And so it is. The time has indeed come to speak of many things, but mostly to speak of things Libertarian related. L. Neil Smith recently gave a speech to the the Larimer County LP which he posted at The Libertarian Enterprise and it got me to thinking about things I had decided to place on the back burner for awhile.
As I speak to you here this evening, ladies and gentlemen, our libertarian movement—in fact, what I have always referred to as the "general freedom movement"—is in the worst disarray I've ever seen it in, in my 44 years as an active, self-conscious member of it. The traditional American aspiration toward individual liberty is in greater danger at the moment than probably since the War Between the States.
Truth such as this is painful and necessary if change is to occur. It is also a necessity if change for the worse is to be stopped from ocurring. I have spoken around this matter in the past and mentioned some of the parties involved, but L. Neil has made me take the decision to point one or two things out to a few people.
He is entirely correct when he states that Libertarianism and the Liberty Movement, such as it is are in disarray. Why? My guess is the influx of disenchanted "others" and their attempts to "reform", the apathy of the duh masses finally getting to folks and the government running roughshod over everyone with no sign of let up. It can get downright discouraging.
And the problems are getting worse by the day. Taking a look at the 'Reformista" in the Libertarian party, it's fairly easy to see that they are, for the most part refugees from the Republicrats and their ilk. These folks want to see "electability" as goal number one for "their" party and principles are of no concern and may be set aside to insure "electability" of their candidates. Of late the rhetoric in some circles has become what some could easily term as hateful. In a political party that has a big enough tent to suit almost anyone these folks are strong on "get out" and weak on "come in", (and, yes the LP is a big tent. The price of admission is a simple affirmation of Zero Agression). I've seen some of them come right out and and damn libertarian principles in their headlong rush to get elected. They abhor the Zero Aggression Principle and it's adherents, cursing them as obstructionists and worse. They are attempting to rewrite the Libertarian Party Platform, (which I will admit could use a tweak or two to make it a bit more relevant to the times) but, are seemingly not too concerned about growing the government and its reach. One plank of their proposed reformed platform goes so far as to call for the Federalisation of ALL police, from the local to the Federal. That's not a very libertarian principle, regardless of what they may contend.
In the headlong rush to become like the very party (BOYN) they fled from they are intent on changing the party that welcomed them as refugees and lost souls into the very monstrosity they fled in the first place. These folks actually trust government to "do the right thing", sad to say. What they think of the Free Market and Murray Rothbard is not to even be repeated in polite company and most get a quizzical look if you even mention Konkin, (or they froth). They advocate limited freedom, regulated life and "good government" under the misleading title of "incrementalism".
Incrementalism: Patrick Henry said "Give me Liberty or give me death" he did NOT say, "Give me Liberty Sunday through Thursday and the rest of the week is yours, umm-kaay?" This is the problem with the Reformista and incrementalism as they would take it.Political candidates being pragmatic is one thing, eschewing core principles in the name of electability is quite another. If the denizens of the LP wish to be perceived as Republican Lite, as seems painfully obvious in many cases, then they should join back up with their fellow Republicrats and go that route. Libertarianism, in all its many forms is just not for them...and that's OK. It's a big world. When I see so many supposed Libertarians (big and small L) supporting Republicrats in so many different ways it makes me wonder about them and their agenda. Are they just so many deep cover, Karl Rove inspired 007 wannabe's? I don't know...but it makes me wonder some days.
As we have seen in recent weeks Republicrats are quite eager to use the Libertarian Party to goad their fellow statists into choosing them over another Republicrat statist. And the Reformista are more than happy to see this, falling all over themselves because big name Republicrats have "defected". It apparently lends "credibility" of some sort to the LP in their eyes, altho I fail to see how. Of course, as we have also seen these "defectors" are more than willing to drop out on a whim...leaving state LP's with no candidate in the November elections. Talk about getting played...I have to wonder if anyone other than myself remembers the Reform Party and what happened to them when they accepted "renegade" Republicrat Pat Buchanan into their ranks as a candidate.
Let's face it, folks. Things are FUBAR in a massive way and that's exactly what the powers that be want. The Libertarian Party may not have enjoyed a lot of success over the years but it has managed to do one thing that others haven't. It has survived where others have not. The successful Reform Party is gone. Sabotaged unto death by people who wished it to become the very thing they fled in the first place. We know for a fact that history repeats itself and that is what is about to happen with the LP, if some folks get their way.
That said, it is my opinion that it really doesn't matter anyway. The Powers That Be are assured of victory and will never relinquish control to Liberty minded individualists. The Machine is here and will keep running until it is dismantled, breaks down or runs out of fuel. All we can hope for is to stay out of its way and toss in the occasional Monkey Wrench in an effort to slow things down. The certainty is that politics ain't working anymore.
Libertarian, Politics, Republican, Democrat
Karl Rove, Movement of the Libertarian Left, Reform Party, Liberty