L. Neil Smith's
Number 188, August 26, 2002


Mesolibertarians: Are You One? Have We a Home?
by Matthew Hogan

Special to TLE

Among libertarians, there are paleo-s, neo-s, and anarcho-s and other less cheery-os. But what about us meso's?

9/11 has reopened the cracks among conservatives and libertarians and within these groups. But for myself, I don't feel I fully fit in to the cracks that exist. I'm in the middle somewhere, a "meso" I guess, which is yet another crack that may be out there.

And so I toss the concept of "mesolibertarian" into the crack pot.

What do I think a mesolibertarian is? I suggest the following:

  • a libertarian who believes in national self-defense, yet is fiercely frightened of the Imperial War Party, like the paleos are, and the neos aren't, but also isn't in mental bed with the xenophobic paleocons who think immigration is a melanin-fueled menace, threatening the integrity of a mystical point on a compass ("the West")? (Does one really have to be pale to be paleo?)

  • a libertarian who thinks that immigration is the ordinary market action of people looking for better opportunity, and not multiculturalism run wild? But who additionally isn't in mental bed with those who think all nation-state existence and border control is inadmissible?

  • a libertarian who is comfortable and at home with his/her society, and even its patriotic trappings, without endorsing its collectivist prejudices, statist tendencies, and government overreach -- as the paleos can, the neos do, and the anarchos won't?

  • a libertarian who believes that working within the system is as important as working outside and that there are merits to traditional laws and procedures that ought to be used and even respected -- as the paleos often do, the neos usually do and the anarchos don't?

  • a libertarian who is nonetheless perfectly comfortable with the ultimate radical abolition of historic state institutions like public education, income taxation, and with the creation of experimental communities -- as anarchos are, paleos can be, and neos mute?

  • a libertarian who can accept that Americans, Europeans, Israelis, and even white people generally, have often acted as the bad guys but without endorsing lefty political correctness about the intrinsic evil of America, "dead white men", or "Western Civilization." This is something the anarchos have trouble fully doing, that the paleos can sometimes do when the conservatives aren't looking, and that the neos deny doing?

  • a libertarian who thinks Lincoln did great enduring evil but doesn't feel a need to point it out by lionizing the racist Confederate slave state, a lionization paleos are prone to?

  • a libertarian who doesn't feel that in order to be considered a libertarian it matters if one is an atheist, a theist, an Objectivist, an LPer, an Evangelical, a Scientologist, etc.?

If meso's exist, do we meso's have a Justin Raimondo, a Jacob Sullum, a von Mises Institute....?

Do we exist at all?

And have we a home?

Great deals on great computer hardware—Tiger Direct!
Now accepting PayPal

Great deals on great computer hardware -- Tiger Direct!

Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates. We cheerfully accept donations!

to advance to the next article
to return to the previous article
Table of Contents
to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 188, August 26, 2002