Monday, August 26, 2013

Libertines and Liberal Bigots

I've pointed out here and there in the past a failing of most self-described libertarians. They're contaminated with liberalism. Their unspoken assumption is that an individual has to be a good liberal first, and only then can aspire to libertarianism. It kind of makes me think of the very old question of whether one has to be a Jew before one can become a Christian. Not a trivial issue, what with circumcision and all. Most of Christendom decided no, Judaism is not a precondition for Christianity, and it's time for libertarians to stop mutilating their philosophical genitals, too. I don't know where they originally got the idea that libertarians should be so accepting of every liberal trend and fashion. For example, some libertarians have followed the liberal lead and immediately started referring to Bradley manning as "Chelsea Manning," and "she." Anything else would be, well, illiberal. In like manner, most libertarians have joined the liberals and neocons in slapping down any and all discussion of any possible blame accruing to Blacks and Black culture for the rash of violent racial incidents we've been experiencing lately. Some libertarians have actually accused me of racism for inquiring into the race of criminals and their victims.  In the Oklahoma affair, I strongly suspect that the third perp, listed as "White" in most news reports, is actually of mixed race.  I have been denounced as a racist for wanting to find out.  By people who call themselves libertarians.

And, of course, my praising Western Civilization, Christendom, and the White race for their accomplishments has led some "libertarians" to call me a Nazi.  

This isn't just a problem for American libertarians.  It's also a problem for UK libertarians.  Keir Martland, who thinks like I do and expresses it so much more clearly than I do (What is it about Brits and their mastery of the English language—is it heredity or environment?), and who has been reprinted here before, shows how and why some libertarians are misled, and divides them into two groups.  I know people from both groups.  Don't you?  And if you are one of them, you badly need to read this.

