New Libertarian Manifesto

Samuel Edward Konkin III

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Critiques Index

Page numbers appear in blue: 144, 145, 146


While the third pole of libertarianism as represented by the Libertarian Connection may not have been around as long as Rothbard and LeFevre, to one who entered the Movement during the Great Conversion of 1969 as I did, the three Connection stars “skye D’Aureous,” “Natalee Hall” and “Filthy Pierre” were almost as established and respected a view.  To an extent, the Connection position differs from both and is clearly independent; also, Connectors are usually more future-oriented, heavily into technology and market innovations.  In fact, if Rothbard seeks to revolutionize us to Liberty and LeFevre to pacify us there—crude simplifications to be sure—Connectors want to innovate us there.  Since “Skye” and “Natalee” have gone on to do supurb work in that area under their real names, Filthy Pierre has become editor of the libertarian APA and the closest to a standard-bearer and spokesperson that the ultra-individualist Connection viewpoint has.

To begin with, I’m proud to have Pierre’s basic agreement with the New Libertarian “vision.”  While I have been little influenced directly by the Connection and its contributors, having read only one issue before he became editor (which was after New Libertarian Manifesto’s publication), some of their better ideas have undoubtedly filtered into [145] general movement lore and I most gratefully acknowledge any that inspired New Libertarian and New Libertarian Manifesto’s more original and innovative presentations of the libertarian case.  So let’s check out our few differences.

Pierre is vigilant against the Libertarian Movement re-collectivizing into a potential State.  Hear, hear; he is welcome to be a permanent paid watchdog in the pages of New Libertarian, Strategies for a New Libertarian Alliance or wherever.  I too fear such a possible occurrence and see it already happening in the guise of the Libertarian Party.

But I am afraid he sees altruism where none was intended, and, I submit, none is present.  Discarding one side issue, I consider “public goods” a problem for the Chicago economists to dwell on like theologians counting angels on pins.

Pierre does proffer the very service I was looking for in requesting critiques.  He discovered an area that I not only was unclear in expressing but that I had not yet realized was a problem.  My thanks to his contribution to the clarity of the cause.

What I did make clear is that there is personal freedom and freedom for a society at large—including oneself.  Pierre’s comment on Browne—with which I almost totally agree!—confirms that.  What I failed to make clear is that making society freer offers the immediate reward of lowering risk.  Thus, one judges how much a contribution to agorist activity reduces one’s counter-economic risks and contributes accordingly.  As we pass through the stages outlined in the Manifesto, the advantages become more tangible and obvious if more diffuse, [146] but I do point out that agorist R&D will be transferred to specific industries for their profit and/or reduction of cost—especially insurance and protection.

Where Pierre sees various degrees of “altruism,” I see short-term, medium-range, and long-range investment in improving one’s surrounding environment—investments that do not clash but are complementary to one’s investment in personal freedom and safety.

I could not care less about “genetic altruism” and its indulgence.

Pierre does put his finger on the semantic static generated by using terms evolved in politics for the purpose of agorist activism and I hope to see him working further with New Libertarians on developing alternative, clearer labels and popularizing them.  (My well-known proclivity for neologizing—coining new words—is prompted precisely to achieve that semantic clarity and to free our language of inappropriate associations.)

The general spread and marketing of weapons of mass destruction may well be coming, but I fail to see how it will have the critical effect of abolishing the State.  Further debate on this question (opened in New Libertarian Weekly) may be warranted.

Samuel Edward Konkin III
May Day, 1981

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