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NeoLibertarian Network now listed on Truth Laid Bear
Posted by: McQ on Friday, June 02, 2006

Jon has gotten TLB to list the Neolibertarian Network as one of the ecosystem communities. Now 133 members strong, it has its own community page on TLB. Check it out.

UPDATE: [Jon Henke] A few more notes for interested blog readers...

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Previous Comments to this Post 

Ah, cool. as you know, I had been wondering about that. It’s a nice healthy-sized network, isn’t it?
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Truly, its quite an amazing network. Hope to see some more of it.
Written By: Bobby
Could someone refer me to the definition of "neolibertarian" that this network employs? Some of the most prominent blogs on that list of 133 are authored by persons I deeply disagree with on some pretty serious issues.
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Some we disagree with as well.

Written By: McQ
Thanks McQ. This is what disturbs me:
As we are starting to see in the Mideast , a forthright policy of Democracy promotion can go far in bringing hope to oppressed peoples, and can encourage them to begin standing up to their tyrants.
Democracy is wholly insufficient. The Founders knew this, and Hayek wrote tons to that effect. Without the rule of law and a firm devotion to the fundamental rights of the individual against the tyranny of the majority, democracy can actually be worse than enlightened dictatorship. Further, I would not call the democratic result of a Hamas govt hopeful for the Mideast. Iran could yet result in a Shia theocracy.

The "neo" prefix seems to accurately reflect some affinity for the foreign policy assumptions of neoconservatives, and I’m less than sanguine about those assumptions. As libertarians well know, we generally can’t socially engineer outcomes domestically, and I am quite skeptical of doing it in other cultures and countries. But let me ask you, do you understand the neolibertarian foreign policy set forth at your link to track neoconservative foreign policy?

Pragmatism I certainly go along with, and agree that paleo-libertarians are hopeless on that score. But pragmatism ought also obtain in foreign policy.
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Mona, here’s how I’ve described Neolibertarianism. My own foreign policy construct is evolving — becoming more sophisticated, or perhaps more modest — as time goes on. I think that democratization is in our vital national security interest, but whether our approach to democratization is agressive, pro-active, helpful or merely cheerleaders is a big question.

I tend to think we should agressively defend democracies within a very small sphere, offer some limited pro-active defense within a somewhat larger sphere and be fairly helpful in most countries which are not actively opposed to us. The principle being that we ought not fight battles where the marginal cost could be greater than the marginal gain. Is Taiwanese independence really worth a nuclear confrontation? Is Israeli advantage in their Middle East conflict really worth Arab ire directed against the US, a la 9/11? Maybe, but it’s hard for me to see how entangling ourselves in the problems of nations only tangentially relevant to US national security helps us. Seems to me like it’s mostly hurt us.

Meanwhile, in places like China, Iran and NoKo, we should simply cheerlead the democratic movements, but not actually put ourselves on the line. There’s no percentage in it.

However, when we do have a vital national security interest, it seems to me that the best path is to respond with overwhelming force. Sometimes, rarely, perhaps we ought to stay and nation-build. Other times, I’d have no problem with precision strikes. (the ’we’ll deal with our problem. Once that’s gone, whatever is left is your problem’ approach) The guiding principle of my foreign policy would be an interest in promoting freedom elsewhere as a antidote to war, but never at the expense of our own freedom at home.
Written By: Jon Henke
Thanks Jon. I essentially agree with your whole setting forth of neolibertarianism, but I’m terribly skittish about necon notions of democracy-at-the-point-of-a-gun and nation-building. I had supported the War in Iraq, but not for necon reasons; I simply believed Saddam had committed acts of belligerency against us that were not sufficiently responded to when they occurred, and that after 9/11 it was important to utterly dispel the idea that the U.S. is a paper tiger. So, I didn’t object if that position was consonant with the necon agenda for Iraq.

That said, the mission should not have been undertaken if impractical, or if not properly implemented and planned for. I lack the expertise to know whether it could have been executed better, but now I worry we do look like a failure when it is crucial that we not so appear. Whatever else is true, tho, I’m not inclined to listen to those who think the U.S. can or should usually employ martial means to impose democracy.

Just FYI, Peter Beinert of The New Republic and Daily Kos’s "Armando" are having their own fascinating exchange at Swords Crossed regarding how liberals/Democrats should approach foreign policy if voters are to trust them with national security.
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Mona -
There’s plenty of disagreement within neolibertarianism regarding foreign policy. As I see it, neolibertarianism recognizes a need to have a foreign policy, and that’s part of what separates neolibertarians from the doctrinaire LP.

Now, I haven’t been as discouraged about the use of foreign policy to engineer outcomes in the world that are more acceptable to the United States. I disagree about the means at times, but really only because of practical considerations. There’s nothing inherently wrong about needing guns to remove some regimes as part of a larger strategy, and nothing inherently wrong about wanting to see a better form of government replace the one you just swept away.

Given that we’re following up decades of oppression, one has to keep in perspective what we’ve accomplished so far given our expenses in time, blood, and the public’s money. We’ve freed tens of millions of people from the Taliban and Saddam Hussein in a rather short time, with fewer deaths still than I believe we incurred on D-Day alone.

Now, there are different ways of accomplishing good ends; certainly some will work better than others. The difficulties we’re facing now are no indication that promotion of certain institutions is inherently flawed.
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://

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