The Cultural Marxist, libertine, communist wing of the libertarian movement is up in arms over the talk given by Jeff Deist last week at Mises University hosted by the Mises Institute and broadcast simultaneously to the Corax 2017 Conference in Malta – with Hans Hoppe in attendance. I have written previously about this talk here; the talk outlines the only path available for libertarians who choose not to contribute to the path chosen by cultural Marxists.
Needless to say, the Antonio Gramsci Libertarians are up in arms. I have already offered two reasons why, in the opening paragraph. Do you see these? I will give a hint: Mises Institute; Hans Hoppe.
What else from Deist’s talk has the left-libertines apoplectic?
The title “For a New Libertarian” is I hope an obvious play on the title of Murray Rothbard’s famous book For a New Liberty.
Hint: Murray Rothbard.
…if [Rothbard] could see where the “public policy” branch of libertarianism has become.
The “public policy” branch being the beltway, mainstream, libertarians.
…Rothbard’s conception of liberty has held up quite well over nearly half a century.
Deist mentions Rothbard again.
Humans are sovereign over their mind and body, meaning you own yourself. From this flows the necessary corollary of property rights…
Left-libertarians are OK with property rights, except when it gets in the way of their “left”; in other words, property rights are OK as long as the property owner is not discriminating.
And these ideas of self-ownership, property rights, and non-aggression ought to apply to everyone, even when a group bands together and call themselves “government.”
Not possible, because if this was true they would have to take the “beltway” out of their beltway libertarianism. And then where would that leave them?
So we have this fantastic, airtight Rothbardian theory of liberty.
He mentions Rothbard again.
But all of this is just warmup – now it’s time for the bombshells. This next one is loaded; I will just add emphasis where appropriate, as I believe the trigger words otherwise speak for themselves:
…libertarians have a bad tendency to fall into utopianism, into portraying liberty as something new age and evolved. In this sense they can sound a lot like progressives: liberty will work when human finally shed their stubborn old ideas about family and tribe, become purely rational freethinkers (always the opposite), reject the mythology of religion and faith, and give up their outdated ethnic or nationalist or cultural alliances for the new hyper-individualist creed. We need people to drop their old-fashioned sexual hangups and bourgeois values, except for materialism.
Just to summarize: they sound like progressives; family; tribe; religion; faith; ethnic; nationalist; cultural; old-fashioned sexual hangups; bourgeois values.
In other words, many libertarians require a new man for their world to work; it is communist thinking. Antonio Gramsci carved out the space first; the Frankfurt School brought this to fruition in the west. Libertarians such as these are both late to the communist party and willing to destroy the world if they cannot win.
The next bombshell, again emphasis added:
…while libertarians enthusiastically embrace markets, they have for decades made the disastrous mistake of appearing hostile to family, to religion, to tradition, to culture, and to civic or social institution — in other words, hostile to civil society itself.
Again, to summarize: family, religion, tradition, culture, civic or social institutions – bad! For the dense I the audience I offer…well, on second thought I will cite Deist (and many on the Marxist side remain dense even after reading this):
Which is bizarre if we think about it. Civil society provides the very mechanisms we need to organize society without the state.
Because communism is the only political theory that suggests that there need be no hierarchy; society will function without any governance.
Our connection with ancestors, and our concern for progeny…
You get the idea, I think.
We want strong families, we want elite families, we want wealthy families that are not afraid of government. We want large extended families that people can turn to in time of trouble.
Families, times four.
Religion forms another important line of defense against the state. In fact the whole history of man cannot be understood without understanding the role of religion. Even today healthy percentages of people in the West believe in God, regardless of their actual religious observance. And believing in a deity by itself challenges the state’s omniscience and status. Again, religion stands as a potential rival for the individual’s allegiance…
Several “religions,” God, deity. You get the idea.
…it is reasonable to believe that a more libertarian society would be less libertine and more culturally conservative…
Undoubtedly true, which demonstrates the point that left-libertarians do not actually want a libertarian society – a libertarian society will mean an end to their nonsensical social theories.
