Tuesday, August 16, 2016

When Libertarians Went Off the Rails

I have written about the Libertarians before, relating some of the ways I agree and disagree with them but this political season I have had to burn some bridges with the Libertarians or, at least, the “official” established Libertarian powerhouses of this country such as the Libertarian Party and Reason Magazine. However, while some of my previous problems with libertarianism remain, this time something has changed and that is that the mainstream American Libertarians seem to have gone so far into the weeds of “principle” that they have largely abandoned what they were supposed to be all about. So, this time, some of my biggest problems are not with “libertarianism” but with the Libertarians who are currently in charge, at least in this country. Gone are the days of Congressman Ron Paul who wanted to stop using American troops to guard foreign borders and use them to guard the American border, now the Libertarian Party seems to be all about globalism, big government, nanny states and open borders. All of which goes against what they are supposed to be about!

First of all, I still have my long-standing problem with Libertarian priorities. They claim to want to dismantle the welfare state, not a bad idea in my view, but after never making it a priority, this time around, in several discussions I’ve had with Libertarian Party supporters, it has absolutely been thrown so far down the road as to drop off the cliff of reality. They don’t care about it and they’re not going to do it because calling for that would make them very unpopular. Legalize drugs? That’s popular, just like gay “marriage” and open borders. However, so many things that I would not really oppose so much if the welfare state didn’t exist, like the laws against gambling or drug abuse, depend entirely on getting rid of the welfare state first so that I don’t have to carry people who ruin their lives even more than I already do. So, the priorities issue is still there but leads into a big problem for me which is either new or at least new to me and that is the Libertarian devotion to having one, big, borderless world.

Milton Friedman, usually beloved by Libertarians, didn’t like borders but even he said it would be disastrous to have open borders AND a welfare state, nothing could bankrupt a country faster than that. However, Libertarians want open borders and, yeah, maybe, some day, at some point, in the far off vague future time, they might dismantle the welfare state. This is insane policy *for Libertarians* and seems to go against what Libertarians are supposed to believe in, or at least what I thought they did. For one thing, whether it is rational or not, history has shown us electoral patterns of behavior and one of those is that immigrants vote for the left-wing party, the party of bigger government, the party of more social welfare for people like themselves. That means that the Libertarians are cheering on the importation of a new population that will NEVER vote for them and ensure they never achieve national office. At least with the Democrats and Republicans, their positions on immigration are rational. Democrats want more because immigrants vote for Democrats and Republicans want less for the same reason. Libertarians, however, are so focused on their principles that every individual, every where in the world should be able to go wherever and whenever he/she/it wants, that they are acting against their own political self-interest. What would Ayn Rand think of you?

This also reveals something that surprised me about Libertarians which is that they just went from the party of small government to the party of global government. They seem to think, rather like the mandarins of ancient, Imperial China, that the whole world is governed by the United States and those places beyond are borders are just in denial about it. They think our rights and laws apply to everyone, citizens or non-citizens. It also shows that they think we owe our success to the government rather than “we the people”, which is what I thought Libertarians used to believe. After all, if you can replace the original population of this country with a new one, expecting everything to carry on the same as before, then what you are saying is that it is the system, the machine, that we owe everything to and not the unique history and culture of our own people. I must disagree, I do not think that you can take someone from a culture of theocracy, shariah law and tribalism or even large amounts of people from a culture of absolutism, dictatorship, revolutions and religious persecution and then plug them into a system founded by people from a culture of Magna Carta, 1688, Thomas Jefferson and frontiersmen and expect nothing at all to change. This is what some have called the “magic soil” argument. That all people are interchangeable but, for some reason, North America has magic soil that makes like better here no matter who the people are or what sort of history and culture has formed them prior to their arrival.

Open borders really seem to be a big deal to Libertarians this political season. It has even overpowered their supposed opposition to big government, over regulation and the “nanny state” which I thought was their worst enemy. I was really shocked when Katherine Mangu-Ward, editor-in-chief of “Reason” magazine announced that she favored the U.K. remaining in the European Union. Yes, the anti-democratic, unaccountable, massively top heavy, tax & spend, cradle to grave welfare state and government so big we will regulate absolutely everything even the shape of your cucumbers European Union! What on earth was it that could prompt the big cheese at America’s foremost libertarian periodical to support such a thing? You probably guessed it: open borders and free trade. A government bureaucracy that is so overreaching that it regulates everything from fishing to playground equipment to bananas and hair dryers, that the so-called libertarians at “Reason” can accept so long as the important principle of more non-British people being able to move to Britain is upheld. Whatever happened to smaller government guys?! Guys? Hello…?

