Many were surprised Donald Trump could be taken seriously as a candidate–could win over so many people. What will be the next political horror to surprise us? How about the fact that *libertarians* are now being taken more seriously because they got a tiny little increase of support in reaction to Trump? Their candidates are being covered on CNN. But the only thing libertarians actually have going for them is the word “liberty”–which for libertarians actually means liberty for whoever controls the marketplace–and their general, theoretical opposition to war. I can appreciate people desperately supporting a party supposedly opposed to going to war. But it’s just as much a mistake as succumbing to Trump’s appealing simplicity.
Libertarians are isolationist, and they don’t want taxes and war induces taxation to pay for it so they’re “against war”. However–if there was a resurgence of communism threatening their business interests, you’d probably see libertarians calling out for an “exception”: a war for…liberty. Libertarianism is the right masquerading as the left.
Like Trump, libertarians have the attraction of being a simple answer. With Trump it’s, “just trust Trump, turn it over to him, he’ll fix it, and, don’t forget, he despises dark skinned foreigners”. With the libertarians it’s, “the unregulated free market will solve all problems, trust us, and by the way we’re against war and we’re all for marijuana”. (Never mind that marijuana is already being legalized in state after state, no thanks to libertarians.)
When libertarians are losing an argument–eg when you point out that real economic science and history demonstrate that regulations and reasonable taxation and federal economic stimulus all are shown to promote prosperity–they call you a *statist*. They don’t actually call for no state at all, as real anarchists at least have the balls to do. They call for libertarian government–and, inexplicably, the libertarian government is supposedly not a *state*. Only, of course, it would be a state. It would be a shitty, polluting state ceding control to corporate power. But it would still be a state.
And when did *state* in itself become pejorative? To pretend *state* is a pejorative, insulting term is poor usage–and it is childish. It’s early adolescent, really. And that, actually, is a state, so to speak, that has always gone with libertarianism. It’s the jeering, childish, “just because” political theory.