UPDATED 8/11!: Liberals, Conservatives Say The "Libertarian Moment" Is So Far From Happening That It's Not Even Funny, Man.


Note: Updated below on Monday, August 11.

As my colleague and co-author Matt Welch has noted, The New York Times Magazine has had the temerity to ask, "Has the 'Libertarian Moment' Finally Arrived?" (the first time it waded into such territory was in 1971, when Stan Lehr and Louis Rossetto (the latter of whom would go on to co-found Wired magazine in the early '90s) touted libertarianism as the next big youth movement).

Robert Draper's article is a rollicking, essential read—and not simply because he quotes Matt, his Fox Business Independents co-host Kennedy, Reason's polling director Emily Ekins, and yours truly at length ("If we can have 20 different types of Pop-Tarts, maybe we can have more than two types of political identification"). It's because something new and different is in the air. You can see it in the bizarre, black-swan cashiering of politicians as varied as former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and the sitting Democratic governor of Hawaii (who just lost his primary). You can see it in historically low ratings not just for Congress as an institution but in the way people feel about their own representatives. Mostly, though, you can see it in the way people are living their lives beyond the puny, zero-sum scrum of politics, where people as different as Glenn Beck and Glenn Greenwald are building new forms of media and storytelling and community. Whatever else you can say about politics as bloodsport, Obama sucking even worse than Bush, etc., this much is true: People are also getting on with their lives and building new businessess, communities, and worlds in ways that are pretty damn amazing.

Which doesn't mean anything to folks deeply invested in maintaining the conventional left-right, liberal-conservative status quo. The Times' Paul Krugman, who doesn't even pretend to read people with whom he disagrees, writes off the idea that interest in "free minds and free markets" is growing as just more "libertarian fantasies." Because he can only conceive of things in the narrowest, dumbest ways, he writes that "libertarianism is a crusade against problems we don't have," as if the drug war, a continually failing foreign policy, legal discrimination against gays, immigration policy that punishes people yearning to be free, dead-broke entitlement programs, and so much more aren't really problems. Now that he has a no-show job at CUNY[*], does he even get out of his house anymore? There's nothing short of a revolution in how people conceive of work as a form of self-expression going on all around him. Over at places such as National Review, even conservatives who are themselves essentially libertarian pooh-pooh the idea that anything much can or will be done to reduce the size, scope, and spending of government. "Rand Paul can't win" is the essence of this formulation by Kevin Williamson and others there, again reducing complex shifts in cultural, social, economic, and political dynamics to electoral outcomes that threaten a dying post-war coalition of special interests. Gallup finds something like just 25 percent of Americans copping to being Republicans. That number will only decline if the GOP insists on doing the same thing it's been doing since the Gingrich Revolution. Which is to say: Spend, regulate, carp, and grow the size of the state even as it claims to be anti-government and pro-freedom.

I have no idea who will be the next president of the United States, but I'm certain that the outcome of that contest will matter far less than the broad currents in American society that are clearly moving in the direction of greater social tolerance and fiscal responsibility. That's one of the main trends that Reason picked up in its poll of Millennials—not some self-congratulatory discovery that the kids today are junior-varsity libertarians—and folks who don't want to grapple with that and all its implications will have less and less relevant to say about politics, culture, and ideas. That won't make a difference to the Krugmans of the world and the pols who are in truly safe districts, but it will to the rest of us who are keenly interested not just in seeing what the future holds but also in helping to create it in the first place.

[*]: In fact, Krugman's gig at CUNY doesn't start until next academic year apparently, meaning he's still the pride of Princeton, the second-best college in central New Jersey. Hat tip: Chris Conover.

Update: Over at The Atlantic, David Frum responds to The New York Times Magazine article. In the article, he calls libertarianism "a completely closed and airless ideological system that doesn't respond well to reality," continuing, "Libertarians are like Marxists in that they have prophets like von Mises and Hayek, and they quote from their holy scripture, and they don't have to engage." In his response, he argues that the author of the piece, Robert Draper, is "wrong, emphatically wrong. Young voters are not libertarian, nor even trending libertarian." What's more, nobody else is either. Sure, people of all ages may be more skeptical of power and authority than in the past, but that will pass. And there's this: "Much of the libertarian appeal is probably as simple as the isolationist reaction that tends to overtake the United States after military conflicts."

