Preventing The Reaction

James Lawrence at alternative-right.blogspot.com argues why leftists shouldn’t be allowed to have free speech (bold emphasis):

And this is the argument against granting free speech to the Left that I wish to emphasise above all others. Yes, leftists have almost nothing worth saying, and their mouths are stuffed with lies. Yes, the Left constantly stirs up hatred and division for no reason other than to profit from it, poisoning any society in which it gains a significant following. Yes, we are in the business of encouraging young European men to revolt against the paid thugs and lackeys of a powerful and sociopathic ruling class, and cannot in good conscience ask this of them if the only result of our victory will be to let the enemy regroup under state protection. But more importantly than all of this, in the present situation in which our civilisation finds itself, it’s simply a matter of us or them – “us”, in this case, encompassing everyone who does not submit to the leftist metapolitical fighting machine, which shows no mercy to those who see themselves as non-combatants in its war on the West. Set yourself to do anything less than smash the Left utterly and silence them for good, and it will be you who gets smashed and silenced by them – inevitably so.

The mistake by classical liberals and libertarians attempting to refute these beliefs is to ignore the environment which provokes this type of response – and make no mistake, it is a response to something.

Lawrence’s argument can be boiled down to this: Either they silence us, or we silence them. Pick one.

Most rebuttals do not address this or explain why it is not the case, and in doing so they undermine their own objective.

Merely two days after Lawrence’s article came out, the New York Times published an op/ed written by Ulrich Baer titled What Liberal Snowflakes Get Right About Free Speech defending those who wanted to bar Richard Spencer from speaking at Auburn University.

He writes ((bold emphasis added).

The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community. Free-speech protections — not only but especially in universities, which aim to educate students in how to belong to various communities — should not mean that someone’s humanity, or their right to participate in political speech as political agents, can be freely attacked, demeaned or questioned.

………

What is under severe attack, in the name of an absolute notion of free speech, are the rights, both legal and cultural, of minorities to participate in public discourse. The snowflakes sensed, a good year before the election of President Trump, that insults and direct threats could once again become sanctioned by the most powerful office in the land. They grasped that racial and sexual equality is not so deep in the DNA of the American public that even some of its legal safeguards could not be undone.

……

This requires the realization that in politics, the parameters of public speech must be continually redrawn to accommodate those who previously had no standing.

This is hardly the first time a leftist has called for censoring people on the Right. Indeed, it has been part and parcel of their political strategy for 50 years, ever since they successfully embedded themselves within major social, cultural, and political institutions. The free speech advocates of the 1960s weren’t interested in obtaining that right for all; it was a short-term goal that, once achieved, no longer suited their overall endgame.

The Alt. Right holds no political power and exerts no influence or control over cultural and educational institutions. Therefore, for them to advocate censorship of their enemies means far less than those who do exercise power to do the same; it also matters which side drew first blood.

Under libertarianism, the only difference between force and coercion is who is in the right. Who instigated it?

And that’s the rub; the Left acts, and the Right reacts. But for some reason, too often libertarians remain relatively silent or tempered in their protestation until the Right finally reacts in full force.

This was a point raised by Henry Olson at American Renaissance. During the controversy surrounding Richard Spencer’s scheduled speech at Auburn University, Olson notes that libertarians were strangely silent about defending Spencer’s right to speak at a public higher education institution.

Libertarians like to pretend they can get along with the modern Left, mainly out of a belief that its focus on sex and drugs reflects opposition to government controls. In fact, on the road to achieving their vision of sexually and emotionally “liberated” individuals, there is no doubt today’s Left will become every bit as oppressive as their Maoist and Leninist predecessors.

Witness the cheers to which Kim Davis was put in jail for defying gay marriage. Witness the constant cries that free speech does not apply to “racists.” Or witness the Left gloating over the prospects of white dispossession—even as the South African Boers face ruthless government-backed plunder—while it cheers the importation of millions of Muslim migrants for whom apostasy is a capital offense.

Each of these should be enough to make a real friend of liberty grab a stick and join the fight against the antifa. Instead, we get mealy-mouthed false equivalencies that claim both Left and Right are equally bad. Or worse, we get silence.

I would also add that libertarians were more or less silent regarding the shameless, outright destruction of private property by antifas attempting to assault attendees of a National Policy Institute convention – but I saw plenty willing to condemn Richard Spencer for raising his glass and saying “hail Trump!”

