The Death of Libertarianism & the Rise of the Alt RightGregory Hood
“We are, in a way, breaking a glass ceiling this year,” says Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee William Weld. It’s appropriate Weld uses a feminist metaphor. Like feminists and other Cultural Marxists, the Libertarians are masquerading as opposition to the System while functioning as an indispensable support. And though the Libertarian Party appears to make the greatest electoral gains in its history this year, it has never been less relevant in terms of being a meaningful force for change.
As this is written, LP Presidential candidate Gary Johnson is polling near double digits, suggesting he may be included in the presidential debates. He also will likely secure federal funding for the party by polling above five percent. But just as the question “is the Pope Catholic?” is no longer rhetorical in the Current Year, it’s a real question whether the Libertarian Party candidate is actually a libertarian.
In a way, some of the foolishness at this year’s Libertarian Party convention, including an all but naked fat guy dancing on stage and Gary Johnson tossing an opponent’s congratulatory gift in the trash, actually helped the party. It makes it look like more of a real alternative than it actually is.
Johnson is less Ron Paul come again than the John Anderson of 2016. He said he would have supported the Civil Rights Act, which means he already conceded the right of the federal government to control people’s property for the purposes of social engineering. He does not support religious liberty, showing that whatever rhetoric he uses, he ultimately believes egalitarianism and nondiscrimination trump property rights. This is a key issue for some #NeverTrump social conservatives who would be otherwise inclined to support him but Johnson has shown he doesn’t want social conservative votes. He even mused on the idea of a carbon tax or fee to fight climate change.
Seeing as how Johnson is unlikely to win a single state, let alone the presidency, it’s unclear why libertarians should bother with him even as a means for advancing their ideas. Trump is also promising to lower the federal debt, lower taxes, and cut government waste. Johnson’s fiscal record is unimpressive, as he increased the debt while Governor of New Mexico. His defenders argue it wasn’t really his fault because the legislature controls spending. Even if we accept this, how is the federal government any different?
Trump is also hammered daily by neoconservatives as a foreign policy novice who is insufficiently hostile to Russia. He also shocked the foreign policy establishment by championing America First. Can Johnson promise more to non-interventionists?
Johnson’s Vice-Presidential nominee Weld is a living exemplar of WASP degeneracy and the collapse of the former American ruling class, much like Lincoln Chaffee. Put a Pilgrim hat on him and Weld’s phenotype would fit in perfectly in an old painting of the arrival of the Mayflower. He supported both gun control and the Iraq War, positions which really shouldn’t be tolerated among Libertarian Party members, let alone the Vice Presidential nominee. Even Reason magazine, the flagship for left-libertarians, was mystified by the choice of Weld, saying he wasn’t just a “softcore libertarian,” but not a libertarian at all.
Jack Hunter, before covering himself in shame, used to mock the Beltway Right for defending “conservatism as a word” even though it had been stripped of all substance. Yet today’s supposed liberty movement defends libertarianism as a word. What threat to the state does Johnson present? What personal freedoms can someone like Gary Johnson promise to regain for the American people, other than “lmao, weed”? In short, what does Johnson offer libertarians other than simple exposure?
The answer is a place at the trough. At a time when the Alternative Right is being identified by as nothing less than the biggest threat to hegemonic liberalism since communism, libertarianism (the capital L variety at least) is transforming into the loyal opposition for the System and the state. Johnson unhesitatingly accepts the premises of the Left when it comes to cultural questions. He also endorses using the power of government to force the Left’s social program.
For example, Johnson said, explicitly, it’s the federal government’s job to prevent discrimination “in all cases.” Of course, enforcing non-discrimination provides the rationale for unlimited government control, from mandating racial diversity in suburban neighborhoods to regulating social interaction at the office.
Johnson continued: “I mean under the guise of religious freedom, anybody can do anything . . . Why shouldn’t somebody be able to shoot somebody else because their freedom of religion says that God has spoken to them and that they can shoot somebody dead?”
Aside from the obvious answer of “laws against murder,” I’m tempted to say “because it would be Islamophobic to say they can’t.” But Johnson actually said this in reference to Mormons, even though his best chance to do well is in Western states. It was also mere moments after Johnson bemoaned the potential for anti-Muslim discrimination.
Johnson’s swift suggestion that some cake shop refusing to serve homosexuals is equivalent to murder is revealing. Indeed, Johnson does the usual leftist tactic of conflating any opposition to leftist cultural policies to racist tyranny.
On immigration, a divisive issue among libertarians, Johnson appears blithely unaware that there are even arguments against it. He looked on the brink of tears when he said Trump is “racist, just racist.” Instead, taking Rand Paul’s “Detroit Republicans” angle to the next level, Johnson is now “lowriding” to show how much he loves the Hispanics who are replacing the gross European-Americans who once populated the Southwest.
