Many harsh criticisms have been made on this site, by myself and others, of the more autistic, neckbeardy and fedoraish strains of Libertarianism. Bulbasaur in particular has gained a reputation for pouring vitriol and contempt down on Libertarianism and its bastard stepchildren, Voluntaryism and Anarcho-capitalism. I have tried to take a more moderate approach, but have not always been exactly charitable. This may have seemed like hate to many of you. The words may have stung. Some buttcheeks may have gotten red, chapped or perhaps a bit numb and tingly over the whole affair. (You know who you are.) But Let me assure you dear readers, this was not done out of hatred or anger. At least not entirely. We did it because because we cared. It was tough love. In contrast I am now offering my apology for Libertarianism.
If you leave aside the absurd and rather ham-fisted attempts at formulating a universal and objective basis for the concept of natural rights, the self-righteous moral preaching about the initiation of violence and the tendency to monomaniacally focus on the state as the source of all human ills, Libertarianism has a solid foundation. One question worth asking is why progressives hate it so much. The answer is because of the Libertarian focus on property rights and capitalism as institutions to be preserved and defended. As I have said elsewhere and still maintain, anti-capitalism is retarded. Socialism is flawed. Communism is abominable. Allow me to quote myself:
“Property is the physical foundation of society. Property is elitist, inegalitarian and hierarchical. It necessarily creates an inequality between those with and those without. This originally manifests itself in human history as an inequality in the ability to successfully engage in violence. Those who secure property for themselves through violence and are able to defend it are then in a better position to acquire more and more property due to the lowered risk of further violence that comes with each subsequent property acquisition. This in a nutshell is the origin of the ancient landed aristocracy, and ultimately the state. Under the state social life becomes more predictable as property norms are established and enforced. Wealth and productivity increase. This is a fundamentally healthy process.
The next step is increased trade and markets. Markets are simply a non-violent means of distribution and exchange. They are necessary if people want to avoid constant violence over resources. This is not to say that violence is necessarily bad. All markets exist and are sustained within a context that contains a perpetual threat of violence to maintain order. Markets are a means to avoid incessant violence, but like any stable human system they rely on men willing to use violence to back them up when rules are broken and norms are not respected. The idea of a purely free, voluntary and non-violent market has never been anything but a dildo of massive proportions.
Division of labor, productivity and trade help create the material conditions for the development of civilization and meaningful human existence.”
There really is no good argument for anti-capitalism. Most objections to it devolve into maudlin whining over “fairness” and tearful special pleading for this or that poor oppressed victim group. No matter how edgy, reactionary or unexpected your political views are, if you honestly think you can organize the production and distribution of goods and services at the state level, you are retarded and you will fail. Libertarianism gets this right. But there are some other troubling trends that need be addressed.
Recently, due to its rising popularity and exposure, Libertarianism has become a target for infiltration and rent-seeking by assorted liberals, Marxists and feminists with varying agendas. Sites such as Bleeding Heart Libertarians have cropped up in an effort to make Libertarianism more palatable to liberals and progressives by pandering to their prejudices and claiming that free markets will achieve “social justice” better and faster than statism. This rather lukewarm political trend is mostly made of up tepid and uninspired middle-aged economics professors such as Steve Horwitz. These milquetoasts are no doubt driven by an unconscious desire to fit in better ideologically with their progressive peers in academia.
Marxist factions, masquerading under the less odious labels of “Mutualism” or “Left-Libertarianism,” have sought to co-opt certain aspects of Libertarian political economy in an effort to yet again resurrect the long discredited Marxist Labor Theory of Value and steer Libertarianism in an explicitly left wing direction. This effort, spearheaded by overweight, pretentious and socially awkward bloggers Kevin Carson, Brad Spangler, Charles W. Johnson and Shawn P. Wilbur along with morbidly obese philosophy professor Roderick Long has largely fizzled out over the last couple years. Mutualism has been abandoned. No one really knew what it was in the first place. Many individuals that were initially seduced by Carson’s Marxist revision of Libertarian theory have since been assimilated back into the mainstream Brahmin anarchist movement (AKA the Democratic Party in college). The website for C4SS, the flagship think-tank of this tendency, has dwindled into obscurity and now contents itself to be a mouthpiece for bizarre outpourings of critical Gender and Queer theory. Left-Libertarianism has effectively been reclaimed by the progressives.
Feminists, mostly active on college campuses, have infiltrated Libertarianism using their typical rent-seeking tactics of inserting themselves into male dominated spaces, exploiting the immature sexuality of socially awkward nerds, demanding equal representation and insisting all the rules be changed to accommodate them. Thus college Libertarianism has largely become a yet another campus gay rights movement and forum for bored, trivial and spoiled middle class women to whine about privilege and talk about their vaginas. This inevitably leads to the standard feminist griping that Libertarianism is too white, too male, too privileged etc. Of course it is. If it were not, entitlement minded feminists would never have zeroed in on it as a huge, juicy pile of untapped resources in the first place.
The problem is not that Libertarianism is primarily made up of affluent white males. Just the opposite. The problem is that this is seen as a problem. The problem is that people take these complaints seriously and try to integrate women and non-whites for no other reason than race or gender. Libertarianism has always been an ideology for white males. It is an intellectual forum in which they can engage in philosophical argument, repartee, camaraderie and nonviolent competition for status. It should be celebrated and preserved as a masculine, Western-oriented political movement standing against the tide of progressivism, Marxism, feminism and egalitarianism, not allow itself to be co-opted or handicapped by these poisonous ideologies.