UKIP

Is UKIP's Slow Abandonment of Libertarianism Now Complete?

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ukip.org

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) looks set for a night of celebration, with the likely victory of Douglas Carswell in the Clacton by-election. Carswell will be the first elected UKIP member of the House of Commons, an event UKIP leader Nigel Farage has claimed will "shift the tectonic plates" of British politics.

Carswell's election comes at a pivotal time for UKIP, with the party's evolving ideological identity drawing increasing attention from commentators and supporters alike. Their changing identity has involved a slow abandonment of libertarian principles in favor of a strongly anti-immigrant form of populist nationalism.

This slow drift toward statism has previously been covered by Reason's Tom Clougherty, but recent reports from Brietbart London suggest that UKIP has now abandoned libertarianism altogether. Alex Wickham writes:

A few months ago, UKIP's website offered a one line description of itself as "a libertarian, non-racist party seeking withdrawal from the European Union". At some point between then and now, that description changed. It now reads: "UKIP is a patriotic party that promotes independence: from the EU, and from government interference". A subtle difference, but a notable one. UKIP has abandoned its claim to represent a 'libertarian' political ideology. [emphasis added]

Wickham goes on to discuss how the party has reversed its opposition to Britain's National Healthcare System (NHS) and has even begun attacking libertarianism by name.

The article provoked a quick response from Tom Bursnall, a UKIP member of the Windsor and Maidenhead Council and of UKIP's National Executive Committee. Bursnall claimed that UKIP remained a "libertarian party" but that the change in branding was necessary for the party to appeal to a broader section of the electorate:

Does the average chap on the streets of Basingstoke or Bromley know the philosophical attractions of Neo Classical Liberalism? Probably not – so, best to communicate on a level we all understand…In short we are appealing to a broader spectrum of voters than both the Tories and Labour.

Putting aside his reference to "Neo Classical Liberalism," a pejorative term generally used by progressives to create an artificial division between enlightenment-era (classical) liberalism and modern libertarianism, Burnsnall still fails to take into account the effect UKIP's change of strategy has had on the party's makeup.

As Wickham notes:

The party has lost a considerable amount of support from libertarian-leaning people in the last two years, people who made up an important core only a couple of years ago, who have now left the party in disgust.

This shouldn't come as a surprise. There has long been tension within UKIP between its embrace of libertarianism and its embrace of British nationalism. These two conflicting ideological viewpoints were mostly able to coexist while UKIP remained a predominantly EU-focused party. However, the pursuit of domestic electoral success has placed this coexistence under increasing strain.

Ultimately, the libertarianism that existed within UKIP was doomed the moment its leadership decided to base its electoral strategy on an anti-immigrant fearmongering campaign. Bringing new voters and members into the fold had a significant influence on the makeup of the party. From there, it was only a matter of time before the libertarian label, and certain libertarian polices, would start to be seen as electoral liabilities.

If their current approach continues, even UKIP's raison d'etre may be put at risk. The success of efforts to exit the EU will depend on garnering support from across the political spectrum—support that will be far harder to attract if opponents are able to tie an EU exit to UKIP's anti-immigrant populism.

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  1. But John told me the path to libertarian success is totally to ally with the exact same people in the US!

    1. Stormy, don’t you see? Unless we join with conservatives in a concerted effort to criminalize gays, brutalize immigrants, and start wars on every continent, the statists will win!

    2. “But John told me the path to libertarian success is totally to ally with the exact same people in the US!”

      Worth a try. How many votes do Libertarians running with that label ever get?

      If libertarians could muster votes in significant numbers for a major party, as opposed to criticizing, theories and purity tests, libertarians would be listened to. Snarking at people who might halfway agree with you isn’t going to convince them to vote for you.

      As it is, relentlessly publicizing the evils of statism is about all they can accomplish right now. It doesn’t elect presidents, but it’s a useful place to start and I hope Reason and others keep it up.

    3. John’s wrong about blanket support for notably statist Republicans being “better” for liberty than Democrats, but UKIP and the GOP are not the exact same people you disingenuous twat.

  2. The Libertarian Party could probably gain 1 house seat by aligning with hard core anti-immigration folks.

    1. Guys could probably get laid more often if they went to parties full of ugly fat women.

      1. They can’t… trust me.

        1. Interesting… Do go on, you still have 1/2 an hour of session to go.

          1. Should I talk about my mother?

            1. That cheap whore?

              1. I’d hardly call her cheap!

            2. Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about… your mother.

              1. Mother? Let me tell you about my mother…

        2. you do what you gotta do to bust a slump

          1. ^This actually works, I’ve found.

  3. From “THE CONSTITUTION [of the UK Independence Party]:

    2.5 The Party is a democratic, libertarian Party and will espouse policies which:

    1. Well hell if it’s written down in their party platform it must be what they believe.

      1. In the U.S., platform-writing is a task assigned to activists whom the party leaders want out of their hair – subject to a veto if the activists say anything too hair-raising. It the leadership’s way of saying “don’t forget to vote for us – see you in 4 years!”

        Has UKIP deteriorated that rapidly?

  4. Wickham goes on to discuss how the party has reversed its opposition to Britain’s National Healthcare System (NHS) and has even begun attacking libertarianism by name.

    They all do… they all eventually do.

    1. The reason the UKIP is making any headway is that they concentrate on a very few things–getting out of the EU being the main one–rather than trying to fix everything at once and failing at all of them. Replacing the NHS is a very long term project, perhaps more of a political operation than exiting the EU.

      1. Since the UK is still in the EU, in what sense is UKIP making headway?

        1. They do have to get elected first to effect change on anything.

          Jesus, you really are monumentally stupid, an even dumber concern troll than Bo-Bo.

  5. anti-immigrant populism.

    Exactly! Either you favor open borders or you are an anti-immigrant populist!

