"Something's going on in America this election year: a renaissance of an ideal as old as the nation itself — that live-and-let-live, get-out-of-my-business, individualism vs. paternalism dogma that is the hallmark of libertarianism." [AP]
That phrase highlights the growing appeal of the libertarian movement in this country. Time and time again Libertarians and those with libertarian tendencies have beguiled voters to join the pop fad of this new "revolution". Drawing upon the nostalgic imagery of brave colonists rising up against an oppressive monarchy droves of frustrated citizens have enlisted in this new movement. But what truly are the roots of Libertarianism toward which so many are being seduced to run?
As is well known, anarchists use the terms “libertarian”, “libertarian socialist” and “libertarian communist” as equivalent to “anarchist” and, similarly, “libertarian socialism” or “libertarian communism” as an alternative for “anarchism.”
Unfortunately, in the United States the term “libertarian” has become, since the 1970s, associated with the right-wing, i.e., supporters of “free-market” capitalism. That defenders of the hierarchy associated with private property seek to associate the term “libertarian” for their authoritarian system is both unfortunate and somewhat unbelievable to any genuine libertarian. Equally unfortunately, thanks to the power of money and the relative small size of the anarchist movement in America, this appropriation of the term has become, to a large extent, the default meaning there.
As Murray Bookchin noted, “libertarian” was “a term created by nineteenth-century European anarchists, not by contemporary American right-wing proprietarians.” [The Ecology of Freedom, p. 57]
The 1920s saw communist-anarchist Bartolomeo Vanzetti argue that:
"After all we are socialists as the social-democrats, the socialists, the communists, and the I.W.W. are all Socialists. The difference - the fundamental one - between us and all the other is that they are authoritarian while we are libertarian; they believe in a State or Government of their own; we believe in no State or Government." [Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, The Letters of Sacco and Vanzetti, p. 274] [Anarchist Writers]
So you like the idea of being a libertarian? You like the notion of little or no government? You jump in with both feet when libertarian candidates seek office?
Have you stopped to think who might be behind this movement? Perhaps you should.
It would be my guess that very few seductions begin with the line "How about I get you pregnant and then leave you to fend for yourself?" Something much more appealing usually precedes the abandonment of reason and politics is not much different.
Can't say I didn't try to warn you.