Garry Reed combined a professional technical writing career with a passion for all things libertarian to become the Libertarian Opinionizer.
Uncensored Commentary From Your Libertarian Opinionizer
There is only one justification in the Modern American Libertarian Movement for banning speech—it can legitimately be banned in the private sector.
People can ban it from their own home, from their own business, from their own privately owned property, from their own mutually, voluntarily, contractually, freely agreed upon interactive relationships such as churches, clubs, organizations, societies, unions, guilds, alliances, fellowships and even online websites, blogs, and social network pages.
But we don’t live in a world of private freedoms like that today. We live in a world in which a laughably “limited” government invades, surveils, and controls nearly every aspect of our lives.
Facebook has been charged with banning comments, memes, discussions, and whole pages from its social media platform.
A list still circulating under the name Facebook purges libertarian(ish) accounts sites the following titles among 23 victims of Facebook purges for the alleged use of “hate speech” (definition: any speech not approved by SJW progressives):
- The Free Thought Project (3.1 million fans)
- Cop Block
- Filming Cops
- End the Drug War
- V is For Voluntary
- End the War on Drugs
- You won’t see this on TV (172,000 fans)
- Punk Rock Libertarians (190,000 fans)
Others who “got Zucked” by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s online expurgation include Liberty Memes, Being Libertarian, Libertarian financial site Zero Hedge and even Brazil’s Libertarian Party, Movimento Brasil. And as far back as 2010 a Libertarian Party press release protested “the decision by Facebook to refuse advertisements that advocate for the legalization of marijuana.”
Many libertarians point out that privately-owned entities like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have every right to regulate speech on their own Internet sites because these are privately owned businesses. But other libertarians point out that there is no such thing as “privately-owned” anything anymore except when the psychopaths who control both government and corporations choose to ignore us or just don’t notice us.
We live in a world today in which government and corporations are inextricably wedded together in pursuit of power, wealth and individual ego gratification.
A “Corporation” for those who still don’t get it is simply a “private business” that knowingly signed government incorporation paperwork for the explicit purpose of obtaining special privileges, rights, political favors, protections from competition, legal limits on civil lawsuits and criminal procedures and other benefits such as “corporate welfare” and profitable sweetheart deals commonly known as “public/private partnerships” in which expenses are socialized but profits are privatized that actual private businesses in a free and libertarian world would not be entitled to.
Today’s corporations are just extensions of government; today’s governments are just extensions of corporations. People who favor one over the other do so because they disingenuously choose to look through one eye while closing the other.
The Government-Corporatist Complex
Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and other big tech tyrants are just cogs in the Government-Corporatist Complex. Neither is free of the other so both will do as the other demands or wants.
When Facebook bans certain “anti-left hate speech” or promotes “anti-right fake news” they are doing the bidding of whichever government ruling class is in power at the time. The result is succinctly summarized in this long run-on headline on vox.com about the legal “settlement” between Facebook and government:
Facebook will pay the US government a $5 billion fine for privacy failures—but it won’t have to change the way it does business
The article teaser under the headline says: “It’s a giant fine. And the company will have to employ many more lawyers. But Facebook will be happy if this is as bad as it gets.”
So all the big players win. The politicians get their “victory for the little people,” Facebook gets its victory for their owners and shareholders and even the lawyering classes of our Government-Corporatist Complex get a victory by creating more jobs for its own industry. And Facebook “won’t have to change the way it does business,” although they will certainly make big lawyerly-sounding speeches about how civic-minded and fair they will become to all of their users in the future.
What it does is just reconfirm the status quo. All the lower life forms of political Usual Suspects on “both sides” of the Government-Corporatist Complex will continue to insult, name-call and abuse one another as before for the benefit of their own base.
It used to be that the political right got away with calling the political left Communists, Marxists, Reds, Pinkos, and Fellow-Travelers. Now the political left gets away with calling the political right Nazis, Racists, Sexists, Homophobes, and White Supremacists.
There’s a tacit understanding in today’s parlance that no matter what other words are used all conservatives are Fascists even though no one really knows what a fascist is and all liberals are Socialists even though socialism has a nearly endless supply of different definitions.
But none of that really matters. It’s only the My Side against Your Side mentality that matters, like Yankees vs Red Sox, Ohio State vs. Michigan or Cowboys vs the Washington Football Team formerly known by the politically incorrect nickname R*dskins.
Banning anyone about anything is banning freedom and individual choice, no matter how disturbing or disgusting the alleged “hate speech” may be. Libertarians will never advocate banning other people’s beliefs on the simple premise that “hate speech” should be countered by “more speech” and that the sunlight of individualism and freedom is the best disinfectant against the cockroach of hate speech.
That’s why libertarians are a real problem to the Government-Corporatist Complex and a perceived problem to the political left and right: Libertarianism is not all about politics. It’s not all about economics, not all about deep serious philosophical concepts and certainly not all about so-called hate speech. Libertarianism is an attitude, a viewpoint, a belief system, a way of life, an approach to peacefully interrelating with one another, a means of seeing the world and of seeing one’s own place in it.
Befriend Before They’re Banned
Libertarianism addresses all things human. Just type the words libertarian facebook pages into Google and the first page of listings that pop up might be similar to the following results found on July 24, 2019. They’re good examples of libertarian diversity.
Visit and support these and other libertarian pages soon and often before they’re censored by the Government-Corporatist Complex that continues to run everything.
Note: All like and follower counts below were correct at the time this article was written.
