Paleolibertarianism

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The Catallarchy blog links to that “meso-libertarian” piece that I linked to about a week or so ago. I think I said something to the effect that it was a horribly confused piece. The Meso-libertarian piece is tongue-in-cheek, however, it had its targets, and of course, LRC couldn’t have been one of those targets…nah. The Catallarchy blogger says “Neither paleo nor neo, Matthew Hogan describes a Third Way for libertarians. All written tongue-in-cheek (TIC), of course, since being middle of the road should define regular old libertarians, but I suppose with the general unfamiliarity of the public with libertarian thought (as libertarian thought, rather than as an unconscious attitude that bubbles forth unbidden), it may be necessary to claim a specific niche label, for those who wish to differentiate…”

Actually, that is why Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard penned the “paleolibertarian” tag some time ago – to differentiate established and known libertarianism from the Beltway Libertarianism, Left Libertarianism, and Lifestyle Libertarianism (or any combination of the aforementioned) that proliferated and eventually ran rampant, and today, appears in droves all over the Net, especially on blogs. It became embarrassing to have that type of unprincipled, nitwit “libertarianism” defining the rest of us. From my website bio, here again is a repeat of Lew Rockwell’s definition of paleolibertarianism:

‚ÄúPaleolibertarianism holds with Lord Acton that liberty is the highest political end of man, and that all forms of government intervention–economic, cultural, social, international–amount to an attack on prosperity, morals, and bourgeois civilization itself, and thus must be opposed at all levels and without compromise. It is “paleo” because of its genesis in the work of Murray N. Rothbard and his predecessors, including Ludwig von Mises, Albert Jay Nock, Garet Garrett, and the entire interwar Old Right that opposed the New Deal and favored the Old Republic of property rights, freedom of association, and radical political decentralization. Just as important, paleolibertarianism predates the politicization of libertarianism that began in the 1980s, when large institutions moved to Washington and began to use the language of liberty as part of a grab bag of “policy options.” Instead of principle, the neo-libertarians give us political alliances; instead of intellectually robust ideas, they give us marketable platitudes. What’s more, paleolibertarianism distinguishes itself from left-libertarianism because it has made its peace with religion as the bedrock of liberty, property, and the natural order.‚ÄĚ

What’s the problem? Too principled? Can anyone who claims to be a libertarian disagree with that? Well, to steal Walter Block’s famous words: “they ain’t libertarian.” Some of these chic “libertarians” actually think they can out-libertarian Murray Rothbard, which shows you how clueless they are. But these guys actually *believe* they are the cornerstone of all libertarianism, and they think they are at “the center of the free world.” Now go find yourself another chic tag, folks.

7:28 pm on December 2, 2003