Posts tagged Anthony Gregory

Self-described libertarians

Thanks for the mention, and for the kind words. I agree about the tone of that OC Weekly article. It’s kind of baffling, because the analysis is actually so much better than the analysis in most abusive-cop pieces, but the tone comes off as if it were written by a fugitive from a direct-to-video American Pie script.

As for self-described libertarians, what I’ve found is that they (we) are a pretty diverse lot. A lot are tools or creeps, and especially those “small government” types whose views are conventional enough to fit into the outer fringes of mainstream political discourse. But, while I don’t want much to do with those folks, radical libertarians tend to be a very different sort, and those that I get along with and try to learn from (e.g. Roderick Long, Kevin Carson, Jennifer McKitrick, Carol Moore, Anthony Gregory, Sheldon Richman, Brad Spangler ….) are generally maneuvering to out-Lef the establishment Left, in terms of exposing the class dynamics of the State and making a case for radically decentralist, grassroots approaches that achieve Leftist and feminist goals by ordinary people getting together amongst themselves, and bypassing or confronting the State, rather than collaborating with it or trying to seize control of it. Maybe that approach is the right approach, and maybe it’s the wrong approach; but in any case it’s a very different approach from the one that you’d be likely to see from the “small-government conservative” types, or at your local Libertarian Party, or in your average MeetUp for Chairman Ron’s Great Libertarian Electoral Revolution. And it’s an approach that more libertarians seem to be adopting lately; a tendency which I hope I might be able to encourage, in whatever small ways I can manage.

Anyway, that’s how I see it now. Does that help clarify, or does it muddy?

Re: The Mote That Is In Thy Brother’s Eye


Well, then it definitely sounds like electoral mission creep to me. “Well, we got in here to do A, but that failed, so let’s stay in here and do B instead.” Again, perhaps it’s time to cut your losses and find a better strategy, rather than just keeping in electoral politics because that’s where you started out?


I’m glad that Ron Paul and his boosters have gotten people excited about libertarian ideas. I wish that there had been more thought (especially by the boosters, since I take it that Ron Paul was busy doing other things) put into what to do with all these excited, activated people after the close of the campaign. I don’t think there has been much thought about that, and to the extent that there hasn’t been, that means that a lot of time and energy and tens of millions of dollars are going to go straight down the toilet, as the Paulitarians either burn out and wander away, what with the end of their groups’ raison d’etre, or else pitch themselves into the next “educational” failing electoral campaign, either as marginalized Republicans or as members of the LP. A project like “transforming the Republican Party” is more or less guaranteed to be a tar-baby for this putative “Revolution.”

I predict that, unless something quite unusual happens over the next couple of months, in the direction of redirecting former Paulitarians toward some other concrete project outside of electoral politics, then, four years from today, Ron Paul’s campaign will have made no more difference to the political consensus than Howard Dean’s in 2004, or Pat Buchanan’s in 1992.

Re: Running for President… not for God


Suppose that Prez Ron Paul decided — as Harry Browne, for example, promised to do when he ran on the LP ticket — to issue blanket presidential pardons to all nonviolent drug offenders in the United States, including both those in federal and those in state custody. In one sense, this action wouldn’t increase the net extraction of taxes against anybody (it would dramatically reduce spending by both state and federal government). But then, neither would the action of declaring all local government schools abolished. In some other sense, both actions would make use of some non-zero amount of tax money — to pay for the paper and the pens and the administrative costs of notifying the prison and so on — but that money would have been extracted whether it was used to pay for one thing or for the other thing, and neither nullifying drug laws through blanket pardons nor declaring local government schools abolished would directly increase the amount of taxes extracted in the future, either. (In fact, both actions would stand some small chance of indirectly decreasing the level of taxation.)

That said, would you make a similar argument to the effect that if even one taxpayer objected to releasing nonviolent drug offenders from state prisons, the nullification-through-blanket pardon would (1) have an identifiable victim, and (2) victimize that victim in such a way as to be fairly characterized as “an astonishing act of centralized tyranny”? If so, why? If not, what’s the difference between the one case and the other?