Jared Taylor’s White Identity 14

Review by Greg Johnson.
——————————————————————————————————–
Reading through Jared Taylor’s splendid new book White Identity, I found myself thinking again and again of Allan Bloom’s 1987 book The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students. In content, the books could hardly be more different, even though both take aim at reigning liberal illusions. But The Closing of the American Mind surprised everyone by becoming a best-seller, in spite of its intellectually challenging style and serious, politically incorrect message. White Identity is a similarly weighty and sobering book, and if America has any hope of survival, it should enjoy a similar popularity.

The aim of White Identity is to convince intelligent whites that racial “integration” and “diversity” are not sources of strength and enrichment but of inevitable conflict and suffering, because racial consciousness and preferring one’s own race over others are rooted in human nature. Thus they cannot be eradicated, and they can be ignored only at one’s own risk. Whites, however, have made a cult of ignoring and suppressing their racial consciousness, based on the belief that white “racism” (and only white racism) is the source of racial conflict and the suffering and backwardness of other races. Thus the eradication of white racism (and only white racism) will be sufficient to create a society in which all the different races and cultures can mingle in an atmosphere of tolerance and harmony.

Taylor’s audience and source materials are primarily American, but his lessons apply to all white nations where such notions have become prevalent since the Second World War.

14 comments

  1. I really have no idea how much relevance this really has to anything like totalitarian humanism or extremist pc. To me, this is just typical left-baiting from the paleo right. I think the problem here is that there needs to be better critiques of this stuff coming from a true liberal individualist perspective rather than the typical hysterical leftist accusations of racism and xenophobia. Unfortunately, I have neither the expertise nor the eloquence to take on such a project myself so the best I can do is offer a few points of (poorly written at best ) criticism.

    I want to make a point about Taylor, which is that well it has been asserted here in past articles that Taylor merely calls for freedom of association and an end to third world immigration, I suspect, based on what I have read from him, that he would go further than that and would inwardly desire to use the power of the state to force separation and would I imagine desire to reinstate things like miscegenation laws if he could.

    “The aim of White Identity is to convince intelligent whites that racial “integration” and “diversity” are not sources of strength and enrichment but of inevitable conflict and suffering, because racial consciousness and preferring one’s own race over others are rooted in human nature. Thus they cannot be eradicated, and they can be ignored only at one’s own risk”

    Okay, forget about sources of strength, I want to point out that well I reject the blank hypothesis, this crude biological determinism, I don’t think is an accurate portrayal of the relevant science and is inflating certain aspects while ignoring others. And as I said before, well I don’t believe that humans are blank slates, I would be a little more cautious than this author in assuming that whatever exists now is the limit of human potential in behaviour and attitudes. It should be pointed that there lots of things like religious wars that seemed to be just an accepted part of life, but today at least in this part of the world, those are things of the past. Also, for most of human history, people were members of and identified themselves with groups much smaller than that of races and most conflicts throughout history prior to advances in technology were between people of the same race. Certainly for most of human history when people lived in either bands or tribes, nearly all violence would have been between human beings who would be considered to be part of the same race. As I also pointed out in a previous article about Taylor here by Jim Goad, whites killed millions of other whites just a little over a half century ago, it does not sound like they had a lot of racial conciousness” there.

    To return to the subject of human nature, the authors states that, “throughout most of American history, up until the 1950s and 1960s, white racial consciousness was perfectly healthy, meaning that it was in keeping with human nature and the requirements for long-term racial and cultural survival and flourishing.” Now the question have is if racial consciousness is an immutable aspect of human nature, how in the world did whites ever lose it in the first place? That fact alone seems to poke some holes into his claim, and btw, not to try and drag the whole futuristic stuff into the mix, but I’ll just say that I think it’s not a given that human nature may not be able to be altered at the biological level in the future.

