Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Defining “Libertarian” Out of Existence

The hits just keep on coming. 

I am losing track of the number of articles that have come out recently that have attempted to define “libertarian” out of existence; that have worked to ensure as few people as possible would have any interest in joining the club.

Thick, thin; humanitarian, brutalist; holist, solipsist.  Authors and web sites galore.  And these are just the ones I have seen and (as regular readers know) upon which I have commented.

Well, here is one more, from David Boaz, entitled “The Libertarian Surge.”  I will only take time to make two points; first the definition of libertarianism as given in the opening sentence:

Libertarianism — the political philosophy that says limited government is the best kind of government — is having its moment.

I could write about three hundred words on this; I won’t.  Just three: non-aggression principle.

Second, Boaz goes through extensive efforts to demonstrate that Rand Paul is Ron Paul.  Now, I must say, I was prepared to read this commentary by Boaz without a single mention of Ron.  Boy was I fooled – Ron is plastered all over it.  Because Rand must be sold as Ron.  I guess it is OK to ignore Ron unless one wants to co-opt his legacy.

I could write about three hundred words on this as well, but I won’t.  Just one.  Principled.

There is a reason for all of these attacks on libertarianism – on the non-aggression principle at its root.  Today is an example of tying libertarianism to limited government (can Boaz spend his time to objectively define this term, and quit wasting time bastardizing the term “libertarian”?), and tying Rand to his father’s legacy.


  1. We live in crazy times. Libertarian ain't what it used to be. One wonders if we should start using "Propertarian" or something. But I suppose dropping the label libertarian is akin to bowing to the statist pronouncement: "if you hate paying taxes in American whydontcha just leave!"

    Keep up the good work BM. I also recently quoted you here: http://reformedlibertarian.com/blog/libertarianism-is-a-political-theory-not-a-holistic-philosophy/