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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

So much for the "liberty" in Libertarian...

One thing that upsets me greatly is how formerly Libertarian organizations like the Cato Institute and Reason Magazine/The Reason Foundation have gotten into bed with the Religious Right. One need only look at MediaTransparency.Org to find ample evidence that these groups are being funded by some serious foes of liberty. Folks like the Scaife Foundation, the Olin Foundation and many other scary folks. These are people who want nothing more than a Christian Taliban Nation to replace the free society envisioned by the Founders.

They have no common cause with the principles the Libertarian Party was officially founded on and which these organizations originally held dear. The Neocon/Reagan/Bush school of "conservatism" does not want government out of boardrooms and bedrooms. They want government in cahoots with business, and they want to control the private lives of individuals. This is not what the Founders wanted. It's what the Puritans wanted, and the Puritan philosophy was wholly at odds with the philosophy of Jefferson and the other Founders.

The Puritans wanted religious authorities to be in control of the Nation and religious law as the law of the land. The Founders wanted a secular government that protected the rights of both religious majorities and religious minorities and even those (like Ethan Allen and Thomas Paine) who rejected religion entirely. The economy of the Puritans was that of Mercantilism, which is completely at odds with the Laissez-faire economics espoused by the Founders and by Libertarians. (I have my own problems with Laissez-faire, but I would rather not digress here to explain them now.)

How could this have happened? Who knows. The fact that only a few voices have been raised against this sellout, and their voices were heard too late to make any difference. I suppose they saw the "wave of the future" cresting and wanted a ride. [sigh]

(Good to see that Wikipedia is back up after yesterday's power failure-caused crash.)