What I've Been Saying All Along 33

“It’s a collection of paleo-libertarians, ethnic nationalists, and whatnot. Frankly, I prefer the neocons to these lunatics who celebrate the worse elements of culture in the name of being “anti-state”.”

-So-called left-libertarian “Brain Police” on the Alternative Right

I have long argued that those who see cultural leftism as the primary value system and as one that trumps all other considerations will ultimately be worthless when it comes to fighting the state, the ruling class, or the empire, because they ultimately share the same essential values as the present day elites: hedonism, materialism, cosmopolitanism, univeralism, and egalitarianism.

It really takes a special kind of mind to consider the neocons to be preferable to anti-statists who happen to be cultural conservatives. Many of the leading neocons have openly called for a world war comparable to the two previous ones in the name of eradicating Islam. Many of them have openly called for presidential dictatorship in the name of fighting the war on terrorism. But, hey, who cares about all that when there’s dope to be smoked, internet porn to be jerked off to, and bathhouses to be visited? Justin Raimondo sized up these folks perfectly:

As long as they can take drugs, abort fetuses, and sodomize each other to their hearts’ content, he and his Beltway buddies have no problem with the US rampaging over half the earth, regime-changing and taking out “rogue” states at will. As long as it’s a “free market” empire, they’re all in favor of it.

Of course, Justin was talking about the neo-libertarians who’ve made their peace with the establishment, but scratch some of these left-libertarians and you have a budding neo-libertarian. When Brain Police grows out of his sandbox, look for a neocon-friendly “liberaltarian” to emerge.

33 comments

  1. LOL. I think a friend who lives in Europe now told me that all the former members of left-wing terrorist groups like Baader-Meinhof now just sit around and smoke pot all day…

  2. This is also what I’ve been saying all along. Brain Police has long been one of my least favorite leftard libertarains, and he fails to realize the inherent weaknesses of his own position. His own cultural views are so in sync with that of our current overlords that he can’t hope to be anything more than a controlled opposition. Also, I take offense to his assertion that political correctness is merely a “persecution fantasy of the right.” Evidently, he has never had to abide by speech codes, attend sensitivity training, or defend himself in court against “hate speech” charges. That he so readily dismisses these complaints indicates just how out of touch with reality he actually is. If anything, it’s the neverending stream of isms and phobias he loves to wail about that are closer to a “persecution fantasy.”

  3. It was actually Shawn Wilbur who described political correctness as a “persecution fantasy of the right” in that thread, which is disappointing because Shawn has actually done a lot of good work in making the writings of early classical anarchists available, particularly Proudhon and the early American individualists. His blog is actually worth checking out:

    http://libertarian-labyrinth.blogspot.com/

    That said, you’re absolutely right that the dreaded Isms and Phobias the Left is always talking about are much closer to being actual persecution fantasies, and it’s presently much worse in Europe, Canada, and Australia than it is in America. One of the few strands of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights that has survived to a large degree has been the First Amendment. Otherwise, we’d have our own Human Rights Tribunals and hate speech laws.

  4. I am aware of the much greater severity of this issue in those other segments of the West.

    “Otherwise, we’d have our own Human Rights Tribunals and hate speech laws.”

    Ah, the “human right” not to have one’s feelings hurt. Chris Donnellan told me he predicts such laws becoming a reality in the U.S. within a generation. With the Constitution being declared a “living document” and the supreme court ruling that it can be interpreted according to European standards, I fear he may be correct with this assertion.

    I remember stumbling across an anarcho-leftard thread where some douchebag, denouncing both mainstream conservatism and liberalism, referred to western european social democracies as “the lesser of two evils” when it comes to civil liberties. Another instance of that faction’s complete obliviousness to the tyranny of tolerance.

    I also love how they referred to Jack Donovan’s men’s column as “hilarious.” I wonder how they would respond to it if they knew it was written by a gay man…

  5. Quagmire,

    I just read your reply on the Left Libertarian Forum. Excellent!!!!

    “Chris Donnellan told me he predicts such laws becoming a reality in the U.S. within a generation. With the Constitution being declared a “living document” and the supreme court ruling that it can be interpreted according to European standards, I fear he may be correct with this assertion.”

