A few days back, noted author and our good friend Jillian Becker had this piece over at her blog The Atheist Conservative. Please do go read the entire article, but there is one specific quote I want to discuss here, that quote being from (formerly) radical leftist professor Bret Weinstein:
I explained in numerous interviews and essays, I was not a Trump supporter; I was never a right-winger, or an alt-right-winger; I was never a conservative of any variety. I wasn’t even a classical John Stuart Mill liberal.
In fact, for several years, I had identified as a left or libertarian communist. My politics were to the left (and considerably critical of the authoritarianism) of Bolshevism! (Emphasis added by me.)
Ready? Now, I’ll tell you what I think of that: It’s pure, unadulterated horseshit. You can not say again not be a libertarian communist, any more than you can be a feathered fish. The two are utterly incompatible. Communism is a statist system, with government in control of the entire production system; in a pure communist state there is no enterprise, no entrepreneurship, no private property, no liberty. My response to the original blog post was this:
I keep seeing this, “libertarian socialist” and similar horse squeeze being bandied about by idiots. The two are contradictory; you can not be a “libertarian communist” or a “libertarian socialist” any more than you can turn right and left at the same instant.
As Rand pointed out, contradictions in assertions of fact do not exist. One of the contradicting premises is always false; in this case, it is his claim to be libertarian.
Now, here’s the good news, and it’s news that gives me a little more hope for my fellow man; Dr. Weinstein responded himself to Ms. Becker’s commentary:
A John Stuart Mill liberal, or “classical liberal,” is closer to a libertarian than a conservative as the term is used today. But that’s as may be; to Dr. Weinstein all I can say is, sir, welcome! Welcome to the cause of liberty. Please do all you can to spread that cause throughout academia, because as I am sure you know, that vocation needs all the exposure to the cause of liberty that we can send it.
What would be interesting to know is the story behind this conversion to the side of freedom. Any thinking person can look at the history of socialist and communist governments: The enduring misery that was the Soviet Union, the crash-and-burn economy of Venezuela, the brutal oppression of dissenters in communist/socialist nations from Cuba to Red China. Did Dr. Weinstein read this history and apply his own capacity for reason to the observations of fact? Did he stop to contemplate the prosperity enjoyed citizens of nations with free-market economies?
Whatever the reason, his conversion is a good thing. Let’s hope for more like him.