There's some truth to that: After a dozen years of bipartisan failure in waging two wars—neither of which seems to be finished yet, despite various claims of "mission accomplished" and troop pullouts—what Frum euphemistically refers to as "assertive nationalism" is in a pretty bad odor. And likely will be for a long time to come, as it should be. As important, the nation's finances remain troubling at best (Social Security's disability trust fund is just two years away from complete exhaustion), and evolving problems with everything from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank are not going to make future politics any easier. Relax, says Frum (though it's hard to hear him with his head stuck firmly in the sand), "The 'libertarian moment' will last as long as, and no longer than, it takes conservatives to win a presidential election again."

One wonders, though, exactly how an old-school conservative (is there any other kind?) will win election without becoming more libertarian in significant ways. Is bashing gay marriage, which 55 percent of Americans support, a ticket to the White House? Or trying to roll back pot legalization (an even higher amount of Americans support legalization, even as Frum has teamed up with Patrick Kennedy to stop the madness on that score)? By Frum's own reckoning, "Assertive Nationalism"—which has nothing to do with a strong national defense or a sane foreign policy—isn't likely to be a big winner with the voters. It remains an article of faith among conservatives (that is, Republicans) that they will regain the White House. I mean, look at what a rotten, terrible, failure Barack Obama was. No wonder he lost re-election in 2012.

But libertarianism is the closed and airless system. On the other side, liberals/Democrats presume, not without some evidence, that any Republican presidential candidate will be generally repellent to Americans. But who exactly do they have on their bench that will warm the cockles of Americans? Hillary Clinton's early big numbers (even in the Reason-Rupe Poll!) are almost certainly more a function of her name recognition than her popularity, especially in the wake of the utter disaster that was her turn as Secretary of State. After her, who?

More important, at least from my perspective, is to understand "the libertarian moment" (such as it is) is profoundly pre-political. It will inform electoral politics but is separate from and prior to politics. As Draper writes it up:

Gillespie likes to point out that unlike the words "Democrat" and "Republican," "libertarian" should be seen as a modifier rather than a noun — an attitude, not a fixed object. A cynic might assert that this is exactly the kind of semantic cop-out that relegates Gillespie's too-cool-for-school sect to the margins. Not surprisingly, he begged to differ. "It's wedded to an epistemological humility," he told me, "that proceeds from the assumption that we don't know as much as we think we do, and so you have to be really cautious about policies that seek to completely reshape the world. It's better to run trials and experiments, as John Stuart Mill talked about. The whole point of America — and this is an admixture of Saul Bellow and Heidegger and Jim Morrison lyrics — is that it's in a constant state of becoming, constantly changing and mongrelizing. We're doing exactly what free minds and free markets allow you to do. Part of why I'm a libertarian is that if you restrict people less, interesting stuff happens."

Continuing his riff with beatnik locomotion, he added: "It's like what happens in garages. Rock bands form in garages. Computer companies. And O.K., occasionally serial murders. But as long as you're not just parking your car there, garages are always interesting."

If you can't recognize that we already live in this world, you need to get out of your own head more. For the entirety of the 21st century, Americans have been smothered by godawful politics, first from the right and then from the left. And yet, folks are still getting on with their lives regardless, asking less permission and figuring out workarounds to live the lives they prefer (this is the large point of my and Matt Welch's Declaration of Independents). And if you don't understand that such attitudes are growing and flourishing in every aspect of contemporary America—in churches, in business, in education, in entertainment, you name it—you'll never understand that it's coming soon to politics too.

NEXT: Missouri Cops Shoot Unarmed Teen, Spark Angry Response from Community, Caught on Video

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  1. as if the drug war, a continually failing foreign policy, legal discrimination against gays, immigration policy that punishes people yearning to be free, dead-broke entitlement programs, and so much more aren’t really problems.

    Well to be fair, those are not problems that affect Krugman.

