The Libertarians

Milan Skarka

The definition of Libertarianism is, of course, in the eye of a beholder since there really is no definition that will fit everybody’s tight box. The Webster dictionary defines a Libertarian as a person who advocates liberty, especially with regard to thought or conduct. I can point out to the main themes that summarize libertarian streaks and tendencies:

1. Limited Federal Government that stays within the confines of the Constitution.

2. Individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society.

3. Belief that the only legitimate purpose of a government is to protect the rights of its citizens.

While the nineteenth-century anarchists shared the libertarians dislike of government, they went further and believed that they could create a world with no government at all; but they also believed it would be a socialist world. Again, think of the hippie communes of the sixties or the nineteenth-century farm communes in various parts of the US: they were all socialist in nature; the only difference between the communes and the Soviet Union was that there was no one to coerce their members into behaving according to the strict precepts of Marxism. Consequently most of them failed after a few years, because of course, as we know, genuine socialism, voluntary or otherwise, never works. The nineteenth-century anarchists really believed that it was only the state, controlled by the capitalists, that prevented the people from voluntarily forming socialist communes in both industry and agriculture. Without government, socialism would be the natural result. You can’t get much more naïve than that! That’s why the libertarian anarchists of today prefer to call themselves “anarcho-capitalists,” to distinguish themselves from the socialist anarchists (who still exist, believe it or not!). As much as the anarcho-capitalist ideal appeals to some, I think it is just as unworkable as the socialist-anarchist paradise of the nineteenth century. Unfortunately, some sort of state is still necessary to keep the bad guys in line. A natural and genuine anarchy is what you have in Somalia. Not exactly a place even the anarcho-capitalists are rushing to emmigrate to.

Why do I like Libertarians?

I will answer with the wise words of Barry Goldwater in 1964: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” A vivid opposite to the liberal preference: “Moderation in the pursuit of vice is no virtue.”

Will the Libertarians win this forthcoming or some other election? Most likely not. By their very nature libertarians are not in agreement as to how to pursue a political structure that would be practical in today’s society. People in general are too far gone down the “socialist” route and will not consider a society that is not controlled and organized by a strong central Government. However, I think that there is a libertarian streak in a majority of voting population and this may play a role in the upcoming election.

 From our Washington corespondent




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18 Responses to The Libertarians

  1. Taurus says:

    At the moment it would seem that the libertarians will have nobody to vote for in the presidential elections. The peculiar US electoral system, even more than the other ‘democratic’ ones, encourages mediocrity in the candidates.

  2. Milan says:

    I was thinking some more about the Republican nomination for 2012 and have come to the conclusion that–alas!–Ron Paul would be a bad choice. The reason being that, if people won’t vote for Mit Romney because he’s just more of the same, they won’t vote for Paul for the opposite reason: he’s just too far out for most people. And you may be sure that the Democrats would demonize him, just as they did Goldwater in 1964. I was still enjoying my luxurious life in the Workers’ Paradise back then, but from the records the 1964 presidential election was about how Johnson and the Democrats frightened the American people into believing that Goldwater would cause a nuclear holocaust if elected. As a result, Johnson (who was almost as unpopular as Obama is now) won by a landslide. You may rest assured that if Paul did get the nomination, the Democrats would find plenty of things about his ideology to scare folks with. They may not be able to persuade people that he would start a nuclear war, but they can certainly scare them with visions of the discontinuation of entitlements, economic collapse, and a break-down of law and order due to the repeal of the drug laws. Thus, we are in a no-win situation: a bad candidate, like Mit Romney, can’t beat Obama because he’s just more of the same; but a good candidate like Paul is even worse, because he’s too extreme for the middle-of-the-road majority. I said of the last two elections, “Whoever wins, we lose,” and I will have to say the same thing about the Republican Convention for the 2012 election: whoever wins, we lose.

  3. slegnef says:

    Too many people depend on the government largesse; and for one direct recipient there are others, like wives, husbands, parents and children, who would not vote to kill the golden goose (Democrats) however debt/pox ridden she may be.
    Obama’s unemployment “achievement” is suspect*. The reality is probably the double of his figure, but the reality never appealed to the media. G Old P is not a party to save America. It is also too late.
    *) if true, it happened despite his policies

  4. Mouser says:

    You are far too old, Slegnef. And there is never too late, as Adolf said in Berlin on 30 April 1945.

  5. Ron Paul, isn’t electable, but I think America needs his economic agenda more than any other candidate. I’m not to keen on his foreign policy, he’s niave. But Americas Economics is of paramount importance. Before the young unemployed men become radicalised from another 2 years of depression.

  6. Milan says:

    I think that his foreign policy is largely misunderstood. Paul is not an isolationist. Just like his economic policies were misunderstood for the last decades until his predictions came to a full fruition and beyond, in many cases. Our current “Policeman of the World” policy is unsustainable and a trillion dollar-a-year “empire” is crumbling.

    Some of the establishment attempts to marginalize Paul is most amusing. It reminds me of a TV show “Archie Bunker” that I used to watch back in the 70’. The most delightful thing about the show was that it was intended by the liberals who created, produced, and acted in it to be a satire on right-wing conservatives, but it turned out that it was most popular among the very conservatives it was supposed to be satirizing, since Archie Bunker was such an effective spokesman for their views, even though each episode was designed to show how wrong Archie was.

