Libertarian Lads

"Name me, if you can, a better feeling than the one you get when you’re half a bottle of Chivas in the bag with a gram of coke up your nose and teenage lovely pulling off her tube top in the next seat over while you’re going a hundred miles an hour down a suburban side street." That’s PJ O’Rourke, essayist, humourist and — according to some Catallaxy commenters — the only person you need to read in order to understand libertarianism.

And maybe that’s right. A lot of libertarians seem to have no idea why libertarianism might be a good way to do politics. For these guys the reasoning seems to go something like this:

Premise 1. Under libertarianism people who are stronger, smarter and just generally better than other people will do well. People who are stupid and useless will do badly and have to put up with other people telling them what to do.

Premise 2. I support libertarianism.

Therefore: I must be stronger smarter and just generally better than losers who disagree with me. If I wasn’t, why would I be supporting libertarianism?

So you put a “No Fear” sticker on the back window of your WRX, slag off fat chicks and other losers and whoop it up until your missus makes you trade in your cool car for something sensible, ploughs all the money into the mortgage and puts you on a diet.

Eventually you find out that your 14 year old daughter is going out with a fat ute-driving libertarian. You then start delivering moral lectures about how freedom is all about taking responsibility.

Your daughter pokes your beer gut, pats you on your bald patch and laughs at you.

“Have you put out the garbage yet?” asks the wife.

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85 Responses to Libertarian Lads

  1. Jason Soon says:

    that’s just silly, Don, and obviously an attempt to lure Yobbo out for a bit of a punch-up. PJ O’Rourke’s books are very well researched and certainly make the case for libertarianism on far richer terms than that potted summary above.

  2. What about libertarian lasses, Don? Or are you wearing your special boyvision specs?

  3. Jason Soon says:

    I’ve going to sit here with a bottle of red and enjoy the show …

  4. I do expect you to call out the cavalry (ie Yobbo) if needed, Jason.

  5. whyisitso says:

    What – surely not the whole bottle Jason? Sighhh – there was a time I could consume a whole bottle while enjoying a show! But of course what you really meant was a glass and a bit and then re-cork, didn’t you. Or perhaps you have your beloved with you, sharing. No, I don’t think so – you wouldn’t be at your computer then would you?

    Forgive me, Satty night trivia with after a glass or so of semillon sauvignon blanc.

  6. Don Arthur says:

    Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

    I’ve heard the McConvill thread is good tonight.

  7. Methinks Don has walked away from his rod. He’s certainly not responding to any bites, and by now all his bait’d be gone.

  8. Spoke too soon, but looks like he’s decided to ‘toss back a tiddler’ ;)

  9. Tim Lambert says:

    I think the libertarian lass version of this argument looks like this.

  10. Jason Soon says:

    are you a misogynist or something, Tim?
    Is there something wrong with a woman being choosy about her partner?

  11. Ken Parish says:

    Oh come on, Jason. You don’t think there’s a bit of a difference between “being choosy” and boasting about one’s manifest superiority on a blog? Jacqui’s a major wanker at the very least, but might well have much more serious psychological problems than that. There are a few misplaced synapses in her giant brain, methinks, ones having to do with modesty, restraint and appropriate social behaviour.

  12. Ahh, in the lefty universe, only men do stuff like that, Jason. And since they’ve decided that’s not nice, any woman who does likewise is also, ehrm, not nice.


  13. Ken Parish says:


    I’d have exactly the same opinion of any bloke who posted something of that sort on the Internet, irrespective of their ideological orientation. It has nothing to do with gender or politics. A wanker is a wanker.

  14. Don Arthur says:

    On the lads vs lasses issue — here are some US demographics from Pew:

    Libertarians are much more likely to be male (59%) and young (33% are under age 30) than are any of the other groups; they are also more numerous in western states.

    Tim – I just love that post & the follow up where Jacqueline explains how much it improved her blog’s stats.

  15. Ahh, Don’s rebaited his hook and is now waiting patiently for more bites – better leave the girlie stuff alone :)

  16. Don Arthur says:

    skeptic – There’s a good chance I’m going to regret starting this.

  17. Ken Parish says:

    Maybe a bit of tagteam fishing might help. Then again … P.J. O’Rourke is a great populariser for libertarianism, but it’s a mixed blessing. Pick just about any O’Rourke book and he’ll spout the simplified libertarian gospel: minimal state, rule of law, low tax, protection of private property = success. But surely there’s more to Fred Hayek, and even Nozick, than that.

