Where's Carey McWilliams When You Need Him?

You may have already seen this Nation story about libertarians and the Ron Paul campaign. I just want to highlight one sentence in it:

When Lindsey says that Paul "comes from a different part of the libertarian universe than I do," he's referring to the libertarian version of the Trotsky/Lenin split, which opened up in the early 1980s and continues to echo through libertarianism today.

The Trotsky/Lenin split? Yes, we all have our little brain farts, but come on. When you can't even count on The Nation to get this stuff straight, you know Marxism is dead.

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  • Mad Max||

    That's embarrassing - like the Wall Street Journal confusing stocks with bonds.

    Or a nerd confusing Gandalf with Saruman.

    Or MTV confusing Beavis with Butthead.

    Or Hillary Clinton forgetting to lie.

    Or Rudy Giuliani going home to the wrong wife after a long day at work.

  • Karl Marx||

    I'm not dead - I'm resting.

    I feel better!

  • Fluffy||

    Or Rudy Giuliani going home to the wrong wife after a long day at work.

    That's pretty cold. Be careful, you will make the dondero angry.

  • ||

    Mad Max,

    Or Bill Clinton confusing "was" with "is", or "sexual relations" with "oral sex"....

  • ||

    And to the ad on the right, I have but one response:

    BEGONE, FOUL TEMPTRESS!

  • ||

    you know Marxism is dead

    Tch, tch Lindsey: Por que no te callas?

  • the innominate one||

    yes, temptress, begone to my place, where you won't bother crimethink, nor he you.

  • ||

    "In the meantime, after a period of secret police repression and internal confusion that followed the first party Congress in 1898, Iskra succeeded in convening the party's 2nd congress in London in August 1903, Trotsky and other Iskra editors attended. The first congress went as planned, with Iskra supporters handily defeating the few 'economist' delegates. Then the congress discussed the position of the Jewish Bund, which had co-founded the RSDLP in 1898 but wanted to remain autonomous within the party. In the heat of the debate, Trotsky made a controversial statement to the effect that he and eleven other non-Bund Jewish delegates who had signed an anti-Bund statement

    while working in the Russian party, regarded and still do regard themselves also as representatives of the Jewish proletariat.

    As Trotsky explained two months later, his statement was just a tactical maneuver made on Lenin's request.[7]

    Shortly thereafter, pro-Iskra delegates unexpectedly split into two factions. Lenin and his supporters (known as 'Bolsheviks') argued for a smaller but highly organized party. Martov and his supporters (known as 'Mensheviks') argued for a larger and less disciplined party. In a surprise development, Trotsky and most of the Iskra editors supported Martov and the Mensheviks while Plekhanov supported Lenin and the Bolsheviks.

    During 1903 and 1904, many members changed sides in the factions. Plekhanov soon parted ways with the Bolsheviks. Trotsky left the Mensheviks in September 1904 over their insistence on an alliance with Russian liberals and their opposition to a reconciliation with Lenin and the Bolsheviks. From then until 1917 he described himself as a 'non-factional social democrat'.

    Trotsky spent much of his time between 1904 and 1917 trying to reconcile different groups within the party, which resulted in many clashes with Lenin and other prominent party members. Trotsky later conceded he had been wrong in opposing Lenin on the issue of the party. During these years Trotsky began developing his theory of permanent revolution, which led to a close working relationship with Alexander Parvus in 1904-1907."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Trotsky#Split_with_Lenin_.281903-1904.29

  • Mad Max||

    Meanwhile, Trotsky asked Alexandra Kollontoi to march next to him in the May Day Parade, little knowing that Alexandra was in a three-way with Lenin and Krupskaya, and Inessa Armand decided to tell Emma Goldman that she was carrying Alexander Berkman's baby, while Mother Jones realized that Molotov had taken advantage of her after slipping her one of his famous cocktails . . .

  • Santa is the <i>Reason </i>for||

    I don't understand why there should be a split over abortion among libertarians, that is a women's issue and doesn't really apply to us.

  • Mad Max||

    Molotov said that Mother Jones was "really on fire that night."

  • Tom Walls||

    Borat interviews Ron Paul!

    Borat: My name, a Borat! I don't know what to calling you, you have two first names.
    Ron Paul: It's good to be here.
    Borat: In my country, we now have freedoms to marry ox and sister.
    Ron Paul: I don't approve, but that's your business!
    Borat: How many libertarian screw in light bulb?
    Ron Paul: None, the market will do it.
    Borat: Why are you very very nice guy, the others not wanting to talk to me?
    Ron Paul: Because I don't want to bomb your country.
    Borat: I kiss you!

  • Mad Max||

    One evening, when Nikolai Bukarin, Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev are drinking at a bar in Geneva with Stalin, Stalin confides that he's always had a secret crush on Olga the typist, but never had the nerve to talk to her. Bukarin, Zinoviev and Kamenev trick Stalin into thinking that Olga has always had the hots for Stalin, so they urge Stalin to go up to Olga and ask her out. The three pranksters bust a guy laughing when Olga slaps Stalin, calls him ugly and creepy, and walks away. "You don't think Stalin will hold a grudge, do you?" Kamenev asks, nervously. "Don't worry," says Bukharin, "he'll have forgotten about it in a week."

  • ||

    Tom
    That's hillarious.(And probably truthful)

  • ||

    (though, oddly, one that still forces pregnancy)



    Huh? Ron Paul is for forced pregnancies? Wow, I never knew that! Will the troops returning home from Iraq be doing the impregnating, or will it be a make-work program for unemployed IRS workers? Can one volunteer for this civic duty?

  • Jesse Walker||

    Ashish: I really doubt he was referring to the Bolshevik/Menshevik split, since Trotsky wasn't the leader of the Mensches (and since the two eventually reconciled). Whereas Trotsky/Stalin is the Ur-split of the Leninoids.

    Max: You a funny guy.

  • ||

    I'm more of a Wilson Carey McWilliams man myself. Just sayin'.

