Sunday, March 16, 2014

On Neocon Libertarians

By Robert Wenzel

Yes, I know that to identify a group as somehow being libertarian and neocon at the same time is something of a contradiction. However, I believe that there is emerging within the libertarian movement a group that is best understood as attempting to advocate a type of libertarianism that also requires that baggage be carried for what best can be described as a kind of social-issues neoconism.

Jeffrey Tucker's recent essay, Against Libertarian Brutalism, is an example of this type neocon-libertarian view.

In his essay, Tucker divides libertarianism into two camps. He generously calls his own camp, "humanitarian," while those he sees, as being in an opposing camp, he calls "brutalists." I will argue that what Tucker calls brutalist libertarians are in fact just libertarians, with no adjective necessary to modify the word libertarian, while the camp that Tucker identifies himself with is indeed more than the libertarian camp, it is best described as not humanitarian but social-neocon.

Tucker is a very clever writer who often in his writings will make statements that are not necessarily logically consistent and, at other times, appear apparently to be plopped in the middle of his essays for dramatic distortive effect.

Consider his introduction of the term libertarian-brutalism. He tells us he has adopted this term as a type of reference back to an architectural movement:
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.
We look back and wonder where these monstrosities came from, and we are amazed to discover that they were born of a theory that rejected beauty, presentation, and adornment as a matter of principle. The architects imagined that they were showing us something we would otherwise be reluctant to face. You can only really appreciate the results of brutalism, however, if you have already bought into the theory and believe in it. Otherwise, absent the extremist and fundamentalist ideology, the building comes across as terrifying and threatening.
By analogy, what is ideological brutalism? It strips down the theory to its rawest and most fundamental parts and pushes the application of those parts to the foreground. It tests the limits of the idea by tossing out the finesse, the refinements, the grace, the decency, the accoutrements. It cares nothing for the larger cause of civility and the beauty of results. It is only interested in the pure functionality of the parts. It dares anyone to question the overall look and feel of the ideological apparatus, and shouts down people who do so as being insufficiently devoted to the core of the theory, which itself is asserted without context or regard for aesthetics.
In other words, he is objecting to those who hold libertarianism to be simply what is is, an advocacy of the non-aggression principle, though at other times he seems to switch and advance the idea that brutalists are libertarians that, by definition, indeed hold non-politically correct views on gays, Jews, blacks etc.. At other times, he will write in a very clever fashion that is simply off the wall distortive. He drops in this doozy of a statement:
Brutalism can appear in many ideological guises. Bolshevism and Nazism are both obvious examples...
What is Tucker trying to say here? What does this have to do with libertarianism? Libertarianism is about the non-aggression principle. It is the opposite of what Nazis and Bolsheviks advocated. If one is to take that ideological brutalism means belief in hardcore principles, right or wrong, then almost any ideologues of any stripe can be labeled brutalists, including a Tucker favorite, feminists (SEE:Was Ludwig Von Mises a Feminist?)

Indeed, attaching the word brutalist to any principled group seems to be nothing more than a redundancy wrapped in a smear. The term libertarian stands alone quite well in getting across the point as to what libertarianism is about, liberty for all. Indeed, Tucker admits as much in his essay at one point:
Liberty is large and expansive and asserts no particular social end as the one and only way. Within the framework of liberty, there is the freedom to love and to hate.
Let us now take a look at what Tucker calls "humanitarian libertarianism." Tucker tells us this is an advocacy of libertarianism with "accoutrements." Tucker writes:
An ideology robbed of its accoutrements, on the other hand, can become an eyesore, just as with a large concrete monstrosity built decades ago, imposed on an urban landscape, embarrassing to everyone, now only awaiting demolition. Will libertarianism be brutalist or humanitarian? Everyone needs to decide.
What  accoutrements does Tucker have in mind? Tucker does not tells us directly, but only indirectly by attacking a basic tenet of those who stick, simply and only, to the  libertarian principle that people should be free to do whatever they want as long they do not violate the non-aggression principle.
[T]he brutalists assert the right to be racist, the right to be a misogynist, the right to hate Jews or foreigners, the right to ignore civil standards of social engagement, the right to be uncivilized, to be rude and crude...[and the right to] revulsion against homosexuality
As I have written before, I have no problems with blacks, Jews or gays. But what of those who do hold such prejudices? Some most certainly are prejudice against other groups because of religious reasons, cultural reasons, a belief in correct, or incorrect, empirical observations about various groups, and based on many other reasons, but so what? (SEE: About My Racist Friends, My Homophobic Friends and My Own Prejudices)

