Monday, September 22, 2014

Martyrdom and Exasperation

I wouldn't mind people with martyr complexes putting themselves at risk all over the place, if it weren't assumed that sane people would be sent to rescue them. For example, the people of Afghanistan do not want other people to "help" them. They consider such "help" to be arrogant interference. But other people want to help them anyway, so they go there and get themselves kidnapped or killed and expect the rest of us to admire them for it, and even go there and risk our lives to try to rescue them. Other people don't intend to be martyrs, but are so damn dumb about things that they end up getting martyred anyway, when they thought that nobody would hurt them because of their wonderful altruistic intentions.

As for the fate of such people, I say it's just natural selection operating normally. I wouldn't risk the life of a single American troop to rescue some idiot who wants to be a missionary in some superstitious hellhole, or wants to go to some jungle to cure all the natives of some disease so their population can double a few more times.

And Gavin McInnes is just as exasperated as I am. At Takimag, he writes:

America’s Martyrs

Er, no offense to people being beheaded in the Middle East but, uh, what are you doing there?

James Foley had been abducted before. In 2011 he was detained while reporting on the Libyan civil war. Why did he go back? Was it because we need “reporting”? This is 2014. The jihadists upload videos themselves. In a bizarre twist of irony, that’s how we know who James Foley is. We have Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and everyone has a cell phone. I’m not sure we need you anymore. Same goes for the Scotsman David Haines, who was beheaded while working as a humanitarian in Syria. Dude, you have two kids at home. What were you thinking?

It’s profoundly unfashionable to consider, but is it possible that some of these people have a lust for martyrdom? Our president is being criticized for not reacting more strongly to these beheadings, but they weren’t diplomats or members of our military. This isn’t the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. We’re talking about people who knowingly strolled into hell.

I’d liken them more to the extreme mountain climber who expects the taxpayer to blow tens of thousands of dollars sending in helicopters when things go awry. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. But those of us who are well-stationed here on Western soil can’t help but ask ourselves, “Why are you doing the crime?”

War reporters were a crucial part of our history. The photos Robert Capa took on D-Day are invaluable records of what was arguably the worst day ever. Even the reporting done during Vietnam is crucial to our correct documentation of the war. But today—when it’s hard to find something that isn’t on YouTube five minutes after it happens? It makes you wonder why someone would supply a product with so little demand. Cliven Bundy got in a lot of trouble for wondering. Would you mind if I took some time out of my busy day to do so anyway?

When Dr. Kent Brantly went to Africa to help fight Ebola, he got Ebola. Ann Coulter has accused him of “marinating himself in medieval diseases of the Third World.” She suggested he might have stayed here in America, where there are plenty of atheists to mission to on your doorstep. The backlash against this statement was amazing because here in the real world, everyone around the water cooler was saying the same thing: “What was he doing there?”

Read the rest here:
Quibcag: I thought Shampoo and the Panda looked very multicultural, so I used them as an illustration. They're from  Ranma ½ (らんま½)

Multiculturalism and Rape Culture

Seriously, if you believe in multiculturalism, which states that all cultures are equally worthy, how can you condemn rape culture? But logic is not popular on the left. Less now than ever.  The latest representative of actual rape culture you can read about HERE. Probably a murderer, too. Tends to go together.
Quibcag: The illustration is one of those groups of suspects that the media just hates to show the public. The quote is from the excellent Countenance Blog HERE.

Francisco Albanese on Limbus, Our UR-Selft

Francisco Albanese is a little hard to follow, as I believe this is a translation into English. But I believe I know what he's getting at.

Limbus, our ur-self
Francisco Albanese

Pseudo-hierarchical verticality confuses the human being, which by nature is hierarchic: the tribal leadership has been replaced by merely submission to the State ruler and its intricate networks that pulverized the very human nature into nothingness, becoming a machine shaped by rules, good habits and customs and infallible patterns of domination.

Our minds are deceived by the minimum part we catch of the world of senses, and our deceived mind becomes our worst enemy: a chain reaction starts in our inner Self, telling to our bodies that they must obey or perish.

We have fear of not being polite, we live cowardly by fearing to not achieve the long-awaited welfare. Not being succesful has become our worst nightmare. Neither death, neither starvation, nor disease, nor war, but poverty and the loss of our status quo

It is not a secret that the coloured nations are now upraised against all modern western hopes, taking advantage of the pacifist breeding ground of the West, as well as the dehumanization of the same. They are actually free because they trust in their instincts and they are not afraid to unleash their instincts when extreme conditions demand extreme responses, not as we.

