Where Should Libertarians Stand During the Conservative Circular Firing Squad?

Pondering the right-commentariat's populist-nationalist vs. classical liberal split, on the latest Reason Podcast


If you printed out and stacked up every piece written about the dispute between First Things contributor Sohrab Ahmari and National Review writer David French, it wouldn't quite go up 68,000 miles—that would be the $22 trillion national debt, stacked by ones—but it would be towering nonetheless.

Since libertarianism is often an indicted co-conspirator during the nationalist right's never-ending season of irritable manifestos, we felt it appropriate to dedicate most of this week's Editors' Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast, featuring Katherine Mangu-WardNick Gillespie, Peter Suderman and Matt Welch, to the conservative crack-up and related subplots. (And yes, that includes, hilariously, Game of Thrones.) There are David Brooks sightings, disputes over Trumpism's policy content, and usage-disquisitions on classical liberal and libertinism.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Relevant links from the show:

"David French Is Right: Classical Liberalism Is the Best Framework for Protecting Religious Freedom," by Robby Soave

"Steve Bannon's 'Economic Nationalism' vs. Libertarian Globalism Is the Battleground of 21st Century Politics," by Nick Gillespie

"The Populist Temptation," by Matt Welch

"The Government Can't—and Won't—Give Meaning to Your Life," by Peter Suderman

"How Stunningly Stupid Is Trump's Tariff Threat Aimed at Mexico? Let's Count the Ways," by Eric Boehm

"Larry Hogan Out, John Kasich Half-Out, Bill Weld Talking Abortion with Bill Maher," by Matt Welch

"Where Do Libertarians Belong?: A Debate," by Brink Lindsey, Jonah Goldberg, and Matt Kibbe

"The Simpletons," by Matt Welch

NEXT: Vegetarians vs. Omnivores: A Soho Forum Debate

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Real good picture, Reason.

    Each guy has 2 guns. The women average 1.5 guns each. Blatant gender inequality. Not woke.

    1. Government will make a law to have at least one woman on every gun manufacturing company board.

      That will even it out.

    2. i think the chick in the middle wins nobody is aiming @her

      1. I don’t know. The chucklehead in the hoodie looks like he’s going for a 2-for-1 shot there.

      2. Second guy from the left, right hand.
        Maybe the guy on the far right. (wink)

  2. Where they always stand. Right in the middle.

    1. I’m pretty sure that Welch, Suderman, and Gillespie don’t have to worry about being within 10 miles ideologically of any Conservative firing squad.

    2. And by “right in the middle” you mean “on the sidelines with virtually no power at all”…right?

  3. It’s simple. In the Drumpf Era, libertarians should stand with the conservatives and Republicans who advocate voting Democrat.

    For example, David Frum may have been a speechwriter for George W. Bush. But he endorsed Clinton in 2016, so he’s basically on our side. Likewise, Jennifer Rubin is the Washington Post’s conservative columnist. But she puts #CountryOverParty because she realizes the unique dangers posed by a white nationalist Russian intelligence asset President.


  4. run away from both, screaming like hair is on fire.

    1. They should stand for pot, Mexicans, and Sodomy like they always have.

    2. running towards the nearest hill to die on


    Only an evil racist nationalist would not love the diversity that Somalis have brought to Minnisota.

    In 2012 90% of Somalis worldwide said they think agree with Sharia Law and think it should be implemented.

    I am sure they don’t really mean it or importing a population with such beliefs could ever change your society for the worse. That is impossible.

    1. If there’s one place on earth that could use a little Sharia Law, it’s the Twin Cities.

        1. This song is great – it’s more than an earworm, it’s like the creature in Dungeons and Dragons that crawls through your earhole while you’re listening at a door, then eats your brain.

    2. Dozens of Somali-Americans have been convicted of or plead guilty to trying to join ISIS.

      We have a whole holiday where even poor people are expected to sit around a table with whatever they’ve got and count their blessings. Regardless of whether that’s the way things should be, here’s the way it is: Americans find ingratitude to be especially revolting.

      They were starving to death, and we went over there to save them from starvation. When average Americans started to feel like they were ungrateful for what we did, we left. We felt so bad for their predicament, we brought them into our country by the thousands–and their kids decided to go join our enemies in ISIS?

