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Culture War Roundup for the week of August 14, 2023

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Hannania, Iowa State Fair, and Vivek. Vivek’s response to LGBTQ made the rounds on twitter mostly with positive support on how it can be handled.

Vivek says a lot of words but if I had to summarize it’s basically libertarianism for adults - you can do what you want - but no pride for kids and restrictions on female sports and bathroom usage.

I use to share these type of opinions and perhaps I still do. But I no longer find these as stable positions. It comes down to well why don’t you want pride in schools? It’s because I believe in social contagion (and the broad right) that pride is bad and I don’t want the next generation of children to be more gay and transexual. Basically I don’t want grooming for those lifestyles. I think the left knows this. And won’t settle for the right thinking pride is bad. And then it’s well your a homophobe/transphobe. Masks off yea I am. That is why I don’t want pride in school because I think it’s bad for people.

Of course I think the same problem exists with Hannania’s new position on race. Treat everyone the same. Be tough on crime. Do I think being colorblind will be accepted by the left when it ends up with whites always on top and blacks on the bottom with a lot of black men in prison? No.

I feel like we have discussed these issues a lot. Even a mod thru in a post on why can’t we just be colorblind (perhaps bad summary from memory). I think it’s interesting seeing the third leading GOP candidate making similar arguments. And in all honesty my guess is Vivek’s position is likely the preferred position of mosts on the Motte. None of the pride everywhere but adults can do as they please. The race issues I think perhaps we could get back to the old equilibrium of ignoring disparate outcomes and just treating blacks as if they are white. But I doubt it. The Pride issues I think are harder because not wanting children exposed more directly says we think it’s bad and don’t want our children taught this stuff. The positions I’m laying out are likely the preferred position of most of the GOP establishment. I think Desantis would even accept these positions if offered. I don’t expect the left to offer these compromises because they are true believers that disparate outcomes are proof of racism or because a lot of supporters find the moral superiority of getting to call red tribe “your a racists/transphobe” etc enjoyable so no reason to stop.

While I think these positions are unstable I’m not sure the right could move the country to the stable positions. Which would be widespread knowledge that a great deal of disparate outcome is from hbd and on pride matters getting the country to agree that lgbtq lifestyles are not desirable (which was the world pre-2008). As it is the current positions seem unstable to me and easily attacked by the left and to a great extent makes the right look like hypocrites afraid to say the quiet part out loud.

Also, might be a good place for anyone to posts anything they found interesting at the Iowa State Fair.

Libertarianism for adults. I.e. Your rights end where my feelings begin, but for vaping heterosexual white men with Asian wives.

In a moment of clarity, I would hope everyone who is libertarian minded can recognize that the guy stripping naked at the LNC or the guys ferociously arguing against drivers licenses are much better freedom fighters than you are insofar as you oppose 'protecting trans kids' and helping children learn about gender and sexuality beyond a stilted binary.

The most salient argument against libertarianism remains libertarians being faced with what people who are not vaping heterosexual white men with Asian wives do with their freedom.

But this is a song and dance that has been done before. Hans Herman Hoppe laid down the law on this stuff years ago. Insofar as libertarians want to live in nice societies (they do) the only functional tool against the kind of people who destroy nice societies is physical punishment. You quickly stop being a libertarian in a universalist sense and turn into a Civic Nationalist.

My question for libertarian or libertarian leaning people would be, why bother with this song and dance? Why ground your arguments in some abstract first principles relating to freedom and whatever else when you truly do not want freedom for everyone to do what they please? Why not just say the things you want society to be and stand on those grounds?

I mean, just imagine the genuinely impressive amount of energy and work libertarians managed to pool together in the past decades being spent on pushing an image of a society libertarians actually want to live in. Instead they work to lay the groundwork for the individual freedom enjoyed by convicted sex offenders dressing in drag and reading to 5 year olds.

My question for libertarian or libertarian leaning people would be, why bother with this song and dance? Why ground your arguments in some abstract first principles relating to freedom and whatever else when you truly do not want freedom for everyone to do what they please? Why not just say the things you want society to be and stand on those grounds?

I started writing a long answer from a libertarian perspective after being triggered by the surface level argument people always make using the stupid ass LP as a stick to beat the long and storied tradition of liberty, but then I figured you wouldn't get it and it'd sound like any and all explanation from the libertarian point of view.

So let me try to answer in a way someone who bit the bullet of Moralism and isn't afraid to just say they want to make society a certain way, would understand.

The problem with just doing what you want, is that you, like all other humans before you, are fucking stupid and will fuck this up. I would too. Anybody given power always does because they're not God. It's just a question of time. Sure you may get a few lucky strokes for a while, get a Caesar or two in there, have a ruling class that is actually well meaning, competent, and lucky for a bit, but it won't last.