    Now to bring up another point in the article that I found interesting and that is the difference between racial difference and cognitive elitism, Johnson says that “Taylor thereby sidesteps making invidious comparisons among the races, as well as the dead end of cognitive elitism, which is different from and incompatible with racial nationalism. (Cognitive elitists love intelligence, not their race, which contains dumb as well as smart people.).” Well count me a cognitive elitist as I would rather have intelligent people, regardless of their race, than some brain dead idiot who happens to be of my own race. I should also point out that there are other characteristics that are important to me besides intelligence, but the point remains, I value people who possess such characteristics, regardless of their race, sex, orientation etc, and I not feel some kind of loyalty toward others because of their race. Also, in the previous article that was linked here from Jim Goad, it is pointed out that Taylor is not a white supremacist and this quote from Taylor himself is put forth as evidence. “I think Asians are objectively superior to whites by just about any measure that you can come up with in terms of what are the ingredients for a successful society.” The funny thing is that is the one place where I don’t agree with Taylor, not for racial reasons, but because of certain cultural elements that are present in some Asian societies, though I’m not going to automatically attribute those to race. The thing is that if Taylor really believes that those of Asian stock would make a better society, why would he not favour them taking over the world then. For that matter, he perhaps should favour miscegenation by having whites be absorbed by the “superior” Asians. The only reason I imagine he would be against this is because he fears for the prospects of his future progeny and if they were to go the miscegenation route, than they would be absorbed into the dominant race. The only further thing I can imagine is that Taylor feels that physical white attributes are desirable to preserve in and of themselves, which shows the absurdity of his position (IMO). Leaving aside any left-wing concerns and pc moralism, speaking as a completely ego-centric individual out for my own interests, why the fuck do I care about the long-term survival of the white race if I”m not leaving anyone behind on this planet?

    Another point I want to discuss is the idea that certain scientific facts necessitate the adoption of certain political positions and/or actions depends upon the person making that claim bringing some unstated assumptions into the discussion. A brief example would be how a supposedly “dark view” of human nature entails that a person must accept an authoritarian society and also a personal attitude of submission and veneration of such authority. I could make an argument that holding such a view could serve as a justification for predatory behaviour and attempting to avoid the consequences of that behaviour, after all if every one is “evil”, then there are no innocent victims and it is simply a matter of amoral competition. As for this issue, in one of his last articles “Race! That Murray Book” dealing with the controversy surrounding The Bell Curve, Rothbard commented on the implications of the research in the book, http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/ir/Ch75.html

    “But, when all is said and done, the truth about race and IQ means a lot more to liberals and to neocons than it does to paleos. For the liberals and neocons, being statist to the core, are obliged to seize control of resources and to allocate them somehow among the various groups of the population. … But while neocons and liberals want the planners and national statists to sort, subsidize, and control, for which they need scientific data such as intelligence as guides, paleos are very different. Paleos believe in Liberty; paleos believe in the rights of person and property; paleos want no government subsidizers or controllers. Paleos want Big Government off all of our backs, be we smart or dumb, black, brown or white.” And this was Murray in his most right-leaning phase.

    As a final point, my biggest objection to this whole thing is that at bottom, at is authoritarian, collectivist, and anti-individualist to the core. I have heard arguments against immigration into places like the Netherlands by certain populations because of the threat that such immigration would pose to the social liberality of such places and I have sympathy for such arguments. I happen to think that the problems have more to do with culture than race, but I’m willing to be convinced otherwise. But these paleos, alternative rightists, NA’s, as MRDA pointed out in a past comment, are hostile to not only modern pc, to the most basic liberal values in our society. Well I agree that one can find value in a variety of sources, including those you would disagree with for the most part, It seems that what has been going on with national anarchism is an attempt to fuse two completely incompatible views into one. It is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole to use the old cliché.

  2. I would agree with just about everything you say here. In fact, these are the basic set of criticisms I’ve had of white nationalism for as long as I’ve studied that particular point of view. As I said recently, I think the most compelling arguments WNs make is their concern that future generations of whites (their posterity) will be oppressed or persecuted if they become a minority in the traditional white countries and surrounded by populations of immigrants and their recent descendants with long standing historical grudges. After all, that’s not too far from what actually happened to the Africans and the American Indians.

    The other issue is that some of them want to preserve the identity of European nations, cultures, and ethnic groups as an aesthetic principle. Whatever one thinks of this, I don’t see how it’s much different from left-wing ecology radicals who want to save every endangered micro-species or branch of exotic plant species. It all comes down to individual value judgments, I suppose. And it’s not just ethnic Europeans who feel this way about their particular identities. Such ideas, for instance, would not even be controversial in Japan.

    My interest in all this stems from the fact that a serious resistance movement to global corporate rule, leviathan states, totalitarian humanism, et.al. will necessarily require building huge coalitions and tactical alliances of people motivated to oppose these things for all sorts of different or even conflicting reasons. Hence, my ten core demographics theory. Some will be cultural reactionaries, ethno-preservationists, old fashioned nationalists, religious conservatives and others with comparable ideas whose own values are not especially liberal. Still others will be liberal-individualists, anarchists, progressive libertarians, etc. Hence, the necessity of “anarcho-pluralism” and a multitude of polities capable of accommodating these differences which can get rather extreme in some instances. That’s why I like to explore perspectives from all over the spectrum. Someone like Greg Johnson would be at the far right end while someone like Alex Cockburn would be at the far left end.