    But O’Rourke’s standard picture of the ideal libertarian state ignores the countries that largely adopted the recipe and didn’t do as well as you’d expect e.g. Mexico, Thailand and even New Zealand. And it ignores the countries that have done extraordinarily well with a recipe involving substantial government intervention to nurture an internationally competitive economy, especially China and India.

    Most of all, it ignores the fact that the US’s dominant position in the world economy was achieved through a range of factors that have included (and still include) stacking the deck in international agriculture in its own favour; and massively subsidising/protecting its own industries through defence spending.

    And then there’s the Scandinavian countries (especially Norway and Denmark) that have done just about as well as the US on

  18. Jason Soon says:

    Oh for chrissakes Ken
    It sounds like you actually haven’t read any O’Rourke first hand and are going by second hand reports. If anything O’Rourke does more research than Nozick who is just an a priori philosopher. I would rather recommend O’Rourke than Nozick myself to any beginner. A lot of fact checking and first hand reporting goes into O’Rourke’s books. Just because he’s not a Harvard academic and writes in an entertaining style doesn’t make him less rigorous. He makes it look easy because of his lucid style. And no, he doesn’t make absolutist statements in his books (as opposed to some of his speeches) as you imply and he is if anything far more nuanced than an a priori guy like Nozick. He isn’t even particularly purist as a libertarian if you look more closely at what he says. try his Parliament of Whores or All the trouble in the world.

  19. It certainly sounds like Ken hasn’t read Ricardo. “stacking the deck in international agriculture in its own favour”. Now how would one do that? One can stack the international deck in favour of one’s own agricultural sector – but that’s not stacking it in one’s own favour – and can’t plausibly be related to America’s economic success.

  20. Jason Soon says:

    O’Rourke’s latest stuff hasn’t been that great, he’s been in the game for a long time. But books like Parliament of Whores and All the trouble in the world are classic. And he does discuss and castigate the US government’s pork. He’s more of a libertarian-sympathetic Republican than a true believer libertarian btw.

  21. Ken Parish says:

    All the Trouble in the World, Picador 1994

    Chapter 1 page 16 (Fashionable Worries). After quoting Malthus, O’Rourke summarises the theme of the chapter (and the book):

    “Property rights, rule of law, responsible government, universal education: that’s all we need.”

    Chapter 9 page 340 (Economic Justice) – the very last paragraph in the book:

    “Maybe this isn’t such a hopeful moment in history. Really, it’s something of a disappointment to know that when mankind – through noble struggles, grim sacrifices (and a lot of money-making) – does achieve such things as property rights, rule of law, responsible government, and universal education, the fruit borne of these splendid accomplishments is, um, me.”

    I concede that he includes an equality of opportunity ingredient in the recipe (namely universal education), and so he’s marginally more nuanced than I had recalled, but otherwise the message is every bit as simplistic as I suggested in the previous comment. And all the country and region examples in between are argued to vary on a continuum of success and prosperity depending on the extent to which their governance systems comply with PJ’s libertarian recipe. At best it’s a huge oversimplification of reality, albeit hugely entertaining.

  22. Jason Soon says:

    ‘”Property rights, rule of law, responsible government, universal education: that’s all we need.”

  23. Jason Soon says:

    The purpose of his chapter on ‘Economic justice’ is to demonstrate why the sort of spoils system that is created by excessive interventionism and legalism is counterproductve for wealth creation. As such the takeaway message is in fact a nice summary of all that. He is constrating the US and Vietnam and this happens to be the most relevant determinant of the differences for our purpoises, not the specifics of health care policy or unemployment insurance or industrial relations laws. So I don’t see what the point of your complaint is. That he didn’t write a different book?

  24. Don Arthur says:

    Even O’Rourke admits that the Swedes like their system and that it works — even if he thinks it makes them boring (see ‘Good Socialism: Sweden’ in Eat the Rich).

    O’Rourke has mellowed a bit as he’s become… er… more mature. As the Republican Party Reptile he was prone to saying things like “by the time I blasted my way through the reception area and raped my secretary…” But by the time he becomes the CEO of the Sofa his wife is packing his drunken carcass into the back of the family SUV (after removing the toddler seat).

