Tag Archives: libertarianism

Libertarianism is more than just market fundamentalism

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Sheldon Richman

"Libertarian critics and supporters alike often characterize our approach to social problems as 'let the market take care of it.' If the government would just stop taxing and regulating us, so the narrative goes, all our troubles would be left behind. This oversimplification of libertarian policy proposals understandably turns off potential allies while lending opponents a powerful club with which to bash us. A better characterization of libertarian policy is that we believe individuals can generally achieve better results by cooperating voluntarily within a just system of property rights than by allowing an elected or unelected elite to apportion resources. Thinking about it this way highlights three points missing from the 'let the market handle it' construction." (09/20/17)


Why left and right are not enough

Source: Attack The System
by Keith Preston

"Once again, anarchists are falling into the same trap that has plagued anarchists since the time of the First International, and that is this chronic inability to avoid aligning itself with the hard Left. While some Antifa types might fancy themselves as 'anarchists' or 'libertarian communists' their movement is already heavily infiltrated by Maoists and other 'red fascists.' As I have been saying for decades now, anarchists need to position themselves as a revolutionary center that is totally opposed to the liberal-capitalist status quo while at the same time zealously safeguarding against authoritarian extremes from both the Left and Right." [editor's note: Anarchists and libertarians ARE "the hard left." Marx was the first major right-deviationist from libertarian class theory – TLK] (09/01/17)


An aesthetic of liberty

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker

"It should be obvious that, in theory and contrary to what the socialist left has long claimed, there is no connection whatsoever between what we call libertarianism and any species of rightist totalitarian ideology. One negates the other. As Leonard Read wrote in 1956, 'Liberty has no horizontal relationship to authoritarianism. Libertarianism’s relationship to authoritarianism is vertical; it is up from the muck of men enslaving man …' And yet today, there does indeed appear to be a social, institutional, and even intellectual connection, and migration, between what is called the liberty movement and the alt-right. Some of the most prominent alt-right voices in Charlottesville once identified as libertarians. This fact has been widely covered. It’s a fair question to ask: did these individuals ever really believe in a liberal worldview? Were they trolling all along? Were they just deeply confused?" (08/31/17)


Transhumanism and libertarianism are entirely compatible

Source: Reason
by Ronald Bailey

"A fight over whether or not transhumanism can be libertarian broke out over at The American Conservative. The contretemps began with an article by Zoltan Istvan, author of The Transhumanist Wager. … Istvan optimistically asserts that 'freedom from the government will allow radical science to go on undisturbed.' … Kai Weiss, a researcher at the Austrian Economics Center and Hayek Institute in Vienna, Austria, swiftly denounced the piece. 'Transhumanism should be rejected by libertarians as an abomination of human evolution,' he wrote. Clearly there is some disagreement. Weiss is correct that Istvan doesn't expend much intellectual effort linking transhumanism with libertarian thinking. Istvan largely assumes that people seeking to flourish should have the freedom to enhance their bodies and minds and those of their children without much government interference. … 'At no point [does Istvan] wonder if we should even strive for these technologies,' Weiss thunders. While Istvan may not wonder, Weiss fails to make a single argument against these technological developments: It is apparently self-evident to him that they are evil." (08/31/17)


What the alt-right gets wrong

Source: Reason

"Some news outlets have claimed that there's a troubling 'pipeline' from libertarianism to the most revolting corners of the alt-right movement. Their evidence is that white supremacist Christopher Cantwell, the star of a Vice documentary about the racist, tiki torch-wielding Charlottesville mob, was once a figure in the libertarian Free State project, and alt-right icon and white nationalist Richard Spencer himself was once a Ron Paul supporter and self-identified as a libertarian. Anyone who claims to care about individual liberty should reject the overt racism in Charlottesville, the broadly defined alt-right and the watered down 'alt-lite' variants represented by provocateurs like Milo Yiannopoulous and YouTube personalities Stefan Molyneux and Laura Southern, as well as the right-wing nationalism pushed by recently fired White House strategist Steve Bannon. These expressions of right wing populism are the anti-thesis of libertarianism and they collapse under their own logic." [Flash video] (08/31/17)


