Murray N. Rothbard, "Right-Wing Populism: A Strategy for the Paleo Movement" (Jan. 1992)


“Right-Wing Populism: A Strategy for the Paleo Movement,” Rothbard-Rockwell Report (Jan. 1992), pp. 5–14

Partially republished in The Irrepressible Rothbard: The Rothbard-Rockwell Report Essays of Murray N. Rothbard. Edited with an introduction by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.. Preface by JoAnn Rothbard (Burlingame, California: The Center for Libertarian Studies, Inc., 2000), pp. 37–42. This version ends with “So far: every one of these right-wing populist programs”
and leaves out the sections on Alternative Libertarian Strategies, The Lesson of Joe McCarthy, What Is To Be Done?

This is part of a collection of material by American classical liberals and libertarians. Rothbard's material is listed here.



Well, they finally got David Duke. But he sure scared the bejesus out of them. lt took a massive campaign of hysteria, of fear and hate, orchestrated by all wings of the Ruling Elite, from Official Right to Left, from President Bush and the official Republican Party through the New York-Washington-run national media through the local elites and down to local left-wing activists. lt took a massive scare campaign, not only invoking the old bogey images of the Klan and Hitler, but also, more concretely, a virtual threat to boycott Louisiana, to pull out tourists and conventions, to lose jobs by businesses leaving the state. lt took a campaign of slander [6] that resorted to questioning the sincerity of Duke’s conversion to Christianity-even challenging him to name his “official church. “ Even my old friend Doug Bandow participated in this cabal in the Wall Street Journal, which virtually flipped its wig in anti-Duke hysteria, to the extent of attacking Duke for being governed by self-interest(!) presumably in contrast to all other politicians motivated by deep devotion to the public weal?! lt took a lot of gall for Bandow to do this, since he is not a sacramental Christian (where one can point out that the person under attack was not received into the sacramental Church), but a pietist one, who is opposed to any sort of official creed or liturgy. So how can a pietist Christian challenge the bona fides of
another one? And in a world where no one challenges the Christian credentials of a Chuck Colson or a Jeb Magruder? But logic went out the window: for the entire Establishment, the ruling elite, was at stake, and in that sort of battle, all supposedly clashing wings of the Establishment weld together as one unit and fight with any weapons that might be at hand.

But even so: David Duke picked up 55 percent of the white vote; he lost in the runoff because the fear campaign brought out a massive out-pouring of black voters. But note the excitement; politics in Louisiana rose from the usual torpor that we have been used to for decades and brought out a turnout rate - 80 percent - that hasn’t been seen since the nineteenth century, when party politics was fiercely partisan and ideological.

One point that has nowhere been noted: populism won in Louisiana, because in the first primary the two winners were Duke, a right-wing populist, and Edwin Edwards, a left-wing populist. Out in the cold were the two Establishment candidates: incumbent Governor Buddy Roemer, high-tax, high-spend “reform” Democrat embraced by the Bush Administration in an attempt to stop the dread Duke; and the forgotten man, Clyde Holloway, the official Republican candidate, a good Establishment conservative, who got only five percent of the vote. (Poor Human Events kept complaining during the campaign: why are the media ignoring Clyde Holloway? The simple answer is that he never got anywhere: an instructive metaphor for what will eventually be the fate of Establishment Conservatism.)

A left-wing populist, former Governor Edwards is a long-time Cajun crook, whose motto has been the rollicking laissez les bon temps roulez (“let the good times roll”). He has always been allegedly hated by businessmen and by conservative elites. But this was crisis time; and in crisis the truth is revealed: there is no fundamental difference between left-wing populism and the system we have now. Left-wing populism: rousing the masses to attack “the rich,” amounts to more of the same: high taxes, wild spending, massive redistribution of working and middle class incomes to the ruling coalition of: big government, big business, and the New Class of bureaucrats, technocrats, and ideologues and their numerous dependent groups. And so, in the crunch, left-wing populism - phony populism - disappeared, and all crookery was forgiven in the mighty Edwards coalition. lt is instructive that the Establishment professes to believe in Edwards’ teary promises of persona! reform (“I’m 65 now; the good times have mellowed"), while refusing to believe in the sincerity of David Duke’s conversion.

