(Update: Vox Day has graciously replied to my analysis.)
In libertarian circles, I sense the discussion over the Alt. Right has reached a high point. Instigating this conversation perhaps was National Policy Institute Head Richard Spencer’s appearance near or at the International Students for Liberty Conference a week or so ago.
Frankly, I’m concerned by the growing anti-intellectualism and lack of research by a lot of libertarians regarding the beliefs of the Alt. Right. Many of them, I sense, have not taken so much as an hour reading a single Alt. Right essay or listening to an Alt. Right speech. I hear all sorts of insults thrown toward men such as Spencer and others, but I have been thoroughly unimpressed by the critiques, if any, made of what they say or believe.
The movement has been around long enough and is diverse enough to warrant better descriptions than “white supremacists” and “Neo-Nazis.”
To that end, I wanted to explore the 16 Points Of The Alt. Right as written by Vox Day. My hope is that even if libertarians do not agree with them, at the very least they understand what their core beliefs are. I appreciate the fact that the Alt. Right has a somewhat vague definition, but it would be hard to deny the influence Vox Day has in defining and shaping it.
My analysis is in bold italics.
A Libertarian Analysis Of The 16 Points of The Alt. Right
- The Alt Right is of the political right in both the American and the European sense of the term. Socialists are not Alt Right. Progressives are not Alt Right. Liberals are not Alt Right. Communists, Marxists, Marxians, cultural Marxists, and neocons are not Alt Right.
So far, so good. Nothing wrong with this.
- The Alt Right is an ALTERNATIVE to the mainstream conservative movement in the USA that is nominally encapsulated by Russel Kirk’s 10 Conservative Principles, but in reality has devolved towards progressivism. It is also an alternative to libertarianism.
The question is, in what ways is it an alternative to libertarianism? Unlike the Alternative Right, libertarianism pertains to a narrowly defined scope of politics; the use of force. Outside of that, it has no prescribed moral, ethical, spiritual, religious, or cultural beliefs. Libertarianism by itself is not a complete moral theory, yet it also does not claim to be one.
- The Alt Right is not a defensive attitude and rejects the concept of noble and principled defeat. It is a forward-thinking philosophy of offense, in every sense of that term. The Alt Right believes in victory through persistence and remaining in harmony with science, reality, cultural tradition, and the lessons of history.
The first part is fine. The second part is a bit subjective, but the concept itself is a sound one. As long as your interpretation of reality, cultural tradition, and lessons of history are accurate.
- The Alt Right believes Western civilization is the pinnacle of human achievement and supports its three foundational pillars: Christianity, the European nations, and the Graeco-Roman legacy.
Libertarians can disagree or agree with this, but this has nothing to do with libertarianism, per se. It is a description, not prescription.
- The Alt Right is openly and avowedly nationalist. It supports all nationalisms and the right of all nations to exist, homogeneous and unadulterated by foreign invasion and immigration.
The fundamental question to be asked is what does nationalism look like when implemented? Is it carried out peacefully or, if done violently, in the face of unjust coercion and aggression by enemies?
The answer matters, because if nationalism is in accordance with the natural order, then it will not require the state to enforce it; it would only require the state get out of the way and let people voluntarily form a homogeneous nation. There is nothing wrong with violently resisting state efforts to undermine voluntary nationalism or the formation of a nation. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with violently opposing unjust efforts by people attempting to carry out a nationalist policy against peaceful people or create an artificial nation.
As long as nationalism is descriptive (this is how it is), and not prescriptive (this is how it must be no matter what), then it does not violate libertarianism.
I also insist that whoever condemns the Alt. Right for nationalism remain consistent by condemning all forms of nationalism. This means any person of any ethnic group in any part of the world wishing to preserve their nation or national identity is inherently unlibertarian – of course, I would demand to know why that is the case.
Additionally, this would logically dictate that multiculturalism is the natural state of human relations and the de facto libertarian stance. Any homgenuous nation would be considered an unfree society. If it is unlibertarian to promote a national identity and form a nation, the two pillars of nationalism, then people must exist within a multi-ethnic, multi-national environment. There is simply no escaping this conclusion.
- The Alt Right is anti-globalist. It opposes all groups who work for globalist ideals or globalist objectives.
Agreed, assuming this refers to globalism as a political concept, i.e. world government and centralization of political authority. Other forms of globalism that are the natural result of modern technology and voluntary human action are another matter. One could split hairs over Vox Day’s definition, but I feel no need to do so. The globalists he refers to are obviously not libertarians or pro-freedom.
