"The unmourned end of libertarian politics"


Writing in the Financial Times, ideological gas giant Michael Lind, a.k.a. the "Ed Wood of American politics," describes "the unmourned end of libertarian politics":

The most epochal event in world politics since the cold war has occurred–and few people have noticed. I am not referring to the conflict in Iraq or Lebanon or the campaign against terrorism.

It is the utter and final defeat of the movement that has shaped the politics of the US and other western democracies for several decades: the libertarian counter-revolution….

The limitation of options on the horizontal left-right spectrum is accompanied, however, by a growing vertical, top-bottom divide between an elite committed to globalisation and mass immigration and a populist, nationalist majority. If this replaces the older horizontal left-right divide, then we may see a third, "third way"–one which positions itself between the crudest forms of populism and utopian forms of transnationalism.

The libertarian moment has passed. It will not come again, and its defeat as a force in US politics will change the definitions of right, left and centre–not just in the US but also, the world.

Whole thing here.

Hat tip to Piotr Brzezinski, who writes, "A bit over the top, but unfortunately broadly correct. It misses, however, the success of broader libertarian ethos in the country at large, outside the reach of meddling politicians. Perhaps merits a 'rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated' response? (or, 'I'm not dead yet!')."

Special Update: Tim Cavanaugh reminds me that back in the late 1990s, the last goddman great good time if there ever was one, Lind, the former "pennyboy to slack-jawed Im-Ho-Tep William F. Buckley," took home one of Suck's "Evil Genius Grants." Better still, he shared the award with David Horowitz, who was then, as now, busy "compiling enemies lists that feature such luminaries as Mario Van Peebles and 'liberal cartoonist Cathy Guisewite.'" Read on here.