Re: "Starship Stormtroopers", by Michael Moorcock

Elizabeth Childs (
Fri, 02 Jul 1999 09:08:12 -0700

Michael Lorrey said:

> I personally don't comprehend how someone can be a libertarian and NOT be a rugged
> individualist. Moorcock is apparently under the delusion that it is possible.

I would argue that one can not be a rugged individualist without being a libertarian, but that one could be a libertarian without being a rugged individualist ("libertarian" as we use the word here, not this weird communist libertarianism). I have always told my liberal friends that libertarianism was the best way to accomplish their goals. Libertarianism is the system with the best chance of ending racism, improving standards of living for the poorest people, improving education, keeping people out of jail, and reducing crime. There is a case for liberty that is purely utilitarian.

A utilitarian (who is a collectivist by definition) could study how the state actually works and conclude that the government is a hindrance to their goals rather than a help.

A person could also believe that everyone "should" form voluntary socialist cooperatives, but that it would be wrong to use force to do so, and consider legislation equivalent to violence. I'm sure many American socialists would agree that violence shouldn't be used to force people to adopt these cooperatives, and haven't yet come to understand that government intervention is force. (The fact that they still think there's a "should" means they're behind on their General Semantics, but I digress.)

The first type of libertarian is pretty common. I think I've seen one or two of the second type out here in Berkeley. They are rare.

Elizabeth Childs, dainty individualist