      The rules of naturalization properly belong to Congress, and if we don’t have a law that strips refugees of opportunity for American citizenship if they take up arms with our enemies, then there sure as hell ought to be. When these shithead ISIS wannabes get out of prison, they should be expatriated.

      1. “If we don’t have a law that strips refugees of opportunity for American citizenship if they take up arms with our enemies, then there sure as hell ought to be.”

        I suspect the American mind isn’t fully capable of grasping this level of ingratitude before it happens–which is probably why it isn’t policy already.

        It’s the same reason why there wasn’t a law against the Secretary of States accepting donations from foreign countries while she’s the Secretary of State.

        How could anyone do something like that?

        We can understand necrophiliacs and dog-fuckers–because it’s so insane. They’re out of their fucking minds? Okay. I can understand that.

        But that level of ingratitude? That’s not about insanity. That’s Iago.

        “Iago is one of Shakespeare’s most sinister villains, often considered such because of the unique trust that Othello places in him, which he betrays while maintaining his reputation for honesty and dedication.”

        In addition to everything else, he’s an ingrate.

    3. Perhaps, John, it just isn’t right to condemn an entire group based on the actions of a few.

      I guess that just makes me a wokeltarian progressive SJW fanatic.

        1. The mobile site sucks

          The part of Minneapolis where they live saw over 50% increase in crime last year. But statistics are so racist

          1. The statistics aren’t racist.

            What is bigoted is to misuse statistics to blame every member of a group for the bad behavior of only some members of the group.

            1. Sorry dude… If stats consistently show one group is far more likely to commit crimes, it’s OKAY it accept that that is the case.

              For instance, men commit far more violent crimes than women. Period. It’s a fact. To try to deny it is retarded. What that means to me is that it is REASONABLE to direct anti violence efforts at men, or treat men differently than women in some situations.

              If we know that some groups are far more likely to be criminals, in a sane world, we would use that to inform decisions about those groups. The truth is we shouldn’t be letting any of these savages into our countries, unless they’re fucking doctors or engineers or something. Educated and intelligent people of any ethnicity are far less likely to commit crimes, and actually support themselves. Letting in the rabble from the 3rd world is going to get you the results one sees in poor places in the 3rd world.

              I’m sorry reality doesn’t work the way you wish it does bro.

              1. GROUPS aren’t criminals. Individuals are. Individuals commit crime, not groups, and especially not groups of people who are in no way individually associated with each other.

                This is the bigotry of the right that has, I guess, become dogma now. That entire groups of people can be judged based solely on their nationality or on their culture. It is wrong for the same reason that it’s wrong to judge all people of a certain skin color based solely on that alone. If a black Somali Muslim man robs a store, it isn’t “blacks” or “Somalis” or “Muslims” or “men” who are at fault, it is that particular individual. Get it?

                1. That entire groups of people can be judged based solely on their nationality or on their culture.

                  You are bordering on criminally stupid.

                  There is a thing called a social contract. Americans have one that is written down and taught in public schools. Individuals who don’t grow up here are not steeped in it, nor protected by it. They will never act like Americans. What we consider natural rights do not exist where they are from. This is not a judgement, it is a fact.

                  In other countries, like Somalia, children are regularly beaten to death by their parents. Mothers and daughters are raped and then stoned for the acts committed against them. Young men are forced to work as mercenaries for men who will kill them if they don’t. Law is a completely arbitrary concept, enforced by whoever has the gun pointed at them.

                  Seriously, go to Somalia and try spreading your message there. You understanding will increase exponentially in inverse proportion to the distance of the machete from the back of your neck.

                2. Here’s the thing Jeffy:

                  If it is known that Somali immigrants are 10x more likely to rob stores than Chinese immigrants… Only a fucking moron would not take that into consideration. Which is what you advocate.

                  You advocate looking up at the sky on a cloudless summer day, and declaring that it is lime green. It’s NOT lime green. It’s blue. If you accept that it’s blue, you can make decisions accordingly.

                  If you want to be all egalitarian and such nonsense, you could have an immigration system that only allowed in educated Somalis, because their crime rate is more comparable to the average white or Asian American. THAT would be treating people as an individual, and doing what it best for Americans by keeping out types of people, on an individual by individual basis, that are far more likely to commit crimes.