If one experiences a strong pull to be a paid, or an unpaid, PR agent  for some or all of these groups, no libertarian, of any stripe, is going to object. But these advocacy positions have nothing to do with the essence of libertarianism. It is a distortion of what libertarianism is about. And the distortions dosen't stop there. There are many other distortions in Tucker's essay and it would take a book to discuss them all, so I will examine only one other important one here, when Tucker writes with condemnation of brutalists because some desire to be among their own. He says:
To them [brutalist libetarians], what’s impressive about liberty is that it allows people to assert their individual preferences, to form homogeneous tribes, to work out their biases in action...
Does Tucker have any idea what goes on in the world? Most people like to be around their own kind. This is not limited to "brutalist" libertarians. Does Tucker realize that Greenwich Village in New York City, the Castro District in San Francisco and Provincetown in Massachusetts, to name just three, are  pockets of  gay tribes? They want to be around each other as much as anti-gays, want to be around their own. What's the problem? And as far as brutalists holding some kind of monopoly on working out "their biases in action," Tucker ought to take a walk down the Castro some Saturday night.

And herein lies the Tucker view as a kind of social-neocon view. Neocons, as we know, consider America "exceptional" and thus desire that the American way of government rule be imposed on the rest of the world. Failed interventions in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and  Vietnam have shown just how impossible a task this is.  But, yet, the neocons don't stop. They want war in Syria, Ukraine and Iran. Interestingly, they will often couch their calls for battle by propagandizing that their demands are "humanitarian" to remove "brutes."

They totally fail to accept the libertarian principle, which is essentially "live and let live." Only by trade and voluntary exchange do people, over time, observe what works and, perhaps, adopt free market policies. In otherwords, the best way to live is by example, not by meddling in the affairs of others.

It is the same on the social front. To convert the world to a "live and let live" philosophy is a difficult enough task but to attach "accoutrements," is nothing but neocon-type meddling on the social spectrum. It is going beyond the advancement of liberty and, at the same time, bucking up against many religions, cultures and individual beliefs. One has to ask,what politically correct  accoutrement will come next? There seems to be no identifiable line to be drawn to stop advocacies of almost anything? Will a call come out to "be civil" and advocate the wearing of Murray Rothbard-type bowties, as part of libertarianism? A Rothbard-type bowtie wearing practice Tucker seems to have adopted.

If someone wants to advocate for any group based on their race, religion, sex, sexual preferences, color of their skin, or anything else, they would be free to do so in a libertarian society, but to tie libertarian principle in any way, with any specific views on such matters is meddling with a basic principle and contradictory to what libertarianism calls for: liberty for all, regardless of what any specific  person will attempt to do with his liberty--as long as there is no aggression. It is impossible to attempt to squeeze anything out of the fruit of liberty, except freedom. The liberty fruit does not contain meddling juice. Neocon libertarians are attempting to muddy this fact.

The only question that needs to be asked is if gays, Jews, blacks, fundamentalists, atheists, Catholics, homophobes and racists can be libertarians and the answer is, "Yes." Beyond this, any attempt to isolate any of these groups relative to other groups, in the context of libertarianism, is meddling with libertarianism in a manner that is contradictory to the very essence and inclusiveness of libertarianism. It is social-issues neconism.

If neocon libertarians want to live in an area where blacks, Jews and gays freely mix they should simply do so. If the area becomes more vibrant than other areas, people will notice, but we also should keep in mind that others may not want such vibrancy. Live and let live.


  1. As a Decotarian, I understand completely. Brutalism is the Counter-Revolution of the Rulers who take what creativity is left on the architectural spectrum and crush it.
    See: Constructivism. in passing, though maybe not the best introduction.

    Say what you will about the end of Art Deco and the start of WW2, the Joys of aesthetically pleasing buildings were much attenuated after the war. It should come as no surprise.
    The State won the war. "We interrupt this advance in design to bring you this war bulletin. Go back to your homes and look at concrete slabs for the rest of your miserable little lives..."

