Free Minds & Free Markets

Libertarianism Isn't a 'Gateway Drug' to the Alt-Right

Those who migrate from libertarianism to the alt-right have rejected the essence of the freedom movement and its philosophy.

Sachelle Babbar/ZUMA Press/NewscomSachelle Babbar/ZUMA Press/NewscomHow ridiculous it is for Matt Lewis of The Daily Beast to write, "It seems observably true that libertarianism is disproportionately a gateway drug to the alt-right."

To say the libertarian movement is a "gateway drug" is to say more than that some prominent members of the alt-right once called themselves libertarians. It's also to say that alt-rightism provides a purer form of what those members had found in libertarianism (aka original liberalism, or simply liberalism).

A good measure of ignorance of liberalism is required to entertain this thought. Libertarianism is a more formal version of (classical) liberalism, the social philosophy that blossomed in the 18th century but had roots in previous ages.

The liberal worldview was self-consciously universal, applicable to all people everywhere because all human beings had the same basic requirements for flourishing. Religion and culture mattered only because they might explain variations in the ways free people pursued the good life. But the basics were expected to be more or less the same because people are people, that is, "created" equal.

Liberalism has recognized the importance of respect for property to the quest for the good life. This is not difficult to fathom. How can one flourish in an environment in which one's possessions are subject to confiscation by the state or freelance marauders? This point is reinforced when one remembers that plans can extend over many months and years. Who would delay consumption a long period without reasonable certainty of being able to enjoy the fruits of one's labor and forbearance?

So, yes, private property is central to liberalism. But liberals have historically seen property as an institution engendering not exclusion, but inclusion. Free trade and the widest possible division of labor have been just as dear to liberals as property rights—the connection is obvious. You see this clearly in Adam Smith and Ludwig von Mises.

Mises in particular located the source of wider social living in the perceived potential for gains from trade and toleration. Liberals have seen the division of labor and free trade as indispensable to human flourishing, but those things cannot exist securely without mutual respect for every person's title to their own stuff. As an institution, property was of a piece with cosmopolitanism and exchange of all kinds. That's why a "pure" race or culture is as chimerical as a "pure" language.

Sure, property also authorizes owners to exclude from its use those they wish to exclude for whatever reason. But that hardly seems to have been the focus of liberals. Rather, property was about ever-greater opportunities for interaction—race, culture, and national borders notwithstanding.

The exclusionary side of property could explain why some individuals flirted with libertarianism before going on to circles of racial and religious bigotry. Perhaps those individuals were attracted to the exclusionary features of property but then got turned off when they saw the overriding lure of inclusion that property and trade present. So they moved on.

Another explanation is that some people are attracted to a "fringe" movement not because of anything particular to it but because like the idea of being a big fish in a small pond. If for some reason one pond doesn't suit, they may jump to another "fringier" pond.

No matter how hard one might try, it is impossible to twist libertarianism into something it is not. Property can be used to advance bigotry, but so can a printing press or a website. No one thinks this negative potential taints the ideas of free trade and free speech, which predominantly foster increased contact across former divides. Likewise, the wish of some to use property in the cause of bigotry does not detract from the institution's monumental contribution to peace and harmony among diverse people.

Maybe a few self-described libertarians cling to the idea that property is essentially about exclusion, but they are fated to hit a wall: liberalism is a spirit as well as a set of ideas, and it cannot be turned against itself. It fosters human solidarity, not separation.

Libertarianism, like its precursor, is an answer to the question: under what conditions do reasoning social animals best flourish? In answering that question the way it has, liberalism offers no home to sowers of division.

This not to say that a few participants in the libertarian movement haven't infamously pandered to alt-right types in search of donations and bodies for events. This has done the movement an injustice because it lets antagonists suggest some that substantive connection exists between liberalism and illiberalism.

Some libertarians have also encouraged the idea of a connection by their inept explanation of the libertarian position on public-accommodation and employment anti-discrimination laws. The libertarians I have in mind give only half the explanation when they insist that property owners have the right to exclude anyone they wish. That's true, but libertarianism properly conceived goes further in light of the considerations outlined here. The rest of the answer is that even nonviolent bigotry is illiberal because its collectivist premise clashes with the firmest grounding of the case for individual liberty and is thus properly a matter of concern to libertarians as libertarians. (See "What Social Animals Owe to Each Other" and "Libertarianism = Anti-Racism.")

Therefore, when libertarians are asked if bigoted property owners should be free to discriminate, they should say, "Free of government force, yes, but not necessarily free from costs imposed by consumers." In other words, bigotry should be fought without help from the state, where appropriate, through boycott, ostracism, and publicity.

Thus those who migrate from the libertarian movement to the alt-right have rejected the essence of the freedom movement and its philosophy. They are certainly not looking for a purer version of it.

This piece was originally published by The Libertarian Institute.

Photo Credit: Sachelle Babbar/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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  • Last of the Shitlords||

    The progressives claim to be enlightened about race and that everyone but them are racist. Yet Hollywood, completely and utterly controlled and dominated by far left progressives is racist......

  • DajjaI||

    They also say that republicanism is a gateway to Nazism, and that dems are a gateway to socialism. At the risk of getting banned again by Reason - libertarianism has been infiltrated by the alt-right for the purpose of discrediting it.

  • Sevo||

    I have no idea if that bullshit claim could cause you to be banned again, but it is bullshit.
    Fuck off, asshole.

  • DajjaI||

    You seem triggered. Maybe go curl up in your safe space?

    But I think it's funny how you are trying to pretend the alt-right invasion never happened. Also your angry, hateful response to me demonstrates why I was banned - along with no one defending me. So Reason assumed it was freebie. #neveragain

  • jdgalt1||

    You fuck off. DajjaI is right.

    Charleston was doubly a false-flag attack. First, the organizer, an Obama plant, advertised a "Unite the Right" gathering, meant to sucker in ordinary conservatives and libertarians. Then when they showed up, he surprised them by flying a Nazi banner above their heads. Finally, by pre-arrangement with Virginia State Police, he corralled and forced them in front of the clubs and other weapons of "Antifa" terrorist thugs.

    Not only are these tactics straight out of Mao's Cultural Revolution, but with the cooperation he got from media (including certain dupes at Reason), he made it plausible (to the average poorly informed TV "news" viewer) that both Trump supporters and libertarians really are comparable to the KKK and Nazis. Which of course is a complete and vicious Big Lie.

    The events at Berkeley and other places where "Antifa" has shut down conservative speeches are similar in every way I've described above.

    Sheldon Richman, I have a lot of respect for you, but you're letting the enemy use you as a "useful idiot." Please acquaint yourself with these facts before you inadvertently help them do it again.

  • Jay Dubya||

    Wow. Just ... Wow.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Reason has been infiltrated by Progressivism, for the purpose of discrediting libertarianism.

  • Qsl||

    Weak sauce.

    Instead of fawning attempts to claim the high ground against the alt-right, why doesn't libertarianism directly and forcefully answer their charges?

    Explain how libertarianism benefits the dying towns in the mid-west ravaged by opioid addiction? Explain how the ostracism of the McCarthy era is uniquely different than the ostracism of a bakery that refuses to accommodate a gay wedding cake, and what solutions libertarianism offers?

    The implication of libertarianism with the alt-right is bad enough, but when libertarianism can't offer a direct argument of how libertarianism is better, platitudes is all you are left with.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Explain how libertarianism benefits the dying towns in the mid-west ravaged by opioid addiction?
    It doesn't. It benefits the individual. However the legalization of drugs will lead to less overdoses and naloxone being available OTC.

    Explain how the ostracism of the McCarthy era is uniquely different than the ostracism of a bakery that refuses to accommodate a gay wedding cake,
    McCarthy Era - Government Force
    Bakery - Freedom of Dissociation

    and what solutions libertarianism offers?
    It offers a choice. Find your own solution.

  • Qsl||


    So the epidemic of opiod abuse contributed to by the loss of jobs, and all libertarianism can contribute is naloxone being OTC. That's sure to win over people!

    Likewise, the whole of McCarthyism was government force and never, never the gestalt of the Red Scare inhabiting private businesses. And the whispering campaigns against suspected communist was merely freedom of speech! If it wasn't for the governemnt, there would be no distrust of communist at all. Similarly, all of the backlash against Muslims is solely by the hand of government.

    It offers a choice.

