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The 24 Types Of Libertarians at Trader’s Narrative

The 24 Types Of Libertarians

When I was younger, one of the foolish things I did was to actually read and finish Atlas Shrugged. Sadly, too little recognition is given to the fact that many of the seeds of the current economic crisis were planted by Ayn Rand and cultivated by her minions like Alan Greenspan over decades.

In an ongoing campaign to alienate my remaining 7 readers, this comic was just too hilarious to not pass along:

24 types of libertarians
Source: Barry Deutsch

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31 Responses to “The 24 Types Of Libertarians”  

  1. 1 nunya

    Sorry to say but this is really the “liberals” guide to “libertarians”. Very typical slanted views that miss each and every point on count.

    No worries, I still have you in my “read daily” tab

  2. 2 hugo

    I didn´t read Rand´s book and I consider myself a moderated european libertarian.

    Just wanted to comment I don´t think this crisis have been created by the “neo-liberalism” or something like that.

    i will not argue against Soros saying market control itself, but I will accept crisis not as bad as people think. What most people fail to understand is that crisis is inherent to capitalism. Crisis are good, to fire the ineficient and boost the eficient. But the electoral system don´t like crisis cause that mean lose next electoral process. So, the politicians (of any ideology) manipulate the entire world to avoid an small crisis in the short term, but creating the BIG crisis in the long term.

    I also will continue reading your blog :-)

  3. 3 libertine

    Come on –

    Murray Rothbard is an exemplar of Ayn Rand’s economics, not Alan Greenspan!

    Alan was considered a public policy wonk wantabe as far back as 1982 when it was clear he would transmute any form of socialism into the language of “free markets” to join the oligarchy. We all considered him a sell out to the Monetarists (who have everything to do with Central Banking, Tax Policy and Corporatocracy masquerading as Free Markets and NOTHING to do with freedom).

    You are clearly confused about the root causes of our current problems and about the personalities and policies of the central planners who are to blame. Of course, Greenspan is one of the asses who started the fires of hell on earth, but he is no Libertarian – he is more of a luciferian like Bill Clinton who signed the Commodities Moderization Act making the creation of new forms of Debt/Money derivatives possible and thereby LEVERAGING the monetary base beyond any hope of ever deleveraging it!

    Calling Alan Greenspan a Libertarian is like calling Lloyd Blankfein a philanthropist!

    The solutions (and the reasons why you are wrong about the Libertarians having anything to do with this mess) can be found in Murray Rothbard’s, A History of Money and Banking…

    I doubt that you did read Atlas Shrugged, but if you did then Rothbard’s History should take you a short weekend of effort.

    Please stop vilifying innocent ideologies that have NEVER been applied and please stop demonizing Libertarians who have never had a representative to call their own!

    How an un-represented minority in American Politics could have had Alan Greenspan as their spokesperson escapes me.

    What a stupid man you must be.

  4. 4 Babak

    libertine, Greenspan self-identifies himself as a libertarian and has done so repeatedly. Here is the now infamous exchange that clearly explains his ideological roots:

    REP. HENRY WAXMAN: The question I have for you is, you had an ideology, you had a belief that free, competitive — and this is your statement — “I do have an ideology. My judgment is that free, competitive markets are by far the unrivaled way to organize economies. We’ve tried regulation. None meaningfully worked.” That was your quote.

    You had the authority to prevent irresponsible lending practices that led to the subprime mortgage crisis. You were advised to do so by many others. And now our whole economy is paying its price.

    Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?

    ALAN GREENSPAN: Well, remember that what an ideology is, is a conceptual framework with the way people deal with reality. Everyone has one. You have to — to exist, you need an ideology. The question is whether it is accurate or not.

    And what I’m saying to you is, yes, I found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is, but I’ve been very distressed by that fact.

    REP. HENRY WAXMAN: You found a flaw in the reality…

    ALAN GREENSPAN: Flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works, so to speak.

    REP. HENRY WAXMAN: In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working?

    ALAN GREENSPAN: That is — precisely. No, that’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I had been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.

