David Mandl on Fri, 6 Feb 1998 09:42:14 +0100 (MET)

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Re: <nettime> The Californian Demonology

At 11:42 AM 2/5/98, Mark Dery wrote:

>A handy pocket key for future reference: in the States, the
>term "Libertarian" (with a capital "L") is associated with
>Jeffersonian notions of least government = best government, the
>near- (or outright) abolition of taxation, robust civil liberties,
>and radical laissez-faire capitalism.  It shades, as it moves
>rightward, into a shrill, Ayn Rand-ian anti-statism and, on the far
>fringes, the paranoid anti-government eschatology of the militia

Not exactly true.  The word "libertarian" was a synonym for "anarchist"
(you know, the left-wing kind) for many many years.  Only relatively
recently, with the advent of the Libertarian Party and their appropriation
of the word, did it become associated mainly with the people we now call
(capital-l) Libertarians.

So it's not unreasonable for Richard B. to be surprised that the word is
being "misused."  I'm just surprised he didn't notice it a long time ago
because it's been going on for a couple decades now.  Too bad.  I still
like the word, but it's pretty much impossible for anarchists to use it any


Dave Mandl
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