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 Via Anarcho-Capitalists' Forum: Give the Libertarians a Break

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PostSubject: Via Anarcho-Capitalists' Forum: Give the Libertarians a Break    Via Anarcho-Capitalists' Forum: Give the Libertarians a Break  Icon_minitimeThu Apr 22, 2021 8:46 pm

Given the recent attacks on my libertarian friends in Haaretz, it seems that they don’t enjoy great public relations. And if you don’t buy into their social and economic theories, then your criticism is perfectly legitimate, although there is no need to turn them into caricatures of ideological fanatics.

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Since I was affiliated for two decades as a research fellow with the Cato Institute in Washington – the premier think tank that promotes the libertarian agenda – and served as secretary of state in the shadow cabinet (do not laugh please) of the U.S. Libertarian Party, and was the foreign policy advisor to Ron Paul, the libertarian presidential candidate in 2008, I feel an obligation to contribute my two cents to the debate. After all, my name had appeared in Cato’s publications above the name of Friedrich Hayek – one of the intellectual icons of the libertarian movement and Nobel laureate in economics – because both our last names started with an H.

Although I have moved away in recent years from the libertarian movement ideologically and politically and today identify myself as a liberal, for example supporting the basic tenets of the welfare state – I reject the notion that libertarianism or classical liberalism is associated with the “extreme right.” I reject this notion all the more so because I don’t accept the assumption that Donald Trump-style populism is the product of libertarian ideas – an assumption that some Ha’aretz writers advance.

For example, it would be ridiculous to believe that the Cato Institute or other libertarian groups would have promoted an amendment to the U.S. Constitution akin to the Israeli “Nationality Law,” which would have defined the United States as an Anglo-Saxon or Christian state. If anything, most American libertarians support almost free immigration and a clear separation between religion and state, and they oppose restricting the civil rights of Americans of Muslim descent under the guise of the war on terror.

It may not be surprising that the main focus of the discussion in Ha’aretz was on libertarian support for free market principles, but this is only one element of an entire agenda which favors free immigration, drug legislation, full rights for LGBT people (David Boaz, the vice president of Cato, came out of the closet three decades ago, when it was not yet in vogue), complete support for freedom of expression and press and opposition to any form of censorship.

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