Libertines and Liberal Bigots
by Keir Martland

Libertarians are being torn apart from within. Two groups are responsible for this: the libertines and the liberal bigots. ‘Liberal bigots’ is a phrase that I have stolen from Peter Hitchens and I am using it to describe a group within the libertarian movement who are more concerned about being politically correct than defending anybody’s right to discriminate. By libertines, I mean simply those who view libertarianism as a rebellion against tradition, hierarchy, morality and authority and who believe that the best way to achieve libertarianism and the libertarian ends of life, prosperity, cooperation and so on, is to live in communes, engage in ‘free love’, and at every opportunity attack conventional wisdom and morality.
The former, the liberal bigots, in my view are often ‘thin libertarians’ of the worst kind: libertarians who believe in the nonaggression axiom and nothing else. These people can only think in terms of libertarian legal theory and, as cultural Marxists, will defend anybody’s way of life, except, oddly enough, a traditionalist and antiegalitarian way of life. The latter, however, are usually ‘thick libertarians’ and in this sense are an improvement upon the liberal bigots. Thick libertarians are libertarians who, in addition to being well-versed in libertarian law, think about how a libertarian society would, could and should function. Thick libertarians judge not only whether or not something is legal, but whether it is conducive to libertarian ends. However, sadly, the modal thick libertarian is a libertine: someone who believes that prosperity, happiness and other good ends, for which we all strive, are achieved not through a ‘sensible’ lifestyle but through a relatively reckless one.
Liberal bigots will be the first to apply the word ‘bigot’ to someone who is choosing to discriminate or offend an individual or group. Yet, as libertarians should know, the right to associate also implies the right to discriminate, i.e. to not associate. And the right to freedom of speech implies the right to offend and the right to trade implies the right to boycott and charge higher prices to certain types of people. Liberal bigots will of course not tolerate bigotry, except bigotry against those who they decide to label as bigots. They will not tolerate intolerance, except their own intolerance toward the intolerant. Thus they become entangled in contradiction after contradiction.
Libertarians often make the point that legality and morality are two separate things. Yet, while conservatives and objectivists have a clear conception of morality, libertarians do not. Most libertarians become ‘thin libertarians’, interested only in libertarian politics and dismissive of any talk of morality. And because even socialists have a moral code, libertarians often resort to conceding the morality of other philosophies yet simply saying that they are ‘impractical’ whereas libertarianism is ‘practical’. But, as Ayn Rand correctly said, the moral is the practical: there is no dichotomy.
What, then, is morality? I am of the opinion that Ayn Rand and the more recent Stefan Molyneux, plus some insights from Hans-Hermann Hoppe, can lead us to a libertarian morality. Ayn Rand argued that as anyone who speaks of morality must be alive, they have shown that their standard is life. And since life requires prosperity, happiness and health, any arguments against these are also arguments against life. Stefan Molyneux has shown that it is logically impossible to defend a moral code stating ‘thou shalt kill’ or ‘thou shalt steal’. Combining these truths leads to a ‘live long and prosper’ moral philosophy. This is a moral philosophy which does not morally validate just anything since actions which are contrary to the presuppositions of argumentation cannot be rationally defended. Since we all must live for as long as possible, immediate gratification is not always morally justified for if it was then rape and burglary would of course be morally okay.
In the free society, we will have the right to discriminate whenever we wish to do so. Even liberal bigots who of course loathe discrimination must concede the right of anybody to discriminate against criminals. If we wish to protect our loved ones then it becomes a moral obligation, surely. Yet, if it is conceded that we have a moral obligation to ostracise, penalise, and dissociate from criminals, then why is it not also a moral obligation to discriminate against suspected or probable or potential criminals? Some people are more likely to be criminals than others: this being empirically or statistically true as well as being affirmed by decent psychology. Surely it is of some importance to us as libertarians to know who these people are and to aim to exclude them from (or at least keep an eye on them) a future libertarian paradise. If we do not even take the facts gathered from sociobiology, sociology and psychology into account when discussing how best to achieve and to then, when achieved, maintain liberty then we cannot truly say that we are ‘libertarians’.
It is assumed that libertarianism is supposed to be ‘pro-gay’ or ‘pro-Islam’ or ‘pro-abortionist’ simply because these are minorities. Not so. Libertarians should not only hold that we have the right to discriminate against these groups, but also that to the extent that they are immoral or dangerous or socially backward groups, we ought to do this. It will depend upon what ethical standards we have whether we label some people moral or immoral, but, it should be plain to see that the conventional – soon to become the unconventional, however – English way of life is the most conducive to libertarian ends. If somebody wants to have a sex change twice yearly or have twenty abortions or stand on street corners shouting obscenities or kill stray dogs then it would seem that many libertarians would simply say “they have the right to do so”. The question too often neglected is: do we want these things to happen in the free society? If we don’t want them, then it would be perfectly within our rights to discriminate against these people. Furthermore we could set up our own restrictive covenants where each member has to live by certain rules if he is to be allowed to continue living there. These rules would be up to the businessman or community leader who runs the covenant: no smoking, for instance, or no loud music. Of course, both the libertine and the liberal bigot would be heartbroken, with the liberal bigot fiercely proclaiming “but, women have the right to walk about stark naked, even in a restrictive covenant, if they want to!” and with the libertine adding “only by walking about naked can we free ourselves of the shackles of oppressive Western culture!” – Both would, needless to say, be wrong.
There is also the Orwellian technique of saying simply that ‘black is white’. Lies are passed off as the gospel truth by libertines and liberal bigots alike. The most awful example is that of militant feminists who claim that women are the slaves of men. But, as Rothbard pointed out, it is the slaves who work while the masters stay at home. Now who are the slaves? Rothbard also responded to the ridiculous suggestion that it is wrong to think of women as ‘sex objects’. It’s simple biology that women are sex objects to men, and men are to women. One exception is of those women who declare that they ‘have no need of men’ and, in order to prove they are dedicated to the cause of women’s lib, turn lesbian. Similar to the militant feminist movement is the LGBT ‘community’ (almost always represented by a minority of militant gays) who are intent upon the politicisation of sexuality[1].
A mocking of British culture and a disdain for the past displayed by the BBC is of course to some extent responsible for the tidal wave of politically correct libertarians. Notable examples of BBCPC are Blackadder and The Thin Blue Line. While it is easy to laugh at the physical humour of Rowan Atkinson in both comedies, the politically correct jokes are obvious and the disdain for the past rather shameful.*
Turning to religion, few modern libertarians are religious. Historically, of course, some have been agnostic and yet today almost all are ‘atheist’ or ‘antitheist’. It is also interesting to note that most of these atheists are self-described ‘empiricists’ who reject the possibility of a priori knowledge. Yet, aside from the self-refuting premise of empiricism itself, their stance on the existence of a God is flawed. If they believe that nothing is a priori true, then how is it that they believe that it is a priori untrue that a God exists. And for an a priori defence of God’s existence, look no further than St Thomas Aquinas’ ‘Five Proofs’. Incidentally, St Thomas Aquinas is responsible for the whole body of thought termed ‘natural law’, upon which the most radical libertarianism has been based so libertarians owe a lot more to the Catholic Church than they think.
Ignoring other religions, can libertarians be Christians? Modal libertarians say no, I say yes. In fact, there is a whole philosophy based primarily on Christianity which is libertarian[2].
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Galatians 5:1
“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” 1 Corinthians 9:19
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13
Britain, we are told, is a melting pot. We are multicultural whether we like it or not and Britain has long been tolerant and cosmopolitan. Those who feel uneasy about the transformation of some areas of Britain into something unrecognisable, yet recognisably unBritish, are labelled fascists by the liberal bigot. Though I hardly agree with his analysis of British history throughout the rest of the book, Bentley Gilbert in the preface to his ‘Britain since 1918’ hits the nail on the head when he writes: “Fairplay, tolerance and moderation are still the code that Britain lives by. They keep the country, as it has long been, a museum of civilized virtues. But generosity of spirit may be a weakness in an unreasonable world and the willingness to give way to the threat of violence, whether internal or external, whether economic or military, may produce a situation in which the civic balance that has made Britain what it is becomes itself a danger.”

*As a fan of Rowan Atkinson in general, and these two shows in particular, I almost hate to admit that Mr. Martland is dead right.  The Brits seem to surpass even us when it comes to sneering at their own past and folkways.  I'm a fan of British sitcoms in general, but even as such, I clearly see how most of them drip with Cultural Marxism. And this goes for their dramas, too. There seems to be a law that every other episode of anything include a Black/White couple.


