A major premise of this site is that Conservatives lie to hide their true agenda as mouthpieces for the rich and powerful and Libertarians are no exception to the rule as we see in a story six months ago by Mark Ames at Nsfwcorp.com,"Found: Libertarians' "Lying To Liberals" Guide Book."
StopWatching.Us' protest in Washington DC promises to be the Mother Of All StrangeBedfellowsPaloozas, the apotheosis of sentimental Boomer politics in which right-wingers hold hands with left-wingers in a righteous People’s Crusade against the government Death Star.
"I wouldn't be the first to point out how embarrassingly easy it has been for rancid Koch libertarian front groups to convince those on the Left that they are all on the same team. As Salon writer Tom Watson wrote, the event is 'fatally compromised by the prominent leadership and participation of the Libertarian Party and other libertarian student groups [who stand] in direct opposition to almost everything I believe in as a social democrat.'
"What hasn't been revealed until now, however, is how the libertarians got so good at fooling their lefty marks. For that you have to look back 35 years, to an amazing series of articles in the Koch brothers' REASON magazine in which prominent libertarians lay out to a new generation of followers a playbook of 'tricks' to fool earnest leftists, liberals and hippies into supporting their cause.
"If you really believe that these events are about promoting freedom and humanitarianism, you're going to be even more disturbed by what libertarians had to say about conning liberals in their more unguarded moments, before their "tricks" worked and they were able to pull off these big DC 'strange bedfellows' events like clockwork.
"One of the most shocking strategy articles comes in a REASON article headlined 'Marketing Libertarianism' written by Moshe Kroy, and published in the February 1977 issue. The article begins by acknowledging libertarians’ frustrations:
"A paradox most libertarians (if not all) are acutely aware of is the gap between the self-evidence of libertarianism, on the one hand, and the difficulty of communicating it to nonlibertarians on the other hand. The fact that the free market is the only economic-political system which makes human existence possible—as human existence—seems to be very easily demonstrable."But alas, the sheeple are too thick to grasp what a wonderfully liberating experience the free market offers to non-millionaires. Here’s where the marketing expert lays it all out on the table, reminding his libertarian followers that by its definition, libertarian politics will never catch on with a public brought up on majority rule—not unless you trick them:
"This article may seem somewhat cynical and opportunistic—but if you read it closely you will see that it involves no falsity or deception. The point is that you can use tricks—and you'd better, if you really want libertarianism to have a fighting chance."In a sense the author is right: the article is honest in assessing libertarianism as a marketing ploy rather than political idealism, and the only way to con customers into buying a product that’ll likely do them harm is the same way you sell them Florida real estate: by tricking them.
"Kroy lays out three 'simple facts' which 'a libertarian (of all people) should know.' They are:
"1. Libertarianism is an idea. And ideas are products, to be sold on the market. This implies, basically, that to turn another person into a libertarian you have to sell him the idea. And selling involves salesmanship.
"2. To sell a product, you must wrap it in an attractive package. If you try to communicate an idea in a form which contradicts the basic convictions of your client, you will fail. Thus, if you explain to a Catholic that libertarianism is based on the virtue of selfishness, or to a communist that libertarianism is for pure capitalism, you will fail. The words you use will turn them off, and they will never consider the idea. This, in turn, implies the following principle.
"3. To sell libertarianism, you must sell it under a formula which corresponds to the basic convictions of the guy to whom you sell it. In effect, to try to change his basic convictions, to try to make a Catholic accept Rand's thought first and then libertarianism as a byproduct, is utter folly. You may either fail immediately or succeed after eight years of hard work. So you have produced one more libertarian in eight years..."In other words, if you’re one of the libertarian True Believers rather than one of the Galtian players, you’re probably not going to be much help to the movement—so bugger off. The Kochs’ REASON is directly appealing here to what it hopes is a smarter, 'cynical' subset of its small, cash-rich libertarian movement—Randroids, snotty heirs, and various reactionary sociopaths who understand that the key to their success is conning the sheeple, and enjoying it. What follows is a catalogue of libertarian 'tricks' tailored to various marks.