    And increasingly that choice is the alt-right, even with their misguided solutions.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I'll throw a few more in:

    Hemp/Pot Legalization (not to replace opioids for addicts, but to create new farming jobs in the Rust Belt regions that are well suited for it. I read an article somewhere which alleged that jobs created by the cannabis industry could exceed those lost by manufacturing: probably BS, but it can't hurt).

    Occupational Licensing Reform (raises opportunity cost of service/maintenance jobs ideal for fired factory workers)

    Loosening Environmental Regulation (streamline logging/creation of new mines and add new jobs around fracking, pipeline construction, and possibly nuclear power)

    Zoning Regulation Reform (lower housing prices in job-creating regions, making it easier to move to them)

    How important are any of those by themselves? I don't know. But altogether? THEY are the problem. Trade ALWAYS destroys the *old* jobs, but it also always creates *new* ones: the problem is that government sat on the "creative" part of "creative destruction" while leaving the "destruction" part alone.

    And of course, it bears mentioning that most estimates put job losses from trade at no more than 50% of total losses, and most are closer to 33%: 50% to 66% of losses are to *automation*, not trade. So it might also be a matter of persuading potential alt-right converts, not that libertarianism is the solution to their problem, but rather that they have (partially) mistaken the nature of that problem in the first place.

  • Qsl||

    Telcontar the Wanderer


    There are massive gulfs between mainstream libertarian positions and policies compared to the alt-right to where it becomes curious how anyone can claim it is much of a gateway to anything except anarcho-capitalism or maybe some variation of Georgist. Even a cursory examination of the alt-rights' prescriptions for the country is more in-line with the far left (I don't hear anyone from the alt-right discussing zoning reform, but they sure do love the idea of nationalized healthcare).

    But instead of pointing out the obvious different methodologies of libertarians, too many seem to still be stung by the charges made against Ron Paul; hemming and hawing against charges of racism.

    There are probably several racist among libertarians, but that identity is distinct from libertarianism, not because of it.

    Good job in analyzing the concerns (complete with policy changes) of the alt-right.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "Good job in analyzing the concerns (complete with policy changes) of the alt-right."

    My sarcasm detector can't get a reading on this... cannot tell if being mocked.

  • JFree||

    Trade ALWAYS destroys the *old* jobs, but it also always creates *new* ones: the problem is that government sat on the "creative" part of "creative destruction" while leaving the "destruction" part alone.

    Stop blaming this on government. ECONOMICS itself only demonstrates that 'free trade' is a utilitarian benefit. party A and B benefit more than party C loses - but without compensation by A/B to C (so that C is at least the same as before), that utilitarian assessment is little different than the old saw about majoritarianism - two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for lunch. And let's ignore that the neoclassical memes about free trade don't work the same with either floating exchange rates or debt-based money - or that trade flow drivers are completely different for the reserve currency than for any other country.

    Somewhere and I don't know when (seems like the late 1980's though), the 'free trade' mantra became merely an unchallengeable religious expression and lost its connection with actual economics and with any actual economic ideas. And in going along with that morphing - without ANY questioning of it or reintroduction of actual economic ideas back into the discussion - libertarianism ceased to be classical liberalism and simply became the useful idiots for plutocrats/cronies on economic issues.

    It's sad and annoying too - because 'your life sucks but you should be free to self-medicate with any drugs' is a pretty empty political philosophy.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "'your life sucks but you should be free to self-medicate with any drugs' is a pretty empty political philosophy"

    Yeah, it is, which is why I wasn't arguing for it. Take that up with "Unicorn Abattoir", not me.

    When trade lowers the prices of goods, it is true that the benefit of this isn't distributed equally: some native industries get destroyed, while others are unaffected, and it goes without saying that paying less for the same value at the store doesn't balance out the total loss of a fired worker's income. That's the protectionist's strongest argument.

    BUT, that disproportionate distribution cuts both ways: because the people who *weren't* employed in the destroyed industries, are still getting paid the same amount that they were before- yet now buy the same things they did before for less. Static Wages + Lowered Prices = More Disposable Income. And more disposable income = more consumption. And since our ability to invent new ways to waste money is infinite (see: cosplay, app design, pot farms), that means more jobs... *if* those fired workers are allowed to move to them, and take the jobs without going through 100s of hours of training they can't afford first. Zoning regulation, occupational licensing, the death of trade schools... They each take their toll.

    TL;DR: there is no "Lump of Labor" unless the state mandates it.

  • JFree||

    BUT, that disproportionate distribution cuts both ways:

    Yes I know but the point of free trade as an ECONOMIC concept (rather than a FYTW utilitarian concept) is that the 'winners' can compensate the 'losers' and still come out ahead. Which in practice means that any negotiated tariff change (and they are all negotiated and always have been so let's stop pretending that hypothetical free trade worlds exist) has to contain both the tariff reduction and the 'compensation'. It can't be shoved off onto general taxes - or not even done as a FYTW.

    Further, floating exchange rates and the reserve currency country also have an additional set of issues. Any 'free trade agreement' that creates/sustains permanent deficits (ie currency exports) is also effectively protecting the big/established/multinational at the expense of the small/local/startup. When a tiny local company can now be obliterated by mere currency fluctuations and has to now buy currency hedges - that is effectively a form of 'new' regulatory cost increase that may look 'private' but is in practice coercive and mandated and serves to raise the cost of capital to 'entrepreneurs'. Or at least those entrepreneurs who are looking to start an actual company sustained by profits rather than just play the IPO/hype game.

  • Qsl||


    Yeah but you're going to need a practical example for your points to stick.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I'm not sure what you mean by "compensation". As I see it, the "compensation" is the increase in wealth, and thus consumption, by the "winners" from the opening up of trade, which then creates new jobs for the "losers" to replace their lost old jobs. No different than when automation does it (which, as shouldn't be forgotten, is more of the problem in the Rust Belt than trade). Thus the compensation for the "losers" ought to be *inherent* to the situation, given absence of artificial barriers to said new jobs. When you say that "there needs to be compensation", are you referring to some sort of subsidy or new protectionist regulation? I'm going to assume you're not, but I can't tell.

    However, currency flows are not an area I have much knowledge in, so I will not attempt to debate your assertions about that issue one way or the other.

  • DajjaI||

    epidemic of opiod abuse

    Sorry but what does that even mean?? Most people go through a heavy using phase and move on. UNLESS they get killed during the drug war. Which libertarians oppose. Not to mention, abolishing the minwage so that at least these people can work during economic disruptions.

    And increasingly that choice is the alt-right

    HAHA Trump and Bannon discredited the alt-right for a generation. The next guy who promises 'to make all your dreams come true' will get laughed out of town.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Unless he or she is a Democrat, in which case they will be welcomed with open arms.
    'Make all your dreams come true' is the progressive motto, minus the mechanisms. Odd how no one ever wants to talk mechanisms. Could it be that all the Dems and the left in general have to offer is slavery?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    You mean, no one would believe a presidential campaign based on Hope?

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    No, no, no. We must put people addicted to a drug in jail. To help them. Absolutely nothing can hurt them while they are under the watchful eye of big brother. This is compassion.

  • Mark22||

    Likewise, the whole of McCarthyism was government force and never, never the gestalt of the Red Scare inhabiting private businesses.

    You're confusing McCarthy and HUAC. McCarthy was concerned with communist infiltration of the US government, not private businesses. And since the 1990's, we know a lot more about that.

  • Agammamon||

    1. You keep calling opioid use an 'epidemic'. Its not.

    2. The suffering towns in the midwest - caused by Conservative *and* Progressive policies that limit choice.

  • Jerryskids||

    and what solutions libertarianism offers?

    It offers a choice. Find your own solution

    Amen. Can't say that often enough. Anybody who comes along offering solutions always wants power first. Elect me, and here's what I'll do for you. Both the D's and the R's have been offering solutions for years - and, oh look, we're 20 trillion in debt and we've got "dying towns in the mid-west ravaged by opioid addiction". Or is that something libertarianism caused?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||


    Qsi needs to go back to his handlers for a new argument.

  • Robert||

    Even in the McCarthy Era, very little gov't force was used for the type of "ostracism" invoked.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Re: Qsl,

    Explain how libertarianism benefits the dying towns in the mid-west ravaged by opioid addiction?

    Who created the dying towns im the mid-west eavaged by opioid addiction in the first place?

