Donald Trump

Trump's Dangerous Anti-Libertarian Nationalism

Promises to cut domestic regulations or shake up the system do not a tolerable libertarian make. Trump is indeed a major threat to core libertarian values. Ask Ludwig Von Mises.

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President Donald Trump has signed an executive order claiming that in the future the total number of federal regulations will shrink, via the elimination of two regulations for every new one. He has nominated an FCC chief and a department of education chief who advocate choice-enhancing changes in the way their agencies run. He says he's a hardcore Second Amendment supporter (although he also supports taking away the right to bear arms based on mere suspicion). He's offered up a Supreme Court justice willing to seriously question government regulatory and police powers. He at least claims he wants to see spending cuts and tax cuts.

Ron Sachs/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom

Should libertarians—who are supposed to advocate those goals as part of a larger vision of reducing government power over our property and choices—admire and support Trump? Even a little?

Libertarianism is more than just advocating a random checklist of disconnected actions that in some respect limit government's reach or expense. (See Steven Horwitz, an economist in the Hayekian tradition, for valuable thoughts on why judging Trump via a checklist of discrete changes in specific government behavior doesn't work in libertarian terms.)

Libertarianism is a unified skein of beliefs about how the human social order should be shaped. What binds the philosophy is the understanding (or belief, for the skeptical) that using violent force against the peaceful both makes us, overall, poorer and is, at any rate, almost always or always wrong.

For most libertarians, the practical and moral arguments against aggressive force on the innocent support each other; the sense of what's morally right for most libertarians is rooted in a generally rule-based sense of what furthers human flourishing overall. To most libertarians, that is, freedom is both a valuable part of human flourishing, and a necessary part of most other aspects of it.

That we should be free to do what we want with ourselves, and with our justly owned property, is the core of libertarianism. (A swirling, complicated debate surrounds questions about what behavior is truly about ourselves alone, and how, why, and under what circumstances property is justly owned and what that implies about how we can use it. Such questions can't be resolved in a blog post.)

Given the nature of human beings' productive powers, the best way to ensure the collective "we" gets richer faster is to ensure the individual freedom to exchange with others as we choose, and by doing so build long and complex chains of production and exchange that benefit us all (or even just some/many of us), irrespective of accidents like national boundaries.

Free trade and free migration are, then, the core of the true classical liberal (libertarian) vision as it developed in America in the 20th century: if you don't understand and embrace them, you don't understand liberty, and you are not trying to further it.

The Trump administration may not in every specific policy area do the wrong thing in libertarian terms. But whatever it gets right is more an epiphenomenon of certain alliances within the Republican Party power structure or the business interests he's surrounding himself with. Trump and his administration can't be trusted to have any principled and reliable approach to shrinking government or widening liberty, since Trumpism at its core is an enemy of libertarianism.

What appears to be the core of Trumpism, based on his earliest priorities and his closest advisers? The blatant, energetic, eager violation of the right to freely choose what to do with one's justly owned property and energy, and fierce denial of the principle that through such freedom we create immense and unprecedented wealth for the human race. (Again, most libertarians don't just clutch "freedom" as a value disconnected from all other values, although they privilege it in most cases. They also believe freedom is conducive to the greatest human wealth and happiness, overall. It's a philosophy of social betterment as well as a philosophy of individual rights.)

Not yet a month into his administration, Trumpism is most surely centered on a poorly considered nationalism. His administration, with each swift and relentless bit of dumb bullying over our businesses' right to choose what to do with capital, our right to buy from abroad unmolested, other humans' ability to move peacefully into our country, acts on the principle that it's best if we don't trade with people outside our borders, that the Leader gets to decide what private businesses do with their capital and resources, and that we should beggar ourselves for the sour joys of keeping fewer people not born here from coming here (in a time when that alleged "problem" barely exists).

Trump is openly a type of illibertarian leader we haven't seen in a while. The "open" part is important. Those wanting to downplay the threat of Trump can, justly, point to all sorts of crummy and illiberal policies that past administrations and imagined alternate administrations did or might also pursue. In the context of the current political debate, that scarcely matters. Trump is the president we have, and his policies are what we have to face, and fight. It may fit any given person's amour propre to not ever risk seeming to overstate or overguess exactly how bad Trump is or might be, but it doesn't necessarily help the cause of promoting liberty.

It does matter whether a president encases even protectionist or trade-managing or restrictionist policies with a stated appreciation for lower tariffs and more open migration, which at least on the margins likely keeps bad things from happening. By paying that tribute of statist vice to libertarian virtue, at least doesn't deliberately imbue Americans with the belief that the country will be stronger by making goods and labor more expensive.

A president who openly and firmly rejects the principle of, and fails to grasp the benefits of, economic liberty is indeed worse than one who merely casually violates those principles. (And economic liberty is the core of human liberty, in a world where we must produce and trade to live).

Trump and his administration don't merely violate the core principles of individual liberty carelessly or as a byproduct of other goals; he is against economic liberty, deeply and sincerely. More than anything else, Trump is a loud and proud enemy of libertarianism.

The continued presence and dominance of Steve Bannon in his inner circle indicates that Trumpian nationalism, though the administration doesn't spell this out explicitly, yearns toward ethno-nationalism. Bannon believes American "civic society" necessarily excludes too many immigrants from Asia (even though people of that descent make up over 5 percent of America.)

While he's been careful since taking his powerful position in the White House not to say much of what he thinks about anything, Bannon's stated belief that the news organization he ran, Breitbart, was "a platform for the alt-right" and his own site's definition of that often deliberately ill-defined term, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that his nationalism has an ethnic component.

The administration's choice, apparently at the driving of Bannon and his ally Steven Miller, to launch their administration with an expensive and absurd "border wall" and for a spate of pointless (except in their disruptive cruelty) blows at movement of people from a small set of mostly-Muslim countries (that are not the Muslim countries from which any serious terror threat to the U.S. has ever actually arisen) show that the "public safety" rationale doesn't hold up. They are either idiots, or the restriction has another purpose.

What the limited travel restrictions so vital to the Trump administration have demonstrated is that they are eager to build from the most speculative and phantom of fears an expensive and disruptive apparatus of control, one that Miller considers a test run to prove the president's unrestricted power over certain matters, even in the face of the courts. And the fears they decide to focus on are fears of the foreign "other," even if that foreign other is a legal resident of the United States or wants nothing more than to work for or with existing Americans.

If you are judging how to view Trump's administration, and make reasonable guesses about its future actions based on demonstrated core commitments, those demonstrated preferences, goals, and methods are seriously bad, and more serious than (so far) semantic stunts about cutting regulation or taxes.

Trump v. Mises

Free trade and migration is not just one of a random pile of "freedom-increasing policies" that one can grab from and hope the whole number ends up large enough. It's the heart. Trump's disdain for them shows he can't be trusted to stand for our core freedoms, for any reason other than pure political contingency, or perhaps as part of his unlovely desire to humiliate the enemies and opponents his administration is obsessed with. (Yes, someone out to stick it to the modern liberals may occasionally posit a freedom-enhancing policy. This doesn't make "sticking it to the liberals" itself inherently a libertarian attitude.)

Is it just a sign of pants-wetting Trump Derangement Syndrome to call Trump the quintessential anti-libertarian? The modern American libertarian tradition is not unitary or invented by one person—I wrote an over-700-page book about it, called Radicals for Capitalism.

That said, given his influence on nearly every thinker or institution that comprised modern American libertarianism from World War II to the dawn of the 21st century, Ludwig Von Mises, the Austrian emigre economist and social philosopher, can be relied on to reveal what is core about modern American libertarianism.

Mises, driven from his beloved Austria by the Nazis and firsthand witness to the death of liberal principles via strongman ethno-national fascism, thought and wrote diligently and brilliantly about every aspect of social philosophy. From the start of his career to the end he identified free trade and free migration in a regime of legal respect for individual private property as the core of a free society. Those, again, are the principles Trump has nothing but contempt for.

Mises' personal and intellectual experience taught him vividly why the nationalism at the heart of Trumpism is the worst enemy of classical liberalism, the humane and liberating and wealth-generating tradition Mises sustained and furthered.

Mises' liberalism, and thus modern libertarianism, was built not solely in reaction to Marxist communism but equally against the wealth- and life-destroying evils of autocratic ethno-nationalist autarkic statism.

As Mises wrote in his first magisterial work of social and political philosophy, Socialism (1922), almost as if he foresaw a Trump who would try to bamboozle a nation into thinking it could enrich "the people" as opposed to special interests via protectionism and exclusionary immigration policies, and wanted to warn the liberty-minded that would be not just one concession on a liberty checklist but the end of the benefits and glories of free markets (as well as a clear violation of any pretense that one is working for "the people" vs some privileged elite):

It becomes a cardinal point of the particularist policy…to keep newcomers out.

It has been the task of Liberalism to show who bear the costs of such a policy….

A system that protects the immediate interests of particular groups limits productivity in general and, in the end, injures everybody—even those whom it began by favouring. How protection finally affects the individual, whether he gains or loses, compared with what he would have got under complete freedom of trade, depends on the degrees of protection to him and to others….

As soon as it is possible to forward private interests in this way and to obtain special privileges, a struggle for pre-eminence breaks out among those interested. Each tries to get the better of the other. Each tries to get more privileges so as to reap the greater private gain. The idea of perfectly equal protection for all is the fantasy of an ill-thought out theory.

For, if all particular interests were equally protected, nobody would reap any advantage: the only result would be that all would feel the disadvantage of the curtailment of productivity equally. Only the hope of obtaining for himself a degree of protection, which will benefit him as compared with the less protected, makes protection attractive to the individual. It is always demanded by those who have the power to acquire and preserve especial privileges for themselves.

In exposing the effects of protection, Liberalism broke the aggressive power of particular interests. It now became obvious that, at best, only a few could gain absolutely by protection and privileges and that the great majority must inevitably lose….

In order to rehabilitate protection, it was necessary to destroy Liberalism….Once Liberalism has been completely vanquished, however, and no longer menaces the protective system, there remains nothing to oppose the extension of particular privilege.

When it came to free immigration, Mises was so intellectually and emotionally attached to it that this generally quite pacific man thought that immigration barriers nearly rose to a legitimate excuse for the excluded to wage war.

His writing after seeing the horrors that ethno-national autarky brought to Europe in his 1944 book Omnipotent Government bookend his explanation of the vital, core importance of free trade and migration:

….imagine a world order in which liberalism is supreme….In this liberal world, or liberal part of the world, there is private property in the means of production. The working of the market is not hampered by government interference. There are no trade barriers; men can live and work where they want. Frontiers are drawn on the maps but they do not hinder the migrations of men and shipping of commodities. Natives do not enjoy rights that are denied to aliens. Governments and their servants restrict their activities to the protection of life, health, and property against fraudulent or violent aggression. They do not discriminate against foreigners. The courts are independent and effectively protect everybody against the encroachments of officialdom. Everyone is permitted to say, to write, and to print what he likes. Education is not subject to government interference. Governments are like night-watchmen whom the citizens have entrusted with the task of handling the police power. The men in office are regarded as mortal men, not as superhuman beings or as paternal authorities who have the right and duty to hold the people in tutelage. Governments do not have the power to dictate to the citizens what language they must use in their daily speech or in what language they must bring up and educate their children….

….In such a world the state is not a metaphysical entity but simply the producer of security and peace. It is the night-watchman….But it fulfills this task in a satisfactory way. The citizen's sleep is not disturbed, bombs do not destroy his home, and if somebody knocks at his door late at night it is certainly neither the Gestapo nor the O.G.P.U.

The reality in which we have to live differs very much from this perfect world of ideal liberalism. But this is due only to the fact that men have rejected liberalism for etatism.

It's not merely that of a grabbag list of "libertarian positions" Trump is picking a few and neglecting the others and thus libertarians have reason to be hopeful; it's not merely that, oh, free trade and immigration were among Mises' many positions, and his reasons for positing them as core to liberalism were whimsical.

They were, as he explained and knew in his bones from the horrible history of Austria and Germany he lived through, the core of liberalism (libertarianism). If one doesn't understand that, as Trump and his people do not, then their instincts and intelligence can't be trusted for anything when it comes to liberty.

Why Some Libertarians Might Not Seem Particularly Alarmed by Trump

Conflicting concerns and perspective have dictated many libertarians' reactions to Trump. (In the social networking age, it is much easier, for better or worse, to understand a very wide range of perspectives not mediated through existing approved brands.) Libertarians tend to already see so much of what the American state has done, under control of both parties and a variety of politicians, as hideous evils that our sense of loud public outrage at what the government is up to generally has had to be kept in some form of polite abeyance, lest we become the sort of constant wild ranters that tend to be filtered out of any public discussion.

This sociological reality, perhaps, makes libertarians less likely to be the loudest and most panicked about Trump. Trump is, as we've heard from many in the past few weeks, inheriting powers and a system that have long existed and long been abused, from travel restrictions to deportations. I have seen an understandable wave from those of libertarian bent of "wait, you are telling me the government is scary now?" reaction to the more, let's say, acutely panicked complaints about Trump.

This is a time of high rhetorical tension in American political discourse. One with a contrarian streak (and libertarians of necessity have contrarian streaks) might be inclined to discount the apocalyptic sense that Trump represents a unique and freshly unacceptable blow to American liberty. Predicting an unusually dire event occurring has social and intellectual costs; even someone highly alarmed by Trump might be reluctant to predict severe and unprecedented domestic repression.

But Trump's very rise to power was unprecedented in many respects, and his core and proud illiberalism is fresh in modern America. (Again, governmental vice paying some tribute to the virtues of liberty is important.) The presence and growing power of Steve Bannon, a man near as we can tell genuinely and enthusiastically dedicated to ethno-nationalism, is what makes it hard to believe that Trump doesn't want to take his economic autarky and restrictionism as far as he can get away with.

And from the perspective of the first few weeks of Trump, any remnants of dedication to free markets and freedom in these realms has seemingly already been flushed out of the body of the GOP in order to make room for an injection of pure malignant Trumpism, so we can't count on his Party or its old rhetorical commitments to hold him back.

Trumpian nationalism and restrictionism is a philosophy that has already caused and will continue to cause misery, both direct and obvious in the lives of people whose movement is restricted and indirect and harder to see in the choking of the wealth-generating properties of international trade.

The president has chosen to make his leading adviser, one who seems to have outsized influence on the administration, a man whose sole political concern is both dumb and evil, and whose approach to that goal is, according to something historian Ronald Radosh reports Bannon said to him (though Bannon later said he did not recall saying this to Radosh, or meeting him at all), "Leninist," that is, dedicated to the revolutionary scorched-earth destruction of all existing institutions.

