Can Libertarians Fight (And Die) For Their Country?

Can Libertarians Fight (And Die) For Their Country?

Sheldon Richman at the Libertarian Institute writes:

Horace’s declaration “Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori” — “It is sweet and proper to die for one’s country” — is just what poet Wilfred Owen called it: “The old Lie.” Screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky extended Owen’s point when he had his protagonist in The Americanization of Emily tell a war widow, “We perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifices.”

……If we are ever to abolish America’s bloody and costly permanent war state we will have to rethink the quasi-secular faith which holds that dying — and killing — for one’s country is the greatest honor and virtue to which one one can aspire. It is time we learned that killing and dying for an ideology — even so-called liberal democracy — is as bad as doing so for a religion — even so-called radical Islam. (The distinction between ideology and religion is more apparent than real).

How many times must people fall for this ploy before they realize they have been cruelly scammed? (The American Church is sustained by a coalition of profiteers and true believers, or what economist Bruce Yandle generically dubbed “bootleggers and Baptists.”)

As I’ve remarked before, libertarians often equate society with government in the same manner as our opponents. We confuse “country” with “empire” and “nation” with “state.”

Nowhere do we see this better than when it comes to the military and “fighting for your country.”

Let us clear that matter up now. There is nothing un-libertarian, let alone ignoble or dishonorable about dying for your country during a justified conflict for the sake of loved ones. I would be hard pressed to find something disgraceful about a man arming himself and risking life and limb against someone attempting to break into his home to harm his family. A community is an extension of the family, and a country or nation is an extension of that community.

But that is not the situation Richman describes. He is describing soldiers dying for a modern state, which does not represent their country, engaging in unjust military actions overseas that have nothing to do with the safety or protection of their friends, families, or neighbors.

However, that is precisely what the United States government claims, and which libertarians take at face value.

Dying For Your Country Verus Dying For The State

Libertarians need to reframe the discussion so that we are clearly differentiating the two. Dying for your country and dying for your government are two wholly separate matters. Robert E. Lee did not join the Confederate Army because he wished to fight for the Confederate government; he fought to ward off a military invasion of his home state, Virginia. Like others who put on the grey uniform, he did so for his country, not the government ruling it.

What must change is not the instinctive desire among men to protect and defend their country.  The U.S. government is not a legitimate representation of the American nation. A soldier who signs up for the military will not be fighting on behalf of that nation; they will fight for whoever benefits from the military industrial complex.

The problem is that our society has restricted nearly all means by which men can act on this normal desire to protect, defend, and preserve.

Even defending your loved ones in your own home against an intruder is fraught with legal risks, should some prosecutor decide to make a political statement.

The state has assumed practically all authority – but not responsibility – for the defense of people.

Aside from law enforcement, the military is the only available venue from which men can express their protective instincts, but tragically it is misdirected towards nefarious ends.

This needs to end.

We will never convince people there is no honor in dying for their country, because it is simply not true. Doing so only comes off as emasculating, and to the rest of Americans our movement will only appear nihilistic, effeminate, and pacifist. We must point to other ways in which men can serve and be recognized for their sacrifice in a way that reaffirms and preserves masculine tactical virtues; strength, courage, mastery, and honor.

There are things worth fighting for and dying for, and when men do pay that price, they should be honored by those for whom they sacrifice.

America may or may not be worth dying for, but the U.S. government and its foreign policy blunders are most certainly not. We should not mistake one for the other or allow others to claim so without our rebuke.

Photo: “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” used with permission by Wiki Commons.

Posted in War, federal government, military | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A Dying Appeal

In Should Libertarians Support a Police State? open borders advocate Jacob Hornberger writes:

Our American ancestors tried to protect people from unreasonable searches by federal officials. They understood that a free society necessarily depends on external constraints placed on the power of government officials to conduct searches of people and their belongings. That’s what The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is all about. It prohibits federal officials from searching people’s cell phones and everything else without a search warrant issued by a judge.

This article is meant to say that libertarians who support secure borders are supporting the police state.

Notice what he left out; the Founders’ views on immigration and borders. They favored secure borders, immigration restrictions that prioritized English peoples – and yet they still opposed a police state.

It is ironic that Hornberger appeals to “our American ancestors” – no such appeal works under his preferred immigration policy. That argument only has meaning to real Americans whose ancestors were here in 1789.

