Slavery is Freedom

by Consul Firmin

Rodney Hide’s latest offering is the usual cry-wank of the frustrated rich libertard, puling and whining about the evils of democracy like a frustrated teenager sobbing “it’s just not fair” when they’re asked to wash the dishes. It’s impossible to argue substantive points with these idiots, because libertarians–like UFO-cultists, 9/11 truthers and climate change deniers–are conspiracy theorists, and thus impervious to things like, I dunno, “standards of evidence required to hold beliefs about the world.” (NB: the fact that most climate change deniers are also libertarians is telling.) People who actually understand economics can dismantle the claims of Hide’s article, but I want to draw attention here to the basic shittiness of Hide’s thinking and writing in general. Jolisa Gracewood pointed out on twitter that this particular article is a lazy cut and paste job from wikipedia.

This isn’t the first time Hide’s based his argument on a shoddy wiki-search though. In this article about housing and urban sprawl in Auckland, he claims that

Auckland’s people density is already way out of whack given New Zealand’s population and land area. The density within the fence is 2375 Aucklanders a square kilometre. The council’s aim is to bump that to 3500. Auckland’s density is nearly twice that of Chicago (population nine million).

Here’s what the wikipedia page for Chicago’s demographics says:

The 2000 United States Census had shown the population density of the city itself was 12,750.3 people per square mile (4,923.0/km²), making it one of the nation’s most densely populated cities.

(By the way, wikipedia estimates the current population density of Chicago at 4,447.4/km2.) According to Hide, Auckland’s population density is twice that of Chicago. But wikipedia tells us that the population density of Chicago is roughly 5000 people per square kilometre, while Auckland’s is well under 2500 people per square kilometre. So Hide has just relied on a “fact” that is almost the exact opposite of the truth to bolster his argument. How did he make such a colossal (and colossally convenient for his argument) fuck-up?

Oh that’s right, he’s comparing the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area with inner-city Auckland. The numbers almost fit. Hell, he should have just invited a few friends round for a game of twister, measured the population density of the board after they’d put away a few drinks, and then he could claim that Auckland’s the most densely packed city OMG IN THE UNIVERSE based on that fact.


Not Pictured: Libertarian Idiot

Now, I don’t think Hide’s deliberately lying, though I wouldn’t put it past him. He’s just done a lazy wiki search, seen a few numbers that supported the argument he wanted to make and lined up with his ideology, and banged out an article which was then published in the country’s major newspaper. This is fucked up. It’s bad enough that libertarian cultists are given a forum to wank on about their bizarre worldview, but at the very least you’d think they could be fact-checked before they went to print.

There’s a funny side to this though. As newspapers and publishers come under increasing pressure to turn copy and up page-views, they seem obliged to weaken their content by employing trolls like Rodney Hide to have (paraphrasing Stuart Lee) their outrageously offensive opinions to deadline every week. Ironically then, we have a situation where a market-based approach leads directly to a poorer-quality, less trustworthy product. Almost as if market-libertarianism is a crock of utter fuckshit.