    Every single irony meter started smoking and exploded of course when the Chair of the Fed, who regulates and sets monetary policy just as Communist committees set the price of potatoes, goes on to say and believe that regulation is bad and that the market system should be unfettered. It is remarkable that Greenspan’s cranium has been able to contain so much cognitive dissonance without cracking.

    So yes, I understand why you wish to disown Greenspan. However, his words and actions speak for themselves and betray him as a libertarian. The funny thing is that when he was the ‘Maestro’ libertarians were all too eager to embrace him. Now that reality has disgraced and soiled his reputation, libertarians wish to have nothing to to with him, as if by ostracizing him, they are somehow erasing the fact that he persistently pursued his libertarian ideology in setting monetary policy.

  5. 5 hugo

    Greenspan is not libertarian. Maybe he like to say it and he write about it.

    But a central banker who was able to change interest rates is not a libertarian.

    In fact, central bank should not exist for a libertarian….is an oxymoron.

    Don´t mind his words, just his facts, and he practiced central planned economy.

  6. 6 joy

    I second that.

    Libertarian Central Planner is an oxymoron.

    Greenspan was the comissar in charge of fixing the price of money. As far as I know Price Controls are not a very free market thing to do…..

    In other words… A.G. did, consistently, the opposite of what he proclaimed. Like any other self-serving politician. That he managed to fool superficial americans into believing him libertarian… just a bonus for the establishment.

  7. 7 nunya


    A lot of people self identify themselves as alot of things. Doesn’t make it so.
    It matters what you do … not what you say you are or do.
    I second what Joy said.

    It is kind of like Bush calling himself a conservative. Sure sure.

  8. 8 joy

    How do you reconcile….
    “the Chair of the Fed, who regulates and sets monetary policy just as Communist committees set the price of potatoes”

    With this?
    “However, his words and actions speak for themselves and betray him as a libertarian. ”

    If his word and actions were contradictory… the either the former or the latter “identified” him… but surely not both?

    Logic fail.

  9. 9 Babak

    nunya and Joy, as you can see from the quote above and from the history of his chairmanship, Greenspan refused to act as a regulator based on his belief that markets should be left alone and that the best regulation is no regulation. What is that, if not the basic tenet of libertarianism philosophy?

    ugh, and he’s on CNBC this morning spinning desperately trying to salvage his rotted reputation… why not just admit when you’re wrong?

    Might want to check out this video (David Harvey on the Crisis of Capitalism)

  10. 10 joy

    Babak… you’re telling me he refused to lower interest rates to 1% in 2001? and leave them there for almost 2 years?

    Central Banking IS regulation, something of which Greenspan was keenly aware, wrote about.

    If you read his essay “Gold and Economic Freedom” (1966).. you would see that he did the opposite of all that he so happily proclaimed to believe.

    Truth it, he sold out in the 1980s… as anyone who’s actually read some libertarian literature and commentary knows. Of course, he was richly rewarded for it by the establishment.

  11. 11 Jude

    The Island: Why do people think that the government is giving them something? I pay taxes, they’re not giving me anything or supplying any service I haven’t already paid for. My local/state taxes and vehicle registration pay for roads. My property taxes pay for schools. And I pay thousands of dollars each year into SS even though it won’t be around when I retire. Thanks government!

  12. 12 Babak

    Joy, the job of the Fed is more than just pulling a lever to set the FF rate. They are a regulator but under Greenspan’s long tenure they so ignored this duty that very few people today readily acknowledge the regulatory role of the Fed.

  13. 13 joy

    As far as libertarians are concerned… the FED has no legitimate job. It is economic central planning, the fith plank of the communist manifesto.

    If you knew that, you might understand why Greenspan was rejected by libertarians a long, long time ago…. only Republican pundits called him “The Maestro”. But I guess FOX news libertarianism is the only type that most people are exposed to… sigh

  14. 14 Jim

    Babak, I agree with those that suggest that Greenspan’s actions are completely contrary to the teachings of Ayn Rand and libertarianism in general. I second the earlier suggestion that you read Rothbard. I think you will find it interesting, and maybe change your mind on how much of the current problems are related to libertarian ideas.

