Jun
08

The Fall of Bureaucrash

By

Less than two weeks ago I wrote about how to connect with other libertarian Christians via the Internet. One of those ways I mentioned was Bureaucrash Social, a libertarian activist social network. Unless things change very soon, I must retract this statement, because I can no longer support Bureaucrash as a principled libertarian organization. What follows is my rather ineloquent exposition on why I must now do so.

Bureaucrash was founded in 2001 by the defunct Henry Hazlitt Foundation, but has recently been supported by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservatarian think tank. Last week, CEI hired one Lee Doren to head Bureaucrash. As far as I know, Lee is only known for his YouTube videos where he talks politics from his particular conservative Republican bent. But his obscurity is not the issue. Rather, CEI has spurned what heretofore has been an excellent, principled group of activists in favor of a new mission: to increase the number of conservative Republicans in Bureaucrash. CEI has decided that Crasher quantity is more important than Crasher quality, so they have hired someone to do it.

The strikes against Lee Doren are plenty, you can see many in his faux-apology to the BC crowd. You’d think that any of these should make Murray Rothbard turn over in his grave and any true libertarian go ballistic. His statement is not even consistent with the Bureaucrash Manifesto.

  • He supports the FairTax Plan and the FlatTax plan. (Any reader of LCC should know that the FlatTax is not flat and the FairTax is not fair.)
  • He supports “school choice” programs. (The only school choice a true libertarian can support is disassembling the public school system.)
  • He supports the Iraq War and other wars of aggression.
  • He openly admits that he voted for Mitt Romney in the last presidential primary rather than consider the principled Ron Paul.
  • He does not consistently hold to the Non-Aggression principle, as admitted on Free Talk Live.

There is much more that could be mentioned, but ultimately this is not about Lee Doren. I’m sure he’s a decent guy, but he is no libertarian. No, this is about the clear direction in which CEI is taking Bureaucrash, epitomized in their pick of Lee Doren to lead. This move will only take Bureaucrash in an inconsistent, unprincipled, statist direction. Reaching out to people on the right or left is one thing, bringing in one of their own to change the gameplan and who does not even agree with the non-aggression principle is simply not acceptable.

Unless CEI gets their act together and fixes this – and perhaps even if they do – I suggest moving on to other social networks of principled libertarians and avoiding Bureaucrash from now on. Two potential up-and-coming networks could be Anarch.Me and Fr33Agents.net. There is also a Facebook Group called After Bureaucrash Action looking forward, and a Countering the Crasher in Chief group on Bureaucrash itself.

For me, I plan to get active in forging a new libertarian network of activists to replace Bureaucrash. Perhaps it is time to begin a real social networking site for libertarian Christians as well? I don’t know what the future holds, but it does not lie with CEI and Lee Doren.

R.I.P. old Bureaucrash…

Others talking about BC’s fate:

UPDATE 6/10/09 — RadGeek has a good article explaining the positive aspects of BC’s fall, check it out.

Norman Horn

Norman is the founder and editor of LibertarianChristians.com. He holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from the Austin Graduate School of Theology.

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  • http://www.allthingsexpounded.com/ Mark

    I’ve never been a really serious/heavy user of Bureaucrash’s social networking thing, but I am on there and have poked around.

    I am rather surprised about this move to have Lee Doren lead it. He is clearly not a libertarian, and I’m especially surprised to seem him lead a site such as Bureaucrash (which, in my observation would probably often house some of the more strictly ideologically consistent libertarians).

    While I would not agree with it and it is highly distasteful to me, he might be somewhat plausible in saying he as a libertarian voted for McCain just because he wanted to prevent Obama from getting in. Again, I can’t see many libertarians doing that, but its a smidgeon plausible. But for a libertarian presented with the choice between Ron Paul and Romney in the primaries, and picking Romney, that is completely not plausible!!!!!!!!

