Why the Libertarian Moment is Over (and the Nationalist Moment is Upon Us)

It looks like Kevin Williamson is at it again, reflecting on the sorry state of modern politics and lamenting the even sorrier state of libertarian politics more specifically.

I have never met an emotionally well-adjusted person who was sincerely committed to libertarianism. I can't think of another ideology that so consistently attracts spergy autistes, weirdos, drug abusers, Jews, psychopaths, shameless gluttons, greedy cretins, and garden variety social retards. Williamson seems to be several of these things at once and probably many others.

Still, Williamson is correct--there will not be a libertarian moment. Not now, not in the near future, and likely not ever. There was a brief window of time when the Ron Paul movement might have turned into something greater but all its enthusiasm gradually evanesced as no serious political inroads were made and few converts arrived. What was once by some lights revolutionary has been reduced to a punchline.

In any case, as right-wing nationalism waxes, I expect libertarianism to continue waning. One reason for this (originally noted by Greg Johnson, I think) is that the appeal of libertarianism was not that Whites found its tenets inwardly compelling, but rather that it was a putatively race-neutral proxy ideology that obliquely addressed concerns and anxieties about the Left siphoning resources away from their communities. All of the rhetoric about "school choice" and "free association" and "lower taxes" was not born out of love for radical, individual autonomy über alles or a desire for an ever etherealizing "liberty", but because Whites didn't want to be near--and certainly didn't want to finance--Black and Latino dysfunction. By contrast, nationalism (especially ethno-nationalism) does not apologize, nor does it make those kind of bad faith arguments which astute liberals rightly recognize as bullshit anyways. Psychologically speaking, it is far easier and natural to affirm your people than to affirm abstractions like the free market. I suspect the reason why the alt-right has a number of former never-quite-convinced libertarians in its ranks is the same reason why millions of White Americans jettisoned Conservatism, Inc. (another jejune ideology) to board the Trump train. Nationalism, with its relentless focus on collective meaning and identity, simply offers a more honest and authentic mode of being.

There is not much else to say except that Williamson betrays his profound ignorance of human nature towards the end of the article, when he sneers that nationalists "want a politics of of Us and Them."* Fundamentally, the distinctions between in-group and out-group, "us" and "them," friend and enemy, as well as the meaning we imbue these dichotomies with, are what politics is all about. On a deeper level, it is part of what being human is all about--we are social, group-oriented creatures after all. This leads me to why I think the far right is particularly feared and despised--we have a more profound grasp on what it means to be human, certainly compared to Williamson and his ilk. We advance an alternative modernity, one which seeks to address, as Stanley Payne observed, "the whole man." Liberals, leftists, libertarians, and mainstream conservative turds like Williamson proceed from a deformed anthropology, and I suspect that on some level they know this. Furthermore, they know, or intuitively sense, that only the far right is capable of engaging man in all his capacities and dimensions. They can only offer a lesser piece. This is one explanation for why actors all over the political spectrum try to aggressively marginalize and stamp out the far right, because they recognize that we have the potential to rapidly spread. Despite generations of cradle to grave indoctrination, our message deeply resonates with people.

Even in the wake of a Trump defeat, these nationalist energies will not dissipate. Our moment is far from over.

I told you so.

*This is a rather odd statement for Williamson to make, considering that just this March, he argued that White working-class communities "deserve to die" on account of their moral depravity. Perhaps I am misunderstanding his politics of inclusion, but it certainly seems like Williamson is content to divide people along lines he finds congenial, judge them, and even consign them to awful fates. If that is not the most ruthless politics of "Us and Them," then I don't know what is.