damnum absque injuria

August 16, 2006

Tolerance Camp, Libertarian Edition

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:43 pm

Someone let Mona out of her cage, and now she’s calling to purge the libertarian movement of any self-described libertarians who commit the cardinal sin of disagreeing with her on such key issues as domestic policy, foreign policy, national security, which team to root for in this year’s World Series, or … what-EVER. She produces a long list of heretics, including me,* based on all manner of perceived slights, most (though not all) of which have nothing to do with libertarian principles one way or the other. That doesn’t matter, though; the important thing is that Mona considers herself a libertarian, and Mona disagrees with them, therefore, they must not be libertarian.

In the classical passive-aggressive style, Mona then calls for their shunning and ostracization of all non-Mona libertarians, even while pretending merely to ask an innocent question:

But in the meantime I propose to discuss two questions in light of what I’ve set forth above:

  1. Should any of these be ostracized and shunned from the libertarian ranks? and
  2. On the basis of what litmus test(s)?

If you’re like me, you might read the above “questions” (or very thinly-disguised statements) and wonder if Mona is in some kind of competition with this chick over who can get higher on herself (moron her here, here, here, here, here, here and here), or maybe against this chick over who can be the more sanctimonious, self-righteous twit in the name of an ideology ostensibly based on tolerance. But you’d be wrong to think that. Terribly wrong. Lest anyone mistake her call for purges as a sign of intolerance, Mona quickly assures us that she only wants to ostracize people tolerantly:

Careful now. We are a tolerant people, we libertarians. Let us only protect the integrity in, and utility of, having a coherent definition for the libertarian descriptor, in all its pristine glory.

Ah yes, we’re not trying to ostracize you just to be mean, we’re just trying to cleanse our quaint little movement of any impurities. And oh, by the way, the “impurity” is you. So when we ship you off to tolerance camp, please don’t take it like anything personal, even though it is.

But. No icepicks or bullets in the head, please.

No threats on anyone’s toddlers, either. Thank goodness for small favors.

*My unpardonable sin, in case you’re curious, lies either in (1) agreeing with Mona that Glenn Greenwald was wrong to dishonestly attack Jeff Jacoby for criticizing the word chickenhawk according to its commonly accepted definition (and one Greenwald himself has used in the past), or (2) disagreeing with Mona when she reflexively defended RyanGlenn for attacking another guy named Glenn on a matter Mona later admitted she knew nothing about.

UPDATE (8/17): Bwahahahahahahahahaha! That makes two Instalanches in one day. Thanks Glenn! To the other Glenn: jealous, much?

UPDATE x2 (8/18): Meanwhile, some Randroid preemptively purges me from Objectivism for insulting their dear leader, the Objector-in-Chief. In response, I declare today “intentionally misprounounce Ayn Rand’s first name day.” If you don’t know how to mispronounce her first name, not to worry, you’re probably doing so already.

UPDATE x3 (8/18): Lance offers a first-class fisking of Mona’s bologna.

UPDATE x4 (8/18): More dissembling here.

31 Responses to “Tolerance Camp, Libertarian Edition”

  1. SayUncle » Is it? Says:

    […] I think it depends on the particular Democrat. Harold Ford, Jr., for example, is running a campaign as a conservative. Remember folks, party over ideals. Unless you’re a neo-liberatarian. […]

  2. BR Says:

    I found Jacqueline Mackie Paisley’s website interesting.

    I think she’s a bit confused about “quality”, though. Being from Detroit, let me use the car analogy… She might win a JD Power “most appealing” award, but I suspect not the “quality” award. I know I’d have her back into the shop to adjust her attitude on a regular basis, which JD Power would consider a “defect”.

    Then again, as an atheist, she has no reason to recognize arrogance as a character flaw.

  3. nk Says:

    I always thought the libertarian litmus test was “Do you like a good pot-party with hookers?”

  4. craig mclaughlin Says:

    Good one, nk.

  5. ZZMike Says:

    I can’t claim much familiarity with the Libertairian movement, but I do think that until they stop putting forward candidates like Badnarik, they’ll never be taken seriously.

    Mona certainly seems to be another example.

  6. Dave Hardy Says:

    I think the only valid litmus test for ostracism is whether they agree with me. I change my opinions regularly, just to keep everyone on their toes.

