Libertarianism

The Libertarian Movement Needs a Kick in the Pants

Tyler Cowen is wrong to champion "State Capacity Libertarianism," but he's right that advocates of free minds and free markets need to up our game.

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In a provocative yet thoughtful manifesto, economist Tyler Cowen, a major figure in libertarian circles, offers a harsh assessment of his ideological confreres:

Having tracked the libertarian "movement" for much of my life, I believe it is now pretty much hollowed out, at least in terms of flow. One branch split off into Ron Paul-ism and less savory alt right directions, and another, more establishment branch remains out there in force but not really commanding new adherents.  For one thing, it doesn't seem that old-style libertarianism can solve or even very well address a number of major problems, most significantly climate change. For another, smart people are on the internet, and the internet seems to encourage synthetic and eclectic views, at least among the smart and curious. Unlike the mass culture of the 1970s, it does not tend to breed "capital L Libertarianism." On top of all that, the out-migration from narrowly libertarian views has been severe, most of all from educated women.

As an antidote, Cowen champions what he calls "State Capacity Libertarianism," which holds that a large, growing government does not necessarily come at the expense of fundamental individual rights, pluralism, and the sort of economic growth that leads to continuously improved living standards. Most contemporary libertarians, he avers, believe that big government and freedom are fundamentally incompatible, to which he basically answers, Look upon Denmark and despair: "Denmark should in fact have a smaller government, but it is still one of the freer and more secure places in the world, at least for Danish citizens albeit not for everybody."

In many ways, Cowen's post condenses his recent book Stubborn Attachments, in which he argues politics should be organized around respect for individual rights and limited government; policies that encourage long-term, sustainable economic growth; and an acknowledgement that some problems (particularly climate change) need to be addressed at the state rather than individual level. You can listen to a podcast I did with him here or read a condensed interview with him here. It's an excellent book that will challenge readers of all ideological persuasions. There's a ton to disagree with in it, but it's a bold, contrarian challenge to conventional libertarian attitudes, especially the idea that growth in government necessarily diminishes living standards.

I don't intend this post as a point-by-point critique of Cowen's manifesto, whose spirit is on-target but whose specifics are fundamentally mistaken. I think he's right that the internet and the broader diffusion of knowledge encourages ideological eclecticism and the creation of something like mass personalization when it comes to ideology. But this doesn't just work against "capital L Libertarianism." It affects all ideological movements, and it helps explain why the divisions within groups all over the political spectrum (including the Democratic and Republican parties) are becoming ever sharper and harsher. Everywhere around us, coalitions are becoming more tenuous and smaller. (This is not a bad thing, by the way, any more than the creation of new Christian sects in 17th-century England was a bad thing.) Nancy Pelosi's sharpest critics aren't from across the aisle but on her own side of it. Such a flowering of niches is itself libertarian.

Cowen is also misguided in his call for increasing the size, scope, and spending of government. "Our governments cannot address climate change, much improve K-12 education, fix traffic congestion," he writes, attributing such outcomes to "failures of state capacity"—both in terms of what the state can dictate and in terms of what it can spend. This is rather imprecise. Whatever your beliefs and preferences might be on a given issue, the scale (and cost) of addressing, say, climate change is massive compared to delivering basic education, and with the latter at least, there's no reason to believe that more state control or dollars will create positive outcomes. More fundamentally, Cowen conflates libertarianism with political and partisan identities, affiliations, and outcomes. I think a better way is to define libertarian less as a noun or even a fixed, rigid political philosophy and more as an adjective or "an outlook that privileges things such as autonomy, open-mindedness, pluralism, tolerance, innovation, and voluntary cooperation over forced participation in as many parts of life as possible." I'd argue that the libertarian movement is far more effective and appealing when it is cast in pre-political and certainly pre-partisan terms.

Be all that as it may, I agree that the libertarian movement is stalled in some profound ways. A strong sense of forward momentum—what Cowen calls flow—among self-described libertarians has definitely gone missing in the past few years, especially when it comes to national politics (despite the strongest showing ever by a Libertarian presidential nominee in 2016). From the 1990s up through a good chunk of the '00s, there was a general sense that libertarian attitudes, ideas, and policies were, if not ascendant, at least gaining mindshare, a reality that both energized libertarians and worried folks on the right and left. In late 2008, during the depths of the financial crisis and a massive growth of the federal government, Matt Welch and I announced the beginning of the "Libertarian Moment." This, we said, was

an early rough draft version of the libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick's glimmering "utopia of utopias." Due to exponential advances in technology, broad-based increases in wealth, the ongoing networking of the world via trade and culture, and the decline of both state and private institutions of repression, never before has it been easier for more individuals to chart their own course and steer their lives by the stars as they see the sky.

Our polemic, later expanded into the book The Declaration of Independents, was as much aspirational as descriptive, but it captured a sense that even as Washington was about to embark on a phenomenal growth spurt—continued and expanded by the Obama administration in all sorts of ways, from the creation of new entitlements to increases in regulation to expansions of surveillance—many aspects of our lives were improving. As conservatives and liberals went dark and apocalyptic in the face of the economic crisis and stalled-out wars and called for ever greater control over how we live and do business, libertarians brought an optimism, openness, and confidence about the future that suggested a different way forward. By the middle of 2014, The New York Times was even asking on the cover of its weekly magazine, "Has the 'Libertarian Moment Finally Arrived?"

That question was loudly answered in the negative as the bizarre 2016 presidential season got underway and Donald Trump appeared on the horizon like Thanos, blocking out the sun and destroying all that lay before him. By early 2016, George Will was looking upon the race between Trump and Hillary Clinton and declaring that we were in fact not in a libertarian moment but an authoritarian one, regardless of which of those monsters ended up in the White House. In front of 2,000 people gathered for the Students for Liberty's annual international conference, Will told Matt and me:

[Donald Trump] believes that government we have today is not big enough and that particularly the concentration of power not just in Washington but Washington power in the executive branch has not gone far enough….Today, 67 percent of the federal budget is transfer payments….The sky is dark with money going back and forth between client groups served by an administrative state that exists to do very little else but regulate the private sector and distribute income. Where's the libertarian moment fit in here?

With the 2020 election season kicking into high gear, apocalypticism on all sides will only become more intense than it already is. Presidential campaigns especially engender the short-term, elections-are-everything partisan thinking that typically gets in the way of selling libertarian ideas, attitudes, and policies.

Cowen is, I think, mostly right that the libertarian movement is not "really commanding new adherents," including among "educated women." He might add ethnic and racial minorities, too, who have never been particularly strongly represented in the libertarian movement. And, increasingly, younger Americans, who are as likely to have a positive view of socialism as they are of capitalism.

