If U.S. Presidents such as George Bush (41st or 43rd), Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan are widely considered capitalist supporters, and they are, then I, along with Libertarians Against Capitalism [my Facebook group], want no part of this moniker.Then after naming a slew of conservatives and neoconservatives who use the word capitalism in ways he does not like, Block says:
If they support capitalism, and they are widely seen to do so, then I, too, along with called Libertarians Against Capitalism, oppose it. For the "capitalism" of these people includes as a central tenet war, militarism and imperialism. They may call it "American Greatness," but what it amounts to is the U.S. tossing its military weight all around the world, in a totally unjustified manner.
Alas, "Not so, not so."
My main reason is not etymological but rather linguistic. I readily admit that "capitalism" has a bad press, and its historical use is none too salutary either. But, the enemies of libertarianism are always trying to take words away from us. ...Some have recently [!] had the audacity to try to take away the word "libertarian." I refer, here, to Noam Chomsky, who has the temerity to characterize himself as a libertarian.Whoa! Block needs to read some history. If anything, we took it from them (to make up for the loss of liberal) ! Libertarian was used by left-wing Spanish anarchists during the 1930s civil war; they were no friends of private property and free trade. Going back further, the word was used by anarcho-socialists after the fall of the Paris Commune in 1871 because the word anarchist could land them in a heap of trouble. I doubt Block would regard those libertarians as comrades. The French word Libertaire appears to be the origin of our word libertarian, and it seems to have had nothing to do with what Block wants to call capitalism. Quite the opposite.
"So, I beseech Sheldon Richman and the other members of Libertarians Against Capitalism to disband their group," Block concludes, "and, instead, work with the rest of us to save as many words as we can for our own use."