Friday, July 21, 2017

Libertarian Neo-cons

Reason has gone full-blown neocon.  Recently I commented on a call to war with Russia by Cathy Young, published at  Now it is another piece at Reason, written by Steve Chapman and entitled “Trump Forces a GOP Retreat On Russia.”  Chapman doesn’t consider the so-called retreat to be a good thing.

He begins by favorably citing Mitt Romney from three years ago, calling out Obama for his naiveté regarding Russia:

“…the president wasn't able to shape the kinds of events that may have been able to prevent the kinds of circumstances that you're seeing in the Ukraine, as well as the things that you're seeing in Syria.”

Ukraine being right next to Russia; Syria, where Russia was legally invited by the president of the country to help put down a terrorist revolution.  These are, somehow, the business of the United States government, according to beltway libertarians.

Romney continues:

“This is not Fantasyland. This is reality where they are a geopolitical adversary.”

Because libertarians think in terms of geopolitical adversaries?  On what planet?  Apparently, on planet beltway.

Republican voters are dolts according to Chapman, after all…

One recent poll found that only one in four thinks Russia should be treated mainly as a threat—with the rest preferring warmer ties.

Warmer ties with a nuclear armed country.  Why talk when you can bludgeon?  This is what the beltway libertarians have come to.

And republicans in congress have had to become apologists for Trump:

…most of the party's members of Congress have done their best to downplay or excuse Trump's strange fondness for Vladimir Putin.

Maybe it’s just fondness for not starting a war that has the potential to destroy life on earth.

Citing the “collusion” by Trump, Jr., with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging information on Hillary (who doesn’t?), Chapman suggests that only two republican senators got it right:

Only a few longtime Trump critics, notably John McCain and Lindsey Graham, were vocally disgusted by what they had learned.

Yes, the two warmongers who never saw a country that they didn’t want destroyed.  The beltway libertarians at Reason are pleased with their “disgust.”

Life was better when presidents talked tough toward Russians (and the Soviet Union, which, it seems, never went away in the minds of the infantile):

The standard for presidents used to be higher.

In the past, the GOP demanded that presidents recognize the threat posed by the Russian government, understand the policies needed to counter it and have the backbone to stand up to any challenge. Trump, by their own criteria, has failed each of these tests.

The president must stand up to any challenge, because it is libertarian to think in terms of geopolitical adversaries and search out ways to foment war – even better if it is nuclear war. 

Just ask Reason.


  1. They are more obvious about it now, but I think Reason (among others) has been doing this for many years. I didn't begin my conversion/journey from neocon to libertarian until a couple of decades ago. At the time I could read works from Rothbard or Mises or any of a dozen others and find continuity and logic that was easy to understand and follow. But there were publications, Reason prominent among them, that routinely left me badly confused with opinions and even propaganda I found to be the very opposite of what I was reading from libertarian scholars.

    My tin foil hat self thinks this is all part of the neocon strategy. They have infiltrated every political discipline, and subverted the core messages of each over time. The formerly liberal left and formerly conservative right are both clearly neocon these days, and their differences are mostly over political points of little importance to the neocons. The neocons adopt those points while promoting their own agendas.

  2. You get an A+ for noting that every non-mainstream media outlet and most British mainstream media outlets have damaging information on Hillary. In fact I am sure that Trump himself was completely uninterested in this as there were already an overwhelming number of sources all free have damaging evidence on Hillary.

  3. I wrote a comment on the Reason Comment Section of the article asking if Rothbard, Mises, Bastiat and Jefferson were all wrong in that peace and commerce between nations is best relationship to have instead of the sick game of chicken we see between the Neocons and the Russians.

  4. isn't 'libertarian neocon' an oxymoron?

    1. Apparently not in some circles. But in a world occupied by sentient beings, yes.

  5. I stopped reading REASON during the reign of Virgina Postrel, once she jettisoned libertarian principles in order to push ad hock pseudo intellectual positions that included justifications for a more aggressive foreign policy.

  6. OT: Interesting comments by Tom Woods regarding the Florida incident ...


  7. No open borders for Russians? I thought Reason was all for open borders.

  8. You don't find good music in the Top 40 (at least for 30 years or more)...and you don't get the truth in most of the political publications..just propaganda and half-truths..and the Elite have IMHO engineered it this way to keep the masses off the trail...and I don't mean to say that the alternative media have the inside scoop...but at least their is an honest attempt to push against the Beast.

    Too many on top of the pyramid like this privileged economy and the good life it gives..Mavericks can't survive too long in this rigged system. I guess I'm just a pessimist, but the masters have their hand in so much of the economic sector to silence the sheep it seems daunting for Real change to Liberty.

  9. The idea that libertarianism is dependent on a non-interventionist foreign policy is one that I frequently forget I didn't always hold. It was Rothbard who convinced me of it, via Tom Woods and Lew Rockwell if i remember correctly. The fact that I was a self-proclaimed libertarian prior to having adopted that view is something I try to remember to help me understand "beltway" libertarians.

    I didn't give up my previous position as a standard, relatively ignorant, TV-news-watching, GOP conservative without a fight either. As long as Reason and Cato exist, there will always be a supply of writers who haven't completed the transition to living outside the Overton Window.