I know many libertarians who smile at that. Why, even early libertarian movement linchpin Murray Rothbard at times thought in Leninist strategic terms! Don't libertarians hate the system and want to see it fall?

I, and most libertarians, hate lots about the "system" and would like to see lots about it fall. But Bannon's hatred for modern institutions has almost no overlap with libertarians'. He doesn't want more freedom. He wants ruthless state power supporting his particular vision of a favored class.

He doesn't hate modern institutions for being tyrannical, for illegitimately bossing around or destroying people's lives. Bannon sees libertarians as his enemies, and he's right to do so. He hates the current establishment because he feels it insufficiently promotes war to the death against radical Islam. He hates it for insufficiently pushing an autarkistic ethno-nationalism that will make poorer and more miserable not only Americans but the world.

Trump's Temperament (And Why it Matters)

There is another reason to find Trump especially alarming as president. It touches on what's always undergirded why I was attracted to libertarianism on a sub-intellectual level when I was young, an inclination that made the explicit philosophy ring true. It is another reason I find it wrongheaded from a libertarian perspective to be a bloodless Vulcan tallyer of pluses and minuses for specific policies Trump has spouted or appointments he's made.

Many libertarians don't dislike the state out of some disconnected dislike for "government" qua government, but because they dislike cruelty and the needless causing of pain and misery to other human beings, and that underlies most of what government does, and appears to be Trump's favorite parts of government.

Yes, government is an institution whose very function is control backed by violence and funded via extortion and is thus inherently cruel. But not everything government does is inherently wrong, considered outside the funding mechanism. Some things government does, were they not done by government, are perfectly proper things to do. Trump and his people seem most focused on the things that aren't, like punishing and restricting the harmless and taking away our rights to trade outside barriers the leader thinks are appropriate.

From immigration to eminent domain to the drug war to asset forfeiture Trump seems to be particularly malign, particularly contemptuous of the shopkeeper virtues of trade and the American virtues of live and let live liberty, with a sort of Viking streak that appeals to many of his fans who love seeing an "alpha male leader" take the reins and punish their perceived enemies.

Trump tries very hard to delegitimize any countervailing structures, such as a free press or the courts, that could possibly make it harder for him to do what he wants. He is for making police stronger and will lie to make you agree with that. His attorney general Jeff Sessions is a pure exemplar of governing as a source to punish.

Even given any particular set of policies, even given whatever you know or think about past or potential other future presidents, these are a terrible, terrible set of attributes from a libertarian perspective for the president. Those long concerned about the fragility of our debt and monetary structures, or potential reactions to a new terror attack, should indeed I think be uniquely frightened by this caudillist sitting in the White House.

Some in the libertarian thoughtworld believe passionately that Trump will prove to be less likely to cause destruction and death abroad via war than the average American president. I simply don't think there is a good reason to believe that will prove true, though it will be wonderful if it does.

Trump's first week priorities indicate that what motivates him the most is ignorant malign cruelty, autocratic acts that disrupt other peaceful human beings' plans and lives and business, acts that don't need to be done and that cause immense harm.

Such acts are embraced by Trump and his supporters through some combination of economic ignorance (the trade autarky and desire to force companies to do with their property as the leader wishes) and mindless unsupported fearmongering (the border wall, the immigrant and refugee foolishness).

One may temperamentally enjoy seeing modern liberals cry because they presided over a growing state, or are contemptuous of other people's peaceful chosen values, or are smug, or you don't like the way they look, or whatever, but the ol' drinking of modern liberal tears is a large price to pay for someone who likely doesn't care if he wrecks international trade to show he's tough.

Through the bad luck of elections, Trump runs a pretty much one-party state. He is advised by a proud ethno-nationalist. He likes to govern by executive ukase. None of these clear and dominant qualities of Trump and his administration are at all promising for a libertarian.

The best one could say about Trump for libertarians playing the long game in American political culture is it could be a teaching moment about the dangers of centralized executive power, of centralizing our culture's institutions of humane care in a machine whose lever of control is won and lost as easily as is control of the federal government.

Previous administrations of course violated the principles of free trade and cosmopolitanism. But they did not gleefully and malignly and publicly reject them and expect the nation to come along. This devotee of Ludwig Von Mises is suitably alarmed. Instructing other libertarians on specific strategies isn't really my bag. But not being publicly obstructionist regarding Donald Trump, who represents a special and revived threat to liberty from the populist right, well, I can't see how it will do libertarianism's future in the United States in the 21st century much good.

Anti-regulatory preening or not, libertarians—those dedicated to the entire fabric of liberty and social peace and prosperty—should consider it vital to defend the entire edifice of libertarianism, particularly in the face of a leader such as Trump who, no matter what else he does, admires authoritarian strength, hates allowing people or companies to make their own choices about what to do with their money and property, and has chosen, of everyone in the world he could have chosen, as his ideological consigliere a man like Bannon willing to tear down the fragile but vital benefits of modern international civilization in pursuit of his mad, ugly dream.

It might not end up as bad as it looks for libertarians, and those who paint the ugliest picture of the next four years may end up seeming overwrought. But from what has already happened with travel restrictions and trade restrictions and the overarching ideas and attitudes that infuse the Trump administration, it looks extraordinarily bad.

NEXT: Uganda's President Has His Own Trump-Russia Hot Take: Let's Work Together When We Can

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  1. Well, not having read the whole article yet, I’ll say:

    We should praise Trump when his actions yield a result that libertarians can like.

    But we should not presume to think that these actions stem from a libertarian impulse.

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      1. There must be an acorn around here.

    1. This article by Doherty is excellent and really shows that Doherty gets libertarianism.

    2. This comment really seems like all that needs to be said on the topic, and it’s the same that could be said for just about any previous US President. Trying to paint Trump as the definitive anti-libertarian just seems silly, and a waste of breath.

    3. Trump is neither conservative nor liberal. He’s an equal opportunity authoritarian getting back at anyone who’s ever pissed him off and rewarding those who fawn over him. That some of those actions happen to be in accordance with things Libertarians believe may be good in that sense, but he’s not at all motivated by any desire for anyone else’s liberty and it would be foolish to think it is.

      1. Trump is a populist. I strongly suspect that what henreally is is a performer. Authoritarianism of the right sort plays well with his audience, and lets him make the broad gestures necessary for a Presidential Performance.

        Which isn’t to say that Trump is any more Libertarian, but he’s less Statist than he is ‘watch me prance and pontificate!’.

  2. So what did we learn from this post?

    Trump’s not a libertarian.

    Brian Doherty is totally cucked

    1. We learned that Reason is libertarian in piety but statist in action.

      They would empower the big government predilections of foreigners to turn the US increasingly statist.

      1. Your word salad needs some dressing.

        1. Not an argument

          1. Who is Dan Davis? Why should I purchase him?

            1. I hear there are yuuuuge discounts currently available.

      2. You know how we can be SUPER LIBERTARIAN?

        Import a bunch of South American socialists and give them all welfare! That’s SO libertarian!

        Isn’t suicide the ultimate libertarian act?!

    2. You are the one much more comfy with a bigger, fatter, more intrusive government than Mr. Doherty. Who’s the cuck?

      1. The alt-right loves them a Big Daddy manly man as a stern taskmaster who’ll order them around and whip them when they’re bad.

      2. Mr Doherty talks about wanting small government, but then nitpicks any viable opponent of big government to death.

        So effectively, he supports big government.

        1. So criticizing someone who pretends to want what you want means you don’t want what you say you want because you criticized that guy who said he wants what you want.

          That’s perfectly logical, thank you for your contribution.

          1. “Pretends”

            If his actions consistently lead to outcomes you agree with, who are you to assume he’s ‘pretending’ anything?

            Cutting regulations, going to war with the administrative state, trying to normalize relations with Russia, advocating school choice, lowering taxes, divesting federal land ownership, seeking energy independence, nominating an originalist to the supreme court… SURELY HE’S JUST PRETENDING!

            After all, he says mean things about the media (and what a libertarian group they are!) and he wants to control immigration. Clearly all the other good things he’s trying to do is just a smokescreen for his authoritarian fourth reich!

            1. Of course it is. Since he comes off like an asshole frequently, and also holds some bad positions (Asset forfeiture, eminent domain, etc.) he must be 100% bad because of purity or some such bullshit.

              Clearly, if anyone is a pragmatist and accepts that their 80% friend is not their 20% enemy, then they too are mindless Trump worshippers and also fail the aforementioned libertarian purity test, and they too must be forever the object of derision.

        2. Criticizing Trump’s egregious errors is ‘nitpicking.’ Not loving our great leader enough is so big government.

    3. Grow up or go back to the Federalist, nutbagger.

      1. Meant for HIV.

        1. if you think “The Federalist” is supposed to be a haven of right-wing loonery or something, you’re actually the one living in a partisan bubble

          1. i mean, just as an example = a piece pointing out that Teen Vogue is, intellectually, pretty much on the same level as The New Republic at the moment

            Which isn’t something reflecting Teen Vogue‘s sudden discovery of gravitas, as much as the collapse of the intellectual credibility of the ‘serious’ left.

            that’s a piece I think Reason should have written. but…. well, guess what’s been happening to Reason?

    4. Trumpists will keep posting the same one-note whining in the comments forever on sites they’re boycotting?

      1. They are free to go to freerepublic. heh heh.

  3. Free trade and free migration are, then, the core of the true classical liberal (libertarian) vision

    Voting with 100million Pakistanis on the proper method of execution for Islamic apostates is the “true core” of Reason’s clerico-libertarianism.

    Reason has a lot of rage against violations of the free market. Except when it helps those who Own over those who Labor.
    Violation of Lockean Proviso
    Corporate limited liability
    Government monopolies in “intellectual property”
    Differential tax treatment for wages and capital gains
    Tax on income instead of property

    1. Benjamin Tucker’s critique of Herbert Spencer in 1884 could just as well been written about Reason:

      It will be noticed that in these later articles, amid his multitudinous illustrations (of which he is as prodigal as ever) of the evils of legislation, he in every instance cites some law passed, ostensibly at least, to protect labor, alleviate suffering, or promote the people’s welfare. He demonstrates beyond dispute the lamentable failure in this direction. But never once does he call attention to the far more deadly and deep-seated evils growing out of the innumerable laws creating privilege and sustaining monopoly. You must not protect the weak against the strong, he seems to say, but freely supply all the weapons needed by the strong to oppress the weak. He is greatly shocked that the rich should be directly taxed to support the poor, but that the poor should be indirectly taxed and bled to make the rich richer does not outrage his delicate sensibilities in the least. Poverty is increased by the poor laws, says Mr. Spencer. Granted; but what about the rich laws that caused and still cause the poverty to which the poor laws add? That is by far the more important question; yet Mr. Spencer tries to blink it out of sight.

    2. by doing so build long and complex chains of production and exchange that benefit us all (or even just some/many of us), irrespective of accidents like national boundaries.

      When this is then turned into – and defended as – ‘free trade’, it pretty much demonstrates that modern libertarian economics is just pure crap. Protect the big and established from competition. Pretend that ‘trade’ is mostly about internal accounting in multinationals rather than actual arm’s length trade that puts consumers – not producers – at the center of the decision-making. Deny the basic notion of self-governance in favor of some globalist ideology that is vaguely both anarchist and Trotsplutocrats. And if it is opposed, then devolve into a winners/losers utilitarianism that subordinates individuals to the greater good of the group.

  4. I, for one, don’t understand this ‘unlimited migration’ open borders position. As a homeowner I don’t allow uninvited invaders into my home, and I don’t want uninvited invaders in my country…Tell me how letting home invaders in is a libertarian position…

    1. How is a centrally managed approach to the movement of people and commerce a more libertarian position?

      1. So you are against taking refugees?

        1. If you, Lurk, want to take in a refugee, fine – as long as it is on your dime.

          If you want me to finance it, nope.

          1. If you, Lurk, want to take in a refugee, fine – as long as it is on your dime.

            If you want me to finance it, nope.

            It would be nice if Reason actually articulated this position. There was a great exchange on Twitter last week where JK Rowling was virtue signaling about refugees, and a bunch of right wingers were asking her how many she had sponsored. Which turned into them pledging donations for the plane tickets, if Rowling would agree to housing them in her spacious property. I don’t think she ever responded.

          2. If you, Lurk, want to take in a refugee, fine – as long as it is on your dime.

            If you want me to finance it, nope.

            It would be nice if Reason actually articulated this position. There was a great exchange on Twitter last week where JK Rowling was virtue signaling about refugees, and a bunch of right wingers were asking her how many she had sponsored. Which turned into them pledging donations for the plane tickets, if Rowling would agree to housing them in her spacious property. I don’t think she ever responded.

      2. How is giving more and more big government voters power over US citizens a more libertarian position?

          1. Mises: “Natives do not enjoy rights that are denied to aliens. ”

            Votes for all the worlds people!

            And you’ll get the UN where Iran sits on the Human Rights commission.

            This article is TDS 101 as far as immigration. On trade BD is correct.

      3. It seems to me that if I as a person can own property and dictate who travels upon it, then as a collective (nation) we may own property and dictate who travels upon it. Your desire to let anyone travel upon it is balanced against a larger percentage of people who want to put limitations on the flow so they can be more adequately handled.

        I am generally against low-expectation labor sources descending unregulated on our field of ripe tomatoes and plucking them all in the guise that more tomato pickers equals the planting of more tomato vines and cheaper tomatoes on the market. I think more likely it to be the case that the tomato pickers will merely drive the wages down of all tomato pickers and long before more tomato vines are planted, many people will be without tomatoes. The libertarian philosophy of the free market is completely ignorant of time. The transition to a deflated economy would be a painful, resulting in many highly skilled people simply without jobs or without jobs that can support themselves.

        I am for free and equitable markets, but the markets of various large geographical areas are inequitable in terms of labor costs and labor-seeking populations. You may think that the invisible hand will sort things out… and I do, too. But it takes time and a lot of people will get very hurt in the transition.

        1. We? Do you have a mouse in your pocket?

          1. Go for the eyes, Boo!

    2. For what it’s worth, I am not an “unlimited open borders” guy.

      However, I think the argument is that if you want to invite guests to your house, you should have full freedom to do so, regardless of if those guests have the proper government papers or not. And if you don’t want to invite guests into your house, no one would force you to do so.

      1. Yeah but that boils down to the corporations aren’t people argument. If a group of people own property then that group would decide how to use the property. The same as saying Americans can’t decide what to do with the country as saying corporations don’t have rights. I guess in some people’s minds once a group Is big enough they no longer have rights to act as a group.

