Friday, August 25, 2017

Charlottesville



This post will only begin with Charlottesville; it will thereafter flow into other topics – I think all related, flowing through the same stream.

Charlottesville

On the day of the events many stories were told, all parroting some version of the mainstream narrative: white supremacists and Nazis did it; everyone else there just wanted peace. 

I decided at the time not to comment: most importantly, I was certain that whatever we heard in the mainstream was a lie, so why not let things settle a bit before opening my mouth; second, I guess I would consider myself more of a journalist than a reporter.  There are so many people so much better than I am at putting together the facts, almost real time.

One sign of a politically developed conscious, in my view, is that one never believes the initial reports regarding events such as these.  This would be, or should be, especially true for a libertarian…wouldn’t it?  Skepticism of government and mainstream narratives has been proven prudent almost universally. 

This didn’t stop the same-day reaction of one of the more well-known left-libertarian pundits.  I didn’t know everything about the events (I still don’t), but I knew enough to know his story was nonsense.

We do know that the people taking the blame for the events were the only people who had a permit that day.  We do know that they worked with the city to ensure proper security.  We do know that others came to counter this group, with no permit to gather.  We do know that there were people on both sides who were armed. 

We do know that the police did not keep the two groups separate.  We do know that the police stood down when the fighting began, and for an extended time thereafter.

We don’t know why this was handled by the city and the police as it was – contrary to what the organizers attempted to achieve.

This is about the part of this post where I am supposed to write: “of course, I am not a Nazi.”  Of course.

Anyway, that’s enough about that.

Libertarians and Culture

I suspect that over the last two years I have written more about this (broadly defined) topic than any other, and more about it than anyone else has over the same period.  For whatever that’s worth.

Doing so has taken me to many places: exploring the left, understanding better the split in the libertarian community, the value of culture (and certain types of culture) in reducing government, immigration and border controls, etc.

Doing so has been, and continues to be, one of my more intellectually satisfying pursuits at this blog.  I have learned much both because I learn when I write and because I learn when I receive feedback to what I write.

Doing so has also been one of the more frustrating pursuits at this blog: too many points and questions raised are ignored – ignored by people who hold different views and who I know have read my comments.

Doing so has broadened the audience of this blog – not that I write for this reason.  Some would describe many of the individuals who offer feedback here as “alt-right,” even fascist.  As long as they remain respectful toward others in my community, I care not about this.

In any case, I find such terms kind of useless.  I have concluded that “alt-right” means nothing more than taking exception to one or more of the planks of the progressive agenda.  It isn’t more complicated than this.

For example: Mitch McConnell is right, but isn’t alt-right.  He doesn’t take exception to the progressive agenda.  Donald Trump is (or…was) alt-right; the positions he took during the campaign, almost every single one, was contrary to the progressive agenda.

Speaking of Interesting Feedback….

So, I recently had an interesting comment, offered by Unhappy Conservative (2.0) August 19, 2017 at 4:26 PM:

"Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live."


How do you feel when you read this?  Would it make a difference who said it?  What if I told you that it is based on the Biblical concept of struggle, the eternal struggle to enter the eternal Kingdom of God?

What if I told you it was a line from Lincoln’s first draft of the Gettysburg Address?  That he modified it somewhat in the final version, but the basic idea remained?

What if it was George Washington, at Valley Forge when all seemed lost and desperate?  When the soldiers were leaving, when the states were not providing funds?

What if it was Winston Churchill, as part of his famous “blood, toil, tears and sweat” speech?

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it. 

What if it was Adolf Hitler?  Do you feel differently about the line?  Does your gut tighten up?  If so, spend some time to ask yourself why.  (It is, and I have.)

Once done, ask yourself why Stalin gets a pass and Hitler gets the blame.  Ask yourself why the “acceptable” view is that National Socialism is bad but international socialism is good.  Ask yourself how this idea is made manifest in much of the acceptable discourse.

Once again…this is about the part of this post where I am supposed to write: “of course, I am not a Nazi.”

Ask yourself why you are not wondering why I didn’t also write “of course, I am not a communist.”  I don’t have to write this, because these were the good guys in Charlottesville (and elsewhere), that’s why.

Which Brings me to Libertarianism’s Alt-Right Problem…

Nick Gillespie has written about this at Reason: Is There Really an 'Insidious Libertarian-To-Alt-Right Pipeline'?  To make a long story short, he answers “no.” 

I will surprise you: I agree with almost all that he has written.  I agree with so much of it that I normally wouldn’t even comment on this piece.  But his piece draws out an important issue for libertarians – I am coming to conclude it is the important issue.  It is the issue that divides left vs right libertarians, just as it is the issue that divides left and right generally.

I don’t mean left and right as the mainstream uses the terms; I mean left and right as in anyone who objects to any portion of the progressive agenda is considered (alt) “right.”  Everyone else – e.g. the Mitch McConnells of the world – is truly “left.”

So, where am I headed?  What is the issue that divides libertarians?  Gillespie writes:

…the libertarian project stands for…cosmopolitanism versus parochialism, individualism vs. group identity, and libertarianism or autonomy versus authoritarianism…

Everything that the alt-right is against, according to Gillespie. 

