Whenever I find clever political humor, I like to share with readers.
And because I’m confident in the superiority of liberty over statism, I’m even amused when I find jokes that target my libertarian philosophy. After all, only dour people are unable to laugh at themselves.
Indeed, I’m actually disappointed that I rarely find any good jokes about advocates of small government. I haven’t found any good anti-libertarian humor since this cartoon last January.
I can gladly report, though, that the drought has ended.
Writing for The New Yorker, Tom O’Donnell has some fun at the expense of libertarians.
He has an article on the adventures of a “Libertarian Police Department,” told from the perspective of a patrolman.
I was shooting heroin and reading “The Fountainhead” in the front seat of my privately owned police cruiser when a call came in. I put a quarter in the radio to activate it.
It seems that some bitcoins (much loved by libertarians) were stolen!
“…Somebody just stole four hundred and forty-seven million dollars’ worth of bitcoins.” The heroin needle practically fell out of my arm. “What kind of monster would do something like that? Bitcoins are the ultimate currency: virtual, anonymous, stateless. They represent true economic freedom, not subject to arbitrary manipulation by any government. Do we have any leads?”
The patrolman rushes to the scene, seeing if someone will pay to solve the crime.
Ten minutes later, I was on the scene. It was a normal office building, strangled on all sides by public sidewalks. I hopped over them and went inside. …“Now, which one of you punks is going to pay me to investigate this crime?” No one spoke up. “Come on,” I said. “Don’t you all understand that the protection of private property is the foundation of all personal liberty?” It didn’t seem like they did.
But our private sector libertarian cop eventually finds a suspect and tries to catch him while dealing with the daunting challenge of government-owned sidewalks!
“Stop right there!” I yelled as I ran. He was faster than me because I always try to avoid stepping on public sidewalks. Our country needs a private-sidewalk voucher system, but, thanks to the incestuous interplay between our corrupt federal government and the public-sidewalk lobby, it will never happen.
The suspect eventually is caught…and confesses that he is part of the “Ben Bernank” club.
…the man yelled, throwing down his weapon. “I give up, cop! I confess: I took the bitcoins.” “Why’d you do it?” I asked… “Because I was afraid…Afraid of an economic future free from the pernicious meddling of central bankers,” he said. “I’m a central banker.” …I shook my head. “Let this be a message to all your central-banker friends out on the street,” I said. “No matter how many bitcoins you steal, you’ll never take away the dream of an open society based on the principles of personal and economic freedom.” He nodded, because he knew I was right. Then he swiped his credit card to pay me for arresting him.
I suggest you read the entire article. It’s not very long, and it delivers some good jabs. Sort of like this collage about the 24 different types of libertarians.
But I suppose I should make a serious point at this stage.
The author is really mocking anarcho-capitalists (just like this Somalia video), yet I suspect that the vast majority of libertarians are in the small-government camp rather than the no-government camp. In other words, they wouldn’t mind a very small government that focused on matters such as life, liberty, and property.
So tracking down bitcoin thieves would be a legitimate function of government!
More specifically, the goal of libertarianism is to make government small and focused so it can effectively carry out its legitimate responsibilities.
P.P.S. To see if you’re an anarcho-capitalist rather than a small-government libertarian, take this online quiz.
P.P.P.S. Here’s another photo with the PotL. We’re outside of the Royal Palace and looking over Monaco’s yacht harbor.
Monaco is a very rich place and there is no income tax (just like the system that used to exist someplace else). One wonders whether our leftist friends will ever see the connection.