    1. Well, he is the 1%.

  2. Is that Tom Friedman’s “Bill Gross” impression?

    ‘What shitty economists do to make it look like they understand money’

  3. people as different as Glenn Beck and Glenn Greenwald

    …all the way to Glenn G. Glennen.


    1. Glenn or Glenda?

      1. Is Glenda even a real name?

        Or is it some dude who has a daughter and so names her after himself and adds some feminine modifier at the end?

        1. “Corning|8.10.14 @ 5:41PM|#

          Is Glenda even a real name?”

          That depends.

          Are you a Good Witch, or a Bad Witch?

          1. I’m thinking of the Ed Wood movie.

        2. Glenda Farrell.

          The Torchy Blane movies may be B movies, but Farrell makes them a hell of a lot of fun.

  4. Libertarianism is forever descending on American but landing in Somalia.

    1. Somalia is the ideal libertarian state in the same way that North Korea is the ideal for those who love the benevolent hand of government.

        1. Well at least someone is flying teh Jolly Rodger.

    2. Yes Somalia proves that libertarian fails – at repairing the damage big government did in 30 years in less than 10. So the fact that it was not 3 times faster at improving things than totalitarianism was a screwing them up proves we should have a government closer to totalitarianism.

  5. Nick is right that we have more social tolerance than ever, but that doesn’t mean we don’t also have more creeping authoritarianism. Welcome, my friends, to the Pink Police State.…..n-america/

    1. James Poulos can’t write a paleo jeremiad on the decadence of American society while at the same time looking like he’s this month’s centerfold for Metrosexual Monthly.

      You just can’t combine the two in any rational manner.

    2. That was three thousand words of nonsense. I wasted ten minutes of my life reading a political essay version of the Sokal affair.

      1. So it wasn’t just me.

      2. Be carfeul. Once you start down the Derp path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

        1. Now I am become Derp, slayer of time.

    3. That was not written by a thinking person. It was made using one of those auto-generated paper thingies.

  6. Yeah, those millenials will vote for Shrillary, student debt payoff, etc.

    1. They’re for “fiscal responsibilty” until they find out that’s not some abstract concept that only applies to others.

  7. OT: I found another prog prophet. He’s not as pompous as Chris Hedges, but he makes up for it by being far more idiotic:

    A sample:

    Americans are working their rear ends off, and the rest of the world ? the industrial world ? isn’t. They have time for those languorous meals. We invented fast food.”

    1. Did you just post a 2+ hour long video?

      1. Savored every minute of it.

    2. Wolff is not a Progressive. He is an honest-to-goodness, no bullshiting Marxist Communist, for reals.

      In other words, he is a raving lunatic.

      1. A turd by any other name…

        1. Kind of like Glenn and Glenda.

          1. I went to high school with a Glenda. Very well endowed for her age.

        2. Turd.Burglar.

      2. I see very little difference.

        1. The prog is far less honest with himself and others. Reality is just something that is less important than The Feelz.

        2. One is an idiot. One is a lunitic.

    3. “Langourous” …meals?

      He makes it sound like ancient rome, where people eat lying down, and have slaves wipe drool from their toga.

      1. Throw in some orgies and I’m in.

      2. That’s not how you dine?

    4. The French only get two hours for lunch because the service is so lousy.

    5. They have time for those languorous meals.

      I’m not about to be suckered into watching another Derptologist feature (on a Monday of all days–mercy), but I wager that this man’s head would explode were someone to explain to him the concept of opportunity costs.

      If Americans don’t eat slow, languorous meals, it’s not because we don’t have time for them. We have time for video games, American Idol, and white-people yoga. I can assure you that we have time for slow food as well if we valued that above any other possible use of our time.

  8. “You can see it in historically low ratings not just for Congress as an institution but in the way people feel about their own representatives.”

    I’m waiting for a re-election rate under 75% before I’ll pay attention to any opinion poll saying people are dissatisfied with Congress.

  9. I don’t fight derp because I think I will win; I fight derp because it is derp.

    I am the Derpslayer.

    1. I am the Derpslayer.

      So why is your name Derpetologist and not Derpslayer?

      I mean who would want an Archaeologist who is also the slayer of history?

