Re-Reformed Leftist? The Liberaltarian Manifesto

According to this article, professed Reformed Leftist and Libertarian Paul Hue has as much reason to align himself with the lefty political thought he now despises as with the right-wing rhetoric he embraces.

The conservative movement--and, with it, the GOP--is in disarray. Specifically, the movement's "fusionist" alliance between traditionalists and libertarians appears, at long last, to be falling apart.

Libertarian disaffection should come as no surprise. Despite the GOP's rhetorical commitment to limited government, the actual record of unified Republican rule in Washington has been an unmitigated disaster from a libertarian perspective: runaway federal spending at a clip unmatched since Lyndon Johnson; the creation of a massive new prescription-drug entitlement with hardly any thought as to how to pay for it; expansion of federal control over education through the No Child Left Behind Act; a big run-up in farm subsidies; extremist assertions of executive power under cover of fighting terrorism; and, to top it all off, an atrociously bungled war in Iraq.

What about it, Paul? Any chance you'll be renaming the blog anytime soon??


Paul Hue said...

I heartily agree with that entire assessment, but I refute any notion that this would send libertarians over to the demo or lefty camp. If the demos and repos both lived up to their ideals, the repos would lie closer to people like me than the demos. When the demos create and expand massive programs, they are satisfying their ideals; when repos do this they are violating theirs.

The concept of nation-building does violate the republican / libertarian ideal, and I did buy into it. In Kurdish Iraq it worked, in Arab Iraq and all of Afghanistan it has failed. The attempt also included everything that libertarians would predict: a massive government operation must produce massive waste and inefficiency. Perhaps we may say that WWII and the US Civil War, when these efforts succeeded, the government had no choice, which is to say, the choice between its own extinction vs. launching a massive operation (replete with inefficiencies and waste).

In the case of responding to 911 I wondered from the start: Is this merely a case of some homicidal, super-superstitious lunatics getting lucky, and if so, is the best response NO response whatsoever, and the worse response a massive one... the more massive the worse? I believe that Bush and his people were genuine, and that they really believe that a critical mass of all people want freedom, that if presented a chance for freedom they will take it, and that a free Arabia would equate with a peaceful and prosperous Arabia, and one that produces the maximum amount of peace and wealth for the US. However, this view represents a linear progression, with each element standing on the other, and I see now that one element is flat wrong: all people do not possess a critical mass of individuals willing and eager to seize upon a chance for freedom and hold up their end of the couch.

I have maintained from the outset that I regarded the homeland and patriot acts as counter-productive and wastes of money and effort. That is a very libertarian view. This last election I voted all libertarian, depriving the repos of my vote. Of the two main parties, only the repos have any hypothetical capacity to win my vote, as only they officially embrace values such as:

1. Low and flat taxes.
2. School vouchers.
3. Immigration based on democratic laws, not on anarchy.
4. Privatized social security.
5. Small government.

Yes, the current repos have abandoned all these official goals. But the demos in addition to opposing these concepts do so within the context of fulfilling their stated aims.

Whereas the demo party comprises a dozen or more various otherwise unrelated factions, it seems to me that the repos comprise only two:

1. Moral christian conservatives, of which I am not one. These people advocate many things that I oppose: abortion ban, flag burning ban, govt inclusion of christianity, suicide ban, etc.

2. Govt conservatives, which includes me and Christopher Hitchens, tends to include the christian conservatives. These people want low and flat tax structure, laws that help businesses, no wage or price controls, few and small govt programs, etc.

Some unpublicized fraction of repo voters hold their noses about (1) and vote repo in order to get (2). If we wanted (1) more than (2) we would vote demo. The Iraq war divided (2), but it appears that division is shrinking as many of us in (2) have changed our minds from pro-war to anti-war.

Nadir said...

Why don't you back the Libertarian party?

Paul Hue said...

I voted straight libertarian in the last election.