  • Franklin Harris||

    I have friends (and a couple of enemies) on both sides of the libertarian schism. I feel so left out.

  • ||

    Would someone enlighten me... I read the passage as specifically referring to 1903... it made perfect sense to me. But, I try to put my Russian history class way out of my mind nowadays.

  • ||

    Brandybuck: "...will it be a make-work program for unemployed IRS workers? Can one volunteer for this civic duty?"

    We'll leave these ladies to you and the IRS workers.

  • ||

    It worked! The foul temptress is gone!

    Now, I will attempt to conjure Edward...

  • ||

    "Ron Paul: Because I don't want to bomb your country.
    Borat: I kiss you!"


    In Russia, country bombs you!

  • ||

    On a more serious note, the big schism I see is between classic libertarians and libertarian conservatives. Libertarians tend to base their ideology on natural rights, and seek to minimize the state because it is inherently evil. Libertarian conservatives view the state as a useful tool and seek to order society through its use, but are wary of too large a state.

  • ||

    Я like best Trotsky/Trotsky split -- with ice axe!

  • ||

    "...then there's the Washington crowd that's still trying to sell libertarianism, or their version of it, to elites. These people want to go along and get along. As long as they can abort their babies and sodomize each other and take as many drugs as they want to, they are happy."

    Hell yeah!

    "They don't care who is being killed in Iraq and how many Iraqis are dying. That's their hierarchy of values."

    I gotta admit, foreign policy is not one of the main issues that rile me up like it riles up the paleo-libertarians who always seem to think every American foreign adventure an act of imperialism (I guess this makes me a DC-libertarian). But Kudos to them for being right all along about Iraq.

    I suppose that since I believe that foreign policy is a proper function of government and since the libertarian in me believes that government will always screw up, Iraq is a wrongheaded and costly (but legitimate!) government screw-up.

    On the other hand, the drug war or something like a transfat ban, are things the government should not be doing under any circumstances. Therefore, these issues tend to irk my libertarian soul a lot more.

    So I guess Raimondo does have a point. I really do care more about pot, anal and twinkies more than I do about foreign policy blunders.

  • ||

    So I guess Raimondo does have a point. I really do care more about pot, anal and twinkies more than I do about foreign policy blunders.

    Raimondo has a blog post amplifying his views over at Anti-War. And Anthony Gregory manages to get in a few good licks on our Sensitive Men of the Hankie over at Lew Rockwell. A particularly tasty twist of the knife:

    We have been told that libertarianism needs this kind of a makeover - it needs to be hip, to be 21st century, to embrace whatever culture and lifestyle are in vogue. Maybe this millennium's libertarianism could be recast as low-tax metrosexualism. Tax reform, vouchers, cross-dressing and bong rips would prove the winning combination. Just stay away from the revisionist history, the natural law philosophy and the mechanics of monetary policy. This won't win the kids over, we were told.

    And yet, what has inspired the youth to rally around the ideas of liberty? Not vacuous appeals to their lifestyle. Not a [neo]classical liberalism that wears its hat backwards and listens to the newest pop music. In fact, such gestures are likely to turn off today's intelligent and young libertarians. It turns out that what they really needed to get excited was no more nor less than the promise of liberty itself.



    Presumably, this is a precursor to the long awaited panty-raid the Lew Rockwell crowd will be launching on Reason....

  • ||

    I thought Raimondo was a soddomite? His rhetoric reads like an anti-war Pat Robertson. I honestly dont pay much attention to the guy ( I am a REAL libertarian, not a "populist" or elitist, and I dont need to read antiwar.com to be anti-war), but I remember reading an article that included him and his little gay lover smoking.

    I wonder how he feels that 99% of his friends probably think hes a little fag.

    Since when are libertarians "populist" or "cosmopolitan"?

    Am I the only NORMAL Libertarian left? You know, a guy who is actual a libertarian individualist who is anti-war but doesnt hang around white supremicists, neo-confederates, and self-hating homos?

  • Guy Montag||

    Marxism: The Opiate of Dumbasses

    Now, is there an official name for this libertarian rift, or are the folks at Then Nation and TNR going to have to continue using these silly 'approximation' labels?

  • ed||

    [Some] Libertarians...seek to minimize the state because it is inherently evil. Libertarian conservatives view the state as a useful tool...

    It's useful to define the proper role of a (libertarian) government. Libertarians do not believe that governments are inherently evil. That's the philosophy of anarchists. Libertarians do (or should) recognize the need for a referee, cop and judge to settle disputes and keep order among free people, and an army to keep foreign aggressors in check. Has anyone noticed that Ron Paul, amongst all the candidates, is the only one to even attempt to discuss the proper role of a government of free people? For all the others our government is ready-made, indisputable and just waiting for them to take control of it and expand its power over us.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I always thought the rift came in the late 1960's thru the early 1970's when Ayn Rand gave Nate the boot and the soon-to-be semi-neo-con faction at YAF gave the departing libertines a Bronx cheer that went something like Lazy Fairies, Lazy Fairies......

  • Mike Laursen||

    o I guess Raimondo does have a point. I really do care more about pot, anal and twinkies more than I do about foreign policy blunders.

    Oh, man. Here I thought his point was exaggerated and didn't describe any real-life libertarians. And now you're saying, "Yup, sounds like me."

    I'm going to go find a cave and crawl inside it until the human race is sane.

  • libertreee||

    Libertarians do not believe that governments are inherently evil. That's the philosophy of anarchists. Libertarians do (or should) recognize the need for a referee, cop and judge to settle disputes and keep order among free people, and an army to keep foreign aggressors in check.-Ed



    Ed, speak for yourself! Why do minarchists always have to pretend to speak for all libertarians? Is that the real problem here? That libertarians refuse to acknowledge their differences and pretend to speak for all of us ?

    This libertarian Does believe that governments as we have them predominantly throughout history are evil, and hopefully not a necessary evil either.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I thought Raimondo was a sodomite

    Now, John Jackson knows the actual meaning of the word. Don't care what those people down in Georgia think, it when that sweet little twenty-something chick does that thing that feels so good, it ain't sodomy. Nope.

