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The Problem with “Racist Libertarianism”

3,731 words

Chase Rachels
White, Right, & Libertarian
CreateSpace, 2018

“But Jesus replied, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? During the high priesthood of Abiathar, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which was lawful only for the priests. And he gave some to his companions as well.” Then Jesus told them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” — Mark 2:25–28 

The problem with “racist libertarianism” comes down to one question: do you support libertarianism because you believe it is in the best interests of white people, or do you support white people only because you believe they’re the most libertarian?

For most “racist libertarians,” it’s the latter. Thus, for them libertarianism was not made to serve the white race; the white race was made to serve libertarianism. This implies that if only the brown hordes invading Europe were anarchists who wanted to buy white prostitutes legally and work under the table without taking aid from the state, these “racist libertarians” would be tempted to stand on the side of the invaders against native “Statist” whites.

Starting with the Foreword by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, the book appears to be in line with this tradition. Hoppe rails against plenty of appropriate targets: “[f]ree” mass immigration from the non-Western world, “multiculturalism,” “affirmative action,” “non-discrimination,” the propagation of “openness” to “diversity” and “alternative life-styles,” to “feminism” and “gay- and transgender-ism,” and “anti-authoritarianism.”

But the ultimate reason he rails against them is not because diversity breaks down social cohesion, because those policies weaken whites in competition with the other nations of the world, because they dilute the white gene pool, or any other fundamentally identitarian reason. No; it’s because they serve to “expand and increase the powers centralized, concentrated and monopolized in the hands of the State.” That is the ultimate evil.

Hoppe opens the first paragraph of his Foreword by identifying what he believes to be “one of the most important questions in the entire field of the social sciences: “How can human beings, ‘real persons,’ having to act in a ‘real world’ characterized by the scarcity of all sorts of physical things, interact with each other . . . without physically clashing with one another in a contest or fight concerning the control of one and the same thing?” The answer, he says, is the non-aggression principle. But later, he emphasizes the need to “turn from pure theory to human history, psychology and sociology,” observing that “real libertarians . . . must study and take account of real people and real human history in order to design a libertarian strategy of social change . . .”

But it is an empirical question of history, psychology, and sociology—not of theory—whether Hoppe’s question is truly “the most important question” to “real persons” living in the “real world.” And any ordinary person—even the ordinary person who is politically involved—could be forgiven for having never heard anyone but Hoppe ask it.

So maybe—just maybe—the empirical study of history, psychology, and sociology shows us that people are not dying for a theoretical construct that would allow them to avoid conflict over resources if only everyone could be persuaded to adopt it. Of course, the slightest glance at the real world would also show that people are not prepared to adopt a fully libertarian ideology without “a contest or fight” by any means, anyway.

Thus, libertarianism empirically does not even solve this question. And if the question Hoppe is asking is not the one people the world over are really asking themselves when they build political structures, it might be important for him and other thinkers in his tradition to get back to the drawing board and ask what the “most important questions” are that people really are asking and trying to answer through political action. “I don’t want to fight over stuff. Is there some theoretical ideology that would keep us from having to fight over stuff—if and only if we could get everyone to agree to it—while fighting with anyone who disagrees” just isn’t it. People throughout the entirety of history have been more than happy to fight each other over stuff. They’ve even been plenty happy to fight each other over stuff that isn’t stuff at all, like their languages and religions. So much for that.

In fact, the only reason humans ever evolved prohibitions against killing or stealing stuff from members of their own groups is because groups that didn’t prohibit this behavior amongst themselves failed in competition against groups that did (see Ian Morris’ War! What Is It Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots). And guess what? This very “competition” involved a whole hell of a lot of groups stealing from and killing other groups. I mean, that’s basically what the whole entirety of history is.

So we evolved prohibitions against stealing from each other not because this reflects some metaphysical, cosmic truth . . . but for the far more mundane reason that it made us better and more organized at going out on raids together, which increased our group’s reproductive success while reducing others’, thus spreading our genes while reducing theirs (if they were too weakened by internal strife to fight back). Seriously, we literally stopped stealing and killing each other only so that we could steal and kill in much larger numbers more effectively than before.
In the first chapter on “What Anarcho-Capitalism Is,” Rachels continues much the same autistic prioritization of theory over empirical reality. He spends a single page providing a definition to anarcho-capitalism, and then by the very second page of the book he has not only reduced the whole entire “scope of political philosophy . . . to one simple question” (“when is the use of force justified?”) but proven that the answer is anarcho-capitalism. Political philosophers hate him. See how he addresses the entire scope of all political philosophy with one simple trick!

