Sunday, November 27, 2016

How American Libertarians are Turning into Socialists

As crazy as that sounds, there seems to be some evidence for it. In essence, some American libertarians are morphing into Alt Right “National Socialists.”

We can see the direct evidence for this in one of the most popular Alt Right podcasts (with a rather distasteful name) where the speakers are former libertarians:

Did you hear the astonishing confession here?:

It is startlingly indeed to see libertarians suddenly see the merits of protectionism and some kind of left-wing economics (however ill-defined).

Given the rise of the Alt Right, I am very curious indeed to know how common this kind of political transformation is in America, because it is so obviously similar to the way in which working class Democrats have switched to Donald Trump, because Trump suddenly offered them protectionism and a kind of Big Government conservatism.

We are living in historic times with massive political shifts on both the right and left, and both these developments prove it.


  1. There was always a large part of the population that was culturally conservative but progressive minded on economic issues.

    They never really found a home in the left nor the right, until recent years.

  2. I don't think protectionism is really a left wing policy. It can be used by powerful countries to gain an upper hand, and higher prices are problematic for the less well off. Whatever the arguments may be for infant industry protectionism, the USA isn't an infant industry anymore. The issue is the economy as a whole being run by the FIRE sector (finance insurance real estate.) Casino capitalism as Michael Hudson put it. People want something different and many feel displaced and broken up. It's just a shame it's going in such a toxic direction.

    1. Fire sector is the sector of free trade capitalism

    2. the full on Hitlerists are obnoxious yes, but the basic idea America was founded by and for Anglo-Europeans is historically accurate and eminently reasonable. So is recognizing virulent Jewish opposition to this project. The left always wants to reduce things to purely economic terms (less so here but there's still a tendency) and calls politics aligned with higher principles (ethnic solidarity, religion) 'toxic'. 'If we could get the distribution of resources right, that will have meant we've successfully addressed man as man!'. Wrong. Its about more than the economy. Many on the altright are middle class. Not multimillionaires, but from well off families. NRx even more so. According to the model of economic man, we shouldn't be exhibiting this 'toxic' behavour. Ultimately what separates us from woke lefties like you is that you lot (admirably) want to put a stop to the culturally destructive behavour of the modern left. We on the other hand have a value-positive program to implement based upon restoring the traditional mode of our civilization and reconciling it with the modern world.

      This will be the future left-right divide should we both succeed in our shared goals (opposition to globalism, neoliberalism, Social Justice Warrior mentality)

    3. Quite right. Aside from the infant industry argument, the only non-laughable arguments for restrictions on real free trade for a developed country like the USA is if it can exercise some monopoly or monopsony power; might be slightly nice if other countries didn't or couldn't retaliate. It isn't really too important or plausible as a separate trade-oriented government policy.

      Of course if a country psychotically decides to have unemployment, decides to not have a job guarantee, there are conditions and economic goals when restricting trade in some way might be desirable. Thus Trump.

      But that is like saying that the problem with somebody who is obsessed with stabbing himself is that he doesn't keep enough bandages around. No, the problem is stabbing yourself. People who insist otherwise, who think foreign "constraints" magically prevent domestic "expansion" (a silly word for "not stabbing yourself") badly misunderstand what they are talking about. Unfortunately a completely irrational and innumerate obsession with the foreign sector is nearly universal.

    4. Do you think rouge finance essential for free trade? Isn't it possible for free trade to exist without domestic deregulation on banks and so on?

    5. In response to you Lemur, I don't look at things in purely economic terms, but America was colonised, not "founded". Whatever ideas you have about the details of colonisation, it was imposed. What makes you think it was the traditional mode of civilisation? What higher values are you referring to? I don't consider religious communities toxic, only fundamentalists. I don't consider patriotism toxic, (I consider myself a patriot!) only irrational, destructive nationalism. SJW mentality is toxic too, but what irks me is when people who think Trump is a shambles are labeled as SJWs. In my opinion, both the SJWs and the hard-line nationalist clowns like Farage and co have remarkably similar methods. They both rely upon rhetoric, not reason, they're both embracing the "post truth" society, as some call it.

    6. Calgacus do you say that there is no balance of payments constraint?

    7. I am saying Functional Finance (Lerner) & MMT is correct and argues sensibly; opponents often don't and are often confused.

      Depends on what you mean, but using a common (but bad) meaning, there is no constraint. It is often contended that there is some magical constraint on a monetarily sovereign country like the UK or the US or Japan or Canada or even Mexico on expanding, on just deciding to have 100% full employment, as with a Job Guarantee. Basically, it prints the money and gives it to people to work. If people outside the country want to save it up, fine. So what? No catastrophe will occur, no inflation or currency collapse that will be caused by the policy of sanity & not some other catastrophe (like Godzilla paying a visit to Japan, say.)

