For 2016, as identified by a site called The Liberty Conservative. This list is compiled by Shane Trejo.
As you might surmise from a site with such a name, part of their mission is to inform and educate their readers on liberty informed by traditional values. I would copy from their site, but they admonish that this can be done only with permission (as the “Copyright” date on the site is “2016,” maybe I can skirt this issue…but I won’t). As they don’t want to share, neither do I; if you want to find the article, you will have to search for it.
As the site is only interested in informing and educating their readers, I can understand why such limitations are placed on their content. I prefer writers, entities, and organizations that make all of their content freely available; such as these demonstrate that they a) understand that the best way to build an audience is to give away content, and b) the best way to spread your content (if it is any good) and your ideas (if these are any good) is to give it away.
The Mises Institute is the best example of this within the liberty movement of which I am aware; books, audio, video, daily articles – all available for free, all freely distributed. Alas, the Institute did not make this winners or losers list. As the Institute is a liberty winner every year, I guess I can understand why.
With that preamble out of the way, and with the difficulty of writing this post while honoring the site’s desire to not use content without permission, I offer the following. I will suggest: the list seems to be more of a list of winners and losers from the recent presidential campaign, but anyway….
Milo Yiannopoulos. Shane identifies Milo’s less-than-conservative social and sexual preferences, and at the same time states openly that he is the most influential figure for the conservative movement. Given that conservative is prominent in the name of this web site, I do not understand how Milo fits in.
I really don’t know much about Milo; I guess we don’t walk in similar circles. I wrote something about him once, from an interview of him where he labeled libertarians as a joke, as children. Somehow, he is a winner for liberty?
To be transparent – I both agreed with and disagreed with Milo’s statement; some so-called libertarians are a joke, are children. To show how little I knew about Milo before reading about him on the winners list, I described that Milo was right in calling certain libertarians a joke and children. It turns out that Milo may be one of those I would put in the “joke” camp. Maybe one day I will take more time to learn about him; today isn’t that day.
Alex Jones. Alex is no libertarian. Yet Alex does great service for those interested in expanding liberty. No one else who focusses on exposing the hypocrisy, lies, warmongering, and false history of the United States government has achieved the popularity that he has achieved.
A key pillar in the move toward a more libertarian society is to discredit the state. No one does this better than Alex Jones. Nowhere does Shane recognize Jones for this, so I guess we agree but for different reasons.
Jack Hunter. Anyone associated with Rand Paul’s strategy since he came on the political stage could easily be placed on the losers list. Anyone associated with claiming that Rand’s strategy was the right one belongs here as well (Mark Skousen and Jeff Tucker come to mind). Anyone associated with destroying the momentum built by Ron Paul is a loser for liberty. In fact, one wonders why Rand Paul didn’t make the list.
I hope my position on this is clear.
Glenn Beck. Beck was a loser for liberty well before 2016. Why he would be considered as a candidate for such a list this year is beyond my understanding.
The Lessons of 2016
Shane’s, not mine. Shane recognizes that this year saw the rise of a populist right-wing. He sees an opportunity for libertarians to grow with this.
With this in mind…Alex Jones, certainly. Milo? I do not believe his lifestyle will sell in the conservative, populist right-wing.
Ditto on Rand. He embraced BLM, a violent anti-white hate group which has already killed more people in the couple of years of its existence than the dreaded KKK has since the 1950s.ReplyDelete
He is a narcissistic homosexual Jew (astute readers will spot the multiple redundancies in that description) with a penchant for marketing an edgy-not-too-edgy brand to confused young white men. He is useful to his handlers as a political curve ball that can be used to bludgeon their rivals on the left and keep the real Right at bay. However, as BM points out, his lifestyle should be repellent to conservatives. That he was able to endear himself at all to the "Right" is really an indictment of the sorry state of Christianity in America (Milo claims to be a Catholic to boot). Milo is also a walking scandal waiting to happen. There are many allegations of fraud and embezzlement (presumably to support his allegedly voracious appetite for drugs), as well his own admissions to taking advantage sexually of young boys (albeit while he was a minor himself). I predict 2016 will be the last year of his relevance, but with that being said, another homosexual Jew, Matt Drudge, has been able to
maintain a seat of honor on the American "Right" for like 20 years...
If there is a clear individual winner for 2016 other than Trump, it is Jones. After years of mockery by the "respectable media" Jones now has a direct line to the President while the people who laughed at him are shut out (also of note is that he got the only audio interview with Matt Drudge that I am aware of in the past 10 years).
But what does Alex Jones represent? Is he a form of controlled opposition like Milo (see his debate with David Duke and look up Jack Blood + Debra Medina)?
