Slate magazine demonstrated a few days ago that they don’t know jack shit about libertarianism. The article is a long diatribe build almost entirely on made up “facts.” Instead of going through the article piece by piece and pointing out each of Slate’s numerous errors I’m going to stand on the shoulder of giants and let others who have gone before me point out the flaws in Slate’s article.
First we have a nice piece that explains the fact that libertarianism didn’t start in the 1970s as claimed by Slate but was alive and well before that under the name liberalism. The same article points to the fact that Ayn Rand did more to bring people to libertarianism than the supposed father of libertarian (according to Slate) Robert Nozick (whom I never actually heard of until I read Slates article strangely enough).
The following links were obtained from the previous so a heartfelt thanks goes out to the author, V.A. Luttrell. First the Cato institute has a nice piece destroying Slate’s claim that Nozick disavowed libertarianism.
Slate then went ahead and made a claim that Keynes (you know an article is worthless when it’s citing Keynes as an authoritative source on anything) said a rather nasty thing about Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. What Slate got wrong was that Keynes made the comment about Hayek’s Prices and Productions but actually wrote that he found himself in agreement with The Road to Serfdom. Oops.
Slate’s article then claimed that two of the fathers of libertarianism (you know besides the apparent father Nozick), von Mises and Hayek, were nothing but corporate shills. Unfortunately for Slate that isn’t true. Whoops again.
Although I feel the fact is self-evident apparently others do not. Slate wrote the usual and completely false claim that Libertarianism is composed of nothing but greedy individuals who care nothing for others. Once again this claim is false. The fact of the matter is the libertarian movement is an attempt to make all interactions between people voluntary instead of done at the point of a gun. Libertarianism is the abhorrence of violence and coercion which is made clear by the fact the foundation of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle.
Slate would do well to actually research libertarianism before making such blatant and false claims. Of course writing a factual critique wasn’t the point, I firmly believe the author knew damned well that he was printing false information and wanted nothing more than to slander the movement he hates so much. Too bad for the author that people who do follow libertarian philosophy don’t let such falsities go without challenge.