The Perverse Individualism of the State

By: Wes Messamore

So we libertarians are all just such self-centered, vulgar individualists that any kind of anti-social, unsafe, or impolite behavior is all our fault? That's what this blogger says (m):

I was in rush hour the other observing some self-centered dude blocking four lanes and snarling traffic for blocks to spare himself a minor inconvenience and it occurred to me that the logical result of our recent embrace of vulgar libertarianism is a total breakdown of social order. Even in rush hour traffic where it's vital to everyone's survival that we observe certain norms, there always seems to be some entitled, selfish ass in an expensive car making it worse for everyone else these days. 

What a jump this blogger makes! (S)he has no clue about the political beliefs of the driver in question (who may have voted for Obama for all we know), but concludes that it must be libertarianism's fault that this guy drives like an idiot. The facts just simply don't add up, pal. Being a libertarian doesn't make you a jack-ass any more than being a Democrat prevents you from leaving 130 TONS of trash on the streets of Washington DC after Obama's inauguration.

But while we're on the subject of transportation, let's examine which political ideology actually leads to perverse individualism and rude behavior. Before Washington began to heavily regulate and provide transportation infrastructure, America's major cities had clean, efficient, electric trolley systems to provide mass transportation, which were typically owned by electric utility companies. People could get around by private trolley.

But then Congress prosecuted these trolley lines as violating anti-trust laws in order to help their friends in the auto-industry. The government in Washington built an extensive interstate highway system to accommodate the automobile transportation that it was foisting on Americans. The way of libertarianism would have led to clean, efficient public transportation for most of the masses, but the way of government paved the way for the perverse individualism that makes every American feel entitled to have and drive their very own car- and half of them to drive it like a maniac.

I say score one for Liberty.


  1. Bad drivers are often drivers who feel entitled. Fascists or socialists. Freedom lovers are so much more respectful.

  2. Hear, hear! I recall reading an article years ago (in Reason or Forbes, I believe) that showed irrefutable evidence that our nation's "public" roadways, the congestion and mismanagement involved is a direct result of the roadways being "public", ie. socialized.

    But then again, considering this makes one guilty of breaking down the statist "social order," how dare you speak out against your betters!

  3. Shane has a great point, too. Collectivists of all stripes make for bad drivers because they are driven by a sense of entitlement...


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