Libertarians and Culture






A running summary of my posts on topics of libertarianism (left, center and right) and culture.

Bleeding Heart-Thick-Milquetoast-Left-Wine Spritzer Libertarians: I was asked to compile a list of my posts on the above-mentioned topic by someone interested in the subject.  This post offers links to dozens of posts I have written in rebuttal to prominent libertarians and Austrians who I believe have distorted or destroyed the philosophy.  I am often not kind.

Is There Hope for the Bleeding Hearts?: Matt Zwolinski decides to dive deep into his support for a Basic Income Guarantee.  Rest assured, he still lands at the wrong answer.

Obamacare: Oh So Libertarian!: Believe it or not.

Libertarians and Culture: perhaps my first real grasping at this topic, prompted by the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

Family as Foundation: Somewhere, somehow, society will require – even demand – governance.  I vote for the family as the basic governance unit.

Libertarian Crusades?: Alexander McCobin, wants to take the LGBT battle overseas.  I suggest he first visits one of the seven where homosexuality is punishable by death.

Left-Libertarians: A deep-dive into the history and roots of left-libertarian thinking, through the writing of a prominent advocate of this view, Kevin Carson.

Antonio Gramsci Libertarians: It turns out that the left-libertarian desire to require “libertarian” to mean “libertine,” thus radically transforming culture, has something in common with Gramsci’s communist plan to transform society.  While the left-libertarians predict an outcome that conforms to the non-aggression principle, it is the communists who are realistic about the direction society will take when culture is destroyed.

Hoppe’s Realistic Libertarianism: Having been quite critical of “thick” libertarians of the left, I was challenged to take Hoppe on in the same manner.  I was glad I did; it was an eye-opening journey – as several of the following posts will demonstrate.

Hoppe and Immigration: The subject of immigration examined through the lens of property rights.  A novel thought, one that more libertarians might consider.

Dances With Elephants: A mosquito dares tread on the immigration battleground of two giants, Hoppe and Block.

Compared to What?: It is easy to write about immigration in libertarian theory applied to a libertarian world.  It gets a little tougher to apply this libertarian theory in this world.  Jacob Hornberger asks: Are immigration controls a good thing?  I say, good?  Compared to what?

The State and Land: Who owns government property?  Can the state own land?  What does this have to do with immigration and culture?

Open Borders: Case Study: Merkel gave open borders libertarians their biggest wet dream ever – a real life case study to see how their theory works out in the real world.  Let’s see how it’s going so far.

Why Culture Matters: A generally accepted culture goes a long way toward reducing opportunities for conflict.  Culture evolving slowly and naturally, through voluntary associations, occurs daily and is generally harmless.  Culture changed dramatically, via war or other government pronouncements for example, is often quite destructive of social order; which then results in calls for someone to do something – by force.  This might be why government works so hard to destroy culture.

Libertarian Open Borders: As noted, Merkel gave libertarian open borders advocates a great opportunity to examine their theory being put into practice.  I have seen not one such advocate take advantage of this magnificent gift and write a case study using this example in defense of the position.  In this post I ask if anyone else has seen such an examination.

Borders Neither Open or Closed: Richman Gets it Right: Sheldon Richman, a prominent left-libertarian, gets it right: libertarian borders are managed.

The Silence is Deafening: Noting that I had received hundreds of comments on my several posts on open borders and culture, my two most recent posts Libertarian Open Borders and Borders Neither Open or Closed: Richman Gets it Right, received almost no feedback.  Why so little feedback on these two, after hundreds of comments previously?  I wonder….

Borders and Culture: I respond to a critique offered by one Paul Bonneau.  In it, I am criticized for views that are common to his – I don’t get it.  Further, other critiques are in response to things I have never written.  Still, you might find it a worthwhile read….

The Real Action is in the Reaction of the Opposition: Imagine my surprise to find that the clash of cultures in Germany on New Year’s Eve resulted in calls for draconian police action.  Merkel’s open borders: just following the Saul Alinsky playbook.

The Camp: My humble attempt at integrating the storyline from the novel The Camp into today’s real world.

Backlash on Open Borders: Once again, imagine my surprise to find that open borders in Europe results in a political backlash, moving toward calls for even more authoritarian government measures.

Borders, Culture, and Decentralization: Guess what (although it shouldn’t be a surprise)?  Murray Rothbard understands the value of culture in checking and reducing the power of the state!

Open Borders in THIS World: As I introduce the post: “Merkel’s open borders pronouncement is the gift that keeps on giving in this libertarian debate about borders and immigration.”  It turns out you cannot have open borders without government intervention.

