Libertarianism

Using Negative Collectivist Generalities to Accuse Libertarians of Indulging Negative Collectivist Generalities

The Great Libertarianism/Racism Debate of 2017 takes some weird intellectual turns.

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You can't unsee ||| YouTube
YouTube

There has been a lot of talk during this long and dreary summer, here and elsewhere, about the connections (or lack thereof) between libertarianism and the alt-right. There have also been plenty of distancing exercises as well, most notably around these parts Zach Weissmueller's "What the Alt-Right Gets Wrong." The broader discussion is becoming its own literary micro-genre at this point, generating not only epic Twitter feuds (Tom Woods vs. Nicholas Sarwark!) and eloquent examinations of fringe movements, but arguably at least part of this summer's greatest academic/literary controversy.

I wish by no means to adjudicate the many ongoing disputes here, whether normie vs. libertarian, or paleo vs. cosmo (or even "Bionic Mosquito" vs. "Libertarian Neocons for McCain"!). But I do think it's worthwhile to point out an unhelpful argumentative tic running through a lot of the discussion, and that is this: In a debate ultimately centered around whether and how much libertarianism has midwifed a movement that nurtures generalized antipathies toward collective swaths of people, essayists are using negative generalizations toward collective swaths of libertarians.

One example this week comes from John Ganz, who wrote a widely shared Washington Post piece titled "Libertarians have more in common with the alt-right than they want you to think." Ganz mostly takes a tour through the grotesque (IMO) "Paleo" strategy of Murray Rothbard and Llewelyn Rockwell, Jr., of the late 1980s and early 1990s, drawing links to modern-day successors. Ganz knows enough about his subject to include the disclaimer, "Perhaps it's not fair to lay blame for Rothbard the heretic at the feet of the mainline libertarian church, which attempted to purge him," but ultimately he does not let such potential unfairness get in the way of a good generalization. Which is this:

The problem is that libertarian principles, which revolve [around] the abstract notion of self-interest, are really not principles at all; they have no content and allow anything to be attached to them. Abstract self-interest alone can provide no instructive rule of thought and can disqualify no particular course of action, because each person is free to concoct what is in their best interest, and because "aggression" can be and has been defined in a variety of spurious ways.

Step 1: Reduce all the various philosophical strands of libertarianism into a single vague thing.

Step 2: Declare that single small thing too simplistic and abstract.

Step 3: Confidently insert Mad-Libs phrases of ominous malevolence, such as, "It's a quick step from here to full-on white nationalism," and "the intellectual wasteland of libertarianism continues to provide a safe space for fascists."

(Quick aside about that last crack: For an "intellectual wasteland," libertarianism has coughed up a whole lot of Nobel laureates, celebrated authors, and thought-provoking carnie acts.)

While libertarians certainly over-index for interest in philosophy, celebrating such thinkers as John Stuart Mill, Adam Smith, F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Rothbard, Milton Friedman, and Robert Nozick, among others, it's important to note that A) the aforementioned eggheads and their followers frequently disagreed with one another, often vehemently; and B) even a disproportionate interest in philosophy does not remotely translate into a majority of those who champion "Free Minds and Free Markets" anchoring their ideological identities onto a single declarative sentence.

She's hot, she's sexy, and she's dead! ||| Reason
Reason

So while there may be some people I've encountered who consciously tether their entire value systems to "the abstract notion of self-interest," I would bet real Bitcoin that that amounted to a sliver of the 15 percent or so of Americans who are broadly libertarian. In fact, most people who tell me libertarianism is all about self-interest tend to be anti-libertarians (and I tend to contest their reductivism). I am not philosophically inclined, but any shortlist of my own ideological values would include individualism, the pursuit of happiness, equality in front of the law, private markets instead of state capitalism, democratic elections, freedom, human flourishing, peace, and love (because: hippie). I may be a walking advertisement for intellectual waste, but there's zero wiggle room in even that brief list for anything resembling white nationalism or fascism.

As Ayn Rand perceptively wrote, "Like every other form of collectivism, racism is a quest for the unearned…It is a quest for automatic knowledge—for an automatic evaluation of men's characters that bypasses the responsibility of exercising rational or moral judgment." Collectivism, in other words, is not only wrong, it's wrong—it's both immoral and inaccurate. What's weird is to see such inaccuracy—or at least negative collective assertions unbacked by supporting evidence—being used by libertarians to damn libertarians for being insufficiently anti-racist. And yet here we are.

At the Niskanen Center, Jacob T. Levy (Reason archive here) this week gives a finger-wag to colorblind libertarians: "Not to put too fine a point on it," Levy writes, "those who proclaim their commitment to freedom have all too often assessed threats to freedom as if those facing African-Americans don't count —as if black liberty does not matter." Levy names the same villains Ganz does: Rockwell, Rothbard, the odious Ron Paul newsletters. Then he broadens the brief:

But there are ways to neglect black liberty that are subtler than the white nationalism of the Confederatistas. Think about the different ways that market liberals and libertarians talk about "welfare" from how they talk about other kinds of government redistribution. There's no talk of the culture of dependence among farmers, although they receive far more government aid per capita than do the urban poor. Libertarians absolutely and clearly oppose corporate welfare, but they don't do so in the paternalistic language that corporate welfare recipients are morally hurt by being on the dole. The white welfare state of the 1930s-60s that channeled government support for, e.g., housing, urban development, and higher education through segregated institutions has a way of disappearing from the historical memory; the degrees earned and homes bought get remembered as hard work contributing to the American dream. But too many libertarians and their market-oriented allies among postwar conservatives treated the more racially inclusive welfare state of the 1960s and 70s as different in kind. White recipients of housing subsidies hadn't been imagined to become dependent, non-autonomous, or unfree. When the FHA was insisting that neighborhoods be segregated in order to be eligible for mortgage or building subsidies, it contributed a great deal to the racial wealth gap that persists to this day. No free-marketeers of the era felt the need to engage in brave, politically incorrect inquiries into the lower intelligence of new white homeowners that might explain their long-term dependence. But once the imagined typical welfare recipient was a black mother, welfare became a matter not just of economic or constitutional concern but of moral panic about parasites, fraud, and the long-term collapse of self-reliance.

Tellingly, there are no hyperlinks in this generalization-strewn paragraph. Is there really "no talk" among libertarians about "the culture of dependence among farmers"? I found several Reason links to the contrary, including a 1990 article headlined "Cultivating Independence" and a 2001 article that began like this:

Why is there a stigma attached to using government-financed stamps to purchase food but no stigma attached to accepting government money to grow the food in the first place? American farm policy is filled with such stumpers.

Consider that federal cash payments to individuals—the program formerly known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children—were widely criticized for creating intergenerational dependency on the federal government and allowing people to maintain an idle lifestyle. Yet cash payments to American farmers are justified by some precisely because they promote intergenerational dependency on government and allow for an idle lifestyle.

*coughs* ||| Reason
Reason

"Libertarians absolutely and clearly oppose corporate welfare," Levy maintains, "but they don't do so in the paternalistic language that corporate welfare recipients are morally hurt by being on the dole." And yet the country's oldest and most successful libertarian magazine has long been deliberately inverting the old "welfare queen" language when it comes to recipients of government largesse. A small selection from the archive: "Confessions of a Welfare Queen," "Florida Finds That Not All Welfare Recipients Are Drug-Addled Pillbillies," "Billionaire Welfare-Queen Liars," "But These Welfare Queens Are Manly!," and so on and so forth. I have little doubt that there are some self-styled libertarians who engaged in race-selective moral panic about welfare recipients, but if so, surely they could be located and hyperlinked, in order to advance the conversation beyond the gross generalization that "market liberals and libertarians talk about 'welfare'" differently than "how they talk about other kinds of government redistribution."

The point here is not that there isn't fertile ground for self-examination about various libertarian intellectual variants, histories, and debates, particularly as regards race—there very much is, and below I list some links to a brief selection of the many such exercises in the Reason archive. But if we truly seek to broaden understanding (beginning with our own), rather than merely sort people into buckets marked "desirable" and "deplorable," the more specificity, the better.

Some links:

* "Virtue vs. Libertinism or, a Reason debate on liberty, license, coercion, and responsibility."

* "Are Property Rights Enough? Should libertarians care about cultural values? A reason debate."

* "Racism, Civil Rights, and Libertarianism: Lessons from the Rand Paul controversy"

* "Libertarianism Is More Than Just Rejecting Force: The 'thick' and 'thin' of libertarian philosophy."

* "A Tale of Two Libertarianisms: The conflict between Murray Rothbard and F.A. Hayek highlights an enduring division in the libertarian world."

