I wonder if there's a correlation between a high score on the Asperger's test and Libertarian tendencies. Which is to say I wonder if discomfort with social discourse and non-enjoyment of civic life might not predispose one to like a political slant that is, pretty fundamentally, antisocial in its approach. Why not deny the existence and importance of the communal, if the communal makes you uncomfortable?This aspergers business comes up occasionally but regularly in discussions of market-libertarianism among the frustrated and perplexed, I have noticed. There is even a group of otherwise rather sensible economists who refuse the reductive acquisitive-selfish-maximizing assumptions of their discipline and who, very unfortunately in my view, describe their efforts at a more real world political economy as a post-autistic economics for example.
I for one am always struck by how loose and insinuating the talk really gets when the "connection" itself is being elaborated. Also, those who make the connection tend to smuggle all sorts of generalizations about how neuro-atypical folks (all?) really feel or what they (all?) believe or how they (all?) act, that don't really stand up to actual scrutiny, and that just seem like the usual prejudice and stereotyping (notice all the "theys"?) when all is said and done.
It seems to me that market-libertarian/neoliberal assumptions are enormously simplifying ones. Ayn Rand once claimed that there are no rational conflicts of interest among people, possibly the most flabbergasting bit of denial outside of her belief that "A is A" is a useful insight or that smoking cigarettes has nothing to do with lung cancer so smoke away to spite the moochers! Such simplicity, though mostly falsifying when we are addressing political questions, is intensely compelling to many folks, especially but not only folks who aren't the brightest bulbs in the world, and especially the ones who like to win polemical arguments rather than make nuanced policies in fraught finite diverse-stakeholder contexts. Also, I daresay that these facile formulations can be very reassuring and even rationalizing, especially to the beneficiaries of exploitation and incumbency who, after all, are usually casting about for such rationalizations.
At the risk of offering up my own loose anecdotal overgeneralizing prejudicial sort of talk, I will also say that I discern in many libertarians I have sparred with both online and face to face a quality of belligerent overcompensation: a reliance on lots of assertive reductions and stipulations to compensate for empirical deficiency or lack of nuance or lack of a leg to stand on argumentatively; -- lots of aggressive circumvention of questions about anti-social consequences that always hover around the edges; -- lots of fanciful bluster about their own ruggedness and productivity and autonomy, not to mention defensiveness about their own disproportionate benefit from the ideology they promote at the expense of others, and no small amount of boys with their toys locker room swinging dick nonsense, not to put too fine a point on it. I also do suspect many libertarians are just rather ignorant and incurious, like their conservative twins (whether identical or fraternal) and in consequence rather dumb, and voluntarily so, even if they remain a bit insecure and prickly about it.
You know, we Americans are profoundly pampered by our geopolitical situation and wealth of natural resources and lucky position in history and even now remain comparatively insulated from the real consequences of our often unbelievably bad, wasteful, exploitative, imperialist conduct, even if we are dimly aware of those consequences to others. I don't think it is really that hard to fathom how such people would tend in the main to hold lazy, selfish, irresponsible, simple-minded, self-congratulatory political and economic views.
My own expectation is that it will be an emerging awareness of planetary problems and an intensifying immersion in planetary networks that will circumvent these structural inducements to libertopian rationalizations. I worry only about the pace at which this is happening in light of the urgent catastrophic literally genocidal/suicidal problems our aggressive stupidity enables.