Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Libertarian derangement syndrome

One problem that I have encountered in discussing libertarianism is that while some people will hear me out and argue in good faith, my attempts to discuss it provoke libertarian derangement syndrome in others. Such people often respond to any approving or neutral mention of libertarianism with name-calling, appeals to ridicule, straw men, and just about everything else except an attempt to argue in good faith.

For example, once, I had two progressives agreeing with my libertarian views until they learned that those were libertarian views. They then accused me of holding several views that are not libertarian and one that is the exact opposite of what libertarians believe. Their working definition of "libertarianism" seemed to be "anything that I don't like and from which someone may make a profit."

Not only would they have failed an ideological Turing test, but they also wallowed in willful ignorance. When I tried to explain their mistakes to them, one silently walked away, while the other responded with, in succession, a deer-in-the-headlights look, an attempt to change the subject, and an appeal to ridicule.