just started a new SciFi series a friend of mine sent me for Christmas. When I pursued the back cover, I noted all the libertarian praise. Guns and dogs and freedom comments.
A fatigue fell over me.
I’ve read a couple of libertarian books before and, without exception, they are always the same. A buff, handsome entrepreneur, heavy with bitter backstories and loaded for bear, decides to make a stand against a mass of people so liberally unlikable that it brings tears to your eyes. If you’ve ever enjoyed socialist privilege, even to the point of checking out a library book, you feel a sense of guilt. If you’re not prepping in some cabin surrounded by tripwires and mantraps, you’re part of the problem.
I’m an admitted socialist (an unpopular stance these days) and I believe in the power of cooperation. If I’m going to break a leg, I’d rather be in a community than up on a mountain where no amount of bold passion and frontier spirit is going to save my life. And I like HG Well’s stories, where the future is a better place for its government. It’s my admitted preference.
Further, I don’t need to believe passionately in something to enjoy the story. Manly action stories, Christian spiritual stories, sea stories, Indian epics, westerns and science fiction in their many forms, I’ve enjoy them all . My library is full and wide and diverse. I’ll give anything a read as long as it’s good.
The problem I have with libertarian stories is that they provide a simplistic setup between the good guys and the evil give-it-away liberals. The heroes have guns, dogs, a good woman at their side and a free-fire clearing before their compound, all the better in which to stack the corpses of drones of the state. And that’s what is so tedious, the straw-man nature of the villains and the tooth-sparkle smile of the hero.
Give me a break.
If you want to sell me on libertarianism (which is, to me, anarchy on the gold standard) you need to give me a good story. Your hero must be believable and your villains understandable. If you want to cartoon your ideals, to make things as simplistic as an action movie, I’m out. You are simply preaching to the choir, making a book you and your little bring-down-the-government friends might enjoy but nobody else will. It was tedious in Atlas Shrugged and it still is today.
Don’t insult me. Sell me.