A few pages later, we get a repeat of the argument about “self-ownership” presented in Hoppe’s foreword to Murray Rothbard’s The Ethics of Liberty (which very notably defends the rights of parents to dump their young children out in the woods to starve to death . . . while calling abortion murder). “The principle of self-ownership stipulates that one is and can only be the sole owner of his own physical body.” Can only be? Here we see again the way theory swamps reality in the core arguments for libertarianism–because one can only make sense of this as a purely theoretical claim. Otherwise, the omnipresent fact of slavery, indentured servitude, and other forms of “owning other peoples’ bodies” throughout all human history would make it the most ludicrous claim on Earth.

But the claim is supposed to get somewhere by the fallacy of conflation: the libertarian “praxeologist” establishes its truth in one sense (namely that I move my body with my brain, and no one else can move my body with their brain), and then slips it in as a very different claim we have not established as true (I have a profound metaphysical claim of normative “ownership” over my body and anything produced by it) to “prove” anarcho-capitalism.

If you thought the Alt Right was autistic . . . are you ready for this?

Here’s Hoppe’s summary of Rothbard’s way of doing this in the opening to The Ethics of Liberty:

Rothbard then offered this ultimate proof for [anarcho-capitalist] rules as just rules: if person A were not the owner of his physical body and all goods originally appropriated, produced, or voluntarily acquired by him, there would only exist two alternatives. Either another person, B, must then be regarded as the owner of A and the goods appropriated, produced, or contractually acquired by A, or both parties, A and B, must be regarded as equal co-owners of both bodies and goods.

In the first case, A would be B’s slave and subject to exploitation. B would own A and the goods originally appropriated, produced, or acquired by A, but A would not own B and the goods homesteaded, produced, or acquired by B. With this rule, two distinct classes of people would be created—exploiters (B) and exploited (A)—to whom different “law” would apply. Hence, this rule fails the “universalization test” and is from the outset disqualified as even a potential human ethic, for in order to be able to claim a rule to be a “law” (just), it is necessary that such a rule be universally—equally—valid for everyone.

Wait—I thought libertarians endorsing an unearned premise of universal human equality was the very problem Rachel’s book was supposed to be solving. Why should anyone adopt this premise any more than they should adopt the premise that human beings (or groups) empirically are equivalent to one another?

How are you supposed to convince people not to buy in to the premise that all human beings are equal when the very first premise of the whole core foundation of your ideology is that all human beings have to be equal? Are you really getting no sense here at all that maybe, just maybe the transformation of libertarianism into Left-libertarianism was kind of inevitable?

Hoppe continues unraveling Rothbard’s argument:

In the second case of universal co-ownership, the requirement of equal rights for everyone is obviously fulfilled. Yet this alternative suffers from another fatal flaw, for each activity of a person requires the employment of scarce goods (at least his body and its standing room). Yet if all goods were the collective property of everyone, then no one, at any time and in any place, could ever do anything with anything unless he had every other co-owner’s prior permission to do what he wanted to do. And how can one give such a permission if one is not even the sole owner of one’s very own body (and vocal chords)? If one were to follow the rule of total collective ownership, mankind would die out instantly.

The fact that anyone smart enough to understand these paragraphs can be dumb enough to believe their logic is sound is incredible. Actually, it’s impossible. Anyone who is smart enough to understand these paragraphs is smart enough to know that the logic isn’t sound. The “logic” claims it’s between libertarianism and literal death. If this were true, we would literally all be dead already. You don’t derive an ethic for all human beings at all times and places on Earth by manufacturing false dichotomies out of contrived imaginary scenarios. You look at the empirical facts on the ground in the real world. And the empirical fact on the ground in the real world is that the vast majority of humanity which does not follow the libertarian ethic is not dropping over dead because of it.

Compare statistics on economic well-being in places like Sweden and Hong Kong and you might convince me that a libertarian economy can better serve the interests of my extended family. But this form of argumentation is nothing but hardcore, out of control, off the rails, head-banging autism.

After alluding to these arguments and placing a slightly different spin on them, Rachels then moves on to discuss the “logical errors”—yes, “logical errors”—of the State. “If the State is charged with protecting the property of its citizenry, then it must be categorically stated that any attempt to do so can only end in contradiction . . . an inherent characteristic of any State is that is must lay taxes . . . [but] taxation is theft.” These core arguments for anarcho-capitalism are decidedly anti-pragmatic, and in my view serious adults need to hear pragmatic arguments. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just spending too much time on the Internet.

But the problem is that you can’t very well make a pragmatic argument for providing national security through competing national defense agencies because such an arrangement has never existed. But anyone who cares about pragmatism and empiricism—in my view most serious adults—will therefore have a great deal of caution advising we adopt something so dangerously unprecedented. As long as we’re just sitting back in our armchairs speculating through “a priori” reasoning and “praxeology” and the like, we actually don’t have a damn clue what would happen if we were to try and implement something like this in the real world.

After that, we move on to the libertarian case against open borders.

