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The Libertarian Con: Favorite 'Rebel' Ideology of the Ruling Class

Want to sound smart and thoughtful in front of your boss without alienating your liberal buds? Just say the L-word, pass the coke and everyone's happy!

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Their whole ideology is like a big game of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s all make-believe, except for the chain-mail--they brought that from home. Elves, dwarves and fair maidens for capital. Even with the supposedly “good ones”—anti-war libertarians—we’re still talking about people who  think Medicare’s going to lead to Stalinism.

So my advice is to call them out.

Ask them what their beef really is with the welfare state. First, they’ll talk about the deficit and say we just can’t afford entitlement programs. Well, that’s obviously a joke, so move on. Then they’ll say that it gives the government tyrannical power. Okay. Let me know when the Danes open a Guantánamo Bay in Greenland.

Here’s the real reason libertarians hate the idea. The welfare state is a check against servility towards the rich. A strong welfare state would give us the power to say Fuck You to our bosses—this is the power to say “I’m gonna work odd jobs for twenty hours a week while I work on my driftwood sculptures and play keyboards in my chillwave band. And I’ll still be able to go to the doctor and make rent.”

Sounds like freedom to me. 

 

Connor Kilpatrick is the managing editor of Jacobin magazine.

 
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