Property, Discrimination, and Exclusion: A brief, self-administered quiz, aimed to help you explore your own views on the topic.

The Preconditions: An exploration of one of the responses to the above, self-administered quiz.

Libertarian Open Borders: Oxymoron in Theory and Practice: In this post, I examine the harsh reality when open borders in theory butts up against Angela Merkel’s open borders policy in practice.

Dialogue (Such as it is) With Jacob Hornberger on Open Borders


Libertarian: Left, Center, and Right: Recognizing that the application of libertarian theory in a world populated by humans needs to take into account…humans.

Culture and Liberty: A common culture – and a culture beyond merely the NAP – is necessary if we are ever to move closer to a libertarian society. 

Finger Food: where I comment on Nicholas Sarwark, Libertarian Party Chair, and his inability to see the connection of libertarianism and states rights.

Nicholas Sarwark Replies: well, the title explains it – frankly, he only makes things worse for himself.

Apparently Some Confusion?: Someone asks Walter Block about something he believes is contradictory on my part.  I decide to respond anyway.

The Logical Inconsistency of Open Borders...: Inconsistent in anarchism, impossible in minarchism.

Food for Thought: Culture and kinship; something will govern.

Get Off (on) My Lawn: Culture matters if you want peace.

Evolving Culture and Adherence to Abstraction: Sheldon Richman defines libertarianism into a one-person phone-booth.

Jacob Hornberger Carries Sheldon Richman’s Water: Hornberger decides to reply to the above post on behalf of Richman.

I Will Keep This One Simple: Libertarian theory does not hold a simple, yes / no answer on the topic of immigration and borders.

Open Borders: No Answer in the Non-Aggression Principle: An answer to open borders and immigration cannot be deduced via the non-aggression principle.  For anarchists, as there is no state and therefore no state borders, the only borders are private – and these, most certainly, will not be “open.”  For minarchists, how will the state serve its “defense” function without knowing who crosses its borders and for what purpose?

Rothbard and Open Borders: Rothbard on open borders and culture.

Uncomfortable Questions: Questions that should be faced by any libertarian theorist attempting to provide application to the real world.

Immigration: A Human Right?: Bryan Caplan is more left-wing than the United Nations on this topic.

Why They Hate Rothbard: The libertarian left (meaning, mainstream libertarians) hate Rothbard because he does not embrace every conceivable, culture-destroying, made-up, positive “human right.”

Mises on Immigration and Nation: Joe Salerno has done an excellent job of capturing and summarizing Mises’ view on this topic.  Given his background, Mises is rather qualified to speak on both.

Sloppy Language Results in Sloppy Thinking: Words have meaning; the term “nation” is an important concept.

Nation: What do communists, global democrats, and many libertarians have in common?  According to Rothbard, it is hate of the nation.

Musings on Immigration and Running From the Truth: One of the aforementioned libertarians writes openly about his hatred of nation; other, more polite, libertarians want to pretend such hatred is not at the base of the open borders crowd.

Kulturkampf!: Rothbard writes of the culture war – finally taken up by the right (in 1992).

The “Future” of Whose “Freedom” Foundation?: Immigration as a human right?  Not again!

Liberté sans Fraternité?: Is liberty possible without fraternity, some other cultural aspects that bind community together?

NAP Time: My response to several topics raised on the value of culture.  My frustration comes shining through, as in the face of overwhelming evidence to the liberty-destroying results of destroying culture in Europe, such can be denied.

No True Scotsman: It is acceptable – and some would say required – that a true libertarian would support all manner of libertine behavior.  One thing and one thing only is not allowed to receive support from a true libertarian: religion.  Really.  Why?

Success!: My first breakthrough with Walter Block on the topic of immigration and open borders.  This post specifically deals with the vast expanses of government controlled land: who owns this?

And the Dying Cheer: Man is most free when law comes from God (or common, historical, culture), and not when man is invented by the enlightened.

Block and bionic Duke it Out: My second breakthrough with Walter Block, wherein he is at least considering that his libertarian position on immigration and borders might not be libertarian after all.

Man Destroys God: Friedrich Nietzsche, of “God is dead” fame, understands the negative ramifications of this better than most.

The Story of a Donkey: A tale of when guests start deciding that they own the place

The Soros Dilemma: If George Soros privately financed one million [insert your choice of peoples from Africa, the Middle East or Central Asia] immigrants into your county (county, not country), would you – as a libertarian – object?

