Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Libertarianism, Broken Bones and Dress Codes

The following exchange took place on the Circle Rothbard private thread.

CR member 1:

Very sorry to have missed this one; I would love to have heard Justin.  I broke my arm on Friday in Ohio, and am not able to dress appropriately for public appearances.  I see an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow, so maybe I’ll be ambulatory by the next meeting.

CR member 2:

This is unacceptable. We’re libertarians. You could have come as you are. There’s no particular dress code as far as we’re concerned (as long as you don’t wear white socks).

I hope you’re not in a lot of pain and we see you soon, appearing stylish or not.

 RW comment:

I am afraid I am going to have to disagree with you on this point. Simply because we are libertarians does not mean we are against discrimination, including based on clothing...

Libertarianism does not mean anything goes everywhere. It means the private property owner etc. gets to decide the rules for his property etc. This could involve a dress code.

As Justin Raimondo writes in the introduction to Murray Rothbard's Never A Dull Moment: A Libertarian Look at the Sixties

Although himself a traditionalist, Rothbard always maintained that there could be no such thing as a “libertarian” culture: those who wanted to “live liberty” were living under a delusion, namely the entirely false idea that some particular “lifestyle” could be derived from the central axioms of what is only a political philosophy and not a “way of life.” 


  1. Which is worse? Either that "libertarian lifestyle" stuff or the failure to recognize that there are countless sanctions that may be applied to jerks whose behavior does not rise to the level of a violation of the NAP. What do we do about people who mistreat animals? Don't sell them food or water. Don't let them on your private streets. Since war and poverty will have been abolished, these seem like minor issues.

    Further, the "libertarian lifestyle" nonsense has precluded libertarians from any intelligent outreach to conservative religious types. Or "progressives" who hate guns. Each would be able to form their own private community with their own rules about drugs, guns and everything else.

    Libertarianism is always explained as the world being just like it is today (public streets and schools and all the rest) with gun nut meth cookers living next door and their kids going to the same school as your kids. With a smokestack next door.

    No one wants that and that's not technically what we are proposing. But that's the vision that is generally presented.

  2. I forgot to mention that the gun nut meth cookers next door would have a factory farm pig slaughterhouse and would have 24/7 pit bull and cock fights in the back yard.