    I am not some sort of major ideologue in terms of being very picky about who is in or out of the “club”. I don’t think the guy should be shuned in any sense, treated poorly, or restricted in any other sense. But it is clearly bizzare to see him in control of a community like Bureaucrash. He seems the sort of guy who could be on the site, contribute to it, debate with others, agree with others on some things, and what not. But not the head crasher!

  • http://www.allthingsexpounded.com/ Mark

    I’ve never been a really serious/heavy user of Bureaucrash’s social networking thing, but I am on there and have poked around.

    I am rather surprised about this move to have Lee Doren lead it. He is clearly not a libertarian, and I’m especially surprised to seem him lead a site such as Bureaucrash (which, in my observation would probably often house some of the more strictly ideologically consistent libertarians).

    While I would not agree with it and it is highly distasteful to me, he might be somewhat plausible in saying he as a libertarian voted for McCain just because he wanted to prevent Obama from getting in. Again, I can’t see many libertarians doing that, but its a smidgeon plausible. But for a libertarian presented with the choice between Ron Paul and Romney in the primaries, and picking Romney, that is completely not plausible!!!!!!!!

    I am not some sort of major ideologue in terms of being very picky about who is in or out of the “club”. I don’t think the guy should be shuned in any sense, treated poorly, or restricted in any other sense. But it is clearly bizzare to see him in control of a community like Bureaucrash. He seems the sort of guy who could be on the site, contribute to it, debate with others, agree with others on some things, and what not. But not the head crasher!

  • Norman

    The biggest thing to me is that he clearly *advocates* what the Bureaucrash Manifesto clearly says is *wrong*. It’s ridiculous.

  • http://www.revivetherepublic.wordpress.com Revive The Republic

    I was a major user and fan of Bureaucrash back during my undergraduate days. This is truly a shocking development given that the bureaucrashers are anarcho-capitalists and principled libertarians (sadly, many of whom are the Objectivist variety). I don’t expect the bureaucrash rank and file to stand for this at all

  • http://www.revivetherepublic.wordpress.com Revive The Republic

    I was a major user and fan of Bureaucrash back during my undergraduate days. This is truly a shocking development given that the bureaucrashers are anarcho-capitalists and principled libertarians (sadly, many of whom are the Objectivist variety). I don’t expect the bureaucrash rank and file to stand for this at all

  • Norman

    It’s true, there are plenty of Objectivist-styled libertarians there, but that’s ok. The Christian libertarians are growing in number and prominence.

  • Graeme Brooks

    For me, this is a good example of why we should ditch the term ‘libertarian’.

    If we stick to this term, which clearly encompasses minarchism, in the hope of retaining some kind of hollow credibility, then it will inevitably be perverted by conservative types. Semantics drift, some faster than others. Given that even the most fascist types talk of ‘liberty’, it’s obvious people will jump on the libertarian wagon. We should embrace terminology more in keeping with the true implications of our ideology, and which no statist would ever go anywhere near.

    It’s time we come out out of the closet, and start calling ourself anarchists. Anarcho-capitalists, market anarchists, right-anarchists… anything which specifically denies the legitimacy of the state.

    I’m a member of the LPUK (Libertarian Party of the United Kingdom), but I never call myself a libertarian. I’m an anarchist. Don’t tread on me.

  • Graeme Brooks

    For me, this is a good example of why we should ditch the term ‘libertarian’.

    If we stick to this term, which clearly encompasses minarchism, in the hope of retaining some kind of hollow credibility, then it will inevitably be perverted by conservative types. Semantics drift, some faster than others. Given that even the most fascist types talk of ‘liberty’, it’s obvious people will jump on the libertarian wagon. We should embrace terminology more in keeping with the true implications of our ideology, and which no statist would ever go anywhere near.

    It’s time we come out out of the closet, and start calling ourself anarchists. Anarcho-capitalists, market anarchists, right-anarchists… anything which specifically denies the legitimacy of the state.