Of course, as I write this, I can think of all sorts of ways that libertarian ideas, policies, and organizations actually speak directly to groups not traditionally thought of libertarian (I recently gave $100 to Feminists for Liberty, a group that bills itself as "anti-sexism & anti-statism, pro-markets & pro-choice.") School choice, drug legalization, criminal justice reform, marriage equality, ending occupational licensing, liberalizing immigration, questioning military intervention, defending free expression—so much of what defines libertarian thinking has a natural constituency among audiences that we have yet to engage as successfully as we should. That sort of outreach, along with constant consideration of how libertarian ideas fit into an ever-changing world, is of course what Reason does on a daily basis.

All of us within the broadly defined libertarian movement need to do better. And in that sense at least, Cowen's manifesto is a welcome spur to redoubling efforts.

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  1. I recently gave $100 to Feminists for Liberty

    Collectivist cuck!

    1. Cohen’s no libertarian and never has been. I’m mystified that so many other writers and blogs tend to lump him in the libertarian side of things.

      he’s a statist technocrat through and through.

    2. Bet he didn’t even get a sammich for that $100.

  2. For one thing, it doesn’t seem that old-style libertarianism can solve or even very well address a number of major problems, most significantly climate change.

    What’s the point of even calling yourself a libertarian if you’re not going to advocate like everyone else for a public policy of forced resource redistribution based on performative consensus?

    1. Libertarianism is not stalled. It’s where it has always been, a philosophy that appeals to a very small minority of people attracted to individualism and minding their own business. Libertarianism appears to be stalled because Ron Paul brought in crowds of conservatives that were a bad fit, and who subsequently left to champion Trump. As for Tyler Cowen, he’s never been known as a radical and is libertarian-lite at best. As for Denmark, no thanks.

      1. Yeh, I think he’s off with the tiresome ‘muh Scandinavia’ shtick.

        Canada would make a better comparison (I mean America Jr. right?) which consistently rank ahead of America on those Freedom Index charts, no?

        But you guys are so racist against us Canadians you would never do it. Pricks.

        1. there is nothing libertarian about Canada.
          Not nowhere, No how.
          We just re-elected Pierre Elliot Castro’s illegitimate son, for chrissakes.

      2. Nope.

        It appeals to everybody, but its hard when the education is dominated by statists.

        Ron Paul brought in great crowds, but unfortunately they were pushed out by bad libertarians.

        1. “ It appeals to everybody, but its hard when the education is dominated by statists.”

          Person-to-person yes, everyone does believe in individual liberty and freedom. I’ve met very few people who disagree with Libertarian fundamentals. However, once they are left to their own devices, it’s another story.

          As I’ve gotten older, I’ve boiled it all down to this:

          -Everyone espouses the virtues of individual freedom and liberty, so long as it is they who get to decide to whom and what measures, those freedoms and liberties apply-

          Call it the human condition or human nature, people can’t stand not being able to tell other people what they can or cannot do.

      3. Ron Paul did not bring in crowds of conservatives that were a bad fit. Conservatives who sought power stepped into the opportunity that a genuine desire for liberty created and the American media anointed them as representative of the libertarian ideals that people like Rothbard or Hoppe were articulating. You can’t be a libertarian and call for the government to run education, health care, transportation, etc.

    2. ‘For one thing, it doesn’t seem that old-style libertarianism can solve or even very well address a number of major problems, most significantly climate change.’

      These sorts of arguments drive me nuts. The best solution to climate change is a strong economy which is exactly what happens under old-style libertarianism. Plus a whole lot of innovation, fracking, new nuclear technologies etc.

      1. That assumes climate change is what the activists purport it to be…try realclimatescience.com and re-awaken your inner skeptic.

      2. “These sorts of arguments drive me nuts.”

        Yeah, exactly. What proof do these people have that Government is the only way to solve climate change? Governments have signed a bunch of treaties that have done jack shit to fix the climate. Meanwhile, the US transitioned to fracking-backed natural gas, much like the europeans did in the 90s when eastern europe was recovering from soviet control, and this has been the biggest improvement in GHG emissions the planet has ever seen.

        Remember- the fall of the iron curtain and the transition to a fracking-backed Natural Gas infrastructure- two reforms that were vehemently opposed by their home governments- were the biggest reducers of GHG. Not treaties.

      3. Unfortunately, most people who blame climate change on capitalism have never seen what communism and socialism have done to the environment. A government system that denies the rights of every citizen also denies the need to for a clean environment. Just like with people, natural resources are used, abused, wasted and discarded as needed.

      4. That is one thing that got to me. Tyler is far too smart to fall for the climate change scam. The climate always changes. We are not particularly warm at this time. And human emissions of a tiny portion of what is a minor greenhouse gas are not material. There is no one variable that controls climate and if we could find the largest one that contributes to changing trends it would be solar activity, not carbon dioxide levels.

        The AGW myth is the way for the statists to get their foot in the door. We should not let them enter.

    3. We’ve had governments for a long time while we’ve emitted CO2, and they haven’t done a very good job solving it.

      1. Solve what, Brian? The climate is fine. Agricultural yields are good. Human poverty levels are near all-time lows. Lifespans are longer than ever. Temperatures are lower than they have been for most of the past 8,000 years and a lot lower than they have been for most of the past 500 million years. Warmer is better.

    4. Climate change is a program the government wants people to accept so they can control our energy use, which is why pseudo-scientists built computer models with hockey stick changes that haven’t happened. Libertarian alternatives exist in free markets to adapt to changes that have yet to happen, besides being a lot cleaner in practice than in less free countries. It’s simple: create a fake world destroying threat, and give the government power to address it.

      Sure libertarianism can’t address a threat to earth, but the threat is what government wants to do to us.

  3. I saw his post yesterday. He’s deluded to think government won’t protect its own growth.

    Bureaucracies grow. The only difference between businesses and governments is that governments have a coercive monopoly and are only ultimately held accountable by revolution or invasion; businesses fail by loss of customers.

    As long as government defines its own limits, it will have none, and keep growing, and oppressing, and stealing, and fucking up.

    1. As long as government defines its own limits, it will have none, and keep growing, and oppressing, and stealing, and fucking up.

      Yes. This article is so appalling, it managed to make truth tellers out of both you and Sparky. That is a pretty remarkable accomplishment in stupidity. But, Nick and Cowen were up to the challenge.

      1. Here’s a perfect example of the proverbial turd in the libertarian punch bowl. John is such an asshole that he has no qualms about letting everyone that comes into contact with him how big of an asshole he is. He’s admitted that the only reason he hasn’t engaged his murderous psychopath tendencies is because he’s afraid an all-powerful magic being will burn him alive forever after he dies. People take one look at that and realize that he can’t be left alone to do as he pleases. And so everyone has to take a hit because of it. This is what libertarianism has to contend with and there’s no way it can win.