    "Butalism"? Too kind a word.


    1. Indeed, CW. Nothing represents the megalomaniacal aspect of Brutalism better than the monstrous Nelson Rockefeller's homage to the power of the state, Albany's Empire State Plaza. Aside from its inhuman scale and sterile aesthetic, its creation required the forcible displacement of over 9,000 people and the destruction of countless privately owned buildings. Downtown Albany's commercial base has never fully recovered.

      Tucker, clever as always, thinks he's found a novel and catchy analogy, but in addition to the defects noted in Robert's post, it's inherently flawed, thanks to his superficial understanding of architectural history: Brutalist works were almost entirely sponsored by the state or by its intellectual apparatchiks, and thus relied overwhelmingly on force in order to be realized. Once cornered, I doubt even so jaded a polemicist as Tucker would stand behind an assertion that the frank and principled branch of libertarianism relies on force and the power of the state to gain influence in the marketplace of ideas.

  2. @Wenzel

    Good catch.

    Notice the same tired list of the discriminated against - why isn't Tucker bothered about discrimination against Cambodians or Irish or Kannadigas?... What about discrimination against patriarchs, divorced men, virgins, old women, and Serbs?

    No, no, no. It's always the same liberal-left neo-con trope - only Jews, blacks, women and gays are discriminated against. That's the left's ideological coalition, so basically, they're trying to disarm their opponents by saying criticism of their ideological mates is not criticism - it's brutality. Criticism of you, on the other hand, is sheer humanism.

    So I guess it's brut-alism (Wenzel, Woods and Co.) versus Fruit-alism (Tucker and Co.)

    Bring the pop-corn and soda.....

    1. Very interesting blog post, and very interesting comments.

      Is there a purge of some type taking place? Sure seems that way what with Rand doing his thing and all. I mean, the Republicans sure do hate our guts. The Left can't like us either. Cognitive dissonance really is a bitch, ...for them, and for certain confused libertarians like Tucker who maybe want to be on the bandwagon with the left or the right?

    2. Lila has good eyes for this sort of stuff... she's trained in the arts

  3. The best description of people like Jeff Tucker is Free Market Cultural Marxists

  4. Poor Jeffrey, how can he persuade proggies to his fullofshitism creed with all of us rough hewned libertarians out there spouting unvarnished truth as if we were free to do so without concern for or fear of censor? Tucker is a gate keeper without a key to the kingdom which he believes to be Bedlam, anyway.

  5. I've never seen a "fussy" building nor been "terrified" of one.
    I hate it for Tucker but.............liberty IS (or can be) brutal..
    Some people aren't cut out for it.

  6. Gerard Casey make a similar point starting on page 42 of his Libertarian Anarchy, "It is important to realize that libertarianism is not, nor is intended to be, a complete moral theory. Much confusion will be prevented and many possible objections can be summarily deflected if this point is appreciated... Many activities that are currently banned or prohibited by the State...would all be permissible from a libertarian perspective but not necessarily morally defensible. The libertarian as libertarian makes no judgement of such acts... Libertarians can and do make moral judgements on may matters but unless the subject matter of those judgements impinges on human freedom, they do so not as libertarians but wearing some other hat."

    1. Spot on, libertarianism covers only a small portion of moral theory.

  7. Aw shucks it's should be said that you're not a 1st Amendment supporter until you support someone who says or prints that which you find it offensive but understand it's his freedom too and you're not a 2nd Amendment supporter until you support someone's right to own a gun even if they have a violent, criminal history because although he does not have the right commit crimes he does still have a natural right to own firearms and defend himself when not committing a crime.

    1. Either you don't understand that the 1st Amendment is a two-way-street (in other words, NOT a right to be shielded from criticism) or you're just trolling.
      I'm not sure which one.

    2. "I'm not sure which one."

      He's trolling. That's all he does. He's being doing it for years over at the LvM site. He's a piece of subhuman sh*t.

  8. The basis of the NAP is reciprocity in the service of conflict avoidance. The NAP doesn't hold between me and the chicken I ate for lunch because I can trample over it without consequence and the world continues to spin. However if I try to do the same to any human being, conflict ensues and life is not good. Hence the NAP is applicable & advantageous to all people, or at least those who can grasp it and the other perhaps shouldn't be considered "people". As Mises said, what defined humanity is rational action and if you aren't capable of it you aren't human.

