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Reformed Libertarian Blog Posts

Jim Crow Redux?

They say the political climate follows after culture. Well, after years of being decidedly inconsistent on the matter of rights, Americans are seeing a repeat of history; and once again, racists will have their way and it will be enforced by the powers that be.

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An Example Of Economic Illiteracy

As I casually watched through some YouTube channels I find mildly entertaining, I came across a recent episode of the YouTube vlog “Good Mythical Morning”. This episode featured “5 Bizarre Live Webcams”, and gave us a wonderful example of lay economic illiteracy in action (watch from 1:18, to 1:46):

The first webcam they discuss shows the live footage of a light bulb at the Livermore, California fire station that has been burning for over a hundred years. This prompted Link to invoke the common conspiracy theory of “Planned Obsolescence” at 1:40. Planned Obsolescence is the fear that greedy capitalists make things wear out on purpose just to sucker us into buying replacements. Apparently this light bulb is proof, because, according to Rhett, we had the technology for centennial light bulbs 100 years ago, but evidently don’t today. Why not? Why, those greedy capitalists must have suppressed it!

To set Link (and Rhett) straight: It is indeed possible, even today, to make a light bulb out of materials that will last 100+ years without burning out. These materials are expensive. Any light bulb made with them would cost a small fortune. It’s much cheaper to make light bulbs out of less durable materials that wear out faster. When light bulb producers decide what to make their bulbs out of, they have to choose the recipe that will most satisfy consumer preferences. Clearly, over the last 100 years, consumer preference has been for light bulbs with a lower unit price, even if each unit doesn’t last as long.

This is not some grand conspiracy by capitalists to snatch our money away, but an innovation of the market to help us afford light bulbs. You know what else is a great innovation of the market? CFL and LED Bulbs that now offer the best of both worlds. Maybe they don’t last 100 years, but they sure last a lot longer than the old tungsten incandescent bulbs. Thank you, capitalists!

So remember this whenever someone says, “They don’t make them like they used to.” Whether they’re talking about light bulbs, or cars, or computers, they’re right! They don’t make them like they used to. And that’s a good thing.

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Reading Recommendations Galore!

I updated two reading recommendations pages on the Reformed Libertarian site.

The first is a “30 day reading plan” (if you are really ambitious) which serves as an introductory list of some basics people should understand if they are trying to learn about Austro-libertarian ideas. Here is the link.

The second is a holistic and complete book recommendation list categorized by subject matter and difficulty level. Here is the link.

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Murray Rothbard on Why the Paleo Movement was Founded

I am in the midst of the unenviable task of going through the pending FAQ page on the main site and answering each and every question. I came to this one, which I think would be good to answer: “Why do you call yourself a Paleo-Libertarian?” So in preparing my short answer, I reread Murray Rothbard’s essay on “Why Paleo?” (May, 1990).

Here is an interesting excerpt:

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 9.04.32 PMBut that is not the point, although I agree that liberty will tend to flourish most in a bourgeois, Christian culture. I am willing to concede that you can indeed be a good, hard-core libertarian and still be a hippie, an aggressive anti-bourgeois and anti-Christian, a drug addict, a moocher, a rude and intolerable fellow, and even an outright thief. But the point is that we paleos are no longer willing to be movement colleagues with these sorts of people. For two separate and powerful reasons, each of which would be good enough reason to form a separate and distinct paleo movement. One is strategic: that these sorts of people tend, for obvious reasons, to turn off, indeed to repel, most “real people,’ people who either work for a living or meet a payroll, middle class or working class people who, in the grand old phrase, enjoy “visible means of support.”

In the Libertarian Party, the prevalence of these sorts of people has kept the membership and the votes low and even declining. But also in the broader movement, these luffmensch types have almost succeeded in making the glorious word “libertarian” a stench in everyone’s nostrils, synonymous with nut or libertine. At this stage, the only way to save the glorious word and the concept of “libertarian” is to affix the word “paleo” to it, and thereby make the distinction and separation crystal clear.

