Many Americans, to this very day, still suffer under the effects of The Left-Right Paradigm. Falsely believing that either wing of the same bird of prey is going to secure your Liberty for you is nothing other than a recipe for disaster. Any and all efforts to break people out of this false dichotomy should be greatly encouraged.
Neither the so-called “Left” nor “Right” understand actual market dynamics. The liberal statists want the welfare state as opposed to the conservative statists who gleefully support the warfare state. Put another way, the authoritarian communists think that the coercive redistribution of wealth is somehow “egalitarian,” and the totalitarian fascists turn a complete blind eye to the broken window fallacy (that is, they mistakenly believe that wealth can be created from destruction). Both agree on maintaining the surveillance police state apparatus, the imperialistic military adventures abroad, and most egregiously of all, the viability of central banking. Yet other political dissidents still wonder why I don’t vote anymore, as if the mounting evidence of how the Establishment operates isn’t reason enough.
Government fails miserably in everything that it claims to perform, even those functions that it uses as the justification for its very existence! When it comes to the provision of those goods and services for the purposes of arbitration, security, and disaster relief, the market steps in and supplies those customer demands. Sadly, many people, including even several different kinds of dissidents, still think that human beings need to be coerced into using particular kinds of goods and services, even if they don’t work at all.
Unfortunately, the author has his head up his ass regarding the environment. Rockwell unfairly characterized free-market environmentalists as implicitly accepting a definition of the “environment” as “anything but man.” He used the Objectivist position here, which is the notion that since mankind is at the pinnacle of the Systeme Naturale, the interests of humans automatically and permanently outweigh the interests of the lower orders of non-human animals, plants, and so forth; he goes on to claim that environmentalism is a secular doctrine used by the State as a pseudo-justification for their coercive edicts. While it is true that government can and has manipulated genuine reasons for its own ends, Rockwell’s phony dichotomy between “civilization” and “nature” is intellectually dishonest. What he should have said is what Michael Badnarik mentioned back in 2004:
“The free market is probably the best way to handle any problem. Government has power, and when you allow the government power to influence a situation, there is going to be corruption. If we have scientists who are out there doing studies on global warming and we get that information to the general public, once again, the free market will allow us to control the situation. Nobody wants to live in a place where the ice caps are melting and San Francisco is flooding. If we get that information to the public and offer logical, reasonable alternatives, people will follow their survival and do the right thing.”
In other words, the free market has a direct financial incentive to make sure that the environment, which includes mankind, is sustainable in the sense that the good stewardship of natural resources will ensure that there is more than enough supply to meet market demand. The viability of property rights contrasted with the irresponsibility of government permitting corporations to plunder the land is what I think will drive in the final nail on the coffin of statism.
Rockwell is correct in much of what he says, especially with regard to the evils of the State, but it breaks my heart to no end what he recommends that all lovers of liberty do to deal with it. Essentially, Rockwell suggests that what is needed, more than anything else, is a ceaseless indiscriminate mass proselytizing campaign of libertarian propaganda. Apparently, if we all just spew the message of Liberty over a long enough period of time (without regard for the natural prejudices of the individuals hearing it), then mystically tyrannical government will be no more. What Mr. Rockwell fails to understand here is that this is not how you win the hearts and minds of the populace in support of your cause.
According to guerrilla warfare theory, it is a necessary prerequisite to have the domestic population on your side, otherwise any combat operations in the field will fail to endear the masses to you. Taking and retaining the moral high ground is best done before violence erupts; that way, “public opinion” is easily swayed your way, instead of being used to tacitly support your enemy. How you go about seizing the individual minds of the body politic is a virtually undiscussed topic, even within the realms of the alternative media.
The most common assumption, which Rockwell seems to make here, is that a “mass awakening” is the only way to convert anybody to our side. I most emphatically disagree, since it has amounted to nothing other than an abject failure, even in my own lifetime. One of the best proofs of this are the 2008 and 2012 Ron Paul presidential campaigns. Millions upon millions of Americans were adequately exposed to Dr. Paul’s libertarian attitude, and what ended up happening? Sure, there was the advent of what Rockwell has described elsewhere as “the Ron Paul kids,” but that only served to form another niche of political dissidents. Instead of media circuses with flimsy ex post facto justifications with absolutely no proof whatsoever to back them up with, I would admonish my fellow libertarians to reflect upon the fable of The Tortoise and the Hare. Slowly and surely, one person at a time on an interpersonal basis, starting with those who are most ideologically similar to yourself, is the only reliable way I’ve ever noticed at actually recruiting people to the cause of Liberty.
Llewellyn Rockwell’s The Left, the Right, and the State is a collection of articles and essays that applies libertarianism to specific political issues. While Rockwell certainly provides a unique explanation, even I found it to be tiresome after awhile, which I must admit, I never found to be case with Murray Rothbard. I think those individual statists who are skeptical of minarchism because of specific “public policy” issues might benefit from this book, but this work is certainly not a manifesto of principles. Any utility it would be for dissidents, I think, is little more than preaching to the choir, quite frankly.