Viewpoint: The Problem With the Feb. 19 Anti-War Rally

People must decide who they align with based on their principles of unity and shared interests, but they should also consider that their alliances do not bring harm to the most marginalized people, writes Jacquie Luqman.

[NOTE: To present a voice from the other side of this debate, we republish a version of this article with permission from the author. Note that the People’s Party is co-organizer with the Libertarian Party of the Feb. 19 anti-war rally.]

By Jacqueline Luqman
Black Agenda Report

Leftists, especially the Black left, do not share common cause with everyone who wants to end U.S involvement in Ukraine. The politics of some who call themselves anti-war cannot be ignored. 

I’m looking at this Rage Against The War Machine rally that is being organized by the Libertarian Party and I am genuinely confused about how folks on the left are involved in this at all.

Oh, I understand the need to revive and mobilize a strong, not just anti-war movement, but an anti–imperialist and people-centered human rights movement, so sure, sometimes we’re going to have to organize with people we don’t agree 100 percent on everything with. This should not be one of those cases. 

On the surface, if one would look at the list of demands on the Rage Against The War Machine webpage — and I do take offense at their play on the name of the band Rage Against The Machine — one easily agrees with not sending one more penny to Ukraine, to slashing the Pentagon budget, to abolishing war and empire, to disbanding NATO, and to freeing Julian Assange, among other reasonable sounding demands and think, “Well this is great, I agree with all of these things, so of course I’ll support/align with them!”

But, if you compare those nice-sounding words to the actual ideology of today’s Libertarian Party, and particularly of the Mises Caucus that has gained control of it, something starts to smell funny. So let me hip you to who these people are.

Back in May of 2022 Reason Magazine published an article examining the takeover of the Libertarian Party by the Mises Caucus which happened when the Caucus got their candidate Angela McCardle elected to chair the national party with 69 percent of the voting delegates.

The article points out that while McArdle was the Mises Caucus candidate, the behind-the-scenes mastermind of its victory was caucus founder and leader Michael Heise.

The caucus’s official platform is typical libertarian stuff – personal liberty, little to no federal government oversight or no federal government for that matter, no “unconstitutional” war, no federal regulation on guns, the primacy of private property – which has always screamed capitalist greed and a host of other problems including racism, since racists have taken the libertarian creed of freedom to associate, with no federal oversight on freedom to exclude people of color.

But the key to understanding the danger of the Mises Caucus isn’t in what their platform says; it is in what their members have said and have done. Because even old-guard libertarians say that too many of the Caucus members are obnoxious bullies, and are also often racist.

The Reason Magazine article cites the example of the New Hampshire L.P., a powerful vector of Mises Caucus messaging, tweeting on Martin Luther King Day that “Black people in America get special access to essential drugs, receive special federal funding due to race, and are first-in-line for every college and every job. America isn’t in debt to black people. If anything it’s the other way around.”

Aside from the assertions that Black people get preferential anything in this country being typical racist drivel and patently false, the racist imaginary grievances were a response to Nicole Hannah Jones tweeting not her sentiments, but the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said in the oft mis-contextualized “I Have A Dream” speech:

“It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds…”

But sure, we get preferential essential drug and job and college admittance treatment at a time when economic inequality between Black and white persists, with whatever meager gains the so-called Black middle class has achieved not translating to increased economic stability for the Black masses. All Black households are far behind white households in income and assets, including the much-celebrated Black petit bourgeoisie.

Then there’s the influential member of the Caucus, Jeremy Kauffman, who tweeted that transgender people should be killed to achieve a more moral world, as long as it doesn’t incur additional taxes. These tweets were deleted after pressure to do so, but you know Twitter is forever, and thank goodness it is, so that we have evidence to back up the reasons for actual leftists to steer clear of these #AntiWarSoWhite people.

Let Mises Caucus Libertarians tell it, that they are merely carrying on Ron Paul’s Revolution. But more evidence of their true ideology can be seen when they succeeded in deleting the line from the Libertarian Party’s long-time platform plank condemning bigotry as “irrational and repugnant.”

Michael Heise. (Reason TV/YouTube screenshot)

Heise says that the anti-bigotry condemnation fed what he called a “woke,” or “cultural Marxist” agenda.