      1. Well, a dermatologist doesn’t just study skin disease, they also learn to cure it.

        1. Derpslayer would be a much cooler handle.

          1. Eh, I like the rhyme with herpetologist.

            1. Derpetologist is Bruce Wayne; Derpslayer is Batman.

              1. Batman does not slay.

                1. Derpetologist is Mumm-Ra. Derpslayer is Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living.

        2. A dermatologist does not try to slay skin…a dermatologist tries to treat and cure disease that harm skin.

          A Derpslayer is not trying to save derp from disease.

          1. Yeah, Derpslayer, like Natty Bumppo.

  10. who doesn’t even pretend to read people with whom he disagrees

    Hey Nick, you might try to read Williamson’s article before you sneer about it. The article’s content is exactly opposite to what you implied.

    1. Kevin Williamson’s writing has really gone downhill since the original “Scream” back in ’96.

    2. Maybe not the exact opposite, but clearly the link is misleading. Williamson laments the tendency of the public to latch onto directionless, image-driven presidents, while acknowledging that there seems to be a certain thirst for substance in the public right now. His piece isn’t exactly optimistic, but “Rand Paul can’t win” is hardly the tl;dr version.

    3. who doesn’t even pretend to read people with whom he disagrees

      Hey Nick, you might try to read Williamson’s article before you sneer about it. The article’s content is exactly opposite to what you implied.

      Dave, meet Nick.

  11. Does Krugman read anything by anyone? He presents two examples of spurious libertarian policy points and they don’t even qualify as straw men and jumps into John Chair’s rear seat for the rest of the ride. Since when is Paul Ryan perceived by libertarians as libertarian? And, while there is diversity of viewpoints within libertarianism, I would be hard pressed to argue that most libertarians would agree with adoption of a basic living wage as a desirable alternative to current government largess.

    He gets paid to write this stuff?

    1. Do Nobel Prize winners need to read anything? I think not.

    2. Krugman has proudly stated that he doesn’t read those he disagrees with and ridicules. Seriously, he is proud of it.

    3. He reads what his wife approves.

    1. What is it that trial lawyers say? Never ask a question if you don’t know the answer.

  12. Little does Gillespie know, but now that Krugman is HOUSEBOUND, thanks to his cushy job with CUNY, he has plenty of time to work on his new book, entitled:

    “Alien Invasion, More Broken Windows, and World War”
    Subtitled- “3 Last Resorts For A Failing Economy When Excessive Government Spending and Stimulus Fail”.

    1. I’ll wait for Michael Bay to make the movie!

  13. It seems like the people most cynical about the libertarian moment are honest to God libertarians.

    1. Too much disappointment.

      I am, however, a bleever. There is certainly momentum. The question is how far will it go and how fast will it get there.

      1. I’ve noticed you are one of the more optimistic. So is Bo. You two have a lot in common!


        1. *narrows eyes, purses lips, adjusts scope*

          1. Say, where is Bo? I do miss his insightful commentary and bold contrarianism!

            1. That, right there, is the derpiest thing you’ve ever brought on to HampersandR.

              Well played.

              1. Oh, are you sure about that? I always have more derp.


            2. Please don’t say stuff like that. He’ll think you’re serious.

              1. It’s the one thing he won’t argue with.

        2. Considering I have boldly put my name on the proposition that Elizabeth Warren will be the next president, I would count as the most vehement gloom and doom soothseer.

          I can think of no worse fate.

          1. I can hardly think of a less likely one.

            1. I haven’t followed Warren too closely, but based on what I’ve heard, I’d rather have Bernie Sanders.

      2. We’re a little stalled right now but I firmly believe the next economic cycle will drive another cycle of libertarian politics in America and pro-markets policy abroad.

    2. It seems like the people most cynical about the libertarian moment are honest to God libertarians.

      As well they should be. That people are fed up with their current political choices doesn’t necessarily make them libertarians. For example, European nationalist parties are doing quite nicely in polls and elections of fed up Europeans.

      All those that are fed up are not necessiarily libertarians. Indeed, for many of them, libertarianism does nothing to address their complaints, and in fact would only exacerbate them. There is certainly more than one contender for the throne.

