Why hackers are so often libertarians:

It isn’t that hackers tend to adopt libertarian politics, nor is there any third factor that influences both. Rather, people with a naturally anti-authoritarian attitude tend to become attracted to programming.

The libertarian mindset is one you don’t encounter often, unless you operate in specific circles. I’d never met one until I worked for one. Now I know way too many. It’s a den of friends.

I have found it oddly pervasive in what few programming circles I frequent. They don’t always call themselves libertarians, but if you dig deep enough, many of their core beliefs sort of circle around the ethos. Free markets, the importance of privacy and individual property, general concerns over censorship and big government.

But they often have a similar hatred for private enterprise, which is the back bone of the libertarian ideal. Let the market decide is a defacto solution for libertarians, but when the market decides something they don’t particularly like, many programmers I know are just as quick as anyone else to demand the government regulate business. Net neutrality, anyone?

Instead, I think like most people, these developers are cursed with an agenda of selfishness. So long as they have an unrestricted ability to play in their little sandbox, they’re content. Start throwing up barriers, and they’ll elect or adopt any philosophy convenient to their case.

That it’s often libertarianism seems more a coincidence of convenience than anything else.