“What is happening nowadays with the ‘wokeism’ is people are using language as dialectics along cultural lines to push for collectivist ends,” says Heise. “So back in the day…the Marxist revolutions, they had the dialectics of the rich versus the poor and the owner versus the worker. And they were pushing towards collectivist ends. It’s the same ideology that’s happening now, but they’re pitting cis versus straight and male versus female and trans versus whatever.” Look at that, it’s the old communist gay/trans collectivist agenda trope!

And although they added a new line stating in their party’s plank that the party would “uphold and defend the rights of every person, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or any other aspect of their identity,” it is hard to see how that can be done when the Mises Caucus is shaping the L.P. environment to drown out discussions about people’s identity and how policies impact them differently from the majority. Amazing how these allegedly freedom-loving Libertarians sound hauntingly like rights-stripping, bigoted Republicans.

Then there’s the fact that The Mises Caucus also succeeded in removing the party’s pro-choice plank, which McArdle said was called for because abortion represents “an irreconcilable difference” within the libertarian movement and they didn’t want to keep alienating Trump and socially conservative voters. “We tend to push out people who are a little bit more socially conservative,” says McArdle. “And I think that there’s room in the party for people who are libertine and socially conservative. And I would like them to feel that way.”

Let me get this straight … there’s enough room in the party to protect women’s right to privacy and bodily autonomy and enough room for the people who want to take it away from them? What’s the floor plan in that big tent look like because I’m not seeing how you arrange enough room for both. You’re going to inevitably drive one group out, and that will always be the group that feels threatened, that is threatened, by the other.

And old guard Libertarians agree, which is why many of them have been very vocal in their opposition to the Mises Caucus and its takeover of the L.P. One old-guard Libertarian elected official who quit her post in protest to the Mises Caucus takeover in New Hampshire said, “…we are a big tent party, but no tent is big enough to hold racists and people of color, transphobes and trans people, bigots and their victims.”

If the Libertarian Party and anyone else who sponsored and organized the Feb. 19 anti-war rally were serious about building the “anti-war movement,” why didn’t they reach out to the very visible and very active Black, Brown, and Indigenous-led, anti-imperialist organizations and invite their representatives to speak? 

Considering the people most impacted by U.S. imperialism and imperialist war have been organizing against it long before these Mises people came along, why haven’t I seen most of these leftists engaged in organizing with us? I mean, Black, queer, trans, disabled, Global South, African people will certainly all die should there be a nuclear war, so why not include representatives of ALL OF THE PEOPLE who would be impacted if this war is not stopped on your platform?

And the organizers of this rally didn’t even have to reach out to real anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist organizations like the Black Alliance for Peace or ANSWER Coalition or the like. They could have reached out to even a liberal formation like the Poor People’s Campaign.

But nope! The organizers looked at their speaker’s lineup and nobody said, “Dang this is mighty white up in here we need to get some legit Black anti-war speakers and really build a solid anti-war coalition.” But since that’s not who they apparently want to build their base with, they didn’t.

I’m not making this up. The new Mises Caucus-backed chair of the L.P. McArdle made it clear who the party wants to grow their base with in another Reason Magazine article where she says,

“Mises Caucus supporters say they want to ‘make the Libertarian Party libertarian again,’ that it should no longer be concerned about offending progressives or Beltway types and shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to the coalition that elected former President Donald Trump.”

That’s right, their bold action to rejuvenate the Libertarian Party is not to reach out to the anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist (they would never because private-property-loving Libertarians are not anti-capitalists) formations and activists, but to the right, and alt-right young, podcast edgelord, personality-loving Trump voter. And to get unprincipled leftists to give them public legitimacy by speaking at their opportunistic recruitment event they call an anti-war rally, of course, which too many are happy to oblige.

Despite how much some of the speakers now publicly whine about some others backing out of the rally because they succumbed to “the woke mob” or favored an LGBTQ+ agenda, the truth is that people probably hadn’t looked into what the Libertarian Party has become with the Mises Caucus now leading it. And when they found out, decided it wasn’t worth damaging their formations’ reputation associating with them, and ultimately that betraying the marginalized people within their formations and coalitions was also not worth the limited visibility their participation would have given them.

Especially when you factor in that for the Libertarian Party, one purpose of this rally appears to be to seize the political moment to raise their flailing political party’s profile and gain some legitimacy from the speakers they invited.