Of course, it bears reminding that this is not exactly a libertarian case for having the State protect national borders. Having a state protect national borders is not the libertarian ideal. In the libertarian ideal, it would be perfectly fine for a business to buy out the neighborhood right next to yours and invite all the Mexicans to come work in the factories they want. The debate we’re looking at here is an internecine conflict between libertarians about what they should support in the meantime, until they can achieve their ideal.

The debate ultimately revolves around whether libertarians should view “public” property as being unowned, or as the “private, albeit diffused, property of domestic net tax payers.” Well, of course the latter view makes more sense than the former. Good on Rachels for recognizing that much. It is baffling why more libertarians don’t. Native citizens paid for their public schools, hospitals, parks, airports, etc.; foreigners have no more intrinsic birthright to make use of parks that I paid for than they have to come into my private home and use my fridge.

But as time goes on, an increasingly large number of “domestic net tax payers” will be non-white immigrants and their descendants—and a large portion of them may want to expand immigration. At that point the libertarian framework would make it difficult for someone who follows Rachels’ reasoning to object to vastly expanding immigration along with this new elites’ preferences. And which do you think will happen first: that the right-libertarian philosophy will become nationally hegemonic, or that the non-white immigrant-descended percentage of the US will increase dramatically? Any rational observer can see that the answer is the latter.

Rachels offers a few solutions for the current immigration problem. First, repeal anti-discrimination laws and affirmative action and other policies that reduce peoples’ ability to discriminate. Next, bar foreigners from voting or having access to welfare. At this point, he almost had me. The problem is that if we could do something as radical as barring foreigners from voting and accessing welfare, then we would already be able to just stop inviting them in the first place. You can’t really call this damage control when achieving it would be as difficult as—if not more difficult than!—ending the problem altogether. Still, these are mostly good ideas. But then he argues that enforcing free trade policies would reduce the need to immigrate. After all, if Coca-Cola can move its factory to Mexico to hire Mexicans for cheap wages, why should Mexicans have to come here? And he amends his comments about restricting foreigners from accessing welfare to the effect that they should also be exempt from taxes for the same reason.

Further, the “vote” on what would actually happen would preferably be determined by net taxpayers themselves—and most likely through “one tax dollar paid on net one vote (or something similar to this).” Question: Who supports immigration more, the elites or the working class? Business owners who want cheap labor, or workers who compete with that cheap labor for jobs? Instead of asking that question (because answering “what is best for white people” isn’t Rachels’ actual objective; figuring out how to make libertarian theory pure is), he moves on to pointing out that since “foreign debt involves foreign tax victims,” these foreign victims too “have some claim to the U.S. government’s illegitimate ‘public’ property.” For the hundredth time: I’m glad to see that this is all motivated by a desire not to see his country sold away to foreigners.

Halfway into the book, Rachels summarizes the values of the Alt Right. If you’ve read this far, you’ll have some idea why I think he’s chipping away at the edges without identifying the real essence of it. But most of what he identifies isn’t terribly wrong. Capitalism over socialism, cultural homogeneity over multiculturalism, hierarchy over egalitarianism, conservative values over libertinism, private property over public property, low time preference over high time preference, and personal responsibility over “social justice.”

He later quotes This Is Europa’s discussion of the “white genocide” meme, where they point out that the UN International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes of Genocide officially identifies several causes other than outright killing that can qualify as “genocide.” Namely: “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

It takes guts for anyone to come out in defense of the claim of “white genocide,” and the UN Convention’s Article II, item B, does take the charge of “white genocide” out of the realm of paranoid conspiracy. But in general, Rachels spends much of this section overemphasizing his agreements with the Alt Right and underemphasizing disagreements. For instance, after highlighting the Alt Right’s concerns towards “the globalist effects of international free trade,” he quotes his fellow Radical Capitalist writer Ethan Chan quoting Georgi Vuldzhev of the Mises Institute’s short summary of the pro-free trade argument:

It is true that greater competition between domestic and foreign workers can lead to a decline in wage rates and possibly unemployment . . . but this is only a short term effect. Free competition . . . also naturally leads to lower prices . . . so, while nominal wage rates are pushed down in some sectors, real wage rates rise overall for everyone in the economy because of the decline in prices.

As if this is all it should take to convince us all, and the problem is that we have just never before heard the libertarian boilerplate defense of this position in all our lives. Never mind that we now have empirical studies showing that: “Adjustment in local labor markets is remarkably slow, with wages and labor-force participation rates remaining depressed and unemployment rates remaining elevated for at least a full decade after the China trade shock commences. Exposed workers experience greater job churning and reduced lifetime income.” Or others showing that these trade shocks have directly contributed to “premature mortality among young males,” while increasing the number of “mothers who are unwed and share of children living in below-poverty, single-headed households.”

