Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Defense of Libertarianism by Jeff Colonnesi

I'm a sort of libertarian, but I see it as more of a critique than a plan for fixing society. I say that mostly because there are factions of libertarians. Some insist on open borders, which I regard as totally idiotic and self-destructive, so any libertarian of that sort is living in a dream world. And I've always considered all political philosophies to be something approached asymptotically rather than put into force right away, which sort of matches what Jeff says below. Now, I also agree with Jeff that we were pretty close to libertarianism in this country for the first few years.

I've always thought that the existence of slavery was instrumental in bollixing up our libertarian constitutional start-up. It confused the issue on the very idea of citizenship and rights, and when it was abolished, that led to even more Federal intrusion. Lincoln may have been a great man, but we needed a greater one to figure out how to get rid of slavery without massive violence.

And while I see no problem with a standing army and other armed forces, any country that dispenses with them is just asking to be invaded, like we were in the War of 1812.

The important thing about any political philosophy is that it must adapt  itself to reality instead of pretending that it already does. Below, Jeff takes a stab at keeping libertarianism realistic.

Guest post by Jeff Colonnesi:

The US, from 1774 through 1789 was probably the closest to what current libertarians would consider ideal on a federal level. The Westward expansion of the US, from 1807 through the late 1800s (before the formation of many of the western states) was close to it on the state level. The US under our current constitution was close in its early years as well, except with the ability to tax it increasingly began to intrude on the individual.

Both had their problems. Chief among them was that local governments (towns, villages and cities) often passed laws that were draconian over the area they controlled. During the westward expansion they also had to deal with the US military which was a law unto itself in the territories.

The problems were made larger than they would have been because of the slow speed and high expense of travel, let alone pulling up stakes and relocating. Communication, limited across much of that time to the speed of travel, didn’t help things.

Libertarianism can and does work. The problems with it have nothing to do with the philosophy and everything to do with the lact of acceptance by many of its adherants that it cannot be achieved instantly. You cannot go from where we are now to where we would like to be without steps in between.

The classic “muh roads” argument is a spotlight on this. Of course a libertarian society can and would build and operate roads. Would they look like ours now: the miles of straight, flat multilane freeway originally put in place as a in depth defense grid (providing ready to use airfields for in depth defense)? Probably not. But they would exist. But to go from here to there, where private companies owned and operated them, requires a leap of understanding that doesn’t lend itself to a campaign spot. Talk to voters about a road system where they have to pay tolls every mile or two and they envision gridlock. Talk to them about a system where their car has a transponder and is billed for the roads it travels, and they envision big brother watching. But talk to them about removing registration fees and cutting fuel prices by 40% and (after loving the idea) they want to know how the roads would be maintained.

Libertarianism is not easy in our situation. We, even libertarians, have become so used to paying a huge burden in taxes and having government take care of a huge portion of the infrastructure of modern society, it’s hard to wrap our own minds around a different way, let alone explain it.

That’s why the old standby central planning solutions – fascism, socialism, communism – are gaining so much ground. They are easy to explain. It’s easy to convince people – like talking to a teenager – that someone else can take care of all the little details of life while they just enjoy it. Just trust the expert, the politician, the parent – they know what needs to be done and will take care of it. Of course they also “know” what’s “good for you” and what isn’t, and they will decide that as well. Then, like a teenager, people run smack up against the limits that were imposed by that system, yet they don’t understand what they need to take on in order to shed those limits.
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Quibcag: I found the illustration at Zerochan [link].

Stick-Figure Politics Again

Some of this stick-figure stuff is right on.

Another SJW heard from

"SJW's are everywhere!" It took me a minute to figure out how that phrase popped into my head just now, and then I remembered. I was riffing off of "Savoir Faire is everywhere," from a cartoon series from way back. But the SJW's are everywhere. And the exchange in the quibcag (in reaction to this post [link]), reminded me that they have a whole list of snarky things to say whenever a given subject comes up. His whole comment is a quote, of course, and I don't know its provenance, but it's right there in the SJW manual of what to say when "nationalism" comes up so as to promote globalism. It's as common and as meaningless as the other phrases in their little red book, like:

"There is only one race, the human race." (No, one human species, several races.)