It is worth noting that money is drying up for the Libertarian Party because of this rightward shift the Caucus has created. Long-time significant donors to the L.P. have said that the Mises turn made them stop funding L.P. candidates.

At the time the Reason article was published in March 2022, the number of active donors to the LP including several major ones, had been falling for seven straight months following the four-year battle for control of the party between the old-guard Libertarians and the Mises Caucus. And now that the Mises Caucus has won, this rally seems to be part of their strategy to win and expand their party’s political power.

I have to go back to the folks who still choose after all that has come to light about the Libertarian Party and the Mises Caucus to participate in the rally. I wonder if they are asking themselves what the Mises Caucus-led Libertarian Party will do with the political power they win if they are able to cash in on the legitimacy they are looking for with this event. And if they are asking themselves that, who do they think they would wield that political power against?

Of course, they will use that power against the people they have already told us with their own words and actions that they want to use it against: to disenfranchise the marginalized the way the GOP, that they are actively courting to grow their ranks, are already attacking.

The Libertarian Party under Mises Caucus control will help the GOP do it. Despite the assurances of some who have engaged me, they will not change the minds of these people because the L.P. is not interested in changing their ideology.

Among many leftists who challenged my analysis of this L.P.-backed rally, I seem to recall none of them engaging with other anti-imperialist groups for nationwide protests against a potential war in Ukraine as far back as the beginning of February 2022. Facebook reminds me that I was at such a rally.

You see, we anti-imperialists have been protesting imperialism, war, and this war in particular for quite some time, even before the war with Russia using Ukraine began. We saw it coming and were protesting against the possibility, if not the inevitability of the U.S./E.U./NATO coalition pushing it. But let these veterans of the anti-war movement tell it, a real powerful anti-war coalition couldn’t have been built until the L.P. rally came along, so if we value our lives we’d better hop on that bandwagon.

They try to support their flimsy arguments against us by using quotes by Frederick Douglass or the example of the original Rainbow Coalition led by the Black Panther Party to prove to us that we should unite with racist white people. Except that they, once again, remove context from their examples, and have not done anything close to what those freedom fighters did to challenge racist domination.

They have not required them to repudiate it as the Black Panther Party did with the members of the Young Patriots, as Frederick Douglass did in challenging the system of white supremacist domination.

My observations here are less of a condemnation of any of these groups – organizers or participants – and more an honest analysis of the factors that lead me to see this Rage Against The War Machine rally of the L.P. as a dangerous distraction from true anti-imperialist coalition building and organizing.

People must decide who they align with based on their principles of unity and shared interests, but they should also consider that their alliances do not bring harm to the most marginalized people.

I know that the interests of the working class, poor, oppressed, and colonized people who are marginalized additionally by racial oppression, gender oppression, ableist exclusion and other intersectional points of struggle are not served by aligning with people who would continue those oppressions should they ever win enough power to be able to do it.

We cannot afford to lend those groups legitimacy now, only so they can win the power to use it against us later. 

Jacqueline Luqman is a radical activist based in Washington, D.C.; as well as co-founder of Luqman Nation , an independent Black media outlet that can be found on YouTube (here  and here ) and on Facebook ; and co-host of Radio Sputnik’s By Any Means Necessary.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

54 comments for “Viewpoint: The Problem With the Feb. 19 Anti-War Rally

  1. Steve
    February 16, 2023 at 13:13

    If the goal were long-term “anti-imperialist coalition building and organizing” I would agree with Luqman almost completely.

    But right now, we are, literally, on the precipice of nuclear Armageddon. With that sense of existential urgency in mind, I am ready to stand with almost anyone standing in opposition to the War Machine, even if they are standing in opposition to the War Machine for all the wrong reasons, and with all the wrong motives.

  2. c
    February 16, 2023 at 05:08

    There will be an ANSWER demonstration in DC March 18 : National March on Washington: Peace in Ukraine – Stop NATO.
    The more the better.

  3. Seby
    February 15, 2023 at 22:26

    I agree with this awesome analysis of the whole situation by the author here.

    In my own cruder words, yes it is hard to join hands with people who have one hand alternating between closing the hearing of each ear, left and right.