The problem is this: libertarianism does not stand for any of these things.  Libertarianism stands against the initiation of aggression against property and person.  That’s all.  But to state this clearly destroys the definition offered by Gillespie (hint: respect for private property is very discriminatory).  I offer:

Cosmopolitanism versus parochialism: I have addressed this in the past.  In case you don’t want to click the link, here is the definition of cosmopolitan: “Free from local, provincial, or national ideas, prejudices, or attachments; at home all over the world.”  Nothing in the NAP requires this nonsense.

Individualism versus group identity: What?  A libertarian is precluded from identifying with a group?  Harvard graduates, Patriots fans, the International Shuffleboard Society, the Gay Pride Club?  I am not allowed to identify with any of these?  (Hint: these are all allowed; there is only one group to which a “libertarian” is not allowed to identify; left-libertarians just usually don’t want to state it so plainly.)

Autonomy versus authoritarianism: I will give him this one, as long as one is autonomously free to identify with a group – and, also, autonomously free to discriminate against a group when it comes to one’s own property. I assure you, virtually no left-libertarian truly believes this.

…foundational libertarian beliefs in "free trade and free migration"….

Free trade: no problem here.  Two property owners decide to trade property; perfectly compatible with the non-aggression principle.

Free migration: fail.  When one places private property at the heart of libertarian theory (as must be the case), this doesn’t flow from the theory.  Everyone has a right to exit, no one has a right to enter; one is free to emigrate, one is not free to immigrate.

Border controls versus open borders: I contend that libertarian theory offers no answer on this topic in a world of state borders.  See here and here for two of my countless posts on this point.  Further, as left-libertarians believe libertarianism is universal, I have asked for an answer to this question regarding open borders.  Still no takers.  Gillespie won’t answer it either.

Gillespie puts the blame of this libertarian / alt-right confusion squarely on Ron Paul and his presidential runs in 2008 & 2012, with roots in “the Hans-Hermann Hoppe bloc of libertarianism.” 

Gillespie says you will know when one is from the alt-right and not a libertarian, as…

…alt-righters need to be called out wherever we find them espousing their anti-modern, tribalistic, anti-individualistic, and anti-freedom agenda.

This is wrong.  A libertarian is free to be “anti-modern” and “tribalistic” (I will give him the other two, or at least one-and-a-half of the two). 

In other words: the confusions that Gillespie points out are based on things that have nothing to do with the non-aggression principle; it is Gillespie that is confused.  Read Gillespie’s various definitions and distinctions again, if this isn’t clear to you.

So What’s the Point?

The issue is culture.  This is what Gillespie doesn’t like about “the Hans-Hermann Hoppe bloc of libertarianism.”  Culture matters.  I know this because of many things; I know this because of the goals of people who want to destroy culture.

The progressive agenda is a culture destroying agenda.  Libertarians on the left approve of virtually every plank of this agenda.  Libertarians on the right disapprove of virtually every plank of this agenda.

The progressive agenda as it is today is the Frankfurt School put into action; this comes from Antonio Gramsci, with roots stretching back to the Enlightenment and even the Renaissance.

I will offer: Gramsci and the Frankfurt School advanced their ideas on culture in order to make the west malleable to communism; Gillespie and the left-libertarians advance these same ideas on culture in order to bring on liberty.  Similar means, different ends.  Hard to square that circle.

Destroy a culture and you will end up with tyranny.  Don’t get mad at me for saying it.  Take it up with someone far more qualified on this topic – more qualified than I am and more qualified than any left-libertarian.

No strawmen, please: I wrote not a single word against an evolving culture or for closed borders.  Ever.

Conclusion

Communists and left-libertarians.  Their ends might be different, but their means are the same: drastically change the culture.  Only one side of this will win their desired ends.  I say it is the communists.  And this is where libertarians – as defined by Gillespie – will lead us.

76 comments:

  1. How can any "libertarian" be in favor of what the cops did in Charlottesville?

    To say that the cops had a stand-down order and did stand-down is true to a certain extent. However the cops did actively force the permit holding alt-right rally goers into the crowd of antifa, using force to do so. You can see videos of the police doing this. The police could easily have allowed exit from another part of the park, but the police forced the two groups together deliberately to spark violence.

    Libertarians taking the side of the system. Its sick.

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    1. Anyone taking the side of the system isn't a Libertarian.

      The only legitimate function of police is to protect persons and property, they did neither. In fact, there is a strong argument they incited harm to both.

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    2. Matt, thank you for the clarification; I purposely only superficially covered the events in this post for the reasons mentioned.

      Any two or three of the many "anomalies" that are known should be enough to convince any sentient being that something is fishy.

      And, to believe the narrative two minutes after the event...sad.

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  2. With regard to the Alt-Right: They do appear to be more or less organized around these premises https://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/08/what-alt-right-is.html

    More broadly, the "Alt-Light" seem to be defined by borders, language, culture, nationalism (vs. globalism), transparent gov't/anti-deep state, anti-interventionism, Federal overreach, non-debt based currency/central banking; ranked from more or less (more or less).

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    1. A well thought-out and tight list. Not useful for those who want to smear anyone opposed to any plank of the progressive agenda, so they will ignore it.

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  3. With regard to a Libertarian position on open borders in a world with state borders, the only position is managed (or more honestly? Closed).