              2. If we’re targeting groups then gun owners should be at the top of the list.

                1. For what? Giving them a medal? Gun owners are some of the lowest crime rate individuals in the entire country. Concealed carry permit holders have a lower crime rate THAN POLICE OFFICERS for fucks sake.

    4. Having spent a lot of time with Muslims, I think this idea of sharia and people’s support for it gets lost in the translation.

      The appeal of sharia to Muslims–especially those living overseas in the developing world–is that it’s a higher law than that given by the government.

      Before the revolutions of the Arab Spring, and well afterwards, the Muslim World has lived under some of the most corrupt regimes the world has known. The government routinely ignores its own laws, favors can be bought and sold in government.

      It should not be surprising that a culture of people, from all the way across North Africa and into the Middle East, would find the idea of a system of law that is above the corrupt politics of the dictators appealing. When you see people in the Muslim world who see sharia as positive, try to see it through their eyes. When they see the word “sharia”, they see what you see when you see the term “rule of law”.

      If I’d lived in a society that was subjected to the arbitrary whims of a vicious dictators for decades, I might see a system of law that the vicious dictator couldn’t arbitrarily change as a good thing, too. That’s what many of them are talking about when they’re talk about sharia.

      1. Yeah but the system of law is dictatorial in its own right. If you say “Fuck Mohammed” they cut your head off.

        1. And if you said the local equivalent of “Fuck Qaddafi” (or something else the dictator didn’t like that week) in Algeria, Chad, Libya, Iran, Iraq, northern Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen (just off the top of my head), they might chop your head off all the same.

          As I keep trying to explain to people here, we libertarians like to think that there are world of possibilities, but after decades of dominance by the corrupt Ottoman Empire, the corruption of colonialism after that, and the corruption of post-colonial dictators, people aren’t thinking about adopting the protections of the U.S. Constitution and First Amendment freedom from establishment.

          They’re thinking in terms of, “You know what would be better than what we have now?”

          Incidentally, we have a history of that kind of thinking of our own:

          “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

          —-Declaration of Independence

          Um . . . King George? You may say that you can do all these awful things to us without our input or consent, but there’s actually a higher power than you–who says what you’re doing is wrong.

          That’s the appeal of sharia.

          There are some fundamentalists who like sharia (and a fundamentalist interpretation), but that doesn’t appear to be so for 90% of Muslims. When the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, a few years ago, announced that the Religious Police were no longer allowed to confront women on the street about their chaperones or their clothing, it was wildly popular. If 90% of the people of Saudi Arabia think sharia is a good thing, it is not because they want religious police, etc.

          Same thing in Iran. The reason Iran fought like hell to keep Assad in power was because they were afraid of what might happen if the Iranian people came to believe that overthrowing the mullahs was possible. If 90% of Iranians find the term sharia appealing, it is not because they want what the religious dictators of Iran are dishing out to them.

          In fact, if that survey is accurate, I suspect that the well connected people who are working for the dictators may be over-represented among the 10% of Muslims who don’t find the term sharia appealing.

          1. Who cares?

            Their beliefs are shit, and they can shove ’em. The reality is that letting in all these people from fucked up places with their fucked up beliefs has simply… Fucked our country up.

            Not a single one of these recent immigrant groups has gotten anywhere close to being as economically productive or anything else as your average American was before this massive wave of 3rd world immigration. Since I do not believe in the principle of open borders, I say they can all fuck right off.

            It’s not our job to TOLERATE shitty people and their shitty beliefs as some form of penance for whatever past deeds our ancestors may have committed. These people bring nothing to the table other than making our country a less nice place to live. America is going to hell because of these people.

            If you adjust almost any stat in the USA to remove the demographics that have moved here since 1965 it is painfully obvious that America would be wealthier, happier, have less crime, fewer social issues of all sorts, etc if none of these people were here. I don’t wish them any ill will… But I’d rather they be living their shittier lifestyle NOT in my country.

            1. America is going to hell because of these people.

              Was it third world immigrants who created the welfare state?
              Was it third world immigrants who created the $20 trillion national debt?
              Was it third world immigrants who launched wars of choice all around the globe?
              Was it third world immigrants who created the surveillance state?
              Was it third world immigrants who passed gun control laws?

