If this comment means that libertarianism is a sub-set of republicanism, that seems to me somewhat unlikely, since, in the history of political thought, “republicanism” is frequently used to name a quasi-communitarian tendency that is directly at odds with the classical liberalism that is at the root of modern libertarianism.
OK, that may have been a cheap shot.
But if my friend means that libertarians or Libertarians are Republicans, that seems like a cheap shot, too. First, of course, there are aggressive left-libertarians, in whose successes I have more than one vested interest, who would be inclined to oppose not only Republican militarism but also Republican support for corporate privilege and hierarchy and Republican social conservatism. Second, even the right-libertarians like the Lew Rockwell crowd, would unequivocally oppose the Republicans on war and corporate privilege, and, while many of them are social conseratives, would oppose using force to impose their preferences on others, in stark contrast to the Republican right.
I’d suggest that far more Libertarians (as in participants in the Libertarian party) are right- or left-libertarians of this sort than are “pot-smoking Republicans.” There are some of the latter, of course—some Catoids may fall into this camp, for instance. And perhaps there’s some argument for labeling some (not all) of the “liberventionists” (inside and outside the Libertarian Party) who favor some anti-peace military policies as quasi-Republicans. But I think the principled small-l libertarians—committed (whether they’re on the right or the left) to peace, social tolerance, and the abolition of the privileges that give corporations and economically favored elites their power—who make up the bulk of the Libertarian party and the bulk of the libertarian movement (which includes lots of people outside the party), need to be distinguished very sharply from the Republican-lite crowd.
Justin Raimondo (AntiWar.Com seems to have been a principal focus of my friend’s comment) is surely in the former camp, not the latter: he’s a self-confessed conservative (see his book on the American conservative movement), but also an anarchist, and so fundamentally different in orientation from anything resembling the Cold War and post-Cold War American Republican party. As a supporter of and occasional copywriter for AntiWar.Com, I think it’s crucial to emphasize how far the AWC crowd (like most real libertarians and Libertarians) is from anything remotely Republican.