Patri Friedman, noted ex-polyamorist and Seasteading pitchman, has taken an interest in creating a ‘politically correct’ neoreaction.
Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will
sooner or later become left-wing.
This has been evoked regularly on Twitter and elsewhere with reference to libertarians, who themselves have been infested by essentially left wing thinkers of various kinds. Part of this owes to the character and works of Murray Rothbard, who is libertarianism embodied in all of its aspects, good, bad, and ugly.
As retold by Stephan Kinsella, the word ‘libertarian’ dates only back to the 1950s and 60s, as Leonard Read and Rothbard tussled with each other for leadership of what remained of the classical liberal remnant after World War II.
The muddled nature of libertarianism today owes to the muddled nature of its beginnings in excerpt from an article by Dean Russell:
Here is a suggestion: Let those of us who love liberty trademark and reserve for our own use the good and honorable word “libertarian.” Webster’s New International Dictionary defines a libertarian as “One who holds to the doctrine of free will; also, one who upholds the principles of liberty, esp. individual liberty of thought and action.”
Russell, with a boy’s innocence, attempts to unite liberals, conservatives, and classical liberals under the same umbrella. While he stated overt opposition to leftism, the simplistic formulation of the ideology left open the entrances to anyone who could figure out the clever rhetorical crannies into which leftism could sneak into.
Rothbard himself allied with the new left during the 1960s, establishing a journal called ‘Right and Left.’ This strategy ultimately failed, because the left is insane and evil:
“To put it bluntly, the convention was a disaster. As Rothbard feared, many of the SDS libertarians were infected with extreme left- ism. One of the left-wing libertarians denounced “all academic economists” and the wearing of neckties as great evils which the libertarian movement should focus on destroying.”
It’s for this reason that Hoppe hews to the later Rothbard, in advocating for explicit rightism, to the exclusion of the leftists. It’s because, by bitter experience, his teacher taught him that the original formulation of ‘libertarian’ was doomed to incoherence and neutralization by the left.
This is rather serious. John Payne recounts
“Former Barry Goldwater speechwriter Karl Hess, who had been converted to anarcho-capitalism by “Confessions of a Right-Wing Liberal” and conversations with Rothbard, but had drifted toward anarcho-socialism in the interceding year, sealed the conference’s fate when he spoke on Saturday night. Wearing Fidel Castro-style battle fatigues and a Wobblie pin adorning his hat, Hess roared out to the audience, “There is no neutral ground in a revolution. . . . You’re either on one side of the barricade or the other.” He proceeded to implore the crowd to join him in a scheduled anti-war march on Fort Dix the following day.”
Truly, there’s little that’s new in history.
Considering that libertarianism isn’t even a century old, and that it became subverted within its first two decades of existence, it’s sensible to avoid going down the same permissive & disorderly path that it did, to avoid suffering the same fate in the same manner.
The promiscuity of ‘libertarian’ as a term, and the promiscuous nature of many of its institutions, give it something a lot like Human Immunodeficiency Virus, but for an ideology. This is the case for all ideologies permissive to leftism, and to all ideologies that appeal to the leftist psychology, defined as it is by ressentiment, which popular followers of libertarianism are prone to (as criticized frequently by Hoppe).
The solution to this is to not hop onto any leftward social trend that appears merely because it’s both growing fast and dislikes the current government. Discriminating against people that would create a kinder, gentler, more politically-correct neoreaction doesn’t mean destroying them — just ensuring institutional separation and clarity of language.