              Below, you claim that “right-libertarians” are sober rational thinkers, while “left-libertarians” allow emotion and hysteria to rule their thoughts. But what you are doing right here is scapegoating foreigners for the problems created by native-born Americans. It is pure demagoguery, which is a purely emotional appeal of division between “us” and “them”.

              1. There is an actual ‘us’ and ‘them’. The difference is the social contract that we have spent our life under. That you refuse to acknowledge this is just your own form of demagoguery.

                You seriously need to read some real history books.

              2. Was it the West who invented their destitution?
                Was it the West that elected their despots and created their surveillance states?
                Was it the West that created their psychotic “honour” cultures?
                Was it the West that created their castes and class systems?
                Was it the West who passed their gun control laws?

                It always amazes me how you handwave real issues to make a phony point.

              3. Actually Jeffy, to a very large degree many of those issues ARE made worse by immigrants.

                White Americans overwhelmingly vote against bigger government, for gun rights, etc. In fairness many are down for killing people abroad though.

                One need look no further than voting statistics to see who votes for what. If we hadn’t changed the 1965 immigration act, I suspect US politics would look an awful lot like the 1970s or 1980s still. In other words FAR more to the right/libertarian side of the spectrum than it is now.

                Also, much of that stuff got kicked off when we had our huge waves of fresh off the boat European immigrants too. Supposedly FDR wouldn’t have won his first election without the immigrant vote, and we all know how awesome FDR was for freedom. If we’d had fewer new immigrants then America might not have had Social Security or a number of other horrible programs.

                This is why I have often said, even if we can eventually convert and educate these newer immigrants, it DOES NOT happen overnight… Which is why we need to control the numbers coming in.

            2. >>>America would be wealthier, happier, have less crime, fewer social issues of all sorts, etc if none of these people were here.

              any of this affects your daily life?

              1. Obviously. My tax burden would be lower with fewer low education immigrants. My car may not have been broken into as often, or if not my own then other peoples, which increases by insurance rate. So on and so forth.

                These things ripple through effecting everybody directly or indirectly. When I was a kid in Cali, my school was perpetually out of money because we had tons of illegal immigrants in it… Strangely, in the same town a couple decades earlier when my dad grew up there, they didn’t have such problems.

      2. No no, Ken. Try to see the world through the eyes of another? That’s heresy! Everyone knows that the world is correctly interpreted by Americans on comment boards and if they say that people who support Shariah are no different than terrorists, then so be it.

        1. I can see things through their eyes: They’re even more retrograde, backwards, and barbaric than the very worst hardcore bible thumpers in the USA… Who I am not super keen on either.

          1. Jeffy is far too morally superior to ever admit that a 3rd world refugee might be MORE conservative than the privileged white religious folk he has been taught in his youth are responsible for all of the woe in world. After all, they would never bite the hand that brings them here. Unless it’s the hand of a Zionist. Or a feminist. Or a gay man.

            1. Hey man, maybe the Muslims will end up being good immigrants after all! If they’re the ones that ultimately break the backs of the idiot progs all the extra rapes, murders, etc may be worth it!

  6. This “split” is mostly happening in the commentariat’s minds.

    The “populist-nationalist” side of the real world is mostly about Democrats flooding into the Republican party after being chased out of the Democratic Party by the social justice warriors who run things over there now. It’s like a replay of when the same rust belt demographic flooded into the Republican party to support Ronald Reagan–for the same reasons. I suspect Trump will do extremely well in 2020 just as Reagan did in his reelection bid in 1984–and for pretty much the same reasons that Reagan did. When the Democrats can’t stop congratulating themselves enough for alienating their own base, there’s probably another shellacking headed their way.

    In other words, the reality isn’t about the ideology of the Republicans so much as it’s about average people being disgusted by the horseshit Democrats (both in Congress and among the commentariat) are expecting them to eat for breakfast every morning. If the commentariat is expanding their rhetoric to bring recovering Democrats into the fold permanently, then that should keep the Democrats up at night. If the rust-belt becomes solidly part of the Republican establishment like the South did after Reagan, the Democrats will be facing some mighty lean years.

