Monday, February 27, 2017

Vox Popoli: A libertarian take on the Alt-Right

A libertarian take on the Alt-Right
The Anarchist Notebook reviews the 16 Points of the Alt-Right:

Aside from free trade and perhaps some elements of nationalism, much of what comprises the Alt. Right ideology is outside of libertarianism; it neither contradicts it nor agrees with it. The goals of the Alt. Right are not mutually exclusive of those in libertarianism.

Whatever the case, I see many similar values between the two movements. The areas of disagreement, in my opinion, are secondary and not fundamental components. There is room for friendly dispute.

It is my sincere hope that both sides can engage in thoughtful conversations and work together when mutually beneficial against common enemies. Whether anyone cares to admit it or not, it has become self-evident that the Alt. Right, whatever its flaws, is trying to preserve the only kind of civilization in which libertarianism can exist at all.

While I tend to consider the Alt-Right political philosophy to be more post-libertarian than alibertarian, I do agree that libertarianism would require an Alt-Right-compatible foundation to even begin to be a practical possibility.

I found it interesting to observe that while he didn't find my anti-free trade arguments in the Tom Woods-hosted debate with Bob Murphy to be convincing, he did pick up that Murphy - and other libertarians and free traders - have come up with no answers whatsoever to the problems I, and others, particularly Ian Fletcher, have raised.

I was frankly a little mystified to see that a number of people actually concluded that Bob Murphy won that debate, when all he produced was the same free trade boilerplate that we've all known for decades. He didn't even begin to address the substantive differences between theory and practice cited.
But I suppose it is difficult for people to relinquish their grasp on defining elements of their intellectual identity, which is why it's necessary for libertarians to cautiously examine the Alt-Right philosophy before they can seriously consider accepting it.

The core conflict between libertarianism and the Alt-Right is that the Alt-Right is perfectly willing to crush individual liberties if that is necessary to preserve Western civilization and the European nations. And that is something that libertarians are going to have to accept if they are going to remain intellectually relevant in any way, because for all that the nation-state is a necessary evil, it is to be vastly preferred to the multinational state or the global state.

And those are the three options on offer at present.

I expect most libertarians to eventually gravitate to the Alt-Right, simply because the latter is both viable and coherent, while the former is not. I hope you will note that I don't say that with contempt, but rather, with regret.