    But the default assumption a libertarian makes is that all humans, even if they are of a race that has an average IQ of 80, are capable of basic reciprocity when it comes to not initiating violence and therefore all libertarians are "humanitarians" from that perspective, even if they don't wish to, let's say, intermarry with inferiors.

    Indeed, I think the love of the marketplace also brings about a kind of general and default appreciation towards any other human being who is an honest bread winner, but it doesn't mean we don't discriminate with whom we want to associate. Everybody does and those who deny it are simply liars.

    I guess Tucker believes he can jumpstart his business by fommeting divisions amongst libertarians. It's very sad that this is what he has to "contribute" to libertarian thought after years of merely rehashing existing ideas. I guess he should have stuck with being a PR person for higher caliber people & institutions.


    1. "The NAP doesn't hold between me and the chicken I ate for lunch because I can trample over it without consequence and the world continues to spin. "

      I guess the US used the NAP to justify the invasion of Iraq... they came, they saw, they conquered.. That was the plan anyways .. and it was justified at the time under libertarian NAP.

      Anyways, my point is that your characterization of NAP is incorrect because it is incomplete in one crucial aspect.

    2. "But the default assumption a libertarian makes is that all humans, even if they are of a race that has an average IQ of 80, are capable of basic reciprocity when it comes to not initiating violence"

      I hope that's true. I think this is true though about immigration: if the available evidence suggests that a demographic in the majority supports statism (i.e. is planning to aggress upon on us) I think it's consistent with the NAP to try to stop their immigration. It's an imperfect solution because there's a limited amount of aggression in restricting the minority of immigrants who would embrace liberty. But the extent to which it's that is much less than the extent that immigration restriction is self-defense because the *majority* of immigrants are statists who wish to extract wealth and impose more government on us. And once they get legalized and voting there's nothing we can do to stop them.

      It's sort of like how voting for Ron Paul was criticized by some anarcho-capitalists because voting at all is to some extent voicing consent to the existence of government. But the extent to which this is true is less than the extent that it's positive as far as taking action to reduce government. The part of government that we're implicitly consenting to by voting is much less than the part we're working to get rid of.

      These are realist ideas for people who live in the real world. Too many anarchist libertarians go on about how it 'should be' but do nothing to realistically bring anything close to what we want into fruition in the real world.

  9. Excellent article.

    This type of crap by Tucker and that by his annoying fauxbertarian ladyfriend Cathy Reisenwitz is just undermining libertarianism. First of all, it gives the impression that libertarianism should be about more than it really is, giving potential newcomers the wrong ideas.

    Second, the things they say have simply NOTHING to do with libertarianism, but merely with a personal mode of behavior and ethics they would choose to have within a libertarian framework. Sure, you can claim that it would be much preferable to be kind to gays, treat women as equals, and not be a racist. This is a case of personal morality i can certainly generally agree with.

    But it has NOTHING to do with libertarianism, and therefore there is no such thing as "brutalist" libertarianism or "humanitarian" libertarianism. There is no difference between these two forms of libertarianism, there is just a difference between two kinds of people adhering to ONE AND THE SAME libertarianism.

    Tucker and his PC friends are muddying the waters for potential newcomers by claiming there are two different versions of libertarianism in this regard, and they are merely exercising arrogant moral masturbation by trying to lecture older libertarians on the merits of a P.C. left-liberal mentality.

  10. I agree Tucker's views seem muddled & conflicted, but why even associate libertarianism with brutalism? Brutalism and the related are all just opinion, if Tucker confuses his own odd perspective with Liberty, it's an opinion, and you're correct in calling him out. However, as is frequent on this blog, Bob goes for the jugular as some sort of Einstien of said doctrine. Part of libertarianism is defending it's doctrines, but also realizing people have different views about what it is. There is nothing wrong with Bobs or Jeff's views, personally I think Bob is correct, however calling Jeff a neocon, is a HUGE stretch, and beneath him. Appreciate Tucker for his proper views on Liberty, advance it where you can. There's nothing "wrong" with calling out Tucker for being muddled, there is something wrong with being some kind of libertarian hit man out to destroy others perspectives.

    1. Tucker's view is bad because he's weaseling his way towards saying that not supporting leftist ideas is aggression.

  11. @Wenzel,

    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.

  12. Tucker is contradicted by no less an authority (for an educated Catholic) than St Thomas Aquinas, who, though clear in his opinions of what constituted sin, nevertheless clearly saw the danger of the State engaging in criminalizing vices. It is sad to see how often those who claim the rights of liberty do not see the concomitant responsibility to be tolerant of those with whom they disagree. The very fact that the first amendment recognizes freedom of religion makes it clear that there will be strong disagreement about matters of morality, the attempts of Obama et al to find "a balance" regarding moral questions not withstanding. We do not need politicians to give us balance, only tolerance of differences.

  13. How could Moses, Joshua of Nun, and Caleb been libertarians, in the sense of honoring the NAP, at the time that Moses was plotting invasion and sending spies into Canaan?

    Already we see that a "libertarian" Jew has a serious problem, for he is an Israelite and as such is expected by Jewish religious authority to approve of the plotting and the invasion. (Granted, some Jews condemn the affair and should be recognized for doing so.)

    So now the rationalizations begin: "It wasn't aggression. God granted permission!"

    It should take little imagination to see now that papists and Protestants, too, have serious problems with honoring both NAP.

    1. "Since American "libertarians" have side-lined (and mocked) social conservatives and have teamed up with liberals to build their movement (LRC)..."

      Are you talking about the Cato/Reason weasels against it or LRC itself? Because if its the later, this speaks that you've really not read much of LRC. I mean, if this was true, why would they give an audience to half of the writers they include? This comment makes zero sense.

    2. This is honestly the first time I've seen viewing and understanding the specific commands from God in accordance with his plan to send His Son & Savior as a "rationalization."

      I'm sure I don't have to mention are also no apples-to-apples comparisons between whatever-century BC Jews and a 21st-Century "papist" or "Protestant" applying the NAP in their daily lives. A Moses-era Jew, following God's plan for a place and time of his saving Son by spying on Canaan, has absolutely no connection to a 21st Century American who has no right whatsoever to be spying on a Russian or Iranian. Of course, if you think the Christian experience is a bunch of BS anyway, why are you even commenting on something you clearly don't accept and understand?

      So perhaps a better example of a "rationalization," defined by as ' to justify (one's actions, esp discreditable actions, or beliefs) with plausible reasons, esp after the event ,' would be slamming a religion under the excuse of being the purest of them all under the NAP. But, Mirror on the Wall, I'm applying the NAP!!!

  14. "Neocons, as we know, consider America "exceptional" and thus desire that the American way of government rule be imposed on the rest of the world."

    As a former Neocon, I can say that this is not what we (or at least not Conservatives) mean by "American Exceptionalism".

    We don't believe America has an inherent quality that sets itself apart from the rest of the world. Rather, we believe America has escaped the tyranny of collectivism (oops), whereas almost every other country still wants to live in ways that destroy themselves, economically.

    By "exceptional", we mean a quality of living which other countries could have if they believed in free markets like we do (supposedly), but since they currently don't, it is impossible for them to be exceptional in this sense.

    So, when we got angry at Obama for saying "I'm sure other countries believe that they are exceptional, too" (paraphrase), it wasn't because we thought we have a natural privilege or are deserving, but because the statement, assuming he is using "exceptional" the way we mean it (he wasn't), paints all other countries as capable of being exceptional while living under collectivism - which is another way of saying that free market principles are not worth consideration.

    Our belief is that it is impossible for you to be exceptional unless you hold to free market principles.

    We believe that other countries blame America's free market influence (also oops) for their poverty, and want to attack us and/or spread their collectivist influence into our form of government (turns out that was actually quite successful for them).

    Knowing the history of collectivist governments, we want to protect our (supposedly) free market way of life from misguided religious fanatics who will attack civilians because our free market influence is causing all of their problems in their collectivist country (which turned out not to be the reason they attacked us).

    So what are people to do who think that other countries want to attack them because they hate the idea of free markets and because our "evil" corporations want to hire their workers for cheap which is such an offense to their collectivist ideas.

    We can be reached, though. There's a lot to unwind, because we lack perspective - but it can be done.