    1. I would argue it is a return to normalcy after a brief NEOCON/Trotskyite take over of the party during the Bush years.

      1. Somebody needs to icepick those guys.

    2. Did Democrats create the split between Sobrani and French as well?

      1. When I wrote, “in the real world”, did you not understand what that meant? When I wrote about “the reality”, did you not understand what that meant? Do you ever find yourself trying to misunderstand why people are saying?

        What commentators say to each other and why isn’t usually about what’s happening in the real world, but when it is, on this subject, it may be about one side trying to bring disaffected Democrats into the Republican party for good, and the other side not wanting the Republican party to change.

    3. The reality is about the American Left abandoning government of, by, and for the people.

      It used to a shared value of both Democrats and Republicans.

      1. Not satisfied with destroying the historical meaning of the word “liberal”, they’ve now turned their attention to destroying the meaning of the word, “Democrat”.

        We may be seeing a real turning point. Since the run up to the Civil War, “Democrat” largely meant someone who believed in things like Stephen Douglas and popular sovereignty, with Lincoln’s “Republican” being the opposition to that kind of “democracy”.

        Right up through my lifetime, the Democrats generally believed that everything from my gun rights to how much of my paycheck I get to keep should be subject to the outcome of a popular election, and Republicans generally responded that we don’t live in a Democracy. We live in a republic of laws that respect the rights of individuals.

        It’s only recently that Democrats have become unwilling to depend on the American people for their mandate. After all, the American people don’t always want what’s best for them, and if you want to save the planet, wipe out racism, etc., you may have to do it in spite of the selfish desires and racist concerns of the voters.

        That’s a big change! Even within the context of libertarianism, I never thought I’d need to argue that democracy has places where it’s necessary to the functioning of a free society. But here we are! Yeah, markets are more democratic than Congress, but you can’t have a free society if the government can tax, declare wars, and set immigration policy over the objections of the American people and without their consent.

        Is there a force that’s more hostile to democracy right now–even in its proper place–than the Democrats? I don’t suppose the Authoritarian Party would catch many flies. Maybe that’s why “Socialist” has made such a nice comeback.

        1. It’s only recently that Democrats have become unwilling to depend on the American people for their mandate. After all, the American people don’t always want what’s best for them, and if you want to save the planet, wipe out racism, etc., you may have to do it in spite of the selfish desires and racist concerns of the voters.

          LOL. Ken Schultz perfectly explains the rise of that sentient jar of gall bladders that calls itself Kirkland.

          Wait a minute… Could Kirkland be Ken trolling us?

    4. I kind of agree.

      Many conservatives have always been nationalistic though. I would argue in 19xx most Republicans would have been nationalists. It was really only after the globalist neocons fully took over the GOP that even calling somebody a nationalist became a dirty word.

      I am 100% a nationalist, and always have been. I’m for the interests of my nation and my people above those of any other nation. That doesn’t mean we need to violate foreign nations rights or fuck them over… But it also means we shouldn’t bend over for them just to be nice if it is against our interests.

      Also, I think a lot of regular conservatives have always had a soft spot for working people too. I always have, despite my soft spot involving tough love and not handouts.

      But yeah, moderate democrats who share a lot of those same overlapping qualities going into the GOP has probably strengthened that “wing” of the GOP.

    5. “This “split” is mostly happening in the commentariat’s minds.”

      It’s wishful thinking from people who would never give the left the same sort of treatment.

  7. Oh, and one more point about the real world . . .

    in the real world, the biggest threat to libertarian capitalism is coming from the Democratic party. And that threat isn’t divided in any way. In the real world, the biggest threat to libertarian capitalism is coming from the Democrats in terms of their hostility to free speech, their hatred of gun rights, and, especially, their support for the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.

    In the real world, if classical liberals in the Republican party can leverage the support of “populist nationalists” by way of support for Donald Trump to defeat threats to libertarian capitalism like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, then libertarian capitalists should encourage classical liberals in the Republican party to embrace that opportunity.

    As a real deal libertarian capitalists, I don’t give a fuck about whether we’re seen as fashionable–certainly not anywhere near as much as I care about defeating authoritarian socialism.