  3. “As I said recently, I think the most compelling arguments WNs make is their concern that future generations of whites (their posterity) will be oppressed or persecuted if they become a minority in the traditional white countries and surrounded by populations of immigrants and their recent descendants with long standing historical grudges. After all, that’s not too far from what actually happened to the Africans and the American Indians.”

    That is a fair point, but as someone who is not interested in procreating, it does not matter to me much if in the future, the white race dies out, as I won’t have any future descendants to worry about. Also if humans are really as screwed up as conservatives believe, than I really don’t care about the future of the entire race either (I’ll say more about that in the last paragraph). As for what happened to the Africans and the American Indians, I certainly agree that such a concern is valid, but I would also point out that in a society with an individualist ethos, such a thing would not occur (I realize WN’s would consider such a thing to be a utopian pipe-dream, but my point is still valid regardless). It should be pointed out though that a fair amount of WN’s see even miscegenation as the equivalent of genocide, as ridiculous as that position is, it is not something that is considered bizarre among hardcore racialists at all.

    “The other issue is that some of them want to preserve the identity of
    European nations, cultures, and ethnic groups as an aesthetic
    principle. Whatever one thinks of this, I don’t see how it’s much
    different from left-wing ecology radicals who want to save every
    endangered micro-species or branch of exotic plant species. It all
    comes down to individual value judgments, I suppose. And it’s not just
    ethnic Europeans who feel this way about their particular identities.
    Such ideas, for instance, would not even be controversial in Japan.”

    Well that’s fine by me, but just as I do not care much about plants, similarly, I’m not too concerned about race preservation. The thing is that for many of these racial preservationist types, it’s clearly more than an aesthetic principle; rather, it’s a matter of deep moral conviction. Take this thread from the Stormfront forum (a site I use
    to be into briefly a few years ago btw) entitled “dating without mating” http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t793916/ where a user in the opposing views forum asks basically if it would be wrong to have sex without producing children with a person of another race, which of course would have no affect on diluting the “purity” of the white race. The responses on the first page of the thread are enough to show
    my point, I think that as a self-professed Stirnerite and moral skeptic, you would find such sentiments laughable. As Fenric at the bottom (who advocates theocratic Christian government btw) states, “You have a duty to your race, not just yourself. You seem to have mistaken this forum for a gathering of Libertarians.” I wouldn’t mistake it for a gathering for libertarians for one second; the only odd thing is that some people think this kind of thing could actually be compatible with libertarianism. Also, well I don’t support any hate crime” pc legislation like the kind that already exists in my own country, and do not condone any violation of these people’s rights and/or violence against them, I also do not see these people as heroic victims and it is hard for me to have sympathy for people take advantage of the freedoms in a liberal society in order to destroy those freedoms and the society that permits them. I see such people in the same way that some see Islamic extremists in Europe who preach their message of hate against the society that they live in and use the rights of freedom of speech in order to promote a society that would get rid of that (and all other rights as well). As I said before, I do not favour criminalizing racialist speech, but that does not mean that I must celebrate it or even be neutral about it. To take another extreme example from the opposite side of the fence, I do not favour laws making the mere possession (production is different) of child pornography a crime, and I realize that many libertarians will consider that to be an extreme and disgusting position to take, but it hardly follows from that position that I am pro child molestation. I do think that in a scenario where someone was known for a fact to collect images with child sexual abuse, (I’m not referring to teens “sexting”, I mean REAL child sexual abuse) it would be desirable for a community to ostracize such an individual and for that person to be unwelcome in mainstream society the way that lunatic Jack McClellan was a few years ago.

    “My interest in all this stems from the fact that a serious resistance movement to global corporate rule, leviathan states, totalitarian humanism, et.al. will necessarily require building huge coalitions and tactical alliances of people motivated to oppose these things for all sorts of different or even conflicting reasons. Hence, my ten core demographics theory. Some will be cultural reactionaries, ethno-preservationists, old fashioned nationalists, religious conservatives and others with comparable ideas whose own values are not especially liberal. Still others will be liberal-individualists, anarchists, progressive libertarians, etc. Hence, the necessity of “anarcho-pluralism” and a multitude of polities capable of accommodating these differences which can get rather extreme in some instances. That’s why I like to explore perspectives from all over the spectrum. Someone like Greg Johnson would be at the far right end while someone like Alex Cockburn would be at the far left end.”

