Category Archives: Political Philosophy

The Rand Apple Continues to Roll Further and Further from the Tree

Rand assures us, in Time no less, that he’s not one of those awful isolationists.

Yes Rand, we get it. You are not your daddy, which is why I’m still looking for a candidate to support in 2016.

Ron Paul was a great Congressman, but I’m beginning to doubt his parenting skills. He obviously didn’t spank Rand enough.

Good Ridance Cathy Reisenwitz

Remember Cathy Reisenwitz? She’s the PC libertarian who caused a storm when she called a lot of past libertarian icons racists. Well, she’s leaving full-time libertarianism. I’m not sure I share Robert Wenzel’s certainty that this is because there is no market for PC libertarianism. Just look at the PC libertarian reaction to Ferguson. But I do think she overplayed and misplayed her hand.

Robert Wenzel at the Economic Policy Journal has the story: “Cathy Reisenwitz Leaving ‘Full-Time’ Liberty Movement

Ilana Mercer Takes Libertarians to Task on Ferguson

Ilana Mercer is a libertarian who isn’t stupid about it. Here she takes her fellow libertarians to task for uncritically accepting the PC cry of racism. I’m a little disappointed that Paul Craig Roberts dropped the r word. His point, that different races coming to different conclusions re. the shooting being based on their preconceived biases is unobjectionable, but to label those biases racism only when they belong to whites is unfortunate. If preconceived biases are to be condemned, as PCR seems to indicate, it’s equally objectionable for blacks to presume negatively about the motivations of whites.

Hat Tip: Jack Kerwick

Ferguson Thoughts

Prediction: Darren Wilson will not be indicted and once again the PC grandstanders who jumped to conclusions before the facts were in are going to look like fools, not that PC grandstanders need any help looking like fools.

I strongly suspected from the start of this mess that the police officer would be vindicated, and I stand by that. And as the facts continue to pour in, it looks more and more like I will be proven correct. Here’s why I thought this.

As anyone who knows my writings will attest, I am not reflexively pro law enforcement. I was very critical of the post Boston Marathon lockdown for example. But whatever one may think about the police, police excess and brutality, etc., there clearly is not an epidemic of white cops willy-nilly shooting black suspects because they are black, and if you think there is then you need to check your ideology because it is overcoming your good sense.

So from the start, facts unknown, the high probability outcome was that the shooting was justified or at least arguably justified. That the shooting was blatantly unjustified was always a low probability, just based on the nature of such low frequency events. I don’t doubt that law enforcement disproportionately attracts a certain personality type. I don’t doubt that many suspects are roughed up more than necessary during or following apprehension. But that is an order of magnitude different level of offense than suggesting a police officer grossly inappropriately discharged his weapon and that race was a primary motivation for this. Seriously, step back and listen to yourselves. If you believe that is normal police behavior then I don’t know what else to say to you.

So at the very least, whatever your bias may be to believe one way or the other, in a highly emotional situation like this you have to wait until all the facts come in to make an informed and reasonable judgment. The early “facts” that come from an emotionally overwrought crowd and a sinister liberal media always eager to inflame sentiments against evil Whitey, are simply not reliable and to not wait for more balanced information to flow in is irresponsible, and allowing your emotions to overcome your rational judgment.

Have we learned nothing from past incidents? Based on the early info and media spin, Zimmerman should be rotting in jail. But guess what. He isn’t, because a jury said there was insufficient proof, just as the local jurisdiction initially claimed before the PC lynch mob got involved. And for the record, I called that one very early as well.

This rant is of course directed at PC liberals, but it is also directed at PC grandstanding and anti-police libertarians as well. That so many libertarians allowed their anti-police bias and eagerness to PC grandstand to overcome their rational good sense is extremely disappointing. I thought libertarians were supposed to be the hyper rational ones. Mr. Spock would not be proud. To not have at least as much skepticism about our blatantly PC mongering press and media as you do about police, is foolish. And if you think empowering the PC narrative, which is what you do when you accept it uncritically, furthers the cause of liberty then you’re not just foolish, you’re delusional.

The Daily Beast Plays Thought Enforcer Regarding Nullification

Per Tom Woods:

The Daily Beast, like its neoconservative counterparts at the Free Beacon, is a thought-control site that aims to ferret out unapproved opinions. We are supposed to confine ourselves to the McCain/Obama box where the Daily Beast is comfortable. Anyone with opinions outside that box is by definition an “extremist,” and probably kind of crazy. Why else would someone hold an opinion that can’t be found anywhere in the whole three inches separating McCain from Obama?

So I actually laughed out loud when I read this classic thought-control headline: “Exclusive: GOP Senate Candidate Caught Saying States Can Nullify Laws.” (Thanks to Per Bylund for sending the link.)

