L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 188, August 26, 2002
Special to TLE
Among libertarians, there are paleo-s, neo-s, and anarcho-s and other
less cheery-os. But what about us meso's?
9/11 has reopened the cracks among conservatives and libertarians and
within these groups. But for myself, I don't feel I fully fit in to
the cracks that exist. I'm in the middle somewhere, a "meso" I guess,
which is yet another crack that may be out there.
And so I toss the concept of "mesolibertarian" into the crack pot.
What do I think a mesolibertarian is? I suggest the following:
- a libertarian who believes in national self-defense, yet is fiercely
frightened of the Imperial War Party, like the paleos are, and the
neos aren't, but also isn't in mental bed with the xenophobic
paleocons who think immigration is a melanin-fueled menace,
threatening the integrity of a mystical point on a compass ("the
West")? (Does one really have to be pale to be paleo?)
- a libertarian who thinks that immigration is the ordinary market
action of people looking for better opportunity, and not
multiculturalism run wild? But who additionally isn't in mental bed
with those who think all nation-state existence and border control is
- a libertarian who is comfortable and at home with his/her society,
and even its patriotic trappings, without endorsing its collectivist
prejudices, statist tendencies, and government overreach -- as the
paleos can, the neos do, and the anarchos won't?
- a libertarian who believes that working within the system is as
important as working outside and that there are merits to traditional
laws and procedures that ought to be used and even respected -- as the
paleos often do, the neos usually do and the anarchos don't?
- a libertarian who is nonetheless perfectly comfortable with the
ultimate radical abolition of historic state institutions like public
education, income taxation, and with the creation of experimental
communities -- as anarchos are, paleos can be, and neos mute?
- a libertarian who can accept that Americans, Europeans, Israelis,
and even white people generally, have often acted as the bad guys but
without endorsing lefty political correctness about the intrinsic evil
of America, "dead white men", or "Western Civilization." This is
something the anarchos have trouble fully doing, that the paleos can
sometimes do when the conservatives aren't looking, and that the neos
- a libertarian who thinks Lincoln did great enduring evil but doesn't
feel a need to point it out by lionizing the racist Confederate slave
state, a lionization paleos are prone to?
- a libertarian who doesn't feel that in order to be considered a
libertarian it matters if one is an atheist, a theist, an Objectivist,
an LPer, an Evangelical, a Scientologist, etc.?
If meso's exist, do we meso's have a Justin Raimondo, a Jacob Sullum,
a von Mises Institute....?
Do we exist at all?
And have we a home?
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