Long piece on libertarianism at LOOG, which concludes with the following:
So what’s going on here? Why do libertarians deviate so strongly from our supposed class interests? These interests, remember, demand that we (1) love eminent domain (2) love the Drug War and (3) love the Forever War. Among others. For a devotee of class analysis, the choices are few. We seem forced into some combination of the following:
1. Libertarians say that they oppose policy x, but everything they do ultimately supports the Republicans anyway, so they frustrate any chance of real reform.
2. Activism on policy x is futile. It only diverts resources that should be spent elsewhere. (Optionally: Your evil overlords know this and encourage it.)
3. Activism on policy x is not as helpful to the working class as activism on policy y. (Optionally: The same.)
4. Activism on policy x is done merely for obfuscation. (Optionally: Ditto.)
5. Not all libertarians are as great as you are, Jason
…and to take one or more of these on every single issue, no less. A complicated balancing act. But even in isolation, there are problems with each.
In almost every practical matter, the libertarians I follow almost always engage in a pattern of behavior that emboldens and empowers the GOP. “But John, you are just a partisan hack who only hates libertarians now that you are a Democrat, and you unthinkingly attack them when they are critical of Democrats because of that! And Ronald Bailey writes about global warming also, too!”
I may be a partisan hack, but I’m not an idiot. I loved libertarians when I was a Republican and enthusiastic about the so-called conservative agenda, because I know a friend of the cause when I see one. The economic agenda of libertarians and Republicans the last thirty years has radically increased inequality and decreased freedom. From my current perspective, every “success” of libertarians in the past few decades has been at the expense of the majority of the country, and deregulation has led to more government involvement to deal with the cockups from our Galtian geniuses.
But whatever, I’m cranky and not really awake yet, so flame on.