Every "radical" creed has been subjected to the charge of being "utopian," and the libertarian movement is no exception. Some libertarians themselves maintain that we should not frighten people off by being "too radical," and that therefore the full libertarian ideology and program should be kept hidden from view. These people counsel a "Fabian" program of gradualism, concentrating solely on a gradual whittling away of State power.
The major problem with the opportunists is that by confining themselves strictly to gradual and "practical" programs, programs that stand a good chance of immediate adoption, they are in grave danger of completely losing sight of the ultimate objective, the libertarian goal.
Cleaving to principle means something more than holding high and not contradicting the ultimate libertarian ideal. It also means striving to achieve that ultimate goal as rapidly as is physically possible.
.. "If there were a button on this rostrum, the pressing of which would release all wage and price controls instantaneously, I would put my finger on it and push!"
The libertarian, then, should be a person who would push the button, if it existed, for the instantaneous abolition of all invasions of liberty. Of course, he knows, too, that such a magic button does not exist, but his fundamental preference colors and shapes his entire strategic perspective.
Gradualism in theory indeed undercuts the goal itself by conceding that it must take second or third place to other non- or antilibertarian considerations. For a preference for gradualism implies that these other considerations are more important than liberty.