    I think Chris is probably correct. The liberal-Left of today doesn’t even pretend to be a civil libertarian left in the form of, say, the ACLU or Nat Hentoff. All they care about is expanding the welfare state (in part, to increase the number of people who are dependent on the state and therefore creating a larger class of permanent constituents for the state) and state-imposed social and cultural “equality.” There’s already talk of Chinese-model censorship of the internet in the U.S.:

    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2010/06/20/kill-the-kill-switch/

    Cultural Marxism is the 21st century equivalent of Communism or Fascism, i.e. an unabashedly statist and anti-libertarian ideology. I expect the level of repression in the US and other Western countries to eventually match that of the Soviet and Eastern European systems. We will win eventually, but it’s going to be a long, hard struggle in the meantime.

  6. What I find most amazing about my fervent critics in the left-anarchist, left-libertarian milieus is not that they simply disagree with me on a number of issues, but their apparent total disinterest in actually fighting the state, empire, or ruling class. If they reject my outlook, I’d say, “Okay, fine, what’s your plan?’. But they never to seem to have one or even think the issue matters. My guess is that they are essentially comfortable with the system, but only critique it to the degree it doesn’t meet up to their ideas of what some future utopia might be.

    Another thing is their unbelievable narrow-mindedness. “Oh my god, he quoted a Carl Schmitt book! He’s must be a Nazi!” And these people like to think of themselves as enlightened, libertarian, open-minded, tolerant, urbane, progressives??!!

  7. I’ve been in talks with lately with the head of the Finnish Green Party and he’s an ardent Schmitt fan when it comes to liberalism and Enlightenment philosophy. It seems that they prioritize cultural leftism over all other concerns, but when the elites embrace that perspective for their own interests (and they have, as corporate America bankrolls the enitre leftist social agenda in this country) then their rationale for opposing the system vanishes entirely.

  8. BP is an obfuscating meta-analyzing youtube star, who, like most of the left-libertarians (sans j.weiland & k.carson, I’m sure there might a few others who aren’t complete morons), are far more interested in looking cool, feeling good, sounding smart, & pretending to be intellectual when they marginalize people that do not agree with them ( Left-Libertarian “objective ethics” = lollerskates).

    I believe Liberte (a user on the mises forum, a.k.a vichy fournier) summed up left-libertarianism quite well with the following: “Left-libertarianism seems to me to be basically an ideological infiltration of individualist anarchism by Maoism.” Link to a thread discussing the LL’s can be found here, if anyone is interested: http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/16235.aspx

  9. “like most of the left-libertarians (sans j.weiland & k.carson, I’m sure there might a few others who aren’t complete morons),”

    This DennisV fellow who’s been engaged with Quagmire on their forum seems like a pretty with it guy, even if I disagree with him on a few points. The writings of Roderick Long and Charles Johnson are actually quite good if you’re interested in the fine points of anarcho-libertarian theory. Johnson’s antiwar and anti-cop stuff is excellent. The problem I have with that camp is that it seems to be more like a sect than a movement in that it’s all about maintaining purity of theory, ideology and morals and setting heretics straight rather than achieving any actual goals. From what I’ve seen of their activism, they don’t seem much different from the anarcho-leftoids at Infoshop, e.g. parading on behalf of standard liberal causes like “immigrants’ rights” and hipster youth countercultural projects like anarchist cafes and Food Not Bombs.

    “I believe Liberte (a user on the mises forum, a.k.a vichy fournier) summed up left-libertarianism quite well with the following: “Left-libertarianism seems to me to be basically an ideological infiltration of individualist anarchism by Maoism.”

