Lew Rockwell – Another Libertarian Wacko

‘Why the Campaign Against the Burmese Junta? So the US empire can once again use a humanitarian crisis to take over another country, of course.’

Rantings from a crazed Truther? Anti-US socialist nutters?  Private school Year 10 students rebelling against their privileged Eastern Suburbs background?

No, just a typical post on the Ron Paul-endorsed Lew Rockwell blog.  

This post, by Sean Corrigan, links to, and therefore presumably endorses, a loony-toon article on the World Socialist Web Site including such gems as this, 

‘The only means for abolishing the immense and deepening chasm between rich and poor is through the revolutionary restructuring of society along socialist lines, so that the burning needs of the overwhelming majority of humanity take precedence over the profit requirements of the few.’

Meds, quick!

But there’s more from the ridiculous Lew Rockwell blog including this wacko article by Paul Craig Roberts entitled ‘Hyocrisy rules The West‘, 

‘Indeed, Bush and Brown, as commanders in chief, are on a killing spree that makes the government in Burma look extremely restrained by comparison.’

and this,

‘To cut to the chase, what is the difference between Bush and Brown on one hand and the murderous Burmese government on the other? Bush and Brown are actually worse.’

With libertarian friends like Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell, i’m surprised that libertarianism is even a 1% market share brand.

Thanks to Jim Fryar on Real World Libertarian for highlighting this rubbish.

79 thoughts on “Lew Rockwell – Another Libertarian Wacko

  1. So does the Daily Kos and Little Green Footballs. And Pornhub gets 400x their traffic. Your point is?

  2. yeah it has to be said.

    they do post some very good articles too but they also promote the likes of Robert Fisk and John Pilger.

  3. Oh yeah they also like to promote creationism and ‘Intelligent Design’. SFA to do with libertarianism (in fact the very antithesis – you understand how the invisible hand works in economics but not in biology? WTF?) but there you go.

  4. I think Lew Rockwell has done more good than harm for the libertarian movement. He has certainly written some thoughtful & intelligent articles over the years.

    I also think it is absurd to suggest that if you link to a website, you necessarily endorse everything on that website. I note that this blog links to LP, Quiggin & Deltoid.

    Indeed… I can’t really see the point of this post, except to have a cheap shot at a good proponent of libertarian ideas.

  5. Temujin.

    rubbish. the link is to a specific post. i agree that Rockwell has done much good for those who believe in liberty, but like Paul, you have to take an awful lot of crap with the good stuff – i’m not sure this is the best way to attract people to the libertarian cause.

  6. I agree with the last comment.

    These guys can sometimes go off the rail with their anti-war foreign policy. Thats the part I find the most disturbing.

    But the quality of their arguments for sound monetary policy, a rollback of government departments, low taxes, an end to the war on drugs, are all very rational and well written. The historical aspect to all of this, and the sheer disregard for the constitution that every 20th century president has had, is evident.

    And it certainly makes one question the benefits of an interventionist foreign policy, and shows how some of the costs and repercussions are greater than expected.

  7. Thanks Pommy, the cheques in the mail.

    In fairness to Ron Paul (seems strange coming from me), I think quite a few of his problems stem from his association with Lew Rockwell. The newsletter controversy for example, appears to be strongly linked to Lew although he has denied it. I seriously doubt that Paul himself is racist, the claims I have seem other than those surrounding this controversy are pretty marginal at best.

    The biggest disservice Ron did to the libertarian cause was in not outing those responsible for publishing this stuff under his name, and not preventing that happening in the first place. As the linked article above says: –

    Yet those new supporters, many of whom are first encountering libertarian ideas through the Ron Paul Revolution, deserve a far more frank explanation than the campaign has as yet provided of how their candidate’s name ended up atop so many ugly words. Ron Paul may not be a racist, but he became complicit in a strategy of pandering to racists—and taking “moral responsibility” for that now means more than just uttering the phrase. It means openly grappling with his own past—acknowledging who said what, and why. Otherwise he risks damaging not only his own reputation, but that of the philosophy to which he has committed his life.

    The greatest potential damage to the LPs electoral chances is probably the ‘truther’ thing going on at the moment where the Party’s anarchists and 9/11 Truthers wing, are intent on making 9/11 revisionism a part of the parties platform with a candidates pledge to this effect.

    As silly and counterproductive as this, it has already been signed by Mary Ruwart, Mike Gravel, Michael Jingozian, Daniel Imperato and Steve Kubby. Bob Barr, George Phillies, and Wayne Root have had more sense at this stage.

    I sense the hand of Lew Rockwell in the background here as well.

  8. Paul Craig Roberts?

    He’s not a libertarian at all, he thinks international investment justifies trade barriers as it alters comparative advantage – international investment makes trade more effective in increasing living standards.

  9. “The principle for which we contend is bound to reassert it’s self, though it may be at another time and in another form.”
    President Jefferson Davis, C.S.A.

  10. Which of his principals was Davis talking about? If it was the right of the people to alter or ablish their form of government, he was right. If it was that local decision making is better than centralized decision making, he was right. If it was that tarrifs are privliges for one group of citizens at the expense of another, he was right. If it was the slavery thing, of course, he was wrong, unless you argue that the IRS has reasserted the principal of slavery on a part-time basis.

    The civil war was fought over all four issues.

  11. Jim – good point about the LP’s lurch further toward trutherism. I suspect the name “libertarian” will be tarnished forever once this mob has finished with it. I’m trying to stop using the label myself – it’s beginning to mean something else.