It turns out that that so-called “short term” can do quite a lot of serious damage to some individuals, while the gains that come to “everyone” as compensation for it are quite tiny by comparison. Once again, Rachels is interested enough to defend the “white genocide” meme on a technicality, but preventing white death isn’t really his true concern, so it doesn’t seem to bother him to glide over this topic so lazily. For another example, he spends an entire paragraph arguing that “much of the . . . degeneracy the Alt-Right decries is an effect of Central Bank inflation . . . and taxes,” a statement he backs up with a single-paragraph quote from Orwell N’Goode: “The consumerism that drives maniacal hedonism . . . can be pinpointed on our social democratic post-Keynesian economic models. As a result of graduated (progressive) taxation [and] inflationism . . . individual time preferences have shifted artificially high.”

This may be a path of argument worth exploring, but to be convincing it deserves far more than two paragraphs that more or less remain content to make the assertion and move on. On the pivotal point of convincing the Alt Right it would achieve its ends by adopting libertarianism, the book simply fails to do the work necessary to even count as a strong attempt. This one point alone could have deserved an entire chapter, and it got no more than two paragraphs that mostly repeated each other. I was genuinely hoping for more.

Of course, the book is relatively successful at showing some of the most important reasons why libertarians should adopt “Alt Right values” (and of course I would say so!). But most of what is relevant to convincing libertarians of this isn’t new, and most of what is new doesn’t look like it would be very convincing to libertarians. And in any case this comes with the many major caveats I have already mentioned here (what about when most of the net taxpayers are non-white descendants of immigrants, which will surely happen before Right-libertarian ideology becomes nationally hegemonic?), and I’m sure there are many more I didn’t explore.

Ultimately, Rachels’ position is “too racist” to be accepted by most libertarians, yet also “not racist enough” to really make him belong to the Dissident Right. It is sad to see someone take a stand and receive so much vitriol for their views—after Rachels was doxxed and fired over the book, his subsequent GoFundMe account was shut down, too. For any disagreement I’ve expressed in this review, the worst outcome a person should ever get from writing a book—any book—is a negative review. Seriously, what would be so wrong about having a free and open debate before we try to force people to starve on the streets?

In the end, it looks to me like Rachels spread himself so thin trying to do everything at once that he didn’t really achieve anything in particular. Rather than trying to convince all members of the Alt Right to become libertarians, while trying to convince all libertarians to become members of the Alt Right, while also summarizing the ethical arguments for why one should be an anarcho-capitalist from the ground up while also trying to summarize the main trends that characterize the Alt Right, while proposing in-the-meantime solutions to the current problems of immigration, while trying to update the libertarian argument against open borders with insights from Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Stephan Kinsella, and Walter Block—whew, I’m exhausted just writing this sentence. And in a mere 124 pages, no less.

He should have picked any one of these threads and spent a lot more time honing in on a much smaller and clearer target. As it stands, this is better thought of as a manifesto of Rachels’ own personal views than it is a success at any particular one of the all-too-many things it tried to succeed in doing.

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16 Comments

  1. Ted
    Posted August 12, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    This topic is a very, very bleak point for the statists who happen to like the white race. Everyone likes their race except commies. So liking your race doesn’t give you intellectual superpowers. And most often than not, right wing statists show a lack of intellectuality in this area of thought.

    The article starts off with a silly play of words. If whites are best suited for capitalism then, yes, capitalism is in the best interests of white people. So the two options are the same, in pragmatic terms. If you are tall, and I say “hmm, basketball is the game I want to be played”, can’t you see how this is in your interests?

    What the author could have said would be this: If whites are not best suited for capitalism, would all those “racist libertarians” still support it? And they would do, not because they are duped by words and theories, but because they see in capitalism the heart of whiteness: intelligence, productivity, (real) progress, beauty, freedom. These are good things and if jews or east-asians come tomorrow and show to be better at all these things, everyone ought to be with them, because they would have proven that they are whiter than whites. But they won’t. And this belief is a true belief in the white race. The white race not only can thrive, but will thrive in the free market competition.

    All arguments in this article are wrong. It hurts my eyes reading it.

    The author confuses real private property capitalism with state enforced world peace (a utopia). If no one exists that can enforce peace within people or nations, then the only thing that is left is guns. With guns you can make wars. Either on a personal level or on a national level. What part of capitalism do you not understand? Than conscription in counter-productive? That war is not always the best strategy for progress and obtaining power? That capitalism doesn’t enforce peace by the mere act of not having a State? Also war is less gainful the more productive you are, and more gainful the less productve you are. “Colonialism” is an extreme example where the losers (blacks) gained immensely and the winners (whites) lost greatly.

    Statism is the way of the nigger. Colectivism is a dysgenic system that allows the worst and the most unfit for production to reproduce. The results are obvious in our day and age. The “dissident” right has chosen a system that niggerizes whites, subsidizes their high time preference, lets them reproduce and live when having shown that they are unfit for production, eliminates any sorting system for creating an hierarchy based on intelligence and finally lets them know that they are only two ways forward: either you grab by forceful taxation what your neighbour produced, or you attack foreigners for having produced what you can’t. This is not evolution. This is the evolutionary strategy of the black race, also called socialism.