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The Tool that Feeds Corruption

There was a time, long ago, when the average American could go about his daily business hardly aware of the government -especially the federal government. As a farmer, merchant, or manufacturer, he could decide what, how, when, and where to produce and sell his goods, constrained by little more than market forces. Just think: no farm subsidies, price supports, or acreage controls; no Federal Trade Commission; no antitrust law; no Interstate Commerce Commission. As an employer, employee, consumer, investor, lender, borrower, student, or teacher, he could proceed largely according to his own lights. Just think: no National Labor Relations Board; no federal consumer “protection” laws; no Securities and Exchange Commission; no Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; no Department of Health and Human Services. Lacking a central bank to issue national paper currency, people commonly used gold coins to make purchases. There were no general sales taxes, no Social Security taxes, no income taxes. Though governmental officials were as corrupt then as now -maybe more so- they had vastly less to be corrupt with. Private citizens spent about fifteen times more than all governments combines.

–Robert Higgs, from the Preface to Crisis and Leviathan

The final two sentences are, perhaps, the most striking to me. It matters less how corrupt a man is, than the means by which that man may express his corruption. A corrupt man may be the nastiest and most cunning of the human race, and yet with no power, he depends merely on his ability to convince the people to subscribe to whatever he has tucked up his sleeves. In which case of course, the masses lose, learn, and never again trusts the insidious man.

And then where is the man? Broke and without means of popularity. Unless of course he changes his ways, and once again finds a means to convince society to trust him. But in this case it seems that the morality of society has bested the evil man, pressuring him with deadly enthusiasm, making it known forever that he is their servant. To trust the free market therefore, is not only good for the consumer, but also for ethical behavior of the once cunning man.

But as Higgs points out, as the State sharpens and broadens its economic and political artillery, the tools by which the corrupt act and profit tend to work in the opposite fashion. The government is force and the government is coercion. As it grows, the societal check against the corrupt man loses its influence.

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The Reports of the Dollar’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated

Some facts worth keeping in mind:

The US dollar is tightening its grip on the global financial system at the expense of the euro, entrenching American hegemony and rendering the US Federal Reserve more powerful than at any time in history.

…the dollar’s share of the $5.1 trillion in foreign exchange trades each day has continued rising to 87.6pc of all transactions.

Roughly 60pc of the global economy is either in the dollar zone or closely tied to it through currency pegs or ‘dirty floats’, and the level of debt issued in dollars outside US jurisdiction has soared to $9 trillion.

It is much the same picture for the foreign exchange reserves of central banks, a good barometer of global trust. The dollar share has recovered to 63.6pc, roughly where it was a decade ago.

Outside of the dollar, basically the Chinese yuan has increased share at the expense of the Euro, which has lost share.

Conclusion

What isn’t happening?  The world isn’t walking away from the dollar.  Despite China, Russia, Iran and others establishing bilateral trade in their own currencies, despite the establishment of alternative global institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, despite the dollar losing 96% of its value in the last 100 years…the needle hasn’t moved in any meaningful manner.

As I recall, once Rome started seriously devaluing the coinage it took a couple of centuries to hit bottom.

You might mark the beginning of this path for the dollar in 1913, with creation of the Federal Reserve.  It strikes me that the more appropriate mark would be 1971 and Nixon’s closing of the gold window.

Either way, we have a long way to go.

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Alex Epstein Obliterates George Clooney

Alex Epstein, who wrote this book (which I need to read– as this post reminded me), issued a response to the following George Clooney statement on climate change:

Well it’s just a stupid argument. If you have 99 percent of doctors who tell you ‘you are sick’ and 1 percent that says ‘you’re fine,’ you probably want to hang out with, check it up with the 99. You know what I mean? The idea that we ignore that we are in some way involved in climate change is ridiculous. What’s the worst thing that happens? We clean up the earth a little bit?

The-Moral-Case-for-Fossil-Fuels
The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, Written by Alex Epstein

Epstein writes:

I am something close to terrified about Clooney’s comment: “What’s the worst thing that happens? We clean up the earth a little bit?”

Clooney is talking about the idea that we should “do something about climate change.” For Clooney’s environmentalist allies, that typically translates into: globally outlaw 80-95 percent of future fossil fuel use and force us to try to subsist on expensive, unreliable solar and wind energy.

And again:

For someone who understands that affordable energy is a life and death issue, this does not translate into “clean up the earth a little bit,” it translates into “making life on earth hellish for billions.” It would mean that the 1.4 billion people around the world who lack electricity—and thus have a life expectancy of 48—would not be lifted out of poverty, but would be joined by billions more.

