I’m in touch with a writer doing a commissioned piece for a major publication on the Paleo-Libertarian Connection. Many of us have talked about it over the years: how come Paleo is so attractive to libertarians of various stripes (minarchist to anarchist), as a group…to the general frustration and dismay of all the Paleo socialists?
I’ll be linking up with him—probably in-person—soon, and he’s also in contact with a few others—but that’s as much as I’ll say. I thought it might be cool to put the issue/question open for intelligent commentary: positive, negative or neutral.
Who knows, if it’s good, you might end up being quoted in a major publication.
Here’s my own stream of consciousness, in the moment.
- Paleo and libertarianism have a symbiotic relationship. A far higher percentage of libertarians than the general population reject various forms of “conventional wisdom,” from government to social structures to religion to all forms of centralized, hierarchical dominance and authority. They abhor “safety nets.” Likewise, Paleo not only rejects conventional wisdom in the context of diet & health, but recognizes that various hierarchical institutions are the culprit of generally poor public health and debilitation.
- They expand and enhance each other in terms of a wider scope integration of everything relevant. Paleo dietary and health guidelines originate in a white-dominant, northern European, Ice-Age kinda thing. Originally, it was all about meat & fish & vegetables. Libertarianism has similar roots in the white-Euro Enlightenment. Originally, it was about tossing off the chains imposed by European states. Now, with the cross-pollination going on, we begin to recognize that a Paleo diet can be many, many things—even lots of fruit and lots of starch—and we recognize that a free society could organize itself in many different ways too, owing to culture and historical traditions.
- Paleo is a recognition of our roots in terms of physical evolution/migration. Libertarianism is a recognition of our roots in terms of intellectual and societal evolution. What ties them together is a sense of scale. Paleo doesn’t scale as a specific set of prescriptions for everyone. Neither does any social organization we’ve seen scale to a specific set of prescriptive social norms, rules, laws, hierarchical authority. We evolved to account for the values and actions of 30-60 other people.
I think the latter of #2 is the harder nut to crack. Paleos seem to be coming around to the idea that a Paleo diet is not definable in the general, for every individual. It’s real food always, but what mix is optimal is both individual, and also which part of the out-of-Aftica, right turn, left turn, then north or south part of the global migration you come from.
Libertarians have a long way to go in realizing that the “principles” they believe to be a-priori, based upon “human nature,” may not be so obvious they don’t even need to get up off the couch, as they thought. For example, all societies don’t respond the same to classic gameplay theory such as The Prisoner’s Dilemma, as was assumed because they only ever tested white Euros or those who grew up in our culture. In fact, Americans are outliers. See this: We Aren’t the World. It’s about some guys who did just that. They went to less industrial societies to see how the taken-for-granted gametheory would play out.
Alright, your turn. What can you add, subtract, or dispute in comments or, what are your thoughts in general?