Kevin Carson's Thin Conception of Liberty

Lew Rockwell recently gave a talk to which Kevin Carson has responded. For those of you who don’t know, Lew Rockwell is a right-wing libertarian affiliated with Ron Paul, while Kevin Carson is a left-libertarian—that is, an advocate of, as Hoppe put it, “individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality,” and we might add transsexuality and “anti-racism.” (And we all know what that is a codeword for.)

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In Rockwell’s article, the case is made that open borders might not be the most libertarian policy after all. His argument is that since under pure libertarianism, every inch of the United States would be owned by someone and they probably wouldn’t want a bunch of smelly third-worlders living on their land or even traveling through. We can therefore more closely approximate libertarianism by not having open borders than by having them.

Carson replies that not every inch of land in America has been homesteaded; that’s libertarian for “turned unowned land through labor into their own land legitimately.” Nor is it feasible that every acre of land in the United States be homesteaded even under a hypothetical pure libertarian regime. Therefore, the United States has no right to prevent anyone from anywhere in the world from entering the country. Under strict anarcho-capitalist libertarianism, if one were, for some reason, to adhere to such a “philosophy,” this might be a point, but a very poor point, because immigrants aren’t coming to the United States to homestead unpopulated land in the middle of Idaho, they are coming to live in American cities, that is, already occupied land. And if the poll numbers for Donald Trump are any indication, they don’t seem to be very welcome.

Carson says that Rockwell’s argument is motivated by an authoritarian, not libertarian, desire to enforce conformity to Lew Rockwell’s own personal prejudices onto the entirety of society. In his own words, “It isn’t libertarian at all, but is motivated by an overpowering desire for a society controlled by people who look and think exactly like themselves, where nobody is allowed to do anything people like themselves disapprove of. The needs of their hatred and bigotry are so intense that they have willfully made themselves stupid and embraced an utterly nonsensical argument.”

This is founded on Carson’s atomistic conception of liberty. In Carson’s understanding, liberty is every individual in society being able to do whatever he wants, so long as it doesn’t violate the sacrosanct NAP, of course, or make homos feel bad. (Well, technically he thinks it is okay to make homos feel bad in the sense that he claims he won’t beat you with a club if you do that, only that he will do what he can to ensure that you are ostracized from society and deprived of your livelihood.)

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In truth, however, mankind exists in a society and what kind of a society he lives in matters. Under Carson’s conception, it is perfect liberty to have to walk out of your home and see drug addicts lying in the road. Have Pakistani sex rings moved into your area, making it unsafe for your daughter to walk alone? You have a problem with that? That’s not very liberty of you, says Kevin Carson. Do you want to live in a society where you can actually communicate without having to learn Spanish, Punjabi, Somali, and Arabic? That’s just bigoted authoritarianism, balks Carson.

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These are called externalities, and in other contexts Carson loves to point them out. Like when corporations pollute the environment as a side effect of production—that is pure “statism,” and should be prohibited according to Carson. (Statism is a word that essentially means evil incarnate or diabolism to a libertarian.) But allowing millions and millions of third world Indians and Africans to invade your neighborhood? No, the externalities from such an action should not even be considered and if you think otherwise you are an authoritarian who wants to impose his peculiar vision of society on everyone, unlike Carson, who thinks that everywhere on the globe (or flat earth? :P) should be made subject to mass migration and the ginormous benefits of multiculturalism.

You see, Kevin, if you really believed in liberty, you would believe in the liberty of good, upstanding white persons to create a society where they could live the way they wanted. Due to the aforementioned qualities, this society would likely be successful and become wealthy. This will certainly attract third world riff-raff who would rather live in the successful society built by whites than in their own crummy hellholes. With the worldwide open borders regime of Kevin Amos Carson, they will come flooding into the successful society to reap the benefits of a high-trust society. But, Kevin, a society is composed of the people that make it up, and as they demographically displace the stock that made the society successful in the first place, the foundations of that success will be undermined. And the good, upstanding whites will find themselves again seeking a new home.

But there is no new home for them, Kevin. You have made sure of that. If you want a picture of a future without borders, imagine that wherever the white man goes, the camp of the saints will follow him—forever. Or at least until the last white man dies.