United Kingdom

You Know Why UKIP ARE Libertarians? Because They Oppose Gay Marriage and Mass Immigration

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Yesterday I wrote on how the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) is not libertarian. Today, The Guardian is running an article on its Comment is Free section by a politics lecturer that makes the case that UKIP are true libertarians because of their stances on restricting immigration and opposing gay marriage.

Some highlights:

As paradoxical as it may seem, rightwing libertarianism has always been a deeply authoritarian political philosophy. It claims to value liberty in some general and all-encompassing sense above all other principles, but the particular types of freedom libertarianism seeks to defend and extend are always, tacitly and implicitly, forms of liberty for the few at the expense of the many. Thus libertarianism stands for the unfreedom of the majority.

Take "race" for example. Libertarian thought has been marked by a distinctly racist dimension from its very beginnings. Spencer, for instance, propounded social Darwinism and favoured a legal ban on interracial marriage. Notoriously, Locke referred to native Americans as "savage beasts" and, indeed his Second Treatise can be read as an elaborate defence of the colonial expropriation of native Americans. It is entirely in keeping with libertarian tradition, then, that Ukip is radically hostile to immigration and to "multiculturalism" (a familiar dog-whistle term for the racist right).

Libertarianism often presents itself as the polar opposite of fascism. In fact libertarianism and fascism have long been bedfellows. Mises supported Mussolini's squadrismo and regarded fascism as a welcome "emergency makeshift" that would save "European civilisation". Hayek was an admirer of Pinochet's Chile. 

Have at it Reasonoids, it's a gem. 

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  1. “unfreedom of the majority”? this has to be satire.. right?

  2. I dare anyone to check out the comments section of the origional at the Guardian.

    1. The Guardian is not well-known for having decent representatives of intellectual thought.

      1. Their art critic is good — he’s politically incorrect (whatever that means).

  3. rightwing libertarianism has always been a deeply authoritarian political philosophy.

    This is true. But drop the qualifying “rightwing” and it becomes false.

    1. The “rightwing” makes it self-contradictory rather than true.

  4. makes the case that UKIP are true libertarians because of their stances on restricting immigration and opposing gay marriage

    Does he mention how long he’s been reading Hit & Run comments?

    1. I often use “classical liberal” instead of “libertarian”. Are classical liberals and libertarians now two different things? One thing I now believe more strongly then ever: we really ought be choosing our allies more carefully.

      1. They shouldn’t be different, but Hit & Run has a TEAM infestation problem. Various posters argue over their TEAM under the flimsy guise of libertarian purity. And we have a few anarcho-capitalists that speak–or are assumed to speak–as libertarians muddying the waters as well. Add in some knee-jerk anti-authoritarians, a few trolls, at least two obsessive stalkers and a sprinkling of sockpuppetry and–in a political sense–this board is a confused mess.

        1. Pay no attention to this well known sock puppet.

          1. Says the troll.

            1. How do we account for The STEVE SMITH?

              1. He is our collective nightmare. We are DREAM COMMUNISTS!

        2. Hey now! I resemble that remark!

          1. Stop freaking me out, I was going to leave that exact comment.

            1. At least I didn’t learn that comment from my father. Ha!

            2. Are you two the knee-jerk authoritarians or the obsessive stalkers? I only ask because I’m trying to narrow the selections to where I fit in.

              1. I assumed I was an anarchist muddying the waters, but I could choose to be a splitter and deny the ancap label I guess, so I don’t know. Knee-jerk anti-authoritarian is probably the closest thing left.

                Although I could always be a sockpuppet, since there are no libertarian women.

                1. Although I could always be a sockpuppet, since there are no libertarian women.

                  I had to do a thorough survey of your blog just to be sure.

                2. Knee-jerk anti-authoritarian is probably the closest thing left.

                  Sorry, but your possession of breasts makes you an authoritarian.

