Walter Block correctly predicted the fragmentation of libertarianism when he wrote this back in 2010.
By Walter Block,
THE PRESENT PAPER DEFENDS the position of libertarian centrism, or libertarian purity (Gregory 2006), or plumb line libertarianism,1 vis-a-vis its two competitors for the libertarian mantle: left wing libertarianism and right wing libertarianism (Read 1998).2 Appearing in the present Journal there is no need even to carefully define terms such as “libertarian,” as would otherwise be the case. For, amazingly, all parties to this debate are staunch libertarians. There are no differences between any of us as to the primacy of the non-aggression axiom, coupled with private property rights based on homesteading. All principals to this debate agree with these basic premises. Where we differ is in terms of the logical implications of these founding axioms. In section II we take to task…
Categories: Anarchism/Anti-State, Left and Right
Most people are easily influenced by emotions and have no real principles, so they’re prone to fight over cultural retardation and tribal gang wars.
Walter Block is arguably my favorite an-cap writer. There are others that are more substantive like Rothbard, Hoppe, Bryan Caplan, and David Friedman, but Block gets down to the nitty-gritty of “Okay, so if you really want to do anarcho-capitalism this is what it means.”
If you remove John Locke and put in Stirner, Proudhon, Tucker, and DeCleyre, I don’t really have any other major disagreements with Block, although those would be enough disagreements to disqualify me in his book.
My AnCapistani favorite is Anthony De Jasay because he talks about legal logic instead of warmed over Catholic moral fantasies. I pretty much agree with Austrian economics and some of the positions of the smart libertarians (Mises, basically, fuck Koch Beltway Partyarchists) but every time I see a discussion of muhNAP I skip it automatically.
Stirner is the best, I also like Georges Palante and his regarding all movements and activism as a waste of time created for normie causes to eat up your energy. I would rather just move instead of trying to fix America, fuck Americans.
I’ve never been anything but an anarchist politically since I was in my early 20s. But over time I have been tactically aligned with the far-left, left-wing anarchism, Wobblies, right-libertarians, populist-right, European third positionists, left-libertarians, European New Right, paleoconservatives, alt-right, Shiites, Greens, and Marxist-Leninists. It all depended on the issue and the context. And I’ve also dealt with quite a few hyphenated anarchist tendencies. The problem with all of these approaches was that the hyphens usually take precedence over the anarchist part, and the alliances end up becoming diluted by other things.
For instance, Noam Chomsky has probably been the biggest influence on my thinking on international relations. But he has largely become an anarcho-Bidenist in his old age. Kevin Carson is probably my biggest influence on economics, and he has gone the same way as Chomsky. Ditto the man who recruited me into the IWW 33 years ago, and the man who nominated me to the national committee of the US section of the IWA around the same time. Walter Block is one of my favorite writers in the an-cap tradition and instead of “defending the undefendable” he has become a “Libertarian for Trump” (although maybe Trump counts as being among the undefendable).
It seems most people who are anarchists or libertarians are only such to the point that it advances the perceived interests of their reference groups (“tribe” or “sect”), favorite social cause, preferred economic system, or lifestyle preference. These “paleo” folks are those who see the state as a threat to their preferred bourgeois Christian lifestyle, just like there are other types of libertarians for whom the state is a perceived threat to their preferred sex/drugs/whatever lifestyle.
It seems that the US “culture war” is a quasi-religious war over existential values. The Red Tribe is comprised of the traditional American civil religion, traditional metaphysical religion, and Lockean liberals. The Blue Tribe is comprised of “citizen of the world” cosmopolitans, Enlightenment rationalists and proponents of “scientism,” Rousseauan liberals, and/or “progressive” religion (the descendants of the deists, Unitarians, transcendentalists, etc). The different libertarian and anarchist factions are just micro-tribes within one of these macro-tribes.
“But he has largely become an anarcho-Bidenist in his old age. Kevin Carson is probably my biggest influence on economics, and he has gone the same way as Chomsky”
Old people become conservative. And they’re both in cultural left circles, and obviously aren’t autistic enough.
My personal preference for Utopolis would be a city state with lots of surveillance that’s publicly accessible. But I don’t make predictions about Ancapistan because it would be wildly different from what exists I don’t really care about what most people do and have zero interest in converting normies like some culty leader. I do, however, find the cultural left and right obnoxious and find their low information obsessions about trannies and Murica tedious as hell.
I probably agree with you, Swithuh Dobson and Jeff Deist more than any of the other people in the anarcho-space. Many times I find the radical right and left more realistic and insightful than the Normie America culture that infests libertarian circles. I usually get more out of talking to Chinese people than libertarians (arguably, Chinese people, being less politicized by democracy and mass media are better libertarians than most Americans who get TRIGGERED by anything that doesn’t fit with their narrative).
For me the biggest problem with any ideology or movement is that most people are dumbasses who don’t read. I’ve read a ludicrous amount of libertarian and Austrian stuff, including a lot of things like Anthony De Jasay – not to mention everything from de Maistre to Mao – and I find it impossible to have a productive conversation with most people, who simply repeat memes and basic bitch narratives.