Brian’s Column: RINOs and DINOs and Trolls, Oh My! (Part 1)

Noteworthy barnacles on the butt of the modern liberty movement
Part 1: RINOs and DINOs

Left, Right, Prospects for LibertyIn my long career as a libertarian activist—and I use the term libertarian (rather than turning the noun liberty into an adjective) for a reason[1]—I’ve encountered virtually every dilatory and unconstructive ‘methodology’ or political practice that’s come around. Indeed, I’ve been a vocal proponent of more than one… in my testosterone-alcohol-and-ego-fueled youth, mostly. Now I feel I’ve reached a stage of consciousness that enables me to see through three key particularly unhelpful ideologies afflicting our cause today, the better, I hope, to let go of them.

First a couple of clarifications on terms:

Liberal vs. Conservative

Our generation-transcending intellectual icon of the modern liberty movement, Murray Rothbard, spells out the essentials regarding these two terms in a monograph entitled Left and Right.

“… there developed [in the 18th century] in Western Europe two great political ideologies: One was liberalism, the party of hope, of radicalism, of liberty, of the Industrial Revolution, of progress, of humanity; the other was conservatism, the party of reaction, the party that longed to restore the hierarchy of statism, theocracy, serfdom, and class exploitation of the Old Order.” — p. 7

Conversely, the term conservative denoted persons clinging to the Old Order, the establishment, the central state, the hierarchy of privilege of a self-enshrined mobocracy—best exemplified, in its heyday, by monarchies in league with state-imposed, spiritual-belief institutional monopolies. [Toward the end of the 18th century, conservative ideologues became more secular, sanctifying and deifying the state itself.]

Clearly our language and concepts have been corrupted over the years—and, equally clearly, not by accident—to the point many in the liberty movement have inverted the correct meanings for liberal and conservative. For the remainder of my column, I’m going to stick to the proper historical meaning of the terms, using quotation marks around liberal or conservative when I’m applying the terms in our modern slanguage.

Libertarian vs. Statist

The great majority of the modern liberty movement are truly liberals… or classical liberals, libertarians. We are enemies of the state and the Old World Order (and the New World Order). [Note, some libertarians/classical liberals believe in God, but certainly not a deity of blind faith who would inflict ‘tyranny over the mind of man.’ Basically, religion and spirituality are a personal, family matter. For true liberals, the nonaggression principle is the only God that matters in the political realm.]

On the other hand, the majority of modern collectivists or advocates of Big Government are truly conservatives… state power being what they aim to conserve. But let’s call them statists for simplicity. Inside the category of modern statism lie two broad subsets: 1) those who invoke the state as your father—discipline, blind obedience to martial symbols, material dominance, etc.—and 2) those who invoke the state as your mother—cradle to grave ‘love,’ control thru welfarism, and communal submergence of the self.[2] Ergo:

  • Type 1 Statist = paternal collectivist, fascist, modern ‘conservative’
  • Type 2 Statist = maternal collectivist, communist, modern ‘liberal’

Further, the mind-control media leads the public to believe these two types of statist are our only options in the political arena: John McCain/Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, Jeb Bush/Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton. Hemlock or Hanging. In reality the statist types represent a distinction without a difference, they’re subterfuge: paternal/maternal politicians merge into one matched Big Papa/Big Mama set working for the same corporate-warlord mafia pulling the strings behind the scenes, while deploying their enforcers and media to keep us in line.


We now have the tools to get to the root of a common phrase one will hear around the modern liberty-Republican circuit,[3] i.e. RINO: “Republican in Name Only.” As an explicit l/Libertarian I had not heard that phrase used until I early-moved to the Free State in 2005, and it was from a ‘conservative’ Republican meaning to designate someone in his party who was ‘liberal’ (Type II Statist) as opposed to a true Republican who is supposedly ‘conservative,’ i.e. liberty-oriented at least on economics.

This led me to do some research into the origin of the Republican Party. I came across this column by Jeff Riggenbach, as I recall, or a similar one that basically shows: “since the time of Lincoln, the Republican party had always stood for strong central government, top-heavy bureaucracy, and hefty handouts to big business.” [Latter-day Robert Taft/Barry Goldwater/Ron Paul liberal (libertarian) tweaks to the reality are anomalies… so far.]