                    1. That is a vile lie truth!

                      Now now, nicole. You can lie to us, but you can’t lie to yourself. You know since we don’t live in libertopia, all SORTS of things are permissible. At least, that’s what what the people (mostly women, I won’t lie) at this one blog told me in reference to the Obamacare employer mandate.

                    2. If it makes you feel better, my mother “lies” to herself about this as well. Heh.

                3. You’re just a shill for Big Foreskin.

        3. at least two obsessive stalkers

          Dammit, Splenda! You swore you’d never tell anyone!

        4. And yet, compare the Reason message boards to those of FARK, The Spectator, The Huffington Post, any newspaper, etc. etc. etc. This is, by contrast, a little island of relative sanity amidst a vast sea of Herp und Derp.

        5. As an Ancap, I just want to take over the board and then leave you of the narrowly defined libertarian set alone.

          1. NOOOOOOOO!

          2. You monster!

            1. What could be more cruel than leaving people to their own devise and fate? No wonder the Guardian defines that to be fascism.

        6. ancaps don’t muddy the water. They’ve seen the bottom of the pool If you don’t like what you see, don’t look. That is what your masters want.

          1. You misunderstand my point. If the goal is to define libertarianism, confusing an-cap arguments with libertarian argument is a mistake.

            1. An-caps are libertarians. Or at least the libertarians that elected me the Chair of a state LP party seem to think so.

  5. I’m not sure what is more shocking: the idiocy of that article, or the lack of alt-text on this one.

    1. Feeney will start using alt-text when P Brooks starts threading comments.

  6. Spencer, for instance, propounded social Darwinism and favoured a legal ban on interracial marriage. Notoriously, Locke referred to native Americans as “savage beasts” and, indeed his Second Treatise can be read as an elaborate defence of the colonial expropriation of native Americans.

    Sorry, can’t do it. If there had ever been any racist, say, Progressives, maybe we’d have a case. But Collectivism going all the way back to Plato has always been egalitarian and inclusive.

    1. Native Americans were pretty savage. It just so happens that white people were a skosh more advanced and were willing to fight savagery with savagery.

    2. Spencer, for instance, propounded social Darwinism and favoured a legal ban on interracial marriage.

      Help me out here (really). Was Spencer pushing for some kind of state intervention based on his social darwinism? If not, then its perfectly consistent with libertarianism.

      From wiki:

      The claim that Spencer was a Social Darwinist might have its origin in a flawed understanding of his support for competition. Whereas in biology the competition of various organisms can result in the death of a species or organism, the kind of competition Spencer advocated is closer to the one used by economists, where competing individuals or firms improve the well being of the rest of society. Furthermore, Spencer viewed charity and altruism positively, as he believed in voluntary association and informal care as opposed to using government machinery.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H….._Darwinism

      Sounds pretty libertarian to me.

      Sure, banning interracial marriage is unlibertarian. Its funny, though, that doesn’t really show up in the current discussion of Herbert Spencer’s work.

      1. The social darwinism is an often repeated slander. The interacial marriage point on the other hand is unfortunately accurate, the result of bad 19th century genetics and race “science”.

        1. I don’t remember reading this biz about making interracial marriage illegal. Where is it in Spencer’s writings?

        2. Though that would only prohibit interracial heterosexual marriage.

    3. The genetic fallacy is okay when we use it against you, but don’t you dare use it against is.

    4. People really should always point out to leftovers, at least in the US, that they fund their candidates’ mainly by rounding up poor black kids and selling them to the educrat cartels for campaign donations.

  7. I made an account just so I could comment on this nonsense. I just wanted to say that that claim is nonsense. This guy’s argument consists of, Libertarians say X but everyone knows they really mean Y. No… I mean X. Douchebag. If I wanted to argue for fascism I would argue for fascism. I want to argue for liberty.

    This is basically an Ad Hominem attack on libertarians by implying they are: Liars, Authoritarians, Racists, Fascists and let’s throw in Nazi’s while we’re at it.

    1. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were great heroes of libertarianism, dontchaknow?