    1. Sounds like an accurate description of current UKIP rhetoric to me. I don’t see where you can find fault with Hannaford’s appellation.

      1. Sounds like an accurate description of current UKIP rhetoric to me.

        Is the UKIP suggesting a complete ending of all immigration? I might have missed it. If not, they are not necessarily “anti-immigrant”.

        It is a common straw man built by those who favor open borders. If you do not agree to unlimited immigration, you are not only opposed to any immigration but “anti-immigrant”.

        1. Is the UKIP suggesting a complete ending of all immigration?

          In the past, the UKIP has argued for a 5 year moratorium on immigration and naturalization. After which, they would initiate a points-based visa system.

          It is a common straw man built by those who favor open borders. If you do not agree to unlimited immigration, you are not only opposed to any immigration but “anti-immigrant”.

          I think you’re missing the connotation of Hannaford’s phrase. He didn’t label the UKIP merely as “anti-immigrant”, but as “anti-immigrant populist”. That is, they subscribe to a certain type of populism that is culturally and economically nationalist. Based on their latest manifesto, I feel that it is a fairly accurate summation of their views. It is clear that even though they would allow a point-based visa system and a guest worker program (In that, they are more pro-immigration than current US policy!), they argue that immigration has a negative net effect on society.

          1. I think you’re missing the connotation of Hannaford’s phrase. He didn’t label the UKIP merely as “anti-immigrant”, but as “anti-immigrant populist”.

            Seriously? This is your argument? For an English professor you don’t seem to understand how adjectives work.

            1. I’m not an “English” professor, you moron. My field is Applied Linguistics.

              And I understand who adjectives work far better than you. Where do adjectives occur in a noun phrase again? Oh, that’s right, in front of the noun they modify!

              Now, go fuck yourself. Marshall doesn’t need you fighting his battles (poorly) on his behalf.

              1. I understand who adjectives work far better than you

                Ah, but those pesky relative pronouns…

  6. 4.1.1 Membership of the Party shall be open to any natural person

    Is this a typo?

    1. I have an artificial knee, am I right out?

    2. It’s so corporations can’t join. They are artificial persons.

      (Made up of natural persons, yes, I know)

      1. Why don’t they just say “persons”. If they wanted to include corporations, they could have said “any person or organization”.

        1. So unions can’t join up all their members and then have all their members delegate their votes. Point of difference from the Labour Party.

  7. Sad, but probably necessary to win elections. The question is will they denounce libertarianism publicly and then embrace libertarian policies? Democrats have found a way to distance themselves from being identified as socialist while actively promoting socialistic policies. Having the media in your hip pocket makes this possible, I’m not sure UKIP will ever have this privilege.

  8. In fairness, this is Britain we’re talking about. It’s so mindlessly statist at this point that no legitimately libertarian party could conceivably win any election.

    Since the primary goal of UKIP is secession from the European Union, their attempt to appeal to as broad a base as possible is probably smart. Why get stuck arguing over the NHS when your main reason for existence is leaving the EU?

    That said, they were never really a libertarian party. They’ve always been opposed to immigration and have been more comfortable with government involvement in the economy than any of us. They’re probably still the best option in Britain, but the idea that they were ever going to win as a libertarian party was nonsense.

  9. Did you guys know that Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landing?

    DID YOU?!?

    1. Heeeeeres Neil!

    2. Next you’re going yo tell me Clockwork Orange wasn’t a true story. Damn you Irish!

  10. And here I thought libertarianism was essentially about “promoting independence from government interference”.

  11. Libertarianism is not a suicide pact, or at least it shouldn’t be. One can be libertarian and not want one’s country filled with foreigners who are, in essence, anti-libertarians. Which was and is, of course, Labour’s plan: make the UK less white and less conservative by bringing in millions of poor Muslims and Roma and anyone else, as long as they weren’t white and/or conservative. And now they have Rotherham and lots of terror supporters on the dole.

    1. Some of the brown horde are libertarian. Unfortunately, they aren’t the ones sneaking across the border and getting free shit courtesy of the broken tax slaves of the USA.

      1. I would be willing to bet that libertarians are less common among immigrants to the UK than among natives. Why else would Labour be so eager to elect a new people? And the same in the US: who thinks Honduran peasants are libertarians?

        1. Most peasants from anywhere are not libertarian because they don’t have much or any education.

          I know several libertarians from South America, but they are highly educated and economically successful.

          The poor of the world have been taught that government is their god and savior and they do not have access to an alternate opinion. They really do not see any other options. We can’t blame them, it’s the fault of our corrupt lying governments.

          1. I agree. The Mexicans etc. who are libertarian and successful are less likely to want to wade the Rio Grande to get here. But to a peasant, it’s the Holy Land: lots of free stuff.

            1. The Mexicans etc. who are libertarian and successful are less likely to want to wade the Rio Grande to get here.

              Assuming by “wade the Rio Grande” you mean immigration in general and not just sneaking in, that is simply not true. Economics professors Alex Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen explain why that is.

              1. Assuming by “wade the Rio Grande” you mean immigration in general and not just sneaking in

                Because legal immigrants wade the Rio Grande to get here?

                Can’t speak for Papaya but it seems to me like an explicit reference to illegal immigrants. When you don’t “sneak in” you don’t wade.

                1. Yes, Marshall Gill, thank you. I thought I’d made it perfectly clear.

                1. Comparing Tyler Cowen to Paul Krugman is the 2nd most idiotic comparison ever to be made in the comments of Hit and Run. The only more idiotic comparison was when Tulpa compared the sight of Israeli Olympic athletes to public gay sex.

                  1. Where did I compare Cowen to Krugman?

                    The only more idiotic comparison was when Tulpa compared the sight of Israeli Olympic athletes to public gay sex.

