Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Just Where Exactly Did Jeff Tucker Get His "Brutalist Libertarian" Theory From?

Lila Rajiva, intrepid researcher, freedom scholar and blogger at The Mind-Body Politic, has posted a series of comments to my recent posts (SEE:  On Neocon Libertarians)  on Jeffrey Tucker's "brutalist libertarian" theory.  As will become evident in a moment, Lila does her research.
I do not have independent confirmation of the claims she makes below, but again, she is a careful researcher and her comments should be taken as starting points for further investigation.
She writes:

Spot on calling him a neo-con. But I'll wager it's not just on social issues. I'll wager he's a covert supporter of foreign intervention. I know his new circle (Joel Bowman etc.) writes sympathetically about Niall Ferguson, an overt imperial apologist. More need not be said
If you are vocally supporting Zuckerberg, Google and the rest of the private-sector arm of the US government, while mouthing anti-state pieties about the NSA, you're also a neo-con, just flying under the radar.
I am not familiar with the writings of Bowman, but they should be looked at. Is some neocon thought creeping into "libertarian" circles? Let's see if Lila's theory is sound or knock it down.

Here's Lila opinion, just so you know where she is coming from:
Lila RajivaMarch 18, 2014 at 1:58 PM
Anyone who makes binary divisions - either you understand...or you don't...either you accept..or you don't..belongs with Jeff Tucker in the brutalist versus humanitarian school of strawman incapacity for thinking masquerading as thought
Here's the comment from Lila that really got to me and the reason I put this post together. She writes:  
Lila RajivaMarch 18, 2014 at 1:47 PM 
Aha - I knew that the brutalist=totalitarian equation had been made by someone else rang a bell..and here it is:
Her link leads to an October 2011 post by Julian Darius, where he attempts to tie architectural brutalism to, get this, libertarianism, specifically the libertarianism of Ayn Rand. It reads in part:
In architecture, the term “brutalism” is describes a certain style of modernist architecture from the 1950s to the mid-1970s. Brutalism (from the French b├ęton brut or “raw concrete”) is known for its frequent use of concrete (though this is not a requirement) in often large, geometric patterns that tend to expose, rather than disguise, the buildings’ functions. For many of its creators, this functionality had a deeper philosophical point, tied to socialism; brutalist designs may be inventive, but they are rarely ornamental. This functionality may also be tied to one of brutalism’s most often voiced criticisms: that it ignores its buildings’ surrounding, imposing these functional, concrete structures upon historical environments, which can sometimes make brutalist buildings seem out of place. This, combined with brutalism’s often concrete, functional appearance, has led many to consider the style to be uninviting. In fact, they are sometimes seen as implicitly totalitarian, and while some beautiful brutalist structures certainly do exist, many now appear ugly, instantly reminiscent of blocky Soviet institutional buildings or uninventive, concrete housing projects...
This is what Tucker has written now, several years later:
 What is brutalism? The term is mostly associated with an architectural style of the 1950s through the 1970s, one that emphasized large concrete structures unrefined by concerns over style and grace. Inelegance is its main thrust and its primary source of pride. Brutalism heralded the lack of pretense and the raw practicality of the building’s use. The building was supposed to be strong not pretty, aggressive not fussy, imposing and not subtle.
Brutalism in architecture was an affectation, one that emerged from a theory robbed of context. It was a style adopted with conscious precision. It believed it was forcing us to look at unadorned realities, an apparatus barren of distractions, in order to make a didactic point. This point was not only aesthetic but also ethical: It rejected beauty on principle. To beautify is to compromise, distract, and ruin the purity of the cause. It follows that brutalism rejected the need for commercial appeal and discarded issues of presentation and marketing; these issues, in the brutalist framework, shield our eyes from the radical core.
Brutalism asserted that a building should be no more and no less than what it is supposed to be in order to fulfill its function. It asserted the right to be ugly, which is precisely why the style was most popular among governments around the world, and why brutalist forms are today seen as eyesores all over the world.
It is really quite striking to read the two pieces in full. One immediately recognizes the similarities between the Darius piece and the Tucker piece, although Tucker gives no credit nor provides any indications that his brutalism was influenced by Darius. It will be interesting to see how Tucker responds to Lila's discovery and comments on the brutal similarities between the two pieces


  1. @Wenzel

    Chuckle, thanks.

    It was just a thought... because I tend to see this piece of Tucker's as propaganda, so I was looking for evidence of that.

    By the by, do you know why that good piece debunking Tucker by Christopher Cantwell has disappeared? It looks like his blog is down, but the piece has been pulled on another site.
    I know he had some problems last September for having made some comments which conflicted with a web-site it's a bit worrisome.

    Also, check this out:

    I will always call him Max(imilien) Tucker, from now on.

  2. Wenzel, I am a big fan of your work, but I don't see it. If I were to write an article on brutalism, which is well studied in architecture circles, it would read similarly to both of the above. We all stand on the shoulders of others and I see no obvious plagarism here.