  1. I'm delighted to be reprinted at Ex-Army Libertarian again. I, even though devoting only a short amount of time to it and not thinking much of it (I'm actually not very satisfied with it as it's incredibly disjointed and it was too ambitious to try to force paragraphs on ethics and religion into it), have found that some people, the very people I have described within the article at, either misunderstood, were offended or deliberately misrepresented me. And so they, not only affirming my analysis of the libertarian movement, do themselves an injustice by resorting to such tactics.

  2. Eager Young LiberalAugust 26, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    The problem with your line of thinking is that you blame all African Americans for crimes done by other African Americans. You try to make some appeal to logic by saying they should pay for their collective crimes, but punishing a people for the crimes of a few leads to genocide. Not all people of German descent were killed because of the actions of the Nazis, and to make an appeal for such actions would have rightly been identified as hatred.
    By praising Western Civilization you only tell half the story, you hold up the best of one against the worst of another and claim that is an adequate comparison. But do not forget that western civilization has also given the world nuclear warfare, which was used to kill thousands of innocent civilians. The west also colonized at will believing they were superior because of the color of their skin. Westerners killed, raped, and stole from people solely to prove their race was in fact superior. Later in order to defend such actions they created scientific racism, so that way they could justify the oppression of people around the world. Using this pseudoscience these racist and bigots explained to the world how it was proper to use eugenics to rid the world of such undesirables. This is the legacy of the west and some of us are bound and determined to remember that and work to right past wrongs, but never forgetting.
    The world will never let the Germans forget what they did under Nazism; they will always remember it in everything they do. But you seem content to forget about what white mob violence brought to black communities for centuries. The images of concentration camp victims will never go away but images of people posing with the corpses of those they hung on a tree have vanished. By allowing these images to vanish the memories have faded as well. The killings have been replaced with feel good stories such as Rosa Parks. It is a crime against humanity for Americans to forget what their racism wrought.
    As for your claim of Christendom, the purpose of the Christian Church is to spread the love of God to all, through their words and deeds. That is what Christendom must be measured by, and if we are using the same people that I have described above, most have failed abysmally. Few have taken the love of God as it is meant to. Christ describes what this love is supposed to look like; Matthew 25:31-46, Matthew 5:43-48, Matthew 22:36-40. His very life was an example of this love. It is not difficult to see a parallel between the cross and the lynching tree. Someone seen by those around Him, those in charge, as a blight that must be dominated and controlled, and both resorted to violence to do so. Christ made it clear that He identified with those who were the least in society. Those are who are important to God, Christians must identify with those in order to emulate the Christ. This includes the poor, the oppressed, the enslaved, the drug addicts, the criminals, the mentally ill, all of the people you would cast aside. That is the measure by which Christendom is measured, not by how grand it’s buildings, but by how it treats the most vulnerable.

  3. Eager Young LiberalAugust 26, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    The reasons liberals must fight against “traditionalists” is because traditional means those who stand on the backs of others, it means the status quo. We debate them because we stand with those who get the short stick in a traditionalist worldview. You’re right, I do not tolerate intolerance, but unlike you I do not fight with violence. To tolerate intolerance means to allow others to freely abuse those they see as inferior and that is not something I can allow.
    As for your claim that morality is practical that is outright wrong. Christians are called to do what is right, not what is effective. It is effective to use weapons of mass destruction, but it is not moral. It is practical to keep the status quo to not risk political disorder, but the moral choice is to stand against the racists. The fact that you include prosperity as part of morality proves that it is not moral. It helped the US to prosper to steal lands from Native Americans, but it was not a moral choice, even if it benefited the living whites at the expense of the dead Native Americans. Businessmen prospered by abusing those who worked for them, it made them happy and healthy but their actions were not moral.
    Your libertarian paradise is ruled over by businessmen making moral decisions? Has experience taught you nothing about the morality of businessmen?
    You skip over something important in Christian Liberation Theology, we are made free by God, not to serve ourselves but to serve others. Freedom, Christian freedom is not the same thing that you are thinking of. Libertarians believe freedom is self serving, the Christian believes in loving those who are hated by society. In Jesus’ day it was the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the Samaritans, they were the unlovable, but we were told to not only tolerate but love them. Today we are called to do the same thing, that is why those who have no problem discriminating, those who would gladly leave the poor and crippled starve, those who hate, those who allow others to make moral choices for them can never be Christians.

    1. "It is practical to keep the status quo to not risk political disorder, but the moral choice is to stand against the racists."

      Would that be any 'racists' or just the White ones?

    2. Eager White LiberalAugust 27, 2013 at 8:06 PM

      No racism is good, and all racism should be opposed, but the difference is that the white racists have weilded political power and used that power to keep African Americans oppressed. Look at the klan of the 1920s their numbers were huge, they had large public rallies, often they were church supported, and they ran entire towns and states. While the white supremacists are not as large as they were then they have become militarized and train for what the race war they believe is coming, always trying to push the world in that direction. More importantly they pass their hatred on to generation after generation. Do you have nothing else to say?