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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Why Prominent Libertarians Ignore The LP

“Why aren’t most prominent libertarian thinkers and writers affiliated with libertarian organizations involved with the LP?”

Excellent question.

For Austrian anarchists, the answer seems to be ideological intolerance for libertarians who aren’t Austrian anarchists.

For Cato/Reason-style cosmo-libertarians and many academic econ-libertarians, the answer seems to be the LP’s ideological intolerance for non-abolitionist market-based reform.

For Ron Paul and a variety of other non-anarchist libertarians willing to work across party lines, the answer seems to be the LP’s insistence that liberty only wins if the LP wins.

My advice is for the LP to fix the latter two problems with more ecumenicism and less exclusivism, and to ignore people who don’t want to share the LP with libertarians who don’t always agree with them.

Brian Holtz // Sep 25, 2009 at 2:16 am

Austrian anarchists are sometimes willing to support Austrian non-anarchists when there is overlap in the conspirators that one side or the other sees and hates: the Fed, “Empire”, Israel, Jews, foreign immigrants, the Council on Foreign Relations, Abraham Lincoln, Bush’s 9/11 plot, etc. For all the talk of principle, these people are sometimes more motivated by who they are against rather than by what they are for. Newslettergate is just one manifestation of this.

I said that Ron Paul and other non-anarchist libertarians willing to work across party lines do not seek to work with the LP because the LP refuses to work across party lines. I didn’t say that individual LP members never work across party lines.

Blanton either doesn’t understand what I mean by “non-abolitionist market-based reform”, or isn’t familiar with the history of LP platforms and policy statements. The LP never endorses incremental reforms like school vouchers replacing public schools, pollution taxes replacing technology regulation, negative income tax replacing all forms of welfare, flat tax or fair tax replacing the existing income tax tangle, personal Social Security accounts, etc. The LP’s official policy advice is effectively never anything other than “abolish it”. This is probably why libertarian policy shops like Cato, and most libertarian academics, have no interest in the LP.

Brian Holtz // Sep 25, 2009 at 11:43 am

@64 is a perfect example of why most libertarian academics and think tanks like Cato want to have nothing to do with the anarchist wingnuttery of the LP.

Brian Holtz // Sep 25, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Michael, I’m not necessarily claiming that the LP should officially support every such market-based reform, and you’ll notice that none of them are in our repaired platform (that I am very happy with). I’m just saying that the LP should not officially oppose them, and that people in the LP should stop convening circular firing squads whenever any LP candidate dares to propose them. (Ditto for when anarchist LP candidates propose abolitionism. I’ve teased LP anarchists for not running anarchist campaigns, but I’ve never criticized them for campaigning as anarchists.) Hence the draft St. Louis Accord. Could you support something like that?