    Also, I doubt Tucker can be fairly called a neocon. I know your regrettable feud with him, and I agree he is getting mercurial and perhaps misled, but I think the speculation is going beyond tenability.

    1. "I see no obvious plagarism(sic) here"

      Egads, one lumps or two?

  3. I doubt if Bowman and co. are neo-cons, of the overt Krauthammer type.
    I suspect they are liber-interventionists, of the left-lib sort (humanitarian interventionism).... or sympathetic to it...

    Bitcoin seems to me to be not just a scam, it seems to have a foreign policy angle to it. It's an intelligence-related scam...I suspect...

    I'd blog on what I've found about BTC but I am a bit worried that that possibly falls under the rubric of sedition?

    Dissing Tucker doesn't, though, so I'm happy to do it...

  4. Wow, Tucker plagiarism.

    1. Yep, that's something else. I only read Atlas Shrugged and never bothered with the Fountainhead but I've should have caught it myself.

      Good job Lila!

    2. The Fountainhead was by far a more entertaining read! I tried reading 'Atlas Shrugged' several times and failed.

      Read 'The Fountainhead'! ... for fun. (I'm not a huge Ayn Rand fanboy by any means, but it's still a great book.)

    3. I appreciate that feedback. I'll do it.

  5. Let's all calm down and see how Tucker responds to this "coincidence."

  6. Apparently, Tucker pulled back after the backlash and now seems to claim his application of 'brutalist' only applies to about a half dozen people.

    I don't buy this for a second. Why write an article about what you perceive as a potentially big problem within libertarianism if it really is about maybe 6 or 7 people?

    The fact that he sings the praises of the annoying faux-libertarian Cathy Reisenwitz who thinks "slut shaming" is a form of coercion that needs to be dealt with, and that Bitcoin has a "male privilege" problem, is telling in itself.
    Also, he implied that people belonging to the 'brutalists' are those who may have interest in a community of a homogeneous people. This hardly sounds like it would apply to merely half a dozen people.

    At comments under a piece he wrote at the Libertarian Standard (see below) that state that he is being too vague and needs to name names of brutalists that he is referring to, Tucker chose to bizarrely write a response that did not deal with the request at all, furthering what seems to be deliberate vagueness.

    1. After Tucker's piece, FEE linked to the story with a a tweet or Facebook question that went something like 'We all must decide. Brutalist or good libertarian. Which are you?'

      Definitely not aimed at 6 or 7 people.

  7. "Anyone who makes binary divisions...belongs with Jeff Tucker..."

    The irony is not lost on me.

    1. Look, you must choose - are you a rapist or a murderer? That's the scam that Tucker tried to pull off

  8. Jeffrey Tucker`s new piece, elaborating the original idea:
    "We all need reminders of why we are in the business of studying and promoting the ideas of liberty. It is not really about hating the state, even if that is something we must do. It is not really about celebrating the rights of malevolent forces in our midst, even though they deserve a defense. Hate is not the theme. (When Murray Rothbard used to say that “hate is my muse,” he was being facetious; that man loved liberty like life itself.)

    The reason to believe in liberty is actually benevolent, humble, and rooted in love: we believe in the possibilities of humanity. No state — forever freezing the world in place, presuming to know the unknowable, brutally suppressing dissent, regimenting behavior and ideas, robbing and murdering to realize its goals at the expense of society — can unleash the creative and service-oriented possibilities of the human mind. On the contrary, states, like all expression of power in society, cut off and destroy what society tries to create and self-correct.

    The brutalist mind samples that of the state. It believes in its infallibility, separates the world into those who comply and those who do not, admits no error, sees no coloration, opposes all elaboration and emendation, rules through intimidation, tolerates no diversity, recoils from intellectual struggle, stamps out all uncertainty, opposes innovation, never admits error. You see this in the buildings that brutalist styling produced, and you see this in the ideological world too. You feel it when you wince at what they produce."
    I`d recommend reading in full and thinking about the expressed ideas.
    The accussations of J.Tucker being a neocon are laughable.

    1. I'd recommend wondering why Tucker refuses to give examples of 'brutalists' so we can analyze for ourselves how much sense his accusations make.

      Also, i'd recommend wpndering why he claims it applies to roughly half a dozen people if he makes such a big deal out of this alleged 'division'.

      He deals in vagueness, and then wonders why there is so much misunderstanding about his intent.

  9. @Anonymous at 10.15 am

    No, I don't think he's a neocon in the Krauthammer sense, and neither does Wenzel, who called him a social issues neo-con, using the word to mean meddler.

    Nothing wrong with meddling on your own, but when your "social issues" agenda (anti-family, pro-gay rights, pro-gender feminist) exactly matches the government's-stated policies on its websites and when the government/intelligence agencies are conducting psyops all over the globe in defense of those positions, and when you are affiliated at a high-level with a company - Agora Inc. - which has been documented to have had ties with 1. Rothschild-related figures 2. intelligence operatives, 3. members of the financial mafia allegedly involved in racketeering, whose board members rule the media houses that, then the probability becomes quite high that when you start spouting divisive, "ideological discipline"-type rhetoric that matches government rhetoric, something more is going on than sermonizing.