So wait a minute! You mean someone asked a fundamental question? She must be destroyed, citizen!

Here is the comment I posted at the Daily Beast:

Ummm … the only problem with this article is that states CAN nullify laws. What the “mainstream” thought enforcers here need to ask is did the Framers intend nullification to be an option, and the bulk of the historical evidence suggest that they did. See Tom Woods’ book on the subject.

Raw Story Goes on PC Witch Hunt Against Michael Peroutka

For those who don’t know, Michael Peroutka won the Republican primary for a seat on the Anne Arundel County, Maryland City Counsel.

Now the PC Gestapo is up in arms. What amazes me about some of these stories is how out in the open they are. Anyone who is at all familiar with dissident right and third party politics should know very well where Michael Peroutka is coming from. Obviously these lefty PC thumb breakers don’t follow the other side except maybe what the SPLC says about them, so they act like they have stumbled upon some scandalous revelation. So Peroutka is a young earth creationist? Yeah. So Peroutka uses the Bible to evaluate laws. Yeah. So Peroutka was (is?) a board member of the League of the South and thinks secession is a legal and constitutional remedy. Yeah. The guy is not a phantom. He is a past Constitution Party nominee for President and his association with the League is well documented. Ever heard of the internet and YouTube Mr. Raw Story investigative reporter? Wow, you’ve really managed a scope here. I don’t follow all the ins and outs of far left politics in America, but if someone said lefty X once said nice things about Trotsky or Margaret Sanger or something, I wouldn’t be shocked. That’s what far lefties do. (As opposed to far rightists who scandalously say nice things about the Founders.)

Here is another breathless Raw Story article about Peroutka. This one is about a supposedly scandalous video of Peroutka addressing the League of the South, that was “uncovered” by a professor at Grove City College, a supposedly conservative Christian school. We have discussed this professor before. He seems to specialize in PC thought policing. If someone wants to write a real investigative report, maybe they can write one “exposing” Professor Throckmorton as the PC water carrier that he is despite teaching at a college known for it’s conservative and Christian beliefs, particularly its refusal, like Hillsdale College, to accept any federal funds. Does the Professor not realize that the PC forces he shills for hate all things Christian and conservative, and surely think Grove City is a bastion of racist, sexist, Christianist oppression?

Anyway, back to Peroutka. According to the second Raw Story article, it says Peroutka is a former board member of the League of the South. If this is true, it is news to me but I don’t necessarily doubt it. As for Peroutka saying he does not support Southern secession, this may be technically true, but I doubt it is the whole story. Unless Peroutka has had a complete change of heart, which I seriously doubt and would be very unfortunate if true, I know he believes in the right to secession and he believes Lincoln was wrong to invade the duly seceded South. What he may have said is that he doesn’t support Southern secession at this time and wants to give reforming the US a college try before resorting to it. This would be consistent with the belief of a lot of constitutionalists.

As for Perotka and race, the League has always been implicitly white as is conservatism in America as is constitutionalism as is the Tea Party, etc. but has recently become more explicitly white. That Peroutka specifically endorsed this new direction or was even aware of this change, I doubt. Peroutka has always used colorblind conservative language. In fact, I remember seeing a column he wrote fairly recently that used typical colorblind conservative language and thought to myself that there might be some League members who would object to the language. (With a lttle Google digging, here is a recent article he wrote dated July 15 that looks like an attempt to ward off his critics. It is essentially the same column as this one dated Jan 20 that I recalled. It seems to be inspired by the MLK holiday.)

So if the Raw Story PC storm trooper is really shocked that a former Constitution Party Presidential nominee and well known sympathizer of the League of the South has beliefs that are outside those of the tame “mainstream right,” then perhaps he needs to familiarize himself with the outside the mainstream right before he writes about it. Again, I’m not tuned into all the inner workings of the far left, but I would expect people of that persuasion to have beliefs and associations that are outside the mainstream left, so if I wrote an article about one of them I wouldn’t pretend to be shocked by such revelations or act as if such revelations only need to be trotted out in order to discredit someone. But of course, I’m intellectually honest, unlike PC hacks writing click bait hatchet jobs for liberal websites and PC peddling professors who “uncover” things in plain sight.

Neocon PC Hack Goes After J. Arthur Bloom

Sorry, this is a couple of weeks old now, but it just came to my attention. The Editor of The Washington Free Beacon, which specializes in neocon hit pieces, published this blog post attacking J. Arthur Bloom (a.k.a. Jordan Bloom).

Goldfarb criticizes a passage Bloom wrote as obvious “Jew-baiting.” While the passage is harshly critical of neocons, it doesn’t strike me as “clear as day” Jew-baiting. In fact, the references are kind of inside baseball so you have to know a little something to even get some of the references, “casino magnates” for example.

