IPFS Mike Renzulli

More About: Politics: Libertarian Campaigns

Musings on Libertarian Political Correctness

Wayne Allyn Root announced his resignation from the Libertarian Party a short time ago in which he joined the Republican Party and endorsed Mitt Romney for President. Having experienced what he allegedly did first hand, I am sure the rumors are true that Root not only had bad experiences among his contacts with the LP rank-and-file but also saw first hand that Libertarians act like the very moochers they reel against. For example, it was alleged that attendees to Root's fundraiser at his house for Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson had no problem consuming the free alcohol and food served yet Root supposedly was subject to a scolding by some attendees about his ideological impurities. I would not be surprised if Wayne Root was the subject of frequent insults while serving on the LNC. Rumor has it that he was accused by libertarians of being things like a LINO (i.e. Libertarian In Name Only) and Zionist warmonger.
I was active in the Libertarian Party for twelve years in which I served as a state and county party officer for the last four. I knew many libertarian anarchists in which most of whom subscribe(d) to conspiracy theories. The rumors about Root's resignation, speaks volumes to an issue that is a dirty little secret among libertarians, especially of the anarchist persuasion. One common thing that one can count on is conspiracy theories coming up in conversations among them. The person most responsible for giving ecclesiastical legitimacy to conspiracy theories in libertarian thought and explains why they are a persistent subject in libertarian culture is due to the influence of Murray Rothbard. Rothbard not only subscribed to conspiracy theories, but (despite being of Jewish descent) was also a Holocaust denier. He claimed that if someone wanted to understand the nature of the state, one need only look to conspiracy theories and even went so far as to state that a conspiracy theorist is a praxeologist (i.e. social scientist).
Like religion, conspiracy theories are an intellectual attack on a person's ability to think since they are a form of skepticism which denies not only objective reality but also absolute knowledge. Once someone embraces the conspiratorialist world view either in whole or in part their senses can be weakened to the point to where a person's unable to objectively review evidence or make logical conclusions and decisions not just in politics but in other areas of their life. I experienced this first hand since I did subscribe to conspiracy theories during most of my time spent in the Libertarian Party and in social circles I parused. While I realize people use them to make sense of events they can not comprehend, the evil nature of conspiracy theories ultimately leads to the condemnation (if not outright demonization) of groups of people.
One scientific-based publication gives insight into what happens when people accept conspiracy theories as a belief system:  
While these are often disparaged as the product of mental defectives, it is useful to examine the basis by which such beliefs [in conspiracy theories] are generated. In this case, they attempt to straddle the line between evidence and faith, but manage to construct rules of evidence which can never be satisfied. This becomes self-reinforcing to continue bolstering the conspiracy, since any explanation must, by definition, be part of the conspiracy which hides the information desired.
  The article goes on to point out:
In the case of our conspiracy theorist, the evidence is simply precluded from consideration, because the provider of such evidence will always be suspect as being a party to the conspiracy itself. Since verification becomes impossible, the construct of the conspiracy holds. What is interesting in this case, is that even disagreement among conspiracy theorists tends to support their claims, because the challenge isn't about any particular event. The issue is the lack of "openness" in accessing the data. As a result, it is irrelevant when conspiracy theories exist that are contradictory, since that may even be expected. After all, the conspiracy is the lack of access to data; not the event itself.
Because of the hard-headed and even suspicious nature of people who subscribe to conspiracy theories, any claims to the contrary of their perceived wisdom are met with resistance. In the case of libertarians who do, most have a tribal mentality believing they are the remnant that will free mankind from the iron grip of the state. Most libertarians use conspiracy theories to articulate why events like 9/11 happened using conspiracy theories as a means to blame the United States government for any and all events that lead to conflicts world wide including terrorist events on U.S. soil.
Ultimately, conspiracy theories are actually part of the excuse factory libertarians use to explain why the populace has not embraced their utopian vision of a free society. Rather than take accountability for their actions, instead blame is laid at the feet of groups like The Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderbergers (those pesky Jews again), or the Council on Foreign Relations. This is not to say people should not question the perceived wisdom or official story given since there is a tendency to not believe events occur as simply as they do.
Yet libertarian anarchists also mirror leftists in their thou-shalt-not criticize mentality when it comes to Islam or even criticism of them. Like hardcore leftist most libertarians will openly condemn any activities who dare to take issue with libertarian policy stances like foreign policy (especially events in the Middle East), refuse to lay blame where it is deserved, or even ridicule tactics they consider un-pure on other issues (such as medical marijuana). It is a blend of cultural relativism with egalitarianism that holds that no culture is superior to another and (despite their alleged love of free markets) condemn Westernized countries (like Israel) with an irrational perfectionism which compliment's the Left's condemnation of wealth, technology, success, and pride. In light of this gas chamber mentality that has infected some in the libertarian movement and Party it is small wonder that anti-Semitism has flourished among them and is present at prominent libertarian websites like Lew Rockwell.com and Antiwar.com.
Their logic becomes no different than the anti-Semitism of the Left which condemns Jews since they are viewed as the evil capitalists. Commonly held views that result in complimenting the Left's multicultural dream of a world of nihilistic, primitive tribes that create numerous sub-sects based on pre-determined labels and end up at each other's throats for power and unearned wealth. The end result, consequently, is that all values (and lives) are obliterated which leads to the destruction of Western civilization. So, one must ask, are libertarians the lovers of liberty they claim to be? If they continue to conduct themselves in a monastery-like, self-reaffirming fashion that uses a deterministic theology to explain why their utopian dream has not been realized and goes so far as to demonize people who have a different perspective on how to achieve liberty through politics or dares to be critical of them and their beliefs, their love of freedom is questionable.

