The Conquest of US Libertarianism by Culture Warriors

I don’t really consider myself to be part of mainstream US libertarianism (the axis of ideas influenced by Mises, Hayek, Friedman, Rand, and Rothbard) though I am a fellow traveler on a range of topics. But in recent years I have noticed that US libertarianism (the movement seems barely exist anywhere else) has become a microcosm of the wider culture war paradigm that dominates all of mainstream US politics, as the commentary below indicates.

By Mike Shipley

Look at video of the MAGA crowd crying for their fascist savior at Trump rallies. Watch Kyle Rittenhouse gunning down civil rights protestors in cold blood. Listen to Tom Woods and Dave Smith spewing neoconfederate talking points and calling it economics. Scroll the countless pages of Ron Paul selfies with paper white men who browbeat working class people to “learn economics” in libertarian social networks.

Feel the deep revulsion with which the general public has reacted to these political movements, and see it reflected in low single digit election results for the LP and a decisive victory for neoliberalism – NEOLIBERALISM!! – as preferable.
Then let this sink in: The Mises Caucus believes the problem with the LP is that it doesn’t cater to the far right hard enough. For them, the great missed opportunity is failing to make white supremacists, political evangelicals, and “entrepreneurs” whose only problem with capitalism is they don’t control the swamp feel welcome.
Yes, the exact same demographic that just lost by 6 million votes and thinks 5G towers are spreading coronavirus, which they also believe doesn’t exist. That is the constituency they’re mad at the LP for missing out on – the ones that will be immortalized for centuries to come when history books try to warn future generations how to survive a pandemic.
Does this sound like a winning strategy, either electorally or ideologically? I don’t think so either. Humanity can do better, FAR better than this, and if the vision of a world set free can truly offer that betterness than we must rise to the challenge of portraying that vision in all of its beauty.
Pandering to the ugliest, most twisted version possible is the path to defeat.

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