  12. fleeced – exactly. i only refer to myself as an old-fashioned liberal in polite company nowadays 🙂

    jim – if you are right about Ron Paul not wanting to ‘out’ his more wacko friends, then that shows a side to his character that i admire – loyalty to your friends even when they let you down is a fine character trait. i hope you’re right. but the more i read about Rockwell, the more unhinged he appears.

  13. VDate – another great libertarian site … not …

    Vdare and Lew Rockwell used to have a lot of overlap in the people they published and they still do. Vdare is an anti-immigration site which likes to publish lots of taxeaters and other losers whinging about lack of jobs from outsourcing, free trade and immigration. Note that the Vdare piece is attacking Lew from the Buchananite right because he is *relatively* softer on immigration these days.

  14. He’s right, you know! The US took over all of Indonesia when they had a tsunami, a few years ago. Everyone knows that!
    And they’ll do the same to Burma! It’s blindingly obvious!
    Pommy- I suggested Leonardarian a year ago, to signify someone inspired by the example of Prince Leonard of Hutt River Province, who declared independence on April 21, 1970. He hasn’t printed anything like a manual, but his action, successful as it is, can be our example. The Philosophy of Leonardarianism could be ‘Let Owners Rule!’ Movements with names sound better than abstract titles- Marxist, Maoist, Leninist, etc.

  15. Pommy, another name for an ardent decentralist could be Ultraliberal! Ultraliberality is where the Central government generously cedes its’ powers to the smallest governmental units, landowners. This gives Decentralism a more progressive, positive title. The motto could be, “Share All Power”.
    We have plenty of alternatives, if ‘Libertarian’ is becoming overused.

  16. Pommy, I respect rather than admire that quality. Had the persons who did this had the honor to admit to their role and accept responsibility Paul would not have been left ‘slowly turning in the wind’ at the end of a rope politically speaking.

    The newsletter controversy was probably the single most damaging blow to his campaign, and we can only speculate on what could have been, without it.

    I don’t regard Rockwell as his friend, I think he was lending him support because he was useful and a little over trusting.

  17. Rockwell is a little over-zealous at times in his hatred of the state but I’d imagine it’d be harder in America to contain your paranoia if you’re a true libertarian – the US is simply in a lot deeper shit due to the federal government than we are. American foreign policy has made them a real target for terrorist attacks and considering that the only sane presidential candidate in that regard has basically been ignored there’s not much light at the end of the tunnel. Combine that with the ridiculous financial situation they’re in, the Patriot Act, etc. I imagine it’d all be enough to turn an otherwise sane libertarian a bit wacky…

  18. “I imagine it’d all be enough to turn an otherwise sane libertarian a bit wacky…”

    Why can’t I imagine that?

  19. That’s a pretty sorry excuse for writing toxic waste like that.

    Ever read Reason Magazine or writings from the CATO Institute? They aren’t going bonkers even with their worlds apart disagreements with the GOP.

  20. The vaste majority of Lew’s work (and the articles on his blog) are good quality and educational. Some people here seem to be overly concerned with how they will look in polite company. Personally, I am interested in these issues because I care about ideas, not impressing dinner guests.

    It is absurd to suggest that the libertarian label has lost value in recent years. It is increasingly being accepted as a viable (albeit, still unpopular) political philosophy to be taken seriously. The fact that there are a few libertarians associated with weird ideas is no more relevant than the equivalent links within the socialists, social democrats or conservatives.

    How about we skip the character assassinations, and actually try to debate the ideas. Perhaps the anti-Lew crowd could list the main issues that Lew writes on, and give their clear rational reasons for disagreeing with him.

    Alternatively, perhaps they should realise that Lew & friends are fighting for smaller government, and therefore we are all on the same side (even if we disagree on how far to take the idea of liberty).

  21. Temujin; Get back on thread, this is a Lew bashing post. LOL

    On the serious side while some of his writings are relevant to our cause this does not make him libertarian. I think we can probably learn from Lew, however to accept him as libertarian is a totally different matter. The article referred to here is a nutcase job of anti American truther tripe which is in no way consistent with serious political discussion.

    The very idea that the Burmese governments refusal to accept aid is somehow the fault of Bush or the US is patently ridiculous, and an apology to tyranny.

    The article I linked to in the above comment (Reason) includes this gem: –

    During the period when the most incendiary items appeared—roughly 1989 to 1994—Rockwell and the prominent libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard championed an open strategy of exploiting racial and class resentment to build a coalition with populist “paleoconservatives,” producing a flurry of articles and manifestos whose racially charged talking points and vocabulary mirrored the controversial Paul newsletters recently unearthed by The New Republic.

    This type of activity is going to do a bloody site more damage if associated with us than its appearance in polite company, and is not a long way from the formative phase of fascism.

    I have seen Stormfront extolling the virtues of libertarian sites, face it they love our ideas on freedom of speech, and the right to freely associate. I support their rights in respect to these matters.

    I would not want to be in any way associated with them however.

  22. Spot on Temujin.

    Jim, do you actually read his site? To suggest that ‘some of his writings are relevant to our cause’ shows extreme ignorance on your part. It’s probably the most important libertarian website at the moment – at least based on pageviews it’s more popular than Cato and Reason combined. An occasional shitty link doesn’t warrant this kind of attack. Read the actual articles on the site itself; you might learn something.

    BTW, Reason did a hackjob on Paul and Rockwell with the newsletter story; for what reason I have no idea. Maybe they were stealing Reason’s thunder. Who gives a fuck anyway – Paul’s campaign has given libertarianism a bigger shot in the arm than anything Reason’s ever done and Rockwell’s been supporting him the whole way.