  15. 15 libertine

    Babak - you prove to have as much capacity for CD as AG!

    People can CALL themselves anything they want, it doesn’t make them something they are not.

    HUGO above has it right. YOU, on the other hand, Babak, are a babbling idiot!

    As for AG’s policies being libertarian, how stupid are you really?

    Easy money policies and ZERO interest rates ARE Keynesian or even Friedman-ite, hardly Libertarian.

    Stop grinding the axe and live in reality.

    Oh, and read Murray Rothbard. Or read SOMETHING rather than having claimed to.
    (Calling yourself a reader doesn’t make it so! lol)

    Enough of this waste of free speech!

  16. 16 Babak

    libertine, as I pointed out repeatedly, it is not Greenspan’s easy money policies that indict him as a libertarian but his extremely close kinship with Ayn Rand herself as well as his explicitly stated values of ‘laissez faire’ economics and his refusal to regulate as his job dictated. In any case, when someone stoops to ad hominem as you have, they have clearly nothing else to offer.

  17. 17 hugo

    Libertine, zero interest rate are not keynesian. Even it can be libertarian….just if a free market set that price.

    Is impossible to discuss what is a liberalism in a few words (in the classic way of say it, for americans libertarians).

    Liberalism is not 100% laissez faire and regulation is not against liberalism. Liberalism as I understand it is about intelligent and limited regulation. Is not white or black, is a grey.

    Also you can be liberal (american: libertarian) and be in favor of a universal healthcare and education, that if you think a kid is not responsible for his parents, as I think or you think someone can have problems to pay for their heatlh.

  18. 18 libertine

    Babbling Babak - guilt by association is it. AG had a close relationship with Ayn Rand so he must believe everything she believed. What a crock .

    I have friends, very close friends, and former academic advisors who are born again Christians. At one time I entertained their ideas and listened to them but then discarded their ideas as silly but kept the friendships. We discuss things like the lack of a history for the existence of Jesus and they never once have told me I’m going to hell. I’m sure you think different.

    By your logic, I must believe in the Rapture and Armageddon!

    As for Greenspan’s professing to believe in laissez-faire economics, as you call it, what of it. It’s as real as Richard Nixon saying “I am not a crook”.

    “…by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:20

    You see, I can quote historical science fiction - it doesn’t make me Jesus!

    You really are a fool.

  19. 19 Fatty

    So from this cartoon, we can infer that liberals think:

    -Government coercion is how we all get along!

    -Sticking to principles is naive and nothing to be admired. Lie instead. Works for us!

    -Knowing actual facts about an issue and throwing them in my face makes you an arrogant prick.

    -You can’t be against big corporations AND big government (because it’s not like they ever work hand in hand, right?)

    -Fearing the power of big government is just paranoid! I mean, look at history! What could go wrong?

    -Paying taxes is “giving to others” (as opposed to charity, which is just a tax dodge.)

    -Using basic public resources (you helped pay for) puts you on the hook for all the other crap government does.

    -Keeping money you earned is *exactly* the same as stealing from the poor, and trashing the environment.

    -Markets don’t work - unless there is somebody to tell everybody what to do.

    -History and original intent is irrelevant when discussing the Constitution. It’s how you FEEL that’s important, see?

    -The very idea of shooting a gun makes me pee in my pants.

    -Libertarian ideas do sound pretty good, but… how will we know what to do if Nanny doesn’t tell us?

    -Big government is the only thing standing between you and an early death by foodborne botulism, which causes an average of 22 cases a year and has a mere 90-95% survival rate.

    -Sure I use drugs, but I don’t want to make them LEGAL. That would be anarchy.