The last big bombshell:
My final point is about the stubborn tendency of libertarians to advocate some of sort of universal political arrangement.
Because the only way to achieve such ends is to advocate for global government – and, I assure you, it will not be a government that respects your life or your property.
“Oh,” they cry, “murder is murder everywhere.” True enough; but for those who have graduated beyond simpleton talking points, it is in the gray areas of libertarian theory applied where culture is to come forward.
Further, what if one community voluntarily chooses to pool all assets and income – must libertarians stop this? What if a community voluntarily chooses various forms of marriage? Well, we know this is OK under the NAP. But to those on the left, all forms of social organization are OK except for the ones positively mentioned by Deist in this talk – the ones that have formed mankind since the beginning of recorded history.
Political decentralization, secession, subsidiarity, and nullification are all mechanisms that move us closer to our political goal of self-determination.
These are all code words for “slavery advocate.” Really. I’m not kidding.
In closing, I’ll mention an email exchange I had recently with the blogger Bionic Mosquito. If you’re not reading Bionic Mosquito, you should be!
I don’t think this is the part that bothered them….
In other words, blood and soil and God and nation still matter to people.
This is code for Nazi fascist.
Really, I am not kidding. Ask Steve
Jeff Deist and Bionic Mosquito are a lot like Kevin Carson - they love to exploit a lame straw man in an attempt to differentiate their kind of libertarianism from the other kind. Jeff Deist, in his “For a New Libertarian” speech, claims that a lot of libertarians think liberty involves creating a “new man.”ReplyDelete
Deist> “Yet libertarians have a bad tendency to fall into utopianism, into portraying liberty as something new age and evolved. In this sense they can sound a lot like progressives: liberty will work when human finally shed their stubborn old ideas about family and tribe, become purely rational freethinkers (always the opposite), reject the mythology of religion and faith, and give up their outdated ethnic or nationalist or cultural alliances for the new hyper-individualist creed. We need people to drop their old-fashioned sexual hangups and bourgeois values, except for materialism. Because above all the archetypical libertarian is presented as an almost soulless economic actor, someone who will drop everything and move to Singapore tomorrow to make $20,000 more in the gig economy.”
Needless to say, I have never met or heard of a libertarian who said anything like this. Just as I have never met a “vulgar libertarian” who thinks that international corporatism is the same as a free market, Kevin Carson’s cant. I have not seen or heard any libertarians put down voluntary associations in the way Deist claims they do, be they “left,” “right, green, or fem. Who is he addressing? A boogeyman.
Perhaps this is like a pro wrestling promotion, where pluralist and insular libertarians stare each other down with mean faces, pretending to hate each other, when in actuality they are sparring partners and buddies. But I find this mutual bashing game insipid. Promoting libertarianism by creating fake differences between libertarians seems counterproductive to me. Right or left, thick or thin, whatever. I appeal to all libertarians: Cease phony straw man attacks on other libertarians.
Ironically, Deist’s diatribe quoted above can be aptly applied to those culture statists like Bionic Mosquito. Paleos and other culture statists seem to believe that “liberty will work when human finally shed their stubborn old ideas about family and tribe,” i.e. that States may kidnap and even kill people who exercise freedom of travel into these tribal areas. These anti-immigration types believe, in their utopian manner, that liberty can only be achieved if people are first prevented from freely associating and trading with each other by States, on the basis of ethnicity, religion, or nationality. Today, the main danger of utopianism comes from the paleo-”libertarian” culture statists.
Its a good thing we have you to explain TRVE LIBERTAS and why infinity brown people from the third world is the essence of freedom.Delete
Hogeye, you must not read much from left-libertarian sites. You also do not seem to understand the impossibility of libertarian open borders in a world of state borders.Delete
Other than that, well, your post offers nothing much other than that.