    1. The problem with neocons is that they don't seem to understand that you can't be perpetually at war and have a free market at the same time. That's like insisting that water isn't wet. It just isn't going to happen.

    2. But you also can't have a free market without the ability to defend yourself. Your proposed alternative can't be "stop defending yourself" (which is what they hear when you say "shrink the military").

      Unfortunately, the Neocons see government as their best source of defense, even as we are being systematically disarmed by it.

      Some of us are aware that our Founders were incredibly suspicious of a large, centralized, military force:

      The Federalist No. 41

      "Not the less true is it, that the liberties of Rome proved the final victim to her military triumphs; and that the liberties of Europe, as far as they ever existed, have, with few exceptions, been the price of her military establishments. A standing force, therefore, is a dangerous, at the same time that it may be a necessary, provision. On the smallest scale it has its inconveniences. On an extensive scale its consequences may be fatal. On any scale it is an object of laudable circumspection and precaution. A wise nation will combine all these considerations; and, whilst it does not rashly preclude itself from any resource which may become essential to its safety, will exert all its prudence in diminishing both the necessity and the danger of resorting to one which may be inauspicious to its liberties."

      But if you think that your government is going to war in your defense, what's the alternative? There is none.

      In the next comments, I'll share resources that help make the case for nonintervention to Neocons.

    3. America's Founders were noninterventionists:

      • Third Annual Message to Congress by Thomas Jefferson

      "We have seen with sincere concern the flames of war lighted up again in Europe, and nations with which we have the most friendly and useful relations engaged in mutual destruction. While we regret the miseries in which we see others involved let us bow with gratitude to that kind Providence which, inspiring with wisdom and moderation our late legislative councils while placed under the urgency of the greatest wrongs, guarded us from hastily entering into the sanguinary contest, and left us only to look on and to pity its ravages. These will be heaviest on those immediately engaged. Yet the nations pursuing peace will not be exempt from all evil. In the course of this conflict, let it be our endeavor, as it is our interest and desire, to cultivate the friendship of the belligerent nations by every act of justice and of incessant kindness; to receive their armed vessels with hospitality from the distresses of the sea, but to administer the means of annoyance to none; to establish in our harbors such a police as may maintain law and order; to restrain our citizens from embarking individually in a war in which their country takes no part; to punish severely those persons, citizen or alien, who shall usurp the cover of our flag for vessels not entitled to it, infecting thereby with suspicion those of real Americans, and committing us into controversies for the redress of wrongs not our own ..."

    4. Washington's Farewell Address

      "The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities."

    5. America's government does NOT follow the Constitution in the supposed defense of our liberties:

      Ron Paul Predicted 9/11 a Decade Ago!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Is Ron Paul serious? Blowback in 1979 from a 1953 coup?

      And America's government has LIED to Americans in order to get them into wars that were intended all along to advance Progressive policies:

      The Mysteries of Tonkin Gulf

      The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable

      Rethinking the Good War

      Will Holder Fold

    6. Amen to ALL the replies above, Anon.

      The sheep have been deluded into thinking the USGOV is protecting them, when the reality is the opposite.

      Up is down, war is peace...

    7. "But you also can't have a free market without the ability to defend yourself. Your proposed alternative can't be "stop defending yourself" (which is what they hear when you say "shrink the military")."

      No, no. That's not what they hear....that's what they WANT to hear.

  15. @JFF

    Posted before but it didn't go through. LRC does side-line social conservatives. Side-line means to give secondary importance.
    I have read them since 2004. They attack liberal statists much more than conservative statists.
    And Block is not a social conservative.
    Let's see if this comment will go through.

  16. Sorry, other way around. They attack conservative statists more than liberal statists.

    1. Of course they do. There is no point in attacking liberal statists than there is in attacking rabid pitbulls. There is no reasoning there, and other libertarians can see that.
      At least conservatives sometimes use libertarian rhetoric (all than nonsense about small governments and free markets), which makes it important to inform the reader how fraudulent they are when they do so.

      By the way, libertarians have no more reason to ally themselves with social conservatives than they do liberals. History has shown they generally do not support liberty any more than modern liberals do.

