Why The Libertarian Party Failed

An article posted on Yahoo News, The obliteration of the Republican-libertarian alliance, has prompted me to finally compose this article regarding thoughts and considerations I have been ruminating about for some time.

What is amazing is that Yahoo republished this above article. I suppose that it was considered “anti-Trump”and “anti-GOP” so it was posted at that venomous anti-Trump fake news site.

The article is both forthright and candid in its veracity or truthfulness. There never truly was a “Republican-libertarian alliance,” only an imaginary mental construct of delusional rhetoric of one existing in embryo.

Most of the persons who initially made up the contemporary modern libertarian movement formed in the late 1960s came from remnants of the 1964 Barry Goldwater presidential campaign who were self-styled young conservatives disillusioned with the direction America was going both domestically and in foreign affairs in Nixonian America.

There was also a strong component of persons from this time reaching out to disillusioned members of the campus New Left in organizations such as SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) who were equally anti-war opponents of the Vietnam War, who were anti-draft and believed in political decentralization and civil liberties, There were key persons such as economist/historian Murray Rothbard, former Goldwater chief speechwriter Karl Hess, historians Leonard Liggio and Ralph Raico who were long time compatriots of Rothbard from the early days of the Circle Bastiat, SDS president Carl Oglesby, among others who ardently tried to forge this fusion alliance of the so-called libertarian “right” and “left.” All this is widely known and well documented. A scholarly publication, Left and Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought, was began for this specific purpose. It was published from 1965 to 1968 and edited by Rothbard. Rothbard and Hess also started The Libertarian Forum as a topical outreach newsletter for the burgeoning libertarian movement.

Eventually many of these elements coalesced and formed the Libertarian Party (LP) after Nixon’s August 15, 1971 speech calling for draconian wage and price controls and ending America’s connection to a gold standard and a turn to fiat paper currency. That speech was also the “red pill” for a Texas doctor by the name of Ron Paul to seriously consider entering electoral politics.

Even after the creation of the LP there were naive continuing outreach efforts to foster relationships with elements still within the GOP who for opportunistic electoral purposes used libertarian sounding rhetoric but who remained statist and pragmatically focused on acquiring and retaining coercive political power. In this category I would primarily point to both Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. These efforts failed then and never truly solidified. Republicans remain what they have always been: Big Government nationalists, corporatists, imperialists, protectionists, and opponents of a decentralized federal republic of independent sovereign states (of which they fought a deadly and destructive war of coercive national unification against Southern secession and independence) .

Trump’s repeated claims to wear the sanctified nationalistic mantle of Lincoln demonstrates this.

The possible future viability of the LP ended after 1988. It blew it for both objective and subjective reasons. Objectively because of many missed opportunities related to the end of the Cold War and dynamic changes in American political culture during the Bush-Clinton-Bush years were ignored; and subjectively due to internal LP organizational disputes, poor leadership and the widespread delusion of selecting former GOP “libertarian sounding” congressmen or governors as presidential candidates would be the mainstreaming expedient to fast track electoral success.

Most rank and file Libertarian Party members, like most Americans, have always had a very superficial knowledge of history (limited to what their high school history teacher — who was most often an athletic coach — told them in between accounts of the latest big game). Accordingly their limited knowledge was usually composed of having read a couple of Ayn Rand novels and a few tracts dealing with economics and the bare rudiments of libertarianism. This was particularly found in the area related to foreign policy and American intervention in world affairs.

After 1988, when key ideological influentials such as Rothbard, Ron Paul, Williamson Evers, Lew Rockwell, and others left the Party for personal and professional reasons, there was a vacuum of institutional interest within the LP in concentrating on foreign policy questions after the end of the Cold War. The seminal concept of the rise of the national security state after 1947, its twin imperial objectives of projecting American state power and consolidating an hegemonic narco-centric empire in league with organized crime elements, was ignored. Along with the multinational petroleum and weapons/intelligence industries of the military-industrial complex, the global narcotics trade is one the biggest businesses in the world. It is fueled and enabled by the intersection of drug money, intelligence and money laundering on a vast scale by banks and financial institutions. Researchers have connected the dots linking the “underworld” of organized crime (narcotics) to the “upperworld” of the Establishment (Wall Street banks and CFR-connected corporations/foundations/media). Interwoven within the nexus are the covert intelligence agencies.