    O’Rourke does a good job at turning Cato Institute briefing papers into something more entertaining.

  25. Jason Soon says:

    yep, good example Don. Forgot about that.

    I will reiterate my claim that you will learn more about the world and how to think about it in libertarian terms but realistically by reading O Rourke than by reading Nozick.

  26. Don Arthur says:

    Nozick is using Locke to argue with Rawls. It makes more sense to read Anarchy, State and Utopia in that context than as part of some libertarian top 10.

    In the same way, if you’re going to read Rand you really ought to read (or read about) Aristotle, Marx and Nietzsche (it’s not hard to read her as a bizarro-world Marxist).

    People who read O’Rourke on economics and politics are in the market for something like Friedman’s Free to Choose. I wouldn’t recomend Nozick to someone who wasn’t already suffering from philosophy.

  27. Yobbo says:

    Out of all the Libertarians in the world, why would Don want to lure me out to a fight?

    Most other libertarians I know are pacifist weaklings. I, on the other hand, enjoy punching on for the pure love of fighting itself.

    John Humphreys and Steve Edwards im sure could attest to this.

    Not fighting is the only thing worse than losing a fight.

    Don makes a good point though. Why would superior individuals rationally support anything other than Libertarianism, unless it was to suck at the teat of government?

    P.S. Im willing to bet $500 that no other Australian blogger could beat me in a fight. Any rules you like.

  28. Jason Soon says:

    Actually Yobbo, c8to’s been in a few scraps himself. And he beat Bird in an arm wrestle so i’m sure he could take on you.

  29. Don Arthur says:

    Yobbo – Why would a pacifist weakling want to be libertarian?

    Maybe if you think you’re smarter than other people but not stronger it makes sense to outlaw violence. It’s all about picking rules that increase the likelihood that you’ll come out on top.

  30. GT says:

    Yobbo, how about Rule Three-oh-three. Forested location of your choice. Kick-off at 0200 hours.

  31. Yobbo says:

    That Jacqui chick is great.

    I particularly liked this line:

    The above list explains why I typically receive 50-100 (sometimes more) responses whenever I post personal ads.

    Also that, you know, you have a vagina and lots of men like to stick things in those.

    She really seems like an Ayn Rand disciple who would have the utility-maximising amount of sex, but always remember to put her rubber gloves on first.

    Also she’s about a 5/10. And that’s before I apply the -2 modifier she gets for being white.

    Just yet another western girl who thinks the world revolves around her vagina. I hope she falls in love with a meth addict who beats her.

  32. Rococo Liberal says:


    A year or so back, I found out that a friend of mine was a devotee of your site. He too has a fixation on what he and his fellow chartered acounting buddies refer to as “rice,” i.e. he won’t even consider a caucasian woman as a partner. In the last few years he has dated a handful asian women of less than sensational socio-economic status.

    His friends put his predilection down to the fact that has a very low opinion of himself.

  33. Rococo Liberal says:


    Thanks for the link to Jacqueline Mackey Whatsy Finebum. I’ve sent it to quite a few people in the office and we are all having a great laugh over her incredible earnestness. She is almost left wing in her utter lack of any humility or sense.

  34. Jc says:

    Are you serious? You actually don’t like that chick? I reckon she’s great. She seems she has it all together. No one has to support her and she likes sex and says she won’t be passive about it. She also seems to have a brain and would be great company. If I wasn’t happily married, i would apply and keep my fingers crossed. She’s drop dead gorgeous to boot.

    I think Tim Lambert snuck this one in because he’s interested, but like me unfortunately happily married.

    Don, I was kidding about O’Rourke being the only person to read. He’s actually very funny and makes good points too. He makes his points through humor, which is something very few people can do.

  35. Robert says:

    unfortunately happily married


  36. Jc says:

    ” So you put a “No Fear”

  37. Jc says:

    Just a turn of phrase. Delete ” unfortuntely” as it was an unfortuante word choice.

  38. Yobbo says:

    In the last few years he has dated a handful asian women of less than sensational socio-economic status.

    What possible relevance is the socio-economic status of your partner? It may be a consideration for women, but never has been for men. In fact, most men prefer their partner to be of a lower status than themselves.

    I suppose you only date lawyers?