        Then they’ll say they should be able to bring someone to their own particular piece of land without government lands or services (as if that’s possible). Even if we were to concede that it would mean there would be only maybe a few hundred immigrants a year, and a policy I never see advocates except in theory.

        In reality immigrants will use the tax money, services, and property of Americans and therefore Americans can choose who is invited. So they fall back on their only argument- cry racism.

        1. No, owning private property as shareholders in a corporation is not the same as being members of the same country. If it was, leftists and quasi socialists who say, “Government is just a word for things we choose together.” would have a legitimate point.

        2. So if the majority votes in a law that a minority has not right to use public roads, you think that is somehow the majority exercising their property rights over public roads?

          1. Yep, for,instance my preference to drive on the left side of the road is negated by the majority’s “laws”. A clear case of the suppression of my natural right to free movement.

      2. I am fine having open borders etc. with any country that does likewise vis-a-vis the United States.

        Take Mexico for example; when I can move there, get a driver’s license, buy a house, start a business, get a job, and so forth – before I’m even a citizen I’m all for it here, which is the way it already is here in the USA for Mexicans.

        But the only actual open border is a two way street. So again we return to Mexico – if we have open border with them (we definitely have a de facto open door policy), and they maintain their current regime, that is not an open border – it is one exclusively managed by the Mexican government alone at that point.

        Now move that scenario to comings and goings of people between the USA and Syria, or Russia, or Iran, or the People’s Republic, whatever you want. In each and every case a unilateral open-door policy vis-a-vis those countries just cedes control of the flow to regimes that – believe it or not – are much more odious, corrupt, and ethno-chauvinist than anything in the United States…even Trump.

        No thanks.

        1. I’d argue that Mexico would be better off under the US than remaining an independent nation. This is a country that should be an economic powerhouse thanks to its abundant natural resources and climate, but has been run like a typical Central-South American banana republic for generations thanks to its Spanish-feudal legacy.

          1. Interestingly (or perhaps not, to the libertarian or classical liberal), economic success hasn’t correlated to “abundant natural resources and climate” for at least two centuries. That perception is a layman’s myth, not an empirical observation.

            Partly, this is because human migration patterns already clustered people around natural resources millennia ago, but mostly this is because division of labor, comparative advantage, and markets allow for value to be created/added by means other than direct extraction from the earth.

            1. “this is because division of labor, comparative advantage, and markets allow for value to be created/added by means other than direct extraction from the earth.”

              no. Rule of law is what allows value to be created.

              Anglo-based governmental approach is why Britain, Ireland, Aussy, NZ, Can, and the US are economic powerhouses. S.Korea and Japan are economic powerhouses because of the direct US involvement in post-war reconstruction. The US influenced the economies heavily. China is enormously influence by Britain’s influence in Hong Kong and is emulating that across greater China. India is another wonderful example, but sadly hobbled by the horrid classism that Gandhi perpetuated.

              Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, etc, will never be economic powerhouses because of the corrupt governmental and socio-economic structure. It’s about relationships, leverage, greasing the wheels, and blatant corruption.

        2. But the only actual open border is a two way street.

          The fundamental stupidity of Cuckservative and Cucktarian thinking is in always accepting the short end of the stick.

    3. because the continent of America is not a house.

      Because federal agents are the only people who will ever bother me and they will never protect anyone

      because it’s none of your business.

      1. Thank you. It’s pitiful how many “libertarians” around here think the whole country is their personal property.

        Then there was that adorable fucktard on one of the “arrested for feeding the homeless” stories who compared it to somebody breaking into his living room and dumping shredded cheese on the rug to attract vermin. No, really.

        Because comparing people who have been fucked over by the system to vermin, and thinking the whole fucking town is your living room, isn’t at all creepy or psychotic.

        Fuck off, slavers.

        1. You seem perfectly alright withYOU treating the country as YOUR living room.

          The country belongs to all citizens, like a country club. We have membership qualifications, and use qualifications.

    4. Look, I’m a pretty open borders kind of guy, but I can certainly understand, to an extent, concerns of potential negatives to relatively open borders even if I think those concerns are miasguided and/or flat out wrong… that said, people who come to H&R commentariat on articles about immigration and compare the country to a PRIVATE home and property like “el oso” above, are fucking idiots.

      1. You allow immigrants into your country and next thing you know they’re driving on your roads, shopping at your stores, watching your TV shows, listening to your music, cheering for your football team – where does it all end with them just taking all your stuff?

        1. He sneaks into your house once, that’s all it takes. The next thing you know, there’s money missing off the dresser and your daughter’s knocked up, I’ve seen it a hundred times.

          1. Your daughter has been knocked up a hundred times?

            1. They don’t call her the village bicycle for nothin

            2. Look, I already apologized for, like, half of those, a’ight?

          2. +1 Tommy Boy

        2. You forgot, “turning the schools into dysfunctional basketcases.”

    5. You own your home. You don’t own the country. Do you understand now?

      1. I understand that fine, but unlike the home I own and pay for, I am being forced to pay for others that are here illegally. I have no problem with immigration: I have a huge problem with illegal immigration, though. Especially when the main purpose of it is to allow one political party to grow its base of people that vote instead of work for a living…

        1. So, if Alice wants to have people over, and Bob arbitrarily decides to force Charlie at gunpoint to give him money every time Alice invites a new guest over, you’re saying that Charlie should be mad at Alice?

          Cuz I’m pretty sure that anybody who isn’t an ethical retard can see that Bob is the criminal in the scenario, and Alice and Charlie are both the victims of a psychotic stalker.

          1. Nice strawman, but not applicable. I think that piece of 100 year or so old paper some white dudes with wigs wrote has something in it actually giving government, and specifically the executive, the right to control immigration. You know to make sure the people coming in are going to add to the nation and such.

            Your example would be better if you pointed out that Bob owned the home and had an agreement that people would clear with him whom got invited to move in, but Alice hoping to usurp the home from Bob, just kept inviting that would help her do just that in without clearing it with anyone else or following the established rules, forcing Bob to resort to whatever it takes to curtail that illegal activity.

            After all, we are not talking about the people that used the system in place to come over – and if we want to talk about how messed up the legal process is, I am your huckleberry for sure – but people that completely ignore it and come over anyway, and mostly for the free shit.

    6. My property isn’t ‘your country.’ If I want to hire a foreigner to work for me, or sell or rent my house to one, why do you think I should need your permission?

      1. You don’t. You do need that foreigner to follow the rules that will allow him to enter the country to do those things.

      2. You need permission because the voting taxpayers are funding the social welfare state that heavily supports the immigrant industry. You are not a sovereign citizen…you do not live in isolation of the State. In a representative Republic, the rest of us have a say in how that all works.

        If we want to go back to the days of support-yourself-or-starve, then yeah, sign me up for open borders.
        Do you realize that’s the way it was back in the times of early immigrant waves? That the government has always turned away people who were expected to be a burden on the nation?
        This is why all the statistics show that immigrants are a net-benefit to the economy. Because we used to turn away the lowest element.

  5. RE: Trump’s Dangerous Anti-Libertarian Nationalism
    Promises to cut domestic regulations or shake up the system do not a tolerable libertarian make. Trump is indeed a major threat to core libertarian values. Ask Ludwig Von Mises.

    We are not to question King Trump the Grump the First any more than we should have questioned King Obozo I. One can be assured the newly appointed king will lead us down the path to happiness and glory as he changes nothing and continues to keep all rules, regulations, laws, etc in tact to finally eliminate all vestiges of capitalism, political freedom, and financial success a thing of the past. It is the ruling elites who take the time and trouble to enslave us all, and we should all be grateful there is no real difference between the two ruling parties as they both strive and work diligently to keep the unenlightened masses in the lower pegs of our beloved socialist society. Questioning our obvious betters only opens the dangerous door of doubt which leads to counter-revolutionary thoughts and actions. Such sees of doubt must be strangled at birth if our ruling elites and their cronies are to enrich themselves on our dime and live happily ever after. After all, isn’t that what socialism is really about? Keeping the ruling elites in power and wealthy at our expense?

    1. All hail the God Emperor!

  6. “Trump is openly a type of illibertarian leader we haven’t seen in a while. ”

    At least he wants to cut taxes and regulations. Hillary and Barry and to an extent Bush didn’t want any of that. We get all the negative crap of trump with them plus more

    What planet are you living on Brian?

    This purity shit is why libertarians won’t go anywhere…and what “fighting” is being done.

      1. He has two cocks? That’s extra-phallusy!

      2. I’m pretty sure that only the French have decided that any combination of up to 6 vowels and 1 consonant can be ignored entirely. In every other language, “quoque” doesn’t share any phonemic similarity to “cock” beyond the initial [k].

    1. Was Obama worse than Trump from a libertarian perspective? Yes, but Obama was at least constrained by an unfriendly congress, a Republican Supreme Court, Republican control of most state legislatures, and his own passive nature. Trump is a far greater threat to American liberty than Obama not because Trump the man is worse than Obama the man, but because Trump so far seems to have fewer institutional constraints on what he can get away with. On the other hand his impatience and vanity may do him in yet, so there is that.

      1. What I liked about Hillary leaving her position as SOS was Obama at least could revert to his Dont Do Stupifd Shit mantra with foreign policy. Because with Libya, that’s what his administration did. But I was fine with him looking undecisive with respect to Syria rather than commit our forces to fighting Syria. And he cooled down the idiotic sabrerattling with Iran even if I have no doubt better deals can always be done knowing how government works.

  7. Is this a serious post or supposed to be hyperbole?

    “no matter what else he does, admires authoritarian strength, hates allowing people or companies to make their own choices about what to do with their money and property, and has chosen, of everyone in the world he could have chosen, as his ideological consigliere a man like Bannon willing to tear down the fragile but vital benefits of modern international civilization in pursuit of his mad, ugly dream.”

    jesus fucking christ did he nationalize all industry and allow no immigration.

    1. Actually Trump is unnationalizing the Health Insurance industry, and I’ve heard incredibly fabulous things about rumored picks for head of the FDA.

      1. Yea and the FCC, EPA has been a good pick, i like the DEPT

        These over the top criticisms and exaggerations such that one should be pure and fight on everything are counter productive

        Does anyone think they are going to convince someone who supports the min wage to not be for it by calling them some sort of fascist? I mean it may prop up one’s ego but it ain’t winning people over

      2. Actually Trump is unnationalizing the Health Insurance industry

        I will not hold my breath.

        1. Replace ensuing repeal equals more central planning cronyism.

          1. Not necessarily. if the replace is less than the current.

          2. My cynical hunch is that we will get TrumpCare, which is just a rebranded form of warmed-over ObamaCare.

            1. It’ll be great. Uuge! You’ll really like it. Your doctors. Kept. We’re going to make it happen.

              1. And it’s totally not ObamaCare with Trump’s name slapped on it. That’s fake news. SAD!

            2. I fear that as well. Trump doesn’t understand the value of free markets; most of his good choices I’m inclined to attribute in part at least to republican leadership whispering in his ear. His ego may compel him to make healthcare a big project/program like Obama just for the sake of his legacy.

    2. If i go blow money at the casino tonight is Brian saying trump hates that? He isn’t running on a centrally planned command economy like Venezuelaa

    3. Unmitigated hyperbole.

      “Is it just a sign of pants-wetting Trump Derangement Syndrome to call Trump the quintessential anti-libertarian?” Apparently one of the symptoms of TDS is the inability to detect when ones pants are wet.

      1. I’m going to go on the merit system with Trump. When he does something good (libertarianish) I’ll give him a gold star. When he fucks up, well…..it’s the paddle.

      2. Y’know, I used to think your position was unreasonable, but after the ten thousandth time you accused me of being “deranged” and “pants-wetting” for disagreeing with you, I’ve started to agree with you. Said no one ever.

    4. Define “nationalize”. Threatening companies that if they build factories in Mexico the government’s going to punish them is a little heavy-handed with the negotiating, and when you add that he’s slagging them for moving “American” jobs to Mexico, he certainly seems to be arguing that those jobs and that manufacture are not the company’s to be doing with as they see fit. If you trust that it’s just tough talk designed to keep companies investing in the US, that’s not nationalizing. But if you worry that it’s a sign that he really thinks American companies belong to America and maybe America should have a say in how they’re run, it’s not hard to see the seeds of nationalization.

      1. Jerry, I think we won’t see many signs of nationalization (socialism in a fairly pure form). What we’re likely to see is pressure applied by various government agencies – as directed by The Donald and his cronies – on businesses who don’t tow the lion.

        But how is this different from what Americans have faced since the Wilson administration? Fascism aims at controlling the means of production. One clear-eyed look at our current national situation should be all it takes to determine what’s happened to this country.

        Fascists don’t have to wear comic-opera uniforms and goose-step.

        1. The last 8 years sure showed that to be the case..

        2. That does it! I am never going to refer to “toeing the line” again! It’s lions all the way down!

      2. The Feds have always used extensive pressure to dictate what companies can or can’t do. Tax relief, kickbacks, low cost grants, are the carrot and investigation, fines, harassment are the stick.

        Remember Gibson Guitar?

        The only thing Trump is doing different than prior administrations is that he is used Federal power for the benefit of the State, rather than the benefit of individuals or special interest groups.

        Trump is nothing new, same as it ever was.

  8. Bannon believes American “civic society” necessarily excludes too many immigrants from Asia
    Brian, did you intend to write “includes” rather than “excludes” in this sentence, or am I misreading?

    From the article’s title embedded in the linked quote above: “Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon suggests having too many Asian tech CEOs undermines ‘civic society'”.

    1. I read that three times, then read the link.

      You’re right, he fucked that up, and probably meant “includes”

      What i think is funny is that the argument that “The Ethno-State-advocating white supremacist wants more Asian immigrants” didn’t actually seem especially crazy or poorly thought-out in the context of the larger piece. It was more like a ‘spicy unidentifiable crouton-thing’ in a mixed salad.

      1. Reading comprehension alert! Go back and try a few more times. Brian got it right. You’re letting the syntax of “necessarily excludes” confuse you. But it’s perfectly unambiguous, and correct.

  9. Free trade and free migration are, then, the core of the true classical liberal (libertarian) vision as it developed in America in the 20th century

    Great summary of libertarianism and why Trump isn’t one, but this seems like a perfectly pointless aside rather than a conclusion based on the summary presented. Slapping the word “free” in front of something doesn’t make the item in question about libertarian freedom; free migration as a concept should itself heavily restricted at a minimum by private property concerns and at a maximum by public interests as managed by government — any of the positions in between could plausibly be argued on libertarian grounds. Free trade is on safer ground, but since when has a “free trade” agreement this side of Coolidge been anything other than a morass of managed trade concessions to smooth the wheels of trade between the managed economies? Maybe these deals are better than nothing, but they sure as hell aren’t free trade or anything besides rules which restrain our economy in return for access to foreign markets.