On Black Lives Matter, Johnson now says he supports the movement because it opened his eyes to “discrimination.” Whether he is even aware of BLM’s demands for massive transfers of wealth and government programs to benefit their race is unknown.
Would-be Vice President Weld, again, a Libertarian candidate, explicitly stated the federal government would be justified in taking massive action to appease these activists.
“I think we have a national emergency in the number of male black youth who are unemployed without prospects,” Weld said, according to Politico. “They’re four times as likely to be incarcerated if they have intersection with law enforcement as white people are. Their educational opportunities are not there. We have to get them in to education and just concentrate the power of the government, trying to make sure that there are jobs available for them. It’s a national emergency and when there’s a national emergency, the government has to respond. Libertarian or no libertarian.”
If blacks being arrested at higher rates, having higher unemployment, or having lower rates of education constitutes a “national emergency” forcing drastic government action, then we will always have a permanent emergency and practically unlimited government.
But we know this. And this is what is so frustrating about the Libertarian Party’s recent direction and so triggering for the Alt Right. In the past, Libertarianism has attracted many intelligent young rightists because it’s less obviously foolish than the hoary bromides and self-interested rhetoric coming from the Beltway Right. For those who didn’t start out as nationalists, Identitarians, racial realists or National Socialists, it usually begins with Ayn Rand. But it doesn’t end there unless, like conservatives, you retreat into protective stupidity to guard your ideology from reality.
Much of the history of the libertarian movement in the latter part of the century is about dedicated champions of limited government trying to grapple with inconvenient facts like human biodiversity and racial realism, the inherent inability of a democracy to protect liberty, the drawbacks of universal suffrage, and the self-destructive implications of open borders or cultural degeneracy. If you don’t address these issues, even if arguendo we ignore race and demographics, libertarians can at best make a destructive System function more efficiently.
Consider the case of Milton Friedman, the author of Capitalism and Freedom and one of the more influential libertarians of the last century. He was also one of those who created income tax withholding, which, because it removes the burden from wage earners for writing a check for their taxes and creates the impression of a “gift” when you get a return, makes it far more difficult for supporters of limited government to get tax cuts. Though he wasn’t the only person responsible for this idea, the negative impact of income tax withholding far outweighs whatever Friedman contributed to his cause with books and videos about how to make a pencil.
Thinkers such as Hans-Herman Hoppe, Murray Rothbard, Joseph Sobran, and others who we could call paleolibertarians didn’t just say “freedom works!” Whatever their failings from the viewpoint of those of us who put race first, these men and those like them at least honestly approached the question of how one can achieve and maintain a libertarian society. And their work made an important contribution to Neo-Reaction, which also helped lead to the emergence of the Alternative Right. You can’t talk about the Alt Right without acknowledging how so many libertarians and former libertarians understand there should be a government helicopter program.
With Johnson and much of the mainstream libertarian movement, the objective is not to limit the state or even think critically about how to approach the problem. Instead, literally decades of arguments and research are ignored as self-declared enemies of the state flock to Washington DC to lobby and labor in the government they are supposed to fight. By openly adopting leftist and egalitarian premises, they ensure they never face any real opposition. The most degraded College Republican has more courage.
Thus, the figures toying with the idea of endorsing Gary Johnson reportedly include Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and even Jeb Bush. Weld calls the campaign a “six-lane highway going right up the middle between the two parties.” If this is true, why bother calling it Libertarian? Why not resurrect Sam Waterston’s Unity08 proposal for a moderate third party? Or why not just hand the country over to Michael Bloomberg and call it a day? At least then we wouldn’t be kidding ourselves that this is some kind of a real opposition to Washington DC.
The Alt Right wants an alternative to the current political, and more important, cultural system. Libertarians want a place inside that system where they can goof off about regulatory reforms which will never happen and make fun of Middle Americans who think “liberty” means something other than degeneracy. Just as the conservative movement became Conservatism Inc., the opposition to the state has transformed into Libertarianism Inc., a racket for mediocrities to eke out a living in the capital of the Hollow Empire.
This is a danger the Alt Right may face as well if it continues to grow in prominence. Already, we see attempts at co-option and a push to deny the role of race as central to the Alt Right.
As the movement grows, we have to remember what the Libertarian Party has forgotten. We don’t want to giggle and offer polite suggestions to our enemies about how to do things better. Our role is not to serve as the loyal opposition to Leviathan, but to ensure our people can escape its poisonous grasp.
The Alt Right is not just an alternative to the mainstream conservative movement. It’s an alternative to the regime and its rulers which govern us, hate us, and mandate our destruction. And the Libertarian Party, and much of the libertarian movement, is now just another part of the System we need to displace.
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Erwin Strauss’ How to Start Your Own Country