NEXT: Libertarian property rights and the Lockean sufficiency proviso

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  1. I wish by no means to adjudicate the many ongoing disputes here, whether normie vs. libertarian, or paleo vs. cosmo (or even “Bionic Mosquito” vs. “Libertarian Neocons for McCain”!).

    You didn’t even name-check the Milotarians, Glibertarians, or Lawbertarians? You’re garbage, Welch.*

    *A Garbagetarian?

    1. Garbagetarian is already taken, Crusty. It refers to libertarians that eschew normative housing choices in lieu of alternative domiciles unburdened by property taxes. Think Oscar the Grouch.

      1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

        This is what I do… http://www.netcash10.com

    2. I place the faltering of the lawbertarian movement solely on you.

      1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

        This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

    3. Progressitarian

  2. I am not philosophically inclined, but any shortlist of my own ideological values would include individualism, the pursuit of happiness, equality in front of the law, private markets instead of state capitalism, democratic elections, freedom, human flourishing, peace,

    Agreed – Welch is a Garbagetarian no more!

    and love (because: hippie).

    Oh – now he is a Cuckartarian! My God.

    1. Free markets and democratic elections = cognitive dissonance.

      Individualism and democratic elections = cognitive dissonance.

      Human flourishing and democratic elections = cognitive dissonance.

      Freedom and democratic elections = cognitive dissonance.

      Equality in front of the law and democratic elections = cognitive dissonance.

      1. Free markets and racism = cognitive dissonance.

        Individualism and racism = cognitive dissonance.

        Human flourishing and racism = cognitive dissonance.

        Freedom and racism = cognitive dissonance.

        Equality in front of the law and racism = cognitive dissonance.

        1. Yes, if racism = government action or policy.

          No, if racism = black law student association’s policy of not accepting white or Asian law students.

          Freedom of association and Civil Rights Act of 1964 = cognitive dissonance.

          1. “No, if racism = black law student association’s policy of not accepting white or Asian law students.”

            This form of argumentation is understandable when living in a world where, if a problem can be said to exist, then it defaults to government for a solution.

            Which, IMO, is the single biggest and most pervasive problem that libertarianism faces.

            Beyond that. A law student association basing it’s membership upon some sort of concept of race is racism. Which certainly does fall under the ‘protection’ of free association. Free association allowing for all sorts of morally wrong behaviors.

        2. I think the contention is the amorphous definition of racism.
          Neomarxist cultists at the Niskanen center believe racism = not giving enough reparations to The Oppressed.
          Individualists understand that you can’t solve discrimination with counter-discrimination. And any attempt to do so violates rule of law – equality under the law.

          1. “Neomarxist cultists at the Niskanen center believe racism = not giving enough reparations to The Oppressed.”

            To the extent that they – themselves- provide the reparations, then more power to them for living up to their own ideals.

            To the extent they seek to compel others – via government or any other mode of force- to abide by their preferred standards of behavior then fuck their authoritarian asses with a chainsaw.

            1. While it’s running.

      2. In the words of Churchill, democracy is “the worst form of government, except for all the others ever tried.” It’s very flawed, and there’s a crucial need for constitutional restraints on the government. And those don’t work perfectly of course. But societies with democratic elections have, on average, historically done a much better job of protecting the things you list than societies with other forms of governments.

        1. Reality is far more nuanced.

          First, democracies have been no strangers to mass murder.

          Second, democracies are more apt to make war upon others than all other forms of government.

          Third, Winston Churchill was a socialist warmonger.

          1. My comment was pretty nuanced as is. I explicitly did not claim that democracy is some pure government that only produces good outcomes and is always better than everything else.

            1 is true, but this is similar to the communist retort that capitalist countries have committed mass murder too. The overall trends and prevalence are important.

            What is your source for 2? How do you even measure that, given the thousands of years of history with spotty or nonexistent records?

            Churchill was a flawed man, but he wasn’t a socialist. Not everyone who isn’t a libertarian or an-cap is a socialist.

            1. Let’s start with Churchill:

              Churchill loved war, and he loved him some war socialism, witness his enthusiasm for the Boer War, WWI, and WWII. During the First World War, in a speech, Churchill proclaimed, “Our whole nation must be organized, must be socialized if you like the word.”

              I’m sure you know that Churchill was quite an admirer of Bismarck. Following a trip to Germany, Churchill was won over by the Bismarckian model of social insurance and social welfare. Churchill, in his own words, informed Britons that he was going to “thrust a big slice of Bismarckianism over the whole underside of our industrial system.”

              In 1908, in a speech at Dundee, Churchill said, “I am on the side of those who think that a greater collective sentiment should be introduced into the State and the municipalities.” As a member of the Liberal Party, he claimed that the party’s cause was “for the left-out millions” and that the Conservatives were the “Party of the rich against the poor, the classes and their dependents against the masses.”

              As Ludwig von Mises wrote in 1950, “It is noteworthy to remember that British socialism was not an achievement of Mr. Atlee’s Labor government, but of the war cabinet of Mr. Winston Churchill.”

              Why would you argue that Churchill was not a socialist?

              1. Regarding the proposition that democracies are more apt to make war on others than all other forms of government, the short answer is:

                See Empires, British and United States.

                1. Is everyone named Mike around here a moron?

  3. As Ayn Rand perceptively wrote, “Like every other form of collectivism, racism is a quest for the unearned?It is a quest for automatic knowledge?for an automatic evaluation of men’s characters that bypasses the responsibility of exercising rational or moral judgment.” Collectivism, in other words, is not only wrong, it’s wrong?it’s both immoral and inaccurate. What’s weird is to see such inaccuracy?or at least negative collective assertions unbacked by supporting evidence?being used by libertarians to damn libertarians for being insufficiently anti-racist. And yet here we are.

    Excellent quote – one of my Rand favorites – and agreed.

    1. I appreciate what Matt is doing here. At its core, libertarianism can be deeply hostile to racism. But still the article feels a tad on the soft peddling side. I personally haven’t been trying to create a dossier on the connections but it often comes in the form of editorial bias, serving as a friendly forum to the deplorable and yes, actual defections. Perfect example, Alex Jones. And I am aware reason claimed he wasn’t a libertarian. And Jones says as much now. Apparently he had to quit supporting the movement over that cuck, Gary Johnson:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXHqpTT3exk

      And there are plenty more where that came from.
      So according to Jones, Trump is representative of libertarianism? The alt-right president. The guy who had the endorsement of David Duke, the love of Milo Yiannopolous and Richard Spencer. The man had white nationalist robocall in his support for pete’s sake.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMh7akjzB14

      I know you already mention Lew Rockwell, but check out the Tom Woods episode where he claimed Trump won the ‘American citizen vote’ and Hillary only won the popular vote due to ‘illegal’ votes:

      http://tomwoods.com/ep-785-tru…..-rockwell/

      1. I know it’s a little short on annotations, Matt. But your a journalist and I’m a maintenance guy. Can’t spend all day on this. I know when holocaust deniers attack me on The Libertarian Republic and white supremacist tear into me to universal applause at Tom Woods site my instincts tell me the problem is real, public comments by Ayn Rand notwithstanding.

  4. The broader discussion is becoming its own literary micro-genre at this point, generating not only epic Twitter feuds (Tom Woods vs. Nicholas Sarwark!) and eloquent examinations of fringe movements, but arguably at least part of this summer’s greatest academic/literary controversy.

    Not to mention any number of the stupidest possible arguments right on these here Hit’n’Runs.

  5. “Perhaps it’s not fair to lay blame for Rothbard the heretic at the feet of the mainline libertarian church”

    Rothbard use to write for this publication. He was an editor at Liberty. He helped found the Libertarian Party. He helped found CATO. He was closely associated with nearly every existing movement libertarian group or publication.

    If he has to now be denounced, wouldn’t that undermine the entire movement, since nearly every part of that movement has his fingerprints on them?

    Conservatives at National Review and Hot Air have pushed back harder on this false ‘libertarian to alt-right pipeline’ by dismissing the notion outright. Adopting the Sarwark strategy of apologizing for these far-fetched accusations is a surefire way to shrink an already shrinking movement.

    1. Maybe he doesn’t want to dismiss the notion outright when half of this site’s commenters recently left for their new alt-right offshoot blog.

      1. “alt-right offshoot blog”

        Yeah, because everything is alt-right.

        1. It might as well be, given the ample proof that it doesn’t actually mean anything any more.

        2. Would you prefer the term “manly man’s trad lifestyle blog”?

          1. Someone is all cat-butt-hurt.

        3. Alt-righters love to complain.
          WakaWaka is always complaining.
          Therefore, WakaWaka is alt-right.

          1. That’s some sound logic.

            1. That’s the joke, goober.

              1. It’s ‘yokel’, not ‘goober’

                1. Only a goober would know that.

          2. I will now sell five libertarians on white nationalism:

            “If there’s something inside that you want to say,
            Say it online, it’ll be okay;
            I will be alt-right, I will be alt-right;
            I will be alt-right, I will be alt-right.”