  • pdog||

    Ed, speak for yourself! Why do minarchists always have to pretend to speak for all libertarians? Is that the real problem here? That libertarians refuse to acknowledge their differences and pretend to speak for all of us ?

    Agreed. Although minarchists like this are a hell of a lot more libertarian than say, Eric Dondero, who is really just a conservative.

    And I don't care how many signatures you gathered or petitionis you circulated... those things do not make you a libertarian.

  • Mike Laursen||

    That's the #1 thing about libertarians that bugs this libertarian. Especially, my experiences in the Libertarian Party. That so many libertarians oppose free thinking about libertarianism.

  • Randolph Carter||

    I've really soured on the Cato Institute. What's their deal? Do they want to sit at the cool kids' table or something?

  • Billy Beck||

    "I always thought the rift came in the late 1960's thru the early 1970's when Ayn Rand gave Nate the boot..."

    To me, the most important "rift" in American libertarianism occurred in 1971 between the Chorodov/LeFevre guys arguing against the formation of the Party by the Nolan/Hospers crowd.

    I'm with the former.

    "Join The Voters' Boycott"

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    There's bound to be some scuffling over the details but sometimes the scuffling gets to be the whole point. That's my big beef. Aside from inviting people into the tent who are bound to yank out 90% of the tent stakes.

  • ||

    "I've really soured on the Cato Institute. What's their deal? Do they want to sit at the cool kids' table or something?

    They ought to change the name to the Green Hornet Institute.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    See, I can completely identify with Billy Beck and the Don't vote it only encourages them guys. But, that didn't stop me from re-registering so I could vote for RP in the primary.

    Can't we all just get along? :-)

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Hmmm, soured on CATO. I hadn't paid enough attention to notice that CATO has backslid. I did notice that they now allow girls to work there though.

  • Billy Beck||

    "See, I can completely identify with Billy Beck and the Don't vote it only encourages them guys."

    That's not really my position -- which is a moral condemnation of voting -- but it's close enough, I guess.

  • ||

    I'm going to go find a cave and crawl inside it until the human race is sane.

    Might as well wall yourself in. You ain't never coming out it appears.

  • ||

    With his full-throated rejection of the imperial project in Iraq and a radical vision of a stripped-down state (though, oddly, one that still forces pregnancy),

    Yes, opposing abortion is the same as forcing pregnancy, sort of like opposing embryonic stem cell research is the same as forcing people to have Parkinsons.

    Crap. I don't think there's enough salt in my house with which to take this article.

  • ||

    This gets to the paradox at the heart of the Paul campaign: he's the candidate least likely to hedge or obfuscate, the most apt to spell out in sharp detail his underlying principles--and yet he's also something of an ideological cipher, attracting the support of everyone from hipstertarian kids on Northeast college campuses to John Birchers in Texas.



    So, if people of many different ideologies find your plainly spelled out positions attractive, that makes you an "ideological cipher"?! Right. Anyone who doesn't play to the Republican or Democratic base must not have any substance. That's a viewpoint I think The Nation and National Review can agree on.

    "You have this weird group of people," says Lindsey. "You've got libertarians, you've got antiwar types and you've got nationalists and xenophobes. I'm not sure that is leading anywhere. I think he's a sui generis type of guy who's cobbling together some irreconcilable constituencies, many of which are backward-looking rather than forward-looking."



    It should be easy for a libertarian to connect the dots and see that all those consituencies want the friggin govt to get off their backs and out of their business. Then again, Mr Lindsey may not be a libertarian.

  • LarryA||

    "You have this weird group of people," says Lindsey. "You've got libertarians, you've got antiwar types and you've got nationalists and xenophobes. I'm not sure that is leading anywhere. I think he's a sui generis type of guy who's cobbling together some irreconcilable constituencies, many of which are backward-looking rather than forward-looking."

    How is this different from the Ds and Rs?

    This libertarian Does believe that governments as we have them predominantly throughout history are evil, and hopefully not a necessary evil either.

    Governments are neither evil nor good. No matter what form of government you have, from Divine Right of Kings to anarchy, if the people in charge are good, so will the government be. If they are evil, the government will be evil as well.

    Basically there are two forms of government. The first form holds that government exists to run the lives of the people under its control. Today in the U.S. this is accepted philosophy of everyone but libertarians. We believe, with the folks who wrote the Declaration of Independence, that a government should be formed by and answerable to its citizens. Its sole legitimate purpose should be to protect the rights of those citizens.

    We just haven't figured out a way to accomplish that yet.

    However, the differences between libertarian factions pale when compared to the differences between libertarians and the two main parties. So much so that publications like The Nation don't even have the terms to describe libertarians.

  • ||

    Governments are neither evil nor good. No matter what form of government you have, from Divine Right of Kings to anarchy, if the people in charge are good, so will the government be. If they are evil, the government will be evil as well.

    That is true, but there is also the fact that the people who are best at gaining power are disproportionately evil...and then there's the fact that power corrupts, so that people who enter office with good intentions tend to go evil fairly quickly after gaining power.

    I feel about government the same way I feel about my asshole. It's necessary to have it functioning, but I don't want to be reminded of its existence more than the absolute minimum -- and trust me, you don't either.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I coulda sworn I posted on this, but it seems to have disappeared...

    Anyway, it was on the concept of minarchism or, to use a term I stumbled upon a while back... "night watchman state".

    I absolutely cannot stand it when libertarianism is shrugged off as "just anarchism". If some of my fellows want to engage in anarchist tendencies, they are (still) free to do so. But it just does not appeal to me as a concept.

  • ||

    "I am a REAL libertarian..."

    Outsiders tend to sound really stupid when they try to break libertarians into little groups, but liberatians who try to break themselves out from the rest of us because they're so real... It's like a special kind of stupid.

