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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Why the smartest libertarians ignore the LP
Less, it seems you are conflating protection-via-alms and protection-via-defensive-force.  Until the Red Cross starts kicking in doors and punishing aggressors, I'm not buying that set of alleged counter-examples.
You didn't tell me what other defense agency is competing for Hamas' customers, so it still doesn't yet count as a counter-example.  And instead of saying Hezbollah is "a clear example of a typical legitimate government", I in fact said the opposite: I said that Lebanon has been a poster child for why anarchy doesn't work.  If your argument for anarchism in America is that it works in Lebanon, well, we're done here. :-)  My point remains that the median gang in the history of organized crime has not provided guarantees of rights enforcement that are in any way comparable to what we enjoy here in what is, despite all its flaws, the most wildly successful minarchist experiment in human history.
Canaries can live or die for reasons other than what you bring them into the mine shaft to check, and unlike the Ehrlich/Simon basket of commodities, the canaries in question here have ears.  I don't know how to make a bet out of it, but let's meet at the LP convention of 2030 and debate whether the influence of Rothbard and Austrianism has increased or decreased between now and then.
Good news: one of the GMU economists I named dropped a "thanks for the compliment" comment under my cross-posting of my above analysis at my archive.  Now that I know he gets a feed of his mentions in the blogosphere, I'll try to judiciously drop his name some more to encourage interest in the LP.
As a long-time member, can you speculate as honestly as possible on why you think self-identified libertarians in academia and the biggest mainstream libertarian institutions (Cato, Reason) so assiduously ignore the LP?  My default theory is because of 1) what you guys in the previous Radical Caucus did to such folks in the early 1980s and 2) the extremism that has ever since echoed in the LP Platform and membership.  In an interview this winter with Angela Keaton, it was pretty clear that Eric Garris is now somewhat contrite over the schism.  It just boggles my mind that radicals don't consider it a top priority to unite the freedom movement under the LP umbrella, but instead all I see from LP/LvMI radicals are vicious attacks on the Cato Institute and "cosmopolitan" libertarians.  Dogmatists tend to prefer fighting heretics over fighting infidels, apparently because 99% agreement is the worst possible crime, as a 1% heretic is more likely to defile the vestal virgins than any infidel. :-)