Note the distinction mentioned in the article between Freedom Conservatives and Liberty Conservatives. (Follow the link in the article also.) While I’m not sure how helpful the distinction really is, it seems to be an increasingly popular formulation that I suspect you will be hearing a lot about.

The Kurds are all right

The crisis in Iraq has dealt a major blow to consolidated government. The Kurds are now on board to partition Iraq:

The collapse of the Iraqi army in Mosul and the spread of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to cities seems to have strengthened the positions of those demanding independent Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish regions. The Kurds, who support this division, declared yesterday [June 17] they don’t intend to withdraw from Kirkuk and “the disputed areas.” The Kurds emphasized they will avoid a confrontation with ISIS “except for self-defense.”

Telegraph columnist Daniel Hannan wonders how much better it would have been if the Western powers had allowed the Middle East to self-organize naturally:

How much disorder, horror, fear and mutiny might have been avoided had Iraq been divided along ethnographic lines in 2003 – or, better yet, in 1920. (If you don’t like the word “ethnographic”, substitute “democratic”: it amounts to the same thing.)

Re-read that last sentence. It will be the guiding principle of politics for the 21st century.

Fascinating Interview of Aleksandr Dugin by Vladimir Pozner

I’m not entirely sure what to make of controversial Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin. What I am pretty sure of is that this interview refutes the claim that Russia is substantively less free than America.

Can anybody imagine Steve Sailer getting interviewed by Katie Couric?  Donald Livingston by Dan Rather?

PoMoCons vs. Porchers?

Apparently they’re has been a longstanding rift between postmodern conservatives (PoMoCons or PoMos) and Front Porch Republic types (Porchers). Who knew? The occasion for the increased discussion of this rift is the fact the Peter Lawler is moving his Postmodern Conservative blog from First Things to NRO.

See Rod Dreher here.

Caleb Stegall has a lot of links here.

Peter Lawler here.

This is at FPR.

I think that all of us in what you might call the alternative conservative (meaning outside mainstream conservatism) community have some things in common and mutual enemies, the left and stale mainstream conservatism, but I think the description of the Porchers that is being tossed around describes something much more radical than the reality. The Porchers, at least as represented by FPR, are, as far as I can tell, a bunch of PC phobes. How can you talk about localism and community and “place” without talking about immigration? Doesn’t an influx of non-natives have a pretty big impact on place? Here is the comment I left at Dreher’s post.

The description here of the Front Porch folks actually sounds an aweful lot like paleocons to me, but I think that may be giving the Porchers more credit than they deserve. My impression of the Porchers is that they are pretty PC squemish. How can you talk about localism, organic community, corporatism, etc. and not address immigration? The Porchers want to be faux radicals but they strike me as scared to be thought of as wrongthinkers. In other words, they’re harmless.

Jeffrey Tucker vs. the Rockwellians

Recently there was a dust up in libertarian land over an article by Jeffrey Tucker which essentially struck a PC pose, and seemed clearly intended to distance himself from his former colleagues at the von Mises Institute. I never got around to discussing it at the time, although it is mentioned in the comments of this post about another libertarian squable.

To be honest, I was not even aware that Tucker had left the von Mises Institute, so I was prompted by the squable to search for news/gossip related to the separation. I found surprisingly little. I am certainly not privy to the inner workings of the von Mises Institute, but I was under the impression that Rockwell and Tucker were friends, so I presumed the lack of gossip was an indication that the parting had been amicable. When this squable first broke out, I went to LewRockwell.com to see what they had to say about it. While they addressed the issue, by my memory and current searches, they did so less than I expected. I took this as evidence that the Rockwell crowd might be holding its fire to some extent out of deference to Tucker. (Similarly, I have a hunch that LRC holds their fire at Rand Paul somewhat out of deference to his father.)  I couldn’t decide whether to consider this honorable or unwise, since the Tucker article was so clearly aimed at the Rockwell orbit.

With this in mind, it was with interest that I stumbled upon this tidbit at the Economic Policy Journal. The article is about a separate but related post Tucker brutalism article PC dust up, where some PC suck up hack was whining about libertarian racism. Of interest is that Rockwell orbit heavyweight Tom Woods weighs in in the comment section with a direct attack on Tucker. As best as I can recall, this is the most direct addressing of Tucker specifically that I have seen. (Let me know if I’ve missed something.)

To continue in that vein, she would have had to break with Tucker, and that gig is evidently too lucrative to give up.

Meanwhile, Tucker, who from his recent writing appears to be a delicate flower who feels pain at every unkind word or thought entertained by anyone at any time, couldn’t spare three seconds to stand up in defense of Ron Paul, who has done so much for him, or for Walter or the others. Let’s hope this phase passes soon.