This is a point I’ve raised repeatedly with left/open border libertarians. Their rhetoric is appreciated only by Americans who have common heritage and ethnic ties. Try speaking of “our American ancestors” to someone whose family is from China, India, Syria, or Mexico. To them, the Bill of Rights is a document penned by foreigners of no connection to their ancestors, and thus has no significance to them beyond what they personally can get out of it.

If you live in a house your great-grandfather built specifically for his family to live in, you will treat it differently than a house that was built by a total stranger just trying to earn a living.

Hornberger celebrates the importation or migration of people of whom his own arguments for a free society will have no impact. If things continue on their current path, ethnic Americans will become a minority in the USA. What will he and others like him do then? They will not be able to reference the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or any other Western document or thinker when trying to convince non-Westerners to adopt a distinctly Western concept – liberty. Virtually every argument they make, this specific one a perfect example, is ultimately an appeal to common Western and American heritage.

It’s why – as I’ve pointed out a thousand times – they do not bother taking their open borders doctrine to non-Westerner countries. No one there would listen to them, and the rhetoric they employ here in the West would have no effect. Non-Western countries do not care about creating a free society.

This is why open border libertarianism is a self-defeating, unsustainable policy; it calls for replacing its adherents with people who don’t believe in it.

Posted in borders, Police and Law Enforcement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

New Comment Policy

I’ve added a new comment policy page. I recommend anyone who wishes to comment here read it. Long live property rights and physical removal, per se.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Cult Of Imperium

divineaugustus

In Pleasantville: Libertarianism and the Cult of Liber, author Ehud Would at Faith and Heritage commits a slew of inaccuracies in attempting to refute libertarianism. I really tire of having to point out that Ayn Rand was not a libertarian and did not like libertarianism; she literally created her own philosophy called Objectivism. Eventually in the piece he gets around to pointing this out, but it’s hard for me to take any critique seriously that includes her beliefs.

Like so many before him, Would attempts to equate libertarianism with libertinism by appealing to etymological arguments; the words sound the same and have similar origins, so they thus must mean the same thing, or at the very least teach the same principle. He also interprets libertarianism doctrine of self-ownership as being incompatible with biblical teachings that man is owned by God.

In doing so, he makes the same error as so many who fail to grasp libertarianism’s limited scope. As Gerard Casey stated quite clearly in his book Libertarian Anarchy, the philosophy is an incomplete moral theory that stresses self-ownership in regards to human relations. In other words, when two people interact, they both have rights that the other cannot violate. This is the basis of property rights.

Libertarianism does not attempt to address spiritual and religious matters, as well as moral and ethical issues. It deals solely with the use of coercion and aggression. Other questions are to be answered by other philosophies or systems.

However, Ehud Would misinterprets self-autonomy as a theological assertion, when it is confined to human relations. Man may or may not be owned by God, but that is irrelevant to the question of whether or not anyone else owns a man other than himself. God may own you, but libertarianism says no other human does. That is why thou shalt not steal; how can you steal if a man doesn’t own something you take from him?

He writes:

The libertarian view is liberation from the telos of man under God, from all communal identities of nation, clan, race, church, and all other intermediate communities and allegiances, and disencumbrance from all that defines the family itself and, therefore, man himself.

This entire statement is incorrect. There is nothing in the philosophy that says you cannot identity with others on the basis of nationality, race, religion, and other entities. Contrary to what some misguided libertarians believe (perhaps he is critiquing these personal views and not libertarianism itself) the natural order is highly organized and dictates that people form groups on the basis of common identities. They are not and would not interact as hyper-atomized individuals void of any societal, cultural, or national communal ties.

Continuing with his “libertarianism is libertinism” argument, he writes further:

This is why and how they embrace sodomy as a “personal choice,” and so-called gay marriage* as a licit “private contract” rather than a crime. It’s how they dismiss our national borders as “an imaginary line” rather than the lawful bounds of our national jurisdiction. It sanctions adultery, prostitution, incest, miscegenation, and, if consistent, even pedophilia.

Notice Ehud Would uses the word “sanctions,” which means “official permission or approval for an action.” Libertarian does not sanction any action. It only forbids certain kinds of actions, but does not approve of any action, even if it is permissible.