  20. 20 Fatty

    The 24 Types of Leftist

    1.) The College Idiot
    “Peace out, dude!”
    (guy in Che shirt w/ goatee holding up a peace sign - Obama poster in the background)

    2.) The State Socialist
    “Death to the capitalist pigs!”
    (guy in Che shirt w/ goatee holding a machine gun)

    3.) PETA Member
    “If fish kill other fish for food, it’s natural. If humans kill fish for food, it’s a fish holocaust! Save the fish!”

    4.) Briefly Tempting
    (same as the libertarian frame)

    5.) Self-Loathing
    “I whip myself every night for my white skin and my grandfather’s errors.”

    6.) The Race Baiter
    “Obama is overstepping his…” - “RACIST!”

    7.) The PC Warrior
    “Don’t call them black - the new term is ‘melanin-gifted’”

    8.) Bizarrely Hypocritical
    “I don’t mind the Patriot Act and the war, as long as my party is in charge”

    9.) Hollywood
    “Because I’m famous, I think people really find my political opinions insightful.”

    10.) Hipster
    “Man, chicks love guys who look cool and vote for Obama.”

    11.) Bushwhacker
    “It’s Bush’s fault Obama is incompetent. Bush is such a monkey!”

    12.) The Entitled
    “Don’t you dare cut MY benefits!” *which I don’t pay for

    13.) Limousine
    “I deeply care about the riffraff, as long as I don’t have to live near them or see them”

    14.) Paul Krugman
    “I get these vivid sexual dreams about John Maynard Keynes every night.”

    15.) Class Envious
    “But millionaires MUST be stealing from high school dropouts and starving artists.”

    16.) Dumpster Anarchist/Gutterpunk
    “F* capitalism! It’s excess is the only reason I’m still alive.”

    17.) Revisionist Historian
    “Margaret Sanger — racist?! — blah blah blah, I can’t hear you!”

    18.) The Stoner
    (same as the libertarian frame)

    19.) The Queer Feminist
    “If you don’t spell it with a ‘y’ than you are a patriarchal pig!”
    (girl w/ pierced nose and “Womyn” t-shirt)

    20.) Anti-Corporate
    “I hate corporations…Hey, you wanna go to Whole Foods?”

    21.) Naive
    “If government could regulate everything, we wouldn’t have any problems.”

    22.) Unionist
    “We will fight for workers rights by forcing them to join our union!”

    23.) The Wannabe Intellectual
    “Only by the destabilization of the capitalist dialectic shall we understand the post-structuralist future.”

    25.) The True Believer
    “If grant-seeking environmental organizations say global warming exists, it MUST!”

    26.) George Soros
    “Okay, guys - just ignore my destabilization of currencies, where I plunged millions into poverty so I could become a billionaire.”

    27.) Gunshy
    “Guns oppress women. They should just try to talk potential rapists out of it.”

    28.) Compromiser
    “Democrats are such corporate sellouts. I’m still going to vote for them.”

  21. 21 Steffen

    @Fatty: ;-) Too true.

    Inspired by a recent german political cartoon, I’d like to add No. 29):

    29.) The Ivory-Tower liberator of the suppressed masses
    “Welcome to the founding congress of the marxist-trotzkyist workers party! 1st item on our agenda: Is anybody present who either knows a worker, or knows somebody who might know a worker?”

  22. 22 Babak

    Instead of polarizing into extremes, how about using reason and occupying the middle ground? I like markets but I also see the usefulness of government and regulation. I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.

  23. 23 Fatty
  24. 24 Steffen

    @Babak. Sure, of course. My personal preference for government : private sector would be ~ 30 : 70 (of GNP or similiar) There are certain things which just don’t work with private enterprise.

    My favourite example is GPS: This would never ever be so widespread in use today when it would have been a project by say … Microsoft.

    And GPS is not ‘already up there’, as some people tend to think. The whole system needs constant maintenance. The satellites need to be replaced in a rhythm of around 6-9 months per new satellite. The USAF operates 5 ground stations to track and correct the trajectories of each satellite, 24h, 7 days a week. Would the US government cease to maintain the GPS system, the system quality would deteriorate immediately, and (my guess) GPS would become unusable after around 2-3 weeks.

