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News Link • General Opinion

The Libertarian Movement II

• By Bionic Mosquito

I will meander a bit.  I think there is a common thread throughout this post, but I probably won't spend too much time to try and tie it all together.  In some fashion, an idea buried in here might end up being a chapter in the book; perhaps your feedback will trigger something in me that will point to how and why.

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…this vicious attack on Dr. Paul from Nicholas Sarwark is really awful. Read it and weep for our movement.

–          Walter Block

My interest is not in Sarwark's attack.  I haven't bothered reading this most recent attack from Sarwark, as I have dealt with him in the past (here, then here); nothing surprises me here.  My interest is in Walter's comment regarding "our movement."  I have addressed this issue once before, but given the path I have walked since then I feel it is worth addressing again.

I will summarize my earlier comments: left-libertarians have more in common with the left generally than they do with conservative libertarians; conservative libertarians have more in common with other conservatives than they do left-libertarians.  In other words, the value we hold in our "libertarianishness" is small relative to the other values we hold.

On what basis would I want to form a movement with abortion-approving, LGBTQ+++ supporting, open-borders, universalist libertarians?  On what basis would libertarians who support such issues want to form a movement with me?

Jay Engel captures this well in his essay entitled "Libertarianism's Place In Society":

Libertarianism as a unifying spirit is only conceivable because we operate in a world that has experienced the imposition of a political society.

I have commented on his piece here:

Libertarians are connected to each other in their (varying levels of) anti-statism.  But this only means that libertarians see the problem only one way, through one lens, and with only one tool available to deal with it – and it is the state that has defined the way, the lens, and the tool that many libertarians choose to use.

How does one get a "movement" out of that?

(Engel continues his examination of these ideas here, looking at "… the differences between rightism and leftism and how libertarianism relates to these distinct frameworks of social interpretation.")

If we think that liberty will be found at the end of the road called "libertarianism," we are sorely mistaken.

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