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If this is Libertarianism 3.0 let's keep counting

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In a major article for The Daily Beast about libertarianism and the Koch Brothers Reason.com/Reason.tv's Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie turns his focus on what he touts as "Libertarianism 3.0."

Libertarianism 1.0, Gillespie posits, was that early phase during the 1960s and '70s when emerging freethinkers first became engaged in rejecting the ossified status quo false choices offered by the nation's political left and right and began hammering out a consensus of what kind of ism libertarianism is.

Libertarianism 2.0, the Reason writer continues, were the last three decades – the '80s, '90s and 2000s – in which libertarianism established itself as a distinct ideological movement, gained social, cultural and philosophical strength and began actively engaging in mainstream politics "especially by working within the Republican Party" – and failing miserably in their politicking.

Thus Libertarianism 3.0, which is the Big Now, Today, The Present. Quoting Gillespie, "I’d argue that Libertarianism 3.0 will be a phase in which libertarians pursue two parallel political paths."

Path One has libertarians creating ad hoc groups with all of those newer younger enlightened activists who reject traditional political parties to work cooperatively against specific issues like stopping SOPA and PIPA and then disbanding afterwards.

The second path will be trod by Libertarians who take the next political step by "insisting that their economic and social views not only get taken seriously" but that it's time for libertarians to start driving the Republican Party bus themselves.

Note that Gillespie always, consistently, inevitably talks of libertarianism in a political context, a working-within-the-establishment context, a Libertarian Party Maximum Freedom Minimum Government minarchist "minimal statism" context.

Minarchists may argue that their capital L Libertarianism is the only realistic Libertarianism, but their apolitical brothers and sisters will ask how "realistic" it is to "reform" a vicious street gang, a bloodthirsty drug cartel, a loathsome Mafioso family or a government infestation of psychopaths from within.

The reality is that all governments around the world and throughout history are criminal enterprises and the power-loving ruling classes will resist being "reformed" with every option available to them, up to and including mass murder.

There's another, bigger, rapidly growing branch of libertarians already heading down another path. They may still call themselves libertarian but many prefer voluntaryist, agorist, anarcho-capitalist, free-marketeer, post-statist or something else that not only embraces the Zero Aggression Principle but refuses to compromise, rationalize, justify or pretend away the reality that government is coercion.

And that, for want of a better term, may be temporarily called Libertarianism 4.0.

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