The LP’s Wishy-Washy Sectarianism

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The LP now says that there is a risk in third parties getting together when they have such strong ideological differences. Fair enough.

But it’s funny to argue that “Libertarians may agree with Greens on the need for a foreign policy based on nonaggression, but it is for very different reasons.” I never understood this argument. There are a THOUSAND good reasons to oppose war. Libertarians should embrace every single one. Indeed, contra this LP rhetoric, the LP has long been focusing on too narrow a reason to oppose war: because it is unconstitutional, or because it’s a waste of money. The biggest reason for a libertarian to support “a foreign policy based on nonaggression” is because, under libertarianism, aggression is per se evil. And on this issue, many Greens are at least as good as many libertarians. In fact, the LP has long tried to be somewhat neutral on war, since it’s been seen as a debatable issue among libertarians. Well, if we libertarians can disagree with each other over mass murder, I don’t see what a little domestic socialism is between friends.

After all, the LP is now the party of “the principle of individual sovereignty, limited government and lower taxation.” With such a broad, watered down “philosophy,” many leftists would fit right in: Most leftists I know think government is too unlimited and taxes are too high. Believing in lower taxes is not enough, and neither is believing that it’s time to come home from Iraq. Real libertarianism is anti-tax, anti-war and anti-state, across the board, and yet ecumenical enough to work with fellow travelers on important issues. It seems the Libertarian Party, in trying to broaden its appeal by watering down its own dedication to the non-aggression principle, has actually alienated itself and marginalized its outreach. I would suggest the LP become less sectarian when it comes to working with people and become more principled in its own internal devotion to philosophy. Now it’s sort of floundering with the worst of both worlds.

3:22 pm on September 11, 2008