    Tucker's second piece is simply revisionism in the face of unanticipated opposition.

    All of Tucker's arguments in his second piece (be nicer, be more willing to listen, have a broad tent) have already been made by many people, including me, on this very blog. They've also been made by Bill Clinton, for that matter.

    However, there's a long story here that I cannot get into, which involves Wenzel, telephone monitoring, and the lengths some IP socialists/hackers will go to....all of which precedes Tucker's move to Laizzez-Faire and some of which explains that move and this piece...which is why he said half a dozen people...

    It is not plagiarism that I'm accusing Tucker of. I'm suggesting he's a propagandist.

  10. "But as I think about it, and look carefully at the opposition, it really does come down to about half a dozen people. "

    Why write a paper on the philosophy of six people you refuse to name(other than yourself) that you define as opposition? It must be because those six people are influential.

    Did Murray Rothbard or does Lew Rockwell ever refuse to "name names"? Of course not. They are not cowards, they were direct and knew that naming those that are against libertarian ideals outright was/is instrumental in making their point. Their writing was intended to communicate, not make a vague mockery of their beliefs and reasoning.

    "A building should not be art."(what a "Brutalist" believes)
    "Of course this view represents not only an attack on modernity but all of history."

    So these six people that Tucker is referring to(including himself) don't believe buildings should be art? Really? I think one of the more ridiculous claims I've read in this piece. How many of these six people are constructing buildings? LMAO!

    Look, I'm sure there are a multitude of reasons why SOME buildings were built to a plain standard. But do you know who's decision that was? The person who paid for the building! The OWNER.

    So Tucker's is claim that the owners choice on aesthetic styling is attacking humanity...I'm really at a loss of words(which is rare!)...does this even need to be refuted?

    "What if libertarianism becomes the great gloss to cover up the hidden desire to achieve personal power, malevolent longings, antisocial urges, and authoritarian ends?"

    Libertarian thinking is about personal power. There is nothing wrong with that. Does Tucker really think that the NAP is not sufficient, because that's what he seems to be saying.

    Finally, I read this posted by Tucker himself in response to a question on who's a Brutalist in the comment section of his write up, he includes himself:

    "oh I’ve done some book reviews where I decided in advance that I would trash it even without having read it"

    Can anyone here imagine Murray Rothbard or Lew Rockwell ever having done such a thing?

    We are all imperfect people, but at what point does someone's imperfections interfere with their ability to be a long standing, consistent champion of libertarian ideals?

    1. If utility and functionality were the only things we should concern ourselves with, then a cinderblock home devoid of paint or art or pets would be enough.

      I love beauty. I love the beauty of Austrian economics and Penrose tiles and Mandelbrot sets and roses and pineapples because I can see how their beauty is implicit in their shape and form. They have power, and derive beauty from their power.

      Tucker is attempting to smear us "brutalist libertarians" of hating some ephemeral idea of peace. It's the opposite- we see the beauty, the divine fingerprint of whatever God we worship (or don't) in the discovery, the FACT, that Austrian economic libertarianism allows all people's- gay, black, disabled, elderly, retarded, ugly- to fully live their lives without using the government to force anyone to love them. A real libertarian society would treat those on the fringe far more kindly than our current fascist system since ALL interactions would be genuine, not driven by some government edict.

    2. In addition-

      I hope Bob lays into Ventura about the whole "making a wedding cake for gay people" bullshit.

      Why in the F*(k would I want to give my money to someone who has a religious objection to my gayness? If someone said they had an objection to making a cake, or a loan, or a rental, or WTFEver because I was gay, I would THANK THEM for letting me know of their bigotry. I would be sincere since it means I was able to spend my money with someone with morals more in line with mine own. I would respect them for being up front about it, and might even recommend them to others because they were respectful enough to turn down money if it meant violating their beliefs. It takes BALLS to be racist, or homophobic, or anti- Islamic in this world!

    3. @Rick Fitz,

      Your last few lines were actually morally sublime.
      What strikes me about Tucker's piece is how simple-minded it is.

      There are plenty of Christians who believe that acting out gay sexuality violates religious teaching, but nonetheless are NOT bigots.

      They are not only not bigots, they would go out of their way to help and stand up for gays who are being persecuted because persecuting people is also forbidden by religious teaching.

      In addition to that, if other people claim the right to discriminate in their business associations, it is my belief that Christians, even if they have the right, cannot, INSPITE of their beliefs, because they also have obligations, not just rights.

      The rejected person might not find employment or rooms anywhere else, in which case the Christian would be the cause both of severe hardship for another human being and also for that human being having a low regard for Christians (which of course they probably do, anyway, but that wouldn't be the fault of the Christian).

      Of course, as you said, most gay people wouldn't want to spend their money on people who didn't accept homosexuality.

