Tag Archives: libertarianism

Whither Libertarianism?


http://therightstuff.biz/2014/02/28/whither-libertarianism/

by Michael Enoch

Many harsh criticisms have been made on this site, by myself and others, of the more autisticneckbeardy and fedoraish strains of Libertarianism. Bulbasaur in particular has gained a reputation for pouring vitriol and contempt down on Libertarianism and its bastard stepchildren, Voluntaryism and Anarcho-capitalism. I have tried to take a more moderate approach, but have not always been exactly charitable. This may have seemed like hate to many of you. The words may have stung. Some buttcheeks may have gotten red, chapped or perhaps a bit numb and tingly over the whole affair. (You know who you are.) But Let me assure you dear readers, this was not done out of hatred or anger. At least not entirely. We did it because we cared. It was tough love. In contrast I am now offering my apology for Libertarianism.

Is it?

Is it?

If you leave aside the absurd and rather ham-fisted attempts at formulating a universal and objective basis for the concept of natural rights, the self-righteous moral preaching about the initiation of violence and the tendency to monomaniacally focus on the state as the source of all human ills, Libertarianism has a solid foundation. One question worth asking is why progressives hate it so much. The answer is because of the Libertarian focus on property rights and capitalism as institutions to be preserved and defended. As I have said elsewhere and still maintain, anti-capitalism is retarded. Socialism is flawed. Communism is abominable. Allow me to quote myself:

“Property is the physical foundation of society. Property is elitist, inegalitarian and hierarchical. It necessarily creates an inequality between those with and those without. This originally manifests itself in human history as an inequality in the ability to successfully engage in violence. Those who secure property for themselves through violence and are able to defend it are then in a better position to acquire more and more property due to the lowered risk of further violence that comes with each subsequent property acquisition. This in a nutshell is the origin of the ancient landed aristocracy, and ultimately the state. Under the state social life becomes more predictable as property norms are established and enforced. Wealth and productivity increase. This is a fundamentally healthy process.

The next step is increased trade and markets. Markets are simply a non-violent means of distribution and exchange. They are necessary if people want to avoid constant violence over resources. This is not to say that violence is necessarily bad. All markets exist and are sustained within a context that contains a perpetual threat of violence to maintain order. Markets are a means to avoid incessant violence, but like any stable human system they rely on men willing to use violence to back them up when rules are broken and norms are not respected. The idea of a purely free, voluntary and non-violent market has never been anything but a dildo of massive proportions.

Division of labor, productivity and trade help create the material conditions for the development of civilization and meaningful human existence.”

There really is no good argument for anti-capitalism. Most objections to it devolve into maudlin whining over “fairness” and tearful special pleading for this or that poor oppressed victim group. No matter how edgy, reactionary or unexpected your political views are, if you honestly think you can organize the production and distribution of goods and services at the state level, you are retarded and you will fail. Libertarianism gets this right. But there are some other troubling trends that need be addressed.

Recently, due to its rising popularity and exposure, Libertarianism has become a target for infiltration and rent-seeking by assorted liberals, Marxists and feminists with varying agendas. Sites such as Bleeding Heart Libertarians have cropped up in an effort to make Libertarianism more palatable to liberals and progressives by pandering to their prejudices and claiming that free markets will achieve “social justice” better and faster than statism. This rather lukewarm political trend is mostly made of up tepid and uninspired middle-aged economics professors such as Steve Horwitz. These milquetoasts are no doubt driven by an unconscious desire to fit in better ideologically with their progressive peers in academia.

Marxist factions, masquerading under the less odious labels of “Mutualism” or “Left-Libertarianism,” have sought to co-opt certain aspects of Libertarian political economy in an effort to yet again resurrect the long discredited Marxist Labor Theory of Value and steer Libertarianism in an explicitly left wing direction. This effort, spearheaded by overweight, pretentious and socially awkward bloggers Kevin CarsonBrad SpanglerCharles W. Johnson and Shawn P. Wilbur along with morbidly obese philosophy professor Roderick Long has largely fizzled out over the last couple years. Mutualism has been abandoned. No one really knew what it was in the first place. Many individuals that were initially seduced by Carson’s Marxist revision of Libertarian theory have since been assimilated back into the mainstream Brahmin anarchist movement (AKA the Democratic Party in college). The website for C4SS, the flagship think-tank of this tendency, has dwindled into obscurity and now contents itself to be a mouthpiece for bizarre outpourings of critical Gender and Queer theory. Left-Libertarianism has effectively been reclaimed by the progressives.

