What Makes You So Smart?


Almost every time I have had an ongoing conversation about the liberty movement, at some point the person I’m talking to arrives at this conclusion: “What makes you so smart?”  It usually happens when they run out of arguments for their statist beliefs. They’ll say something like, “Okay, I’m obviously not as into this stuff as you are, get a life.  And by the way, what makes you so smart that you see what everyone else misses?”

This is not a rational argument, and one I used to often use back in my days as a Republican when I was fighting to hold onto my beliefs. I used to think libertarians were so arrogant. The truth is, at least from this libertarian, that we don’t think we’re really any smarter than anyone else, just that most people never even considered an alternative to the state. We have.

It’s not like one day 99.9% of the population sat down and took a good, hard, honest look at society and decided that what we have today is the best possible situation. If that were the case, it would be hard to argue that they’re wrong.  If fact, almost everyone says politicians are corrupt, that there are unjust laws and unjust wars, but their solution without thinking about any other way is just to vote in a new corrupt politician.

The twitter exchange Rollo had with @MrAlanCooper yesterday is not all that uncommon.  From his twitter profile, website, and amount of followers, Alan Cooper seems like a smart, successful man. He made a comment about public roads, so Rollo sent him a link to Walter Block’s “The Privatization of Road and Highways.” Alan rudely responded with some f-bombs and said that it is insane. When Rollo asked what he disagreed with, Alan went silent. Typical.

So who is the arrogant one here? I don’t mind when people disagree with us, but it does bother me when, not only do they not consider our argument, but they don’t even care to know what it is!