    1. Yup! Actually achieving positive results is better than being popular, or being invited to cocktail parties!

    2. See? This. Right here.

  8. “Your comment is awaiting moderation”

    This is what “Free Minds” looks like at Reason.

    1. Let’s find out just what is causing “moderation”:

      The axis of politics is between the populist-nationalists and the globalists, with the classical liberals on the side of the populist-nationalists, and Reason on the side of the postmodernist Marxists, Neocons, and Progressives.

      Nick declares @Reason’s “cover 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.

      1. 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.”

        1. So I split the comment into two posts, and they both go through.

          Maybe it’s having two links in the comment that is a problem. Could have sworn I saw something to that effect recently.

          Or maybe it’s just another glitch as they test out their new editorial control over the comments section.

  9. I found this discussion on conservatism so heavily ironic coming from leftist hopefuls. The beginning premise was about drag queens interacting with kids in a public library. Not a single editor expressed any hesitation of exposing that sort of sexualization to children.

    Not one.

    And yet the four of them sat around and speculated about which right wingers wanted the handmaids tale. KMW even longed for the days that libertarians were on the left. I suggest you all read Michael Malice’s new book, The New Right, because you haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.

    1. “KMW even longed for the days that libertarians were on the left.”

      muh cocktail parties

    2. It is one of the things that really irks me about reason. Almost none of the contributors have the foggiest clue about what conservatives and the right think and believe. The few exceptions are Stossel, Slade, and sometimes Stoll, Their blindness and hostility to the right is what makes so much of the content just as bad as all leftist media. I came to libertarianism through conservatism and the right. I still listen to conservative talk radio and read several of their news and opinion sites. They are far from what is presented here and often more concerned about issues of liberty than reason writers

      1. I’ve said it a thousand times before, but in my actual life a solid 90% of libertarians I have ever met are right-libertarians… Yet somehow left-libertarians have come to dominate all major libertarian organizations.

        It really is the long march through the institutions, even if they never consciously realized they were doing it. It may have been as innocent as “Well we gotta hire a new writer… I don’t know which one we should pick yet… But that guy Bob, when we were talking he said he wasn’t too keen on trans people… Not that there should be any laws mind you, because he’s a libertarian, but he just doesn’t think it’s cool to be trans… We definitely shouldn’t hire that guy, I just didn’t click with him…”

        And now here we are. A movement that is probably 90% opposed to their angle on how they report everything being run by the 10% minority.

        Reason REALLY needs to bring on board more right-libertarians if they ever want to be taken seriously again. I mean Stossel is about the only thing going here anymore! And I love how he’s THE ONLY ONE who has a disclaimer on his stuff that it doesn’t necessarily represent the views of Reason. I mean how fucking ridiculous!

        1. “It really is the long march through the institutions”

          The Cathedral

        2. >>>left-libertarians have come to dominate all major libertarian organizations.

          is what left people do. organize. individuals don’t care about organizations.

          1. And organizations don’t care about individuals as well, they only function as long as individuals choose to subsume their interests into the interests of the organizers.

            1. Well, therein lies the problem with libertarian zealots.

              They take rabid individualism too far sometimes. The reality is that humans are a pack animal, AND we also have to live alongside each other. No man is an island. This is why a reasonable and balanced view of individual rights, responsibilities, etc and that of groups, society, etc needs to exist.

              The Libertopia some people have in their heads is utterly impossible due to human biology and the way our brains are wired. But a VERY limited government, with a crap ton more individual freedom than we have now is very possible. Trying to pretend that we should eschew any and all groups, organizations, social groups, communal decisions on issues of import, etc is foolhardy, and impossible.

              BUT I do believe the above comment is correct in that individualist minded people lose constantly to more collectivist minded people because we don’t organize as well… That’s something we individualists need to consciously try to rectify. A gang will always beat up a single guy. We need to have our gangs too, even if we leave more room for individual action within our gang bylaws.

        3. There aren’t any ‘left-libertarians’. They’re just leftists.

          One of the first steps leftward is the valuation of the collective over the individual. It is a starting point for leftism.

          And you cannot be a libertarian, classical liberal, or right wing if you take that step.


          Because one of the first steps rightward is the understanding that there IS no ‘collective’, that there are only individuals. That losing that understanding is where tyranny begins. It is a starting point for the right.

