I recently gained some insight into the nature of my political opinions when Justin Raimondo posted a Tweet denouncing "sellout apostate libertarians" such as F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman; not only do I like those two apostates better than I like many other libertarians, but I think "apostate libertarian" is a pretty good description of my political views. I have perfectly mainstream libertarian opinions on peace and civil liberties, two-thirds of the traditional libertarian platform, but I am rather more flexible on economic matters. While I tend to lean free market, arguments between economists confuse me. (If it's a science, how come they don't agree on anything?) I felt a kinship to the political platform Vladimir Nabokov outlined in his "Playboy" interview:
Nabokov: The fact that since my youth—I was 19 when I left Russia—my political outlook has remained as bleak and changeless as an old gray rock. It is classical to the point of triteness. Freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of art. The social or economic structure of the ideal state is of little concern to me. My desires are modest. Portraits of the head of the government should not exceed a postage stamp in size. No torture and no executions. No music, except coming through earphones, or played in theaters.
Well, OK, except maybe the music part. (And see how V.N. sounds like a bit like RAW in this bit: "A work of art has no importance whatever to society. It is only important to the individual, and only the individual reader is important to me. I don’t give a damn for the group, the community, the masses, and so forth.")
Anyway, although I would imagine that Sean MacBride would have defined himself as a "progressive," his views on peace and civil liberties are in that place where liberals, progressives, libertarians and anyone else with a conscience is going to have to make common cause if the world is going to continue to become more peaceful and more free. There is rather little for a libertarian to quarrel with. The interview was one of my favorite parts of the book when I read it for the first time a few years ago, and I have re-read it again and again.
A couple of points, maybe or not they are relevant: New Falcon Press didn't bother, when it edited the book, to tell us when the original interview with MacBride was published, but in the text RAW writes, "At the age of 90, Sean MacBride ... " MacBride (1904-1988) turned 80 in 1984.
Although only a minority of readers will know what I'm talking about, but when I re-read the interview with Sean MacBride, I wondered if he was any relation to Roger MacBride, who in 1976 was only the second nominee of the still-young Libertarian Party. When I was a student at the University of Oklahoma in the 1976, and a nascent libertarian, he came to our campus.
When I read the introduction, I wondered what it was that was so taboo about MacBride that RAW was unable to publish his interview in the U.S.; I would guess it was his membership in the IRA. Growing up in Tulsa, I remember my sister remarking that the local radio station broadcasting a Top 40 radio show had refused to play the latest Paul McCarney single. Almost surely, it was "Give Ireland Back to the Irish."