        1. John is just a whiney-assed Trumptard just like LC1789 and a few other Contardatarians. He’s as responsible as anyone for wrecking these threads beyond repair with his Trump gnob-gobbling.

          1. You’re the one who whines. You should try being a real man for once.

          2. It’s knob, knob. He’s not a gnome

      2. You know John says something correct when reason sends in the sock trolls to do exactly what John criticizes.

  4. For one thing, it doesn’t seem that old-style libertarianism can solve or even very well address a number of major problems, most significantly climate change.

    Wait, he picks climate change out of the grab-bag?

    1. while ignoring all the free market solutions to climate change that are currently cropping up it’s fabulous

    2. Yes, probably next is his support of the “equality” bill.

      1. Is that before or after he nominates Pol Pot as the world’s greatest libertarian?

      2. Is that before or after he nominates Pol Pot as the world’s greatest libertarian?

    3. RTFA
      Cowen thinks “State Capacity Libertarianism” can maybe do high speed rail right

  5. I think it’s obvious to everyone that you sold out your libertarian Bona fides quite a while ago Gillespie and now you’re just full on sjw prog retard so stop pretending because nobody buys it

    1. How the divil would you or any other Trumpista even recognize a libertarian thought?

      1. I look at your posts and do the opposite.

      2. Lighting yourself on fire isn’t going to fix climate change

        1. Well, now let’s not be hasty, let him try before you poopoo it.

    2. Nick declares @Reason’s “core value” as Open Borders:
      In the 21st century, libertarians are going to have make common cause with the globalists of all parties, with the people whose core value is the right of individuals to move freely around the planet.

      Watching The Brink made me think that for all the other differences Reason has with the socialist magazine Jacobin, it may matter far more that we share a belief in open borders.

      https://reason.com/2019/04/12/steve-bannons-economic-nationalism-is-th/

      1. https://twitter.com/nickgillespie/status/1120362508446064645

        Nick: I was on @LionsofLiberty podcast w @MarcDClair, talking about why libertarians should embrace postmodernism, my early days as a cub reporter, and more. Take a listen.

      2. Anyone miss when Nick went full “No True Communist”?
        “Totalitarians professing communism killed millions of people, but this analogy is flawed. Hitler was the leader of Nazism, Stalin the leader of…Stalinism, not communism.”
        https://twitter.com/nickgillespie/status/1021180699380920320

  6. In late 2008, during the depths of the financial crisis and a massive growth of the federal government, Matt Welch and I announced the beginning of the “Libertarian Moment.” This, we said, was

    And I say this without any animosity or invective intended… it was probably about that time that the Libertarian Moment, whatever its strength at that time– began to wither on the vine.

    1. Was this about the same time the Taxed Enough Already Party was having demonstrations, electing candidates, and trying to shrink the size of government (though, to be fair, not the size of entitlements)? And instead of figuring out how to join those people or co-opt their drive, Gillespie et al decided the best course of action was to point and laugh at them because most of the Tealiban were flyover types?

      1. It was about the time Mexican ass sex was an epidemic around here.

      2. Bingo

    2. Many of the positions they shared with the left have come to pass, or become mainstream leftism. Those leftists pretending to be libertarian dropped the charade, or realized the truth, and the rump of libertarians still around who weren’t just leftists with no self awareness have no viable positions to stake out any longer.

      1. Yep. And they still push hard on anti-libertarian positions like abortion and open borders.

        Its no wonder libertarianism has failed to catch on.

      2. Also, conservatives became way less pro-war and pro-drugs, which is two big differentiators between libertarians and conservatives.

  7. Reason is the only libertarian publication that I had ever seen when I first became politically aware in 2010.

    Now there are no libertarian publications. I guess libertarianism is over.

    1. It’s the same in the libertarian movement as in all other movements: The leadership gets full of themselves and runs away from the rank and file. Happened with the Libertarian Party, happened with CATO, and most recently with Hit and Run.

      1. Libertarians needs to suck it up and be active in politics even when politics is crooked as shit.

        Otherwise, Libertarians get LINOs like Gillespie lying about what Libertarianism is and undermining it.

        1. The sellouts for KochBucks aren’t libertarian, but shills for corporate power and profits.

      2. It’s not disappearing, it’s got an identity crisis.
        We’ve got a president now who nobody likes but is more libertarian than any other president in the past 40 years, but nobody seems to notice.
        With the exception of immigration, and what may become of killing this terrorist from Iran last week, the majority of his focus is on the homeland, economy and free markets. If you look past all the BS from the media, he’s made more of a push to get OUR government out of people’s lives, and other nations. Yeah, I know he’s not flying the flag, and is no Ron Paul.
        Not Hitler, not Stalin, Not Bush, and not eloquent, this guy is delivering more for us than the other guys did.

        1. We don’t like Trump, we love him!

  8. Probably doesn’t help to have ENB out there on Twitter representing the libertarian perspective

    1. Even worse than Cowen re-branding fascism as “libertarian”.

    2. She could be cooking and cleaning for a man. Instead of being a pseudo feminist pseudo libertarian.

      1. Cooking!
        She gets irate over a sammich!

    3. Her routine twitter hysterics don’t help anyone, particularly her.

  9. There never has been a libertarian moment and there never will be a libertarian moment. People aren’t interested in what you’re selling. People are assholes and people who call themselves libertarians are usually the worst sort.

    1. Despite his long history of being my bitch and losing to me, when he’s right he’s right. Sparky is dead on with this.

  10. I would love to know what Cowen thinks a growing government will be doing other than taking people’s rights? That is what governments do. I am anything but an anarchist. Even I, however, will admit that governments do different forms of two things, take people’s money and give it to someone else and punish people for doing things the government deems unacceptable. That is it.

    The fact that someone as obviously stupid or dishonest or both as Cowen appears to be is taken seriously by anyone much less is allowed to call himself a libertarian by other libertarians shows how bad the state of American public intellectuals really is. The guy is just a fucking clown.

    1. On the flip side, isn’t government necessary to guarantee those rights? I mean, isn’t that what Hamilton thought?

      1. +1000

        That is why Libertarians would support tiny and limited government and the slight giving up of some rights, so all the other rights are protected.

    2. Cowen didn’t address individual rights much at all. He seemed more concenerd with capital and state working hand-in-hand for the Greater Good.

      1. Together they will combat climate change.

        Lol.

        Wonder Twins power activate!

