welcome to the world of simple minds! http://complicatedvisionary.blogspot.com/2007/01/different-kinds-of-libertarians.html The Different Kinds of Libertarians Reason cover (Note: The term âLibertarianâ was originally used by anarchists/socialists such as Joseph Dejacque and Mikhail Bakunin, whose position was in opposition to both capitalism and state communism, and is still known in much of the world to apply to the anarchist Left. In North America since the post-WWII era, however, it has come to apply to an anti-government movement that could be described generally as being on the economic Right side of the political spectrum. This analysis is about the modern American sense of the word). Libertarians have been described with several different idiosyncratic-sounding phrases: âMarxists of the Right,â âIndividualists United,â âRepublicans who smoke pot.â In reality, libertarians are, like those of many other political ideologies, harder to pin down than a simple phrase or characterization. There is less a single creed of âLibertarianismâ than an amalgam of positions and worldviews that are often described together and usually work together. However, they sometimes differ from one another: there are disagreements, sub-factions, and tactical alliances, and there are different kinds of people that make up this broad group; when someone talks about âlibertariansâ as a broad sweeping category, it may not always be clear who he/she is talking about. Iâve decided to post my personal analysis of the different viewpoints and strains of thought that tend to make up Libertarianism, using some distinct categories Iâve observed and expanded in my interaction and association with many libertarians, and my studies of the works of important libertarian thinkers. A libertarian may be and usually is a combination of any of these categories, and some of the differences between them are subtle but significant. The representatives Iâve chosen for each were the best I could think of for that category, although they still may strongly represent other categories as well. Iâm generally not a fan of categorizing or pigeonholing people overly much; it should be remembered that these categories refer to general strains of thought that have been observed and people who have expressed those strains of thought--not (with the exception maybe of the first category) definite personality classes. Randians/Objectivists/Egoists Meet John or Jane Galt. While most card-carrying Objectivists assert that they are not libertarian in name, the movement started by Ayn Rand (author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged) was and is an important influence on the thought of modern American Libertarianism (Cathy Young says that âLibertarianism, the movement most closely connected to Rand's ideas, is less an offspring than a rebel stepchild.â). They imagine an individualist/collectivist and egoist/altruist dichotomy and put it at the heart of their entire worldview as the supreme good vs. evil (along with some peculiar axioms like âA is Aâ and âexistence existsâ). According to those influenced by Randian Egoism, greed is a virtue, while compassion is a deadly sin. The word capitalism can stimulate a spontaneous orgasm. They are prone to histrionics and delusions of grandeur. Representatives: Novelist Ayn Rand, her successor Leonard Peikoff, Ayn Rand Institute President Yaron Brook, Objectivist philosopher Harry Binswanger, Neo-objectivist leader David Kelley, economist George Reisman, psychologist Nathaniel Branden, and political writer and critic Alex Epstein. Also, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, Rush drummer Neil Peart, comic creator (Spider-man co-creator) Steve Ditko, and Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan. Capitalism Magazine is an associated publication. Dominationists Business giants and empire-builders, moguls, magnates and tycoons who donât want antitrust laws, industry watchdogs, trade unions or environmental, worker, or consumer regulation to get in the way of their ambitions. They often fund libertarian and right-wing think tanks and organizations. Silicon Valley had many Dominationist younglings in the 90âs until most of them perished tragically in the bursting of the dotcom bubble. Representatives: Newscorp Chairman Rupert Murdoch, Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, Whole Foods Market Chairman and CEO John Mackey, Dallas Mavericks owner and HDNet Chairman Mark Cuban, and Virginâs Richard Branson (although Branson is distinguished in being an environmental philanthropist, as well as wooing both Tory [Conservative] and Labour governments). Market Fundamentalists Focused on libertarian theories of economics/political economy, Market Fundamentalists believe the capitalist free market is best for the common good, and any interference with said market is contrary to the common good. They frequently use concepts like âthe wisdom of the marketâ and âthe invisible hand,â etc. Austrian and Chicago schools, neoclassical economics, neoliberalism, etc. Representatives: Economists Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and political writers Virginia Postrel and Brink Lindsey. Reason magazine is an important publication. NaÃ¯ve Libertarians This was a hard to name category (I also considered âpropagandist libertariansâ). NaÃ¯ve Libertarians are like Market Fundamentalists, except they usually parrot Market Fundamentalist arguments and harp on âhow liberals are weakening Americaâ instead of coming up with arguments and ideas of their own. They believe hardship doesnât befall people who do what they should do, the environment isnât in any real trouble and environmental/pollution problems are negligible, and big corporations are really responsible and good on their own (âGreenhouse gas emissions? Those are just âunrequested carbon surplusesââ). They are likely to listen to/host right-wing talk radio or do/follow right-wing journalism, and usually amount to little more than apologists for the Right. Representatives: ABC journalist John Stossel, talk radioâs Larry Elder and Neal Boortz, comic creator Bruce Tinsley, New York Times columnist John Tierney, and âJunk Scienceâ environmental skeptic Steven Milloy.