Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
by Matt Wood
Harvard Law Record, October 20, 2000
I was surfing the Internet really late the other night in search of more
ammunition for my personal (or Quixotic, in this day and age) battle to
save big government. Isn't that what everyone is looking for on the
Internet in the wee hours of the morning?
During the session, I was lucky enough to stumble across a diversion
called "Liberty Personals," a Website that bills itself as "a free service
for free minds." I wouldn't bore you with all the details in this chain
of events if there weren't so very few links in the chain. One minute I'm
trying to track down Thomas Jefferson quotes, and two clicks later:
presto! Libertarian personal ads, right there in the comfort of my own
At first, I couldn't decide what to do. Should I publicize this site for
the benefit of the HLS community -- yes, Dimple, there is a Santa Claus
-- or keep it to myself? Fearing a swift and certain reprisal, I was
somewhat hesitant to lampoon this right-wing cyber-singles bar. With a
little research of his own, for example, some other columnist could
probably smoke out a similarly-silly personals page devoted to bureaucrats
and the people who love them. I've no doubt that some would hold out the
classifieds of the Washington Post as prime evidence for the existence of
such a service already.
I hadn't yet given up on my quest for more traditional political guidance,
but didn't know where to turn. Then suddenly, while staring at Liberty
Personals' front page, I had the sort of pseudo-intellectual revelation so
often inspired by Libertarian thinking. Watching the little computerized
cartoon hearts twinkle and dance around the portrait of Jefferson on the
screen, I decided to blaze my own trail. Who needs the Founding Fathers
when we have modern fountainheads of wisdom? Jefferson, Schmefferson,
right? We want to know what makes "Aristophanes," age 26 to 32, tick.
(Note: It later turned out, to my disappointment, that Aristophanes was
not this gentleman's real name.)
Why dwell on the past? As Liberty Personals says: "Sometimes it seems
there is NO ONE who understands the free-thinking perspective these days
where paternalistic views are often the norm. It can get downright
depressing." In other words, take your slavish devotion to history and
shove it! Now that's just my own interpretation of "free thinking," but
who are you to tell me any different?
Therefore, in the spirit of liberty, I present for your consideration this
smattering of outtakes from Liberty Personals. These snippets advance the
debate by opening a window on the soul of the modern, government-hating
American male. I say male because the vast majority of people advertising
their wares at this site are, just like most other great Libertarian
thinkers, men. Big surprise, huh?
Don't worry about invading these poor souls' privacy though -- because
there is no right to privacy in this country. Take that, Blackmun!
Just kidding. You needn't worry about privacy because I have omitted the
names of those who posted the material used below, in order to protect the
innocent. And who knows? That may even protect some of these guys in the
"I am a Christian man looking for the same in a woman. I enjoy almost
anything. I've done many different things in my life, and like trying new
A devout Christian, but he believes in reincarnation too. How worldly!
The only problem, of course, is that we aren't all the same. Sure, it
might be nice if a woman could be the same as a man, or if there were no
differences in the opportunities available to white males and those
available to everyone else. Yet, we still need government because
"freedom" and "liberty" for a guy like me often means the same old
prejudices, obstacles and slammed doors for people from different
backgrounds. You can pretend that the Constitution is color-blind, but
you can't pretend that police departments engaging in racial profiling
"Anarcho-capitalist . . . I like music, books, skiing, golfing, hiking,
Don't let the Montana part scare you. I'm sure that there are literally a
couple thousand people in Big Sky country who aren't anarcho-anything.
What scares me is this particular hybrid. What, pray tell, is anarchistic
capital? Remember, it's the federal government that prints your money --
the very same government that sends the black helicopters to monitor your
cell's movements. So what're we after here? A return to the glory days
of state-backed currency? The barter system? What?
"I'm 28, 5'10" . . . 190 lbs. My physical self is a direct consequence
of my intellectual beliefs."
Fabulous. How does that help the rest of us? You see, some of our
physical selves are not direct consequences of our beliefs. Some of us
have to deal with exogenous influences, like an addiction to cigarettes,
for instance. Why are big tobacco companies free to put their product on
the open market without any interference from those liberty-hindering
party poopers at the FDA? If government should leave us alone when we're
not hurting anybody else, that might explain why we shouldn't ban smoking.
It doesn't explain why the companies marketing this product to the next
generation of Marlboro Men get off the hook.
"[Anonymous], 24, Law student. Philosophy, politics, music, athletics.
Libertarian warrior, scholar, with high earning potential and political
Even more fabulous. There's nothing better than a warrior with a good
401(k) plan and excellent dental insurance. One can only hope that this
gentleman's political ambition is based on something more than that
simplistic "government-that-governs-least" junk so popular with
self-styled compassionate conservatives right now. If you don't think
government is good at anything, do me a favor: Stay in Texas, and don't
run for President.
"It would be nice to meet someone who doesn't ask: 'Who's Ayn
True enough; but wouldn't it be even nicer to meet someone who'd admit
that she was wrong?
(See my response here.)
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