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08 November 2014 @ 02:37 pm
Libertarian misery poker  
So I was reading one of the cyberpunk image blogs I have on my RSS feeds (Flesh-coated Technology, for the curious), and a post popped up there that wasn't an image or a piece of tech news, but was instead a musing on how terrible the world was. Unlike most of the ones they reblog, though, this was one of those libertarian screeds about how come people don't care about the issues that are really important.

For example:
Here’s the truth about social justice and feminism. It’s a diversion. A smoke screen. Because if people ever realized exactly how bad things are, sexual and racial inequality would be the last thing on their minds. Women making 80 cents to a man’s dollar? How about the fact that fifty percent of your income is stolen at the point of a gun.
It goes on and on from there--you can read the rest here if you want.

Most the responses on Tumblr correctly point out that a) shockingly, it's possible to care about more than one thing at the same time and b) a lot of the problems there are related anyway. But the reason I'm writing about it is that the first thing the immediately leapt out at me is that all of it is complaining about issues that affect the (presumably white, straight, and male) author of the piece.

Nearly everything there is structured as, "You're worried about [issue that affects minorities and women]? What about the real [issue that could potentially affect straight white men]? Huh?! Why aren't you thinking of the real problems?!" I've noticed that in a lot of discourse over the years. Not just the focus on issues that affect them personally, which is pretty much a human thing and, while perhaps not laudable, shouldn't be condemned, but the whole "your worries are facile and dumb, you should worry about real problems, like the ones that might hurt me!" line of attack. It cropped up during the 2012 elections too, when some pollsters and commentators were baffled that women stubbornly refused to care about the economy as much as they were supposed to because they were carrying about reproductive rights.

The point about divide and conquer is somewhat well-taken, but see above about caring about more than one thing at a time. This kind of "your issues are just stupid fluff" line of criticism is part of why I find most libertarian thought so repulsive.

And if you're wondering why I'm blaming libertarians, it's that "stolen at the point of a gun" line. It's a dead giveaway.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: chipzel - Beyond the Cosmos
q99q99 on November 8th, 2014 11:06 pm (UTC)
Ugh, hate that stuff... especially as it's a fairly fundamental misunderstanding of taxes, and overlooks, hey, if we did not have collective investment in things like infrastructure, things would *suck*, you would not have food, let alone a stable currency to be taxed.

And even more especially because of the 'let's worry about my group over other groups. In fact, don't worry about other groups at all!' stuff.
nelcnelc on November 9th, 2014 04:28 am (UTC)
From the quote, I'm wondering how this guy thinks that no-one notices how much we get taxed. It's not exactly a secret when your PAYE income tax gets deducted on your wage slip (and/or you have to fill out a tax form at the end of the year), and sales tax is listed on your receipts, and the council send you a regular bill for local tax. Does he think he's particularly gifted mathematically?
dorchadasdorchadas on November 9th, 2014 03:29 pm (UTC)
Considering the kind of contempuous Wake Up, Sheeple! tone it's written in, I wouldn't be surprised if he thought we didn't notice. Because we're too busy working for equal rights to focus on what really matters, or something.