  2. Irmin
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Rothbard/Hoppe:

    In the first case, A would be B’s slave and subject to exploitation. B would own A and the goods originally appropriated, produced, or acquired by A…

    Notice the conceptual sleight of hand that conflates the person “A” and “the goods originally appropriated, produced, or acquired by A,” as though they were one indivisible entity.

    It seems likely that Rothbard/Hoppe’s drama of A and B has been structured principally to provide an argument against taxation and other state-mandated transfers of wealth.

    What Rothbard/Hoppe are apparently complaining about is that low-income B has some claim on high-income A’s earnings. They don’t think he should have such a claim, which is fair enough. But rather than simply stating their complaint, they pretend that B’s state-sanctioned claim on a portion of A’s earnings is tantamount to B’s ownership of A.

    Which is ridiculous. There is, obviously, a real difference between a person and the income he earns or the goods he owns. In Hoppe/Rothbard’s scenario, giving up some percentage of your income in taxes, or in other forms of compulsory wealth transfer, is equivalent to becoming the physical property of your neighbor next door, if you’re a taxpayer and he isn’t.

    Some percentage of a taxpayer’s income goes to various levels of government. Perhaps that’s good, perhaps not. Rothbard believed taxation is “criminal aggression” by the state against citizens; many of us would instead call it a necessary evil. Some portion of tax dollars goes to fund veterans hospitals and repair roads, which is good; other portions go to uplift negroes and engineer mideast regime changes, which is bad.

    An honest argument against taxation would stick to the core facts of what taxation actually does. One thing it doesn’t do is turn a taxpayer into someone else’s property. A taxpayer is not a slave, though the drama of A and B seems designed to suggest that he is.

    To state the obvious, in no western jurisdiction, not even in weirdland Sweden, is B entitled to remove A’s car from his driveway and appropriate it for his own use. In no western jurisdiction can he legally force A to mow his lawn or repair his plumbing. So Hoppe/Rothbard’s scenario of rampant socialism — in which freeloader B, aided by the state, has transformed A into his serf — does not occur today in the West.

  3. Levi Rafael
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    My own political stance is Marxist-Leninist, but having been studying fascist ideology fairly intensively, I would argue that there are ample grounds for a rapprochement between libertarianism and the fascist or more broadly revolutionary conservative ideologies. This is not to deny the major differences between the two, but not enough is paid to the points where they converge.

    For those familiar with the work of Zeev Sternhell, as well as the writings of fascists like Georges Valois and some of the earlier syndicalist fascists, their original conception of fascism had a lot in common with the current day “Minarchists.” These early fascists wanted the state to be truly sovereign, and therefore wanted to divest it of “all economic functions.” What many forget about corporatism was that many of its proponents saw it as a method of preventing state intervention in the economy by providing social harmony and class cooperation within autonomous bodies that maintained both private property and hierarchy. These early fascists wanted a “warrior state” that would be powerful, yet small and focused on war and police functions. This view of fascism certainly changed with circumstances (the Great Depression especially) but it was present in the early ideas of fascists like Valois and the young Mussolini.

    If I understand Bertrand de Jouvenal’s basic ideas, it is that before the French Revolution, aristocratic corporations (in the Ancien Regime context, not business corporations) acted as a check on the power of absolute monarchs and maintained social equilibrium. Though he would later renounce his fascist roots, de Jouvenal was a student of Valois in the 1920’s, was a leading member of his “Republican Syndicalist Party” and was a member of the pro-fascist Parti Populaire Francais (PPF). Reading his works, one can certainly trace many of his key ideas on aristocracy and corporatism back to Valois and also to certain interpretations of Georges Sorel.

    I also think that libertarians would do well to read Geroges Sorel’s “Reflections on Violence.” The lay libertarian will probably dismiss it as anarcho-syndicalism, but a close reading reveals many libertarian themes. For one thing, Sorel thought that class struggle served to reinvigorate the bourgeoisie to abandon their decadent, humanitarian, pacifist ways and preoccupation with finance. Sorel wanted the bourgeoisie to once again become true “Captains of Industry,” favorably equating the spirit of the entrepreneur to the warrior spirit. The book is also full of praise about the American way of life, its pioneering and libertarian spirit, and its warrior-like industrialists.

    In his chapter denouncing the political general strike, Sorel rejects proletarian dictatorship and castigates the left for “pestering the rich,” arguing against systems that sought to limit the wealth of its ruling class as decadent and moribund.

    Finally, I really do not know any other way of interpreting Sorel’s “society of producers” except as a sort of libertarian order. Sorel rejects work carried out “democratically” in a workshop as being over-regulated and inefficient. Sorel also envisions that his syndicalist-producer society will be animated by a Nietzschean will to power and “blonde beast” mentality, and again makes favorable comparison to the united states where the spirit of the populace is ‘at one with the billionaires.’ Being an influence on fascism, as well as being an eclectic, Sorel is arguably open to all interpretations, but it is full of themes that would speak to both a fascist and a libertarian.