      If "balance of payments constraint" means that the country is constrained in buying things from the rest of the world, that the rest of the world might not always accept its currency for everything the country wants, that it can be constrained in obtaining foreign currency or credit in foreign currency terms, of course there is a constraint. These are very different things.

  3. i commented on this fact a little while ago on here, and someone got snarky and said what was the altright doing following Jewish economic theorists like Rothbard, Rand, et el hahaha lawgic trap.

    Well, we never were. It's impossible to think in supra-individual terms and do the whole libertarian thing. Holistic thinking first took root on socio-political issues. But since economics is more technical, it took a while for economic thinking to follow. Paleo-libertarian is such an awkward compromise after all. There's a long pedigree of seeking the common good in right wing thought - for example Spengler's Prussian Socialism. And let's not forget laissez-faire capitalism was a prior iteration of the left.

    In the end, the altright is a liminal space of becoming. We're splitting now between those who want to go full 14/88 (increasingly the and "21st Century Republicans" represented by My Posting Career, Vdare, etc.

  4. that's exactly right and precisely how the altright consciously thinks about its ideological evolution.

  5. In the United States hatred of liberalism and "political correctness" is mostly due to thinly-veiled racial resentment and xenophobia. None of the opponents of the status quo are seriously committed to a particular ideology; they will ultimately join whichever group is most successful at combating liberalism, because what unifies them is not ideology but the emotional discomfort and anxiety they feel regarding racial diversity. The white population is shrinking, and all the reactionaries are joining forces to "make America great [meaning white] again." The late Christopher Hitchens, no stranger to xenophobia himself, summarized this phenomenon a few years back:

  6. This is a strange time, politically speaking. There are the mainstream libertarians who work for the Cato, Hoover and Adam Smith Institute. They have wealthy donors and basically want more privatization, open borders( or liberalized immigration laws) deregulation, central banking, fiat currency, tax cuts and big spending cuts. They tend to be secular, against racialism, and will accuse everyone and anyone of being big government statist fascist if you disagree with them. They seem to be against Trump.

    Then there are the Mises libertarians. They are even more against socialism than the Cato people. Indeed, Hans Hermann Hoppe has referred to Cato as part of the "libertarian left". Friedman was decried as a socialist by Walter Block and they the fact that most mainstream libertarians don't want to return to the gold standard might be their biggest sin of all. Yet, Trump seems to be their guy. Block, Lew Rockwell, and DiLerenzo have all come out for him. I can only imagine that Hoppe has too. Its like the time Rothbard endorsed David Duke for government of Louisiana and called him a "moderate". George Bush was a conniving statist, no different than Obama, yet Trump is their man. I have to ask, why?

    I think its because Austrolibertarians are the alt right of the libertarian movement. A lot of the racists who support Trump as a stepping stone to achieving some type of white nationalist utopia(which Trump won't do). The Mises libertarians aren't like the Cato ones who have this fake veneer of being anti-racist progressives who actually care about minorities. This is the crew who cite race realist science, talk about slavery not being so bad, believe men are basically superior to women and just wish gays would get back in the closet.

    In my opinion the Mises people see Trump the way David Duke does. A masculine man who says and does what he wants. He will put the minorities in their place, build a wall to keep out Hispanics, and end the evil PC SJW menace. So why if the wall will cut a a dw billion? Who cares if Trump is in favor of tough policing and the NSA? Libertarians always love a right wing strong man who can protect thier nation from the foreigners and the Marxists who run the pro-globalization think tanks.

    The Cato libertarians are getting what they deserve, for years they called everyone a socialist, a big government troglodyte, a statist. Now the biggest right wing statist of them all is coming to power, and he has found close allies in the most radical groups of libertarians in America.

  7. LK, do you think Trump will like Abraham Lincoln, or Otto Von Bismarck? A kind of patriotic revolutionary conservative?

    Both were protectionists, and advocated government support of infrastructure. Bismarck even started some of the first(perhaps the first) welfare programs in modern Europe.

  8. Hi you probably don't remember me but I used to comment here a long time ago anyways I found this paper you might like that collected some attacks on postmodernism maybe you can add some of them to your list? Of particular note is Pauline Rosenau, who identifies seven contradictions in postmodernism.

    Scroll down half past the page:

  9. We can rest assured there's no "Socialism" on the horizon with Mr. Trump. He healthcare "Dream Team" includes a GOP stalwart of the Savings Account method. Nothing more than a plan to favor those who can already afford the best healthcare, as far as I'm concerned:

    Someone buy me a 1-way ticket to Canada, please.