  7. Peter Jackson Says:

    As anyone who reads Q&O regularly knows, Mona is simply an anti-war/anti-Bush troll. The fact is, foreign relations are the the most ambiguously defined/least doctrinaire aspect of libertarianism, especially with regards to war, and thus there is a broad spectrum of opinions being held by libertarians. This isn’t good enough for Mona, who has obviously struck upon the idea of using identitarianism to cull the herd of undesirables.


  8. Lance Says:

    Hey, xrlq,

    I am adding you to the blogroll and this to my post on Mona and her passions.

  9. A Second Hand Conjecture » Libertarians and the War Question: Hayeks revenge Says:

    […] Update:XRLQ adds his thoughts on Mona and her purge. […]

  10. Brian Macker Says:

    I voted for a few Libertarian presidential candidates but couldn’t bring myself to vote for Badnarik. Why? Because he refused to get a drivers license. What on earth does he think the owners of a private road are going to do, just let anyone on?

    I’ve lost count on how many times other libertarians have pointed their finger at me and scream “OOOOhah” like that scene from invasion of the body snatchers when they discover a human who has not been infected. Usually when I am talking about the military, or immigration. I’m an apostate on several issues like that.

  11. Cody Says:

    Hey, Bob, are you a….Monatarian?

  12. Seerak Says:

    Your second “this chick” is broken. It should lead to this “self-righteous twat in the name of an ideology ostensibly based on tolerance. ”

    “Tolerance” was never Ayn Rand’s thing.

    If you are going to engage in sophomoric smears, at least target them accurately.

  13. ubu Says:

    Do what I do. Chuck the whole thing and call yourself a Jacksonian.

  14. Kevin Murphy Says:

    Good luck to Mona on organizing Libertarians. I think she misses the point entirely.

  15. Mark Says:

    What is it about Libertarians that prevent them from getting elected? Yes, I know getting Libertarians to cooperate on a platform is like herding cats. But, I get so tired of (at least my local ones)Libertarians chasing away perfectly good potential members or candidates because they aren’t ACTUALLY Libetarians, don’t you know. THEY are always a Republican/Democrat/who knows what trying to take over the party and compromise Libertarian principles.
    God forbid the party do ANY “big tent” ideas…they actually might get elected and have to put policies in place.

    Thanks for letting me rant, a neolibertarian imperialist warmonger, Lets take over their countries and impose liberatarianism!

  16. M. Simon Says:

    The Libertarian Party has a really big tent. It is a pup tent with room for two. That is often one too many. They are still arguing about who is the real Libertarian and who gets to sleep in the rain.

  17. tjic.com » Blog Archive » drive-by slander: I’m for it! Says:

    […] http://xrlq.com/2006/08/16/tolerance-cam… […]

  18. Ron C Says:

    Err, were you ever anything other than a pure Republican? Whatever the flaws with Mona’s litmus test, I don’t think you would fit into even the broadest definition of (L/l)ibertarian.

    [Err is right. I’m a registered Republican today, but was a doctrinaire, small-l libertarian and sometime big-L libertarian for many years before that. In 1992, I ran for California State Assembly as a Libertarian candidate, and garnered over 6% of the vote, enough to tip the race to the underdog. I’m less doctrinaire today, but still have strong libertarian leanings. What is the litmus test for your “broadest definition?” Agreement with you on Terri Schiavo and the supremacy of the judiciary? -X]

  19. Guy Montag Says:

    Sounds like ‘Mona’ is another twist on Eve Fairbanks of The New Republic and The Examiner.

    However, Fairbanks is a verb now.

    A funny propaganda item, not quite a Fairbanksing, is: Propaganda, not quite a Fairbanksing.

  20. Tim Says:


    I’m a Republican, with some libertarian sensitivities (or so I think, but maybe not, according to you all), and I think this ongoing navel contemplation, mental masturbation and purification ritual is rather funny. It’s kinda like university faculties arguing so strenuously over so little, as if anyone anywhere pays any attention to faculty senates whatsoever. It’s really pretty frivolous and, if you’re seeking power to influence public policy (that is the point, isn’t it?), rather counter-productive. And, given the angry debate over who is and who isn’t properly deemed a Libertarian, it seems to me you all have yet to rise to the level of political maturity demonstrated by the gang at Daily Kos – which should embarrass you all, but I suspect coming from a Republican you’ll denounce me, and then threaten to vote Democrat.

    Because we all know Democrats can’t wait to champion Libertarian ideas. Sheesh.

