Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Running Libertarianism Into The Ground

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The libertarian critique is useful and often very correct. But like all ideologies, it's supposed to match reality, not twist reality to match itself. The idea that people should be allowed to do what they like provided that what the do doesn't violate others' rights by aggression or fraud is a good, basic idea. But when it's applied to the real world, right away a reasonable person realizes that it's very difficult to determine what really constitutes aggression, and even more difficult to agree on what fraud entails.

And of course, as the quibcag suggests, one needs a critical mass of libertarians to have a libertarian society, and for these libertarians to exist, they have to be brought up with the proper characteristics. And unless you already have a libertarian society, it's virtually impossible to bring them up that way with society at large teaching them otherwise.

Libertarians who insist on total adherence to the force and fraud principles of course would find it impossible to bring children up, because you often have to use force on children to keep them alive. I'm not talking about punishment. I'm talking about grabbing them to stop them from running out into the traffic.

And, obviously, force has to be used to keep foreigners from immigrating illegally, which is why the flakier libertarians out there favor open borders. With a couple billion third-worlders eager to walk in and sign up for freebies and vote for more freebies, that's a pretty self-defeating attitude.

All of this is why, to distinguish myself from the flaky libertarian contingent, I refer to myself as a libertarian nationalist.

Vox Day has this to say:

Why John C. Wright is not a libertarian

In which Mr. Wright explains why he is no longer a libertarian:
I often introduce myself as a recovering libertarian. It is not an entirely serious introduction, but it is not entirely frivolous either.

Why “recovering”? Sad experience teaches that any ideology, even a sound one, like libertarianism, is intoxicating. The appeal of ideology is the appeal of elegance. Just as Newton reduced all motions from the orbits to apples falling to three expressions, every intellectual craves a simple formula to explain the human condition. Libertarianism is based on a single principle that limits the state’s use of force to retaliation against fraud and trespass.

Nearly all the natural moral rules all men carry in their hearts are satisfied by the simple rule that you may do as you like provided you leave your neighbor free to do as he likes. No neighbor may rob, defraud nor attack another.

The intoxication comes with each case that fits neatly to the theory. Natural morality agrees that wars to defend the innocent are permissible, as is killing in self defense. Natural morality agrees that a man should keep his contracts, and so on.

The theory says the state must remain carefully neutral in all cultural and moral questions: the use of intoxicating drugs for recreational use, suicide assisted or no, polygamy, prostitution, gambling, pornography, duels to the death (provided only all participants fully agree!) or, for that matter, copulating with a corpse on the roof of your house in plain view of the neighbors’ children playing in their backyards, and then eating the corpse, all must be legal.

For me, the intoxicating spell ended in three sharp realizations, each one as forceful as a thunderbolt.
Read the rest of it there.

As for me, I've always been a small-l libertarian rather than a large-L one. These days, I consider myself more of a Christian nationalist, or a Western Civilizationist than a libertarian per se. Human liberty is an important priority, but we now have a sound historical basis for understanding that a free and open society of the sort that Libertarianism assumed is simply not an option. 
Quibcag: Illustrated with the Shonen Tantei from Detective Conan, AKA Meitantei Conan (名探偵コナン), who were brought up very well>


  1. Um...
    Rothbard "appropriated" the term "libertarianism" and instead gave us anarcho capitalism as the reinterpretation of cosmopolitan ethics of the eastern european borderlands, under Russian, Lithuanian, and Polish rule. It is the ethic of the ghetto. Of the people who do not produce commons or defense.

    There is nothing 'libertarian' in Rothbarianism, and nothing moral in his or Block's attempt to construct moral and legal rules.

    The word "is" remains extremely confusing for english speakers, since it refers both to "exists as", and can be used as a shortcut for AVOIDING or CONFLATING, or DECEIVING the method by which something exists.

    So I prefer to state libertarianism as the reciprocal insurance of all individuals in a polity against the undesired imposition of costs upon that which has been transformed at the cost of individual actions or inactions - whether that cost be imposed by an individual(violence, theft, fraud, externality) a group of individuals (conspiracy), or an organization devoted to the construction of commons (government).

    Liberty can only be constructed by this means: mutual insurance against the involuntary imposition of costs.

    There is no free lunch. And arguments in favor of 'belief' in liberty, or belief that we should leave one another alone, are merely fraudulent attempts to obtain the experience of liberty without paying the very high cost of both insuring one another against impositions of costs, and the high cost of refraining from imposing costs upon others, and the high cost of creating commons that produce disproportionate returns, including the commons of Liberty itself.

    And as empirical evidence we should note that the cosmopolitans lost eastern Europe just as their ancestors lost Spain and Jerusalem.

    There are no free rides.
    Liberty is rare because it is expensive.
    But the returns on the high trust society warrant it.
    And because only a militia of warriors possesses the incentive to construct it.

    Curt Doolittle
    The Propertarian Institute
    Kiev, Ukraine

  2. BTW: They know they're dead. Either they just don't know where to run, don't want to pay the cost of changing their (cult) support groups, have over-invested and can't bear to climb a new learning curve.

    I'll debate any libertarian living. But we don't need to. They are just looking for a path that preserves their investments.

    1. I actually used to be that kind of libertarian but I was able to convert very quickly. Maybe it was my conservative/neocon roots. I don't identify with neoconservatism but coming from a social conservative family in a social conservative region does not serve to distinguish between neocons and paleocons.

  3. Christianity is an anti-nationalist ideology.

    1. Not really, remember all that about the Jews being chosen people? Well that means there's other "peoples" and "nations of people," the bibles pretty nationalistic, it just also promotes love and compassion for your neighbors

    2. The Bible is not anti-nationalist, it can best be described as stanceless on nationalism. Christianity is not so much opposed to nationalism as it is simply not speaking about it. It just so happens that Christianity has been adopted as a majority religion in Western nations, and can be subject to displays of nationalism. All the better for everyone, I say.

  4. "Libertarianism" is for white men, the smarter of ones which give it up.