Ouch. That stings a bit. I would really like to know if anyone has any inside intel on all this business because Tucker’s new found persona seems to have come from out of the blue.

The Limits of Free Speech

Rights in general should be based on tradition, but I’d like to attempt a rational approach regardless:

Free speech should never extend to matters that undermine the faith a society is built upon. To say Anglo-Saxon man (the tradition our free speech originates from) should have the right of free speech isn’t to say Piss Christ is a tolerable expression of art. Piss Christ should be destroyed, the owner not compensated for the lost asset. Similarly, gay marriage is anti-Christian. It should not be tolerated for violation of the Faith.

Treason shouldn’t be tolerated, obviously. Cicero gives the example that a child shouldn’t turn his parent in for robbery or planned robbery; but murder and treason are matters he should betray his parent over. So, free speech doesn’t cover treason. Planning a crime should of course be illegal, even if the good son shouldn’t betray his father for it; but the point here is to emphasize the extreme wrongness of treason.

In addition to Faith, a society might be founded on other things. I’m a nationalist. In the ideal, one has a nation-state composed solely of citizens of a single nation. Foreign workers would be tolerated, but they would not be capable of obtaining citizenship. Free speech, under such a society, should not extend to calls for granting citizenship. Such limited citizenship would be a bedrock foundation of a true nation-state. Any change would inevitably create a new society. Citizenship could be less important to other types of society.

On every other matter though, a free Anglo-Saxon should have the right to speak his mind. Leaders should be open to criticism. History should be questioned. Heroes should be questioned. Children should be taught truth, not myths. Faith is beyond question, but a recent war should not become Faith.

As a specific example: Germans should be free to question the extent of the Holocaust and other facets of WWII. WWII should not have become part of the German Faith. The off-limit areas should be few and clearly defined.

Contra the Dark Enlightenment Part II

Apparently Brett Steven’s article about the Dark Enlightenment/NeoReaction caused a bit of a stir among the DE/NR crowd. He has replied here.

To be clear, I don’t have anything against NeoReaction and the Dark Enlightenment except those elements that are hostile to Christianity and Christian morality. And I don’t entirely accept Steven’s main premise that DE/NR is really just people power against the new elite (the Cathedral). They want to replace the new elite because they think the new elite is hostile, but that they want to replace them with a people power “bizarre” is less clear. Some seem to actually desire a better non-hostile elite.

My dog in this fight is that I recognized some of the Southern Nationalist new guard that I have clashed with before in his description. While I don’t think the New Direction Caucus explicitly embraces the DE/NR label, they definitely model themselves on the European New Right identitarian movements. Here is more from Steven’s reply:

My point to the DE/NeR was basically that if your philosophy is functionally similar to conservatism, and you don’t admit it, you’re avoiding the truth out of some personal pretense

… but the ugly fact is that the DE and Neoreaction are terminally broken. Underneath some promising ideas, there’s the ugly skeleton of liberalism (editor’s note: I don’t necessarily agree with this)  and a pretense about avoiding conservatism. Same old jive, same old song and dance!…

Thus the big surprise here is: we don’t need a new idea. All of the ideas we need to look toward are in Plato and other writers from the fall of the Greco-Roman empires. (editor’s note: and the Bible, and the Reformers and some of the Framers, etc.) ~ emphasis mine

Contra the Dark Enlightenment

Here is a very good essay discussing the Dark Enlightenment and to a lesser degree the (religious) Orthosphere. I don’t agree with everything he says, but he expresses a couple of points I have tried to make in the past. The first is that “third ways” and “fourth ways” and/or whatever new name you want to give your project are not really new when you get below the surface. What they are are combinations of old ideas, perhaps with different proportions and emphasises but old ideas nonetheless. The second point is that regardless of how much people want to fool themselves otherwise, our project is essentially conservative, which is why it is so counter productive to bash conservatism (authenic vs. phony) or concede to the modern definition of what conservatism is.

But enough Dark Enlightenment bashing. When we remove its drama, what do we find?

  • Recognition of inequality
  • Nationalism
  • Anti-democracy

Dark Enlightenment types will often explain their philosophy as a reversal of The Enlightenment, and a return to the darkness and Ragnar Redbeard styled “might is right” that came before the fancy do-gooder notions of the Cathedral. Then they proceed to list the three items above, all of which are found in… wait for it… paleoconservatism, and even more strongly, found in the aristocratic years before the French Revolution. On its surface, the Dark Enlightenment may be some new form of entertainment product. When you pop the hood and look at the engine, however, you’ll find the shocking truth — it’s conservatism rewarmed.