In Defense Of “libertarians”

[Disclaimer: I once belonged to the Libertarian Party (for about an hour); I also was the editor for L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise for a longer period of time.]


Lately I have read blog posts by people I consider far smarter and/or more articulate than I who have targeted libertarians for their beliefs and positions. For the most part, the targeting has been off the mark. So how do I reconcile my admiration for these bloggers’ intelligence with my considered opinion that they do not know what they are talking about when it comes to libertarians?

Let me try to explain something that I would have thought obvious to the most casual observer: there are differences among libertarians just as there are among factions of any other socio-economic-political belief system. Let me give just one example. It requires a ‘split personality’ to deny the power of government and at the same time establish a political party that runs candidates for elective government office. One can rationalize it many different ways, but the fact is that libertarians seek to obtain the power that they also seek to limit or destroy.

That said, it is my belief that libertarians both understand and resist the liberty-destroying power that is government far better than either Republicans or Democrats — better than either conservatives or liberals, and certainly better than the other factions such as greens, socialists, or communists. And yes, even better than the alt-right and the antifa.

But do not despair, ye haters of all things libertarian. They are not a threat to you — in fact, they are much more a threat to themselves.

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

“Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

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