    3. It probably has to do with the fact that whatever moment libertarianism has/had feels to be within merely the “sound-bite” modern reality we live in. It’s simply doesn’t have much depth to it. And one can only fear that it will be disposed of in short order like most other sound-bite conceptions. I realize one can’t expect masses to have rushed out and read Bastiat and Nock and Mises and Hayek etc etc, but when we live in an era of Fox and MSNBC and John Stewart, that people simply don’t take much time at all to gain understanding. In other words, the nattering main stream media will eventually wash over whatever moment we are in.

      The sad part is, even if libertarians remain resolute, as we have since the 50’s-60’s through today, hoping to ride even higher and taller in the future, the realities of Statist rot will betide us all before a real libertarian epoch could be reached. The shitstorm is going to come too soon. And I fear that with it is going to come some very non-libertarian times.

      When our society/culture turned a blind eye to former Comptroller General Walker’s pleadings to get sensible, we almost crashed in 2008, and went full Derp with ~$6,000,000,000,000 of borrowings since then, I realized the race against time was lost. There’s not enough time. Whatever realizations some have made and supporting libertarianism to any degree, it’s too little too late.

    4. “It seems like the people most cynical about the libertarian moment are honest to God libertarians.”

      I live and breathe, my friend. I live and breathe.

  14. So Chris Hedges continues to bleat about “unfettered capitalism”. I wonder if he’s ever tried to open a hot dog stand in a major city.

    1. I’m sure to him the fact that it’s even possible that the government allow a non-governnent owned hot dog stand to exist is unfettered capitalism.

  15. Gillispie is the Johnny Cash of journalism.

    The man in black.

    1. Hmm.. I think of him more like the man in this image.

  16. So I have a theory.

    The triumvirate of idiot NYT editorialists Krugman, Brooks and Friedman do not hold a consistent political view together and in fact do not hold a consistent politically view independently.

    What binds them and the reason for why the NYTs assembled them was specifically to battle the ideas and ideals of libertarianism.

  17. There is definitely a libertarian shift going on on the drug war and gay marriage.

    There is *some* shift on economics, mostly due to peer-to-peer economy applications and crowd-funding and so forth. (AirBnb, Uber, Indigogo, Lending Club, etc.)

    However, I have yet to see a groundswell of ideological support for freer markets. I mean, people can use Uber one minute, and then the next minute say they think it should be more regulated, oblivious to the fact that regulations make things more expensive. (Indeed, progressives routinely argue that regulations never make anything more expensive because it always comes out of profits. LOL.)

    Nevertheless, I think once we win on drugs and gay marriage, there will be a lot less of the culture war stuff to distract people’s attention from the impacts of regulation. I mean, we’re fact approaching a point where the Republicans will really have no other choice but to shift in a libertarian direction on social issues. And then, the conversation that remains is going to be one about economic policy. And we will win there too.

    1. No. The culture war always moves on to another battlefield.

      But there must be something that can stop it. I say so because from shortly after the adoption of national Prohib’n until about the 1960s, there was no culture war. Probably the Great Depression, World War, and Cold War crowded it out.

      1. I say so because from shortly after the adoption of national Prohib’n until about the 1960s, there was no culture war.

        You never heard of the Comics Code? Much less all the hand-wringing about the influence of Jazz on young minds?

      2. There might be a new battelfield but no one will be there. That’s basically the situation in Canada.

    2. Nice summary Hazel but I think there is more on the economics front than you realize. State governments are fighting a silent tax war-cutting to compete with each other. Even DC and NY state are in this fight. This will be a huge limitation on state government and that’s why liberals are freaking out over Kentucky’s Brownback and trying to take him down. There’s also been deregulation in some states.

    3. I think the fact that Rand is the tentative GOP frontrunner gives some reason for optimism.

      Whether he will remain so, as the mainstream media / journolisters really ramps up the defamation campaign against him, is yet to be seen.

      1. Even though Ron Paul had no real shot at the nomination, you can’t discount his influence in the debates. He at least forced the conversation to include interventionalism, drug wars, privacy, etc. Now, Ron Paul was always too much “blame America first” for my liking, I do think he contributed permanently to the debate inside the GOP

  18. It’s not like “the Republicans” can just surrender in the culture war & thus end it, because they’re not fighting it with themselves. There will always be new things to blame them for. Who knows what those new things might be?