    Lew Rockwell sews it up rather neatly (and tightly)

    https://www.ixquick.com/do/dsearch?query=lew+rockwell+open+borders&cat=web&pl=opensearch&language=english

    Anyone arguing for open borders in a world with state borders (and re-distributive welfare) isn't a libertarian, they are a crypto-Leftist. Liechtenstein is the most libertarian state in the world, and they have a *30 year* naturalization process.

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    1. Precisely the conclusions I also came to. Thanks.

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  4. It is terrifying to me that there are people who believe that destroying culture generally and Western Culture in particular could ever lead to a positive outcome. And the biggest benefit to Western Culture is the price break people get for non-aggression. We have customers employees from South America come to our office here in the USA and they are amazed at the lack of physical security. These Left Libertarians just can seem the grok the enormous value of this.

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    1. Bogart,

      Right! I have been to so many countries and I have realized the "honesty" among the population is an unrecognized commons. In the west you can generally be assured that you won't be ripped off in simple transactions, like getting change after buying something. In the third world I have seen magician level slight of hand in ripping people off. The value of not having to protect yourself against this at all times is incalculable.

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    2. Bogart and Matt,

      It's funny you both bring this up. I'm going through something similar. The difference is, it's happening here in the west with foreign born small business owners, that seem to be getting a bit more brazen as the velocity of their migration is creating a new set of norms that will remove incentive for me, or others like me, from performing this service.

      My problem is: This is the demographic that will most likely make up most of my customer base in the next few years.

      I'm now in the weird situation where I need to treat customers like thieves in waiting.

      Summary: I'm experiencing living proof, culture matters!





      Delete
  5. Great article.

    One thing that came to mind while reading it is that libertarianism, when you think about it, has its entire history in the shadow of the empire. That is to say that it did not grow out of the old White Republic but came about after the multiracial empire had begun.

    While some libertarians trace their lineage to the Old American Right they have abandoned the cultural and racial views of the old right (think homosexual Justin Raimondo- who for the record I like as a writer). This has always been the source of the paleocon and left libertarian divide, with the paleocons retaining some of the old ways of the White Republic.

    This has led me to conclude that liberalism has FAR more in common with communism than National Socialism (or Prussian Socialism as described by Spengler) does, which is a common refrain from libertarians. There is nothing inherently atavistic or folkish in libertarianism beyond the fact that America was founded on liberalism. At its heart the question is one of worldview and not of political systems. If asked "to what do you owe a duty" and your answer is "my people's past and future," this does not jive with the liberal worldview of man as an atomized entity seeking gratification. In other words, it should seem peculiar that people who claim to be radical liberals could so thoroughly reject the racial and cultural basis of the founding American liberalism. That is it seems strange until you realize that this was always where liberalism was going.

    So while I have a lot of respect for the BM-school of libertarianism, BM will often say that the people we talk about have rejected true libertarianism, I actually think it's the other way around. I think libertarianism is radical liberalism and that radical liberalism is essentially the same in worldview as communism.

    For the past 60 years no group of people has been more opposed to, and persecuted by, the American Empire than White Nationalists. I would encourage libertarians to go and read the works of George Lincoln Rockwell and tell me what it is they oppose about his thinking. Sure it's "illiberal" but it's not socialistic as conceived by libertarians (although it is socialistic as conceived by Spengler). I suspect the main reason they would object to Rockwell is that they have accepted the cultural and racial attitudes imposed by the empire.

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    1. “…BM will often say that the people we talk about have rejected true libertarianism, I actually think it's the other way around.”

      I don’t think that these are, or have been, my words. I do point out, regularly and often, that libertarianism is nothing more than the NAP. I recognize that life requires more than this, but I object to having the NAP disfigured with such appendages.

      So it isn’t really that libertarianism has been rejected, more like it is continually disfigured. There are those who expect more from it than it is capable of accomplishing.

      “I think libertarianism is radical liberalism and that radical liberalism is essentially the same in worldview as communism.”

      Take away absolute property rights from libertarianism, and this is all that is left (there is a pun in there somewhere). With absolute property rights, discrimination and exclusion are inherent. Left-libertarians don’t like this.

      So, what is “true libertarianism”? One finds roots in communist thinkers, the Bible, the Germanic Middle Ages, monasteries, the Enlightenment. I find that it was only until Murray Rothbard that someone made sense out of all of these different threads, into a logical (meaning consistent with humans as they are) whole. Overall, he was far more “right” than “left.”

      This is why I keep it simple and focused: libertarianism is the non-aggression principle, nothing more.

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    2. >I don’t think that these are, or have been, my words.

      Ok, let me try to clarify and you can tell me if I have it right.

      People claim all kinds of things are mandated by libertarianism, open borders, cosmpolitanism, feminism, homosexualism, and even ethno-mascochism.

      You point out that they don't actually have any arguments based in libertarian philosophy itself, which you say is "the non-aggression principle, nothing more."

      It should be clear that you and they are operating on a different premise. Which is the TRVE essence would be a long debate.

      It's clear that many "hardcore libertarians" only like the NAP as long as it suits them, and that their real worldview is just an extreme version of the average liberals worldview, namely a bizarre mixture of Marquis de Sade "if it feels good do it" and an apostate hyper-Protestant moralism that condemns "racism" and celebrates child abuse.

      You and Hoppe really don't share much in common with these people and I am just speculating as to how much it's due to the liberal world view itself or if it's just an expression of the cultural Marxist zeitgeist and the desire to go along with the empire for sheckles.

