Augustus Sol Invictus, the lawyer, “revolutionary conservative,” and crusader “to guard western civilization against foreign aggression and internal corruption,” has for the past few years been the single most controversial member of Florida’s Libertarian Party, for reasons Brian Doherty reported on at length (including an interview with the man himself) in October 2015. (Among the colorful details you will find there: disputed allegations of neo-Nazism, accurate reports of ritual goat sacrifice, and an O. Henry-style appearance from dirty trickster Roger Stone.)
Well, as of July 13, after years of recriminations, resignations, and mutual accusations of bad faith, the L.P. won’t have Invictus to kick around anymore. The onetime trouncee in an unusual L.P. primary fight over Florida’s U.S. Senate election in 2016 posted a video on his Facebook page, declaring that he was “Moving from the collegiate levels to the big leagues, and playing to win,” seeking along the way to “unite the right wing of American politics at long last in order to save our country and our civilization.” You can watch the full video here, and also see recent footage of Invictus speaking at an L.P. gathering in Queens, and also an alt-right rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
In May, Invictus and I both gave lunchtime talks at the Florida L.P. 2017 state convention (snippet from him here; my full thing here), after which I had two main takeaways: 1) The Party was clearly rattled by his ongoing presence (and sponsorship), and 2) his apocalyptic, nationalist-populist vision of libertarianism stuck out like a throbbingly sore thumb compared to what I usually encounter at Libertarian gatherings. I do not often hear discussion, however guarded, about “the genocide of the white race,” from either capital- or small-l libertarians these days.
Invictus portrays this as the result of “leftists who have infiltrated and corrupted the Libertarian Party,” leading to an insufficient defense of his chin-leading on the front lines of the Free Speech/AntiFa wars. Most L.P. activists I surveyed counter along the lines of Andy Craig: “We can only hope his gang of enablers and skinhead fans now follow him back whence they came.” (Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark simply tweeted, “May he go in peace.”)
Is it symbolic that a man who seeks to unite white nationalists with western-chauvinist Proud Boys (of which he’s a member), a fierce anti-Fed activist who says stuff like “the international finance system must be destroyed, the New World Order must be destroyed, the Left must be destroyed,” would find Donald Trump’s GOP more copacetic than the contemporary L.P.? Maybe, though I wouldn’t read too much into a single case that has all the trappings of an outlier. The man, after all, did lose a party primary election by 48 percentage points. People (including top-ranking candidates) flow in and out of the Libertarian Party like water; it’s the fate of third parties in a stubbornly two-party system, even at a time when all the L.P. measurables are at an all-time high.
“We find ourselves afflicted by the deadliest cancer in human history,” Augustus Invictus declares in his mission statement at The Revolutionary Conservative, “manifest in the twin symptoms of leftism and international finance: in a word, globalism.” It’s a diagnosis that has even less resonance within the Libertarian Party in month six of Donald Trump’s presidency.