  23. Pageviews have nothing to do with being right. This is not an “occasional shitty link” it’s a part of his site.

    Reason has not done a hack job, it has raised legitimate concerns about a damaging aspect of Rons history and in fairness points out that it is probably Laws doing. It is in fact one of the few articles on the subject that doesn’t try to blow Ron out of the water.

    I agree with you that Pauls campaign has highlighted our ideals, but the shadow of racism has to be dispelled.

  24. Temujin

    this has nothing to do with polite dinner parties but a real desire to take libertarian ideas to a much wider audience. Articles like the ones referred to, make it much more difficult to spread the cause of less govt.

    jim makes a good point – just because someone agrees with the majority of your views, doesn’t necessarily make them an ally. Pauline Hanson believes in a good chunk of what is written here – but that doesn’t make her a libertarian,

  25. This is a big problem generally in libertarian circles. Its not that they don’t have their own ideas well sorted. The problem comes when libertarians ACCEPT LEFTIST LIES OUT OF IDEOLOGICAL CONVENIENCE.

    We have seen this a little bit with Ron Paul and a lot more with Lew Rockwell. But we saw it with our own libertarians here. Advocating cuts to defense. Parroting lies about George Bush. Saying things like “we were lied into war.” Claiming that Saddam wasn’t involved in terrorism and 9/11. When he was involved in terrorism and he would still remain a lead suspect for involvement in 9/11.

    One ought to develop ideology on the basis of the facts and not distort the facts on the basis of ideology. A more libertarian non-interventionist line ought to be justifiable on its own basis without having to accept leftist lies about conservatives. The big-spending conservatives will dissapoint in their own good time, without the need to be lying about them up front.

  26. We should cut defense spending. George Bush is an idiot. We were lied to about the war. Saddam was not a major player in islamic terrorism. Osama (not Saddam, or the Jews) planned 9/11.

    It is fair enough for some libertarians to say that they don’t like Lew Rockwell… but it is absurd to try and pretend that he’s not libertarian.

    That would be like saying that, because you are you white and don’t like Bob Brown… you must assume that Bob Brown isn’t white.

    Lew Rockwell wants a dramatically smaller government. Therefore he is libertarian. He has done a remarkable amount of work to try and advance the libertarian cause. Some of his projects or alliances might not have worked well… but we all make mistakes in life. Other than spite I can’t see why it is necessary to undertake such a character assassination.

    When Pauline Hanson says something I agree with… I say “yes”. However, that is rare. The reason is that Pauline is an (albeit moderate) “national socialist”. She wants more government involvement in the economy and more social restrictions. That is nothing like Lew… who wants less government involvement in the economy and more social freedom.

    If/when Lew says something to be disagreed with… the appropriate reaction is simply to disagree and give reasons. Not to start rejecting every great libertarian writer as soon as you find anything you don’t like. I imagine few people commenting here would survive a similar attempted character assassination. I certainly wouldn’t. Unfortunately, I’m not perfect.

  27. “The vaste majority of Lew’s work (and the articles on his blog) are good quality and educational. Some people here seem to be overly concerned with how they will look in polite company.”

    Look I agree with that but he isn’t perfect. And he has some things wrong about the war. Ron Paul is as close to perfect as any politician we are likely to get. But even he’s only got half the story about the war. He’s got the half that the Republicans aren’t appreciating. But its only half the story nonetheless.

  28. “We should cut defense spending.”

    Australia? Really? What should go?

    “George Bush is an idiot.”

    I don’t think so. Fighter Pilots are unlikely to be idiots.

    He may well be completely incapable of performing his current “job” perfectly but that hardly differentiates him from at least 99.9999999% of the population.

  29. George Bush was a fighter pilot *before* years of alcohol and god knows what else abuse. The man is damaged goods, any fool can see that.

  30. Temujin; I have to disagree with you there.

    We should not cut defense spending – a matter of opinion.

    George Bush is not an idiot, being portrayed as one by the left is not the same thing.

    While no WMDs were found the fact that he used them on his own people proves their existence.

    Captured documents indicate that he was supporting terrorism including Al Queda affiliates.

    I seriously question the libertarian credentials of anyone who seeks to “champion an open strategy of exploiting racial and class resentment to build a coalition with populist “paleoconservatives.” No such coalition can exist with libertarians, and I think Lew knows that.

    Your Bob Brown analogy – look, seriously mate you can do better than that.

    This is not a character assassination, we are criticizing one of those mistakes. If all I had found was the stupid link to a socialist international website I would have assumed he was being cynical, however when I then find one of his writers parroting the same stuff from a truther perspective in the same time frame there has to be more to it.

    I feel reasonably sure that you would criticize that which you disagree with among Paulines pearls of wisdom, I think you can allow us to do likewise to Lew. I have in fact simply disagreed with him and given reasons, what’s the problem?

    You can search my site and I guarantee that the one referred to here is the only one on Lew, I think you are going a bit far in feeling that I am picking on him. http://jimunro.blogspot.com/ go on check it out.

    I have a great deal of respect for you, and I think you are doing a bloody good job here, but you are being a bit thin skinned on this occasion.

  31. Temujin

    this isn’t simply a matter of a minor disagreement on policy – for instance whether income tax should be cut back to 20% or abolished altogether.

    this is a guy who thinks that Bush/Brown are morally equivalent to the Burmese junta. this is a guy who is so paranoid about big govt that he is convinced that Bush is using the cyclone to instigate a takeover of Burma.

    in short, this is a guy who is mad.

    having heard these views, i couldnt care less if he favours smaller govt. all he is doing is tarring us with his deranged brush.