They said in the 60s, when they gently chided the violent Left: "stop using violence, work within the system.” And sure enough it worked, as the former New Left now leads the respectable intellectual classes. [7] So why wasn’t the Establishment willing to forgive and forget when a right-wing radical like David Duke stopped advocating violence, took off the Klan robes, and started working within the system? If if was OK to be a Commie, or a Weatherman, or whatever in your wild youth, why isn’t it OK to have been a Klansman? Or to put it more precisely, it it was OK for the revered Justice Hugo Black, or for the lion of the Senate, Robert Byrd, to have been a Klansman, why not David Duke? The answer is obvious: Black and Byrd became members of the liberal elite, of the Establishment, whereas Duke continued to be a right-wing populist, and therefore anti-Establishment, this time even more dangerous because “within the system.”

It is fascinating that there was nothing in Duke’s current program that could not also be embraced by paleo-conservatives or paleo-libertarians: lower taxes, dismantling the bureaucracy, slashing the welfare system, attacking affirmative action and racial set-asides, calling for equal rights for all Americans, including whites: what is wrong with any of that? And of course the mighty anti-Duke coalition did not choose to oppose Duke on any of these issues. Indeed, even the most leftist of his opponents grudgingly admitted that he had a point. Instead, the Establishment concentrated on the very “negative campaigning” that they profess to abhor (especially when directed against them). (Ironic note: TV pundits, who regularly have face lifts twice a year, bitterly attacking Duke for his alleged face lift. And nobody laughed!) .

What is Right-Wing Populism?

The basic right-wing populist insight is that we live in a statist country and a statist world dominated by a ruling elite, consisting of a coalition of Big Government, Big Business, and various influential special interest groups. More specifically, the old America of individual liberty, private property, and minimal government has been replaced by a coalition of politicians and bureaucrats allied with, and even dominated by, powerful corporate and Old Money financial elites (e.g. the Rockefellers, the Trilateralists); and the New Class of technocrats and intellectuals, including Ivy League academics and media elites, who constitute the opinion-molding class in society. In short, we are ruled by an updated, twentieth-century coalition of Throne and Altar, except this Throne is various big business groups, and the Altar is secular, statist intellectuals, although mixed in with the secularists is a judicious infusion of Social Gospel, mainstream Christians. The ruling class in the state has always needed intellectuals to apologize for their rule and to sucker the masses into subservience, i.e., into paying the taxes and going along with State rule. In the old days, in most societies, a form of priestcraft of State Church constituted the opinion-molders who apologized for that rule. Now, in a more secular age, we have technocrats, “social scientists,” and media intellectuals, who apologize for the State system and staff the ranks of its bureaucracy.

Libertarians have often seen the problem plainly, but as strategists for social change they have badly missed the boat. ln what we might call "the Hayek model,” they have called for spreading correct ideas, and thereby converting the intellectual elites to liberty, beginning with top philosophers and then slowly trickling on down through the decades to converting journalists and other media opinion-molders. And of course, ideas are the key, and spreading correct doctrine is a necessary part of any Iibertarian strategy. lt might be said that the process takes too long, but a long-range strategy is important, and contrasts to the tragic futility of official conservatism which is interested only in the lessor-of-two-evils for the current election and therefore loses in the medium, let alone the long, run. But the real error is not so much the emphasis on the long run, but on ignoring the fundamental fact that the problem is not just intellectual error. The problem is that the intellectual elites benefit from the current system; in a crucial sense, they are part of the ruling class. The process of Hayekian conversion assumes that everyone, or at least all intellectuals, [8] are interested solely in the truth, and that economic self-interest never gels in the way. Anyone at all acquainted with intellectuals or academics should be disabused of this notion, and fast. Any libertarian strategy must recognize that intellectuals and opinion-molders are part of the fundamental problem, not just because of error, but because their own self-interest is tied into the ruling system.

