L. Neil Smith's
Number 364, April 23, 2006

We have a winner!

by Adrian C. Hinton

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

I would like to inform you of a dangerous NERF LIBERTARIAN whose website, books, and organization all principled libertarians should boycott.

The Second Amendment Foundation recently sent me a free copy of The Seven Myths Of Gun Control by author Richard Poe. Despite its seemingly anti-gun control title, this book does not consistently focus on gun control, and it is ultimately so awful that no libertarian would willingly pay money for it, which is probably why the Second Amendment Foundation had to give it away for free. That they were willing to publish such conservative trash as part of their misnamed "Liberty Library" is the reason why the S.A.F. deserves no support whatsoever from people of our political persuasion.

Richard Poe is an unprincipled NERF LIBERTARIAN who uses the term "libertarian" to describe himself, all the while advocating governmental policies that are anti-libertarian, and also supporting gender stereotypes that are anti-individualist.

Poe falsely believes that the only way to preserve a gun culture is to preserve a "warrior culture", and that the only way to preserve a "warrior culture" is to preserve [using government] the gender stereotype that all males should be warriors. Specifically, he praises Switzerland for combining a gun culture with a "warrior culture" based on the universal draft of all Swiss males, which he considers a "rite of manhood" that our culture should also have.

Of course, forcing other people to go through a "rite of manhood" (or a "rite of womanhood") against their will to conform to the gender stereotypes of others is completely against Libertarianism, as is the idea that you should even be like other people just because they are the same gender as you. According to Libertarianism, government exists only to protect individual rights, not to enforce gender stereotypes, and there is also no one right way to be female or to be male. This means that there should be no military draft, no anti-abortion laws, or any other policies restricting people on the basis of gender.

The obvious facts that are known to all principled libertarians, that the United States once had a gun culture without a military draft, as well as a more libertarian society, at the time of the Revolutionary War, does not occur to Poe. That we were also able to defend our own territory against British aggression without drafting anyone against their will, male or female, during the War of 1812, does not occur to Poe either.

Poe therefore associates himself with the draft advocates, the tribal-collectivist Men's Movement, and even the neo-conservative cultist David Horowitz, none of whom could ever be considered libertarians. David Horowitz was even allowed to write an appendix to Richard Poe's book entitled "The End Of Manhood", again wandering off the subject of gun control in order to discuss gender stereotypes.

Poe is actually pro-war, as he defends not only World War II, but also Korea and Vietnam. [!] He explicitly rejects the morality of Ayn Rand and other libertarian women, such as Mothers Against The Draft, arguing that mothers under a "warrior culture" should be always willing to give up their sons as "sacrifice in a higher cause." All principled libertarians who ever have read a single word of Ayn Rand realize that there is no higher cause than the individual, and we also do not believe in forcing others to sacrifice for any cause, program, or war.

Richard Poe is the quintessential NERF LIBERTARIAN who wants to have it both ways. Just let me impose gender stereotypes on all males—or expect sacrificial chivalry toward all females—and I will otherwise claim to believe in individuality. Just let me tax my neighbor against her will for my favorite programs—or let me draft my neighbor against his will to go through a "rite of manhood"—and I will otherwise claim to believe in Libertarianism. Just let the government coerce people during wartime—or invade other countries during wartime—or kill innocent people during wartime—and I will oppose peacetime collectivism. These are the positions of a unprincipled NERF LIBERTARIAN.

Finally, Poe's official website claims that his book is so good that "All Women Should Read It". I think J. Neil Schulman's excellent novel The Rainbow Cadenza will be far more appealing to women, and because it is also anti-draft and anti-gender stereotypes, it is far more consistently libertarian. The Rainbow Cadenza even uses the numerology of seven more effectively than The Seven Myths Of Gun Control.

All principled libertarians should boycott Richard Poe, RichardPoe.com, and the Second Amendment Foundation for being sexist and anti-libertarian.


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