James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Trashing Allies

Justin Raimondo, the libertarian hero of antiwar.com fame, also blogs at the paleoconservative site Taki's Top Drawer, and is disappointed that libertarian institutions Reason Magazine and the Cato Institute are so concerned with the right to drugs and porn, and almost completely silent on Iraq - the most pressing moral issue of our time. Raimondo writes, "Sometimes I wonder if I’m in the same movement as these people, who seem to have no moral sense—indeed, no sense at all."

Raimondo's post generated several responses from paleoconservatives who trashed libertarianism. A couple even somehow blamed the staunchly anti-war libertarians Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard for the same lack of moral sense Raimondo sees in Cato and Reason. I think it's more accurate to say that without the anti-State writings of Mises and Rothbard, paleoconservatism itself would be little more than a mishmash of old resentments and medieval theology. When paleos attack their libertarian allies, it is easy to remember why one would prefer the company of the supposed libertines at Reason and Cato over those who believe individual rights and freedoms should be subject to the prejudices of a local mob (under the guise of "law" or "tradition," of course).

(Okay, that was a cheap shot - in retaliation for paleo cheap shots on libertarians. I do admire many paleoconservatives and agree with them most of the time - and should expect that they respect libertarians the same way. After all, not everyone was born Southern Presbyterian or Latin Mass Catholic, and to even get to the point of rejecting the Yankee-Prussian-Imperial State and embracing libertarianism takes a good degree of personal courage and drains a lot of intellectual and emotional energy. Give us a break!)

One comment sticks out:
"I would suggest that immorality frees the will, so to speak, to rebel against the Law—that is against the Lawgiver: GOD; in doing so it brings about wars such as exists in Iraq."
If by "immorality" is meant sex, drugs, and rock & roll, and if the poster suggests that these in turn caused the Iraq War, I'd have to disagree. But if this means immorality in general, there's a point here. Considering the Mexican War, the "Civil" War, "winning the West," the Spanish-American War, and World War I, America has been been "immoral" and "Godless" for a very long time.

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