  11. Libertarians are very, very sneaky.

    “Ah grasshopper, you misunderstand libertarians and the Libertarian Party.

    Of course no one appears to take us seriously and therefore it seems we’re merely the equivalent of insignificant little gnats buzzing around and annoying the actually serious participants in the political sphere – who are busily solving all the complex problems of the world using unbridled political compulsion – which problems are far too difficult for we merely simple minded libertarian gnats.”
    Why is the Libertarian Party insignificant in American politics?

  12. The left’s love for Nordic countries must make even the KKK blush.

    1. It is funny how the Left’s ideal societies are snowy white ethnostates.

  13. I wonder if Nick thinks his attempts to redefine libertarianism as a cultural movement reflected his cultural preferences, as opposed to a political philosophy that provides a particular answer to the problem of political authority, has helped or harmed the libertarianism.

    1. I wish I had an edit button, edition 2020.1

      1. Imagine how much Jeff could move goalposts with an edit button.

    2. Because using gov’t force to push your cultural agenda is oh so libertarian.

    3. I took nicks statements as simply rationalizing his failures and trying to redefine his goals since there’s no chance his “ideology” can achieve what he set out to.

      Libertarianisms largest failure coming out of 08′ was there was too many ideological dickheads like Gillespie, Hihn, etc around who refused to “play the game” with the tea party or libertarian leaning republicans because they weren’t “pure” enough.

      Libertarians are great at ideas, but absolutely fucking terrible at politics. And its for the same reason intellectual liberals suck too…theyre all too self absorbed and pompous to work in the grey areas of negotiation and concession, instead of their ideological extremes.

    4. Nick seems to realize that the Globalist Right is headed for the ash heap of history, and wants to carve out some shtick to keep the cocktail party invites coming.

  14. School choice, drug legalization, criminal justice reform, marriage equality, ending occupational licensing, liberalizing immigration, questioning military intervention, defending free expression—so much of what defines libertarian thinking has a natural constituency among audiences that we have yet to engage as successfully as we should.

    Given that about 80% of your wish list looks like a progtard’s wet dream, I have to wonder why anyone would bother with being a libertarian. You can get the lion’s share of what you want just by voting Democrat, as opposed to getting none of it because you wasted your vote on the LP.

    1. On your list of eight things I count roughly three that “progtards” consistently advocate.

      1. They think they consistently advocate for six; they’ll likely admit hatred for school choice and a love of occupational licensing, but even on those they may feign support for the libertarian position.

        The problem is that progtards don’t view any of those topics the same way we do. They’ll send you to the gulag if you say the wrong thing while honestly believing they are advocating free expression.

    2. No it isn’t.

      Conservatives have adopted school choice, drug legalization, criminal justice reform, marriage equality, ending occupational licensing, questioning military intervention, and defending free expression

      Liberals have adopted legalizing illegal immigration.

      That’s why libertarianism has trailed off. Conservativism adopted the good parts and left the bad parts to liberalism and democratic socialism (including abortion).

      If libertarians want to advance, do the conservative thing harder, drop abortion and illegal immigration (which aren’t libertarian anyway), and be the opposite of democratic socialism.

      Right now they are in no where land.

      1. Can’t drop Open Borders. Per Nick, that’s their “core value”.

  15. Trump’s presidency actually is, however imperfectly and non-ideologically, part of the libertarian flow and the libertarian moment. The kind of people who voted for him are the people who describes themselves as “libertarian, but…” the but sometimes being abortion, sometimes complete non-interventionism in foreign policy, sometimes drug prohibition, and sometimes open borders. Usually the former or the latter.

    Trump himself of course seems to be willing to do some version of criminal justice reform and some withdrawal from military overreach. His administration (maybe as much or more Pence than Trump) is supposed to have hired a number of former CATO and Charles Koch Institute employees. The deregulation everyone seems to agree is real and extensive.

    But what really makes Trump part of a libertarian moment is that he constantly attacks, and not just verbally, the deep state institutions that public choice theory and libertarian class analysis tell us will continue to grow and empower themselves like a cancer on society. His tax plan forcing tax burdens off of red state voters who choose not to have state income taxes and onto blue state voters who support high taxation is one example. His confrontation with the surveillance state – EVEN IF HE DID NOT make any ideologically based calls for policy reforms of the IC community – is another. His appointments of hundreds of Federalist Society aligned judges is another. His exposure of the statist media oligopoly is another.

    1. I agree. Plus his ‘non-interventionist’ war stance.

      You would think Reason would at least celebrate those but they don’t for some reason. Maybe because they just hate the guy?

      But there’s a lot of libertarian attitude in him. I like the ‘fuck you’ attitude he has – and not because I like him. It’s just that in this case he’s directing it exactly at the people who deserve to be told to fuck off.

      Come on. Admit it. Wouldn’t you love to be at a fancy dinner sitting with Adam Schiff, Hilary, Obama and whoever else and pull a Lloyd Christmas gas-lighting fart?

      1. It is harder to get your op-eds published in the “New York Times” or marry staffers at the “Daily Beast” or go to the right parties and confabs in DC and NYC if you praise Trump’s successes.

        I don’t see many reasonoids writing for the American Greatness blog, and though I don’t watch it I suspect they aren’t appearing on OAN tv.

        Robby Soave does go on Tucker frequently and promotes his book to groups like the Log Cabin Republicans when invited though.

    2. Trump is the Libertarian Moment.

      Hence the TDS from Reason. Much like the NeoClowns, Trump has rendered them irrelevant.

  16. What does Lou Reed think of the libertarian moment?

  17. The TEA party being miscast as some racist flyover group of hicks which Nick joined in on was the downfall of libertarianism.

    The TEA party was actually libertarian, was not racist and was for reducing the size of government.

    Nick and the neo-libertarians are for drug legalization and open borders but the whole take care of yourself and leave people alone thing is not cool. Yes you must bake the cake and the deep state is A-Ok if it gets rid of icky folks who tweet mean like Trump.

    The neo’s are all for using gov’t force against the “wrong” people.

    1. I don’t remember him doing that a lot. Nick is usually more pro the GOP’s liberty movement elements than some other reasonoids.

  18. True libertarian publications like Reason don;t even mention the FISA abuse that just was revealed.

    But we have multiple articles about that oh so important sex worker issue.

    1. Well reason only had that one run in with an evil statist judge slapping them with a gag order and subpoening their records.

      They may have a whole lot more run ins with laws against sex work.

