Sunday, February 19, 2006

Rothbard's strategic insights

The Rothbard Caucus of the Libertarian Party, which I referred to in my last post, was launched in 2004 by LPer Scott Olmsted. Olmsted decided to revive the LP’s Radical Caucus, last active in 1984, as the Rothbard Caucus because he was dismayed that Murray Rothbard’s strategic insights had “disappeared down the [party’s] memory hole in less than two decades.” For one thing, Olmsted was disturbed that a prominent LP candidate for a federal office had recently proposed to tax legalized marijuana and even advocated tight government controls on marijuana’s distribution. Olmsted rightly saw these positions as steps backward.

While I do not support the Libertarian Party, or electoral politics generally, I do think the Rothbard Caucus serves a valuable function in refocusing movement attention on Rothbard’s strategic point of view:

  • Liberty is the highest political end.
  • The best foundation for libertarian action is a passion for justice.
  • Libertarians should not advocate positions incompatible with a totally free society.
  • Libertarians should be abolitionists, calling for liberty as soon as possible.
  • Libertarians should address real-world issues, adopt priorities and make transition demands.
  • Libertarians should enter into single-issue coalitions to increase their leverage and recruit others.

I don’t believe any of these points are inconsistent with a non-political Left Libertarian action program.

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