          3. I have the suspicion that WakaWaka may in fact be Ctrl-Left.

      2. Disgust at creeping Neomarxism (personified by the overtly woke ENB) = “alt-right offshoot blog”

        Class oppression theory is pure collectivism and always at odds with property rights. It is antithetical to libertarianism. Thank god at least Matt understand this.

        1. DING! *cigar (Cuban, of course)

    2. Murray Rothbard was also a fusionist. Every decade or so he would go find some vile group to try to wed to libertarianism in a naive quest to convert. At one time he tried to get into bed with the radical Left. At the end of his life he was making common cause with the racist Right. Unfortunately he died, so the ugly bumping with the racist Right never ended.

      He didn’t realize that while there is common cause with the radical Left over opposition to war, the radical Left will never be libertarian because at their core they hate individualism. He also didn’t realize that while there is common cause with the racist Right over states rights, the racist Right will never be libertarian because at their core they hate individualism.

      1. Murray Rothbard was also the first to mix hiphop, thrash, and gospel. The beats he dropped on Rock Well, Let Your Cock Swell are legendary.

        1. Anthrax was clearly influenced by that sick work.

        2. “Murray Rothbard was also the first to mix hiphop, thrash, and gospel.”

          Which was why Ayn Rand expelled him from polite society.

      2. Nationalism and libertarianism = cognitive dissonance.

        National anthem and libertarianism = cognitive dissonance.

        Old glory and libertarianism = cognitive dissonance.

        Stars and bars and libertarianism = cognitive dissonance.

        July 4th and libertarianism = cognitive dissonance.

        Manifest destiny and libertarianism = cognitive dissonance.

        Thomas Jefferson and libertarianism = cognitive dissonance.

        Suppression of Whiskey Rebellion and libertarianism = cognitive dissonance.

        War of Northern Aggression and libertarianism = cognitive dissonance.

        Affirmative action and libertarianism = cognitive dissonance.

        Abe Lincoln and libertarianism = SUPREME COGNITIVE DISSONANCE.

        Most Reason writers and libertarianism = cognitive dissonance.

        1. Going off of your logic above about racism – isn’t affirmative action then perfectly fine and compatible with libertarianism as long as it isn’t done by the government?

          1. Yes, see my example above of the black law students club. They can select just the brothas if that is what they choose to do.

  6. Pornographers love the first amendment. So if you love the first amendment, you’re obviously a pornographer.

    1. This.

      It’s patently ridiculous.

      As a libertarian, I also want to see all drugs (not just pot) decriminalized. I guess that makes me a junkie and cokefiend, right?

      It’s just the stupid flip-side of the leftist argument that if you don’t want to pay for something for other people, it means you want them banned from having that. E.g. — I don’t want to pay for YOUR birth control must mean I don’t want you to use birth control. It’s so stupid, it beggars belief.

      1. It seems like there’s a sentiment of “If you support liberty, then you have an added obligation of privately policing it.” And it isn’t just non-libertarians who believe that; a lot of conservative libertarians believe that liberty only works if there’s virtue backing it up, though I would say it’s more in a “let’s show them we can have nice things, guys” kind of way.

        1. “…a lot of conservative libertarians believe that liberty only works if there’s virtue backing it up.”

          I would say they are more conservative than libertarian. It’s really about the NAP, not virtue for its own sake. As a libertarian, I don’t judge what anybody does so long as they are hurting no one. I recognize that what works for me might not work for others. I want to be left alone to do what I think is best for me and I expect to afford you the same courtesy. I may find some or many of your personal choices to be totally not my cup of tea, but far be it from me to try to stop you or even worse — get government to use their force to try to stop you.

          It’s really not that hard a concept to grasp.

          And I think it’s a misconception to think that, if every kind of moral prohibition is lifted, there will be all sorts of new problems. There’s evidence that doesn’t happen. Example: the predictions that Colorado’s actions regarding pot would lead to a huge increase in pot smoking by Coloradans didn’t happen. The contention that allowing gay marriage would somehow “undermine” straight marriages didn’t happen. I doubt legal heroin would entice lots of people from suddenly deciding sticking a needle in their arm and getting hooked on something is good idea all of sudden. People just don’t work that way.

          1. “Example: the predictions that Colorado’s actions regarding pot would lead to a huge increase in pot smoking by Coloradans didn’t happen. The contention that allowing gay marriage would somehow “undermine” straight marriages didn’t happen. “

            I don’t think we are remotely in a position to determine if those things will or will not come to pass. It’s going to take more time to make a definitive declaration on either.

            But personally I don’t think either prediction will happen. I also think that those two concerns are often cherry picked from a larger set of concerns regarding each issue.

            As regards marijuana I think the major problem is that the changes are not remotely libertarian, but instead represent galloping statism masquerading as permission.

            Although, if these state initiatives eventually end up with a repeal. or wholesale modification of the Federal Controlled Substances Act we could end up with a perverse situation where states like Colorado end up with strong legal restrictions, along with an entrenched associated bureaucracy while other states that did not go down that route become truly freer.

            Similarly the gay marriage thing wasn’t nearly so much about allowing people freer rights of contract and association, but about compelling others to sanction and participate.

            1. Yeah, just look what’s happened to alcohol since prohibition. Still, I think that the “legalization” initiatives are for the most part an improvement. If I thought that the libertarian approach had a chance, I might see it differently.

              The main problem, I think, is that most people can’t imagine things like drugs or marriage existing in society without government participation or regulation.

  7. The whole concept of federalism is just an attempt to backdoor the country into slavery. But I do admit it would be nice if libertarians ended their silence on farm subsidies.

    1. True story: I was in Iowa for a couple of weeks for a job. While there I attended a local Libertarian meetup. I made the mistake of denouncing farm subsidies. The libertarians told me to keep my voice down. Farm subsidies are a sacred and unalienable right in Iowa.

      1. Brandybuck, that was a true, shining libertarian moment for you: you had the stones to be the skunk at the party.

        1. I think that’s the definition of libertarian.

      2. Then they are imposter libertarians. If you think you’re entitled to someone else’s property, or have no guilt in receiving it, then you think property rights are just another one of those things subject to “reasonable regulation”.

        1. They weren’t imposters. This was at a back table in a pub, and they were afraid other people might overhear and start rounding up some hot tar and feathers.

      3. Your lynching in Iowa wouldn’t even make the news.

        1. It’s not a lynching, it’s a composting.

      4. > The libertarians told me to keep my voice down. Farm subsidies are a sacred and unalienable right in Iowa.

        Holy shit balls, Batman!

        What’s the fucking point of having our own, unique party?!?! If you’re doing the same thing as everybody else, who needs you?

        1. Ever been to Iowa? They advertise corn and soybean subsides on their fucking billboards! They have more subsidy billboards than Florida has strip club billboards.

      5. It was interesting during the primaries that, of all the Republican and Democratic candidates, only Ted Cruz had the courage to oppose the ethanol mandate while campaigning in Iowa. Everyone else either caved or kept his or her mouth shut.

    2. “But I do admit it would be nice if libertarians ended their silence on farm subsidies.”

      It’s the only subsidy that I can semi-support. The free markets don’t calculate for drought, locust and natural disasters. I think if we didn’t have farm subsidies we’d see things like food riots and famine.

      Granted, in a perfect world if i had the choice of keeping all welfare or no welfare I’d take no welfare in a heartbeat. I just personally can say I’ve seen both sides of the coin and lived a good portion of my life around agriculture and the subsidies or welfare that farmers get isn’t for farmers. It’s for all of the people who won’t get fed if the farmer doesn’t produce more crops than what he and his family need.

  8. What’s weird is to see such inaccuracy?or at least negative collective assertions unbacked by supporting evidence?being used by libertarians to damn libertarians for being insufficiently anti-racist.

    It shouldn’t seem weird. It’s not new.

    1. Its nauseating.

      1. Religious cults preach. It’s what they do to make converts.

    2. Those libertarians have been doing it forever.

  9. Mr. Gang is an idiot and sociopath. First of all, libertarianism is not a fucking “church.” Churches are collectivist organizations founded on faith not reason. They are not remotely libertarian in nature. Secondly, he reduces individual freedom and rights to the notion of “self interest” and then disparages “self interest.” This line of reasoning would justify the Holocaust and other collectivist atrocities since somehow individual human rights aka “self interest” are a bad thing. That is sociopathic.

