Chuck McGlawn’s “You Knew That”

I received the following in email, and now it’s a guest editorial blog post, somewhat in response to my write-up of Chuck’s talk at the Karl Hess Club which you can hear here, but will you listen?

“You Knew ThatBy Chuck McGlawn

Left means more government. Right means less government

I will bet you that all the information to verify the subtitle/statement above is already in your knowledge base. All you have to do is to put the right pieces of your knowledge together.

I think we all know that if the temperature variation on the planet Earth were only three degrees. Night or day, summer or winter, polar or equatorial the temperature only varies three degrees. Then no one would have bothered to invent or sell a thermometer. You knew that. Ask yourself would a thermometer exist on a planet where the temperature varies only three degrees. Additionally, if every woman on the planet were “drop dead gorgeous”, Hollywood would never have made the movie called “10″. You knew that. .And if it is as the “confused nicks” say that Communism and Socialism is authoritarianism on the left and Fascism and Nazism is the authoritarianism on the right, no one would have ever concocted a left/right political spectrum in the first place You knew that. Then David Nolan would have had nothing to come along and improve upon. You knew that.

Let us tap into that knowledge base of yours. Almost everyone knows that Communism and Socialism is on the left. In today’s vernacular it is “a given”. If you are one of the few that disagrees with that, any more reading of this article would be a waste of your time. However, if you are among the confused that call yourself a “left” libertarian, you definitely need to continue.

Communism, Socialism, are designated “Left” by Karl Marx. They are systems where the government makes all the decisions for individuals and business. As they own or control the major means of production. That is they own/control the Land (that is the country) they own/control the labor (that is the people) and they own/control the capital (that is the money and everything needed to make more money). Fascism and Nazism so named by Mussolini and Hitler respectively.  are the exact same. They are all systems of 100% government of the extreme left. You knew that. The West generally bundled them all together and called it Totalitarianism.

When 100% government is the extreme left end and let us make it the starting point of a political spectrum, then 0% government or anarchy would be the exact opposite or the right end of that political spectrum. You knew that.

There are four names by which overlapping segments of the Libertarian movement identify themselves. You may not be able to recall any of the names on your own. But when I list them, you are going to say, You knew that. Three of the four are Miniarchist, anarco-capitalism and Anarchy. Please note each of these words contain the word “arch”. Arch is the Greek word that means rule.

I’ll bet you know the meanings of the three names that Libertarians use to identify themselves. Miniarchist would be those Libertarians that believe in the least possible amount of government or rule. You knew that. Anarco-capitalist would be those Libertarians that believe government should have no say in the capitalist or free market system. You knew that. Lastly, the anarchy wing of libertarianism would be those that believe there should be no rule or no government at all. You knew that.

I am not going to remind you of the fourth name. You are going to have to think* of that one yourself. Perhaps if we did a little more thinking we would have never swallowed the fiction that the right is somehow fascist or authoritarian.

I want to take it one more step. If Government is the enemy of liberty or libertarian, then liberty or libertarian would be all about reducing government. I am going to say it. If total government is 100% government, and it is on the left. Then reductions of government are increases in liberty and a move away from the left towards what? Towards the right. You knew that. Now I am not suggesting that a move all the way to the right is my personal goal. At this stage of my understanding, I cannot completely embrace anarchy. Additionally, I do not think the American people could even think that a system of “no Government” is even remotely viable

Let’s tap a little deeper into your knowledge base. There are two very compelling reasons why we need to recapture and utilize the Left/Right Political Spectrum. The first is, candidate handlers and issue promoters are getting more and more adept at their craft. It becomes more and more difficult to cut through their spin to get to the real candidate or the real issue. Therefore, their tactics constantly take in the uninformed. Even the informed need a roadmap to direct them on their course. Just look around, the Liberty Movement is more split today then it has ever been in its history. The second reason to recapture the Left/Right (more government/less government) political spectrum is to use it as a roadmap. It is simple enough for all to understand. The direction signs leading to the goals that we desire are clear enough for anyone to understand regardless of the depths of their knowledge. The Left/Right Political Spectrum shortens the learning curve so that even the newly initiated advocate of Liberty can hit the ground running, You knew that

*Here is your Challenge: WHAT IS THE FOURTH WORD/PHRASE TO WHICH LIBERTARIANS REFER TO THEMSELVES THAT SAYS “RIGHT (or less government) AND LIBERTY ARE CONNECTED” Send your answers to Chuckest@aol.com, or just click the Comment Button below.

5 Responses to “Chuck McGlawn’s “You Knew That””

  1. Chuck McGlawn Says:

    I did not intend for Kent to post my e-mail, but now that it is up, I would really like some feedback, positive or negative.

    I can defend my position, can you defend yours?