And this is why the Alt. Right doesn’t take libertarian criticism seriously. Much of it has been a game of strain the gnat and swallow the camel. I appreciate that some in the liberty movement want to avoid labels and maintain neutrality, yet if they adhere to consistent standards they would, as Olson put it, become “a real friend of liberty grab a stick and join the fight against the antifa.”

If we are to convince those on the Alt. Right the merits of classical liberalism and libertarianism, we must first and foremost condemn those on the Left who have done much to provoke the authoritarian streak now creeping into Alt. Right discourse, ardently champion the right of self-defense against aggression of any kind, and – most vital of all – ceaselessly remind people that the Left is responsible for creating the toxic environment that makes proposals such as the one made by Lawrence sensible to men who would otherwise embrace what we preach.

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Don’t Like Corporations? Reduce Big Government

There is a fascinating article at the New Republic discussing the inanities of the modern employer-employee relationship. However, it omits several critical facts as to why major corporations hold such control over their employees, and none of them have to do with too much freedom and liberty.

  • The sheer number of federal regulations on business that smother entrepreneurship and start ups. Big Business loves Big Government.
  • The Federal Reserve (as always).
  • How business and occupation licensing and minimum wage laws artificially “kill off” jobs they attribute to automation and robots.
  • The student loan bubble forces many college graduates to work these jobs in order to pay off loans, reducing their options at the bargaining table.
  • Health care regulations that tie your health insurance directly to your job, thus giving your boss an additional bargaining chip to hold over you.
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Why The Libertarian Movement Is Dead

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you Exhibits A and B.

Brink Lindsey is the vice president of the Cato Institute, a D.C.-based libertarian think tank.  Here is what he had to say recently (Exhibit A) about Ron Paul, who did more than anyone other than perhaps Murray Rothbard to energize libertarianism in the U.S.

Speaking of Rothbard, Lindsey has some thoughts on him as well – Exhibit B.

Tom Woods writes:

Lindsey, meanwhile, has favored a strategy he calls “liberaltarian.” The left shares some of our views, so let’s hook up with them instead of with the right!

I think we can all see how that’s been going.

The rest is history; the right-wing libertarians were kicked out or pushed out of the libertarian movement and joined the Alt. Right.

Are there some principled libertarians still left in the libertarian movement? Certainly. But a handful of individuals does not a movement make.

The prosecution rests its case, your honor.

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Libertarian Nationalism

Following my analysis of the 16 Points of the Alt. Right, I’ve been exploring the issue of nationalism and its relationship with libertarian principles. Left libertarians typically hold the view that nationalism is wholly antithetical to the notion of freedom or liberty, and leads to unnecessary conflict and strife.

On the other hand, right-wing libertarians tend to regard nationalism as a naturally-occurring phenomenon and a way in which people socially organize and is a fundamental basis for association; from the family is the extended family, from the extended family is the community; from the community is the region, and from the region is the nation.

What’s curious are the views of the great Austrian economist, Ludwig Von Mises. While he critiqued nationalism under certain circumstances, we discover that he also found forms of it perfectly compatible with classical liberalism.

In his book Nation, State, and Economy, Mises discusses the notion of “Liberal or Pacifistic Nationalism,” in the chapter  “The Nationality Principle in Politics.”

He writes (bold emphasis added)

The idea of freedom is both national and cosmopolitan. It is revolutionary, for it wants to abolish all rule incompatible with its principles, but it is also pacifistic.What basis for war could there still be, once all peoples had been set free? Political liberalism concurs on that point with economic liberalism, which proclaims the solidarity of interests among peoples.

One must also keep that in mind if one wants to understand the original internationalism of the socialist parties since Marx. Liberalism, too, is cosmopolitan in its struggle against the absolutism of the princely state. Just as the princes stand together to defend themselves against the advance of the new spirit, so the peoples also hold together against the princes. If the Communist Manifesto calls on the proletarians of all countries to unite in the struggle against capitalism, then that slogan is consistently derived from the asserted fact of the identity of capitalistic exploitation in all countries. It is no antithesis, however, to the liberal demand for the national state. It is no antithesis to the program of the bourgeoisie, for the bourgeoisie, too, is in this sense international. The emphasis lies not on the words “all countries” but on the word “proletarians.” That like-thinking classes in the same position in all countries must combine is presupposed as a matter of course. If any point at all can be perceived in this exhortation, it is only the point made against pseudo-national strivings that fight every change in traditional arrangements as an infringement on warranted national individuality.

