Some libertarians dream that the establishment-endorsed libertarianism-lite, currently being touted on Fox News- and Business as the only legitimate strand of libertarianism, will catch-on in this America. Dream on.
Liberty loving adults in the US tend not to identify with fast-talking youths, wearing trendy eye-wear, who insist that the cultural foot-and-mouth that is “Glee” and Gaga is the very essence of American freedoms and liberties. (Anyone who has ever read this space knows that I don’t have any objection to risque expression; only to artistically worthless cultural products.)
Granted, life-style libertarians come in all shapes and sizes; they are often older, but are always juvenile. In the country’s founding documents, they divine all kinds of exhortations to let it all hang out. Much as the Left does.
If I’ve learned anything about what remains of Middle America, it is that ordinary, gun-toting, homeschooling, bible-thumping Americans are unmoved by people who draw their paycheques from foundations, think tanks, and academia, and wax orgiastic about MTV and Dennis Rodman. Although it might appear sophisticated, this stuff is reductive and shallow—a kind of post-graduate cleverness that lacks any philosophical depth.
Life, liberty, property: that’s what negative liberty is all about. The rest is either fluff or ancillary.
True, libertinism can be freeing in many ways, but forgotten by left-libertarians (I prefer libertarians lite; it’s more accurate) is this: libertinism is subsumed within a larger, more-inclusive category of liberty.
Besides, joining the Idiocracy is never liberating. Things that addle the brain permanently are, ultimately, not liberating.
(And what’s up with Nick Gillespie’s less than harsh words about the War on Terror? On Fox News’ Stossel, Gillespie seemed to second the general impetus of the War on Terror. He also went soft on the TSA, protesting only that a well-intentioned effort (TSA) had gone terribly wrong. Wrong! The War on Terror is an unconstitutional crock that guarantees the growth of the state. The TSA is engaged in legalized crime and needs to be dismantled, its goons jailed for each assault perpetrated.)
Beltway libertarians … are moved in mysterious ways by gaping borders, gay marriage, multiculturalism, cloning, and all else “cool and cosmopolitan.”
Judging by Reason’s “35 Heroes of Freedom,” “cool and cosmopolitan” encompasses William Burroughs, a drug addled, Beat-Generation wife killer, whose “work is mostly gibberish and his literary influence baleful.”
Madonna Reason has exalted for, as they put it, leading “MTV’s glorious parade of freaks, gender-benders, and weirdos who helped broaden the palette of acceptable cultural identities and destroy whatever vestiges of repressive mainstream sensibilities still remained.” That sounds like the unscrambled, strange dialect spoken by a professor of Women’s and Gender Studies.
[Or is it “Womin’s Studies”?]
Naturally, I’m down with any lifestyle the individual chooses, just so long as he or she doesn’t visit violence on others (as the TSA does). But to conflate low-culture and manifest ignorance with American liberties is asinine. (And very much the essence of life-style libertarianism.) As the libertarian law goes, all human beings have the freedom to act-out in anyway they like, so long as they abide by the non-aggression axiom.
Personally, I favor discretion. For if “civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy,” in Ayn Rand’s magnificent words, then sexual—or any other—exhibitionism is anathema.
UPDATE I (June 29): Tom DiLorenzo has blogged the this post at LewRockwell.com:
“Fast-Talking Youths Wearing Trendy Eye-Wear . . .
Posted by Thomas DiLorenzo on June 29, 2011 02:42 PM
.. and “waxing orgiastic about MTV and Dennis Rodman” on the FOX networks. That’s how Ilana Mercer describes the Kochtopusian “libertarian lite” crowd of Beltway “libertarians.” They’re the same crowd that orchestrated a vicious smear campaign against Ron Paul, as Ilana discusses.
Ilana’s just-released book, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, is a must-read. Among the “blurb”writers who praise the book on the first few pages are yours truly, Tom Woods, Thomas Szasz, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe.
UPDATE II (June 30): ANARCHISM. In reality, working as we are with so few options, there is not much that separates the classical liberal (your host, Mises, etc.) and the anarchist (Rothbard, LRC). The wise, freedom-loving thinker knows this, and works to optimize collaboration. However, as someone who was once an anrachist, and had reconsidered, after careful thought, turning to liberalism in the classical (and American) tradition, my thoughts on anarchism may be of interest.
Here they are in “AGAINST ANARCHISM.”
“Do Immigration Laws Violate Libertarian Axiom” is another relevant read. Ditto my immigration archive, the articles in which advance (unanswered) arguments as to why humanity does not have the right to venture wherever, whenever.