    1. Meant “Mr. Gang.” Fucking autocorrect.

      1. Meant “Mr. Ganz.” Fuck, fuck, fucking autocorrect.

        1. I liked Mr. Gang more and so did your phone! Your exactly right on the rest of your comment.

        2. Delicious.

    2. Hate to break it to you but libertarianism is a collectivist organization founded on faith.

      1. Collectivism is the opposite of libertarianism:

        col?lec?tiv?ist
        k??lektiv?st/Submit
        adjective
        1.
        relating to the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it.
        “collectivist cultures had disciplined and cooperative work forces”

        Faith is belief without reason or proof. Libertarianism is based on both reason and proof that collectivism causes massive human misery or atrocities – see above or more specifically, the horrors of the last century under Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc.

        faith
        f?TH/Submit
        noun
        1.
        complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
        “this restores one’s faith in politicians”
        synonyms: trust, belief, confidence, conviction; More
        2.
        strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
        synonyms: religion, church, sect, denomination, (religious) persuasion, (religious) belief, ideology, creed, teaching, doctrine

        1. Any “ism” is kind of a collective. That you can’t all agree on anything (except that taxes need to be lowered on billionaires) only means that you are working with some thin gruel.

          1. It’s the simple understanding that all taxation – yes, even on billionaires – has adverse effects on society. See Venezuela for evidence.

            1. Also, learn what this means.

          2. No, retard. Collectivism doesn’t mean people agreeeing on a position and having a name for it. It means treating people as mere instantiations of thei membership to a group beyond their power. I.e. ‘If you’re white you’re responsible for slavery, if you’re black you’re responsible for the LA riots, if you’re a man you’re responsible for all the rape in the world; if you’re rich, you’re a robber baron’

            A central tenet, perhaps the central tenet, of libertarianism, is moral individualism: you are responsible for your own actions, no less, no more. You’re not responsible for what people who look like you or live in the same state as you do, and they’re not responsible for what you do because of their similarities to you.

            Alas, it’s an impossible notion for a progressive to grasp.

          3. No, libertarianism is a political philosophy. Believe it or don’t. You don’t have to join a club.

            If it is a collective, it’s only in the very weak sense that it’s possible to talk about libertarians collectively because they all share something in common.

          4. Any “ism” is kind of a collective.

            jism

      2. Oh Tony.
        [Ruffles Tony’s hair]

        1. LOL

          1. Chipper that made the long trudge down the thread worth it.

      3. Communism is a collectivist organization founded on the faith that only the state can uphold property rights, which you subscribe to.

      4. Tony, you know that all you’re doing when you say such extremely stupid shit as this, is you’re just making us understand libertarianism better and improving our ability to explain it to 5 year olds.

    3. Churches are collectivist organizations founded on faith not reason.

      Churches are private organizations founded by individuals. And quite a few varieties don’t even have formal hierarchies.

    4. Churches are collectivist organizations founded on faith not reason. They are not remotely libertarian in nature.

      In 3 points, you are wrong 3 times. Churches are NOT collectivist (though you can find some that are). Faith is being convinced of something through reason, not without it. And Churches ought to be (read: aren’t always, but should be) absolutely libertarian in nature.

      “And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.” Acts 2:44,45

      No one stole from them, no one pressured them. They voluntarily sold their property and gave it to those who were in need. That’s charity, of the best kind, and not “collectivist”.

      Other verses referring to freedom (not an exhaustive list).

      “Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

      “Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness.”

      “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

      “For, brothers, you have been called to liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

      “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”

      “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

      1. Faith is believing something without having evidence or logic to back it up. If you came to a conclusion through evidence and logic, that’s not faith, especially if you say that you could be convinced otherwise if new evidence comes to light.

        1. Faith is believing something without having evidence or logic to back it up.

          Wrong.

          If you came to a conclusion through evidence and logic, that’s not faith

          Wrong.

          You believe that the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second, though you’ve never seen it measured. You believe that atoms are made up of neutrons, protons, and electrons though you’ve never seen any. You believe that your car will start in the morning (though you’ve likely been wrong before).

          A child believes that his father will catch him at the bottom of the slide, and against all the child sees and fears, the child goes down the slide, because the child has faith in his father.

          In the same way, I believe God when he says he will do X. I have faith. Faith isn’t bad, stupid, or contrary to reason. Reason enlightens faith.

          1. That was very well stated. Nicely done.

            1. Oh! My Gawd! You two people are being nice to one another. Thank you for some civility. It truly was nicely done.

          2. But that’s a rather different kind of belief from faith (I think, I can’t say I’m really sure what faith in the religious sense is since it’s never been a thing for me). For me at least. I don’t believe that everything is protons and neutrons and electrons with certainty. It’s just a (so far) consistent explanation for things that works and is good enough to go on. I suppose I do in some sense have faith that the people who did the experiments and theorizing to establish the ideas were doing so honestly. And that other people and the universe exist independently of my mind.

            But I’m probably a bit more of an impiricist than a lot of people.

  10. “It’s a quick step from here to full-on white nationalism,”

    Some of us are baffled as to why this is ‘ominous malevolence’ to begin with. I mean, there are plenty of white nations with which to substitute in for the placeholder of ‘white nationalism’ and the substitution becomes almost laughable from a moral or social oppression standpoint. Similarly, there are plenty of non-white ethnically homogeneous nations that you can swap in for abject racial nationalism and the idea actually does become pretty scary. Nobody would tremble if you said, “It’s a quick step from here to full-on Norway. Or Canada.” and people would be afraid if you said “It’s a quick step from here to full-on South Sudan.” and the statement could be considered racist but the race itself isn’t the source of the fear. Just accepting that a racial label is inherently malevolent is as racist and illogical as any other grassroots racial stereotype.

    1. Sorry, but even I don’t think you’re actually dumb enough to not know what “white nationalism” means.

      1. Sorry, but even I don’t think you’re actually dumb enough to not know what “white nationalism” means.

        Erecting/preserving statues of a failed Nation/State? White nationalism. Brits voting to leave the EU? White nationalism, (right)? Catalonians voting to leave Spain? Uh… Kurds voting to establish Kurdistan? Er… Hell, reason rather fully credits/supports the modern 2A rights movement to a black nationalist organization that itself wasn’t exactly non-violent.

        Sure, rape has always meant anything sexually awkward and budget cut has always meant annual decrease in the rate of increase and we should just shut up and accept it. We’ll fight false collectivist portrayals by just blindly accepting all the other false collectivist portrayals that come down the pike!

        1. Your mistake is equating nationalism in any sense , to any extent, done by (mostly) white people, with the philosophy of “white nationalism.” The term in the article has nothing to do with your comparisons to Norway or Canada.

          1. Your mistake is equating nationalism in any sense , to any extent, done by (mostly) white people, with the philosophy of “white nationalism.”

            I must not have picked up my copy of The Philosophy Of White Nationalism. It’s almost like there are perfectly fine and normal examples of white nationalism that people have no problem with and then there’s a language artifact that people put in scare quotes when they want to substitute linguistics for logic.

            The term in the article has nothing to do with your comparisons to Norway or Canada.

            The term in the article is identified as being an ‘ominous malevolence’ and is equated to everything between fascism (without race explicitly noted) and Confederatistas. Your statements or affirmations could not make it more blatantly obvious that nationalism is OK when the Catalonians or the Kurds do it but not when the Confederates do.

            The problem isn’t white nationalism it’s violent nationalism and, even then, it’s the violence very much more than the nationalism. It’s a not-so-tacitly choosing, or even just assuming, the BLM movement over the broader reformation of policing and the police state. That libertarians just blindly accept and perpetuate white nationalism as a direct proxy for violent oppression, especially in an article devoted to negative collectivist generalities seems exceedingly dumb/stupid.

            1. White nationalism is definitely a philosophy, it’s not just nationalism done by white people. You’re playing stupid to try to make your argument.

              I’m not too big on nationalism in general, but why are you pretending like you have to think all forms of nationalism are equal? It’s perfectly sensible to think Catalan nationalism is not as bad as Confederate nationalism. The Confederacy was formed for the sole purpose of protecting slavery, and it denied membership in the nation to the 40% of the population enslaved on the basis of their skin color.

              1. Yes, why should one think all forms of nationalism are equal?

                Or think that the philosophy undergirding each and every form of nationalism is the same?

                Or think that all nation states are equally evil?

                Or think that all public sector actors are equally evil?

              2. > The Confederacy was formed for the sole purpose of protecting slavery,

                Egregiously false. The South seceded because of tariffs, and everyone knows this. FedGov was funded 90% by tariffs, of which the South paid 80%. The Corwin Amendment was passed by the North, permanently enshrining slavery in the constitution, and the South seceded anyway.

                The Confederacy were free traders, and the North were just as racist as the South.

    2. Good point. It is racist to say that “White nationalism”, as opposed to “racial nationalism”, is bad. Just like it is sexist to oppose misogyny instead of opposing sexism. Opposition to racism and sexism have been turned on their head by bigots who see it as a way to affirm the moral superiority of certain races and genders.