    • Gene Poole
      February 16, 2023 at 06:36

      Nobody is asking you to join hands with anybody. What people are asking you to do is get your feet on the same sidewalk with people. Ms Luqman writes:

      “I know that the interests of the working class, poor, oppressed, and colonized people who are marginalized additionally by racial oppression, gender oppression, ableist exclusion and other intersectional points of struggle are not served by aligning with people who would continue those oppressions should they ever win enough power to be able to do it.”

      Adding your body to a march is not an act of empowerment of the people who are organizing the march, Ms Luqman. It is an act of empowerment of the people. And those who hold the power are determined to see to it that people who oppose US/NATO militarism and neoliberal recolonization stay out of the streets. And they know that the best way to do it is to encourage them to denounce each other. Remember the “Bernie Bros”? They’ll always be able to find a sensitive spot they can use to discredit almost anyone. They know where all the buttons are and they’re masters at pushing them. But keep in mind what their real goal is. And their real goal has nothing to do with protecting the vulnerable or enabling democracy and freedom in Ukraine. Their real goal is to keep the people from uniting, because they’re shit-their-pants scared of what will happen if people do.

  4. Anon
    February 15, 2023 at 19:55

    Just MO…. but…. Somebody needed to get the ball rolling (regardless possible opportune motivation)
    Those attending should find plenty of others in complete agreement with personal POV; Hoping Network organizing leads to more similar events.

  5. susan mullen
    February 15, 2023 at 18:46

    Massive anti-war rallies happened almost every weekend during Bush #2. I recall many buses, International Answer signs. My only objection to large outdoor rallies is that police often patrol on horseback. Horses are defenseless and as such are abused by rally attendees, including slapping horses across the face, tripping horses forcing their legs to collapse, and hurling objects at them. A wonderful anti-war movement was started by Dr. King with his April 4, 1967 speech at Riverside Church in New York City. (Exactly one yr later, 4/8/1968, Dr. King was killed). Dr. King said that US government was “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” and that Vietnam war was “an enemy of the poor” in America….“Time magazine called the speech “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi,” and the Washington Post declared that King had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.”…Undaunted, on April 15, 1967 Dr. King led an anti-war march of 125,000 in NY City from Central Park to the United Nations.

  6. cj
    February 15, 2023 at 17:26

    Refusing to work with people who’s ideas/values one despises is easy; the hard work is stifling that distaste and engaging with people with which one disagrees.

    Ms. Luqman’s words are that of an ideologue, uncompromising and dogmatic, emotional she cites tweets, quotes and articles forming her convictions but nowhere has she risked those convictions by engaging with those she opposes. Questioning, listening, arguing and debating, challenging and being challenged – that’s hard work. Alliances built with those one agrees with are simple, negotiating a common ground with those one doesn’t requires humility, a willingness to accept one does not know everything, that perspectives beyond one’s own experience can be valid.

    Ending war is not nearly as important as maintaining one’s certainty in one’s superior values.

  7. Beverly
    February 15, 2023 at 16:31

    While the points raised in Jacqueline Luqman’s article are valid, I too have many issues with many Libertarian thoughts, I would like to submit that we need to focus on priorities.

    Considering that the Doomsday Clock is at 90 seconds to midnight, it should be evident that something has to be done to stop our criminally insane government to push us over the nuclear annihilation threshold. If one does not understand the trajectory of U.S. foreign policy since 1992, one is either willfully ignorant or is so desensitized by non-stop war that one no longer cares.

    The U.S. War Machine must be stopped!

    A nuclear missile does not care if you are black, white, brown or wave a rainbow flag. It does not care if you are a racist or someone who believes in peaceful coexistence of all people. It also does not care what religion you subscribe too. A nuclear missile kills all, indiscriminately.

    • Juan Escobedo
      February 15, 2023 at 18:17

      Totally in agreement with you Beverly.We have to compromise,especially when human annihilation is on the line.

      • Steve
        February 17, 2023 at 10:46

        As the incomparable Caitlin Johnstone says:

        “The biggest problem with the western anti-war movement is that there is no western anti-war movement. All the other problems you think you’re seeing in your “anti-war movement” are at best a very, very distant second to the fundamental problem that your movement has no movement. There’s no good reason to spend your energy worrying if the peace movement is doing it wrong or including the wrong people or not organizing correctly if there is no meaningful peace movement. Focus on fixing that problem first — on creating movement rather than creating inertia and sectarian squabbling.”