Annoyed yet? Bear with me, there’s just a bit more. You will notice that Katherine also mentioned “free trade” along with open borders as part of the reason she supports the Westminster Parliament being shackled to a bunch of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. That’s another point by itself. The European Union does not have “free trade” even among its members. Trade between member states is not really “free” at all, it is very, very heavily regulated just like your electric tea kettles, it is only that they all have the same regulations set by a central authority rather than in the past when every country did their own thing. Libertarians really seem to have gone full-blown ignorant on this subject and there is no better example than the parade of Libertarians who have come out to blast Donald Trump for being critical of our trade deals with China. The Libertarians denounce the bombastic billionaire and assure us that “free trade” is good for everyone!

Do they even know what they are saying? How can we have truly “free” trade with China when this trade comes with trade “deals” and is overseen by a “trade commission” with lots of rules and regulations governing it? Donald Trump says these trade deals are bad, which you can agree or disagree with but the Libertarians seem to be in total denial about the deals even existing! Well, I’m sorry delusional Libertarians but we do have trade deals with China, you cannot just buy and sell however you please between the two countries and what is also true, though not talked about because “they took our jobs” is easier for the masses to understand, is that China has repeatedly violated the terms of these deals and faced no consequences because of it. What do I mean? Well, here is an example that I would think Libertarians, if they believed in what they claim to believe in, would understand: private property. Libertarians are supposed to believe that private property rights are absolutely sacrosanct. Well, the Chinese do not believe that and they have stolen the intellectual private property of a great many people. Now, I would think that the free market, Libertarian answer to that would be to stop doing business with someone who rips you off like that, but, NO! They want us to go on getting ripped off because apparently their respect for private property is not as great as their devotion to globalism and having trade just for the sake of having trade I guess.

But, you may be thinking, “you’re just getting carried away Mad Monarchist, this is because the Libertarians support big business, they have always supported big, international corporations and have never made a secret of that”, well, I have news for you unnamed, anonymous, imaginary reader of this blog! As well as giving up on the welfare state, big government and private property, they are also giving up on small business in favor of big business it seems. The Libertarian Party candidate for President of the United States, Gary Johnson, (yes, again) has said that a Jewish baker should be forced by the government to bake a cake for Hitler’s birthday party covered in swastikas just as a Christian baker should be forced by the government to bake a cake for the homosexuals who are getting married. Individual rights? Freedom for small business owners to run their own businesses? Screw that idea! What do we look like, Libertarians?! No, sorry, this year the Libertarians have gone, way, way too far. From the conversations I have had and what I have heard from the leadership of the Libertarian Party and “Reason” magazine, the libertarian movement is not about private property rights, ending the welfare state, free markets and individual rights any more. They are for globalism, open borders, big government, regulatory regimes and allowing every heroin-addict to buy a machine gun. Good job guys.

Now, I will add that I cannot believe all libertarians are like these. As far as I know, Hans Hermann Hoppe has not gone off the rails and is still someone I have a lot of time for. Hopefully, it is just the American libertarian leadership that has lost its mind but I cannot be too optimistic. I know some great libertarians who have had more than one ‘face-palm’ moment this political season and I am sure many are just as appalled as I am, perhaps even more so as I am just on the outside looking in. Why do I even care? Well, I care because even though I have never agreed with them on everything, I have agreed with them on some things in the past and because the libertarians have represented at least a hope for what I would consider beneficial changes. They were one group of people who at least rated notice on the political radar who had a plan for a society that would have ultimately made democracy rather unnecessary and had people who were open about saying so. They were one of the few groups who, in the old days anyway, were not afraid to say that “equality” is a delusion, that an individual can be right when the majority is wrong, that democracy should not decide everything and that the successful should be applauded and emulated, not shamed and hated. It pains me to see what they have come to but, as long as they continue on their present course, they can expect no support from me. A line has been crossed.