It would mean a far dirtier environment—only high-energy, highly-developed countries have clean environments. And it would mean a far more dangerous climate. While Clooney makes time to publicly declare his solidarity with the victims, he should take some time to think about what would have actually protected them: industrial development powered by affordable, reliable energy.

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Demystify the State

The libertarian therefore considers one of his prime educational tasks is to spread the demystification and desanctification of the State among its hapless subjects. His task is to demonstrate repeatedly and in depth that not only the emperor but even the “democratic” State has no clothes; that Property and Exchange 29 all governments subsist by exploitive rule over the public; and that such rule is the reverse of objective necessity. He strives to show that the very existence of taxation and the State necessarily sets up a class division between the exploiting rulers and the exploited ruled. He seeks to show that the task of the court intellectuals who have always supported the State has ever been to weave mystification in order to induce the public to accept State rule, and that these intellectuals obtain, in return, a share in the power and pelf extracted by the rulers from their deluded subjects.

Murray Rothbard, For a New Liberty, pg. 29-30.

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Against the “There oughta be a law” Crowd

In The Law, Frederic Bastiat talked about the tendency for socialists (which, by his definition, would include a large majority of Americans) to conflate government and society. Bastiat reminded his readers that just because someone says that he doesn’t want the state to do something doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want anyone to do it. 

Bastiat was right, of course, but he stopped short of an observation that Albert Jay Nock would later make: that society can not only do the things that the state does, but that relinquishing society’s roles to the state actually disempowers society. 

Nock wrote,

“It is unfortunately none too well understood that, just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. All the power it has is what society gives it, plus what it confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another; there is no other source from which State power can be drawn. Therefore every assumption of State power, whether by gift or seizure, leaves society with so much less power. There is never, nor can there be, any strengthening of State power without a corresponding and roughly equivalent depletion of social power.”

Every time someone says “There ought to be a law” what they’re really saying is “Society, and all its individuals and institutions, should give up its power to the state.”

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Benjamin Keach Against Redemptive Egalitarianism

God is not an egalitarian.  He does not treat all sinners in the same way. But he does treat all sinners justly.  The modern battle cry of egalitarianism extends itself throughout the whole of Western society.  From religious concerns to political matters, there is a running, and false, assumption that inequality is a great and terrible thing.  In fact, this inequality is actually considered unjust. But this is not accurate.  God did not create all of man to be the same and in fact, created each to be different.  The free economy therefore will reflect both inequality and differences of outcome; but it certainly will not produce an egalitarian utopia.  Which is why the State, considering itself Almighty, deems itself chief provider of equality of outcome.

The modern push for egalitarianism has corrupted society and destroyed the true meaning of justice.

Indeed, even in salvation God is no egalitarian.  And contrary to modern definitions of justice, God cannot not be considered unjust for only electing a few sinners for salvation.  For all deserve His eternal wrath. In passing over many, he does not withhold from them something they deserved.  And in saving the few, he gives to them what Christ has won on their behalf.

Here is Benjamin Keach on the matter of God’s election.

200px-Benjamin_KeachGod’s special Love and Election is not from any Man’s willing, or running; it riseth not from Natural Powers improved, not from his Desires, Good Deeds, or Good Inclinations, or from the fore-sight of his Faith and Obedience; but from and of God’s mere Mercy, Sovereign Grace and Favor: The Truth is, to deny God to have the power of his own Free Act in dispensing his own Sovereign Bounty, is to Eclipse his Glory, and to render him to have less Sovereign Power than that which he hath given, and allowed to Mankind: May not a Man show his Favor and Goodness in redeeming a few Captives, out of a Multitude, who willfully brought themselves into Bondage, but he must redeem them all, or be unjust? Or cannot a Man give a bountiful Gift to One or Two poor Men in a Parish, but he must bestow like Bounty to all the Poor in the said Parish? Or, can’t a King contrive and enter into a Covenant of Peace for a few Rebels that have (with a Multitude of others) taken up Arms against him, but he must be charged with Injustice, because he did not extend like Favor in the said Covenant to them all; sure, no Man, in his right Senses, will deny him this Liberty: And now, Shall not GOD have like power to dispense his Sovereign Grace to whom he pleases, who is said to do all things according to the pleasure of his own Will, and eternal purpose in Jesus Christ?