His name is spelled Steve Horwitz.ReplyDelete
>This is code for Nazi fascist.ReplyDelete
Yes it is....if you are a Jew like Horowitz. Horowitz was not responding to Deist's talk as a libertarian but as a Jew. This is 100% predictable. When they hear "blood and soil" they smell Cossack fur or have visions of Roman Legions. You could put Jews in the room with Deist from every political position and their reaction would be the same.(yes there are some Jews with a far higher tolerance, or even support, for nationalism amongst the "goyim" such as Gottfried, Oster, Rothbard, or Bobby Fischer. However these are outliers. Extreme outliers.)
It does not matter if the Mises Institute is named after a Jew, or that Murray Rothbard is one of their intellectual heroes. It doesn't matter how many Jews they have working/teaching there. It does not matter. Any tacit or conditional support for anything even resembling ethic nationalism and you are a NAZI.
I for one am absolutely sick to death of these people. Horowitz has no problem with ethnic nationalism when its for the Jews, he is a zionist! Absolutely sickening.
Here is a recent piece by him where he engages in the favorite past time of the jew, lying.
He whines/squeals about the recent bomb threat spree to jewish synagogues and "fails" to mention that it was an Israeli Jew who did it! (and who the Jewish State refuses to extradite).
Then he proceeds to continue with the perennial canard that "anti-semitism" is something irrational and has nothing to do with Jewish behavior (which is the actual source). He then goes on to argue that you can't have liberalism without Jews (probably true) and that anti-semites are also anti-liberals (also usually true). What he does not do is make any attempt to explain to his reader why we should want him in our country. He simply implies that if we want freedom we need Jews. We don't need Jews, especially not this particular weasel.
Also looking at a picture of Horowitz makes me think some physical work would do him some good.
I think I read somewhere that he praises Israel for offering open borders...for Jews! Maybe I am wrong?Delete
I went to find the Horwitz writing referenced at the end of BM's post, wondering if maybe he had an intellectual case against Jeff Deist. I got about four sentences in and learned that he didn't.ReplyDelete
I continued reading, because it's at least entertaining.
"Our history is one of liberal tolerance, universalism, and cosmopolitanism, putting the freedom and harmony of all people ahead of the supposed interests of any parochial sub-group, and especially ones defined by the artificial boundaries of nation-states and their subsets."
Boy does this sound familiar. I don't remember if it was another libertarian or some SJW virtue signaling via twitter. Horwitz is free to be these things himself, but he’d insist all libertarians should be these things.
Is this remotely libertarian? The NAP defines Libertarianism, not utopian delusion.
Who cares? Cato is about as relevant to academia, politics or culture as a senile dog. Someone just put the thing out of its misery already.ReplyDelete
"Someone just put the thing out of its misery already."Delete
I'm doing my part!
I didn't like reading their literary doorstops anyway. I don't suppose that Jeff Deist would subject himself to a run for the White House if we got him nominated, so does he have a twin?Delete
Mr. bionic mosquito, any comment on this:ReplyDelete
Horwitz has been involved in the controversy surrounding the Nancy MacLean book so it is interesting to note that he fails to see the hypocrisy of his reaction to the to the two events described in your link. I think this is best explained by noting that Horwitz claims the same magical power as MacLean, the ability to know the "real" beliefs and intentions of others.Delete
The numerous errors and omissions have been well documented and the general reaction among her libertarian critics is that these are best explained by intentional dishonesty. While understandable, I think this characterization is probably wrong.
I interpret her book as a "museum quality specimen" (as Tom Dilorenzo might say) of the intellectual pathology I describe above. Her book seems little more than a presentation of her beliefs about the "true" inner purpose of those she loathes. It matters not at all that her narrative is absurd and disconnected from reality. To her it is the "real truth" and any evidence to the contrary is deemed irrelevant because such evidence is itself, not "true" in a meaningful sense to her. Sure, the evidence may be real, but it is not truthful because it misrepresents the "real" agenda that she is sure is the truth.