    So when anybody says “Government just cannot do *anything* right!” I reply: “Well… do you enjoy your car navigation system?”

    The other extreme are of course crazy leftists who only see exploitation in any corporate activity and would nationalize every enterprise, making everybody dependent on the state. Not considering that the socialist states were among the most horrible exploiters ever in human history, together with sub-optimal economic efficiency.

  25. 25 Steffen

    @Sam: And the same argument applies to you. You are also making some assumptions. You are making the assumption that we would be much wealthier without any of government. That is not proven, but you obviously take this for granted.

    As we don’t have much examples for countries adhering to the libertarian ideal (except sub-optimal examples like Somalia, where no functioning government exists) , the discussion whether the state is always wrong and wastes its resources; or whether there are really some fields of life where we need a state: This discussion must stay academic. We don’t know. We only know that a socialist nanny state is a very bad idea; see the former communist bloc. But that does not mean automatically that no government at all would make us all wealthier and happier.

    I only wanted to say one thing with my example:

    GPS exists. GPS is a fine thing. The GPS signal is provided by the government, for free, to the whole world. A lot of free and highly innovative enterprise thrives on the existence of GPS. Ergo: Something exists where government did not a bad job.

    You then somehow manage to make the leap from GPS to the whole of government, its military machine, all of its unproductive agencies and so on. Such a line of argument is called “faulty generalization”.

  26. 26 jsp9999


    I could see why libertarianism can never succeed anywhere but in one’s head or on archaic paper. It’s quite similar like communism or fantasy novel. It looks fancy, noble, fresh and exceptionally intellectual yet once you start to build on the concept then suddenly it’s a ghetto. People who profess they are libertarians themselves call out those who go into “establishments” as sellout… It’s baffling to me how any single human being live without any sort of establishment

    I view American politics as a grand show biz but one thing I applaud is American voters rejecting this massively feel-good idealism consistently.

  27. 27 Fatty


    Just so you can see what libertarians think of Greenspan:

    Parallel Lives: Liberty or Power?

    “This is the tale of two economists who lived parallel lives, and then pursued two different and contrary goals. One was devoted to liberty and one was devoted to the state. ”
    Rothbard vs. Greenspan

  28. 28 Fatty

    “He met every crisis with the same tactic: he opened the monetary spigots.
    He did this again and again through his long tenure. Monetary pumping was his one weapon. Think of the occasions: the Mexican debt crisis of 1996, the Asian Contagion of 1997, Long-Term Capital Management in 1998, the Y2K crisis of 1999 and 2000, the dot com collapse, and finally the 9-11 terrorist incidents in Washington and New York. Oh, and never forget that Greenspan, on November 13, 2001, received the Enron Prize. “

  29. 29 Davi Barker - SF Muslim Examiner

    The Libertarian Rebuttal

    The 24 types of Authoritarian

  30. 30 MachineGhost

    The problem with libertarianism is it is a logically inconsistent position in a system of statism. If Greenspan was an example of letting sleeping dogs lie to not compromise his hands-off ideaology, the end result was arguably worse than competent regulation. Rent seeking behavior is endemic to statism. Ignoring it does not make it disappear.

    Libertarians simply need to grow up and graduate onto anarchy to make a logically consistent case for organizing society. Failing that, society is doomed to asymmetrical paternialism.

  31. 31 Samantha

    As a 13 year old, I can’t say I know everything about our current economic situation (not that anyone can.) However, what I do know is that the opinion that Ayn Rand has a good deal of influence behind the current economic “crisis” is pure bullshit. Recently, I just finished reading Atlas Shrugged with my father. It’s an intriguing book, and I’ve gotten life-changing insight from it. If someone chooses to believe something, that is their own decision- the author of a book is not responsible for the actions of their readers. The comic is ridiculous, it’s sad that anyone would publish something like this. I don’t deny that there are retards out there that claim to be Libertarians. But these are minorities, and to generalize and categorize all Libertarians by these standards is foolish. There is no black and white when it comes down to generalizing the opinions of people.

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