"We all Bleed Red." (I believe most mammals do, so do bears and hamsters deserve full human rights?)

"Diversity is our strength." (the more third world peasant colonists the better, right?)

""We're a nation of immigrants." (Actually, no. We're mostly born here.)

And if you pay attention, you'll probably hear or read plenty more during the next 24 hours.
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Quibcag: Matt Bailey always knows exactly how to react to stupid assertions of this sort, which is why there are so many Matt Bailey quibcags out there. I blog so he doesn't have to. As for the illustration, it's a version of Fem-America from Hetalia: Axis Powers (Axis Powers ヘタリア).

And now, for your viewing pleasure:

Defining "Globalism"

The good news is that "globalism" is slowly becoming a pejorative word, much like "liberal." The latter has been replaced by "progressive" in most circles now — I suppose it's fooling somebody — but I don't believe anybody has thought of a replacement for "globalist," they just try to avoid it. And, if you go by the quibcag to the left, almost all our politicians in the Western World these days are globalists, to include American Democrats and Republicans, and British Labourites and Tories, and whatever the European parties are calling themselves these days. Any parties that aren't globalist, like the French National Front, the German Alternative for Germany, the Danish People's Party, the Freedom Party of Austria, the Swiss People's Party, and Golden Dawn in Greece, etc. etc, are naturally, all called "neo-Nazi" by the MAG (Media, Academia, Government). And of course the main reason for the almost psychotic reaction against Trump in both the Republican and Democratic parties is that Trump has basically positioned himself as a nationalist, with his "America First" slogan, and implicitly rejected globalism, an ideological position which the elites of both parties share passionately.

One reason this blog is called Libertarian Nationalist is because one of its missions is to make it clear that libertarianism, for all its virtues and flaws, simply can't exist outside of the framework of a nation, or at least a state of some sort that keeps it from falling to pieces due to its own structural inconsistencies, or being brought down by immigrants/colonists/invaders eager to lap up the products of free market capitalism without doing any of the producing. Our Founding Fathers pretty much understood that dynamic, which is why they came up with a government and a Constitution, instead of going all Rothbardy. They knew that you couldn't preserve freedom outside of a state, simply because any such society would be devoured by the most nearby state ASAP. Not only does freedom need a state, it needs one powerful enough to fight other states. Just ask Norway 1940. So, seriously, folks. I'm all for open carry and old curmudgeons living in cabins and refusing to do paperwork, but that doesn't translate logically into the conclusion that the state isn't necessary. That's the stuff of heavy dorm room discussions and everybody I know has grown out of all that except for a few useful idiots to be found mostly among our liberals and libertarians. The libertarian kind can be recognized by their tendency to email me with their insight that "libertarian nationalist" is an oxymoron. A little such sperginess can be a good thing, but that's crossing the line.

Now, the reason so many of us on the non-useful-idiot faction of libertarianism and the quite similar traditional right — you have to go back at least to Barry Goldwater way before the hijacking of conservatism by the Bushes and other neocons — have moved speedily to Trump is simply because he always seems to talk in terms of what is good for Americans. Not various American pressure groups, but basic working class Americans. He seems to want to keep our basic institutions healthy. He doesn't have to natter on and on like Hillary about the importance of the family, because it's implicit in his whole rhetoric and demeanor that he thinks families are great. Somewhat unlike Hillary, again, who talks family but who seems to have rented her daughter.

