The image above was a tweet by Young Americans for Liberty made earlier today. This image got a lot of backlash from various non-libertarians — specifically right-wing populists, causing them to delete it.
Here’s what populist Scott Greer had to say:
So central planning gives us a nice, well-paved sidewalk while the free market gives us a dirt path?
Who’s supposed to be persuaded by this?
Another right-wing commentator named Lo-fi Central Planner said the following:
Yeah, I have a question: why does the free market sacrifice beauty, order and integrity in favor of brutal efficiency?
This got me thinking about one of the great projections of statism. Populists on both the left and the right love saying that libertarians are obsessed with nothing more than material goods, yet as Tom Woods has contentiously pointed out, what’s the first thing populists go to when they want to prove life is worse off?
Of course, readers of my blog know that I feel this “culture war,” is nothing but a distraction — simply something to blame on various failures in Republican policy so they don’t have to deal with the consequences. It’s nothing more than a waste of time so you don’t find out who’s really to blame for the failures of this country.
The recent push for “beauty in art/infrastructure/media/music/whatever,” has been nothing but the shiniest key — in a number of ways quiet literally. We’re now suppose to simply sacrifice actual use in the name of vague concepts like “beauty,” — I guess we’re suppose to serve our overlords in architecture.
I swear, sometimes it feels like these people just want us all to live in well made pods.
We see this all the time from populists. According to them, wages stagnated in the 1980s (they didn’t, but that’s another story), meaning people won’t be able to have as many material goods now as they could before then (again, this is wrong, but that’s a tale for another day). Yet, these people think libertarians are the ones who constantly value material goods above all else, despite that being the only thing these people ever talk about.
At the end of the day, people want more material goods. The question is rather they admit it or not.