Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Jeff Tucker Responds to Jim Fedako's Critique of Thick Libertarianism

Jeff Tucker, at, in a brief comment, has responded to the essay by Jim Fedako, A Christian Brutalist?!? A Response to Tucker’s Thick Libertarianism. In his response, he apparently sees much struggle between employer and employee. You see, employees can be demoralized, punished and forced to work to the point of exhaustion by employers in the Tucker view. He writes, in his comment, about his thick libertarian vision:
It’s really just a matter of aspiring to our highest possible ideals. This true  [sic] in all of life really. It is possible for a business, for example, to make profits while practicing demoralizing nepotism, punishing creative employees, spying on email or forbidding social engagements, imposing compromising demands on people, or otherwise imposing on the lives of its employees and working people to the point of exhaustion. The business is still achieving its aim of surviving through profitability. It is still realizing the first condition. It is justifying its reason for existence. However, a business that is humane and seeks the flourishing of its employees and aspires to generally higher ends will be more successful in the long run. It’s the same with any ideological position: there are fundamentals and there are refinements and elaborations. My brutalism piece was urging those elaborations and refinements on what otherwise might be a fairly stern and stark system.
No reason for a lot of fuss really. This is just good sense here.
Let's take Tucker's "good sense" concerns one at a time and look at them to understand the fish bowl Tucker is putting his bowtied followers in, with his lefty talk about "humane" treatment of employees.

Demoralizing nepotism---Why does nepotisim have to be demoralizing? Couldn't nepotisim be the driving force for some businessmen, so that they can leave a great business for their children and grandchildren. Not all employees want to run a business, so they would have no problem with nepotisim. And if an employee desires to run a business, he should perhaps look for employment at a firm where children and grandchildren will not eventually take control. To identify nepotisim as demoralizing fails to understand the nature of exchange and the opportunities given and taken during exchange. If it is free exchange, there is nothing demoralizing going on. A worker can choose many options, there is no rule saying he has to stay at a firm where he does not like the opportunity presented to him.

Punishing creative employees--This charge is absurd. What firm, in the first place, "punishes" its employees. Talk about a lefty loaded term. But let's run with it for a minute. What firm would "punish" its creative employees if that creativity was bringing additional profit to the bottom line? What is likely going on at a firm where an employee believes his "creativity" is being stifled is that the employee and employer have entirely different views on the value of such "creativity." Read Phil Jackson's book, Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success. He had to deal with mega-super stars, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, all of whom thought very highly of their "creativity," but never accomplished what ownership wanted, championships, until Jackson came along and was able to get them to tone down their "creativity." Was Jackson wrong? Of course not! Again, the worker-employer exchange is about freedom and no worker is forced to work for any specific employer and no employer has to put up with an employee's "creativity," if he doesn't want to.

Spying on email or forbidding social engagements--I will only note here that this concern is coming from a guy that censors comments aggressively at his new web site.

Imposing compromising demands on people--I don't even know what this bitching is about. There is no "imposing" of anything. On the free market, it is all about exchange, where people are free to associate in anyway with anyone they want---and stay away from anyone they don't want to interact with. No one "imposes" demands. Another loaded lefty term.

Working people to the point of exhaustion--Goldman Sachs works its young people very hard, but there are many, many who would work those long hours and more to get a job at GS. Who the hell is Tucker to decide that this is somehow a distorted value scale, from a libertarian perspective? What happened to individual value scales, where people get to chose what exchanges they want to take part in and which they don't? I know people that would jump at the opportunity to work at GS and others that would never go near the place, that is what free markets and free exchange are about, not some politically correct view as to how all value scales should be arranged.

Tucker is losing all perspective on libertarianism with his new thick libertarianism, which is not about libertarianism at all, but about him calling for his politically correct views and his value scale to be promoted above all---a lefty way to look at things, for sure. It appears that Tucker is promoting some type of exploitation of the worker view here.

And, yet, he makes these outlandish comments only to conclude:
No reason for a lot of fuss really. 