    Answer: You. You did. Through your busybodyism, turned into action through government.

    We're not busybodies, unlike YOU. That's the answer.

  • fafalone||

    The harms of opioid abuse are minimized through a policy of regulated legal access, access to treatment, access to quality controlled product, stability of supply, and realistic education. Prohibition takes an already potentially harmful substance and makes the harms it causes worse, by causing more ODs, spending money on jails and police instead of education and treatment, driving up the prices thereby increasing property crime and decreasing the ability of users to contribute to society, and increases the overall level of violence in society by abdicating control to and funding to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars cartels and gangs. Addiction is not only less of a problem in a legalization regime, but actually reduced as access to treatment increases, stigma decreases, and contact with the criminal justice system decreases.
    Libertarians generally support this system, whereas the alt-right, the Republicans, Progressives and Democrats, do not. And all the is before we even get to the principle of how oppressive it is for the state to enforce at gunpoint a law against having the bodily autonomy to control what you are allowed to put in your own body. My personal hobby is calling progressives racists for supporting the drug war. Their heads explode because they can't bring themselves to support ending it for anything other than pot.

  • Tony||

    Many of these people think McCarthy was right (like Ann Coulter). Many practice their fresh new version--kick out the immigrants because they might vote for Democrats.

    Some will begrudgingly admit that this is kinda sorta not in the interest of individual freedom. But they never have a solution for how to win over a democratic majority to their point of view.

  • Harun||

    Looks like Democrats don't want any potential GOP immigrants.

    Weird how the pro-immigration people didn't bat an eyelid on increased enforcement on one group.

  • buybuydandavis||

    kick out the immigrants because they might vote for Democrats.

    Because they *do* vote for democrats.

    But they never have a solution for how to win over a democratic majority to their point of view.

    The Democratic majority has been anti open borders for decades. They were overruled by judicial authoritarians (Prop 187), and then increasingly outvoted by the statist voters illegally imported thereby.

    The Open Borders crowd couldn't win "a democratic majority to their point of view", so they illegally imported a new voters more in tune with their big government preferences.

    And they were on the verge of permanent power until the God Emperor came down from the clouds to save America.


  • MarkLastname||

    You seem to believe McCarthy was right, at least in his methods: ostracizing people you disagree with to the point of absolute marginalization.

    If course, actively supporting genicidal communist regimes is totally forgivable to you, but having once opposed gay marriage is probably grounds for never being able to find work again. Gotta keep a sense of proportion, right? How else can someone believe Brendan Eich is worse than Dalton Trumbo.

  • Azathoth!!||

    McCarthy WAS right.

    Imagine if after WW2 the US had welcomed all the nazi intelligentsia into it's universities and media. What would the country look like today?

    Well, we welcomed the commie intelligentsia into our universities and media instead. The purveyors of the ideals of our communist enemies.

    Instead of turning communism into the same hateful, dangerous and stupidly evil ideology we turned fascism into, whole swathes of our society embraced it.

    And now? Hitler's paltry 6 million has been eclipsed more than 16 times over--without a great war. And the death toll is still rising.

    What might have happened had we treated communism like it's bastard child, nazism?

  • Jay Dubya||

    Operation paperclip.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Instead of fawning attempts to claim the high ground against the alt-right, why doesn't libertarianism Reason directly and forcefully answer their charges?

    Libertarians can answer their charges. The Alt-Lite does all the time. The civic nationalism of the Alt-Lite is the libertarian alternative to the Alt-Right.

    Progressitarians can't answer the Alt-Right's chargers because they are ideologically committed to a globalist vision that fucks the peasants in relatively free countries to enrich the ruling elites and foreign peasants in relatively unfree countries.

    They are the Cucktarians counterpart to the Cuckservatives. They chant "muh Liberty principles" while favoring policies to destroy Liberty where it actually exists.

  • Azathoth!!||

    It is weak sauce because Libertarianism, and the Libertarian party are so riddled through with leftist maggots that one might as well vote for a Democrat or a Socialist--as the LP 'candidates' for president and vice president made abundantly clear this past election.

    The ideas of libertarianism have no point of cohesion anymore. There is no center to rally around.

    The deregulation the Telcontar throws up is part of the Trump program. Trump, by all that is foul and dark, Trump. Trump is taking that away from the LP--all while they bitch about him.

    The embrace of quasi-SJW mores by people who claim to be writing as libertarians has taken everything else away.

  • John's broseph||

    I consider the "alt right" morally wrong. But I do occasionally wonder if diversity and freedom are mutually incompatible. As the United States becomes more diverse do you think we will see an increase in freedom? Or will we see increasing Balkanization along racial lines.

    Reasons analysis of the alt right is barely scratching the surface to the point where they aren't even leaving a mark.

    We can say that people have freedom of movement and they will accept diversity, but what happens if they don't? I want a deeper reasoning than "well they should". Because people should do all sorts of things but time and time again they don't.

    Advocating for unlimited immigration and diversity without attempting to understand the ramifications because "it's good" is nothing more than religious faith, and a quite underdeveloped one at that. I personally believe that all people should get along because they're equal in the eyes of God, but I can also think about what happens if they don't.

    The nagging question I have is if diversity was possible why did humans ever invent nation's/tribes.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    If liberty was always possible, why did we invent kings and emperors?

  • DajjaI||

    Unlimited immigration is great but we are not ready for it. The US has freedom of speech religion and press, and this is increasing because people realize that this is the foundation for security. Europe on the other hand is going in the reverse direction because they delusionally believe that security is the basis for freedom - "We must restrict freedom to preserve it!" They will descend into another periodic conflagration if they do not reverse course. But once more countries support robust freedom then free immigration will become possible. We're still a long ways off.

    The purpose of nations and tribes was to accelerate evolution as they plundered each other for the best. But now that is no longer necessary.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    What will it take for us to be ready for it?

  • DajjaI||

    When North and South Dakota merge into one government - I'll reconsider my position.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The European Union today resembles the United States 200 years ago. Many in the younger generation see themselves as European. Many in the older generation see themselves as members of their countries and think it might be time to dissolve the Union.

  • John's broseph||

    I highly doubt that the young people of Greece and Italy are enjoying the benefits of the EU

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Re: John's broseph,

    But I do occasionally wonder if diversity and freedom are mutually incompatible.

    If you accept the reality that each human being is unique, then your question suffers from a perfunctory contradiction.

    Liberty is always possible because each human has a mind and thus a will. Each of us is born free.

    If you're asking how can people be free from authoritarianism and tyranny, that has nothing to do with our essence of being free beings, but with people's lack of knowledge of something better than authority and tyranny. That's all. That lack of knowledge is not unique among people of shared traits. Ignorance and stupidity knows no color. So GROW THE FUCKING UP, already.

  • John's broseph||

    I never said that the lack of knowledge was unique to one group. In fact my entire thesis is basically as diversity increases people are less supportive of freedom and more concerned with their tribe doing well. I think it's a reaction that's spread across all races.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    That would make the completely isolated North Koreans stalwarts of freedom and liberty.

    Again - grow up.

  • John's broseph||

    And if diversity led to freedom then libertarians would be itching to get into Iraq.

    Man I miss the old reason commenters.

  • DenverJ||

    ... why did humans ever invent nation's/tribes.

    They didn't. See, a long time ago, people decided to build a tower to heaven to challenge God, so God scattered the people and have them different languages so they couldn't cooperate again. Also, unicorns.

  • Tony||

    Go live in a big city for a while. People will vote for big government, but they tend to get along relatively well despite racial and cultural differences.

    Maybe getting along in a diverse world is simply more important than forcing your retarded ass laissez-faire bullshit on people who don't want it.

  • John's broseph||

    "forcing laissez faire"
    Quite the contradiction you got there

  • Tony||

    Except it's not.

  • Harun||

    Except for the race riots.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Go live in a big city for a while. People will vote for big government, but they tend to get along relatively well despite racial and cultural differences.

    Try Chicago, Tony.

  • MarkLastname||

    Or LA. Or Detroit. Or Milwaukee. Or St. Louis...

  • Tony||

    I have been to Chicago many times. Have you? Or have you never left the grounds of your brother-uncle's meth emporium?

    Reporting from Chicago: there are people of a huge number of ethnic backgrounds interacting peacefully. This is news you can use.

  • GILMORE™||

    The sheldon doth protest too much.