    I've never read anything interesting written by a libertarian right after he claimed to be a real libertarian and was actually serious about it.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I don't think those guys mean that Ron Paul is a secret code so I have to interpret the use of the term cypher as somewhat of an insult. That demeans the message even assuming it has any validity to begin with.

    I'm putting in a new front door, just got the old one out. It's a little cold without a front door, even here in Sunny So Cal.

    Break time is over.

  • whippersnapper||

    I don't git the OP. I thought Trotsky and Lenin did have a split?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    There's more than one stripe of libertarian... although, for the life of me, I will *never* be able to wrap my noggin around the concept of "libertarian socialism"... to me, that's like mixing axle grease and vinegar and calling the resulting concoction "Italian dressing".

  • Randolph Carter||

    LarryA,
    I think you're wrong about government being value-neutral. Most classical liberal/libertarian writers treat government as inherently evil - no matter who's in charge. That's why they are so big on written constitutions.

    I like Herbert Spencer's take on it, that since government uses all the tools of evil (imprisonment, torture, pain, etc ) to attempt to root out evil, it's just a different and better organized band of brigands.

  • Don McClean||

    just anarchism

    The anarchists are all enslaved....My own flag is forever waved by grateful people I have saved.

    Everybody loves me baby! What's the matter with you?

  • Kaganspawn||

    Crimethink, a winner for your asshole analogy. Well put.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The anarchists have logical rigor on their side, in so far as natural rights / initiation of force is concerned. The problems would arise in the disputes between private defense agencies.

    If I believed anarchy was viable without mini civil wars popping up, I would be an anarchist. I am open to arguments that my view is wrong. However, as someone pointed out on another thread, even if anarchy is viable, short of open revolution, the only way is through minarchy. So I'm a minarchist.

  • pdog||

    The only way to anarchy is indeed through minarchy.

    My view of the whole civil war between private defense agencies is that it would be wholly unprofitable and unproductive that it just wouldn't be an issue. And in a sense kind of how a commodity becomes 'money', I think a general consensus would occur on a single set of laws and enforcement agencies. It might look like a 'night watchmen government' type, the difference being that it was consensually agreed upon by the people.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    I don't git the OP. I thought Trotsky and Lenin did have a split?

    it was trotsky/stalin

    I don't understand why there should be a split over abortion among libertarians, that is a women's issue and doesn't really apply to us.

    now thats freaking hilarious.

    As to Cato backsliding, and libertarians becoming uncomfortable with Ron Paul, I'm becoming freaked out by the large numbers of isolationists and protectionists who are backing Paul now. I believe in unfettered global trade for the most part, and a large contigent of Paul's base is voting for him ESPECIALLY because they feel he is against that.

  • ||

    TWC,

    I think that attitude arises from the warped "bipartisan" viewpoint that most political writers have. It's the same reason they always chide libertarians for being "inconsistent" because they take a Democratic view on the War on Drugs at the same time as take a Republican position on gun control.

    They can't fathom that a set of principled political beliefs exists that appeals to people on both sides of the Red-Blue divide, so they assume that anyone who does have cross-party appeal must be a superficial lightweight. (and most of the time, they'd be right).

  • ||

    and eventually, Trotsky got his own split -- in the back of his head...

  • ||

    1) Both anarchists and minarchists view government as evil. But minarchists are willing to accept a severely constrained government because they don't consider anarchy to be a viable alternative. You keep a tiny "night-watchman" state around in order to prevent an even worse criminal state from arising out of anarchy.

  • Randolph Carter||

    I don't care what the people who vote for Ron Paul in this primary believe in - as long as they pull the lever for Paul whatever. They can go and play with themselves while screaming "they took our jobs!" forever.

    I guess that's what I don't get - a guy who's always held up as the model of a classical liberal/libertarian congressman for his voting record, who ran for President as a Libertarian in '88, still gets shat on by the beltway libertarians and the cooler-than-thou jerks who don't want an unhip old OB/GYN on their team.

  • ||

    2) The point Raimondo seems to be making is that many gays are "libertarian" merely because they want their personal behaviors to be unregulated. It has nothing to do with natural rights but mere self-interest. They aren't libertarians, they're gay conservatives.

  • ||

    @crimethink

    And to the ad on the right, I have but one response:

    BEGONE, FOUL TEMPTRESS!


    I don't know what ad you're seeing.

    The only ad I see over on the right features a couple of sheep....


    Say it ain't so, crimethink.....

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Well said Randolph Carter. It's like, RP's no good, let's vote for St Hill. Or Mitt Romney.

    Got a really close libertarian friend who is disappointed that Reason hasn't taken a more caustic look at RP over some of his shortcomings (like taking money from the White Power boys).

    I do not understand that thinking at all.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    i think its because so many libertarians take a contrarian "don't trust it" attitude that they are unable to recognize a good thing when they see it.

  • ||

    Randolph!

    Are you going to be in on Operation Live Free or Die? I'm getting there on New Year's.

  • Randolph Carter||

    I'm already here in NH... look @ my facebook page. Gainfully employed as well... but I can't share my secret internet identity.

  • ||

    Ashish George: I think we all got the hang of wiki-freakin'-pedia by now. Jeez.

  • ||

    Heh, I guess my skills aren't worth as much on the open market -- I have to pay to go work for them...did I catch Dr Paul picking his nose at 2:24 on that video on your Facebook page?

  • Charles||

    I'm a libertarian because I think that while a lot of illegal things are wrong (in that sense essentially a social conservative), it's none of the government's business who does it, how, and why. Where on the divide does that put me?

  • Mad Max||

    "My view of the whole civil war between private defense agencies is that it would be wholly unprofitable and unproductive that it just wouldn't be an issue."

    That's what people say about war in general. It usually *is* unprofitable and unproductive. This fact doesn't seem to create peace, however.

    "I guess that's what I don't get - a guy who's always held up as the model of a classical liberal/libertarian congressman for his voting record, who ran for President as a Libertarian in '88, still gets shat on by the beltway libertarians and the cooler-than-thou jerks who don't want an unhip old OB/GYN on their team."