  19. Tyler Cowen wants to make Government Almighty bigger because of education and global warming and ??? ten billion other things that individuals and the market couldn’t POSSIBLY fix on our own! Says Tyler Cowen, at least…

    Conservatives? Most of them, these days, can NOT understand the below…

    The collective hive mandated WAY too many licenses, before we’re allowed to earn an honest living… Too many min wages and other mandates. Put too many of us into poverty. To “help” with this poverty problem that The Collective Hive created, The Collective Hive gave us welfare. Welfare then attracts too many illegal sub-humans, sometimes, so to fix THAT problem, The Collective Hive now wants e-verify and giant border walls and giant border armies… And now also property confiscations for wall-building… So I suppose The Collective Hive will next fire up the military draft to fix THAT problem! (Lack of large enough wall-and-army forces).

    When will we stop the perpetual cycle of Government Almighty always getting bigger, to fix the LAST batch of problems created by excessive Government Almighty?

    Between all of these fake libertarians… We are FUCKED! H L Mencken was right… We are gonna get the Government Almighty that we deserve, and we deserve to get it, good and hard!

  20. Gillespie thinks he understands “libertarianism,” but I don’t. His mention of efforts to control climate change, for instance, shows his gullibility because he concedes too much. There is no reason to think that anyone or any government can control climate change. No one has demonstrated that they can explain the causes and results of climate change, or predict it, or control it. No more than human thinking and behavior can be predicted or controlled. “Efforts” to control climate change are simply ruses to enslave us all. Libertarianism does not need Gillespie’s effort to define it nor do libertarians need his exhortations to “do better.” People who love liberty will pursue it, changing the world in the process.

  21. Is there an actual libertarian site? This is definitely not it excluding Stossel.

    The government stopping climate change is possibly the most insane idea I have ever heard. And of course the trampling of civil rights will be justified since the world is ending unless Trump/Pelosi/McConnell act now.

    Biden will just throw energy executives in jail. That will surely make the climate better

    LOL

    1. If trying to control the entire earth’s climate isn’t totalitarianism, nothing is

  22. Cohen works for Michael Bloomberg. FULL STOP. PERIOD.

    1. He also supported TARP bailouts and is not Libertarian.

      He says he is a Liberal. Since Liberals dont support freedom nor what Classical Liberalism was, this guy is bad news.

      Gillespie loves to push non-Libertarians as Libertarians. Its good for Cosmo party invites.

      1. Well he gets HARD for illegal immigration and abortion.

  23. As an antidote, Cowen champions what he calls “State Capacity Libertarianism,” which holds that a large, growing government does not necessarily come at the expense of fundamental individual rights, pluralism, and the sort of economic growth that leads to continuously improved living standards.

    In other words, Cowen is a statist who favors progressivism and social democracy. Calling that “libertarianism” is an absurdity.

    Of course, it’s the same crap that Reason editors subscribe to, and the “libertarian socialists” that have invaded the LP.

    But this doesn’t just work against “capital L Libertarianism.”

    What works against “capital L Libertarianism” is that, like all political movements, it attracts corrupt, selfish people into positions of power.

    “an outlook that privileges things such as autonomy, open-mindedness, pluralism, tolerance, innovation, and voluntary cooperation over forced participation in as many parts of life as possible.”

    If you take 50% of my earnings and force me to live next to people that I don’t want to live next to and whose culture I couldn’t care less about, you are a statist and authoritarian, no matter how you dress it up.

    1. Cowen favors government compelled ‘libertarian’ outcomes.

      He’s a utilitarian collectivist.

      1. A “libertarian collectivist” is just another word for “progressive liberal”.

  24. Be all that as it may, I agree that the libertarian movement is stalled in some profound ways.

    Yes, because the cocktail party big-L Libertarians are losing power and have been seized by TDS.

  25. Cowen is, I think, mostly right that the libertarian movement is not “really commanding new adherents,” including among “educated women.”

    While I’m “libertarian leaning”, I don’t call myself a libertarian in public; the LP, Reason, Cato, and other institutions have given the brand a bad name.

    But what is happening is that people increasingly despise government, elected officials, and corporate media, and that’s a good thing.

    1. Funny given that Cowen’s early high school and college education was as (deservedly) the academic golden boy of Austrian economics, that the “growth” in libertarianism may turn out to be in the Mises Caucus of the Libertarian Party, particularly if people like Tom Woods start having cross over appeal to Trump voters.

      1. I think it’s hopeless to expect any political influence from the LP. The way to make the US more libertarian is through education, new technologies, and new businesses. LP politics is a useless distraction.

        1. Clearly educating people about Libertarian positions and voting LP has made an impact.

          The Lefties fucking hate us. Some Lefties have deemed Libertarians such a threat they write for a traditionally Libertarian-ish publication and undermine Libertarianism at every turn.

    2. “While I’m “libertarian leaning”, I don’t call myself a libertarian in public; the LP, Reason, Cato, and other institutions have given the brand a bad name.”

      I call myself a libertarian Libertarian.

      A native Californian, I’m waiting for the Democratic California Dreamers to crash and burn, splitting off the so-called Progressives from the ruling party… and it will.

      Climate change is a loser… I expect an imminent turnaround to a grand solar minimum that will catch the Warmistas in Sacramento flatfooted about the time of a business downturn and a crash in tax revenues when the pension crush begins in earnest.

      There are a number of scientists who don’t get written up in the NY Times or the Frisco Chronicle; I’m thinking Svensmark, Friis-Christensen, Veizer, Shaviv, Kirkby, Lindzen, Abdussamatov and my latest true love, Zharkova. All PhD physicists or pretty damn close (Veizer is a geochemist), all published in reputable journals. And they’re just the start for folks who want to read for themselves.

      1. The Grand Solar Minimum channel on youtube put out a huge compilation video this week. Good so far.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6QaFY8iN10

  26. Libertarians need to focus on one thing applying the NAP to government, that is prohibiting government from initiating force. That is THE problem facing humanity. Fix that and everything else falls into place.

    1. How does that even work?

      Unless you’re going the perpetual revolution route

      1. I suggest a 28th amendment, “Government shall not initiate force.”

        1. No. Sometimes it needs to. Like when we’re dealing with violent lawbreakers. Or that Iranian general we just eliminated.

          1. That’s the retaliatory use of force.

        2. Sounds cool and all, but maybe you can talk about real world application?

          1. I don’t know what you mean.

            1. Apparently not, which makes “just prohibit government from initiating force” a meaningless platitude

              1. Yup. Libertarians are for tiny and limited government.

                This sometimes involves very limited use of government force such as forcing witnesses to appear in court for criminal defendants.

          2. While that type of NAP sounds cool to some, it is not compatible with Libertarian positions. Very limited government power should be the goal.

            In a tiny and limited government where courts resolve disputes, government is the only way to evict defendants, force witness appearance for criminal defendants, enforce Rule of Law, etc.

