Masculine writer Jack Donovan gave this speech several years ago. I think it provides a template mindset for libertarians to adopt as the movement evolves. (You can also read the speech transcript here).
There are many traditional or classical definitions of a barbarian, but Donovan highlights the precise trait or characteristic.
A barbarian operates outside of the state, and by this I mean he does not see himself as part of it. The state does not represent him or look out for him, and he does not interact with the state unless forced to. But the relationship is not the same as it is between a typical citizen, who sees their politicians as representing their interests.
The same goes for the prevailing culture or society. He has no ties to these entities and does not feel bound to act in a way that preserves, protects, promotes, or maintains the institutions. He does not adhere to its rules unless compelled by self-interest, and even then he may not. He acts in accordance with his own code of morality. His self-interests come before that of anything else. Norms which would rein in the behavior of an ordinary man have no effect on him, which is why he is regarded as dangerous and a threat.
Libertarians must adopt this kind of mentality. We must become the new barbarians.
Why Libertarians Must Become the New Barbarians
This is terribly difficult for some to accept, because we have not been raised this way. We have been reared to be civilized. To be a barbarian is to unlearn what you have learned.
But the unsettling fact is that if you are a libertarian the society, culture, and the state in which you live are not concerned with you or what you think. Your values are not theirs. Your goals are not theirs. In fact, more often than not they are mutually exclusive. You are already an outcast.
So how can it be said that it is your society, your culture, your government?
Understand that you have no duty to be loyal to anyone who does not reciprocate. Oaths of loyalty made by warriors to kings went both ways. The king would honor his commitments, and they theirs. If one violated their oaths, the other was not bound to keeping their oath any longer.
As Donovan points out, it doesn’t matter if you want to be a barbarian or if you think you are one. The society, culture, and state will designate you as one and treat you as such. Why not behave and act like one?
The word “Barbarian” conjures up moral issues, but barbarism is simply a matter of perspective. Are we to seriously believe that our modern culture is civilized? That our modern political environment is civilized?
No Longer Think of “Us”
Being a barbarian doesn’t mean doing questionable things. It means severing all ties to non-reciprocating entities and establishing new ones with those who respond in kind. You have no obligation to anyone or anything who seeks to do you ill or take advantage of you.
If that is what it means to be civilized, then be barbaric. A group or organization must look out for and promote your interests before you agree to support it.
This is where I disagree with Alt. Right ethno-statists or fashists who abandoned libertarianism because of the cuckoldry being promoted as it has been within conservatism for years. They still think in terms of nation-states and race, but how many people of my own race do I share the same basic values? Very few. Why associate with them based on skin color or a few other superficial qualities? How is that in my self-interest?
I’ve talked about what is necessary to save Western Civilization. I want to clarify that I believe the West is beyond salvaging in its current form without some sort of collapse. What I refer to is the actual ideas that made it what it is; that can be saved without having to convince others to change. An institution can help preserve the concepts behind it, but it has to be based on this tribal mentality.
This also goes to applying the Non-Aggression Principle. Stop trying to apply it to real-life situations in a way so that everyone benefits equally or where no one’s rights are violated, because it is impossible. Look out for your rights, because I can assure you no one else, including other libertarians, is looking out for you.
So when someone claims a stance to be the libertarian stance which all must embrace and accept, yet it results in a violation of your rights, point it out. Oppose it. Don’t worry about what others think. Openly admit your self-interests. Only the weak and pathetic don’t.
Libertarianism is not altruistic, and it’s not a suicide pact. It’s a philosophy about the use of force. If a “libertarian” is promoting an idea or policy that is to your detriment in this regard, you have no duty to go along with it. The fact that it might benefit others, at your expense, is moot.
This means that when other libertarians try to push for a pro recreational drug culture, start free-nipple movements, advocate for polyamory relationships, embrace multiculturalism, fight for egalitarianism, celebrate gender equality, and call for borderless welfare states, I don’t feel any obligation to support them.
The fact that what other libertarians advocate may or may not violate the NAP matters not because they are not my people and I am not a member of their tribe or clan. I’m not bound to advocate for them just because it happens to not violate libertarianism.
I’m looking out for my interests, not theirs.
That’s the beauty of the new barbarian. He doesn’t care what others outside of his tribe or group think of him. They can call him, as Donovan wryly notes, a “stupid, psycho, hillibilly, Neo-Nazi, woman-hating, wife-beating, homophobic throwback, reactionary Neanderthal.” All the barbarian need reply is “So?”
Who cares what people who hate you think of you?
Only cuckolds do.
A barbarian doesn’t care who wins a political election; his goal is to exploit whoever is there so that he is free. He doesn’t care what the Supreme Court says. They’re the ephors of the state; their opinions mean nothing to him. He doesn’t care what is decreed from the Establishment or some lofty institution. He doesn’t care about social trends.
He can’t be exploited, manipulated, or shamed into doing things contrary to his own good because he doesn’t care about the “greater good” and doesn’t pretend to care. No one can hijack his pursuit of virtue or goodness for his own agenda, because he determines what is best and never surrenders that frame.
And he doesn’t apologize for it, either.
New Barbarians and Violence
A new barbarian also appreciates that the justified application of force is a vital tool for survival. Contrary to what some think, libertarianism is not a pacifist movement.
You may be able to defeat your opponents with logic and reason, but a barbarian doesn’t rely on that to protect his rights. He may be well versed in literature and philosophy, but he understands that all politics is violence and violence is golden. Morality works when it is applied within a tribe or community who reciprocate and abide by those rules. It is counterproductive to apply them while trying to defend yourself against hostile groups.
Chris Cantwell summed this up quite well in Libertarianism’s Ultimate Logical Conclusion (emphasis added):
A free man need not ask permission. He does as he sees fit. If others violently interfere with his peaceful activities, whether that criminal be wearing a bandana, a badge, or suit, then he defends himself with whatever level of force is necessary. Though he may take no pleasure in it, he ends lives if he must.
Whatever your ideas are of what a free society ought to look like, however you envision it coming into existence, that reality is the cornerstone of human liberty, and freedom cannot exist in its absence.
A man who cannot or will not defend himself will be victimized. His children will be torn from his wife’s breast and smashed against the rocks. He will be made a cuckold, as his wife is raped before his eyes, and forced to raise the offspring of her rapist. He will be enslaved, and forced to serve his oppressor, until he is too old and weak to be of service. At which point he will be snuffed out, murdered, dying a meaningless death after a meaningless life.
We all know this on some instinctual level. That is why nearly all of us submit ourselves to governments in the first place. But a society that holds pacifism and appeasement toward that government as their core values, will see hundreds of millions of people subjected to a near identical fate for an eternity. And the only way it can be stopped, is to speak to such predators in the only language they have ever understood.
The language of force.
At the end of the day all the rhetorical prowess in the world won’t convince a “civilized” person incapable of persuasion to see your way of things or leave you be if they’ve decided they’re going to harm you. Threats of violence or actual violence will. Being able to demonstrate your right to your property won’t do anything to stop a “civilized” group of rioters coming to burn your home down. As Korean shop-owners during the Rodney King Riots demonstrated, high-capacity semi-automatic rifles and pistols will.
A new barbarian is nonviolent….until violence becomes necessary. He isn’t constrained by notions of proving his moral superiority over his opponent.
I don’t know what the future of libertarian holds, but I do know whoever carries its banner will not be the civilized, but the new barbarian, for barbarism in our modern age is the only logical conclusion for a truly civilized libertarian.