  32. Several people were formative in leading me to adopt the libertarian label and more importantly a body of ideas relating to the virtues of smaller government. Lew and Paul were pretty key. Wanniski was perhaps the most significant although I don’t think he would have called himself a libertarian. All of them have or had some wako ideas. So does our Prime Minister but I still proudly call myself Australian.

    Pommy you seem to have a long list of people that the libertarian movement needs to distance itself from before it can ever succeed. Why is this so?

  33. Terje

    Let me give you an example.

    You write regularly for Thoughts on Freedom, you stand for the LDP in a Senate election, you give radio and TV interviews and explain your brand of liberal politics. Over the years you develop quite a following in Australia amongst people who have come to the conclusion that the govt is too big.

    Then one day you write an article detailing why Christians, Jews and Muslims should be placed in detention camps because of the danger posed to the secular liberal democratic state by their ‘One God’ views. You advocate that they should only be freed when they embrace atheism.

    Your fellow libertarians at the LDP and ToF would have two courses of action.

    i) continue to offer you unconditional support as you are a fellow small govt believer

    ii) denounce you as a crackpot and explain that locking up religious people is not a part of libertarian thinking.

    What is more important? Loyalty to a fellow believer (who is admittedly coming apart at the seams) or limiting the brand damage so that libertarian ideas do not become tarnished with your unhinged views?

    Believing that Gordon Brown is more evil than the Burmese junta and that the US is itching to take control in Burma (let alone all that racist crap that was written in Ron Paul’s name) is a sign of a paranoid delusional. I repeat – this is not a minor policy disagreement.

  34. They should embrace atheism. But they should not be locked up for refusing to.

    If Lew is proposing to lock people up for disagreeing with him then that would be wako. I suppose I better read the original article, however the quote you offered did not mention locking people up but merely expressed cynacism towards US motives.

    Libertarianism is a political philosophy rather than a political brand. Even if there are parties that include the word libertarian within their brand name. And as far as I’m concerned you can hate the US government and still be a libertarian.

  35. When someone links to someone else it doesn’t mean that they are endorsing every last thing that person says. So you are casting the net a bit wide here pommy. The problem simply is that within libertarian circles you have this acceptance of hard left lies as a convenient untruth.

    The same sort of thing happens here on these very pages.

  36. Ron Pauls gear wasn’t very bad at all. You’ll bring up more than that on any serious fishing expedition on anyone else. More excessive conspiracy theory than any real racism. And there’s nothing wrong with a bit of conspiracy theory. I’m suspect of people who don’t think in that way enough. I mean imagine alibi-ing Saddam from 9-11 for example. What a mad idea!!! One of the thief suspects for this multi-lateral undertaking.

  37. “CHIEF” suspect that is. Saddam was a CHIEF suspect in 9-11. And there is plenty of evidence putting his prints all over it. But it was convenient for libertarians not to acknowledge this. Hence they piled on when the left was doing their usual “no regimes to see here” routine.

  38. It is not anti-libertarian for a person to consider which other groups they could try to influence.

    It is not anti-libertarian to believe in a small military, or to doubt the intelligence of a person who gets confused between OPEC and APEC.

    It is certainly not anti-libertarian to doubt and question government action.

    Pommy — while you might not agree with everything Lew writes, it is you who is damaging the libertarian movement by sparking petty personal attacks instead of simply debating the issues. It doesn’t help for us to run around the libertarian movement calling some people heretics and kicking them out of “our club”. Nobody expects all conservatives to agree on every issue… so you should feel free to disagree with other libertarians sometimes. For instance, I have a fundamental disagreement with people who think that war generally solves problems, and I think people who supported the Iraq war are either stupid, easily manipulated or evil. But I wouldn’t suppose to call them “wacko” or say they’re not libertarian.

    Jim — we are discussing a post by pommy, and he has attacked Lew (and Paul) previously. Calling somebody a “wacko” after they have done 1000 times more to promote liberty seems inappropriate.

    It is possible to link pretty much every government on earth to some sort of terrorism. But it takes active self-delusion to think that Iraq was a major player in islamic anti-western terrorism. Given the finger pointing going on, perhaps I should say that active self-delusion disqualifies somebody from being libertarian?

    And saying that Iraq had WMDs at some stage in their history is VERY different from saying they have them now. I can’t understand why anybody would try to confuse these two different issues, unless they are trying to be misleading.

    I certainly hope Lew wouldn’t be so self-deluded and misleading… or perhaps we might start abusing him?

  39. Pommy,

    I have now read the Lew Rockwell blog article. It comprises two sentences which you have in fact quoted in full. I believe that you have taken his statement literally when in fact it seems to me that it was intended as a sarcastic dig at the World Socialist article it links to. It would seem to me that Lews position regarding the World Socialist article and your position regarding the World Socialist article are essentially identical. How amusing.

  40. Mark: Perhaps… though being lazy, I hadn’t bothered to read the article myself until after Terje’s comment. Of course, the other posts on the Lew Rockwell blog do tend to paint a bad picture.

    “Indeed, Bush and Brown, as commanders in chief, are on a killing spree that makes the government in Burma look extremely restrained by comparison.”

    This was certainly not sarcasm… in fact, had I read the other quotes first, I’d probably have come to the same conclusion about the socialist link. Indeed, it seems to follow Blair’s Law: “the ongoing process by which the world’s multiple idiocies are becoming one giant, useless force.”