      Again, great article, I was just sharing some passing thoughts.

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    3. UC, you pretty much nailed it. Thanks for taking the time to clarify.

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  6. "[A]sk yourself why Stalin gets a pass and Hitler gets the blame."

    Adopt seven of the 10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto, nobody bats an eye. Invoke a folksy truism uttered by a Nazi eighty years ago and everybody loses his mind. Funny how that works.

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  7. In fetishizing his effete, high-sounding and nincompoopish abstractions, Nick Gillespie has succeeded only in spawning a tribe of anti-tribalist pseudo-libertarians.

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  8. 1. We must fight the tribalism of the pseudo hipsters! Down with tribalism!

    2. Why do the hipsters get to be tribal while us deplorables can't be tribal (although I'm not really sure that I actually have a tribe)?

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    1. We deplorables forge our ties on blood and soil, kith and kin, faith and family. This is unpalatable to our gnostic pals, whose tribalism springs from their love of humanity in the abstract--even as they hate actual, flesh-and-blood human beings.

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  9. What culture? Which culture? The culture of "Harvard graduates, Patriots fans, the International Shuffleboard Society, the Gay Pride Club"? Is there a universal single culture? Must we all worship the same celebrities?

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    1. Dmitry, why do I feel like you have asked similar questions before and I have answered these? For this reason, I am hesitant to give a complete answer, but I will start with directly answering your questions; if you actually then demonstrate an openness to dialogue, I will broaden my thoughts.

      At is most basic, the answer to "what culture" is nothing more than a common culture - common to those within a governance unit. Of course, I believe there is much more to this if one desires a society that approaches "libertarian," but this will wait.

      There is no universal culture.

      We need not all worship the same celebrities.

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    2. You have to worship the same celebrities as all the other politically correct if you want to be considered to be politically correct.

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    3. I don't know why you feel that way, because I never mentioned this subject before in my very few comments on this website.

      The common culture you are referring to is not culture at all but lex, a common system of law. Often similar law over a large territory is of great value, because it makes business and travel more efficient. Moreover, "natural law" is generally the same for all people and ought to be the foundation for common law. So, the ideal basic law and principles of justice are indeed the same everywhere.

      Culture, on the other hand, is simply what people, having obeyed the law and abided by justice, do with their freedom. Culture is as super-diverse as the food in the supermarket. By its essence, then, culture cannot be managed, controlled, or protected by governments. So far America has survived without a "Ministry of Culture," and thank goodness for that.

      It is law and not culture that has always been the libertarian concern. You should not confuse the two.

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    4. The culture of America largely ignores the laws of the republic, starting with the Articles of Confederation that they chose to abandon to write the highly flawed Constitution, which the government started ignoring from the time of its ratification.
      Libertarian philosophy has very seldom been introduced as evidence in any courtroom in America, and where it has, it hasn't been upheld to a higher level than persuasive authority. Given the mass ignorance of the American populace of the mass of our laws and the proper functioning of our legal system, which started to break down before Lysander Spooner started to document it, the law is whatever some agent of leviathan has been paid to say it is, and is subject to the whim of any number of minions.

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    5. When it comes to culture. If you have to ask, you will never know.

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    6. Dmitry, maybe I am mistaken about our paths having crossed on this topic.

      “The common culture you are referring to is not culture at all but lex, a common system of law.”

      You know this what I refer to, how?

      Lex, defined: Latin: Law; British: 1. a system or body of laws; 2. a particular specified law

      If I was speaking of law, I would have written “law.”

      I am speaking of culture. The more common the culture, the less one needs law.

      If I take the non-aggression principle as “law,” there are only about a thousand things that the NAP doesn’t deal with. The more things that are dealt with via a generally accepted culture, the less demand there will be for “law.”

      “So, the ideal basic law and principles of justice are indeed the same everywhere.”

      Give me a break. What is the age of majority, EVERYWHERE? What is the proper “justice” for stealing an apple, EVERYWHERE? Define the term “aggression,” EVERYWHERE. Define property, EVERYWHERE.

      You cannot do this, therefore your entire lecture of me is dead on arrival.

      Of course, if you want a world government to decide this for 7 billion people, go for it – add your name to the long line of utopians. I prefer such issues are dealt with at the most local level possible, decentralized.

      “Culture, on the other hand, is simply what people, having obeyed the law and abided by justice, do with their freedom.”

      Listen to me clearly: I would love to live in a community (however large or small) governed entirely by generally accepted common culture and custom, and not governed at all by law. I know we will never see such a place of no “law” on earth, but we can get closer if culture is maintained and nurtured; we will move farther if culture is destroyed.

      The left, from Gramsci to Cultural Marxists to left-libertarians, want to destroy common culture. Regardless of what they each think will come of it, some version of communism will come out of the other side.

      “It is law and not culture that has always been the libertarian concern. You should not confuse the two.”

      You really don’t understand, do you. Do you think the world can live on the NAP alone? Maybe if we all chant, “NAP, NAP, NAP,” it will come to pass.

      Libertarians who are not concerned about the value of maintaining and nurturing a common culture are communists. Can I say this any clearer?

      So, before you lecture me more on what you think I am saying and before you get another response from me, demonstrate that you understand what I have written – I don’t care if you agree, but demonstrate that you understand.

