Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Difference Between Libertarian Brutalists and Libertarian Humanists

A friend emails:
I get it: humanitarians are pro-war, brutalists pro-peace.


  1. Pro-peace isn't good enough. McCobin says that social conservatives are not welcome:

    "In an ideal academic world, there are no costs associated with ideas because there’s infinite time: all ideas are up for debate. In the real world, some ideas must be cast aside so we can deal with more pressing matters. And those who get such basic positions wrong are rightly questioned on other opinions that they hold. Ann: Your government-imposed social conservatism is a threat to economic freedom because when you say such obviously wrong things about social policy (in both factual and moral terms), people have good reason to question what you say about economic policy."

    Read more:

    1. If he says that government-imposed social conservatism, such as that represented by Ann Coulter, is not welcome, then he is absolutely RIGHT. What's the mystery there?

      And since social conservatism - unlike cultural conservatism - is defined as trying to create a certain society through the state and its laws, one could argue that social conservatism PERIOD is not welcome.
      Bear in mind, cultural conservatives are individualist conservatives, whereas social conservatives are statist conservatives. Hans Hermann Hoppe is a cultural conservative. Ron Paul is a cultural conservative. Ann Coulter is a social conservative. Michelle Bachmann is a social conservative. Pat Buchanan, while better than Coulter and Bachmann, is also a social conservative. Because they support state intervention in either the social, or economic (or both) decisions of individuals.

      The NAP and private property rights are enough as far as libertarianism goes. Pro-peace is merely a rational result of that. Within this framework you can have any OPINION and individual action you want. Either devoutly Christian and non-accepting of homosexuals, or hedonistic heroine user.

    2. It's "heroin", not "heroine". Sorry for the nitpicking:)


    Grayson in very good piece on Crimea: It was a bloodless act of self-determination.

  3. The evil Brutalists believe that people should just walk away and ignore people whom they believe hold retrograde or evil opinions. The humanitarians want to give power to SWAT teams to invade private property in order to punish those whom they believe hold retrograde or evil opinions. Naturally, the humanitarians believe it to be a simple matter to define what amounts to the proper use of SWAT teams and the improper use of SWAT teams.

    1. "evil" ? what does that word even mean? The ends justify the means, and unless you possess perfect knowledge of all consequences of each action, you can never know with certainty whether any act is evil.

      Right? ;)

      p.s. Humanitarians know evil when they see it. They smell it.

    2. "unless you possess perfect knowledge of all consequences of each action, you can never know with certainty whether any act is evil."

      How about Hiroshima to start?

      What about depleted uranium?

      Probably the perpetrators didn't know the consequences of their actions, you think?

      I love the smell of evil in the morning:

    3. I thought the difference was that the... [gag]..."humanists" require you to applaud their perversions?

    4. I think you missed the key questions: what does the word evil mean? also, how do *you* know what is evil and what is not?

      do you have a justifiable characterization of "evil" that is not equivalent to "i know evil when I see it" or "evil is what X says it is"?

      your examples are irrelevant in context of this deeper enquiry - some things are evil to you, but why should i care?

      also, "if ends don't justify the means, what does?" as the wise guy said

    5. @ Anonymous March 27, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      "and unless you possess perfect knowledge of all consequences of each action, you can never know with certainty whether any act is evil."

      I think it's pretty safe to say that when someone is robbing, assaulting, raping, enslaving, imprisoning or murdering an innocent, evil is taking place. Evil is taking place the very moment you have made the decision to do any of these things.

      I would *personally* also call evil (though on a lower end of the scale) an action which purposely causes pain for the sake of causing pain, even if emotional. Calling someone a fag to his face just because you don't like homosexuals is evil in my book. Calling someone a fag behind his back does not hurt him, therefor the intent is not to cause him pain, but merely to express an opinion. So this is not evil.

      It does not merely depend on the act, but also the motive. There is no problem in calling evil any action that is purposely made to cause emotional, physical or material harm to another.

      It doesn't mean that all these acts should be "illegal" nor does it mean that any such acts are evil when the *purpose* of it is not to cause harm to another.

      It is for instance evil if i would let another man starve because that is my purpose. But if another man starves because i want to keep my possessions and with the lack of a redistribution scheme some people do not get to eat, this act is not evil. For if it is, a case could be made that anything other than complete material equality is evil, which is the argument of the communist.

      Right? ;)

      p.s. Humanitarians know evil when they see it. They smell it.

  4. For an example: in the dust up between Raimondo and Glasser/Anthony Gregory. Gregory would seem to be a humanitarian (social progressive if you will) and takes the neo-con position.

    Gregory:He (Putin) is essentially a late-communist holdover of the party variety in everything but name, and his violations of civil liberties, free speech, and the dignity of homosexuals and others are not minor matters for any libertarian who cares about the rights of all people on earth

    1. I don't agree with Gregory's position on the Crimea issue.

      But why is he a "social progressive" that takes the neo-con position, if he says Putin violates civil liberties, free speech and the dignity of homosexuals?
      In these cases, Putin is an authoritarian statist that uses the almighty state to suppress rights. This is not a "social progressive" position or a neo-con position but a libertarian position.

      The quote of Anthony Gregory you posted is 100% true. It just has nothing to do with his actions concerning Crimea.

  5. @Josiah

    I'd rather have economic freedom any day (something we barely have here anymore) than the freedom to comment on government policy, because talking about gvt policy doesn't have much effect anyway.

    I'm not hearing about homosexuals being arrested in Russia, so what's Gregory saying?

    The best thing you can do for people in Russia is give them a chance to prosper, which you do not do if you start posturing and provoking wars with them on their own boundaries, for pity's sake.

    Those who care for the rights of all 7 billion people on earth must be very tired out...I can barely study one of two topics in depth about this country....

    I mean, I'm not hearing much chat in the US about the rights of Papuans or Cambodians these days, so I guess it all depends on what CNN makes the news on any day ..

    Peace first. Everything else will follow.

  6. "Libertarian Brutalists and Libertarian Humanists"

    Is this what it's come to? I have a better idea. Lew Rockwell's website describes a libertarian best:

    anti-state, anti-war, pro-market.

    That's a libertarian. End of story.