                    Citation needed.

                    1. Where did I compare Cowen to Krugman?

                      Hey, everyone! Let’s pretend that implicature isn’t a thing!

                      The only more idiotic comparison was when Tulpa compared the sight of Israeli Olympic athletes to public gay sex.

                      Citation needed.

                      Citation needed? Google your own damn “public gay sex” citations, you lazy son of a bitch!

                    2. I’m not the one making a serious accusation against another person, you supercilious slanderous prig. Note that I’m not calling you “supercilious” I’m calling you “supercilious slanderous” so make sure you get the connotation right, dumbass.

                    3. For someone who is not Tulpa, you are sure angry about someone mentioning something Tulpa wrote.

                      And if you don’t believe me, you can search through the entirety of the Hit and Run archives, and if you don’t find any evidence of that Tulpa said that, then you might have a point. I don’t have to do the heavy lifting because your memory is weak.

                    4. Oh, and for your weak memory…here’s a reminder.

                      You can apologize now.

                    5. That’s an analogy, not a comparison. I suppose applied linguists aren’t expected to understand the difference.

                    6. anal?o?gy
                      noun \?-?na-l?-j?\

                      : a comparison of two things based on their being alike in some way

                      I knew you’d be too petty to apologize.

                    7. Nice editing, HM.

                      Full Definition of ANALOGY

                      1
                      : inference that if two or more things agree with one another in some respects they will probably agree in others
                      2
                      a : resemblance in some particulars between things otherwise unlike : similarity
                      b : comparison based on such resemblance
                      3
                      : correspondence between the members of pairs or sets of linguistic forms that serves as a basis for the creation of another form
                      4
                      : correspondence in function between anatomical parts of different structure and origin ? compare homology

                    8. It’s a retarded analogy. Thanks for that HM. Tulpa is truly the area king of imbecility.

                    9. Red is to firetrucks as gray is to koalas.

                      Was I just comparing firetrucks to koalas, HM?

                    10. And you can’t accept that you’ve made a complete ass out of yourself by accusing me of lying, so now you’re attempting sophistry? All this because you’re too childish to apologize?

                      And yes, you just compared firetrucks to koalas based on the shared qualia of color.

                      I really don’t have the time nor the desire to teach you semantics, so I’ll direct you here . And since it’s midnight here, I’ll wish you a goodnight.. in addition to a goodbye, as I am blocking you as of this post.

                      Have a nice life!

                    11. You could argue that quoting a dictionary definition is “sophistry”, but it’s kind of hard to do so right after you yourself quoted a heavily edited version of the same definition.

                      I really don’t give two shits if you block me. If you are as smart as you think you are, you’d ask to have your own posts deleted because I’m not the one who looks like an ass in this conversation. Too bad you’ll never read this post (yeah right) and get this sage advice.

                    12. And yes, you just compared firetrucks to koalas based on the shared qualia of color.

                      Holy cow, you really don’t know what you’re talking about. Butt swallowing a thesaurus can get you a long way in academia, I’ll attest to that.

                    13. You just got fucking OWNED and now you’re doing the victory dance? Of course how Tulpical.

                  2. “Tulpa compared the sight of Israeli Olympic athletes to public gay sex.”

                    Wait…what?!?!?!

              2. Assuming by “wade the Rio Grande” you mean immigration in general and not just sneaking in, that is simply not true.

                Why would you assume that? Of course I meant “just sneaking in,” as in illegal immigration. Legal immigrants don’t have to wade, duh. Sheesh, you’re usually a better reader than this, HM.

        2. I would be willing to bet that libertarians are less common among immigrants to the UK than among natives

          I’ve seen and heard what the “natives” believe in, and they’re no libertarians.

          1. The most left-wing parts of Britain are the north of England and Scotland, both of which have relatively few immigrants compared to the more cosmopolitan south. The Scots are the most left-wing group in Britain, and they’re far from immigrants. I mean, unless you count the fact that they immigrated in like 1000 BC.

            1. 1000 BC? Where’d you get that ludicrous idea?

              The Scots immigrated into Scotland, from Ireland, after the fall of the Roman Empire. They conquered the locals and utterly extinguished the locals’ society and language in the process.

              1. You’re saying the locals weren’t true Scotsmen?

    2. That plan seems to not be working since immigration has grown and the Tories are now in power.

      But what other libertarian principles should we reconsider because they may be politically bad for libertarians? For example, maybe we should support serious campaign finance restrictions because most of that money is spent in rent seeking, crony capitalism auctions. And think about how many people who abuse substances then get on the dole, maybe we should rethink our position on the WOD.

      1. That plan seems to not be working since immigration has grown and the Tories are now in power.

        The Tories are ‘in power’ essentially through moving rapidly leftwards and alienating their base – which is why we now have UKIP. Furthermore, the Tories are NOT a majority, they have a plurality and are forced into an alliance with the Liberal Democrats. Barring a massive shift, the Tories will never win a parliamentary majority again because wide swaths of the country despise them.

        I agree with your second paragraph, but the idea that the Tories have not been harmed and massively changed by high levels of immigration is ludicrous. This is especially true given that David Cameron is basically Tony Blair the Second. Sure the Tories can win – if they run on Labour’s platform like Cameron did and then align themselves with another left-wing party.

        1. I don’t see the Tories changing so much in relation to immigration, at least nothing like their Canadian counterparts did (and they started doing well with those groups).

          1. The Tories have changed drastically in the last 20 years. They are not the party of Thatcher. David Cameron made deep cuts to defense, for example, which the old Tories never would have considered.

            Their economic policy is also only slightly to the right of Labour. They are NOT a conservative party any more, they are the farthest right party in a left-wing troika with the Lib Dems and Labour. Ukip is the only party in the UK which is describable as ‘right-wing’ unless you count total fringe parties like the BNP.