  8. Hegesias Cyrene
    February 15, 2023 at 15:14

    Though I disagree with the author, I very much appreciate CN publishing articles representing both sides of this divide.

      February 15, 2023 at 23:00

      Thank you for getting it.

      • robert e williamson jr
        February 16, 2023 at 16:48

        Wow, finally some clarity!

        Thanks CN

  9. Sharon
    February 15, 2023 at 12:45

    Divide and Conquer has gotten us to this point.
    It is time to try togetherness, unity, solidarity,
    “can’t we all just get along?”ness.
    I read this article when it was first published at Black Agenda Report and it had hashtag AntiWarSoWhite in the title and body of the work. I wanted to point out that Garland Nixon was in the original speaker list, a POC. And soon Cynthia McKinney was added as a speaker, and then a rapper (or rapper producer?). I looked up the facebook page and made those comments.
    Jimmy Dore is now bigtime anti-vaxxer, or maybe only anti-mandate person, which I don’t agree with but I still enjoy watching his show.
    I’ve just become aware of an internet podcaster (?) group of young people who I really like, and they are peeved that no Marxists/anti-imperialists were invited to speak, especially African American Marxists who are broke and struggling (such as them). I don’t know each speakers’ personal biographies, and I don’t really care. If they are anti-war, good enough for me.

  10. Mike
    February 15, 2023 at 12:35

    Mr. Heise tripped over the office cat and thought it was a cultural marxist.

  11. durablewill
    February 15, 2023 at 11:59

    Would have “looked better” if the progressives had organized the rally and invited the “good” libertarians?

    Doesn’t matter.

    Unity is the only thing that will stop the war machine and we will need every human being we can ally with to end forever wars. To do this we must put politics aside. Working with others to achieve this goal will inevitably help us see one another as human beings first and political animals second. We may even see some of the cultural and political differences dissolve, or at least reach the point where we put the knives away.

    The Machine is relieved and delighted when we divide ourselves so it doesn’t have to devise some means to divide us. Our common humanity is our greatest unity.

  12. Ziggy Stardust
    February 15, 2023 at 11:20

    I am glad that CN has published your point of view, a courtesy I am sure you would not extend to any person who disagrees with you, whether or not racist.

  13. Drew Hunkins
    February 15, 2023 at 10:50

    Michael Tracey’s was tweeting last night that it’s not truly an anti-war rally bc some of the speakers support Russia’s “invasion.” Therefore they can’t be genuinely anti-war.

    The problem with this argument is that Tracey’s definition of anti-war likely means World War 3 and a nuclear holocaust. And it certainly means a GAE totally surrounding Russia and tens of thousands of more dead ethnic Russian civilians in the Donbas.

    Russia had no choice but to embark on its liberating SMO. It bent over backwards trying to reach a diplomatic agreement (anti-war) but was blatantly and admittedly stabbed in the back by France, Germany, UK and the Washington-militarist empire builders.

    The Rage against the War Machine rally is exactly that — it’s a demonstration against the biggest global hegemon that’s ever walked the face of the earth.

    Being anti-war starts with confronting the biggest purveyor of war and destruction across the world.

  14. Mary Caldwell
    February 15, 2023 at 09:25

    Ms. Luqman appears to me to be ticking off a list of identity issues.

    For me my interest is that a mistake not occur and bring us to nuclear annihilation .

    So I will stand with anyone or any group waging an end to this war…..waging peace !

    Hoping that the rally this coming Sunday will be successful .

  15. torture this
    February 15, 2023 at 07:14

    We have a new form of elitism in the US and it’s all about identity. Making progress with the other side by standing together on an issue we all agree on would be so crazy! This divisiveness is just what the plutocracy desperately needs to survive. By all means, when you’re in a sinking boat refuse to bail unless everyone believes in everything you do. Give me your bucket and get your dead weight ass out of the boat!

  16. TP Graf
    February 15, 2023 at 06:53

    I actually posted the following in SheerPost to (one of CN’s finest) Patrick Lawrence’s most recent post on the scuttling of objectivity in MSM. It seems to fit equally here:

    I contend that the politicians, press, pundits and lo, too many a preacher are trying to drive us all insane. “Far right” and “far left” and “woke or not” rhetoric seems to have one objective—eliminate once and for all any notion of respect, common cause, courtesy and kindness that ought to be front and center of public discourse in this nation. (Case in point–how “progressives” can’t possibly make common cause with “libertarians” even if both groups espouse an end to endless wars. After all, the progressives are woke and the libertarians are not, for god’s sake! “Don’t contaminate my purity, you deplorable!”)