            1. Right, limited to the retaliatory use of force.

              1. Forcing witnesses to appear in court for defendants is NOT “retaliatory use of force”.

  27. Given that those pants are empty, what would be the point of kicking them?

    This comment not approved by Silicon Valley brain slugs.

  28. Climate “change”..”education”…seriously Tyler? I’m still waiting for al the college profs to start marching against their own administrations who are putting young people in massive debt as the college takes their loan money and expands their little academic bloated fiefdoms.

    Libertarianism isn’t about arguing if we should make govt programs more efficient but eliminating them. To go back to sound money (the biggest destroyer of living standards and the morals that promote a strong and growing society based on liberty and integrity is the Federal Reserve and Public debt of any level). To cut govt. To allow freedom in all private transactions (sorry but govt can’t tell you who to engage in contracts with or who you can’t). A foreign policy based on friendship and not war. And strong borders as any nation state has the right. But no we get “pro choice” and “fill in the group” rights. Free market? That means to stop the money printing that only benefits the hedge funds and banks who get the credit and then engage in building ponzi schemes and bubbles.

    I came into the movement due to Ron Paul….for some reason the cosmo “I want to be loved by the liberal elites” writers at Reason can’t get it in they head that Dr. Paul brought in more libertarians in a day than the “erudite” Reasons writers have in 20 years.

    1. It is possible – very possible – that Ron Paul campaigns (or Ayn Rand novels) bring in more libertarians than all the efforts of the libertarian consultant class. And that the same kind of criticism Tucker Carlson (or Sarah Palin) have for the persistent failure or conservative think tanks and Republican consultants apply to CATO, the Ayn Rand Institute, the Reason Foundation, etc. At the same time as a teen socialist reading Ayn Rand I was happy that the Foundation for Economic Education (as well as reason magazine) was out there able to sell me books by Mises or Hayek that Rand mentioned, so I could understand how the kind of society she painted would actually function.

    2. I’d wager Reason has a negative effect on libertarian membership.
      Certainly did for me

    3. “Climate “change”..”education”…seriously Tyler? ”

      No shit. If there’s *anything* done by the state now that should be decentralized and liberterianized… it’s education.

  29. “First, do no harm”. This concept from the famous physician’s oath should be the core of libertarian outreach to the average person who does not think in philosophical or ideological terms.
    Message: Before we consider a new trillion dollar program to solve this problem or that problem, let’s agree to peel back existing policies that have either caused the problem or made it a lot worse.
    There is a lot of low hanging fruit. A no-brainer would be to go after NIMBY building restrictions before spending another taxpayer dime on “affordable housing”. It would take a little more rhetorical skill to concisely explain how tax preferences for employer-provided health care limits choices, drives up costs and makes it easy to fail into a preexisting condition trap. But you get the idea.

  30. Isn’t this supposed to be a libertarian site? Cohen is a Progressive and opponent of freedom. Gillespie makes it clear he is temperamentally aligned and offers weak disagreements. This place is becoming worse by the day

    1. Shikha is a self-described “progressive libertarian”.

  31. If this article is about what the libertarian party is going to stand for then I think I’d rather not be a part of it. Can someone direct me to the nearest political party for balanced budgets, constrained government power, and economic and social freedom?

    1. Do you own a starship?

    2. That’s an inherent contradiction. Political parties simply cannot realistically be for any of those things even if they pretend they are.

  32. I’d agree with the title of this article: the libertarian movement needs a kick in the pants. Consider the current crop of individuals vying for the POTUS nomination. John McAfee? Vermin Supreme? Really? And you want to be taken seriously? I know Team D is running some doozies as candidates (Marianne comes to mind), but FFS Libertarian Party, you need to get serious. I supported Gary Johnson, but I have to tell you, he came across as an illiterate bumpkin when I know he was an effective governor of NM. “What’s an Aleppo?” – When he said that, it was like letting the air out of the balloon.

    Where modern-day libertarians seem to fall apart is implementation. It is wonderful to have the concept. But if you cannot implement it effectively, it is useless. In many ways, Charles Murray has joined data analysis with implementable libertarian policy prescriptions. Who are the new Murray’s of the Libertarian Party? I don’t see them. I sure as hell don’t see Reason looking for them, or talking to them.

    The other point I would make is what is the libertarian ‘brand’? Be honest, what is the Libertarian Party associated with? Legal weed and drugs….and then a bunch of other shit nobody can name. Totally wrong. What the average person should be associating top of mind with libertarians is personal autonomy, the intrinsic worth of the individual, small government, low taxation, and our God given liberties.

    To me, as a practical matter, I would want to focus on the down ballot races at the state and local level to have a bigger impact long-term. This is where libertarian solutions to a variety of problems can get tested out. I don’t know if the Libertarian Party will ever grow to the point where it has a seat at the Washington DC table. But I do know that I would like the LP to be the intellectual ‘father’ [yes I know, totally sexist use of father] of future solutions to the problems we face. That to me would be the continuation of our heritage.

    1. “What the average person should be associating top of mind with libertarians is personal autonomy, the intrinsic worth of the individual, small government, low taxation, and our God given liberties.”

      Can’t really do that when you’ve rejected the concept of personal responsibility and turned to collective victim/oppressor dynamics.
      Reason made its choice

    2. Libertarianism is associated with the Non Aggression Principle.

    3. Child labor.

      Price gouging.

      Raw milk.

    4. The LP had a great chance to be big in 2016. Instead they nominated Gary “WUUUUUT” Johnson and Bill “IMMA STATIST” Weld.

  33. The LP is irrelevant. I wish it was but it isn’t.

    The TEA party movement within the Republican Party was as close as it has gone recently

    We need a resurgent TEA party movement. I think Trump embraces most of the individual and economic freedoms. He hasn’t gotten to the reduction of government part yet.

    Note that there is a counter Socialist party movement within the Democratic Party.

    1. My money is on the socialists. They play nasty and dirty at all costs.

      They’re the type who don’t see anything wrong with Nurse Ratchet.

    2. If the Democrat Party continues to circle the drain, then there will be a power vacuum to counter the GOP.

      The LP members could kick out the LINOs and make the LP a National Political party of freedom, tiny and limited government, and serious fiscal conservatism.

      1. Not going to happen. The socialist voting bloc is about 10-20% of the electorate and Democrat party needs them.

    3. “Note that there is a counter Socialist party movement within the Democratic Party.”

      Where?

    4. He’s not going to end drug prohibition which is a major problem.

      1. Congress is the only Branch of government that can “end drug prohibition”.

        Technically, the Judicial Branch can strike down all drug control laws as unconstitutional but it still wont end the drug prohibition.

        The Executive Branch can ignore enforcement of all drug prohibition laws but thats not a real solution.