      But, the problem for gays would be that because of their fewer numbers relative to the general population, that could well mean hardship for them, were all people to just pursue their right to discriminate.

      In Christianity, obligations play a bigger role than rights.
      Tucker forgot that, when he was excommunicating Christians.

  11. From Isaiah Berlin's Two Concepts of Liberty.

  12. I was browsing on a private page so I'll re-add my comments for those who care to read them.

    The main reason I have stopped enjoying Bob's blog (although he didn't write this is because of articles like this). This so called brutalism is merely a red herring, this blog has become a cult of personality for a person that is good at inciting people. I personally agree with most of Bob's, and his fellow writers opinions, however, I also see through shallow and self centered tactics. When I first read this blog I was utterly fascinated by the economic articles that added, what I would say near perfect Austrian perspective to the Anarcho-Capitalist community. However, it has for the most part lost that appeal, and I'll tell you why, almost daily there are articles besmirching others. Now speaking to someone's faults in writing to a degree is not only relevant but constructive, but to the degree it becomes about dividing libertarians & Austrians into essentially fiefdoms, is beyond the pale in my estimation. I'm all for constructive critcism, but this constant brow beating about exactly what libertarianism is in individuals opinions is again, cult of personality stuff. Where one may contribute to Liberty or economics on a fundamental level, without personalizing or demonizing a fellow liberty lover is gracious and helpful. This constant feuding between so called "leaders" in the Liberty movement is not only counter productive it's a waste of the readership people like Bob & the like have grown to attract. You have these smarmy defenders of each position as if there's really one perfect definition of Austrian's or Libertarians, on it's face it's a fallacy. Even the great Rothbard was not perfect, although he deserves praise from all Liberty lovers. So in closing, It would be far more productive to end this cultish obsession with some abstract view of perfect liberty or for that matter almost any topic. To the writers of this blog, let's keep things a lot more civil, and try to advance the Liberty community not divide it.

    1. Tucker calls some libertarians "brutalists" and Wenzel reacts to that by calling the adjective unjustified and you think Wenzel is the problem?

    2. One would suppose anon @ 1:16's solution is to let distortions of the most basic pass on the basis it might "besmirch" those doing so by pointing them out.

      I'm glad that his suggestion will most likely be ignored.

    3. In other words, "why can't we all agree that 2+2 = 5 and be nice about it?" Why argue about it? Let's all hold hands and dance. It's what will most easily advance the Liberty community.

    4. Eh... Cult of personality means that you worship people rather than have deeply held beliefs about certain ideas or concepts.

      Are you suggesting that the criticism that is levied against some here is based on worship of a singular person, or based on a deeply held belief in what is right? And are you suggesting that no effort is made to logically argue why these positions are right?

      I don't personally speak for others but when i feel someone is wrong i'm going to say so and why. I am not interested in making liberty friends and singing "kumbaya", i'm interested in seeing liberty advanced and that means i must first have an idea of exactly what liberty is and not just accept any nonsense that is being called "liberty", because doing so is counterproductive in the end.

      Today i have responded to someone that reacted to the Tucker piece on "libertarianstandard" who felt that hating someone is an example of a violation of the non-aggression principle.
      Do you think i should have accepted that as merely a "difference in a point of view" and not be so "cultish" about my belief that emotions cannot be a form of aggression?

      Quite frankly, this relativism is really pissing me off. This insistence on not being "black and white" on what i consider to be right or wrong is pissing me off. Is slavery not a matter of "black or white"? Is there a grey area in slavery? Are other important issues not black or white in the same way? Should we accept nuance in important issues about freedom and/or violence, in order to be friends with wishy washy people that are diluting what we, or at least i, stand for?

      Courtesy can be a good thing. But if you are talking about self-censorship in the name of "getting along" with other self-professed libertarians, when it comes to clear and important issues, please go to hell.

      With all due respect, of course.

    5. "let's keep things a lot more civil, and try to advance the Liberty community not divide it." Yes, of course. Certain people get called "brutalists", object, then for objecting get accused of dividing the liberty movement. Do you always argue with such an absurdly stacked deck?

  13. Nick has made a fantastic point above which bears highlighting, so I am posting it separately below for those of you who skipped past Nick's comment:

    "What if libertarianism becomes the great gloss to cover up the hidden desire to achieve personal power, malevolent longings, antisocial urges, and authoritarian ends?"

    Libertarian thinking is about personal power. There is nothing wrong with that.

    1. Thank you for your kindness. You are clearly not a brutalist in my humble estimation. Consult Tucker though for an actual ruling on that.


