Only The Sangfroid

Mark is of fair average intelligence, who is neither perverse, nor morbid or suspicious of mind, nor avid for scandal. He does live in an ivory tower.

These are his draft thoughts…

Quick Post: Animals more libertarian than cats

Senator David Leyonhjelm was elected to parliament because Coalition voters couldn’t distinguish between ‘Liberal Party’ and ‘Liberal Democratic Party’ on the giant table cloth ballot paper.  So it’s nice to know that he’s using this time to contribute to the improvement of public debate by penning an article, Cats are natural libertarians: nothing less than equality is acceptable to them.

But when George Orwell wrote in his novel Animal Farm that “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”, he could just as easily have had cats in mind instead of pigs. Cats will accept being equal, but nothing less is acceptable. It’s very libertarian of them. [Source]

It is interesting that Senator Leyonhjelm notes that the animal that reflects libertarianism is a dire threat to the environment, and her urges hunters (no doubt a counterpart to state authorities) to shoot cats.  But there are animals which better reflect libertarian values.


What animal better reflects the libertarian attitude towards minorities than this family of parasitic wasps?  One of the foundation elements of libertarian philosophy was the justification of taking material out of the ‘commons’ and turning it into ‘property’.  So find a patch of unused land, put a fence around it and cultivate it, then you’ve got yourself some property there that you own.  The problem was finding ‘unused’ land.  Like a parasitic wasp, libertarian colonisers decided that ‘barbarian’ people weren’t really owning the land that they occupied and inserted themselves into the environment.  Before the locals knew what was happening, the land had been swallowed up whole.

Naked Mole Rats


Nobody’s going to tell this guy to put on pants.

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis

More of a fungus than an animal, sure, but this guy infects the brains of ants, makes them behave to their detriment, and then mushes their brain.  Libertarianism is about redefining a number of concepts, like ‘liberty’, ‘freedom’, and ‘rights’ so that people act to their collective detriment.  The market decides which hospitals should be built, which roads should be paved, and which property rights should be respected.  It’s little wonder that our libertarian senator hates public funding for universities.  By smashing communitarian attitudes towards the common good, libertarians promote market-based values which benefit people already positioned to profit from the market.  By infecting the minds of ordinary folk, libertarians have shaped a political debate where people will happily vote for measures that are 100% not in their interest, but entirely benefit of the wealthiest players in the marketplace.

Capuchin monkey


These adorable guys can be taught how to use money and trade for things, showing a natural inclination to make fair trades and punish rent-seekers.  So libertarian!

Cymothoa exigua

The tongue-eating louse, like the libertarian, finds something that’s working well and properly (like the tongue of a cod, or public assets), kill it off, and then replace it with something more profitable to the louse.  The libertarian and the tongue-eating louse share a desire to privatise anything that works well on the fantastic belief that some other mechanism (profitable to the libertarian/louse) would work equally well, if not better.

Homo sapiens (albinus)


Nothing says ‘libertarian’ like ‘insufferable white guy’.

Formica sanguinea

This species of ant raids the nest of other ants to take slaves.  The other main focus of libertarianism during its formative years (beyond declaring a natural right to the territory of ‘barbarians’) was promoting the property rights of white people to own slaves.  One of the grandfathers of libertarianism, John Locke — ‘The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.‘ — was also a major investor in the slave trade.  When he’s carping on about the State trying to take his property away, he’s talking about the State trying to abolish the slave trade.  Old mate Locke loved liberty, equality, and freedom of persons so much that, when he was asked to write the Californian constitution, he included a provision which protected the right of masters over slaves.  So liberal.

Thomas Jefferson was another grandfather of libertarianism: ‘Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law” because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.’  He also owned like 500 slaves.

Also, ants from the subfamily Formicinae generate a kind of acid which, in its corrosive aspect, is quite like what spills out of the mouths of libertarians.

Let’s play a different game.  What political ideologies can be represented by first generation Pokemon?

Libertarianism: Kabuto


Should be extinct; inexplicably isn’t.  Is a rock/water type which should be contradictory.

Conservatism: Abra


Looks like it’s asleep.  Is probably asleep.  Runs away instead of fighting.  Could be something way cooler.

Social Democracy/ALP: Ditto


Amorphous blob with no substance.  Turns into something else when the going gets tough.

Liberalism/Liberal Party: Mr Mime


I goddamn hate mimes.

Environmentalism/Greens Party: Vileplume


Toxic.  Smell bad.  Nobody really wants to play with them.

All those lumpenprole ‘progressive’ parties that appeared after the March in March protests: Voltorb


They look pretty bad ass but just self destruct for utterly no reason.

Techno-Libertarian/Wikileaks/Pirate Party: Kangaskhan


So pointless and ridiculous.  I tried leveling one up for ages before I realised it didn’t do anything.

Anti-politics/PUP and ex-PUP/Motoring Enthusiast Party: Evee


Kind of adorable at first, but you have no way of knowing what it’s going to react with or what it’s going to turn into.  Sometimes changes into something wildly different for pretty much no reason at all beyond how happy it is at a particular time of day.

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