On Blue-State Fascism

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Daniel Burton, who was president of the Cal Libertarians when I first went to Berkeley in 1999 and who helped radicalize me, showing me the right was no friend of liberty, introducing me to Sam Konkin and the reasons that only market anarchism would do, wrote to me:

“This is Daniel from the Cal Libertarians way back.  I’m glad to see you’re still out there writing from a libertarian perspective.  I liked your recent piece on Blue-State fascism.  This is something I have been aware of here for years, and I’m glad somebody wrote something about it.

“California, especially, despite its reputation as a ‘liberal’ place, is one of the least free and most authoritarian states around.  In the ‘Freedom in the 50 States’ study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, we come in close to last.  Ironically, the most free states are the ones that you would think of as moderately conservative (not too progressive or extremely conservative).  The center-right is generally less likely to want interventions in either the economy or people’s personal lives than the left or the real far right (though this says nothing about support of/opposition to wars abroad.)

“I am personally getting to the point where I am sick of California’s ‘liberal’ fascism and am thinking of bailing out and relocating to some state like Colorado.

“Luckily, I think there is a chance that with the Republican party so decimated, some faction other than the dominant neoconservative bloc will manage to take it over in the next election.  There is a real opening for more libertarian types to come in and change the message. With all the popular outrage about the stimulus package, cap-and-trade and attempts to pass health care reform, there seems to be a definite return to an emphasis on limited government.”

While I remain and will probably always be a strong skeptic of the prospects for libertarian activism within the GOP, I agree fully with Dan about the horrors of progressive, California-style fascism. I love so much of the culture, the food, the art, the people and geography of the Bay Area, and this is where my roots are, but the taxes alone are enough to make any libertarian here at least consider expatriating to a less authoritarian state.

1:51 pm on October 1, 2009