 1974, the two-pack-a-day smoker, then 69, required surgery for lung cancer. And it was at that moment of vulnerability that she succumbed to the lure of collectivism."
Coercion and Distribution in a Supposedly Non-Coercive State [More...]
Property systems are coercive. Robert Hale points out in 1923: [T]he systems advocated by professed upholders of laissez-faire are in reality permeated with coercive restrictions of individual freedom and with restrictions, moreover, out of conformity with any formula of "equal opportunity" or of "preserving the equal rights of others." A difficult read.
Edmund Burke, Welfare King [More...]
Edmund Burke, considered a philosophical founder of modern conservatism and a representative of classical liberalism took a huge government handout while opposing government help for poor laborers.
Friedrich Hayek Joins Ayn Rand as a Hypocritical User of Medicare [More...]
"This should put Hayek in some sort of libertariam circle of hell, along with Ayn Rand, who took Medicare and Social Security payments when she was diagnosed with lung cancer."
Hans-Hermann Hoppe (14 links)
One of the more bizarre Austrian philosophers. A hypocrite for working as a state professor and for accepting ACLU defense of his professional freedom of speech. "There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and removed from society."
High Plains Moochers [More...]
"It’s true that some of the people profiting from implicit taxpayer subsidies manage, all the same, to convince themselves and others that they are rugged individualists. But they’re actually welfare queens of the purple sage."
Jeet Heer on Robert A. Heinlein's Navy Disability Pension [More...]
Heinlein was able to reinvent himself several times as a graduate student, miner, architect and writer thanks to security of having a Navy pension at age 27.
Libertarians Are Huge Fans of Economic Coercion [More...]
"Hale showed that all economic regimes rely upon economic coercion, laissez-faire ones just as much as socialist ones."
Libertarians haggling over price.
It seems obvious.
Little House On The Prairie (1 link)
Proto-libertarian author Rose Wilder Lane commits one of the basic hypocrisies of libertarianism. She declares "we never took anything from government" while conveniently forgetting the free land obtained from government dispossession of native Americans.
Militia Leader Who Wants To Have Harry Reid’s ‘Balls Ripped Off’ Lives On Gov. Disability Money [More...]
Libertarian Mike Vanderbeogh gets all upset about collectivism while living off of government disability checks.
Property is Theft: On “libertarian” Hypocrisy
An excerpt from 160 Years of Libertarian that describes the theft of the term "libertarian" from anarchists and socialist by right wing propertarians.
Ron Paul Is Against Social Security Even While He Is For It [More...]
Ron Paul is collecting Social Security even while denouncing it.
Silicon Valley billionaires believe in the free market, as long as they benefit [More...]
"Google, Apple and other tech firms likely colluded to keep their workers' wages down. So much for that libertarian worldview."
The Techtopus: How Silicon Valley’s most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers’ wages [More...]
A conspiracy to fix wages by chief executives of Apple, Google, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Adobe, Intuit and Intel has been certified as a class-action lawsuit. "For all of the high-minded talk of post-industrial technotopia and Silicon Valley as worker’s paradise, what we see here in stark ugly detail is how the same old world scams and rules are still operative."
Third-party candidates lose legal fight to get into presidential debates [More...]
Libertarian party candidate Gary Johnson attempted to coerce the private Commission on Presidential Debates to include him through a lawsuit. What part of private property doesn't he understand? The irony in all of this is that Johnson is using anti-trust legislation to sue a private organization for discrimination.
Violently Destroying Liberty Is Important For Flourishing, Libertarian Argues [More...]
"Thus we can't ever actually be debating about whether we are for or against aggression or coercion. That's ridiculous. Folks on all sides of the debate are for using force that is consistent with their theory of what belongs to whom (called "defense") and against using force that is inconsistent with their theory of what belongs to whom (called "aggression")."


Libertarianism is supposed to be all about principles, but what it’s really about is political expedience. It’s basically a corporate front, masked as a philosophy.
Thomas Frank in Jane Mayer, "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right" pg. 123.
The non-consensual constraints on conduct recognized by libertarians are quite extensive. Our duties to respect the lives and the physical integrity of others' persons, and their freedom of action and extensive property claims, our obligations to keep our contracts, avoid fraud, and make reparations for harms we cause, are not based in free choice, consent, or any kind of agreement (actual or hypothetical). These are natural rights and duties, libertarians claim, that people possess independent of social interaction. Despite their emphasis on consent, voluntariness, and contract, libertarians are averse to appeals to consent or social agreement to justify their preferred list of moral rights and duties.
Samuel Freeman, "Illiberal Libertarians: Why Libertarianism Is Not a Liberal View" pg. 125
What’s amusing about libertarians and laissez-faire people (and the loose way certain economists talk) is that they will describe my choice to pay rent as non-coerced and voluntary while describing my choice to pay income taxes as coerced and involuntary. But there is no neutral construction of “coercion” that would ever support such a distinction. As Hale aptly demonstrates, coercion occurs when there are “background constraints on the universe of socially available choices from which an individual might ‘freely’ choose.”
Matt Bruenig, "Libertarians Are Huge Fans of Economic Coercion"
Right-wingers often express contempt bordering on seething hatred for silly liberal things that wouldn’t exist without government subsidies, like “Mime troops” and “accordion festivals” and “public libraries.” If the nation’s finest mime troupe can’t survive on ticket sales alone, who needs it! But relying on the kindness (and tax-deductible charitable donations) of the super-wealthy, on the other hand, is just how things are done, and always have been done, in much of political media and conservative academia. (The National Review, for example, cannot survive on advertising dollars or subscription fees alone, which is why each year it begs people to send checks, like common hobos.)
Alex Pareene, "Right-wing billionaires purchasing own professors"
Those of you who don’t want to flatter self-regarding billionaires for a living are advised to reconsider, because that’s the only job that will always be hiring in Tea Party America.
Alex Pareene, "Right-wing billionaires purchasing own professors"
Libertarian thought is wonderfully sound as far as it goes, but there are two gaping holes in it that that are now taking on a decisive importance. For one thing, there is no very distinct libertarian vision of community -- of social as distinct from economic process -- outside the state; the alluring libertarian contention that society would work better if the state could somehow be limited to keeping the peace and enforcing contracts has to be largely taken on faith. Nor have libertarians confronted the disabling hypocrisy of the capitalist rationale, which insists that while capitalists must have extensive freedom of action, their employees may have much less. Their analysis of how an invisible hand arranges economic resources rationally without authoritarian direction stopped abruptly at the factory gate. Inside factories and offices, the heavy, visible hand of management continues to rule with only token opposition.
Richard Cornuelle, "The Power and Poverty of Libertarian Thought", Cato Policy Report Volume XIV Number 1, pg. 10.
As the dust settles on the ruins of the socialist epoch, a second crippling deficiency of libertarian thought is becoming more visible and embarrassing. The economic methodology that the Russians have lately found unworkable still governs the internal affairs of capitalist and socialist countries alike. An economy presumably works best if it is not administered from the top; a factory presumably works best if it is.
Richard Cornuelle, "The Power and Poverty of Libertarian Thought", Cato Policy Report Volume XIV Number 1, pg. 12.
My goal, in the immediate stage, is to force libertarians to stop pretending that things like non-aggression, coercion, and force initiation do anything in the debate. They don't. Since the words get their meaning from an underlying theory of entitlement, the debate is always and anywhere about theories of entitlement. It is not about aggression or coercion or force. All arguments that turn upon those concepts are vacuous and question-begging. All of them.
Matt Bruenig, "Violently Destroying Liberty Is Important For Flourishing, Libertarian Argues"