Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Getting Neolibertarianism Wrong

Justin Logan gets all hot and bothered about neolibertarianism. He can't decide which he hates more: neolibertarian principles or prose. After thoroughly misreading and misrepresenting neolibertarianism, or at least some of what's in the first issue of The New Libertarian (password tnlv1i1), Logan says:
Put me firmly down in the "libertarian" wing of the libertarian movement. Or maybe the better dichotomy is "anti-state" versus "anti-left."
So, Pope Justin has decided that he is a true libertarian and those of us who call ourselves neolibertarians are a lesser species. Well, bully for him, but I guess I missed the conclave where he was elected supreme arbiter of libertarian principles. Two (or more) can play that game.

Logan's rant makes it plain that he's of the non-coercion school of libertarian thought. That's the one where rights descend from some mysterious source on high -- it's sort of an anti-religious religion. Those mysterious rights make self-defense wrong until you've seen the whites of your assassin's eyes, by which time it's too late for self-defense. It's a form of idealism about as relevant to the liberation of human beings as the singing of "Kumbaya" by a bunch of hippie pinkos sitting around a campfire.

If anti-state is where Logan wants to be, fine. He and his like-minded "religious" libertarians can form their own country somewhere and defend themselves, if they are able to -- which I doubt. There's a lot more to libertarianism than not shooting before you're being shot at.

I am neither suicidal nor tolerant of the regulatory-welfare state that has "progressively" robbed Americans of their freedom and prosperity. That's why I like my libertarianism with a touch of statism (just enough for aggressive self-defense) and a large portion of anti-leftism, thank you.