As much as I criticize it, I’m actually glad to see the rather significant growth of the different anarchist, libertarian, and overlapping tendencies in recent years even if most of them are still at the training wheels phase. It used to be much worse. When I started this, there were maybe half a dozen anarchist fan mags that came out semi-regularly in North America. If they could manage to consistently publish three or four issues a year on a semi-regular schedule (February, June, August, December) it was considered an accomplishment. The most popular was a pro-pedophile situationist primitivist (yes, you read that right) mag from St Louis. There was another primmie zine from the Detroit area, a couple of old guard syndicalist mags that looked like they were printed in 1910, another published by a feminazi group that used to bomb porno bookstores, and another hard-left Weathermen-like paper with a “womyn and people of color against Amerikkka” orientation (led by a guy who later tried to turn them into a Maoist group from what I’m told). There were also some occasional newsletters published by equally deranged individuals.
The Libertarian Party was around back then but was arguably even less important than it is today. Other than that, libertarianism was two monthly magazines, a few small think thanks no one had ever heard of, and a few newsletters promoting crank economic theories.
I guess the main criticism I have all of the different libertarian undercurrents that exist today is that most of them don’t seem to be any different from mainstream politics. They seem to spend much of their time arguing about the same shit Democrats and Republicans argue about: the “who’s most oppressed?” pissing contest, which arcane economic theory is best, whether or not gay folks should get married, whether climate change is real, etc. Many if not most right-leaning libertarians often sound the same as Republicans: “What’s really wrong with the state is that is gives food stamps and housing vouchers to poor people and marriage licenses to queers.” Those are actually the least important things libertarians need to worry about. Many if not most left-leaning libertarians sound more or less like any ordinary “progressive”: “Your rights end where my feelings begin, and while the state is a threat to liberty, much more important is the imminent danger of Bible thumping gay-haters and grubby rednecks with retrograde views of black folks and Mexicans.” As if theocratic Christians and rednecks are the most powerful groups in society.
For libertarianism/anarchism/whatever to matter politically, there still needs to be many more of us than there are now, obviously. Plus, we need much better organization, a better focus, more clearly defined goals, better leaders, a more thorough critique of the existing societies and civilization, better spokespeople, more mentally and emotionally stable leaders and organizers, more emphasis on specific strategic and tactical aims, a more realistic assessment of prospects and possibilities, a more reasonable and intelligent assessment of competing ideologies and movements, a greater emphasis on geopolitics and international issues, and a more rational hierarchy of priorities. LOL, a while back a left-anarchist friend suggested I try to distribute copies of my book as far and wide among anarchists as possible, but I really think most of them need to check out some very basic political theory (like Machiavelli’s “The Prince”) before they’re ready to tackle the stuff I write about.