The Republican hierarchy has always been like the Democratic hieararchy: junkies and flunkies for the corporate warlord-bankster class (what I call the Men of the Power Sickness)… the sole difference being the Republican Party has been more enthusiastic about grinding the common man under the police-military boot. So there is no good ‘name’ for a statist Republican to be ‘in only.’ RINO is a myth; a person in the Republican Party inclined toward liberty should simply use the phrase ‘traditional statist Republican’ to refer to its establishment lackeys.

Note: The recent Ron Paul phenomenon and its offshoot—the rigorous strategy to replace the non-Constitutional, statist Republican establishment by flooding its public control channels with grassroots liberty activists—show promise of actually working! Groups like the Campaign for Liberty, the Tenth Amendment Center, and PANDA (People against the NDAA) are positively transforming the Republican Party as we speak. And this is a good thing… despite the attempted sabotage by libertarian trolls (to be discussed in next week’s column).


As for DINOs (Democrats in Name Only), I only added the designation to make the title of the column more complete. The origin of the Democratic Party one can point to in Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, who despite some faults were noted opponents of the strong central financial capitalist state. To call any of most modern Democrats a DINO is to state the obvious, because a Democrat in Name Only (unlike a RINO) is essentially a libertarian. Virtually all Democrats have abandoned their substantially libertarian roots, and if you tried to remind them of those ideas—say at the Democrats annual Jefferson-Jackson Day fundraising dinner—you’d probably be strung up for dessert.

Still it’s not a bad technique for starting the Herculean transformation of the Democrats to good guys… after we straighten out the Republicans, where there are a lot of modern ones, thanks to Ron Paul and the libertarians, who are good guys.

Finally, RINOs and DINOs both are not so much barnacles on the ass of progress as they are dead relics of the past… of true conservatism, i.e. preservation of the Old Order and its ruling oligarchies who refuse to ‘let our people go.’ Working liberty lovers are leaving the duopoly behind in droves. And as all movements promising success, we have our true agents of dissension, sabotage, and opportunism. One particularly annoying manifestation: the trolls of misconstrued principle:

Part 2: The Parable of Nocium.

[1] Yes, libertarian because it does suggest the post-Randian, Rothbardian center of the modern movement toward political liberty, distinct from past incarnations, which are also vital.

[2] This paternal/material distinction of the statist mentality comes from Hannah Arendt’s classic magnum opus, Totalitarianism.

[3] These are good pro-freedom people, not the anti-personal-freedom bastardization of the so-called Tea Party movement, and they work for Constitutional liberty. Indeed, to distinguish themselves from the Sarah Palin wingnut entourage, they often self-identify as constitutional conservatives.

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1 thought on “Brian’s Column: RINOs and DINOs and Trolls, Oh My! (Part 1)

  1. So glad I clicked on the link. Well worth the read. I am going back and recommend it to the other’s comments on Paul Jacob’s article. . Plus send it along to thinking friends…maybe a few I am trying to get to think.

    As a libertarian since before the party had a name, I am optimistic. But I do not see politics as the reason for optimism. What makes sense to me is rather the connections that technology enable.

    Slow as the changes in attitude seem to be, I find examples everywhere . As past thinkers noted, trade is the method to create harmony. That trade can be, of course, goods, services or simply talking. Example: Young kids playing games on their computers with kids across the world. As one remarked,” My friend (!) does not know English too well so we have to stop and translate.”

    Another reason for optimism is the ability to write and speak and even publish easily. Ideas are now easily shared and the good ideas will rise to the top, I think.

    I am inconsistent as more of an anarcho cap as I still support the LP. I indulge myself out of sentiment and appreciation for their efforts. The Libertarian Political Party is where the really committed people first go to explore these strange ideas. They are the gateway drug to liberty. With few exceptions the candidates presented by the LP were always more qualified, intelligent and honest. Their efforts expanded the understanding of liberty through the lean years and all were part of the necessary foundation. I would also say that the many special interest groups, and publications founded and supported by libertarians and earlier classical liberals, contributed to a greater awareness.

    Both the Republicans and Democrats are simply too corrupt and have too much baggage and power to allow the “Young Paulians” to win, even if they can hold to principle and do not sellout. It is the slow but sure changes in people’s minds that has to first take place.

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