An anonymous commentor on my last post has criticised my anti-communist views and actions-saying that they are inconsistent with my libertarian philosophy.
He, or she, raises some points that deserve addressing.
Anon One of the issue is the means in which some libertarians are willing to allow or agree with, in order to bring about the end result, which is quite disturbing. Take the privatisation reformist dictator Pinochet for example and just how many people died due to his methods. How many libertarians wrongfully supported him and justified the bloodshed in their own minds as necessary to bring in the reforms.
Loudon I’m glad you brought up Pinochet. Generally reviled these days because of atrocities committed by troops under his command after he overthrew Socialist chilean president Salvador Allende in the early 1970s.
After being propagandised in my 6th form Geography class by a leftist priest, just returned from Chile, I was ready to leave school, go to Chile and fight in the anti-Pinochet underground. When i became a free marketeer the next year, I started to see things more objectively. A lot of research since has given me a more rounded view of what happened in Chile at that time.
Basically I think Pinochet’s armed coup was well justified. Allende was rapidly filling the country with Cuban advisers, arresting opponents and generally turning Chile into a southern Cuba.
Armed revolt against marxist-leninist tyranny-no problem.
Chilean free market reforms under Pinochet-no problem.
Alleged atrocities, murders, torures, rapes, diappearances-huge problem-if true. The left is expert at lying and name blackening, therefore I take anything said against Pinochet with a huge grain of salt. The jury’s out for me on that one.
Anon But in your case, your anti-communism over-rides the usual level of turning a blind eye to the Pinochet type incidents to accept almost any methods no matter how terrible, of ridding the world of your pet hate, from as menial as slandering anyone with pro-communist agendas to the brutal pre-emptive military strikes where necessary to prevent communist agendas taking hold. This breaks one of the fundamental laws of libertarianism that of non-aggression except in self-defence and is where your level of anti-communism departs from Libertarianism.
Loudon Pre-emptive action is perfectly acceptable to any sane libertarian. The Israelis for instance would be justified in destroying Iranian nuclear weapons facilities, if they had reliable information of an imminent threat.
It’s not a black and white world out there. Every political situation is usually very gray. However all marxist-leninist regimes descend into tyranny-it is inevitable by their very nature. Therefore I will usually support most anti-communist resistance forces unless on rare occasion they turn out to be worse than their opponents. For instance I hope that he anti-communist resistance in Bolivia manages to oust Morales. I wish the anti-Chavez forces in Venezuela well, as I do the anti-Castro forces in Cuba. I would absolutely support the overthrow of the Workers Party of North Korea.
War is war. It doesn’t mean that I would support everything done by the freedom fighters-just the overriding objective.
Hell-I believe the Allies were absolutely right to destroy Hitler and the Nazis. Doesn’t mean I agreed with the carpet bombing of Dresden, or any of the many atrocities that were undoubtedly committed by “our team”.
I supported the Vietnam war-but I certainly never approved of the My Lai Massacre.
Anon To add to that is your carte blanc devouring of anything that came from the Bush administration no matter how biassed and unauthorative it was. The U.S. government was and is still aiding dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan, and many other countries, which will one day come back to bite them again and again and what is more amazing is that you a proclaimed Libertarian supported that Bush administration even though history has shown that such support of the US Government for these leaders and groups leads to attrocities beyond belief.
Loudon Eh what? I have very seldom even mentioned Bush or the Iraq War. You must be reading a different New Zeal. Basically I was pissed off at Bush for wasting lives and money on a third rate menace like Iraq, when he should have been sorting out the real dangers-Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran etc. I don’t mean he should have nuked them-just cut off US trade in the case of Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela and stepped up efforts to internally undermine the Cuban Communist Party.
In spirit I am a Jeffersonian-in normal times I believe the US would be best served by a non-aligned, pro-free trade foreign policy. The growth of 20th century totalitarianism-the Nazis and Communists, made that position hard to maintain.
Now we’re in a situation where what’s left of the West needs to hang together, or we shall, as Benjamin Franklin said, “hang seperately”.
Anon Take the US Governments aiding and financing of the Afghanistan Mujahadeen, the eventual result, Russia lost the war and Afghanistan ended up with the Taliban and the rest of the world got to meet Al Qaeda for the first time, thanks in part to US funding and training from the CIA on how to run a successful covert network of bombers and assassins. Their anti-communist fervour resulted in these residual spin-offs for which the world has to deal with now.
Loudon The whole Afghanistan thing could have been stopped in its tracks if the US and Europe had slapped a comprehensive trade ban on the Soviet Union. Far less bloodshed and probably no Al Qaeda. I have consistently called for trade sanctions against rogue states, rather than war, as any long term reader of this blog will attest. That’s a libertarian position-first option-withdraw support from your enemy where-ever possible. Probably a bit late for Israel/Iran situation unfortunately.
Anon But you do not support the latest US Government administration not because they have changed their anti-libertarian ways, no, only because there is a secret smurf Marxist in the hot seat carrying on these same anti-Libertarian activities, supporting oppressive dictatorships and expanding Governmental powers imposing on personal liberties, on that level nothing has changed, but your support for the US administration has, and it is at this point that it becomes clear that your claims to Libertarianism is disingenuous and it seems from the outside that it is a mere cover for your personal anti-communist fervour which seems to trump any libertarian ideals at every turn.
Loudon I certainly don’t support the Obama administration because I see it as socialist and increasingly oppressive. Nowhere near the Allende stage, but certainly not healthy.
I certainly have a strong emotional attachment to the the good old US of A because of the principles the country was founded on and the many great people I have met there who still adhere to those ideals.
A final point. Libertarianism is a philosophy whereby one allows everyone to mind their own business and do their own thing as long as they leave me to do mine.
When people start trying to steal my property, kill me, take my freedom, invade my country, or subvert my government, they cross a line.
At that point they become criminals and deserve to be apprehended and punished.
That is a basic principle of libertarianism.
Therefore any true libertarian worthy of the name should be a militant anti-communist.
Any libertarian who isn’t-isn’t.
3 thoughts on “On Libertarianism and Anti-Communism”
"The Soviet Story" is a story of an Allied power, which helped the Nazis to fight Jews and which slaughtered its own people on an industrial scale. Assisted by the West, this power triumphed on May 9th, 1945. Its crimes were made taboo, and the complete story of Europe's most murderous regime has never been told. Until now?
The film tells the story of the Soviet regime.
– The Great Famine in Ukraine (1932/33)
– The Katyn massacre (1940)
– The SS-KGB partnership [in the late 1930s the KGB was called NKVD]
– Soviet mass deportations
– Medical experiments in the GULAG.
These are just a few of the subjects covered in the film.
"The Soviet Story" also discusses the impact of the Soviet legacy on modern day Europe. Listen to experts and European MPs discussing the implications of a selective attitude towards mass murder; and meet a woman describing the burial of her new born son in a GULAG concentration camp.
"The Soviet Story" is a story of pain, injustice and realpolitik.
Very well said Trev.
Your Anon (suprise suprise) commenter clearly knows very little about either Communisim or libertarian thought.
Under Pinochet 3,000 Marxist activist disappeared. Under Castro 300,000 anti-Marxists disappeared. Under Pinochet Chile became the wealthiest Spanish speaking country in the western hemisphere. Under Castro Cuba became the poorest Spanish speaking country in the western hemisphere.
The reason the left hates Pinochet is not because he killed 3,000 of their comrades. That is a small number of deaths by Marxist standards. They hate Pinochet because his capitalist revolution was an outstanding success. No Marxist regime has ever delivered to their people the economic prosperity that Pinochet has.
Hate and envy is the mothers milk of Marxism.