      1. Good point. It is racist to say that “White nationalism”, as opposed to “racial nationalism”, is bad.

        Even then, I wouldn’t by any means go so far as to say racial nationalism is good but diversity isn’t inherently better and as is kinda inherently the case, if race doesn’t matter, then it doesn’t matter one way or the other. Hirohito, Stalin, and Mao were just as murderous as Hitler and, to this day, their nations are just as close or even closer to those leaders’ notions of ‘ethnically pure’ but we don’t talk about them as being white or yellow nationalism or grappling with the specters thereof.

  11. Maybe take a moment to consider the possibility that “all strands” of libertarianism, as well as the alt-right, are wrong about pretty much everything, sometimes in a more racist way than others.

    1. Nick Sarwark? Is that you?

      1. Nah, he uses the car dealer handle

        1. Incorrect, he uses Nicholas Sarwark.

          1. There is a petition to denounce the “Libertarian Socialist Caucus” (which is a real thing now, as depressing as that sounds). This Caucus has declared that “property is theft” and “capitalism is murder”.

            You haven’t signed the petition, therefore, I can only assume that you are a socialist. For shame

            1. As long as their socialism is purely voluntary, it can indeed count as libertarian. The core of libertarianism is NOT propertarianism. They would still be in gross error, of course, but being without error is not one of libertarianism’s tenets.

              I don’t agree with their arguments that property is theft, but they are still valid arguments. They in fact agree with Ayn Rand in that property rights require a government to protect. The burden of proof lies with the anarcho-capitalist to demonstrate the morality of defending one’s “property” in a state-less society.

              Again, I don’t agree with them, and think they are in error, but so long as they hold to the non-aggression principle then they are libertarian.

              1. So socialism is totes fine, but anarcho-capitalists are suspicious. Yeah, I’m starting to think this whole movement is over

              2. The burden of proof is always on the part of state action. Why is it that we can privatize everything but this one thing?

              3. The core of libertarianism is NOT propertarianism.

                Couldn’t disagree more.

                Without property rights there is no liberty. See how communism works in practice – every decision must be made by the state. Any decision you make as an individual would need to be overseen by “the people” to not be too self-serving. Otherwise the whole New Soviet Man eugenics project falls apart due to evolutionary pressure.

                1. Nailed it.

                  Right to property and property in our rights.

              4. The NAP derives from self-ownership, i.e., private property.

        2. Hey now. I’m not Nicholas Sarwark, he lives in Phoenix and I’M from Tucson.

          1. Nice try, everyone knows Tucson is just Pueblo for Phoenix.

      2. Sarwark is way too intellectually honest to be Tony

        Have I mentioned I hate Sarwark and find him to be very intellectually dishonest?

    2. I respect your troll game. No one goes after it harder and to less fanfare than a troll in the Reason comment section but you make it here everyday, on every article with multiple comments. Imagine if you took all the time you spent commenting here and did anything else? You’d be an expert at like 10 things by now! But here you are, doing it for the love. Never change, Tony. Never change.

      1. Tony has successfully resisted learning the first thing about libertarian ideas despite being a regular commenter since at least 2009. Despite how dumb this makes him look, he keeps on keeping on. That’s dedication!

        1. It’s clearly not an intellectual exercise. I don’t even think he’s trolling in the sense that we think. No one is this good. I think he’s just still working through the fact that he was bullied as a kid, and we’re the stand-in for the townies who put his head in the toilet

        2. Alternatively, every time someone presents a devastating critique of libertarianism, which are plentiful on the ground, you guys counter that the obvious implications being presented aren’t true because, well, libertarianism is actually a big pot of rainbow farts and unicorns, so there.

          1. See, here’s a fine example. You go, girl!

            1. “You go, girl!”

              You just assumed his gender, shitlord. Alt-right Citizen X

          2. I’ve never seen you even attempt to respond to a substantive arguement with one of your own. I know I’ve made plenty, quixotic though it may be. You’re in position to talk about ‘devastating critiques.’ Your entire repertoire of reasons for what you believe is a collection of insults and tired canards.

        3. Maybe he’s got a Momento thing going on where he thinks he’s discovering this for the first time every single day?

          Wouldn’t be consistent with his habit of corpse-fucking old threads, though.

          1. Is corpse fucking worse than going back to an even older corpse to see the result?

            1. Yes.

            2. Absolutely, yes.

        4. Tony believe he’s on a holy mission to educate us unwashed hicks on the virtues of socialism. He has no need for learning when he knows all he needs to know.

      2. And who the fuck might you be?

      3. He trolls out of his own rational self-interest. Tony is a closet objectivist.

        1. He trolls because he’s old, ugly, and unpleasant and therefore can’t even get laid in a gay swinger bar, so he takes out his sexual frustration on others on the internet while waiting for his porn videos in the other tabs to buffer.

          1. Now I’m kind of sad for him.

            OK, I’m over it.

        2. That is possibly the meanest thing I’ve ever seen anyone say to Tony.

          Shame he won’t understand a word of it.

    3. When will you consider removing your head from your rectum?

  12. “Libertarians absolutely and clearly oppose corporate welfare, but they don’t do so in the paternalistic language that corporate welfare recipients are morally hurt by being on the dole.”

    Perhaps because the corporate welfare queens were morally messed up *before* they stuck their hands in the public till?

    1. Yeah, I thought that was an especially silly point. In general, the less sophisticated the party, the more I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. And the behavioral effect of dependence on an individual is usually greater than on a company.

      1. I take issue with his taking issue with “paternalistic language”. Language doesn’t fucking matter. It either fits your principles or it doesn’t. Leftists have this weird obsession with language and optics and appearances taking precedence over mechanics and logic. Maybe that’s why so few of them are engineers.

        1. And so many of them are journalists.

    2. “…don’t do so in the paternalistic language …”

      Feelings.

      Woah, woah, woah,

      feelings…

  13. “black liberty” (that is, liberty issues of interest to black people, though not exclusively to them) would include:

    -The right to go into business without jumping through uncesssary regulatory hoops (see African hair braiding)

    -The right not to be punitively taxed for being successful

    -The right to be free of repressive and excessive criminal laws which, for example, in the name of banning some plant empower police to grope and search you or take money out of your car.

    -etc.

    1. Add school choice to that list.

      1. Certainly, though in practice this often involves more equitable spending of tax dollars, not necessarily tax relief for parents and charities which support them – the latter being a “pure” libertarian idea.

  14. It’s sad that this issue has to come to a head now in the age of crypto-fascism. We could have purged the bigots decades ago, but had to wait until we were in a position for the public to brand us all racists before we even bothered to even start thinking about the problem.

    This is why I left the “paleos” a decade ago.

    I am reminded of the old Christian heresy that states since Christ has forgiven our sins we are now free to continue sinning. They ignored the part where Jesus said “go and sin no more”. Likewise, when paleos heard Ron Paul proclaim that it’s impossible for libertarians to be racist, they interpreted that as meaning it’s okay to continue to be racist. They completely missed the the part about libertarians not being racist. If you’re racist you’re not a libertarian. If you’re a fascist you’re not a libertarian. Period.

    The damnable progressives forever tainted the term “liberal”, and now they’ve in the middle of tainting “libertarian”. What will we have to call ourselves now?

    1. I have never met a libertarian that was racist or sympathetic to fascism. Either I don’t get out much or we’re all chasing a straw man.

      1. Well, we have people like Libertymike and Domestic Dissident right here on this site. They seem to provide a pretty strong argument that the elusive beast does exist (if they still label themselves libertarians). I don’t want people who harbor such views to call themselves libertarians but I can’t really do anything about it if they do anyway.

        1. Well, I guess I would clarify my statement then. I think you’re right that I have seen some commentators say some pretty offensive remarks with regards to race. But, I’m not sure if they actually harbor those beliefs in real life that’s why I say “I’ve never met” one before

        2. They seem to provide a pretty strong argument

          Yes, “Block Yomomma” was a pretty strong argument indeed.

          fwiw, i don’t think those 2 people (or any 2 people) would be evidence of anything.

          in my ~13 years around H+R, i’ve seen a far more diverse spectrum of people calling themselves libertarians than has been active lately. It has always been a miscellaneous-bin of weirdos. The trick is being able to tell which weirdos are worth taking seriously. its not a very large number, and the spectrum within that smaller group isn’t really as wide as people think (the cosmo/paleo divide being real, but in many ways simply cultural+superficial)

          1. Yeah, pretty much. The libertarian movement has been very reluctant to kick anyone out, and as such we’ve managed to glom onto a quite a handful of fringe folk. Including some racists.

            1. Well, we’re all kind of fringe.

            2. Is it racists to judge people on the particular subculture they choose to affiliate with and personally embody?

              Because there does not seem to be strong consensus about the issue.