Ironically, Hillary fits just about any definition of neocon, while Trump is the opposite. And this really frustrates and confuses many "conservative" institutions. Lawrence Murray discusses one of them at The Right Stuff:


How Trumpenvolk Talk

Fascism is a tool

This is one of the numerous entries on Facebook by Curt Doolittlemany of which I've reprinted here as posts. I've pointed out before that libertarianism is a great critique, but not a plan of action by any means. It can act as a curb on other plans of action, which are legitimate as such. Libertarianism has often been characterized as "Marxism of the right," and properly so. It has little to say about the practicalities of living in a world that isn't libertarian at all, and presumes a sudden, inexplicable cooperative libertarianism on the part of everybody as soon as they get the word. That isn't how human being operate. And, as Marxism doesn't say much about the realities of statecraft, and doesn't include predictions about Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot, libertarianism doesn't address the realities of maintaining a free nation in a world of unfreedom without violating the NAP or ZAP or whatever, and it even seems to have gotten ambiguous about the cake-baking controversy of late.

So if libertarianism isn't the full answer, what is? For all the bad press it's gotten for, well, almost a century now, fascism certainly comes closer than communism or it's pale imitation, liberalism, which currently manifests as a free-trade, screw-the-working-class, anti-patriotic, anti-nationalist, multiculturalist, anti-traditionalist, diversity-obsessed globalism that the Brits have, to their credit, rejected at the ballot box and made their escape from the Brussels bureaucrats.

One more thing: when I started reading Curt's piece, I soon began to expect it to end with an attribution to Ezra Pound. I know that very few people these days have even read Pound's poetry, much less his essays, but take my word for it — this reads very much like one of the latter, both with respect to its subject matter and position taken and to its style and rhythm, with its quirky use of punctuation and its machine-gun delivery.

FASCISM IN THE GREAT GAME OF ROCK PAPER SCISSORS: 
--Liberty/Market, Fascism/Mar, Law/Culture--

The Communist threat was enormous.


Given the asymmetric value of oppy.costs, NOT ACTING in era of change is expensive.

So taking early initiative or waiting is a question of forecast costs.

And fascism was an answer to acting early.

A condition of liberty is the consequence of the nearly universal suppression of parasitism.

But just as soldiers compete, norms compete, and markets compete: *Rock-Paper-Scissors applies*.

One cannot fight soldiers with markets: Rock-Paper-Scissors. There is no steady state in econ or out.

There is no permanent condition of liberty possible any more than is a permanent condition of war.

Rock paper scissors: Liberty/Market, Fascism/War, Law/Culture.

Simple people use simple models. But while simple people use simple models it is up to us to explain the much more complicated world.

And that most complicated world consists not of steady states,but of supply,demand,rents,and shocks.

Facism is not a model, it is a tool with which we seek the optimum state of liberty, law, peace.

Monopoly institutions are not a steady state but a means of paying for the suppression of local rent.

Rule of law is not a steady state but a tool for the suppression of innovations in parasitism.

That we have yet failed to create an institution for suppressing centralized rents is just a failure.

Anarchism cannot do this, so the alternative is market production of commons.

Because commons are necessary even for the production of property rights, rule of law and territory.

And surprisingly, it turns out that commons free of privatization, are devastatingly competitive.
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Quibcag: Again we have one of those K-On! (けいおん! Keion!) girls. They somehow make wonderful fascism symbols.


"Nationalism" is a GOOD word

What's the best way to sort people out? Many of my libertarian friends insist that you shouldn't, really, because the individual is the only "group" that matters. Everything else is arbitrary or imaginary or something. Oddly, you find the same attitude among Social Justice Warriors on the left who say that such things are "social constructs." This is very appealing thinking to adolescents who feel very individualistic and who think that nobody understands them, so why be in a nation or a family or a group of any kind? Most adolescents grow out of such silliness. We're not an individualistic species. Tigers are an individualistic species (the scientific term is "solitary"), but we're not. We're a pack animal. We live in packs. We usually don't put it that way, saying "tribes" instead, but if you'll notice, all human organization seems to be based on that basic tribe, all the way up to the nation. When you go to a higher organization than the nation, you're in danger of losing the affinity individuals have for one another because of their common nationality. We're now witnessing the collapse of the EU precisely because it's not a nation, but several nations, which do not have enough in common to coexist within a single state.

