Quite a few of my libertarian associates on YouTube have been endorsing nationalism and nationalist channels. Interaction with nationalists has led me to believe that most of them are not only wrong, but are fundamentally weak in their thinking.
This video epitomises the mentality of the internet nationalists.
Swelling music, combined with subtitles making vague yet dramatic statements about “the fate of Western civilisation” and “their heroic duty to defend it” (not actual quotes but paraphrases).
The video might seem impressive at first, but that’s caused only by the music. Watch the video on mute and it looks like it was made by a 13-year-old schoolboy trying to write poetry.
These people pride themselves as not being “emotional utopian brain-dead libruls” (that the rest of the population supposedly is), and yet there is not a hint of empirical evidence or even a logical argument on this video, or any on this channel, given that all the videos are essentially the same in style and content (or lack thereof) except for minor tweaks.
I think I snapped when the video creator complained about third-world immigration and outsourcing. If you think that immigration and outsourcing are problems for a society then you are just as brain-dead and economically illiterate as the rest of the population (see here, here, here, here and here for refutations).
Their thinking is fundamentally similar to Marxists:
- It involves a grand narrative, be it the clash of the proletariat and bourgeoisie or rise and fall of “Western civilisation”/”the white race”.
- It wholeheartedly rejects economics and the economic way of thinking.
- It rejects utilitarianism and positivism in favour of unfalsifiable aesthetics — be it the communist aesthetics of “equality” and “social justice” or the nationalist aesthetics of “racial purity/solidarity/pride”.
- It is driven and sustained by tribal and primitive emotions.
The third and fourth points are the most important. Consider the parallel between nationalist claims that “people need to live among their own race, and they have natural feelings of anxiety in a multicultural society” and communist claims about social justice, e.g. “it is fair that strippers earn more than nurses?”
The issue in both cases is fundamentally the same. We have certain tribal impulses built into us that make “living among other races” or “allowing strippers to earn more than nurses” uncomfortable.
Interviewer: Let us take a society in which nurses are paid much less than strip-tease dancers. I wonder if that society will accept that situation indefinitely or permanently, because people will tend to feel that it is immoral/unjust in some sense.
Hayek: But you see you have here now the conflict between the different kinds of moral tradition which I spoke about. It is certainly objectionable to our instincts. I dislike it.
And yet I am convinced that if we are to maintain a society which makes use of much more information than any individual has, then we have to put up with it. But we are up against very strong, and in a sense justified, resistance of our instincts.
That’s our whole problem, a society which is efficient cannot be just. And unfortunately a society that is not efficient cannot maintain the present population of the world.
I think our instincts will have to learn.
[…] how long will it have to last before we learn to discipline our feelings I can’t predict.
Nationalist aesthetics are just as incompatible with efficiency as communist aesthetics (see here, here, here, here, here, and here). The free movement of human capital results in an efficient outcome in the same way that the free movement of goods, services and non-human capital results in an efficient outcome.
Nationalism and communism are both based on primitive tribal instincts, and these instincts are both claimed by their proponents to be an insurmountable problem, that can only be appeased by racial nationalism/communism. And denying these instincts is claimed to be tantamount to ignoring human nature itself.
That’s our whole problem, a society which is efficient cannot be just, a society which is efficient cannot be culturally comfortable.
The only difference is that the communist case at least seems stronger. I do dislike the idea of strippers earning more than nurses, but I overcome such feelings for the reasons Hayek stated above. I do get some innate desire for racial and cultural homogeneity, but I know that’s just my pre-economic primitive brain speaking — and it doesn’t take much effort to overcome such feelings.
This is not self-hatred or doublethink or ethnomasochism. It’s a simple exercise in mental self-discipline; rationality overcoming primitive emotions.
Telling me I’m a “self-hating white librul who loves white genocide” because I oppose racial nationalism makes as much sense as a Marxist calling me a “class traitor” because I defend capitalist profits.
This is why I consider these people to be “communists of the right”. They have recycled communist ideas with right-wing interpretations, and the parallels are striking. And just like communists, their views are non-cognitive, and will only last as long as the emotional temperament that supports them.