    LOL. That’s perfect! Maoism is in part where PC originates from. The Cultural Revolution was a big influence on far Left groups in the West, and the concept of self-criticism (of which the more extreme versions of PC are a derivative) found its way into a lot of New Left offshoot groups. Take the cultural leftism of the Frankfurt School and bring in Maoist self-criticism and you pretty much have the roots of PC. Of course, there are wider influences as well like the whole Rousseauan tradition, left-wing Christianity, and so forth. The anarcho-leftoids are a lot like the Red Guards of the Cultural Revolution, in that they think they’re radicals and revolutionaries attacking “reactionaries” but they’re really just a controlled opposition spouting rhetoric and ideas being fed to them from the top of the pyramid. Mao called for a holy war against “capitalists” and “reactionaries” in the Communist Party and Chinese state, and the Red Guards fall in line. The Western elites call for a holy war against racists, sexists, homophobes, and xenophobes on behalf of internationalism, socio-cultural egalitarianism, and open borders and the anarchists fall in line.

    Btw, whatever happened to Vichy? Her Facebook page is not longer up.

  10. “And these guys call themselves “radical revolutionaries”?”

    I expect most of them to become leftist social-democrats or Brink Lindsey-esque “liberaltarians” when they grow out of their sandbox.

  11. I come in Peace! I am not an Cultural Trot/Mau-Mau! Don’t Ya Shoot me dirty nazi-commies! He he!

    As I say I have nothing against you Mr. Preston. In fact I’m promoting a kind of Prestonism in Greece. When European Union comes to take your hide, “Cultural Marxists” that you attack are useless. I am very strongly against a certain aspect of Prestonism. Unlike you I am not a nihilist but more of a Burkean utilitarian. II have a creepy feeling that your radical moral scepticism is destructive and the damages it causes are far outnumbering its profits. If you have any criticism of me that may improve my political outlook, I am very interested, since I respect you. But I don’t have time for catfights with WhiteNats, when Greece is being destroyed by IMF/EU/the Panhellenic Socialist Movement Governmet

  12. Hi Dennis, and welcome.

    “When European Union comes to take your hide, “Cultural Marxists” that you attack are useless.”

    They’re more interested in making common cause with neoliberals.

    “Unlike you I am not a nihilist but more of a Burkean utilitarian.”

    Could you expound a bit on what you mean by “Burkean utilitarian”? I have a good guess, but I don’t want to put words in your mouth.

    “But I don’t have time for catfights with WhiteNats, when Greece is being destroyed by IMF/EU/the Panhellenic Socialist Movement Government”

    Yes, exactly.

  13. My main difference with Bakuninism is this among others:

    “…I reverse the phrase of Voltaire, and say that, if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.” – God and the State.

    A Burkean utilitarian might put it that way:

    “if God really doesn’t exist, it might be necessary to create him.”.

    (I take it as grant that you understand that by God I don’t mean Christianity or its even its secular derivatives.)

  14. Interesting article. De Jouvenal had a critique of modernity that was similar to Erick von Kuehnelt-Leddihn or Hans Herman Hoppe, who are influences of mine. However, the neoconnish flavor of that article I found to be a big turn off.

  15. I have to say that when I saw De Jouvenel being compared to Irving Kristol and Strauss I was pissed off. But even the neoconnish flavor cannot corrupt the core ideas of de Jouvenel which are correct.”

    “Erick von Kuehnelt-Leddihn or Hans Herman Hoppe”

    I haven’t read neither both but heard of both. My problem with Hans Hermann Hoppe is that he is associated with an extreme propertarianism that I consider unrealistic. Natural Rights Rothbardianism is not a solid base for anarchism in my opinion. While Rothbard is an intellectual giant, I think that in his defense of individual rights he went too far. What do you think that Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn and Hans Hermann Hoppe have contributed to a critique of modernity? I am interested in every philosopher left or right that has a (consistent) bad thing to say about the establishment.

  16. “Irving Kristol and Strauss”

    Those guys were basically just Israel-Firsters. Their idea seemed to be that a liberal mass society needed a self-appointed elite to impose control on the appetites of the common slobs so that they don’t become so weak-willed and decadent they lose their resolve to go to war on behalf of Israel. Yes, I know that’s an oversimplification.

    “Natural Rights Rothbardianism is not a solid base for anarchism in my opinion.”

    Agreed. Rothbard’s neo-Lockean “natural rights” theories are basically just an anarcho-capitalist version of Plato’s forms, IMO. Rothbard basically made libertarianism into a kind of religion.

    “While Rothbard is an intellectual giant, I think that in his defense of individual rights he went too far.”