    1. well said.

      i was going to pen some brief thing (or try) pointing out that, “unless you’ve established the basic ‘ground rules’ of classical liberalism ..”

      (namely, the relationship of citizen to government, and the relationship of citizen to fellow citizen, based on respect for property and inviolable individual rights)

      … “that the mere ‘national policies‘ of “More Foreign Trade” and “encouraging more foreign migration” …. are actually pretty meaningless in context, and aren’t by-themselves indicative of “liberty”.

      Basically, unless you’ve sorted that ‘core stuff’ first, that the rest is just putting window-dressing on a facade.

      But then i decided it would be wasted effort. But i appreciate your comments, TiT; you seem to cut to the quick very easily.

    2. It’s absolutely collectivist ? and therefore invalid in the context of individual rights ? to assert that “free migration” must be “heavily restricted at a minimum by private property concerns”.

      Nonsense. No right of yours is being violated by my inviting guests. Contrarily, your “heavy restrictions” infringe upon my right to invite guests onto my property.

      To even challenge this contention is to demonstrate that you don’t have even a basic understanding of rights theory, and instead associate “right” with “getting my way in a political disagreement”, regardless of whether you rights are actually implicated.

  10. Well, now having read the whole article, I do think it was a little over the top in its criticism of Trump.

    Personally I don’t think Trump is smart enough to be some sort of proto-fascist. I think he just has vague ideas about “making America great again” by strengthening businesses, sealing the borders, and reducing government. The first one is cronyism more often than not, the second one is protectionism, and the third one *may* be libertarian depending on the situation, but if he truly does end up shrinking government, it will be in the service of economic growth, not in the service of economic liberty.

    Mainly I think the biggest fear from Trump is that he will empower the police state even more on an effort to catch the “bad hombres”, but any Republican president would have done much the same thing (and probably Democrat too), so it wouldn’t have been especially worse under Trump; and that he wrecks our standing in terms of global trade that it hampers any potential economic growth that we might get from deregulation, so we get just four more years of pitiful stagnation. But I don’t think he’s going to open up the camps or start leading parades of alt-right racists down Pennsylvania Avenue.

    1. Yea this is my complaint with the article as well. It acts like he is some dictator who just nationalized all industry and completely locked us in while he personally pillages the bank accounts.

      1. So…you’re saying he’s no FDR?

        1. Lol That is exactly what i am saying.

          Trump

        2. Well that much is a relief.

    2. Mainly I think the biggest fear from Trump is that he will empower the police state even more on an effort to catch the “bad hombres”

      Police power probably is where we will pay the biggest price for Trump. Civil Asset Forfeiture, Drug War, Surveillance.

      1. Police power probably is where we will pay the biggest price for Trump. Civil Asset Forfeiture, Drug War, Surveillance.

        Sadly I think that is true. But I also think it would have been the same result regardless of who won.

        1. This. I really don’t understand at least on taxes and regs, energy, education he is better than the alternative

          Hillary would have given us all his negative qualities except for the waste of a wall* and tariff perhaps (though she would have likely as they love them some taxes or it would be on carbon)

          *People say the wall won’t due much and i agree with that…but then turn around and say it is a threat to immigration and free flow. Which is it? pick one

        2. As he noted, what it might have been with some other parasite is not the issue – we have to deal with this carnival barking crony capitalist authoritarian asset forfeiture fellating clown.

          1. That’s fine but acting like he is different than what we had before is a little silly. The US has not been a libertarian nation for some time.

            1. It never has been.

              1. So im not sure why the article acts like we should completely resist him. There are some things that are clearly better.

                Pick and choose is preferable to all or nothing

      2. My biggest fear is trade. Having lived in Brazil for a number of years, I can tell you that Trump will have to cut a hell of a lot of taxes and regs. to make up for the damage he’ll do if he goes through with a 35% tax on imports.

    3. It was laser sharp and accurate. In fact, it was superb.

      1. “laser sharp?”

        tell me in one sentence what “Trumpism” is.

    4. Well, now having read the whole article,

      I also read the entire article (and took advantage of some of the links Brian provided us), chemjeff.

      Although I dislike Brian’s use of “Trumpism” and like words, I thought the article was well worth reading.

      Likewise some of the material available through the links Brian provided, which is where I obtained the following quote: “It is the aim of nationalism to promote the well-being of the whole nation or of some groups of its citizens by inflicting harm on foreigners. The outstanding method of modern nationalism is discrimination against foreigners in the economic sphere. Foreign goods are excluded from the domestic market or admitted only after the payment of an import duty. Foreign labor is barred from competition in the domestic labor market. Foreign capital is liable to confiscation. This economic nationalism must result in war whenever those injured believe that they are strong enough to brush away by armed violent action the measures detrimental to their own welfare.”

  11. That said, given his influence on nearly every thinker or institution that comprised modern American libertarianism from World War II to the dawn of the 21st century, Ludwig Von Mises, the Austrian emigre economist and social philosopher, can be relied on to reveal what is core about modern American libertarianism.

    I’ll take both Milton Friedman and Charles Murray to reveal what is “core about modern American libertarianism”. Both are against Open Borders. The only one of these fellows still alive is Murray.

    1. If we want to talk about “modern American libertarianism”, Murray has the best claim, and he is more immigration restrictionist than Trump.

      Charles Murray on Immigration

      For all his ranting about Trump, Charles Murray may be to the right of Ann Coulter on immigration.

      4. Immigration reform must begin first with enforcement of existing immigration law. If it takes a wall, so be it.
      5. And while I’m at it, I’ll mention that English should be the only language in which public school classes are taught

      But Milton Friedman was right: You can’t have both open immigration and a welfare state.

      I would get rid of reuniting-families provisions,
      get rid of the you’re-a-citizen-if-you’re-born-here rule,
      and make immigrants ineligible for all benefits and social services except public education for their children.
      Everybody who immigrates has to be on a citizenship track (no guest workers). And I would endorse a literacy requirement.

      But, to go back to basics: None of this works unless illegal immigration is effectively ended.

      1. Charles Murray? That dude is a bigot and I would not call him a libertarian. Here, for example, is what he says about women:

        Murray didn’t limit his views to race. In response to Summers’s comments about women in science, Murray published a paper in 2005 titled “Where are the female Einsteins?” The name is migraine-inducing enough, but if you read on, he writes, “No woman has been a significant original thinker in any of the world’s great philosophical traditions.” He added that there have been only two great female mathematicians, and even fewer female visual artists and composers. In an attempt to temper his words, he adds, “the pattern of [female] accomplishment that did break through is strikingly consistent with what we know about the respective strengths of male and female cognitive repertoires.”

        Christ, what an asshole.

        As for Milton Friedman, he actually favored illegal immigration over legal immigration.

        1. But what if it’s true? He’s a bigot only if he decided in advance, not if that was his conclusion from observ’ns.

          1. I’m sure his views had no influence on his conclusions, just like progressives never let their ideology interfere with their research.

            No, seriously, why are people still fluffing this hack?

            1. Given his history, it’s manifest that he was no bigot, unless he was just posturing in the early part of his career.

      2. no guest workers?
        You’re a fkn idiot.

      3. “English only in our schools!” is probably the least Libertarian position imaginable. Also the most pointless since economic incentives are encouraging most of the world to speak English voluntarily. Koreans and Chinese already do business with each other in English, so do Poles and Russians. Carrots work better than sticks.

    2. Meh, Friedman, as far as I’ve read and seen, made one off the cuff statement on immigrants and welfare. I’m guessing he was way more open to immigration than 75% of the commentariat.

      1. Was he talking about legal immigration, or just downright open border? The need to conflate those that come here illegally, too often now just to get on the dole, with legal immigration tells me a lot about those making an argument against having some control of whom and why they come here. Immigration made this country. We got people that fled shitty countries to come here and pursue the American dream. Unfortunately for us, illegal immigration and the multi-culti horde might be its undoing, as the illegals, despite all the argument to the contrary, seem to mostly come now for free shit. Don’t we have enough home-grown idiots that think like that already?

  12. I think hyperbole trying to sell it as serious is counter productive.

  13. Is it just a sign of pants-wetting Trump Derangement Syndrome to call Trump the quintessential anti-libertarian

    Yes. Trump isn’t the most anti-libertarian politician to have been running for President, much less the most anti-libertarian force in American politics today or even within his own party. Hell, just look at the rest of the world and tell me Trump is the “quintessential anti-libertarian”. This is nothing more than fashionable blather. The man is crass and not particularly academic or up-to-date in the new batch of social views, this is neither distressing nor particularly anti-libertarian. There are un-libertarian things about Trump’s presidency and there will be many more, but the idea that he should be libertarianism’s Emmanuel Goldstein is completely absurd.

    1. the idea that he should be libertarianism’s Emmanuel Goldstein is completely absurd.

      “aw, but we *wanted* one for sooooooooooooooo long. please?”

      *side note =

      you know what’s sort of interesting? is that the “libertarian moment” argument – the proposition that ‘all other ideas have been tried’ and that we’re now clearly moving inexorably towards a more-libertarian future? ….

      (*which naturally means you should donate to libertarian publications! because these people are the Thought Leaders of the New Age of prosperity and…)

      … seems to have been quietly shelved at an editorial round-table, in favor of HOLY SHIT OMG ITS THE ANTI-LIBERTARIAN APOCOLYPSE QUICK PEOPLE DONATE BEFORE WE’RE ALL THROWN IN THE RE-EDUCATION CAMPS

      And I imagine one person in the room asked, “… do you think maybe readers will notice the shift in tone?” and was quickly silenced with a glare. *you’re not paid enough to start thinking now*

  14. From the Buzzfeed article’s transcript of Steve Bannon’s speech:

    The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I’m a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that’s a very big part of the conservative movement ? whether it’s the UKIP movement in England, it’s many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States.

    However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the “enlightened capitalism” of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost ? as many of the precepts of Marx ? and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they’re really finding quite attractive. And if they don’t see another alternative, it’s going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of “personal freedom.”

    I love how he put personal freedom in scarequotes.

    1. It is doubtful he read Rand, but if he did, he must have read the version of “Atlas Shrugged” where the Taggart workers hate Dagny and the Rearden Steel workers hate Hank.

      1. To be fair, that version is more realistic than the one Rand produced.

    2. I believe this is a transcription of a speech so the scare quotes may have been added by Buzzfeed or the transcriber.

      1. i think he was being facetious

      2. iow, that was his point

      3. May be he actually made the Chris Farley quote gestures as he said it.

    3. hmm, maybe one day Bannon will actually read Ayn Rand.

      1. Everybody quotes Ayn Rand. Nobody reads her.

  15. Bannon believes American “civic society” necessarily excludes too many immigrants from Asia

    No clue who this person is, but is he necessarily *wrong* about this?

    And if he is, what’s the problem with pointing out *why* he’s wrong, instead of having to slap on some outrage at his mentioning the possibility that American civic society comes apart with a large enough number of people who are only here to work?

    Because while I have no idea whether I agree with his point of view, it’s definitely not ridiculous on its face.

  16. Free trade and free migration are, then, the core of the true classical liberal (libertarian) vision as it developed in America in the 20th century: if you don’t understand and embrace them, you don’t understand liberty, and you are not trying to further it.

    Yes, they are: between libertarians and libertarian countries.

    However, the US is not a libertarian nation, it is a massive progressive social welfare democracy with high taxes, a strong social safety net, and restrictions on guns, private property, and freedom of association. And most of the rest of the world is dominated by semi-literate, unskilled socialists, fascists, theocrats, and totalitarians.

    Opening the borders to the US in order to let in massive numbers of semi-literate unskilled socialists isn’t “libertarian” it is stupid and self-destructive. That wouldn’t turn the US into libertopia, it would turn it into Venezuela.

    And nobody can be so stupid to pretend that they don’t realize that, so people who try to justify open borders for the US based on libertarian principles under the current conditions aren’t libertarians, they are frauds, or Democrats, which amounts to the same thing.

    1. Open borders is the hill to die on and will advance libertarianism in the US and the West. Why is that? The fuck if I know but it is apparently a truism.

    2. Yea this is what i don’t understand about the article. He acts like Trump is totally a new thing which is a threat to the economic freedom which he isn’t BECAUSE WE ALREADY have what the article was complaining about. The US loves crony capitalism and protectionism and high regulations.

      If anything trump is a slight plus from the baseline on taxes, regulations, energy and education

    3. No welfare, no problemo, mi amigo.

      What is fraudulent is the proposition that by resorting to a centralized planning model with regard to the movement of people and commerce, we will have more liberty, peace, and prosperity.

      That is the ultimate utopian non-sense.

      1. No welfare, no problemo, mi amigo.

        You eager to vote on the proper method of execution for Islamic apostates with 100million Pakistanis?

        The vote is a much bigger issue than welfare benefits. Immigrants skew big government, by a wide margin.

        1. yea you bring up an interesting point. Is it libertarian to allow people to embrace big government…protectionism and borders to enforce that upon libertarians. do you allow them the freedom initially to do this?

          it seems like pure utopian hogwash

          1. Is it libertarian to allow people to embrace big government

            Sure it is… for themselves.

            1. But how does one prevent them from embracing it for you since the purpose of big government is to do it to others.

              I think people are all pretty much libertarians when it comes to themselves….others not so much.

              1. Well, you can’t stop people from enslaving themselves. So they are going to do it regardless. The best you can do is to stop them from enslaving you.

        2. Voting? Like Mencken said, its an advance auction of stolen goods.

          1. Whoa, don’t say that around here. People will go into anaphylactic shock.

        3. You’re logic is basically circular. One of the big reasons immigrants vote for Democrats is because the other party is hellbent on keeping them out. Otherwise a working, taxpaying immigrant would likely prefer to vote for the party that wants lower taxes and fewer regulations.

          And you keep harping on Muslims, yet fail to see how absurd your reasoning is. Does the democratic platform strike you as compatible with conservative Islam? If Muslims voted their ideology they’d more likely vote for the pro life, family values, traditional Conservative party. Instead they line up with the worst of the heathens and vote their interests. That itself puts a big hole in your theory that they’re using the vote to impose their ideology on us.

          1. “The people we’re using as scapegoats don’t wanna support us? I told you they were no good!”

            (See also Brexit, the 2016 election, and/or GamerGate.)

      2. What is fraudulent is the proposition that by resorting to a centralized planning model with regard to the movement of people and commerce, we will have more liberty, peace, and prosperity.