If our race does want to survive, our tribes must scorn all the social constructs that are just a waste of time between the cynicism and civilization gears.

The peaceful and beautiful rational world must plunge into the darkness and our hopes must be drowned in blackness. The basic and limbic rage must wake up to the night and madness.
Quibcag: The girls are from Joshiraku (じょしらく),

Saturday, September 20, 2014

New Baloo T-shirt

Baloo has done a new t-shirt/cap design:


Rothbard on Nationalism

The essay below is from twenty years back, and was just reprinted in a very timely fashion at the Libertarian Alliance. Now, I'm not an anarcho-capitalist, because I'm not an anarchist, and I disagree with some of Rothbard's conclusions here. For example, I think that an anarchist society would last about 15 minutes before it collapsed into a minarchy at best. But the really important thing here is that he recognizes the existence of the nation. And like good lefties, the core of the libertarian movement seems to deny both the existence and validity of the nation and nationalism. This is why I call myself a libertarian nationalist. I don't fall into that little leftist trap.

The whole purpose of the left in denying or denouncing nationalism is, of course, the destruction of Western Civilization, taking away a basic organizing principle that upholds our culture. Western, i. e., White, ethnostates are considered an abomination. When anybody dares say that the United States is a Christian nation, for example, everybody from the neocons to the liberals to the libertarians flies into a self-righteous rage. The idea that Britons should be ethnically British is thought of as pure Hitlerism. Routinely, Somalis, Pakistanis, and what-have-you Third Worlders are referred to as "American," "British," "Norwegian," etc., because of the place they happen to live, and never mind their race or culture. On the other hand, the validity of ethnostates like Japan, Korea, Mexico, Israel,or Kenya is humbly deferred to, and nationalist movements that involve nonEuropeans like Kurds or Kashmiris are taken very seriously and given deep respect. Even Palestinians are urged (usually) to take pride in their nationhood. But God help an American nationalist or a Dane who thinks Denmark should be reserved for Danish people.

So I reprint this, too, in order to make it clear that the prevailing libertarian attitude towards nations and ethnicity is simply identical with the Zeitgeist as expressed by the liberals and neocons, and is an affront to human reason. If they don't believe me, maybe they'll believe Rothbard.

