Back in the late 1960's a small war broke out. The Young Americans for Freedom (William F. Buckley's youth auxiliary, meant perhaps as an intellectual counterweight to the Students for a Democratic Society) experienced a power struggle between the Traditionalists and the Libertarians. Traditionalist conservatives believed in the genius of the Founding Fathers, in the importance of morality, and in the slow natural evolution of social systems. Traditionalists tended to be clean-cut kids, serious types. Libertarian radicals sought to maximize individual freedom. They didn't mind drugs, sex, or rock & roll --- among consenting adults, barring neighborhood effects, and as long as these goods were supplied via free market mechanisms, (preferably over non-governmental roads!). Both sides were in violent agreement about a vast number of issues --- but usually for reasons which were repugnant to each other.

The Traditionalists won the battle for control of the YAF; they threw out the Libertarians. I saw this conflict through the wrong end of a telescope, while in a central Texas high school, via the pages of the YAF news 'zines. It was like a fight between two fleas, over a square millimeter of prime dog.

Thursday, August 03, 2000 at 21:06:32 (EDT) = 2000-08-03

TopicPersonalHistory - TopicSociety

(correlates: TooYoung, DiscussionAndDialogue, IdeaThievery, ...)