    I agree. I'm glad that the Ron Paul coalition takes in so many diverse types of people. You need to do that in politics. The important thing is that Dr. Paul hasn't attracted this diverse support by changing or denying his principles. That's all I can ask - and more than I thought I had the right to expect.

  • Randolph Carter||

    crimethink,
    in re: nosepicking... perhaps. More of a "interior nose itch" situation."

  • men in black||

    Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?
    He got an ice pick
    That made his ears burn

  • Edward||

    Borat interviews Ron Paul!

    Borat: My name, a Borat! I don't know what to calling you, you have two first names.
    Ron Paul: Call me Dr. No-no
    Borat: In my country, we are now having constitution.
    Ron Paul: The diffeence between your c0nstitution and ours is that ours is filled with references to God.
    Borat: But we are havinf separation of God and state.
    Ron Paul: Only milatant secularists whi are waging a war against reliogion what a separation between shurch and state. Our founding fathers didn't want gays adopting kids either, which is why I voted such unholy adoptions
    Borat: My kids are being very gay.
    Ron Paul: I meant "queer." You would have a hard time assimilating to American culture. I hope you're no planning to stay.
    Borat: I am being legal immigrant
    Ron Paul: still...
    Borat: I hear you are having Nazi money.
    Ron Paul: Yes, and I'll never return it. They would just give it to David Duke, and he already has a better wardrobe than I do. I need that money.
    Borat: You are havinh chances to be president how many?
    Ron Paul: When people hear my message, I think they will see the light and vote for me.
    Borat: Good luck on keeping Nazi money.

  • pdog||

    That's what people say about war in general. It usually *is* unprofitable and unproductive. This fact doesn't seem to create peace, however.

    I am speaking purely in terms of a free market society. There is no doubt that in our world today there are global conflicts that military force would profit from, but I'd argue that these situations are caused from a lack of any understanding of individual rights, liberty and the rule of law.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?
    He got an ice pick... That made his ears burn



    I prefer this version.

    I wrote about Elastica "borrowing" the Stranglers tune here.

  • ||

    pdog,

    But that's the thing...there's no guarantee that private actors will be any more respectful of individual rights than govts.

  • ||

    Ken Shultz ( and anyone else),

    Sorry to go out of my way to call myself a REAL libertarian. It probably sounds/looks stupid, Like Dondero calling Rudy Giuliani the leading libertarian candidate for POTUS.

    My point was, the article broke libertarian into 2 groups ( NEITHER of which IMHO describes a "regular" actual libertarian).

    I never knew that libertarians were either a. populists or b. cosmopolitan elitists.

    I am certainly not a "populist" and not a D.C. think tank "elite." Frankly, I don't know how any half serious libertarian could identify as either. There are certainly "old right" populists ( many supporting Ron Paul) but they, the nazis, and all their other buddies are certainly not libertarians, IMHO. A lot of the Cato types have some issues, sure. WHile some have probably done a lot more for freedom than the one-issue "populist libertarians" who are sour because some disagree with their pet issue.

    I should have said, is anyone else a PLAIN/REGULAR "libertarian"? Aint no populism or elitism in my views.

  • Jesse Walker (a Baltimore Belt||

    Next time someone starts going on about how those "Beltway libertarians" all hate Ron Paul, show them this map.

  • Eddie Eddie Bo-Beddie Banana-n||

    My spell checker broke

  • ||

    John Jackson -- It is a faux pas on this website to do the "real libertarian" thing, or the "I'm more libertarian than you" thing. Apparently it has been beat to death in threads years or even decades ago, and everyone is tired of it. I ran afoul of this early on as a newbie here, took my lickins, and have since refrained from this foul, foul blasphemy.

  • ||

    Jesse Walker,

    Good point. I like how they imply that Reason, operating in DC and thus presumably run by the cosmotarian faction, is just warming up to Ron Paul now.

    IIRC, from the day he was rumored to be entering the race, you all were very friendly to Paul, however skeptical you were about his chances.

  • ||

    prolefeed,

    I, for one, welcome anyone who wants to brag about their comparative libertarian credentials, because according to The Rules, it means I get to take a drink. Of course, to avoid alcohol poisoning, I've stopped doing so for Eric Dondero's posts.

    For the same reason, attempted puns on the word "reason" and advice on how libertarianism needs to change so as to gain popular acceptance are welcome.

  • Guy Montag||

    Jesse Walker (a Baltimore Beltway libertarian),

    Next time someone starts going on about how those "Beltway libertarians" all hate Ron Paul, show them this map.

    Any bets on Stephen Glass making his journalistic comeback on this topic?

  • Mad Max||

    I'm a "real libertarian," now listen up y'all,
    And I'll show you why you shouldn't vote for Ron Paul.
    Dr. Paul won't give you goodies from the Treasury,
    If you want same, you better vote for Giuliani.
    Paul thinks the states are sovereign, not administrative regions
    He even voted for the Pledge of Allegiance.
    If you support Paul, you'll get put on lists
    Of people who are probably National Socialists.
    He has no chance of winning; he's already lost
    That's why I denounce him in so many posts.
    Y'all better get wise and vote for Rudy,
    He won't let you smoke dope, but you can kill your baby.

  • ||

    Come on Mad Max, get with the program.

    Dondero is currently putting out feelers to whore himself out to Thompson or Romney, so frightened he is of the Big Bad Huckabee (RAWRRR!)

  • ||

    libertarians [...] take a Democratic view on the War on Drugs

    That it's fucking awesome how they get all those votes from people who for no reason whatsoever think they're against it when they're really all 100% for it, and this is a significant factor in its continuation?

    Hm.

  • SIV||

    It's the same reason they always chide libertarians for being "inconsistent" because they take a Democratic view on the War on Drugs at the same time as take a Republican position on gun control.

    Well this wins the stupidest thing I've read on H&R comments since the moral equating of farm animals with infants and the retarded.

