Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tom Knapp and why Libertarians cannot afford to be "Republican Lite"

There is enough substance to Tom Knapp's latest post that I've stolen a whole big chunk and satisfied myself with putting my favorite key points in bold face rather doing an extensive commentary:

First the Paul campaign got publicly pantsed over Paul's previous Rothbard/Rockwell-inspired attempts to hook into the "populist" racist right.

Then the Libertarian Party nominated Bob Barr, a candidate whose admirers, for the love of Pete, are now tagging him with a "populist" label ... and attaching the other end of that label to George Wallace.

Principled populism pits the productive class against the political class, the awakening masses against the power elites -- not the white middle class against the black underclass or some mythical proud parochialism against some equally mythical indiscrete cosmopolitanism.

To put it a different way, any "principled populism" of a libertarian variety is going to have to weigh on the left, not the right, side of the political dichotomy as traditionally understood if it's going to be successful or if success is even to be a meaningful term with respect to libertarian goals.

The mission of the libertarian movement is not to make the world safe for a return to Jim Crow or the maintenance of marriage apartheid by shilling for "states' rights."

The mission of the libertarian movement is to win freedom for people. In America, that means from sea to shining sea, brother ... and for those of you who want to export it, more power to you once we have it to export. You'll know we're there when you buy the bayonets you're so eager to see the revolution carried abroad on with a voluntary subscription check instead of a mandatory tax return.

Make no mistake about it: The economic defecation is in a state of intersection with the oscillating political blades. We've already seen how "right-wing populism" fares against New Dealism. "Right-wing populism" = fail. The only way -- if there is one -- to beat Franklin Delano OBushma in the upcoming fight will be to hit him, and hard, from the left.

On the political side, key tactics might include things like agitating for repudiation of US government debt to other governments and central banks (as well as banning deficit spending), revoking corporate "personhood" and state-granted liability evasion, etc. On the anti-political side, cultivating the emergence of gray and black markets, barter and alternative currency schemes, etc. can loosen the political class's grip on the economy's throat.

It's time and past time for libertarians to seize the populist hammer -- we're the only ones rightly entitled to wield it in any case -- from the Dixiecrat pretenders and start smashing the state with it.

I'll have more to say about this later.


Tyler Nixon said...


Waldo Lydecker's Journal said...

Now if y'all could get to that point of view as a party I'd finally be willing to close the sale.

PlanetaryJim said...

That is the point of view of the Boston Tea Party. It is my view, as I note here:

It is Todd Andrew Barnett's view, as he notes on his vice chair blog on bostontea.us.

It is the position of every member of the national committee of the Boston Tea Party, as you can establish by either contacting them directly, or by reviewing their statements on groups.yahoo.com/group/btpnc and /btpnc-talk where we go on the record with our views.

And, it is obviously the position of our founder, Tom Knapp.