Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Strange Death of American Libertarianism in the GOP

See here.

This political collapse of libertarianism, quasi-libertarian and traditional consensus neoliberal economics in the GOP is the unnoticed story of the last year.

Now it may well be that Gary Johnson’s third party Libertarian run for president might attract more voters than usual (maybe all those Bernie Bros who are stoners?), but the pathetic Libertarian party has no chance of ever winning the presidency, and not just because one of the highlights of their Party National Convention was one fat dude called James Weeks (a Libertarian Party Chair Candidate) stripping nude on C-SPAN to the horror of millions nation wide:

The only serious party for a libertarian or quasi-libertarian President of the United States is the GOP. And Trump’s victory has killed this, given Trump’s hatred of free trade, his love of protectionism, and his abandonment of the standard quasi-libertarian GOP issues like privatisation of Social Security. Even the libertarianism of the Tea Party movement seems to be collapsing as the Tea Party people come to support Trump. Go figure.

It looks like the – umm, how shall I put it? – full-retard economics of libertarianism was never that popular with the Republican base. They just needed the right person to make them discover their love of Big Government and conservative socialism. That person was Trump.

It turns out too that the Republican base seems to be sick and tired of the endless Neoconservative warmongering that has been going on since 2000. See the excellent analysis of these issues by Michael Lind here with these criticisms here.

More astonishing still is that there seems to be some evidence that many former Ron Paul-style libertarians have morphed into Alt Right neo-fascists.

Greg Johnson, one of these Alt Righters, describes this process of political transformation of Ron Paul supporters in the following video (not for the faint-hearted):

But, as we see, the Alt Right “refutation” of libertarianism seems to have little to do with the economic flaws in libertarian theory. Rather, it seems to be more in line with Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s critique of standard libertarian theory along with intense white nationalism and identitarianism, anti-Semitism and racial issues peculiar to the United States.

So this is yet another story people have missed: the emergence of neo-fascism in America, even if it is just a fringe movement, seems to have come via libertarianism. Creepy.

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Lord Keynes @Lord_Keynes2


  1. It's the hints and fringes of this that really disturbed me over the last few years poking around in the "Libertarian" blogosphere. People like Tom Woods, a straight up, if disingenuous, neo-confederate; the Cliven Bundy stuff with the gun toters staking out highways, and denying the federal government even exists; the raging conspiracism. Like the Left, an embrace of manicheanism and identity politics.

    There are a lot of sane small l libertarians, but the Paulines have smutzed up the word.

    Gary Johnson seems better. In fact the "movement" types were not happy with him, he got boos, and even less happy with Weld. I'm not sure if this is a sign of the sane gaining ground in the LP (by infiltration from the GOP) or an attempt to get a bigger vote (and subsidies!).

    1. Gary Johnson is a full-retard SJW-libertarian. He thinks stopping illegal immigration and building a wall is -- gasp!! - "racist".

      Really, with libertarian-tard world, if it's not one form of insnatity it's another.

  2. 'Libertarianism' is a complete misnomer for the right-wing ideology which claims this name in the US. Libertarianism was historically a left-wing anarchist, anti-capitalist movement, opposed to the authority of state, religion and capital. What is referred to as 'Libertarianism' in the US is just a mis-named extreme-right-wing fringe of republican politics which is extremely authoritarian in many respects. It has always been strongly infused with racism. It basically stands for racist plutocracy, which is just a short step away from fascism.

    1. Philippe: Do you have any sources for what you claim? I know Chomsky has made repeated assertions to that effect - that older European Libertarianism is different from the US conception. But I'd like to see some links on this if you would, please.


    3. Murray Rothbard:

      "One gratifying aspect of our rise to some prominence is that, for the first time in my memory, we, 'our side,' had captured a crucial word from the enemy... 'Libertarians'... had long been simply a polite word for left-wing anarchists, that is for anti-private property anarchists, either of the communist or syndicalist variety. But now we had taken it over..."

      Rothbard, Murray N. (2009). 'The Betrayal of the American Right.' (p. 82) Ludwig von Mises Institute.

  3. Does that man stripping violate the non aggression principle?

    1. On a level that requires compensation to all viewers.

  4. Exactly. Most of the GOP base has never been libertarian. Most Republican voters like Big Government when it benefits them. As Michael Lind wrote in another good article:

    "The success of Trump’s campaign has, if nothing else, exposed the Tea Party for what it really is; Trump’s popularity is, in effect, final proof of what some of us have been arguing for years: that the Tea Party is less a libertarian movement than a right-wing version of populism. Think William Jennings Bryan or Huey Long, not Ayn Rand. Tea Partiers are less upset about the size of government overall than they are that so much of it is going to other people, especially immigrants and nonwhites. They are for government for them and against government for Not-Them."


    Another good Lind article on Trump's populism:

    Of course, Trump could just be a phony populist. We won't know unless he wins. But his rhetoric and some of his policy ideas are certainly populist.