    Perhaps the differences between the two ideologies are too big to bridge, but as an outside observer I can’t help but note the points of convergence in these ideologies. After all, Counter-Currents has posted an article about Vilfredo Pareto, calling him the “Karl Marx of Fascism.” This is an excellent article and I would highly recommend it to anyone wishing to compare and contrast classical liberalism and fascism.

  4. Dot not feather
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Most of the trouble with libertarianism is that it is semantic, and that it’s most obvious proponents are not libertarian in any important sense of the word. If the American border was privately owned its formidable protection would be an inevitable consequence; and the absence of barriers thereof is not a natural result of private action but the result of a coercive state that would violently prohibit a volunteer army of citizens building any walls on property ceded to the state. A deeper problem with libertarianism is that it limits the legitimate building blocks of society – the objects worthy of philosophical treatment in discussions about what ought to be – to the individual and the mass of all humanity with no regard for any organic agglomerations that emerge in between: thus all atoms are equal, and must be granted all rights that cannot be ceded to a total government of all, which naturally are most of them, thereby eliminating any prerogative for the family, community, and culture. But I don’t think these speak to libertarian ideals as much as the somewhat inchoate philosophies of its apparent apologists.

    There are some problems with the argument Huntley makes. For example, if Asians were proactively sympathetic to the libertarian ethic of many white Americans, they would be different than they today are in many other regards too, and likely in a way that makes them similar to white Americans in a number of other ways. If everyone in the world shared the intelligence, ideals, and civic sentiments of the small band of classical liberals that make these arguments, the world would be a dramatically less interesting place, but probably similar enough in nature and culture that “multiculturalism” would actually be possible in a way that it today is not. In fact, the most likely counterfactual for a world where “foreigners are libertarian” isn’t one where people who look like Asians today randomly had projected onto them a variety of individualistic beliefs, one where these beliefs were founded in a cultural history that made them possible: for example, perhaps, some sort of prehistoric Nordic expansion that displaced and ended the lineage of people who would become modern-day cultural foreigners.

    The point I’m making is somewhat nuanced, and I may not be making it very well, but the easiest conceptual analogy I can think of goes like this:

    A: I really like what B has to say.
    C: Indeed, if B told you to jump off a bridge, you would do it.
    A: That’s an empty point; if B told me to do that chances are the bridge is burning down and jumping is the only way to save my life.

    The point is that *reductio ad absurdum* arguments don’t hold under the influence of counterfactual or hypothetical premises that somehow implicitly assume in the premise the point that is to be demonstrated. To belabor this point further would be tedious and a little off topic, though I think the people who understand me should have a somewhat visceral sense of what I’m trying to say.

    I think there’s also value in observing the universalist impulse of the occidental elite, and not entirely disregarding arguments to the effect of: “white nationalism so that we don’t have to be White Nationalist.” Long before the advent of modern liberalism, British imperialists simultaneously weary of brown immigration to Australia and disdainful of officially racialist policies devised various linguistic and educational requirements designed to recover the racial outcomes of a policy they were unwilling to explicitly enumerate, and this speaks to a certain noble universalism that isn’t *ipso facto* incorrect, especially to the extent that it has been a natural propensity of Northern European and Anglo people to outline a set of views that are based on timeless and eternal principles rather that draw arbitrary lines at race; or, heck, even species.

    Most of what out-and-out racialists advocate is not contrary to actions that practically follow with respect to these principles. For example: classically universalist principles would never sympathize much with universal franchise, and would generally cede status to those who are virtuous and just: and recognize that the masses of people need a number of arbitrary structures to keep them on the path of right action, just like the idols of various gods may be necessary for masses mentally incapable of contemplating on the non-arbitrary and total divine that may in fact be the fountainhead of a certain set of beliefs. Schopenhauer’s essays and dialogues on religion explore this idea in the context of Christendom in quite a bit more detail; and this contrast sits heart and center of the contrast between the cosmic universalism of various vedanta thinking, and the arbitrary idols and stories that facilitate devotion among the Hindu masses.

    I think there is some risk in trying to make racialism philosophically more than what it is: which is as a neat, and very likely necessary, manner of organizing societies that are different and setting them on the path of right action. It is a strange fact of Western history that all that much thought must be spilled on the simple premise that foreigners who can vote for their own welfare are a bad idea, and that love for ones kin and kith is a good idea. But that doesn’t change the fact that meditating too much on “white nationalism” in and of itself leads to thinking that ultimately relies on things that are arbitrary rather than universal, and that purveying these points in the service of grander themes that do not touch on things so trivial as the color of one’s skin or the inflections of his skull is actually a more fertile ground for theorizing the right and just. Ideological blood must be spilled to defend these arbitrary markers only because the enemies of reason have fortified along these lines.

