Drones and Jefferson? Against Imperial Libertarianism

Read Scott Horton's new book Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan

If libertarianism can only spread through state power, occupations, and murder, then forget about the freedom project altogether.

To preach classical liberalism while overlooking, excusing, or outright collaborating with the US government and its militarism abroad is contrary to the foundation of the modern American libertarian movement.

Peace is paramount.

What good are free markets under military occupation? How receptive can people be to these ideas if they are under constant threat of being blown up by US drones or renditioned or killed by Special Operations Forces?

How can we discuss individual liberty with populations who perceive freedom to be synonymous with night raids, corporate cronyism, and authoritarianism?

Libertarianism is supposed to be a radical critique of state power and the relationship of the individual to the government. That is, libertarianism should stand in opposition to the state.

Is there reason for optimism?

Well, if this new generation can decouple libertarianism from the militarization its undergone, there is some hope to be found in the people residing on the landmass between Canada and Mexico.

However, due to generations of imperial rot, any optimism we can muster probably rests in making libertarianism synonymous with anarchism, instead of classical liberalism.

A serious discussion must take place – and soon.

- Advertisement -
Read Scott Horton's new book Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan
Previous articleThree Cheers for the Articles of Confederation
Next articleMarijuana, Doctors, and the State

Jared Labell is the Executive Director of The Libertarian Institute as well as Taxpayers United of America. A native of Texas, Jared is a history major whose work and interviews have been published by dozens of radio, newspaper, and television stations across Illinois and publicized nationally, including such media outlets as the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, WGN, Fox, ABC, NPR, and the Illinois Radio Network, as well as Antiwar.com, the Future of Freedom Foundation, and the Foundation for Economic Education.