    His friends put his predilection down to the fact that has a very low opinion of himself.

    His friends (and you) are racists then. As if preferring asian women is a case of settling for second best?

    BTW A well-respected Australian blogger has a daughter who is asian. I guess if anyone wanted to date her (in the very distant future), it would be because they must have a low opinion of themselves to want to lower themselves to her level?

    You’re a dickhead.

  39. Ummm, Yobbo, you just bit big time. Rococo Liberal is Toryhere over at Catallaxy. He’s a tax lawyer, and he loves to shit-stir.

    Just sayin.

  40. Jason Soon says:

    Yikes, I was making a few laddish comments in the spirit of the title of this post but now this debate is getting ugly.

    Yobbo is entitled to his preferences, leaves more hot semitic, slavic and celtic chicks for the rest of us.

  41. Chris Lloyd says:

    “I’m willing to bet $500 that no other Australian blogger could beat me in a fight. Any rules you like.” Obviously didn’t think that one through did ya Yobbo? I’ll sneak into your bedroom one night and wack you over the head with a piece of 2-by-4. My rules.

  42. Jason Soon says:

    The smell of testosterone in this locker room is overpowering …

  43. Yobbo says:

    I hope you do Chris. Make sure you make the first one a good one.

  44. Jc says:

    why a fight? Why are you so interested in getting into a fight. How about you and Don in a Ultimate Fight contest?

  45. Jason Soon says:

    If Don had any sense, he’d nominate Chris Lloyd to take his place.

  46. Jc says:

    This is so funny…. Yobbo. Where did that come from? You got to tell us how you got from talking about this post to fighting all comers.

  47. Yobbo says:

    I was under the impression that we were having some kind of celebrity battle-of-the-ideologies and I was the nominated fighter for the libertarian team.

    If nobody actually wants to fight I will go back to blogging and red-baiting if that’s alright with everyone.

  48. That’s what I thought for a bit, Yobbo, but then it sort of fizzled.

  49. Don Arthur says:

    “If Don had any sense, he’d nominate Chris Lloyd to take his place.”

    No, I nominate Dr Troppo. He wants nude wrestling in strawberry jelly. Would a venue in Northbridge be OK?

  50. Dr Troppo says:

    Ah ha! A worthy opponent.

  51. Fyodor says:

    Bless your DDT-laced skeeter net, Timbo. That link to Jacqui Mackie Paisley Passey just made my day. You’ve gotta love America – the only place where religiously libertarian nutjobs can say they’re atheist with a straight face.

    My fave quote (aside from the Bildungsroman balderdash):

    “I used to be a fat unattractive college dropout who couldn’t get her life together. Now I’m thin, attractive, and successfully self-employed after graduating. You can make yourself over into a higher-quality man capable of winning a higher-quality woman too.”

    As suspected, this blog is a masterpiece of reinvention by a deeply insecure litte girl. Forget the meth addict, Yobbo [noice, BTW], this girl is one roll of the d20 away from wallowing in Weltschmerz.

    And unbunch those panties, oh Brave Libertarian Warriors, this is one of the photos she didn’t show so prominently.

    (Probably) A nice girl, but hopelessly deluded. I shudder to think what some of the blogging femmes with sharper claws than moi would do to this chick – probably kick her elf-loving bony arse back into “basic” D&D, or *shudders* Magic: The Marketing.

  52. Jc says:

    What a difference from pic to another. Everything I said I take back and back-peddle at 100 mph. Lighting is everything in pic world I guess.

    “drop the hat, honey”.

    Nice find, Fearless, who’s quickly become blogdom’s version of Don Chip…..”keep the bastards honest”.

  53. Jc says:

    “this is one of the photos she didn’t show so prominently.” Says Fearless.

    Unlike you to miss this one.

    The “excitment’ shtik is frightening after having read the list of demands.

  54. Yobbo says:

    Yeah, I renege on my previous appraisal. The girl is a minger. The sad thing about western society is that girls who look like that too often think they are god’s gift to men.

  55. Jason Soon says:

    I too must retract from my overzealous defence.
    Fyodor, you muckraker …

  56. Steve Edney says:

    Sorry to go off topic, but what’s happenned to Catallaxy Jason?

  57. Jc says:


    What’s wrong with gals on left side of the country? You really have it in for western gals these days?

