Sunday, April 08, 2007

Libertarians and LIbertine Conservatives

I've never met Anthony Gregory, apparently a recent Berkeley grad and a musician, but I've admired his writing, mostly at, for some time now. This piece addresses a contention or wisecrack I've heard many times -- "that libertarians," as Gregory puts it, "are nothing more than Republicans who want to party and smoke pot." He notes, however, that "AtUC Berkeley, I saw plenty of young conservatives on campus, and believe me, most of them struggled through the day to cut loose at night at least as much as the nearest bohemian sporting Che on his t-shirt."

Rather than calling such people "libertarians," Gregory prefers "libertine conservatives," who, he contends, "do not believe in personal freedom, except perhaps their own." Indeed, they may be more outwardly puritanical than conservatives who don't party.

The key for Gregory is whether one supports the American empire. And a few other things:

"If you are concerned about the economic fascism of the current American system, the military-industrial complex, the perpetual war and ubiquitous American empire, the secret spying, the torture, the fraud of central banking, the massive theft known as taxation, the war on drugs as a threat to everyone's liberty, the welfare state's destruction of our economy and social fabric -- if you consider public schools institutions of wickedness and tyranny and believe freedom is the only answer to any of these problems -- if you think every individual has the right not to be aggressed against, not to be forced to pay for war and not to be killed by U.S. bombs -- if you believe that private property, freedom of association, peace, free trade and individual liberty are the recipe for a just world -- then by all means call yourself a libertarian. I couldn't care less what you do after work or who you want to sleep with."

Oh. Okay.

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