3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Leslie Fish
Entered on:

Where do these conspiracy-obsessed "libertarian anarchists" come from?  I was an Anarchist long before I ever heard of, let alone made contact with, the Libertarian Party, and these nut-cases are nothing like the ideological Anarchists I've run with -- maybe because I came at it from the Left.  A bit of historical research (such as the Spanish Civil War, or the case of Nestor Makhno in the Ukraine) can show you why a leftist would forsake the whole Marxist mind-set and take an interest in the Libertarians.  What I don't understand is why people who started as Libertarians would go dithering off into self-insulated paranoia like this.  I know there's a strong drift toward paranoia in the culture of the political Right, but I have trouble seeing why people with this tendency would become Libertarians at all, let alone Anarchists.  Can anyone explain this for me?


Comment by trevor
Entered on:

"Do you believe in conspiracy theories?" someone at a party recently asked me. "Yes, I most certainly do" I replied and I watched with some amusement as some guests attempted to construe me as a "9/11 truther".

"Why do you think our government blew up 9/11" one highly erudite world traveler asked me. "I said nothing about 9/11" I explained. "I merely said I believe in conspiracy theories. They exist. There are lots of them." Then i turned the tables. "Do you believe that conspiracy exists?" I helped them by defining conspiracy as two or more persons planning to break the law or more broadly, two or more persons agreeing to carry out a particular action.

"You know what I mean" said my antagonist, for this all was immediately BORING to me and I said "I'm afraid I don't. It seems all anyone has to do is label an idea a 'conspiracy theory' and all minds shut closed like irritated clams, no rational discourse is possible and all that remains is the collectivist vilification of 'The Other'.

I am quite sure conspiracy has existed since God gave Adam some company on this planet. The application of the name Conspiracy Theorist to a human has all the significance of calling a duckling Downy. Humans wear collusion like birds wear feathers. But somehow we have a backlash to the very concept of conspiracy which is particularly disturbing;


So while your piece is well-written Mike, it's belied by the facts unless you reject the Gulf Of Tonkin conspiracy which is well documented or even perhaps the murder of Abraham Lincoln. If not, welcome to the Conspiracy Club you crazy, crazy guy.

Comment by Anonymously Yours
Entered on:

Mike, an appeals court in New York just ruled that intellegence disrimination is exceptable by a city when used to hire police. As the Oracle of Reason, you appear to not recognize the many aspects of fascism and the methods and effects those in power use to maintain their power. He was to smart to be a police officer? Croynism and corruption are absolutely part of the institution of govenrment and it's collusion with business. Not understanding that the results require some form of two or more people conspiring to commit an unethical or unlawful act is as naive and irrational as I've ever heard of. The pure fact that you belong to a political party who's position is that of prohibiting the initiation and threat of force, which are antethic to govermental and politics makes me believe that you do not have a good understanding of how the world really works.  Sorry man, but wake up. Harry Browne's book "Why Government Doesn't Work" should give you a clue as to why politics will never get us to a civil society.