    2. I made an account just so I could comment on this nonsense.

      That’s exactly how they got me. Welcome aboard. Now bookmark the site and prepare yourself to either learn how to multi-task or become a lot less productive at work.

      1. Hahahaha ^This.

      2. State contracting. I’m technically a private company, but I get to work at state speed for real money. Its a bitchin gig, and I’m doing everything I can to help the state die under its own bureaucratic inertia.

      3. Wait, some of you guys WORK? Good god, men (and women), are you even human!? I’m just a humble student/part-time loafer, so I can still get away with it.

  8. Liars, Authoritarians, Racists, Fascists and let’s throw in Nazi’s while we’re at it.

    That’s an ad hominem?

    1. See, I told you people he was just a troll.

      1. I’m not a troll, I’m a liar and/or authoritarian and/or racist and/or fascist and/or Nazi. Depending on who you ask, of course.

        1. You’re a bitch, you’re a lover, you’re a child, you’re a mother, you’re a sinner, you’re a saint. You should not feel ashamed.

          1. Bastard! I’m going to have that in my head for a week.

            1. [one of the evil laughs in my vast repertoire]

              1. Oh! I’ll get you for that one, Saccharin Man! Rest assured…

          2. I’m your hell, I’m your dream, I’m nothin’ in between. You know you wouldn’t want it any other way.

            1. Don’t make me turn this blog around and go right back home. I’ll do it.

                1. Randian’s always been such an authoritarian liar, sarc, he just can’t help it. Don’t get your racist facist panties in a bunch.

  9. It claims to value liberty in some general and all-encompassing sense above all other principles, but the particular types of freedom libertarianism seeks to defend and extend are always, tacitly and implicitly, forms of liberty for the few at the expense of the many.

    From, there, he slides to claiming modern-day libertarianism are racists because of a couple of guys who lived 100 and 200 years ago, respectively.

    Then, he slithers over to another couple of guys who picked sides in the struggles between two authoritarian/totalitarian regimes by taking the position (in effect) that the non-Stalinist on offer was the lesser evil. Which, on the whole, is hard to argue with.

    What a dishonest piece of crap this is.

    1. The passage where Mises ‘praised’ fascism

      The Third International seeks to exterminate its adversaries and their ideas in the same way that the hygienist strives to exterminate a pestilential bacillus; it considers itself in no way bound by the terms of any compact that it may conclude with opponents, and it deems any crime, any lie, and any calumny permissible in carrying on its struggle. The Fascists, at least in principle, profess the same intentions. That they have not yet succeeded as fully as the Russian Bolsheviks in freeing themselves from a certain regard for liberal notions and ideas and traditional ethical precepts is to be attributed solely to the fact that the Fascists carry on their work among nations in which the intellectual and moral heritage of some thousands of years of civilization cannot be destroyed at one blow, and not among the barbarian peoples on both sides of the Urals, whose relationship to civilization has never been any other than that of marauding denizens of forest and desert accustomed to engage, from time to time, in predatory raids on civilized lands in the hunt for booty. Because of this difference, Fascism will never succeed as completely as Russian Bolshevism in freeing itself from the power of liberal ideas.

      The next paragraphs he explains that fascism will result in permanent war and violence permeating society.

  10. What this piece lacks is any explanation of why modern-day libertarianism, which lacks any of the features he mentions, is somehow authoritarian. I suspect that, if he has any beef with current libertarian thought, its because we continue to oppose the notion of positive rights. Thus, to him, because libertarians don’t subsidize or mandate certain activities, we are opposing thpse activities:

    the particular types of freedom libertarianism seeks to defend and extend are always, tacitly and implicitly, forms of liberty for the few at the expense of the many.

    One catches the familiar odor of “not taking is giving, not giving is taking”, etc.

    1. That’s pretty much it. See, because things like progressive taxation enable the poor to live at the expense of the wealthy, and the wealthy only lose dollars of less marginal utility and the poor gain dollars at greater marginal utility, that means that rich people lost relatively little ‘freedom’ and poor people gained a great amount of ‘freedom’.

