Thursday, April 13, 2006

On "Neo-libertarians"







Matthew Barganier has drawn my attention to James Taranto's rants in The Ugly Side of Libertarianism which probably should be re-titled, The Ugly Side of Neo-libertarianism , by which I refer to the pro-war libertarians who dominate now much of the blogsphere in the form of the war-bloggers. Matt Welch has challenged these guys with his The Pro-war Libertarian Quiz:How far are you willing to go to win the War on Terror?. There's is a element of cognitive dissonance run amok in the pro-war libertarian agenda: They are so, so angry at the Bushies for taking steps to resrict our civil libertaies, as though the Patriot Act, etc. has nothing to do the war. They are so, so pissed off at rising spending by the federal government,etc., as though that has nothing to do with increasing defense spending, that is, the war. They are so, so frustrated with growing protectionisn, "isolationism,' etc., as though that doesn't reflect the nationalist fervor unleashed by the Bush/the war (see Dubai port fiasco). It seems to me that some of these war-libertarians, not unlike the war-liberals on the left assume that you can launch a major global war without increasing the power of the government, without restricting civil rights and without giving birth to all the ugly phenomena (Abu Gharib, for example) that result from wars. You don't have to be a pacifist to consider the harmful effects of wars. Sometimes you have to do to war to protect yourself and your country. But libertarians and liberals should be the first to insist that, indeed, going to war should be the last resort and be utilized only when all other options were exhausted.

1 comment:

Jim Henley said...

I so spent three years trying to make this point before I gave up. Of course, you, er, experienced libertarians were at it before there was even a political blogosphere to speak of.