Feminists, mostly active on college campuses, have infiltrated Libertarianism using their typical rent-seeking tactics of inserting themselves into male dominated spaces, exploiting the immature sexuality of socially awkward nerds, demanding equal representation and insisting all the rules be changed to accommodate them. Thus college Libertarianism has largely become a yet another campus gay rights movement and forum for bored, trivial and spoiled middle class women to whine about privilege and talk about their vaginas. This inevitably leads to the standard feminist griping that Libertarianism is too white, too male, too privileged etc. Of course it is. If it were not, entitlement minded feminists would never have zeroed in on it as a huge, juicy pile of untapped resources in the first place.

The problem is not that Libertarianism is primarily made up of affluent white males. Just the opposite. The problem is that this is seen as a problem. The problem is that people take these complaints seriously and try to integrate women and non-whites for no other reason than race or gender. Libertarianism has always been an ideology for white males. It is an intellectual forum in which they can engage in philosophical argument, repartee, camaraderie and nonviolent competition for status. It should be celebrated and preserved as a masculine, Western-oriented political movement standing against the tide of progressivism, Marxism, feminism and egalitarianism, not allow itself to be co-opted or handicapped by these poisonous ideologies.

“Taxes are expropriation”: Hoppe interview in Wirtschaftswoche


http://www.hanshoppe.com/2014/01/taxes-are-expropriation-interview-in-wirtschaftswoche/

by STEPHAN KINSELLA on JANUARY 7, 2014

Below is an English translation of Professor Hoppe’s interview by “Wirtschaftswoche”, Germany’s leading business-weekly. The interview covers various topics, including the business cycle, the nature of the state, anarcho-capitalism, taxation as expropriation, and the like.

***

Interview in Wirtschaftswoche
“Taxes are expropriation”

by Malte Fischer

The anarcho-libertarian economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe argues for a state-free society. Where government has, for example, no right to compel the citizens to pay taxes to finance armed forces.

http://www.wiwo.de/politik/konjunktur/hans-hermann-hoppe-steuern-sind-enteignung-seite-all/9282336-all.html

Business Week:

Professor Hoppe, We currently have booming state intervention in both the economy and in society again. Many citizens want more government and less market. How do you explain that?

Hoppe:

History shows that crises promote the growth of the state. This is particularly evident in wars and terrorist attacks. Governments use such crises in order to pose as crisis-solvers. This also applies to the financial crisis. It has provided the governments and central banks with a welcome opportunity to intervene even more in the economy and society. Government representatives have managed to lay the blame for the crisis on capitalism, the markets and greed.

Without the intervention of central banks and governments in the form of liquidity injections and stimulus programs, wouldn’t the world have been thrown into a deep depression like in the 1930s? 

There is a misconception that governments and central banks can aid the economy with programs to help it bounce back. Even in the 1930s in the USA there were Continue reading

“Bad news coming” thought Winston…


Christopher Houseman

No, not the impending cuts of so many public payroll salaries (some of which have jobs associated with them), but rather a certain commonality in the Coalition about the motives for their present course of action.

Nick Clegg has assured the LibDems that he doesn’t want to cut the state for the sake of cutting it. No, he wants to cut it so he can rebuild the state differently. Likewise, Liam Fox has informed the Tories that he doesn’t want to cut defence and nor does David Cameron (cue Tory applause) – but at the moment, he has no choice.

Thus is the libertarian ideal of a smaller state smeared in the eyes of political activists and the wider public as a necessary evil, a stopping-off point to be endured on the road to the sunny uplands of a reshaped and re-expanded State tomorrow.

Unless libertarians can convincingly and appealingly present to the public the truly joyous reality of being able to work (or not) as we please, with whom we please, to offer goods and services we’re proud of to whomever we please, libertarians will remain marginalised and misunderstood. They’ll be seen as an articulate but callous bunch, perversely rejoicing over the wider dislocation and misery caused by the State’s champions ditching the minions they think they can most easily do without.