              Is race solely a matter of skin color? And if not what other factors apply?

              Personally speaking I reject any and all notions of race beyond that of a singular human race. Perversely this makes me see racism everywhere.

          2. Gilmore is the only person anyone here should take seriously.

          3. in many ways simply cultural+superficial

            Yes. It is also almost always stupid and boring.

            1. Keep fighting the good fight, there.

        3. Are your ratiocinative skills in need of some honing?

          Have you ever read one post of mine in which I wrote in favor of state sponsored policies or rules based upon race? I defy you to find one, just one post in which I expressed such a position.

          Failing that, I would expect you to retract your statement.

          1. Have you ever read one post of mine

            after the first few? honestly, no.

      2. “Either I don’t get out much…”

        You don’t get out much. While you won’t find many explicit racists in LP meetups, you WILL find a lot of crypto-racists there. People who seem a bit too enamored of secession and think the Confederacy got a bum rap, despite the fact that the Confederacy seceded for the explicit purpose to prevent the contraction of the scope of government. People who think states rights are a high ideal, while not bothering to tell you that they want their states to enact a whole bunch of non-libertarian policies.

        1. Having fun with your Ray Bolger bobble-head?

          How could an authentic libertarian harbor the view that some here are “a bit too enamored of secession”?

          If one is a libertarian, one, by definition, rejects the proposition that the secession of any one individual or group of individuals from a nation state is a phenomenon about which one can be “a bit too enamored”, irrespective if the seceding party or parties is racist.

          Who are the crypto-racists who think the “Confederacy got a bum rap”? Name the names with citations to the posts which you contend support your argument.

          Why would you persist in holding that those who animadvert Lincoln’s brutality and mass murder also insist that the Confederacy got a bad rap? Part of being the skunk at the party like you were in Iowa is not having to display equal opportunity condemnation and disdain for two pathologies. One does not have pen a denunciation of Jefferson Davis or Nathan Bedford Forest or Robert E. Lee or the plantation or Simon Legree or the enslavement of blacks after having offered his animadversions of Lincoln, the mass murder of Southern civilians, the suspension of civil liberties, the institution of an income tax, the imposition of a garrison state replete with torture chambers, and the inability of the North to resolve matters peacefully with the South, and without bloodshed, as England, France, and Russia.

        2. These moves can be good in a vaccuum – secession is one step away from one-world-government; one step closer to individual sovereignty. State rights, likewise. Supporting that principle doesn’t make you a racist just because some assholes used it for racist ends. Guilt by association.

          But if the whole reason they support this is for those unlibertarian ends, then your point stands. It just isn’t always the case.

        3. Considering that your the guy saying socialists can totes be libertarian, but not those anarcho-capitalists, I’m not going to believe any shit that you say

    2. > If you’re racist you’re not a libertarian.

      I know a couple of racists that are libertarian. They believe in private property, the NAP, and, of course, freedom of association.

  15. There’s no talk of the culture of dependence among farmers

    I bet Reason.com never even wrote a single article about the idiocy of Farm Subsidies, those !*(#$@ racists.

    1. (i really should learn to read to the end of the paragraph first to see whether the author has made exactly the same retort)

      1. A common theme of social justice warriors is selective ignorance of events that don’t fit the narrative they’re trying to push. I’m sure even the author has seen some of these, but conveniently forgot about them. Confirmation bias is a hell of a drug.

        1. I’m sure even the author has seen some of these

          Matt points out that Jacob Levy has been published at least twice in Reason

          its certainly *possible* he’s never actually read the magazine, and remains blithely unaware that Farm Subsidies have been a non-stop source of griping for libertarians going back many many decades….

          …. but not bloody likely.

          Of course, the selective ignorance can also be fine-tuned on the fly; because of course Reason.com isn’t representative of *all* libertarians, and he can simply say that the level of *libertarian outrage* (subjectively measured) is what is lacking on the subject of farm subsidies, whereas the emotional tone (again, measured by cherry-picking some quotes) of opposition to welfare and affirmative-action is more revealing of libertarians *real*, deeply racist feelings.

          its ridiculous, but that’s the m.o. they use. same with things like the libertarian opposition to the militarization of the police, and excessive use of force. Because its not couched in “anti-racist” rhetoric, and because it is objected to in principle… its somehow that is ‘racist’ by default. Because we’re not making the most-pathetic-appeals possible, or something. Or maybe because we don’t join in BLM-marches and engage in ostentatious displays of outrage.

          Balko, of all people (smdh), seemed to be making this argument recently.

  16. These critics need to prove their assumption that greater collectivism = less selfishness.

    In a socialist or social-democratic system – surprise! – there are a lot of selfish people exploiting the system to get goldbricking phony-balony jobs, insulation from competition, subsidies, etc. Where’s the dedication to the common good?

    A rampaging, killing, raping, robbing Mongol horde is fairly collectivist, does that make them the most unselfish people on earth?

    1. I like to say that libertarians aren’t guided by self-interest more than other people are, we’re just more honest about it.

      1. No, you make a virtue out of maximizing selfishness. Nobody thinks humans aren’t at their core self-interested. Some people are simply more clever than you and realize that people can act in their own self-interest more successfully by combining their efforts and resources than they can by going it alone.

        1. Epicurous talk that the selfish pursuit of happiness and avoidance of suffering is the purpose of life. Try to evolve yourself a bit, Tony.

        2. But if I’m more successful cooperating with others…and I’m making a virtue of maximizing selfishness…then the selfish thing to do would be to cooperate with others to my mutual benefit. Which is exactly what I do every day of my life, and am perfectly honest about, so I’m not sure why you think this is some great “gotcha”.

          Nothing about the principles of individualism precludes cooperating with others and combining resources. The only way you could they that they do is if you really are making a conscious effort to not learn the first thing about what you are critiquing.

          1. Nothing about the principles of individualism precludes cooperating with others and combining resources. The only way you could they that they do is if you really are making a conscious effort to not learn the first thing about what you are critiquing.

            Even after all these years, Tony still doesn’t understand that it’s possible to work together without pointing a gun at people. Even my toddler knows how to say “please.”

            1. Thing is that without the gun, people can opt out. And that isn’t fair. It’s only fair if everyone cooperates, and that can only be achieved at gunpoint.

            2. Even after all these years, Tony still doesn’t understand

              That’s really all you have to say.

              1. Tony doesn’t understand that property rights are the vehicle that makes self-interest neutral to prosocial. It only becomes antisocial when there are no property rights; where everyone will want to exercise their self-interest in taking other people’s stuff.

        3. The guy who thinks he’s entitled to lock people in cages if they refuse to bake him a cake or hand him their wallet is lecturing about selfishness.

        4. people can act in their own self-interest more successfully by combining their efforts and resources than they can by going it alone

          You mean like corporations?

        5. This is why no one here takes you seriously, Tony. You still think that libertarians are somehow opposed to cooperation with others.

          1. Dude, it’s not true cooperation unless everyone cooperates. Libertarians oppose forcing everyone to cooperate at the point of a gun. Libertarians would allow people to choose whether or not they cooperate and with whom. That isn’t true cooperation because it doesn’t carry a death sentence for those who refuse to do as they are told by Top. Men. Therefore libertarians oppose cooperation with others.

        6. Which is why people choose to cooperate or buy insurance or join organizations for their own good.

          If someone needs to put a gun to your head to get you to join a group, it’s likely not for your own good.

        7. > No, you make a virtue out of maximizing selfishness.

          No, we make a virtue out of respecting other peoples choices, and personal spaces, as well as their stuff.

        8. Observe that Tony attacks the strawman of selfishness, which masks his perception of ownlife egoism. What he does not do is leap to the defense of altruism the way Hitler and Goebbels did when building an empire of mystical racial collectivism. Logically, both approaches are the same thing, but altruism relies on self-deception to guide suckers past the rigors of rule of inference into the utopia of division-by-zero. Tony has come over already. He just can’t shake off dat Olde Tyme Christian Socialist Religion quite so fast as the others.

      2. In and of itself, being for individual liberty doesn’t entail the idea that this liberty should be selfishly abused – though of course it would include the right to be selfish in that way.

        But it would also include Andrew Carnegie’s right to invest his wealth in charitable endeavors – and he would have more wealth with with to do this than if he were a plant manager under socialism.

        1. I think it also includes the right to communal living and such. One of the ideas that appeals to me about libertarianism is that it does not preclude the right of subcultures to voluntarily live in certain ways. Most other forms of government I know of do preclude the rights of subcultures to voluntarily live in certain ways.

      3. I think it’s more that we acknowledge that almost everybody is and that it’s an inescapable reality of the human condition. But you can’t acknowledge this fact if you’re a statist, because if the cops and politicians have their own interests, the system falls apart

        1. Communists believe self-interest can be eradicated, and at that point property rights will be obsolete. A short lesson in biological evolution will cure them of that delusion.