Why then did Communism implode? Because in the end the system was working so badly that even the nomenklatura got fed up and threw in the towel. The Marxists have correctly pointed out that a social system collapses when the ruling class becomes demoralized and loses its will to power; manifest failure of the Communist system brought about that demoralization. But doing nothing, or relying only on educating the elites in correct ideas, will mean that our own statist system will not end until our entire society, like that of the Soviet Union, has been reduced to rubble. Surely, we must not sit still for that. A strategy for liberty must be far more active and aggressive.

Hence the importance, for libertarians or for minimal government conservatives, of having a one-two punch in their armor: not simply of spreading correct ideas, but also of exposing the corrupt ruling elites and how they benefit from the existing system, more specifically how they are ripping us off. Ripping the mask off elites is “negative campaigning” at its finest and most fundamental.

This two-pronged strategy is (a) to build up a cadre of our own libertarians, minimaI-government opinion-molders, based on correct ideas; and (b) to tap the masses directly, to short-circuit the dominant media and intellectual elites, to rouse the masses of people against the elites that are looting them, and confusing them, and oppressing them, both socially and economically. But this strategy must fuse the abstract and the concrete; it must not simply attack elites in the abstract, but must focus specifically on the existing statist system, on those who right now constitute the ruling classes.

Libertarians have long been puzzled about whom, about which groups, to reach out to. The simple answer: everyone, is not enough, because to be relevant politically, we must concentrate strategically on those groups who are most oppressed and who also have the most social leverage.

The reality of the current system is that it constitutes an unholy alliance of “corporate liberal” Big Business and media elites, who, through big government, have privileged and caused to rise up a parasitic Underclass, who, among them all, are looting and oppressing the bulk of the middle and working classes in America. Therefore, the proper strategy of libertarians and paleos is a strategy of “right-wing populism,” that is: to expose and denounce this unholy alliance, and to call forgetting this preppie-underclass-liberal media alliance off the backs of the rest of us: the middle and working classes.

A Right-Wing Populist Program

A right-wing populist program, then, must concentrate on dismantling the crucial existing areas of State and elite rule, and on liberating the average American from the most flagrant and oppressive features of that rule. ln short:

  1. Slash taxes -All taxes, sales, business, property, etc., but especially the most oppressive politically and personally: the income tax. We must work toward re.peal of the income tax and abolition of the IRS.

  2. Slash welfare. Get rid of underclass rule by abolishing the welfare system, or, short of abolition, severely cutting and restrict it.

  3. Abolish racial or group privileges. Abolish affirmative action, set aside racial quotas, etc., and point out that the root of such quotas is the entire “civil rights” structure, which tramples on the property rights of every American.

  4. Take Back the Streets: Crush Criminals. And by this I mean, of course, not “white collar criminals” or “inside traders” but violent street criminals-robbers, muggers, rapists, murderers. Cops must [9] be unleashed, and allowed to administer instant punishment, subject of course to liability when they are in error.

  5. Take Back the Streets: Get Rid of the Bums. Again: unleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants. Where will they go? Who cares? Hopefully, they will disappear, that is, move from the ranks of the petted and cosseted bum class to the ranks of the productive members of society.

  6. Abolish the Fed; Attack the Banksters. Money and banking are recondite issues. But the realities can be made vivid: the Fed is an organized cartel of banksters, who are creating inflation, ripping off the public, destroying the savings of the average American. The hundreds of billions of taxpayer handouts to S&L banksters will be chicken-feed compared to the coming collapse of the commercial banks.

  7. America First. A key point, and not meant to be seventh in priority. The American economy is not only in recession; it is stagnating. The average family is worse off now than it was two decades ago. Come home America. Stop supporting bums abroad. Stop all foreign aid, which is aid to banksters and their bonds and their export industries. Stop gloabaloney, and let’s solve our problems at home.