        1. The AG has the authority to reschedule drugs.

        2. I assume that States can still make pot illegal even if the feds unschedule it.

    5. I think Trump embraces most of the individual and economic freedoms.

      Are you high on drugs?

    6. The “TEA Party” came about because a bunch of Republicans decided it made sense to protest the Obama administration for (A) tax rates set under the Bush administration, and (B) stimulus packages signed by Bush.

      If that’s your last great hope, I’m not sure you should be betting large.

  34. If I did business in the same manner as government does, and forced strangers to give me money, would you consider me a criminal?
    Are you or your “representatives” threatening someone with an initiation of violence today?

  35. Libertarianism is having trouble attracting educated women and young people. Here are couple of things to consider, first the large number of misogynistic comments that are made on this site. It is hard to attract when older women are seen as shrill hags and younger women as sex objects. As for young people in general, Reason takes a lot of time to address the evils of socialism without address what young people see as the problems with capitalism. Why embrace a system that you feel is stacked against you and that is controlled by the wealthiest. Finally libertarians have been reactive and spend too much time complaining about what is and don’t put out enough ideas. Robert Kennedy saying “some see thing that are and say why, I dream of things that never were and say why not”, could as easily be applied to libertarianism as to progressivism

    1. Poor Moderation4ever. Libertarianism already has been shown to work as the USA was founded on most of the Libertarian positions.

      Women are not very educated if they follow Socialism and continue to deny evidence of its harm and that it never works.

      Young people tend to be pretty stupid compared to young people of other generations, And by “stupid” I mean that they lack basic history and American Government education. Some are realizing their mistakes and doing something about becoming more educated. Some of those will be future Libertarians.

      1. Next rule you can’t recruit people you call “stupid”.

      2. Poor Lefties and their desire to make rule after rule.

    2. That “RFK” quote is actually cribbed from Shaw.

      https://www.bartleby.com/73/465.html

      One statist stealing from another.

      Libertarianism, for me: minarchism and individual rights.

      1. Who ever the original author the idea is still the same. Libertarians need to spend more time promoting their ideas and not complaining about the things as they are. Proactive is always more successful than reactive.

  36. Some of you libertarians need to hop onto a serious conservative forum and see how influential libertarianism has been in shaping the thinking of serious conservatives. You’d be surprised by the influence libertarians have had in the way thinking voters think even if it hasn’t come out topside.

    1. +1000

      Many actual Republicans dont hate Libertarians and agree with some positions. They might disagree with the social freedom positions. The RINOs are the scourge of the GOP with out of control spending, siding with Lefties on the increasing regulation, and Endless War being policy.

      1. Only if you are defining RINOs as Trumpites. These are the people increasing spending, putting out tariffs and getting into unnecessary conflicts (see Iran).

      2. If they disagree with social freedom, they better stay with the Republicans. Why the hell should libertarians support their statist asses to in acting like they are one of us? So that they completely take over our ranks and leave no relevant political movement to defend actual freedom? Freedom is not divided into “economic freedom” and “social freedom”, one is strongly connected to the other. Without social freedom, economic freedom is very limited, as people can only make their money is ways the Government Almighty doesn´t find offensive or immoral. Fuck that and fuck “social conservatives”.

        1. One strategy is to destroy the Democrat Party and then focus all Libertarian attention on making social conservatism that has no national political power.

          Its not working to trade off Democrat and Republican. Democrats are far worse than Republicans, so destroy the Democrat Party first.

          1. I would say the Republicans are in the process of destroying themselves. Once Trump is gone there is no plan.

    2. Yes, I agree. The heritage of libertarian thought does infuse conservatism.

  37. “some problems (particularly climate change) need to be addressed at the state rather than individual level.”

    An odd example, given that climate change faces a public good problem at the state level as well as at the individual level. If the U.S. bears costs in order to reduce its CO2 output, most of the benefit goes to other countries. It’s entirely possible, even if climate change has net negative effects at a global level, that its effects might be neutral or even positive for many countries, possibly including the U.S. If Cowan wants to make that argument, it should be an argument for world government, which I doubt he is in favor of.

    Insofar as anything is being done at present to slow climate change, it’s due to the combination of ideology, in effect a secular religious movement, and the ability of governments to use climate change as an argument for doing things they want to do for other reasons, such as promoting biofuels as a way of buying the votes of farmers.

    1. Sorry but your being silly and short sighted. The US should bear as much of the cost of CO2 reduction as it can. We are much better off than many other countries and so can afford to make the reductions. We will also benefit because the world will be better off. Some of the biggest effect of climate change will be social. Climate refugees will be real and they will stress globally.

      1. We could develop tech that alleviates the problem and sell our services or the hardware/software and training to others.

        1. That would be the smart move. Instead we are denying and complaining.

          1. And what happens when the CO2 story collapses?

            Yes, there are real scientists who very reasonably expect the IPCC to be wrong.

            1. The consequences of the IPCC being right far outweigh the consequences of the IPCC being wrong. Smart move here is to error on the side of caution. If IPCC is wrong the worst thing done is that we will have developed new energy sources and improved energy efficiency.

              1. No, the smart move is not following a bunch of ignorant ideologues down a path of extreme government spending and subsidization only to realize it was bullshit.

                The smart move is trying to develop those technologies without hurting ourselves based on poorly studied climate mechanics.

                The smart move is trying to make the cost of our current energy forms as cheap as possible so that more money can be focused on r&d for our next energy technologies, instead of being wasted on utilities overhead by the companies doing the research.

              2. If IPCC is wrong the worst thing done is that we will have developed new energy sources and improved energy efficiency.

                Bullshit. In that time, you will have encroached on our individual liberties, and extracted a good deal of money from my wallet. Fuck that. The market can far more efficiently replace fossil fuels than the federal government ever will.

              3. The IPCC predicts a small impact on global GDP in 2100. Ditto for Obama’s report on climate change. Without an absurd discounting rate, both reports tell you we should do nothing.

                Furthermore, you erroneously assume that government action has beneficial effects. In fact, government action will slow down the development of new energy sources and better energy efficiency, making any effects of climate change worse.

        2. As a rule of thumb, refugees aren’t coming from places wealthy enough to pay to solve the problems causing the refugees.

          Even if we want to go the “triumph of technology” route, selling the solutions won’t do a damn thing to solve the problem of refugees.

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  39. I try not to affiliate with any cable bundle political party.

    When it comes to voting I pick the most stable party whose policies are least irrational.

    Personal liberty is great ONLY when there is commensurate responsibility.

    I won’t vote libertarian until their principles aren’t contradictory. It seems to me that when responsibility and liberty are in conflict, libertarians look to economics for the decision.