  17. the whole "cosmolibertarian" thing is a fraud. if a private law society, as Hoppe envisions, existed you would quickly see people, left to their own devices, overwhelmingly associate with people of the same race and similar lifestyles. Obviously, in theory, multiculturalism / race mixing / religion mixing can exist by people merely freely associating, but in actual fact it mostly would not, because all this stuff fundamentally goes against human nature. It can only exist because of massive state intervention and compulsion. you would also probably see a big decline of the so-called "alternative lifestyles" because they would not be sustainable without massive amounts of compulsory wealth redistribution. it is absolutely no accident that the same people who attacked traditional lifestyles, support mass immigration and "population replacement" are very often extreme collectivists on economic issues, and cosmopolitans libertarians should meditate on that.

    1. " mass immigration..."

      Not a fan of the free market are you?

    2. "and cosmopolitans libertarians should meditate on that."

      Not to defend cosmopolitan libertarians in general, but they are actually meditating on that. That's why they're against the welfare state. No welfare state, no redistribution.

  18. I would like to throw another false libertarian into the ring. I'm sure some here have heard of Eric Donero, the former Ron Paul staffer who decided to do a complete 180 and kiss conservative ass because of Ron's foreign policy views.

  19. Tucker comes back to claim that he really meant only HALF A DOZEN PEOPLE (and those identified as the ones who responded to his article...a statement he then qualifies by saying he doesn't really mean anyone....and even if it's anyone, it's only anyone part of the time, because no one is always a brute...)
    But as I think about it, and look carefully at the opposition, it really does come down to about half a dozen people. They felt accused, from which I can only conclude that my description of the brutalist mind was more evocative than I knew.

  20. @Tony
    Depends on whether you're definition of liberty really is liberty.
    Someone said the trouble with libertarians is they don't know what liberty is.

    1. Sorry, not interested in silly word games and mental gymnastics with definitions.

      I can at least bother to waste my time on someone when he acknowledges the meaning of a certain word and simply rejects it as something undesirable.

      People who want to debate the meaning of the word "liberty" are a waste of time to me.
      Nothing personal.

      "Someone said the trouble with libertarians is they don't know what liberty is."

      Slavery is freedom. War is peace. 2+2 = 5.

    2. By the way, since your response is no doubt aimed at mine about social conservatives.
      Let it be clear what i mean because i don't know if it came across: cultural conservatives don't need government to be cultural conservatives (Hoppe would be an example of that). Social conservatives do. They need it to impose their conservative moral values on others.

      So to reiterate my conclusion, anyone who thinks social conservatives are allies of liberty doesn't understand the word liberty. You can disagree with this, but someone who would continue to think that a government imposing social conservative moral values on innocent and peaceful people, can go hand in hand with liberty, is not someone i'm going to have a debate with concerning the meaning of the word.

      Orwell invented the term 'newspeak' for a reason.

  21. Aha - I knew that the brutalist=totalitarian equation had been made by someone else rang a bell..and here it is:

  22. @Tony

    You can't read. Where did I say government should impose socially conservative values?
    I said I don't think libertarians know what liberty is.
    I'll add to that. I don't think libertarians like you know what debate it.

    1. If you don't think libertarians know what liberty is, despite the fact that they are against the initiation of force and against the (large) state, then the only logical conclusion can be that you must believe in the violation of these. Hence, if you defend social conservatism and attack libertarians, YOU cannot possibly understand liberty.

      ALSO, i use the definition of social conservatism and cultural conservatism as used by Wikipedia.

      "Cultural conservatism is distinct from social conservatism,[citation needed] although there are some overlaps. Social conservatives believe that the government has a role in encouraging or enforcing what they consider traditional values or behaviors. A social conservative wants to preserve traditional morality and social mores, often through civil law or regulation. Social change is generally regarded as suspect."

      "Social conservatism is often associated with the position that the government should have a greater role in the social affairs of its citizens, generally supporting whatever it sees as morally correct choices and discouraging or outright forbidding those it considers morally wrong ones"

      You were saying?

      Logic further dictates that if you agree on the principles of libertarianism, then you ARE a libertarian in the political sense and not a conservative. So either you are a libertarian, politically (culture doesn't matter), or you are pro-state force.

      I know what debate is. You don't know what logic is and what sound arguments are. Which is why you made none and just kept to meaningless opinionated but (as yet still) unsubstantiated nonsense about libertarians not knowing what liberty is.

