The reason that Buckley Conservatism completely failed to halt the advance of Progressivism is that the Buckleyites eventually came to accept the moral framework of the Left. Libertarians have gone down the same road, embracing the morality of Progressives, while trying to find a way to carve out a place for individual liberty within that moral framework. It’s why the differences between libertarianism and what passes for conservatism are trivial now. They both operate in the same narrow space.
A good way to illustrate this is with this interview Carl Benjamin conducted with Jared Taylor. Benjamin is a British provocateur who goes by the handle Sargon of Akkad on social media. He describes himself as a liberal, but to Americans that should be understood as libertarian. His views are consistent with what you see from the Reason Magazine types. That means he embraces the libertine social polices of the Progressives, but he likes getting cheap stuff from Amazon without paying sales tax.
He is also an incandescently obnoxious troll, who goes out of his way to pick fights with people on-line. His go-to move for years was to post gay porn into the twitter feed of people he was trying to provoke. He used to spend his days attacking alt-right people on twitter with this tactic, but they largely ignored him. He’s also made a habit of going after feminists, who always take the bait. He styles himself as an intellectual, but he is just another shallow end of the pool libertarian, afraid to venture into deeper water.
In the video, Jared Taylor makes the reasonable point that race relations in America are at a standstill because blacks are fundamentally different from whites. Compulsory integration over the last 40 years has done nothing to improve the lives of blacks and nothing to improve relations between the races. If anything, relations are worse now. The logical solution is to junk the compulsory integration and let people do what they do naturally, which is self-segregate. At some point, a peaceful divorce will be arranged.
In theory, libertarians like Benjamin should embrace freedom of association. After all, what can be more basic to personal liberty than the right of association? If you can stuff your body with illicit drugs, because you own it, you should have the right to put your body near whomever you like. That means having the right to not be around people you don’t like, for any reason or no reason at all. Places where you need to get permission from authorities to be around other people are called prisons.
But, there are no modern libertarians who embrace this as it runs afoul of official orthodoxy on race. Progressives have declared private discrimination to be a mortal sin. You see this in the interview at about the 10 minute mark. Benjamin starts spinning around like a top, trying to re-frame Taylor’s point as compulsory segregation. When that does not work, he then says that everyone he knows loves diversity and they want to forget about the whole race and ethnicity stuff. In other words, there is no need fro freedom of association.
This is why libertarians have been forced to embrace egalitarianism. This let’s them wriggle free from the vice of freedom and anti-racism, by claiming that systematic social inequity is the cause of racial differences. Therefore, fixing the social problems will let everyone be treated the same and the gaps between the races will close. Everyone will embrace diversity and multiculturalism. This is now orthodoxy with “conservatives” like Ben Sasse, as well as most libertarians.
At about the 20 minutes mark, Benjamin gives the game away entirely by trying to tie the bogeyman of Richard Spencer to the reasonable arguments in favor of freedom of association made by Jared Taylor. You can see the wheels turning as he tries to square his own self-righteous disdain for guys like Spencer with the reality that Spencer is to the right of him on the issue of personal liberty. Benjamin rattles on a few minutes trying to square that circle, but then gives up and changes the subject.
That’s where is gets a bit amusing as he makes the ridiculous claim the Islam has somehow managed to overcome tribalism. This would be quite shocking to the practitioners of Islam in the Arab world, who have been in waging tribal warfare since the birth of Islam. Sure, Islam has no racial component, but the practitioners certainly do. This is the same with Christianity and Judaism. The same is true of sports and gardening. Just because tribes can have much in common, does not make them any less tribal.
Libertarians and conservatives have the same problem. They have been forced to embrace the moral framework of Progressives. Benjamin starts from the bedrock assumption that racism is evil and that race is an artifact of a prior age. From there he tries to reach classical liberal conclusions, but that is an impossibility as classical liberalism inevitably runs afoul of Progressive morality. This is why Progressives have been able to roll the opposition. They set the rules so the results are inevitable.
Benjamin lacks the intellect to grasp this reality, so he flounders around trying to self-righteously condemn race realism, while smugly pretending to be outside of Progressive orthodoxy. He is a big admirer of himself. Because there is no way to make his brand of libertarianism work while embracing things like anti-racism, he’s reduced to having personal squabbles with heretics. He was unable to do that with Taylor so he just came off as a smug blockhead, which is a pretty good description of the modern libertarian.
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