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News ::
What the Libertarians really think of us (english)
09 May 2003
Modified: 12 May 2003
"Folks, it is sheer lunacy out there. The American Left took the word "liberal" from the classical liberals a long time ago and perverted it, and now libertarianism is being impaled in the same fashion."
Neocons and Beltway Libertarians: A Tautology
Karen De Coster, KarenDeCoster.com, May 08, 2003

Neocons are allied with their friends in the Beltway Libertarian community, and these deep-seated bonds are puzzling. This has led to Libertarians relentlessly attacking libertarians. This sort of thing, on the Internet, has become a labyrinth of ideologies, alliances, hatefests, catfights, and muddled truths. Everybody is attacking everyone else, and they are, supposedly, all libertarians.

So what is all going on here?

Well, a lot is going on, but the main problem has been September 11, 2001 and what has happened since then. As every chirping bird out there repeats ad nauseum post-9/11, "everything's changed." What's really changed is that the war "libertarians" have fought bitterly to denounce non-pro-war libertarians and their adherence to ABC axioms of libertarianism [http://www.harrybrowne.org/articles/LibertariansAndWar.htm] (And I need not explain all that again here.) This has led to the creation of the Neocon-Libertarian Monster. The libertarian stance on war, as Jacob Hornberger [http://www.fff.org/aboutUs/bios/jgh.asp] once remarked to me, "separates the wheat from the chaff." Indeed it has.

Let's start with the neocons. As I discussed with someone the other day, the Neocons are far more attacking, far more militant, and thus far more obsessed with what everyone else is doing [http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg061600.html] much more so than the Left ever was. And as Bush's regime proves, they are a much greater threat to liberty than those on the Left. I'll be documenting this in an upcoming column.

The Neocons hate us non-Left Libertarians, non-Lifestyle Libertarians, non-Beltway Libertarians [http://www.lewrockwell.com/]... or whatever you want to call us. Aside from that, they form these strange alliances with Left-Libertarians, Lifestyle Libertarians [http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite.jsp?doc=2098.3f43], Beltway Libertarians, and the Neocons that claim libertarianism as their new cultural mantra.

Here is the new rage on the Internet (especially in blogging): become disenchanted with the Republican party, maintain the Social Democrat core philosophy, keep yourself emotionally attached to the movement principals, stay comrades with the old gang, but call yourself a "libertarian." [http://www.brinklindsey.com/archives/004877.php] Sound familiar? It's very similar to the embittered Trotskyites leaving for the Republican Party, calling themselves "conservatives" and becoming the dreaded Neocons, thus destroying the conservative movement.

You good folks will quite often send me links to various blogs, etc., where the Neocons attack the libertarians (small "l") and the paleoconservatives incessantly, and where the Beltway-Lifestyle-Left Libertarians join in on the attacks. Many of those calling themselves libertarians are basically the same – politically and philosophically - as the Neocons, and they join the attacking ranks and exclaim their joy in doing so. Note how they have their charming little "blog circles" where they all link to each other in these predestined link exchanges. Follow a few links, just for fun, and you'll see the same uniformity in their links that you see in their politics. And these Beltway Libertarian bloggers, even if they are antiwar (sometimes only warmly so), quite often sympathize with and support their Liberventionist-Neocon Internet pals, and they shill for them whenever possible.

Meanwhile, they all attack the same group of libertarians, mainly the non-Beltway libertarians like Lew Rockwell & Co [http://www.karendecoster.com/].

Why? The Beltway-Lifestyle-Left Libertarian alliance, as a rule, hates tradition, antiquity, and the notion of voluntary association, and thus they spurn the cultural conservatives. Witness the worshipping – in Libertarian circles - of Virginia Postrel's "stasism" and "dynamism" concepts [http://www.mises.org/misesreview_detail.asp?control=50], which are fervidly anti-traditionalist. Plus, these folks quite often think religion and liberty are mutually exclusive, and henceforth see all religionists as the enemy. They hate historical revisionism (documented truths) and they adhere to purely Straussian tenets – that is, if they even have any knowledge of history at all.

Here's somewhat how it goes: The Beltway Libertarians praise the Lifestyle Libertarians to the sky and they happily embrace and promote their Leftist agenda. Hence the Beltway-Lifestyle-Leftist alliance. They hate that the paleolibertarians see the culturally conservative paleoconservatives as good allies [http://www.vdare.com/] because, outside of economics, both have much in common. So they all engage in paleolib and paleocon bashing [http://www.nationalreview.com/frum/frum031903.asp] to the hilt.

The Neocon-Anarchos (huh?) are self-styled anarchists, yet they blog for war, interventionism, statism, the military-industrial complex [http://www.no-treason.com/comments.php?id=P108_0_1_0_C], and, most peculiarly, they blog against Mr. Libertarian, Murray Rothbard [http://www.no-treason.com/comments.php?id=P113_0_1_0_C]. Somehow, they presume that the biggest government program of all – war – is compatible with anarchy. Then they turn around and shill for guys like David Frum, Jonah Goldberg, & Friends (while they go contra-Rothbard), and they diss the antiwar anarcho-libertarian crowd because they believe that non-interventionism is statism. (Not a misprint.) For when they convince themselves of that falsehood, they can then refer to themselves as libertarians. Neat twist, eh?