            1. Labour moved to the center as well, list hardly the explicitly socialist party it once was.

              1. Labour moved to the center* circa 1988 after Thatcher had swung British politics rightwards. The Tory movement to the left occurred later. British politics moved rightwards in the late 70’s due to the complete chaos of the Winter of Discontent, the Three Day Week, high inflation, etc., but has moved back to the left since the early ’90s. They’re still to the right of where they were in 1974, but I don’t think you can argue they’re less leftist than in 1990.

                *Incidentally, I don’t think it’s really accurate to say Labour ‘moved to the center.’ They’d be the most left-wing party in America. I suppose they’re centrists compared to Labour in the 60’s, but they’re very left-wing by our standards.

                1. I don’t think American political standards are of much relevance in Britain. Europeans regularly accuse the US of having two right-wing parties by applying their standards here (one reason why I think the right-left divide is stupid and nonsensical)

            2. BNP is far-left, espousing Old Labour economic ideas.

        2. If this is the by-election I was reading about the other day (and I’m too lazy to check), Carswell was a Tory who quit the party because he didn’t like it’s direction. Rather than simply continuing in office as UKIP, he resigned his seat and forced the by-election.

          So, while the election may say something about UKIP vs. Tory it also says something about incumbency. Having said that, however, party loyalty tends to be stronger in the UK than in the US so electing Carswell would be something of a slap in the face for the Tories but perhaps not as much as some people might think.

          1. If this is the by-election I was reading about the other day (and I’m too lazy to check), Carswell was a Tory who quit the party because he didn’t like it’s direction. Rather than simply continuing in office as UKIP, he resigned his seat and forced the by-election.

            That’s it. A second Tory named Mark Reckless just defected to UKIP the other day.

            I think party loyalty in Britain is still very strong among Labour voters, but the Lib Dems have gotten so completely shit on the last few elections that I don’t think they have many loyalists left and the Conservatives have lost a lot of voters to UKIP.

      2. Uncontrolled immigration isn’t a libertarian principle, at least not in minarchist libertarianism. The NAP doesn’t extend across borders.

        1. How do you figure that? By what right do you stop the freedom of movement and association involved in restricting immigration?

          1. The NAP is only practicable when there is a dominant coercer (government if you will) that can enforce it. There is none that juts across international borders, so we have to look to other philosophies to guide us in cross-border policies. In this case, hard-nosed self-preserving pragmatism.

            1. By this logic, you could support a global war of conquest and genocide and claim to be libertarian as long as you didn’t oppress people within your own borders. I respect that libertarians may have differing opinions on this, but flat out saying the NAP only applies within arbitrary political borders is not consistent with the libertarian notion of inalienable natural rights.

              1. Not all libertarians accept natural rights either, inalienable or otherwise. Keep shrinking that tent.

                1. Not all libertarians believe in the NAP either, but the NAP and natural rights are inseparable concepts. The entire concept of the NAP is that it is inherently immoral to commit aggression against others because you are violating the natural rights of other people. Aggression is pretty much defined as such violation of rights. My point is that if you want to approach libertarianism from a different angle fine, but basing it on the NAP, and then saying that genocide does not violate that as long as it’s done in another country is absurd.

                  1. The entire concept of the NAP is that it is inherently immoral to commit aggression against others because you are violating the natural rights of other people.

                    That’s where you’re shrinking the tent, pasting your own philosophical beliefs onto the NAP. Aggression can easily be defined in a more empirical way to avoid the pin-dancing angels of “natural rights” and all the uncomfortable consequences they bring in practice.

                    1. “Aggression can easily be defined in a more empirical way to avoid the pin-dancing angels of “natural rights” and all the uncomfortable consequences they bring in practice.”

                      How exactly is that? Also, you still have to answer the question of why exactly it’s immoral to commit aggression. The NAP is a moral principle first and foremost.

                      This is from Wikipedia, but it’s a pretty basic definition of the principle.
                      “[The NAP] is a moral stance which asserts that aggression is inherently illegitimate. NAP and property rights are closely linked, since what aggression is depends on what a person’s rights are.[1] Aggression, for the purposes of NAP, is defined as the initiation or threatening of violence against a person or legitimately owned property of another. Specifically, any unsolicited actions of others that physically affect an individual’s property or person, no matter if the result of those actions is damaging, beneficial, or neutral to the owner, are considered violent or aggressive when they are against the owner’s free will and interfere with his right to self-determination and the principle of self-ownership.”

                    2. Also, you still have to answer the question of why exactly it’s immoral to commit aggression.

                      No, I don’t. As a utilitarian I can point to the fact that acts of aggression decrease stability and prosperity in the society, so it is utile to prohibit them. I don’t mix morality with the law.

                    3. Then your philosophy is not based on the NAP. That’s fine, I actually don’t have a problem with utilitarian libertarians, but you can’t argue that it’s based on the NAP or that your personal views are representative of minarchist libertarianism, which is the biggest objection I had to your post. Most minarchists are not utilitarians and there is certainly no agreement in minarchism that the NAP only applies within a country’s borders.

              2. By this logic, you could support a global war of conquest and genocide and claim to be libertarian as long as you didn’t oppress people within your own borders.

                True, I don’t think that would violate minarchist libertarianism itself. It would, of course, violate a whole mess of moral tenets that are perhaps highly correlated with libertarianism but logically independent of it. Pragmatically it also seems likely that a govt engaging in global wars of conquest would also tend to oppress the people at home, so this is probably just a hypothetical scenario.

          2. By what right do you stop the freedom of movement and association involved in restricting immigration?

            Property rights. The people who own the US get to decide how it is used. As with any property held in common, individuals shareholders do not get to decide for the whole.

