In an article titled “Manhood in the Bargain,” Butch Leghorn writes about the same self-hating “man” I did a while back. He also made an interesting remark I thought worth elaborating on (bold emphasis mine).
Often in debate, men will attempt to use logic to argue the libertarian case and to demonstrate why a given demand is simply too costly or illogical from the masculine point of view. This is what we in the alt-right refer to as ‘autism’. The autist’s arguments are logical and rational, but lack understanding of the social context.…The only meaning to be found in the screeching of the chimps is that they want something; the child cries because it wants something. Figure out what they want, and then calculate the cost of buying cooperation. Sometimes the value proposition is there, and sometimes it is not.
Two quick thoughts: I have encountered this kind of “autism,” before, but I don’t think using logic and reasoning and being aware of the social context are or should be mutually exclusive. Libertarians have to be able to take philosophy and apply it appropriately, but we shouldn’t dismiss logic and reason for the sake of social awareness, or vice versa.
One of the major contentions among the Alt. Right against libertarians is that they ignore externalities. Again, I don’t perceive this as an attack on the philosophy, but how certain libertarians attempt to warp it so that some groups of people must endure state violence under the claim that it’s necessary to prevent state violence against others.
Which brings me to my next point. What many might chalk up to “autism” I would actually see as cognitive dissonance, which is when people ignore observations, facts, data, etc. that contradict their perception of reality. In these instances, they don’t lack the understanding of the social context; they simply ignore it, because it would require them to change their opinion.
Remember that just as statists have their version of The Vision, so do libertarians. The difference is that many libertarians fall into the temptation of taking the NAP and conforming it to their vision, rather than conform their vision to the NAP (or they just return to the state). In order to do this, they have to pretend certain social, political, cultural, and religious contexts don’t exist.
In other words, you insist on certain people adhering to the NAP and rationalize, dismiss, or ignore when others violate the NAP.
Consider how so many open border advocates ignore the welfare state, or how democracy turns immigrants into potential invaders. To them, it’s all about crossing invisible lines in the ground, nothing more.
This is not done unintentionally. It is deliberate.
Leghorn writes further (emphasis mine).
As a side note, Hoppe has this idea of argumentation ethics. The basic idea is that by engaging in argument, two parties have implicitly rejected violence. He then attempts to assert the conclusion that both parties have accepted the Non-Aggression Principle. I don’t believe that’s true.I think that the argument can become a violent conflict at any point, and that engaging in argumentation is an attempt to find an acceptable means of cooperation, but that this does not rule out violence.
I one hundred percent agree with Leghorn on this. Arguing is a form of nonphysical, nonviolent conflict. If the two cannot agree to a nonviolent solution and refuse to back down, force is introduced. The question to be settled then is who is justified in using force?
This is the question libertarianism answers (and nothing more). If my neighbor wants to use my car and I refuse to lend it out to him but he refuses to drop the matter and resorts to force, he is committing an act of aggression. I am then justified in using violence to prevent him from injuring me or taking my car because I have right to property both in myself and my vehicle. He has no right of property in either. This is what the NAP is about.
Another complaint the Alt. Right levels against libertarians is that they implicitly reject violence as a solution to a problem involving the state. Libertarianism is not anti-violence. It is anti-aggression and coercion.
I believe one of the biggest reasons our society today and our country have fallen to the condition it is in, is that we have done exactly this. We have rejected violence – unless you’re a state agent – when it is a fundamental aspect of preserving rights.
When citizens refuse to consider violence as an option in response to state violence, this creates a total imbalance. It also means the state can act without fear of repercussions. What incentive is there for them to change their behavior? No more than wolves who ravage the flock if the shepherd is unwilling to use his staff, rod, or slingshot to protect them in the belief mere screams or yells in protest will cause the predator to cease.
It is the height of madness that libertarians in movements like the Free State Project and others talk of opposing the state and being anti-state, only to eject members who have the audacity to promote the same right of violent resistance that enabled us to break away from Great Britain in the first place.
Again, I don’t see this unwillingness to confront the necessity of violence as autism, but deliberate avoidance on the part of the libertarian in question because it doesn’t fit with how they want things to be as opposed to how things are.
This is not a flaw within libertarianism but the emasculated viewpoint of some who claim to believe it.
If you’re wondering why I gun so hard after other libertarians like this rather than our critics, it’s because in these instances the critics are often right, not about the philosophy but about the libertarians in question. Because these libertarians insist their position is the exclusive libertarian stance, it is mistakenly viewed as being an innate aspect of the philosophy itself.
This is why I’ve concluded identifying merely as a libertarian is not sufficient nor conducive to my objectives moving forward.