  8. Defend Family Values. Which means, get the State out of the family, and replace State control by parental control. ln the long run, this means ending public schools, and replacing them by private schools. But we must realize that voucher and even tax credit schemes are not, despite Milton Friedman, transitional demands on the path to privatized education; instead, they will make matters worse by fastening government control more totally upon the private schools. Within the public school system, the only sound alternative is decentralization, and back to local, community neighborhood control of the schools.

Further: We must reject once and for all the Modal Libertarian view that all government-operated resources must be cesspools. We must try, short of ultimate privatization, to operate government facilities in a manner most conducive to a business, or to neighborhood control. But that means: that the public schools must allow prayer, and we must abandon the absurd left-atheist interpretation of the First Amendment that "establishment of religion” means not allowing prayer in public schools, or a creche in a schoolyard or a public square at Christmas. We must return to common sense, and original intent, in constitutional interpretation.

So far: every one of these right-wing populist programs is totally consistent with a hard-core libertarian position. But all real-world politics is coalition politics, and there are other areas where libertarians might well compromise with their paleo or traditionalist or other partners in a populist coalition. For example, on family values, take such vexed problems as pornography, prostitution, or abortion. Here, pro-legalization and pro-choice libertarians should be willing to compromise on a decentralist stance: that is, to end the tyranny of the federal courts, and to leave these problems up to states and better yet, localities and neighborhoods, that is, to "community standards.”

Alternative Libertarian Strategies

A. Corridors of Power

There are two alternative strategies to the foregoing for the libertarian movement. One is the Koch-Crane strategy, the strategy of the Cato lnstitute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, et al. lt is the antipode of a right-wing populist strategy: it is the strategy of cozying up to the Corridors of Power, of lobbying and influencing the top elites, of nudging them gently onto a more libertarian path. lt is clear that this strategy, pursued by Koch, et al. since the early 1980s, is precisely the analog of the strategy pursued by Official Washington conservatism during this same era, and starting also at the beginning of the Reagan administration. As in the case of Official Conservatism, the strategy has been successful in terms of acquiring respectability, official contacts, jobs in Washington, and in general, pleasant associations [10] and perhaps even contracts with Power. But it has been spectacularly unsuccessful in achieving any significant gains for libertarian principle. On the contrary: ail that this Corridor of Power strategy has accomplished is to defang both the conservative and the libertarian movement, and to make them lapdogs of Power. The marginal influence of libertarians has been to find some technical ways to make the workings of the State a bit more efficient, or a bit less inefficient. And that hurts rather than helps the cause of liberty.

The more thoughtful advocates of this path have called it the Fabian strategy. Look, they have said, the Fabian Society was brilliantly successful at a gradual, respectable approach. lnstead of being militant and confronting the State, as the radical Marxists would do, the Fabians insinuated themselves into Power and nudged it along, gradually and inexorably, into collectivism. lsn’t this similarly a surer path for conservatives or libertarians? Well, the path may be more comfortable and certainly more lucrative personally for the right-wing Fabians. But the Fabian strategy overlooks a crucial point. Apart from the fact that the radical Marxists were right in regarding Fabianism as a sellout of Marxist principle, the Fabians were only gently nudging the State in a direction where it was happily willing and eager to go: advancing even more power to the State and its elites. But Fabian libertarians or limited-government conservatives would be pushing principles that are very much against the grain of the ruling elites: and hence the Fabian success story in British socialism is irrelevant to today. To the contrary, the likelihood is precisely what did happen: that would-be Fabian, gradualist, and respectable, conservatives and libertarians, will find themselves coopted, and get Fabianized in the wrong direction.

