Essay:Libertarianism and the alt-right
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I'm thinking, the LP may be mishandling this situation with the alt-right. I guess the concern is that they're going to behave in an entryist way and try to take over the party.
First of all, the LP is totally disregarding the demographic issue that confronts America right now, which is the declining birth rate, especially among whites. This situation is not sustainable. Somebody will need to address that, whether it's libertarians, or the alt-right. Libertarians reject antifeminism, but don't offer an alternative solution.
The other thing is, if you get rid of the right-libertarians, you don't have anyone to counterbalance the left-libertarians. So the party ends up drifting to the left. That's not good either. Traditionally, the LP way has been for competing factions to compromise rather than for dissidents to be excommunicated.
Also, if you kick people out of the libertarian movement, and say, "We don't want to have anything to do with them," they don't just leave the political scene. They still hang around, except now they're not being influenced by libertarians anymore. They're being influenced by the alt-right.
Take my situation, for instance. I'm probably more isolated than ever from fellow libertarians. The only person I talk to on a regular basis leans alt-right. So, we end up talking a lot about the alt-right, and he gives me links to alt-right Discords, we end up reading the same books (Mein Kampf, etc.), and so on.
I don't vanish from the political stage, though. The thing about the alt-right is that it's just as high-energy as the libertarian movement, if not more so. At the same time, anyone who came from the libertarian movement (as many alt-righters did) will tend to hang onto their libertarian beliefs with regard to economic issues and probably some social issues as well. In fact, a lot of alt-righters, especially in neoreaction, just look at the alt-right as a superior way of getting to the same ultimate goals that libertarians want to achieve. So libertarians never actually succeed in completely dissociating from the alt-right. How would that happen, when any time economics comes up, these guys are quoting the same theories that libertarians use?
So what is the libertarian answer to the question of what is causing the fertility rate to drop below the replacement rate? Because biologically, that isn't normal or healthy. Any family or species that decides it doesn't care about reproduction is going to die out. In the macro perspective, what we have here is an unhealthy social organism, but what's the source of the problem, exactly? Can libertarians point to a statist policy from which this arises?
The whole point of libertarian theory is to produce a healthier social organism, to bring about more harmonious interpersonal interactions, etc., the idea being that statism tends to cause dysfunction due to issues such as central planners' not being able to make economic calculations due to the lack of a price mechanism in a socialist society. Or interventionism causing shortages or surpluses that would be resolved by letting prices go to their natural equiibrium. Etc., etc.
If, however, libertarianism as currently conceived isn't working, then maybe someone messed up in their theory somewhere. It's not unheard of. Apparently, people decided there were some problems with past libertarian theory, because they kept amending the platform.
So, why was I purged? Oh, threatening the President? Well, I'm not sure I know any ancaps who would consider that aggression. Pete Eyre didn't.
Being a pedophile? Well, where did the stigma against pedophiles come from, anyway? How, and at what point, did that get introduced into libertarian theory? Because I don't think it was on too many people's radar screens back in, say, the 1970s. It was really in the late 1970s and in the 1980s that people started talking a lot more about child sexual abuse. A lot of those people were feminists.
But I have to ask again, if the LP has such a great handle on how relations between the sexes are supposed to work, and about what's ethical behavior between the sexes, and about what are the appropriate sex roles (because apparently, they think my views on that are wrong), then what's their explanation for the dropping fertility rate, and what's the proposed remedy?
I think too, a lot of the libertarians being kicked out for having alt-right inclinations were pretty hardcore in their involvement in the libertarian movement. Look at me, for example. I'm a life member and have run for office twice. That puts me in a higher tier of involvement than the average member.
The other thing too is, kicking people out puts them in a position where they have less to lose. What might have been the outcome if, before I had started petitioning, the party had said, "Hey, if you run, we're not going to be able to nominate you, because you have too much baggage and/or we don't agree with some of your stances." Maybe I wouldn't have run. I might have done them that favor just to keep relations with fellow party members running smoothly.
At this point, though, I'm outside the party. I have nothing to lose, because they already took it all away. Yet, even if they say I'm not a libertarian, I'm just another highly visible example of that "libertarian-to-alt-right pipeline" people talk about. The libertarian movement is one of many ideological bridges by which people end up at the alt-right because, for example, it teaches people to oppose the welfare state, which alt-righters also oppose.