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    7. Bionic, no, I don't understand you at all. What are your objections to the system advanced in Rothbard's "Ethics of Liberty"? And which culture, again, do you want to maintain and nurture? Is it any culture whatsoever, as long as it's common? Is it your own personal vision of a good culture?

      The world indeed cannot live on NAP alone; that's why the vast amount of freedom that NAP, being a very unambitious philosophy, permits is used by the people precisely for culture-making in the course of their pursuit of happiness.

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    8. Similarly, Bionic, state your problems with laissez-faire capitalism, other than that it is allegedly unbecomingly "universalistic" and therefore disrespectful of local customs. Is human law completely ungrounded in reason? Do you at least acknowledge the existence of objective laws of economics, physics, and so on? Are there any limitations that human beings face when trying to create a community?

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    9. Given that this is the libertarian blog that mentions the NAP that I have seen in decades, and that the LP will accept someone like Gary Johnson onto the ballot, I'm not surprised that the few who will take the Quiz can't understand the Chart.

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    10. That Jeff Deist speech that mentions you proposes a pragmatic libertarian _strategy_. I think you have mistakenly elevated that into libertarian _philosophy_. Do you seriously believe that regarding your apparently arbitrary "culture and custom," anything goes?

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    11. Dmitry,

      >deny the uniqueness and value of volkish cultures
      >seek the imposition of law on the entire world
      >can't distinguish law from culture

      Are you by chance jewish? Is this Tikkun Olam?

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    12. To appreciate the difference, consider that the Deist's strategy is a little devious.

      Surely, we reason, the leftists who hate Trump would not mind their own country ruled by Hillary. Perhaps we can persuade or trick them to isolate themselves in their own contemptible ghetto. Let the freaks stew in their own juices. Ah-hah! We have furthered the end of a libertarian society by removing unnecessary strife between conflicting ideologies.

      This political success does not mean that no ideology is _true_. It does not mean the leftists in Hillary-ville will be just as happy as the rightists in Trump-istan, as though each group were choosing merely between ice cream flavors. It is on the contrary very possible that the nation of leftists will collapse, and everyone there will starve to death. What we have _actually_ done is forced the leftists to fully internalize the costs of their errors.

      Thus, the libertarian philosophy exhibits no deviousness at all.

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    13. “Bionic, no, I don't understand you at all.”

      Dmitry, you didn’t even try to pretend that you tried to understand.

      I asked you some simple questions; I asked for definitions to basic terms. I repeat: What is the age of majority, EVERYWHERE? What is the proper “justice” for stealing an apple, EVERYWHERE? Define the term “aggression,” EVERYWHERE. Define property, EVERYWHERE.

      The NAP is very subjective, how will you turn this into something objective?

      I told you I would not respond to any other questions until you at least pretended to try. Instead, you think a simple statement (“I don’t understand you at all”) demonstrates effort.

      With that, you proceed to ask me eight more questions. You will understand that I will ignore these.

      “I think you have mistakenly elevated that into libertarian _philosophy_.”

      Dmitry, you have a very rude habit: when you don’t understand me, you decide you can tell me what I mean. You have done this several times today; frankly, this is what pisses me off in feedback more than about anything. I have written too many words on libertarians and culture for me to respect someone who tells me I don’t know anything about what I am talking about.

      Perhaps you could ask me what I mean instead of telling me. Start there. Then answer my questions. After that, we can start a new conversation.

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    14. Unhappy, _I_ can't distinguish law from culture? Isn't that exactly what I've done in my first reply? The failure to distinguish law from culture is the very charge I made _against_ Bionic.

      I seek not the _imposition_ of law on the entire world, but the recognition by the world of the law that is already in place and has been in place ever since nature was created.

      Culture is posterior to law. Any manner of non-self-destructive culture is legitimate, and even then not every culture has equal merit.

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    15. Bionic, when I say that I don't understand you, I mean that I believe you are talking nonsense. Your non-reply does not help you.

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    16. Dmitry, write this on the blackboard one hundred times: "There are only about a thousand things that the NAP doesn’t deal with. The more things that are dealt with via a generally accepted culture, the less demand there will be for law"

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    17. Very well, clarify for me: to what extent, as far as you are concerned, are -- the age of majority, the proper justice for stealing an apple, the essence of aggression, and the forms of property -- conventions between members of a community?

      Are they 100% arbitrary and subjective consumer preferences? Or are some answers to these questions superior to others?

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    18. Dmitry, at 7:08 you say I am talking nonsense; at 7:25 you ask me more questions.

      Do you really think I will engage you?

      I am done.

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    19. My goodness, Bionic, you are easily spooked. It doesn't matter. Bad philosophers like you are a dime a dozen.

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    20. Dmitry, you didn't answer my question.

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    21. He doesn't answer anyone's questions. This makes him feel, somehow, superior.

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    22. Bionic, I _believe_ that you are talking nonsense, but I could be wrong. However, nothing so far shakes my opinion of you one bit.

      You have not even defined what you mean by "culture," a term which you are obviously severely abusing. You have not specified what culture and of what profession or activity you are bringing to bear.

      Since I have nothing to go on, I will interpret you as arguing that people should be free to join and leave various civil associations or communities and create legal arrangements, whether formal or by your apparent preference unwritten-customary, within them at their pleasure.