Decomposing the Nation State

Decomposing the Nation State
Libertarians tend to focus on two important units of analysis: the individual and the state. And yet, one of the most dramatic and significant events of our time has been the re-emergence — with a bang — in the last five years of a third and much-neglected aspect of the real world, the “nation.” When the “nation” has been thought of at all, it usually comes attached to the state, as in the common word, “the nation-state,” but this concept takes a particular development of recent centuries and elaborates it into a universal maxim. In the last five years, however, we have seen, as a corollary of the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe, a vivid and startlingly swift decomposition of the centralized State or alleged nation-State into its constituent nationalities. The genuine nation, or nationality, has made a dramatic reappearance on the world stage.
I. The Re-Emergence of the Nation
The “nation,” of course, is not the same thing as the state, a difference that earlier libertarians and classical liberals such as Ludwig von Mises and Albert Jay Nock understood full well. Contemporary libertarians often assume, mistakenly, that individuals are bound to each other only by the nexus of market exchange. They forget that everyone is necessarily born into a family, a language, and a culture. Every person is born into one or several overlapping communities, usually including an ethnic group, with specific values, cultures, religious beliefs, and traditions. He is generally born into a “country.” He is always born into a specific historical context of time and place, meaning neighborhood and land area.
The modern European nation-state, the typical “major power,” began not as a nation at all, but as an “imperial” conquest of one nationality — usually at the “center” of the resulting country, and based in the capital city — over other nationalities at the periphery. Since a “nation” is a complex of subjective feelings of nationality based on objective realities, the imperial central states have had varying degrees of success in forging among their subject nationalities at the periphery a sense of national unity incorporating submission to the imperial center. In Great Britain, the English have never truly eradicated national aspirations among the submerged Celtic nationalities, the Scots and the Welsh, although Cornish nationalism seems to have been mostly stamped out. In Spain, the conquering Castilians, based in Madrid, have never managed — as the world saw at the Barcelona Olympics — to erase nationalism among the Catalans, the Basques, or even the Galicians or Andalusians. The French, moving out from their base in Paris, have never totally tamed the Bretons, the Basques, or the people of the Languedoc.
It is now well known that the collapse of the centralizing and imperial Russian Soviet Union has lifted the lid on the dozens of previously suppressed nationalisms within the former U.S.S.R., and it is now becoming clear that Russia itself, or rather “the Russian Federated Republic,” is simply a slightly older imperial formation in which the Russians, moving out from their Moscow center, forcibly incorporated many nationalities including the Tartars, the Yakuts, the Chechens, and many others. Much of the U.S.S.R. stemmed from imperial Russian conquest in the nineteenth century, during which the clashing Russians and British managed to carve up much of central Asia.
The “nation” cannot be precisely defined; it is a complex and varying constellation of different forms of communities, languages, ethnic groups, or religions. Some nations or nationalities, such as the Slovenes, are both a separate ethnic group and a language; others, such as the warring groups in Bosnia, are the same ethnic group whose language is the same but who differ in the form of alphabet, and who clash fiercely on religion (the Eastern Orthodox Serbs, the Catholic Croats, and the Bosnian Muslims, who, to make matters more complicated, were originally champions of the Manichaean Bogomil heresy).
The question of nationality is made more complex by the interplay of objectively existing reality and subjective perceptions. In some cases, such as Eastern European nationalities under the Habsburgs or the Irish under the British, nationalisms, including submerged and sometimes dying languages, had to be consciously preserved, generated, and expanded. In the nineteenth century this was done by a determined intellectual elite, struggling to revive peripheries living under, and partially absorbed by, the imperial center.
II. The Fallacy of “Collective Security”
The problem of the nation has been aggravated in the twentieth century by the overriding influence of Wilsonianism on U.S. and world-wide foreign policy. I refer not to the idea of “national self-determination,” observed mainly in the breach after World War I, but to the concept of “collective security against aggression.” The fatal flaw in this seductive concept is that it treats nation-states by an analogy with individual aggressors, with the “world community” in the guise of a cop-on-the corner. The cop, for example, sees A aggressing against, or stealing the property of, B; the cop naturally rushes to defend B’s private property, in his person or possessions. In the same way, wars between two nations or states are assumed to have a similar aspect: State A invades, or “aggresses against,” State B; State A is promptly designated “the aggressor” by the “international policeman” or his presumptive surrogate, be it the League of Nations, the United Nations, the U.S. President or Secretary of State, or the editorial writer of the august New York Times. Then the world police force, whatever it may be, is supposed to swing promptly into action to stop the “principle of aggression,” or to prevent the “aggressor,” be it Saddam Hussein or the Serbian guerrillas in Bosnia, from fulfilling their presumed goals of swimming across the Atlantic and murdering every resident of New York or Washington, D.C.
