Current Events, History/Culture, Politics/Economics

Refuting Alt-Right Criticisms of Libertarianism

Please Consider Purchasing A Copy Of White, Right, and Libertarian

Introduction

When attempting to render an Alt-Right libertarian alliance/fusion more viable, it is important to clarify and refute the common misapprehensions surrounding libertarianism. To this end, a speech by Greg Johnson, the academic Alt-Right icon and editor-in-chief of Counter-Currents Publishing, entitled “The Refutation of Libertarianism” will serve as a guide to these misconceptions and be critiqued accordingly.

The Critique

Johnson begins his speech with the following:

Libertarianism is the politics of individualism. Individualism is both a metaphysical and a moral position.

Metaphysical individualism is the thesis that only particular men exist. Groups are just collections of individuals, with no independent reality or meaning.

Metaphysical individualism is connected to universalism, which is the idea that there is only one race, the human race, which is just a collection of individuals. Universalism implies that there is no meaningful distinction between ingroups and outgroups, between us and them.

Here, Johnson makes the tragic, yet predictable, mistake of confusing the particular capacity in which libertarianism is “individualist.” This has been extensively addressed in previous articles on Radical Capitalist, but a brief recap is warranted here. Libertarianism is strictly individualist in a legal sense. That is, it is individualist only insofar as it holds that the individual has supreme say over the use, employment, and disposal of his private property regardless of the will of the State or any other such collective. It is important to note, however, that this does not preclude the possibility of multiple owners of a given good (such as a partnership or corporation) nor does it preclude the existence of covenant communities. It simply recognizes that only those who have claim to a good via previous acts of original appropriation/homesteading or voluntary/contractual exchange have exclusive rights to its use and employment.

Libertarianism does not deny the significance of different people groups, the existence of distinct human races, nor the meaningfulness of ingroups and outgroups. None of these have anything to do with libertarianism whatsoever. Libertarianism is a strictly legal philosophy which encapsulates the private property ethic and its logically deducible implications. More on this here and here.

That said, many self-proclaimed libertarians do in fact deny the existence and significance of race, ethnicity, and culture as they relate to one’s willingness and/or ability to adopt libertarian legal principles. Some even go so far as to assert positions of “anti-racism”, feminism, and other such “social justice” causes are part and parcel of libertarianism (e.g. left-“libertarians”). However, this only reflects their beliefs which exist outside their capacity as libertarians. The former may be consistent libertarians, yet they are strategically and empirically ignorant. However, the latter are committing the very same error as Greg Johnson by imputing extra-libertarian cultural or moral positions onto the libertarian philosophy itself.

Of course, it is possible for one to maintain the integrity of the libertarian philosophy as being strictly concerned with the institution of private property, whilst simultaneously favoring the socio-cultural values and goals of the Alt-Right (i.e. the pursuit of an ethnically and culturally homogeneous society that is super-majority white and adheres to traditional European norms, customs, and social mores…etc.). Though these are distinct positions, they are nevertheless complementary. For more on this see White, Right, and Libertarian.

From the outset, then, it appears Johnson’s speech is built on a faulty premise.

Second, nationalism, patriotism, and any other form of partiality for one’s ingroup over an outgroup is [according to libertarianism] morally illegitimate, since there is really no us and them, just me and you. This leads us to the ethical dimension of individualism. How do you and I get on together? If groups are just collections of individuals, there are no group values, just individual values.

Since Johnson’s position has already been established on false premises, it comes as no surprise that he incorrectly asserts that libertarianism is at odds with nationalism and patriotism. Unfortunately, this very same conclusion is drawn by many of the same lolbertarians and left-“libertarians” referenced above, so it is understandable why he may be under this impression. Libertarianism is necessarily contemptuous of the State but not of the nation. The State and the nation are two separate entities with the latter simply representing a people group which holds in common a combination of ethnicity, language, custom, religion…etc. None of these necessarily entail a State, thus libertarianism does not stand in opposition to the nation or nationalism any more than it stands in opposition to families or the premium one places on the interests thereof. For more on this see “In Defense of Libertarian Nationalism” and “There is Nothing Unlibertarian About White-Nationalism“.

The great facilitator of individuals pursuing their aims is capitalism. If you and I have something to offer each other, we might trade. If we have nothing to offer each other, we just walk on by. The marketplace requires only a minimal “nightwatchman” state to protect us against force, fraud, breach of contract, and the like.

