L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 223, May 11, 2003
Special to TLE
Despite the fact that the city in which I live is under a carpet of snow, technically it is springtime in the northern hemisphere. This is the time of year when one prepares for summer by cleaning the house and the garage, doing the lawn work (or shovelling snow here in Alberta), et cetera. But you already knew all that. What you may not have realised is this: the Libertarian movement needs to do some cleaning up of its own, or it will choke on its own debris.
Like any other living organism, a political movement must shed old skin and cast off waste byproducts in order to grow and thrive. Libertarianism is no exception. In spite of the recent blundering stupidity of the US imperial state (and other states), we have not made the kind of progress one might have expected. There is a reason for this: we are carting around a lot of excess baggage and trash. People need to know clearly what we stand for, and what we stand against before we can make a coherent, cogent presentation to the citizens of the world.
To this end, we need to rid ourselves of any and all associations with anarchists, xenophobes, nationalists, warmongers and various other statist fifth columnists, even though some are our personal friends. I'm sorry, but it's time to expose, denounce and run them off. Never shy (or sensitive), I'll start:
Anarchists. I sparked a mild controversy last year when I pointed out that right-wing anarchy is no more a "solution" to statism than is its evil twin, left-wing anarchy. Both embrace the Almighty State for their own ends (the lefties to force socialism on us, the righties to force their racial purity schemes); both only talk against the State; both will actively work against Libertarianism. ("Libertarians' minimal government will inevitably grow into the Super State, so we must stop them before they can re-institute it!" As if a) a Libertarian minarchy would not be a massive improvement, and b) Libertarians were not presently fighting to bring down the Imperial State, and c) any collective activity is inherently evil, and d) anarchists had any concept of historical processes anyway.)
Xenophobes and nationalists. Otherwise known as racists, although they now deny being anything so unfashionable. The plain fact is that Liberty is the birthright of all people and that true Libertarians are not the least concerned with the ethnicity of any other Libertarians (or anybody else, for that matter). The current phenomenon of them thar dang furriners a-floodin inta the good ole yew ess of ay and eatin up all the welfare is, as any student of history knows, a direct result of imperialism. It always happens that those who have been dispossessed by an empire in their homelands are drawn to the imperial homeland in search of the economic opportunities which it has siphoned from the colonies.
The delightful irony of this is that them thar Mexican furriners who incur most of this racist wrath are "invading" the Mexican states of Alta California, Texas, Nuevo Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada which the US empire confiscated in the unprovoked wars of aggression against the (then newborn) country of Mexico. Even funnier is listening to these sophisticates attempting to pronounce the names of the places in which they live; being gringos, they are unable to do so, of course.
The nationalists see the non-white Mexican hordes as being a threat to their insipid, even oxymoronic "American culture". That famous American haute cuisine, the literary wealth of the comic book, the brilliant melodic compositions of rap, hip-hop and heavy metal are all, apparently, precariously tottering on the edge of The Chasm Of Oblivion. I am at a loss to see how that could be a loss.
Of course, the only way to protect Thuh Amurrican Whey of Lyfe from this menace is to bring the US Army home to patrol the (southern) border! It goes without saying that a massive Customs and Immigration bureaucracy must be maintained, if not expanded, in this noble endeavour, too. And a standing army in peacetime is somehow a good idea, too? How "anti-state" is all this?!
The plain truth is that Libertarians oppose any and all restrictions on the free movement of peaceful people across any State's supposed "borders". Besides, people don't go where there aren't jobs, and employment-seeking migration is a key element of a truly free market. The myth of "illegals on welfare" is constantly dredged up by the racists within our ranks despite the fact that all Libertarians advocate the dismantling of all forms of State welfare. This is either unknown to the xenophobes or else they suffer from selective CRS syndrome. Either way, they're just plain bigots.
Warmongers. The only warfare which Libertarians endorse is strict self-defence. There is no such thing as a "pro-war libertarian". It doesn't exist. Period. This will be on the exam, students, so I hope you took notes.
The fact that there are various anti-Libertarian elements posturing and claiming to be "libertarian" is not cause to fear confronting them; on the contrary, it makes it imperative that we do so. We cannot hope to convince others of a philosophy that appears to encompass its own foes, or that is too timid to evict philosophical squatters.
We need to set our own house in order before we can have an open house for our neighbours. Only then can we be successful in promoting...
...Peace and Liberty.