Yes would be the answer to your question @Jackart

This endless activism of the left, over mere trifles like t-shirt slogans strikes me as a bit hysterical, and it scares me, as it’s more evidence of the left ruling offside speech they deem wrong. Today, a mildly offensive kiddies t-shirt slogan. Tomorrow, criticism of the Sainted Obama. Am I wrong to think like this and fear their tactics?

Clothing store advertises a crass and tasteless T-Shirt (via BoingBoing), Twitter kicks up a fuss, host a petition calling for a boycott until the T-Shirt is removed, Village Voice report the T-Shirt is pulled.

Am I in dream world or is everything above about as Liberal, nay Libertarian, as it comes?

If a business is stupid enough to think that it can sell this T-shirt and maintain a “good” image then more fool them. They should be thanking the Twitterati for pointing out how stupid they were being; they’re a million strong free focus group!

I know Jackart isn’t opposed to changing the world to make it a better place, he’s ex-armed forces after all, [1] so why so aghast at people trying to non-violently, non-coercively trying to improve the world?

This is a small cause surely, but signing a petition and getting outraged on twitter are small gestures too, in fact they can be quite fun. Libertarians seem to do little else, as far as I can tell, than be outraged on Twitter. People getting worked up on the internet isn’t a sign of the coming leftpocolypse.

But this small cause is part of a larger movement for equality. Chris today shows us that part of the inequality of outcome we see between women and men can reasonably be ascribed to women being conditioned to be less confident and less competitive than men. When men and women are conditioned to be competitive they are equally ruthless.

So the (non-violent, non-state) protesters Jackart attributes such malice to are fighting for a world Libertarians should support in a way Libertarians should support.

That’d be a more efficient world, something many Libertarians argue for. That’d be more people reaching their full potential, something many Libertarians argue for. It’d even be a more free world because women (and men) would have less outside influence on their lives, again, something many Libertarians argue for.

This just goes to show that certain strands of right-wing libertarian thinking contain more than a little bit of identity politics for selfish (usually white) males.


[1] Yes, yes, the military is the second least productive [2] industry on the planet, but people sign up because they want to change the world for the better.

[2] Unemployment is the least productive industry in the world and is one industry where the US can still claim to be world leading.


7 thoughts on “Yes would be the answer to your question @Jackart

  1. You miss the fact that I agree, this is a deeply crass product. But if there’s a market for this sort of clothing for little girls (and other things of which I dissaprove – marx biographies, scat porn and the Guardian for example) who am I to control what others want to spend their money on?

    My point is yes. This is crass, but it’s a fucking t-shirt slogan. The world would be happier if lefties stopped worrying about others’ morality and got on with their own lives.

    How you can draw the “selfish WHITE [?????] male” from that, I don’t know.

    Plus (I’m a pedant), You’ve a terrible case of the Grocers’ apostrophe.

    1. Let’s see… People find t-shirt slogan offensive, declare that they will not purchase from company, company makes decision that potential lost business is not worth sales of t-shirt in question. And this is somehow a problem? Do you think people should be compelled to buy products from companies they don’t like or something? Do you have some objection to the concept of using markets to discover information about aggregate consumer preferences, and then basing business decisions on that information?

      Perhaps you’d be better off if you stopped worrying about what “lefties” are doing and got on with your life?

      1. “a petition calling for a boycott until the T-Shirt is removed”

        …doesn’t sound very libertarian to me. It sounds more like a threat – especially in the way the petition was presented. The churlish VICTORY banner a the top is dead give-away that this is part of a wider cause.

        A libertarian approach is to not buy the shirt or just not shop there. If nobody wants it, then it won’t get sold and won’t be restocked. Simple. I wonder how many of the petition signatories actually shopped in JC Penny?

        I know I’m probably too white and too male to comment, but my wife has the same opinion… just with more expletives! ;)

        1. “A libertarian approach is to not buy the shirt or just not shop there”

          Are you an idiot? That is a description of a boycott, which is what the people you’re complaining about did.

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