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Attack of the Hipsters for Competitive Governance

July 20, 2012

Okay, that’s not the exact title. But the Boston Phoenix implies in its headline that our very own Zachary Caceres is a “conservative,” which is odd, given how radical and revolutionary our mission is. But, hey, pretty funny article and insight into how progressives interpret our philosophy:

If anyone knows the polarizing attributes of politics, it’s Zachary Caceres. As a progressive libertarian, the 23-year-old Brooklynite represents one of the smallest, most misunderstood political groups of all.

“I have sort-of progressive goals, but I’m deeply skeptical of the ability of large institutions, including government, to accomplish those goals,” he says.

A jazz guitarist with screamo hair, Caceres grew up conservative in a small town in Maryland. When he got to NYU to study political science, he started questioning his beliefs. “I became a lot more skeptical,” he says. “There’s a dichotomy between small government and not caring about people and an interventionist, overweening government. I naturally started reading some libertarians, and I found out that it was the most plausible way to meet my political goals and my progressivism.” He pauses. “But there’s a lot of baggage.”

These days, he says, he identifies as a “progressive libertarian,” not a conservative. But that just means he encounters even fewer like-minded people.

“It can definitely be a challenge socially,” he says. “On the one hand, I find myself in a position where I’m agreeing with a lot of people around me — but it’s half-agreement. Then I find myself completely alienated.”

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