This will hopefully be the first installment of a series that’s been in the works for several weeks. The intention is to provide readers with inside perspectives on the current trajectory of the liberty milieu. It is important to note that while each contributor will share their criticisms of where things are going, each of them would still consider themselves libertarian. -Bulbasaur
Jeff Tucker, I Hardly Knew Ya
I come from a blue-collar, Southern military family. I attended college and spent a number of years as an active duty Army officer. I was involved in both the ’08 and ’12 Ron Paul campaigns.
In high school and college I considered myself a “liberal,” essentially meaning I was opposed to the religious puritanism that plagued much of the Southern GOP during the 90s. However, I also opposed most of the secular puritanism that the American left is known for. I’ve always had contempt for the bleeding hearts and their wallowing in misery as an attempt to gain pity. I grew up understanding that the world was indifferent to everyone’s ideas of fairness. I was also raised by parents who taught me from an early age that I was responsible for my actions and that the world didn’t owe me or anyone else, anything.
Unlike many SWPL libertarians of the post-Ron Paul movement, my politics was informed by my identity as a Soldier. Military schools have a reputation for turning people into conformists. I found the opposite to be true, that eliminating outward signs is a great tool for self-examination. Standardizing every outward detail down to your haircut, the crease in your shirts, and your formal vocabulary has a way forcing you to confront how you are both different and similar to other people in an identical situation. That had an influence on my politics. Somewhere along the way I came to the realization that freedom and responsibility are two different words that mean exactly the same thing.
“Libertarian” seemed to be a good way to describe the application of these views on a social scale.
I came back from an eye-opening tour in Iraq in time to see the first part of the 2008 presidential campaign, just in time to be introduced to Ron Paul campaign by way of the Southern Avenger’s videos.
Like all of TRS I share a disgust for the masturbatory irrelevance that is the contemporary libertarian “movement”. Unlike most of the TRS crew, I still consider myself a libertarian in the mold of the blessed Saint Murray (PBUH); at least in his incarnation as the misanthropic old man. That said, I’m convinced that on a long enough timeline, everyone becomes a reactionary of sorts. Murray did, Nader and Molyneux seem to have crossed that line, and so have I.
My problem with the libertarian “movement” (or “movements”, since no one can agree exactly who is or is not a true libertarian) is that the post-Ron Paul libertarian movement has accomplished about as much tangible political results as a Star Trek convention. What started as an energetic commitment towards advancing the cause of liberty has largely degenerated into a series of masturbatory rent-seeking schemes.
Even some of what could be described as the “best” libertarians have been a part of the libertarian descent into dildocracy. Jeffrey Tucker being one prominent example.
Jeff Tucker has become famous for his bowties and support for Social Justice Warrior Cathy Reisenwitz. His grand strategic vision that somehow complete freedom can be achieved if we all just sign up for a fee-based social media and quit our day jobs to attention whore for Bitcoin.
One should also mention his “Brutalism” essay that pretty much redefined libertarianism as “whatever placates someone’s feels.”
Keep in mind that this is the same Jeffrey Tucker that once wrote for the League of the South’s website, Chronicles Magazine, and wrote articles with such progressive titles as “The Love that Never Shuts Up” (about gay marriage) and “the Gay Adoption Conundrum.” This is a man who publicly endorsed Reisenwitz’s SJW rants, yet overlooked her criticisms of Hoppe, the same Hoppe that Tucker chose to publish and write the introductions for several of his works.
To be clear, I am not judging the man for associating with so called “racists”or with SJWs for that matter. However I do think his willingness to throw friends, mentors, even his ideology under the bus as part of an ongoing struggle to make a living as a professional libertarian says everything about Mr. Tucker’s character.
While Anon didn’t write this, I think he would agree that Mr. Tucker represents a greater trend among the post-Ron Paul libertarian movement to pick easy traffic and money over ideology. Which in some ways probably represents a consistent, though cynical, interpretation of libertarianism.