    As I’m sure you know, I’m more into Nietzsche and Stirner. Politics is an amoral struggle between contending interests. Revolt against the state is simply a manifestation of the individual’s ego or will to power.

    “My problem with Hans Hermann Hoppe is that he is associated with an extreme propertarianism that I consider unrealistic.”

    That’s why I hold to a more open-ended concept of property. I consider Rothbard/Hoppe’s anarcho-capitalism, Bookchin’s libertarian municipalism, National-Anarchism, and the radical decentralism of Norman Mailer or Kirk Sale to be variations of the same basic set of ideas, though with different philosophical foundations or different cultural norms in some instances. The idea is to create a large plurality of political communities that are small enough that power can be reasonably controlled and where exit costs are low enough that membership becomes essentially voluntary or quasi-voluntary by default.

    “What do you think that Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn and Hans Hermann Hoppe have contributed to a critique of modernity?”

    Primarily their attacks on liberal mass democracy, which virtually all contemporary political commentators accept as sacrosanct. Proudhon had many of the same things to same about democracy, and Proudhon is even quoted at length in Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s “Liberty or Equality.”

  17. “Those guys were basically just Israel-Firsters. Their idea seemed to be that a liberal mass society needed a self-appointed elite to impose control on the appetites of the common slobs so that they don’t become so weak-willed and decadent they lose their resolve to go to war on behalf of Israel. Yes, I know that’s an oversimplification.”

    LOL. This neocon stance reminds of the Communist Party of Greece in its glory days, when it did not make a move at all without consulting Moscow first. Of course in Greece we have greek “liberaltarians” and “right-wing social-democrats” who are European-Union Firsters, and when we think that they are pretty neoconnish.

    “As I’m sure you know, I’m more into Nietzsche and Stirner. Politics is an amoral struggle between contending interests. Revolt against the state is simply a manifestation of the individual’s ego or will to power.”

    I do agree with Nietzsche and Stirner on that. My problem with your stance is that I think (I don’t want to put words in your mouth) that you are promoting this Nietzschean ethos as a good in itself, not simply an observable reality. The thing, is: if everybody must try to realize his “will to power”, then what ethical check do we have, for example, to attack the neocons for setting an corporate and Israel-First USA dictactorship. If we take Nietzsche’s theory as a good in itself, then they are right, and since they have the might to enforce it, then “Nietzscheanism” of this type is good only for those in power. I hope I am not hitting a strawman

    “That’s why I hold to a more open-ended concept of property. I consider Rothbard/Hoppe’s anarcho-capitalism, Bookchin’s libertarian municipalism, National-Anarchism, and the radical decentralism of Norman Mailer or Kirk Sale to be variations of the same basic set of ideas, though with different philosophical foundations or different cultural norms in some instances. The idea is to create a large plurality of political communities that are small enough that power can be reasonably controlled and where exit costs are low enough that membership becomes essentially voluntary or quasi-voluntary by default. ”

    You mean something like that?

    http://panarchy.org/

    I am a “panarchist” or better a promoter of the idea of panarchy. I think that it’s the closest thing to a “perfect” meta-structure on which anarchy can be built that we have in hand. No matter what we do must have these ideas in our mind. Without panarchy Anarchism is doomed into degenarating into a territorialist struggle for power between divided groups. While the degenaration of the state will certainly lead to an amount of warfare between enemy groups, I think that’s good in order to weaken the ascending tyrants. Far better than an X ideologue group controlling without no check a very large area. Also ideological warfare between fanatic sects will certainly lead the aideological bulk of population towards the idea of political tolerance and diversity. There is an historical predecedent in the aftermath of the Religious Wars which led to Religious Freedom as we know it. If we have in mind that all political ideologies are secular idololatries, then Panarchy is Religious Freedom Reloaded. And not only that. By promoting competition essentially between constitutions, it will lead to a dynamic where the governments will have great disincentives for destructive policies, since an alternative is next door. So freedom of choosing your government will lead to high personal liberty, small and local warfare, small and efficient governments, and a renewal of culture.

    “Proudhon had many of the same things to same about democracy, and Proudhon is even quoted at length in Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s “Liberty or Equality.”

    Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn quoted Proudhon despite being anti-leftist to the core? That shows a man of class and intellect, in my book. The interesting thing is that if Proudhon and not Marx influenced more the left, then he might be a leftist!

  18. Here’s BrainPolice’s blog:

    http://polycentricorder.blogspot.com/

    The “left-libertarians” are definitely a curious lot. They seem to have developed the worst habits of all the different sects they draw from. They’ve got the total PCism of the left-anarchists, the tendency towards ideological hairsplitting and armchair philosophizing of the anarcho-capitalists (“How many libertarians does it take screw in a light bulb? None, the free market will take care of it!”), and the egocentrism of the Randians (“It’s all about me!”).

    “It’s a pity — this Brainpolice guy lives in my hometown. But I guess he’d rather be friends with Dick Cheney than with someone like me…”

    It will be interesting to see what course of development these left-libertarians take in the future. There were plenty of anarcho-capitalists from the 60s/70s that later became Reaganites and neo-con friendlies: Williamson Evers, Dana Rohrabacher, Lowell Ponte. The younger generation of neocons has more or less embraced the cultural left: http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/000412.html That should make the neoncons a lot more attractive to the left-libertarians. It was the old guard ex-commies among the neocons like Irving Kristol that embraced cultural conservatism.

    Left-libertarians today, neocons tomorrow.

    In my dealing with people from all of the “mainstream” political factions, from neocons on the Right, to mainstream liberals, to academic leftists and social democrats, to neo-Marxists, to left-libertarians and anarcho-leftoids, I have found that what unites all of these people is The Permanent Revolution Against American Society As It Was In 1955. For instance, I’ve know academic leftists who much prefer the war-mongering neocons like David Brooks, Frum, and their puppets like McCain over antiwar conservatives like Ron Paul, Buchanan, etc. Why? Because the former tend to be more liberal on social issues like abortion, gay marriage, immigration, affirmative action, etc. In other words, cultural leftism trumps preventing the horrible massacre of hundreds of thousands if not millions of people.

  19. “I do agree with Nietzsche and Stirner on that. My problem with your stance is that I think (I don’t want to put words in your mouth) that you are promoting this Nietzschean ethos as a good in itself, not simply an observable reality. The thing, is: if everybody must try to realize his “will to power”, then what ethical check do we have, for example, to attack the neocons for setting an corporate and Israel-First USA dictactorship. If we take Nietzsche’s theory as a good in itself, then they are right, and since they have the might to enforce it, then “Nietzscheanism” of this type is good only for those in power. I hope I am not hitting a strawman ”

    But a core aspect of Nietzscheanism or Stirnerism is ethical subjectivism and moral relativism. Are the neocons “wrong” in some objective, abstract, metaphysical or cosmic sense? No, they are simply an enemy in the Schmittian sense. There is no “ethical check” on any of this. There are simply winners and losers.

    I’m familiar with the concept of panarchy, though I’m skeptical of it in some of its more extreme forms. For instance, I’m not so sure you can have competing criminal codes in the same territorial jurisdiction. Can abortion be a sacred right in my house and a capital offense in my neighbor’s house? I’m more into the idea of autonomous neighborhoods at the micro-level, followed by sovereign municipalities, regions, provinces, etc. Like the Icelandic Commonwealth, the medieval leagues of cities like the Hanseatics, or the original American Articles of Confederation.

    “There is an historical predecedent in the aftermath of the Religious Wars which led to Religious Freedom as we know it. If we have in mind that all political ideologies are secular idololatries, then Panarchy is Religious Freedom Reloaded.”

    Yes, the historic battle against theocracy is perfectly analogous to the present day battle against the state.

    “By promoting competition essentially between constitutions, it will lead to a dynamic where the governments will have great disincentives for destructive policies, since an alternative is next door. So freedom of choosing your government will lead to high personal liberty, small and local warfare, small and efficient governments, and a renewal of culture.”

    Yes, that’s my outlook as well.

    “Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn quoted Proudhon despite being anti-leftist to the core? That shows a man of class and intellect, in my book. The interesting thing is that if Proudhon and not Marx influenced more the left, then he might be a leftist!”