Of course, I cannot claim to know what is "really" in her mind. I can only look at the events and imagine an explanation. The simple explanation is dishonesty, I wish this were so as dishonesty is much easier to deal with. As far as I know, she has not meaningfully responded to any of the substantive criticisms of her book (errors, omissions, etc...) but has instead asserted that a nefarious conspiracy exists between her critics and the Koch universe. According to her, the Kochs are secretly colluding with Wapo and other critics to suppress the "truth" about her research.
Please note, I am not claiming that the Koch's are above engaging in dirty tricks or of misrepresenting their agenda. I mean only to show that she does not believe that she owes a response to the substantive criticism of her work. So, does she know she is lying? Or, is it more likely that she is so convinced of her truth, that any counter evidence, no matter how factual, can be dismissed as part of the conspiracy to destroy democracy.
Regarding the Murphy piece, no specific comment other than Murphy is quite tame and gentlemanly; not my usual approach, but I admire those who have such skill.Delete
"This is code for Nazi fascist.
Really, I am not kidding. Ask Steve Horowitz Horwitz."
"The path forward is to drop the longing for a great and decisive tribal conflict and move toward a system of peace, prosperity, and social harmony for all. It’s not about blood and soil. It’s about the pursuit of happiness that is the right of all people."
This is from a recent essay entitled "The West is a Portable Idea, Not Blood and Soil" by Jeffrey Tucker.
Did Tucker mean this in the Nazi sense? Judging by the comments on his article, it would seem not. Or, was he using the term colloquially, and lamenting what he sees to be excessive tribal and geographic identification? I suspect that the latter is closer to his intentions. Strange that nobody from the LvMI crowd shrieked foul and insisted that the only possible interpretation of Tucker's words was to imply that anyone who disagrees with him is a Nazi.
So, I suspect that Deist's use of the phrase was an intentional response to Tucker's recent essay. I also suspect that Deist expected an hysterical reaction, and perhaps took some grim pleasure in being proven correct.
Of course, I cannot know what was in his mind, but I can imagine it. Unlike Horwitz, et al, I assume he was speaking in good faith and not engaging in crypto-fascist signaling.
Although twitter/facebook name calling is tiresome and pointless, the reaction of Horwitz does reveal a deep and pervasive problem, not just among libertarians, but throughout our culture. Namely, that many people believe that they know the "real" beliefs and intentions of those with whom they disagree. Such a belief renders dialog and understanding impossible. Such a person will not listen to an argument with good will, rather they listen and interpret solely to confirm and display what they already believe to be true (in this case that LvMI is fascist).
It is especially frustrating that libertarians do this. After all, the libertarian perspective on mainstream issues is dismissed as dishonest by many people. Argue against minimum wage laws because they have a disparate impact on the poor, well that's just dishonest propaganda for the "rich".
The issues raised by Deist, BM and others here are important and should be discussed, openly and with good will. The "I know what they really mean" mentality (openly embraced by Horwitz) is toxic to rational discussion.
Low time preference has to be CULTIVATED.ReplyDelete
Good culture gives immediate rewards for low time preference behavior, it gives social approval for behaviors which will take decades to yield fruit. Families have the highest interests in providing good culture because they care about their members lives beyond the immediate future.
Because high time preference behavior isn't similarly rewarded it is "oppressed". This isn't "fair". It isn't "compassionate" that people who live with little thought for the future don't enjoy the rewards given to those who delay gratification.
Very well stated. Thank you.Delete
White people all over the world use code words for ethnically homogeneous white areas like "good schools", which indicates that white people in general place a high priority on areas where they can safely associate and build communities with other white people. Most are willing to pay outrageous amounts of money for housing in those areas to do so as well.ReplyDelete
Why then are libertarians so reluctant to apply a market value to this phenomenon? Whites can buy a big house in a "diverse" area for 10K, but are willing to spend upward of half a million dollars to live among whites.