        We live in a progressive welfare state. If you let in low-skill, low-income workers from all across the globe, existing US citizens have to pay for their education, training, and benefits. For example, each Mexican migrant family already costs US tax payers thousands of dollars per year (effectively, a subsidy of the agricultural industry). And the US government currently extracts the money for that by force from citizens.

        So, what is fraudulent is the proposition that opening borders increases my liberty, when, in fact, it sharply decreases my liberty by costing me more in taxes and safety.

    4. And nobody can be so stupid to pretend that they don’t realize that, so people who try to justify open borders for the US based on libertarian principles under the current conditions aren’t libertarians, they are frauds, or Democrats, which amounts to the same thing.

      The Conservatives have their Cuckservatives .
      The Libertarians have their Cucktarians.

      The same problem with both. “Muh principles” as out of context absolutes that betray their principles.

      The Cuckservatives are all for Rule of Law. And that is dandy. But one of the unstated premises of Rule of Law is *reciprocity*.

      One way cease fire is suicide
      One way rule of law is subjection
      One way civility is submission

      Does the Left observe rule of law, of even civility? No.
      But the Cuckservatives abide by non-reciprocal cease fires, and so conserve nothing, betraying their purported principles.

      Libertarians are for liberty. Hey, let’s extend that to immigrants! And that’s fine and dandy in a context where the US is overwhelmingly libertarian, and the immigrants won’t change that, and will assimilate to libertarian principles.

      US libertarians: We believe in freedom! We won’t impede an immigrants’s freedom of movement!
      Immigrants: Great! Now give me welfare! And shut up, because your speech offends me!

      Like the Cuckservatives, the Cucktarians devotion to their principles as out of context absolutes betrays those principles.

      That is why they are called Cucks.

      1. So what is your solution? Abandon one’s principles in order to save them? I think W. had something to say along those lines…

        1. The solution is to apply your principles in their full and proper context.

      2. Like the Cuckservatives, the Cucktarians devotion to their principles as out of context absolutes betrays those principles.

        That is why they are called Cucks.

        It’s actually much simpler than that. You call them cucks because you’re a moron who thinks he’s being clever.

        1. Seriously, his dick is huge and every woman that sees it lusts after him. Just ask him.

          H&R was better when Herc was here with his walls of text.

      3. Tiresome neo-con utbagger is tiresome.
        BabyDavis, stick to the Federalist.
        How did Reason get infected with all the contards?

      4. Tiresome neo-con utbagger is tiresome.
        BabyDavis, stick to the Federalist.
        How did Reason get infected with all the contards?

      5. Tiresome neo-con utbagger is tiresome.
        BabyDavis, stick to the Federalist.
        How did Reason get infected with all the contards?

        1. The squirrels are in on it, apparently.

      6. You don’t have principles. You think the whole country is is collectively owned by the People, or some bullshit. You’re a collectivist though, that much is clear. I guess that makes you alpha.

        1. They’re just progs in different clothing who are fine with Big Government crushing whoever it pleases, as long as it’s nobody they know.

          But everybody who disagrees either isn’t a “pure” libertarian, or is too “purist” and impractical, depending on what the voices in their head are mumbling at the moment.

          Also, anybody who betrays the slightest emotion in arguing with them is hysterical and the rest are autistic.

      7. “Cuckotarians” is preferred.

        The “alt-center-right” is also acceptable

  17. Impressive piece, and all too accurate.

    1. Way to go Alan. I agree.

      1. all we need now is the consensus of White Indian and it will be a Trifecta

  18. The Trump administration may not in every specific policy area do the wrong thing in libertarian terms. But whatever it gets right is more an epiphenomenon of certain alliances within the Republican Party power structure

    Trump didn’t claim to run as a libertarian, he ran as a conservative and a nationalist. So, what he is doing isn’t an “accident”. However, even accidentally, Trump is doing a shitload more for libertarian causes than faux-libertarians like you.

    1. This. And he actually has influence to get things done instead of people being pure to fight by posting articles that he won’t know exists

  19. LOL – what a load of pants-shitting nonsense. As a libertarian who supported Trump I am completely thrilled by how well things have turned out – much better than I expected. For example – he nominated Gorsuch who is poised to be accepted (great libertarian pick) and then he appointed people to federal agencies who will likely shrink them (e.g. De Vos and Rick Perry) and at the same same shows the lib/dems that if they don’t like who was picked – well this undermines their unlimited faith in government. In other words – it makes them consider libertarianism because they see how easily government power can be abused. And they think, “Why should I send money to the feds when they will use it to teach my children creationism, and refuse to help my ‘sanctuary city'”. Trump is great for libertarians, and I for one couldn’t be more satisfied.

    1. +1 good post. More of this and less of your standard crap would be great, dajjal

  20. Free trade and free migration are, then, the core of the true classical liberal (libertarian) vision as it developed in America in the 20th century

    Wikileaks exposed that in a private, paid speech to a Brazilian bank on May 16, 2013, Clinton said: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders”

    Apparently Hillary has the core of the true classical liberal (libertarian) vision. Now that she has so much free time, maybe Reason will hire her as a staff writer.

    1. “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders”

      That would be great. Provided, it was without all of the prog bullshit that accompanied Hillary.

      1. Another endorsement for Hillary from the Open Borders Uber Alles crowd!

        1. Did I say I endorsed Hillary? I specifically said “without all of the Hillary prog bullshit”.

          There are some people on the right who believe that Hillary is 100% evil and that every word that exited her mouth was pure evil that must be resisted. Are you that knee-jerk?

          1. True. Even Hitler was kind to animals and had an appreciation for art.

            1. Even Hitler was kind to animals and had an appreciation for art.

              G?ring outdistanced the F?hrer in both areas.

              1. Did he? Not surprising, he was also the better WWI war hero too. He was even a poster boy for armed services recruitment in Germany at one point.

        2. Another endorsement for Hillary from the Open Borders Uber Alles crowd!

          Another witty comeback from a guy with reading comprehension problems.

  21. Trump helped our country re-discover ourselves. We learned we are resilient and resourceful and not dependent on a central government to protect and defend us. He discredited our intel agencies, who are responsible for a lot of the messes around the world. Who’s going to believe them the next time they say, “We caught an ISIS guy trying to infiltrate the terror stream.” I mean seriously. And best of all, he put the fear of god into progressives whose only concerns were raising the minwage and ‘debt free’ college. Seriously at this point they’ll be happy if Trump doesn’t pick Peter Thiel for the Supreme Court. It was a huge re-setting of expectations. And great for libertarianism. I think we should all be thrilled.

  22. There is an upside to Trump’s nationalism.

    Maybe the best way to illustrate that is by looking at him in contrast to Obama. Obama inherited two pending trade deals (with South Korea and Colombia), and he renegotiated both so that they were favored by the UAW–rather than American consumers at large. The purpose of Obama’s deal with Iran was not to advance America’s security interests; it was to tie the hands of future administrations in dealing with Iran as a threat. When Obama agreed to resettle refugees in the U.S. by the thousands (some that Australia had rejected), the best interests of the United States was the last thing on his mind. Obama did that for the benefit of the refugees themselves–not for the benefit of the U.S.

    Bush had a problem with this, too. I was so sick of seeing necons advocate the interests of the average Iraqi as if that justified squandering trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives.

    In Obama’s mind, letting the costs and benefits to the United States drive policy was racist and selfish–a temptation to be resisted. Before we can argue with a president about what’s in the best interests of the U.S., we need a president that cares about what’s in the best interest of the U.S.

    Trump seems to have his head screwed on right–in that one way–at least. I disagree with Trump about what is in the best interests of the U.S. on trade, for instance, but I do think he’s at least pursuing what he believes to be in America’s interests.

  23. Jihn Bolton. No.

    http://hotair.com/archives/201…..y-advisor/

    1. It sounds like Kellogg is the main guy

      1. Don’t know anything about his ideology but he’s definately qualified. Has to be better than Bolton.

  24. If a guy punches you in the face and serendipitously knocks out that achy tooth you were going to the dentist to see about having pulled, do you owe him a thank you for the punch? Trump may accidentally do things of a libertarian nature, but the fact that they’re accidental rather than the result of any core set of principles should make you a little restrained in heaping praise on the guy. Are his policies and pronouncements – as far as anybody can tell what the hell he’s talking about – better than Obama or Hillary or just about any other politician you can name? Sure, in some cases. But that’s the thing about ad hoc decision-making, you can’t depend on the guy sticking to any decision as a matter of principle and just because he says X about Y doesn’t give you a clue as to where he might stand on Z.

    Sure, there’s an argument to be made that libertarians are just going to have to settle for what they can get in the way of libertarianish policies, accept that most people reject libertarianism and Trump may be as good as it gets, but you’re probably asking too much to expect hard-core Libertarians to make that argument. Besides which, what’s wrong with asking for it all in the hopes you’ll get a little? Slide that Overton Window as far as you can, make libertarian ideas at least a part of the discussion. Tell Trump half a loaf ain’t good enough, he’ll understand the negotiating position.

    1. If a guy punches you in the face and serendipitously knocks out that achy tooth you were going to the dentist to see about having pulled, do you owe him a thank you for the punch?

      That depends. Are we referring to John here? If so, then yes.

    2. The problem is in your latter part of second paragraphs in order to shift it…it has to be baby steps. Going for all is not going to get you anywhere

      Get men on base instead of trying to swing for the fences.

      We aren’t getting any remotely pure libertarians any time soon and anyone that runs on it is dead in the water.

      1. Get men on base instead of trying to swing for the fences.

        Well okay. But with Trump it’s more like “bunting with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth in a tied game with a runner on third base”. The odds aren’t really good. It MAY work out. But there’s lots of ways it won’t work.

        1. So is whining and complaining that someone isnt pure which doesnt go anywhere preferable?

        2. How would you suggest trump be fought or whoever it is to bring more libertarian?

          In reason articles arent going to make a difference. Interesting discussion though

          1. Well, you have people like Rand Paul in there who are going to be promoting liberty-enhancing ideas, and are of the “correct tribe” that Trump might actually listen to them.

            1. Well ya and he should work on things agree with. Not go full oppo like others want

    3. “If a guy punches you in the face and serendipitously knocks out that achy tooth you were going to the dentist to see about having pulled, do you owe him a thank you for the punch? Trump may accidentally do things of a libertarian nature, but the fact that they’re accidental rather than the result of any core set of principles should make you a little restrained in heaping praise on the guy”

      Yeah……that’s the same. *Sigh*……….

  25. Trump promised to ‘drain the swamp’ and he was elected because he’s not ‘beholden to special interests’. Yet now he is getting whipped by the media and the judiciary and has appointed billionaire Jews to top finance posts. His followers got cucked hard. They were deeply betrayed. Who’s going to believe the next guy who says, “Only I can fix it”? He inoculated the country to fascist appeals. It’s all very funny and ironic. I can only laugh. There, there my sweet and clever little anarch0-frankentrumpkencucks.

    #NoBanNoWall
    #FreeAddictionMyth

  26. In my opinion everyone is a libertarian when it comes to themselves (for most part and their life) but they don’t want it to be for others which is the problem.

    I think it was Henry Hazellet in the econ in 1 lesson that reinforced this point. When a business raises prices, the people who run it know why they did due to legit means. But the problem is another business does, they assume cause it must be greed.

  27. Nationalism?? I call it self defense as the guy has incoming from all sides. Regarding White Libertarians, remember it is okay to punch you now, well and Nazis. If you don’t agree with the left you are a Nazi, making White Libertarian males double Nazis.

    Trump was and is better than Queen Hillary who is a statist in every sense of the word. Trump has done more for the press in waking them up to their duties as watchdog though some view their job as attack dogs. He is not libertarian, then again he is not Hitler either. You wouldn’t know that from the reaction to the press.

  28. Trump is not a libertarian. Yeah, he never claimed to be one. But he does support things libertarians support. And not being a libertarian, he supports things libertarians oppose. The question is which things are more important? The good things he supports or the bad things?

    Doherty answers this question honestly and says that open borders is more important than anything Trump could possibly do about the regulatory state. If give a choice between having open border and an oppressive regulatory state or closed borders and a more humane regulatory state, Doherty would take the open borders.

    There is really nothing else to say. Its up to the reader to judge whether they would make the same choice. But, for Doherty at least, Libertarianism being about ass sex, pot and Mexicans, is not just a catchy slogan.

    1. Trump is not a libertarian. Yeah, he never claimed to be one. But he does support things libertarians support.

      Yes, that is true. But you could say the exact same thing about Clinton. Actually, you could say the exact same thing about any politician. I doubt you could find one that is actually 100% against libertarian ideas. That is not to say that libertarians should throw their lot in with any ol’ politician who sings a good libertarian song from time to time.

      1. But same could be said not to just resist and work with because they arent pure

        1. I’m not saying to #RESIST Trump. That is foolish. Sure, support what he does that ends up being accidentally libertarian. But I would say the same thing about Clinton or anyone else. To some around here however that would be an unforgivable sin.

      2. No shit. Whether you tolerate said politician is a question of how much you value the good things they do. That is my point. Do me a favor and post somewhere else. You really have nothing to say and barely grasp the concept of what I am talking about.

        1. Fuck off, John. I don’t even know why you bother posting here other than to just stir up shit. This place isn’t just another right-wing website you know.

          1. I post here because I have this odd fascination with utterly stupid like you. There, you got me. I admit it.

            1. What, did Breitbart ban you because you failed to give the correct #MAGA salute?

              1. You seem to be very familiar with Breitbart. Was that where they sent you to troll before this?

            2. John has dedicated his life to fighting and dying for us idiots. Thanks, John! We are all very greatful for your sacrifice.

          2. Actually Jeff, some of us like John’s posts and agree with a lot of what he says. So just chill, m’kay?

            1. Lol.

    2. Sadly there wasn’t a libertarian running for President in the last election and we had to choose from Trump, Clinton, Johnson and Stein (and some other even odder balls).

  29. The American people don’t want free healthcare and housing and ‘debt free’ college even if a few people cheer madly for them at rallies. Obama thought he could preserve his legacy – however he completely misunderstood the nature of the people. We want to work for what we have. If Hillary was elected we would only have postponed the inevitable debt implosion along with a Bolshevik gulag of untold proportions. Everyone would be snowflakes dying of mental illness and addiction all around us. Trump showed we’re resilient and resourceful and can take a nasty insult and even vicious threats and survive. It’s all very good and healthy. I couldn’t be more proud of my fellow Americans and the founders of our country!