  58. Ken Parish says:

    I had never heard Yobbo’s term “minger” before, so I looked it up in the Urban Dictionary. … edited in the interest of taste and harmonious gender relations.

  59. Jc says:

    Gee! great Ken. Thanks for that….. Not.
    Here’s hoping the LP gals read your interesting find and everyone on the thread gets splattered with the same pump action 12 gauge. All we need is Edney to report back. Leave me out of this one thanks.

  60. Jason Soon says:

    Oh boy,
    what JC said. I hope this doesn’t lead to another one of those metablogging exchanges like the infamous ‘Club F******’ one.

    Steve Edney, we have been experiencing server problems but should be back up soon.

  61. Jc says:

    Kim, Anna, tig Tog.

    I personally like all gals whether they are mingers or beautiful Emily Blunt looka likes

    Just letting you know as it was Fyador, Yobbo and lambert who started this gal abuse thing while Edney and I were desparately trying to stop them. So please, when you get weathergirl do a hit piece on the good-for-nothings leave Edney and I out, as we are innocent.

    Soon is as gulity as shit, which i am sure Crikey would only be too pleased to read to do another catallaxy spread.

  62. Jc says:


    Someone tie up Edney. He looks like he’s doing a runner and reporting back to the coven. He gets out we’re screwed.

  63. c8to says:

    thats the most content free post i’ve ever read…

  64. c8to,
    You have not been to leftwrites then, have you.

  65. Zoe says:

    You flatter yourselves.

  66. Fyodor says:

    Well nobody else will…

  67. Jc says:

    that’s a pretty offensive comment against the rest of us well adjusted adults, fearless. Forgive me for saying so but isn’t that a case of serious projection?

  68. Fyodor says:

    Who said I was including you and not me? You may be flattering yourself there, JC.

    Also, you missed out the “Leftist” before “projection”.

  69. Jc says:

    “Also, you missed out the “Leftist”

  70. Fyodor says:

    Anyway, I have begun to think there is no such thing and leftist thinking. These days, I’m told, that description is simply is far too “simplistic”

  71. Jc says:

    Ummm, should be:

    “Anyway, I have begun to think there is no such thing AS leftist thinking.”
    Shocking edit.

    No no no.

    We all mature with age, Fearless. I woke up one morning and realized there was no such thing as leftists. It was like a giant chip had been lifted from my shoulder. It was like a mystical realization that I had it all wrong.

    ….Just like the thread of doom where you finally got me to realize through you amazing intellectual prowess that there was no such thing as asset price inflation.

    Like then i knew I had almost everything wrong in my mind so I grew a pony tail, beard, joined the progessive movement and learned to love brazen money supply growth.

    Thanks, Fearless.

  72. Fyodor says:

    Shit, that IS you. You had me worried for a moment there.

  73. Jc says:

    You have me worried too, Fyador, if you confuse me with the Munnchkin

  74. Jc says:

    when are you gals gonna do a naked knitting circle with pics? you can’t keep us guessing, otherwise I find it hard you’re all together some place in your birthday suits and all. Youse all need to prove it.

  75. Kimberella says:

    Certain commenters have seen pics, Joe.

  76. Jc says:

    Huh! Who? Surely not just mark the harem king.

  77. Fyodor says:

    Damn. That’s disappointing.

    Both Amazoe and the Pyrate Queen have turned up and neither had a go at Jacqui Passey (sheesh, say that really quickly seven times). What a pair of soft cocquettes.

    Ou sont les noiseuses d’antan?

  78. Zoe says:

    Please Fyodor, there’s no sport in that that woman. I mean really.

    And Joe – I’ve seen Kim’s pix. Lots of them. They’re VERY nice.

  79. Jason Soon says:

    FTR it was Fyodor who went on the unsporting angle of trashing this woman. He and Tim Lambert.

  80. Zoe says:

    Oh, I read it all. I have no problem with someone who makes a post like hers copping a pasting.

    Although nobody tell Yobbo she used to run a poker blog, too – it might bugger up his ratings system.

  81. Fyodor says:

    “Trashing” is a bit strong, Jase. I merely provided the fuller perspective she hadn’t – an “unsporting” hobby you share, IIRC.

  82. Jc says:

    Agree with Jason, Gals. Feel free to heap into these two.

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