  • hale||

    Charles,

    I'm a libertarian because I think that while a lot of illegal things are wrong (in that sense essentially a social conservative), it's none of the government's business who does it, how, and why. Where on the divide does that put me?

    I don't think having a particular moral tilt is relevant to being libertarian or not. What's relevant is the extent to which you believe the state's role includes forcing society to abide by your moral opinions.

  • ||

    Perhaps the "split" referred to here is Trotsky's skull being split by the insertion of an axe at the hands of NKVD agent Ramon Mercader.

    Jus' sayin'.

  • Warmongering Lunatic||

    I think he's a sui generis type of guy who's cobbling together some irreconcilable constituencies,

    Hmm. Kind of like if you put together poor, poorly-educated, anti-abortion, anti-gay evangelical Christians with wealthy, well-educated pro-choice lesbians?

    Oh, wait. I just described the Democratic Party. (The former group described in my example is, of course, African-Americans.)

  • ||

    I should add that this is also the basis for mistrusting the state's use of public resources to conduct wars, establish trade policies and engage in public works programs: in each case, choosing one course of action over another propagates the biases of the powerful (viz. those "citizens" tasked with making decisions) throughout society, and at the expense of those who may not have had a meaningful choice.

  • ||

    I'm aware that in practice the Dems haven't done much in regard to the WoD. I was trying to come up with an issue that Democrats take the same position that libertarians do. You get the idea; if you don't, substitute the war in Iraq for the War on Drugs.

  • SIV||

    I was trying to come up with an issue that Democrats take the same position that libertarians do.

    And you failed.

    I'm trying to think of any issue on which they do take the same position as libertarians. I might have to google up the Democrat Party Platform cause I can't think of one.

  • ||

    SIV,

    The war in Iraq is one. I know there are libertarians (and Democrats) who support it, but the vast majority of both are opposed to it.

  • TWC||

    .....Reason, operating in DC and thus presumably run by the cosmotarian faction.......

    Crime, just as an aside, Reason stayed in LA for that very Reason (pun intended). Or so it was whispered in dark alleys. Now with everyone except the Big Boss and Brian Doherty scattered to the 4 winds the shift to DC has been completed. But still, the main office is right there on Sepulveda Blvd.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I was trying to come up with an issue that Democrats take the same position that libertarians do.

    And you failed.


    Thunk. That was TWC falling off his chair LOL. Thank you, SIV.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    MadMax, I believe that I have now sufficiently atoned for my ghastly jokes at the expense of Southerners the other day.

    see this.

    The money quote that gets me absolution:

    .....but all in all, none can hold a Christmas candle to the Skynard version. It rocks in a get-down, fried-hockey-boogie way that only Southern blues rock can do. Got that Neil?


    For those who missed out on the joke, a reprise:

    So, you know what a Georgia girl says after she has sex for the first time?

    Get offa me daddy, yer crushin' my smokes.

    [scattered laughter and applause]

    Thanks, I'm here all week.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Oh, and great poem, Mad. Or was that an elongated Haiku?

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Doors in, but I still have to put the deadbolt on. It's warmer in here with a door. And, for So Cal, it was dam cold and windy today. I bet we didn't see 50 and a cold rain storm moving through in a little while. Gotta get the fire going.

  • ||

    OK, where does that leave a libertarian like me who doesn't believe that either Lew Rockwell or Brink Lindsey is an incisive thinker or a good public face for libertarianism.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Randolph Carter, went to Facebook and I'm pretty sure you aren't in Guatemala, but there's a few other Randolph Carters to pick from. Is this a trick to avoid me? :-)

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    ....where does that leave a libertarian like me.....

    in good company. :-)

  • SIV||


    So, you know what a Georgia girl says after she has sex for the first time?

    Get offa me daddy, yer crushin' my smokes.


    TWC:

    We tell that joke about Alabama girls (I'm a Georgian).Alabamans don't reciprocate they substitute Mississippi or Tennessee.

    Another popular cross border joke:

    "Did you see that tornado that blew through Montgomery? Blew the Governor's Mansion clean off it's axles."

  • SIV||

    OK, where does that leave a libertarian like me who doesn't believe that either Lew Rockwell or Brink Lindsey is an incisive thinker or a good public face for libertarianism.

    I agree, but I will add that Rockwell clearly is a libertarian, Lindsey isn't.

  • ||

    TWC,

    That's not his real name...it's a character from The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath and other Lovecraft stories.

  • ||

    I think The Nation would get a better handle on its facts after watching "Monty Python":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ9myHhpS9s

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Crime, thanks, I figured it wasn't his real name, but I also figured that like Me, Stevo, & NoStar he might be using the pen name at Facebook.

    I'm not good at this stuff like you guys are. I didn't know about the Lovecraft character and do you know HOW LONG it took me make the Guy Montag connection? [casts eyes downward in furtive embarrassment]

  • BakedPenguin||

    it's a character from The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath and other Lovecraft stories.



    ai! ai! Huckabee ftaghn!

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    John, as Prole remarked it is just verboten to play the I'm a rootin' tootin' libertarian card.

    As Crime mentioned, it is okay to hang your libertarian colors out if you want to get everyone drunk.

    That's the rules. Somebody may link to them, but they are, in fact, the rules of the H&R drinking game.

    All that notwithstanding, from time to time, you will likely slam your fist into the monitor and think to yourself: WTF? What kind of libertarian would say shit like that?

    I think, if you point it out, everyone gets to drink. But, they may also beat you up later. In the alley. As you try to escape in your car.

  • Randolph Carter||

    Jesse,
    Just to be clear, by "beltway libertarians," I meant the Cato people talking smack about Paul, or at the very least those who are so wrapped up under the covers with the Republican party that they forgot their principles. I think of Reason as a kind of pan-national ur-libertarian hive mind. And I mean that in a good way.

  • Mad Max||

    "MadMax, I believe that I have now sufficiently atoned for my ghastly jokes at the expense of Southerners the other day."

    You are atoned. Go in peace, and sin no more.