          There is nothing good on the left side of the spectrum because ALL of it starts with that cost–that you will have to give up your individuality.

          1. I get your meaning… I think libertarian thought is theoretically correct, but simply doesn’t function in all situation in the real world. As I said above, I think completely ignoring group dynamics is actually a flaw.

            I don’t consider myself a purist libertarian, because purist libertarian thinking leads to conclusions that don’t work IMO.

            IMO one needs to put the individual front and center, and when in doubt side with the individual. However to ignore that things like society, culture, community, etc are real things that people care about leaves one in a very weak position. This is why libertarians never run anything. People DO care about those things. They MUST be considered in decision making.

            It’s about having a balance between group interests people care about and the individual, with things being VERY heavily tilted towards the individual.

            To choose a popular issue, immigration. There is no reason we shouldn’t let in a 3rd world dirt farmer in Libertopia… But even absent a welfare state if that poor person drags down the standards of a society, commits more crimes on average, has values the natives don’t like, votes for laws they oppose, etc… Why should a society let that person in? They’re a negative for the people there, so fuck ’em I say.

            This is a case of the views of society overall imposing their will, even if it is against a certain foreign individuals “rights,” and perhaps against the will of a small number of natives. But I say so what. Society and culture matter to people, and should be considered. If people don’t LIKE foreigners and their foreign ways, and they bring practical negatives too, why should they have to put up with them?

  10. “Where Should Libertarians Stand During the Conservative Circular Firing Squad?”

    I am from California. We stand on the left side of the circle.

  11. Brada-Tat Tat Tat Tat Tat Tat Tat Tat Tat

  12. I think the first John Wick movie had a circular firing squad scene. It was toward the end of the movie and that good looking woman was trying to kill Wick. She ends up in a parking garage surrounded on all sides by four guys who shoot and kill her. I was thinking no way would four trained men shoot at someone in the middle of them. But that was a movie, and reason is taking about politicians.

    1. There’s a great one in “Ultraviolet” with Jovovich fighting Chinese gangsters.

    2. saw that, thought same … she should duck.

  13. Most of Reason’s chat-room libertarians are conservatives.
    When they’re not white nationalist bigots.

    1. No, we’re just right-libertarians, as opposed to left-libertarians. We think logically instead of emotionally, and this influences the issues we deem to be most important.

      The way I personally break it down is this:

      If your most important issues are emotion based social issues that are of near zero actual importance to having a prosperous, happy, and successful society… Such as tranny bathrooms, legal weed, and open borders… You’re a left-libertarian.

      If your most important issues are general size and scope of government, taxes, nanny state laws, gun rights, etc… You’re a right-libertarian.

      It’s not that I think gays should be thrown off of rooftops, I’m totally fine with gay people doing their thing… But if you think what bathroom a tranny can use is more important than gun rights or how much money the government steals from you… You’re fucking retarded.

      Those feel good issues are all basically irrelevant to the happiness and success of most people, and are just a side show to important issues. Yet because some people are more emotional than others, they prioritize them above actual important issues that effect everybody far more.

      Therefore when somebody freaks out and thinks a politician is literally Hitler because they don’t fellate the gay lobby, but is awesome about taxes, regulations, gun laws, personal freedoms, etc… I’m going to call bullshit on that opinion.

      1. Oh good lord. If you think right-libertarians can’t get emotional then I want some of what you’re smoking.

        Briefly, a right-libertarian is a Republican in all but name only. A right-libertarian will advocate for Republicans, vote with Republicans, apologize for Republicans, EXCEPT on maybe one or two issues, on which they can claim some thin veneer of plausible deniability that they are, in fact, actual Republicans.

        A left-libertarian is the same, but for Democrats.

        A *libertarian*, without the prefix, does neither. They correctly see that neither major tribe is interested in liberty for its own sake, and is merely a power-seeking club. They don’t apologize for either team because that would be pointless.

        1. The current crop of conservatives started to pop up here after ‘08 when Bush, Cheney, Lott et al. ruined the Republican brand. Looking for a new home they brought their small govt values along with their socially conservative viewpoints. Basically they want to rebrand libertarianism as a Neo-Republican Party as they think it should have been. The Trump clowns that appeared in ‘16 have found comfort from the Neo-Repubs and now many of the old guard libertarians have faded away for the most part.

