After a recent blowup over comments made by the publisher of the Libertarian Republic, followed by critiques by numerous libertarians, he has graciously informed us that in actuality he is behaving quite selflessly by associating himself with the liberty movement.
So he could have struck it rich but decided to stick with his principles, which includes attacking libertarians who actually have a consistent political philosophy (watch Larken Rose’s detailed response to the article here; he, too, finds irony in the name Libertarian Republic).
It seems we selfish anarchists really need to appreciate such altruism more.
Christopher Cantwell wrote an excellent post a while back about a fake female libertarian who too played the “you’re lucky to have me” card when confronted on their inconsistent and frankly nonsensical beliefs that were completely incompatible with libertarianism. As he remarked in his Twitter response, 140 characters won’t do that sort of comment justice.
So why fake being a libertarian? Whether your goal is political power, adsense revenues, disinformation, or just feeling important, calling yourself a libertarian gives you the opportunity to play big fish in our little pond.
It’s all about economics, my friends. Supply and demand.
Trad Con, Neocon, Liberal and Progressive sites are a dime a dozen. If you were to try to make it as a news site publisher under one of these political ideologies, one would have to compete within a very aggressive market with plenty of talented competition, not to mention big money behind them. The demand is high, but so is the supply.
The same cannot be said for libertarian news sites. There are very few. Not enough to meet the growing demand as libertarian beliefs gain in popularity, or at least more people show interest in them.
For a business-minded person looking to make money but doesn’t actually believe in the philosophy, it’s a relatively untapped market. Or, if you’re just seeking attention, it’s also an easy market if you’re willing to make enough of a scene.
Putting “libertarian” on your masthead is an effective marketing strategy if you’re looking to separate yourself from other sites with the same political content, but it’s not an honest way of describing the product you’re peddling.
But I tend to give people the benefit of doubt, so I will ask an honest question. If that isn’t the reason, then why run a site called Libertarian Republic when you describe yourself as a minarchist and constitutionalist, only to later call yourself a libertarian? Why not call it the Constitutional/Minarchist Republic, as that is precisely what you are advocating, unless it’s to market specifically to an audience whose views you don’t share but whose page views you’re looking to attract?
Imagine if I wrote an article here describing myself as a “constitutionalist” or had named this site the Constitutionalist Notebook, but had the same About page. Would that make any sense? How would calling this site or myself a constitutionalist be an accurate description of my actual political philosophy?
Better yet, what conclusion would you draw about my intentions for doing so? How can we have honest debates about what we believe when people use words interchangeably?