From our own comment thread on here.
Sean, I don’t think voting makes much difference at this stage, but as I said before, better to vote counter-hegemonic (UKIP, LPUK, even BNP) than pro-hegemonic. Cameron’s entirely a creature of the Enemy- indeed his plan for 5000 state activists, funded via the Proggie Network, will just broaden and deepen their power. A Tory government certainly won’t help us a single jot. A Tory lose however may throw that useless bunch of quislings into terminal disarray.
I also don’t think Chris Tame’s worthy plan- of influencing the ideological hegemony- is going to ever work. It simply isn’t in their class interest to listen to us, even if the occasional maverick does. The reality is that the Gramscian methodoloy works for people seeking to expand state power, in their own interests. We need a better political strategy that will work for people trying to abolish the ruling class.
So one way of looking at it is, we have to achieve what the Marxists failed to achieve, which is the mobilisation of the proleteriat- in our case, our proleteriat being everyone outside the government, rich or poor. The big problem is that over the past century the state has expanded into every area of life. It’s not going to be easy.
One thing in particular libertarians have to stop doing is attacking weak people. You mentioned in your book the political error of banging on about welfare recipients, and I entirely agree. The Enemy succeed because they always, always, ally themselves with some perceived weak group (the poor, blacks, gays, etc) so that even when they’re doing something ghastly, it’s “in a good cause”. Attacking poor people etc is equivalent to being seen kicking a cripple in the head. Even when you explain he stole your wallet, people will still think you’re a bastard. No wonder the “right”, or the non-left, or whatnot, have consistently lost with such dunderheaded ignorance of human nature.
We may need to rebrand ourselves. We certainly need to start working under non-libertarian banners. Greenpeace may be a socialist group, but they don’t call themselves that. We need to pump out philosophy and propaganda, we need to make whatever alliances we can, and we need to pull together realistic programmes that show how a society can transfer from state dependence to liberty without millions collapsing into poverty, rather than the libertarian habit of arguing constantly about what the Glorious End State will be after some miraculous transformation. We’re in the position of wanting to free some poor desperate population from a ghastly Victorian institution. But the fact is, they’ve lived there their whole lives. They don’t know how to cook, or get a home, or go to the shops. If we threaten to fling the doors open and turf them out onto the streets, we’ll just get terror, not gratitude.
Five more years of Labour, or five of the Tories, it makes no real difference. Whichever we get, things will be more desperate and ghastly in 2015 than they are now. But, things are better for us than they were five or ten years ago. The message is getting out. The Methodist State is reaching its apotheosis, the political class become more transparently fascist and disconnected with every day.
And, we must always remember that the State we’re in is not the inevitable consequence of government. It has the form it has because of specific politicking by specific groups that stretch back a century and a half or even two- kicked into gear by evangelists from nutty sects (Methodists, Quakers etc here, Yankees in the USA (Rothbard wrote a lot on this without quite following it through)). They are our enemies, and they have to be rooted out of the nests they’ve built. The dumb politicians who do their bidding are barely of consequence. Their grotesque schemes nearly fell to bits in the twentieth century, and it was only the marxists who saved them. Well, the marxists are gone now. Once people have lived a while under the new progressive puritanism, that’ll start collapsing too (it’s cracking in places already) and this time there are no marxists left. This time, it must be us who are waiting to take the opportunity.
We can win this thing.