  14. Maybe the adjective is over the top, though not if you read Tucker's whole article. In any event, the problem Tucker identifies in “brutalist” libertarianism comes from this: that libertarianism in general and anarchocapitalism in particular have a deep seated philosophical and moral indifference toward the well-being of others. When absolute self-ownership and the non-aggression principles are taken to their full logical conclusion, you end up with, for example, Rothbard's defense of the rights of parents to abandon and withhold nourishment to their children (see his Ethics of Liberty, Ch. 14.) A "brutalist" libertarian position does not allow for the certainty or even the possibility of positive moral duties, such as friendship or love, toward others beyond the negative duty of NAP. I am convinced this lack of caring for others is why libertarianism has not been able to gain more than a small following in public opinion; it is not its liberal economic prescriptions or its non-interventionist foreign policy. The epistemological certainty with which some defenders of anarchocapitalism speak is the problem, not the content of some of its proposals, most of which, like the complete privatization of all public goods, are very plausible and from a social utility perspective, desireable. Besides, “brutalist” libertarians sometimes forget that in order to get to a completely voluntary society without a state, the omnipotent government must pass through the stage of limited government. It is a journey. They should take Hayek's admonition seriously, that theirs, too, may be a "pretense of exact knowledge." The conclusions of political philosophy do not have the same degree of certainty as the praxeological demonstration of marginal utility.

    1. "In any event, the problem Tucker identifies in “brutalist” libertarianism comes from this: that libertarianism in general and anarchocapitalism in particular have a deep seated philosophical and moral indifference toward the well-being of others."

      Nonsense. Just because libertarians and anarchocapitalists utterly reject any notion that one ought to be forced to help others or care for them, does not make them indifferent in doing so.
      Another point, which i myself made today on my own blog, is that it is entirely counterproductive for the advancement of liberty to pretend that libertarianism itself has a moral component that prefers 'humanitarianism' toward others, because it sends the message that libertarianism itself is "wrong" when it is used as a means to live one's own life in the way one wants to maximize personal happiness. While it is certainly good to care for your fellow-man, there is not a *libertarian obligation* to do so. And it is important for people to know that.

      As an individual we can always claim that being indifferent to the needs of others is morally wrong, but it is important to stress that libertarianism is not dealing with the morality of every human action, but the morality of the means in which actions are made.

      Judgments about indifference to the plight of others can still be made within a libertarian society. Actions undertaken against such individuals include boycott or personal ostracism.

      But to try to paint libertarianism as some kind of moral philosophy in which we say "violence is wrong, but so is indifference" is to send the wrong message about WHY violence is wrong. About what makes libertarianism different from, say, socialism. The moment we include indifference with violence, the entire logical foundation of libertarianism becomes shaky.

      As far as Rothbard is concerned. His defense is not on a moral principle but on a legal principle. It is an example of the kind of thing that within libertarianism ought not to be LEGALLY wrong. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't be morally wrong.
      It is important to stress that no violence may be employed even in these extreme cases of self-ownership, but If you really think any substantial number of libertarians would *morally* condone parents doing such a thing, then you have a very unfounded and dark impression of the characters of most libertarians.

      I would almost call it an ad hominem.

      It may be a parent's "right" to do such a thing, but find me 5 libertarians who would be indifferent to it when it happens. I sincerely doubt ANY libertarian that is not a complete sociopath would ever want anything to do with such a parent ever again.

    2. "Besides, “brutalist” libertarians sometimes forget that in order to get to a completely voluntary society without a state, the omnipotent government must pass through the stage of limited government."

      This is pure speculation on your part.

      "A "brutalist" libertarian position does not allow for the certainty or even the possibility of positive moral duties, such as friendship or love, toward others beyond the negative duty of NAP."

      Discarding your characterization for a moment of any libertarian as a "brutalist" as it for now is a made up label for people that Tucker has yet to clearly define, how is it you come to this conclusion that these people automatically disregard the possibility of positive moral duties?

      How many religious people that consider themselves libertarian would feel otherwise to your characterization of those that might adhere strictly to the NAP? The problem for you is this: there is NO homogeneous set of standards that EVERYONE could agree to. Morally how would you deal with this outside of a coercive force?(like gov't)

      Even wikipedia deals with the problem of "positive moral duties" as you put it:

      "Nevertheless, positive rights are often guaranteed by other laws, and the majority of liberal democracies provide their citizens with publicly funded education, health care, social security and unemployment benefits."

      They use the word "rights" instead of "duties", but where do you draw the line?

      Can we safely say that there are many libertarian's that don't agree with the above "positive moral duties"? I think so. Are they too, "Brutalists"?

      "I am convinced this lack of caring for others is why libertarianism has not been able to gain more than a small following in public opinion"

      This is nothing more than a PR problem. It is not an epistemological problem for libertarianism.

      In summary, I defer to Judge Napolitano, recently wrote on the Pope's moral authority in regard to his extollations of gov't redistribution(which was later recanted):

      "But this is a personal moral obligation, enforced by conscience and church teaching and the fires of hell — not by the coercive powers of the government."

      So there you go, there's a mainstream prominent libertarian talking about his belief in a certain positive moral duty in the Washington Times none the less. If you want to overcome this perception by others about the "lack of caring" in libertarianism maybe you can start by highlighting libertarians in the movement like Judge Napolitano rather than ambiguously referring to six people with whom you might disagree on the level to which they are PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE for said duties.