A crucial flaw in this popular line of argument goes deeper than the usual discussion of whether or not American air power or troops can really eradicate Iraqis or Serbs without too much difficulty. The crucial flaw is the implicit assumption of the entire analysis: that every nation-stare “owns” its entire geographical area in the same just and proper way that every individual property owner owns his person and the property that he has inherited, worked for, or gained in voluntary exchange. Is the boundary of the typical nation-state really as just or as beyond cavil as your or my house, estate, or factory!
It seems to me that not only the classical liberal or the libertarian, but anyone of good sense who thinks about this problem, must answer a resounding “No.” It is absurd to designate every nation-state, with its self-proclaimed boundary as it exists at any one time, as somehow right and sacrosanct, each with its “territorial integrity” to remain as spotless and unbreached as your or my bodily person or private property. Invariably, of course, these boundaries have been acquired by force and violence, or by interstate agreement above and beyond the heads of the inhabitants on the spot, and invariably these boundaries shift a great deal over time in ways that make proclamations of “territorial integrity” truly ludicrous.
Take, for example, the current mess in Bosnia. Only a couple of years ago, Establishment opinion, Received Opinion of Left, Right, or Center, loudly proclaimed the importance of maintaining “the territorial integrity” of Yugoslavia, and bitterly denounced all secession movements. Now, only a short time later, the same Establishment, only recently defending the Serbs as champions of “the Yugoslav nation” against vicious secessionist movements trying to destroy that “integrity,” now reviles and wishes to crush the Serbs for “aggression” against the “territorial integrity” of “Bosnia” or “Bosnia-Herzegovina,” a trumped-up “nation” that had no more existence than the “nation of Nebraska” before 1991. But these are the pitfalls in which we are bound to fall if we remain trapped by the mythology of the “nation-state” whose chance boundary at time t must be upheld as a property-owning entity with its own sacred and inviolable “rights,” in a deeply flawed analogy with the rights of private property.
To adopt an excellent strategem of Ludwig von Mises in abstracting from contemporary emotions: Let us postulate two contiguous nation-States, “Ruritania” and “Fredonia.” Let us assume that Ruritania has suddenly invaded eastern Fredonia, and claims it as its own. Must we automatically condemn Ruritania for its evil “act of aggression” against Fredonia, and send troops, either literally or metaphorically, against the brutal Ruritanians and in behalf of “brave, little” Fredonia? By no means. For it is very possible that, say, two years ago, eastern Fredonia had been part and parcel of Ruritania, was indeed western Ruritania, and that the Rurs, ethnic and national denizens of the land, have been crying out for the past two years against Fredonian oppression. In short, in international disputes in particular, in the immortal words of W. S. Gilbert:
Things are seldom what they seem, Skim milk masquerades as cream.
The Beloved international cop, whether it be Boutros Boutros-Ghali or U.S. troops or the New York Times editorialist had best think more than twice before leaping into the fray. Americans are especially unsuited for their self-proclaimed Wilsonian role as world moralists and policemen. Nationalism in the U.S. is peculiarly recent, and is more of an idea than it is rooted in long-standing ethnic or nationality groups or struggles. Add to that deadly mix the fact that Americans have virtually no historical memory, and this makes Americans peculiarly unsuited to barreling in to intervene in the Balkans, where who took what side at what place in the war against the Turkish invaders in the fifteenth century is far more intensely real to most of the contenders than is yesterday’s dinner.
Libertarians and classical liberals, who are particularly well-equipped to rethink the entire muddled area of the nation-state and foreign affairs, have been too wrapped up in the Cold War against communism and the Soviet Union to engage in fundamental thinking on these issues. Now that the Soviet Union has collapsed and the Cold War is over, perhaps classical liberals will feel free to think anew about these critically important problems.
III. Rethinking Secession
First, we can conclude that not all state boundaries are just. One goal for libertarians should be to transform existing nation-states into national entities whose boundaries could be called just, in the same sense that private property boundaries are just; that is, to decompose existing coercive nation-states into genuine nations, or nations by consent.
In the case, for example, of the eastern Fredonians, the inhabitants should be able to secede voluntarily from Fredonia and join their comrades in Ruritania. Again, classical liberals should resist the impulse to say that national boundaries “don’t make any difference.” It’s true, of course, as classical liberals have long proclaimed, that the less the degree of government intervention in either Fredonia or Ruritania, the less difference such a boundary will make. But even under a minimal state, national boundaries would still make a difference, often a big one to the inhabitants of the area. For in what language — Ruritanian or Fredonian or both? — will be the street signs, telephone books, court proceedings, or school classes of the area?
In short, every group, every nationality, should be allowed to secede from any nation-state and to join any other nation-state that agrees to have it. That simple reform would go a long way toward establishing nations by consent. The Scots, if they want to, should be allowed by the English to leave the United Kingdom, and to become independent, and even to join a Gaelic Confederation, if the constituents so desire.
