Libertarian Leninism: Learning From Our Enemies

By Libertarianism

Something that Libertarians often fail to do is to learn from our enemies. It is unquestionable that many different ideologies have had much greater success in the 20th century than libertarianism or classical liberalism. No matter how repressive these ideologies may be, it’s worth studying their strategies for getting into power. Libertarians love to talk about ideas but when it comes to making a plan for their implementation well… let’s be honest guys: As a movement we suffer from a chronic passivity or in some cases an outright disinterest in victory. At some point we’re going to have to decide if we want to keep arguing about whether beekeeping violates the NAP for the rest of our lives or we want to actually win. Murray Rothbard, one of the founders of modern libertarian thought saw this problem even in his time and addressed it. Rothbard had a name for the unfortunate tendency a lot of us have to focus solely on spreading the good word: Educationism.

There’s nothing wrong with making arguments, in fact it’s an essential part of winning, but not all arguments are created equal, and not everyone is worth the argument. Our enemies understand this, as did Rothbard. He called on Libertarians to be “Ideological Entrepreneurs” in the vein of Vladimir Lenin, that is, political activists willing to mold their tactics to the situation at hand. Just as entrepreneurship is ultimately an art and not a science that can be learned by rote, so ideological tactics, the findings of the right path at the right time, is an entrepreneurial art at which some people will be better than others. Ludwig von Mises’ insight that timing is the essence of entrepreneurship, and that some people are more able at such timing and insight than others, applies to ideological as well as economic entrepreneurship.


Categories: Activism, Strategy

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