    I understand that this has been your strategy since I came across writings a few years ago and at one time, I agreed, but I have recently become more hesitant about the prospects of such a strategy. The reason is that such hard-right authoritarian ideologies flourish in the context of misery, poverty, and lack of hope for the individual. I am no historian or psychologist, but I doubt that Hitler could have come to power and implemented his agenda if 1930’s Germany was an extremely prosperous nation with a rising standard of living and full of optimism for the future. Similarly, I recall reading an article on a National Anarchist website that I found via your site (I wasn’t able to locate it) where the author lamented the fact that so many Neo-Nazi’s came from the lumpen class and were generally poorly educated and unsuccessful in life. Is that really so surprising? If my views about these matters are correct, that is exactly the kind of person who would be attracted to such an ideology, someone who feels powerless with little control over his life and few prospects for improving his lot in life. The flip side of that is that people who live in a society where they DO have control over the things that affect them and have prospects for a better future are unlikely to be the types who will be joining their local chapter of the KKK. The reason I mention these things is because if these statements are accurate, then those authoritarian types will come into conflict with the liberal-individualists, progressive libertarians etc. Imagine this anarcho-pluralist strategy succeeds and different communities form with each expressing values across the continuum that you mentioned and let’s assume that the communities for the sake of argument that these communities successfully build the kinds of societies they desire. I think that in such a scenario, those in the right wing authoritarian societies who are not at the top of the hierarchal pyramid will decide to leave into droves. To prevent this they will have to become even more authoritarian and totalitarian to keep their people in (like the communist nations did in the 20th century), but what I think is most dangerous is that the leaders of such communities will eventually try to destroy the free and open communities because they know that they can never compete with them.

    On a personal level, the reason that I seem to focus on these right wing issues are because they matter because of the implications that they hold for the kind of life I (and others) will choose to lead. I am an unashamed self-interested person and I place a lot of value on my liberty and autonomy, but at the same time, I’m not a complete sociopath (I have a heart) and I recognize that certain societal structures are better than others are for advancing for one’s interests. One of the appeals of the left wing strands of libertarianism (Libertarian Socialism) was the idea that individual and societal interests could be harmonized and true freedom is something that is not infringed on by society, but rather is enhanced by it. IMO, the authentic libertarian view, in contrast to authoritarian caricatures, is an individualism that is social in nature. I think that working toward a society that fully expressed such values would be worth working toward as it would not only lead to a better life individually, but also would be a better society for most people (except those who exploit and dominate others) as it would be a far more just and equitable world.

    Conservatives of all stripes object to the values that I hold, they are for hierarchy, inequality, and the obligation of individuals to serve society while putting their interests second, which they often regard as being opposed to society’s interests. The reason they think this way is because they see strife and conflict as eternal aspects of existence, with life being a brutal struggle for domination in a bleak Machiavellian type world where idealism and hope have no place. These people scoff at the left (the libertarian left) and deride the ideals and hopes that I mentioned earlier as foolish naive utopianism, which they see as the product of young minds who have not grasped reality yet. BTW, I’m always amazed that those on the right refer to left-winger’s as nihilists, as Imo, their world view is the one that really would lead someone to a position of nihilism more than anything else. Now these conservatives may be correct, but in that case, I am not going to join their side, or respect their taboos, or anything else like that. If their bleak view of the world is correct then in my view the best course of action would be to look out for number one, take what I can get, and only help others on a quid pro quo basis, or even better take as much as possible while giving as little as possible back. What I have just written may sound horrible to many, but I’m simply pointing out that such a course of action is quite reasonable with a “conservative” view of the world, and I’m also pointing out that if those paleocons, neocons, etc. think I’m going to become a flag waving obedient patriot who believes my only duty is to serve society (aka the state, nation, fatherland, choose your term) because I accept those aspects (that I mentioned) of their worldview then I’m telling them that they have another thing coming.

  4. Jared-

    1) Applause. Have you thought of setting up your own blog? This is of appropriate length and quality.

    2) What would have happened to you were you born into a national-anarchist situation? As a survivor of child abuse, I can assure you that physical and psychologial prevention of escape is the first priority for an abusive family or society.

    3) May I suggest the video “Slavery: a Global Invesigation” (availiable on youtube), a documentary on modern slavery- especially the first segment on Ivorian cocoa slavery. The primary reason I am a reluctant minarchist and not a decentralist is because it is precisely the lack of rights-enforcement, transparency, and social oversight which allows these sub-state structures of oppression to persist. And they can be horrible enough that frankly just feeding someone into a gas chamber feels merciful.

  5. “Applause. Have you thought of setting up your own blog? This is of appropriate length and quality.”

