Someone recently attempted a small study to check what the top topics of the top “Libertarian”1 blogs are about and found some interesting conclusions, namely, that right-libertarians are in denial about economic externalities. This is not particularly surprising for anyone who has had the misfortune to discuss extensively with some of their more vulgar elements but it is interesting how a similar result can also be seen from a methodological research.
I like how the author has seen the general trend towards denial that one can notice in right-libertarians and consolidated it as denial against economic externalities. That’s far more concise than my observation of their general denial against anything that might point out that capitalist free markets are not a particularly good solution. I personally find that it’s the flaw of starting from the explicit premise that the Free Markets Are Good which therefore compels one to ignore and eventually deny all evidence that might challenge this. It can easily lead to a faith-based belief that is severely unhealthy to critical thought. It’s only more ironic when one considers how proud right-libertarians are of their “Rationality”.
As one would expect the author noticed that the top subjects discussed in the top blogs are all of those one would expect from people already convinced that what’s good for business, is good for everyone. Denial of AGW (Because there’s no easy market-based solution so it’s far easier to support libertarianism when this uncomfortable harm doesn’t exist). Denial of Smoking harms (Same as before). Support for tax breaks for the rich (On the flawed assumption that either the rich invest more when they have more money or Randian-esque nonsense that the rich deserve their wealth because of their hard work.) Fortunately for the author, he didn’t get to see other crown favorites such as support for sweat-shop practices, Anti-Trade-Unionism, Pro-IP confusion, Anti-Minimum-wage, crypto-misogyny etc.I guess he can consider himself lucky.
Expectedly, the right-libertarian stormtroopers quickly descended to defend their ideology with the wrath of heavens It’s a pity the author didn’t take the time to respond to them (or was it because of his crappy commenting system?) to provide more lulz for onlookers like me.
I also found this kind of research interesting. Perhaps it’ll be worth doing the same in the Anarchosphere and see what kind of stuff we’re talking about. Of course there’s bound to be some confusion if one simply tries to look for the top 20 Anarchist blogs as they’re going to end up with some confused right-libertarians in the mix as well, skewing the result. Perhaps I’ll choose the top 20 blogs which I know are LibSoc. I’d be interesting to see what we’re talking about in general.
- Well, you know, right-libertarian really, which is only close to actual liberty in la-la land [↩]
- 15.12.09 / 9am