    OK, I take it back. Pooch not screwed…

  41. if it was sarcasm, then i stand corrected. but as fleeced says, there’s always plenty of odd and unpleasant stuff on that site.

  42. Pommy, you think certain people can “do more harm than good” when it comes to promoting libertarianism or capitalism.

    I agree this can occur in some instances because unfortunately even if 98% of what you say to the general public is gold, the general public and media will pick up on the 2% rubbish and if the rubbish is rubbish enough it will discredit you.
    (I think problems come from a non-thinking public, and any inconsistent ideology in the public speaker but I won’t go into that).

    However we know that no one can be perfect, no one can know everything about everything. So what do you think is the best way to avoid this inevitable 2% problem. Do you even think it’s inevitable?

    Perhaps the solution is for people to stick to their areas of specialties. For example, Libertarian Mr X who has good economic back ground should be wary of mouthing off publically about some controversial subject he doesn’t know much about. Because it might come back and bite him in the arse.

    It’s easy to get off topic, so the public promoter would have to conciously make sure to stay in familiar territory.
    Also, this approach doesn’t help if the person’s thoughts on their speciality topics are themselves rubbish – this would also be inexcusable because they should know the facts and figures. And I think in this situation, the person should rightfully be discredited.

  43. Tim

    I don’t think that talking harmless rubbish is a problem – if our politicians would only speak 2% gold i would be happy 🙂

    the problem lies in people with ‘crazy horse’ views, for example some of the material in the RP letters, that President Bush is more evil than the Burmese junta, that 9/11 was a CIA conspiracy, that Tony Blair deliberately flooded the country with unskilled immigrants to secure the Labour vote.

    for example, Pauline Hanson’s racism tainted everything else she said. in fact, i wouldn’t know what else she did say, because her racism made me discount it all to zero.

    similarly if i came across someone who thought that big govt was corrupt and evil and also thought Princess Di was assassinated by the CIA in a plot to overthrow the monarchy, i would tend to think more kindly of big govt.

  44. If that post wasn’t sarcasm then I agree it goes well over the sanity line. Having said that, there is a strong argument to be made that, measured purely on outcomes, the current American administration and allies have caused more death and destruction then the Burmese junta will ever manage. And stripped of the crazy neo-cons-take-over-the-world talk, that is what they are saying. It’s not an argument I choose to make, but then I’m not Sukrit.

    And I’m pretty sure the ALP “flooded” a number of Australian electorates with unskilled migrants from various ethnic backgrounds during the 80s precisely to secure the Labor vote. Same reason they want to keep a pool of unemployed living in squallor. If that makes me crazy, you’d better not associate yourself with me.

  45. I agree that there is the need to strongly condemn wacko viewpoints.
    It might even be worth telling certain people they are doing more harm to the libertarian movement than good.

    I think in a movement like Libertarianism, that significant conflicts are unavoidable due to the large range of ideologies held by libertarians. I think that due to the interconnected nature of knowledge it is difficult to have a high level of agreeance on political or economic theory if fundamentals are different.
    The occasional wacko viewpoint is probably just an extreme manifestation of the above phenomena.

    There’s a South Park episode – one of the few I don’t really like. Because everyone starts crapping out of their mouths after becoming atheists.
    The way I interpret the episode is that when people start thinking for themselves they can come up with all sorts of rubbish (crap), but IMO, this is a far preferable situation to them not thinking at all.

    Wacko viewpoints must be the result of one or more invalid premises in the heirachy of concepts used to reach that viewpoint. If people won’t respond to logic after their faulty premises have been identified – then strong condemnation is in order.

    I think the trick is that a logically sound Libertarian response to a wacko viewpoint must be equally as publicised as the wacko viewpoint was in the first place.

  46. Some people never had time for John Howard because of perceptions of racism and in the process they discounted every useful thing he did. I kind of think people should look beyond the cheap shots. Hanson helped the country make a useful cultural shift even if it was unintended and even if she is/was a racist. I wouldn’t vote for her but I did on occasion vote for Howard. I agree that people should be mindful of the stuff they say (and think) but I don’t think an intellectual revolution like libertarianism can be stage managed (centrally controlled libertarianism would however be novel). Sh1t happens and we push on. John Howard could have folded his cards and quit after his gaff on asian immigrants but he soldiered on and was elected PM. Should his team have disowned him?

    It’s like in a political march the guy next to you inevitably carries a banner that you don’t quite agree with but you carry on regardless because there is some common ground.

    I have been told previously that my views on gold and my yearning for a gold standard are a liability. Tough luck. The turtle only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.

  47. “…that Tony Blair deliberately flooded the country with unskilled immigrants to secure the Labour vote.”

    You know, Pommy – that one is almost believable.

  48. Doctor No has just made news by being the only congressman to vote against a Congressional motion of condolences and sympathy to the people of Burma.

    Ron Paul blogger ALES RARUS was somewhat concerned and contacted Lew Rockwell asking if he or someone he knew could possibly explain Dr. Paul’s rationale.

    His answer was less than satisfying.

    “Eric, the government is not the church. What happens in Myanmar or any other foreign country is none of Congress’s business. Are the victims helped by blather from DC? In addition, foreign aid is unconstitutional and imperialistic.”

    I agree that bureaucratic blather does nothing to help suffering people. I also agree that foreign aid is unconstitutional and can sometimes be given in support imperial ulterior motives. There are at least two problems with Rockwell’s reasoning, though. The first is the assumption that the resolution represents blather and not diplomacy. The second is that the resolution offers no aid whatsoever.