  • ||

    As a maligned "libertarian-conservative" (classical liberal?) I think I must speak up. FWIW, I was a dues-paying LP member in the early-mid-80s.

    Here's the problem I see with straight-up small-l libertarianism : for people who pride themselves on principle and the power of ideas, the ideas/values of the public are curiously absent from any discussion of policy choices. IMO too much faith is placed in the power of the free market to 'mechanically' sort things out, making the Marxist mistake that people are purely economic creatures as well as the practical mistakes of ignoring that a) the market is semi-free at best, with a still nice slice of welfare state, and b) the Republic continues its slide toward mobocracy (too willing to be led by demagogues).

    Given that people *do* get to vote, ignoring what they think is insanity. This has direct relevance to the [wide open] immigration issue.

    "Pure" libertarianism often gets itself stuck on the "can't get there from here" problem (or rather tries to brush it off and thus risks walking off a cliff). I have the perfect, undeniable historical parallel to this problem: the late 80's S&L mess: deregulation won kudos as a libertarian advance, but disaster struck because the big picture was ignored, in terms of keeping FSLIC. It's a messy world and sometimes the advances have to be balanced.

  • ||

    OK, where does that leave a libertarian like me who doesn't believe that either Lew Rockwell or Brink Lindsey is an incisive thinker or a good public face for libertarianism.

    Depends on *why* you do not believe Lew or Brink are not so good.

    On the one hand, I have liked most of Lew's essays, interviews, and speeches that I've read and heard. On the other hand, I do not feel at home with many of the other writers on LewRockwell.com. Lincoln bashing is OK in my book; but just because Abe was a rotten tyrant and the victors of that conflict did write the history books, it does not mean the Confederacy was just peachy and that the Confederate cause is worthing of dusting off in order to promote our ideas.

    IMO, CATO has always done some good work. They are indeed trying to sell their wares to the political wonks and the crowd inside the beltway. Despite what Raimondo has said, CATO has opposed the war in Iraq, neo-con power grabs, and big government conservatism. That they do not use Raimondo's vitriolic style, which I enjoy, is not good enough reason to throw them under the bus.

    Radical libertarians like me sometimes get an uneasy feeling about CATO because there are a few softies in there (relatively speaking) like Brink Lindsey.

    Reading Brink's writings, he gets you to the point where you're about to say, "Hell yeah!", but then he throws in something about the EPA or FDA being swell. He's such a tease.

    BTR

  • ||

    "IMO too much faith is placed in the power of the free market to 'mechanically' sort things out,..."

    I keep hearing this from so many different libertarian corners, and I just don't get it.

    "I have the perfect, undeniable historical parallel to this problem: the late 80's S&L mess: deregulation won kudos as a libertarian advance, but disaster struck because the big picture was ignored, in terms of keeping FSLIC. It's a messy world and sometimes the advances have to be balanced."

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding what's being said here, but from wikipedia:

    "In the 1980s, during the savings and loan crisis, the FSLIC became insolvent. It was recapitalized with taxpayer money several times, including with $15 billion in 1986 and $10.75 billion in 1987. However, by 1989 it was deemed too insolvent to save and was abolished along with the FHLBB; savings and loan deposit insurance responsibility was transferred to the FDIC."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Savings_and_Loan_Insurance_Corporation

    That looks like it was unsustainable, but maybe you're just saying that deposit insurance in general is a good thing? ...and that some libertarians would have simply let depositors lose all their money?

  • ||

    For what it's worth, I acknowledge that free markets won't stamp out drug use and teen pregnancy, and they won't end people buying more house than they can afford. Free markets won't put an end to people making bad investment decisions and even with free markets, we'll have to deal with racists and sexists and homophobes. Free markets won't end child abuse or home invasion robberies... Free markets won't stop my girlfriend from bothering me while I'm watching football.

    Are these the kinds of limitations to free markets that you're talking about? ...because I fully accept that free markets aren't the answer to everything. ...but I have an awful lot of faith in free markets.

    I've posted something like this elsewhere, and for those of you who are already sick of the analogy, I apologize. ...but to my ear, arguing that libertarians have too much faith in free markets rings like Intelligent Designers complaining that evolutionists have too much faith in evolution.

    ...evolution and free markets both being well documented processes, you know.

  • Punditarian||

    That was not a mistake.

    That was a typical Stalinist re-write of history.

    The NATION is a Stalinist publication. By asserting that Trotsky split with Lenin, the NATION is simply adjusting the facts to accord with the Stalinist mythos.

  • Al Fin||

    Punditarian is right. The NATION is indeed Stalinist, subject to Stalinist prejudices and historical revisions. It is also the most read periodical by university professors in the US.

  • ||

    I thought they were Brezhnevist.

  • ||

    For Ken Shultz:

    Perhaps I wasn;t clear about FSLIC and the S&L debacle:
    S&Ls were cut loose from most oversight & regulation, a "win" for expanding the free market, BUT deposit insurance was still maintained. The typical libertarian belief is that any partial gain in liberty is a good thing -- which ran head on into reality with the S&L crisis. An "uneven" policy change created a major mess because the deregulated S&Ls were unleashed, and (aside from some outright corruption) their financial analyses were skewed by knowing that no matter what risks they took, FSLIC would bail them out with their customers. Of course that produced unwarrantedly risky behavior as th ediscipline of the market was incomplete -- and a big self-inflicted black eye for the deregulation movement as a whole. And that is why FSLIC became insolvent. Again, libertarians too often take an oversimplified black&white approach to complex issues. A real free market for the S&Ls would have worked the best, IMO, but a bad incremental approach ended up worse than the original more regulated system.

    [A current, less dramatic example would be the way we are behind in deployment of telecommunications advances compared to many other countries as in the US we are 'stuck' with a partially free market in that sector, in which players are neither forced by regulation nor unfettered competition(my preference of course) to update].

    As to the free market not being able to magically fix all social woes, that's not my point. The point is that in a system based on voting, a free(er) market, and all its benefits, can neither be achieved **nor sustained** unless the underlying culture of the electorate supports it, hence legitimate concerns about assimilation (to core American ideals) and overly rapid immigration.