    I’m a member of the LPUK (Libertarian Party of the United Kingdom), but I never call myself a libertarian. I’m an anarchist. Don’t tread on me.

  • Norman

    I am very reticent to give up the word “libertarian”. While it does encompass minarchism to a great extent, it is a word loaded with meaning to ME and I want to defend it. It is a crude analogy, but do the “Christians” who give real Christianity a bad name make me want to give up the name of Christian? Nah, it just makes me want to show those Christians that Christ calls us to more than being a Christian-in-name-only etc.

    But I certainly appreciate the other terms as well. Go Ancap!

  • http://www.thelibertysmith.com Rod Smith

    I think yours is a rather suitable exposition of the problem, actually. I feel exactly the same way, and would just prefer to get on with becoming active on whatever site replaces BC.

    I like the anarch.me site, but to me the term ‘anarchy’ is too loaded a term at this point in our social history. Just sort of waiting in the wings to see how this all pans out…

    Bureaucrash is such a great name :(

  • http://www.thelibertysmith.com Rod Smith

    I think yours is a rather suitable exposition of the problem, actually. I feel exactly the same way, and would just prefer to get on with becoming active on whatever site replaces BC.

    I like the anarch.me site, but to me the term ‘anarchy’ is too loaded a term at this point in our social history. Just sort of waiting in the wings to see how this all pans out…

    Bureaucrash is such a great name :(

  • http://www.nostate.com/ Mike Gogulski

    Doren even banned me as one of his first official acts, then came up with an incoherent excuse for it that was as sloppy as it was dumb.

    Not that I’m the least bit Christian these days…

    Nice article. It’s on Strike the Root today.

  • http://www.nostate.com/ Mike Gogulski

    Doren even banned me as one of his first official acts, then came up with an incoherent excuse for it that was as sloppy as it was dumb.

    Not that I’m the least bit Christian these days…

    Nice article. It’s on Strike the Root today.

  • Norman

    Golly, Mike, that’s pathetic considering that YOU were featured on the Bureaucrash Blog recently for the audiobooks of Konkin’s works. Good grief… Thanks for letting me know about STR.

  • http://www.nostate.com/ Mike Gogulski

    @Norman: Well, I was featured there as part of what I dubbed “The Resistance to ‘teh Resistance’”… a bit of insurgency, if you will. Still, material of interest for crashers.

    Bureaucrash is dead… long live the real resistance!

  • http://www.nostate.com/ Mike Gogulski

    @Norman: Well, I was featured there as part of what I dubbed “The Resistance to ‘teh Resistance’”… a bit of insurgency, if you will. Still, material of interest for crashers.

    Bureaucrash is dead… long live the real resistance!

  • http://www.nazisociopaths.org Bill Ross

    I post this in hope that Christian and secular non aggressionists can get on the same page and cooperate for mutual libertarian self interest.

    The “rule of law” is a precisely defined law. It is the highest law of mankind, stated below:

    “the suppression of forceful and fraudulent methods of goal seeking”

    “all are treated equally by the law”. This means ALL, including king and judges

    “absolute property rights”

    This in turn is based on the fact that human behavior (the topic of law) is about goal seeking. In the seeking of any goal, there are only three possible methods: force, fraud and honest trade. Any transaction that is not an honest, mutually agreed trade will cause a self-defensive response (conflict) from the victim whose survival has been affected.

    “The Rule of Law” is the glue that keeps all of mankind acting together in common interest, tied together by mutual dependence of trade, on an evolutionary path to excellence. Force and fraud creates conflict and destroys civilizations. Mankind is now on a devolutionary path to extinction because the co-operation once forced by “the rule of law” has been replaced by legitimizing force and fraud for those who incorrectly believe they wield power.

    Rule of Law, Defined: http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/c1/34

    Purpose of, Reasons For: http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/36

    Mathematics of Rule (explains current economic stall):
    http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/c1/32

    Bill Ross
    (Electronics Design Engineer)

  • http://www.nazisociopaths.org Bill Ross

    I post this in hope that Christian and secular non aggressionists can get on the same page and cooperate for mutual libertarian self interest.