      You do know that actual arguments belong in a debate, right? And not some meaningless opinions about who knows what about liberty without doing anything to back up that claim?
      This is why a debate would be fruitless. You don't pose any arguments. You just spew opinions that mean nothing without any sort of logical foundation. There is no point in engaging about this topic you if you don't even agree on what liberty means.

  23. 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.

    1. Nope.
      It belongs in the concept of definitions and clear communication.
      There are no different definitions of "liberty".
      Words have meanings. They don't mean what you want them to mean.
      If social conservatism and libertarianism are different (and they are, as i have proven) than they cannot both be pro-liberty. And the notion that social conservatism is more pro-liberty than libertarianism is laughable. Any mentality that wants to preserve certain forms of authoritarianism out of "tradition" cannot be pro-liberty.

    2. @ Lila Rajiva
      You have unintentionally aligned yourself with Tucker by saying, "Anyone who makes binary divisions...belongs with Jeff Tucker." Because what's being said is: people either make binary divisions on the one hand, or don't on the other. That is a binary division in and of itself.

    3. Implicit in your remark is the assertion that all humans can be classified according to rejection or nonrejection of the making of "binary divisions". Tucker, it seems, is in the set of nonrejecters, i.e. people who don't believe that binary divisions are illogical per se. I think, however, that we could refine our set theory about those who disdain any and all binary divisions.

      So, any given human...

      (1) rejects binary divisions as illogical per se,
      (2) does not reject binary divisions as illogical per se,
      (3) both rejects and does not reject binary divisions..., or
      (4) neither rejects nor does not reject binary divisions.

      Rejection, here, does not need to be expressed to another person. We're talking about what a person holds in his or her mind. You should be able to satisfy yourself that (4) is equivalent to (3), and since you're an expert thinker, I won't trouble you with a proof. Nor will I argue my belief that the implied definition of human is broad enough to include newborns as humans. (It is broad enough to include newborns, even though they appear to take no stance whatsoever on binary divisions. Thus they are members of set (2), which you should find pleasing given their juxtaposition to Jeff Tucker.)

      So, in which set are you? Either you a member of set (1) or you are not, and this in spite of any "strawman incapacity for thinking" by which you may be afflicted. In fact, either you are Lila Rajiva or you are not.

    4. Tony, words do not have intrinsic meaning. Secret codes make use of this fact to confuse those with whom the protocol has not been shared. Trouble begins, however, when some person abandons commonly accepted meaning without carefully explaining what he or she is up to.

      Take the word "liberal" for example. Moderate leftists like to claim that they are liberal, and they have done so for generations. But in what sense can a moderate leftist be a liberal when liberalism is about liberty, esp. personal liberty and the rejection of collectivist despotism? Moderate leftists always strive to undermine personal liberty, and they crave collectivism. So they aren't liberals but illiberals. Of course, their motives are not mysterious: They have a PR problem that needs to be disguised, obscured, and swept away by a clever twisting of language. So they call theirselves liberals, and the usage has caught on such that other people, too, have adopted their definition of the word. So there are different definitions of liberal, just as leftists define liberty, too, differently.

      A related example of words not having intrinsic meaning is the string '10'. Context usually suggests that 10 means a quantity using cardinal numbers in base ten, but this information is not contained in the string itself. Strictly speaking, 10 is meaningless without stipulating the base, which could be two, three, four, etc. If you don't believe me, take another comp sci or mathematics class in which base two is used. You could also construct a system of numerals for base twelve using 0 to indicate zero and 10 for twelve. (You could use the tenth and eleventh letters of the Latin alphabet for ten and eleven, respectively.)

      It's by the way that Lila, like right wingers, follows the leftists' clever usage. See her remark about "liberal-left". The term is not as crude as "libs", "libtards", "libturds", etc., but still it carries water for lefty, as you did with the term "left-liberal".

  24. @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 pseudonumous avatars and not where they might provide unpaid fodder for someone else's arguments.
    But in a word - you assume what you should prove.

    @Virgil 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...

  25. Weird. I completely disagree with your assessment of Tucker's article. While I think his terminology is a little weird, I don't see anything wrong with his assessment that there are two kinds of people drawn to the libertarian philosophy. He describes this pretty well in the first 6 paragraphs, and if he had basically stopped there, he would have been fine. I'm not sure what your problem with it is.