Saturday, March 24, 2018

The sad state of the libertarian movement

I intermittently read writing by Justin Raimondo.  The last time I read anything of his I agreed with was well over twenty years ago.  But he's largely hit the nail on the head with his recent piece in Chronicles, Lost Near the Beltway.  I think many of his details aren't quite right -- Rothbard, Ron Paul, and the Rockwellites have their own problems, and Russia really is a very bad player (Putin imagines Russia at war with us, whether we do or not) -- but Raimondo is certainly onto the rot that's infested the minds of modern libertarians.  

Here are a few examples from my own "libertoonist chamber of horrors."

Gary Johnson, "Libertarian" Party presidential candidate, identified leftists David Souter and Merrick Garland as ideal SCOTUS justices, flipped out when someone asked him about illegal aliens and insisted on the socialist's PC euphemism "undocumented workers," opposed cutting taxpayer subsidies to Planned Parenthood and opposed abolishing EPA, agreed that governments should forcibly close businesses of bakers who refuse to decorate cakes with themes that celebrate homosexuality, declared Hillary Clinton a good public servant, condemned freedom of religion and called it a "black box," blamed Allepo on U.S. interventionism (once he figured out Allepo wasn't a government agency).  I guess it's understandable that he promoted drug use.

William Weld, his VP running mate, promoted Hillary Clinton for president, called semi-automatic firearms "WMDs" and expressed horror that we mere civilians have access to them, and called for expanded federal power to control Western lands including private lands.

The Niskanen Institute, a pseudo-libertarian "think" tank, has attacked Heartland Institute for expressing doubt about climate models.  Climate models have systematically failed to predict (as the Niskanen "defense" admitted) and are the weakest part of the argument for anthropogenic climate change.

David Bier, also of the Niskanen Institute, attacked Americans for our "bigotry" and argued we should emulate Angela Merkel's policy of taking in one million unvetted "Syrian" refugees, at a cost to taxpayers of ten billion euros in the first year.  His essays on this subject were reposted by FEE, and Bier was subsequently hired by Cato as an "immigration expert."

Alex Nowrasteh, another Cato "immigration expert," regularly claimed that to not import "Syrians" at taxpayer expense was equivalent to turning away oats bearing Jews escaping Nazi Germany.  Nowrasteh endorsed unlimited immigration by Muslims, who he claimed are less prone to terrorism than the average person.

Cato writers also have endorsed a guaranteed national income, as well as criminalizing all firearms transfers that don't have the permission of the federal government and that provide the government a set of records.

Not to be outdone, FEE's chief editor, Jeffrey Tucker, endorsed a deep state coup against President Trump.

Earlier FEE ran a point-counterpoint debate in which their own "expert," Cathy Reisenwitz, argued that libertarians should devote less time to worrying about individual rights and more to figuring out how to combat "white privilege."  She later lamented libertarians don't rush to embrace the Marxists of Black Lies Matter.  (Although the Bier brothers did.)

In another online debate, Reason chief editor Katherine Mangu-Ward and libertarian and economist Steven Horwitz argued (covered here) that there's nothing more to ethics than basic libertarian respect for others' rights...which are, of course, undefined.    (Does this respect for others' rights mean we have to bake gay cakes, Steve?)

Who needs these people?  We already have the New Left.  And at least the New Left doesn't poison the discussion by claiming that all this crap promotes something other that totalitarianism.

What would we call someone who opposed leftists on the Supreme Court, said bakers can decorate cakes as they damn please, said people should own guns, that EPA should be abolished, opposed taxpayer funds for Planned Parenthood and for importing and settling immigrants, favored shutting down the shadow government-deep state, and thought that ethical behavior entails all sorts of things beyond simply refraining from initiating violence.  I'd call them a real libertarian. 

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