      It certainly isn't going to be helpful to start randomly labeling libertarians "brutalist" based on your own set of values. I agree with your sentiment that "the adjective is over the top".

      Brutal as an adjective: "Savagely violent"- that doesn't even hold in regard to the NAP, another definition: "Disagreeably precise or penetrating"-somehow I doubt Tucker was being that generous.

    3. "libertarianism in general and anarchocapitalism in particular have a deep seated philosophical and moral indifference toward the well-being of others."

      This is a deep-seated philosophical bullshit. Libertarianism is defined as adherence to NAP, nothing less and nothing more. So it holds that well-being of others is NOT a valid reason for initiating violence. Beyond that, libertarianism is quite compatible (and in fact, encouraging) caring for the well-being of others - charity, voluntary work, mutual aid, etc, etc. JUST DON'T FUCKING KILL AND ROB IN THE NAME OF WELL-BEING OF OTHERS.

      Why is this so hard to understand?

    4. A "brutalist" libertarian position does not allow for the certainty or even the possibility of positive moral duties, such as friendship or love, toward others beyond the negative duty of NAP." This is patently false. The only thing that the NAP says is that one can't use force to impose those duties that are objectively valid, if there be any, upon others. It says nothing about their existence or non-existence, certainty or non-certainty. To argue for one or the other goes beyond what the NAP claims. It is also purely a projection of your own mind to suppose in a lump-sum, sweeping generalization that libertarians have a "deep-seated" "moral indifference toward the well-being of others". Where did you get this information? Did you talk to every libertarian, every "brutalist"? Did you follow all of us around and determine whether we help old ladies across the street or ignore them?


      Why is this so hard to understand?"

      Because we are now, in the midst of a rise in popularity for libertarian philosophy, dealing with a bunch of fucking liberals in libertarian disguise, or those libertarians who are afraid of this "P.R." problem libertarianism seems to have in the eyes of fucking liberal statists.

      Just as there are some who feel libertarianism should cater to conservative or religious sentiment in order to be more appealing and generate more attraction to potentially new converts, so there are that are now clamoring for us to be all peace, loving and understanding hippie mode and appeal to liberals in order to be attractive to potential new converts from that side.
      I find this catering to it, by subverting the simple yet powerful meaning of libertarianism to be utterly revolting, especially as true libertarians are coming under attack through logical fallacies, strawmen and downright lies from supposed other libertarians.

      It is obvious to me that it has begun, the subversion of libertarianism by both frauds and chickenshits who are afraid to simply present libertarianism "as is", and are desperate to not only depict it as a philosophy about the morality of violence, but as a philosophy of emotion and caring and inclusiveness, tolerance, diversity and all that other P.C. bullshit that people have been trying to ram down our throats through the state.

      Let me be perfectly frank: to all those who cannot accept libertarianism "as is" - a statement about the morality of aggression - and want to incorporate some emotional component into it, or some set of positive moral obligations, that they can go fuck themselves. I don't need to be told by anyone from his sanctimonious pulpit that my libertarianism is wrong because it is "indifferent". Libertarianism is about the fucking right TO BE indifferent. And yet that does not mean libertarians are. Something the eager bandwagon jumpers of Jeffrey Tucker's horseshit "brutalist vs humanitarian" distinction don't seem to understand.

    6. I would beat the shit out of anyone who called me unkind or uncaring.

      My "brutalist libertarianism" comes from my deeply held belief that being kind and respectful of our fellow man, our beasts of burden, our land and water and trees is intrinsic and indivisible from my belief in every man's right to his own life, his own labors, and his own God. (Sorry for the mix of "I/our---damn Safari!)

      If demanding respect for a man's person and property, no matter how abhorrent his beliefs, is "brutal"...well, snatch my wigs and stockings, 'cause I am BRUTE!

    7. “When absolute self-ownership and the non-aggression principles are taken to their full logical conclusion, you end up with, for example, Rothbard's defense of the rights of parents to abandon and withhold nourishment to their children (see his Ethics of Liberty, Ch. 14.)”

      Or, one could conclude that Rothbard was wrong, and that this is not the “full logical conclusion.” It is only the full logical conclusion if one accepts no responsibility for his action of becoming a parent.

      It is difficult for me to square NAP with abandonment of responsibility.

  15. @LLLiberty

    The left already dominates the mainstream, so it's annoying when, even in libertarian circles, they try to demonize, without even naming their targets.

    Have any brutalists asked for Eskimos to be legally disenfranchised or killed? If so, when and where?
    If not, what precisely is their offense?

    If you can be a feminist and a libertarian, you most certainly can be a men's rights activist and be a libertarian. .

    If you can object to burkhas and be a libertarian, then you can object to bikinis and be a libertarian.

    Tucker's article wasn't about being kinder or more willing to listen to others. It was about singling out certain blogs from a powerful pulpit.

    Did it not sound like a threat and didn't he just argue that speech can be coercive?
    Then, by his own standards, he was being coercive.

    Brutalists, he claims are

    "a fundamentalist sect that excludes all peoples not of the faith, forces women into burka-like clothing, imposes a theocratic legal code, and ostracizes gays and lesbians."