With its 723,078 likes and its 683,178 followers there’s little surprise that the LP would pop up first. This is where all party members, small government advocates, minarchists or so-called “minimal statists” and rightwing conservatives who haven’t discovered the “liberal” side of Libertarians come to congregate, post opinions and memes and claim their right to call themselves the only “true” Libertarians with a capital L.
Bigger than the LP (778,433 likes, 803,093 followers) they welcome minarchists, classical liberals, anarchists, independents, Objectivists, capitalists, and right/left-leaning libertarians. Being Libertarian and its fans have been at war with FB since at least 2016 for taking down text postings, memes, videos and the entire page itself for reasons due to vaguely applied “community standards” that many interpret to mean “You’re not politically liberal.”
The Sarcastic Libertarian
Beyond the 125,616 likes and 127,884 followers few others may have expected this to pop up on the first page of a Google search. The only info easily available on this page is this:
About Libertarian Page Dicktator Extraordinaire. Categories Political Ideology Public Figure
Beyond that he does prominently feature his own face (or someone else’s? He’s sarcastic remember) and his current cover photo is a really big meme that says:
OH. YOU HAVE YOUR MASTERS IN POLY SCI?
I’LL HAVE A NUMBER 1 WITH PICKLES
This could be a really great antidote to “Americans Against the Libertarian Party” (see farther below).
Like a Libertarian
Whether the “Like” in Like a Libertarian is complimentary (I really like a libertarian) or it’s meant to be complementary (They’re both like a libertarian) it doesn’t seem to matter to the page’s 121,032 likes (maybe that’s what the “like” means) or to its 122,622 followers. And nobody seems to fill out the “About” section these days. But it does have its share of info, discussions, arguments, sarcasm (see above) and even a “Shop Now” button where you can zip over to Zazzle and purchase your own Like a Libertarian coffee mug and other libertarian containers. What’s not to like about that?
The Libertarian Republic
These are serious folk. With their 190,210 likes and 181,045 followers they’re not shy about their raison d'etre so here’s their “Our Story” opening stanza verbatim: “The Libertarian Republic is a free market news, culture, and opinion magazine featuring the writing of prominent libertarians, conservatives, independents and sometimes democrats. The goal of TLR is to inform and educate citizens on important news stories from a perspective of economic freedom and personal liberty. We are non-partisan and devoted to the principles of liberty.” Finis.
Americans Against the Libertarian Party
It would be fine, even acceptable and helpful, if these 34,613 likers and 35,033 followers would offer to discuss why they’re against individual freedom and personal responsibility but no, they are almost exclusively raging ranting rabid irrational libertarian-haters. They launched in 2013 and even have a mission statement: “To discuss negative aspects of the Libertarian Party.” But of course they’re attacking all of libertarianism, not just the LP, likely because they don’t know there’s more to libertarianism than just a political party. Or don’t care.
Yet libertarians would never advocate banning them. Trash talk should only trigger truth talk.
The Libertarian Vindicator
This is a relatively small FB Page (8,359 likes, 8,462 followers) and is dedicated to political discussion. We know this because they say “political” twice in the short description about themselves: “The Libertarian Vindicator is a political news website dedicated to political commentary that advances the principles of economic and personal liberty.” It may be that “economic” word that has kept the site from growing faster since their 2016 founding. So go for it all you political dollar sign and bitcoin libertarians! Get’em growin’!
Ask A Libertarian
The purpose of AAL is “to spread awareness of libertarianism and empower libertarians while informing non-libertarians.” Currently at 31,085 likers and 32,493 followers they need more Askers! And you can even become one of the Answerers! if you’re a creative type you’re invited to contribute original articles, create original images and make video or audio recordings. “If acting is not an option,” they say, “then please consider editing videos or audio, or helping to create original music to accompany these recordings.”
Whether as an Asker, Answerer or Activist AAL could be for you!
There you have it, eight libertarian Facebook Pages out of literally hundreds for you to visit and take part in. And those are just the open ones. There are many hundreds more Facebook “Groups” you have to actually join before you can appreciate and participate.
Just keep in mind that every one of these pages is subject to being punished, pummeled and purged from the Zuckerberg Zone so if you want to check them out you’d best do it sooner rather than later.
References and Links
- Libertarians Respond to FB bans. How different types of libertarians respond to Facebook censoring pages and posts on their platform depends on what kind of libertarian they are, including “thick,” “thin,” “brutalist” and all the others.
- From Newsweek: Former Texas congressman Ron Paul said Silicon Valley social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are suspending and banning "antiwar activists and libertarians" because tech companies are just extensions of the U.S. government.
- Facebook Gets the Legislation it Paid For Since Facebook is deeply embedded in the Government-Corporatist Complex it gets a very big slap on the wallet from government but in return gets to keep doing its corporatist business as usual. At least for now.
- Should Libertarians Care About Facebook Bans? A Reason editor’s roundtable podcast in which they discuss dangerous people, hate speech, Facebook censorship and the whole issue of what is “free speech.” Example: Is FB a private company or a public utility?
Garry Reed (author) from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas on September 05, 2019:
Good to know Jett. In a free society anyone can ban anything they want and competition can rise up to offer it. In a government-controlled society like the one we live in now government and corporations are in league to protect big money corporations from competition which makes the bans illegitimate.
Garry Reed (author) from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas on August 07, 2019:
Thank you GracieLinda, I enjoyed writing it.
GracieLinda on August 07, 2019: