Monday, April 25, 2016

LIbertarians — à la main left, and do-si-do

When I first started noticing the libertarian movement thirty-odd years ago, it seemed like a sort of conservatism that went deeper than usual into reason and logic. It was like the Ayn Rand movement without the idolatry of Ayn Rand. It seemed to be a better kind of right-wing and was clearly in opposition to almost everything on the left. This seemed to be the case with Rothbard or any other libertarian thinker you might happen to read.

Even its little mantra — "We're fiscally conservative and socially liberal" — meant something different then, because the definition of "liberal" has changed. "Fiscally conservative" is self-explanatory, but "socially liberal," back in the Nixon era, meant tolerant of different lifestyle choices. In the first place, there weren't nearly as many lifestyle choices, and most of our current sexual deviancies might have existed, but they certainly weren't anything anybody, even libertarians were inclined to be tolerant of. Tolerance of homosexuality was no big deal to libertarians, because everybody in Western Civilization had beee de facto tolerant of it as long as it was reasonably discreet. And while drug use was to be tolerated, even libertarians didn't think they were supposed to be tolerant of drug addiction.

And of course, again, back then, "socially liberal" meant "socially tolerant," And if even "tolerant" has changed its meaning in popular usage, at that time it meant putting up with something you didn't approve of, because you thought freedom was more important than your personal taste, and you expected the same courtesy from those who might disapprove of your idiosyncrasies. Now, of course, "socially liberal" has gone way beyond tolerance, and you don't have to just "put up with" homosexuality or Islam or pot smoking or whatever — you have to accept it, approve of it, and celebrate it. And appear in public with it, shaking hands and hugging.

You see, you have to call Bruce Jenner "she," because if you don't, you're not being socially liberal. You have to cheer on Muslim or any other kind of immigration, because that's what liberals do, and you have to emulate liberals on every social issue. And, of course, you have to march in lockstep with all the liberal enthusiasms, be it transvestites in the little girls' room or flag-burning, or you're no longer a good libertarian. You're a bigot.

And here's the acid test, the litmus test. Forty years ago, one of the great libertarian icons was Andrew Jackson. He was a patriot, and enemy of central banking, a champion of the common man, and about as brave a man as the country ever produced.

But now, if you check out all the libertarian sites on the net, you will see that Jackson is now said to be just what the liberals say he was. Some kind of racist, statist, bigot. And libertarians will have their licenses pulled and declared anathema if they don't agree with that, and band together with the liberal-neocon MAG (Media, Academia, Government) and insist that he be ousted from the twenty and replace by Harriet Tubman, who is now the new icon of the libertarian movement. In short, the left-libertarians, leftbertarians, liberals-who-think-they're-libertarians, or whatever you want to call them, are now the norm in the libertarian movement. The actual libertarians, the heirs to the Founding Fathers, are being slowly purged and replaced by fresh-faced little indoctrinated punks in Che T-shirts. And here's the illustration that seems to be required now on all libertarian sites:

Call me reactionary, but I'm still an Andy Jackson man.
Quibcag: The girl in the process of drying herself off is of course the adorable Akane Tendo of  Ranma ½ (らんま½)


  1. Andrew Jackson was, like everybody else, a mixed bag. Against a National Bank - Yea!
    Trail of Tears, flat ignoring the fact the Five Tribes won their case in the Supreme Court - not so good.

  2. A big part of the problem with Jackson is that he was an unabashed slaveholder. These days, that's about as popular with Boobus Americanus as cannibalism. And the whiny feminists have been howling for women to be on the money for a long time (they apparently forgot the Goddess of Liberty, who was on the coins until we stupidly started putting Presidents on them.)

  3. Based on what I know of history, I feel certain that whoever would have been president at the time would have done what Jackson did regarding the Trail of Tears. It was one of those bothersome political inevitabilities (kind of like the prospects of Trump's election if you're liberal).