    Aster’s onto something here, Jared.

  6. “What would have happened to you were you born into a national-anarchist situation? As a survivor of child abuse, I can assure you that physical and psychologial prevention of escape is the first priority for an abusive family or society.”

    Personally, I think the communities most susceptible to that kind of authoritarianism would be the more staunchly religious ones, whatever their racial make-up, rather than the racially homogenous ones (unless, of course, the endogamous communities had a strong, religiously ideological component pushing said endogamy).

  7. Jared,

    “The responses on the first page of the thread are enough to show
    my point, I think that as a self-professed Stirnerite and moral skeptic, you would find such sentiments laughable.”

    Right. That’s why I have never considered myself to be a conservative of any particular type. An inegalitarian perhaps, but not a conservative.

    Your other points are well-taken and cover familiar territory. But here’s what I think these kinds of arguments typically miss:

    1. The spectre of “village fascism” is often raised while the much more immediate and serious threat of global fascism is ignored or downplayed. For instance, elite proponents of open borders are not champions of immigrants’ rights but instead wish to create an international super-state where there’s nowhere to emigrate to, much like the old guard Stalinist regimes you mentioned wished to do. They don’t want national borders because they want a global empire ruling everything.

    2. The narrow-mindedness or exclusionary nature of small towns is often over emphasized while the much more real and immediate threat of the Leviathan police state is often under emphasized. For instance, even with the rather extreme racial discrimination that existed back in the 1950s, there were fewer black Americans in imprison, on probation or parole, unemployed, being murdered or growing up among broken families. Many of these problems are directly traceable to the growth of the Leviathan police state and overlapping policies over the past 40 years.

    3. The hypothetical problem of independent communities becoming slave trading colonies seem to me at least to be wildly exaggerated, while the much more immediate and actually existing economic predations pursued by current system is what we really need to be focused on.

    4. The authoritarianism of some on the “right” is often exaggerated, and threats posed by genuine right-wing authoritarians are also over emphasized, while left-wing authoritarianism is either downplayed or viewed as an impossibility. For instance, I know all of the leading national-anarchists personally, and plenty of others with similar views. I don’t see them as advocating some kind of North Korean type society. Far from it. The ethnostates many of these people endorse would be more like traditional nations, though smaller. Just like France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, etc. have had their own sovereignty, language, customs, religions, cultures, etc. so would different ethnostates. That in no way implies something like the Third Reich.

    5. Most people are not instinctive libertarians and aren’t going to be. Hence, the necessity of meeting them where they are at.

    On the other hand, we have to consider the bloody history of authoritarian leftist states, and we have to consider that most contemporary leftists are hardly individualists. Many of them consider individualism to be a cuss word, in fact. I know plenty of leftists like that. I’ve encountered it for decades now. Most leftists are certainly not lassez faire Rothbardians, nor are they left-anarchists of the Infoshop variety, or even ACLU-like civil libertarians. Most of them are avowed statists and make no pretenses to the contrary. Witness the ease with which they dismiss civil libertarian concern about things like hate speech laws. Witness their lack of interest in opposing infringements on personal liberties on even a microscopic level (like bans on smoking in bars, fatty foods, giving out toys with fast food, etc). That’s the strand of the left that actually has power, not the folks at Counterpunch.org. What kind of society would these therapeutic totalitarians create? They’re in a position to actually achieve their goals. All of the fringe right-wing factions collectively, from Stormfronters to sovereign citizens to Alex Jones fans, are still not numerous enough to take over the whole society. In fact, I’ve repeatedly emphasized that the far Right collectively with its myriad of sub-factions would still be only one of ten core demographics necessary to mobilize for the purpose of overthrowing the globalists, leviathan police state, corporate overlords, totalitarian humanists, etc.

    I realize that your views on these questions are well-considered and probably much more nuanced than what would be implied by my counter-arguments. I’m not trying to strawman you. But when we weigh different considerations against one another and make the necessary trade-offs, establish hierarchies of priorities, and so forth, I think the body of the evidence strongly supports my position. Is my point of view perfect and flawless? Of course not. Does it not present any potential dangers? I’ve never claimed that so far as I can recall. I just think it’s the best available option given what we’ve actually got to work with and the generally tragic nature of life and existence.

    Btw, I agree that you should set up a blog of your own. You’re a very capable writer and debater.

