Friday, March 24, 2017

Uncomfortable Questions

An interesting dialogue.  One that raises uncomfortable questions.  The dialogue has been ongoing at this blog for quite some time; in many ways, the dialogue can be summarized here, beginning with the comment by Nick Badalamenti March 22, 2017 at 6:38 AM.

For close to two years I have been examining the relationship of the non-aggression principle and culture.  The dialogue has been ongoing at this site throughout this time.  This journey began with an examination of left-libertarianism; such an examination inevitably moved into culture.  With culture comes the topic of immigration.

The Questions

·        What if the NAP requires a certain cultural soil on which to thrive?
·        What if that cultural soil is to be found in what is traditionally understood as European and Anglo?
·        Do all invasions require armed, uniformed battalions – supported by airpower?
·        What if elites are purposely taking action to destroy that cultural soil, specifically for the purpose to destroy the one philosophical threat to their worldly power and control?
·        Do parents have an obligation to protect this cultural soil for their children?
·        What if that obligation requires methods that cannot be considered consistent with the NAP?
·        It is acceptable for a voluntary community to set standards for new members to meet before they are allowed admittance?
·        Is it acceptable for a voluntary community to set standards that members are required to meet, else they face expulsion?

The Non-Aggression Principle Applied

Libertarianism in theory is decentralization in practice.  Being human, we will never achieve the NAP utopia – there will never be a heaven on earth.  Consider how much those libertarians who believe this sound like believers in communism; in both cases, they require humans to be something other than human.  The chance of achieving perfection in applying either system is zero. 

The best we can hope for is continued decentralization.  This implies increasing choice in increasing aspects of our lives.

The increased choice can be found in both market and government realms.  As libertarians, we tend to focus only on the “government” aspect, but it is incorrect to ignore the freedom that has been offered by the market – cars, iPhones, the internet. 

This is not to minimize the “government” aspect.  For this reason, it is consistent with the NAP to root for every opportunity of political decentralization: the break-up of the Soviet Union, Brexit, Scottish Independence, Catalonia.  Political decentralization brings increased political choice for individuals.

Find something that comes closest to what you want; you will never find exactly what you want.  It will always be true in the market; it will always be true in the political.

A Historical Framework

The closest and longest lasting example in history that I find that is consistent with the non-aggression principle is that period understood as the Germanic Middle Ages.  Political decentralization defines this period.

Was it pure libertarianism?  Hardly.  But there is no chance of heaven on earth.

What characterized this period?  Local governance; law based on the old and good, not legislation; all men truly under the law; the law binding by individual oath; the oath a three-party oath – two human parties and God; the king can only enforce the law, not legislate; every noble with the ability to veto the king’s decision; serfs protected by the same system of oaths; wars were between the nobles and kings, the serfs were not obligated.

What else characterized this period?  Lots of wars.  What didn’t characterize these wars?  All serfs conscripted at the wish of the noble; involvement of the entire continent, let alone world; the ability to sustain the war for an unlimited period.  The wars were limited in both size and duration.  Call them family feuds, because that about describes it.

What else characterized this period?  The Christians of the Germanic Middle Ages fought desperately to protect their culture.  They felt that without this culture, they would have no future for their children; without this culture, they would leave no legacy worth celebrating.  By losing this culture, they would be remembered as pariahs.

I believe it is fair to suggest that the obligation most felt by the nobles of this time was the obligation they felt to both their ancestors and descendants – to preserve the culture under which they enjoyed the greatest decentralization.  Their view?  Any society that failed to preserve its culture didn’t deserve to survive.


Face the questions.  Think through your answers.  The context is this world, not in theoretical utopia.


  1. Conclusion

    Face the questions. Think through your answers. The context is this world, not in theoretical utopia.

    This. This describes the journey I've been on for many months (with you). Many of the answers (conclusions?) are definitely uncomfortable for this individualist...I'm not typically a fan of groups, or group descriptors.

    Having to face the possibility that they are appropriate...



    ...Merely the best we can do?

    ...In *this* world), is...difficult.

    I know (and/or am coming to learn) intellectually that certain things/ideas/conformities are useful/helpful, but my particular personality rebels at many of them.

    I genuinely appreciate this forum, and your thoughts specifically, Mr. M. Not too many of our expositors are particularly religious/spiritual in the "Christian" sort of way, but you are (though, I'm fairly certain that you and I do not share all the finer points of doctrine). Therefore your writings are more applicable for/to me, than most others.