A common response to a world of proliferating nations is to worry about the multitude of trade barriers that might be erected. But, other things being equal, the greater the number of new nations, and the smaller the size of each, the better. For it would be far more difficult to sow the illusion of self-sufficiency if the slogan were “Buy North Dakotan” or even “Buy 56th Street” than it now is to convince the public to “Buy American.” Similarly, “Down with South Dakota,” or a fortiori, “Down with 55th Street,” would be a more difficult sell than spreading fear or hatred of the Japanese. Similarly, the absurdities and the unfortunate consequences of fiat paper money would be far more evident if each province or each neighborhood or street block were to print its own currency. A more decentralized world would be far more likely to turn to sound market commodities, such as gold or silver, for its money.
IV. The Pure Anarcho-Capitalist Model
I raise the pure anarcho-capitalist model in this paper, not so much to advocate the model per se as to propose it as a guide for settling vexed current disputes about nationality. The pure model, simply, is that no land areas, no square footage in the world, shall remain “public”; every square foot of land area, be they streets, squares, or neighborhoods, is privatized. Total privatization would help solve nationality problems, often in surprising ways, and I suggest that existing states, or classical liberal states, try to approach such a system even while some land areas remain in the governmental sphere.
Open Borders, or the Camp-of-the Saints Problem
The question of open borders, or free immigration, has become an accelerating problem for classical liberals. This is first, because the welfare state increasingly subsidizes immigrants to enter and receive permanent assistance, and second, because cultural boundaries have become increasingly swamped. I began to rethink my views on immigration when, as the Soviet Union collapsed, it became clear that ethnic Russians had been encouraged to flood into Estonia and Latvia in order to destroy the cultures and languages of these peoples. Previously, it had been easy to dismiss as unrealistic Jean Raspail’s anti-immigration novel The Camp of the Saints, in which virtually the entire population of India decides to move, in small boats, into France, and the French, infected by liberal ideology, cannot summon the will to prevent economic and cultural national destruction. As cultural and welfare-state problems have intensified, it became impossible to dismiss Raspail’s concerns any longer.
However, on rethinking immigration on the basis of the anarcho-capitalist model, it became clear to me that a totally privatized country would not have “open borders” at all. If every piece of land in a country were owned by some person, group, or corporation, this would mean that no immigrant could enter there unless invited to enter and allowed to rent, or purchase, property. A totally privatized country would be as “closed” as the particular inhabitants and property owners’ desire. It seems clear, then, that the regime of open borders that exists de facto in the U.S. really amounts to a compulsory opening by the central state, the state in charge of all streets and public land areas, and does not genuinely reflect the wishes of the proprietors.
Under total privatization, many local conflicts and “externality” problems — not merely the immigration problem — would be neatly settled. With every locale and neighborhood owned by private firms, corporations, or contractual communities, true diversity would reign, in accordance with the preferences of each community. Some neighborhoods would be ethnically or economically diverse, while others would be ethnically or economically homogeneous. Some localities would permit pornography or prostitution or drugs or abortions, others would prohibit any or all of them. The prohibitions would not be state imposed, but would simply be requirements for residence or use of some person’s or community’s land area. While statists who have the itch to impose their values on everyone else would be disappointed, every group or interest would at least have the satisfaction of living in neighborhoods of people who share its values and preferences. While neighborhood ownership would not provide Utopia or a panacea for all conflicts, it would at least provide a “second-best” solution that most people might be willing to live with.
Enclaves and Exclaves
One obvious problem with the secession of nationalities from centralized states concerns mixed areas, or enclaves and exclaves. Decomposing the swollen central nation-State of Yugoslavia into constituent parts has solved many conflicts by providing independent nationhood for Slovenes, Serbs, and Croats, but what about Bosnia, where many towns and villages are mixed? One solution is to encourage more of the same, through still more decentralization. If, for example, eastern Sarajevo is Serb and western Sarajevo is Muslim, then they become parts of their respective separate nations.
But this of course will result in a large number of enclaves, parts of nations surrounded by other nations. How can this be solved? In the first place, the enclave/exclave problem exists right now. One of the most vicious existing conflicts, in which the U.S. has not yet meddled because it has not yet been shown on CNN, is the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian exclave totally surrounded by, and therefore formally within, Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh should clearly be part of Armenia. But, how then, will Armenians of Karabakh avoid their present fate of blockade by Azeris, and how will they avoid military battles in trying to keep open a land corridor to Armenia?
Under total privatization, of course, these problems would disappear. Nowadays, no one in the U.S. buys land without making sure that his title to the land is clear; in the same way, in a fully privatized world, access rights would obviously be a crucial part of land ownership. In such a world, then, Karabakh property owners would make sure that they had purchased access rights through an Azeri land corridor.