The new political ideas of freedom and equality triumphed first in the West. England and France thus became the political model countries for the rest of Europe. If, however, the liberals called for adoption of foreign institutions, then it was only natural that the resistance mounted by the old forces also made use of the age-old device of xenophobia. German and Russian conservatives also fought against the ideas of freedom with the argument that they were foreign things not suitable for their peoples. Here national values are misused for political purposes. But there is no question of opposition to the foreign nation as a whole or to its individual members.

So far as relations among peoples are concerned, therefore, the national principle is above all thoroughly peaceful. As a political ideal it is just as compatible with the peaceful coexistence of peoples as Herder’s nationalism as a cultural ideal was compatible with his cosmopolitanism. Only in the course of time does peaceful nationalism, which is hostile only to princes but not to peoples also, change into a militaristic nationalism. This change takes place, however, only at the moment when the modern principles of the state, in their triumphant march from West to East, reach the territories of mixed population.

The significance of the nationality principle in its older peaceful form becomes especially clear to us when we observe the development of its second postulate. First of all, the nationality principle includes only the rejection of every overlordship and so also of every foreign overlordship; it demands self-determination, autonomy. Then, however, its content expands; not only freedom but also unity is the watchword. But the desire for national unity, too, is above all thoroughly peaceful.

It would seem that the term “nationalism” is a broad term and can refer to many manifestations of the same concept; the divide between Stalin and Trotsky was whether their variation of communism should be confined to the Soviet Union (nationalism) or be spread throughout the entire world (globalism). Independence movements are generally nationalistic in nature, just as movements to forcibly unite independent federations into a single central state, as was done in Germany, are done under a nationalist banner.

Nationalism, then, is an amoral idea; it is neither good nor bad in and of itself. What makes it admirable or detestable is the intent behind those who promote it; do they seek peaceful independence or coercive unity?

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Children Of (No) Men

Children Of (No) Men

In an article published by the online magazine, Aeon, Professor Howard Rachlin engages in an Orwellian thought experiment; what if all children were separated from their parents at birth and randomly given to another family?

Rachlin writes (bold emphasis added)

This plan is of course politically impossible, perhaps even repellent. Our goal, however, is to engage the reader in a thought experiment, to examine why it stirs up such uncomfortable feelings.

Is the idea so frightening? Yes it is. It is a frightening thought that your own biological child, the one sitting there now doing her homework, might have gone to an impoverished mother or a drug addict, perhaps have been beaten, perhaps starved. But why, save for genetic chauvinism, do we view with comparative equanimity the everyday reality of other people’s children subject to the same treatment by their own biological mothers?

Much like Roosh V’s infamous How To Stop Rape article was mistakenly (or not) interpreted as a serious proposal rather than a Swiftian exercise in irony, it is easy to take Rachlin’s idea literally. He is pinpointing a very real, instinctive desire to establish proper relations with one’s offspring.

The natural order and our biological imperative dictates that our preference is to pass our nongenetic legacies (beliefs, customs, traditions, values, ideas, histories) to our biological legacies.

Rachlin’s scenario sounds horrifying, because it is. Yet, few people appreciate the fact that this idea is implemented through state-run education systems. Much of what he describes is taking place as we speak.

At the Orthosphere, Thomas F. Bertonneau writes that they already take our children.

They don’t yet take our newborns, but they already take our children.  It calls itself public education and its main result is a massively uneducated public.

We need a Constitutional amendment that states, Congress shall pass no law concerning the establishment of education; and neither shall the legislature of any state or municipality pass any similar law.  A concomitant statutory law would state: It is legal for any citizen to provide education, either for a fee or charitably.   This would have the effect of abolishing public education while at the same time organizing the market to sort out who is or is not a teacher. These steps would greatly reduce the alienation of children from their families in their formative years.

In this sense, state-run schools turn the parents, particularly the fathers, into cuckolds; they are raising another person’s child. The parents may pay the bills, care for the child when it is sick, clothe them, and feed them,  but when they graduate from high school and later college, that child – now a young adult – has been imbued with beliefs, ideas, convictions, and philosophies that are, at best, somewhat aligned with that of the parents.

At worst, it is no different than brainwashing.