    1. If you can’t think of any off the top of your head, I submit that the Democrats are going to have trouble making anyone care.

      1. That’s been exactly the case in Canada. John and other KulturKons just don’t want to let go, so they make the ‘they’ll hate us anyway’ excuse.

      2. Hazel, are you kidding? Affirmative action became racial quotas and they seem to be eternal. How many people got fired for opposing gay marriage 20 years ago? And now it’s transexual rights. Who knows what it’ll be in 5 or 10 years? Democrats are great at inventing new civil rights.

        1. You can’t maintain a repressive state without an Other.

          1. Of course, but to the modern Democratic Party, the Other is never outside the country, it’s inside it. It’s sexism and racism and capitalist exploitation. Millions of illegal immigrants? They aren’t a problem, it’s the opposition to them, which is “racism.”

        2. Obama claimed not to support gay marriage until he ‘evolved’. Since then, CEOs have lost jobs and business barred from opening for the sin of not yet ‘evolving’. This all shifted frightening fast. Next stay tuned for the hot mic scandal where Zuckerberg gets fired from his own company for saying “tranny”, or I lose my job for saying “midget” instead of “little person”.

    2. For example being reluctant to pay for the college education of foreign nationals illegally in the country is akin to Nazism.

    3. Of course, the Republicans can stop beating a dead horse: remove abortion, opposite sex marriage, abstinence, and religious favoritism from the political program; be consistent about small government and individual choice for a change.

      And they should stop using the term “culture war” because it refers to the struggle between the Catholic church and Bismarck for political power. We want churches running the US no more than we want Bismarck/Obama to run it.

      1. I don’t think republicans ever actually introduced those things to the program. Up until around ten years ago same sex marriage was never mentioned by either party. Abstinence as a legal concept surely hasn’t existed in hundreds of years. Religious favoritism was decided with the constitution. I guess that leaves abortion.

  19. So what’s up in Hawaii? Should libertarians be happy?

    1. Probably not. It seems to have little been more than Democrats voting on the basis of race.

  20. OT: an inside look at the Islamic State

    Warning: graphic content…..ds-part-4/

    1. I made it about six minutes into that hour long snuff film.

      1. Me too. I’m feeling a sick mixture of horror and gratitude for the circumstances of my birth.

        I don’t see any possible way the US could eliminate ISIS, or why we should if no one in the region is willing to do a god damn thing about it.

        1. I don’t see any possible way the US could eliminate ISIS

          Send them all to Allah.

        2. I guess we’re gonna have to wait until ISIS topples a national government.

          You know who else was basically left alone until his armies conquered a neighboring country?

          1. You know who else was basically left alone until his armies conquered three neighboring countries?


      2. It shifts from snuff film to brainwashing and propaganda, then back to snuff film.

    2. The real irony here is the bit where you have to turn in your weapons to the Islamic state. So, I guess the guys in the Honda can shoot you on the road.

      I thought I saw a dreamcatcher hanging from the rearview of the car shooters..


  21. The fundamental question that humanity must decide is, is liberty negative or positive. Until the vast majority believe it negative we will get no where.

    1. We’re already getting somewhere. This is a very shallow way of looking at the world. The Civil Rights movement did not win because they were a majority.

      1. I think they did, certainly if you count the votes.

  22. legal discrimination against gays

    The Gays are no longer barred from America’s wedding cake bakeries by pick-handle wielding bigots.

  23. Galt’s Gulch is a pipe dream; few would want it (I’m not sure I’d want it myself). But to the extent – any extent – that we move toward greater social tolerance and fiscal responsibility…

  24. How long is the libertarian moment going to last before it is crushed by the demographic weight of the Millenial STATIST GENERATION?

    Emily’s poll pretty much shows they are to the left of Mao’s Red Guards.

    1. They can’t afford their future. May well be a self-correcting problem. Would be ugly for a bit though.

    2. Fortunately the vast majority of young people don’t vote, so their opinions are pretty irrelevant.

      1. I’ve yet to discover any evidence that the opinions of those who do vote are of any particular importance, beyond the color of this cycle’s TEAM.