An Objectivist case for libertarianism

Source: Libertarianism.org
by Neera K Badhwar

"Despite her disavowal of the label 'libertarian,' Ayn Rand’s ethics provide a justification for libertarian political institutions." (08/30/17)


Radical liberalism: The soul of libertarianism

Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Jason Lee Byas

"Liberalism is committed to both a staggering confidence and a sobering fear. Its confidence is in the free association of individuals through markets, civil society, and the spaces in between — ways in which each act in accordance with their own dreams and aspirations and each benefit from the existence of each. Its fear is in the disruption of those dreams and aspirations by some against others, in service of apparent interests, to the detriment of all. Liberalism is the fearless embrace of the positive-sum, and the terrified rejection of the zero-sum. It is the view of life where both predatory forms of egoism and a cooperation requiring systemic self-sacrifice are incoherent. At its most radical, liberalism insists that an injury to one is an injury to all, and proposes an oath of 'I swear to never live for the sake of another, nor to ask another to live for mine.' It holds that those two principles are not only compatible, but complementary." (08/30/17)


Why libertarians should embrace their infighting

Source: HubPages
by Garry Reed

"[E]ven though throughout much of the world 'libertarian' typically means 'socialist' or some other form of collectivism, in the United States it came to mean a continuation of classical liberalism, laissez-faire capitalism and 'socially liberal and economically conservative.' The Libertarian political party was founded in the United States in 1971. The Libertarian name was chosen because (quoting Wikipedia again) 'The Libertarian Party viewed the dominant Republican and Democratic parties as having diverged from what they viewed as the libertarian principles of the American Founding Fathers.' The LibertarianReality article rightly complains that self-identified libertarians appear all over the political/philosophical map in the US today, disagreeing with nearly every meaning, definition, description, principle, concept and usage from anarchist to minarchist to voluntaryist to mutualist to agorist to anarcho-capitalist to free marketeer to post-statist." (08/23/17)


The insidious libertarian-to-alt-right pipeline

Source: Daily Beast
by Matt Lewis

"One explanation for why young libertarians metastasize into alt-righters is self-selection bias. Some of the people drawn to libertarianism are predisposed to be seduced into the alt-right. In this regard, they are merely passing through a libertarian phase. 'Libertarianism is an unpopular view. And it takes particular personality types to be open to taking unpopular views,' explains Kevin Vallier, an associate professor of philosophy at Bowling Green State University, who writes for the blog Bleeding Heart Libertarians. 'Some of these personality types are people who are open to new experience, love the world of ideas and have a disposition for independent thought. However, some of these personality types simply enjoy holding outrageous and provocative views, who like to argue and fight with others, who like insult and … shock.' Vallier continued, 'The worst flaw in the contrarian trap is that it makes libertarians open to views that deserve to be unpopular and despised, including the thinly-veiled racism of the sort Hans Hermann Hoppe trades in from time to time.'" [editor's note: When did Hoppe start veiling it? – TLK] (08/23/17)


Is there really an "insidious libertarian-to-alt-right pipeline?"

Source: Reason
by Nick Gillespie

"If you bleach out the libertarian aspects of Ron Paul's 2008 stump speech, you're pretty much left with the agenda pushed by Donald Trump and the alt-right, both of which seem comfortable with a welfare state as long as the welfare is going to the right kind of people. Paul also eschews the sort of 'Make America Great Again' rhetoric, which undergirds Trump's and the alt-right's fetishizing of masculine virtues and an overbuilt military. Which is to reiterate that there is no 'pipeline' between libertarianism and the alt-right. The alt-right — and Trumpism, too, to the extent that it has any coherence — is an explicit rejection of foundational libertarian beliefs in 'free trade and free migration' along with experiments in living that make a mess of rigid categories that appeal to racists, sexists, protectionists, and other reactionaries." (08/23/17)