So many parents are under the delusion that when they wave their kids goodbye at the bus stop that they are receiving training and instruction necessary to make them hard-working, productive members of society. The reality is that their sons and daughters are being taught to reject everything their parents believe and supplant those teachings with state propaganda.

When they grow up, they may be your biologically child, but what is the point when they dismiss all that you hold dear and cling to the very things you find intolerable? How is that any different than having them snatch from your arms at birth?

Don’t do it. Spare your children the suffering. Sign them up for sites such as Liberty Classroom or Ron Paul’s homeschool curriculum and teach them your values, your ideals.

Posted in Central Government, education, federal government, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Anti-War Message of Hacksaw Ridge

I recently watched the Mel Gibson film Hacksaw Ridge after reading raving review after review.

I regret not seeing it in a movie theater. It is probably one of the best World War 2 films, if not one of the best war films ever made. (On a side, after growing up on movies such as Dodgeball and Wedding Crashers, it was rather strange to see Vince Vaughn play a serious character in a somber film).

Adding to the film’s value is an effective courtroom scene that gently, subtly takes aim at the arguments behind U.S. involvement in foreign wars.

Short background: Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) is a Seventh-Day Adventist and avowed pacifist. He signs up for the U.S. Army thinking he’ll be allowed to work as a medic. However, his superiors are revolted by his religious views and regard them as a threat to their command and the integrity of the unit. He is given an order to pick up a rifle and then sent to a trial by court-martial when he refuses. He is then offered the chance to plead guilty and be given a light punishment instead of a long-term prison sentence.

Still, he won’t back down.

Meanwhile, Doss’ father (Hugo Weaving) is a decorated World War and alcoholic unable to cope with the loss of his close friends during the conflict. After his son is arrested, the father seeks out his old commander, who signs a letter saying Doss’ religious beliefs are protected by An Act of Congress.

With the letter in hand, he hurries to deliver it to the court martial’s presiding judge, and after forcing his way in to provide it, he is told by the judge that he must leave because he is no longer a member of the military.

The look on Weaving’s face brilliantly captures the sentiment he articulates:

Is that truly the way it works? Fight for your country, lose so much that was dear to you, and then you’re done with? Uniform’s forgotten, you have no voice?

The reply leaves the judge unsettled; he notices the medals the father has on his uniform. The war vet then reveals he fought at Belleau Wood.

Most Americans don’t know much about that battle, but chances are the men in the courtroom scene did. There, the Germans used mustard gas on the U.S. Marines attacking them and the fighting often was reduced to hand-to-hand combat. Americans suffered 10,000 casualties during the month-long engagement.

The judge and everyone else know that Doss’ father has earned his right to be in the room, rules or no rules.

Thinking that he intends to rely solely on the appeal of a father for his son, the judge attempts to lecture him about “the laws” his son violated, to which the father dismisses with a discreet rebuke of both the judge and the U.S. government that sent him off to fight decades prior.

I know the laws, and my son is protected by those laws. They are framed in our Constitution. I believe in them as he does. They’re why I went and fought to protect them. At least that’s what I thought I was doing, because if it wasn’t for that, then I have no idea what the hell I was doing there, sir.

In this short reply, he is linking his war record with his son’s right to not fight. But he is also calling into question the true reason for the war, which everyone knows did not have anything to do with protecting America or his son’s freedom.

His final statement places the judge in a very untenable position; to deny his son his rights, and to force the father to leave the room, would be to strip away any meaning to his sacrifice. Moreover, it would beg the question as to what freedoms they’re protecting by fighting the Japanese.

What makes this dialogue so masterful is that it doesn’t directly say anything overtly or blatantly anti-war. It describes and conveys the poignant experience of a suffering U.S. war vet who fought under false pretenses. No one would interpret it to be an attack on U.S. foreign policy today, but I wonder how many people will think of Doss’ father and the anguish Weaving conveyed so well if and when another call for enlistment occurs.

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RIP William Norman Grigg

The past week has been one of many sorrows. Adding to them is the death of a pivotal figure in the liberty movement, William Norman Grigg, a cofounder of the Libertarian Institute and a fastidious investigative reporter documenting corruption within police departments and the court system – a real life P.J. McNeal.

It is fitting that he is mourned by libertarians on both the left and right; he chronicled problems that no one could or would deny.

At a time when the world needs more men like him, one of the few remaining leave us.

Grigg had a large family; if you want to help them, you can donate here.

 

Posted in Police and Law Enforcement, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments