Although many people of differing political persuasions were involved in yesterday’s anti-SOPA/PIPA protests, the overwhelming public response marked a coming of age moment for libertarianism. It looks as though libertarianism is an idea whose time has come. Americans are fed up with centralization of power in Washington, expansion of executive power, collusion between government and some corporations, and erosion of civil liberties. Polls indicate that they are also fed up with the Democratic and Republican politicians who have pursued these policies. But if libertarians are going to provide a viable political alternative to the two-party status quo, yesterday’s protests indicate that we’re going to have to embrace at least five major changes.
1. Libertarians should shift focus to attacking corporatism. As proponents of free market economics libertarians rightly oppose socialism, which we will define very simplistically as management of the market by a labor-controlled government. Whatever the evils of socialism — and there are many — it has not been the principal opposition to free market economics in the United States. Instead, for the better part of a century we have endured a corporatist economy. Corporatism, again defined very simplistically, is management of the market by a corporate-controlled government.