New Libertarian Manifesto

Samuel Edward Konkin III

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Critiques Index

Page numbers appear in blue: 76, 77, 78



Libertarianism is, perhaps, too diverse and pluralist to produce the kinds of journals abounding on Left and Right with a fully specified theoretical framework, adjusting as empirical evidence warrants, but mainly analyzing events and competing ideologies for the purpose of mapping out a strategy for the activist, cadre, cell member, or entrepreneur.  Libertarianism says too little (albeit correctly) about too many.  It defines who are accepted in the society (and who are not) but not who are making that society and who effectively oppose it.

New Libertarianism applies a lens—narrowing (and, to anticipate criticism, even distorting)—but focusing.  And many libertarian activists have felt that need for focus in recent years and have sensed the pull of false paths they know will lead not to Liberty but to Power, yet which do not provide focus and direction.

Mew Libertarian Manifesto (NLM) was the first document to take libertarianism as a given and develop a strategy that it claimed derived from the constraints and insights of libertarianism.  As such it contained the weakness of not having earlier, failed examples to build on and refine from.

[77] With that in mind, the Nucleus of the New Libertarian Alliance (NLA) requested criticism from the major poles of libertarian thought, hoping that the crossfire would weed out errors and shake down the framework.  The poles, as the author sees it, are most ably represented by Murray Rothbard, Robert LeFevre, Roy Childs, Robert Poole, “Filthy Pierre” [or Erwin S. Strauss] (of the Libertarian Connection), and Andrew J. Galambos.  All of these are poles or nuclei of orbits of thought and generally accepted as fairly distinct.

Galambos refuses to talk to anyone else in the movement, so it was no surprise to receive his non-recognition.  Significantly, that is the appropriate Galambosian response and so we have it.  Childs, the court intellectual of the Charles Koch-owned faction of anarchocentrists, refused to reply directly but sent back second-hand dark mutterings of an unforgotten slight he had received from NLM’s author years ago in New Libertarian Weekly.  Putting personality over principle is the response of the “Kochtopus,” then, and is accepted as their apt reply to NLM.

Poole actually replied to an invitation to criticize NLM and said he’d find someone around the office who might want to do it.  The Reason bureaucracy failed to disgorge anything by press time (after several months’ warning), and, one supposes, that is their appropriate response to NLM.

Fortunately, the “top of the Movement” did reply.  Murray N. Rothbard proved again that neither is he too elevated to stoop to principle, nor, as he indicated by his first footnote, would [78] he let even personal affronts deter him.  The same spirit and ideological nobility is deemable to Robert LeFevre.  Filthy Pierre, like the author himself, has a good fannish mentality about “loccing” other publications.

The critiques of New Libertarian Manifesto are printed in full; the responses are not.  Something had to give in the space requirements.  Nonetheless, the Nucleus of the NLA views NLM as well-defended and, next issue, we will move to the attack.

Internal New Libertarian criticism and external criticism will never be disclosed.  So to continue the debate, if others with Strategy of the New Libertarian Alliance (SNLA) will inaugurate a Letters column (in smaller type if it gets out of hand) next issue.  Write freely!

And next issue, SNLA2, Samuel Edward Konkin III and other libertarian and agorist theorists (now being solicited) will tackle Marxism and especially the Leninist model of Revolution and contrast it with the New Libertarian Revolutionary model (NL will try to get a worthy representative of a purist “Left Communist” group to participate.)

It’s too early to guarantee SNLA3* yet, but undoubtedly it will carry responses to the publication of Konkin’s mass-market followup to NLM; that is, Counter-Economics, the book.  And further incursions into the frontier…

Back to Critiques Title Page

Forward to Rothbard’s Critique


* Indeed, none was ever produced prior to SEK3’s death in 2004. — VK