Similarly, I tend not to attend to putatively-intellectual libertarian polemicists. Freedom good, slavery bad is not a difficult math, and grinding through obvious arguments written in the style most likely to repel anyone who is not already fully encliqued strikes me a poor use of my time. I am lucky enough to know of a few reliable untouchables in the first group who unintentionally semaphore for me who is not worth bothering with in the second group, the putative-intellectuals.
Consequently, until today I had never read word one from the keyboard of Stephan Kinsella, who may or may not matter in the libertarian world of EZ-math problems ‘solved’ with outsized claims of profundity. Individualism is the politics of egoism. If you aren’t evangelizing egoism, you’re either spinning your wheels, at best, or you are pathetically snarking with the other losers at the web-equivalent of the 7-Eleven parking lot. Preaching to the choir amounts to a group-cohesion display, the dumb misleading the dumber, a colossal waste of time for everyone involved – especially me. Until people who already do love their lives and values learn why they must proudly uphold their self-adoration as the highest of virtues, they are, de facto, the unwitting foot-soldiers of their putative enemies. The issue is not politics, it is moral philosophy. Libertarian politics follows naturally and very easily from a correct understanding of the self as the cardinal value in the uniquely-human life, to the truth of which proposition this site and everything I have ever written is but a vast poetical footnote.
But I read Kinsella for the first time this morning because my friend Teri Lussier linked to an essay he wrote in 2009 offering up what he claims is a libertarian defense of gay marriage. Let’s do that math again: Freedom good, slavery bad. Not so, says Kinsella. With respect to gay marriage, and one may hope only with respect to gay marriage, more slavery is allegedly the ‘libertarian’ position. The entire argument is poor, rife with specious analogies, but it ends with the kind of shame-on-you! stunt Marxists pull as an unsubtle admission of intellectual bankruptcy. When you have nothing to say, say it with feeling.
I don’t care much about anything related to the gay agenda, since it is all camouflaged Marxism, alike unto feminism as a strategy for undermining the family as a redoubt against the über-state. I had forgotten that I have written about gay marriage in the past, making the actually-libertarian argument that the only freedom-loving solution to the problems caused by marriage and family laws is to repeal them entirely. If you think this is a profound observation, they’re just gonna love you at Reason magazine. Without intending to, I ended up making almost exactly the same argument with Teri today:
The philosophical argument for gay marriage is Marxist. As long as the family is a redoubt against the state, Marxism cannot overwhelm it, so the family must be undermined by plausible-sounding but ultimately specious claims, of which gay marriage is but one arrow in a bristling quiver.
The topical argument for gay marriage is rent-seeking, and Kinsella is all over that angle: Why don’t gay couples get ‘for free’ what straight couples get ‘for free’? This is just why-don’t-I-get-free-poison-too?!? liberalism, a political doctrine borrowed in its entirety from your dumbass dogs. The solution to slavery is to free the slaves, not to enslave the free. I don’t think it makes sense to call an appeal for increased state power libertarian.
Moreover: Focusing on a trivial issue that affects almost nobody while the state is plotting to enslave everyone is nothing but a shiny-toy diversion, an unlimited victory for the state. The best thing any of us can do for gay couples, straight couples and the UNcoupled is to get rid of the state. It is vile to increase its power, but it is a waste of finite time and intellectual and political capital to focus on the trivial while ignoring the essential.
Kinsella is preening for an acceptance from Marxists that he will only get while he is their reliable useful idiot. As soon as they’re done with him, he’ll get Christied good and proper, the fate of all stooges. We all know how this works. It would be interesting to look at his TV bookings in the immediate aftermath of his post. Betraying fundamental principles for short-term gain is how “thought leaders” get famous.
I know this is dear to you, but I really don’t know why. A marriage is not fully a marriage until there are children in the family, either born to it or adopted in. Before that, it’s an easily-terminated long date. To be gay and libertarian makes huge sense to me. Gay Marxists are the unwitting pilot lights for crematoria – so far without historical exception. Gay marriage is the canard-of-the-moment, a distraction devised to camouflage the construction of those death chambers.
And that, ultimately, is the point. If you crave freedom, evangelize egoism. If you long to perish under the jack-booted heel of a Marxist thug, join Stephan Kinsella in concocting specious pretexts for giving the thug-state even more power.