This revealed preference indicates that whites flee diversity, and are willing to pay money to get away from it. Only those whites truly unable to leave remain. The cost of the immigration policy of the government for white people is then thousands of dollars a year. How is the just?
So what exactly are people talking about when they refer to globalism ?ReplyDelete
Hegel posited that history should not be thought of as individuals acting on their innate Will to Power as Nietzsche argued. Rather history is to be understood in terms of an abstract mystico-scientific process whose enormous cycles and vast waves dwarf and subsume all individual action. At the same time a mystico-scientific force is driving history willy nilly toward a kind of improvement, perfection, what can be described as progress.
A profound consequence of Hegelianism is that it completely reworks the purpose of government. Where in the climate of 1776 government was understood to be no more than a force to safeguard individual rights and property rights, under Hegelianism such concern for rights completely gives way to the concern to accelerate, to bring about by direct intervention the Progress latent in or dormant in history.
This reworking of government to accelerate progress is termed Progressivism. Now for a variety of reasons the United States has come to be the epicenter of such Progressivism. When Fukuyama talks about the end of history, he means the United States has become the country which by direct intervention all around the world is acting to bring about this abstract concept of Progress to the greatest extent possible. Progress no longer depends on its happenstance production in natural cycles. The US is forcing it into existence by sheer determination.
Globalism is merely the universalization of this re purposing of government to accelerate the attainment of Progress. Under globalism ALL governments are integrated and aligned to work in concert to produce Progress. What distinguishes such progress is that it is defined on the most abstract of levels. Its impact on the individual is not something to be considered.
Now this Hegelian Globalism is the exact reciprocal of the Nietzschean individual Will to Power. The US presidential election of 2016 was an attempt to answer whether the future lies with the Individual and his own pursuit of the Will to Power, or whether it is Hegelian Globalism which lies in store.
ancap - Thanks! Very informative, and beautifully stated.Delete
You probably saw this, but here is Paul Gottfried (who is jewish) express points very similar to the ones I made:
>And I find the attacks by Horwitz on Deist and Ron Paul to be over-the-top, particularly the efforts to equate a respect for traditional civic morality with Nazism. I also agree with Shane Trejo, writing on the Liberty Conservative website, that Horwitz’s rage against communal loyalties among gentile nations rings hollow, given his own intense Jewish nationalism. Let me quote Shane’s brilliant put-down of Horwitz’s name-calling lest my paraphrase fail to capture his thoughts: “Although Horwitz compares ‘blood and soil’ libertarianism to Nazism, he has no problem standing for ‘blood and soil’ when it comes to the state of Israel. Horwitz is an avid Zionist and sees no hypocrisy in his reflective defense of nationalism and ethnic pride when defending his beloved Jewish state.”
Yes, I saw it. I have written more along these lines, to be published tomorrow.Delete
Thanks for another interesting piece. I,m commenting quite late, I know... I,ve followed your work for a while, mostly on Rockwell. I just wanted to mention that I, for one, do not believe that such a thing as a "left libertarian" actually exists. To me it seems clear that it's a simple case of leftists hijacking the moniker with the intent of dilluting the principles of the Libertarian movement and diffusing it's power. They reverted to this tecnique after realizing that they could not rufute the logic of Rothbard or his followers. There can be no exceptions to violating the NAP. There is no "kind of" violating the NAP. To me it's that simple.
Given the decay in the libertarian ethic, a left libertarian could be anyone who scored 100% on the personal freedom scale and less than 100% on the economic scale on the Diamond Chart, something I've seen quite a bit of, since there are many who can do 1005 on one but not both sides, but not quite far enough to be considered hardly libertarian at all.Delete
Anon, I agree.Delete
Vonu, I think it is something more...or something else. The left insists that every lifestyle is acceptable but one - traditional family, traditional western (by traditional, I mean older than the 1960s, of course; maybe more like the nineteenth century, as WWI really mucked up western values).
BM, I suspect it probably predated WW1, more like Lincoln's treason. DiLorenzo's latest post about it on LRC was interesting.Delete