        It has a lot more to do with tribalism than any inherent statism on the part of “the people”. Also, “public opinion polls” are without exception psuedo- or semi-scientific numerical apologia for the State, crippled by a systematic bias and dependent wholly on fallacious premises, and as a field entirely and utterly without merit.

  25. OT – Well of course the government wants to keep the money!…..678860.php

    Stupid bitch didn’t realize it’s not the country she grew up in any longer!

  26. Elizabeth Warren & Thomas Piketty- Two great derps that are even derpier together:

    Featuring an outrageous French accent!

  27. I doubt the “libertarian moment” has come. But hopefully, Krugman’s moment will fade soon, because you can only go on for so long lying and prostituting yourself without even your friends getting pissed off.

    1. I dunno. Look at Chomsky.

    2. “But hopefully, Krugman’s moment will fade soon, because you can only go on for so long lying and prostituting yourself without even your friends getting pissed off.”
      I know Krugman would claim this his nothing to do with his statist bias, but I can’t see a real separation:

      “Thousands gather in vigil for Missouri man”
      ” A few thousand people have crammed the street where a black man was shot multiple times by a suburban St. Louis police officer.”…..679684.php

      I know the stupid party won’t do a damn thin about this and therefore the protesters will have no reason to question voting the D ticket, but you would hope someone would point out the danger of government thuggery.

      1. You think black people weren’t aware of the dangers cops pose to them before this incident?

        You’re making an asinine leap. The Republicans are the more pro-cop, authoritarian part, and have been for a very long time. You’re trying to equate that to Democrats’ preference for more social spending. Once again, the binary “big vs. small government” worm eats your brain. It’s not binary. It’s about what government specifically does. And the GOP’s basic raison d’etre domestically is to do things that harass black people.

        1. “You’re making an asinine leap. The Republicans are the more pro-cop, authoritarian part, and have been for a very long time.”

          Yeah, dipshit, tell that to the cops’ union.
          You think Chi and NY cops are repubs? Ha and ha!

        2. *And the GOP’s basic raison d’etre domestically is to do things that harass black people.*

          You mean, like liberate them from bondage? Such harrassment.

          1. Making their descent into the party of white supremacy all the more pathetic.

  28. As the left moves toward authoritarianism the right will move towards libertarianism. At some point there will be war. Spare the left/right arguments, I mean the terms as what they represent in America today.

    1. Marktaylor|8.10.14 @ 10:02PM|#
      “As the left moves toward authoritarianism the right will move towards libertarianism.”

      You have greater optimism than do I.

      1. Maybe so, I think the tea party and libertarianism rise is a reaction to the left of today. I don’t claim that rise will be won by libertarians, or even outnumber them. I just think politics today has increasingly become less about Dem/Repub, and more about authoritarian/ libertarian.

  29. the direction of greater social tolerance and fiscal responsibility

    They are socially tolerant except to the people they disagree with and are fiscally responsible as long as it means bigger government.

    1. “They are socially tolerant except to the people they disagree with and are fiscally responsible as long as it means bigger government.”

      I live in SF and while that community is admittedly brain-damaged, this seems to be true.
      You can be any color, or have any choice of sexual partners and so long as you agree that government is the solution to any problem, the SF version of ‘tolerance’ accepts you.
      And, so long as you presume cutting the defense budget by 100%, you are presumed to be fiscally responsible.

  30. Considering that there is practically zero chance of budget surplus any time soon and the likes of Paul Ryan are sneered at as being radical how is the libertarian moment upon us?

  31. Also it is a pretty big assumption that discontent about the political system means that people want less government considering the last few times that happened we got the Populists, the Progressives, the New Deal and Obama.

  32. Also where is the libertarian influences at the universities? The Proggies are in control and are creating new avenues of derp that will soon become mainstream and new battlegrounds in the kulturkampf that will never end.

    1. Also where is the libertarian influences at the universities?

      It comes from not attending universities at all.