Reset with Anonp: a conversation intending to summarize, to some degree, my view on open borders and immigration in this world.

From Immigrants and Refugees to Terrorists: The title says it all, but it is not a story about today or the future; we have seen this play out before.

Who Leads When There Are No Rules?: For anyone who desires to live with and amongst humans, I argue that the only viable choices in answer to this question are either a) custom and culture or b) dictate.  And when there are no rules, the worst will become the dictator.

By Whose Standards?: Value is subjective.  This applies to far more than economic transactions.  Application of the NAP requires turning the subjective into objective.  By whose standards is the objective to be defined?

For Than: My continued dialogue with a feedbacker.  Among other topics, we both recognize that liberty and utopia are not synonymous on what we each choose to compromise is quite different – and, I believe, the important question.

Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire: A thought experiment, putting to the test the intersection of culture and the NAP in a world occupied by humans. Must be read in conjunction with this, for those who cannot understand fiction writing as a tool.
                         
Better Dead Than Traditionally Wed: Left-libertarians prefer nuclear war to traditional Christian values.

My Journey So Far: Many libertarians fail to deal with the spaces in between, the gray that defines life.  In this post, I attempt to summarize my journey through the gray.

Libertarian Neo-cons: Reason Magazine doubles-down on the call to war with Russia.

Libertarian Neocons for McCain: Another Reason Magazine piece, the title says it all.

Paradoxe de la Lumière Noire: Jeff Deist gave a talk at the 2017 Mises University.  Libertarians who ignore the fact that people have ties to family and geography are foolish libertarians.  I refer to them as communists.

Communist Libertine Trigger Warning: The reaction from left-libertarians to Deist’s above-mentioned talk.  Needless to say, they didn’t like it.

“It’s Just Tyranny!”: Jordan Peterson suggests that those who complain about the patriarchal order really don’t understand what they are talking about.

The Controlled Opposition: Jeffrey Tucker’s reaction to events in Charlottesville.  My title says enough.

Open Borders for Israel: I offer four prominent libertarian advocates for open borders (Jacob Hornberger, Sheldon Richman, Steven Horwitz, and Jeffrey Tucker) the chance to make the same case for Israel.  As of this moment, almost three weeks and no response.

Jeffrey Tucker for National Review: Tucker first defines the term “nation” out of existence, before finding some way to describe the United States as a nation.

Jordan Peterson and the Bible: He touches on many aspects of the importance of culture to a surviving and thriving society.

Charlottesville: Beginning with the events in Charlottesville, I move through the relationship between libertarians and the alt-right – and wonder why no one has to apologize for being a communist?

Musings on Left-Libertarians: Open borders libertarians are anti-Semites, no way around it.

The Closing Chapter: My reflection on this topic of libertarians, culture, and the liberal tradition.  I decide to take a pause, as it is possible I understand less about this topic than I might have thought.

Let’s Try a Little “Direct”…: An individual that knew me (the virtual me) about as well as anyone wondered if I am after a white America – this prompting the post immediately above.  I decide to be very direct in my response as opposed to my normal Socratic discussion with the audience.

Més Que un Club: The secession vote in Catalunya has split libertarians.  I offer my thoughts.

Secession: Libertarians who disapprove of the possibility of Catalunya secession should face the consequences of sitting in fantasyland – the state employed violence, enforcing this “libertarian” position.

The Conundrum of Liberty: Libertarians can be very good on property, but leave unstated the implication: the right to discriminate.

Libertarianism and the “Alt-Right”: A brief overview of a speech by Hans Hoppe at the 2017 Property and Freedom Society conference; this speech is covered in extensive detail in the next post.

I Love Hans Hoppe!: Does this need explanation?

A Woman of the Winnili:  After writing 2000 fawning words about Hoppe, immediately above, I receive a comment that begins: “Hoppe is a mess...”  Now, I don’t mind contrary opinions, but it this the best way to start a constructive dialogue given my position?

Walter Block Solves the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Philosophy: Is it beneficial – no, even necessary – to maintain a certain type of culture if one wishes to move toward and maintain a libertarian society?  Walter replies “yes, and it is a conservative culture that values tradition.”  Sounds like Hans Hoppe!

NAP Time II: Conversation 1,275,893 on the point that there is no libertarian answer to borders and immigration in a world of state borders.

Leftist or Libertarian?: A prominent left-libertarian takes issue with libertarians who pay attention to Jordan Peterson; the reasons he offers have nothing to do with the NAP and everything to do with a leftist agenda.