    On contacting him again the reply was: –

    “It is none of the US government’s business, which is using the disaster to try to expand the empire. The US government, like all governments, engages in theft and murder. It can keep its charity to itself. On the other hand, the US would not allow foreign help for the victims of Katrina.”

    I rarely visit the Rockwell site however i am prepared to take you at your word that there is some good stuff there, but I agree with Pommy. This guy makes Rev Wright look sane.

  49. Jim – but he did vote ‘yes’ to congratulate the The University of Kansas football team for winning the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl and having the most successful year in program history. so that’s ok.

  50. It appears that Paul voted against the resolution as it included a statement that could be interpreted as meddling with the internal politics of another country. As there’s no provision in the US constitution to do so he voted against it. You know, following the law and all that.

    The statement was: ‘(6) demands that the referendum to entrench military rule be called off, allowing all resources to be focused on disaster relief to ease the pain and suffering of the Burmese people.’

  51. Pommygramate, Jim and others:

    Do you think that Messrs. Paine, Henry and Jefferson were worried about being labeled wacko nut jobs? You folks just don’t get it-the problem lies with those that support the income tax, the trillion dollar military, the maintenance of military bases all over the world, the maintenance of a standing army, the existence of the alphabet soup agencies, the administrative state, the worshipping of ANY uniformed employee of Caesar, the democrat party and the other party of state, the Get Our Paul.

    Pommy- your assertion that you would tend to think more kindly of big gvt. JUST BECAUSE SOME PERSON WHO CLAIMED THAT BIG GVY WAS EVIL AND CORRUPT AND ALSO CLAIMED THAT lADY DI WAS KILLED AS PART OF CIA PLOT raises some serious questions about your ability to reason as well as your committment to liberty. You know that big gvt is evil, in and of itself. Another chap acknowledges that self evident truth. Then, that same chap aseerts X and you have no proof of the falsity of the assertion but nevertheless decide that big gvt looks pretty good upon the basis that assertion X appears to be loony, though you can not disprove it. Wow. Great logic?

    Hey, isn’t it all about freedom first-not nation state? I thin that Poomy and others think that one is a “wacko” just because their alleigance is to liberty first and not the nation state.

    The proposition that one is a wacko because one asserts that the burmese junta is no worse than Bush/Blair is a proposition wholly without merit and downright frivolous. Expository writing 101 dictates that one support his general, sweeping statement with specific, identifiable, provable facts. In other words, provide some substance to go with the hysterical sizzle. How many foreign nations have the junta boys invaded? How many governemnts have the junta boys toppled? How many of the junta boys preside over a trillion dollar military budget? How many ships do the junta boys have in the persian gulf? How many millions of civilians have the junta boys slaughtered? How many of the junta boys used daddy to get out of going to war? how many of the junta boys were Ivy League legacy admittess?

    Obviously, Temejun has it all over Pommygranate. In fact. I am sure most readers here will agree with this assertion. He employs logic whereas Pommy is subjet to allowing his emotions to carry the day.

  52. “It is not anti-libertarian to believe in a small military, or to doubt the intelligence of a person who gets confused between OPEC and APEC.”

    Well I don’t know about that. Because its simply not plausible for Australia to cut back on its military anytime soon and be able to defend its sovereignty. And if you are a free society you won’t stay that way long if you cannot maintain your sovereignty.

    The case is very different for the Americans. I try and listen to Lew Rockwell and Hans Herman Hoppe any chance I get. And I appreciate Hoppes views on defense. But we here in Australia aren’t getting private defense together anytime soon. And for this reason we would have to, for the time being, consider that being weak on defense is being weak on liberty itself.

  53. liberty mike

    How many foreign nations have the junta boys invaded? How many governemnts have the junta boys toppled? How many of the junta boys preside over a trillion dollar military budget?

    So your definition of a moral sovereign regime is one that doesn’t invade other countries?

    N Korea, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Burma…

    So as long as i don’t come-a-marching with my troops, i can pretty well slaughter my own population at will.

    You make no sense pal.

  54. He makes plenty of sense, Pommy! Plenty of Libertarians are neutralists, thinking that as soon as you have a standing army, you have trouble. History shows there is some truth to this.
    Nor need it mean that a neutralist libertarian would do nothing. He might not want an organised structure, like bureaus and states, but he might be prepared to subvert the regimes he doesn’t like by smuggling goods and guns in so the populations can defend themselves, and initiate internal ‘regime change’.
    I also feel that GOVERNMENTS should be neutral, but INDIVIDUALS or private companies should be active in selling to the oppressed, or getting them out of the countries that are hells on Earth!
    What are your views, Pommy?

  55. I assumed we were approaching this topic in the context of spreading libertarian ideas to the general public. (I now realise I shouldn’t have assumed this).

    But in terms of spreading the libertarian message:

    Liberty mike is right that in an ideal world, if a libertarian spokesperson has one wacko opinion but has mostly good points backed up by reason, a rational person should accept the majority of what this spokesperson has to say.

    However, the general public aren’t that interested in politics or don’t have time to assess politics rationally. In addition, the general public aren’t particularly rational and usually prefer doing what they are told than thinking.
    They will therefore be swayed by one wacko viewpoint and sensationalist journalism. We all know politics is more about appearences than actual substance and the libertarian movement is a political one more than anything else IMO. So in this context, this is how the wacko viewpoints do harm – and why they should be condemned, if the person promoting them is getting public attention.

