Derrick Broze shares his thoughts on the current state of libertarianism and the tendency for some self-proclaimed “Libertarians” to have lifestyles which contradict libertarian principles.
I started spending time in the American Libertarian/Liberty/Voluntaryst movement around 2011. First, in Houston, and then nationally, attending conferences, festivals, and camp outs. I also read so many libertarian authors, listened to podcasts, and interviewed people as I was learning.
This was when I was still very young in my political philosophy and was just starting understand the nuances between the Left and the Right, Democrats and Republicans, Liberal and Conservative etc.
I was drawn to the libertarians because most seemed to understand the two party system was a lie and that what mattered most was protecting individual liberty for all people.
The foundation of libertarianism is self-ownership. From that springs the moral code of the Non-Aggression Principle and a support for property rights. These ideas still form the core of my beliefs.
In 2016, I released a video describing my effort to “move away” from focusing only on libertarian arguments and philosophical debates. This was not because I stopped being a libertarian but because I realized how much of an echo chamber/circle jerk the movement is and continues to be.
Instead, by touring, running for Mayor, and doing journalism I have been able to spread the ideas of libertarianism without ever mentioning the word. My hundreds of talks have helped me learn to communicate the message without using trigger words which allows the audience to hear me and the actual concepts I am sharing.
Another reason I chose to stop focusing on preaching to the libertarian choir is because I have noticed many, many people in the “movement” who do not live according to the principles of the philosophy. Now, I do my best not to judge or attack other people, but when people wave the libertarian flag and still use government services, or vote for Republicans etc – they are NOT libertarian.
The most recent example of this lack of consistency with libertarians relates to Elon Musk. Without rehashing what should be common knowledge, Musk is a huge contractor of the U.S. government, particularly the Department of Defense. Starlink is also helping the drone programs. This means he works directly with the Military Industrial Complex. Ya know, the war machine I THOUGHT Libertarians opposed?
Now, for those who don’t understand, libertarians often speak of Statism or Corporate Welfare. Generally speaking, we oppose taking benefits from government to give yourself an advantage. In fact, this is fundamentally against Libertarian thought.
Yet I know more than a handful – and see even more on social media – who claim that the story of Elon’s entrepreneurial spirit is exciting or inspiring enough that they ignore the clear connections to the military. They choose to ignore the statism and corporate welfare because they like the story of his rise to the richest man in the world.
Problem with that is the whole story is fabricated. Anyone who honestly looks at his history, the lawsuits from co-founders of companies he was involved in, his shady claims about his education, SHOULD be able to see that we are being fed another BS story. Just like the idea that Mark Zuckerberg created FB in his college dorm, or Gates created Microsoft in a garage. These are narratives and people are falling for them.
It is extremely frustrating to see so many people who claim to be libertarians or support the voluntaryist philosophy frothing at the mouth to defend Elon Musk despite his military connections. And, this isn’t even getting into his support for UBI, neuralink chips in the brain, his support of transhumanism etc etc.
Now, I know that this post is not going to change people’s mind because I can already see the same level of cognitive dissonance that I see from Trump supporters who blindly support him. In fact, in 2016 many so-called Libertarians also abandoned principles to chase the Trump train.
When will people stop needing heroes to believe in? When will libertarians finally wake up and realize that there IS an agenda to control the world and the ideas Musk is promoting will advance that agenda?
I won’t be holding my breath. Instead, I will continue on my path spreading the philosophy of liberty to the masses AND actually living it.
Musk comes across to me, as someone who is playing both sides of the isle. On one hand he and his companies are innovating beyond most others in their given industry. On the other, he is a contractor for the military (among others). I also see most of his innovation coming into the public sector, unlike most in the Military Industrial Complex. He reminds me more of Nikola Tesla than JP Morgan, who pulled the figurative plug on Tesla, because there was no money to be made with wireless energy.
Elon is a complete blowhard. Thanks for your refreshing views.
How did Zuckerberg and Gates start their companies? I only know the “official” story.
I think that people are not ready for being free. I am in Canada and here we have the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) which is very close to libertarian yet in the last election they got only 5%. Normally they would have gotten 2% or 3%. The only reason it went up was that the Conservative leader was basically a leftist and it was pissing off some people who switched to voting PPC instead. To me, that party has everything that I would like to see in our government yet almost nobody votes for them! That boggles my mind. People are just not interested. They think that everything is fine just the way it is. They just like to vote for the “big” parties. Unimaginative. It does not help that the PPC was not getting any TV time and whatever they did get was negative (for obvious reasons).