-Taken from “The Display of Glorious Grace.” [Bold added]

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H.L. Mencken on the Government’s Money and Services

HL Mencken from his article More of the Same, original published in the American Mercury in 1925:

When a private citizen is robbed a worthy man is deprived of the fruits of his industry and thrift; when the government is robbed the worst that happens is that certain rogues and loafers have less money to play with than they had before. The notion that they have earned that money is never entertained; to most sensible men it would seem ludicrous. They are simply rascals who, by accidents of law, have a somewhat dubious right to a share in the earnings of their fellow men. When that share is diminished by private enterprise the business is, on the whole, far more laudable than not.

The intelligent man, when he pays taxes, certainly does not believe that he is making a prudent and productive investment of his money; on the contrary, he feels that he is being mulcted in an excessive amount for services that, in the main, are useless to him, and that, in substantial part, are downright inimical to him. He may be convinced that a police force, say, is necessary for the protection of his life and property, and that an army and navy safeguard him from being reduced to slavery by some vague foreign kaiser, but even so he views these things as extravagantly expensive – he sees in even the most essential of them an agency for making it easier for the exploiters constituting the government to rob him. In those exploiters themselves he has no confidence whatever. He sees them as purely predatory and useless; he believes that he gets no more net benefit from their vast and costly operations than he gets from the money he lends to his wife’s brother. They constitute a power that stands over him constantly, ever alert for new chances to squeeze him. If they could do so safely they would strip him to his hide. If they leave him anything at all, it is simply prudetially, as a farmer leaves a hen some of her eggs.

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The Rulers in a Propertarian Society

Some time ago, C.Jay wrote:

If a ruler is one who has the legal claim to setting the “rules” of a given jurisdiction, then logically the property owner is a ruler over all that he owns.  And further, if the ideal libertarian society can be described as a “Propertarian” society, that is, a society made up only of privately-owned property as opposed to “public” property, then it is essentially ruled by proper owners creating their rules and voluntary interacting with each other.  The number of rulers in this society is not zero, in fact, it is hundreds or thousands or however big the society is! Ironically then, it is democracy and every other State structure which limits the number of rulers.

He wrote this while describing why he is not fond of the word “anarchy,” which etymologically refers to a social order without rulers.  The point was that there most certainly are rulers in a capitalistic and strict property-rights order.  Recently, I read a similar statement by Mises Canada’s Editor in Chief James E. Miller, who wrote:

The issue is not necessarily the functionality of a hypothetical anarcho-capitalist society, but of definition. The etymology of anarchy is simple: the ancient Greek meaning is simply “without rulers.” Are so-called “rulers” necessary for capitalism? Yes and no, depending on one’s general understanding.

Private property itself needs rulers – that is the owners of the property themselves. The same goes for hierarchy. If a rentier owns land that people agree to live on, there is a clear distinction between who’s in charge.

Glad to see this agreement.

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Dan Sanchez on the Apple Tax Debacle

1*dmZlVLiyxE8q8_EFcwZEWwDan Sanchez has some great thoughts, as always, on Apple and Ireland here. Snippet:

[The] European Commission slapped Apple with a $14.5 billion bill for back taxes, ruling that Ireland had violated European Union rules by taxing the technology company at such a low rate. But the Irish government doesn’t want the money! It had promised the low rates back decades ago to entice Apple to set up and keep shop in Ireland, bringing the struggling country desperately needed jobs and economic growth. The government is worried that if it reneges on that deal, it will risk driving off the geese that lay the golden eggs: Apple, and other businesses as well.

But no, insists the European super-state: sustainably prudential parasitism is not an option. The Irish government must join the rest of the Union in recklessly bleeding its private sector hosts dry until the whole system collapses under its own dead weight.