          1. Hasn’t so far.

            1. I fear that the persistent human capacity to fall for Marxism is an indication that we are an evolutionary dead end.

      4. Libertarians understand that the only way a self-interested person can become rich in a free market economy is to please other people. Show me a rich person in a free market and I will show you someone who has enriched the lives of thousands if not millions of people. For example I took my daughter out to eat last weekend at a restaurant that is owned by a millionaire. He is rich because he has enriched the lives of people who have eaten at his restaurant. Leftists don’t see it that way. They see me poorer because I spent money. They cannot comprehend that I am richer because I shared a good meal with my family. No, I am poorer because I spent forty bucks. And leftists will never see it any other way because they are so full of hatred and envy that they can only have emotional reactions. They are incapable of rational thought or discourse.

        1. I think it stems from a lack of understanding of how wealth is created. If you see the economy as a zero-sum fixed pie, this will be your conclusion. Fortunately, it’s not, so I have no reason to resent Bill Gates even if he says a lot of stupid shit.

          1. Personally, I evolved from this spell when I learned that voluntary exchange is mutually beneficial on net due to individually subjective valuations of price. Then it just clicked, and here I am shitposting alongside Tony.

            1. That’s some fine freedom of association we have here.

        2. Good point. But someone seems to be teaching the looters, for their control over nuclear-armed dictatorships is collapsing and they’ve not been doing so well in elections outside of National Socialist Europe. I doubt it was Von Mises, but would bet on Bastiat, Spooner, Orwell, Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand as most effectively countering Ed Bellamy, Jack London and Howells with their sample cases of Germanic Altrurian dictatorships, complete with Gulags, Treblinkas and Auschwitzes.

    2. The unselfish people in collectivist movements can be divided into

      -Some ruling-class members who annoy the “revolutionary” establishment by constant reminders of deviations from revolutionary purity. These carping critics tend to get sidelined or bumped off.

      -Naive recruits, eg, children, who are pumped full of the “unselfish” line so as to make them whistle cheerful tunes as they work their jobs in waste-disposal or other stuff that the revolutionary elite would never let their own families do.

  17. The point of left-wing opposition to racism isn’t to end racism, it’s to prove that one side of the debate is morally superior. Once that point is proven, the left broadens the circle of alleged racists until anyone who disagrees with them is labeled a racist. Anyone who defends the accused is immediately labeled a racist. The growth occurs slowly so that only a few people need to defend themselves in any given month and the vast majority feel safe staying silent and believing that the alligator will eat them last.

    1. Or you could just try not being racist.

      1. Teach racists not to race!

      2. Thanks for demonstrating the process, Tony. Anyone who questions an accusation of racism is branded a racist.

        It’s similar to how that lady faces Title IX accusations for questioning how alleged rapists loose their due process rights through Title IX regulations.

        1. Only a witch would dare defend a witch.

      3. You first.

    2. The point of left-wing opposition to racism isn’t to end racism, it’s to prove that one side of the debate is morally superior.

      I said something similar yesterday

      the things the left frequently claims to be championing (“racial/gender/environmental justice!”) aren’t actually their goals. Those things are just methods of creating new levers of power.

      1. Well put, Gilmore. The SJWs are just marketing themselves by championing causes.

      2. Look up Naomi Klein’s quote from her book. It’s right there for all to see. Climate change is an issue for them because they recognize it as an opportunity to enact all the economic controls they’ve always dreamed of. The SJW crowd doesn’t have one succinct quote like that as far as I know, but you see it in the way that they never actually celebrate their victories. Obergefell was quickly forgotten so they could move on to wedding cakes and bathrooms, possibly in part because Obergefell didn’t actually grant them any new authority

        1. Obergefell was quickly forgotten so they could move on to wedding cakes and bathrooms, possibly in part because Obergefell didn’t actually grant them any new authority

          exactly right. and see how they now characterize ‘gay white men’ as politically useless to the wider progressive movement?

          (don’t even get them started on straight black men)

          Identity is only useful insofar as it can help create claims of oppression, and then use that as a political weapon against the so-called oppressors. Whether any of this ever benefits the ‘oppressed’ in any material way is ultimately irrelevant; they’re just a means to empower the ‘movement’.

          Which is why i think the “polysexual-gender-fluid” SJW-unicorns have become the new flagship of their movement. Because they’re impossible to define, and are identities which people can actually adopt out of thin air, providing a bottomless source of new forms of oppression.

          1. Beyond that, they’ll also straight up remove the minority status of their opponents. It’s only acceptable to call Ann Coulter a man because it’s unthinkable a woman could be a conservative, so now she’s literally not a woman to them so it’s not sexist to make fun of her. Kmele Foster is called an Uncle Tom all the time. They gleefully reported on how Ben Carson’s rough upbringing might have had some lies in it because it was inconvenient that a poor black kid wouldn’t end up a Democrat. Rubio and Cruz would have been the first Latino candidates, and not a word. With Milo, they were quick to call him a predator, but had he been a lefty saying these things (I think George Takei has), they would have said that he was just coping with a history of being exploited by older men

            To continue on climate change, I think Thaddeus Russell’s podcast with Alex Epstein covers it pretty well. The environmental movement clashed heavily with unions early on, and initially the leftists were unsure if they should embrace it because it put them at odds with a core constituency. But then they realized how powerful it was as a tool for economic control and it’s their signature issue

            Of course all of this is for the intellectual class. I don’t think the rank-and-file lefty has put this much thought into it

            1. I don’t think the rank-and-file lefty has put this much thought into it

              oh, not at all.

              People (alt-righties in particular) often mistake this critique as suggesting that there’s some nefarious left-wing conspiracy where someone like ‘soros’ is pulling the strings secretly behind BLM, all for some (((“globalist”)))-determined-objectives.

              the argument i’m making doesn’t actually require a single person to intentionally think/act in this way. its just the organic way that the neo-progressive movement evolved; the methods that *work* are endlessly replicated, and the rhetoric/language they use is a product of evolved social-capital.

              For people who understand how spontaneous order evolves (hopefully, us), it shouldn’t be all that confusing. Class-politics were swapped for identity-politics; and you don’t need to be steeped in Marx – indeed, most lefties have never read Marx – to participate in the game and quickly figure out that “expressing outrage on behalf of X victim-class, and demanding immediate restitution” can be used as a means to elevate yourself socially, and help advance your peers political objectives. Soon you’ll find yourself well-employed in a University or a media organization, and you never have to question whether any of it actually makes logical sense: it gets results.

            2. Another remarkable fact they’ll never acknowledge: Donald Trump is the first president to go into office supporting gay marriage. He literally waved the rainbow flag onstage. Obama’s opinion changed once 51% of the population supported it, but he went into office in opposition, so Trump is the first one to go in saying he’s cool with it. This is a huge step forward for our culture, right? I mean he’s the GOP candidate, and he got elected without pandering to the SoCons on gay marriage. We should be hearing about how far we’ve all come. Nope. Instead, you hear nonstop about Pence

              That might be part of the reason they’re turning on gay white males: the GOP is (slowly) changing its tune

        2. but you see it in the way that they never actually celebrate their victories.

          You never saw doomsday cultists dancing in the streets when the global warming hiatus had been observed, or when we realized the models run unrealistically hot. Instead, they went into panic mode looking for ways prove the data wrong. That was extremely telling. And, sort of the opposite of how the scientific method works.

      3. Morally superior? By what standard?

  18. I have little doubt that there are some self-styled libertarians who engaged in race-selective moral panic about welfare recipients, but if so, surely they could be located and hyperlinked, in order to advance the conversation beyond the gross generalization that “market liberals and libertarians talk about ‘welfare'” differently than “how they talk about other kinds of government redistribution

    A thing that has become common in media is for a journalist to make some claim that “[X-group of people] is “Freaking Out” over Y event” and substantiate this with a half-dozen of the most retarded hot-takes they can find on twitter.

    As though this random sampling of people without any professional qualifications or political affiliations are representative of some collective-political-mind

    Its bad enough when its done on “young adult”, lulz sites like Twitchy or Buzzfeed, but the WaPo et al get in on the same M.O.

    Once this has been done a few times, the collective-views of “libertarians” are just assumed. Because once you’ve surveyed retard-ancap-twitter a few times, you’ve done your journalistic due-diligence. and who are you to question their judgement? These are professional opinion-shapers.

  19. Hey, speaking of racism, I’ve been reading about some bills from Democrats which are aimed at black people– all designed to help them better navigate public life and make better choices.

    1. It’s funny, isn’t it?

      Seattle’s Sugary Drink tax is a prime example of that.