    A real world example from the opposite end of the spectrum that makes a similar point is the Scandinavian socialist welfare states, particularly Sweden. They appeared to actually work, and did to an extent, but that was only because the underlying and homogenous culture had a strong work ethic that limited gaming the system. But a few generations of telling the natives that they were *entitled* to it... well the policies undercut the very culture that allowed policies to appear workable in the first place -- and immigration in Sweden has seriously added to the problem. It's a bit like the Uncertainty Principle in physics where at small scales it becomes impossible to observe a phenomenon without affecting it.

  • ||

    It's a bit like the Uncertainty Principle in physics where at small scales it becomes impossible to observe a phenomenon without affecting it.

    I may be poaching on Dr. Thoreau's territory here, but that's NOT what the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is about. And, I'd like to take this opportunity to ask the world to stop using quantum mechanics to advance their pet issues which have nothing to do with quantum mechanics. Such people are the social Darwinists of our time.

  • ||

    "A real free market for the S&Ls would have worked the best, IMO, but a bad incremental approach ended up worse than the original more regulated system."

    This statement would seem to be in harmony with the suggestion that there's nothing wrong with a free market bias. The rest of your spiel seems to suggest that the problems were the result of something other than free markets.

    If we only moved toward freer markets when all the other conditions were in harmony, would we ever move to freer markets at all?

    "hence legitimate concerns about assimilation (to core American ideals) and overly rapid immigration."

    Really not interested in debating immigration here, but if free trade in raw materials is a good thing, surely there's some benefit to other inputs, like labor, being treated the same way.

    ...even if doing so does tear at the very fabric of the welfare state.

  • ||

    "Such people are the social Darwinists of our time."

    I think that's one of the major complaints people who self-identify as left-libertarian have with "faith in free markets", by the way. I think they associate it, consciously or otherwise, with social Darwinism.

  • ||

    Really not interested in debating immigration here, but if free trade in raw materials is a good thing, surely there's some benefit to other inputs, like labor, being treated the same way.

    There's an ethical dimension to this as well: laborers have as much right to determine the disposition of their human capital as do traders the disposition of their material resources. We shouldn't forget that the ability to generate value by work is the single most widespread form of capital and the kind possessed by the most people. Alllowing resources and money to cross borders but forbidding the free movement of labor isn't only inconsistent with free trade principles, it's exactly the same kind of partial liberalization that has been getting discussed here.

  • ||

    crimethink,
    Many years ago I took two semesters of quantum physics and know full well that the rule itself is in terms of probabilities about position and momentum. Sorry for giving a historically (if not up-to-date physically) accurate version of its implication :)

    FWIW, I didn't claim the reference "proved" anything, but was just drawing a loose analogy to hopefully illustrate the self-referential, even recursive nature of some of these complex problems.

    BTW I notice you ignored the more concrete points.

  • ||

    Ken said,
    If we only moved toward freer markets when all the other conditions were in harmony, would we ever move to freer markets at all?

    Typical oversimplification - just because the above is a valid point, in essence that 'the perfect is the enemy of the good [better]' does NOT mean that any particular incremental improvement, in isolation, is automatically going to be good overall, particularly given that poorly thought out transitional policies could cause worse problems that could make the larger goal of overall progress that much harder. In getting from the here and now to the desired state, the chosen path is everything. [Analogy alert] It's a bit like a incremental multidimensional search that just looks "downhill" one axis at a time -- you can end up in a local optimum that actually puts you in a worse position for finding the global optimum (or a even a better local one).

    Ken said

    Really not interested in debating immigration here, but if free trade in raw materials is a good thing, surely there's some benefit to other inputs, like labor, being treated the same way.

    Thank you for giving a perfect illustration of my point -- that libertarians who pride themselves on ideas too often want to ignore those ideas held by the people affected by their policies, and that those ideas can in turn undercut the framework of the market we're otherwise counting on.

    ...even if doing so does tear at the very fabric of the welfare state.

    Only true if you mean by testing it to the point of destruction. Not exactly the way to win people to our side, IMO.

  • ||

    for Hale, who said
    ...forbidding the free movement of labor isn't only inconsistent with free trade principles, it's exactly the same kind of partial liberalization that has been getting discussed here.

    Er, no its not. My point is that all "partial liberalizations" are not equal, just as good. To clarify, I'll add that, about illegal immigrants who do take advantage of the welfare state, I don't even blame them in a sense, because they're being rational actors if we're stupid enough to give all these goodies away to them.
    That said, if the problem is really a stupid welfare system that does not even *pretend* to be a sort of insurance that premiums were paid into, then surely THAT is what must be addressed first (reform if not [yet] abolition), BEFORE opening the floodgates wide open for new clients. To get the order backwards, treating each issue as if it were in a vacuum, is insanity.

  • ||

    No, he refered to the Trotsky/Lenin split in the 1980s. By that time Stalin was an un-person himself. So even though the real split may have been Trotsky/Stalin the Stalinists were calling themselves Lennists by then.

    Bit of an odd point to correct someone on.

  • Jesse Walker||

    No, he refered to the Trotsky/Lenin split in the 1980s.

    No, he referred to a libertarian split of the '80s, and compared it to the earlier Trotsky/Stalin split.

  • ||

    I've still not seen any real evidence here that the Nation's original reference to the Lenin/Trotsky split was wrong...

  • ||

    newscaper: "Only true if you mean by testing [the welfare state] to the point of destruction. Not exactly the way to win people to our side, IMO"

    There's your libertarians split, right there. Some of us think that if we could actually destroy the welfare state, we wouldn't need to win people to our side.

  • Paul||

    I don't understand why there should be a split over abortion among libertarians, that is a women's issue and doesn't really apply to us.

    Libertarians are all male, I guess?

  • Paul||

    Hmm, or maybe Santa's comment was meant to be funny. My spidey sense is off. I can feel it.

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