Liberty Against Fascism:Open Letter from the Libertarian Movement

Today (August 12th, 2017), the “Unite the Right” rally is scheduled to proceed in Charlottesville, VA. The “Right” being united there isn’t just any “Right,” but one that welcomes white supremacists and self-described fascists. Multiple speakers will say this themselves, and the chants at a chaotic pre-event march the night before included Neo-Nazi slogans.

The purpose of this letter is to clarify the role for libertarianism in this rally – which is no role at all.

That clarification is necessary because it might appear otherwise. Three of the listed speakers have at one time or another identified as libertarians: Mike Enoch, Augustus Invictus, and Christopher Cantwell. Mike Enoch previously called himself a libertarian, but now mocks the philosophy as “autistic.” Augustus Invictus previously attempted to run for Senate through the Libertarian Party. Recently, though, he publicly changed his registration to Republican in disgust. Christopher Cantwell now seems ambivalent about his relationship with libertarianism and anarchism, but his primary identification is with fascism.

Regardless of how any speakers or attendees have identified in the past or present, we want to make clear that this event is not in any way a place for libertarianism. Among libertarians, some identify as “right-wing,” some as “left-wing,” and some as “radical centrists.” Virtually the entire outside political spectrum is mirrored within libertarianism, and this makes for no shortage of infighting. One area where the undersigned have consensus, however, is in a rejection of any attempt to connect white supremacy and fascism to libertarianism. Libertarians, including those who see themselves as on “the Right,” have no interest in uniting with the horrifically authoritarian “Right” – often called the “Alt-Right” – rallying in Charlottesville.

All this should be exceedingly obvious from even a cursory glance at the two movements.

On a historical note, modern-day libertarianism largely took root in the English-speaking world through Jewish intellectuals, some of whom fled the Nazis. Our movement grew as a revolt against fascism, Communism, and early twentieth-century progressivism. As Thomas Leonard has shown in his Illiberal Reformers, that third enemy’s intellectual history is closely interwoven with eugenics.

On the level of philosophy, libertarianism stresses the freedom of individuals even when that freedom goes against some supposed collective will. The entire point behind a politics of white supremacy is to replace free association with endless central planning and regulation on collectivist racial grounds. “Unite the Right” speaker Richard Spencer actively seeks to turn the United States into a 100% white ethno-state. It is impossible to conceive of this happening without a return of the total state and its horrors.

Despite the obvious incompatibility of that totalitarianism and libertarianism (of any kind), an attempted association between the two is unsurprising. Attempts at rebooting authoritarian movements often operate through a tactic called entryism. Entryism is where a smaller political movement attempts to capture a larger one and seize its resources. In cases like fascism and Communism, the tendency towards entryism is probably a joint product of amoral opportunism and an inability to rationally defend their views.

It is necessary, then, for libertarians to restate the exceedingly obvious and insist on the stark differences between our views and those of anyone with any affinity for National Socialist Germany.

Source, with (growing) list of signers to this statement @ https://libertyagainstfascism.wordpress.com/

RPI:”Five Democrat Votes Allow Trump’s Saudi Weapons Deal To Clear Senate”

Tyler Durden @ The Ron Paul Institute reports that 5 Democrat Senators joined with most Republicans to defeat a bill by Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Chris Murphy to stop US sales of high tech weapons to Saudi Arabia. Mr. Durden notes that 4 Republicans voted with most Democrats to block the sales, but the bill failed with 53 voting against it and 47 Senators supporting the ban on weapons sales.

Despite the failure, Politico notes that Paul and Murphy fared better on Tuesday than they did last year in a similar effort to block a Saudi arms sale under former President Barack Obama, thanks entirely to new Democratic supporters: it’s curious how ideology changes one’s outlook on lethal weaponry.

“Regardless of whether the number is 48 or 51 or 45” in favor of blocking the deals, Murphy told reporters before the vote, “this is an important message to the Saudis that we are all watching. And if they continue to target civilians and they continue to stop humanitarian aid from getting into Yemen, this vote will continue to go in the wrong direction for them.”

Paul said after the vote that he and Murphy would discuss possible future attempts to block Trump’s arms deals to Riyadh, warning that senators are growing more concerned about the civilian toll in a Yemen conflict that is pitting Saudi-backed government forces against rebel factions reportedly supported by Iran.

Full post by Tyler Durden @ Ron Paul Institute http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/june/13/five-democrat-votes-allow-trumps-saudi-weapons-deal-to-clear-senate/

Politico:”Rand Paul to tee up vote on blocking Trump’s Saudi arms deal”

Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul is expected to offer legislation as soon as Wednesday that would block President Donald Trump’s $110 billion weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.