This is true insofar as it goes with the exception that even a minimal State is required to protect us against force, fraud, breach of contract and the like. For more on this pick up a copy of A Spontaneous Order: The Capitalist Case for a Stateless Society or simply read its chapters on “Private Law Society” and “Defense and Security“.

Ethical individualism requires us to treat individuals as individuals, not as members of various morally unimportant groups handed to us by history or nature. We must be “blind” to race. We must be “blind” to class. We must be “blind” to sex. We must be “blind” to religion. We must be “blind” to nationality. We must be “blind” to all things that divide us. The only thing we must see are individual merits.

If this is what “Ethical individualism” entails, then it has nothing to do with the strictly legal individualism of libertarianism as defined above. Thus libertarianism in no way holds that individuals ought to be blind to race, religion, or class. In fact, in practice a functioning libertarian society would likely be cognizant of all of these. For additional commentary on this see Hoppe’s work on “Natural Aristocracies” as well as his speech on “Realistic Libertarianism as Right-Libertarianism“.

The individualism game is highly advantageous for all players. Individualism unleashes creativity in science, technology, and business. But paradoxically, the greatest strength of individualism is the form of cooperation it fosters. Each individualist comports himself as a member of a potentially global society. This means that social cooperation can scale up to the global limit as well, making possible the wholesale transformation of the world we call modernity.

Collectivist societies, however, are hampered by ingroup/outgroup splits. If people behave as members of groups, trust and cooperation are confined to ingroups, which severely constricts the scale of social institutions and corrupts their functioning with favoritism toward ingroups and discrimination toward outgroups.

It appears that Johnson is conflating many different forms of individualism. Indeed it is true that the legal individualism of libertarianism helps unleash creativity in science, technology, and business. However, he then moves on to confuse this with the “ethical” or cultural form of individualism referenced earlier which requires one to view himself as simply a member of the global society as opposed to a member of any particular nation, community, or other distinct group. This type of individualism is indeed a cause for concern, as only whites, for the most part, seem to have the capacity and willingness to act in accordance with its tenets whereas non-whites tend to maintain their ethnic in-group preferences. This places whites, perhaps the only people capable of and willing to attain and sustain a libertarian social order, at a significant disadvantage. Thankfully, however, this perverted form of individualism is not required by libertarianism.

Moreover, Johnson makes an odd point about collectivist societies being hampered by in-group/out-group splits, because this implies that individualist societies are not hampered by the same such splits. However, the supposed culturally or “ethically” individualist societies have only been ostensibly so, and thus have suffered from the same such impediments. The only difference in such societies is that whites are duped into foregoing their ethnic interests to the benefit of their non-white neighbors.

In honest contests, the individualist game can outcompete the collectivist game, which is why individualistic European societies conquered virtually the entire globe with superior technologies and forms of social cooperation.

But the competition for global domination is rarely honest. Thus when Western individualist societies conquered and absorbed collectivist ones, it was only a matter of time before the more intelligent tribes learned how to cheat.

Here, Johnson once again conflates the different forms of individualism. European societies out-competed the rest of the world in part due to their legal individualism (i.e. their comparatively greater recognition of and respect for the institution of private property), but not because of their adherence to an “ethical” or “metaphysical” individualism as Johnson describes. In fact, Europeans were, for the most part, keenly aware of their respective national differences with one another, and especially aware of the significant racial differences between themselves and, say, sub-Saharan Africans. The “ethical” or “metaphysical” forms of individualism Johnson described hadn’t pervaded European or American society until the 20th century with the rise of cultural Marxism.

How does one cheat an individualist? By pretending to be an individualist while working as a member of a group. You demand that individualists give you a fair shake in every transaction. But whenever possible, you give preferences to members of your own tribe, and they give preferences to you.

This, too, is true insofar as it goes. However, libertarianism in no way precludes an individual from providing special rates or services to his kin. If someone in a libertarian society wants to offer different prices or services on the basis of demographics then such is his right. In fact, nothing about libertarianism requires him to conduct any business whatsoever with any particular demographic. However, Johnson overlooks a far more dangerous aspect of such a multi-racial/cultural society wherein everyone expresses in-group preferences save whites: the State/political power wielded by non-whites in pursuit of their ethnic interests. By comparison, non-whites simply showing each other favoritism in voluntary economic transactions is relatively innocuous. This serves as yet another reason the Alt-Right ought to share libertarianism’s contempt for the State.

