Rand Paul’s Favorite Philosophers Think Poor People Are ‘Parasites’
Spencer’s own philosophy can safely be described as genocidal libertarianism. In Social Statics, the book Rothbard raises up as the “greatest single work of libertarian political philosophy ever written,” Spencer argues that “[i]nconvenience, suffering, and death are the penalties attached by nature to ignorance, as well as to incompetence.” They are also, he adds, “the means of remedying” these traits. “By weeding out those of lowest development” Spencer explained, “nature secures the growth of a race who shall both understand the conditions of existence, and be able to act up to them… . Nature demands that every being shall be self-sufficing. All that are not so, nature is perpetually withdrawing by death.”
Rather than proving nature’s cruelty, Spencer believed that this deadly game “purif[ied] society from those who are, in some respect or other, essentially faulty.” If a man or woman is “sufficiently complete to live,” then they should live. But if “they are not sufficiently complete to live, they die, and it is best they should die.”
Needless to say, Spencer saw no place for what he labeled “[a]cts of parliament to save silly people.”
The good old days when libertarians didn’t bother to pretend to care about the poor. These days they pretend that government programs are the cause of poverty. Because poverty didn’t exist in pre-new deal America. And something-something didn’t you read Atlas Shrugged?
The standard defense of this is to claim that that isn’t libertarianism or to claim a straw man. Or that the free market magic will somehow prevent this.