The much.heralded Koch-Crane strategy of appealing to “fiscally conservative, socially liberaI” yuppies is part and parcel of the same misguided and disastrous strategy. Upper-middle class yuppie suburbanites may be lots of fun at cocktail parties, but they are precisely the wrong class for a libertarian strategy to covet. For, of ail the groups and classes in society, they are most comfortable and the least disgruntled, the least likely to nurse a deep grievance against the State. And even if, over a couple of martinis, they should tell the Catoites: “Yes, we really agree with you on most issues,” they are least likely to do anything about it, to rock the boat and oppose the existing system of State capitalism. These upper-middle-class yuppies are the weakest possible reed for any libertarian, or any limited government, strategy.

Of course, the Koch-Crane types often choose this path not just for strategic reasons, but because they themselves lean toward cultural and social leftism: toward egalitarianism, and toward a libertine lifestyle. Hence, they are hardly the sort to lead the charge against the cultural and social decay which agitates the American public almost as much as more directly political issues, while their leftist egalitarianism inclines them to support the “anti-discrimination” laws that trample on the rights of private property.

B. The Libertarian Party

The other alternative strategic route for libertarians is to separate themselves out from the mainstream, and to form and develop a self-conscious movement, functioning as a combination of philosophic debating society and social club. This is precisely what libertarians did in the 1970s, except in the guise of a political party.


Different strategies are required by different social conditions, and a key point we should acknowledge is that, by forming a separate sect, the Libertarian Party performed an important, necessary, and laudable function during the 1970s. From the 1930s through the first half of the 1950s, libertarians functioned as an important ideological ginger group within the broad coalition that we now know as the “Old,” or Original, Right: a coalition forged in reaction against the horrors of the New Deal, both domestic and foreign. Libertarians felt themselves to be an ”extreme” and consistent wing of the Right, and they functioned within the broader coalition happily and harmoniously as friends and as ideological and political allies. Unfortunately, that Old Right coalition, devoted to liberty, private property, free markets, and an anti-interventionist, America First foreign policy, began to collapse during the late 1950s, as death and retirement in leadership ranks (e.g. Bob Taft, Colonel McCormick), left a vacuum at the top that was filled by the burgeoning “New" Right, headed by Bill Buckley and National Review. That New Right, while in early days paying lip service to the forms of the Old Right, transformed it within a few years into a global-crusading, war-mongering, and basically pro-state movement. Unfortunately, many libertarians were at that time sucked in to became appendages to this statist revolution within the old form. At that point, in despair by the end of the 1950s, those of us resisting this trend felt it imperative to separate ourselves out from a Right-wing that had been captured from under us. lt became vital to separate the two sharply in our minds and in the minds of the public, and also to stop giving libertarian and limited government cover to a movement that had been transformed into virtually their opposite.

Finally, by the end of the 1960s, a split in Young Americans for Freedom over the draft caused the growing libertarian wing of YAF to be expelled or to get out voluntarily. That wing, now ready for independent libertarian political action, formed the Libertarian Party in 1971, and it quickly caught on as a means of providing an independent home for libertarians. At first, the LP was dominated by a neo-Randian, pro-war group, distinguishable from the National Review right largely by favoring civil liberties. At the 1975 LP convention, however, those of us who were dedicated “isolationists“ captured the Party, and from then on, the LP was able (1) to develop libertarianism as a self-conscious creed separate and distinct from Buckleyite conservatism and a fortiori from the increasingly statist, pro-civil rights, and neo-con dominated Right of the late 1970s and after; (2) the LP was able to educate its own members and develop a principled ”cadre,” and (3), as the LP caught on, its political campaigns succeeded, by the time of the well-financed 1980 campaign, to educate the media and politically interested Americans on what "libertarianism” is all about. So that: by the early 1980s, most politically aware Americans could tell you what libertarianism was, and also, while they did not necessarily agree with it, they treated libertarianism as a creed worthy of respect and attention.

