Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Libertarian Alliance goes the way of Egypt...

... with crowds of Samizdata bloggers calling for the head of the Dictator Sean Gabb. Or something like that. It seems Brother Number 2 has jumped ship, and all his pals are busy painting the Gabbmeister as some kind of crypo-Hitlerite, all because he suggested stringing up Blair. I, for one, shall not be casting the first stone for that.

It's difficult to get involved when you don't know the people. I attended the last couple of events they held at the National Liberal Club, and found them very enjoyable and worthwhile. The criticisms of Sean Gabb seem largely fatuous, along the lines of "Sean's saying things which will make us look crazy and dangerous, when all we crave is respectability." Well, if the dividing line is between free-roaming libertarians and those who seek domestication, to curl up on the lap of the established centrist-statist-right, I won't have to ponder which way I'll be jumping, and if Samizdata are on one side, all the more reason to take the other. That said, I don't really know what the deal is, and it would be better all round to sort out such things in private.


will said...

im relatively new to all this (about 6months). i subscribe to both samizdata and the la blog among many others.

"the dividing line is between free-roaming libertarians and those who seek domestication, to curl up on the lap of the established centrist-statist-right"

i think thats a very valid point. i feel libertarianism to be something new beyond the old paradigm. parliamentary politics, democracy, and even statism itself come in for criticism by some libertarians (, lew rockwell etc). however there are, as you say, some libertarians still clinging to the old model - craving mainstream media appearances and entry to the established powers that be even if it means compromising their ideology to gain that acceptance.

mind you im an anarchist so my comments are rarely welcome at either samizdata or the la blog.

Trooper Thompson said...


you're always welcome to bring an anarchist perspective here. Libertarianism, as far as I see, is made up of anarchists and minarchists, and as long as they can agree the basic principles of self-ownership, private property, non-aggression and whatever else is fundamental, then the divisions between them should not cause any great strife, until such a happy time as we have a minarchist state, at which point the division becomes relevant.

There is every reason to conduct a vigorous debate between different economic and philosophical perspectives. This can give libertarianism strength and depth, if there is sincerity and loyalty to the cause at the core. Even when people agree on principles, there will always be massive differences over tactics and strategy. Also, if I look at myself, or if I go back and read things I wrote two years ago, I find my opinions change and develop, hopefully due to an expansion of knowledge, rather than a wandering of attention.

As for the case in point, it's hard to know to what degree it is all down to personalities. I hope the LA sorts itself out. The libertarian benefits from having an array of different organisations. The last thing we need is for those organisations to turn on each other.

Captain Ranty said...


I noticed quite a few negative comments (about Sean) when he said that they might want to keep an eye on my lot (Freemen).

Some were quite astounded that a bunch of loonies using the law against the law (if you catch my drift) could ever be thought of as vaguely libertarian.

I wouldn't expect anyone or any group to simply agree outright with the Freeman movement or Lawful Rebellion but their instant dismissal of what amounts to many thousands of hours of research was a little staggering to me.

Like you, I hope the wounds heal fast. We need, now more than ever, an active and vocal Libertarian Party.


Trooper Thompson said...


yeah, that's what I note; a lot of 'don't frighten the horses, we're just becoming respectable'.

There may be some valid political points on both sides, I don't know, but surely it could have been sorted out amicably.

Captain Ranty said...

Very true.

We have more uniting us than we do dividing us. (I think I just butchered someone's well known phrase there).