  2. PermaKent Says:

    Ah. I got the impression you wanted it online based on the first paragraph, which I left out because it was a note to me, I thought:

    ‘Here is some “Light” reading to win my bet. Feel free to post it on your website if you like.’

    My write-up of your 2009 talk covers my position. In the U.S., your usage of Left and Right is common. In Europe, not so much.

    There are libertarians who are just as adamant as you (SEK3 and some folks at Mises), but hankering to take over the term “Left.” The current usage is what it is, and the 1% of us hardcore types aren’t changing it ever, especially when what is to be changed is disputed within our tiny sub-subset of the libertarian quadrant.

    But as Dennis Miller would say, “That’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.”

  3. PermaKent Says:

    On another subject, Howard Hinman, another board member of the Resilient Freedom Foundation, thinks my suggestion of having you as an expert speaker about off-grid food production and other prepper topics was the best idea he’s heard lately.

    It would be for the Karl Hess Community Technology Forum’s next meeting after my August 29 talk on ham radio vs. the internet kill switch. We tend to have those irregularly scheduled meetings on the 5th Monday (when it exists) of the month (adjusting for major holidays).

    Would you be willing to do that, Mr. McGlawn? If so, we’ll come up with the calendar date and announce it as an upcoming event.

  4. Chuck McGlawn Says:

    There are libertarians who are just as adamant as you (SEK3 and some folks at Mises), but hankering to take over the term “Left.”

    Kent, I think you meant to say, “That they are hankering to have the word “Left” used to describe libertarians”. That is just crazy. It flies in the face of all history that has clearly designated extreme left as total governmental control, and moves toward the right as a move toward anarchy and a move away from the left.

    It also denies Dr. Rothbard’s first observations, in two separate articles.[And many others that preceded Rothbard.] In The Transformation of the American Right, first published in Continuum, Summer 1964, pp. 220–231. Murray Rothbard correctly observed, “The modern American Right began, in the 1930’s and 1940’s, as a reaction against the New Deal and the Roosevelt Revolution, and specifically as an opposition to the critical increase of statism and state intervention… According to Dr. Rothbard, left/right measures the increases in governmental power, especially the power to intervene into the daily lives of individuals and businesses.

    A reinforcement of this concept is found in “Confessions of a Right-Wing Liberal” published in 1969, Rothbard further observed: “…we adopted the standard view, let me repeat “…we adopted the standard view, of the political spectrum: “left,” meant socialism, or total power of the state; the further ‘right’ one went the less government one favored. Hence, we called ourselves “extreme rightists.”

    Additional confirmation, farther along in the same article Rothbard said, “Originally, our historical heroes were such men as [Thomas] Jefferson, [Thomas] Paine, [John]Cobden and [Richard] Bright and [Herbert] Spencer. As our views became purer and more consistent, we eagerly embraced such near-anarchists as the voluntarist, Auberon Herbert, and the American individualist-anarchists, Lysander Spooner and Benjamin R. Tucker.”

    In other words as they became “purer” and more “consistent” in their Libertarians thinking, there heroes were chosen from men that were closer to anarchy and 0% government on the right end of the Political Spectrum, that Dr. Rothbard called the standard view.

    You said, “The current usage is what it is…” There is no current established usage. The meanings of “left ” and “right” are in a state of flux. Please note how often when a person uses the terms “left” and “right” they often throw in a clarifier IE “Left-Wing Liberals” or “the religious or radical right” . “…and the 1% of us hardcore types aren’t changing it ever…” This is the perfect time to exert our influence on the language, by inserting our own clarifiers, “big-government liberals” as leftist and “small-government Conservatives” as rightist. This makes liberals that are anti big government our allies, and big-government conservatives our opposition.

    You said, “…especially when what is to be changed is disputed within our tiny sub-subset of the libertarian quadrant.”

    Let me ask you, when I said. “You knew that” did you know it? Or better what percentage of the times I ask did you know it?

    Kent, did you know that the three names by which we identify ourselves say that right is an advocate of less government, and what of my challenge? What is the forth word that means right as an advocate of small government?

    But as Dennis Miller would say, “That’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.”

  5. PermaKent Says:

    I don’t know the fourth word you’re fishing for. Left and Right are lost causes for definitional purity. However, as they say in the computer industry, “that’s not a bug, it’s a feature” for libertarians.

    We can say, “Look how messed up left and right is, we’re the un-political cola.” OK, we wouldn’t say that exactly, but my meaning should be as clear as 7-up. You Know That! Or not.

    Anyway, everything old is new again, so we can pitch classical liberal/libertarian market anarchy as a cool steampunk re-invention. The watchful dragons of people’s belief systems jealously guard the confused “left” and “right” notions people embrace, even if different from each other. New words need are needed for the new wine flasks.

    So how about that future prepping talk? Up for it?

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