Most LP members have ignored this in-depth research into the arcane dark-side of American society. It is a synthesis of three seminal ideas: Peter Dale Scott’s crucial concept of “Deep Politics” and the Deep State; James W. Douglass’ masterful utilization of Thomas Merton’s meta-theological musings upon “the Unspeakable” in reference to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the resulting coup d’etat by Lyndon Johnson and the top echelon of the National Security State; and Murray N. Rothbard’s construct of Libertarian Power Elite Analysis as the prism in which to examine the nature of the American state apparatus and its corrupt and destructive consequences.

The Party leadership at the National Committee level were more concerned with gutting the Party Platform, the Statement of Principles, and eliminating the Oath each Party member was required to sign renouncing the use of physical force to obtain political or social goals. There was a conscious effort to streamline what the Party stood for, a Decalogue of 10 simplistic ideas which could be easily read and were not beyond the challenged literacy of the public at-large. Positions relating to party leadership such as Chairperson or National Director were held by persons more interested in institutional rather than ideological affairs. This has not changed and continues to today.

But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”

~ John Adams to Hezekiah Niles, 1818

I can well remember reading those powerful words as a young libertarian undergraduate student in 1972, wondering if I would ever see our Revolution come in my lifetime.

Adams’ perceptive quote is found in Bernard Bailyn’s brilliant Pulitzer Prize-winning The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, which I eagerly imbibed for my American Political Thought class.

Was the American Revolution to remain merely an intellectual exercise one only experienced in history books?

Were not the societal conditions of today ripe for another Revolution?

Why weren’t the American people as outraged as I was?

Would I ever experience the heady rush and tumble tumult of being a part of a massive, nation-wide, spontaneous uprising of the American people – from whatever background or class or ethnicity – who would rise up and demand freedom and a drastic rollback of the draconian power of the State in all facets.

In the many decades which have passed, through Vietnam, the Watergate Scandal, massive continuous inflation and the collapse of the Keynesian economic paradigm, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the 1980 October Surprise Scandal, disastrous interventions in Central America, Africa, and the Middle East, the Iran-Contra Scandal, the Balkan Wars, the Clinton Impeachment, up to the present conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq, and the Trump faux Russiagate scandal and impeachment coup attempts, what economist and historian Murray Rothbard described as the “objective conditions” for such a Revolution have almost always existed.

What was needed to fall into place were the “subjective conditions” – the acceptance and implementation by a widespread segment of the American people of the libertarian ideological belief-structure – that radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people of which John Adams wrote.

Over those years the Libertarian movement has unceasingly and relentlessly worked to change that. During its thirty eight years, Lew Rockwell and the Ludwig von Mises Institute have acted as the radical catalyst and focal point to change the hearts and minds of the American people by developing an intellectual leadership cadre dedicated to peace, liberty, and free market capitalism.

The intrepid Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF), has courageously dedicated his life to the achievement of a free society. “Bumper” has made it his singular mission to authoritatively document, expound upon, and unceasingly demonstrate in multiple venues of outreach to the attentive public how the constitutional republic and the rule of law created by the Framers has been subverted and egregiously transformed into an extraconstitutional national security state, unrestrained by first principles of justice and equity. The select amoral clique or top echelon at the helm of the national security state have advanced many spurious rationales and pretexts for its existence, and will use any means necessary to further its Machiavellian objectives and consolidate its hegemonic power.

Hornberger is one of few audacious scholars to perceive the unmistakable link between the imperial conduct of covert interventionism, assassination, and regime change abroad, and how that sinister and corrupting policy lies at the centerpiece of American tyrannical actions at home. Seminal to that understanding are the tragic events of November 22, 1963, and the murderous coup d’état performed in Dallas, Texas and Washington, DC by vice president Lyndon Baines Johnson and the highest leadership of the deep state in the name of the elusive and nebulous concept of “national security.”

For over forty years, under the guidance of Carl Oglesby, Murray N. Rothbard, Peter Dale Scott, James W. Douglass, Douglas P. Horne, and Jacob G. Hornberger, I have believed that an understanding of the full implications of that coup is the Rosetta Stone to understanding subsequent world events.  It is the central mythos or Illiad defining modern American history.

But the majority of the American sheeple remain somnambulists, sleep-walking through the United States of Amnesia, squandering away though willful ignorance and callous neglect their birthright radical libertarian legacy of freedom which historian Bailyn so aptly described.

And the Libertarian Party blew their chances to help implement that change.


12:06 am on September 12, 2020