Paul’s planned bill disapproving of the arms deal, confirmed by a Senate source familiar with the timeline, comes as Trump completes the first leg of an overseas trip that began with a warm welcome from the Saudi royal family in Riyadh. Paul recently joined three Democrats in proposing to make future arms sales contingent on reining in Saudi military involvement in Yemen’s civil war, and he is likely to take advantage of a 1976 law that allows any senator to force a vote on halting overseas arms sales.

Full report @ Politico http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/23/rand-paul-saudi-arabia-arms-sales-238730

Sen. Wyden introduces bill to legalize Cannabis in US

Culture Magazine reports:
New measures have been filed in the House and Senate today to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and create a federal regulatory process for states that choose to regulate the cultivation and sale of cannabis for adult use.

This morning, March 30, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) and Jared Polis (D-Colorado) introduced legislation that would end cannabis prohibition in the United States. If the bill were passed it would permit individual states to put a cannabis policy into place without fear of the federal government tampering with their cannabis laws. It would also allow the FDA to recognize cannabis as medicine.

Wyden and Blumenauer also filed cannabis policy “gap” bills that are aimed at eliminating many of the collateral consequences associated with federal cannabis convictions without removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. An additional bill was filed this morning that would reform section 280E of the U.S. Tax Code to allow state-legal cannabis businesses to deduct ordinary and necessary business expenses from their federal taxes.

“With marijuana legalization being supported by 60 percent of all Americans while Congress’ approval rating is in the low teens, ending our country’s disastrous prohibition against marijuana would not just be good policy, but good politics,” Erik Alteri, Executive Director of NORML , stated in a press release.

Full Report @ Culture Magazine http://ireadculture.com/bill-legalize-cannabis-nationwide-introduced/

Nationwide Screening of “1984” set for April 4.

On April 4, 2017 more than 180 art house movie theaters in 165 cities will be screening “1984” based on the novel for George Orwell, and starring John Hurt as Winston Smith. The film will also be shown at five theaters in Canada, one in the UK and one in Sweden.

The nationwide screening of this anti-totalitarian classic is inspired by the election of President Trump and the threat to freedom that his actions pose. Every President poses a threat to freedom, but we can be thankful that this President has generated a response – a desire to reaffirm our understanding of freedom and the threats to freedom posed by a powerful government.

The nationwide screening can also be seen as a way to honor John Hurt, who died last month after a distinguished career in movies.

A complete listing of theaters that are taking part is available @ http://www.unitedstateofcinema.com/

Gillespie:”GOP Rep. Thomas Garrett Intros Bill To End Federal Pot Prohibition”

Rep. Thomas Garrett is a freshman Republican congressman who represents Virginia’s 5th district. But being a newbie from a socially conservative area isn’t stopping him from going big and bold right out of the chute: He has just introduced a bill called the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017.” From his office:

If passed, this bill would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list—joining other industries such as alcohol and tobacco.

Originally introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders in 2015, this bill fulfills a responsibility to create a level playing field across the country….

“This step allows states to determine appropriate medicinal use and allows for industrial hemp growth, something that will provide a major economic boost to agricultural development in Southside Virginia. In the coming weeks, I anticipate introducing legislation aimed at growing the hemp industry in Virginia, something that is long overdue.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is the Democratic co-sponsor in the House. Sanders’ Senate legislation died when it was introduced a couple of years ago but now fully eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational pot.
Full Post @ Reason Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2017/03/01/gop-rep-thomas-garrett-intros-bill-to-en

Press Release from office of Rep. Thomas Garrett https://tomgarrett.house.gov/media/press-releases/garrett-introduces-legislation-remove-marijuana-controlled-substances-list

LP:Libertarians praise House bill to end Dept. of Education

The Libertarian Party strongly supports U.S. House bill H.R. 399, which was filed today by Rep Tom Massie (R–KY), along with seven co-sponsors, to abolish the federal Department of Education.

“Libertarians are encouraged to see a bill that brings hope to the promise of actually, finally, abolishing the Department of Education,” said Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee. “The DOE’s primary accomplishments have been to drive up federal taxes and debt, drive up local and state taxes, impose mounds of red tape on schools, and drive down the quality education in the United States. It has made schooling an infuriating and demoralizing experience for teachers, parents, and schoolchildren.”

In striking contrast to most of today’s federal and state laws, many of which are hundreds of pages long and rarely read by the lawmakers who vote on them, H.R. 899 consists of one simple sentence: “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018.”

“Localizing education will dramatically improve our schools, allowing them to innovate and address the needs of individual students, and to prepare them for a fulfilling and successful future,” said Sarwark.

The Libertarian Party platform on education states:
Education is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality, accountability and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Recognizing that the education of children is a parental responsibility, we would restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. Parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children’s education.

Source:The Libertarian Party @ https://www.lp.org/libertarians-praise-house-bill-to-end-dept-of-education/