  8. Aster,

    In response to your first point, I have in the past considered starting my own blog, though my idea was to deal with issues dealing with own disability and the larger societal issues involving those with that disability. As for a blog dealing for philosophy and politics, I would be a little bit more hesitant to do such a thing because I have a difficultly expressing myself through writing (one of the reasons I had difficulty in school despite having superior intelligence). Another possible option would be some form of video blogging as my verbal communication is far superior to my written communication is confirmed by several tests (WISC etc.) I took over the years for educational accommodation purposes. The only thing about that is I question whether I have, as I pointed out in my first comment, a sufficient amount of expertise on these issues to start putting out material in that manner. One more reason is that I am a private person by nature, and I actually did not put anything on the internet until last year (and I’m under 25 believe it or not) and I still am somewhat wary of putting “too much” information on line, but I may consider it, though I would probably be more anonymous than I am now for reasons I’ll leave unsaid.

    As for the other things you mentioned, I would agree that abusive communities (of any size) that shackle the human spirit and restrict freedom of thought will also have a tendency to attempt to control their members physically. I also share your concerns regarding decentralization and I think that decentralization as a end on to itself is completely at odds with the goal of achieving a society that maximizes individual liberty and promotes human flourishing. I’ll probably check out the video you mentioned as it sounds interesting. My take on decentralization is that it is at best a procedural matter, with its purpose being to allow individuals to have a voice in the decisions that affect them proportionate to the degree they are affected by them. I must emphasize that such a thing can only be valid within a larger context of a society where liberal values are considered foundational and where relationships between individuals are free from gross inequalities of power and domination. My hope is that humans might someday be able to actually construct such a society, but my increasingly pessimistic self tends to doubt it because more and more I have come to believe that most people are petty tyrants whose appetites for domination are only checked by their fear of a more powerful force. I only hope I am wrong in such an assessment.

  9. Keith,

    “5. Most people are not instinctive libertarians and aren’t going to be. Hence, the necessity of meeting them where they are at.

    On the other hand, we have to consider the bloody history of authoritarian leftist states, and we have to consider that most contemporary leftists are hardly individualists. Many of them consider individualism to be a cuss word, in fact. I know plenty of leftists like that. I’ve encountered it for decades now. Most leftists are certainly not lassez faire Rothbardians, nor are they left-anarchists of the Infoshop variety, or even ACLU-like civil libertarians. Most of them are avowed statists and make no pretenses to the contrary. Witness the ease with which they dismiss civil libertarian concern about things like hate speech laws. Witness their lack of interest in opposing infringements on personal liberties on even a microscopic level (like bans on smoking in bars, fatty foods, giving out toys with fast food, etc). That’s the strand of the left that actually has power, not the folks at Counterpunch.org. What kind of society would these therapeutic totalitarians create? They’re in a position to actually achieve their goals.”

    I don’t consider most of the left to be much better than the right today and to be clear, whenever I criticize either the left or the right, it should be seen as implying that I consider the other side to be good. I have as many bad things to say about what passes for the left today and I my dislike of it has actually increased in the last few years. I also absolutely agree with that most of them are “avowed statists” and in fact, one thing I have found is that many leftist critics of libertarianism are opposed to it because of it’s radical support of civil liberties and because it goes against their paternalistic agenda. There are large swathes of leftists who are just as bad when it comes freedom issues as some of the worst people on the right. I recall back in 2008 coming across a Youtube page dedicated entirely to attacking Ron Paul and what I found interesting is that while some of the videos predictably brought forth the usual fascist racist critiques, others attacked him for things like the drug war. In the descriptions of that user’s videos, their was a critique of libertarianism describing how silly and naive they are because the world would be so horrible without the state etc. It’s also clear that much of the “anti-authoritarian” rhetoric on the left that existed throughout the Bush administration was just partisan vitriol which has all but disappeared since Obama came to power. Now we have those on the left defending Obama, despite his continuing of Bush’s policies, while at the same time denouncing his critics as anti-government “extremists.”

    “I realize that your views on these questions are well-considered and probably much more nuanced than what would be implied by my counter-arguments.”

    You may be giving me more credit than I’m due 🙂

    “But when we weigh different considerations against one another and make the necessary trade-offs, establish hierarchies of priorities, and so forth, I think the body of the evidence strongly supports my position. Is my point of view perfect and flawless? Of course not. Does it not present any potential dangers? I’ve never claimed that so far as I can recall.”

    I agree that there is a danger in ideological sectarianism and at times a need for prudent compromises. There is of course a danger at the opposite end of the spectrum, where in the interests of pragmatism, one can compromise one’s principles to such a degree that you actually get a worse outcome by succeeding than by remaining marginalized. Think of the way that some liberty minded folk jumped on the Reagan bandwagon and what were the results of that? To give credit where it is due, National-Anarchists do seem to me to actually believe what they espouse unlike the Reaganites and the neo-cons.