    Of course, baser ethnocentrism is a useful means of mobilizing a necessary mass who sit below the thinkers: here I think of my native India, where the low-class, crass, crude, and somewhat ideologically drunk Hindu nationalists who uncouthly protest movies that they view as insult to their tribe have been uniquely-responsible for the relative hygiene of Bollywood — which would otherwise tend to the urbane liberalism of English-speaking elite in the cities and the whims of producers with not insubstantial fealty to foreign financiers who call some of the shots (not infrequently terrorists, sheikhs, and other middle eastern barrens).

    The reverence for Hindu tradition so manifest in Bollywood movies, portrayed by fair and lovely stars that speak to the best of what that civilization has to offer is not a consequence of an erudite Indian elite to which the fair and lovely belong, but ironically a much swarthier and hot-blooded mass of people who will take to the streets if they think a Hindu princess would ever marry an invading infidel over her kin. Likewise, the fact that you cannot find any videos titled “Petite Brahmin gets plowed by big black cock” or “Rajput larki enjoys Mughlai masala” is a testament to the fact that very bad things would happen to producers of such profanity at the hands of vigilante mobs sensitive to the cultural hygiene taken for granted by their masters.

    And what can I say to that except that I would never participate in such mobs, perhaps because I am too vain and too attached to urbane sentimentalities? Wherever they are waged, the culture wars are driven by the hot blooded and unprincipled: what can be said about that, hard to tell…

  5. Flavius
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    As far as I’m concerned, this debate is interesting, but it is ultimately futile. Libertarianism is inherently incompatible with nationalism. Of course that there are individual libertarians who also hold strong nationalist views, but the libertarian ideology cannot be reconciled with nationalism.

  6. R_Moreland
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Someone needs to ask, why has immigration suddenly become the top flight issue for libertarians?

    Up until circa 2001, the main issues which libertarians pushed included ending the drug war, opposing taxation, promoting the right to bear arms, and a general defense of private property against socialism (whatever was meant by the latter term). “Open borders” might have been an obscure point on a Libertarian Party platform which just about nobody actually read. Yet today, unrestricted immigration seems to be what’s on the table, especially in terms of the passion of arguments for it.

    Is this due to the corporate funders of the libertarian movement dumping tons of cash into Reason, Cato and even the national party? Or is it that many libertarians are trending on what appears to be a winning topic, hoping to profit thereby?

    Objectively, we are living in an era of mass migration into White countries, yet those countries are not becoming any more libertarian. One can point out the growing censorship of speech, and the near universal police surveillance which the state uses to manage the conflict between nationalists and non-White invaders. Do we see third world migrants taking to the streets of Malmo, Calais and Rotherham demanding lower taxes and the abolition of the welfare state? Are they subscribing to Reason magazine or joining Cato in large numbers?

    So the test of mass migration fails on its most basic count, that of being able to produce liberty in the real world.

    Anyway, White, Right, and Libertarian can be useful in introducing the nationalist argument to libertarians in terms with which they are ideologically comfortable.

  7. Carl
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Your angry stance against AnCap/Libertarianism is rather odd, your argument seems to be that because it’s always been this was that’s how it shall always be in the future. Well this is blatantly false on it’s face as we know the act of human slavery was the norm for the entirety of human history, and then it wasn’t.

    Abolitionists wanting to end human slavery in the 19th century would have been seen as mad but they eventually convinced enough people and it stopped. The fact you can’t see how slavery via taxation can never end is extremely short-sighted.

  8. Posted August 4, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    One last thing, I’m also very aware of the fact that few people care about abstract political theory, hence part of the reason why in this book I’ve broadened the focus to socio-cultural issues which people do tend to care about, and how the particular socio-cultural ends we desire are best complemented by libertarian political means (or means which bring us closer to a more libertarian society)

  9. Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Huntley,

    First, I would like to thank you for taking the time to write such a well thought out review, regardless of the fact that it was so scathing.

    I would like to correct a couple mischaracterizations and clarify the intent of the book.

    First, I don’t see myself as a “libertarian first” and white nationalist second as you seem to insinuate. I genuinely believe that they are best off together so there is no need to choose between which is more important. To be clear, I wouldn’t want to live in a multicultural or “cosmopolitan” libertarian society, nor would I want to live in a socialist white society.

    Moreover, the point of developing the libertarian theory and extolling its merits is not to ignore the reality of man’s propensity for violent conflict (and by the way all violent conflict is indeed over scarce resources whether this involves bodies or property of others….this is true regardless if the motivation for said conflict is religion, language,…etc. There is no violent conflict unless conducted via the medium of scarce bodies and physical goods. I’m sure you’ll find this claim autistic so forgive me lol).

