How to Survive in the Beltway, Part I….or….Postrellian “Libertarianism,” Part II

Sunday, March 25, 2007
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Charles B. is one of the most insightful people I know when it comes to libertarians and libertarianism. He is a been there-done that kind of intellectual. Concerning the Postrel bit that I mentioned the other day, he sent me a priceless email response. This man is so incredibly learned, I suggest you read it:

Loved your recent posting at your blog and at on Virginia Postrel. Gad but don’t these Reason/Cato “cultural libertarian” bozos ever give up? All this stuff was endlessly addressed decades ago by Rothbard and Hamowy (among others) in their dissection of Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty or Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom. And by the way, which “Hayek” is she referring to when she criticizes libertarians such as Rothbard and Rand as “utopian?” I think it must be actress Salma Hayek. It was surely not the F. A. Hayek of the August 1948 Mont Pelerin Society Circular, “The Intellectuals and Socialism,” later published in the Spring 1949 edition of The University of Chicago Law Review (attached). This is the seminal speech where this “Hayek” person berates his Mont Pelerin Society audience on “What we lack is a liberal utopia. . .” and praises Socialists for their “courage to be utopian,” etc. It was this “Hayek” person’s most famous article, one which allegedly influenced generations of libertarians, but not according to the Dynamist Dynamo. But Postrel has always had it all wrong on so many things. For example, there was never any “dynamist-stasist” dichotomy. Dynamist = Statist! I’ve seen nothing over the years to alter this evaluation or my assessment of her sorry editorship of Reason (which continued the rapid descent of that once noble publication which began with Edith Efron’s inane attack on Rothbard in 1978).

Karen, did you ever see the old ’70′s Saturday morning kids show, Electra Woman and DynaGirl? I’m almost sure that Ms. Postrel did. Judging by her effulent bio on her site, Virginia believes she has finally moved up from being “DynaGirl” to “Electra Woman,” complete with the blonde dye-job. Life imitating art, the substance of style.

Then he adds:

As I pointed out in previous emails to you, I have known Dr. Palmer since he was a kid working with me on the 1976 MacBride LP Presidential Campaign in Michigan and Kansas. He was then someone who excitedly told you about having read Atlas Shrugged non-stop over a weekend in high school or how his treasured personal copy of Rothbard’s For A New Liberty was inscribed with a dedication from Murray including him in “the cadre.”

Great stuff. Then Charles points out Rothbard’s brilliant article “The Case for Radical Idealism,” where “he essentially answers Postrel’s rant point by point, citing that key “utopian” passage from Hayek’s “The Intellectuals and Socialism” and, more importantly, how the term “utopian” is a misnomer used by statist sell-outs to discredit those who have radical or consistant libertarian ideas.”

As a bonus, here’s an older snippet of Virginia “the libertarian” Postrel praising George Bush. Here is further evidence of Postrel’s support for Bush and his War on Terror. This, folks, is how you “make it” in the Beltway without making enemies out of the Dear Leaders.

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