It is interesting that the most important founder of modern race- and nation-blind individualism was Ayn Rand, born Alissa Rosenbaum, and the leadership of her Objectivist movement just happened to be overwhelmingly Jewish, including a number of first cousins and married couples. Obviously, this was not individualist meritocracy in action. Yet Rand’s followers were blind to this fact as a matter of high moral principle.

It is disappointing to see Johnson portray all of Rand’s teachings as necessary components of libertarianism. As has been addressed above, nothing about libertarianism entails race/nation blindness, nor does it entail blindness to the Jewish Question. In fact, Radical Capitalist has published three outstanding original articles on this topic entitled “The Jewish Origins of Communism“, “Exposing Zionist Control Over Aggressive U.S. Foreign Policy“, and “Central Banking – The Leviathan Behind the Globalist Agenda“.

There will never be a libertarian society. But libertarian ideology still performs a function within the existing system. And although libertarianism is superficially opposed to the Marxism of the Frankfurt School, both are Jewish intellectual movements that perform the same function: they break down the resistance of high-trust, European individualist societies to duplicitous tribal groups—what John Robb calls “parasite tribes”—preeminently Jews. Libertarians preach individualism, whereas the Frankfurt school stigmatizes white ethnocentrism and extols “inclusiveness” toward “marginalized” groups. But the result is the same. Both doctrines promote Jewish upward mobility and collective power while blinding the rest of society to what is happening.

Johnson’s prediction is an empirical one, however even if he is ultimately correct, this does not take away from the merits of libertarianism nor from the benefits of their observance. For instance, immortality may be an impossible pipe dream, but this does not mean we should relinquish our efforts to extend life and mitigate disease. However, identifying an ideal end-state (pun intended) enables one to set a correct strategic trajectory. Thus, there exists strategic utility in sussing out the ideal societal model beyond the warm fuzzies yielded by wishful thinking.

As to Johnson’s comments on libertarianism’s merely “superficial” opposition to Marxism, this is a gross mischaracterization. Genuine libertarianism is diametrically opposed to Marxism as it is ultimately grounded on the absolute private property ethic, whereas Marx’s philosophy rests on the eradication of private property altogether! Yes, there have been some notable Jews which have aided in the refining of the philosophy, namely Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, however this in no way entails that libertarianism is a “Jewish” philosophy. In fact, part of what has enabled the power and prosperity of the West has been its historically greater adherence to libertarian legal principles and private property. For more on this see Hoppe’s From Aristocracy, to Monarchy, to Democracy. It is no coincidence, then, that a staggering 94% of American libertarians are non-Hispanic whites, nor is it a coincidence that whites are the only demographic where a majority desires smaller government.

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Individualism blinds its followers to collectivist cheats. Thus the only way to save individualism is to become aware of groups. But that sounds like collectivism. Once we become aware of parasite tribes, we have to exclude them. But that sounds like statism. If individualism is ultimately a European ethos, then individualism requires that we preserve European societies and exclude non-Europeans, which sounds like racial nationalism.

Libertarianism’s strictly legal individualism in no way blinds its followers to collectivist “cheats” nor does it preclude one from engaging in ethnic favoritism, as has been addressed above. Nor does libertarianism preclude the formation of ethnically and culturally homogeneous societies which require the strict vetting/exclusion of certain (((subversive))) people groups. Moreover, racial nationalism is perfectly compatible with libertarianism. In fact, it is the contention of this author that white racial nationalism in particular is strategically conducive, and perhaps even necessary, to establishing and sustaining a libertarian social order.

Conclusion

This is the refutation of libertarianism. It is a form of self-refutation. To save individualism, we have to repudiate universalism, reintroduce the distinction between us and them, and start acting collectively. Individualism only works as part of a collective of like-minded people who must exclude collectives that don’t play by the same rules. This is how some people start out as libertarian individualists and become racists, anti-Semites, and fascists in the end.

It should now be abundantly clear that Johnson has only succeeded in refuting a straw man version of libertarianism. Libertarians and Alt-Righters would do well to recognize that they are natural allies. The pursuit of each of their respective ends will, atleast in the near-term, place them on a common trajectory (even if many Alt-Righters would prefer to eventually disembark prior to reaching a stateless destination).

The institution of private property, i.e. the fundamental basis of libertarianism, is a distinctly European institution. It forms the legal skeleton of the European body, whilst the traditionalist norms and identitarianism of the Alt-Right serve as the flesh. In short, libertarianism and the Alt-Right are better together.

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