Notes: The Monday Taki post is up. This week it is a review of sorts of a book titillating the usual suspects. Sunday Thoughts is mostly about the various angles to the FBI raid on Trump’s villa last week. SubscribeStar users can find it here and Substack users can find it here.
When it comes time to write the obituary for Western civilization, the focus will not be on the forces of destruction, but the forces of distraction. These are the people who peddle utopian alternatives to the present, thus preventing a real opposition forming up to defend the West from its attackers. The West is not being destroyed by malevolent forces like Wokism, antiwhite radicalism and the concentration of wealth in alien hands, but by the forces preventing an organized resistance.
One of the primary examples of this is libertarianism. The real trick of this evil ideology is that it convinces the victim that he is responding with pure reason to the irrationalism of the rats gnawing away at civilization. In reality he is indulging in fantasy, every bit as ridiculous as left-wing utopianism. The difference is that Marx imagined a world where man was freed from his nature through cooperation, while Murray Rothbard dreamed of you being free from your community.
Libertarianism convinces the victim that cooperation is evil, so he not only eschews any sort of organized resistance, but he also works to prevent it. It is this last bit that allowed it to infiltrate conservatism and turn it into a cat’s paw. Twentieth century conservatism became the great defender of Progressive dominance, undermining any resistance in the name of individual liberty. The result is that otherwise good people volunteer to hang alone rather than hang together.
The true nature of the cult of libertarianism is clear in this review of the most recent Thomas Piketty book, A Brief History of Equality. The author of the review does not beat around the bush attacking Piketty’s ideas. Instead, he warns that it could persuade people to organize against the forces destroying their society. In other words, the crime here is not in being wrong about economics. The crime is in being wrong about politics by advocating against the status quo.
As is custom when critiquing libertarianism, it needs to be pointed out that the author’s revealed preference is for something other than libertarianism. He has steadfastly avoided the dreaded private sector, choosing a life in government, the academy and think tanks. One of things you will never find in the dreaded private sector is a genuine libertarian, because people who work understand that society is not possible without organization and someone enforcing the rules.
Putting that aside, the absurdity of libertarianism is that it starts by agreeing with Marx on human organization. Marx believed that what defined the human condition and drove the flow of history was economic relations. The human condition is defined by man’s economic relations with other men. This is not only the starting point for both Marxism and libertarianism, but the end point as well. Both seek the perfection of human relations through economics.
Of course, Marx was wrong about the nature of man. Humans are not defined by their economic relationships with other men. The glue that holds people together is blood, their shared ancestry. The things that define a people are not the product of economic relations but the product of their shared struggle as a people. Culture is the answer to the central question of human organization. “Who are we?” is answered by the traditions, customs and history of the people.
Put another way, culture is the shared labor of the people. It is not just the product of their current labor. Culture is the preservation and improvement of their ancestor’s labor in order top pass it to the next generation. Culture is the shared accretive product of generations of people. That is what defines a people and the individual, not the trading of goods between people. The Marxist and libertarians strip man of his humanity by reducing him to his transactions.
The Marxists and libertarians share something else. Both are a response to the individualism of John Locke. If God holds dominion over the world because he created it, and man was made in God’s image, then it naturally flows that man holds dominion over that which he created. You own you and everything you make because who you are is the product of your labor. This is the bedrock of Western liberalism. We are naturally free because we own ourselves.
Marx saw capitalist economic relations as the source of exploitation, which he defined as men compelled to labor for others. Contrary to popular legend, Marx was not opposed to capitalism, a term he popularized. He saw capitalism as a necessary transition phase to socialism. Eventually, the number of people controlling capital, thus compelling labor, would shrink to the point where people would overthrow them and restore their rights to their own labor.
Libertarianism makes a similar argument. Instead of the holders of capital compelling labor, it is the state. You will note they always avoid discussing who actually owns the state, but instead focus on how the state compels your labor. They tax your labor and force you to so that which you otherwise not do. It is only when the state is eliminated will you be free, because then you will once again own your labor. They land in the same utopia as the Marxist, just by a different road.
It is not hard to see why libertarians despise culture as much as the enemies of Western civilization despise it. Culture defines who decides. The culture of a people defines who makes the final decisions. The answer is always confined to people who are of the people. How those people are selected and by what right they make their decisions on behalf of the people is within that context. Both Marxists and libertarians hate this idea and always oppose it.
This is the great trick of liberal utopianism. One side explicitly seeks to obliterate natural human relations in order to reach the promised land. The alleged opponent implicitly seeks to obliterate natural human relations but claims to be a defense of those natural relations, which they define as pretty much the same as their opponent’s vision of man in his blessed utopia. In both cases, the goal is a world of pure self-ownership in which man has no debt to anyone but himself.
Whenever the final accounting of Western civilization is done, libertarianism will go down as the greatest hoax in human history. In the name of individual liberty, it commands the followers to build the gas chambers used by their alleged opponents to snuff out the defenders of Western culture. Without out that culture, what is left is a deracinated mass of individuals enslaved to the great ideological state, drugged by cheap consumer goods to avoid contemplating the banality of life.
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