I am an anarchist, philosophically. I do not believe in any imperative for a State, or a government that runs it; and I certainly reject the political philosophy that holds to the existence of some “social contract” (that’s really in competition with and contradicts the political philosophy of natural rights). And yet, the politically oppressive, rights-violating state is the given, and it has been for a long time. Still, when I look around, I usually—especially lately—find myself on more common ground and more in league with the generally religious, conservative, Republican right and classically liberal “right.”
Well, first of all, when I got into all this way back in 1990, a wise man once told me that the problem with many libertarians is that if you scratch them deeply enough, you find a totalitarian. It’s sort of an east meets west thing. Look at some of the rhetoric in use leading up to the Castro takeover way back. PGL: Pretty Good Libertarian. And, of course, Marxism was supposed to usher in an anarchist utopia where there would no longer be need of state or government and in many ways, the modifier Anarcho-Capitalism is explicitly designed to resolve this aparent ambiguity and draw a distinction away from Anarcho-Syndicalism (basically, commies).
Anyway, there are many forms of libertarian I have encountered over the many years. Here’s a very brief bullet-point rundown.
- The “Randians” or Objectivists. While they reject libertarian anarchism and are statists, the principles they espouse can nonetheless be employed to argue for anarchy. But my biggest problem with them is that for so long as I have known them, what they care about most is pro-abortion and anti-religion. Way to go. Win friends and influence people.
- The Libertarian Party. It’s a contradiction in terms. Silly and ridiculous.
- The Consequentialists. These are those who tend to dismiss or ignore philosophical principles in favor of economics-based arguments (Chicago School, Austrian School, etc.) as a means of finding common ground amongst those who find principles important, and those who do not. It’s actually a tent of reasonable size. The Reason foundation and magazine is generally here, as are dudes like Friedman, Sowell, Rothbard, and hosts of others. It’s easy to be there because principles don’t really matter and so in the end, it largely reduces to getting naked in public and smoking dope (yes, I’m being facetious).
That’s all just a general, broad brush without tons of thought or analysis put to it. And, there’s plenty of crossover. Reason, for example, loves to champion the joke of the Libertarian party, and then employ principles when it comes to criticizing Trump policy that would employ the force of government to undo bad that was done via the force of government. Of course, two wrongs do not a right make, but as I wrote yesterday, it’s time to at least minimally make distinctions between tax-theft used to haul in immigrants who vow to kill us and change our general culture and society, spending billions to indoctrinate kids into “social justice,” pay people not to work or advance, pay people lavish retirements at the end of a 30-year bureaucratic make-work scam…and spending those spoils on bridges, roads, walls, pipelines, etc.
Is that goofy, silly, macho-man American Pride such a bad thing, compared to the androgynous alternative?
What I find most to my dislike over some years now is the nihilism, which I chalk up to frustration. I recognize it because I was there, and had to root it out of myself. It’s rooted in a misplaced longing for so-called cosmic justice. The Darwin awards on steroids. When you find yourself rooting for failure, for collapse, for civil war—just desserts and on and on—it might be time to reevaluate, in my humble opinion. Hate for humanity in general, is not healthy.
Odd, I know, coming from me, since so much of my schtick is rather curmudgeonly, bordering on misanthropy. But I think I’m better at it, now, and I channel an old saying from my fundamental Baptist upbringing: hate the sin, love the sinner...only for me, it’s hate the stupidity, help the stupid.
And it’s an important difference. If I do say so myself, my health, diet, food, and fitness blogging in over 2,500 posts since 2008 is testament, I think, to a desire to help people more than it is to make myself feel good by exposing their errors and stupidity. Most of us are smart, and stupid too. It just depends on the subject. Have a little patience and grace. Try to put at least as much oomph into solutions or better outcomes as you do cheering just failure and hoping for collapse.
Societal, cultural, and economic collapse—while offering a modicum of schadenfreude-like satisfaction to the “right-thinking” intellectual elite—is a bitch and there is no guarantee you’re not going down the shitter too. But I kinda see that level of suicide-like wishing often enough. ‘This shit is so fucked up—me with my great job, nice house, car, and vacations—because I See Stupid People, that I’ll burn it all to the ground just to feel right. Me and my principles.’
I see none of this in the religious or the conservative right. I see the exact opposite. In terms of the Jews, Christians, and Protestant Christians that form the mainstay of religion in America, I see religious culture that in fact, and owing to the 1st Amendment, lives in relative peace with the state. Curiously, many of them put faith and family ahead of state in their philosophical hierarchy, while at the same time, engage their ideas into the political process in a peaceful, procedural way…kinda like how it was intended.
They are more in league with their faith-based communities and families than with the state, but adept and conscientious enough that so long as they have the reasonable freedom to pursue their shared values in their loved and cherished communities, they’re fine and will do what’s necessary to preserve that protected way of life for themselves and their children.
This is the root of their conservatism. And I have come to better understand it, now applaud it, and am happy to conservatively support it.
This way of thinking began in primitive fashion back in about 2011 or so, and I was chewing on it so much that I proposed a presentation for AHS12 at Harvard that would deal with some of it. It was couched as a talk on epistemology from an evolutionary perspective (what is the quality of your knowledge?), but I still had not yet made the connection, nor made proper distinctions in the realm of religious faith.
It would be a bit different if I did that today.
I think it can be argued that in many ways, my term “Anarchy Begins At Home” is best promoted, championed, and conserved by the peaceful, wholesome value, religious folk of America.