BM says he is "no libertarian," and I partly disagree. Can we hash this out a bit BM? Jones is a Liberal. He says that himself. Classical Liberal. He uses those words. Libertarianism is, in my view, an attempt at making liberalism consistent and coherent. Jones may not have all the right applications but absolutely shares the worldview, namely individual "freedom" as the sine quo non of Justice.
What Jones is not is an Anarchist. Consistent Liberalism tends towards Anarchism since the arguments for a Liberal state can be shown to contradict Liberal values. What this tells us is that Jones is not very ideological thinker, and may be motivated by things outside of ideology. What it does not tell us is that he is "no libertarian," unless of course you want to strictly define libertarian as an anarcho-liberal.
Imo, 2016 was a bad year for libertarians and a good year for nationalists. Libertarian ideology has no teeth in a globalized world because it cannot mobilize along the battle lines of the present age. Those battle lines are racial. We will not have any form of individual liberty without first achieving national (racial) liberation.
People like Jones and publications like Breitbart are funny in this regard. Jones will race-bait with massive coverage of the brown invaders in Europe but then deny that he is a "racist." He claims to believe that Western Civilization is an ideological construct with no racial basis, but is then at a loss to explain why it is that mass non-white immigration is a problem (the Muslim canard).
You can't square a circle. Fence sitters are going to have to pick a side or get caught in the cross fire.
Hail 2017, the last current year.
“What it does not tell us is that he is "no libertarian," unless of course you want to strictly define libertarian as an anarcho-liberal.”Delete
Walter Block would include as libertarian – albeit at one extreme – Milton Friedman. I tend to be stricter and, I believe, philosophically consistent.
It does not mean that there is no common cause with those such as Jones; he is against (or for) many of the same things that a consistent libertarian would be against (or for).
“Imo, 2016 was a bad year for libertarians and a good year for nationalists. Libertarian ideology has no teeth in a globalized world because it cannot mobilize along the battle lines of the present age. Those battle lines are racial. We will not have any form of individual liberty without first achieving national (racial) liberation.”
If what you say is true, then it seems to me 2016 was a good year for libertarians. Am I missing something?
In any case, even absent the reason you present, I suggest it was a good year for libertarians. There has been noticeable and tangible push-back against the internationalist / one-world-government movement. This can only be good for libertarians.
"If what you say is true, then it seems to me 2016 was a good year for libertarians. Am I missing something?"Delete
Yeah the confusion is my fault. What I mean is that it has not been a good year for the brand "libertarian." It has, however, been a good year for some of the most important common goals shared by libertarians (the ones that see clearly) and nationalists.
I can name plenty of libertarians who gauge the success of political transformations not on how they may be seen from a long-term libertarian perspective, but on how they increase the appeal of the brand itself. These are the same libertarians who feel threatened by rising nationalist movements since they are occupying more of the political market share. I would also suggest these libertarians are less concerned with reality and justice than they are with their own relevance.
You, my friend, are not one of these libertarians. Your attitude is humble and focused on reality, but surely you can see what I am talking about now that I have clarified it a bit.
Rand Paul's failed presidential bid is certainly a good example of a brand that can't stand on its own. I would also point out that libertarianism has a serious age problem. Most of the people that knew Rothbard are in their late years and I am not sure if the Rothbardian wing of libertarianism will survive much into the 21st century. I am just not seeing enough fresh blood, and the Rothbardians will have to compete with nationalists for the minds of the youth, which is a losing fight (and not desirable).
I am only trying to give my assessment of the facts. I am obviously sympathetic to a certain faction of libertarians. The simple fact is that libertarianism (of the sort that we would prefer to talk about) can never be a mass movement and any libertarian achievements can only be gained by libertarians making common cause with successful nationalist movements to influence things in a way they like.
With that in mind.
"There has been noticeable and tangible push-back against the internationalist / one-world-government movement. This can only be good for libertarians."
“What I mean is that it has not been a good year for the brand "libertarian."…but surely you can see what I am talking about now that I have clarified it a bit.”Delete
Yes, and we are in agreement on this.
“Rand Paul's failed presidential bid is certainly a good example of a brand that can't stand on its own.”
Rand Paul is the poster child of the truth in your clarifying statement. I would include the Libertarian Party as well. Neither ran on anything resembling a consistent application of the NAP, yet both succeeded in damaging the brand: Rand, because he wore the brand whether he wanted to or not, and the LP because the brand is “LP.”.
Ron Paul did an almost perfect job of sticking to the NAP within the context of an original interpretation of the Constitution. If either Rand or the LP came somewhere close to running on a platform similar to Ron Paul’s they would have enjoyed far greater success. I do not suggest a victory, just a much better showing – given the mood of the country.