Decentralization also provides a workable solution for the seemingly insoluble permanent conflict in Northern Ireland. When the British partitioned Ireland in the early 1920s, they agreed to perform a second, a more micro-managed, partition. They never carried through on this promise. If the British would permit a detailed, parish by parish, partition vote in Northern Ireland, however, most of the land area, which is majority Catholic, would probably hive off and join the Republic: such counties as Tyrone and Fermanagh, southern Down, and southern Armagh, for example. The Protestants would probably be left with Belfast, county Antrim, and other areas north of Belfast. The major remaining problem would be the Catholic enclave within the city of Belfast, but again, an approach to the anarcho-capitalist model could be attained by permitting the purchase of access rights to the enclave.
Pending total privatization, it is clear that our model could be approached, and conflicts minimized, by permitting secessions and local control, down to the micro-neighborhood level, and by developing contractual access rights for enclaves and exclaves. In the U.S., it becomes important, in moving toward such radical decentralization, for libertarians and classical liberals — indeed, for many other minority or dissident groups — to begin to lay the greatest stress on the forgotten Tenth Amendment and to try to decompose the role and power of the centralizing Supreme Court. Rather than trying to get people of one’s own ideological persuasion on the Supreme Court, its power should be rolled back and minimized as far as possible, and its power decomposed into state, or even local, judicial bodies.
Citizenship and Voting Rights
One vexing current problem centers on who becomes the citizen of a given country, since citizenship confers voting rights. The Anglo-American model, in which every baby born in the country’s land area automatically becomes a citizen, clearly invites welfare immigration by expectant parents. In the U.S., for example, a current problem is illegal immigrants whose babies, if born on American soil, automatically become citizens and therefore entitle themselves and their parents to permanent welfare payments and free medical care. Clearly the French system, in which one has to be born to a citizen to become an automatic citizen, is far closer to the idea of a nation-by-consent.
It is also important to rethink the entire concept and function of voting. Should anyone have a “right” to vote? Rose Wilder Lane, the mid-twentieth century U.S. libertarian theorist, was once asked if she believed in womens’ suffrage. “No,” she replied, “and I’m against male suffrage as well.” The Latvians and Estonians have cogently tackled the problem of Russian immigrants by allowing them to continue permanently as residents, but not granting them citizenship or therefore the right to vote. The Swiss welcome temporary guest-workers, but severely discourage permanent immigration, and, a fortiori, citizenship and voting.
Let us turn for enlightenment, once again, to the anarcho-capitalist model. What would voting be like in a totally privatized society? Not only would voting be diverse, but more importantly, who would really care? Probably the most deeply satisfying form of voting to an economist is the corporation, or joint-stock company, in which voting is proportionate to one’s share of ownership of the firm’s assets. But also there are, and would be, a myriad of private clubs of all sorts. It is usually assumed that club decisions are made on the basis of one vote per member, but that is generally untrue. Undoubtedly, the best-run and most pleasant clubs are those run by a small, self-perpetuating oligarchy of the ablest and most interested, a system most pleasant for the rank-and-file non-voting member as well as for the elite. If I am a rank-and-file member of, say a chess club, why should I worry about voting if I am satisfied with the way the club is run? And if I am interested in running things, I would probably be asked to join the ruling elite by the grateful oligarchy, always on the lookout for energetic members. And finally, if I am unhappy about the way the club is run, I can readily quit and join another club, or even form one of my own. That, of course, is one of the great virtues of a free and privatized society, whether we are considering a chess club or a contractual neighborhood community.
Clearly, as we begin to work toward the pure model, as more and more areas and parts of life become either privatized or micro-decentralized, the less important voting will become. Of course, we are a long way from this goal. But it is important to begin, and particularly to change our political culture, which treats “democracy,” or the “right” to vote, as the supreme political good. In fact, the voting process should be considered trivial and unimportant at best, and never a “right,” apart from a possible mechanism stemming from a consensual contract. In the modern world, democracy or voting is only important either to join in or ratify the use of the government to control others, or to use it as a way of preventing one’s self or one’s group from being controlled. Voting, however, is at best, an inefficient instrument for self-defense, and it is far better to replace it by breaking up central government power altogether.
In sum, if we proceed with the decomposition and decentralization of the modern centralizing and coercive nation-state, deconstructing that state into constituent nationalities and neighborhoods, we shall at one and the same time reduce the scope of government power, the scope and importance of voting and the extent of social conflict. The scope of private contract, and of voluntary consent, will be enhanced, and the brutal and repressive state will be gradually dissolved into a harmonious and increasingly prosperous social order.
[Originally appeared in the Journal of Libertarian
Studies 11, no. 1 (Fall 1994): 1–10.]
Quibcag: I knew who those girls were once, but I've forgotten.