  20. “It’s a quick step from here to full-on white nationalism.”

    This is a true statement, but with progressive’s new definition of white nationalism. Alexander and Wax, a law prof at Penn State, recently wrote an article that suggested that “bourgeois values” such as educational achievement, diligence in work, self-restraint in the use of drugs and alcohol, stoic faithfulness in marriage, and having children after marriage are superior to their opposites. Penn State students clamored that such “bourgeois values” are the very “root of white supremacy”. Half of the Penn State law department endorsed their criticism.

    The welfare state is an essential institution to subsidize the failures of those who disdain educational attainment, who are lazy at work, who abuse drugs and alcohol, who are promiscuous in and out of marriage, and who sire or bear children without responsibility. The welfare state must coercively penalize successful people (i.e., chiefly the people who more or less hold and practice “bourgeois values”) with taxes on the fruits of their labors to subsidize the failures of those who reject “bourgeois values”.

    Using the new, progressive definition of “white supremacy”, it should be clear that it is just a small step from the libertarian’s opposition to the welfare state to the libertarian’s advocacy of “bourgeois values” that are at the “root of white supremacy”.

    1. Communism is their motivation; “anti-racism” is their tactic.

      1. Anti racism is their branding of the racism they peddle.

  21. I don’t know if this got included in Welch’s roundup of the latest Libertarian-Flogging by the media…

    …but, from his former LA Times, comes this from someone named “Horsey”

    Atlas shrugs, as do libertarians when it comes to working Americans

    To the libertarian-minded, the poor and working class people who are mired in economic stagnation have only themselves to blame. Any helping hand offered by government and paid for by taxes on the abundantly wealthy is a tyrannical expropriation that robs the rich and turns the undeserving recipients of aid into social parasites.

    In the same way, any governmental restriction of an industrial enterprise for the sake of preserving a clean, healthy environment for the general good is an unjustified stab at the nation’s capitalist heart. Air thick with pollutants and waterways deadly enough to kill fish are the acceptable price to be paid to liberate the ambitions of the meritocracy….

    And government action to protect consumers from dishonest business operations or workers from exploitation by employers is judged equally abhorrent by the protectors of those who claim to be savvier, more talented, more ambitious and more deserving of their outsized share of the nation’s abundance.

    etc etc. aka “Scrooge-McDucktarianism”

    1. Leftists sure are good at attacking men of straw.

    2. The annoying thing is many self-described libertarians do couch things in terms of “Fuck them, it’s their fault they failed.”

      This covers up the nuance of being pro-worker by looking for ways to remove government blocks to actually work.

      1. And this is part of the problem.
        Some see the elimination of the welfare state as “the leeches getting their comeuppance”.
        Others see the elimination of the welfare state as “an opportunity for private actors to do some real good”.
        And they are in real tension.

    3. Is this one of those ‘devastating critiques’ Tony was referring to?

  22. Honestly, blm is just left-wing collectivism. Lerry Elder has a way better opinion than Jacob T. Levy when it comes to this question.

    1. BLM is about 80% – 90% correct in their policy goals. If you’ve ever been to their website, they have numerous links to reason.com on the topic of police reform. They’re off base about institutionalized racism (it’s really just TEAM BLUE against everyone else) and just about anything else race related, but all of their prescriptions regarding police are pulled from this mag and are pretty much spot on.

      1. They do somewhat agree with us on their practical policy goals. But you can find other BLM-associated websites that will rail on about the nuclear family or capitalism. That’s the downside to how poorly defined the structure of the movement is: many of them have used it as an opportunity to attach their own pet cause. If you attend one of these rallies, you’ll probably get handed like 50 communist newsletters and likely won’t feel comfortable disclosing that you’re a libertarian

  23. “Libertarians absolutely and clearly oppose corporate welfare,” Levy maintains, “but they don’t do so in the paternalistic language that corporate welfare recipients are morally hurt by being on the dole.” And yet the country’s oldest and most successful libertarian magazine has long been deliberately inverting the old “welfare queen” language when it comes to recipients of government largesse.

    You’re right of course. But Levy has a point. I think what a lot of people see, including myself, is that the welfare that gets people MOST riled up is not the corporate welfare, not the farm subsidies, but the welfare to those people, however one chooses to define “those people”. The annual cost of farm subsidies, and the annual cost of welfare to illegals, are about the same amount, in the tens of billions of dollars. But which one generates more heated disagreements and which one is potent grist for the fuel of a major party presidential campaign? You can’t argue that it is some principled objection to the welfare state in general, because otherwise you would expect to see those same people rejecting Trump due to his *support* for farm subsidies. It is because the welfare is going to the “wrong people”. Welfare to farmers isn’t considered as bad as welfare to illegals. And as long as there is a racial divide between the “wrong people” and the “less wrong people” getting welfare, it will fuel charges of racism, even if illegitimate.

    1. People get all gooey when they think about farmers. Many people have a very nostalgic appreciation of farmers. Remember Farm-Aid?

      1. chemjeff is retardedly wrong, as usual.

        The reason there are no arguments over farm subsidies is because nobody supports them except farmers. It’s just so easily accepted that they are unjust. No argument ensues. It has nothing to do with priorities.

        1. I don’t buy that nobody supports farm subsidies except farmers. But let’s just assume that it is true for a moment. Which generates more passion and anger on the right- welfare for farmers or welfare for illegals?

    2. “But which one generates more heated disagreements and which one is potent grist for the fuel of a major party presidential campaign?”

      You’re conflating Republicanism with Libertarianism methinks.

      1. Libertarian spoiler votes force Republicans to repeal bad laws or lose elections. Prohibition party votes made Republicans enact bad laws or lose, but that was before there was an LP.

    3. People get pretty pissed about bank bailouts; subsidies to certain industries are widely despised.

      1. Ya know, you are right. But subsidies to certain other industries aren’t nearly as despised, like to farmers.

        I think that in certain quarters, it is because they oppose welfare not out of some broad principle, but they oppose welfare if it is given to those who are “unworthy” on some level. Rich Wall Street bankers = unworthy. Illegals = unworthy. Librul kollidge professors = unworthy. But farmers? Eh, not so unworthy. Blue collar workers in the Rust Belt who failed to adapt to a globalized, mechanized workplace? Eh, also not so unworthy.

      2. Excellent! Let ’em vote Libertarian then.

    4. Farmers made out like bandits when housewives were Hooverizing against the Hun under the leadership of Food Czar Herbert Hoover during WW1. Alcohol prohibition cut off markets for barley but opened floodgates of profits for corn sugar moonshine–until government control of trade and production AND coercive prohibition enforcement using tax laws collapsed in These States as it had already collapsed all over Europe.

  24. I’d take Rothbard over the rest of em put together.

  25. The key is not being so afraid when they falsely call you racist. They have called everyone racist for so long it has no currency. Freedom is racist and we needn’t be afraid of these pussies.

    1. “Freedom is racist” lol yeah, sure, that’s a rallying cry for ya. No wonder everyone fails to warm to your (obviously oh-so appealing and correct) ideas….

      1. Doesn’t everything?

  26. Appropriate article for this discussion

    http://fee.org/articles/agains…..brutalism/

    Very prescient , was written 3 years ago but could have been written today

  27. I liked the article a lot more before reading its scattered fragments. Rand, whom mainstream Christian National Socialists would class and gas as an innately greedy Jew, wrote the NAP in April 1947 as war crimes trials wound down into pubic hangings. Denazification to American occupation forces meant forgiving Got Mitt Uns nazis and turning them into OUR useful idiots. To Soviet occupiers it meant nazis joining the Communist party. Ayn was then working on Chapter 10 of Atlas Shrugged, and her letter to Linda Lynneberg (Letters… 364-7) is a worthy summation. Basically, solutions that require the initiation of force–especially when based on racial collectivism–are not good solutions. This has survived as the vote-getting core of the libertarian party, and its engine for the repeal of bad legislation passed during the rise and decline of Christian National Socialism from the 1880s through the present.

  28. Eh, they used to mix us up w LaRouche. Even LaRouche was bothered by that.

  29. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

    This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

  30. In a debate ultimately centered around whether and how much libertarianism Trump has midwifed a movement that nurtures generalized antipathies toward collective swaths of people, essayists are using negative generalizations toward collective swaths of libertarians Trump supporters.

    FTFY

    One of the most beautiful sounds in the world these days are the cries of anguish of SJW collaborators when the same smears they apply to Trump supporters are applied to them in turn by SJWs of the True Faith.

    “Wah! I’m one of the good ones, not like those evil racist sexist Nazi Nazi Nazi Trump supporters! I hate them too! Why won’t you love me?”

    Such is the fate of those who feed the crocodile, hoping it will eat them last.

    Cry more.

  31. What a giant circle jerk.

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