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Re: MS libertarians

  In reply to Louis Proyect's message sent 11/20/97 8:05 AM:
  >In a sense this encapsulates the deep irony that MS represents. While Gates
  >and his minions purport to represent entrepreneurialism at its best, the
  >truth is that they have done everything they can to defeat true
  >competition. This, of course, is characteristic of 20th century
  >libertarianism philosophy as a whole. It is ahistorical. It posits an ideal
  >capitalist who has no countepart in history. The rise of the capitalist
  >class is intimately associated with government intervention on its behalf.
  Springing to the defense of our libertarian friends (to the best of my 
  ability), I think what you are talking about here is not true 
  libertarianism at all, but what I call "crypto-libertarianism." People 
  who adhere to this philosophy are little more than unreconstructed social 
  darwinists. They uncritically admire -- even worship -- the accumulation 
  of money and those who accumulate it, as though acquisitiveness was in 
  itself a value to cultivate -- perhaps even the only value worth 
  cultivating. To them, market forces achieve a kind of mystical stature, a 
  kabal. Nothing in their philosophy counter-balances this view. Nothing. 
  I've tried.
  One of the weirdest characteristics of crypo-libertarianism is their 
  highly sentimentalized, almost dreamy, view of the 19th century. They 
  want to reclaim this century in a way it never existed. They studiously 
  ignore all efforts at education.
  You can identify these people as they drive around with little statues of 
  Ayn Rand on their dashboards. (The irony, of course, is that Rand 
  despised libertarians -- she called them the "hippies of the right." But 
  then, Rand apparently despised nearly everyone.)
  I'd venture that true libertarians can, among other things, identify 
  threats to their liberty deriving from amok capitalism, whereas 
  crypo-libertarians can only see this danger in government. One of the 
  conference speakers, John Perry Barlow, alluded to this. I suspect he is 
  a true libertarian, and the kind of libertarian with which we non-libs 
  can find common cause -- if not in the solution, at least in the 
  identification of the problem.
     Mitch Stone
     There are people who don't like capitalism, and there 
     are people who don't like PCs, but there's no one who 
     likes the PC who doesn't like Microsoft. 
                                        -- Bill Gates
     Boycott Microsoft ** http://www.vcnet.com/bms