  1. " It is possible for a business, for example, to make profits while....spying on email"

    (Rolls on the floor laughing my a** off)

  2. Tucker's comment is a straight out attack on property rights. He's slid right down the slippery slope, starting his sleigh ride to hell.

    It never once dawns on him that if an employee is unhappy he can go get another job? Tucker's twisted attempts to justify his progressive leanings are getting worse, not better.

    This is like watching Anakin Skywalker become Darth Vader.

  3. Not too far a leap from Tucker's comments to the Labor Theory of Value, is there...

  4. Thick indeed. . .as a plank.

  5. A "celebritarian" hanger on recently said to me he doesn't like reading a website, EPJ, where his "friends" are constantly bashed.

    I haven't responded and didn't want to, but I'm thinking of something like,

    "'Friends?' You should really reassess your definition of 'friends.'"


    "'Friends?' Semi-public figures or marginal influence who you have contact with through Facebook, Skype, or for some reason, by phone, who you haven't said the wrong things to so they think you're an imbecile or are using you to further some need for their business model. These people aren't your friends."

    I used to like this guy and thought he was actually legitimately intelligent, but I'm pretty sure now he's just developed a talent for stringing together interesting-sounding big words to make himself look (self) learned. Also, if these are the kinds of people he's defending, then, well, I don't have time for you, pal.

  6. Tucker's strange detailing of very specific aspects of employee exploitation makes this sound rather personal. Could all this folderol be directed at his employers at

  7. I haven't followed any of the hub bub about Tucker, but what he says here is "it is POSSIBLE for a business, for example, to make profits while..." Who denies this?

    Who denies that this is possible? He doesn't say they all do, or that there isn't another side, he only says it's possible. Everything Wenzel writes and Badalamenti writes seems to be putting a lot of words or thoughts into Tucker's mind that, at least here, he DID NOT SAY.

    But I've come to expect straw men on this site...

    1. "Everything Wenzel writes and Badalamenti writes seems to be putting a lot of words or thoughts into Tucker's mind that, at least here, he DID NOT SAY."

      So what words did I put into his mouth? Give me a specific example please. Also, please be specific in telling me what 'strawman' I've created.

    2. That is what I thought at first, but then I noticed Tucker snuck this in:

      "It’s the same with any ideological position: there are fundamentals and there are refinements and elaborations."

      That's not what he's been doing with libertarianism. He's dividing it into groups and smearing those who don't conform to his politically correct appendage of the day by linking them to brutalists (socialists), Bolsheviks, and Nazis.

      If he were merely elaborating, he would just say, "I'm a libertarian, and that means I can also believe X, Y, and Z." The end.

      Instead, he completely dodged the point he was supposed to be addressing, which is that he equated religious fundamentalists with Nazis and Bolsheviks. More division, more smears, just like the initial "brutalist" article.

      This is now a recurring theme, first established when he dishonestly presented Mises as a feminist.

    3. Badalamenti...

      You didn't exactly put words in his mouth so let me refine. You attributed viewpoints to him that are stated nowhere. Where did he attack property rights or say anything of the kind? This is quite an extrapolation from the quotes above.

      Tucker simply says, and I agree being a business owner, that businesses that treat their employees as partners in success will succeed more than other businesses that seek to suck everything they can from given employee (given we actually operate in a free market, sadly that isn't the case and cronies win out all the time).

      Also, do you really think Tucker doesn't understand that an employee can leave his job? Sorry. He knows that. He just doesn't mention it. He also didn't mention the price of gold....BECAUSE THAT IS IRRELEVANT TO THE POINT HE WAS MAKING.

      Your entire response is based on reading whatever you feel like into Tucker's words. Language is a tool that must be used properly. Words mean things, at least I hope they do. And your entire post is responding to stuff he didn't say.

      He doesn't say nepotism MUST be demoralizing. He just says that it is possible for a business to profit while practicing demoralizing nepotism. He doesn't say all business punish creative employees, he says IT IS POSSIBLE FOR THEM TO MAKE A PROFIT WHILE DOING SO. The list goes on.

      Please read better next time and actually respond to the points made instead of some wild extrapolation missing the entire point.