  56. Nicholas

    the issue of humanitarian intervention seems to split libertarian thinking like almost no other. i think it largely depends where you are from. libertariansim in my home country is dominated by pro-interventionists. the two leading libertarian blogs, Samizdata and Devil’s Kitchen, are both unashamed pro-interventionists. But i have noticed that Australian lib thinking follows the more passive line as put forward by the Cato Institute.

    as i said on my post on burma, unlike free trade, tax and capitalism, this issue is not straightforward and is best left to individual conscience.

  57. Pommygranate-Where in my post did I state that, in my opinion, a regime’s morality should be measured SOLELY on the basis of whether or not it invades other countries?

    Readers, do you see what is going on here? As libertarians, do we not pride ourselves on our superior ability to reason and think? Given the contents of my post, is there any evidence that I support the proposition that “as long as I don’t come a-marching with my troops, I can pretty well slaughter my own population at will?”

    Pommy, perhaps you are the wacko libertarian that needs to be condemned for your inability to reason.

  58. Pommygranate-I note that, instead of responding to my point that the junta boys may not look so bad in juxtaposition to our executive branch in substance, you chose to make an idiotic assertion that I believe that as long as a ruling power does not invade other countries anything else they may do domestically is OK. THis is what I meant by employing emotion instead of reason.

    Or, perhaps, you do recognize that your response was a NON-SEQUITTUR, but thought that you could score some points with the drivel you posted. Either way, not the libertarian way. This sort of intellectual ineptitude is far more dangerous to libertarianism than anything Rockwell is alleged to have done.

    However, perhaps it is time to question just what type of libertarian Pommy is. In my opinion,(Pommy this means that I am not stating a fact) libertarians should never hesitate to condemn the sins of the united states government. In my opoinion, libertarians must keep in mimnd that the ultimate goal is liberty-not allegiance to a political sub-division or a nation state. Again, in my opinion, worship of nation state is for sheeple, for losers, for slaves and for suckers in trust for the wolves, tyrants and parasites.

    Pommy, it appears to me that, if push came to shove, you would side with those who want flag, pledge of alleigance, respect for armed authority, the income tax, the administrative state, the trillion dollar military, immunity for government actors and worship of soldier boys and girls against those who want no income tax, no drug laws, no IRS, no DEA, no administrative state, no warfare/welfare state, no imperialism, no respect for state or any of caesar’s minions. I have no doubt that if the latter could only come to pass with the elimination of the united states you would side with the former.

    Do you think that the framers were more concerned about the primacy of individual liberty or with the maintenance of nation state? THere are some who theorize that we need a nation state in order to have freedom. Obviously, I do not agree. Keep in mind that the founding generation was overwhelmingly committed to the principle of natural rights and that government should only exist to protect those rights. Indeed, Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence provide support for my contention that the framers believed that liberty is numero uno, not the nation state. As DiLorenzo reminds us, the Declaration of Independence was, above all, a declaration of secession. The framers lived the reality that devotion to country got you confiscatory taxation, slavery, crony capitalism, obsequiousness to Crown, genocide, etc.

    As libertarians, we need to have the stones to let folks know that its the freedom, stupid, not the star spangled banner. We should not hesitate to point out that Dishonest Abe incarcerated the grandson of Francis Scott Key for daring to speak about against Imperial Abe’s war crimes. America gave us Dishonest Abe, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people by the union army under Dishonest Abe’s direction and CONTROL. America gave us the income tax, FDR, the fire bombings of Dresden, the mining of Japanses harbors long before Pearl Harbor, aiding and abetting the british empire in its quest to maintain its empire in southeast asia, the incarceration of japanese americans, JIM CROW, Ronald Reagan-the socialist nit wit who presided over the greatest expansion of government in world history up to that point in time, the genocide of the red man, the black man, GUN CONTROL, the progressive income tax, the IRS and the legions of parasites who feed at the public trough. Who wants to get all goose pimply over that catalouge of criminal catastrophes?

    We have to constantly remind folks that America doesn’t “give” you opportunity-you have an inalienable right to succeed-it doesn’t come from some socialist construct. Yeah, I know that there are many who think that freedom can only thrive under the “protective” umbrella of a constitutional republic. Just can’t buy that. We do not have a constitutional republic in practice, so America is not a good example. Further, I wouldn’t be posting this if America was truly a constitutional republic where freedom reigned. If freedom truly reigned here, this blog would not exist.

    To be sure, many think that the nation state is needed to protect liberty lest the bad guys impose their will. All of recorded history demonstrates, but particularly the 20th century, that all most all violence(for those who are logically challenged, note that I do not say absolutely all violence) is generated by the nation state-not private, individual violence utterly unconnected to the state. Thus, the record of the nation state in protecting liberty is an abject failure, including the good ole USnA.

    Of course, many like to play the relativist card. This is the proposition that, sure, perfect its not, but its the best thing this world’s got. For me, this is a loser’s proposition. As libertarians, should we not be about a robust, even truculent, advocacy of freedom-even if it means it ruffles the chinese made, wal-mart sold polyester shirts upon which the sheeple pin their flagsies?

    A wacko is one who is willing to enslave himself, and others, to a nation state while condemning those who question such sheeple minded stupidity.