      But that's a normative and philosophical statement. And its truth depends entirely on the correctness of libertarianism. Specifically: on the legal rightness of the freedom of contract. The law must first allow people such freedom, and libertarians must demonstrate that such a law is just.

      Thus, for example, only if one proves rigorously that the leftist anti-discrimination laws are objectively unjust will your conclusion that fluid private communities should not be fettered by the government follow.

      And I can't fathom your monstrous definition of "culture" that would make it relevant to such a proof.

      Is a violent gang a legitimate community that the law should consider equal to the International Shuffleboard Society?

      Is a mere promise an enforceable contract?

      Is a slave contract valid? And so on with questions that many important libertarians have expressed definite opinions on and sought to resolve rationally, and which you simply ignore 100%.

      Delete
    23. I do not remember ever having an underline be a punctuation mark. Must be a cultural thing, eh?

      Delete
    24. Here's another hypothesis of what your idea amounts to. Perhaps you think that a group of 5 people who _agree with each other on everything_ has no need for law. The things they thereby agree on is their group's "culture." They can thus do whatever they want, and they'll always be in perfect harmony. There'll be no conflict, no disputes.

      Thus, if in this community, offending someone's feelings is a criminal offence punishable by death, then there is need to enter into the evaluation of the justice of thus arrangement. As long as it is agreed to by all, all is good.

      Again, a formerly agreeable member of a community who owns property there, displeases the ruling council. The council ejects him from the community, forcing him to forfeit his property. The man has no reason to complain because he was a member voluntarily. But what if he was born and socialized into this community?

      Rothbard describes the system of Gerrard Winstanley as follows:

      "At first, Winstanley believed that little or no coercion would be necessary for establishing and maintaining his communist society. Soon, however, he realized, in the completed draft of his utopia, that all wage labor and all commerce would have to be prohibited on the penalty of death. Winstanley was quite willing to go this far with his program. Everyone was to contribute to, and take from, the common storehouse, and the death penalty was to be levied on all use of money, or on any buying or selling. The 'sin' of idleness would of course be combated by forced labor for the benefit of the communist community. This all-encompassing stress on the executioner makes particularly grisly the declaration of Winstanley that 'all punishments that are to be inflicted... are only such as to make the offender... to live in the community of the righteous law of love one with another.' Education in 'love' was to be insured by free and compulsory schooling conducted by the state, mainly in useful crafts rather than in liberal arts, as well as by 'ministers' elected by the public to preach secular sermons upholding the new system."

      I guess this, too, is Ok, as long as the commune is freely entered into. People should have every right to experiment with such modes of living. They don't need to know any laws. Just agree, and peace and love will follow.

      Those who argue there _are_ objective laws are, like Rothbard, communists.

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    25. All in all, Winstanley's project was apparently just another "unique and valuable volkish culture."

      And now let's take those 5 people and imagine that they don't actually agree on much, at least not on enough to form a comprehensively mapped-out community. They are not at all clones of each other. Each wants to do his own thing. Can they still cooperate successfully and to mutual advantage? Are there any recommendations libertarians can make to allow them to succeed in this endeavor? I think, not as far as you are concerned, Bionic.

      Suppose further that Smith and Jones are strangers who have not explicitly contracted with each other in any way. Smith up and murders Jones. According to the libertarian theory, can there be a lawsuit against Smith? How would you, Bionic, prove it, if the "NAP" is subjective? And if you can't manage something as easy as _this_, then what makes you a libertarian?

      Do you even realize that the "NAP" has little to do with libertarianism? NAP is a principle of personal morality, not of political philosophy. Libertarianism is not a cult which demands any particular behavior from a person, such as obedience to the NAP. It's a purely intellectual doctrine of the just (or sometimes "efficient") law in society.

      These considerations cause me to conclude that when it comes to libertarianism, you don't know what you are talking about.

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    26. Dmitri,
      Considering your presumtuous rant ignoring all of BM's work on this blog over the past year, I've concluded that, when it comes to discourse, you don't know what you are talking about.
      Personally I find it reviling that you won't answer any questions posited to you but ask away _willy_nilly_ yourself.

      It doesn't help you that such interaction is so very pompous.

      Jeff Levesque
      Dmitry, write this on the blackboard one hundred times: "There are only about a thousand things that the NAP doesn’t deal with. The more things that are dealt with via a generally accepted culture, the less demand there will be for law"
      Busted my seams on that one, thank you very much sir:-)

      Delete
    27. Josh, I had composed a comment that was very similar to yours, but figured that it would be ignored, so I didn't post it. I'm glad you got a kick out of my alternate comment, and thanks for letting me know that you did.

      Delete
    28. Josh, well said.

      Jeff, I too appreciated your words.

      Delete
    29. BM, I'm very glad to hear that. I'm very impressed with your ability to give everyone the benifit of the doubt, even when there is plenty of evidence that a commentator is being willfully ignorant, or just plain trolling.

      Another comment that I had composed, but did not submit, was a suggestion for Dmitry to look at the above dialogue between you and UC. But again, I figured it would be wasted.

      I'm very thankful for your blog. Keep up the good work.

      Delete
    30. Thank you, Jeff. I will say, I was very lacking in this skill in the earliest days of bionic.

      But I have decided that this blog and the feedback gives me an opportunity to improve in this area.