            Immigration is a positive right. It places a demand on those who own the place you wish to immigrate, which, by definition, you do not. Emigration is a negative right, not immigration.

            1. Does the government of the US own the country?

              1. No, but it owns the border.

                1. Does it? By what right? And if it owns the border, why can it not control who crosses it the other way?

                  1. It does control who crosses the other way. People on probation, with warrants out for them, security clearances, etc.

                    1. Do you agree with all of those controls? Such as the penalties for giving up citizenship and all that? Do you think they should be able to say that no one can leave the country without a special government permit?

                    2. Whether I would agree with that policy is irrelevant to the point, which is that libertarianism does not foreclose either side of that issue. My political philosophy is minarchist libertarianism plus some other value-added stuff for dealing with situations where libertarianism is silent, such as what happens when activities cross international borders.

              2. Does the government of the US own the country?

                I guess that depends upon what you think “owns” means. Can the government take for their own use every single square inch? I would call that ownership even if individuals do hold titles that amount to occupancy permits.

                Do I own Mexico?

            2. Yes. The open borders bozos apply their goofy NAP to everybody *except* the American taxpayer-citizens who are expected to stand by and watch themselves be looted (and their country destroyed) by third world, already-collectivized people (who the left predictably welcomes with open arms).

              If those aliens were voting for Republicans, the left would be the loudest proponents of borders enforcement (and the borders would be secured, since we’re living in this bizarro world where the left uses the govt. to do whatever they feel like doing and are yet to go to jail for it).

              1. Why exactly are we supposed to do what the left would do in this situation? The xenophobic fearmongering is pathetic. Immigrants are not bankrupting this country, social programs primarily intended for old people, a bloated “defense” sector, and handouts to cronies and bureaucrats are. I find it remarkable how similar your logic is to that of leftists who justify regulating what people eat, drink, and do on the basis that it violates the taxpayer’s rights by driving up health care costs.

                1. There is more than just property rights. Legal jurisdiction is also not free and is defined by borders. Setting aside who owns my land, does the government have legal jurisdiction over it? I think even minarchists say yes. How is placing myself in a foreign legal jurisdiction without permission not an active demand on others? A “positive right”.

            3. The American people do not ‘own’ America. America is not a club. Immigration is a right.

              1. The American people do not ‘own’ America.

                So no one owns it? The Human Race owns it?

                Wow, Cytofascist makes unsupported and idiotic claims. Who would have guessed?

                I have pointed out that immigration imposes obligations on others. Why didn’t you refute that, if it is possible?

                It is almost like you are simply an anti-intellectual piece of shit. No, not “almost”.

              2. Immigration is not and can not be a right because it involves action on the part of someone besides oneself.

        2. Open borders is a libertarian tenet, period. End of story.

          1. Open borders is a leftist tenet that has been insinuated into libertarianism with the express purpose of making libertarianism untenable.

            It is impossible to build a libertarian society if one of the basic tenets is that libertarians must allow anti-libertarians unimpeded access to the body politic.

    3. There’s far more native children in the country than immigrants. If libertarianism is unable to propagate its philosophy to non-libertarians, it’s not going to survive regardless of what we do about immigration.

    4. One can be libertarian and not want one’s country filled with foreigners who are, in essence, anti-libertarians.

      1) No you can’t.

      2) You are a disgusting xenophobic collectivist.

  12. Is UKIP’s Slow Abandonment of Libertarianism Now Complete?

    Umm, ok, bear with me here, I mean I know I’m an extremist and all that. But, don’t you actually have to be a proponent of something before you abandon it?

    Maybe I was in a state of suspended reality during that time when anyone on the Isle of Limeytardia EVER even remotely thought about embracing anything that could be construed to be libertarian.

    HELLO?

      1. Yeah, I know, but I don’t think they see libertarian in the same way we see it.

      2. Perry de Havilland doesn’t use the term “libertarian” to describe himself, even though he’d probably fit in fairly well here.

        The terminally tedious Paul Marks who seems to be loved at Samizdata, is definitely not libertarian.

    1. UKIP’s never seemed like anything but an anti-EU Conservative Party with some more balls and bits of a classical liberal platform. They seemed to roll with term libertarian because then they can at least have a decent moral argument as to why they’re not racists for abandoning the EU. At least that’s my theory.

      1. Are the European leftoids seriously trying to claim that leaving the EU = racism?

        How long is the world going to let them get away with this shit? The racism canard has run its course, nobody gives a shit anymore.

        1. Well it’s an easy, cheap criticism that they can basically throw at them with no proof. UKIP talks about ‘patriotism’ and suddenly they’re race-based nationalists (I’ve seen Britons actively associate UKIP with the BNP for saying stuff like that). Abandoning the EU? The only reason you’d do that is if you reject their values on diversity and tolerance. Why, those UKIPs just want a little hermit island of old school European racist, sexist tradition!

        2. It’s got a ways to go in Europe. Until very recently they did not have significant nonwhite populations. Americans have built up a lot of filter on the subject that Euros still have to acquire.

  13. I just bought Assassins Creed 3 on Steam, 5$!, specifically so I can scalp some Limeys. Still installing…

    1. Still installing…

      The scalp or the software?

  14. OT: The Womansplainer.

    Her joke is somewhat funny, but what’s even funnier is what Ms. Simins doesn’t realize about her joke. It’s built out of old tropes about women that every man recognizes but because they’re reframed and disguised in feminist terms, feminists don’t realize that the joke’s on them.

    Let’s break it down:

    1) She’s a sensitive woman who’s angry about obtuse men.

    2) One of the reasons she’s mad is that they don’t understand why she’s mad.

    3) And so she’s not going to just tell them! However, it’ll be OK if they give her money and let her complain for a while.

    All the guys who’ve seen this movie before will roll their eyes. Way to bust those sexist stereotypes, sister!