  • Julien Couvreur||

    Dear Sheldon,

    While you focus on exclusionary views (culture), I would focus on the State for explaining the difference between libertarianism and alt-right. I'll explain why.
    Without the State, bigotry cannot morph and expand into coercive exclusion (nationalism, protectionism or worse), as you point out.
    But I'd argue that the State is key to the alt-right's existence in one more way: much bigotry is the result of the State creating injustice and resentment.
    Rightly or wrongly, the groups that most visibly benefit from the State are the ones at the top (who benefit from cronyism, monetary policy, etc) and those at the bottom (who benefit from welfare, affirmative action, etc).
    I'm open to a better explanation, but my observation is that the alt-right has particular animosity towards those groups (in a broad and misplaced collectivist sense). That suggests this dynamic is important.

  • Freddie||

    One problem is that Libertarians have been stereotyped as a bunch of social loser white guys – similar in profile to the tiki torch white supremacists who would have spent that Charlottesville Friday night with their girlfriends if they had any.
    Libertarians (both big "L" and small "l") need to prioritize minority outreach. Republicans have given "limited government" a bad name even in poor, urban communities that, for example, have been poorly served by dysfunctional, union-strangled public schools.

  • Tony||

    Libertarians like to think they're stereotyped as monocle-wearing rich assholes, but everyone who's not a libertarian sees them as pale pathetic losers.

  • MarkLastname||

    So, you're punching down then.

  • Freddie||

    Thank you for the intelligent exchange of ideas.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    The actual explanation:

    What Libertarians Say: "You have to let people say and do racist things, because the only way to stop them is to become an even worse monster yourself!"

    What Angry Young White Male Soon-To-Be Alt-Righters Hear: "You have to let people say and do racist things, because THIS RACISM SHIT IS, LIKE, TOO COOL TO MISS OUT ON, GUYS, LIKE, SERIOUSLY, GET IN HERE WHILE THE RACIST GETTING'S GOOD!"

  • Shirley Knott||

    Citations needed.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    My only citation is that *I* am an angry, young white male... And the only thing that attracts me to the alt-right is their flipping-of-the-bird to political correctness. It seems to be the main thread in common between the 2 ideologies, so I'm guessing the reverse must be true to a large extent as well. Military non-interventionism and gun rights are probably contributors too. It sure as hell ain't libertarians' opinions on free trade or ICE.

    (Fortunately I'm too big a fan of importing as many Hispanic and Asian women as possible to ever be tempted by the full Alt-Right policy portfolio).

  • DenverJ||

    Once the Hispanic ladies hit thirty, they get fat. Those Asians, though, they look thirty until they hit 80.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I only need 3 minutes with each of them. Just keep them coming in an orderly line, and then they can be on their way.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think you've missed one of the most important aspects of freedom of speech as it applies to monsters.

    Take the Westboro Baptist Church as an example. Whether they were protesting military funerals with signs that read "Thank God For Dead Soldiers" or whether they were protesting elsewhere with hateful signs reading, "God Hates Fags", the reason the Westboro Baptist Church is roundly despised by all sides in America isn't because their free speech rights wee violated. It's because they were free to express their awful message.

    If you want Americans to despise the monsters, don't violate the monsters' free speech rights. Just give them a microphone and put them on camera. They'll do the rest of the work in destroying themselves--thanks to free speech.

    The reason hateful parties like the National Front in France can deny antisemitism, get away with it, and garner so much support at the polls is because no one has heard them say anything antisemitic in more than a decade. The reason no one has heard them say anything antisemitic is because denying the holocaust (among other despicable things) is against the law in France. Le Pen wouldn't enjoy anywhere near the support she got if the government weren't preventing her fellow National Front members from shooting their mouths off.

    Like it or not, violating the free speech rights of deplorables is carrying water for them.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Westboro was despised because they showed what Biblical Literalism was really like.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Vile troll disputes nothing, just trolls on.

  • Fancylad||

    The funny thing about Westboro, is that it's founder, a prominent civil rights lawyer who had worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center and was an Al Gore presidential delegate, suddenly threw it all away to start a "church" that largely consisted of his immediate family.
    His church of an average 8 - 15 people didn't protest pride parades or gay bars, but unrelated events that would obviously make them hated, soldiers and cops funerals.
    Westboro's protests always managed to attract national media coverage.
    As soon as Obergefell v. Hodges is won, they fade away.

    Nothing suspicious there.

  • Robert||

    Maybe it's because they're not antisemitic. In fact they identify antisemitic Moslems as their opponents largely because of their antisemitism!

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    @ Ken Schultz

    Not disagreeing with a word of that. But I don't think that would've fit in a single, pithy sentence, which was what I was going for, you'll note.

  • EscherEnigma||

    The Westboro Baptists were "free to express their awful message" for something like a decade before they became "roundly despised by all sides in America". But no one cared, because they were just protesting the funerals of folks that died from AIDS and gay people.

    They only became "roundly despised by all sides in America" when they upped their game and started protesting the funerals of soldiers.

    And while we're at is, let's talk about other people that like to claim things are biblical judgement for gay people. Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy and Harvey have all had plenty of Christians grabbing a microphone and claiming the disaster is biblical judgement for gay people. Funny enough, those folks aren't "roundly despised", even though their claims aren't really any less hateful or bigoted then those of the Westboro Baptists: they just don't directly involve the military.

    So, uh, yeah. If I had to decide what American quirk made them despised, it's probably our military fetish.

  • DarrenM||

    There is a difference between an individual disapproving of something he or she finds disagreeable then expressing that disapproval and supporting government suppression of ideas and speech he or she finds disagreeable. There are many (mainly to the left-of-center) who seem to assume they are indistinguishable.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    My point was that a lot of young, impressionable right-wingers can't recognize that distinction either. The difference being that the far Left equates free speech with supporting racism, and *rejects* both, whereas the far Right equates free speech with supporting racism, and *embraces* both.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Libertarianism is the idea that individuals should be free to make choices for themselves. To whatever extent the the alt-right opposes that, be it individualism or the right to make choices independent of the so called greater good, yeah, joining the alt-right is a fundamental rejection of libertarianism.

    However, being a progressive is all about using the coercive power of government to force individuals to make sacrifices for the so called greater good--be it in the form of forcing Christians to violate their religious convictions to stay in business or forcing people to make sacrifices of their standard of living to fight climate change, give more free healthcare to the poor, etc.

    To the extent that Antifa is willing to use violence to violate any individual's freedom of speech or shut down peaceful protests, it should be noted that Antifa is perfectly compatible with progressivism. Just like progressives, Antifa is all about violating individual rights in the name of what they consider to be the greater good.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The Antifa movement deserves derision for their attempts to squelch speech and assembly but the Conservative/far right movement is more anti-liberty overall and is more violent by a ratio of about 10-1.

    Both are anti-liberal.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The difference isn't between conservatives and revolutionaries; it's between authoritarians (on both sides) and libertarians--your personal preference for one flavor of shit sandwich over another notwithstanding,

  • Careless||

    More violent by 10-1? Citation needed

  • Palin's Buttplug||

  • Careless||

    Given that they're not looking at left-wing murders at all in that report, you look like an ass.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    RTFA. Murder is almost exclusively a right wing tactic while arson and property damage are left wing.

  • MarkLastname||

    Someone doesn't remember the 60s and 70s.

    And those BLM guys that murdered a bunch of cops. Or are they not 'real' leftists?

  • buybuydandavis||

    The 100 million corpses of communism beg to differ.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    According to the ECDB, activities of far left wing violent extremist groups did not result in any fatalities during this period.

    Reading is fundamental.

  • Chmeee||

    Not yet. Give them time, they'll get around to it.

  • MarkLastname||

    So we already know they're full of shit. Several BLM-related murders have occurred, probably racking up more deaths that 'eight wing' groups body count.

    This is a common ploy: use an extremely broad definition of right wing, while applying the no true Scotsman fallacy to exclude any leftists from the analysis.

  • DarrenM||

    The ECDB is a database of the
    attacks committed by far rightists, radical Islamists and animal and environmental rights
    extremists in the United States since 1990.

    Far right extremist groups include white supremacists and
    antigovernment militias, among others. START defines far left extremists as including
    those with extreme views on animal rights and the environment.