    Thank you.

    1. Ron

      “I know (and/or am coming to learn) intellectually that certain things/ideas/conformities are useful/helpful, but my particular personality rebels at many of them.”

      Same for me, and I will add something that I have mentioned here previously. My own family has lived through the horrendous nightmare of being found guilty not due to individual action but by condition of nationality and religion. So it is difficult for me to think in such terms. I am working my way through it in a way that I believe will satisfy my ethical, emotional and intellectual views…I hope.

    2. I went to a high school in which 94% of the other students did not share my nationality or religion, and I was targeted because of that. The other students came from foreign countries, more than 40 countries, but mostly from the Middle East and Asia.

      When people talk about some persecution, they are usually talking about an ancestor in the distant past. While not dismissing the past, we should pay attention to what is happening right now.

    3. Matt, I obviously view such events through the lens of being the persecuted minority.

      I have recently read a bit of Mises on this topic. To make a short story shorter, he poses: what happens when the majority becomes the minority?

      Which brings me to: they may not be as charitable as I am.

      Yet...yet...only God can damn all men for original sin; I don't know that I will ever come to accept as ethical the conclusions that can be drawn once one accepts the necessity of treating people based on "groups" instead of individually.

  2. The comment thread in the link above that inspired this was epic. You all packed so much change into my mind in that half hour... my gratitude is hard to express. I only hope you continue this hobby(if you get paid for some pieces, forgive me, you totally deserve it.) for many years.

    I've been listening to Sowell's "A Conflict of Visions". Are you familiar with it?

  3. Good questions.

    I will add one.

    Is libertarianism capable of posing an effective challenge to the current World Order?

    I submit that it is not capable of this on its own and will have to compromise with non-liberal ideologies in order to have a future.

    Its an open secret that libertarianism is bleeding some of its best people to the "dark side." This is why we see people like Tucker lashing out at the "alt-right."

    I have in the past recommended Nick Land's Dark Enlightenment (just google it). Land is neither a fascist nor a racialist but an ultra-capitalist, but he understands the types of problems I tend to address are serious problems. You see this train of thought in the work of Moldbug as well (who is half jewish), and that bleeds into what is commonly referred to as Nrx (neo-reaction: see *disclaimer* I do have some involvement with the site).

    Nrx people tend to be highly versed in libertarian literature and many of them are essentially libertarian apostates. If there is one place the more intellectually inclined libertarians could find fruitful dialogue I believe it is going to be with Nrx.

    I am actually interested in organizing, and/or, participating in, a semi-formal debate on some of these issues, either written or audio, to be cross-published on Nrx sites. If anyone ever wants to do something like that lemme know.

    I have every intention to continue to comment here but I do feel as though we have been rehashing a lot of the same issues (I mean the recent spat with Hornberger was basically the exact same "conversation" as the previous time, I was looking back on my older comments and they were nearly identical). IMO, the real question that needs to be asked is about libertarianism's future with respect to the actual political world.

    Now I am not trying to tell BM how to his job (you do a good job man) but I wonder if there might be an opportunity to explore some new territory in these on-going debates. Just throwing that out there.

    Good summary BM.

    1. Libertarianism has a great alternative view the world order, except it has no propaganda machine like the war mongers. After we have lost the honesty of our media to the hate infested desert tribe it is impossible to have a popular opinion of nonaggression. After we made the military a job not an obligation it can safely be said its cadres are the aggressor type, and the presstitude keep heaping praise on them instead of criticism.

  4. After having written a comment some ideas came to me.

    I mention above (well presumably it will appear above) that I am interested in exploring some fresh territory but didn't state anything specific.

    Now I have something.

    In my discourse with Nick B in (linked in above article) he seemed to think I my justification for hardcore statism was based on the immigration issue. Now, obviously that is a big issue that concerns me deeply, but in the end I view it as a symptom rather than a cause (symptoms can kill).

    In my view the enemy is what my boi FP Yockey calls the culture-distorters (the reader can guess which group he is referring to- hint: its not the Amish). The culture-distorters are able to influence and even control the levers of state but their power actually comes from places outside the State (private capital, Hollywood, media, and academy).

    Nick and I ran into a quagmire over what he described as me advocating for State power to deal with State power caused problems, which he rightly sees as a contradiction (although it can still be argued the real issue is per Lenin the "who" and the "whom").