Any regime, forever, by the very jealous nature of power, is always crawling towards the worst possible totalitarianism and the inevitable collapse that goes with it. This is just the nature of things, like the seasons, breathing and all other such cycles.

Since living in totalitarian societies is real bad even if you agree with the founding principles not to mention unsustainable, we should try to avoid this. There isn't much that can be done against nature, but lovers of freedom have devised some ways of medicating some of the problem.

Though the growth of Power is a ratchet, you can still slow it down. Fight every battle, make the bastard pay for every millimeter of redtape, every camera in your home, every license and registration. This is the fight you and all other Boromirs of your kind are always perplexed by.

Why make these abstract and complex systems of rights and moral justification to not touch the Ring of Power? Why not just use it against Sauron, then chuck it in Mt. Doom and call it a day? These are all bullshit justifications that aren't real anyways.

Well because we know once you pick it up, you're not putting it down unless you die. So the big complications are supposed to act as a giant neon sign warning saying THIS IS THE DANGEROUS RING OF POWER DO NOT TOUCH. And yeah sure it's annoying and inconvenient, sure it means some evil will be permitted that needn't be, and sure it is no permanent solution. But its less horrible than whatever you'll become if you touch the Ring.

You may say this is all ultimately futile because someone will eventually take it and fuck us all over, you may even say that if you don't pick it up somebody worse might. You're right of course, but it's also the Ring calling to you. Don't listen. Remember that it only obeys its one master. You won't be doing what's right with Power, you'll be doing what's right for Power. And like everybody else with a vision, you and it will be destroyed and replaced with the only thing Power ever does: grow more of itself.

Freedom has only ever existed as an oversight, a crack in the pavement of sovereignty, a "liberty" to be rescinded in the future. It is also vital to all that is human, beautiful and true, and that's why me and my ilk fight for it, and against you and all others who have designs on society despite being fated to lose.

Some dream of chucking the ring in a volcano and designing societies that do not contain coercion. I assume these would better fit your idea of a positive vision. But I've seen too many fail to believe in these Utopian dreams of transcendance. All we can do is fight, right now and right there, against the pull of the abyss.

This is the fight you and all other Boromirs of your kind are always perplexed by.

I very much enjoyed this and found your argument captivating, but as a Boromir, sometimes the communists are raping the nuns and emptying the prisons and you have to fight. Not taking the ring is the worse choice. But again as a principle and a standard two thumbs up

This would be an extremely salient critique if I wasn't in a thread with Libertarian minded people talking about limiting the liberty of others because they happen to not like and not believe in the thing others are doing with their own liberty.

The LP is not a stick I am hitting Libertarians with because it's a silly group filled with people on the spectrum. I mentioned it precisely because those people, the most looney left-Libertarians, are the only ones standing by the principles. The King of Gondor is dancing naked on stage to protest government corruption, foaming at the mouth at the mere insinuation that people need take a test to drive a car. And he is a legitimate noble king. Far more so now than ever before as the 'respectable' and 'sensible' or 'adult' Libertarians walk back on their oath to liberty above all to protest trannies and drag queens.

I would say Libertarianism is futile because eventually Libertarians realize they don't want to live in a society filled with things they don't like. They actually want nice things. A nice society, like described by Hoppe. Some might even recognize, on some level, though it is a stretch, that just because they like smoking weed doesn't mean it's good for a free market economy to actively promote it to children like it's soda. In fact soda might be just as bad or even worse, I mean, look at the obesity rates...

Libertarians, like others, see expressions and assertions of morals that are too alien to them as inherently hostile. And as they grow in a world where the consequences of freedom start encroaching on other sensibilities they hold alongside liberty, they start moving away from liberty towards something else. Sure, it takes them more time than others, as they value liberty more than others. But it's just a matter of degree. And when the existence and free expression of moral aliens manages to sufficiently push society to a place so foreign and abnormal to Libertarian sensibilities that they balk at the notion that these people be free then there is no difference between a Libertarian and a person who wanted to nip this in the bud long before it got this out of hand.

Far more so now than ever before as the 'respectable' and 'sensible' or 'adult' Libertarians walk back on their oath to liberty above all to protest trannies and drag queens.

You can go quite a long way (indeed, in some cases further than I'd like to go) into attempting to disassemble LGBTQI without doing anything that technically breaks libertine principles.

  1. banning LGBTQI rhetoric from being taught in public schools: this doesn't technically infringe anyone's freedom of speech in the usual libertine construction. The teachers can still say it, they just can't say it on the clock and still get paid (free contract - they're employed by the State, and the State can set conditions of what is and is not their job), and they are entirely free to pick another career or find another - private - employer who will pay them to teach kids LGBTQI. (If you want to go the galaxy-brain libertine position on this, you could also just disestablish schools.)