    2. No group seems as hysterical about libertarianism as the British.

      1. That’s because they’re the only real libertarians and everyone else keeps mucking it up for them.

      2. What’s so comical is that the Brits adopted fascism!

        They feared a bolshevik revolution, disarmed the population. They built the cradle to grave welfare system. They had the state cartelizing and managing most sectors of the economy.

        And the guys pounding the drum marking the beat for the march of Britain into fascism was the Guardian, the newspaper of the civil service.

        Projection is to weak to describe this.

        1. They feared a bolshevik revolution, disarmed the population. They built the cradle to grave welfare system. They had the state cartelizing and managing most sectors of the economy.

          Don’t you get it? This is REAL libertarianism. You guys here are doing it wrong.

        2. Not only that but a whole bunch of British aristocrats were openly pro-Nazi in the 30s.

      3. We’re against the CCTVs they love so much.

    3. What this piece lacks is any explanation of why modern-day libertarianism, which lacks any of the features he mentions, is somehow authoritarian.

      Libertarians would use force to stop those who currently use force from using force.

      So if you use force to get your way, libertarians would use force to stop you.

      Thus libertarianism is all about using force in an authoritarian way.

      Tony said so.

  11. As paradoxical as it may seem, rightwing libertarianism has always been a deeply authoritarian political philosophy.

    DON’T DO WHAT I TELL YOU, OR I’LL KICK YOUR ASS!

    1. If you hate someone, set them free.

  12. The basic thrust of this strand is that unencumbered “free” markets will always tend towards stable equilibrium.

    This is about Austrian economists?

    The most important thing to grasp about libertarian thinking, however, is that its particular, very narrow, understanding of liberty is an indication of its class basis. Liberty is defined almost exclusively in terms of private property rights. When approaching issues such as progressive taxation, trade unions, welfare and economic regulation the libertarian will present all of these things as threats to individual liberty. But whose liberty in particular do these things plausibly threaten? All of these measures, in fact, can be regarded precisely in terms of the expansion of freedom ? for employees, the poor, the unemployed and so on. It is clear that for all its explicitly proclaimed devotion to the defence of freedom in the abstract, libertarianism is in fact most concerned with defence of the particular and exclusive freedoms of the wealthy, employers and the powerful.

    Yawn. But bonus points for tying it back to UKIP: “Hard-nosed libertarians have always been clear about the need for robust systems of law and order ? recognition…that social inequalities breed crime and social discontent. Ukip’s policy commitments to double the number of prison places and to free the police “from the straitjacket of political correctness” sit squarely in this tradition.”

    1. God yes, you have no idea how sick I am of hearing libertarians go on and on about their prison fetish.

      Rothbard would have a good laugh over his choice to appropriate the word libertarian from the European collectivists.

    2. …libertarianism is in fact most concerned with defence of the particular and exclusive freedoms of the wealthy, employers and the powerful.

      The wealth envy is strong in this one.

      1. I keep coming back to, “But whose liberty in particular do these things plausibly threaten?” What does it say about someone when they can’t imagine that poor people also benefit from private property rights being respected? I could be charitable and just say it is a lack of imagination.

        1. What does it say about someone when they can’t imagine that poor people also benefit from private property rights being respected?

          These people simply do not understand that you can’t simultaneously protect person A’s property rights while also giving person A a claim to the property of person B, because doing so violates person B’s property rights.

          All they understand is that person B has more than person A, and that just isn’t fair.

          Not fair!

          1. I brought this up somewhat sarcastically, but England is a country where the crown theoretically owns all of the land. Your status for many centuries was based on how much land you owned.

            1 hide (120 acres) of land meant you were a freeman (ceorl). 5 hides made you a nobleman (eorl). 40 hides and you were a 2nd tier nobleman (ealdorman, I think) and so on.