"Libertarianism for decent folk. A decent, hard-working, never-thinking bloke will not buy "individual rights"—he does not understand what you are talking about. It is quite too late to send him to a Montessori kindergarten to develop his conceptual faculty. Instead, what you can do is to explain to him that libertarianism is just against one thing: CRIME. By crime you mean just what he means: theft, robbery, kidnapping, enslavement. He will of course agree, because he thinks this is obvious. Then you just explain (at great length, and with many examples) that taxation is armed robbery, that inflation through deficit spending and money printing is theft—as well as forgery of money—that [the] draft is basically kidnapping, etc.
"You know the line. The point is one of equity: If you are not allowed to do any of these, why should a group of people called the government be allowed to do them? Clearly, he will object that the government is a totally different thing. But he must resort to explaining that the government is, basically, against crime, and then he has a paradox on his hands—and a paradox which he can understand."Here the author makes clear one of the fundamental differences between libertarians and their marks: A libertarian is "cynical" and deliberate; he "tricks" with intent. Their target audience, on the other hand, is assumed to be earnest and gullible—vulnerabilities to be exploited. Other vulnerabilities targeted for exploitation: hippie narcissism and delusions of grandeur:
"Libertarianism for romantic souls. A romantic soul is not interested much in economics or in politics, but he has great admiration for greatness. (That is why many Randists are ex-romantic- souls). He is all for the good, wise, great, smart hero, for the genius, against mediocrity. For him, Iibertarianism would make sense simply as the context where greatness would not be persecuted, hampered, restrained, destroyed. So that is the only point on which you sell libertarianism to him."Behold the libertarian rank-and-file: the Legions of WäffenSchrutes.
"More relevant to our time are REASON magazine’s suggested 'tricks' to con idealistic leftist marks, and to con hippie hedonists:
"Libertarianism for justice and freedom fighters. You will find this individual in the left radical movement, fighting for what he was told is freedom and against what he was told is slavery. So assure him that you are just against one thing: enslavement. Assure him that you are just for one thing: social justice. Having this agreement, start to communicate to him the true meaning of slavery—and why taxation, controls, draft, are slavery. (Start with draft, because he is already against that.)
"Libertarianism for hippies. The hippie has the right to take marijuana, walk naked on the beach, and have his own sex without anybody interfering, hasn‘t he? Isn’t that just what libertarianism is all about? Libertarianism was created to free him from the oppression of a conformist, square society, imposed on him at the point of a gun."The next thing you know, Bill Maher, South Park’s creators, Hefner and the like are all running around smugly describing themselves as 'libertarians' and feeling like they’re really sticking it to The Man in saying so.
"Finally, the piece ends with a strange libertarian appeal to relativism and something verging on Leo Strauss:
"Every point of view is based on recognition of some real problem and grasp of some truth. It involves, usually, many falsifications of facts.
"The point, however, is that you can make an individual a libertarian on the basis, almost, of whatever point of view he possesses—if you communicate the idea to him in his own frame of reference, based on his own fundamental convictions, in his own terms and words... Your problem, as a libertarian, is to create a libertarian society. To do that, you need many, many new libertarians. Their other convictions, whatever they are, are none of your business. They concern you only insofar as you use them—as the basis for your sale of libertarianism."All of that is stunning enough—and something to keep in mind if you find yourself getting all dewy-eyed as you take your place on the bottom of the 'strange bedfellows' at the StopWatching.us rally, topped by such rancid libertarian outfits as FreedomWorks, the Kochs’ climate denial front Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Kochs’ new anti-Obamacare Astroturf front Generation Opportunity, Students For Liberty (funded by CIA/NSA contractor Peter Thiel), Ron Paul’s Young Americans For Liberty, the Libertarian Party....
"Anyway, just in case 'Marketing Libertarianism' hadn't got the rulebook out widely enough, REASON ran a second article later in 1977 headlined 'How To Get Converts Left & Right: Political Cross-Dressing Is The Answer.'
