A Union of Conservatives and Libertarians?

I would like to continue a conversation which has been ongoing on The American Catholic. I see an increasing amount of cross-talk and cross-coordination between two political camps whose relationship in the past has been one of outright conflict or at best a tenuous temporary alliance on certain specific matters. I am talking about the relationship of the Traditional and Paleo-Conservatives with the Libertarians. Something new is now occurring though. Is this new union a perfect storm? It could be, but it’s too early to tell. Time will be the judge. For a political junkie like myself, it’s exciting to see this new (or old) development. I am hopeful.

Here is my understanding and assessment of the current situation. I will explain the situation as I see it. I encourage others to contribute to this conversation and provide corrections to my comments if they are necessary.

The Libertarian Party has or is falling apart. You have a group of Libertarians who are good moral and ethical folks. They are Pro-Life and Pro-Family. They also reject hedonism. They reject those evil things (abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia, homosexuality, illegal drug use, etc.) that I always thought Libertarians embraced or permitted. Social Conservatives and Libertarians often disagree on how one should prevent or end those evils, but that is a matter of prudence. Good Catholics and good Americans can and often disagree about how this should occur.

Many of those moral and ethical Libertarians are also the leaders of what I will call the good Libertarian camp. Many of these folks, if not all of them, also happen to be good Catholics. A union is now forming between those good Libertarians (LewRockwell.com, Mises Inst., and the The Foundation for the Advancement of Free-Market Thinking/The Daily Bell) and the Traditional/Paleo-Conservatives (ISI, The American Conservative, and The Rockford Inst./Chronicles Magazine).

Maybe this alliance has always been there i.e. Murray Rothbard’s friendship with Pat Buchanan, etc. I am just becoming aware of it though. This is a positive trend I think and a fascinating one as well. For those that have the book, Radicals for Capitalism by Brian Doherty, read or re-read Chapter 9, The Twilight of the Libertarian Gods. Read specifically the sections on Murray Rothbard, especially the section, “Conservatives have always argued that political freedom is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the Good Society, and they’re right.” This section goes into what the author refers to as Murray Rothbard’s “paleolibertarian turn” in the later part of his life and his collaboration with Lew Rockwell, Jr.

Is this union or deepening friendship between Conservatives and Libertarians solely in regards to being anti-war? Or is there other areas of growing agreement, i.e. on economics, specifically regarding the Fed? Here are my observations. Are you seeing what I am seeing? Here are some of the fruit of this friendship below.

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) is one of the leading, if not the premier, conservative organizations operating today. Check out the books that ISI Books is now publishing.

Back on the Road to Serfdom – The Resurgence of Statism edited by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

It Didn’t Have to Be This Way – How Austrian Economics Leads to Peace and Prosperity

Ludwig von Mises – The Man and His Economics

Papal Economics – The Catholic Church on Democratic Capitalism, from Rerum Novarum to Caritas in Veritate

The American Conservative is one of the leading paleo-conservative publications. Read this interview of its current editor who was also a graduate fellow of the Mises Inst.

Daniel McCarthy on the Future of the American Conservative Magazine and Taking Back the Right

Check out the August and December issues and its more recent posts.

Rand Plan – Will the Tea Parties turn antiwar?

Inflating War – Central banking and militarism are intimately linked by Thomas DiLorenzo

What I Saw In Afghanistan – A decade of nation-building has not made Kabul—or America—any safer by Doug Bandow

The Fed Trashes the Dollar by P.J.B.

Fed 2.0 – Ben Bernanke launches a New Deal at the central bank

Neocons and Tea Partiers (Hyper-linked article)

War Party Beats Tea Party

Resurgent Republicans Call for More of the Good Old Stuff

Chairman Paul or President Paul?

What is the future of the new political party, the Conservative American Party? Is this a fruit (or rotten egg) of this friendship?

The Daily Bell – Nelson Hultberg Interview ~ “Launching the Conservative American Party”

The Conservative Revolution – Why We Must Form a Third Political Party to Win It by Nelson Hultberg

Do Catholics have a role to play in this union or friendship of Conservatives and Libertarians? Is the Catholicism of men like Lew Rockwell Jr., Judge Andrew Napolitano, Tom Woods, Jeffrey Tucker and others helping to breath life, literally life (against the Culture of Death), into Libertarianism? Are the truths of Austrian Economics, considering the autonomy of the temporal order, helping Catholics to understand the world, especially the laws of economics, a little more clearer as well? I hope so.

Related Posts:

Tea Party leaders not interested in pro-life, pro-family policy?

Republican victory is no change at all

Libertarianism vs. Catholicism

Thomas Woods and His Critics, The Austrian vs. Distributist Debate Among Catholics

3 Responses to A Union of Conservatives and Libertarians?

  • David,

    I appreciate your post. Just a few comments.

    “The Libertarian Party has or is falling apart.”

    I don’t think the fate of libertarianism has a thing to do with the official Libertarian Party, with which I would have nothing to do. The Constitution Party is as authentically libertarian as the Libertarian Party as far as I’m concerned. And that’s the party that won Ron Paul’s endorsement. Maybe it isn’t “pure” or “true” libertarianism – I can’t settle that here.

    “Good Catholics and good Americans can and often disagree about how this should occur.”

    Indeed. My next post (which will link to my blog) covers that in great detail.

    “Maybe this alliance has always been there”

    It has been. It was orchestrated by William F. Buckley, and you can learn all about it in the series that Don covers in one of his recent posts.

    Great compilation of links. I look forward to sifting through them. In the meantime I’m going to work on a post about pro-life libertarianism.

  • Joe – Good points above… Thanks.

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