All this was accomplished by the Libertarian Party, and nothing can take those achievements away from it. But after the early 1980s, as Kochian money turned to a soft-core, Corridors of Power strategy and left the LP, the Libertarian Party began to become increasingly irrelevant. Even though most Americans had heard of libertarianism and even respected its doctrine, the Party wasn’t winning adherents, let alone elections. More and more “real world” people left the LP, which therefore became increasingly flaky, increasingly libertine and culturally leftist, and above all, increasingly irrelevant. The Ron Paul Presidential campaign of 1988 was a last, desperate attempt to transform the Libertarian Party into a real-world, “real people” organization, into a party that middle-class and working-class people could feel at home in. The effort was a noble one that failed; the numbers simply weren’t there, and when this failure became evident, the “real world,” or [12] what might be called the ”proto-paleo,” faction of the party walked out, and what’s left of the LP is now spiraling downward into oblivion.

lt is a happy coincidence that just when the LP tell apart in 1989, the collapse of Communism made the Cold War obsolete, and gave us hope that many conservatives would now rejoin us in an anti-interventionist, anti-global America First foreign policy. Happily, we became aware that there was indeed a wing of conservatives, unfortunately all too small among the Official leadership in New York and Washington, who agreed with us that the time had come for a resurgent isolationism. And it also turned out that these “paleo-conservatives,” a generation younger than the “traditionalists” of twenty and thirty years ago, were trenchant and hard-core critics of the welfare state, scorners of the Official Conservative scramble for government jobs, and bitterly anti-statist in their basic outlook. Hence, the now famous rapprochement with the paleo-conservatives, the creation of a new “paleo-libertarian” movement as a way to separate ourselves out from the flakes and cultural leftists who constitute the LP and ”Modal Libertarians,“ and the happy fusion with the paleocons into a new ”paleo“ movement. For myself, after thirty-five years in the ideological wilderness, first allied with the New Left and then in a sectarian LP, I am happy to be once again at home in a new, revivified reincarnation of the Grand Old Right of my youth. Who says ”you can’t go home again?"

ln my days in the Libertarian Party, one of my happiest associations was with the head of the Arizona Party, long-time political consultant Emil Franzi, one of the most astute political minds in the LP. (A “proto-paleo” if there ever was one, Franzi is also long out of the LP.) Franzi broke down LP members into three sociological categories: ”Murray, there are three types of people in the Libertarian Party: the hippies, the preppies, and the rednecks.“ As the self-proclaimed leader of the Redneck Caucus, Franzi left no doubt where he himself stood. The ”hippies” of course were the people we have dubbed the Modals; the ··preppies· (or wannabee preppies) were the Koch-Crane machine. The “rednecks” were the real people. ln a sense the strategy we are now proclaiming is a strategy of Outreach to the Rednecks. And there really are virtually no rednecks in the Libertarian Party. Truly, even at best, there were never very many: the Redneck Caucus never went beyond a gallant handful.

The Lesson of Joe McCarthy

Quick: Who was the most hated, the most smeared, the most universally reviled, man in American political life, before David Duke? You’re right: it was "Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy. Why is that? Joe McCarthy was not a Ku Kluxer, he was not a Nazi, he was not a libertarian, he was not even a conservative. One thing quickly forgotten amidst the anti-McCarthy hysteria of the 1950s was that Joe McCarthy was a moderate, or liberal, Republican. ln addition, McCarthy did not create the frenetic anti-Communist world view: indeed, it was a view that he absorbed out of our political culture, a view created and totally shared by conservatives, centrists, and Cold War liberals. lndeed, one of the most common, and revealing, lines about McCarthy was: “we agree with his goals [anti-Communism], but we don’t agree with his means.” lndeed, when McCarthy confronted the Army and the entire Center in those famous hearings, nobody disputed all [13] the arrows that he drew of Soviet Communism encircling the United States and putting us in imminent peril. lt was in fact true: except for the minority of Communists and fellow-travelers, everyone agreed on McCarthy’s basic world view. The problem was that McCarthy, in his crusade, was a right-wing populist. He was not content with attacking Communist infiltrators in the abstract; he took the alleged danger seriously; and insisted on naming names, in naming and exposing these whom he considered the enemy.

