Tag Archives: libertarianism

Marching for life

Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

“Anyone who describes himself as a libertarian has been subjected to at least one game of ‘Would You Legalize …?’ For me, the answer is mostly ‘Yes.’ Weed? Yes. Cocaine? Yes. Heroin? Yes. I’d legalize all the drugs. … You mustn’t kill your children. What about prostitution? Yes, I’d legalize that, too, mostly for the same reasons I’d legalize drugs. … You mustn’t kill your children. Not at any age. Not at any stage of development. Not for any reason. Debate, disagree, dissent, fight, cajole, persuade, argue all you want about war and peace, taxes, the welfare state, global warming, the Palestinian question, immigration, Donald Trump, animal rights, the Second Amendment, libel laws, school choice, the literary merits of Ayn Rand. I’ll have all those fights with you and more. Smoke all the weed you like and watch all the porn you want. Keep up with the Kardashians and live like them, too, if that seems best to you. I won’t pretend it’s a good idea, but it’s a free country. You mustn’t kill your children.”


Rothbard, Rand, and “how I became a libertarian”

Source: Notablog
by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

“Whatever his faults, and whatever his twists and turns, from the New Left in the 1960s to the paleo-libertarian days of his later years, I think it should be noted that Rothbard was among the most prolific writers of his time, and his works on Austrian economics and history (from the colonial period to the Progressive era to the emergence of the ‘Welfare-Warfare’ state) present some of the most significant, insightful, and integrated radical analyses of the emergence of statism in the United States. … it is entirely possible, from the stories I’ve heard, that he certainly did everything he could to avoid citing Rand as any kind of influence on his ethics, as there was a lot of bad blood between the two figures …. But in looking at his whole body of work … I don’t think it can be denied that he was remarkable at integrating the insights of Mises … and those of the New Left … in coming up with a very radical, libertarian perspective on the emergence of statism in the United States.” (01/04/18)


We don’t compromise

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“As most everyone who has been with FFF since the beginning has known, FFF has always taken an uncompromising approach to the principles of liberty. Not once over the course of 28 years have we ever compromised any aspect of the libertarian philosophy. In fact, people who were with us in the first few years of our existence will recall that our informal motto was: ‘We don’t compromise.’ We still don’t. In fact, that’s been our mission from the beginning: to present the uncompromising case for individual liberty, free markets, and limited government. Why? Why have we taken this uncompromising approach? Why haven’t we moderated or watered down our message?” (12/21/17)


Libertarianism, classical liberalism, right-wing populism, and democracy

Source: Notes on Liberty
by Zachary Woodman

“Importantly, what the libertarian populists are trying to do is take the folk democratic intuitions which populist right-wingers have, intuitions upon which most peoples’ beliefs in the legitimacy of democracy rely, and channel those intuitions in a more thinly ‘libertarian’ direction. Unfortunately, this is why many modern right-libertarians in the style of Ron Paul are impotent against white supremacists and often try to cozy up to them: because an important part of their strategy is to regurgitate the vulgar democratic rhetoric in which populists believe. By contrast, modern skeptics of democracy in libertarian circles (or ‘classical liberal’ or ‘cultural libertarian,’ whichever semantic game Wilkinson wants to play to make his argument coherent), such as Ilya Somin, Bryan Caplan, and Jason Brennan, fundamentally undermine those folk democratic intuitions.” [editor’s note: The populism Woodman refers to as “libertarian” populism isn’t libertarian; libertarian populism, like libertarianism, is left-wing – TLK] (11/20/17)


Are free minds and free markets compatible with Christianity?

Source: Reason
by Stephanie Slade

“Is libertarian political philosophy intractably at odds with the Christian faith, as some folks seem to think? Over the last year, I’ve spoken with countless practicing Christians who also fall into what might be called the small-l libertarian camp. A few prefer ‘classical liberal’ while others identify as full-on anarcho-capitalists. Many work in the so-called liberty movement, but there were also business owners and writers, musicians and scientists, scholars and priests. Virtually all see markets, largely or entirely unfettered by the state, as the best mechanism we have for empowering humans to grow and thrive. I asked them to explain, in their own words, how they manage to reconcile two worldviews that many would have us believe are hopelessly in conflict. Below is a sampling of what I heard.” (10/14/17)


Anarchism and libertarianism: Two sides of the same coin

Source: Libertarianism.org
by David S D’Amato

“[A]narchists have traditionally worried about domination and understand that it often manifests itself outside of politics proper; social and economic instances of domination seem to abound, situations in which some external power dominates the will of the individual, yet the coercive power of the state is apparently absent (though perhaps merely hidden). Today, those who self-identify as anarchists are likely to see the modern libertarian movement — which, as an ideological phenomenon, is closely associated with the United States — as inattentive to the realities of these social and economic forms of domination. For them, the freedom free-market libertarians advocate is the freedom of the capitalist to exploit. Genuine economic freedom means, to the anarchist, socialism, not capitalism. The similarities that connect libertarians and anarchists are nevertheless apparent. Indeed, even to say that anarchism and libertarianism are similar is to partially obscure the true relationship between the two.” (09/28/17)


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)