Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Greg Johnson Puts LIbertarianism in its Place

I've been flailing around for some time now, trying to put into words just why libertarianism, which sound so good on paper, just doesn't seem to work in practice. Or, it's not so much that it doesn't work as that it works only under controlled conditions. And "control" seems to be a bad word to a lot of self-proclaimed libertarians, especially those from the left in America, who can best be described, in many cases, as "hippies with guns." This is because they retain almost all the damn foolishness of hippiedom, leavened with a sort of feel for gun rights and maybe a little free market economic knowledge.

In any case, libertarianism taken past its natural limits has fatal flaws, the most salient described below by Greg Johnson. BTW, it most definitely refutes libertarianism as it manifests in America at this time, but it only serves to buttress my version of the movement, which I choose to call "Libertarian Nationalism," which is purged of the flaw pointed out, among others. This is from http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/10/the-refutation-of-libertarianism/

The Refutation of Libertarianism

The following text is the talk I delivered at the London Forum on October 3, 2015. I wish to thank Jez Turner, the London Forum team, and their faithful audience for making this talk possible.
Libertarianism is the politics of individualism. Individualism is both a metaphysical and a moral position.
Metaphysical individualism is the thesis that only particular men exist. Groups are just collections of individuals, with no independent reality or meaning.
Metaphysical individualism is connected to universalism, which is the idea that there is only one race, the human race, which is just a collection of individuals. Universalism implies that there is no meaningful distinction between ingroups and outgroups, between us and them.
Universalism has two important implications.
First, since politics as Carl Schmitt defines it arises from the distinction between us and them, universalism implies that politics is merely a temporary phenomenon, based on the waning illusion of meaningful distinctions between ingroups and outgroups. When these distinctions disappear, politics will as well.
Second, nationalism, patriotism, and any other form of partiality for one’s ingroup over an outgroup is morally illegitimate, since there is really no us and them, just me and you. This leads us to the ethical dimension of individualism. How do you and I get on together? If groups are just collections of individuals, there are no group values, just individual values. The purpose of social institutions, therefore, is to facilitate individuals pursuing their own aims.
The great facilitator of individuals pursuing their aims is capitalism. If you and I have something to offer each other, we might trade. If we have nothing to offer each other, we just walk on by. The marketplace requires only a minimal “nightwatchman” state to protect us against force, fraud, breach of contract, and the like.
Ethical individualism requires us to treat individuals as individuals, not as members of various morally unimportant groups handed to us by history or nature. We must be “blind” to race. We must be “blind” to class. We must be “blind” to sex. We must be “blind” to religion. We must be “blind” to nationality. We must be “blind” to all things that divide us. The only thing we must see are individual merits.
The individualism game is highly advantageous for all players. Individualism unleashes creativity in science, technology, and business. But paradoxically, the greatest strength of individualism is the form of cooperation it fosters. Each individualist comports himself as a member of a potentially global society. This means that social cooperation can scale up to the global limit as well, making possible the wholesale transformation of the world we call modernity.
Collectivist societies, however, are hampered by ingroup/outgroup splits. If people behave as members of groups, trust and cooperation are confined to ingroups, which severely constricts the scale of social institutions and corrupts their functioning with favoritism toward ingroups and discrimination toward outgroups.
In honest contests, the individualist game can outcompete the collectivist game, which is why individualistic European societies conquered virtually the entire globe with superior technologies and forms of social cooperation.
But the competition for global domination is rarely honest. Thus when Western individualist societies conquered and absorbed collectivist ones, it was only a matter of time before the more intelligent tribes learned how to cheat.
How does one cheat an individualist? By pretending to be an individualist while working as a member of a group. You demand that individualists give you a fair shake in every transaction. But whenever possible, you give preferences to members of your own tribe, and they give preferences to you.
Imagine playing a game of cards in which your opponent can play a wild card but you can’t. That wild card is their tribal membership. It does not matter how great an advantage you might have over him in terms of chips at the start, because the rules give him a systematic advantage, and as long as you play the game, you will lose. But individualists are slow to catch on to the scam, because they are blind to groups.
It is interesting that the most important founder of modern race- and nation-blind individualism was Ayn Rand, born Alissa Rosenbaum, and the leadership of her Objectivist movement just happened to be overwhelmingly Jewish, including a number of first cousins and married couples. Obviously, this was not individualist meritocracy in action. Yet Rand’s followers were blind to this fact as a matter of high moral principle.
There will never be a libertarian society. But libertarian ideology still performs a function within the existing system. And although libertarianism is superficially opposed to the Marxism of the Frankfurt School, both are Jewish intellectual movements that perform the same function: they break down the resistance of high-trust, European individualist societies to duplicitous tribal groups—what John Robb calls “parasite tribes”—preeminently Jews. Libertarians preach individualism, whereas the Frankfurt school stigmatizes white ethnocentrism and extols “inclusiveness” toward “marginalized” groups. But the result is the same. Both doctrines promote Jewish upward mobility and collective power while blinding the rest of society to what is happening.
What kind of people preach blindness as a virtue? People who are up to no good.
Ultimately, I would argue, individualism is a product of the biological and cultural evolution of European man. Individualism goes hand in hand with low ethnocentrism, i.e., openness to strangers, the universalist idea that ultimately there just one group, humanity, to which we all belong. The European mentality was beautifully encapsulated in a saying of Will Rogers: “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met.” I doubt very much that an equivalent phrase can be found in Hebrew or Arabic. In other words, there is fundamentally no us and them. There is just knowledge and ignorance, friends we know and friends we don’t.
This openness is highly advantageous because it allows us to increase the number of people with whom trust and cooperation are possible. But openness to strangers is also risky, of course, because they might not reciprocate. Thus taking the risk of sociability—extending the hand of friendship—is deeply engrained in our sense of moral high-mindedness. But when we meet people who do not reciprocate our openness, but instead regard it as a weakness to be exploited, then our virtues are no longer advantageous, and if our elites persist in high-minded openness to such enemies, they must be relieved of their powers and responsibilities.
Individualism blinds its followers to collectivist cheats. Thus the only way to save individualism is to become aware of groups. But that sounds like collectivism. Once we become aware of parasite tribes, we have to exclude them. But that sounds like statism. If individualism is ultimately a European ethos, then individualism requires that we preserve European societies and exclude non-Europeans, which sounds like racial nationalism.
This is the refutation of libertarianism. It is a form of self-refutation. To save individualism, we have to repudiate universalism, reintroduce the distinction between us and them, and start acting collectively. Individualism only works as part of a collective of like-minded people who must exclude collectives that don’t play by the same rules. This is how some people start out as libertarian individualists and become racists, anti-Semites, and fascists in the end.
Quibcag: Here we have the crew of the Benten Maru, from the delightful anime,  Bodacious Space Pirates (モーレツ宇宙海賊パイレーツ Mōretsu Pairētsu), illustrating the fact that for many purposes, you can't beat well-developed individuals acting collectively. Just try running a ship any other way. Anyhow, the anime has a libertarian streak in it in the best possible sense, and here's the trailer to show you what I mean:


  1. It's why I too have given up on 'libertarianism'. I got tired of it's supporters resorting to the ''No true Scotsman'' argument.
    The ''But it's never been tried!'' crap you hear with defenders of communism/socialism.
    With libertarians it's the handwaving of ''stop the 'welfare' and they (immigrants) will stop coming!''. Let's be realistic, that ain't gonna happen in the West. Western governments will provide some degree of public healthcare, some degree of public education, some degree of food assistance, some degree of housing assistance, and some degree of cash assistance.
    And the bulk of it will not be done by *ahem* ''private charity'' (because the vast majority of ''private charities'' are in actuality scams (there are rare exceptions). Nearly all ''private charities'' exist to employ staffs, purchase media ads and distribute 'aid' for PR/advertising purposes.
    You think the NFL gives a rat's patoot about breast cancer. Hell no, it's just cheap (and very annoying) PR and a way to hawk more merchandise.
    The dangerous/unemployable have to be (if nothing else) confined, which means some form of regular feeding and some form of medical care - if nothing else, for 'general welfare' reasons, to control the spread of disease. Think jails.
    And for minors, they have to be placed in ''public education'' merely to control their behavior and confine them. If they actually learn anything, ''that's not a bug, it's a feature''.
    The ''immigration crisis'' that is noted is the classic 'lifeboat problem', too many in the lifeboat, the lifeboat gets overloaded and soon sinks.
    That's why both Japan and Israel openly say ''Sorry, we'll kick in some money to help you but you ain't coming here!'' - because both countries are already crowded and both have a national policy of putting their own people first.
    ''Libertarian'' fantasies just can't cope with reality. There's a reason Atlas Shrugged is considered Science Fiction. It's as realistic as Star Trek.

    1. """"And the bulk of it will not be done by *ahem* ''private charity'' (because the vast majority of ''private charities'' are in actuality scams (there are rare exceptions)."""

      One example in the US is Refugee Resettlement where refugees are turned over to charities so they can be settled in the US. However the so-called charities, Ethiopian Community Development Council, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services, Episcopal Migration Ministries, World Relief, Church World Service are actually government contractors who get paid by the taxpayer for every refugee they handle

      And the meaning of handled is to get them into a home, and sign them up for food stamps, welfare, etc etc taxpayer support.

      And these so-called charities also make enough to pay 6 figure salaries to their top employees

  2. I refer to "Atlas Shrugged" as the Talmud Lite for Naive Goyim. "Ayn Rand" was nuts.

  3. All these Libertarians sound like John Wayne, but they look like pencil neckbeards like Randy Pander. All you He-Men that don't need the Government at all, can take your trash to the dump every week, police your own neighborhoods at night, and of course resolve all your disputes with your neighbors and townspeople yourselves without resorting to violence. When you can do that, maybe I'll believe you're not stupid.

  4. I find the Libertarian ideals absurd however L. Neil Smith's The Probability Broach touches at the edge of the idea of Libertarianism as a cultural and genetic trait. if only a little.

    Its a decent tale too though pulpy and very silly.