When faced with people determined to do exactly the wrong thing, Lenin’s “The worse the better” dictum may be an accurate response to their failures. But it’s no way to market anything to anyone.

PS. I note the Tories’ pledge to let headteachers discipline children for misbehaviour on the way to and from school. I leave the last word on this news to John Taylor Gatto:

As schooling encroaches further and further into family and personal life, monopolizing the development of mind and character, children become human resources at the disposal of whatever form of governance is dominant at the moment.

Anarcho-Capitalism versus Minarchism


David Davis

Interesting analysis over at CountingCats, of a problem which has been bugging me for some years: how to ensure Order becoming the inevitable daughter of Liberty, as she really is, instead of people thinking that Liberty arises out of imposed order.

New UK Libertarian forum spotted!


Michael Winning

I was over at The Last Ditch’s place and I spotted this just now. Do go, I’m going to give it a try now and then, even me.

Libertarian Britain


David Davis

Go to conservativehome and take part in the lively discussion thread about whether “Britain is becoming more conservative – or perhaps more libertarian?

Warcry, from the leader of the UK Libertarian Party


David Davis

Reprinted in full:-

Posted by Devil’s Kitchen at 1/05/2010 12:15:00 AM

My friends,

We are broke. Our country—whatever it may once have been—is now laden with debt. And this isn’t “the government’s debt”: it is our debt.

The government has no money but what it takes—what it extorts—from us.

We have gone beyond consensus politics: if a man were to come to your door, with a gun, and demand half of everything that you earned—on pain of severe punishment, on pain of the total ruination of your life—would you not protest?

For a moment, lay aside those dutiful thoughts of those starving millions beyond your gate, and think, instead, of those within your own household—within your own family: would you not rather protect them first?

Of course you would: they are your kith and kin and you would expect—would you not?—that everyone, like you, would defend theirs against you were you the one holding the gun.

The government has now utterly removed from you the means of protecting yourself and your family against the man with the gun: indeed, you dare not defend yourself because you fear that it is you, not the mugger, who would end up in the dock.

For the government is the man with the gun, demanding tithes from you: the government is here, at your door. But not randomly.

No.

The government has gone out and bought itself nice things—plasma TVs, second homes, duckhouses, moats. And jobs, and votes. All of those things that you could not afford—because it has been here before: at your door, with a gun.

Five years ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those children who were not yours. You paid, because you had no option.

Four years ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those unhealthy who were not yours. You paid, because you had no option.

Three years ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those uneducated who were not yours. You paid, because you had no option.

Two years ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those feckless bankers who were not yours. You paid, because you had no option.

One year ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those MPs who had no duck-houses or second homes or moats. You paid, because you had no option.

And now the government has spent everything that you had to give, and more, on its pet projects—on buying its second homes, on buying its duckhouses, on buying its votes—and none of it benefited you and yours. Not even by one iota.

The government didn’t care that you couldn’t afford to give any more: it didn’t care that you had no money.

The government didn’t care that you had lost your job: the government didn’t care that all of those thousands of pounds it took in National Insurance payments translated into a few hundred when you were in need.

And now, when you are getting back on your feet—back in a job that is not as good as the one the government destroyed, back struggling to look after your family on the pittance you are paid, back paying off your debts—the government, too, is back: it’s back with the gun.

The government is back—demanding half of what you broke your back to earn—because it has more grand schemes, more votes to buy, more trinkets to deliver to its favoured ones.

Will you so willingly hand over the sweat of your brow? Will you so willingly condemn you and yours to penury? Will you capitulate again?

Or will you fight?

Join us—and help us to stop the extortion.

Join us—and understand that providing for you and yours is not a sin.

Join us—and realise that a society that pulls together is a society that stays together.

Join us—and help us fight for a future in which people help each other voluntarily, because it is right and fitting to do so.

Join us—and help to build a future in which men, women and children take back their work, their birthrights, their dignity and their compassion from a government that cares nothing for you.

Join us.

Because—whether the government is Tory, Labour or LibDem—soon you will have nothing left to lose.Labels: , ,