It sort of occurs to me that any real attempt at constructing a libertarian politics, from wherever on the political spectrum you are, has to be anti-corporate as well in order to be genuine, in order to genuinely have the title of libertarian.
I say this because, in thinking about the Reagan years, it appears that Libertarianism has been used as a propaganda device by conservatives who have no intention whatsoever of honoring the Libertarian ethic. What seems to have happened is that although the classical libertarians favored small businesses, free enterprise, and entrepreneurship these fake libertarians have declared their allegiance to the same basic principles yet think that they apply equally to GM as to the little ice cream shop down the street.
Corporate propaganda becomes the theme of the day as Libertarian ethics are used to justify anti-libertarian practices by corporations which are structured as authoritarian massive planned economies which receive largesse from the government, exactly what Libertarianism is supposed to be against.
The Reaganite perversions of the idea shouldn't be the final say in the drama of libertarian ethics, but, nevertheless, the doctrines they promulgated have to be confronted and brought to light if we want to avoid falling into the trap of repeating their arguments and ideas without even realizing what we're doing.
In my opinion Reaganism libertarianism was a soft version of a fascist takeover...these were people who declared that the current wisdom was gone, that they and their ideas were the new bosses, that there was no alternative whatsoever to their politics, that people better shape up, and yet that the point of it all was to ensure liberty, to liberate people and businesses from the confines of government intervention. It doesn't work that way, folks.
Now that the consensus is breaking up we're seeing the iron fist behind the velvet glove in the form of the Bush administration and the post-September 11th rhetoric and in the invasion of Iraq and the threatened invasions of Syria and Iran.
First they got power with promises of Liberty backed up by force, now that the Liberty angle has exhausted itself they're starting a more direct approach.
And isn't it interesting that our biggest ally in this shift is one Tony Blair, the neo-liberal inheritor of the Thatcher government?
Just like Clinton never questioned the basic ideas of Reaganism Blair hasn't questioned the fundamental ideas of Thatcherism, and now, guess what? Terror laws calling for detention powers by the government, official hostility to Muslims in a country which contains many Muslim citizens from former colonies. The destruction of the BBC in order to censor news.
Britain is going where we're going, for some of the same reasons. I guess I'll see some British faces in the camps, then.