    If that’s the case, just say so and libertarianism will fade away into fascist obscurity.

    1. “Personal liberty is great ONLY when there is commensurate
      responsibility.”

      Basically, “Personal liberty is great except when I’m offended by how you used it”.

      This is he authoritarian’s version of “I support free speech, but…”

      1. What do you have against responsibility?

        1. ha. what do you have against personal liberty? Some people with the freedom to be irresponsible choose to do so?

          1. In my experience, when people lament the idea of personal liberty because some other may be ‘irresponsible’, what they usually mean is ‘uncontrollable’ or ‘offensive’.

            What is it you’re afraid I may do with my freedom?

            1. For some reason you misunderstood my clear language.

              I simply said, “ Personal liberty is great ONLY when there is commensurate responsibility.”

              You chose to suggest that means I’m against liberty. I’m not. I recognize that demonstration of responsible behaviour is required for liberty. This is a reasonable requirement for civilization. Otherwise airliners would be falling out of the air as irresponsible people flew them. etc.

              It makes you sound like you’re against responsibility being a prerequisite for the liberty to do something. Are you?

              If so, you are the reason those idiots think that all people shouldn’t have liberty because some people are irresponsible.

    2. The commensurate responsibility of personal liberty is that you live with the personal consequences of your personal decisions. That’s all.

      1. And when your personal decisions have group consequences?

        1. Exactly.

          Seldom are the consequences of irresponsible behaviour limited to the irresponsible.

          In civilization, we demand responsibility BEFORE there are irreparable consequences. We weed out the irresponsible as effectively as we can.

          That doesn’t require taking away everyone’s liberties.

  40. Tyler is a collectivist. He fears the libertarian ideas of people like Rothbard or Ron Paul and favours the rule of an enlightened elite that would push for liberty while telling people what to do. Smart guy but deeply conflicted.

    1. ^100% correct. Anyone who has read Cohen very much can see that.

  41. The Marxist Left contaminated American Libertarianism, plain-and-simple. Libertarians are Classic Liberals which means they are conservative by nature. There is no such thing as “Left-Libertarianism” only Progressivism which means Collectivism / Socialism. Also, contemporary Libertarians seem far more concerned about legalizing pot than any other far more important issue concerning our Liberty and Freedoms.

  42. “That question was loudly answered in the negative as the bizarre 2016 presidential season got underway and Donald Trump appeared on the horizon like Thanos, blocking out the sun and destroying all that lay before him. By early 2016, George Will was looking upon the race between Trump and Hillary Clinton and declaring that we were in fact not in a libertarian moment but an authoritarian one, regardless of which of those monsters ended up in the White House. In front of 2,000 people gathered for the Students for Liberty’s annual international conference, Will told Matt and me: ”

    “Muh butthurt!!!!!!!”

    The cry could be heard throughout DC, as Trump snapped his fingers and turned the right-wing of the ruling Globalist Uniparty to dust!

    That was the Libertarian Moment. The moment that turned the tide.

    To be a fly on the wall, as the Globalist propagandists wept and gnashed their teeth in impotent rage! All that was missing was Bill Kristol to represent the NeoClowns and Invade Them All, Invite Them All would have been complete.

    American government of, by, and for the American people.
    Rolling back the Obamacare individual mandate.
    Rolling back taxes.
    Rolling back the Regulatory State.
    Rolling back the invasion of Big Government voters.
    Rolling back the doom of a permanent Leftist electoral majority.

    Most libertarian President in my lifetime. The one who may just secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

    MAGA!

  43. […] so much of what defines libertarian thinking has a natural constituency among audiences that we have yet to engage as successfully as we should.

    Oh, balderdash. Conservatives have been saying the same in regards to immigrants and Hispanics for decades, “if we could only reach them, they’d realize they’re really conservatives!”

    Fact is, if you’ve been doing “outreach” to a group for decades (and like conservatives, y’all have been) and not converting them, it’s not because you aren’t saying things the right way… it’s because the group doesn’t like what you’re saying.

    And it’s not like women and ethnic minorities are special in that regard… even as libertarianism is predominately straight-white-male, y’all haven’t had a lot of luck with that demographic either.

    1. Depends on how you measure it. If you measure libertarian success by Libertarian Party election results, then yeah, virtually no one is a libertarian in America. I’m a strong libertarian and I’ve never voted anything but Republican, for example.

      However, if you measure it by attitudes towards favoring lower taxes, less regulations, and being socially liberal (not to confuse with “progressive”), then whites and men are largely libertarian in America.

      Now, you say outreach to other demographics is pointless. Well, time will tell. But one thing’s for certain, you can’t know if you don’t really try.

    2. The fact is that libertarianism is inherently an ideology that appeals to high IQ men. Women naturally want to be safe more than free, and they just tend to be less educated about politics and history than men because they aren’t interested in such things.

      For minorities, it’s because they tend to “benefit” from big government. So it’s against their own perceived best interests. Also, just plain old tribalism. No matter what people want to believe, blacks and Hispanics go against what white people want JUST BECAUSE white people want it. It’s a natural thing, and it’s why multi ethnic nations are a shit idea. The loss of the white supermajority that calls all the shots in the USA is going to be the death of America and everything it stood for, mark my words.

      Every nation needs an ethno-cultural group that is so firmly in control that nobody can challenge it… Otherwise you have instability and chaos. The USA had this before we fucked up our immigration laws, now we don’t. The current chaos is the result, and we will never recover and become a stable nation again.

  44. I like the Reaganesque attitude, Nick!

  45. Yeah, what ruined the momentum was the left-libertarian fucktards taking over all the main libertarian organizations. Ron Paul is as good as it gets in the real world. He is basically Founding Father level awesome. I don’t agree 100%, but more than with any other politician in my lifetime.

    But Reason and others decided that illegal peasant immigrants matter more than the size/scope of government, and that tranny bathroom rights are more important than the 2nd amendment, etc. This essentially alienated all the sane people on the right that are very open to becoming more libertarian.

    Leftists are emotional thinkers, and that includes left libertarians. They care about feelz more than thinkz. They will NEVER become anything remotely libertarian, and all outreach to them is wasted. Conservatives however are already mostly on the same page as the basic tenets of libertarianism, and only need some good nudging to improve on the things they’re bad on. I’ve converted a lot of conservatives over the years on things like dumb wars, the drug war, prostitution, etc by making logical arguments… I really can’t ever recall converting a commie to believing in freedom in almost any respect.

    So keep on burning down the libertarian movement Reason! It’s already totally irrelevant, and idiots like this guy and his left-libertarian ideas will just keep making it even smaller and weaker.

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