It's kind of like how everyone knows that moderate Islam helps produce jihadists. Once you've converted from, say, atheism to moderate Islam, it's a much shorter step to becoming a jihadist than if you were to try to make that leap directly from atheism. It doesn't matter that moderate Muslims disavow the jihadists, or that the vast majority of them never become jihadists. What people care about is that they did serve as that bridge to jihad for a certain number. It's like the cannabis-to-cocaine gateway theory.
Declining birthrates ends up becoming another issue like "who will build the roads". If someone expresses concern about it, the question arises, should we even have roads (aka "should the birthrates even be increased") or should we switch to jet packs (aka "why not just become transhuman?") or some other technological solution.
The easiest answer is, "Let the market handle it." But people often want to know, "What would that look like? How could the market handle it?" So if you're trying to pitch libertarianism to the alt-right, you might explain a few possibilities of how libertarianism could accomplish what they're looking for, with the caveat that we don't know for sure what kinds of behaviors might arise organically.
For example, a lot of people in the alt-right are white separatists. They just want to live among their own kind. A libertarian could say, "In a free market, you would be allowed to discriminate. Your landlord wouldn't be forced by equal housing opportunity laws to accept people of all races to live right next to you." Could an LP candidate say such a thing, though, or would he be denounced by the LP as a racist for saying that? I don't recall the last time I heard a Libertarian talk about legalizing discrimination, but it's a totally libertarian position to take.
Here's an example of how libertarianism could help with the issue of declining birth rates, though -- if we got rid of the marriageable age, then more girls might start using some of their more fertile years (e.g. 13-18) to have kids. If we got rid of subsidized education and compulsory education, then more girls might opt to start families at a young age instead of going to school and starting career. There have been some religious cults that attempted to set up a patriarchal society along those lines, often with polygyny involved, but the state came in and busted them up and arrested their leaders and seized their property. YFZ Ranch is an example that comes to mind.
Could a Libertarian candidate today advocate lowering the marriageable age back to, say, 13, where it was throughout much of Virginia history? Or would he be denounced by the LP for condoning child abuse?
What about you; what would happen if, the next time you ran for office, you talked about legalizing child pornography possession? Would the LP denounce you? (Not that you would talk about it anyway, because you wouldn't want the consequences in your own life that come from being a dissident on an issue like that.)
It seems like they might. It's always been an issue that there have been people in the party who didn't like having people around who talked about social issues rather than, say, tax policy. They didn't like that when they tried to gather signatures, members of the public would say, "Oh, you're from that pot legalization party." Nowadays it's okay to talk about pot legalization, but there are other issues Libertarians don't want their fellow party members talking about.
What it comes down to, too is another difference between Libertarians and the alt-right is that alt-righters tend to be more willing to make serious sacrifices for their cause. These guys are putting themselves in a position to get doxed and in some cases even physically assaulted. It's a far cry from anything Libertarians are doing.
It's a similar issue I ran into with another libertarian you probably never met, because he's not involved in party politics, named Zac. He was an aspiring teacher who basically followed Bryan Caplan's lead on everything and diverged from the stances I was taking, and I eventually realized it wasn't necessarily so much due to principle, as the fact that he's dealing with a certain Overton window in his work and with his associates. People's careers get ruined if they don't toe the party line on certain issues.
The alt-right doesn't mind putting everything on the line because they think civilization is in mortal danger and that they don't have much to lose anyway. Libertarians like my friend Zac, on the other hand, tend to be more optimistic. They think everything is going to work out for the best in the end, because the market will find a way around the problems, etc. They also figure, it makes no sense to sacrifice yourself when you can do more good by not sacrificing yourself.
That's a debate that's been going on for a long time. Thoreau's view was that it's beneficial to go to prison because you meet people there and hear their stories. For example, you probably have never talked to someone who's been busted for child porn, so you probably don't know the details of what the government puts them through. It's pretty bad. They don't just serve their time and go free; the government uses probation, the registry, and mandatory "treatment" to make the rest of their lives hell.
And why are they subjected to that? Because they were unfortunate enough to have a desire they couldn't help, that they sought to fulfill as best they could in ways that didn't affect a living human being and therefore would be harmless.
When you actually meet people like that and get to know them and hear their stories, it's easier to feel more compassion for them and actually want to do something to try to help me. To the average person, though, they're just invisible.
The average person leads a normal life, raises kids, and ends up getting burnt out and suffering compassion fatigue, deciding ultimately it's such a burden to take care of their family that they don't have time and energy to help people outside their family. So society ends up the way it is. It becomes very hard to effect change.
I mean, look how hard it was to change the pot laws, for instance. Why did it take so long? Because people were too busy with their day-to-day stuff (even if some of those daily activities involved pot smoking).