Friday, September 19, 2014

An Anti-Loonie Quibcag

My Crusade Against Looniness continues. The quibcag is a comment on my last post HERE, and is another example of the bleedin' obvious.

When Mexico invited Americans to move into Texas a couple of centuries ago, give or take, the Americans pledged to become Catholics. A few did, most did not. They pledged to become patriotic Mexicans. Some did, most did not. They promised to give up slavery. A few did, most did not. You get the idea. And the Mexican government at the time at least tried to get them to assimilate. Our government doesn't give a good god damn, and mostly supports multiculturalism, not assimilation.

If immigrants really did assimilate as readily as our more starry-eyed libertarians think, I'd be typing this in Arapaho right now, Netanyahu would be speaking Arabic and worshipping Allah, and Scotland wouldn't have had anything to vote about yesterday.

No, people don't assimilate very readily at all, because they mostly don't want to. A very few people move into France because they want to become French (not at all the same thing as being a citizen of France), but the vast majority don't want to do anything of the kind. They want to keep right on being Africans or whatever they were to begin with, and just live in France and take advantage of all the freebies. This applies to almost all immigrant to anywhere from anywhere. That's the way people are.

Countries who accept immigrants who aren't both willing and able to assimilate are just agreeing to a slow-motion invasion.
Quibcag. This is Lum, one of the few alien immigrants who really tries to fit in, though you can't really say that she's assimilated, and she certainly hasn't cut ties with her original cultural mindset. She's from Urusei Yatsura (うる星やつら).

Still More Looniness

When I posted THIS yesterday, I knew the kids in the basement would burst into self-righteous indignation, as only religious or political ideologues can.

When I make the argument that because libertarianism is a product of, and dependent on, Western Civilization, libertarians should take steps to preserve Western Civilization, I fully expect the argument to be ignored and pilpuls about "rights" turned to instead. But I'm always a little surprised when it's argued with. Oh, you can argue about the origins of Western Civilization, and take the Oswald Spengler position that it started more or less with Charlemagne, but even he saw that it took elements from Classical Civilization and from the Bible and Christianity as it existed beforehand.

But to say that the concept of "libertarianism" somehow has origins outside that stream of Western Civilization is kind of mind-boggling. Maybe you can find hints of the idea of individual sovereignty in Lao-Tse, but you have to squint. Anyhow, it doesn't lead to the idea of political freedom.

Anyhow, here's one of the reactions I got. He begins by quoting from the post:

"But – by all rights – libertarians should want to see the things which make western civilization distinct preserved and even magnified, rather than attenuated and diluted.

"Sometimes, libertarians pretend that their philosophy is universal and that it can be abstracted away from any particular people or place. But it’s obvious, at least in North America, that the liberty we enjoy is fairly traceable to the traditional liberty of Englishmen, under the English
common law, as well as to frontier pragmatism and a little bit of European, enlightenment philosophy."

This is a titanic misunderstanding of the origins of the premise of individual liberty. The *basis* for concepts came as far back as Aristotle, and the basis for freedom is not 'English Common Law' - that's ridiculous - but English common law came *from* many of the principles outlined by the enlightenment philosophers. You have it precisely backwards.

Freedom did not originate in America, and the concept of individual liberty is not originated in western civilization. America was a bi-product of the earlier works that recognized the sovereign of the individual, not the other way around. We do not fight for 'Western civilization' because it is where freedom came from, we fight for freedom because it is what made western civilization - which, by the way, is in no way any longer a place of freedom - possible.

Libertarian philosophy *is* universal, because they are based on premises that apply to ALL men by their nature, not ones born by accident in certain borders. Freedom is not geographic, it is ours by our nature. To try to pin in to a bordered area of land is jingoistic and monstrous.

So, what does everybody think? Where did the idea of freedom come from? The Bhagavad-Gita? Popol Vuh? The Koran? Zimbabwean folk tales? Can we toss Western Civilization and create a libertarian society with immigrants from Chechnya, Somalia, and Honduras? If so, we can dispense with spreading the word about libertarianism till the Liberals and Neocons have finished their work, and brought in a few hundred million Third World immigrants. When that is accomplished, then we can build a libertarian society.