Once more a thickist libertarian has ventured forth to let us all know how embarrassed they are to be a part of the liberty movement because there are – gasp – people who don’t share their exact religious, moral, sexual, cultural, or gender views.
If you’re up for reading yet another juvenile “there are libertarians who don’t think exactly as I do and this makes me mad” rant, peruse this article titled “Social Conservatives are the Worst Thing to Happen to Libertarianism.
Don’t worry; if the title doesn’t make it clear what makes the writer so upset, he does in the article.
Unfortunately the influx of social conservatives has also tainted libertarianism with racism, homophobia, transphobia, religious discrimination, and other forms of bigotry. None of these are inherit in libertarianism but neither are they prevented. But when somebody outside of libertarianism sees a self-proclaimed libertarian declaring Muslims the enemy of all humanity or homosexuals sinners deserving of eternal damnation that reflects poorly on those of us who aren’t bigoted assholes. (bold font added).
Later, he then goes on to state his solution on what to do with social conservative libertarians: shun them.
Since I’m a libertarian this proposal is made with the understanding that individuals are free to ignore it without consequence. But I would like to see libertarians utilize voluntary association to disassociate with people who express bigoted ideals and loudly shout them down when they start spewing their ignorant bullshit. In other words make it well known that they’re not welcome in libertarian circles. This is the only way I see libertarianism being able to divorce itself from the filth that social conservative have infested it with.
There you have it, people. It has thus been decreed that there are social conservative libertarians – whom he doesn’t bother to name – who have said things one shouldn’t say or think – though he doesn’t bother to link to any source for these claims, and they must be purged from libertarian circles until they repent of their sin and are cleansed through the power of the Holy…..nevermind.
Nevermind that these “social conservatives” adhere to the Non-Aggression Principle, as the writer himself admits. But they think thoughts and express thoughts that make him look bad with people too ignorant to know what libertarianism is and are unable to differentiate political beliefs with religious beliefs.
Rather than criticize them for making ignorant remarks and recommend libertarian literature before they mouth off further, however, this author believes the real solution is to shun social conservatives intelligent enough to know what libertarianism is and isn’t because politically correct statists out there are too
intolerant uncomfortable with the idea that a political philosophy is so inclusive religious people can belong to it as well.
As a social conservative libertarian myself, I have to give this author credit for not calling on the coercion of the state to compel us to turn from our wicked ways and instead advocate only voluntary means of disassociating and shunning pariahs like myself. It’s more than we can expect these days, I suppose.
The idea that people such as myself are the worst thing to happen to libertarianism is, of course, laughable – but it’s not so funny when you consider how much harm this politically correct attitude has brought upon the philosophy.
Political Correctness is the Worst Thing to Happen to Libertarianism
I wouldn’t make a big stink about it if this was merely one article that forgets that social conservative libertarians like Ludwig Von Mises and Murray “Enemy of the State” Rothbard doggedly promoted libertarian ideas at the expense of their academic careers when everyone else, including the progressives this author so admires, was raving about statism and reaping the benefits of the system.
But it’s not.
As Christopher Cantwell pointed out concerning a recent Students for Liberty conference, it has now spread like a bad case of measles. At the conference, Ron Paul’s speech was disrupted by a couple of self-appointed commissars who read an “open letter” denouncing him for having the audacity to openly associate with people who have uttered politically incorrect thoughts. Unlike this pro-shunning author, they named names.
Apparently it’s “insensitive” to compare statism to chattel slavery. (Nevermind whether the analogy is a logically sound one; emotional sensitivity is way more relevant than logic or reasoning).
Before this, we’ve had calls for “humanitarian libertarianism” and told that “libertarianism can’t be limited to the realm of political philosophy.”
And now we have someone openly calling for “libertarians” to disassociate with other libertarians due to their religious beliefs. But don’t worry, it’s all in the name of tolerance and being open minded. Just make sure you’re hold the right views, though.
This is why political correctness is the worst thing to happen to libertarianism. It poisons the ideology with this ridiculous notion that while libertarianism doesn’t advocate for a specific social, moral, religious, or cultural view, it should, because that’s the politically correct thing to do.
Libertarianism, therefore, is nice, but what really matters is holding the right social views, which is why social conservative libertarians are to be shunned in order to placate politically correct statists.
As Tom Woods has remarked in the past, the biggest concern of thick libertarians isn’t being opposed to the state, but holding”politically correct” views on other matters that have nothing to do with aggression and coercion.
Some libertarians say the traditional libertarian principle of nonaggression is insufficient. That is merely “thin” libertarianism, they say. We also need to have left-liberal views on religion, sexual morality, feminism, etc., because reactionary beliefs among the public are also threats to liberty. This is “thick” libertarianism.
As a “thin” libertarian myself (or what in the past was simply called a libertarian), I reject the claims of the thickists. I see no good reason to expand the list of requirements people must meet in order to be admitted to our little group. If they support nonaggression, they are libertarians.
But if the thickists are concerned that certain cultural attitudes might be dangerous to liberty, why do I never hear them express concern that the hysteria of the cultural Left might be prejudicial to liberty? Why is it only the traditional moral ideas of the bourgeoisie that are supposed to be so threatening? Could this be yet another double standard?
What makes the pro-shunning author’s argument so ridiculous is that after advocating for the disassociation and ridicule of social conservatives, whose association within the same political philosophy he simply cannot tolerate, he concludes that we really should focus on the Non-Aggression Principle and not get distracted.
While voluntary association certainly allows bigots to be bigots that shouldn’t be the main draw. The main draw of voluntary association should be the absence of coercion.
Which is why he finds it vital that everyone hold the same politically correct views on race, gender, sexual behavior, religion to the extent that he calls for “politically correct” libertarians to shun “social conservative” libertarians – indeed, shout them down when they speak – for not holding these specific views, even though social conservative libertarians aren’t advocating the opposite. Social conservative libertarians such as myself aren’t demanding anyone subscribe to our social views or that libertarianism must get rid of anyone who does not share our values.
This is the fundamental difference between thin libertarianism and thick libertarianism. With the thin libertarianism, atheists and free thinkers and fundamentalists and libertines and Protestants and Catholics can coexist and cooperate peacefully, united in their opposition to the state. Within thick libertarianism, however, everyone needs to adhere to the same social policy or else be shunned, and this takes precedence over opposition to the state.
Meanwhile, I won’t wait in eager anticipation for politically correct libertarians to call for shunning politically correct statists who openly brag about using the violence of the state against social conservatives.
Therein we see the hypocrisy of thickist libertarians: They whine about how social conservative libertarians make them look bad to statist with progressive social values, but never do they ever tell progressives that their use of state-violence against innocent people reflects poorly upon their social beliefs.
In other words, to a thickist libertarian it’s better to be a politically correct statist that supports a criminal entity responsible for the deaths of millions of people, over libertarians who rejects the use of aggression against other people but choose to associate with others according to values and moral principles not approved of by the thickists.
All I can say is that I don’t sleep at night over the idea that I might be shunned by thickist libertarians who think that the “transophobia” of social conservative libertarians is just as in need of rectifying as all the evils in the world committed by the state.
In fact, they’ll be doing us a favor. Instead of having to sort out the fakes from the genuine article, they’ll do it for us and save us the hassle of discerning libertarians genuinely interested in abolishing the state from those who are more interested in shunning libertarians whose views have already made them a victim of state-violence.