Saturday, December 4, 2010

WikiLeaks and the Soul of the Libertarian Movement (UPDATED)

This week, I’ve devoted several posts to libertarians shilling for Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and Bradley Manning. But are these examples representative of the libertarian movement as a whole? Let’s take a look around the blogosphere:
So while, there are some voices of reason and conscience within the libertarian movement, there are lots of bad apples. I sympathize with those good-faith believers in individual liberty and limited government who’d genuinely like to see their house get back in order; it’s going to be a tough, messy battle, But it’s a battle they’ve got to undertake if libertarianism as a whole is going to deserve respect. The health & respectability of any movement can be judged by the degree to which it self-polices wrongdoing by its members. Chris Wysocki captures my thoughts perfectly:
Of course it's all predicated on their belief that the public has a "right" to know everything which the government says or does; coupled with the assertion that no statement is exempt from the free speech protections embodied in the First Amendment. It's about "trust", as in the libertarians have absolutely no trust in the elected government.

Welcome to the promise of a world governed by a cross between the pre-imperial Roman Senate and a typical New England town meeting. It's one step above organized chaos, predicated on the notion that everyone is equally capable of governing himself.

And here I thought that only progressives dreamed of utopia […]

One could say the same about my libertarian interlocutors. They seek to destroy authority, and replace it with, well exactly what I'm not sure. It's some sort of idealized leave-me-the-hell-alone universe where a subset of the Articles of Confederation are in effect and a never-ending supply of Founding Fathers (or a clone army comprised of Murray Rothbards and Friedrich Hayeks) stands at the ready to prevent deviation from The Path.

That in a nutshell is my beef with strong-form libertarianism. I believe in the Constitution, so much so that I an willing to work within its framework to effect the changes we so desparately need. The power of the ballot box should not be underestimated. In addition America has a long and noble history of peaceful protest, the massing of public opinion in a focused attempt to make our voices heard. We are America, hear us roar!
 UPDATE: The Classic Liberal responds in the comments:
The "prophetic" words were those of Russell Kirk, the undisputed godfather of the conservative movement who said "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace comes to pass in an era of Righteousness -- that is, national or ideological self-righteousness in which the public is persuaded that ‘God is on our side,' and that those who disagree should be brought here before the bar as war criminals."

The quote that followed about Assange was not written by Lew Rockwell, but by retired USAF lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski. 
I apologize for my mistake.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link, but let my clarify ...

    The "prophetic" words were those of Russell Kirk, the undisputed godfather of the conservative movement who said "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace comes to pass in an era of Righteousness -- that is, national or ideological self-righteousness in which the public is persuaded that ‘God is on our side,' and that those who disagree should be brought here before the bar as war criminals."

    The quote that followed about Assange was not written by Lew Rockwell, but by retired USAF lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski.

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  2. Thanks for the clarification; it's been acknowledged above. That said, CL, the fact remains that you uncritically re-posted the Kwiatkowski quote about Julian Assange's courage. So, just what is your stance on Assange, a guy who's smeared American troops and given the Taliban leads on how to find Afghan civilians they'd like to kill? (http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/collateral-murder-indeed-2/)

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  3. I think we'll eventually learn that Assange is a patsy, and that the CIA "leaked" the info. I also believe our Ruling Class to be the single greatest danger to our troops, our citizens, and the very idea of America itself. King George III was a piker compared to today's federal government. No one on Earth has infringed more of my rights, killed more of my brothers, and stolen more of my property than the regime in Washington DC.

    The original conservatives, Kirk, Nisbet, Weaver, Taft, et. al. understood the dangers war presented to the culture ... Cheering for torture and calling for Assange's head simply proves they were correct. The conservative tradition is in fact antiwar. Labeling it strictly "libertarian" deeply discounts conservative heritage.

    Have you read Kirk on foreign policy? He sounds exactly like Ron Paul. You don't really believe the godfather of American conservatism is a traitor, do you?

    But like I said, we're all probably going to be proven wrong when it turns out he's nothing but a patsy ... bread and circus for the masses.

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  4. Of course, the CIA's secretly behind it all!

    Moron.

    ReplyDelete

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