  2. removing gay marriage: marriage is a social construct, not a physical action; you have no liberty right to society agreeing with your idea. Fucking is a physical action, and it's against liberty to ban that, but since unmarried sex is legal that's not relevant. Similar reasoning applies to legal transition.

  3. defunding transition therapy: it's against liberty to ban cosmetic surgery, but it's up to society what society pays for.

  4. removing pronoun policies: these are anti-libertine in the first place; you can call yourself what you like, but whether other people go along with it is, in a place with free speech, their decision (free contract prevents you from stamping these out when it's a private actor with no public funding imposing it, though; see above).

These examples still feature a Libertarian infringing on the rights of others, just by using the state as a medium.

Why should it be the libertarian that gets their way with regards to what a teacher can and can't say? If the teacher wants to espouse LGBT stuff why not let them? Isn't that more freedom for the teacher? Why should they, the teachers, be the ones who have to live under a society that stifles their speech if they want to keep their job?

I know libertarians can justify whatever they want to justify. As Hoppe did most eloquently when he advocated for the physical removal of those who violate a hypothetical covenant made between people who want to maintain some sort of society they like. The point I am making is that a libertarian loses any and all moral highground as soon as they stoop to this level. Suddenly their notions of freedom are no greater than mine. They want to live in a society of a certain flavor.

The difference between you and Hoppe is that he doesn't want a monopoly on what a good society is. The Taliban and Californians get to live in their own little hellholes they made for themselves if they want to. And we only bomb them to a crisp if they fuck with us, none of this civilizing crap, no interference. I don't trust you to have the same restraint. Like the Californians you wouldn't want to leave people alone if you can "help" them.

So instead of rotating between the two clichés of "you said they'd be no rules but here you are enforcing rules" and "scratch a liberal and a fascist bleeds", which are both completely discarding what libs actually believe in, maybe explain to me how you freely nipping things in the bud doesn't turn tyrannical.

Hoppe does want a monopoly on what a good society is in the society he lives in, even in a Libertarian utopia. He wants the ability to freely associate with those who agree with him and freely disassociate from those who don't. To the end of ostracizing those he does not like from his society and protecting his society from those that would harm it. He does not want to live with the 'undesirables' or subject himself to their whim and suffer through whatever affronts to his moral sensibilities that their twisted minds can come up with after they've been afforded the freedom to do so.

You trusting him more than me to not have that ball roll into some kind of totalitarian foreign policy is completely irrelevant to my stated views. If that's all you have I am very content with saying you don't have much. Because I am not asking for something radically different from Hoppe. I just want the thing formalized in plain English instead of squeezing it out through Libertarian priors.

I assume my preferred views wont lead to "tyranny" for the same reason Libertarians assume theirs wont lead to "tyranny".

Really it comes down to a simple question.

Do you guarantee exit rights? And if so, how?

That's the difference between you and him. And I think it's significant.

The same way Libertarians "guarantee" anything. By making stuff up on internet forums.

I believe my principles and my vision for the future will lead to good just like Libertarians believe about theirs. The thinly veiled insinuations that I don't sufficiently share your values or hold the correct ones in high enough regard to be trusted is, to not labour a point, asinine.

To some degree you're right, promises from the sovereign are inherently easy to break. But I don't think asking for cryptographic guarantees that you can't seize my assets and institutional control or something is unreasonable or difficult these days.

Or if we want to remain within the realm of making shit up, a base culture and custom of limited government goes a long way. Made up religions like libertarianism actually have important concrete effects.

I guess another way of asking that question is how do I know you're not going to pull a Stalin? Most non-anarchist, even of the absolute monarchist kind, have an answer to that question. And when they don't, like the Italian street brawlers, it's not encouraging.

More comments

Just to steel man the libertarians, I’ve always appreciated that unlike almost every other political party, they actually live by their principles. They aren’t just in favor of liberty and government non-interference when it suits them. They’re in favor of letting people do as they please even when they hate the choices being made. Other parties don’t tend to do that and their bases tend to make excuses for why it’s necessary to sell out their stated beliefs and principles.

I tend to lean libertarian in some ways, I don’t think the government should be able to police much of adult consenting behavior. The government exists to prevent fraud, abuse, and crimes. It doesn’t exist to rescue you from your bad decisions, nor to prevent you from making bad decisions. It doesn’t even exist to provide a retirement. On the other hand, I don’t think that means you can’t make reasonable laws, you can require information be provided, you can create strong civil codes that forbid fraud, and allow for strong tort law.