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Charles Finney and the Welfare State

Murray Rothbard, in his essay on “Origins of the Welfare State in America,” writes:

“Perhaps the most fateful of the events giving rise to and shaping the welfare state was the transformation of American Protestantism that took place in a remarkably brief period during the late 1820s. Riding in on a wave from Europe, fueled by an intense emotionalism often generated by revival meetings, this Second Great Awakening conquered and remolded the Protestant churches, leaving such older forms as Calvinism far behind. The new finneyProtestantism was spearheaded by the emotionalism of revival meetings held throughout the country by the Rev. Charles Grandison Finney. This new Protestantism was pietist, scorning liturgy as papist or formalistic, and equally scornful of the formalisms of Calvinist creed or church organization. Hence, denominationalism, God’s Law, and church organization were no longer important. What counted was each person’s achieving salvation by his own free will, by being “born again,” or being “baptized in the Holy Spirit.” An emotional, vaguely defined pietist, non-creedal, and ecumenical Protestantism was to replace strict creedal or liturgical categories.

[…]

“While a nominal Presbyterian, in 1821 at the age of 29, Finney converted to the new pietism, experiencing his second baptism, his “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” his conversion being greatly aided by the fact that he was self-educated in religion, and lacked any religious training. Tossing aside the Calvinist tradition of scholarship in the Bible, Finney was able to carve out his new religion, and to ordain himself in his new version of the faith. Launching his remarkably successful revival movement in 1826 when he was an attorney in northeastern Ohio, his new pietism swept the Yankee areas in the East and midwest. Finney wound up at Oberlin College, in the Western Reserve area of Ohio, where he became president, and transformed Oberlin into the preeminent national center for the education and dissemination of postmillennial pietism.”

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Governance Is Not Arbitrary

One misconception among Christians today, is that the government would have the authority to criminalize certain actions by fiat. The problem however, is that there is no Biblical justification granting governing authorities an arbitrary basis for punishing or restraining evil. If anything, the basis is definitive (as opposed to arbitrary), but many Christians by and large have failed to come to this realization and only decry government actions if they’re unmistakably egregious.

Moreover, the distinction between vices and crimes[1] should not vary from person to person, nor from governing authority to governing authority because governing authorities are people no different than you and I. This means they are held to the same ethical standard.

Perhaps the most important distinction to make is that the sin of a man does not always necessarily entail physical restitution nor punishment; particularly when there is no physical offense committed against another person or another person’s property. Sure, there is a metaphysical aspect regarding all sin, but God is the only one who has the right to decide the means of expiation, especially when transgressions are committed solely against Him.

It is when a sin becomes criminal — viz. when a sin is an encroachment upon the property of another, including acts of aggression against the victim’s person — that man has legal grounds on which to take punitive action or to exact restitution. This is confirmed by the fact that the Proprietor of all creation has delegated subsidiary ownership of property to each individual human, as indicated by certain provisions of His Law pertaining to actions and choices of man vis-à-vis other men. These prohibitions include the act of murder, stealing, and certain types of false witness (e.g. aggression, theft, extortion, perjury, and breaking of contracts).

Unless otherwise stated by God in His Word (e.g. specific commands to Old Testament Israel), man has a default code of conduct to which he is to adhere. When Christians make allowances for others — especially governing authorities — to negate any portion of this standard, then we make allowances for all men to negate all portions of this standard which is a position entirely hostile toward God.

 

[1] In Lysander Spooner’s work, Vices Are Not Crimes, Spooner defines vices as, “those acts by which a man harms himself or his property” and crimes as “those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another.”

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Consumption Tax?

Part of Gary Johnson’s tax reform plan is implementation of a national sales tax, what he calls a consumption tax, while he repeals all income tax.

However, a national sales tax is an income tax which not only reduces consumption but also savings and investment. As Rothbard states on pages 1161-1162 in Man, Economy, and State with Power and Market:

“It should be carefully noted that the general sales tax is a conspicuous example of failure to tax consumption.  It is commonly supposed that a sales tax penalizes consumption rather than income or capital.  But we find that the sales tax reduces, not just consumption, but the incomes of original factors.  The general sales tax is an income tax, albeit a rather haphazard one, since there is no way that its impact on income classes can be made uniform. Many “right-wing” economists have advocated general sales taxation, as opposed to income taxation, on the ground that the former taxes consumption but not savings-investment; many “left-wing” economists have opposed sales taxation for the same reason.  Both are mistaken; the sales tax is an income tax, though of more haphazard and uncertain incidence.  The major effect of the general sales tax will be that of the income tax: to reduce the consumption and the savings-investment of the taxpayers.  In fact, since, as we shall see, the income tax by its nature falls more heavily on savings-investment than on consumption, we reach the paradoxical and important conclusion that a tax on consumption will also fall more heavily on savings-investment, in its ultimate incidence.”