The Neocon-Liberventionists, being a combination of pro-war, pro-big government, pro-market, and pro-Lifestyle Left, are perhaps the most confusing of all. They pick and choose among their favorite marketable platitudes, and they ally with Republicans on bigger government and war and the Libertarians on lifestyle. For instance, when the New York Times writes about "libertarianism," they really mean gay marriage. (And as Stanley Kurtz says: Gay marriage is the "libertarian question." Following the Kurtz piece, Libertarian bloggers all over the blogosphere heartily agreed with that assumption, and went on a blogging tear to defend gay marriage.) These birds worship Lincoln because he was a Republican; they hate the South because they buy into the standard line on the War Between the States. In addition, they hate Murray Rothbard because of his irrepressible anti-statism, his appreciation for cultural and moral traditionalism, and his vigorous defense of natural rights and religion. Libertarians of all strains might have much to disagree with concerning Rothbardian tenets; however, hating him is a bit like vegetarians hating green veggies, fruits, and nuts.

Generally speaking, the Beltway Libertarians can't stand it that we non-Beltway types don't buy into:

• Their obsession with and accolades for Instapundit (blogger Glenn Reynolds), Andrew Sullivan, Brink Lindsey, and all of these other disillusioned Neocons that left the Republican faction and now call themselves "Libertarians."

• Their trifling political alliances with political correctness and opportunistic statism - such as multiculturalism, feminism, gay marriage/rights, school vouchers, and so on.

• Their "language of liberty" that is nothing more than lifestyle libertarianism combined with political statism.

Phew. Sound confusing? Oh, but, Abbott – who is on first?!

This was all meant to be humorously perplexing – though truthful - in order to show how the basic first principles/axioms of libertarianism have been so perversely contorted so that anyone with an agenda or two can rename their personal philosophical system in order to conform to some perceived popular notion such as libertarianism. Funny, there was a time when calling yourself a libertarian was not even chic.

Also, note the small "l" and Big "L" distinctions; this is very important. And what's worse is that all of these Big "L" statists (even mere bloggers!) write a giant like Murray Rothbard out of the movement. Are we laughing yet? You bet we are. Yet Rothbard's For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto remains THE classic paradigm of libertarianism (not to speak of the rest of his great works, such as the more scholarly Ethics of Liberty).

Folks, it is sheer lunacy out there. The American Left took the word "liberal" from the classical liberals a long time ago and perverted it, and now libertarianism is being impaled in the same fashion.

Upcoming will be a post of my take on the "anti-intellectual libertarian cartel" that's running rampant lately. Look for it.

---------------------
About Karen De Coster

I am a paleolibertarian CPA/freelance writer who is devoted to the causes of liberty, individualism, and the free market. I embrace the right to keep and bear arms; recognize the superiority of the Articles of Confederation; subscribe to a motley assortment of conspiracy theories; and believe that government is evil, immoral, corrupt, and unnecessary in a free society. I am also an ardent lover and student of Austrian economics, the pro-market, anti-statist school of economics which exalts the accountant as being necessary to capitalism. Also, I proudly wear the title “Queen of Political Incorrectness”, given to me by my friend Tom DiLorenzo.

Most often, LewRockwell.com [http://www.lewrockwell.com] is where I pen my material for the web. LRC, the premier libertarian site on the web, stresses paleolibertarianism as opposed to left-libertarianism or libertinism. Before I get folks asking for a definition of the paleo philosophy, what sets paleolibertarians apart from the rest of ‘em is their emphasis on cultural conservatism and the natural order.
See also:
http://karendecoster.com/blog.html
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Comments

libertarian feuding (english)
12 May 2003
humorous feuding worse than green/red anarchy...

the "libertarians" already stole the moniker from the leftist libertarians long ago, why are they complaining?

why do "libertarians" have such a problem with the ideas of feminism and multiculturalism? it illuminates their reactionary philosophy: they do not see any type of oppression, unless it is statist oppression against "free markets".
Generally, "libertarians" sidestep or ignore critiques of white supremacy and privilege, gender oppression and inequality, and worker oppression and exploitation, etc. etc.
The only oppression left is that of the state upon rich white males. When the state hurts rich white males we must get upset, but when other forms of oppression occurs it is best to ignore it, because the market will iron out the problems of racism and sexism. and even classism? The market has never done this and when the market has been closest to the libertarians model, it has actually worked out at escalating these problems. Slavery is a product of capitalism, while the "free market idealogy" was one excuse at continuing chattel slavery in the U.S.

The anti-state "libertarians" are few and far between. I applaud those that have the insight that "war is the health of the state", but hope that these libertarians will gain the insight that "war is also the health of capital" and "capital needs the state".
Two of the most profit oriented "free markets" in the U.S. are the Prison-Industrial Complex and the Military-Industrial Complex. They feed on each other and need each other to survive. Any libertarian ought to see this and see the problems of capital and it's link to the state.

Pope Von Mises