    I submit that the purpose of a strong state as I would have it, is to root out elements from the "private sector" that are actually operating politically, and in a way that is contrary to the nation.

    For example, I don't just hate pornography for spiritual reasons. I view it as an enemy industry that is deliberately poisoning the culture to make it weak- a weapon. This extends to cultural marxism in institutions, anti-white policies in businesses, Hollywood propaganda, deceptive journalism, NGOs like those of Soros, and foreign States like Israel (if the state is so powerful why does it put the interests of another state first?).

    The NAP deals with NONE of these problems, and people like Block play dumb about their political nature. In Block's view pornography is just consenting adults making a movie, but thats not the view of the jewish porn moguls who know exactly what they are doing and relish in it. The whole conversation becomes dishonest because NAP people have to defend the idea that it covers all the relevant bases when really it leaves open the most potent angle of attack.

    Again, I am not saying the State is innocent in this, hardly, but its a culpability is in acquiescence. I do not dispute that mistakes were made by former WASP elite in America that set the stage for this nightmare, but there were plenty who saw it coming and warned against it.

    Are libertarians willing to talk about non-state power? Do they have a solution for it?

    Final point: regarding the Middle Ages, I think you (BM) and I would agree that the natural order is seamless and organic. Force should not be needed internally to maintain it.

    To maybe help you understand where I am coming from allow me a brief philosophical digression. I am what you would call a Traditionalist in that I believe that there is a unity in man that requires certain historical conditions to express itself. The Middle Ages were great because we still had Civilization. The hardcore reactionary view is that Civilization in the West has been long dead (estimates of this range from the fall of Byzantium to the French Revolution). The reason we cant go back to the Middle Ages is we no longer have the organic fabric that produced that society. Instead we have modernity which demands a more active role in the destiny of the culture if it is going to survive.

    If you are ever interested a bit more in where I am coming from on this, I recommend two books. The first is "The Crisis of the Modern World"- by Rene Guenon, and the second is "Revolt Against the Modern World"- by Julius Evola. The former being the teacher of the later (similarly Evola's "Fascism Viewed from the Right" would also make interesting reading to an open-minded libertarian).

    Potential food for thought.

  5. Real life, current. Sister of my son's fiancee. Her sister's husband beat her up, including some strangling and had to be hospitalized. The couple has two children young children and from pics I have seen, they seem to be surrounded by filth. The beater's parent appear to be his enablers.
    So, daughter-in-law-to-be is comcerned for the children, there is potential physical harm, and she was contemplating calling Child Protective Services.
    NAP has been violated. How NAP handles all the other issues around this situation?
    Sometimes this world really sucks.

  6. It is true that liberty does typically correspond to a greater range of choices, but that is not always the case. Some people would opt to live in communities where choices are restricted significantly. And yes, I realize that this is a choice.

    But I am not looking to split hairs here. My point is that our emphasis on "choice" may not always be accurate or advisable. A better way of framing the libertarian worldview is that we advocate a far greater emphasis on rules set forth by owners of private property. Yes, not as catchy a slogan as "pro choice on everything" but more accurate and also potentially more appealing to those whose values are more bourgeois.

    1. I always focus on property. My reference to more choices has to do with the decentralization - which is libertarian theory applied.

    2. I know. I was recently informed that the LP was considering adopting the slogan "Pro choice about everything" Even setting aside the issue of abortion, which is an important and controversial matter, this struck me as sending the wrong message. It gives the impression that we are all nihilists and bohemians. When the message that we ought to convey is that, in most matters, it is better for rules to be established by private property owners rather than agents of monopoly governments. Though I will have to admit that my slogan is not as catchy.

    3. Fair enough, we have a hard time with catchy slogans!

      How about "Make America Free Again"?

  7. Want peace? Work for justice.
    Want justice? Work for choice.
    Want choice? Work for property rights.

  8. I have long maintained that it takes more intelligence to ask a good question that it does to give an answer. Therefore, I thank you for asking so many good questions.

    I'm writing because I've been reading Dumbing Us Down and listening to the audio version of the same by John Taylor Gatto. In chapter five John tells the story of what he calls the "congregational principle" as demonstrated in early America in the seventeenth century Massachusetts experience. I believe this "dialectic method" is enjoying a revival thanks to the internet and those of us who "congregate" in response to such excellent questions.

    1. Thank you, Dan

      To the extent these questions are "intelligent," I have many of the regular feedbackers here to thank. The dialogue they offer and prompt is priceless to my intellectual development.