  8. Tucker is one weird guy. When he writes stuff like this it says that he sold his soul to statism then he goes and does interviews with Kokesh and comes out as at least a decent guy. F-ing pick a side already

  9. This isn't an accusation by Tucker against business, this is an illustration, a hypothetical.

    I'm not thrilled with the direction it appears Tucker is going, but this piece against him is silly.

    1. If you aren't thrilled with the direction Tucker is going, then why is this piece silly?

    2. Please read the first sentence I wrote.

      Taking a hypothetical and construing it as a general accusation is silly, or petty.

      This page has substantive criticism of Tucker, but this article doesn't fit that description.

    3. "Please read the first sentence I wrote."

      I did, your comment still doesn't make sense.

      Regardless of whether Tucker was being hypothetical or not, or even accurate in his statements, it's important to understand his thoughts. It seems this piece quotes him, and then dissects his comments. I don't understand what you find 'silly'.

  10. @Anon at 10.24

    Yep, strangely detailed...

    Apparently some brutalist there or elsewhere was overworked....spied on...forced into compromising situations....and pushed out for being too creative....

    Quite the mystery.

  11. My neck hairs rise straight up when anyone overuses and abuses the word "really".

    It strikes me at gut level, below the level of conscious thought, like a prowling shark.

    Reminds me too much of the implied characteristics of the "feelies" of Huxley's "Brave New World".

    "And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there’s always soma to give you a holiday from the facts. "

  12. I admire how optimistic Tucker always is. Who knows, maybe he's right that as technology contines to evolve government will become evermore irrelevant in our daily lives? At any rate, focusing on politics which we can never win is certainly depressing. I applaud his efforts to achieve liberty at the individual level (life hacks for example).

    I also admire Wenzel's hardcore positions and bulldoggedness in standing up for what he believes in.

    In short, I like both Tucker and Wenzel. Tucker is clearly an anarchist; not the enemy.

    Why persist in attacking him over nothing?


    1. Tucker is no anarchist. His position on race will require enforcement. Guess what will do the enforcing. He is a progressive plain and simple. In fact, he is a typical plant to do what he is, sow discord.

      I'm no libertarian(anarchist and militantly so) but guys like Tucker supposedly "join" a group that already have an agenda, a dogma, philosophical positions, and so forth. All defining the group long before he "joins". But then after he graces the group(or movement) with his presence, he finds the need to "adjust" the terms or redefine the ground rules. Assholes never start their own, they highjack. Libertarians have enough problems without these paid assassins.

      Notice the real giveaway......his terms for the 2 groups. The side he's own has the glowing name of happy thoughts, who could possibly be anti-"humanitarian"?? But the opponents, they get the dark scary name "brutalist". Right there with say "concentration camp guard" or "mass murderer". This is prototypical collectivist mentality and operating procedure, create 2 artificial groups(which always happens to be along the lines of more pliable and less pliable) and pit them against each other. Step 1 complete.

      The less pliable is then demonized slowly starting with a name they didn't come up with(and somehow mysteriously sticks!) as overture to eventually making them either negligible in influence or outright out of the movement, like the Old Right was done in the '50s by the Buckleyites.

      Whole organizations, groups, even "governments" are absorbed or at least rendered impotent this way. He should be attacked, often. What the Hell happened to the Freeman? This ain't Albert Nock anymore. Ultimately, this kind of thing will mean bigger State with less effective opposition. A bad thing in my opinion. Way worse than "racism". I consider him an enemy of the anti-state to be fought at every tern, just like liberals, progressives, conservatives, and every other Statist.

    2. "His position on race will require enforcement"
      Enforcement doesn't always require the violence of the state. There is also social enforcement of customs and norms or ostracization.
      I'm open to your evidence, however. Where does Tucker say that he wants to use violence to enforce his position?

  13. "Why persist in attacking him over nothing."

    LOL. He attacked paleo-libertarians. He redoubled his attack. He enlisted Richman to add to the attack. And now he's a sweet peace-loving anarcho-victim and he never meant a thing. Sorry, your shill's showing.