            And that made sense. The more land you had in an agricultural society, the wealthier you would be. You could raise more crops, keep more cows, employ more serfs, collect more rents, and support a little private army. So, when you think of property as meaning “land,” then property rights really does mean the rights of people from higher classes.

            It’s outdated thinking, but how else do you explain the psychosis of having a “labor party?” They baked the idea of medieval class struggle — serfs versus the nobles, freemen and burghers/burgesses/bourgeoisie — with all of its Marxist implications, into their national political narrative.

            1. And in the USA all property is owned by the local government.

              Try building something without permission or fail to pay your property taxes and then tell me who really owns “your” property.

              1. Yes, but we have a mindset of private ownership. There isn’t a land-based class system here as existed in England.

              2. Try building something without permission

                For this, just get out into the country.

                1. Remember the folks out in the middle of nowhere in Los Angeles County? The ones who keep getting raided and fined for code violations and the like.

                  Really, it depends where in the country one goes.

  13. I didn’t expect the guy behind Tony to be English. It makes sense, though.

    1. It’s a good thing I’m not a collectivist, because if I were, I’d have to be feeling very ashamed of My People right about now.

      1. Between this fucking guy and Piers Morgan, you have a lot to answer for.

        1. Wiki says he’s also Irish, Portuguese, and Scottish, so I only have to answer for a quarter of the bullshit. Which is a fucking lot.

          1. Explain Martin Bashir, right now! Oh, and don’t get my started on CHAVS, little lady…

            They are pestilence worse than Hipster Douches. CHAVS have knives!

            1. My fam in the home country are totally all chavs.

            2. I’d love to drop a chav in any random trailer park in the South and see how they really stack up against abused pitbulls and shotguns. I’m thinking the average white trash could eat a chav for breakfast unless said chav managed to fall on a skinny tweaker by accident.

      2. For being a Brit you have a very good way about you and not using those blasphemous yous and esses.

    2. You mean you never read Tony’s post in a gay Englishman accent? Seemed natural to me.

      1. Reading out loud in gay Englishman accent is natural to you?

        That explains a lot, though not your love of that Ke$ha creature.

        1. Out loud? That would make my coworkers wonder about my sanity.

          When I read Tony’s posts, I imagine that I’m being lectured by a gay English professor.

          1. You’re fucking weird.

            1. You’re fucking weird.

              My wife says the same thing.

              Besides, it’s fun to attach voices to the comments here. You’re Christopher Walken by the way.

          2. That is, a gay and English professor. Not a professor of English who is gay.

            1. Wait, how does one teach gay? I assume this is not a vocational school.

          3. That’s kind of hot. Did you imagine a big age difference! Was there a paddle?

    3. I didn’t expect the guy behind Tony to be English. It makes sense, though.

      If the current Tony that we have is the same of yore, he lives in OK, attended my undergrad alma mater, and studied abroad in Britain. So that’s probably it.

  14. libertarianism stands for the unfreedom of the majority.

    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

  15. The article is surrounded by a dumbwall.

  16. I have a vague memory that “libertarian” means something different in UKanian political/philosophical discourse, which means the two of you might be talking past each other.

    1. They have historically been associated with Thatcher, the boogeywoman of the British Left, because they supported her economic policies.

  17. “libertarian” means something different in UKanian political/philosophical discourse

  18. Fucking skwerlz.

    “libertarian” means something different in UKanian political/philosophical discourse

    As far as I can determine, the term “libertarian” has a unique and wholly self-referential definition in the mind of each individual human being on the planet.

    1. Whoever coined “slightly more flavors of libertarianism than libertarians” was right. Even not including the fever dreams of progressives.

  19. And this is exhibit 39382 of ‘why we should never engage the left with anything other than a blunderbuss’.

  20. Protip: Once they start misrepresenting Spencer, you can just ignore the rest of the shit they are talking about.

  21. Interesting how I don’t see any nativists popping up to refute Rooksby’s slander. By their logic, they must agree with him.

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