Saturday 7 January 2012

Monbiot swings fist at libertarianism, misses, ends in crumpled heap on floor in puddle of own urine

George Monbiot obviously hasn't learnt from his mistakes. He has again launched a feeble attack on libertarianism, using as a jumping-off point a piece by someone called Matt Bruenig, who is some kind of communist as far as I can tell. I may write something separate on him later, if I feel like playing whack-a-mole on his sixth-form level sophisms.

The attack from these two is based on the following:

A complete rejection of property rights.

A claim that property rights are untenable when faced by issues of environmental pollution.

A claim that because they are untenable, libertarians are forced to reject environmentalism.

On the first point; readers, please feel free to occupy and make use of George's palatial residence, seeing that, according to him, property rights are laughable. I suspect, if anyone of us were to move in, start watching his telly, eating the food out of his fridge, sleeping in his beds etc he would very swiftly rediscover his understanding of property rights, which, when he's sitting in his intellectual ivory tower, strangely deserts him.

On the second point, libertarian property rights with regard to environmental issues are not at all untenable, and actually provide the means to address such matters and bring redress where justice dictates. As I noted last time George decided to parade his hostile ignorance, it was the refusal of 19th century courts, i.e., the organs of the state, to uphold property rights with regard to industrial pollution on the spurious grounds of a collectivist 'greater good' which prevented the law from dealing with the issue, and, anecdotally, I pointed out to George how, in the socialist countries of the Soviet bloc, environmental degradation was often worse, due to them sharing George's collectivism and hatred for property rights.

On the third point, it is not the case that libertarians are constrained to reject environmentalism, only that we are constrained to address such matters from what we consider the correct and just starting point, that being individual liberty, property rights and the non-aggression principle.

Leaving aside the science for a moment, George Monbiot and those of the environmental movement who mill around his tattered standard, are so inherently hostile to libertarian ideas and so slavishly in thrall to an ideological mish-mash of collectivism, state-worship and neo-pastoral utopianism, that we are duty-bound to fight back against his poisonous views.

This would be the case, even if every doomsday prediction he trots out was 100% veritas, because the solutions he proposes are monstrously illiberal. What we would support are solutions that adhere to the principles I note above; individual liberty, property rights and non-aggression.

Yet again, Monbiot refuses to engage with actual libertarian philosophy and prefers to duff up a strawman version, which may satisfy his unthinking followers. It is, I suppose, somewhat gratifying that he has identified libertarianism as the main enemy, in other words, the most consistent and rational antidote to his sub-marxoid, misanthropic madness.

Hat tip: An Englishman's Castle

Cross-posted at Libertarian Home


Anonymous said...

This would be the same George Monbiot who owns his own home and some land in Wales would it? Fecking hypocrite!


Trooper Thompson said...

Do you know where that land is? Because it may be open to home-steading.

Anonymous said...

Hi Trooper. No I don't, but I'm sure reading a few articles about him and his smallholding will throw up some suggestions. I think he's also registered with Companies House so his address in Wales shold be on there.

Like Billy Bragg, these hypocrites need to be brought to heel.