  33. I don’t want to pretend to be today’s ray of hope (Minnesotans will know what that means), but as a Republican party activist for decades, I can truly say that the GOP is shaping up in a Libertarian way. The state is irretrievably blue, so being a Republican activist is seriously unrewarding, yet it’s a Midwestern state so people tend to be polite and at least pretend to listen to each other. Over the past 10 years, I have seen the local GOP units become more libertarian and less concerned with people’s personal lives. I think it will continue, and will eventually draw Democrats who have a similar live and let live attitude.

    1. Or maybe I’m high on crack.

    2. I hope you’re right. Too bad so much of the party is in hock to the Chamber of Commerce and afraid of not being invited to DC cocktail parties.

  34. Libertarianism transcends civilizations and time… because it is evidently secured ever so narrowly by the century-walkers who will always resist the tyranny of the politico/religio spectrum through the ages. Without the Libertarian nations would have succumbed to myriad monsters. Without the Libertarian it is doubtful man as the planetary metaphor could have even advanced until today without utter destruct. The Libertarian is the past, present, and future of human relief. All else is Quag of Deceit and Krugman dick spewing Fox and CNN mouthpieces into the void of elitist richness and their educated platforms of dictatorial poetry.

    1. I kinda like that. ‘Quag of Deceit’ I don’t get though.

  35. The NRO article written by Kevin Willamson does NOT declare Rand Paul shouldn’t be president. The title of the article is “The man who wouldn’t be king.” He wouldn’t be king, because he’s a more libertarian-ish, down to earth (in contrast to Obama’s rhetoric) candidate who’s more cautious in his approach to government. It’s one of the reasons why libs are “curious” about him.

    It seems like Nick was a bit hasty in finding a conservative equivalent of Krugman. Did he read the article?

    As for whether a new era of libertarianism is at hand – come on. The entire GOP convert to libertarianism and still lose all kinds of elections. Those gays and immigrants aren’t libertarians.

    1. To be fair, Frum came in and fit the bill perfectly. The only difference being most rank-and-file conservatives don’t hold Frum in particularly high regard.

  36. …even conservatives who are themselves essentially libertarian…

    Since conservatism and libertarianism are essentially different philosophies, I’m not sure these people exist.

  37. Why doesn’t Nick address Frum’s argument that young people and non whites are NOT libertarians? Because on that point, Frum is on the money, although he’s certainly wrong about libertarianism itself.

    Frum is also right that the libertarian noise is happening mostly inside the Republican base. Of course, most of us here have no problem with the GOP’s “fractionalism.”

    No libertarian (unless you count Republicans who lean that way) holds office of importance. Their party plays spoiler here and there whereas UKIP and the like cleaned house in Europe. Some of their key issues happen to coincide with those on the left of the right.

    If Rand Paul loses, then Nick will probably point to immigration or gay marriage as the reasons – even though he’s the most libertarian GOP candidate in decades and has reliably championed their CORE cause for ALL his life.

  38. Assertive Nationalist? Talk about lipstick on a pig. They can change the name all they want, but war-mongering is still war-mongering, no matter the vernacular we choose to call it.

    1. ISIS has declared War on you. What you going to do about it? Wait for them to come at you here? Or go after them there?

  39. what Frum euphemistically refers to as “assertive nationalism”

    What’s “assertive nationalism” in German? I only ask because I suspect it sounds much cooler in the original German…

  40. Well Matt,

    ISIS has declared War on you. What you going to do about it? Wait for them to come at you here? Or go after them there?

    “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”

    Probably the only truth Trotsky ever uttered in his own life.

  41. Probably the only truth Trotsky ever uttered in his whole life.

  42. I think Libertarianism lacks in the marketing department. The political party should be re-launched with a new logo and new name. With a big media campaign and events to go along with it.

  43. Michael Hihn|8.11.14 @ 12:54AM|#
    “Libertarians are the majiroty. For over 30 years. But the libertarian label is rejected by 85% of LIBERTARIANS.”

    MH, why don’t you look up Smack McDougal and you two can tell us all who is really a libertarian after you kick the shit out of each other.
    I won’t bother watching.

  44. The update is wrong about where David Frum’s head is firmly stuck.

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