    1. One of the life lessons you must learn as a man is that women expect you to know why they are upset with you, without ever giving you a clue.

      I just take that to mean that women understand that us men possess supernatural mind reading powers that we are unwilling to admit to.

      So all you have to say when your wife/gf is suddenly pissed at you for some reason you cannot understand is ‘I know why you are upset, but I can’t tell you because if I did it would be sexist for me to brag about my superior mind reading powers. You want to watch a movie? (suggest chick flick that you will hate most of all’) This works every time. Last night I had to watch ‘The fault in our stars’. It was horrible, but my wife cried and then forgot why she was mad at me.

      1. “Last night I had to watch ‘The fault in our stars'”

        I’m sorry to hear you’re in such an abusive relationship.

      2. I just take that to mean that women understand that us men possess supernatural mind reading powers that we are unwilling to admit to.

        I always saw it as an opportunity to prove how socially retarded we were.

      3. I’m furious about this and I refuse to tell you why.

        But seriously, not all women are like that. Some of us don’t mind arguing. Because that’s really what it’s about. Most women try to avoid conflict and a few don’t.

        1. Most women try to avoid conflict

          Only because they expect men not to stand up to their nagging.

    2. 2) One of the reasons she’s mad is that they don’t understand why she’s mad.

      That’s hardly a feminist thing.

      That whole thing is a central tenet of marriage.

      He: What… what did I do now?

      She: Well *slamming cupboards* if you don’t know…

      1. The fact that you don’t know aggravates the offense!

  15. So… by minimizing its liberalism ….the party gains voters. And a seat in Parliament.

    UKIP is gaining disaffected Tories in the South and is beginning to gain some Labour voters in the North.

    What unites these two disparate groups, some “traditional society” issues (or anti-multiculturalism) but primarily anti-immigration.

    1. Cosmotarians are will to sink with the ship… I hope the cocktails are good.

  16. They are still strongly opposed to military intervention in Russia (and the neocon world agenda generally), EU membership, and mass third world immigration. So I will forgive them a little re-branding in their marketing materials. Still the best relevant political party in the Anglo-Saxon world.

  17. Now let’s talk about America’s rather quick abandonment of libertarianism. By my estimation, it took around 200 years.

    1. Don’t you read Nick and Matt? The USA is freer now more than at any other time ever.

      1. We’ve agreed to disagree.

    2. Let’s not kid ourselves, the US was never a libertarian country. Some of our founding ideals are consistent and/or integral to libertarianism, but were never implemented fully, or even necessarily better than today. We have for the most part been relatively libertarian compared to most other countries, but that’s largely because of the low bar we’re comparing to, and it remains true today. We’ve regressed in some areas, certainly, but I don’t think anyone can reasonably claim that the US today is less libertarian than the US of 1776.

      1. “but I don’t think anyone can reasonably claim that the US today is less libertarian than the US of 1776”

        Are you serious? The Federal Register and several amendments and acts would like to have a word. Really, the only counter you have is slavery, but to that I give you the progressive income tax, the welfare state, OSHA, FDA, etc.

        1. And I’ll counter with slavery, state churches, an extremely restricted electorate, women being unable to own property, lack of recognition of basically every right in the BoR at the state level, etc.

          1. “lack of recognition of basically every right in the BoR at the state level, etc.”

            Citation needed. And what does “state churches” mean? I seem to recall something about religion in the 1st amendment. How does that go again?

            1. Didn’t apply to states until after the 14th amendment (and several decades thereafter).

            2. It goes, very specifically, “Congress shall make no law . . .”. Which is to say, it did not apply to the states at all, only Congress.

              In fact, since the next words are “respecting the establishment of religion”, the First Amendment actually explicitly prohibited Congress from disestablishing churches established by the several states. Which is a point which was explicitly made in debates over the Constitution and then the Amendment; the supporters of the state-established Congregational churches in New England were historically worried that the new Congress established by the Constitution would try to disestablish them.

              It wasn’t until the 1810s that New Hampshire and Connecticut got rid of their established churches, and Massachusetts hung on to its until 1833. It wasn’t until Cantwell v. Connecticut in 1940 that it was decided the 14th Amendment had actually incorporated the Establishment Clause against the states.

        2. Speech, writing, & public performances are immensely freer now in the USA than in 1789. People are no longer subject to militia oblig’ns, either.

          1. All those Selective Service ads on the radio must be a figment of my imagination.

        3. Hey, if it wasn’t for the FDA, people would be eating dirt and chairs.

          1. mmmm, dirt chairs.

        4. In 1776, there were places in the colonies where you could be fined for not attending church.

          -jcr

          1. And after the adoption of the US constitution as well. The constitution of the US only said states were required to provide republican forms of government, not that they couldn’t do things which the national government is forbidden from doing.

            The 14th Amendment should go down with the commerce clause as one of one the key sources of increasing and centralizing government power.

        5. “Really, the only counter you have is slavery”

          Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? Seriously, the fact that you actually equated the income tax, welfare state, and regulatory agencies with generational chattel slavery of 15-20% of the population is simply ridiculous. Shit like this is why libertarians have a hard time being taken seriously. Not to mention that other people have already pointed out how there are many other ways in which society was not as free back then as you imagine.

          Also, I know I’m responding to this late, I was out late last night and didn’t get a chance to read this thread again till now.

      2. Immigration is radically restricted today compared to no restrictions back in 1776.
        No one could reasonably claim we are remotely as libertarian today.

        1. We also don’t have a gigantic frontier to populate, or a booming industrial sector starved for labor.

          1. Anyways…the colonies were not populated by immigrants. They were populated by people moving from one area of British empire to another. You don’t immigrate to Hawaii or Guam. I read somewhere (sorry no linky) that until 1960 the US gene pool was made up of over 50% of those who were here in 1787. Maybe that’s a stretch. I don’t know. But it makes you think about a politician’s bromide about a “nation of immigrants” with some suspicion.

            1. “Immigration” is simply migration into a place, the same as “emigration” is migration out of a place. Yes, that place is typically a nation in discussion, but the word itself can be applied to any sort of place.

        2. On that one issue? Sure. But if you seriously think anything today outweighs generational chattel slavery of 15-20% of the population you are out of your mind. Not to mention all the other things other people have already mentioned, which is far from an exhaustive list of ways in which society back then was not as libertarian as some imagine it was.

  18. You can always vote for one of the two major parties that think the bans on knives and speech don’t go far enough.

  19. OT: I love this.

    Speaking in a video message to residents of West African countries currently experiencing outbreaks of Ebola, President Barack Obama dispensed advice on how residents can avoid the disease, including: “You cannot get it through casual contact like sitting next to someone on a bus.”

    At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising Americans who travel to the Ebola-stricken nations to “avoid public transportation.”

    1. I’ll be flying there on my private jet, once I get one. You don’t think outside the box PSF.

      1. So I flew back from Philadelphia to LA on Monday. I go there once a year or so to mix it up with my sister and favorite cousins. I put the orange earplugs in so I could set about reading Cormac McCarthy’s Suttree. I had read the melon fucker chapter on the way to PHL so some airplane engine white noise was just I wanted to read some more. I ending up sitting beside two Christians bragging to each other about how many churches they had started in Africa. I’m recovering my cold well enough now.

  20. Ultimately, the libertarianism that existed within UKIP was doomed the moment its leadership decided to base its electoral strategy on an anti-immigrant fearmongering campaign.

    So the sex slavery fiasco in Rotherham never happened. Fear of immigrants is always irrational. Patrick is a libertarian of the religious variety with the stench of piety.

    1. “Fear of immigrants is always irrational.”

      Yup.

      1. Always? Because immigrants never, ever commit crimes or spread disease? Look, fella, it’s one thing to battle against old stereotypes, and say they are unfairly applied to entire groups, but it’s quite another to claim that the opposite is true, that immigrants “never” do those things. You’re flatly denying reality.

        1. Texas has always been a part of the US?

          Amazing the similarities between the American immigration invasion of Texas and now the reverse invasion from Mexico. “Immigrants, meaning Americans, do the jobs Mexicans won’t do” was actually used and so was “Immigrants are more law abiding”.

          Of course, since those “immigrants” did not have any cultural loyalty to Mexico, they left them at the first opportunity. I guess it was good for Mexico to lose Texas?

      2. Cyto-

        This is written by a neocon objectitard who lives in a country that won’t even allow me to visit because I had a DUI 15 yrs ago.

        Fix your country first…

  21. Are libertarians the hipsters of politics?

    1. No. We are too sincere, and sincerity is like kryptonite to a hipster.

  22. Conservatives are behaving like morons over those people burning a flag in protest in St. Louis.

    Via twitter:

    Flag burning while demanding your American rights is like being mad that your food isn’t vegan but asking for extra cheese. #shawshooting

    I mean seriously? Let me see if I follow. You have the right to burn a flag. Therefore, burning a flag to protest what you perceive as the abrogation of your other rights is somehow hypocritical.

    What is up with conservative flag worship? It verges on idolatry.

    1. I’m always trying to figure out how leftists and left-libertarians think (a) the US flag is a meaningless piece of cloth worthy of no respect, and (b) burning said meaningless piece of cloth is a great act of political expression.

      Of course flag burning shouldn’t be coercively punished, assuming the fire is not endangering other people or their property, but that still allows me to consider those who do it to be rank assholes whose cause I will now view less sympathetically.

      1. Two problems:

        1. I am not a left-libertarian in any sense of that word. Most actual left-libertarians would not accept me as one of their own.

        2. Why does burning a flag in protest make you an asshole? This is an assertion I’m constantly hearing, but no one has yet to explain to me what’s wrong about showing your dissatisfaction through flag burning. Then, when I ask for evidence, I am invariably told by the flag reverers that my question about why it’s so important is illegitimate and that I ‘just don’t get it.’

        Well if you can’t fucking explain it to me, then maybe I’m not the one who doesn’t get it.

        1. Because it’s done for the express purpose of offending people. It doesn’t even communicate an intelligible idea. Same reason you’d say someone who uses the N-word to refer to black people is an asshole.

          1. It only offends people because they’ve deified the flag. They turn the flag into something worthy of reverence and then cry out in shock and outrage when their revered symbol is ‘desecrated.’

            Also, expressing displeasure and general disgust with your country is an intelligible idea, which is what is being expressed through flag burning.

            The fact that conservatives care more about symbolic freedom, as contained in the flag, as opposed to actual freedom, which they’re constantly working to undermine, is yet another reason this flag idolatry is idiotic. It provides people with an out to say ‘I am patriotic! I love liberty! Look at how frothy I get when the flag is desecrated!’ without actually trying to defend liberties or caring much when they are taken. Moreover, the flag as a symbol is actually used consistently to manipulate people into supporting policies which undermine the actual values on which this country was founded.

            The flag is therefore worse than useless. At best it’s meaningless symbolism at worst it’s a religious emblem used in service to emotional pandering and manipulation.

            1. OK, I get that you’re an iconoclast and don’t like that people revere a physical object they associate with an abstract concept. Fine, whatever, that’s your opinion, though the snotty ungrateful way you express it isn’t going to win friends.

              That doesn’t change the validity of my answer — they’re assholes because they’re trying to offend people for the sole purpose of offending people. Whether the taking of offense is rational or not is irrelevant. I think Jewish dietary laws are ridiculous and intellectually insulting, but if you’re a waiter and you decide to put out plates full of hot dogs on the table in front of the rabbi and his family just for kicks, I’m going to consider you an asshole.

              1. they’re trying to offend people for the sole purpose of offending people

                No, the protesters are doing it to show how mad they are.

                1. No, the protesters are doing it to show how mad they are.

                  Yes, by doing something that they know will offend other people. It’s a common reaction to internal anger.

              2. My apologies for being snotty when conservatives care so much for liberty that they stamp about in petulant outrage when a fucking piece of cloth is burned but don’t much care when people are hurled into prisons for smoking plants or have their doors busted down by SWAT teams.

                That is the point. They are liars and hypocrites using the flag as a religious emblem to divest themselves of the moral responsibility of actually defending other peoples’ freedoms. They don’t care about freedom, but periodically play dress up by saluting the flag and declaring themselves noble heirs to the revolution.

                This flag idolatry is NOT innocuous. It is about the hypocrisy and ignorance of the American right, who find themselves whining over a burning flag while steadfastly ignoring the approach of jackboots.

                You don’t get to bemoan a burning flag because it ‘symbolizes freedom’ when you yourself actively work against freedom whenever it suits your personal prejudices.

                1. So, because you don’t like conservatives, offending them for the sole purpose of offending them is OK? That’s kind of a childish viewpoint.

                  1. Oh look it’s Tulpa. I can see you still love arguing like a mendacious cunt, putting arguments in people’s mouths.

                    1. I can see you still love arguing like a mendacious cunt, putting arguments in people’s mouths.

                      Wow, talk about projection!

          2. Because it’s done for the express purpose of offending people

            Then don’t be offended. Why do you love giving people you claim to hate exactly what they want?

      2. Why are they assholes? Burning a piece of cloth does not diminish utility.

        1. One can consider an act assholish without thinking it should be illegal.

    2. I don’t really care if people burn flags, but I can see how someone would find it hypocritical if they put a lot of stock into symbolism. To conservatives, flag burning while demanding American rights is like taking a dump on the copy of the constitution while demanding your rights. It’s not the piece of cloth, it’s the ideas it represents.

    3. Irish, I don’t think the tweet is about “flag worship.” It’s pointing out a contradiction (in a somewhat confusing way).

      1) The flag is the symbol of the country.

      2) The protestors are demanding the country acknowledge their rights as possessed by citizens of that country.

      3) Burning a symbol expresses severe disapproval/hatred/rejection.

      Yes, it’s protected speech, but it should be obvious that the basic semantic content is contradictory on a certain level: burning a symbol of something you are demanding action from. It’s kind of like a teenager saying he hates his parents and then demanding to be taken to the mall.

      1. Flag burners should be bombarded with white phosphorous.

        ‘Murica!

  23. The NAP is only practicable when there is a dominant coercer (government if you will) that can enforce it.

    The Non Aggression Principle is only practicable when you have a monopoly aggressor using force (aka “enforce”) to coerce people?

    Seriously?

    1. That is the fundamental weakness of the NAP. Without a DC violating it in a limited fashion, it will be violated by other coercers in an unlimited fashion.

    2. The government’s job is to force/coerce people into settling their disputes in a court. Innocent until proven guilty, by jury of your peers, and so on. What’s your complaint prolefeed.

  24. Jesus. What a shit show. Tulpa (Lear Dunham) has done it again.

    1. 7/31/12 @5:15PM

      NEVER FORGET!

      1. THE INCIDENT.

        So shameless.

        1. You have your dates wrong, among other things.

          1. That I do. I can’t remember when it was that you got outed as a sociopath. It’s not important to me, but I imagine that you know the date.

    2. You mess with the bull, you get the horns. And the rectum when you buy a McDouble afterward.

      1. I thought you were roughly my age. If your digestive tract can’t handle a McDouble, you should probably go see a doctor about it.

        1. No there are rectums in the McDouble.

          Jeez you made me explain the joke and ruin it. Sometimes I wonder why I bother with you people.

      2. You mess with the bull, you get the horns.

        What does this have to do with you?

        Seriously, fuck off. No one likes you; you have nothing to offer. We were happier without you.

  25. If and when the libertarian party starts to win elections, they will also become more populist. Most of the moderates and center right who will put them in power support immigration, but are not open borders. And everyone has spending programs they like. So in the end, even the libertarian party won’t be that libertarian.

    I googled UKIP’s voting demographics and found that they got a chunk of the conservative vote and enough of the “left” to dominate. You have to figure a good amount of immigrants voted for that party. Even the GOP gets 30% support from immigrant voters.

    Amnesty and granting benefits to (illegal) aliens is a settled issue elsewhere. Most people don’t want to give free services to non citizens. Not even Canada does that. And if an immigrant actually went through all the steps to become a legal citizen of UK, they might have some vested interest in protectionism and exiting the EU. Not all immigrants obsess over immigration issues.

  26. Goddammit,

    If you are full anaarcho-capitalist, and you just want full open borders, I’m OK with that.

    But if you want any govmt at all, I think these duties are pretty obvious: (1) prevent muder/theft/trespassing (2) regulate who gets in.

    I just don’t see how you can get that pissed off at border checks/rules, given that you are OK with the existence of a governement at all. Especially since given that a government exists, new people that enter forever get to vote. Fuck them if they aren’t already on board with our Constitution. I don’t want em if they aren’t. That means they aren’t willing to live by the meta-rules we already supposedely have.

  27. *Fuck them if they aren’t already on board with our Constitution. I don’t want em if they aren’t.*

    The US Constitution should be foisted upon everyone a la the Code Napoleon.

    March to the sound of the guns!

  28. Abandoned libertarianism? When did they adopt it? They’ve always sounded like a paleoconservative party, akin to the American paleoconservatve views of people like Pat Buchanan and Rand Paul, neither of whom are libertarians.

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