“I would also point out that libertarianism has a serious age problem. …I am not sure if the Rothbardian wing of libertarianism will survive much into the 21st century.”
The wing is much larger today than when Rothbard was alive – for this, I believe the entire credit belongs to Lew Rockwell (who also developed the best platforms for integrating libertarian and nationalist concepts). I do not suggest someday this will reach a majority of the general population; only that is has grown.
If it is to continue, it will depend entirely on the continued focus of the Mises Institute and LRC after Lew Rockwell is no longer able to provide leadership.
You should probably link to the dude's article.
"As you might surmise from a site with such a name, part of their mission is to inform and educate their readers on liberty informed by traditional values. I would copy from their site, but they admonish that this can be done only with permission (as the “Copyright” date on the site is “2016,” maybe I can skirt this issue…but I won’t). As they don’t want to share, neither do I; if you want to find the article, you will have to search for it."
Sorry man. I read this first on my phone and when I do that I sometimes miss things. My bad.
I am more familiar with Milo's work so I will weigh in. Most of his speaking engagements and articles focus on criticizing SJWs, political correctness and the latest incarnation of feminism. He is a very vocal Trump supporter as well. The media are currently tying him to the alt right but I believe he considers himself more of a fellow traveller.ReplyDelete
While he has hosted people like Tom Woods and Michael Malice on his podcast, his views on the state are more of the same. I would put him in the same category as Ann Coulter. Although he is more shallow than her philosophically.
Now does he further the cause of liberty? Not from the perspective of the state. He does not criticize it or tarnish its' legitimacy in any way. However, he does serve a purpose culturally in his efforts to deride and neutralize some of the more pernicious aspects of leftist progressivism. As a fellow gay person, I find his public expressions of his sexual lifestyle at best off-putting. However, it effectively makes him difficult for the liberals to deal with as socially he is one of them but plays for the other team. In short, he would be on my top ten list of cultural provocateurs but certainly not on any list for liberty (especially a conservative one). Justin Raimondo is superior in every way.
Alex Jones... reluctantly yes. He has done some good reporting against the state but then I go to his site and see muddled reports on the secrets behind Alien Covenant and globalist beliefs. * facepalm *
My nominees (not necessarily within the liberty movement):
Julian Assange. If not for wikileaks, this election might have turned out differently.
Edward Snowden. Every year for all time. The man is a hero.
Donald Trump. While he is no libertarian (and I believe he simply represents another arm of the establishment seeking to wrest control for themselves), he deserves a place on this list. He has gifted me with the obliteration of both the Bush and Clinton dynasties, marginalized the establishment media, overturned the Republican party and given a good kick in the face to the Democrats.
Vladimir Putin. If not for the Russians, Syria would have been the next tick in the box for American hegemony in the ME. He also refuses to be baited into another cold war (or worse) by the current US administration. His levelheadedness is a plus for liberty because even liberty cannot thrive in a nuclear holocaust.
Losers: As you said, Rand Paul.
Left-libertarians. They lose every year as their blighted quest to convert leftist progressives is doomed for the most part. They are really deluded progressives.
The Libertarian Party/Gary Johnson. Irrelevant and now embarrassing, they reinforce the view that libertarians are overgrown children obsessed with the libertine life and not much else. Heck, Ron Paul got a vote from an elector and did not campaign!
Apologies for the long spiel. Happy New Year Bionic! Your blog is exceptional and I enjoy your writing immensely!
Thank you Adrian.Delete
I like your list. It is interesting to note the "Ayn Rand-iness" of the list.
Rand would not identify as a libertarian (in fact, despised this political philosophy). Yet one can argue she did as much or more to promote libertarian philosophy as anyone. I would certainly put her in the Libertarian Hall of Fame. I would also enjoy how much this would bother her!
Similar can be said for each of your nominees on the "winner" side.
Sadly, it is the libertarians (very widely defined) that end up (justly) on your loser list.
So would I. A friend of mine was introduced to libertarianism as a result of her work. He was so impressed with Atlas Shrugged that he looked into objectivism. He found it laughable and simplistic on several fronts. When wrapping up his research, he clicked on a Mises Library link about letters written by Rothbard and Mises (to her) praising Atlas Shrugged. The rest is history. So thank you Ayn Rand! Ha!Delete
Yeah, it can be pretty entertaining to watch Milo beat up SJWs. But when he says things like “My generation realizes that the war on drugs failed,” and still spews out praise for the police, I see him as a joke himself. Doesn’t he realize that most of them would be out of a job if we were to end the war on drugs?ReplyDelete
A central question for all of us should be whether police are morally accountable for the policies they agree to enforce. Milo seems to be suggesting that they’re not, which to me reveals him to be a simpleton.