    Rather, it is to demonstrate what actions may be justified. And of course all justifications happen via Argumentation. And to enter into an argument one must presuppose the validity of certain norms, which is where Hoppe’s AE comes onto play. And like you yourself mention, the institution of private property allows that society which recognizes and respects it to flourish with respect to other nations who lack such respect.

    And I think you’ll also agree that you would be satisfied with establishing a homogenous white homeland…that once established it would be unnecessary to wage indefinite warfare until the whole world is conquered by one people.

    We don’t need to wage offensive war against others in order to sustain our own preferred white social orders. And we can expand our territories by means other than violent conquest.

    I was also disappointed you failed to touch on my appeal to covenant communities as a way to contractually and pragmatically bind behaviour beyond mere prohibitions of aggression. This addresses your critique of the possibility of pedophilia and other degenerate behavior that may or may not be recognised as aggression in the strictly libertarian legal sense.

    In fact, I strongly believe that a white society is not sustainable without (Hoppean) libertarian principles and that a libertarian society is not sustainable without traditional western european values and a Super majority white demograohic enforced via social, and in the case of covenant communities, even legal means.

    You also failed to mention that I am under no delusion that the US is not salvageable. So I agree my border proposal alone does not sufficiently address our demographic decline, which is why I also propose secession efforts…namely in areas in which a super majority white population already exists.

    Finay, the book was in no way intended to be an exhaustive treatise regarding the unification of libertarian legal theory with the Alt-Right socio-cultural position. Rather, it was intentionally broad and intended to simply pique ones interest or whet his appetite regarding the possibility of such a fusion. To argue just enough to demonstrate that such a fusion may be viable and effective and us worth further investigation. (Also, an exhaustive treatment would not be nearly as appealing to the masses.)

    That at the very least, genuine (Hoppean) libertarians and the Alt-Right want to head in the same direaction and that an alliance of these groups is indeed one worth forging. I’m a bit dissapointed that you weren’t more amenable to this idea and that you seem to make some unwarranted presumptions about my motives and failed to understand that this wasn’t intended to be an exhaustive case but rather an introduction to an interesting proposal.

    If you’d like to find other articles which go into greater depth on many of the points you were hoping to see, I’d suggest heading over to my site http://www.RadicalCapitalist.org.

    Thank you again for the work you do, and I hope enough common ground exists between us to warrant mutual support. I assure you we share the same ultimate objectives, we just may disagree on what the most effective means are to achieving them.

    -Chase Rachel’s

    P.S. I’m fully aware that intermediate statist steps can and may be taken before reaching this ideal White libertarian social order. To prove this, just check out my article entitled “Fascism is a Step Towards Liberty”.

  10. Sean
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Your first two paragraphs describe the fundamental issue brilliantly.

  11. Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Good going on a timely refutation of libertarianism.

  12. Valföðr
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Conservative thinker Ernest van den Haag refuted the taxation is theft mantra effortlessly in a debate with Ron Paul on the Firing Line in 1988.
    At 48:05 mins. https://youtu.be/ImyFyZJ0BNo
    He also points out some other serious logical flaws in Ron Pauls libertarian thought on the spot.

    • Carl
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      Wrong. If you live under a state then you have no choice but to pay taxes to function in society, if you have no choice then it is being forced.

      You might say well just leave the country but this implies you originally signed a contract with the State to allow it to tax you i.e. the “Social Contract”, but this again is false as you can’t sign a contract as a baby, there is no “social contract”.

      Taxation IS theft but more accurately it is slavery.

      • Irmin
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Taxation IS theft but more accurately it is slavery.

        Taxation is not slavery.

        State-mandated taxation forces taxpayers to give up money that they would prefer to keep for themselves. Because libertarians believe such compulsion is intolerable, many of them search about for some word that expresses how strongly they feel about the subject. “Slavery” is a popular choice, even though being a slave and being a taxpayer are markedly different, as anyone who thinks about it for two seconds will quickly realize.

    • Ted
      Posted August 12, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      @Valföðr So the difference between theft and taxes is foreknowledge. That is, if a mobster comes to your shop and says “I want 10% or I will smash your shop”, this is taxation… and it’s totally fine, of course.

  13. nineofclubs
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    ‘..greater competition between domestic and foreign workers can lead to a decline in wages and possibly unemployment…but this is only a short term effect’

    In this short stanza, we have a perfect example of so much libertarian logic.

    Repeated studies have shown that in advanced economies, the effect of immigration on employment is as described – unemployment rises in the short term after the immigrants join the workforce but reduces to a longer term average in time. But (and this is the crux of the issue) this assumes that the immigration event was a one-off thing. Outside of libertarian theory, real world mass immigration programs don’t work like that at all. They roll on and on for decades, ever adding to the population of workers and suppressing wage growth indefinitely. If you plot wages growth in the US and Australia since the early 20th century against immigration rates for the same period, you’ll see a marked correlation.

    Libertarian arguments are often valid in a limited, theoretical way. But when applied in a wider context – like real life – they don’t stand up.

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