Much as it pains me to disagree with two of my very good friends named Tom (Woods and DiLorenzo), I feel I must.
The former wrote this otherwise excellent piece on July 11, 2013 LewRockwell.com (http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/07/thomas-e-woods-jr/how-dare-you-not-love-lincoln-and-his-war/) in which he justifiably excoriates the “libertarian” idolaters of Saint Abraham Lincoln. However, he characterizes these sick excuses for scholars as “sweetie-pie libertarians.” I have two difficulties with this nomenclature. First, Murray Rothbard used to call people he liked “sweetie pies.” I hate to hear such adorable language used to describe inside the beltway “libertarians” for this reason alone. Second, these people are by no means “sweet.” They are trying to hijack the good name of libertarianism for their nefarious ends. The Great Lincoln, indeed.
The latter wrote this LRC blog (http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/re-how-dare-you-not-love-lincoln-and-his-war/) also on July 11, 2013 in response the Woods’ essay. In it, he very properly rejects the Woods’ characterization of these rascals as “sweetie pie libertarians.” DiLorenzo suggests, instead, “sweetie pie crybabies.” Well, “crybabies” is a lot better than “libertarians,” so I favor the DiLorenzo characterization vis a vis the one offered by Woods. They are indeed crybabies, not at all sweet ones. DiLorenzo, in his otherwise excellent contribution does mention “regime libertarians” and this is entirely acceptable. These folk do indeed support the “regime,” and on supposed libertarian grounds.
However, the name for them that seems best to me is “suck-up libertarians.” For sucking up seems to be one of their most highly developed motivations. Why else suck up to every mainstream economist who says even a few kind words about free enterprise? Why else suck up to the likes of Richard Lowery of National Review? However, I do acknowledge that Tom DiLorenzo also uses the very accurate term “bootlickers,” which doesn’t seem too far afield from “suck-ups.”
I know the Murray Rothbard is somewhere up there looking down on all of us who are striving mightily to pass on the baton he has left us. I feel sure that he would enjoy this “debate” I am now having with my two Toms. I’ll betcha he’s now gleefully cackling to the effect that we should set up a formal debate as to how best to characterize these people: Sweetie pie libertarians? Sweetie pie crybabies? Regime libertarians? Bootlicker libertarians? Suck-up libertarians? Let the battle amongst true libertarians on this crucially important issue begin.
Needless to say, I am in full agreement with both Toms regarding the substance of their analysis of Abraham Lincoln. Indeed, I regard both of them, especially DiLorenzo, as my mentor on this issue.10:15 pm on July 14, 2013 Email Walter E. Block