Extremism in defence of Capitalism – but it does make you chuckle

November 2, 2008 at 1:03 pm (cults, deviants, elections, Libertarian Party, libertarianism, voltairespriest, wankers)

Bob a JobIn my last post about the upcoming US elections, I noted Alexander Cockburn’s complimentary comment about the platform of Libertarian Party candidate for President, Bob Barr. So fascinated was I by this weird political figure that I thought I’d do some more reading about him, and I’ve got to admit that his sheer comedic value had previously passed me by.

There’s a useful run-down on Barr’s record on the Economist website, where the Bobster is deconstructed in their Lexington column from May 29th this year. Amongst his great achievements in defence of liberty, aside from voting to impeach Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal (so much for the idea that personal morality should not be enforced by governments), voting for the ultra-authoritarian Patriot Act, throwing himself into the ludicrous and self-defeating “war on drugs” and supporting the Defense of Marriage Act (freedom’s mighty advocate can’t have gays tying the knot after all), was this:

His moralistic fervour faltered only when it came to his own conduct: twice divorced, he was once photographed licking whipped cream off the breasts of a particularly buxom woman. He says he was raising money for leukaemia research. (Well, he would, wouldn’t he?)

Well, they do say the USA is a nation of givers. I’m not sure whether this puts Barr on, as the Economist puts it, the “Ruby Ridge” or “Reefer Madness” wings of the wonderfully wacky Libertarian Party, but it certainly adds a little colour to the sour paleo-conservative’s record.

Of course, he’s recanted his past now, and appears to believe that “anything goes” is the right approach to social and economic policy alike. And he has his backers, like the writer at the unofficial “bobbarr.com” site, who believes his Bobness is the only man left who can stop Barack Obama from nationalising McDonalds and declaring rule by Soviets in the USA. Truly, in America it is possible for hope to triumph over reason.

Even prominent self-described “Libertarians” – a political label chosen by, at best, 10% of the US population – interviewed by Reason magazine, split between McCain, Barr and, surprisingly, Obama, whom many were inclined to support simply to give the GOP a kicking. All in all, things do not look good for our diminutive Georgian Don Quixote or for Wayne Allyn Root, his VP candidate and Z-list “celebrity” bookie. Yet they’ll keep trucking on, as will their clown-suited fringe political party. And somehow I just can’t help but smile at that fact: after all, US politics just wouldn’t be the same without them.

6 Comments

  1. tcd said,

    so when Bush s paying billions of state money to Wall Street and this same finance capital elite is heavily funding Obama to get into power, giving him more financial backing than McCain so he can get into power and continue the enormous robbery, we get progressives appearing to talk to us on the dangers of “libertarianism”!!!!!!!

    what the fuck is it with the pro-democracy fantasist “progressives” (I divide degenerate left bloggers into two kinds, both tied to the ideology of weak capital and the left of the Democrats/Labour etc., one which is syndcalist and ends up supporting its own i,perialism against fascism via an apolitical workers rights logic, and the other which is stalnist or populist and ends up supporting third world bourgeoisies via an anti-imperialist logic), that when the world is collapsing around our ears, and when the union bureaucracies, the reformists, the centre left etc. are screwing the planet with mass robberry of a historic scale, they aways find some scare “extremist” who “doesn’t have the correct criticisms of a situation which, yes there are some correct criticisms to be made of, we admit”, etc. COME ON the danger is not the libertarians it is Barack Obama, who once in power will set out to wipe out the few small gains and rights workers have at home and abroad.

    This is the guy who “loves the market”, this is the guy who is going to be dedicating his life to returning the rate of profit to US capital, including all the ,ass ,urder and poverty creation and victimising of immigrants and the unemployed and ethnic ,inotrities and the “criminals” and the workers and the unions which this implies, this guy isthe enemy. Fuck the libertarians really who cares? WAKE UP. This is the Democrats co,ing into power, the party of Jimmy Carter who upheld Plan Condor, the Party of Vietnam, the Party of Clinton and serbia and So,alia, a party of mass ,urderers, the party of welfare cuts and pay cuts and inflation and triangulation. These will be in power in a few months, but no, the progressives wants us to prefer them to the libertarians.

    :(

  2. Voltaire's Priest said,

    It takes some effort at counter-intuitive reading to think that I’m warning about the “dangers” of the risible figure of Bob Barr. The truth is, I just found the moustachioed one, and his two-bit Sancho Panza Wayne Root, quite amusing. I do think there’s an issue when Cockburn is recommending aspects of their programme though.

    I’m not entirely sure where the peculiar, angry tone comes from here, but if you read anything I’ve written about why I support the Democratic candidate in this particular election, I think you’d quickly realise that it is not with any illusions that I’m doing so. And yes, for all the reasons that I’ve previously mentioned I think there would be huge opportunities for progressive politics consequent from a Democratic victory. I could also mention the fact that you could fit most of the left who disagree with one or another version of that stance into the back of a taxi, but that would obviously be mean ;)

  3. modernityblog said,

    I see tcd’s point, so a McCain/Palin win would benefit the American working classes? how exactly would that work out?

    would a President Palin (cos McCain won’t last) be a good or bad thing for the world, the working classes and the poor? any idea?

    in a Palin Vs. Obama fight, who would TCD back?

  4. tcd said,

    Why do we have to choose between Palin or Obama? Wall Street has alreayd chosen Obama, he will win, he is the next enemy, and he will attack workers wages, attack workers rights, attack employment, attack welfare, and attack toher countries. UInder Obama there will be an extension of POVERTY in the US, an extension of poverty in the countries whose markets hte US will attempt to further monopolise in order ot minimise hte cost of the crisis at home, and an extension of conflict with foreign countries. I *garuantee* you. save this post of mine, in 4 years if I am wrong remind me and I will personally travel to britain and kneel before you as 100% right and me 100% wrong. Deal?

  5. tcd said,

    “It takes some effort at counter-intuitive reading to think that I’m warning about the “dangers” of the risible figure of Bob Barr. The truth is, I just found the moustachioed one, and his two-bit Sancho Panza Wayne Root, quite amusing. I do think there’s an issue when Cockburn is recommending aspects of their programme though.”

    Ah stop palying innocent, youa re a poltiical writer, and you use your time and resources to SUPPORT Obama and to encourage all your readers to to support him, take some responsibility! When you are talkign about the Libertarians ont he night before the US electiona t the same time when you support the candidate of the Bailout, and at the same time when you have just chosen one criticism of Obama to attack with the end of putting forward an argument not just against the criticism but FOR Obama, and whent hat argument is the same one which incorrectly sympathised with the libertarians, then you are part of the pro-Obama madness, the proapaganda, let´s talk real!

  6. modernityblog said,

    Volty,

    I’ll leave TCD to you, I find such childish nonsense rather boring.

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