The Comedy of Libertarian Hypocrisy

One of the great jokes of modern America is so-called "libertarianism" -- an ill-defined "ism" with a multitude of meanings in a spectrum of attitudes about government intrusion.

At one extreme, the libertarian is a total anarchist, a believer in no government at all, and a hundred years ago a terrorist and bomb-thrower convinced that the road to libertarian dystopia demanded destroying civilization.

At the other extreme, the so-called "libertarian" is a proto-fascist conservative who uses libertarian buzzwords to achieve a political agenda that would actually involve more government intrusion and not less government intrusion -- intrusion to foster business and protect wealth at the expense of the unwealthy.

The underlying joke across the entire spectrum of political libertarian attitudes is an underlying hypocrisy illustrated by the following:

Consider a "libertarian" named Self Reliant. Mr. Reliant, fifty-five years old, suffers a sudden heart attack. He calls 911, and when the paramedics arrive he directs them to the best hospital in town, which happens to be the university hospital attached to a state university. Mr. Reliant is rushed to this hospital and receives treatment in the emergency room that essentially saves his life.

Mr. Reliant's comical hypocrisy is that nearly every step along the way he's acting in contradiction to his loudly broadcast principles.

1) Dialing 911 and asking for paramedics is asking for help from local government.

2) Directing the ambulance to a local state university hospital emergency room is asking for help from the state in which he lives.

3) Once inside that hospital, accepting emergency treatment is accepting help from the federal government, since it's the federal government that funds nearly all the research and development in cardiac infarction emergency care.

At every step along the way, Mr. Reliant has asked for help from the very local, state, and federal institutions that he claims are intrusions in his "self-reliant" life and that he would like to see disappear.

It's a comedy of hypocrisy. Were Mr. Reliant a true libertarian, he would treat his heart attack himself (and most likely die), or at the least, when the paramedics arrive, he would direct the ambulance into the woods to die among the trees. (Actually, the woods may be off-limits also, since they may be maintained by a local, state, or federal forestry service.)

Like many comedies, this comedy has a tragic side if you flip the coin. The tragedy is that too many Americans are currently behaving like imbeciles in their adoration of absolute and total individual freedom when the reality of our time is that such freedom is incompatible with individual survival.

The libertarian ambulance always rushes to a government funded emergency room.

Our current "libertarians" don't die. They just shout that other people should die.