The fascinating, the exciting, thing about Joe McCarthy was precisely his “means” - his right-wing populism: his willingness and ability to reach out, to short-circuit the power elite: liberals, centrists, the media, the intellectuals, the Pentagon, Rockefeller Republicans, and reach out and whip up the masses directly. And that, above all, was what they hated. And that’s why they had to destroy him, why of ail the anti-Communists in the country, they had to make his name a dictionary term (“McCarthyism”) for political evil. Centrist politics, elitist politics, is deliberately boring and torpid. The people get put to sleep, as a Bush faces a Dukakis, or, as it looked for a while, Bush waltzes around with a Clinton or a Kerrey. But right-wing populist politics is rousing, exciting, ideological, and that is precisely why the elites don’t like it: let sleeping dogs lie. With Joe McCarthy there was a sense of dynamism, of fearlessness, and of open-endedness, as if, whom would he subpoena next? The sainted Eleanor Roosevelt?

With Big Business, the military, liberal intellectuals, Rockefeller Republicans, the media, all ranged against him, McCarthy was finally brought low. He had almost no movement behind him; he had no political infrastructure. And Joe McCarthy was, unfortunately, not suited for the new medium - television - that he had been using so effectively to reach the masses directly. He was a “hot” person for a “cool” medium; his jowls, and his heavy beard, wrecked his standing with an image-bound public. And above all, by getting the U.S. Senate - an institution which McCarthy, not a libertarian, loved and revered - to censure him, they broke Joe’s heart, and he was finished from then on.

What Is To Be Done?

Libertarians are now split into paleos and modals. The Libertarian Party, now irrelevant and inexorably Modal-dominated, is History. lt is finished, over, kaput. lt is vanishing into the dustbin of history. For those good people still devoted to, or trapped in, the LP, it is time to realize that the LP has accomplished its historic task - to develop libertarianism and to win public recognition of the doctrine - and its time is long over. To paraphrase Nathaniel Branden’s farewell to Ayn Rand, it is time to say to the LP: “Thank you … and goodbye!” with the emphasis on the final word. For sensible people and paleo-libertarians, the time has come to ra-enter the real world, and to help forge a coalition that will create a successful right-wing populist movement which will, by necessity, be in large part libertarian.

To go over the heads of the media and political elites, to reach the working and middle class directly, to spread the ideas of liberty and the knowledge of how they have been oppressed, requires inspiring and charismatic political leadership. lt requires, in addition to intellectual cadre, political leaders who will be knowledgeable, courageous, dynamic, exciting and effective in mobilizing and building a movement. lt re.quires leadership able to seize the moment to act, leadership with the moxie and the fortitude to surmount the slanders and smears that will inevitably be directed against it. lt requires ideological and political “entrepreneurs” in the best sense, leadership that is willing and able to forge a paleo coalition to split off heartland and paleo-conservatives from Official and neo-conservatives, to raise the banner and to build a real-world movement in which, as in the days of the Old Right, libertarians can play a valuable part.

Some of my friends are stressing a patient, local, grass-roots strategy. Grass-roots activity is fine and necessary. But what this idea [14] ignores is that gross-roots activity is, let’s face it, inherently plodding and boring. And that therefore, it will never get off the ground, unless it is sparked, and vivified, and energized by high-level, preferably presidential, political campaigns. What we need to build a new paleo movement, particularly at this stage, is a presidential candidate, someone whom all wings of anti-Establishment rightists can get behind, with enthusiasm. And while Howard Phillips’ Taxpayers Party may eventually play an important role, at this point we can simply say that the Taxpayer Party has not yet been fully formed and that right now he has no presidential candidate. The arena of action now is to find someone to lead a people’s revolution against the crumbling George Bush in the New Hampshire and other Republican presidential primaries - and to take that fight on to the Republican convention, hoping at most to win in ’92, and at the least to build a powerful movement for ’96, and beyond.