The Left-Libertarians and the 0.000001%: a follow-up to the post immediately above; it turns out that the left-libertarian in question is Steve Horwitz.  His arguments will be meaningful to exactly two people.

Borders and Property: Jacob Hornberger makes my case regarding borders and immigration.

What I Learned at Murray’s Knee…: Murray Rothbard, in his essay “Nations by Consent,” offers an examination of “nation” and open borders.  Guess what?  Men are bound by much more than market exchange.  Guess what else?  You cannot derive open borders from the non-aggression principle.

An Adult Enters the Room: I examine as essay by Jesús Huerta de Soto in which he describes a libertarian theory of free immigration.  (Hint: it isn’t “open borders.”)

Negative Liberty’s War on Nature: negative liberty buries the possibility of finding liberty; a world of “thou shalt not” is insufficient as it ignores and even attempts to destroy human realities.

NAP Time III: My third dedicated post to this same commenter, “The NAPster” (you will find the other two above).  A discussion on open borders, the lack of a pure libertarian answer in a world of state borders, and a review of the various transitional positions. Once again, The NAPster asks many questions and answers none in return.

Circumstances: perhaps a successful strategy to move toward a libertarian world might not include advocating for all of the various leftist and libertine aspects opened up by the principle and instead focus on a couple of simple points.

The One True Faith?: Is it really possible that libertarianism is the one true faith?  Which is more likely to occur: a well-crafted theory of law in search of a society to adopt it or a tradition and culture that provides the foundation for good law to emerge?  As good law does not come forward from a bad culture and tradition, which one should be upheld as the one true faith?

Israel: 7 Percent Legitimate: An example of libertarian cognitive dissonance that does nothing other than turn reasonable people off from considering the non-aggression principle.

Tribe for Me But Not for Thee: A continuation of the topic regarding Israel.  Three libertarians recognize the value of tribe for Jews.  At least one of these three does not recognize the value of tribes for anyone else.  To my knowledge, none of the three have suggested open borders for Israel.

Principle and Tradition: I am very grateful for many of those who comment at the site.  The best ones get me to think of things in a different way, move me to change my views, or force me to better put into words my thoughts.  This is an example of the last point. 

Dilly Dilly: Hans Hoppe on getting libertarianism right, in other words…not left.  Hoppe includes an examination of the culture and tradition of the Middle Ages.

An Open Letter to Walter Block:  This one is a doozy.  Walter offers that it was OK to keep Jewish refugees out of Canada in the 1930s because they were socialists and communists.  When I ask him how this squares with his open borders view, he says, no, they should have been let in – even though they are socialists and communists.

Trade Winds: It does not help the libertarian cause when prominent libertarian thinkers are unable to consider the secondary and tertiary consequences of their actions.  Here is one prominent example.

The Libertarian Movement: A series of exercises offered to examine the question: is the difference of left / right more important toward achieving liberty than the difference between those who label themselves libertarian or not?

The Imbecile: Murray Rothbard examines the idea that freedom need not be the highest or only end in life for a libertarian. 

Impractical Ethical Ideas: Murray Rothbard offers that the difference of theory and practice is fallacious.  If a theory can’t work in practice, it is bad theory.

The Errors of Classical Liberalism: I am tired of getting brow-beaten for my views on this; you can blame Jesús Huerta de Soto for this view.  De Soto hints at a couple of significant errors; I expand on these hints.

Integrating Classical Natural Law and Libertarian Theory: An examination of this intersection via an essay written by Carlo Lottieri.

A Couple of Comments: A look at the relative value of culture vs. NAP purity, and also a look perhaps a healthy view of victimless crimes.

Rothbard and Customary Law: An examination of Rothbard’s consideration of ethics and morals (both terms derived from the word “custom”) and the relationship of these to law.  Part Two of this examination can be found here.

Community Found: One in a series of posts reviewing The Quest for Community: A Study in the Ethics of Order and Freedom, by Robert Nisbet.  To summarize: the advance of individualism and “liberties” for the individual has corresponded to and has in fact supported the growth of the State.  The full series can be found here.

A Touch of Velvet?: An examination of the value of common tradition and community, through the real world events of the 2018 peaceful revolution in Armenia.

1 comment:

  1. Regarding culture as a necessary, but not entirely sufficient, basis: Have you read Nelson Hultberg's "The Golden Mean: Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values"?

    BTW, I have enjoyed your writings since way back when you sometimes posted at The Daily Bell.
    --- Romey Ross [RomeyR@twc.com]

    ReplyDelete