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IPFS News Link • Politics: Libertarian Campaigns

Sam Konkin and Libertarian Theory


Konkin had a gift for coining words that attracted the libertarian public, and even those libertarians unfamiliar with Konkin use his terms. He called supporters of a minimal state "minarchists," condemned Libertarian Party "partyarchs," and warned against the undue influence of the "Kochtopus." I recall another of his coinages, which has not come into general use. This stemmed from his disdain for minarchists; in particular, he was no admirer of the leading minarchist theorist, Robert Nozick. I do not think this has made print, but he called followers of Nozick "Nozis." If this was unkind, it was at any rate amusing.

Konkin was much more than an ingenious wordsmith. Murray Rothbard, who often disagreed with Konkin, said about him, "And yet, Konkin’s writings are to be welcomed. Because we need a lot more polycentrism in the movement. Because he shakes up Partyarchs who tend to fall into unthinking complacency. And especially because he cares deeply about liberty and can read and write, qualities which seem to be going out of style in the libertarian movement." ('Konkin on Libertarian Strategy")