    Kuehnelt-Leddihn was actually very interested in anarchist movements in Europe, and wrote about them somewhat sympathetically, while viewing them as a bit extreme. His attitude was that if there must be extremism, better the anarchists than the Communists and Nazis. K-L was a devout Catholic traditionalist, and he was interested in the fact that anarchism tended to be most popular in Catholic countries rather than Protestant ones. K-L loathed Protestantism, and regarded Luther as a forerunner to Hitler. His argument was that Catholicism was more conducive to liberty, so naturally anarchism would take root in Catholic countries. Historically, anarchism was more popular in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, the Slavic countries, and Latin America than it was in the Germanic and Scandinavian countries, so he has a point. Anarchism in England and America was more a derivative of classical liberalism of the kind native to those countries, and involved a somewhat different set of historical and cultural circumstances. K-L would use terms like “anarcho-monarchist,” “anarchist of the far right,” or “conservative Christian anarchist” to describe himself.

  20. “But a core aspect of Nietzscheanism or Stirnerism is ethical subjectivism and moral relativism. Are the neocons “wrong” in some objective, abstract, metaphysical or cosmic sense? No, they are simply an enemy in the Schmittian sense. There is no “ethical check” on any of this. There are simply winners and losers.”

    My interest in Nietzsche and Stirner lies in the concept of “voluntary egoist”/”ubermench”. I have no use/or interest for moral relativism or ethical subjectivis, especially in PRACTISE. While it might be true that ethics aren’t at all objective (which I doubt), even in that case, without a “noble lie” (that is morality) to hold society together, then in the moral relativist scenario, society would fall apart in a Hobbesian civil war. I think that Hobbesians are as incorrect as Rousseauvians, and both promoted an “anthropophysitism” that has little connection to reality. My “humanology” is close to that:

    http://www.polyarchy.org/paradigm/english/person.html

    “K-L was a devout Catholic traditionalist, and he was interested in the fact that anarchism tended to be most popular in Catholic countries rather than Protestant ones. ”

    There is also Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Bakunin and Kropotkin and Tolstoy were Russians. Every religious doctrine has it’s good and bad side of course as far as Anarchism is concerned. I am not an expert in theology but I have developed an interest.

  21. “without a “noble lie” (that is morality) to hold society together, then in the moral relativist scenario, society would fall apart in a Hobbesian civil war.”

    Isn’t that what human beings do, anyway? I think it’s simply the nature of most people to look out for themselves first, their primary reference groups seconds, the broader sects and tribes they belong to third, their broader demographic affiliations next, and on down the line. Isn’t mass democracy simply a watered-down substitute for an all-out civil war?

    I don’t personally care if someone else believes in an objective morality, metaphysical or transcendent ethics, God, natural law, some kind of traditional religion, or for that matter, astrology, particularly if it’s those things that motivate them to fight against the state. I just don’t think there’s anything to all of that, that’s all.

    My response to the argument that says, “We need religion or objective morality, because without it, there is no basis for moral values and society is merely a war of individuals and groups possessing their own subjective moralities” would simply be, “Yes, but the truth is still the truth, even if it hurts.”

    One thing I have found interesting about these left-libertarian characters is the way their moralistic rhetoric mirrors that of the cultural conservatives whom they so despise. For instance, I came from a Protestant fundamentalist background, and used to hear it said concerning homosexuals when I was growing up, “Homosexuality is not just an alternative lifestyle, but a sin against God almighty” or something to that effect. Nowadays, I hear leftoids saying the equivalent of “Homophobia is not just an alternative lifestyles, but a sin against univeralist-egalitarian-humanist truth” or something to that effect. I would simply say that both homosexuality and homophobia are neither sins nor sacraments, so long as they are private and voluntary. Where the problems come in when either side develops a vengeful or malicious attitude towards the other.

  22. “My interest in Nietzsche and Stirner lies in the concept of “voluntary egoist”/”ubermench”. I have no use/or interest for moral relativism or ethical subjectivism”

    Moral skepticism is a key component of the einzige/ubermensch outlook.

    “the egocentrism of the Randians (”It’s all about me!”)”