  10. RJ,

    I don’t think that what I have written endorses a crude deterministic view of history where some sort of social evolutionary process is guaranteed to unfold. I also do not take the view that everything is an evil that needs to be fixed, on the contrary, my own view is that the majority of human drives are not inherently good or bad , but can lead to either good or bad results depending upon how they are expressed. The ways in which they can be expressed can by altered by the conditions under which people live, which include things technology, education, parenting and other things as well. That is, if you will, the optimistic side of the me,but if that’s wrong and if humans really are just monsters at their core, than each individual is a set of problems to be fixed.

    That is where my interest in technology and it’s relationship to a free society comes in. I think that if certain (at the moment) theoretical technological advances come into being, there is a possibility for radical change in human motivations and actions that would be more conductive to allowing a society to exist without a centralized monopoly on the use of force (anarchism). It should be pointed that I in no way see technology as a panacea for all problem, I just think that it’s potential for human liberation is something that deserves more exploration in the anarchist/libertarian community. BTW, I really like your videos, they are very well done and quite informative.

  11. Jared,

    “Conservatives of all stripes object to the values that I hold, they are for hierarchy, inequality, and the obligation of individuals to serve society while putting their interests second, which they often regard as being opposed to society’s interests. The reason they think this way is because they see strife and conflict as eternal aspects of existence, with life being a brutal struggle for domination in a bleak Machiavellian type world where idealism and hope have no place. These people scoff at the left (the libertarian left) and deride the ideals and hopes that I mentioned earlier as foolish naive utopianism, which they see as the product of young minds who have not grasped reality yet. BTW, I’m always amazed that those on the right refer to left-winger’s as nihilists, as Imo, their world view is the one that really would lead someone to a position of nihilism more than anything else. Now these conservatives may be correct, but in that case, I am not going to join their side, or respect their taboos, or anything else like that. If their bleak view of the world is correct then in my view the best course of action would be to look out for number one, take what I can get, and only help others on a quid pro quo basis, or even better take as much as possible while giving as little as possible back.”

    For me, this doesn’t seem a compassionate attitude. Why should the existence of conflict and suffering in human existence render the human animal so utterly worthless that it deserves punishment for one’s own gain? When I started getting into Schopenhauer, John Gray, Buddhist and Taoist philosophy, the Stoics etc, I found an attitude of acceptance that seemed permit me to let go of my anger and misanthropy towards a humanity that disobeyed my conception of the way things ‘should’ be and replace it with a sense of compassion and understanding; pain and suffering are native to existence, always have been and always will be, and when I realised this I started to open up to a sense of compassion and empathy, a sense that ultimately we’re all in this together, from the humans down to the simplest lifeforms.

    I take from Schopenhauer the emphasis on compassion; the highest virtue according to him, as it is a recognition of the suffering nature of Will in all its manifestations. But I eschew his negative estimation of existence and take from Nietzsche a vitalistic sense of the indescribable joy that comes from accepting and embracing existence with all its beauty and ugliness.

  12. RJ,

    “I agree 110%, but hope for all humanity leads to all sorts of crazy monkeys. What’s your email address? I want to send you something.”

    I do think that attempts to solve human problems and make everything perfect can lead to bad things. In fact, I would argue that many violations of liberty are attempts to create a perfect society. My email address is jrdmtt@gmail.com

    “What else has to happen for you to say you were wrong? Another showdown? And even then, would you really draw that line? Or would you think “well, we just fucked it up.” ”

    I’m not sure what to make of this. I think you might have me confused with Harold Camping 🙂

    “I think that if certain (at the moment) theoretical technological advances come into being”

    “Be specific, I’m very interested!”

    I wrote about this previously in the comments section of this post https://attackthesystem.com/2011/04/26/the-big-disconnect/#comments (comment no. 11 specifically) and I referred to this article http://folk.uio.no/thomas/po/the-culture.html which I would recommend reading before my comment. The article itself is quite short, but what I look about it is the fact that it combines the technological and political aspects in a way that I have not seen many other articles do. I have not read the book that the articles references myself so I can’t comment on it, but it does sound interesting and though I am not a sci-fi type of person, I may check it out. As for this futuristic technology in general, this book, Engines of Creation, http://e-drexler.com/d/06/00/EOC/EOC_Table_of_Contents.html is a good introduction to this stuff. On the specific issue of life extension (a personal interest of mine), this site http://www.fightaging.org/ is one of the best on the subject and it also contains links to other good sites as well. Some of Kevin Carson’s recent work has dealt with how already existing technology can be used to free people from relationships of domination and exploitation, I recommend these pieces in particular http://c4ss.org/content/6971, http://c4ss.org/content/3563, http://c4ss.org/content/5585. I am not a techie myself, and in the past I have been concerned about the ways that technology could be used to control people, but I also think that there is at least a potential for it to liberate people.