    The “rule of law” is a precisely defined law. It is the highest law of mankind, stated below:

    “the suppression of forceful and fraudulent methods of goal seeking”

    “all are treated equally by the law”. This means ALL, including king and judges

    “absolute property rights”

    This in turn is based on the fact that human behavior (the topic of law) is about goal seeking. In the seeking of any goal, there are only three possible methods: force, fraud and honest trade. Any transaction that is not an honest, mutually agreed trade will cause a self-defensive response (conflict) from the victim whose survival has been affected.

    “The Rule of Law” is the glue that keeps all of mankind acting together in common interest, tied together by mutual dependence of trade, on an evolutionary path to excellence. Force and fraud creates conflict and destroys civilizations. Mankind is now on a devolutionary path to extinction because the co-operation once forced by “the rule of law” has been replaced by legitimizing force and fraud for those who incorrectly believe they wield power.

    Rule of Law, Defined: http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/c1/34

    Purpose of, Reasons For: http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/36

    Mathematics of Rule (explains current economic stall):
    http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/c1/32

    Bill Ross
    (Electronics Design Engineer)

  • bill

    ‘He supports the Iraq War and other wars of aggression’….
    ‘He does not consistently hold to the Non-Aggression principle’ ….
    ‘I’m sure he’s a decent guy’

    ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    either this is a PC remark or you actually think a decent guy can run around attacking countries and people with no regard for life.

    either way its pathetic

  • bill

    ‘He supports the Iraq War and other wars of aggression’….
    ‘He does not consistently hold to the Non-Aggression principle’ ….
    ‘I’m sure he’s a decent guy’

    ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    either this is a PC remark or you actually think a decent guy can run around attacking countries and people with no regard for life.

    either way its pathetic

  • Revive The Republic

    “It’s time we come out out of the closet, and start calling ourself anarchists”

    The problem is that many of us are NOT anarchists. For me, anarchism is just as insane as communism

  • Revive The Republic

    “It’s time we come out out of the closet, and start calling ourself anarchists”

    The problem is that many of us are NOT anarchists. For me, anarchism is just as insane as communism

  • Norman

    If by anarchism you mean the syndicalist variety, then yes I would agree with you. But anarcho-capitalism or voluntaryism is a very different thing, and I while it is certainly *different* I don’t think it is insane.

  • Norman

    RadGeek has a good article explaining the positive aspects of BC’s fall, check it out:
    http://radgeek.com/gt/2009/06/09/the-crash/

  • http://irishliberty.wordpress.com/ Brian

    Hi Norm, congrats on getting on STR! Its unbelievable how many libertarian organisations get corrupted by Statists. I guess its not too surprising though considering BC was financed by conservatives. I’m on anarch.me too, B

  • http://irishliberty.wordpress.com/ Brian

    Hi Norm, congrats on getting on STR! Its unbelievable how many libertarian organisations get corrupted by Statists. I guess its not too surprising though considering BC was financed by conservatives. I’m on anarch.me too, B

  • Norman

    Thanks Brian! A lot of it was that Anthony Gregory was the editor for today, I think. Honestly, I think some of the articles I linked to were better than my own. It is a shame that this has happened, but not the most surprising thing that’s happened in the world of libertarianism of late…

    I hope all is well with you in Ireland!!

  • Rob

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ll be sure to not give them any more of my money.

  • Rob

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ll be sure to not give them any more of my money.

  • Norman

    Bill: The point is, this isn’t personal. I don’t go around de-friending myself with anyone who does not hold the exact same libertarian positions that I do – I hope you don’t either. Thus, I do not doubt that despite his pro-war stance that he’s not a heinous, horrible person. Yet I still don’t want him leading a principled pro-liberty organization…

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