    At root though, isn’t the battle against the state a matter of self-interest(s) and personal preference(s)?

  23. “Moral skepticism is a key component of the einzige/ubermensch outlook”

    Ehm. I have to say that you got me cornered. I am not much of an ethical philosopher or even a philosopher. I follow mainly my intuition first, in order to determine whether an idea has a logical core, and then start to study it. I am a Stirner and Nietzsche freshman. The thing is not so much with “moral skepticism”, or “moral agnosticism” which is a “perfectly rational” stance as far as morality goes. My problem with Keith’s stance is promoting the “amoral universe” stance instead of simply an observable reality, as a good in itself. By urging everybody to become “amoral”, I think that he appeals to the same Randian-style dickheads he (rightly) attacks. Of course I never said I am a Nietzschean, and I know that if I try to sell you keyboard-philosophe snake-oil you’ll eat me alive in Nietzsche-knowledge-departmant. The thing that causes me confusion is that my intuition says me that there is a truth both in what De Jouvenel says (see my link above) and what Stirner and Nietzsche says. I am not afraid to admit it when I am wrong or that I don’t have sufficient knowledge. I care about the truth and only the truth.

  24. “My problem with Keith’s stance is promoting the “amoral universe” stance instead of simply an observable reality, as a good in itself. By urging everybody to become “amoral”, I think that he appeals to the same Randian-style dickheads he (rightly) attacks.”

    Ah! But the Randians are uber-moralists. They believe selfishness is not only a virtue but a moral obligation, and the more selfish you are the more self-righteous you should be about being selfish.

    “At root though, isn’t the battle against the state a matter of self-interest(s) and personal preference(s)?”

    Yes! Politically speaking, virtually everyone sides with either their pocketbook or their tribe, or both.

  25. “Yes! Politically speaking, virtually everyone sides with either their pocketbook or their tribe, or both.”

    With that said, is there any root difference between “It’s all about me!” and “It’s all about *my* tribe/pocketbook!”?

    Whilst I agree that Randian moralism can get grating and constrictive very fast, condemning them for their egocentrism seems like a pot ‘n’ kettle situation, coming from a professed Stirnerite; or is it their atomistic solipsism you’re calling out (the mindset that makes dropping bombs on civilians “in moral defense of Israel” a moral imperative)?

    I must admit to having sympathy for the whole Stirner/Harry Browne skepticism toward revolutionary action and activism. Looking out for Number One has its appeal, especially in the light of revolutions, by their nature, rolling back the wheel to the original point of discontent. I’m reminded of this quote by Andy Nowicki:

    “Neither worshipping the system nor changing the system nor overthrowing the system is likely to yield any results. The only answer is to be anti-social, hostile to all would-be overlords who would claim your allegiance.”

    On the other hand, spirited defiance against the system certainly has a strong aesthetic appeal too, whether or not it ultimately works in one’s favour or not.

    The interesting thing about ARV is the whole polyarchic end which could considerably diminish the ill-effects of previous revolutionary efforts, bucking the trend.

    Perhaps Stirner offered something of a reconciliation between egocentrism and “fighting the good fight”:

    “If we want to deliver the world from many kinds of unfreedom, we want this not on its account but on ours; for we are not world liberators by profession and out of ‘love’, we only want to win it away from others. We want to make it our own; it is not to be any longer owned as serf by God (the church) or by the law (state), but to be our own; therefore we seek to ‘win it’, to ‘captivate it’, and by meeting it halfway and ‘devoting’ ourselves to it as to ourselves as soon as it belongs to us, to complete and make superfluous the force that it turns against us. If the world is ours, it no longer attempts any force against us but only with us.My selfishness has an interest in the liberation of the world that it may become – my property.”

  26. “or is it their atomistic solipsism you’re calling out (the mindset that makes dropping bombs on civilians “in moral defense of Israel” a moral imperative)?”

    Yes!

    “The interesting thing about ARV is the whole polyarchic end which could considerably diminish the ill-effects of previous revolutionary efforts, bucking the trend.”

    The model is the American Revolution, which, IMO, turned out fairly well, and avoided the excesses of the French and later revolutions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s