Thursday, February 04, 2016

The Report of Libertarian Populism's Death was an Exaggeration


From the National Policy Institute's Radix Journal -- a "white nationalist" rag -- comes the cry: "The End of Rand Paul ... and Libertarian Populism." Yeah, I know, you need a long shower after visiting a place like that. But it's also informative and useful to the extent that it does at least semi-honestly assess the death knell of Peckerwood Populism as a faux-libertarian phenomenon.

Short version, for those who don't want the shower: The days of America's racist right using libertarianism as a beard are drawing to an end. They've found new friends.

Good riddance.

The problem with the piece, of course, is that it doesn't acknowledge the faux part. It pretends that the Rothbard/Rockwell/Paul "paleo strategy" was (and is) actually libertarian and that that was its failure.

Well, no. The paleo strategy was the idea that the libertarian movement could do a smash-and-grab on the electoral benefits of Nixon's "southern strategy" and, before that, the Dixiecrat phenomenon. They'd ride their old nags (first Pat Buchanan, then Ron Paul) into a moral cesspool and come out the other side with a pile of money and on the road to political victory, without getting any slime on their libertarian boots.

Instead the muck sucked those libertarian boots right off them ... and then they got soaked head to toe in the nasty stuff they were messing around in ... and then it turned out that the other side of the cesspool was a strategic cul-de-sac, not a freeway to libertopia. Apparently the money was OK, though. At least for awhile. Lew is still trying to milk it, but based on the degeneration of his site -- since Ron Paul moved on to greener pastures it's become an affiliate link mill populated mostly with embarrassingly bad free content copied and pasted from other sites -- the money's either going or gone as well.

The "paleo strategy" was not libertarian. Nor was it especially populist, either, unless you define the queer, the swarthy, the female and those from the opposite side of the prevailing street gang's imaginary lines as the power elites and southern white males whose mothers never taught them any manners as the righteous oppressed masses.

Peckerwood Populism is dead, maybe, hopefully. Libertarian Populism's day in the sun is yet to come.

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