My beliefs forbid me from using force to stop people from making ignorant statements about libertarianism, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are, in fact, ignorant statements that should be refuted.

On a side (and personal) note, placing interracial marriage on the same (im)moral lines as incest and pedophilia is inexcusable. It’s why nuanced, mature discussions about that topic with people on either side are simply impossible.

Further, as anyone who reads this blog can tell you, libertarians are not all on the same page when it comes to the question of national borders. Men such as myself, Lew Rockwell and Hans Herman Hoppe believe open borders to be forced integration and a violation of private property rights.

Like so many libertarian critics, Would either doesn’t know, or pretends these people don’t exist.

Once more, he is demanding something from the philosophy which it does not claim to offer. A private society could easily limit or prevent certain behavior deemed destructive by the people within it through noncoercion means. However, that is up to the people themselves to decide.

But Would presumes that unless state violence is allowed, then everyone must personally approve of the lifestyle. That is like arguing a society which allows people to watch Star Trek must force Star Wars fan to support it, too.

He then goes off the rails and claims libertarianism is borderline satanic.

The laws of Moses and Mises are not the same and cannot be reconciled. Where Moses commands us to love God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves, Mises says, in effect, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will.” Which is also known as the Law of Thelema, the ethic of satanism.

Must I say again that libertarianism is not a complete moral theory? I can do so for the cheap seats, which apparently are full.

Mises was an economist and wrote about economics. He never argued that everyq uestion should be answered by addressing its economic value. A few years back, Tom Woods explained why this has nothing to do with morality or spirituality – for the life of me I can’t find the video.

“Do whatever you want” is not the core principle of libertarianism, and no serious libertarian thinker, including Murray Rothbard, argued that was the case. This is a needless strawman.

He goes to conclude:

But it is the Christian’s job to call out this lie of autonomy in all its iterations, subtle though it may sometimes be. If we hope to drive back this present darkness which encircles us, and restore Pleasantville, we are bound to repudiate not just Hollywood’s mystery cult narrative, but also the ideologies which mirror it on the Right in the likes of libertarianism, Objectivism, laissez faire capitalism, pluralism (the modern reinterpretation of freedom of religion), and so called civic nationalism. These can be overcome only by the power of Christ. All other means, by presumption of personal and noetic autonomy, cede the argument to the enemy from the outset.

Except Would isn’t calling on the power of Christ – he is rationalizing his belief in using state violence to bring about the will of Christ.

I have previously stressed the fact that what I believe about the world is a description rather than prescription, but often people confuse the former for the latter. I have zero – zero – interest in telling other people what to do. That doesn’t bother many; what drives them insane is that I demand reciprocity – don’t tell me what to do with my life or force me to subsidize yours.

It may shock some of you reading this, but I actually dislike talking politics with people, because it is a conversation about how we should force people to do something or not do something.

I see the world as it is, not how I want it to be, and attempting to control its direction through the state is the height of arrogance and folly.

Here, we have an example of the opposite stance.

Would and others like him clearly have a prescription for how people must conduct themselves and want to use the state to coerce them into complying. He emphatically believes that without the state it could not be achieved.

But this opens up a slew of questions, chief of which is this: what gives their government legitimacy over another? After all, if they don’t even own themselves – as they claim God owns them – what right do they have to use violence against others?

I contend that in a free society based upon libertarian principles, the natural order would dictate that beneficial lifestyles would lead to prosperity and harmful, destructive behaviors would be limited because those who engage in it would not be shielded from the consequences as we see today. Those who make bad choices would suffer, and those who made wise choices would flourish.

Those who wage war against nature need the state to shift the cost of their actions onto others.

If a man’s law is in accordance with God’s law, he should not need to engage in aggression or coercion via a criminal entity against others to fulfill it. The undying belief in the necessity of the state to fulfill the natural order perpetuates a cult of imperium.

Posted in borders, Central Government, cultural marxism, Culture, economics, Immigration, libertarianism, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Corporate America: An SJW Propaganda Machine

Aaron Clarey over at Captain Capitalism offers a very thorough analysis of the SJW virtue-signalling crap coming out of Corporate American today and the reason why: you need only look at the people running the companies.

Howard Hughes and Thomas Edison, these people are not.