The nation is the way to go, folks. Smaller things are too vulnerable, larger things are too clumsy and oppressive. And when you have nations, you have a very nice system. The nation supports and defends the individual, and vice-versa. And this isn't theory. This is what goes on, and has been going on, for quite some time. Any country that rejects the idea of nationalism simply gives up all the advantages of nationalism while competitor nations retain them. After a few years of that, the first country finds itself weaker and smaller, and will disappear unless it wises up. At Unca Bob's Treehouse, Bob Wallace clarifies the matter:

Nationalism Trumps Globalism Every Time

"Economic nationalism is the future." - Patrick J. Buchanan
I understand what globalism is supposed to be about: when countries are bound together by trade there is little reason to go to war. That's been noticed as far back as Frederic Bastiat. And it's worked pretty well.
It's also about enriching the 1%. And increasing their power - but those are a bit different of a story.
But as for the first paragraph...a different kind of war has sprung up.
Here are some examples. The Chinese and the Russians, for whatever reasons, very much lack innovation. On the other hand, the U.S. leads the world and is so far ahead of everyone else it's leaving every other country in the dust.
So what are China and Russia doing? Stealing everything they can from us.
Why? Nationalism.
Seems like every time some naive American company hires Chinese nationals they steal software and millions of dollars and get back to China as fast as they can. The last one I read about was about a married couple that stole ten million dollars from a scientific company in southern Missouri and zipped right back to China.
God knows how many Chinese and Russians and Israelis are spying in the U.S.
I gave up the belief in "free trade" a long time ago. We've sent trillions of dollars to the Middle East for their oil. And what did they do? The Saudis stabbed us in the back by funding the Wahabis who pulled off 9-11 (don't try that remote-controlled airplanes/bombs in the towers/Bush-Cheney did it/Jews did it crap on me – I refer to such people as Conspironuts).
We've sent trillions of dollars to China and they're using it to build up their military, which is not a threat to us but every Asian nation anywhere near China - Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines.
The U.S. finally figured out what to do: in a few years we will be energy self-sufficient (the reason you never hear of OPEC anymore is because we destroyed it). It's been estimated we've only used one to two percent of all the oil in the world.
As I've mentioned before, why is there any Chinese steel in the U.S.? I was raised in a steel mill town and the mill is having problems staying in business and is currently not hiring at all - and these are jobs that paid very good starting wages...with a high-school diploma!
Now we're involved in a cyberwar with foreign nations who are trying to, again, steal everything they can from us.
I knew Brexit was going to pass. Actually it's the first warning shot signaling the end of globalism as we know it. And why did it pass? Nationalism.
I have a fair understanding of cybersecurity, which is why I know the Internet is fundamentally insecure, and there are about four million open IT jobs in the U.S. Especially cybersecurity.
I call cybersecurity people Warrior Geeks, because it's all about offense and defense against other counties continually probing our defenses. It's a lot better than World War III but it's still war.
Foreign geeks could probably screw up our power grids pretty bad if they wanted. But we can screw up theirs even worse. It’s “You attack me and I’ll attack you ten times as bad.”
Obviously the free flow of goods and people is not working. France has found that out hard way, more than once. Germany and northern Europe has found out the hard way, too, with all their Muslim rapists and pedophiles.
I don't have any problems with a trading bloc consisting of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico (the more jobs in Mexico the more those 87 IQ Mexicans will stay in Mexico).
Every country is trying to do the best it can for itself. Except the U.S. and Europe - both of which created about 98% of everything in the world. A lot of which we’ve given the world and now they’re trying to steal the rest.
But that's starting to change. No matter how hard our traitorous "elites" howl and fight against it, nationalism is starting to assert itself again.
Nations – which are just tribes writ large – have been around a lot longer that globalism.
That’s why America first - and for Americans. And that is why "globalism" is circling the drain.
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Quibcag: I found the illustration at http://www.deviantart.com, but I can't figure out who drew it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

More Cartoon/Politics Fun