Blogs > Liberty and Power > Lew Rockwell on "Red-State Fascism"

Aug 8, 2005 1:06 pm

Lew Rockwell on "Red-State Fascism"

Those of you who know me or have seen some scattered comments on L&P before know that I have, suffice it to say, little love for the Mises Institute crowd. However, I calls 'em as I sees 'em and when they get it right, I'll be the first to acknowledge it. In that spirit, I offer today's column by Lew Rockwell, with the great title of "The Reality of Red-State Fascism." One money quote:

The American right today has managed to be solidly anti-leftist while adopting an ideology – even without knowing it or being entirely conscious of the change – that is also frighteningly anti-liberty. This reality turns out to be very difficult for libertarians to understand or accept. For a long time, we've tended to see the primary threat to liberty as coming from the left, from the socialists who sought to control the economy from the center. But we must also remember that the sweep of history shows that there are two main dangers to liberty, one that comes from the left and the other that comes from the right. Europe and Latin America have long faced the latter threat, but its reality is only now hitting us fully.

What is the most pressing and urgent threat to freedom that we face in our time? It is not from the left. If anything, the left has been solid on civil liberties and has been crucial in drawing attention to the lies and abuses of the Bush administration. No, today, the clear and present danger to freedom comes from the right side of the ideological spectrum, those people who are pleased to preserve most of free enterprise but favor top-down management of society, culture, family, and school, and seek to use a messianic and belligerent nationalism to impose their vision of politics on the world.

The whole piece is well worth reading.

And let me add a wish for a very happy new year to my co-bloggers here and the readers of L&P. May 2005 be filled with more liberty for all of us.

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Jeanine Ring - 1/4/2005

With due regards to Hayek, I always throught 'old whig' to be a rather ponderous archaeism, myself.

Tim Sydney - 1/3/2005

Sudha Shenoy refers to Hayek's "Why I am not a Conservative" which can be read online here. Hayek ended up rejecting conservatism (although much of it he admired) and liberalism (at least 'rationalistic' liberalism) and, well, he thought socialism was a complete write-off. He thought the American label 'libertarian' was a bit of a confection, so he called himself an 'old whig'.

Jeanine Ring - 1/2/2005

I'm very glad that you are an exception, Msr. Long, and I must say I appreciate this Rockwell piece, which I intend to scribe to my own site. Nevertheless, I don't trust Rockwell or the any paleolibertarians as far as I can toss them.

It reminds me well of Murray Rothbard's opportunism in alliances to left and right as Chris Sciabarra documents in _Total Freedom: Towards a Dialectical Libertariansism_. Given the Rothbard-Rockwell precedent in the joyful betrayal of a liberated culture for a marriage of love with the bourgeois social order, this libertarian cultural leftist desires to keep her good distance away from Lew Rockwell; I suspect we will see the paleos together again with the hard right soon enough.

My spologies; perhaps I too fastidious in my associations.


Jeanine )(*)(

Roderick T. Long - 1/1/2005

Steven writes:

> Those of you who know me or
> have seen some scattered
> comments on L&P before know
> that I have, suffice it to
> say, little love for the
> Mises Institute crowd

Aw, we're not so bad... ;-)

Kenneth R Gregg - 12/31/2004

I agree completely. Historically we, as libertarians, have frequently gotten caught up in short-term identification with some "benevolent princling" who comes to power with great expectations and appalling results (Woodrow Wilson comes to mind with his support from classical and radical liberals--even Albert Jay Nock came in as part of his administration!).

Certainly there are themes in "compassionate conservativism which are attractive and appear to promote liberty, but we have sound reasons to beware.

Take care, and Happy New Year to All! May Freedom Ring Throughout the World!

Ken Gregg

Sudha Shenoy - 12/31/2004

It is worth reading Hayek's 'Why I am Not a Conservative' at this juncture. What goes round, comes round again - & the elements of the old-fashioned statist right, are re-appearing in the American Right at the beginning of the 21st century: religious belief as a prop of the State; 'carte blanche' for State Officials to deal as 'necessary' with the enemies of the State; torture as a means of dealing with the latter; the general belief in the greater wisdom of the State as against mere petty people; unlimited power is OK in the hands of the 'right' people; the revival of 'raison d'etat'; etc. It's frightening - but as with the old-fashioned liberals in the 19th century,those who believe in liberty (& the law)once again have to fight on *two* fronts.

Mark Brady - 12/31/2004

Yes, it's a well worth reading. I commend it to all readers of this weblog.