    This is a little bizarre. "Far right extremist groups" have "among others" appended. Far left extremists apparently include only extreme views on "animal rights and the environment". There is no place I saw with any qualification that suggests there are any other type of "far left extremist".

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The politically conservative Daily Caller News Foundation using data from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), found 92% of all "ideologically motivated homicide incidents" committed in the United States from 2007 to 2016 were done "with a right-wing extremist or white supremacist motive".

  • ||

    Do you think people won't click on your links?

    It says so right there: UNSUBSTANTIATED.

    You have problems.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You're just another idiot Trumptard.

    The data from our analysis comes from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a university research center partially funded by the Department of Homeland Security.

    Our findings support the ADL statistic. Using their definition of right-wing extremists, we found that 92 percent of ideologically motivated homicide incidents were committed with a right-wing extremist or white supremacist motive.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Don't be distracted by the troll's trolling.

    This troll prefers one flavor of shit sandwich to another. Whether he's right about his favorite flavor of shit sandwich being the best is beside the point.

    It's a shit sandwich.

  • Kefka||

    You should read the whole article.

  • ||

    You talking to me?

    I did.

    Still doesn't prove his point.

  • ||

    You're full of shit. Citation needed on your stupid ratio. Second, hm. Have you been paying ANY fucking attention what happens on campuses? So, all these invented things like micro aggressions, safe spaces, endless protests, anti-liberty rhetoric and all that crap stem from conservatives?

    This kind of progressive logic on display reminds of the prisoner in a gulag where they did nothing wrong but the government tells then they did inventing charges against the prisoner.

    Here we have the left constantly attacking liberty and people like shit head here, without proof, just turn around and blame conservatives are worse? You sound like ENB and Soave in your derelict intellectual relativism.

    It's retarded beyond belief.

    And pay your fucken bet.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    We're talking about violence and murder, you idiot. Not some butthurt prog trying to shout down a racist speaker.

  • ||


  • ||

    Some of those 'right-wingers' identified in the ADL report are collectivists (i.e. white supremacists) and by that nature are really left-wing. They're all left-wing. Socialist, Nazi, Marxist, Communists and with Fascists being to the right of those.

    In other words, it's a fight among retards.

  • AlmightyJB||

    They are all left-wing. I would actually put both Fascist and Nazis to the left of Marxism because they were Socialist who couldn't wait for Marx's worker revolt to come about on it's own so they were really radical Marxist.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And you're another idiot. There is no "equality" in Aryan Supremacy and Killing Jews.

    "Right wing" actually means a "favored class or ethnic group". Left-wing is egalitarian or "equal".

    A few wingnuts here are trying to rewrite political definitions.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Close--but not quite.

    "Right wing" actually means a "favored class or ethnic group". Left-wing is egalitarian or "equal".

    Right wing doesn't recognize 'class' or any other 'group identity'. It's individualistic. So yes, there's no equality--everyone is different. But there is egalitarianism--equality before the law. The law applies to all, equally.

    Left wing DOES recognize classes and ethnic groups. They DO pick favored and disfavored groups. They do this in pursuit of complete equality--not egalitarianism. The left seeks an actual and complete equality.

    Once they have it, they will, by default, have the other..


  • DarrenM||

    So, you're saying those on the far right are more competent that those on the far left.

  • Sir Chips Alot||

    you can't make up this kind of stupid

  • Tony||

    Leftist radicals haven't killed anyone since 1987. You're being had be desperate propagandists trying to salvage what's left of the right.

    You're welcome to google for a list of people right-wing extremists have killed. It's probably getting longer as we speak.

  • MarkLastname||

    Wow, talk about a memory hole. There have been several cases of leftist black militants killing police officers in the past few years, one killing like 6 (or was it more?) in one go.

  • Fk_Censorship||

    No lefty violence after 1987, ey? Romanian Revolution (or rather, firing on and killing people calling for free markets)? Tiananmen square? Everything going on in North Korea? Kurdistan Workers' Party bombings? The nice deeds of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (Syria, or similar Baathist shenanigans in Iraq)? Multiple assassination attempt of Republican lawmakers at a baseball practice? FARC attacks on civilians in Colombia? Shining Path and Tupac Amaru attacks in Peru? Maoist terror in Nepal? Slobodan Milosevic (and the Socialist Party of Serbia)? These are just a few off the top of my head. Let me guess, they weren't real leftists, right?

  • SIV||

    their inept explanation of the libertarian position on public-accommodation and employment anti-discrimination laws... In other words, bigotry should be fought without help from the state, where appropriate, through boycott, ostracism, and publicity.

    Of course bigotry and discrimination may also be encouraged and enforced through the same means.

  • Chmeee||

    Yes, it could, if there were a sufficient number of the members in our society that would buy into that. The small sampling of my circle of friends and associates would indicate that isn't the case.

    Maybe that isn't enough of a demographic to extrapolate into society as a whole, but it seems to me that, in general, we tend to be less tolerant of it, and that intolerance of bigotry and discrimination is increasing with each succeeding generation.

  • Mark22||

    Of course bigotry and discrimination may also be encouraged and enforced through the same means.

    Which is why progressives and liberals advocate that only TOP MEN decide who to boycott, ostracize, and dox.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Walter Becker of Steely Dan dead.

  • creech||

    "This not to say that a few participants in the libertarian movement haven't infamously pandered to alt-right types in search of donations and bodies for events."

    Is this Mr. Richman saying final goodbyes to his former buddies at Rothbard/Rockwell Inc.?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Weak sauce - every article which mentions the alt right needs to present a strict definition of the alt right.

    On to more important issues: High school teacher hired just months ago suspended after sending nude photos of herself to at least FIVE students in her class

    Tracy Miller, 27, reportedly sent multiple images to male pupils over the course of several months through a social media app on her phone.

    Officials at Logan High School say they were alerted of the matter after one of the teens came to them and showed the explicit pictures he received via cell.

    Miller told police during questioning she recalled exchanging inappropriate pictures with at least five students this year, WSAZ reports
  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Curse my old school developed film adolesence. Smartphones have made porn producers out of everyone.

  • Robert||

    Did it start w a Usenet group, alt.right? I've been spelling it that way on that assumption.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Obama Service Award Recipient Now Researching 'Butt-Fisting'

    A new study examining the differences between "butt-fisting" injuries and those who engage in bestiality was written by a recipient of former President Barack Obama's Gold Service Award.

    Animals may have the ability to consent, according to the researcher Damian Jacob M. Sendler, who recently released the study on "traumatic rectal injuries."

    "Damian is a sexologist, research scientist, and physician-in-training," according to Sendler's website. He received Obama's service award for charitable work for elderly patients at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

    Sendler now oversees a group of research students at the University of Lublin Medical School in Poland, where he is studying zoophilia—people who claim to be sexually attracted to animals—and people who have been "butt-fisted by [a] human sexual partner."

    I eagerly await their results.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "for charitable work for elderly patients"

    Poor Gramps

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Silicon Valley Courts Brand-Name Teachers, Raising Ethics Issues

    Ms. Delzer is a member of a growing tribe of teacher influencers, many of whom promote classroom technology. They attract notice through their blogs, social media accounts and conference talks. And they are cultivated not only by start-ups like Seesaw, but by giants like Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft, to influence which tools are used to teach American schoolchildren.

    Their ranks are growing as public schools increasingly adopt all manner of laptops, tablets, math teaching sites, quiz apps and parent-teacher messaging apps. The corporate courtship of these teachers brings with it profound new conflict-of-interest issues for the nation's public schools.

    Moreover, there is little rigorous research showing whether or not the new technologies significantly improve student outcomes.

    Back in my day teachers taught using only chalk, chalkboards, an ever-present cigarette, and the approved methods of their union.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Many public schools are facing tight budgets, and administrators, including the principal at Ms. Delzer's school, said they welcomed potentially valuable free technology and product training. Even so, some education experts warned that company incentives might influence teachers to adopt promoted digital tools over rival products or even traditional approaches, like textbooks.

    "Teachers can't help but be seduced to make greater use of the technology, given these efforts by tech companies," said Samuel E. Abrams, director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University

    "Any time you are paying a public employee to promote a product in the public classroom without transparency, then that's problematic," said James E. Tierney, a former attorney general of Maine who is a lecturer at Harvard Law School. "Should attorneys general be concerned about this practice? The answer is yes."
  • mtrueman||

    "Back in my day teachers taught using only chalk, chalkboards, an ever-present cigarette, and the approved methods of their union."

