Current Events, History/Culture

The Mises Institute “Blood and Soil” Controversy

In other words, blood and soil and God and nation still matter to people. Libertarians ignore this at the risk of irrelevance. -Jeff Deist, For A New Libertarian

The following are just a couple notable “pearl clutching” reactions to the above excerpt of Jeff Deist’s, president of the Mises Institute, speech

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It really makes me sad that I even feel the need to make this status in defense of good people and a good institution, but sadly, there are libertarians out there who feel the need to attack and misrepresent wonderful human beings due to their own prejudices and ignorance.

The phrase “blood and soil” may mean different things to different people, and it may be used to invoke a message that you may or may not agree with. But regardless of how you feel on that matter, if you are associating this phrase with Nazi history, you are just plain ignorant. Claiming that this phrase originated with the Nazis is objectively false, and going around like word police calling people who use this phrase “Nazis” on this ground makes you seem a lot more like a fascist than the people you’re slandering.

The phrase “blut und boden” has roots in 19th century Germany as a romanticization of rural life, not unlike the Jeffersonian ideal of the yeoman farmer (though not necessarily identical either). All it meant was that people care about the people and land they’re connected to, which is an obvious truism.

It is true that the Nazis used the phrase as part of their own propaganda, just as they twisted and distorted the ideas of Nietzsche (it is quite doubtful that he would have seen Hitler as the Übermensch). But even in this case, some Nazis did not agree on using this long-standing German idea as a means of advancing Nazi ideas. In the end, the party decided to use this idea to associate the idealistic vision of a rural life that many Germans believed in with Aryan superiority as a way of pushing their racist beliefs.

This was not the origination of “blood and soil,” it was the perversion of it.

But now, because a good man made the alleged “mistake” of using these three words to describe the beliefs of the average person in the United States – with absolutely zero racist connotation – we have the Commissars of “True Libertarianism” spending their time attacking people who are about as far from actual Nazis as it is possible to be, and their criticisms are based on the delusions and caricatures they’ve created of people they have zero interaction with.

I don’t know what has gone on in the past in the libertarian movement, and I frankly don’t care. What I know is what I see now, and on the one hand, I see people like those at the Mises Institute behaving with class and respect, and I see the people who have a vendetta against this organization waging petty attacks against people who would dare associate themselves with people who do not kowtow to the libertarian Gestapo (by which I mean the people who are, ironically, accusing everybody else of being Fascists).

8 thoughts on “The Mises Institute “Blood and Soil” Controversy”

  1. I fail to see where Deist gets his substantive argument about what’s wrong with libertarianism today though. Specifically, where does he get the claim that libertarians “have for decades made the disastrous mistake of appearing hostile to family, to religion, to tradition, to culture, and to civic or social institution — in other words, hostile to civil society itself.” I don’t know who he’s talking about. Honestly. The only people who say this about libertarians are the people who actually want to use the state to enforce traditional values. Hostility to that impulse isn’t the same as hostility to civil society itself. That used to be a simple distinction to make. Apparently not so much anymore.

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  2. And then of course this:
    “My final point is about the stubborn tendency of libertarians to advocate some of sort of universal political arrangement.To the extent there is political end for libertarians, it is allowing individuals to live as they see fit. The political goal is self-determination, by seeking to reduce the size, scope, and power of the state. But the idea of universal libertarian principles became mixed up with the idea of universal libertarian politics. Live and let live was replaced with the notion of universal libertarian doctrine, often coupled with a cultural element.

    “And because of this, libertarians often fall into the trap of sounding like conservatives and progressives who imagine themselves qualified to dictate political arrangements everywhere on earth. But what’s libertarian about telling other countries what to do? Shouldn’t our political goal should be radical self-determination, not universal values?

    “It’s bad enough to hear neoconservatives on TV talking about what’s best for Syria or Iraq or North Korea or Russia from their comfortable western perches. But it’s even worse hearing this from libertarians at Reason. This is both a political and tactical mistake.”

    I don’t know what libertarians he’s fighting against here. Honestly. What libertarians are out there making globalist arguments about what is good for other countries? I don’t know any. Why are the rest of us being lumped in with the Neocons and the Democratic party? Because we don’t support Trump? Is that it?

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    1. I have noticed to the less politically nuanced, or those that follow libertarians from a distance, that the Koch brothers are pretty much considered the template for libertarians. This is one of the barriers I find in getting party followers to consider libertarian ideals. “You are just spouting Koch brothers propaganda!”

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  3. Yo Chase I’m 12 days into a 30 day timeout but wanted to say that this is great hope to comment on your posts when I get unzucc’d

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  4. So fucking sick of this “You’re a/an and therefore not a real so there is no discussion!”
    But for real did you read Eric July’s latest post? He fucking nails it.
    — Eric July about 41 minutes ago —
    Let me go through the silly purity spiraling you have to experience as a libertarian and anarchist.
    1. You can’t vote because that’s statist. But if you don’t vote, you’re doing nothing to spread liberty. But if you vote, it has to be the LP. But if you vote LP, you’re gonna lose.
    But politics is pointless and things like agorism is the way to go. Uber is going to make us more freer, even though the creators aren’t even anarchists and have expressed no desire to be in a stateless society. Plus, both major parties are the exact same even though Ron Paul and Rand, Massie, Lee, and Amash aren’t Democrats. Plus they’re all statist, therefore the enemy… because voting is statist. But it’s not. Voting is also aggression but it’s also pointless and does nothing… voting is violence but it’s not self defense. Go LP
    2. You must criticize both the democrats and the republicans the exact same amount because libertarianism is socially liberal and fiscally conservative… but is also not even on the political spectrum. There’s no left and right. That’s statist. But there are left libertarians and anybody for any sort of tradition is a right winger.. but the left and the right don’t exist.
    3. Libertarianism is about accepting people and that’s why we are for things like gay rights and everybody should be… but there’s also freedom of association, you bigot. Libertarians can’t alienate people, but people (like social conservatives) are bad for the movement. We have accept everybody while also excluding those that don’t want to accept everybody.
    Libertarians can’t lean one way or the other on the political spectrum that doesn’t even exist. We have to spread liberty but those that maintain a libertarian message and are cool with conservatives or leftists are just pandering. We have to change hearts and minds but we can’t be talking to non libertarians.
    4. We have to abide by the NAP but we also must team up with people that reject property rights because they’re libertarians.
    5. All forms of nationalism is bad but it’s cool to be a minarchist, but it’s not because it’s statist. But white nationalism is the most dangerous. Black nationalists and separatists aren’t even that big of a deal and they are also allies because they oppose police brutality. Granted most of them were statist but guys like them and Black Lives Matter oppose the current state so we can team up… but fuck the alt right. Bigotry can’t be tolerated as libertarians. Ending police brutality is top priority but voting is statist, but it’s not.
    I can go on all day. It can be mentally exhausting to be a libertarian because there are people within your own faction that are pulling you one way or the other and giving your purity tests.
    Solution? Just spread liberty and stop trying to appease to each and every individual because that’s impossible.

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