13 comments:

  1. As far as people who self-identify as libertarians, "Ex-Army - Libertarian Nationalist", blog is okay.

    Mainstream libertarianism failed, because from the start it was fanatically devoted to equality. Whenever any minority or otherwise "underprivileged" group under-performs, they blame it on evil conspiracy of white men. And then, in name of equality they'll happily abandon any of (supposedly theirs) principles of free market and freedom of association.
    That's why over time they became useful idiots for far left.

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  3. Their sense of individualism is also separate. It lacks responsibility as an individual. I can already tell, from what I marked, that in a separate sense of individualism, there's God, there's family, and others. In that sense, I think there's duty and things that matter. It isn't revolved around one thing, that being their own personal freedom.

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    1. I didn't mention it but that is something noticeable in the fact that while some libertarians oppose abortion, the Libertarian Party and major libertarian media all support it. That's a big clue that they didn't really believe in personal, individual responsibility because, other than cases of rape, an abortion is no different than a bank bailout; an action taken to avoid the consequences of a bad decision.

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    2. I think father should be able to drag his 13-year old daughter who got pregnant with drug dealer to abortion clinic. Same with adulterous wife.
      Pater familias.
      Sure, he might have failed when he didn't stop her from mingling with bad crowd in the first place, but it would be irresponsible of him as head of the family to not fix fixable problem. He'd just fail his family twice.

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    3. We need to stop talking about abortion as if it were anything other than the savage, barbarian murder of an innocent baby for the "crime" of existing unwanted that it truly is. And we need not to let people get their hands on babies who make their money from slaughtering babies.

      It might be one thing if a 13-year-old girl's life were in danger, but terminating a pregnancy is both physically and morally distinct from abortion--the former is designed to save a life and is morally okay only if her life is in danger; the latter is designed to take a life and is never morally justified under any circumstances. That's just murder through and through.

      And there's always giving up a baby for adoption if the family can't take care of him.

      The babies' blood cries out to God for justice, and if we won't exercise it, He will.

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    4. Pair O' Dimes, you talk in abstracts.
      Would you actually have your daughter/wife give birth to a mixed-race bastard?
      No, of course you wouldn't, you just say so because you were never faced with that choice (kinda Sophie's choice it would be...), so it cost you nothing to condemn it.

      Terminating pregnancy is the same thing as abortion. Literally the same.
      You already conceded its okay to kill for good enough reason, you've just drawn the line in different place.
      You've drawn it at saving other life, I've drawn it at protecting integrity of family.

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    5. @Mackus: WOW. Just...WOW.

      That says so much more about you than it does about me.

      WOW.

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    6. @ScottAdams: "But my favorite way to identify brainwashed citizens is by the way they start comments on social media. The brainwashed start with one of the following openers and then go on to offer either sarcasm or no argument at all.

      Look for these tells to identify the brainwashed:

      1. LOL
      2. Wow.
      3. So…
      4. In other words…
      5. OMG
      6. HAHAHAHA!
      7. (Any personal or professional insult)
      8. Hitler analogy"

      "Wow" opener? Check
      No arguments? Check

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  4. When some manmade movement doesn't have a root in Christ it becomes malleable, and so it shouldn't surprise anyone when it's turned into its opposite, in the name of the original movement, by immoral people who hijack this malleability.

    It happened in Animal Farm.

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    1. Well, most of the mainstream "right of center" parties in Europe claim to be based on Christianity and they haven't done so well. Precious few even seem to know what Christianity is these days. I think it's more a mark of their idealism. They seem no less fanatical than the Marxists in their utopian belief that if everyone would just follow their formula, the world would be perfect and that's just not the case.

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    2. Unfortunately you're right. Too many movements calling themselves "Christianity", and some of them have little if anything to do with Christianity.

      But yes, more people need to realize that this world is never going to be perfect. Anyway, as far as I can tell, the only issues a political party should have anything to say on is the relative powers and relationships of the various branches of government. These days they're practically becoming their own religions.

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  5. Reason is owned by Koch. Political operators are always looking for a way to co-opt movements. I don't see this as a failure of libertarian ideals as much as a misleading promotion directed by elites.

    Mises.org is still a principled libertarian, anarcho-capitalist, and sometimes monarchist publication. I encourage you to submit content (they are accepting submissions) there. It would spark an interesting discussion and bring monarchist views to a wider audience.

    Thanks again for your blog.

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