I clearly remember the first time I ever met a self-described “libertarian.” I was a sophomore in high school (don’t ask me how long ago, or not, it was). I was discussing politics with someone before sports practice and one of them said he was a libertarian. I asked what that was.
He said: We’re essentially fiscally conservative Democrats.
That was my impression of libertarianism for almost a decade.
It was also totally false. The person who said that had no idea what libertarianism was or wasn’t.
One of the most frustrating things about being a libertarian isn’t that people don’t like what we believe; it’s that they don’t even know, or correctly understand, what we actually believe. Their perception is based on fakes, charlatans, imposters, and shysters, or the plain ignorant who think using drugs makes you a libertarian.
One of the worst ways to describe libertarianism is that it is “socially liberal, fiscally conservative.” Why? First, it’s completely false. It is not “socially liberal.” A libertarian can be a puritan or devout religious fundamentalist. They can also be a libertine. Their personal morals is outside of what libertarianism deals with.
The “fiscally conservative” part is also a worthless statement? What does it mean to be fiscally conservative in a day and age when the government spends trillions it doesn’t have and simply cutting some, but not all of the deficit spending gets you labeled “draconian” by people who don’t even know who Draco was?
But there’s something more insidious about the whole “socially liberal” aspect of the description. Those who use it are obviously trying to cater to the Left.
Christopher Cantwell, who has previously pointed out the Left’s innate hatred of libertarianism, explains why those who promote this slogan are either fools who don’t understand what they’re doing or trying to hijack the libertarian cause for the benefit of Progressives.
He writes (emphasis added).
Firstly, it needs to be pointed out that this “socially liberal” aspect of libertarian philosophy is as blatantly and demonstrably false as the “fascist” allegations often thrown at us by anticapitalists. Libertarians reject the use of force to command the personal and economic behaviors of human beings. Left liberal social values are not about people being free to do as they see fit in their personal lives, they are about forcefully disrupting the established social order and bringing chaos into the world. That chaos, that perpetual upheaval of order and civilization has a very specific purpose, to leave a population dazed and confused, and looking to the State for answers.
It is an inherently pro-State collection of policies not based in any particular coherent philosophy. They embrace and promote, a considerably different thing than to leave be or tolerate, feminism, homosexuality, “transgenderism” (a complete bullshit made up word), drugs, promiscuity, abortion, birth control, the abolition of the family, phony egalitarianism, racism against whites, sexism against men, and a myriad of other nihilistic nonsensical drivel. It opposes defensive force, freedom of association, and division of labor.
They then have the chutzpah to purport to libertarians that this extreme collection of anti-human policies is wholly separate from the economy. As if a society stoned out of its mind would be just as economically productive as a society that valued sobriety. As if the abolition of gender and the family were somehow not part of human economic behavior. As if millions of infants being slaughtered in abortion clinics had no impact on the fiscal bottom line of a society. As if the rapid proliferation of single motherhood and ostracism of men from their children weren’t leading to incalculable levels of dysfunction, criminality, and irresponsible breeding.
Make no mistake, it’s not some cosmic accident that communists embraced these policies. This is not the rejection of nonsensical religious dogmas. It is the purposeful destruction of human civilization so that it might be rebuilt under the Marxist antipropertarian vision. There is no separating “social issues” from “economic issues”. Our social behaviors are our economy, the anticapitalist left knows that, and libertarians who have trouble identifying the pattern should be ashamed of themselves.
This is why certain beliefs are incompatible with libertarianism, because by their nature they require the state to perpetuate. They cannot exist without coercion or aggression, because they go against the natural order of things. They are not naturally self-sustaining.
Libertarianism is not “socially liberal,” nor is it “fiscally conservative.” It is pro-property rights. It is self-ownership. It is anti-state.
Anything that cannot survive without violating these principles is inherently anti-libertarian. Any libertarian organization that makes such principles inextricably linked to the political philosophy is selling you a Brooklyn bridge.