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John Hersey and the Human Cost of Hiroshima

In August of 1946, as Americans celebrated the one-year anniversary of the end of World War II, The New Yorker magazine devoted an entire weekly edition to the remembrance of one of that war’s final events, the atomic bombing of the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The magazine, which would typically have featured several articles by different writers, instead devoted its August 31, 1946 edition to one extended article by journalist John Hersey, who had been one of the first Western journalists into Hiroshima after the bombing. Hersey’s article focused on six survivors – among them a Methodist minister and German Catholic priest – of the Hiroshima blast.

Without editorial comment, Hersey detailed the experiences of these six survivors and painted a horrifying portrait of the human cost of the atomic bombs. One passage, detailing Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto’s efforts to save the dying and aid the wounded, was particularly heart-wrenching:

“Just before dark, Mr. Tanimoto (a Methodist minister) came across a twenty-year-old girl, Mrs. Kamai, the Tanimotos’ next-door neighbor. She was crouching on the ground with the body of her infant daughter in her arms. The baby had evidently been dead all day. Mrs. Kamai jumped up when she saw Mr. Tanimoto and said, “Would you please try to locate my husband?”

“Mr. Tanimoto knew that her husband had been inducted into the Army just the day before… Judging by the many maimed soldiers Mr. Tanimoto had seen during the day, he surmised that the barracks had been badly damaged by whatever it was that had hit Hiroshima. He knew he hadn’t a chance of finding Mrs. Kamai’s husband, even if he searched, but he wanted to humor her. “I’ll try,” he said.

“’You’ve got to find him,” she said. “He loved our baby so much. I want him to see her once more.’”

So moving was Hersey’s account that Time magazine editorialized,

“Every American who has permitted himself to make jokes about atom bombs, or who has come to regard them as just one sensational phenomenon that can now be accepted as part of civilization, like the airplane and the gasoline engine, or who has allowed himself to speculate as to what we might do with them if we were forced into another war, ought to read Mr. Hersey.”

Having just passed the 71st anniversary of the bombing (and a contested half apology from the United States’ current Bomber in Chief), it seems that John Hersey’s mostly-forgotten work is due for a resurrection. His story may not change anyone’s position on whether or not the bombs should have been dropped, but it would at least remind Americans of what the bombings actually represent.

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On the Alt-Right Scare: Who Cares

Here’s the deal. Hillary dismissed Trump and his base as a bunch of Alt-Righters. This was smart. She’s a good politician. She was playing a classic strategy of taking a teeny tiny group that pretty much nobody likes or actually belongs to and dismissing all her opponents as belonging to that group. This is, as I said, classic. Once the booboisie hears that non-Hillary supporters are alt-right folks, Hillary’s achieved victory.

It’s the whole dismissing someone as racist or sexist thing simply for dissenting. It works. And politics is about pragmatism. Mencken observes:

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

But seriously who cares. Either Trump is good on liberty or he is not. He isn’t. There’s no need for libertarians to get caught up in the virtue signaling of fashionably ensuring that everyone knows how non-racist, non-sexist, anti-alt-right we are.

Congratulations, its 2016 and you’re against racism. I’m proud of you. So is everyone else. I love what Tom Woods wrote on the “taking a stand” on opinions with which 95% of people agree:

In light of recent libertarian showboating I have composed this couplet:

Hey, reporter, look at me
I’m against slavery!

It took a lot of courage to oppose slavery in, say, 1855. It takes zero courage to oppose it today. This is one reason I am convinced that those who are most ostentatious in their aversion to slavery in 2013 are the least likely to have opposed it at the time. Their excessive eagerness to disassociate themselves from perceived “extremism” would not have served them well in the 1850s, when abolitionism, which had zero electoral success, was the most notorious extremism of the day.

[…]

Unlike Kuznicki, I say things that go against the grain even though I know they will yield me nothing but grief. I hope this means I would have opposed injustice when it counted and when it might have done some good, and not just 150 years later, when I safely say what everyone thinks, to the applause of the world.

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