- The Alt Right is anti-equalitarian. It rejects the idea of equality for the same reason it rejects the ideas of unicorns and leprechauns, noting that human equality does not exist in any observable scientific, legal, material, intellectual, sexual, or spiritual form.
One hundred percent agree. Egalitarianism is a revolt against nature.
- The Alt Right is scientodific. It presumptively accepts the current conclusions of the scientific method (scientody), while understanding a) these conclusions are liable to future revision, b) that scientistry is susceptible to corruption, and c) that the so-called scientific consensus is not based on scientody, but democracy, and is therefore intrinsically unscientific.
This point is outside the purview of libertarian philosophy. Because of that, I feel no need to comment on it.
- The Alt Right believes identity > culture > politics.
This is merely pointing out reality: race and culture matter. People associate with others based on preferences. Politics are one of them, but it is at the bottom tier compared to language, ethnicity, culture, and religion. It is why the libertarian movement could never be a real movement. It lacks these primary values.
- The Alt Right is opposed to the rule or domination of any native ethnic group by another, particularly in the sovereign homelands of the dominated peoples. The Alt Right is opposed to any non-native ethnic group obtaining excessive influence in any society through nepotism, tribalism, or any other means.
Non-interventionism, anti-imperialism, anti-war. Nothing to complain about here, unless you’re Jeffrey Tucker and think the Deep State hellbent on a war with Russia is preferable to “Neo-Nazis” who want to avoid further empire-building exercises.
- The Alt Right understands that diversity + proximity = war.
It also equals censorship.
- The Alt Right doesn’t care what you think of it.
No point in commenting on this one.
- The Alt Right rejects international free trade and the free movement of peoples that free trade requires. The benefits of intranational free trade is not evidence for the benefits of international free trade.
Here is perhaps the greatest area of contention between libertarians and Alt. Right leaders such as Vox Day. He recently had a debate with Bob Murphy, hosted on Tom Woods’ show. To be entirely frank, I am not totally convinced either way. I obviously support the concept of free trade, but I do not believe libertarians or Austrian economists have sufficiently addressed some of the problems Vox Day has observed – if so, I haven’t come across them, yet.
I would add that nations can and have survived harmful protectionist trade policies. Other political stances such as open borders are far more destructive (see Germanic Migration). I’ll take a country with a protectionist trade policy but with secure borders over a country that has open trade and open borders – which also happens to be the policy of Hillary Clinton.
- The Alt Right believes we must secure the existence of white people and a future for white children.
Anyone who thinks this is racist, is racist. If you oppose this, then you must logically oppose white men proactively promoting the continuation of their own race through procreation and their opposition to state-imposed policies openly intended to achieve their race’s demographic decline and dispossession. Libertarians do not need to champion this cause, but it is absurd to think they are forbidden from doing so because of the Non-Aggression Principle.
- The Alt Right does not believe in the general supremacy of any race, nation, people, or sub-species. Every race, nation, people, and human sub-species has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and possesses the sovereign right to dwell unmolested in the native culture it prefers.
Please read the first sentence. Done? Do it again. And again, this time slowly. Now tell me how the Alt. Right is founded on the idea of white supremacy.
- The Alt Right is a philosophy that values peace among the various nations of the world and opposes wars to impose the values of one nation upon another as well as efforts to exterminate individual nations through war, genocide, immigration, or genetic assimilation.
Once more, please explain how any of this is white supremacy or hateful. It’s only hateful if you believe that whites should be held to separate moral and ethical standards than every other race or ethnic group. Of course, if you believe that, wouldn’t that imply white supremacy?
So, aside from free trade and perhaps some elements of nationalism, much of what comprises the Alt. Right ideology is outside of libertarianism; it neither contradicts it nor agrees with it. The goals of the Alt. Right are not mutually exclusive of those in libertarianism.
Whatever the case, I see many similar values between the two movements. The areas of disagreement, in my opinion, are secondary and not fundamental components. There is room for friendly dispute.
It is my sincere hope that both sides can engage in thoughtful conversations and work together when mutually beneficial against common enemies. Whether anyone cares to admit it or not, it has become self-evident that the Alt. Right, whatever its flaws, is trying to preserve the only kind of civilization in which libertarianism can exist at all.