Why Libertarians Should Shrug-Off Memo Mania

Democrats,Donald Trump,Iraq,libertarianism,Paleolibertarianism,Republicans

A NEW ESSAY, “Why Libertarians Should Shrug-Off Memo Mania,” is at the Mises Institute’s Power and Market blog. An excerpt:

First came the Republican memo, courtesy of the Republican House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes. Their memo detailed the surveillance abuses against one Carter Page, enabled by a kangaroo court which was strengthened immeasurably by the old Republican-Party boss, George Bush.

Bush II had fortified the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and the Stupid Party greased the skids for the expansion of FISA infractions. Following Barack Obama’s lead, Republicans have reauthorized the controversial Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which has resulted in the “incidental” collection of the communications of American citizens, and likely served as an impetus for prosecutions.

Enter Rep. Adam Schiff, Democrat from California. He and the other Democrats on the House intelligence committee have now presented their distillation of the counter case, namely that the “FISA warrant and repeated renewals to conduct temporary surveillance of Carter Page” were all justified. Well of course.

Media eminences—Republican Mark Steyn, for instance—have accused the Democrats of assaulting the rule of law. The libertarian, however, might wish to avoid wading into an intra-party fracas. Why intra-party? Because the Democrats and the Republicans of DC share most of their political DNA.

Am I saying libertarians have no dog in the fight over whether “Hillary Clinton and the DNC funded the [dodgy] dossier that was a basis for the Department of Justice’s FISA application”?

Do we not care that the “venerated” FBI “had abused its surveillance authority and relied improperly on politically motivated sources—namely former British spy Christopher Steele who had been paid by Fusion GPS, a private intelligence firm hired first by conservative underwriters and then retained by Democrats during the 2016 campaign”?


Put it this way: What libertarians should care about is that the “America’s political police”—the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its malignant offshoots—is being thoroughly discredited by its most enthusiastic advocates. This is of a piece with the creative destruction generated, inadvertently, by Donald Trump.

Moreover, the meta-perspective argued for here relies on a recognition that America is regularly convulsed by episodes of mass, hysterical contagion.

What is “hysterical contagion”?

Sociologists explain it as the spread of symptoms of an illness among a group, absent any physiological disease. It provides a way of coping with a situation that cannot be handled with the usual coping mechanism.

Arguably, the Trump-Russia “collusion,” “obstruction of justice” probe and the attendant frenzied behavior and belief-system it has engendered meets the definition of mass hysteria. With an exception: This particular form of mass madness involves a meme, a story-line that catches on and sticks. In particular, it is the emotional pitch with which the Trump-Russia collusion group-think is delivered, day in and day out, that has gripped and inflamed irrational, febrile minds. …

… READ THE REST.  Why Libertarians Should Shrug-Off Memo Mania” is at the Mises Institute’s Power and Market blog.

And at the Ron Paul Institute.