Understand the phenomenon of leftist virtue signaling politics being imbued into marketing is the unintentional byproduct of socialist political brainwashing Generation X received from academia during their collegiate years in the 90’s, and the millennials continue to receive to this day.  I remember it very clearly because I was there when concepts like “diversity” and “going green” were first being shoved down our throats in about 1994 and by 1997 concepts like “Corporate Social Responsibility” were being floated in the business school.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND because previous to 1994 such concepts were not part of academia, let alone business school as (presumably) businesses would not be concerned about people’s politics, the environment, virtue signaling, etc., as they would be concerned about real world issues such as profits, accounting, marketing, etc.- things that were vital and required to operate a business.  In other words, concepts like diversity, privilege, CSR, etc., had no demand or call for in the real world and were purely the concoctions and creations of worthless theoretical hacks posing as business professors (and professors at large).

Normally this would not matter as, in theory, Generation X would enter the real world and the cute pet theories of hack socialist professors would be disregarded as the demands of the real world would prove them to be worthless.  But there were three variables that not only allowed such concepts to survive, but become the philosophical bedrock of Generation X and the millennials…and ultimately the corporations they would go on to infect.

Read the rest here.

Posted in Crony Capitalism, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Stop Blaming the Alt. Right For Identity Politics

Jim Goad at TakiMag writes:

Maybe if you hadn’t encouraged your lunatic fanatics to insist that white people should kill themselves, that white males are a cancer and must die, that whites should commit mass suicide over slavery, that whites should be exterminated, and that they are racist no matter what—maybe, just maybe they’d think you weren’t stuffed to the gills with bullshit when you lecture them about “hate.”

Their myopic obsession with anti-white identity politics created a new white identity politics from scratch. They preached identity for everyone except whites—and they apparently are so dim, they expected that to work out well. This is not the old, aggressive, continent-conquering “white racism” of yore—this is a new, defensive white identity created by the endless scapegoating and minority-obsessed myopia of the leftist elites. This is a monster that the left created, one that will eat it whole.

In my analysis of the 16 Points of the Alt. Right, I got a decent amount of flak from those who found the ideology’s identity politics intolerable. To every critic, I simply pointed out the moral double standard applied to whites, a standard to which no other race must adhere and to whom this neo-babelism is never preached.

Not one person tried to refute or disprove my assertion. They ignored it, because there is no counterargument. The hypocrisy and inconsistency on this issue is as self-evident as anything could ever hope to be.

The only possible reply is “yes, there is, and here’s why it’s acceptable….”

But that would reveal the true premise from which so many base their world views on matters ranging from morality and ethics to politics and religion.

Goad’s observation underscores my next point: Unless someone has been out vocally campaigning against the blatantly anti-white identity politics propagated for the past three decades, I would kindly invite them to shut the hell up regarding any qualms they may have with the Alt. Right’s message.

I would add that I have zero patience with people who proudly strain the gnats of the Alt. Right but cowardly swallow the camels of the globalists who openly celebrate the demise of whites in their own countries and spew vitriol that, at best, receive a light chide from those who freaked out over Richard Spencer’s “heilgate” nonevent.

That they have been silent only until now, merely reveals their tacit approval of the disgusting message spread that directly led to the Alt. Right’s creation – and perhaps its necessity – in the first place.

As Jack Donovan wrote nearly seven years ago (bold emphasis added):

Only in modern PC bizzarro land is it not OK for a man to be concerned that his people are dying out.

If I were to say, hypothetically, “It shouldn’t matter if Jews die out and their culture disappears into history. They had a good run. In fact, it might be better for everyone if they were gone.”

Can you imagine the shitstorm?

Same for blacks. Latinos. Asians. Whatever.

To say the same about any of these groups would be, if you’ll excuse the pun, completely beyond the pale.

If you can’t see the double standard there, you’re ignoring it intentionally.

Posted in politics, Uncategorized | Tagged | 5 Comments

The Robinson Crusoe Foreign Policy

The Robinson Crusoe Foreign PolicyA recent post by Quintus Curtius titled Why Every Man Should Read “Robinson Crusoe” inspired me to finally pick up the novel, after carrying it around on my bookshelf since childhood. Having read other works from the same time period, I anticipated a great deal of circumlocution in the prose that would make it unreadable.

I was pleasantly surprised to find it thoroughly engrossing. A little slow at first, the story quickly picks up once Crusoe finds himself shipwrecked and stranded alone on an island.