    I recently ate a restaurant which offered the worst service I've seen for a while. The waiter, who, I'm sorry, it has to be said, was almost certainly non-unionized, carried around a small tablet device and everything had to be entered into the device. Instead of looking out for his customers, he was constantly busy tapping away at his tablet.

    The moral of the story, tablet devices distract the attention from the task at hand. It doesn't make the waiter's work more convenient, and it's certainly not a labour saving device.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Perhaps some libertarians joined the alt-right, because lefties called them racists so many times that they decided to wear the label proudly the way some African-Americans call refer to each other as niggers.

  • mtrueman||

    "Perhaps some libertarians joined the alt-right, because lefties called them racists so many times that they decided to wear the label proudly "

    Some libertarians? You have anyone in particular in mind? I ask because what you say doesn't jibe with my experience. Reading the comments here fairly regularly, I've yet to notice anyone proudly embracing a racist identity. Rather most go into contortions denying racism, ie ascribing their support of confederate statues to a profound love and respect for 'history' and similar nonsense.

  • Mark22||

    Rather most go into contortions denying racism, ie ascribing their support of confederate statues to a profound love and respect for 'history' and similar nonsense.

    So you are saying that people who object to pulling down confederate statues are automatically racists?

  • mtrueman||

    No. I'm asking which libertarians are embracing the racist label because of what leftists have said. I imagine support for these statues is largely knee-jerk toryism, dressed up as a reverence for history, free speech and so on. If you agree with sharmota4zeb, perhaps you can answer my question which seems to have stunned him into silence.

  • mtrueman||

    "Maybe he knows...."

    ... maybe you know of some of these libertarians who embrace racism because of communist taunts. I am skeptical.

  • Mark22||

    The term "racist" to the modern left (and that includes you) means "doesn't agree with critical race theory". Traditionally, the term means "believes in the existence of inherent racial differences". It's the typical left wing Orwellian Newspeak, in which a term that used to mean one thing ("truth", "social", "community", "liberal", "racist") ends up meaning the opposite when the left uses it.

    So, I don't "embrace the racist label" because that would mean giving pricks like you too much credence. I simply tell you to go to hell until you are willing to have a rational discussion about policy. Obviously, you aren't at that point yet.

  • mtrueman||

    "So, I don't "embrace the racist label"

    How very wonderful for you.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    With lefties, the accusation is always very serious indeed. It doesn't have to be backed by genuine evidence or even need to be very plausible. The left is hostile to just about everything normal people believe in, and so the left has plenty of enemies, but they need to single out particular targets to vilify by any means necessary if they feel their power and their movement is under threat by any other ideology. If they see opposition on the horizon, they'll waste no time attacking it. If one accusation doesn't stick, they'll find another, but they won't give up and go away. Conservatives already know this. Libertarians who have been calling out people like Naomi Klein know this. Prominent Chinese dissidents know this. I suspect even Trump has figured this out by now.

  • Mark22||

    Sheldon Richman sure talks a lot about respecting private property and freedom of movement, but his political ideas are as illiberal as that of the progressive left. These days, National Review is more libertarian than Reason.

  • mtrueman||

    Reason lets me comment here. That's more than I can say for the 'libertarian' National Review. I don't suppose you've been banned there.

  • Mark22||

    Wow, you're saying that the people at National Review actually understand that they have private property rights in their web site and that exercising them consistent with their mission is actually a good idea? That's another way in which they are obviously more libertarian than Reason.

  • mtrueman||

    "consistent with their mission"

    I don't think Libertarianism is the mission of the National Review.

  • Mark22||

    No, National Review is explicitly conservative. Hence, it is a sad state of affairs that National Review is more libertarian than Reason, which has deteriorated into a platform for a bizarre mix of progressivism, US "liberalism", anti-Trump foaming at the mouth, and an incoherent smattering of left-wing ideas.

    Imagine how much good Reason could do if it were actually libertarian and actually took its libertarian message seriously.

  • ||

    Libertarians are joining the alt-right because they acknowledge reality. Take the rape apologist open borders libertarians who refuse to acknowledge that it is immigration that gives us Rotherhams. That violent crime among German immigrant is 16 times the native white German population. That human beings are not fungible. An 80 IQ Somali is not equal to a 140+ IQ white neurosurgeon.

    They recognise the Constitution is a dead letter. There is no equality between people nor is there, any longer, equality before the law. Exhibit #1, Hillary Clinton and her rapist husband.

    This article show nothing less than the sjw sperg at Reason know they are losing the moral theatre of 4GW. It isn't their kids getting raped. They can't even recognise the cognitive dissonance of a non-profit prattling on about the supposed free market where results matter.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You're an Aryan Supremacist populist/nationalist. Thanks for being honest.

    There is no equality between people Pure right wing.

  • Mark22||

    "There is no equality between people" Pure right wing.

    Massive genetic differences between individuals are a fundamental fact of biology.

    The left wing response to these scientific facts is to advocate totalitarian interventions in order to achieve equality of outcome. It's what socialists, Marxists, neo-Marxists, fascists, Nazis, and progressives have been trying to do for a couple of centuries.

    The right wing response to these scientific facts is to acknowledge them, acknowledge the inherent worth of all human beings, demand equality under the law within a classically liberal society, and otherwise accept inequality of outcomes.

    You you're right: this is is "pure right wing" and unapologetically so.

  • Cy||

    Just another step in the dehumanization of everyone not 'in the party.'

    Now that 'racist' has worn out it's flare, they've managed to dove tail Nazi into 'Alt Right' and now are trying to shove everyone who doesn't say what they like into 'Alt Right.' Therefore, in their minds, we're all Nazis and it's ok to punch Nazis... because they're not human.

    The mental gymnastics they've managed to perform thus far is only going to become abundantly clear when they realize they've declared war on the world and the world has come knocking.

  • ||

    "joining the alt-right is a fundamental rejection of libertarianism"

    No. It isn't. It is an acknowledgement of the nation-states. That a fundamental aspect of a nation state is borders and who gets to pass them.

    If reason thinks the US is so racist, go try to become a citizen of China, Japan, or Iran. Our immigration policy, even at its most restrictive, is light years ahead of everyone else.

    But for immigration and maybe trade policy, many alt-righters are very libertarian. They would know that if they tried to learn. But that would require the lazy fucks at Reason to actually talk to someone at the alt-right... You know journalism.

    But Reason staff aren't jounalist. They are just Gawker rejects.

  • Mark22||

    ^ This. Reason has become an illiberal propaganda rag.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Re: Troy muy grande boner,

    No. It isn't. It is an acknowledgement of the nation-states.

    Translation: not a libertarian to begin with.

    That a fundamental aspect of a nation state is borders and who gets to pass them.

    The North Koreans can tell you.

    Our immigration policy, even at its most restrictive, is light years ahead of everyone else.


  • MarkLastname||

    Troy is a 'libertarian nationalist.' Much like 'libertarian socialists' and 'pacifist militarists' they belong to a broader school of thought known as oxymoronism (or, if it's the right time of day, OxyContinism)

  • Hank Phillips||

    The folks at Reason at least know how to write... not carry tiki torches and bellow.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    "joining the alt-right is a fundamental rejection of libertarianism"

    Nope. It's a fundamental rejection of universalism. Quite a few of the alt-right are still quite libertarian. They just don't believe it works with all people in all situations.

  • buybuydandavis||

    It is an acknowledgement of the nation-states.

    Anarchists aren't that useful in a discussion of immigration policy.

  • Robert||

    It's not rocket science. It's not about systematic thinking about -isms per se. It's just that people who feel strongly enough about their ideas on the fringes, including radical libertarians, tend to gather together, so various elements of the "right" do so & exchange ideas. I have a lot of friends in the alt.right, & that's without counting radical libertarians as part of the alt.right. In fact these days I rub elbows w just as many nationalist/racialist/populist types as I do w my own type. People talk to each other, convince each other, so it shouldn't be surprising to see some flow between camps as individuals change their minds.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Candidates with a hard-on for coercion lose the chance for a government job because of libertarian spoiler votes. This forces the looter parties to change their platforms. God's Own Prohibitionists spun their energy plank off of the one in the 2016 LP platform, and it won them the election. It was the only real difference between them and the Dems. And those mystical bigots are keenly aware that our million votes are way more than the popular vote margin gotten by the Dems and their dead supporters.