"The article essentially repeats the same dark message as before, in language clear enough so that even the dimmest narcissist on the lower rungs of the libertarian movement could grasp their instructions.
"That they even had to run two articles in the space of a few months on how to trick Americans into accepting libertarianism shows what a hard time REASON was having selling such a counterintuitive political scam to a generation enamored with its idealism. It also shows a certain impatience on the part of the Kochs and the libertarian movement.
"The problem was simple: In 1976, the Kochs threw a lot of cash into bankrolling a Libertarian Party presidential campaign, and they got zilch in return, despite buying all sorts of good press about what mavericks the Libertarians were. The movement was all lobbyists, no Indians. Which is to say: no voters.
"Another thing that REASON’s unvarnished nihilism reveals is that they had no audience outside of their own numbers; no one in their right mind read the crap published in REASON back then. Only the tiny numbers of fellow libertarians, most of whom were on one political flak's payroll or another. In that sense, the REASON of 1977 was more like a Koch Industries PR department newsletter for the company's flaks. No need to mince words.
"Having no outside readers also helps explain why REASON got away with publishing so much Holocaust denial crap. As I wrote a few weeks ago, in 1976 REASON devoted an entire issue to promoting Holocaust deniers—one of the deniers was Ron Paul’s Congressional aide at the time, Gary North, who wrote in REASON that the Holocaust was 'the Establishment's favorite horror story' and recommended a book called 'The Myth of the Six Million.' It wasn’t the first time or last time that REASON or the Kochs published Holocaust deniers. If you can get away with denying the Holocaust, you can certainly get away with telling your libertarian base to trick and con as many sincere suckers out there as possible to help Master Koch.
"Back to REASON’s article, 'How To Convert': It begins by contrasting a slick, savvy libertarian trickster like 1976 Libertarian Party presidential candidate Roger MacBride with a common rank-and-file libertarian imbecile:
"As Libertarian Party candidate for president of the United States, Roger MacBride campaigned and spoke in many cities. He constantly sought brief and effective ways to present libertarian ideas. During a question-and-answer session in Phoenix, Arizona, a member of the audience rose and said, 'I like a lot of what you’ve said, but I disagree with you on gun control. Surely you realize that Saturday Night Specials have to be banned.'
"MacBride waited a few seconds before answering. He replied, 'Laws that forbid inexpensive handguns deprive blacks and other low-income minorities of a means of self-defense. Poor blacks living in ghettos cannot afford $200 pistols. How can you defend a racist proposal like this?'
"The questioner was stunned. He stared at MacBride for a moment, then sat down.
"Confronted with the same question, most libertarians would have talked about the right to self-defense, the immorality of government coercion, the Second Amendment, or some other point equally unimportant to the questioner—who would have remained unpersuaded.
"Note again the emphasis on tricking an earnest mark. Earnestness, sincerity—these are mere weaknesses to the libertarian. The libertarian is expected to be 'cynical,' manipulative and deliberate; the mark, the average American voter, is assumed to engage in political debate honestly and sincerely, unarmed with tricks and strategies. Here the libertarian is assumed to be someone who can’t be persuaded by fair and honest debate; the only thing that threatens a libertarian’s commitment to the Movement is a sense of failure, the sense that no one else is being persuaded, the sense of a lost cause.
Whether it's the Libertarians or Conservatives, it's mandatory that they sell an "attractive package" containing a "formula which corresponds to the basic convictions of the guy to whom you sell it."
Or in other words, lie to get into office and stay in office.
And fill the lies with fluffy symbols: Freedom, Social Justice, Fighting Oppression...blah, blah, blah, never minding the other person's convictions, they "concern you only insofar as you use them—as the basis for your sale of libertarianism."
The Libertarian's - and Ron Paul's - Holocaust denial will probably keep him out of the White House, and as every Libertarian "is expected to be 'cynical,' manipulative and deliberate," and like Conservative liars, their lies sometimes catch up with them.
Tomorrow: The Rest of The Story.
"He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms,
uh, by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through
town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we
were going to be free, and we were going to be armed."