    Really? In the US, theocrats are taking over, covering up women, and persecuting gays and lesbians?

    The reality is that the liberal-left establishment has turned MEN and WOMEN into objects of perpetual voyeurism, perpetually stripped, not just of clothes but of any privacy..... and any freedom.

    Not Christian fundamentalists but liberal fundamentalists, of exactly the kind Tucker endorses, do this to ferret out, just as Tucker does, any vision of life that they CLAIM is sexist or racist, whether it actually is or not, and whether, even if it is, it constitutes a threat to anything except a mono-cultural wasteland..

    Then, Tucker equates this statist feminism with modernism itself and with civil rights and the end of slavery and colonialism.

    Last I looked, Christians fought against slavery. Last I looked, Gandhi preached celibacy and prayed to God.

    Again, Tucker defines brutalism:

    "the desire to abide in racial and religious homogeneity, the moral permanency of patriarchy, the revulsion against homosexuality, and so on"

    Does he, just as a gesture of fair-mindedness, concede that gay activists are often intolerant, as are feminists? Does he mention Zionist racism, and not just anti-Semitism?
    Does he point out that illegal immigrants might pursue agendas as illiberal as any he blames on brutalists?

    No. Not a bit of it.

    So, it was not about "playing nice." It was about beating up on one group of libertarians and sanctifying the other, while pretending to take the moral high ground.

    There is a common tactic in corporate circles, whereby your henchmen break someone's legs at midnight (metaphorically speaking), while you take to the pulpit genially in the morning.

    That leaves your target with all the 'splaining to do, whereupon the pulpit- pounder can say in a pained voice that his only wish is for sweetness and light.

    LLL, by all means take the Pollyanna approach. Just don't call yourself an "enemy of the state" when you are knowingly playing along with all the state's deep "framed" debates that pollute and destroy every strand of genuine inquiry and investigation.

    And, if you still call yourself "an enemy of the state," expect that people who see what is going on in all its depravity, will, on their own petty blogs, with not one thousandth part of your marketing power, call you out.

    If they do it civilly, it will not be because you deserve the civility, it will be only because they, in their own failing, weak way, subscribe to those very brutalist beliefs that you detest that teach them not to treat their fellow man in the same poisonous and unethical way that they themselves have been treated.

  16. Political correctness with good manners or without... is tyranny.
    (someone else said that but it seem apt)

  17. @Daniel Rice, Tony

    Fair enough.

    I will rephrase to make it clear how different it is from a binary:

    "Anyone who makes binary divisions of us against them is doing just what Tucker did... or George Bush."

    There- that makes it clearer...

    So your irony is mistaken but expected.

    1. I'm your huckleberry. Just thought we ought not throw out Baby Binary with the bathwater. It's either true or it ain't, so they say.


  19. Daily Paul forum has some of the reasons for this piece and the likely targets.!

  20. Freedom Feens did an episode where they compared Brutalist architecture to the State in June 2012:

  21. @Anonymous at 12:55
    Oh then that's it....that's the immediate reason.
    So Tucker reverses it and turns it into libertarians are brutalists.
    So now we know whose side he's on - the state's.
    Told you it was propaganda not a serious statement of belief.

  22. My rejoinder, from a conservative Catholic perspective:

    I illustrated the brutalists vs. humanitarian divide, so all the retards (oops- brutalist!) among us, starting with me, can figure it out.

  24. Tucker ups the ante via proxy. Very interesting. Wonder why he didn't argue that himself?
    So now we know that North is on the target list. Vance might be too.

    I think this chap's in his over his head if he thinks he can settle disputes about what constitutes property, offense, image, right, boundary, civilized, or anything else, in one blog post. Notice the reiteration of the word "gorilla".

    1. Hi, Lila

      I'm Jack, the author of that piece.

      My site could hardly be devoted to Tucker's piece: I set it up for my own reasons, as you can read about in the About page: I decided to start blogging. Simple as that.

      As for a gorilla "meme": I'm afraid you misunderstood my symbolism.

      The 'gorilla in the room' is the fact that there is a divide amongst libertarians; the imagery of 'gorilla' itself was not intended to represent any single person or group of persons.

      I did not "attack" religious fundamentalism: I merely highlighted that Tucker branded religious fundamentalism as a form of "Brutalism," and then I wanted to try and explore what this meant, and how it contributed to Tucker's article becoming contentious.

      What is Agora.Inc? You will notice in my Author page that I stated I had *decided* to become a freelance copywriter: I am still breaking into the business. Maybe you can throw some work my way ;)

      As for the Ron Paul campaign, you will find it difficult for anyone organized at the state level to provide "proof" of that. What do you want, tax returns? I was not paid for my work. I have no idea where you got the idea I worked for Palin or the Republican party or legislature...Palin's name isn't mentioned once on my site. And, the only time I mentioned Republican party was when I explained how their conduct has caused me to fall out of favor with them and abandon partisan politicking.