  • hpearce||

    Libertarianism isn't about the free market or property rights specifically.
    This is a failure of many libertarians too and actually works against them.

    Libertarianism is the political belief in social right to freedom of association (as opposed to state-mandated ones) - which necessarily includes markets based upon freedom of association - or what people call the free market / freedom of the market.
    The free market has it's own moral proof in the definition I gave above - capitalism will NEVER be morally validated except as a part of this market.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Re: hpearce,

    Libertarianism is the political philosophy that holds as the only worthy political goal the greatest possible freedom for each individual. It is also a moral philosophy that holds the Non Agression Principle as the ethical frame within which all acts should be judged.

    Closed borders are antithetical to either of those two things. PERIOD.

  • GILMORE™||

    i would offer to you that - with the exception of places like the soviet union, myanmar, and north korea - no one anywhere has ever proposed anything even remotely described as "Closed Borders"

    The issue, which is perpetually being mischaracterized by preening ideologues, is actually whether we want

    a) 'more immigration' per-year, or
    b) 'less immigration' per-year (*temporarily, or as a policy), and/or
    c) an entirely different system of immigration which may have more or less, but which is *better* in its entire conception and management

    I don't think so-called 'open borders' libertarians even have a policy. the claim of having an ideological belief that demands a policy-impossibility ("no borders at all") is a stupid fashion statement.

    The only thing its good for is lashing out at people who DO dare to dive into the question of policy, and actually deviate from this fallback-ideological-claim.

    I for one think we need "about the same" levels of immigration (iow, 'uncontrolled'), but need to entirely replace the shitty broken system we have. I'd bet that this view is *actually* closer to that of most writers for the magazine, but which isn't expressed because dogmatic-ideals would conflict with the reality that borders require state enforcement.

    in short, i don't think the "open borders" posture is good for anything. and people who disagree with it aren't "closed borders" advocates for saying so.

  • Tony||

    If you can't handle libertarianism, why not just become a Republican? At least you'll be a part of a tribe that can win elections and accomplish things.

  • Mark22||

    Why should we let statists and left-wing pricks take over one term after another? You people have taken over "social", "communal", and "liberal" already and perverted them into labels for totalitarian and statist ideologies. Now you want "libertarian" as well? Get lost.

  • Tony||

    Why are you people so obsessed with labels lately? Who cares?

  • Mark22||

    Because the left (socialists, fascists, communists) have a century of history of using labels for propaganda and destroying entire societies in the process.

  • GILMORE™||

    No, because many other libertarian ideas translate directly into what govt should or shouldn't do. Saying the govt has no business to tell steel manufacturers what to do and shouldn't interfere is a policy.

    Saying we shouldn't have national borders is certainly a possible argument. its just so fucking stupid that no one actually makes it. You're just too dull-witted to see that.

  • GILMORE™||

    (hugs his stupid fashion statement)

  • MarkLastname||

    Obviously there is a gradation. One can want more closed or more open borders than we have now, without wanting no immigration or no vetting, respectively.

    I want more open borders; freer labor markets. I dpnt think there are many rational arguements for reducing immigration. 'They're takin our jobs' or "diluting our culture" are pure no sense.

    Some seem to interpret this as me wanting Somali pirates to rape their daughters.

  • GILMORE™||

    I dpnt think there are many rational arguements for reducing immigration

    Probably. Calling them all Nazis before you've even evaluated their arguments doesn't really make your side seem the rational one.

  • MarkLastname||

    i didn't call anyone Nazis, but I guess making stuff up is easier than dealing with reality.

    And I don't have a side. I just have the right opinions; I couldn't care less who happens to share any of them. If you want to talk about rational debate, then stop talking about sides; try talking about arguments instead.

  • Mark22||

    Libertarianism is the political philosophy that holds as the only worthy political goal the greatest possible freedom for each individual.

    "Greatest possible freedom for each individual" isn't even well-defined. Do you mean maximum freedom for the least free individual? Do you mean greatest average freedom? And what does "freedom" include?

    Libertarianism is defined through the non-aggression principle, or equivalently, a small bundle of purely negative rights to property and person. Libertarianism does not "maximize freedom for each individual" in any sense. For example, if you squander away all your money and can only get a job scrubbing toilets, you have almost no freedom in a libertarian society.

    You're not a libertarian, you're someone who is aspiring to a communist utopia. And the path you evidently advocate for getting there is as deluded and repressive as that of traditional Stalinists.

  • MarkLastname||

    Wow, what a preposterously idiotic comment.

    Wanting less restriction on the movement of people across national borders is Stalinist repression. You just make shit up as you go along it seems.

    That is *every bit* as retarded as saying anyone who wants less immigration iis a closet Nazi who wants to put Mexicans in camps. Maybe even more so.

    Not sure, the INS raiding homes to relocate people who are not violating anyone's rights is negative liberty in action; I mean, it's like the exact same thing as someone squandering all their money. Perfect analogy.

  • Mark22||

    Wanting less restriction on the movement of people across national borders is Stalinist repression

    Instead of fabricating such straw men and putting words in my mouth, why don't you actually respond to what I said, namely that "greatest possible freedom for each individual" isn't the definition of libertarianism; in fact, it's is just empty posturing.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I thought it had been established that Alt-Right means Nazi. So why are we still using that term? Why not just say Nazi? Also, not sure why we still use the terms Conservative, Republican, or Libertarian either. Nazi, Nazi, Nazi.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Or what Cy said. Guess I could start checking comments first again since there are no longer hundreds of them to wade through.

  • GILMORE™||

    There are only 2 sides to everything, "Correct, and Nazi"

  • Hank Phillips||

    If you read the National Socialist program, or the Enabling Act speech, or Mein Kampf, it's pretty obvious that Christian Germany elected themselves a religious fanatic. Even his paintings are religious!

  • Mark22||

    If you read the National Socialist program,

    If you read the NSDAP program, you read something that agrees 60% with the Democratic party program, and pretty much 0% with the Republican party program.

    or the Enabling Act speech

    The Enabling Act speech was kow-towing to the Christian conservatives, who foolishly voted for Hitler.

    Mein Kampf, it's pretty obvious that Christian Germany elected themselves a religious fanatic. Even his paintings are religious!

    Hitler was no more a "religious fanatic" than mainstream Democrats are; heck, Hillary kept harping on and on about her Christian Methodist upbringing.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    As has been explained to you multiple times, Hitler was not elected into office.

    His Nazi party gained ~33.1% of the Reichstag seats along with lefty Socialist making President von Hindenburg's position unworkable so he appointed Hitler as Chancellor in 1933. The Enabling Act, passed after the Reichstag fire gave Hitler dictatorial powers to enact laws with the German Legislature.

    Hitler was a painter though.

  • Mark22||

    As has been explained to you multiple times, Hitler was not elected into office.

    Well, you can take up your straw man with Hank Phillips, who claimed that "Christian Germany elected themselves a religious fanatic". The point I was disputing is that Hitler was a "religious fanatic".

  • GILMORE™||

    "Like sheldon, I am a believer in pure libertarian ideals! I believe in freedom of movement, AND freedom of association! which is why this upstart Gary Johnson is a hateful betrayer of the very foundation of liberty and must be rejected by all true advocates of freedom"

    "Wait! = what is this? JOHNSON voters.... here - among us?? YOU ARE ALT-LIBERTARIANS AND MUST BE CAST OUT"

  • chemjeff||

    "Alt Right Libertarians" = people who reject state-imposed collectivism in favor of tribal collectivism

  • GILMORE™||

    Your bigotry against native americans is disgusting and should be rejected

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    One can be in favor of Tribalism and still be a libertarian as long as one's actions are consistent with the NAP.

    But the Alt-right is not about the NAP. It's about reactionary protectionism.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Adam Smith was a low-tariff mercantilist enamored of the Acts of Navigation, and Ludwig an amoral dullard with a Hitler mustache and German accent. But still, this is one of Sheldon's better articles. Anything that moves wannabee libertarians away from baiting actual liberals is good. Let the conservative mystical bigots bait "liberulz" (as if it would bring back Herbert Hoover) and let's see how well it helps them on election day.

  • Nuwanda||

    The article doesn't mention immigration, but that's what it's about.