    Our dis-ease metastasizes within our land, and we gladly export it around the world. We need not drink their poison or repeat their lies. Practice peace, I say. And more directly to Patrick’s point, stand objectively above the fray and see the rot below.

    To that post I would add this: I’m bothered, I must confess, by “peace” rallies that “rage.” I’m a simpleton of a kind and hold that we must move to peaceable mindset if we are ever going to escape the narrative of hatred, fear and violence. I was a teenager during the Vietnam war–my oldest brother and cousin lived the nightmare first hand–and a simple song I thought rather trite at the time, “All we are saying, is give peace a chance,” still sticks with me. I find the tune stuck in my head every time our country does some evil here and around the world. Maybe its time we join our voices in songs of peace rather than rage against the raging war machine. For me as others rage, I’ll sing the great Lloyd Stone canticle of peace.

    This is my song, oh God of all the nations,
    a song of peace for lands afar and mine.
    This is my home, the country where my heart is;
    here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
    but other hearts in other lands are beating
    with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

    My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
    and sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
    But other lands have sunlight, too, and clover,
    and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
    This is my song, thou God of all the nations;
    a song of peace for their land and for mine.

  17. Antiwar7
    February 15, 2023 at 05:21

    The author is clearly not serious about ending wars.

    • Dienne
      February 15, 2023 at 10:06

      Excellent argument. Such cogent points. You so succinctly refute everything Ms. Luqman says.

      *Insert eye roll here*

      • Gene Poole
        February 16, 2023 at 06:51

        None of Ms Luqman’s individual points can be refuted. The problem is that her argument basically boils down to “all of the people cannot come together until all of the people meet my criteria for legitimacy.” I think we can safely say that if a show of unity is what is needed to challenge the US/NATO war machine, it will never happen as long as one person is allowed to define who the people are. To that extent it can be said that she is not serious about ending wars.

    • J Anthony
      February 15, 2023 at 10:49

      Unite arms with fascists in the name of peace? Sounds a bit wrong, does it not?

      • J Anthony
        February 15, 2023 at 10:53

        I hope she’s wrong about the extent of possible LP dishonesty. I hope I’m wrong.

        • Chris hedges
          February 16, 2023 at 10:00

          Diversity is important. But when it is devoid of a political agenda it recruits a tiny segment of those marginalized by society into unjust structures to help perpetuate them.

      • Rev. W. McCall
        February 16, 2023 at 06:54

        By the logic of what you write, a “fascist” is anyone who doesn’t think like you, since you resort to name-calling rather than make arguments. Taking that logic a little farther, you become a fascist yourself.

      • Caliman
        February 16, 2023 at 11:30

        Libertarians (people who believe in no government) are fascists now?

        When a thought like that occurs, perhaps we could stop and contemplate that somewhere along the line, we may have succumbed to tribalism?

    • February 15, 2023 at 12:17

      Sure she is. I just wish Libertarians were.

    • Bill Todd
      February 16, 2023 at 01:30

      Not necessarily: perhaps like Dick Cheney she just ‘has other priorities’ that are far more important to her and blind her to just about everything else. Not a unique affliction. I had more respect for Black Agenda Report content (and before that The Black Commentator’s) back when Glen Ford had the clarity of vision to characterize the Democratic Party establishment as ‘the more effective evil’ and its shepherds in the South as ‘the Black misleadership class’.

  18. Daniel Dujardin
    February 15, 2023 at 02:32

    I worked with MLK and all the other fine people in Mississippi in the mid 60’s, and have been involved in other anti-war activities ever since. One thing I have learned is that the media will simply ignore you and look the other way whenever then can get away with it.
    At best, twenty-five thousand in a march will be shown as a small group comparable to the handfull of pro-war protesters.
    The best agrument for aligning on this issue with the Libertarian people is that it may force the media to pay attention.
    If they choose to ignore us, we will be like the proverbial tree that falls in the forest; if nobody sees it, did it really happen?
    Just look at how they are ignoring Sy Hersch’s recent revelatios

    • Sal Scramuzza
      February 16, 2023 at 07:00

      I agree. The point is that what’s needed is bodies and voices in the street. Since when is taking part in a demonstration an act of loyalty to the individuals who organized it? Even if this particular movement was being organized deliberately to fail – and I don’t rule out that possibility -, people should turn out en masse. What’s the alternative? Waiting until we don’t have the physical freedom to demonstrate anymore?