      What you may have saw was the link to the policy think tank I had interned for: please actually click on that link and see what they are about.

      "he sounds like your typical lefty." I had to lol at this. Where did this come from? My defense of property rights? The espousing of the Non Aggression Axiom? My assertion that the State infringes on the aforesaid?

      I am flattered that you feel my background 'establishes credibility,' and that my resume "seem[s] created for the task." I was hoping my personal journey and experiences would help me out! But it's all real. Again, I lol'ed.

      As for "interesting websites that pop out of nowhere," again, I am flattered you found the site interesting. Follow me on Twitter or something ;) Every site/blog has to start somewhere: my blog wasn't started back in '05 like yours, but then again I am guessing I am a lot younger than yourself. If in your opinion anytime someone starts a blog at a more recent date then yours it is 'coming out of nowwhere' I am afraid I don't follow the logic.

      I guess I could've hired that sky writer after

      Anyway, I too wish that "someone else would check it out and get a feel for it." Better yet: subscribe!

      Next time you have such serious issues with a piece of mine, or want to engage in suppositions, at least leave a comment or email for me at my blog so I can more easily address you. I welcome the dialogue and the controversy: feel free to fire away in my own comments section.

  25. @Jack X

    Glad you came by to defend yourself. I wouldn't leave a comment on a blog I didn't know. Had way too much trouble from it. IP addresses and so on.

    The blog coming out of nowhere comment is not because your blog started later than mine.
    There are other things which signal something artificial.

    I didn't misunderstand the imagery. I quite understand you were using a metaphor. The choice of the metaphor was what I was referring to.

    I do believe you were attacking social conservatives, in that you said the sexuality of any unorthodox kind could not be a violation of the NAP nor drug-taking, so people who were averse to such behavior and didn't welcome it were not really libertarians and should be kind of made aware of that.

    Your differences with libertarians on that should probably be taken up with libertarians. I don't call myself one.

    Also, you don't need to publish a tax-return to prove you worked somewhere, but usually a web-site link or a third party link would help.

    You do understand that there's a cottage industry of this kind of thing and so one tends to get suspicious.

    1. I feel that amongst bloggers, there should be a mutual respect and presumption of legitimacy.

      If you or any other blogger wishes to have their content taken for what it is, to have the audience deal with what is written, not with some conspiracy theory as to who put them up to write it, then the only reasonable thing to do is extend to other bloggers the same respect you would wish extended to yourself.

      Basically, until a blogger demonstrates that they do not actually subscribe to the sentiments they set forth, as proven by some sort of tangible evidence, then you have to presume that they are genuine.

      Just as we do not presume people are criminals until they have demonstratably violated other persons and property, and we presume innocence, we should presume authenticity from our fellow bloggers.The alternative to this is to create an environment of unwarranted mutual suspicion: everyone will think others are not genuine, and vice versa.

      - Jack

  26. @Jack

    Run along, now.
    Junior high is across the road...

    1. ^ why society is in the predicament it is in to begin with. lol

  27. "Anyone who makes binary divisions - either you understand...or you don't...either you accept..or you don't..belongs with Jeff Tucker in the brutalist versus humanitarian school of strawman incapacity for thinking masquerading as thought..."

    Hey, that is a great binary division you just made there, Lila!

  28. @Gene Callahan

    I addressed that objection previously and I restated to show that it wasn't a binary.
    I restated it like this:

    "Those who use such divisions are doing what Tucker is doing."
    The thread is below:

    Lila RajivaMarch 21, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    @Anonymous 1.06
    I made that point in my first book, which is about the increasing leftism of liberalism, But no use trying to take that word back, anymore than capitalism can be taken back now. By using it, you just play into the left's hands. Besides, I like the word conservative. Don't hate it at all. Progress, reaction...all lefty terms that assume lefty virtue.

    @Tony 5.55 Indeed, liberty has many meanings and most precede its meaning for libertarianism (anti-government). There is Moksha (spiritual liberty), there is Christian (truth shall make you free)..neither of which have anything to do with government. Even classical political liberty was much more contrained than what libertarians have branded as liberty.

    I reserve my lengthy arguments for books, papers, interlocuters, not pseudonymous avatars and not where they might provide unpaid fodder for someone else's arguments.

    But, in a word - you assume what you should prove.


    I rephrased to make it more obvious that it wasn't a binary, although you can certainly turn it into one. I am not a student of logic, but I do believe that that doesn't need to be so.

    I can conceive how A can be A and not-A at different times in its existence.

    @Anon at 12.39.

    You are reading too much into it.

    My point is, just as above, you can be partly with Tucker on some positions and partly against him.

    Problem arises again from lack of clarity of the terms. You can be on his side, in some contexts and not in others. So the whole phrase (with us or against) has no basis in anything real. It's simply a trigger slogan.

    "You" is short-hand for your positions. Your positions can, individually, be for AND against, and vary with time and context.

    You see? No logical training, but tons of horse-sense.

    Now ciao. I have whole other lives...