          1. I won’t disagree that there are some of those sorts around… I guess I’m more socially conservative than saaay AOC, but I’m not really that socially conservative.

            I don’t care if somebody is gay. I don’t care if somebody wants to get stoned. I listen to fucked up music. Etc etc etc.

            While I don’t think there should be laws (the libertarian position), I DO think that a lot of social norms have gone the wrong way in recent decades though. As one example, the number of single parent households has created a disaster for generations of kids now who have suffered the repercussions. But the reason I support some socially conservative views is because empirical science actually backs up the fact that one gets superior results from some of those values. If science showed that single trans parents got the best results, I would probably be in favor of single trans parents!

            Likewise with my opinions on immigration, or various other issues. Where I depart from libertarian dogma it is because I have seen facts that swayed my opinion to believe that it is a bad course of action… In most cases I don’t advocate laws, like I think crack should be legal… But I do advocate social pressure to encourage people to not smoke crack.

        2. I’m not sure why a leftist gets to define what a libertarian is.

          But, since I DO believe in ACTUAL personal liberty, have at it, Jeff.

          When you’re done, read this to see how close you’ve gotten (you might want to read it FIRST, because, based on your posting history, you’re seconds away from bursting out with red flags and sickles and hammers.)

          A libertarian is concerned with issues (not people or parties) that pertain to the enhancement, maintenance, and defense of individual liberty.

          Some of these are personal freedom, self responsibility, property rights, self determination, ownership of person, freedom to contract.

          NONE of these endorse involuntary group rights

          Libertarians, if they vote, vote for the ideas most likely to enhance, maintain or protect personal liberty–whatever the affiliation they’re being expressed under.

        3. Hey, if you want to call me a Ron Paul Republican, I’ll take that. Normal Republican, not so much. But I’m my own man really. I think the Rs are shit on a TON of issues. But they’re shit on fewer issues than Ds are now, at least in their rhetoric.

          I’m for low taxes (like ACTUAL low taxes), eviscerating the government in all ways, ending the drug war, no foreign wars, letting private businesses and people do whatever the fuck they want, etc etc etc.

          I’m pretty damn libertarian. But as I always admit, I am not a purist. I believe the NAP logically leads to conclusions that don’t function in the real world in some instances. I am therefore willing to make exceptions to the NAP in a small number of areas. I make no bones about this.

          I think my thinking is superior to blindly following a dogma based on a theory that “force” is never useful, when reality shows it very frequently IS useful pragmatically speaking. But my limits on when/where it should be used are still far more libertarian and limited than most conservatives or progs would see fit to use force.

          I still maintain that the right/left split in libertarians runs mostly along the logical/emotional line. Why would somebody consider tranny bathrooms to be more important than cutting taxes by 50% if they weren’t thinking emotionally? Practically speaking taxation has FAR more impact… But it’s the “Ohhh, but the poor dear can’t use the bathroom they want, and it hurts their feelings really bad!” that draws the emotional to consider that more important. Taxes just don’t tug the heartstrings in the same way.

    1. I’m not seeing “Comments are closed” yet.
      I saw it all over the place a couple of weeks ago, and KMW said it was a “software glitch”.

      Apparently, the “glitch” is back.
      About 20,500 results matching a google search for “Comments are closed”

  14. I think what you’re really seeing is the globalist neocon cuck RINO wing getting thrown the fuck out of the right wing… As they deserve.

    Those fucks were the ones who sold out conservatism back in the day, and let America be raped by leftists. So they deserve to be kicked to the curb.

    Not saying the one dude is spot on in everything, he has a lot of views I’m not in favor of… But his general “we need to stop being cucks and fight back” angle is absolutely correct. The mainstream RINOs have just been surrendering gracefully for decades, and that sure as hell is no way to maintain/win back our freedoms.

  15. “Where Should Libertarians Stand During the Conservative Circular Firing Squad?”

    No, stupid.
    Libertarians should hit the ground during the conservative circular firing squad.
    Otherwise dead Libertarians will result.

  16. Should you stand?
    Of course, you’re as guilty as all the other establishment GOP.

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