  19. Cynic
    February 14, 2023 at 23:18

    It seems that the elites have successfully divided Americans so much, using so many fault lines and divisions, that Americans can’t get pass themselves to form any critical mass that is sufficient to challenge the elites. Of course everyone will disagree on something, even on things as simple as what to have for lunch! But would any of these even matter if the world is destroyed in a Nuclear Armageddon?

  20. Babyl-on and on
    February 14, 2023 at 20:14

    Wonderful idea start day one kicking people out who like you are against the horrible crime of war but you don’t like them.

    The ocean accepts all rivers.

    • Dienne
      February 15, 2023 at 11:40

      How intellectually dishonest do you have to be to reduce “transgender people should be killed to achieve a more moral world, as long as it doesn’t incur additional taxes” to “but you don’t like them”?

      • Bill Todd
        February 15, 2023 at 16:33

        How intellectually dishonest (or logically incompetent) do you have to be to lump people together based on the statement of one of them?

        • karl
          February 16, 2023 at 10:06

          not “just one” but their friggin fuhrer,thats a bit different than jus ona tha guys

  21. MRDMK
    February 14, 2023 at 19:28

    Jacqueline Luqman is making the mistake of believing everyone in the Libertarian Party is a racist. Then goes on, all people in the Libertarian Party support racist policies, even if they are not racist themselves. Right there is a contradiction. Here are a couple of issues the Libertarian Party does not support: Subsidies to corporations and special benefits to veterans of war. By the reasoning Luqman uses, both of these issues make the Libertarian Party anti-worker/anti-people. A third policy, the Libertarian Party wants to end, is the ‘War on Drugs!’ The ‘War on Drugs’ started as, and kept in place, as a Jim Crow Law. The last time I checked, the Libertarian Party does not support Jim Crow Laws. I do believe people in the Libertarian Party do attempt to over simplify complex issues, but that does not mean I cannot share the same world with them. That would be the same mistake Luqman is making.

    As far as reaching out to other peace organizations, the Libertarian Party may have not reached out to them, but others participating in this protest have. So far, these no-show peace movements have taken a pass, mostly based on optics, not substance. This should remind you of an old saying, “Divide and Rule!” Now, what minority of people would do that?

    What Luqman is doing is using divisive nonsense as an excuse to do nothing. If she really wants to further her cause of racial equality, then she will need to speak with people who do not agree with her. If people want peace into this world, they need to talk with people they do not agree with, starting with Joe Biden. The only way of attaining change in this world, is by getting a group large enough, focused on a single issue, to be reconned with. By saying to people, “I do not agree with you this, so we cannot do that” will get everyone nowhere. That is just how it is.

    • Dienne
      February 15, 2023 at 10:08

      You are making the mistake of putting words in Ms. Luqman’s mouth that she clearly did not say. She make a clear distinction between the old guard Libertarians who are *not* racist and the Mises Caucus people who explicitly are, using their own words as proof.

      • Gene Poole
        February 16, 2023 at 07:04

        She does, but by condemning the march and discouraging people from participating, she comes down on the side of exclusion not only of *all* the Libertarians but of everyone who might feel they should take part.

    • lavieja
      February 16, 2023 at 07:10

      I would like to know more about Luqman’s anti-war activism and that of her organization. What actions has she taken, discussions she has participated in, articles she has written, etc. specifically about the Ukraine war, or other NATO wars since Iraq like Yugoslavia, Syria, Libya or the forthcoming invasion (again) by U.S. European-Canadian proxies of Haiti.

  22. JonnyJames
    February 14, 2023 at 19:14

    I loathe the right-wing fake libertarians as well, but they are a minority of speakers. If they can help prevent a nuclear war, or any war, that should be welcome. Especially since the racist, imperialist D/R dictatorship is cheer-leading us into a nuclear confrontation with Russia and China. AND that war disproportionately affects PoC in the USA, always has, always will until we are all nuked into dust.

