Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Did Brad Linaweaver really "wake up"?

“On September 11, 2001, I became unhinged and forgot what I’d spent a lifetime learning,” confesses Brad Linaweaver in his new book, Post-Nationalism: George W. Bush as President of the World. “I became such a strong supporter of American military responses that fellow libertarian science-fiction author L. Neil Smith concluded that I had become a neo-con. Me, a neo-con!”

I had high hopes for Brad's Post-Nationalism, his attack on Bush and the neoconservatives. After all, it’s dedicated “to the memory and inspiration of Samuel Edward Konkin III and Chauntecleer Michael [Green].” Its cover displays the blurb “A New Isolationist Broadside,” referring to SEK3’s short-lived newsletter of the 1990s. Brad even wrote “Wally, I woke up!” in my review copy. All those “clues” had me hoping that Brad had not only turned his back, as advertised, on five years of saber-rattling for the War on Terror but was also finally moving leftward from his long-held right-wing minarchist position to join us on the anarchist, agorist Left. But listen to this:

“In 2006, I stopped defending Bush. I’d run out of excuses and rationalizations. In common with patriotic liberals, I can draw a distinction between supporting our troops and believing in any particular war. I don’t have to make that distinction at the moment because I continue to see some merit in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq even though I now reject the political reasons put forth — reasons far too incoherent to rise to the level of a conscious falsehood. We have been given bromides in place of a sound policy.” [italics mine]

And this:

“[W]e should fight to take back the Republican Party. We should criticize the puppets on Reich-Wing Radio, the ones who never show independence from the ideology we hate. We should no longer accept mere opposition to liberals as sufficient reason to support someone. We should stop parroting the delusions of the War Party even when we support particular military operations.” [italics mine]

After wading through this admittedly entertaining but philosophically muddy 150-page rant, I’ve concluded that:

(1) Brad doesn’t really oppose the War on Terror; rather, he dislikes the way it’s being run and distrusts the people running it (i.e., neoconservatives).

(2) Brad remains a thoroughly right-wing minarchist (aka “conservative”) and therefore tends to blame the people running the State and never the very nature of the State itself.

(3) Brad wishes Ronald Reagan were still president.

Brad and I run in the same libertarian circles. We share some friends. We’ve appeared on the same panels at libertarian supper clubs. Brad was even one of those who presented me last March with the Karl Hess Club’s first Samuel Edward Konkin III Memorial Chauntecleer. I like Brad.

I just wish a little more Konkin would rub off on him.


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