Surly Curmudgeon

   The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.
-- Robert A. Heinlein
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    Tuesday, September 5, 2006


    The difference a capital letter makes

    Libertarians have a small, quiet struggle going on in their midst. It is the struggle between Libertarian and libertarian. The first denotes an affiliation with a political party. The second is a philosophical position. I have argued with many who claim that "libertarians hate the poor", or some other charge, based on their interactions with Libertarians. Here is an article at Mises.org that elucidates some of the differences:

    For those who haven't heard, the large, pedagogically useful, principled, and detailed Libertarian Platform the best thing about the party has been relegated to the wayback machine and is now replaced with a new one that is tiny, vague, rhetorically slippery, accommodating, friendlier to the state, and non-threatening to mainstream opinion.

    Why? The small band that orchestrated this coup confesses: they want the LP to gain power. They've admired the way the Republicans and Democrats have done it, and now they want to do it too. Gone is the posture of opposition, the radicalism, the edge, the braininess.

    The debate has been framed as one between dogmatists and pragmatists. What's remarkable here is how the pragmatists are willing to concede just about every criticism made by the principled LPers of old. They admit that they have watered down the entire program. They admit to being pure pragmatists. They admit that they like certain aspects of the state, and were unhappy with the consistency and comprehensive radicalism of the old platform.


    Any long-time reader of this blog knows which side I'm on, so this is for you new people: I'm a libertarian, not a Libertarian. I will occasionally vote for Libertarians, but only if the ideals they express in their platforms are libertarian. Get it?

    Posted by Tom, 9/5/2006 7:08:43 AM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...