The Independent Institute’s Counterproductive Email List

Like Steven Den Beste, I also received (note past tense) regular copies of David Theroux’s “would you please post a notice” emails, as I’m sure did numerous other bloggers. I had a more favorable impression of The Independent Institute before I started receiving these emails. It seemed that nearly every issue of the Institute’s online newsletter contained at least one article from the why-do-they-hate-us school of libertarian isolationism. This eventually got under my skin and I asked to be removed from the list. Theroux et al are entitled to their opinions, but they aren’t doing the libertarian cause any favors by associating it with opposition to the war against fundamentalist Islam. There is no contradiction between libertarianism and defending an imperfect liberal society against totalitarian aggression.

7 thoughts on “The Independent Institute’s Counterproductive Email List”

  1. I agree. Bear in mind, however, that libertarians have diverse views on the WOT. Not all libertarians think like the Lew Rockwell crowd, Ind. Institute, etc.

  2. -Of course libertarians have diverse views on the WOT. What I am annoyed at are libertarians who presume that their idiosyncratic isolationism is representative of some general libertarian position.

    -Sure, it’s an automated list. You’d think they would have more sense than to emphasize their most divisive positions in a listserve that goes out to a broad readership, many of whom may not have signed up for it.

  3. I am a libertarian, once big “L”, now small. I have to admit that my initial reaction to 9/11 was a certain amount of that sort of wailing and breast beating. Until I looked into the implications of Islamic thought and culture. They don’t need any particular excuse to hate us, except our refusal to become just like them. I now find it hard to even read Lew Rockwell’s thoughts on the topic, he seems so out of touch with the new world we live in.

  4. On the weekend before 9/11, I had a debate with a prominent libertarian about the role of the US regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. His view then was that resolution would have occurred long ago if not for US economic and military assistance to Israel, which should be removed.

    Since 9/11, he hasn’t spoken about this issue again publicly or privately, because taking any position would alienate many other libertarians whom he depends upon.

    Possibly, he now recognizes the Israelis as the forward deployed forces of western civilization in the war on terror. Or, he still belives what he said then, and finds that keeping his mouth shut is safer. However, my percetpion is that the moral clarity he once had on this issue was obliterated along with the WTC towers.

  5. I disagree with your interlocutor in that I think the solution to the conflict lies with the Palestinians. However, I also think that U.S. subsidies to Israel have been destructive to the extent they have given Israel the luxury of keeping socialistic policies rather than further liberalizing its economy. But if we’re going to subsidize our allies, I think we get a much better return by subsidizing Israel than by subsidizing Egypt or most of the other countries that we pour money into.

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