      I also came close to responding to Dmitry's last two or three posts - even composed something. Nothing terribly biting; after writing something and staring at it, like you, I just decided that there was no point to continue to feed the beast.

      Even now, I worry that these words might bring him back to life... yet, communicating this to you and others here seems worthwhile to me.

      Delete
    31. This reminds me of a girlfriend who needed to move from one end of the country to the other, and begged me to come with her. I had other responsibilities that had to be addressed, and she interpreted this as me dragging me feet. She wrote to let me know that there were plenty of other men in the neighborhood who were helping out in my absence. When that tactic didn't work she threw off the gloves and just ranted and raved about what a prick I was etc. After reading her last letter I sat down and composed a thoughtful and carefully worded response. Eight pages later, I placed my defense into an envelope sealed it and took a nap. When I awoke I felt completely refreshed and realized that I just needed to get all that junk out of my head and onto paper; sending it was completely unnecessary. I just tossed it into the trash and never heard from her again.

      If I had sent it I'm sure I would have heard from her again. This is what Charlottesville is about. It's about getting these pent up feelings out, but these people need a target for their pent up anger, and there seems to be no shortage of people who are more than willing to oblige and paint a target on their forehead. The anger and rage creates that target. These marches are really nothing more than exercises in trolling. Let's see how many suckers we can flush out of the bushes with our blatant inflammatory remarks. Trolling is really no different than your uncle's request to pull his finger, and yes it really is your fault. You're the one who took the bait. You're the one who has to get honest and admit that you fell for the bait. No one wants to admit they're a sucker. Suckers will always opt to paint a target on their head; like shooting fish in a barrel.

      Delete
    32. Charlottesville was nothing more than the collision of two well-funded propaganda armies that caused the death of one ignorant at the hands of another. It makes me all the happier to be without a television since 1987.

      Delete
  10. "...ask yourself why Stalin gets a pass and Hitler gets the blame."

    Without at least one of the two socialist columns being seen in an acceptable light, the group is left with choosing government reduction as a very viable foil against the inevitable cronyism accompanying a state's existence over time. Ah, but ride a popular wave of race superiority or envious class struggle (two of the most powerful herd mentalities), and government becomes a necessary and expedient conduit for Utopian change - and politicians eat it up. History be damned.

    "The West accepts an epical, monstrous, and unforgivable double standard. We rightly rehearse the crimes of Nazism almost daily. We teach them to our children as ultimate historical and moral lessons and we bear witness to every victim. We are almost silent on the crimes of communism. So the bodies lie among us unnoticed. Everywhere. We insisted upon de-Nazification and we excoriated those who tempered it in the name of new or emerging political realities. There never was nor will be a similar de-Communization, though the slaughter of innocence was exponentially greater, though those who signed the orders and ran the camps remain.

    [...] Every historical textbook lingers on the crimes of Nazism, seeks their root causes, draws a lesson from them, and EVERYONE knows the number six-million. By contrast, it is always the "errors", the "mistakes" of Communism, or Stalinism, repeated by magical mistake again and again and again. Ask college freshmen how many died under Stalin's regime and they will answer, even now, "Thousands? Tens of thousands?" What does that mean? It is the equivalent of believing that Hitler killed hundreds of Jews. The scandal of such ignorance derives from an intellectual culture's willful blindness to the catastrophe of its relative sympathies.

    [...] "Anti-Fascist" is a term of honor. "Anti-Communist" is a term of ridicule and abuse. So the dead lie among us, ignored, and anyone with moral eyes must see them, spilling naked out of our media, frozen in pain in our classrooms and sprawled unburied across our politics and our culture.

    Socialism, wherever it actually had the means to plan a society to abolish private property and to assail economic inequality and the allocation of capital and goods by free markets, culminated in the crushing of individual economic, religious, associational, and political liberty. .. Socialism in power produces scarcity, murderous inefficiency, arbitrary inequality, cronyism, enslavement, concentration camps, torture, terror, the destruction of civil society, ecological disaster, brutal secret police, and systemic tyranny EVERWHERE it ruled." - Alan Charles Kors


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    1. "'Anti-Fascist' is a term of honor. 'Anti-Communist' is a term of ridicule and abuse."

      To this day, "McCarthyism" denotes hysteria and overreach, and never mind that McCarthy himself stands vindicated, at least in part. If he had pursued Nazis with comparable levels of enthusiasm instead, history would have treated him far more kindly.

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    2. And nowhere in the mainstream will you read a peep about the communists in Roosevelt's administration before and during the war.

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    3. Unless it one of the common leaks from Mises.

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  11. I don't consider someone to be a libertarian if they don't score closer to the top of the late Marshall Fritz's Diamond Chart than they do the center of it.
    It only takes the 10 simple yes-maybe-no questions on the World's Smallest Political Quiz at www.theadvocates.org/quiz/quiz.php to determine who is most likely to be an actual libertarian.
    For the record, I score 100% & 100% and I'm anything but a ideologue, but the Quiz is anything but a sensitive indicator. I doubt if Gary Johnson would test anywhere near me, but an awful lot of "libertarians" voted for him because he was the nominee. I couldn't after reading his record in New Mexico, of which I am a less than proud native.