    And since the Reason-style libertarian voice is firmly dominated by the no-borders lobby, you have libertarians of all shades finding refuge in what has come to be called the alt-right. And for them, the alt-right is simply libertarianism minus open borders. To Reason-style libertarianism, to reject open borders, is to reject everything liberal. And for those who have reluctantly endorsed the alt-right (and Trump), the embrace of no-borders is a betrayal of freedom.

    It's a schism, that's what it is.

  • Harun||

    Libertarians thinking they can argue their way out of being tarred racist.

    Have you guys never noticed how progressives do these things?

    Bob Dole was a Nazi according to progressives.

    The alt right is a gift to them because they can glom the charge onto everyone.

  • Red Twilight||

    nice straw man to avoid blame.

  • Red Twilight||

    shut up and own it

  • MarkLastname||

    No, you own it.

  • buybuydandavis||

    To say the libertarian movement is a "gateway drug" is to say more than that some prominent members of the alt-right once called themselves libertarians.

    True. But your ahistorical ideological analysis does not answer why the above is the case.

    Why? Why are libertarians going Alt-Right?

    I suggest that Reason, much like the MSM, is the gateway drugs to the Alt-Right.

    In the face of Alt-Right arguments about trade and immigration, Reason responds with globalist happy talk denying the facts of reality, when they don't simply shriek "Racist!", hike up their petticoats and scamper off.

    The Alt-Right has better arguments than Reason. Libertarians tend to the logical side. They see one side winning the argument, and they mistake them for correct, instead of less wrong.

    A similar thing happened with Trump. Reason's comments were littered with "Damn you bastards for making me defend Trump!" They didn't like Trump. But Reason was so full of shit that out of intellectual honesty they had to defend him against your bullshit again and again and again.

    When you find yourself always arguing for Team A and against Team B again and again and again, eventually you might think you're on Team A.

    The media makes no cogent argument against the Alt-Right. They don't even analyze the ideas themselves. All people see are intellectually empty attacks, usually just ad hominem. The condemnation of the Alt-Right morally has given them a free pass intellectually.

  • MarkLastname||

    I think it's fair to say any libertarian who thinks the 'alt-right' has better arguments on tradevwas never really a libertarian.

    Just call yourself a populist instead, it's more honest.

  • GILMORE™||

    Just call yourself a populist instead,

    its funny how insistent people are on what they call themselves rather than whether their own argument makes any sense.

  • MarkLastname||

    You're just a pathological liar I guess. In the very sentence before that, I made very clear that I think protectionism makes no sense.

    If protectionism does 'make sense' then libertarianism does not. Whether it makes sense or not, however, doesn't change the fact that it is an illiberal idea. Some of us do indeed care about the stability of the meaning of words.

    What's funny is how some purported libertarians are ready to jump into defend pretty much any restriction on freedom as long as it comes from the right side of the political spectrum.

  • Azathoth!!||

    But you show no proof that 'protectionism' is the impetus for those libertarians to favor the alt-right.

  • ||

    There is a strong connection between Progressivism and Communism.

  • GILMORE™||

    ^this guy gets it

  • Edwin||

    this whole article does more harm than

    the quote that it's responding to offers zero evidence. No lefty writers anywhere have offered any serious evidence of some sort of link to the altright and libertarianism, and indeed the term altright itself is already

    by writing an article you're making it look like there's a valid reason to respond, when there isn't

  • Tony||

    Perhaps someday we'll find those libertarians who confirm this article's thesis, because this thread has been one big fascist gangbang. Jesus fuck. I even got a "MAGA" thrown at me and I'm pretty sure it wasn't even meant ironically.

  • Edwin||

    I challenged you to show where above there was a lot of fascism espoused.

  • Tony||

    I'd start with all the calls for ethnically cleansing this country. You know, *they* might vote for Democrats.

  • Azathoth!!||

    It's not 'ethnically cleansing' if they don't live here.

  • DarrenM||

    Some seem to think if someone could potentially live here, but are denied that opportunity, it's the same as murder. (Now apply this thinking to the subject of abortion.)

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Just me thinking, but somewhere in the libertarian core is not caring about others--at least in any official, proscribed manner. You be poor? That sucks. You wanna sleep with your sister (or brother, or both together)? Whatever.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Pardon me for being a voice of reason (so to speak), but there is no "alt-right". That is a term coined by Hillary in the 2016 election to create a box into which she could freeze and polarize her opposition. Conservatives in this country are as diverse, crazy and contentious as always. Put 5 in a room and ask a question on current affairs and you'll get 10 different opinions. To pretend that there is a coherent "movement" with a coherent ideology, program and base is to engage in pure leftist masturbatory fantasy: Hillary couldn't understand her opposition so she caricatured it. It's laughable that Reason, which pretends to intellect, would accept that nonsense instead of calling it for what it is.

  • DarrenM||

    While I think I have a grasp on what "alt-right" is maybe, it does seem like it's mainly a vehicle for lumping all political opponents in one box so everyone can be vilified at the same time.

  • mccati||

    I live in usa and life is worth living comfortably for me and my family now and really have never seen goodness shown to me this much in my life as I am a mother who struggles with three children and I have been going through a problem as seriously as my husband found a terrible accident last two weeks, and the doctors states that he needs to undergo a delicate surgery for him to be able to walk again and I could not pay the bills, then your surgery went to the bank to borrow and reject me saying that I have no credit card, from there i run to my father and he was not able to help, then when I was browsing through yahoo answers and i came across a loan lender MR TONY HARTON, offering loans at affordable interest rate and i have been hearing about so many scams on the internet but at this my desperate situation, I had no choice but to give it an attempt and surprisingly it was all like a dream, I got a loan of $ 50,000 and I paid for my husband surgery and thank God today is good and you can walk and is working and the burden is longer so much on me more and we can feed well and my family is happy today and i said to myself that I will mourn aloud in the world of the wonders of God to me through this lender GOD fearing MR TONY HARTON and I would advise anyone in genuine and serious need of loan to contact this God-fearing man on through .. and I want you all to pray for this man for me

  • mysmartstuffs||

    Re: Qsl,

    Explain how libertarianism benefits the dying towns in the mid-west ravaged by opioid addiction?

    Who created the dying towns im the mid-west eavaged by opioid addiction in the first place?

    Answer: You. You did. Through your busybodyism, turned into action through government.

    We're not busybodies, unlike YOU. That's the answer.
    My recent post: VideoReel Review
    My recent post: Content Marketing Blueprint Review

  • mysmartstuffs||

    Politics, even in a 2 party governement, is often about forming coalitions and working together on mutually improving something.

    Who is offering to work with libertarians? Who can the realistically join with, to do ANYTHING?

    Tell me it's the left, who wants to wipe them out. Tell me that and watch me laugh in your face.
    My recent post: Plugin Profit Black OPS Review

  • What's the frequency, Kenneth?||

    Sheldon has a great knack for saying what I know is true but somehow cannot express as well.

  • Dadlobby||

    Just another PC apologist "I'm not a racist" piece. What is "Alt-right? We used to condemn those that advocated racial superiority (eugenics) such as the KKK as they were "white supremacists". We also respected their first amendment right to free speech (no matter how repulsive we found it) and 30 of them would have a rally of no importance which nobody cared about. The libtards then decided to be snowflakes and developed "hate speech" so they could silence any and all speech not approved by them. To justify the Antifa (Alt-left) and libtards attacking Constitutionalists, Conservatives, and Libertarians they developed the term "Alt-right" and then added "White Nationalist" to try to show widespread support for fascism by "whites". It is a logical fallacy; Fascist = Nazi = Alt-right = white nationalist = Conservatives = Constitutionalist = white men = Trump supporters. Ergo by being in any of these classifications (which they put you in) then you are a fascist and they are justified in shutting up your "hate speech" by force. One question I have is if there are so many "alt-right" fascists there then why aren't the Antifa jerks getting their asses whupped and their voices shut down?

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Libertarianism Isn't a 'Gateway Drug' to the Alt-Right
    Those who migrate from libertarianism to the alt-right have rejected the essence of the freedom movement and its philosophy.

    As usual, the left equates liberty with fascism when in reality its just the opposite.
    Maybe we should all chip in to buy the left some glasses so they can see what libertarianism really is.

  • DarrenM||

    No one thinks this negative potential taints the ideas of free trade and free speech

    I wouldn't say "no one".


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