Rockwell: LP has jettisoned ‘radical libertarianism’, ‘non-aggression’; Root a ‘neocon’

Speaking on Libertarian nominee Bob Barr, long-time Ron Paul friend and associate Lew Rockwell says, “[H]e is an impressive and well-spoken public figure.”

Of Barr’s recent Fox News appearance, Rockwell says, “He condemned government spending, seemed to call himself a ‘true conservative,’ and said that he would not seek votes that would otherwise go to McCain.”

Rockwell continued:

I am an outsider when it comes to the Libertarian party, but in my blinkered view, now that it has made the decision to jettison radical libertarianism and the non-aggression axiom, it can serve only one larger purpose this year: defeating the worst mainstream candidate, McCain, a madman who endangers the whole world. May Mr. Barr do so, and may he stress his anti-statist principles, though a neocon running mate [Wayne Allyn Root] is no help.

When asked about his experience with the Libertarian Party, Rockwell had this to say:

I joined the LP to help Ron Paul get the 1988 nomination, was elected (dread word) to its national committee, but left when the next national convention booed and ridiculed Murray Rothbard, which crystallized a lot of misgivings for me.

Below is the Fox News appearance to which Rockwell is referring above:

16 thoughts on “Rockwell: LP has jettisoned ‘radical libertarianism’, ‘non-aggression’; Root a ‘neocon’

  1. Andy Craig

    Lew Rockwell engaging in excessive hyperbole? Why am I not surprised. Though I have to say I generally agree with him on Root, the LP in no way “jettisoned” any one. As some one put it, no matter how you look at it, Denver 2008 was not a purge, and Barr made clear he didn’t want to “jettison” any one from the party.

    Also, you’d think Lew would know that pushing the “Barr will be a spoiler for McCain!” line isn’t really going to help Barr.

  2. Steve Perkins

    The small-L libertarian movement is full of people who criticize the LP from the sidelines without having any involvement. The Cato folks left because they thought we were too radical and disorganized, Rockwell left because he thought we were too moderate (or too harsh on Pat Buchanan supporters, or whatever his deal actually is). Everyone feels that their voluntary withdrawal was a “purge”, although they can’t seem to agree on who’s in charge to do all the “purging”.

    In a perfect world, all small-L libertarians could gather in a circle and sing Kumbayah together. However, in the big-L Libertarian world, it’s the people still in the Party who call the direction of the Party. Always has been, always will be.

  3. Andy Craig

    “However, in the big-L Libertarian world, it’s the people still in the Party who call the direction of the Party. Always has been, always will be.”

    Which is why it’s so stupid for anyone to stomp their feet, take their ball and go home.

    The Kubby/Root vote, if what they say is true, is a perfect example of how that works.

  4. Ross Levin

    Something for IPR to report on: Bev Harris and

    They do some great work that is very relevant to independent politics. She’s really one of my heroes for what she does. They have a whole section on their website dedicated to “new investigations.”

    Come election time, you should post stuff on how you can make sure your election officials are doing their job, too.

  5. MattSwartz

    Lew Rockwell engaging in excessive hyperbole? Why am I not surprised.

    Not all hyperbole is excessive. Lew Rockwell has been known to be dramatic on his blog (witness his annoying overuse of the word “heroic” to describe the behavior of anyone he approves of), but he isn’t saying anything about Barr or Root that isn’t true.

  6. Carl M

    If only Lew Rockwell was right. The LP might be worth supporting.

    But Lew Rockwell is rarely right, so I’m not holding my breath.

  7. Steve Perkins

    Carl M, you’re no longer involved with the LP? I wondered why there was another person running the Reform Caucus morning meetings in Denver. Kinda weird to give up and walk out right around the time that pretty much everything you campaigned for has come to pass.

  8. G.E. Post author

    Steve – Even the new incarnation of the pro-drug war, pro-intervention, pro-national sales tax, and pro-Fed version of the LP is not statist enough for Mr. Milsted.

  9. Carl M


    I launched the Reform Caucus to see if the LP wanted to be a political party or a protest org. The result was 50/50 thereabouts. A house divided ain’t worth supporting.

    Partial list of reasons for leaving:

    1. Too many jerks in the party. Insults have consequences.

    2. Too many [earstwhile?] friends bummed out at the thought of the LP becoming real. Let them have their social club back.

    3. LP branding sucks. Even after full reform (which hasn’t happened yet), it will take years to live down previous branding.

    4. The oath remains. As someone of some principle, I cannot claim membership, since my views are outside the oath.

    5. I am not an isolationist. Intervention is sometimes a positive for liberty.

    6. The LP’s business model has much to be desired.

    7. Most of the reformers are too the economic Right. I am a relative egalitarian compared to the status quo. See my website.

    8. Moderate right-libertarians have a home of sorts within the Republican Party, as Eric Dondero repeatedly points out. The true politically homeless are those who desire smaller government and a flatter wealth distribution.

    9. I am pro-life.

    10. I’m not real happy with Frankenstein technology in general.

    11. The future belongs to a pro-environment party. The young will live with the consequences of environmental destruction.

    12. I do not believe in open borders. Nations which control their populations should be able to reap the benefits.

    13. The anti-Christian bias within the LP is a huge turn-off.

    14. The gold standard never worked. While I am game to move to equity-based money (vs. fractional reserve banking), the liquid part of the money supply needs to be backed up by more than the world’s gold supply.

    For some years, the LP was a compromise for me; it was the lesser of 3 evils. I wanted to see if the LP was willing to broaden its welcome base to contain people with my beliefs. The answer is still no.

    And creating a new party is easier than changing that answer.

    All that said, the Barr campaign is interesting to me, given the poor options provided by the major parties, and the fact that Barr is somewhat qualified for the office — unlike typical LP nominees.

  10. Steve Perkins

    Wow. I guess with the shift that occurred in Denver, I’m now officially a “centrist” rather than a “reformer”. I don’t want to move back to where we were before, but I definitely don’t want to march further in the direction that Carl describes (don’t we already have a CP?).

  11. G.E. Post author

    Steve – Carl would not fit in with the CP. They don’t like Merchants of Death any more than the LP does; less in fact.

    We’re going back, back, way back — of should I say forward for liberty — in 2010. But we will still have a spot for good guys like you, Steve. We have no urge to purge. We just want the party to stand for something!

  12. G.E. Post author

    Yes, Steve. I wasn’t converted to libertarianism until 2005. You too will be converted, I’m confident!

    Not only do you have a spot on Seagraves’s list, but I will let you hide in my attic, if need be.

  13. G.E. Post author

    Notice Carl M. says “If only Rockwell was right. The LP might be worth supporting.”

    Yes, it would be a good thing for the MOD everywhere if the LP VP candidate really was a full-fledged neocon, instead of just a confused hypeman with some libertarian and some not-so-libertarian ideas.

  14. Carl M

    To GE: The Cheerleaders for Genocide don’t like me much. Oh well…

    The Oppressors of the Poor aren’t too happy either.

    To Steve: You reinforce my point. You don’t want the LP to go where I want it to go (or at least include). That’s a significant factor in my leaving. Easier to start a new party. LOTS of support out there for what I have in mind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *