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 Libertarians Have Almost Nothing In Common With the Alt-Right

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PostSubject: Libertarians Have Almost Nothing In Common With the Alt-Right   Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:33 pm

At Smith College, academic Loretta Ross recently gave a talk on, “Connections Between Far Right, Religious Right, Economic Conservatives, Libertarians, and Traditional Bigotry.” Ross is just the latest example of writers and academics who mistakenly conflate libertarianism and the alt-right.

Recently, the Washington Post argued that libertarianism embraces the alt-right. Author John Ganz argued that the “intellectual wasteland” of libertarianism accepts everyone from professional troll Milo Yiannopoulos to white nationalist Richard Spencer, and since libertarianism primarily cares about self-interest, it offers an intellectual “safe space for fascists.”

Ganz gets a couple of things right: a small subset of libertarians did once develop a strategy designed to appeal to racists. Political philosopher Murray Rothbard and writer Lew Rockwell, two associates of former Congressman Ron Paul, cooked up this strategy in the ‘90s, resulting in the ghost-written Ron Paul newsletters.

What Ganz misses is that movements evolve. That’s not unique to libertarians: twenty years can change a lot about any political group. Ask modern Democrats how they feel about Bill Clinton’s 1996 presidential platform, which bemoaned that “Criminal immigrants, deported after committing crimes in America, returned the very next day to commit crimes again.” Or Hillary Clinton’s 1996 dog whistling, where she called black teenagers “superpredators” and championed a tough on crime bill to bring them “to heel.”

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/10/libertarians-have-almost-nothing-in-common-with-the-alt-right/
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