  7. Oh of course, and I agree, the military budget is one of biggest black holes. The military has effectively become bureaucratic. You can tell by how legalistic they are, and all the white elephants they have been spending for.

    I’m just concerned that Paul seems unfazed with the totalitarian impulse running through Islam today. Military foreign adventures may not be the solution. But Islam will have to be managed somehow. The solution suggested by Spengler from Asiatimes, is the 18th century English divide and conquer strategies using mercenaries and bribery. It was effective at turning the instability and chaos internally amongst the Arabs than being externally focused for them to form any serious bulwark against European colonialism.

  8. Milan says:

    I would not warry about the 7th century cave-dwellers so much. Ron Paul is quite probably the only presidential candidate who could halt the rot. Unfortunately, I consider his election about as likely as contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. You should also remember that, even though most of the American people ignorantly suppose that the president can accomplish anything if he wishes, thinking him, apparently, to be some sort of absolute dictator; the fact is, that he is constrained by both the Constitution and Congress–which latter, if Paul were indeed the president, would be utterly hostile: he would get no support even from the Republicans.
    The politicians are too corrupt and power-hungry for things to ever change for the better. They can only get worse. In every issue of Reason, there are logically argued articles, supported by incontestable facts, proving the folly or dishonesty of this or that statement or policy or legislation; but no one pays any attention.

  9. Taurus says:

    Do I detect a tinge of despair, Milan? If I recall it correctly, I think it was some Pew Research study, only 20 million out of 50 million US fundamentalists vote in your elections. I do not know how they define a ‘fundamentalist’, but let’s say they are citizens with stronger than average Christian beliefs. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think those people would be unlikely to vote for Obama and his comrades. Additional 30 or perhaps 20 million could make some difference, or not? Left/liberal media constantly moan about the undue influence of religion on US politics, but it would seem that there is wast untapped potential. The Left would then scream that your democratic system has to be moved ‘forward’, of course. I’m not in favour of theocracy, but the situation appears to be desperate…Do it.

  10. Mouser says:

    I’d say that only a few amongst those 50 million fundamentalists want theocracy. It is just ravings of some deluded TV pastors, seized upon by the liberals in order to discredit Christian religions and the people they have not yet managed to fool with their version of the paradise. Liberals apply a different yardstick to anti-western religions. Mullahs calling for a jihad are excused as an inconsequential, extreme minority.
    I wonder how the new US citizens of Hispanic and of presumably Catholic roots would vote. There seems to be a lot of them arriving.

  11. Milan says:

    Yes. The so-called Christian fundamentalists are basically regular church-going folks that may or may not hold “conservative” values such as pro-life (anti-abortion). The “main-stream” media are waging a crusade (no pun intended) against the predominately Christian religion and culture. If you’re Muslim you’ve been victimized by it. However, the fundamentalists are very strong especially in the south or the Bible belt and their participation in this election is considered crucial.

  12. Milan says:

    I think you’re right. Theocracy is unconstitutional and will “never” take hold in the US. The main issue is the constitutional use of the governmental power to implement their agenda such as pro life and marriage defined between the man and woman amendments, or other cultural issues. Because they are basically conservative on the host of other issues all the presidential candidates are courting them.

    In my opinion, all minority groups want the same future for their families and themselves…opportunities, economic and religious freedom and individual rights secured by the Government that stays within the confines of the Constitution. This class-war or pandering to “minorities” is right out of Marxist textbook and totally disgusting. I consider myself a minority of one. The Constitution does not guaranty any group rights.

  13. Minority Group rights are really a form of mercantilism. Or more specifically political cartels who have a monopoly on ‘rights’.

    Taurus, I believe mischievously alluded to the nuclear option that conservatives or any sort of reactionary, could fall back on; that is severing the distinction between church and state. Normally that leads a to a full dress civil war. Not that I’m advocating such a thing. But it is option, sometimes you can’t avoid these things, and better to take the initiative.

  14. Milan says:

    I think this maybe a common misunderstanding of the Constitution generally and the Separation of Church and State specifically. The Constitution expresses there shall be no establishment of State religion and in no way prohibits participation of churches and religious people in politics or occupying federal office or function. This, however, was often abused by some “liberation” and “social justice” churches that Obama attended.

  15. Adriana says:

    The post is really very interesting and informative. Your different viewpoint on US politics is refreshing. What do you think of Santoro?

  16. Milan says:

    If you mean Rick Santorum a former Senator from Pennsylvania-then-he as a candidate for the Republican nomination is somewhat in the news now, since he has won some primary states. As my political views are more along the Libertarian thinking I consider him a social conservative who’d like to use the government power for “good” from his point of view, of course. Economically – not so. His record, while serving in the Senate, was mixed. However, any of the final four would be far better President then “what” is now in the WH.

  17. Amnésia says:

    I must say that this topic is interesting.

  18. heroic coward says:

    A insightful blog post there mate ! Thanks for posting .

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