Libertarians: the Chirping Sectaries By RUSSELL KIRK


The PDF version can be found here Libertarians_chirping_sectaries_Russell_Kirk.pdf (

1. The Progeny of J. S. Mill
ANY DISCUSSION OF the relationships between conservatives (who now, to judge by
public-opinion polls, are a majority among
American citizens) and libertarians (who,
as tested by recent elections, remain a tiny
though unproscribed minority) naturally
commences with an inquiry into what these
disparate groups hold in common. These
two bodies of opinion share a detestation of
collectivism. They set their faces against
the totalist state and the heavy hand of
bureaucracy. That much is obvious
What else do conservatives and libertarian’s profess in common? The answer to
that question is simple: nothing. Nor will
they ever have. To talk of forming a league
or coalition between these two is like advocating a union of ice and fire.
The ruinous failing of the ideologues
who call themselves libertarians is their
fanatic attachment to a…

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