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    1. I just replaced my age 60 head shot with my age 65 head shot. I also recently realized that there is a NOLAN CHART on my LP sticker in this selfie I took in the fall of 1974 at Michigan State:

      http://tinyurl.com/jbubaw2

      I do not like the Nolan Chart, if only because it is 57x too abstract for average people to grasp and I do not think it is very accurate. I really don’t like some of the 10 questions, especially:

      There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults.

      Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs.

      Since 1974, I have always envisioned libertarianism practiced in private neighborhoods that could operate block by block. Or they could be larger. Whatever works. Each would have its own bylaws regarding private behavior. I would think most would ban drugs and unusual sexual practices although that would be up to the owners. The only consensus necessary here would be agreements between the neighborhoods to not bother each other.

      A better “question” would be:

      “There should be no government laws regarding sex and drugs for consenting adults because those topics should be the subject of private voluntary covenant community bylaws.”

      Delete
    2. The Nolan Chart doesn't have an associated set of questions.

      Delete
  12. I am, have been, consumed with Harvey. Prepatations, contingencies, forevasts, etc.
    BM, you have really hit a stride. LewRockwell.com links comfirms it.
    Dimitri just needs some vitamins and fats on his diet.
    And, tonight I finished what lityke rum I had and my wife's wine is not enough.
    If I dwell on blue laws I will get mad.

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    1. Jaime, somewhere between that wine and your fingers, the keyboard must have moved on you!

      I myself am enjoying a nice red at the moment. Even Dmitry cannot ruin my mood!

      Have a nice evening.

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    2. Lol. Even when completely sober my fat finger and brain try to stay engaged.
      Laughing at my ... typos?
      I am watching the lighting from my living room. Rain band hitting us hard.

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    3. Thinking about it, I have been on mental and actual prep for Harvey for two days. Friday 4am was the last update I relied on to tell, order, certain family relations they had to evacuate.
      Sigh. 3 or 4 more days of this crap.
      I sure hope that liquor store will open tomorrow afternoon.

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    4. Just heard in the news. 10 inches of rainfall in the last hour or so, south of Hobby Airport. Yep, the would be my neck of the woods

      Delete
    5. He also needs to stop taking the statins.

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    6. Statins? What for? Cannot you understand humor?
      I was/am prepared but I do not flood. The problem for me is access, and depending on how many friends I take in, so far one, her husband might join us later, foodstuff.
      It is bad. Really bad.
      I much have rather taken a cat. 2 direct hit.
      The average rainfall for Houston is around 60 inches per year. We have gotten at least 6 months of rainfall thus far.

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    7. Statins are the number one cause of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, and the supposed cure for elevated cholesterol, which has been recognized as a non-problem for a decade or more by everyone except those who were educated at AMA-approved medical schools.

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    8. Why would you suggest I take statins? When I get a headache I think the world is coming to an end. I hate taking even Advil. My wife probably wishes I acted more like my age, 67 yo BTW. Not really.

      Delete
  13. https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/08/david-gordon/the-greatest-conversationalist/
    First glance at title might say this is irrelevant but it's not.

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  14. Regarding {"Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live."}, we have at least one other choice (I don't say "another" because I haven't thought through whether there are more other choices than one): We can choose not to fight but simply to continue to live; and in fact it we don't fight, chances are that we'll live longer than we would if we fight. So why not avoid fighting and live in order to (hopefully) continue to work for change?
    IMHO: It's completely crazy to choose to fight and die unless death comes to the door in the form of dangerous humans who won't be dealt with in any other way than fighting and killing them.

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  15. Re: "the Biblical concept of struggle, the eternal struggle to enter the eternal Kingdom of God" This never used to bother me, but I'm not so sure it is an eternal struggle at all anymore, or maybe never was for those who actually do enter into the eternal kingdom. This may go to the heart of the whole idea of private property. I accept your definition of Libertarianism: e.g." stands against the initiation of aggression against property and person." The problem arises though in that the struggle to enter into the small short gate necessarily forces one (a type of aggression?) to voluntarily unburden themselves of not only their private property, but themselves as well, i.e. their personhood. Once one steps onto that path, they themselves disappear. The path is all encompassing and will not allow private property or persons to pass. They're all on the wide path that leads to destruction. Why? Because they don't exist in the first place. Once this is seen, it makes no sense to acquire possessions or to take on a persona. Judgement Day is when we all get a reality check and find out that there is no such thing as private property. Everything is laid bare. There are no secrets. Everything is exposed to the light of Truth. Nothing is private. Get used to it now and it won't come as such a shock, and it won't seem like "That Great and Terrible Day of the Lord". It isn't about claiming that you have nothing to hide from the government goons. We aren't to substitute the State as our proxy for God until he shows up. It isn't about disrespecting the private property of others for only 'others" can have private property in the first place. Denying that the self exists in the first place is really what "deny yourself" means. Those who are still under this delusion are free to continue in it, and those who are no longer under this delusion have no reason to infringe on these so-called rights. Keep your moth eaten rusty junk. Better that you take care of it than force the responsibility on me in some collective.

    The brilliance lies in the fact that when one is freed from these responsibilities and the mask that a persona provides, there is no possibility for transgressions or aggressions to take place. Those things can only occur against those who are possessed by this deception. Libertarianism is the ultimate good in a fallen world, but even it must be discarded as there is no place for it in the eternal kingdom...  

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