  30. The other thing Doherty doesn’t mention is that this evil nationalism is not just an alternative to open borders, it is also an alternative to America world police. Nationalism for Trump means acting in what he feels are the best interests of the people who elected him. The nerve of that guy. That means not feeling obligated to open the borders, but it also means not buying into the Wilsonian bullshit that it is America’s duty to fight every battle and ensure the world is a peaceful and safe place. You would think someone who has objected to interventionism would see that as a much needed change. But Doherty doesn’t because he is by his own admission a single issue open borders guy.

    1. If by ‘nationalism’ you mean bombing foreign countries and then banning their refugees, Trump proved that Americans will not stand for it. Again, I couldn’t be more proud of my country.

      1. Trump hasn’t bombed anyone that Obama wasn’t already bombing.

        Go back to using your Chemjeff franchise. Its less annoying.

        1. Wait, you think I am dajjal/AddictionMyth? HAHAHA

          Believe it or not, you irritate many different people

            1. For the record, I am not a dajjal sock.

              But I do have many nice socks in my drawer.

              1. Ugh – another one gone rogue. And here I was hoping for a quiet weekend.

          1. Believe it or not, you irritate many different people

            That was hilarious.

          2. You are all the same person.

            1. No, John, we are all Tulpa

              1. Everyone is Tulpa. Many don’t even know they are Tulpa. But they are.

                1. Every. Singal. One.

                  1. JFC *Single

                    1. Even the squirrels are Tulpa.

    2. The legitimate purpose of a libertarian government is to protect our rights.

      The legitimate purpose of a libertarian foreign policy is not to squander the taxpayer’s future earnings and patriotic kids on Iraq to make democracy grow–for the benefit of the Iraqis.

      The legitimate purpose of a libertarian foreign policy is not to combat climate change, make it easier for Iran to play with nuclear energy, or to provide asylum seekers everywhere with a place to run.

      The legitimate purpose of a libertarian foreign policy is to protect our rights from foreign threats–for the benefit of Americans–and Trump’s foreign policy seems to closer to that than any other president’s has over the last 16 years.

      1. See? Ken gets it.

      2. Do you know what Trump’s foreign policy is? Because apparently Tillerson, Pence and Nikki Haley don’t. They seem to think Dubya is still President. Maybe you could tell them. If it is libertarian to send lots of conflicting messages to people so that nothing actually gets done, than maybe Trump is onto something.

  31. The best thing about Trump is that his debacle will be an inspiration for other countries around the world to depose their own dictators.

  32. See Proggies, see, us libertarians hate Trump soooo much, don’t you love us now…..

    1. Please, please invite me to the cocktail parties!

    2. Please, please invite me to the cocktail parties!

    3. I find it hilarious (and a bit annoying) that you morons need to believe that everyone secretly agrees with you, but they are too weak to admit it in public.

  33. From the start of his career to the end he identified free trade and free migration in a regime of legal respect for individual private property as the core of a free society.

    Tell that to Murray Rothbard.

  34. My darling anarch0-frankentrumpkencucks – tell us how it feels to die for the sins of the people who fail to appreciate your righteousness:

  35. The signs that the world is ending soon are now too-obvious to ignore.

    I think a nuclear war would be a reasonable alternative. I mean, it couldn’t be worse.

  36. So this is what dregs look like.

      1. I love Steve Morse.

    1. This place is nearly as sad as a shitty web 1.0 BBS where the same 4 people post in 14 year old threads about how Red State ruined their sekret club.

    2. Nah. This is just transitional, like the Bob Welch period of Fleetwood Mac. Granted, the people who took their toys and went home are no Peter Green. But, mark my words, Lindsey Buckingham is coming!

      Me, I’m going to a cocktail party.

      1. And there was Christine McVie all along. Waiting for Stevie.

    3. Isn’t that what Postrel said?

  37. That we should be free to do what we want with ourselves, and with our justly owned property, is the core of libertarianism.

    It’s hard to imagine someone who endorses hate crimes penalties, hate speech penalties, compulsory public accommodation, protected class legislation, welfare transfer payments, and publicly-financed immigrant resettlement and maintenance – and who praised the efforts of the previous administration in utilizing MORE collective force to accomplish those policy goals – actually saying this with a straight face.

    1. Free trade and free migration are, then, the core of the true classical liberal (libertarian) vision as it developed in America in the 20th century

      Ahh, now that’s more like it. Nevermind conflating “classical liberal” and libertarian when “classical liberal” refers to 18th century Enlightenment mercantilists many of whom still supported a monarchy. “[B]e[ing] free to do what we want with ourselves, and with our justly owned property” isn’t actually the core of libertarianism as previously stated. It actually all comes down – the whole ideological ball of wax mind you – to using coercively-obtained public funds to transport, resettle and maintain brown people from failed states in the middle east and ensuring they can use their transfer payments to purchase cheap hijabs sewn in Vietnam. Failure to do so is the quintessential antithesis of libertarianism.

    2. Gary Johnson, for example, is a real libertarian despite demanding new taxes, new regulations, new restrictions on the use of private property, expansion of American military power overseas, banning religious clothing and using threat of life, limb and property to prevent private citizens and businesses from discriminating, because he still believes in the true core of libertarianism – unrestricted free migration (at public expense). Milton Friedman and Murray Rothbard, on the other hand, could not have been real libertarians. In fact, they represented the quintissential antithesis of libertarianism. Sure, they believed in non-aggression and called for the abolishment of regulations, taxes and compulsory do-goodism. But they each expressed reservations about unrestricted free migration (at public expense). Sorry boys. If you ain’t with us you’s agin us.

    3. I figured since it’s been a week since my dramatic departure maybe I’d stop back in with a cooler head and give it another go like I usually do. But I’m 100% completely done now. Phoney ass pseudo-libertarians who reject categorically the NAP and employ as a senior analyst someone who expressly called for violence against inflammatory speech playing No True Scotsman against anyone who doesn’t share the delusion that admitting 50,000 Muslim refugees per year instead of 110,000 Muslim refugees per year is literally the end of capitalism and Western civilization is just a little too precious. You can get this same level of self righteous moral preening at Bleeding Heart Libertarians, only from qualified policy experts whose intelligence can almost justify their arrogance.

      1. Well, at least you can be satisfied that you’ve had the last word now. Bye!

      2. You can get this same level of self righteous moral preening at Bleeding Heart Libertarians

        Doherty does. Read his BLH/Steven Horowitz link.

      3. Last week you wrote a long essay about why you are leaving. Back so soon?

  38. To a certain extent, the problem with free trade and open borders is that it really only works when you have a homogenous society and laws everywhere

    If country X has no environmental regulations or safety laws for workers, then it’s going to be able to produce goods cheaper than country Y that has them.

    Yes, country Y can buy cheaper goods from country X which on the surface is a good thing. But that that produce goods will be out of jobs and thus can’t benefit from those cheaper goods.

    Theoretically, those displaced workers should move to country X and work for less money and in less safe conditions, but the reality is they will stay in country Y and just go on welfare. Or turn to crime. So while goods might be cheaper, in reality, people are paying for it in other ways – taxes and crimes.

    And that doesn’t even go into culture or language.

    If it were just a matter of a given place specializing the manufacture of a certain type of good and thus being more efficient. , then I would agree. But the reality is that there are many constraints placed on business by the government

    1. Eliminating jobs with automation and more efficient distribution networks has the same impact on existing workers as moving jobs overseas.

      It would be absurd to say that we should restrict efficiency improvements and automation so that people could keep their jobs, so it’s equally absurd to say that we should restrict trade for that purpose.

      Creative destruction is a thing. If your job moves overseas or is otherwise eliminated, find a new line of work. The money the economy is saving on what you used to do will be spent on something else.

    2. The exception I would admit would be that we need to make sure that domestic industries necessary to our national security do not go under. This isn’t a flaw in free trade in general, just a nod to the fact that the threat of coercion is all over the place in the international market. The presence of coercion mucks up libertarian theory.

  39. It’s funny, I remember Reason (and Brian Doherty in particular) telling me pretty urgently that I should stop being a libertarian purist and vote for Gary Johnson already, despite many decidedly unlibertarian positions. Positions that, unlike immigration, all libertarians would agree he was wrong on.

    But now we’re back to insisting on a seamless garment of liberty before we praise someone. Whatevs.

    1. I don’t think it’s fair to compare a pre-election endorsement with post-election criticism. Criticism of the guy actually in power is different than advocating for a lesser evil.

      1. Come on. Either the positions were worthy of criticism both before and after the election or they are not at either time. Don’t give me this “campaigning vs. governing” BS.

      2. Trumpism = The blatant, energetic, eager violation of the right to freely choose what to do with one’s justly owned property and energy, and fierce denial of the principle that through such freedom we create immense and unprecedented wealth for the human race

        you said something about “criticism”. Is that what that is? I can’t tell. It reminds me more of college-freshman dorm-room philosophizing. iow, “Means nothing, sounds super-cereal”

        i started skimming after that.

  40. So, here’s the dealio, Brian, baby: so far, Trump hasn’t really done much. Rather, he’s undoing shit.
    And as long as he is burning the shit down, then he very much is good from a libertarian pov.
    When he starts building a populist dictatorship, lemme know, and we can man the barricades together.

    1. Trump hasn’t done a goddamn thing yet, you idiot.

      1. Pay your bet yet?

      2. So what are you freaking out about him for?

    2. here’s the dealio, Brian, baby: so far, Trump hasn’t really done much

      WHAT AER YOU TALKING ABOUT HES THE EMBLEMATIC ANTITHESIS OF THE ESSENCE OF THE VERY NEXXUS OF ANTILIBERTARIAN THOUGHT TRIPLE DISTILLED AND BUTT-CHUGGED BY NEONAZIS OMG U PEOPLE ARE LIKE ALT RIGHTERS ARENT YOU

      1. Tony, is that you!

    3. His EOs have no teeth or have been shot down by courts, his shitty cabinet has fools like Rick W. Perry and Ben Carson in it, one has even resigned after two weeks, and his dumbass consultants are fucking everything up so far.

      1. And, either through design or incompetence, he’s appointing people who will massively change or destroy the EPA, DOE, and NLB.
        I’m guessing the CIA is next.
        He made a stupid mistake re the travel ban, but it is doubtful any court other than the ninth would give Washington standing, let alone rule the order unconstitutional.
        So far, as a libertarian, what am I supposed to be upset about?

        1. Not NLB. What am i thinking of??

        2. “So far, as a libertarian, what am I supposed to be upset about?”

          His yammering regarding protectionist tariff policies.
          IF he implements them, I’ll jump on the band wagon and rip him about it. So far, it’s every bit as effective as Obo’s promise of transparency (remember that?).

          1. I think his tarriff will be symbolic like 5% or something

          2. The wall will be a waste and more of a fence

            1. Shovel ready jobs. And how many of those jobs in southern texas, arizona, etc., will be filled by illegal imigrants? 50%? More? Less?
              Your tax dollars at play.

      2. Ok so why are your fellow lefties so up in arms?

      3. So, no fourth Reich? 🙁

  41. New historian ranking of Presidents:

    https://goo.gl/zEOXZV

    Republicans take 3 of the 5 top spots.

    Obama #12 – Dumbya #33.

    About right I say.

    1. Ha! The spread between Obama and Bush II is 21 spots and you call that ‘about right’? Hi-larious.

      1. So 20 then?

        Dumbya is a goddamn idiot who could not back off a shitty good for nothing war on Iraq.

        You probably love Dumbya from you conservative perspective though.

        1. “Dumbya is a goddamn idiot who could not back off a shitty good for nothing war on Iraq.”

          See, Rufus? This syphilitic idiot licks Obo ass since Obo got us out of, well, zero wars.
          But then he didn’t start many more than W did, did he? Well, not too many more, if he gets to call them something other than a war.
          Oh, and
          “The Death Toll Does Not Lie ? Afghanistan Is Obama’s War”
          Of course that’s from some agent of the VAST RIGHTWING CONSPIRACY, right?
          Ooops:
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..83441.html
          Fuck off, turd; your nurse is wondering where you went.

          1. They’re disingenuous idiots.

        2. Syria, yemen, libia, still screwing around in iraq and afghanistan

      2. Turd’s been pitching Obo since he was elected.
        Turd has daddy issues, so it’s not surprising he focuses on some ‘father figure’ who doesn’t hate him for his stupidity.
        Fuck off, turd.

        1. I hope he is getting paid, cause otherwise that is one sad bordering on sick crush this douchebag has on Obummer..

    2. Why do i give a shit about president rankings? What is this college football?

      1. It’s a message board where people talk about politics all the time, shit-for-brains.

        1. That doesn’t really affirm to relevance of ranking presidents. Go on any forum about any subject and people will generally agree that too much space is wasted listing the top X whatevers for good reason. Lists are kinda pointless.

    3. Eisenhower should be higher than Roosevelt. Roosevelt only actual accomplishment was being there when WW2 happened and Eisenhower did more to actually win it as a general. Poor Bill Clinton would be higher up too were it not for that blow job.

      1. Bill Clinton didn’t do shit other than massacre a religious minority.

        1. He did get a chubby intern off with a cigar, and lived to tell about it despite being married to that shrew.

  42. “But Trump’s very rise to power was unprecedented in many respects, and his core and proud illiberalism is fresh in modern America.”

    Brian, explain to me how his predecessors Obama and Bush weren’t illiberal?

    1. don’t worry, he has a link to Buzzfeed somewhere in there that clarifies it.

      1. Seriously wtf? Why would someone consider buzzfeed a reliable source to link

    2. Both supported free trade for one example, you fucking idiot conservative.

      1. “Both supported free trade for one example, you fucking idiot conservative.”

        So long as that trade wasn’t in, oh, oil.
        Fuck off, turd.

      2. They didn’t support free trade. They support crony trade

        1. Jinx you owe me a Coke

            1. No, it isn’t.
              Cal you steal dajjal’s handle and run that piece of slime out of here like you did commie kid? The world would be a better place.

      3. Crony-capitalism writ international is not free trade.

    3. Yea he acts like Trump invented protectionism, tariffs, and walls on the sudden border. As if we were a completely free market libertarian paradise before.

      If anything trump is more likely than those two (not much) to be better in terms of a freer market. I don’t think the tariff ends up being anything more than a symbolic campaign promise

      Trump could be you know promising jacked up taxes, more regulations, 15 min wage, carbon taxes, green energy subsidies from what not so good stuff he is doing now

    4. What Mr. Doherty wrote was that Trump’s illiberal & proud of it, while Obama & the Bushes were illiberal & ashamed of it.

  43. McCain shits pants, lefty rag applauds:

    “John McCain just systematically dismantled Donald Trump’s entire worldview”
    […]
    “In his speech, McCain suggested the Western world is uniquely imperiled this year – even more so than when Barack Obama was president – and proceeded to question whether the Western world will survive.
    “In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism. Not this year,” McCain said. “If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/politics…..941789.php

    I’m glad he got out of the Hanoi Hilton, but I’m sorry the SOB was ever given access to a mic.
    Go home, John; dementia isn’t a qualification for congress.

    1. damn that is another headline word i cant stand. dismantled

      “In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism. Not this year,” McCain said. “If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now.”

      So it is hyperbole and alarmism.

      It is funny to see progs taking to mccain now. McCain is pissed the right top men aren’t in charge and that trump could go win the presidency while he floundered

      1. I hate the phrase “in harm’s way”. What the fuck is wrong with the word “danger”?

      2. “So it is hyperbole and alarmism.”

        It’s a WaPo feed, which is about as good as the Chron is capable of delivering now (outside of self-congratulatory puffs regarding ‘Vision’).
        I encourage everyone to read the entire thing; there is absolutely nothing there other than arm-waving. The closest he gets to specifics refers to Trump’s (interview) point that the US is a long way from angelic, and McCain wraps himself in the flag in opposition!
        What a guy!
        What a fucking imbecile.

        1. So progs have a hard on for war now

          1. Guess they reverted back to the way they were before Vietnam.

      3. McCain has been a useful idiot for the leftest media for as long as I can remember.

    2. I dont want to give click so can u summarize wtf he is talking about

      1. He’s not talking about much at all.
        ‘We’re in dangerous times!’
        ‘I support western values!’
        ‘Euros are alarmed at fake news!’
        Un-supported innuendos regarding how Trump is a ‘danger’, and it’s being bought by the Euros, since Trump’s signaling that they might actually have to pay for their defense!!!!!!!
        Here:
        “Trump has repeatedly suggested a desire to pull out of or scale back on international involvement and agreements. His slogan is “America first,” after all. And it’s not just on free trade: It’s also when it comes to things like NATO, the transatlantic military alliance that Trump suggest the United States is getting a bad deal on.”
        The French might have to work for a living!!!!!

        1. Ya i saw the wapo article. What is the authoritarianism mccain is talking about?

          1. I get trump is called that but they never really say

            1. Your second post answers the first.
              Let’s be clear:
              TRUMP IS A POOPYHEAD AND I DON’T LIKE HIM THEREFORE “X”!

        2. ‘Euros are alarmed at fake news!’

          Trump lives on fake news. He wouldn’t have been elected without fake news.

          OH MY GOD LOOK AT WHAT TRUMP HAS DONE NOW!!!!! WE CAN’T WAIT FOR IMPEACHMENT HE NEEDS TO GO TO JAIL IMMEDIATELY FOR THE SAKE OF THE WORLD!!!!!!

          Oh wait, we were wrong.

          Trump lives on fake news. He wouldn’t have been elected without fake news.

          MSM

          1. “Trump lives on fake news. He wouldn’t have been elected without fake news.”

            Mid-January, the CIA was going to release documentary evidence that the Russian government interfered with the presidential election in the favor of Trump. That evidence was to be released “Thursday”.
            There’s a bar in Truckee, CA which has a sign out front:
            “FREE BEER
            tomorrow”
            Well, the CIA has given us the same reason to trust them as to trust that bar.

  44. As was mention by Immaculate Trouser, great article about libertarianism and why we should be concerned about Trump. What I don’t see and what I haven’t seen is a serious discussion about the one thing he has done and that is the travel ban. I’ll grant that I don’t think implementation was handled competently, but I think everyone’s attributing the motive for it to racism is disingenuous to say the least. Well conceived or not, the travel ban was not about white nationalism or economic protectionism. It was about security.

    1. Perhaps the security in place was sufficient, perhaps it was not. I’m not responsible for border security, Trump is. These countries are either state sonars of terrorism or have a significant terrorism problem. Is everyone from those countries a decapitating jihadist? Of course not, put the are enough that an American citizen wouldn’t last an hour walking through the streets of any of those countries. So the question becomes his do we keep the bad guys out. If your answer is a John Lennon song then no one is going to listen to you over Trump. I don’t think we have any business fighting middle east wars, I do think we should be keeping the bad actors out though.

      1. If people can focus on the issue of how best to screen for bad actors instead of just trying to paint Trump as the second coming of Hitler, maybe folks might listen. Just repeating over and over that is super tough to come here is not information, providing details is. I would rather a few non-citizens from terrorist impacted countries be slightly inconvenienced, than to have all my constitutional rights diminished under the pretense of keeping me safe.

        1. Shut up and get into the TSA rape scan line behind the old lady and the arabic young man.

          1. Wait, why are you scanning that poor, young Arabic man oppresser?

        2. That last sentence makes no sense. How is a ban or even ‘extreme vetting’ merely ‘inconvenience’? And how do they protect my right to associate with any peaceful person I choose?

      2. “I don’t think we have any business fighting middle east wars, I do think we should be keeping the bad actors out though.”

        Yep, and the issue is identifying the bad actors while not infringing the rights of the others. Given the chance of even injury from ‘alien’ bad actors, I’d opt for and emphasis on the later.
        But you’re 100% correct re: the racism. Unfortunately, the way it was handled, it gave opponents the opportunity to claim it was. And I’m sure their concern was more ‘anti-Trump’ than any respect for human rights.

        1. People like to use the well there are no deaths in the united states from those countries red herring. Well you dont lock the barn door after the horse leaves.

          those countries:

          1. unstable and don’t really have much of a government so how do you know who they are
          2. big isis component and a lot of terrorism
          3. also have to look at what is going on europe, current investigations and arrests which we aren’t really privy to i suspect
          4. no working relationship

          i think he probably has a little more intel than we do on it. the only exception is iran but they are a state sponsor of terror and we haven’t been friends

          1. And there is no question that Iran’s military financed if not outright planned terrorist operations in Iraq that killed and maimed US soldiers.

          2. “i think he probably has a little more intel than we do on it.”

            And that’s the other thing. No one even asked him that question at the time. I don’t think he had any information about an eminent attack or else we would have heard about it by now, but no one bothered to even ask. Straight to outrage. Straight to implying horrible motives. They never questioned Obama’s motives. I don’t like the guy but saw no reason to proscribe evil motives to his decision.

              1. With these people its all about the narrative and the virtue signaling.

                Had Clinton won and done this shit, they would be lauding her for it.

          3. 1. True, though we know who a lot of them are, especially the ones who have been living here peacefully for years. We already do rigorous vetting, which is why there hasn’t been any significant bad actors from those seven countries.

            2. True. And true of many countries not on the list.

            3. Europe situation is entirely different. And news has been sensationalized. For example, the multiple rapes reported in that incident in Frankfurt last year have been determined not to have happened at all,

            4. I don’t know, but I’m sure we’re not letting in enough bad actors to worry much about. We have a lot more problems with criminal natives.

            1. 1. Called extreme vetting but im not really confident yet. It is about going forwar not the past

              3. One fake incident i didnt know about doesnt make my point invalid.

              4. Okay so why add more?

            2. There is a lot that I can do to migrate my risk when it comes to criminals like staying away from stupid people, stupid places, and stupid situations. Terrorist acts are random and the point is to take out as many people as possible. I might be more willing to overlook a few mass terrorist shootings, if the left didn’t eyeball the second amendment after each one. I would agree that there are limits to what we can and should do and better to be free than overdo it on security, but I don’t see how a 90 day travel ban from jihadiville to evaluate security equates to facism. Maybe if there were no state sponsors of terrorism, and there were no ISIS.

              1. Mitigate. Fucking phone.

            3. I think the biggest difference with Europe is that their unions pretty much ensure the immigrants will stay in the ghetto which of course breeds resentment. Our regulation state is headed that direction.

        2. Oh there is no doubt it was all about anti-Trump, because you heard none of these people complaining at all about Obama actual killing innocent people in several of these countries. Fact is though, after they called it a Muslim ban and then people leaned the truth almost immediately, any valid criticism was ignored by a lot of people. They actually helped Trump in that regard as least when it came to public opinion.

          1. Well, to be fair, how many of them were truly “innocent”? For we have all erred.
            Seriously. WTF is going on in this country? Has someone spiked the drinking water? The last 20 yrs has been spent at war, America has lost it’s fucking mind.

            1. We don’t seem to learn anything. Not from meddling overseas, not from prohibitions, not from a century of communist failures, etc, etc.

              1. Which is human nature, sure. The difference is that we are the most powerful country that ever existed. The New Rome, as it were. And, excuse me, but Greeks bring stupid and ruining *Greece, while bad, affects the world very little. Nor could the modern Greeks, for example, go invading whilly nilly and shit.
                We have the military and economic might to completely destabilize the entire planet, and we seem hell bent on doing that.
                Excuse me for waiting before I declare Trump worse than the last several presidents going back at least as far as Teddy Roosevelt.
                *Greece chosen as completely random example, not to be confused with classic Greece or Macedonia

                1. I’ve disliked him since long before he ran for president. I think he’s a narcissistic asshole and a child. Im not sure how you evaluate his place in presidential history in less than a month though. Worst president would be quite an accomplishment. FDR, Nixon?

          2. I heard plenty of complaining from libertarians. Where have you been?

  45. So all those WSPQ & Nolan charts are useless? Or mislabeled?

    I’ve only just glanced at the piece, but the problem is the arbitrary shrinkage of the target here. There are practically no libertarians then. Except when you want to find libertarians, then everyone’s one. How does Trump not even rate as “tolerably” libertrarian?

    1. “Except when you want to find libertarians, then everyone’s one. ”

      Excellent

    2. Because he’s Hitler plus nukes minus discernible intelligence?

      1. Wait werent you just complaining abouy liz warren being labeled as a communist dictator and exaggeration? All because he wants a wall and tariff

        Dear god

      2. Wait werent you just complaining abouy liz warren being labeled as a communist dictator and exaggeration? All because he wants a wall and tariff

        Dear god

      3. Was this projection based on your rant below about squaw?

        You lost move on

    1. “Wow. Troll infestation.”
      Really? I thought the last couple of hours have been fairly clear of ’em (after turd left).

  46. The Trump administration may not in every specific policy area do the wrong thing in libertarian terms. But whatever it gets right is more an epiphenomenon of certain alliances within the Republican Party power structure or the business interests he’s surrounding himself with. Trump and his administration can’t be trusted to have any principled and reliable approach to shrinking government or widening liberty, since Trumpism at its core is an enemy of libertarianism.

    Why was that never a problem with other administrators? Why has that favorable (Or is it?) epiphenomenon not occurred previously? How desperate are you to show this guy up?

    1. “epiphenomenon” will be tomorrow’s Word of the Day.

    2. Agreed, and I think it’s right to question this claim:
      “… since Trumpism at its core is an enemy of libertarianism.”
      It assumes there is a “Trumpism” and then that the assumed “ism” is anti-libertarian. I see no evidence for either.

      1. Yeah, I’ve seen no real evidence that he even has a comprehensive political ideology.

        1. “Of course its comprehensive! Its the MOST comprehensive. There’s never even been a president remotely nearly as potentially comprehensive as mine is. Any suggestion otherwise is ridiculous, and the people who say that sort of thing are probably pedophiles. Disgraceful!”

          1. That’s GOOD!

      2. Republicans don’t

  47. It does matter whether a president encases even protectionist or trade-managing or restrictionist policies with a stated appreciation for lower tariffs and more open migration, which at least on the margins likely keeps bad things from happening. By paying that tribute of statist vice to libertarian virtue, at least doesn’t deliberately imbue Americans with the belief that the country will be stronger by making goods and labor more expensive.

    You’re seriously maintaining that words are more important than deeds? I guess you’d rather have someone being polite to slaves than liberating them while insulting them.

    1. I guess you’d rather have someone being polite to slaves than liberating them while insulting them./em>

      Or a state which has maximalist trade-deals with other states, and offers unlimited benefits to immigrant newcomers from anywhere…

      ….but otherwise has zero respect for any limitations on its domestic authority, and wantonly buries its populace in debt to service their “positive rights”

      1. Sacrifices must be made. The fact that they always amount to ripping the heart out of my wallet is purely coincidental.

        1. What’s more, it has nothing to do with threatening you at gun-point. Nope, no one mentioned anything about guns; the left hates them!

  48. That said, given his influence on nearly every thinker or institution that comprised modern American libertarianism from World War II to the dawn of the 21st century, Ludwig Von Mises, the Austrian emigre economist and social philosopher, can be relied on to reveal what is core about modern American libertarianism.

    Von Mises, who thought countries should have universal military conscription, because it would instill discomfort with the state? Sacrificing people’s freedom now, in the hope that would cause them to favor freedom in all other respects? That makes him the gnomon of libertarianism?

    What was Mises’ influence on Karl Hess? On Nozick? And what’s so important about that period in hx, or about American hx as opposed to hx elsewhere, that that’s where you must look for the standard of liberty?

    1. Mises was a man, not an infallible god, with a lot of good ideas and some really bad ones as you point out. The entire article is more of an appeal to authority than anything else.

  49. Progressivism is, at its core, a serious threat to liberty in most all aspects. It would be slightly hyperbolic to say that it poses the same threat that communism posed in the post war to Reagan years, but only slightly. It is a danger from within and that has a different nature than an external threat. In many ways it wants to implement a form of communism. Trump is a buffoon, and will likely do some anti liberty things, but the other side has really gone batshit crazy. And if Hilldog won that election you could be sure that the general march would have been worse.

    1. “And if Hilldog won that election you could be sure that the general march would have been worse.”

      As an SF resident, I’ve had to preface comments with “I didn’t vote for the guy” which gets nodding approval.
      Which approval vanishes when I mention “But he’s better than Clinton”.

      1. It is a daily crap bath of progressivism round here. Trump has just turned up the dial here on lefty insanity.

    2. Read another book. Or more likely relevant to your life, listen to another fat man on the radio.

      Jesus Christ you people have no idea how brainwashed you are. Just listen to yourself. Elizabeth Warren is practically equivalent to a genocidal communist dictator? Because she wants regulations on banking?

      Go eat a dick, how about. It will give what’s left of your brain a break from Jonah Goldberg.

      1. There are already many regulations on banking so i am not sure what you mean.

        What regulations do you want?

      2. “…,listen to another fat man on the radio.”

        Tony’s answer to anything: you must listen to a bad guy on the radio!
        Not bad for a simpleton, take the advice with that in mind.

  50. Trump seems to be particularly malign, particularly contemptuous of the shopkeeper virtues of trade

    How disingenuous can you be? How much of a sucker do you think your readers are? Trump practically personifies those virtues! He’s all about making deals & how noble such activity is. His only problem is conceiving of the deal-making on a national, rather than exclusively individual, level?an error he shares with probably easily 90% of mankind! So you’re basically saying humanity is the devil, huh? At least Trump has the right idea, i.e. making $ is good!!

    Is Trump who it took for you to get like Ayn Rand, who used to be harder on everyone the more libertarian they got? Oh, the evidence of their not preferring tap dancing showed they had the wrong stuff that would bring them down eventually!

    Why don’t you look at it the other way around?: Trump isn’t the outlier, we are. Our ideas are extreme & unpopular. Trump is no more “against us” than is practically everyone else who’s ever lived or ever will.

    1. Ayn in her dotage was handily brainwashed by Republican infiltrators. Face it, christianofascists have been infiltrating political movements for a long time and they are good at it. But in her youth and vigor she wrote the very NAP all nationalsocialist infiltrators seek to undermine by innuendo and specious fallacies. Let’s build on her successes rather than amplify her errors. Women have individual rights because of the electoral vote that went to Hospers and Nathan as the Suprema Corte mulled over Roe v. Wade. Women need to find out about that so they are not brainwashed by econazi pseudoscience into a movement to ban electricity.

  51. Spot on.

    Another thing. He is spending money like water on travel to Mar-a-Lago every weekend, not to mention his family’s expenses for security for all their various travel. At the rate they’re going, they could hit a billion dollars for the year.

  52. I am depressed that Reason’s commentariat has been infected with so many contards, presumably from The Federalist, Brietbart and other con swamps.
    Christ, are there any libertarians left around here?

    1. Looks like you’re the only one or maybe it’s the other guy who was making the exact same complaint from the opposite angle upthread.

    2. I’m still here! Most people who post between 3 a.m. and 9 a.m. are libertarians. Don’t ask me why.

      1. Because “true freedom” lives in a basement?

    3. What’s a contard, & how can you identify them? I’m about as libertarian as they come, but that doesn’t mean I have to disagree w “conservatives” just to, I dunno, spite them or something. I don’t think countries are ever going to significantly cut down on terrorism by some refinement of their policies on people’s entry into their them, but I don’t think the belief that it may be possible is evidence of some derangement or perversion of the person holding it.

      To me all sociopolitical beliefs are remarkable only to the extent they depart from that of the avg. person in the polity in question at the time. So Trump’s not a free trader; how many people are? And even to the extent he turns out to favor restrictions on int’l (or any other) trade, how much is he going to deviate from the norm in that regard?

      1. all sociopolitical beliefs are remarkable only to the extent they depart from that of the avg. person in the polity in question at the time

        excellent point. something i was thinking about earlier.

        basically, ‘Yelling at “the middle” from the edge of the overton window isn’t convincing to anyone except maybe those already living nearby’

  53. He’s unhinged, nuts, crazy, out of his mind, batshit, insane, a sociopath, a warmonger, pussy grabbing, dick swinging, power hungry, treasonous, Russian felching, alt righting rim jobbing, KKK hood polishing, white nationalist, fascist, blood thirsty, anti Semitic, douche bag idiot. Disagree with any of that and you are worse than Hitler’s unfulfilled desires.

    1. What are islamophobic, xenophobic, and homophobic . . . chopped liver? Seriously, it’s the anti-semitic, homophobic, and racist labels I don’t get (and I think the man is a dangerous buffoon). His daughter married a Jew in a Jewish ceremony, and he waved a rainbow banner at a rally.

      “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables’. Right?” Clinton said to applause and laughter from the crowd of supporters at an LGBT for Hillary fundraiser where Barbra Streisand performed. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic ? you name it.”

    2. This is what real prejudice looks like.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19fcN3VaXs4

  54. It’s a shame about the libertarians. They started out as such a promising alternative, before they turned into one more face of the Globalist Uniparty. You can now have your globalism with a conservative, progressive or libertarian veneer, but your still damn well getting globalism.

    No wonder Trump is president. I hope he turns out to be every bit as fascist as the globalist pants-shitters say he is. We are sick of you, go away!

    1. I’m interested to know in what era “libertarians” “started out” as a “promising alternative” and in what era they “turned into” a facet of the “Globalist Uniparty.”

      I’d ask more questions, but that’s the meat of my query; plus, I’m running out of quotation marks.

      1. This is a movement whose public intellectuals started with Murray Rothbard and ended with Nick Gillespie. You really need to ask those questions?

    2. Define “globalist”

      thanks

      1. I’m not a dictionary. Fortunately, they’re available all over the web.
        http://dictionary.cambridge.or…../globalist

        1. What exactly are the “globalist” positions of libertarians you’re complaining about?

  55. Excellent essay, Brian. Not sure whether you were obliquely referencing the Libertarian Party press release voicing “cautious optimism” for the Trump administration’s actions on regulations, which I recommended we issue (though I would’ve written it a bit differently myself).

    However you’re giving me pause on the wisdom of having issued it at all, especially without stronger alarm at the man’s authoritarian tendencies than we’ve voiced so far, and of the stance I took the comments here (where some of the other commenters have also made excellent arguments for libertarians to keep their distance):

    http://independentpoliticalrep…..nt-1547709

    Though I’ve long loathed Hillary Clinton, my gut has told me all along that Trump is a greater, potentially even existential threat. Yet I confess I’ve had some trouble focusing on his authoritarian tendencies at times lately, when the media tractor beam has pulled attention toward matters like his Education, EPA, and FEC appointments, and anti-regulation moves. Under normal conditions, all that would be ample grounds for celebration. But of course conditions are light years from normal.

    So I appreciate your eloquent reminder that the harbingers of fascism are too clearly present and ominous in Trumpism to relegate to a back burner.

    Love & Liberty,
    ((( starchild )))
    At-Large Representative, Libertarian National Committee

    1. Haven’t seen you in a while here; welcome.

    2. The LP swayed 124 electoral votes in 11 states, and our 4 million+ popular votes swamp the GOP’s loss in the popular count. The LP has been a force to contend with since our single electoral vote hit as the Supreme Court was struggling to save the Republican Party from the mystical prohibitionists controlling it since 1928. Our platform needs to be distributed as a 30-minute mp3 in many languages. Absence of a libertarian party is the hallmark of a pestilent looter kleptocracy, and that is the message we need to bring home here and abroad.
      Now that the looter parties can no longer afford to ignore us, we can quit rubbing against their jackboots in currish fawning for attention. We need to go direct to the voters, like The Internet’s Own Boy.

      1. Now that the looter parties can no longer afford to ignore us,

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx2V-D-Xdq8

    3. Where & when have conditions been normal? I’m interested in some examples, because otherwise I’ve no idea where/when you’re comparing to, & how much of the time normality prevails.

  56. Trump wasn’t elected to advance our agenda. He was elected as a push back over the progressive liberal and conservative policies of the last 30 years. Republicans and Democrats have been 2 sides of the same coin for as long as I can remember. If Trump does anything that advances the libertarian cause, I will consider that a win.

    1. Republican posing as libertarian.

  57. Look, the GOP is to German National Socialism as the Dem party is to Soviet international socialism in 1932. The left-right continuum preached by the looter media goes from one communo-fascist variant of socialism to the other. Meanwhile Arthur C Clarke, Huxley and others have agonized that ethics has not kept up with weapons development. So along comes Ayn Rand (during the Nuremberg trials), then Tara Smith (close of Cold War), with the best-ever axiomatization of ethics, comparable to John Von Neumann’s Axiomatization of Set Theory. Does Brian mention that?

  58. Pure libertarianism is a fantasy, about as realistic as the “pure communism” certain idiots always dream of. The difference is that moving towards libertarianism often makes things better, while moving towards communism is a sure path to tyranny. So as libertarians, we do what we can to push and pull individuals and governments and organizations towards a more libertarian position, knowing that it is a goal that will never actually be fully achieved.

  59. Immigration is one of those things that’s far from settled among libertarians and we’ll likely never see full agreement. Though I generally side with Reason writers on the subject, I’d still like if they published opinions from the other side, considering it’s not much better than a 50/50 split.

    One of the most annoying arguments I’ve seen here is that many of Trump’s worst ideas, like protectionism, cronyist tendencies, resurrecting the Ex-Im bank, eminent domain, “law and order” policing, etc. are all par for the course for both our past presidents and our other realistic choices in the 2016 election

    That’s true, but haven’t we complained about all their shit too rather than accepting it as “the price of doing business” for the stuff we do like? I didn’t become a libertarian to find anything about the current state of our government acceptable, I came for the constant complaining!

  60. What is libertarian nationalism?

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  63. Why can’t people get it through there thick skull that government doesn’t work. No form of government. People in general are not altruistic and people in positions of power can’t even spell the word. All through history if you really care to check is that the church and the state have only had detrimental effects on people in general. Why would anyone believe that they know what is best for anyone but themselves. Where I live I haven’t seen a cop or politician in years and we survive a hell of a lot better than most people in the city. We look out for and help each when needed but we don’t try to tell our neighbors how to live their lives. Think about it

    1. Probably because the idiots shouting “government does not work” are shouting those words from their mom’s basement in a country with government instead of doing so from places where government has been decimated. Like Syria. Or Somalia.

      Hard to take such motherfckers seriously.

    2. You also do not have the density of population a city has and the problems(and advantages) such density and inevitable diversity of class and ethnic groups brings you. Geez, do you think without government, you would be able to afford the infrastructure that brings utilities to your area? The highways that make living in remote areas better by improving accessibility ?

      Is government efficient? hell, no. in fact, a lot of big entities are not. Even big private companies are not. I work in a private company and the number of people who waste time is amazing. It is actually kind of interesting how well we have done inspite of all the inefficiencies in the system.

      Getting rid of government is not the same as wanting a government to facilitate the promotion of individual liberty and excellence. So it’s fine to fight for a smaller more responsive government and to constantly audit/pare down added policies/regulations that may make sense at one time, but outlived its purpose. But to want no government is stupid. You don’t think a big private company that becomes all powerful in the local area doesn’t act with the same impunity as an out of control government?

  64. Those wanting to downplay the threat of Drumpf can, justly, point to all sorts of crummy and illiberal policies that past administrations and imagined alternate administrations did or might also pursue.

    In a nutshell, that is reason.com for the most part

  65. The Trump derangement at Reason is sad and pathetic.

    Trump has the potential to be the best thing for Libertarian policy in decades and the inability for the writers here to get past their TDS is ridiculous.
    His nominations have been solid, and on average, lean more toward small government than any administration in my lifetime. There are proposals to seriously reduce agency power and control. The EPA is freaking out. That is a wonderful thing.
    We have the Left up in arms, screaming about reducing Presidential power. That is wonderful.
    We have the Right being hesitant about blanket support of Trump. The establishment Right, like McCain, is siding with the left to reduce Presidential influence.
    Rand Paul is being quoted and discussed more than any point I’ve seen in the last 8 years.

    these are net positives. Until we have clear negatives, perhaps the TDS can be tamped down a bit.

    1. There is a need to get EPA to priortize better and not get caught up in light bulbs and other minutia. Having said that, I find it funny how so many self proclaimed libertarians (you can see a lot of them in Georgia) who act very pro regulation when it comes to how tall my damn lawn is , where I park my damn car, is my shutter painted properly or not and snitch on me to the city code enforcement even though I live in an independent house and not a subdivision.

      I want an EPA that should have been stronger, not weaker in acting as a check on lead in Flint like situations because many states have shown themselves to be incapable of acting as proper stewards of the environment. Since when did environmental issues get totally conceded to the left? The Sierra Club used to have a lot of conservatives ages ago. By conceding everything environmental to the guys on the left, you guys in the middle and the right end up in scenarios like this where instead of reforming the EPA, we get calls to gut the EPA. Is it anti capitalistic to expect a company to account for its pollutants? When I look at the salaries of those mining executives, I hardly think regulations that are meant to provide safety in the workplace or health are that onerous. Maybe reform the ones that don’t make sense, but don’t just get rid of them fully.

    2. Let’s see how pro libertarian, anti regulation Trump is if his neighbors dump their lead paint waste in their yards next to his precious properties. Oh no, his property values will be affected and then you can watch how he will force that government to step in and interfere with a private individual wanting to improve his bottom line by getting rid of something cheaply. He already showed his hypocrisy on gun rights where his companies don’t have much respect for gun rights on their premises.

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  67. Nationalist Libertarian, Brian Doherty criticizes nationalism because it requires borders.

  68. Trump seems determined to exchange regulations by written and codified rules for regulations by personal whim. A very bad bargain, that would leave many who complained before to look upon the Obama years with fondness. As somebody who was in the Spanish Civil War commented on the previous dictator Primo de Rivera “We called them persecutions, and nowadays we would merely call them annoyances”

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  70. Trump is clearly closer to a Libertarian than any President we have had in my lifetime, and I am 63. Boy I wish Goldwater had won. No, he is no where near perfect, but compared to everyone else, except maybe Reagan, he is far closer.

  71. What did we learn from this article?

    1. Brian Doherty Libertarianism is a dogma like religion. It has set rules and beliefs that must be followed by all…else you will be outcast as a heretic. Of course rigid belief in dogma and freedom are opposites.

    2. Free trade agreements like NAFTA make everybody richer. Several studies have proven that is a lie. NAFTA has made the rich richer. It has NOT created jobs in USA or created a middle class in Mexico. Poverty level before and after NAFTA has not changed in Mexico. Poverty level has increased in USA. NAFTA did create jobs in Mexico, $1 per hour jobs. But those jobs have not off set the jobs Mexico lost to cheap grain imports into Mexico.
    2016 USA trade deficit was over $800 Billion. Supporters of ‘Free Trade’ need to explain this.

    3. Somehow importing unlimited numbers of poor, unskilled, uneducated immigrants that require huge amounts of tax $ to support is suppose to make USA richer. of course that fails understanding of economics 101, but as a religious dogma…it sounds good. Also good if you think ‘fair wage’ in USA should be world standard of $1 per hour.

    4. Centralized government destroys freedom. Decentralizing government power increases individual freedom. Separate nations with borders must exist. No borders and no national interests is only possible under all powerful, one world government. Europe citizens are finding out they have lost more than they gained with EU.

  72. Trump is certainly not much of a libertarian, but compared to the alternative – Hillary Clinton and her pay to play corrupt shenanigans as well as complete failure as Secretary of State – things could have been a lot worse.

    Clinton wanted to continue Obama’s dream of a one-world order – centralized control by and for the oligarchy which includes the Main Stream Media and slavery for the rest of us. I’m delighted Trump is POTUS and has selected a reliable Supreme Court Justice who believes in upholding the US Constitution.

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