    The author conflates supporting the anti-war effort with supporting the von Mises hypocrites. Do we really believe that these folks are more racist than the D/R dictatorship? The blah blah notwithstanding.

    I would love to see the author debate this issue with Cynthia McKinney.

  23. Robyn
    February 14, 2023 at 18:03

    This is not about differences, it’s about ending war. Above all it is about stopping the heart-breaking loss of lives and destruction of countries and communities. If people can’t set their differences aside and join in this cause which stands head and shoulders above all other causes, there is no hope for any of us.

    • Reginald Johnson
      February 14, 2023 at 21:14

      Well put!

  24. February 14, 2023 at 17:56

    Why is this entire piece focused on the Libertarian Party? There’s a huge diversity of political views represented among the speakers at the march, and most of them are leftists and strong opponents of the US proxy war in Ukraine.

  25. Altruist
    February 14, 2023 at 16:21

    Give me a break – as Diana Johnstone and Chris Hedges wrote, all antiwar forces should come together to make the antiwar rally a great success. There’s a lot more commonality between the anti-imperialist left and right than with the center mainstream.

    • Drew Hunkins
      February 14, 2023 at 19:14

      Excellent point Altruist.

  26. Drew Hunkins
    February 14, 2023 at 16:13

    “Among many leftists who challenged my analysis of this L.P.-backed rally, I seem to recall none of them engaging with other anti-imperialist groups for nationwide protests against a potential war in Ukraine as far back as the beginning of February 2022. Facebook reminds me that I was at such a rally.”


    There were plenty of activists and voices who will be attending the Rage Against the War Machine rally who were always steadfastly against the Washington empire’s proxy war against Russia. I was one of them.

  27. Dag Hammarskjold
    February 14, 2023 at 16:06

    All fine and good, but are you organizing any large scale anti-war rallies, especially in regard to the Ukraine proxy war?

  28. Larry Gates
    February 14, 2023 at 15:58

    By the same line of reasoning I should not work together with Democrats because they are warmongers, neoliberal facilitators of corporate greed, purveyors of neoMcCarthyism, and prejudiced against the working class. I will work together with ANYONE to stop this immoral and counterproductive war, and I will seek common ground with my political enemies.

    • mgr
      February 14, 2023 at 18:56

      Larry: Thank you. Exactly, right to the point. My impression is that the “progressive left,” if this is who this activist is representing, is full of themselves. It is these faux progressives that embraced and promoted the Russia-gate deception for the past seven years which was nothing more than a psych-ops effort to scuttle any chance for a constructive relationship with Russia going forward and rather to prepare the public mind for war. It was also this credulous, faux left that swept Biden and his neocons into office and have supported him to this day.

      I also believe that their exceptionalism is showing. Yes, of course, issues of gender and racial equality are important and by all means people of conscience should continue fighting to make them right, but the faux left seems utterly oblivious to how America’s uni-polar obsession has become its only obsession and has literally brought the world to the edge of Armageddon. And now with China as well. How can there be any prosperity, or enlightenment, at home while America is continually fomenting conflicts abroad?

      In line with the current and previous administrations, and, of note, also the “enlightened” Obama admin, it has been this self-absorbed, faux left that has cheered on America’s so called “humanitarian interventions” abroad whose actual purpose has been to squash moves toward self-determination anywhere on the globe where it has interfered with the Western led onslaught of neoliberalism and maintaining authoritarian vassal states.

      It seems to me that current “progressive” consciousness and interest ends at America’s borders. But it is no longer possible to disconnect actions at home from actions abroad. The world is now completely interconnected and there is no prospect of a better life for anyone anywhere if there is no world to stand on.

      • Tim N
        February 16, 2023 at 10:07

        Huh? All Dems are pro-war. You can’t “work” with them under any circumstances on matters of war. What “reasoning” are you referring to? How can one have common ground with one’s political enemies?

      • Tim N
        February 16, 2023 at 11:38

        You seem to think the author is some kind of woke Democrat. You want to go to the rally, go to the rally. The author makes some very good points about the hazards of uniting with one’s political enemies, and you mischaracterize where she’s coming from. You do the exact thing you claim she’s doing.

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