01 March 2009

Off track for a moment: Neolibertarianism

by Maverick W.


Today I am not talking about Modern Whigs, Bush, or Obama foreign policy. No, today I am talking about another one of my ideologies: Neolibertarianism

First let's define it, the people at QandO.net define it as the following:

  • Pragmatic libertarian; Hawk or strong on defense
  • Hobbesian libertarian <-- Incorrect
  • Big-Tent libertarian

I'd like to contest we Neolibtertarians are not Hobbesian in any way; the people at www.neo-libertarian.com define this part differently. Instead this is what they describe it as, and this following description is what I accept Neolibertarianism to be:

  • Pragmatic libertarian; Hawk or strong on defense
  • Lockean libertarian <-- Correct
  • Big-Tent libertarian

That's right, good ol' John Locke. The father of classical liberalism, and inspiration for the founding fathers, and philosopher of freedom. That is who we champion.

Now the following is a doctrine most Neolibertarians abide by:

When given a set of policy choices,

  • The choice that maximizes personal liberty is the best choice.
  • The policy choice that offers the least amount of necessary government intervention or regulation is the best choice.
  • The policy choice that provides rational, market-based incentives is the best choice.

In foreign policy, neolibertartianism would be characterized by,

  • A policy of diplomacy that promotes consensual government and human rights and opposes dictatorship.
  • A policy of using US military force solely at the discretion of the US, but only in circumstances where American interests are directly affected.

Now the next thing I'd like to touch on is the symbol for Neolibertarianism. Many Neolibertarians, much like the regular libertarians, use Lady Liberty. I suggest we Neolibertarians divert from this and be a little different. I suggest the Statue of Freedom or Armed Freedom. She is a great candidate for the face of Neolibertarianism and is a majestic symbol of Locke's novel idea: Freedom. It's right in her name for god sake's! You can take a good gander at her above.

The word "neolibertarian" has actually begun to take a shift in meaning since 9/11. In the pre-9/11 world it meant a libertarian who embraced incrementalism (still does) and aligned themselves with the New Left movement of the Vietnam era. While the paleolibertarians held no compromise attitudes and pushed for an alliance with paleoconservatives.

Today, in this post-9/11 world, a Neolibertarian is someone who embraces incrementalism, but favors a more interventionist foreign policy, pro-war on terror, and extremely hawkish when it comes to national security. Paleolibertarians though, haven't really changed in the past years.

When I was still a Republican, I was apart of two main factions; South Park Republicans and the Nation Security-oriented group. The South Park Reps were the young, libertarian associated bunch of the GOP, and the NatSec Reps were the defense hawks of GOP. These hawks often associated themselves with Neolibertarianism, as did I, and also as Senator John Warner displayed.

So that's what I'll be saying about Neolibertarianism so far, I'll be doing more on it soon. I will also be releasing an essay for a much needed neolibertarian corollary to the Bush Doctrine: Dirty Harry Corollary.

"[A]s every man has a power to punish the crime, to prevent its being committed again, by the right he has of preserving all mankind, and doing all reasonable things he can in order to that end: and thus it is, that every man, in the state of nature, has a power to kill a murderer, both to deter others from doing the like injury, which no reparation can compensate, by the example of the punishment that attends it from every body, and also to secure men from the attempts of a criminal, who having renounced reason, the common rule and measure God hath given to mankind, hath, by the unjust violence and slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared war against all mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a lion or a tyger, one of those wild savage beasts, with whom men can have no society nor security..." -John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government