Sunday, August 08, 2004

A Patron Saint? Doubtful.

Chris Rasmussen asks why libertarians don't have a patron saint.

The easy answer here would be that libertarians are too smart for that, or too academic--but I don't really believe that. My guess would be that libertarianism is far too fractured and divided to allow for a major icon of the movement to emerge. Many people would nominate Ayn Rand, just as many more would probably dissasociate themselves with any movement with her face on it (myself included) .

Additionally, the faces of every "radical political movement" tend to be the faces of people who acted in loud or violent ways; for example, Che Guevara, who Chris mentions. Most violent libertarians end up silently locked away.

UPDATE: My feeling is not that libertarians individually cannot have a patron saint--just look at the vast quantities of people who do little more than quote Hayek or Rand. It's that the movement itself inhibits the creation of a collective patron saint.

UPDATE 2: That's independent of us being evil.


Chris said...

Indeed, I certainly wouldn't rally around Ayn. I also feel that the "individualistic" aspects of libertarianism would be counter productive towards the process of instituting an icon. Like I mentioned, Che was really a figure for the more violent aspects of communism. There really is no reason for libertarians to iniate violence and thus no real reason to establish a figurehead in the way that Che serves as a figurehead for violent and revolutionary politics. Besides, I really don't think Murray has the "looks" to be an icon :)

Illy said...

I think we're simply too secular and too wary of idolizing to have a patron saint. After all, worshiping (a hero) equals suspending reason.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure you don't have a patron saint because you're evil?

Lots of secular academic types are evil...

Yeah, I think it's probably because you're evil.

Pure evil.

Evil can't get no lovin' from no saint.

Chris said...

If we were evil we could adopt ..... SATAN!