  59. When are you going to tell us what you really think, Lib? Don’t hold back this time! We can take it!
    Seriously, what improvements would you make to the American Constitution, if you chose not to scrap it? You talk about Dishonest Abe, but what would you have done to promote slave rights in the South, if not going to war? The double tragedy of the American Civil War is that both sides had some right on their side (the Northern States had abolished slavery, and the Southern States supported States Rights), and everyone ended up more tied to Washington than before! (War does expand the reach of the victorious government!)
    What would you recommend for a future Constitution, if we created a libertarian society here?

  60. War does expand the reach of the victorious government!

    never a truer word spoken 🙂

    which is probably the best argument against war (even ‘good’ wars like WWII)

  61. Or, perhaps, you do recognize that your response was a NON-SEQUITTUR

    always be wary of people who use CAPITALS (no names mentioned, Graeme) 😉

    incidentally, if you are reading this blog Graeme, unlike Catallaxy, you are not banned here (only from Temujin’s posts). you are welcome to post here provided you are polite and don’t dominate the threads.

  62. Nicholas Gray- 1. THe American Constitution, as written, is fine, though far from perfect. The problem is the fact that the judiciary has so often disregared it or subjected the enjoyment of one’s rights to “balancing tests” under which one’s right must be “balanced” against the “rights” of the state or the “public interest”. This alone, in my opinion, equals communism. The problems also include the judiciary immunizing government officials from their wrongdiong, presuming that public officials act with good faith in the discharge of their duties, presuming that each and every law is constitutional and creating the police power.

    Perhaps the biggest problem is the
    fact that the framers did not truly provide for an independent judiciary as they made it part of government with the government paying the salaries of the judges. In America, by and large, the judges are nothing more than rubber stamps for government action.

    My solution? Truly independent judges, not paid by the state. In reality, to be truly independent, judges must be libertarian as only libertarians have the demonstrated potential to put government in its place-the asheep of history. Judges can only be libertarians as the true function of the judiciary, as envisioned by Madison, is to be “an impenetrable bulwark against every invasion of freedom.” To the extent that one thinks that the income tax, a standing military, welfare programs, drug laws and the like have a legitimate place in a free society, one is utterly unqualified to be a judge as one would lack the requisite independence. How can one be independent when one favors the maintenance or expansion of marxist, leninist, Maoist, Reaganesue, Blairian totalitarian values?

    As for the American Civil War? Tell me why the Brits, the French, the Portguese, the Dutch and even the Russians ended slavery without war crimes and a bloodbath? I don’t know what you Aussies are taught about Dishonest Abe and the American Civil War(I’ll bet though that the average mate knows a hell of a lot more about American history than the average american)-but here, Lincoln is an icon and to some, divinity itself.

    Of course, our civl war was not fought to end slavery; it was to implement, on a grand scale, the so-called “american system” advocated by Lincoln his entire adult life. The “american system” advocated by Lincoln had nothing to do with free market economics; rather, it espoused high tariffs, internal improvements, a national bank, an income tax and a humongus federal government. As you know, high tariffs are nothing more than a tax on imported goods to benefit domestic producers or suppliers of the goods in question. Internal improvements means corporate welfare. Lincoln favored subsidizing his former railroad clients and other busineses who supported the republican party. Perhaps the greatest scandal in U.S. history was the Tea Pot Dome scandal. American kids are brainwashed with the socialist non-sense that our railroads could not have been built without government subsidy. Licncoln bought land around where the railroads would be built PRIOR to the public being aware of where the railroad would go. The facts are that indians were harassed and killed, irish and chinese immigrants were used to build on an indentured servant basis and they were often horribly mistreated, beaten and killed in constructing the government railroads. American kids are not taught that James J Hill built the Great Northern Pacific Railroad without a dime of public money and that it was built without any indian troubles as Mr. Hill PAID the indians for the right to build upon their land. He also paid a higher wage to the workers.

    Do you know that the Emancipation Proclamation was a joke? Do you know that Lincoln did not free one slave as that edict only applied to the slaves in the south-he did not free any of the thousands of slaves in the north. No, Nicholas, the north did have slaves-even up to and including the civil war. Do you know that lincoln ordered the incarceration of thousands of northern newspaper editors and publishers who dared to criticize him or his war?

    There are americans who think that there is no right of secession. They have no idea that the Declaration of Independence was a document of secession. Lincoln said that the union came first and that the states were borne of the union.

    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH USING ALL CAPS. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD WHINE ABOUT SUCH A THING?

  63. Liberty Mike,
    perhaps Lincoln was simply a victim of American Schooling? I am told by Americans that it could do with some improvements.
    And I was wondering what advice you might give to any future Constitution, but I suppose your first principle would be to have an Independent Judiciary. I am not sure, in practice, how you could do that, but it could be done, I hope.
    JUST BECAUSE I SUPPORT CAPITALISM, IT DOESN’T FOLLOW THAT I WANT CAPITALS EVERYWHERE! CoNtRaSt PrOvIdEs SpIcE!!!

  64. Nicholas Gray-You are so right. Homogenous ain’t hip.
    Capitalism wouldn’t look so good without the contrast provided by …say, crony capitalism. You can probably figure out that just because I love capitalism, it doesn’t follow that I want crony capitalists everywhere.

  65. Pingback: Lew Rockwell on War and Inflation « The Sagamore Journal

  66. Lew Rockwell founded the Mises institute..

    Get on your knees and kiss his feet. This little hit piece is retarded. They’ve done more for the movement than you can ever hope to accomplish.. give some respect to those that deserve it.

  67. Really? He’s done such a great job we can never achieve or better in Australia what he’s done in America?

    Somehow I’m rather unimpressed if I have to bow down to him. We’re quite happy to learn from him and get support and vice versa.

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