Defending Libertarianism, and Why WikiLeaks and the Greens Weren't Made for Each Other.
Whilst many people believe that WikiLeaks has completed a total back flip by preferencing a number of “right wing” parties above the Greens, it must be understood that the two were always united by convenience, and were never united by ideology. In fact WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange is an unabashed libertarian. This is a belief system that has always fundamentally opposed socialism of any kind, both right and left wing. One needs only look at the most important and famous libertarians of the modern era including Hayek, Freidman, Popper to see that they are all proponents of capitalism and anti-organisationalists. The Greens party is often described as far left and are necessarily understood as a pseudo-socialist party. They advocate heavy market interference from the government and increased government control (at least, though not limited to, the economy). Libertarians abhor the above positions, who are pro market and against government control in any sphere, indeed they believe in liberty in the truest sense whether that’s the economy or in wider society (Although some positions of the Pauls in America have obscured this to those with limited exposure to libertarian beliefs).
Why then were the Greens supporting Julian Assange?
The Greens openly support the idea of transparency in government, and perhaps even moreso are fans of anything that seems to irk the American government, who are largely seen by socialists as the epitome of the evils of western civilisation. Comically, Libertarians often view America in roughly the same way, but for wildly different ways. So it is a union formed against a joint enemy, not a union due to joint respect.
Since the WikiLeaks preference news broke, a lot of accusations have been flying around in social media that are anti-libertarian, and even liken libertarianism to fascism. Nothing is further from the truth. Indeed during WWII, those who were quickest to speak out against fascism were Libertarians. We need only look at Poppers The Open Society and Its Enemies and Hayek’s Road to Serfdom to know that there were no sterner opponents of the fascists in Germany and Italy than libertarians. Indeed, those men fled from Nazi Europe as libertarians were enemies of Hitler. Indeed, when Austria fell to the Nazi’s one of the first houses searched and ransacked was that of Ludwig Mises, a prominent Austro-libertarian.
Why has WikiLeaks not preferenced the Greens?
The Greens may appear too much of a risk, whilst they’d support WikiLeaks and Assange personally, they are often also important in seeing market restricting legislation enter and successfully find support in parliament. One needs only to view the Greens calls to impose restrictions on journalists to discover how diametrically opposed The Greens, and Julian Assange and WikiLeaks really are. As to why they’d support far right parties, it’s a largely indefensible position. Though, it is important to note that a lot of obscure parties position themselves with key right-wing stances and fill the rest of their policies with libertarian principles. It may be that WikiLeaks believes that these parties if elected, will see their more reprehensible beliefs find no support but will be an important vote in more widely supported libertarian issues.
Regardless of all of the above, it’s important to again note that preference deals often prove to be extremely stupid and pair parties that share only a desire for votes. It’s also important to note that whilst people or parties may claim to follow a belief system; in reality they will never be a good reference to the particular beliefs and attitudes of that particular ideology. So please, before you attack all Libertarians, first come to understand what it is to actually be one.