    Oh – here’s one more clue: Libertarians may call someone who drives without a license “our nominee,” but the rest of us call him a criminal. Food for thought…

  21. Hucbald Says:

    I’m confused. How can you cull a herd of libertarians? I mean, if we refuse to be cut out of the flock, nobody can force us to leave, so how could there possibly be any point to this exercise? Beyond that, since when were libertarians a schooling species of fish? (Trying for all of the group metaphors here.) If anything, libertarians all consider themselves to be the only voice of reason crying in the wilderness, and they basically trust nobody, including other libertarians (I fit that profile to a tee). Trying to lead libertarians into something resembling a movement is exactly like herding cats. Which is why I slam back a bracer of scotch, hold my nose, and vote for the party I think will do the least amount of harm (Almost exclusively the Republicans these days, VERY unfortunately). Every “Libertarian” candidate in history has been a sad joke (But it is a fact, and not my opinion, that nobody needs a license to drive, or plates on their vehicles: A man needed none of that crap 150 years ago to ride his horse and drive his buckboard, and we need none of it today. The mode of transport can change, but the rights of freedom of movement and freedom to controll your personal property DO NOT. Most all laws today are cynical money grabs designed to employ the maximum number of pigs, and line the pockets of the largest number of shysters).

    You see? I hate reading libertarian blogs because you all tic me off!


  22. Striving For Average » More On Political Labels Says:

    […] Evidently there’s a food fight over who is and is not a libertarian, and some think there should be an effort to cull the herd of those that don’t qualify. It’s entertaining when it happens, watching people fight over the definition of a label, and who should be allowed to use it. It’s also frustrating because it seems like that’s a huge amount of our political discourse these days. […]

  23. Charles Hueter Says:

    …an ideology ostensibly based on tolerance…

    Yes and no.

    Libertarianism certainly endorses individuals to tolerate individual differences among others. If your neighbor wears hot pink all the time, it would be “tolerant” to leave your aesthetic disagreement at the verbal level. It would be “tolerant” to debate racists rather than beat them up on sight.

    However, libertarianism is NOT based on tolerance because there are a few things (far more central to the philosophy) that cannot be tolerated. To those who’ve been listening to them speak rather than sneering and smearing, one of the most important of these is the prohibition on the initiation of physical force. Those who murder, rape, assault, steal, and defraud do not deserve tolerance in the above sense. Those who advocate those crimes don’t, either.

    So therefore, the litmus test isn’t about being holier-than-thou, it’s about determining which actions fail to uphold the non-aggression axiom, free market exchange in private property, and human reason (which I’d name as other crucial and, really, interdependent cores to the philosophy).

    People can label themselves what they want. What matters is the accuracy of those labels. What’s wrong with analyzing the claims people make regarding what political philosophy to which they adhere?

  24. Xrlq Says:

    Nothing, but there’s plenty wrong with doing so according to a standard that is comically overinclusive (in that it includes most liberal Democrats, few of whom are champions of individual liberty and many of whom are openly hostile to it) – and underinclusive (in that it excludes all libertarians who take national security seriously). The Mona test is a wonderful litmus test if all you’re trying to measure is the degree to which a given individual agrees or disagrees with Mona on her pet issue. It’s absolutely worthless for determining anything else.

  25. Charlie (Colorado) Says:

    I’d think its pretty obvious that if anyone is asking to be purged from libertarian-ism and shunned and ostracised by libertarians, it would be the authoritarian who is trying to set up organized purges and shunning.

  26. Inactivist Says:

    The “libertarians” Whose Prince has Come…

    It would seem that my guest post at Unqualified Offerings, initiating a discussion of what bottom-line principles a person would adhere to before they can be considered libertarian in any coherent sense of the word, has continued apace. Persons who s…

  27. Dave Munger Says:

    The first priority, if they want to maintain the integrity of libertarianism, is to stop letting a political party use the name of their philosophically pure intellectual movement.

  28. nk Says:

    Gus Van Horn seems like a nice guy. I didn’t have the heart to tell him how much Objectivism sounds like “Nietzsche for Girls”.

  29. Anwyn Says:

    On a somewhat unrelated note, what is it with the comments over there having “Anonymous Coward” in the “Name” field by default? That’s … inviting.

  30. Kim du Toit Says:

    X, if you’re a libertarian, then so am I.

    [exit, laughing]

  31. Iram hasan Says:

    injuria sine damnum means injury without damages
    damnum sine injuria means damages without injury

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