Hayek : " Why I Am Not a Conservative "Submitted by augustus on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 16:51
I think a lot of libertarians out there are confused as to our place within the GOP.
Mr.Hayek (author of the seminal " The Road to Serfdom ", protégé of Ludwig von Mises, and celebrated Austrian economist in his own right)
wrote an essay years ago entitled " Why I Am Not a Conservative " that I feel elucidates some of the problems we libertarians have faced in the past and still grapple with today, all within a historical context.
Now for my own personal opinion as a libertarian living within the United States of America :
Historically, we libertarians were considered "the left" for many years, our opposition being conservatives wishing to preserve the authority of well-established (typically authoritarian or statist) institutions. Conservatives wish to conserve past traditions, our past at that point in time being despotic monarchies/aristocracies to a large degree. Thus their position makes perfect sense given their psyche. The most unexpected development in perhaps the entirety of modern history was that collectivists ( whose very ideology necessitates authoritarian control ) usurped our title as the party of freedom and thus became the new "left". As the new "left" began to institute policies that began to limit the liberties of American citizens ( collectivist policy cannot succeed without doing this ) conservatives within this country rose up in opposition. Now as I mentioned before conservatives wish to "conserve" past traditions, the kicker in this case being that America is the only country in the world whose traditions were founded upon libertarianism.
Thus, in order to fight the encroachment of the state upon our personal liberties, we libertarians found ourselves locked into a rather strange alliance. On one hand conservatives and libertarians both very much believe in the traditions and beliefs this country was founded on. On the other hand, conservatives by their very nature resist change and the "different", whereas we libertarians in fact desire a great deal of change given the emaciated state of our ideals today and furthermore we are open minded to the "different" as long as it is in line with our philosophical beliefs.
Now as to my opinion regarding the future of this country we live in I personally believe we should support the conservatives in this country as long as elections are free and honest and we at least have the chance to regain leadership of the Republican party ( I do not believe the recent rule changes at the RNC cannot be reversed given enough desire to do so ). The reason for this being that the Democrats ( unabashed collectivists ) are in fact antithetical ideologically to nearly everything we stand for. At least with Republicans, for reasons mentioned earlier, we have some common ground our major disagreements being with the statist elements of the party. As for Democrats, their policies are 100% statist. The only thing we can agree with them on is some of the humanitarian "ends" of their programs like reduction in poverty, equal treatment under the law, etc. However, the reason why we can never align with the Democrats is the "means" they use to accomplish these "ends". The Democrats believe in using the Government to coerce ( alternative word : force ) people to behave a certain way in order to usher in their utopia on Earth. This is statism. We libertarians know that the same "ends" and desires we share with Democrats will never be realized due to the methods ("means") they use to achieve them. We know from personal experience these methods make the world a worse place to live in as these methods take away individual liberties from people. Thus, due to their ignorance, we cannot support Democrats.
My belief is that if we support conservatives in this country until popular opinion is firmly on the side of libertarianism, collectivism will die off ( read : no more Democrats or RINOs being able to win elections ) then a new political paradigm will be established as the Republican party splits into two with us the libertarians becoming the "left" once more and the "right" consisting of statist neocons and repentant collectivist Democrats seeking to "conserve" the tradition of the welfare state.
Thank you for your time, and stay true my fellow libertarians.
Freedom and liberty always win in the end.