Keeping It Real on ‘Neo-Confederate Libertarians’
Josh Marshall delves into the reasons that Neo Confederates are not libertarians. Another key differentiation that he did not mention is abortion. You can see that clearly in several state legislatures - most of the Southern state neo-confederates masquerading as libertarians are all for government intrusion when it comes to women’s choices.
But let me call a polite time out on this whole debate. The idea that there is a ideological divide or set of philosophical questions or priorities that makes some libertarians embrace the Confederacy and secession and despise Abraham Lincoln while others do not is, to put it generously, nonsense. Neo-Conderates, pro-secessionists, whatever else you want to call them are varying hues of white supremacists or to put it even more simply, racists. That’s not an accusation. It’s simply identifying them as a distinct political strain in American politics.
They may not be violent or actively call for legal discrimination against blacks or other non-whites. It’s also not wholly bound up with the racial polarity of whites and blacks. It also feeds off related but not identical nativist traditions in US politics, which adds an additional dose of conspiracy thinking and paranoia about the government being in the hands of sinister alien forces. But let’s not kid ourselves. That is what neo-Confederacy and all the rest of it are about, a vision of white supremacy expressed through a retrospective embrace of the Confederacy and the racial mores of the Jim Crow era. No one familiar with this phenomenon can question this.
Now I’m not saying that people who do Civil War reenactments or even people who are just really into Confederate history and nostalgia are like the folks I’m describing. Being a bit too much into Confederate nostalgia may be a sign of some questionable politics. But we’re talking here about a very specific neo-Confederate political movement in the United States, with a group of known voices, magazines and institutions, which has somehow managed to get itself listed as ‘libertarian’.