Saturday, December 27, 2014

Students for Liberty: The ‘Regime Change’ Libertarians

Daniel McAdams writes at LRC:
The Students for Liberty are at it again, mainstreaming deviationism with a reckless fervor. While it is a generally accepted tenet of libertarian thought that state involvement in regime change operations overseas is anathema, there are those who claim that US government-funded regime change is actually quite a libertarian idea.
Thus, coming in at number five on the Students for Liberty (SFL) list of “Top 10 Libertarian Moments of 2014” are three regime-change operations that owe their organization and funding to the United States government. How could a decidedly un-libertarian US government be a promoter of liberty abroad, one might ask. It requires a good deal of philosophical contortionism, but the well-funded Students for Liberty has long advocated such acrobatics. 
So protests and regime change in Venezuela, Ukraine, and Hong Kong have made the top ten list of libertarian events of 2014, even though the Students admit that, “some of the factions and demands were far from libertarian.” That last bit may refer to the slightly embarrassing (for regime change supporters) nature of the regime changers in places like Ukraine.That the US government has been involved in regime change operations in Venezuela for many years is not debatable. How is it libertarian for the US government to presume to decide from 2,000 miles away who should be in charge in Caracas? How is it libertarian to take away the right of people to choose for themselves how they wish to be governed?
How is it libertarian for the US government to have spent five billion dollars (you know, those things stolen from us through taxation) over many years to manipulate internal politics and fund regime change in Ukraine, as US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland admitted? How is it libertarian for a US official to be plotting with the US ambassador over how the US can “glue” together a new government in Ukraine after the legal one has been overthrown? 
How is it remotely libertarian for the US government funded National Endowment for Democracy to lavishly fund protest movements in Hong Kong?
Is it not the pinnacle of anti-libertarianism for a huge and bloated US government that can do little at home with any measure of success to nevertheless presume to wander through the world seeking ruin of regimes with which it disagrees? A US government that most libertarians would freely admit is on the opposing team when it comes to promoting liberty at home is somehow as white as driven snow when it comes to promoting libertarianism overseas? Tell us, Students for Liberty, how does that work?
It should also be noted that on the SFL list we have at number 4: "Unprecedented victories for same-sex marriage." What does government involvement with marriage of any kind have to do with libertarianism? The libertarian position is that government should stay completely out of the marriage business, not expand the government marriage umbrella to cover even more people. At number 7, we have:  "Big wins for free speech on college campuses." But there is no "right" to free speech on private property. Blindly cheering "free speech" misses this important point. Freedom of speech at government owned colleges and universities should simply be hailed as proper harassment of government institutions, not on some "right to free speech" perspective.

And when it comes to number 8, I feel as though I am looking for the missing chapters of Truman Capote's Answered Prayers, and will have as much luck in finding them. When I look for the tax cuts proclaimed in number 8: "Big tax cuts across the US," I find that beyond the headline of these Big Tax Cuts that SFL writes occurred, we learn that in most cases SFL is not talking about cuts at all, but that great scam, "tax reform."

I believe my odds would be better in getting a return if I sent  my money to a Nigerian email scam artist than in betting that one of these "reforms" would actually cut taxes.

SFL also includes at number 10 on its list: "Police brutality protests," which, as I have pointed out is really a bunch of confused protesters mixed with opportunists. SEE: DOMESTIC BLOWBACK: Two NYPD Coppers Down and The Anarchists of Oakland.

Sadly, what appears to be going on is that the SFL is attempting a type of regime change of its own by moving libertarianism away from its bedrock foundation, the non-aggression principle---and mixing it with a toxic blend of political correctness and beltarian advocacy that always finds a comfortable seat for government at the head of the table on every damn issue.  


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