Reclaiming our radicalism, part 2
Carl Milsted, a Libertarian Party stalwart, has posted a note on this blog in response to my entry of last week, “Reclaiming our radicalism.” He makes a few comments that I feel are worth addressing. Writes Carl:
“I hate the state enough to do something about it. I don’t mean fuming about the state, pretending to fight the state, making a good show of it, etc. I mean doing something that has a reasonable chance of having an effect.
“Purism, Suddenism, Anarchism etc. do not mix with the American political system.”
Nor should they, Carl. For more than three decades, I’ve watched the Libertarian Party ineffectively exercise its “reasonable chance of having an effect” through the electoral process. The LP fails because it contains within it a fatal flaw — a disconnect between its alleged “ends” (a free society) and the means it uses trying to get there. Politics is not the means to achieving liberty. You can’t create a free society by electing politicians to abolish politics, appointing bureaucrats to abolish bureaucracy, and governing to abolish government.
But then, Mr. Milsted continues:
I urge readers here to visit Carl’s site to see just what’s wrong with his strategy. Likewise, it underscores a core problem with today’s libertarian movement: most LPers, Neolibertarians, and other compromisers have no sense of the history of their own movement. They are woefully unfamiliar with the works of our philosophical forebears, whether Molinari, or Mises, or La Boetie, or Rothbard. So Carl falls back on parroting George W.: “You are either with us or you are with the terrorists.”
“Extreme libertarianism is too unpopular to win at the polls, and it is too unpopular to gather a revolutionary army. Terrorism is your only viable option.
“I prefer electoral politics to violence and intimidation. And I prefer winning to losing. This is why I have rejected the Rothbard strategy and launched www.ReformTheLP.org.”
I suggest Carl start reading up on just why electoral politics is not only a dead-end for freedom lovers, it runs contrary to libertarian principles. Here are some places to start:
“Party Dialogue” by George H. Smith
“Abstain From Beans” by Robert LeFevre
“How to Vote for
“The Anti-Electorate Manifesto” by (blush) Wally Conger