    “I don’t think you see everything as an evil. What I’m saying is that once you start to view all these different kinds of people as a bunch of problems to be fixed, it’s you who can easily become an enemy of individual liberty, or “evil” for lack of better words.”

    A I said before, I do think that the desire to solve all the problems in the world can definitely be a danger to individual liberty. The fact is that if human beings are given freedom to make choices, some will make choices that will lead them to ruin which would not occur if they had not been given such freedom and to me, that is just one of the prices that has to be paid if you want a free society.

    “Thanks. I’d like to get some group video projects going. What do you think?”

    Sounds like a good idea to me.

  13. Luke,

    “For me, this doesn’t seem a compassionate attitude. Why should the existence of conflict and suffering in human existence render the human animal so utterly worthless that it deserves punishment for one’s own gain?”

    Well in fairness, most people seem to think that a person who breaks one of their laws (no matter how minor) deserves all kinds of violence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmVDU3YRLAI, http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2008/08/support-your-local-rape-gang.html . Now of course some would respond that I am sympathizing with “criminals” and all these people deserve what they get because of their actions. The thing is that conservatives and most people in general also believe that all humans are horrible at their core and would destroy each other if not kept in check by the state, which is their primary objection to radical libertarianism. If these people are right about most people, and if they agree that even people even accused of minor crimes (most of which I don’t think should be crimes btw) should be exposed to horrible violence and abuse because they deserve it, than how can it be horrible for pain and suffering to come to most people than? As someone who reads news stories on the Internet, I often come across articles where someone is accused of something that I personally consider to be bullshit and almost always below (it there is a comments section) there are idiots who express outrage at the actions of the accused and their heinous acts yet it would surprise me if the same people think that everyone would kill each other without the state.

    Another point that I was trying to get across was that having a negative view of people and sharing that with conservatives does not mean that one becomes a meek obedient type person who has blind devotion to the state. I think that so many people seem to believe that agreeing with certain facts necessitates holding certain political views and the point that I was trying to get across was that one can come to a variety of conclusions from looking at the same set of data. The conclusion that one comes to often depends upon the presuppositions that one holds and I think that is something that needs to be acknowledged. The view that you stated is another perspective that is different from the standard right-wing one and the one I put forth which I think proves my point about there being a variety of conclusions that a person can draw from looking at the same facts.

    As for myself, the thing to point out is that I am not a lefty “love the world” type and I have never been such a type. On the contrary, my own views are very individualist, I am the kind of person who values my own freedom and autonomy and I have a “don’t tread on me” mentality. For a long time, the political viewpoint that I identified with was right-wing libertarianism and I got interested in the libertarian left initially because I thought it was a way to synthesize both my personal concerns for liberty with social justice type issues without having to choose one or the other. I get the feeling that many young left-anarchist types come from the left and are primarily the social justice types, but when they grow older they come to believe that it is impossible to have liberty as well so they opt for things like equality, non-discrimination etc. and they settle down to become typical social democrats and center leftists who loyally support the democratic party like this little fucker http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/us/05informant.html. Now unlike these types, if I think everyone is screwed up then the question to me is simply how to carve out the most freedom I can have for myself which may involve playing off different factions against one another. I respect the fact that you have a different view than I do, and I am somewhat intrigued by it, but I don’t believe it is for me. I actually find that that the reason I am sometimes have anger at humanity is because I actually do have some desire for a better world, when I truly don’t care about others I find that there is no anger at all (maybe psychopaths are the happiest people because they don’t care about others).

    The other thing I was reacting against was the tendency among both the right and the left to not only favour governments controlling our lives, but also favour imposing a stringent moral code on people inwardly. The right does that with patriotism, the work ethic, oppressive sexual rules, etc. while the left does it with guilt mongering over enjoying material and not giving away more money to poor people, polluting the environment etc. I will say that I’m not going to accept any of that garbage, and I happen to think it is absurd to concern to sacrifice one’s happiness in this brief life in order to satisfy the demands of some group on your life. If the right wants people to not do things, let them pass laws against them. If the left wants more money to go to people in Africa, tell them to raise taxes, and use that extra money for foreign aid. That’s how I see it anyways.

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