Straw Man, Counter Point

So this video is making the rounds on blogs staffed by people who want to remove all doubt that they are idiots:

Of course anybody who can open a book, let alone read the squigglies on the page knows that Somalia is a Fudal system run by warlord tyrants. Not really all that “Libertarian”, given that the only people who have the individual liberty are the ones with the walled fortresses and the guns.

Also is it really a good idea to be slandering individual liberty? Let’s face it, left or right, its the Libertarians who are doing the hard work on gun rights, freedom of speech, 4th Amendment rights, opposing things like the TSA and the War on Drugs, as well as being the ONLY group who’s really showing any love to the gays.

Do you REALLY want to paint yourself as being opposed to those endeavors? Not to bight, as I said.

Still I’ll counter that if Somalia is a so-called “Libertarian Paradise”, then North Korea is the “Progressive Paradise”. And rather than a hyperbolic video I’ll post a document. h/t to Bluesun for the info.

This is what Progressivism looks like at night:

Just what we all want, right?

PS: Also if you want a REAL Libertarian paradise I New Hampshire is a pretty damn good choice, and unlike Somalia (which isn’t Libertarian at all) New Hampshire isn’t scary at all!

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0 Responses to Straw Man, Counter Point

  1. “Of course anybody who can open a book, let alone read the squigglies on the page knows that Somalia is a Fudal system run by warlord tyrants. ”

    Unless the statement they’re making is that Anarcho-Capitalism is a pipe dream that will very quickly devolve into the Feudal system. Which seems about right to me.

    Way to straw man them right back though.

  2. alcade says:

    Everyone knows that the North Koreans are just turning off their lights at night to help with global warming.

    Get over your Fox News bias, Hitler!

  3. 45er says:

    I would put Somalia more in the Anarchy Feudal Warlord column. Besides, there is a huge difference between wanting the government to do what it is supposed to and only that and wanting no government at all.

  4. Linoge says:

    Moronic dolts (like the ones you mentioned) are constantly trying to erroneously conflate “libertarianism” with “anarchism”. This is, of course, wrong – the two are entirely different concepts of governments and governing, but it is, unfortunately, a relatively compelling fallacy… especially amongst fellow dolts.

    Life is, of course, easier when our opponents do not understand the vocabulary they are wielding like limp noodles, but it would be nice, just once, to have an opponent who could crack a dictionary…

    • Weerd Beard says:

      In the dolt’s defense there are a fair share of Anarcho-Libertarians and Anarcho-Capitalists et al on the frontier of of Libertarianism.

      Its one of the only reason why I don’t self-identify as “Libertarian”, while I do hold very strong to many of the tenants.

      Of course just because there are a handful of Anarchists that rub elbows with the Libertarians doesn’t mean its a core of the ethos.

    • Alpheus says:

      That’s what I despise so much about the term “anarcho-capitalism”. It’s not based on anarchy–it’s a privatized form of government, where individuals choose their judges, their police, and even their laws. Inasmuch that capitalism means “rule by those who own capital”, it isn’t really that, either: it’s more of rule by individualism.

      In any case, to the degree that Somalia actually preserves individual rights, it’s “capitalism”, and to the degree that they don’t have a formal government, it’s “anarchism”. And to the degree that individual rights are violated, it’s “tyranny”.

      And, finally, I would add, if that Somalia represents so-called “anarcho-capitalism”, it may be too early to pronounce it a “success” or “failure”. It’s a system that started with the collapse of a communist state; thus, they have a lot of baggage to overcome.

      And considering that they’ve improved their lives, they’ve at least proved that “no government” is better than communism!

      • Weerd Beard says:

        Given that the Somali war lords have a society based on theft of resources from other warlords and other governments (such as the pirate fleet) there is nothing “Libertarian” or “Capitalist” about that nation.

  5. Alpheus says:

    Due to technical difficulties, I cannot see the video. But besides the point Linoge made (about “libertarianism” vs. “anarcho-capitalism”–which, even though I consider myself a so-called “anarcho-capitalist”, I nonetheless consider an important distinction to make!), there’s another factor about (my best guess) about this argument that is often ignored: those pesky little things mathematicians like to call “deltas”, or “changes over time”.

    Yes, life is rough in Somalia. There’s no “government” as we’d like to call it. Yet the standard of living has increased since the collapse of Communism in Somalia. While we can argue about whether or not government is necessary to preserve freedom and justice, we can observe, at least, that whatever Somalia has right now is better than Communism!

    To further complicate matters, I recently read a BBC report (linked to from that pointed out that Somalia has complete cell phone coverage. How weird is that? In a country where the major source of income is livestock that needs to be protected by hired hands, and in which is the source of major problems with literal high-seas piracy, you’ll have no problem using a cell phone. Certainly, something odd is happening there, and it will be interesting to see what the decades bring!

    This pet peeve of mine doesn’t just apply to Somalia, though. I once saw someone try to use China as an example of a country that can be prosperous despite having no liberty. But isn’t that the same country that’s been loosening its iron grip in order to foster prosperity? Indeed, it has at least two “capitalist zones”–Hong Kong and Shainghai–and my memory is telling me that Beijing is one too, but I’l likely wrong about that.

    In any case, even if some government is necessary for freedom, if you give me two countries, and ask me “which will be more prosperous in a few decades?” I would ask “which one is more free, and likely to stay more free?” before I give my answer.

  6. Rob says:

    I read the Hit & Run blog daily, and this argument has been used so many times by anti-libertarian commenters that it’s been dubbed the “SOMALIA!!11!1” argument. It’s linked closely to the “ROADZ!!@1!”* argument.

    *The idea that only governments can build roads and other vital infrastructure.

  7. WallPhone says:

    Maybe if we stopped taking effective weapons from the individuals of Somalia, they would be able to advance beyond the fedual stage–like what happened to the Knights of Europe and the Samuri of Japan.

  8. Pingback: A Post In Which I Give The Other Side A Free Swing | The Adaptive Curmudgeon's Blog

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