Monday, March 16, 2015

Director of Ron Paul Institute Smacksdown Raimondo Sectarian Comments

This starts off as a discussion about Rand Paul signing the Tom Cotton letter:



  1. I don't know what he means by "sectarian libertarian." I searched his website but came up empty. Not much help by google either.

    1. My guess is that he is referring to staunch practitioners of libertarianism(unwavering in their consistent application of the NAP/private property rights) as "sectarian", which connotatively(to me anyway) suggests a somewhat negative viewpoint. (The word "sect" is a not looked on favorably)

      Of course, it's still just a guess/opinion...but I thought I'd offer it. Maybe someone else knows definitively.

    2. Nick, isn't it entirely possible that Justin Raimondo himself doesn't know what he means by "sectarian libertarian" ?

    3. Edward, Justin is referring to Murray Rothbard's "For a New Liberty" chapter 15 "A Strategy for Liberty."

      I know this because about a year or so ago I got into a heated discussion with him over left-wing sectarianism and right-wing opportunism on Twitter. Both terms are explained by Rothbard and come from Marxist political strategists.

      A "left-wing sectarian" of a any political movement commits the following strategic mistake according to Rothbard, "For while libertarians have too often been opportunists who lose sight of or under-cut their ultimate goal, some have erred in the opposite direction: fearing and condemning any advances toward the idea as necessarily selling out the goal itself. The tragedy is that these sectarians, in condemning all advances that fall short of the goal, serve to render vain and futile the cherished goal itself.”

      Equally as important to understand is Rothbard’s other listed strategic error, “right-wing opportunism. Rothbard describes right-wing opportunism, the strategic mistake of the Rand Paulians, as follows, "The critics of libertarian “extremist” principles are the analog of the Marxian “right-wing opportunists. The major problem with the opportunists is “that by confining themselves strictly to gradual and “practical” programs, programs that stand a good chance of immediate adoption, they are in grave danger of completely losing sight of the ultimate objective, the libertarian goal. He who confines himself to calling for a two percent reduction in taxes helps to bury the ultimate goal of abolition of taxation altogether. By concentrating on the immediate means, he helps liquidate the ultimate goal, and therefore the point of being a libertarian in the first place. If libertarians refuse to hold aloft the banner of the pure principle, of the ultimate goal, who will? The answer is no one, hence another major source of defection from the ranks in recent years has been the erroneous path of opportunism.”

      Justin calls anyone who criticizes Rand a “left-wing sectarian”, as does Jack Hunter. Doing so distracts from their own strategic error of “right-wing opportunism”, whether they realize it or not.

      Ancaps who supported Ron Paul were by nature following Rothbard's strategy for liberty, not making either strategic mistake that Rothbard warned about. Ancaps who reject Rand Paul typically intuitively reject him due to the right-wing opportunist strategic error. I believe Scott Horton, Robert Wenzel, and myself fall into this camp.

      Curiously enough I believe what happened to Justin was described by Rothbard further in the chapter when he wrote, "“Sometimes, curiously enough, the same individual will undergo alterations from one of these opposing errors to the other, in each case scorning the proper strategic path. Thus, despairing after years of futile reiteration of his purity while making no advances in the real world, the left sectarian may leap into the heady thickets of right opportunism, in the quest for some short-run advance, even at the cost of his ultimate goal.”

      Justin is getting older and I suspect he wanted some short term gains for liberty in his lifetime. For a while he opposed Rand then after the filibuster he flipped like a switch in support for the Senator. Rand's signing of the Cotton letter must have made Justin do a reality check regarding Rand's right-wing opportunism and the consequences of it.

      Now if we can only get the Senator himself to do a reality check, abandon right-wing opportunism, and follow Rothbard's strategy for liberty then we can get the 2008-2012 band back together, really giving the establishment a run for its money. I genuinely hope that someone with influence in the Senator’s circle brings this strategic mistake to his attention.

      Notes in the margin: All libertarians need to read, Chapter 15, “A Strategy for Liberty” of the book “For a New Liberty” by Murray Rothbard. It is critical to wise discernment for our movement.

    4. Thank you Joshua for that explanation, it's greatly appreciated. I'll also be taking your advice in your conclusion.

    5. So, Joshua, from your explanation you seem to agree that Justin doesn''t know what he means by "sectarian". He's just engaging in a heated defense of principles which HE attributed to Randy P, principles which Randy never actually held, but Justin assumes Randy abandoned.

      I think I get it now. Forgive me for being dense.

  2. its interesting because raimando was asking what the ron paul institute has to say about rand signing the iran letter, which is actually a very valid question, and the RPI responds by calling him "a nut."

    that is akin to the behavior of posters at freerepublic in the 1990s.

    not looking too good for RPI inc.

    1. Good observation, HG. Maybe some of the RPI writers are former FReepers, or at least FR neocon infiltrators from the '99 W Bush campaign. At FR, republican partisans didn't rule the roost there until that campaign gained momentum. By the time of the inauguration of W, their clueless idol, FR had managed to purge almost all nonpartisan members, including Justin.