06 March 2009

Neolibertarianism vs. Neoconservativism

by Maverick W.



I am sure, many of you in the Ron Paul crowd who read my last post are thinking "THE NEOCONS INVADED LIBERTARIANISM! *gasping and crying* HELP ME RON PAUL!". But no, they didn't. We are NOT neocons. And here's why:

I am going to explain to you how we neolibertarians differ from neoconservatives on foreign policy.

The neocon stance is, after militarily defeating a dictatorship, the best option is to proceed into Clinton-esque nation building. This is another main part of neolibertarianism where we vastly oppose neocons. The better option is, once a regime is defeated to instead allow the capitalist system to operate after a military victory. If capitalism is allowed to operate, the former subjects of the militarily defeated governments will naturally arrange governments (whatever the form) which are, if only out of political expediency, more friendly to their subjects' new found economic freedoms and therefore much less likely to jeopardize the benefits which capitalism offers. This is "Classical liberal regime change" or "Laissez-faire regime change", not the ill conducted nation building associated with "Democratic regime change".

That is the difference, no nation building or real influence except for allowing the ability for capitalism to take effect. I ask libertarians, you like capitalism right? Classical liberalism creates free and prosperous societies right? So what's wrong with letting a previously authoritarian country become capitalist? The other difference is that neocons choose security over liberty most of time. We do not. But (isolationist) libertarians always choose liberty over security, putting that liberty in danger of being taken away. Neolibertarians believe that the choice between the two is a false one. They are inseparable and must be balanced so that one may help maintain the other. That is another unique feature of neolibertarianism.

This is why neolibertarianism is a better, more effective form of libertarianism. We are for limited classical liberal domestic government, but are also for a robust, capable and innovative military/foreign policy. I call this Vegrandis domi , grandis in urbs. (Small at home, great in town.) Neocons are essentially, interventionist Democrats who left for the Republicans (hence "neo or new conservative") during the 60's. Neocons are more for this mobster like mentality of beating enemies into submission and then "lending" one thousand bucks to them so they'll be our friends and become an asset in the future (and the latter part is an assumption). 

Neolibertarians are sometimes unfairly considered just another form of conservatism. This is a half-truth. I absolutely can't stand social conservatives of the GOP, and I vigorously disagree with modern liberals, progressives and social democrats of the Dems. The Third Way adherents are much more reasonable, but still I disagree with them. But I really just don't understand the head in the sand, lock down the hut, let no one out and let no one in mentality of radical "libertarians". I feel since 9/11, the libertarian movement is really not all that libertarian anymore. They've basically been hijacked by anarchist bloc members posing as "libertarians", which is ironic because that is what neocons did in the 60's to the GOP. True libertarians are not for anarchy, for anarchy has no law, and with out law, there can be no freedom. The best form of government libertarians should shoot for is a republic, a constitutionally-based federal republic specifically. Not an isolationist one though, or what I call a "porcupine state", but an armed republic. It would a very strong republic indeed. But alas, she is not an empire or authoritarian state, you see it still retains its republicanism (not talking about the GOP stupid, look up the damn term) and free society status. You see, an armed republic is essentially this (I'll start talking like a dictionary now): a  neolibertarian concept of libertarian or classical liberal government advocating a constitutionally-based federal republic that has very large, innovative, capable and robust military, homeland security, and intelligence forces at its disposal for defense and pro-active actions against threats to said country's citizens, its interests, or foreign allies and civilians. Domestically it advocates extremely small or no intrusion into personal or economic rights of law-abiding citizens, though if military or security threats arise domestically, it stresses the exhausted use of law enforcement and homeland security forces against said threats before resorting to military action. It does not advocate an authoritarian state or empire, in contrast, it advocates an anti-thesis of all forms of authoritarianism and stresses the use of force against threats against economic, personal, religious, and political freedoms. An armed republic also advocates the maximizing of the country's constitution and civil liberties of the country's people while upholding all national security objectives at the same time. Economically it stresses less government control and more laissez-faire capitalism. Socially, it stresses rugged individualism and an upholding personal and religious rights and liberties. An armed republic in my opinion is not only the neolibertarian dream, but the Founding Father's dream for America. Not a country which likes to go to war, but goes to war so that peace AND freedom shall come through. I am sure no fellow neolib enjoys or gets excited at the possibility of our men and women dying in the battle field, it is truly an unbearable and sad price of our freedom and we wish there was another way. But alas, there is no other method to obtain freedom sometimes. There was a 60's hippie saying "Better red than dead", and now some anti-war and even our fellow libertarians are saying "Better Saddam than dead". Well let's be clear, what does "red" and "Saddam" really mean? It means slavery and oppression. So let's ask our fellow libertarians with anti-war tendencies, why better slavery than dead? I thought you were against slavery, against totalitarianism? Don't most anti-war or "pure" libertarians always chant the slogan of our founding fathers "Give me liberty or give me death!"? Well why the inconsistency? I feel these "pure" libertarians are redundant to the constitutional federal republic of what true libertarianism endorses. I feel they are populists at best and not libertarians. But that is the essence of what neolibertarianism hopes to build, and neolibertarianism is what the soul core of what true libertarianism is; the fact that liberty shall reign not only in America, but throughout the whole world. We are glad that people in America still have the power and freedom to be obviously and grossly wrong. So by proxy, "pure" (populist) libertarians prove themselves wrong everyday on the issue of national security. The fact that they are still talking and protesting are the fruits of our service men and women's labor. So in conclusion - yes, we neolibertarians have our similarities with neoconservatives and even neoliberals, but our vast differences can only be shown in actual practice, which has not yet been done.

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