There were plenty of memorable passages related to religion and spirituality, but the one that struck me the most regarded his decision not to attack the cannibal tribes who arrive on the island. The reasoning he uses could very well apply to a nation and contains within it all the intellectual arguments libertarians might use to advocate a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Naturally disgusted by the cannibalistic practices of these tribes, Crusoe’s Christian beliefs urge him to stop them. Armed with rifles and pistols, he could have easily killed them all himself.

However, what restrains him is a very profound moral ethic; they have done no wrong by him, therefore he is not justified in killing them, even if they are guilty in the eyes of another. He has been granted no authority to act as the arbiter or judge in their crimes. It is only after he aids escaped savage, Friday that he becomes involved enough in their affairs to take direct action.

Crusoe soliloquies (bold emphasis added):

When I considered this a little, it followed necessarily that I was certainly in the wrong; that these people were not murderers, in the sense that I had before condemned them in my thoughts, any more than those Christians were murderers who often put to death the prisoners taken in battle; or more frequently, upon many occasions, put whole troops of men to the sword, without giving quarter, though they threw down their arms and submitted. In the next place, it occurred to me that although the usage they gave one another was thus brutish and inhuman, yet it was really nothing to me: these people had done me no injury: that if they attempted, or I saw it necessary, for my immediate preservation, to fall upon them, something might be said for it: but that I was yet out of their power, and they really had no knowledge of me, and consequently no design upon me; and therefore it could not be just for me to fall upon them; that this would justify the conduct of the Spaniards in all their barbarities practised in America, where they destroyed millions of these people; who, however they were idolators and barbarians, and had several bloody and barbarous rites in their customs, such as sacrificing human bodies to their idols, were yet, as to the Spaniards, very innocent people; and that the rooting them out of the country is spoken of with the utmost abhorrence and detestation by even the Spaniards themselves at this time, and by all other Christian nations of Europe, as a mere butchery, a bloody and unnatural piece of cruelty, unjustifiable either to God or man; and for which the very name of a Spaniard is reckoned to be frightful and terrible, to all people of humanity or of Christian compassion; as if the kingdom of Spain were particularly eminent for the produce of a race of men who were without principles of tenderness, or the common bowels of pity to the miserable, which is reckoned to be a mark of generous temper in the mind.

These considerations really put me to a pause, and to a kind of a full stop; and I began by little and little to be off my design, and to conclude I had taken wrong measures in my resolution to attack the savages; and that it was not my business to meddle with them, unless they first attacked me; and this it was my business, if possible, to prevent: but that, if I were discovered and attacked by them, I knew my duty. On the other hand, I argued with myself that this really was the way not to deliver myself, but entirely to ruin and destroy myself; for unless I was sure to kill every one that not only should be on shore at that time, but that should ever come on shore afterwards, if but one of them escaped to tell their country-people what had happened, they would come over again by thousands to revenge the death of their fellows, and I should only bring upon myself a certain destruction, which, at present, I had no manner of occasion for.

Upon the whole, I concluded that I ought, neither in principle nor in policy, one way or other, to concern myself in this affair: that my business was, by all possible means to conceal myself from them, and not to leave the least sign for them to guess by that there were any living creatures upon the island – I mean of human shape. Religion joined in with this prudential resolution; and I was convinced now, many ways, that I was perfectly out of my duty when I was laying all my bloody schemes for the destruction of innocent creatures – I mean innocent as to me. As to the crimes they were guilty of towards one another, I had nothing to do with them; they were national, and I ought to leave them to the justice of God, who is the Governor of nations, and knows how, by national punishments, to make a just retribution for national offences, and to bring public judgments upon those who offend in a public manner, by such ways as best please Him. This appeared so clear to me now, that nothing was a greater satisfaction to me than that I had not been suffered to do a thing which I now saw so much reason to believe would have been no less a sin than that of wilful murder if I had committed it; and I gave most humble thanks on my knees to God, that He had thus delivered me from blood-guiltiness; beseeching Him to grant me the protection of His providence, that I might not fall into the hands of the barbarians, or that I might not lay my hands upon them, unless I had a more clear call from Heaven to do it, in defence of my own life.

This passage should be required reading for anyone who wishes to have influence or power over a nation’s foreign policy. One can only imagine how many conflicts would have never happened if the world’s leaders heeded its wisdom.

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