Johnson: The Refutation of Libertarianism

In the always excellent Counter-Currents, Greg Johnson has a brief post on “The Refutation of Libertarianism“. He starts off with the following, straightforward and self-evident axioms:

Libertarianism is the politics of individualism. Individualism is both a metaphysical and a moral position.

Metaphysical individualism is the thesis that only particular men exist. Groups are just collections of individuals, with no independent reality or meaning.

Metaphysical individualism is connected to universalism, which is the idea that there is only one race, the human race, which is just a collection of individuals. Universalism implies that there is no meaningful distinction between ingroups and outgroups, between us and them.

He then shows some of the key inductions libertarianism subsequently makes, such as:

[N]ationalism, patriotism, and any other form of partiality for one’s ingroup over an outgroup is morally illegitimate, since there is really no us and them, just me and you. This leads us to the ethical dimension of individualism. How do you and I get on together? If groups are just collections of individuals, there are no group values, just individual values. The purpose of social institutions, therefore, is to facilitate individuals pursuing their own aims.

Theoretically speaking, the libertarian argues, free market, libertarian capitalism is the facilitator of such ‘ethical indivdiualism’:

Ethical individualism requires us to treat individuals as individuals, not as members of various morally unimportant groups handed to us by history or nature. We must be “blind” to race. We must be “blind” to class. We must be “blind” to sex. We must be “blind” to religion. We must be “blind” to nationality. We must be “blind” to all things that divide us. The only thing we must see are individual merits.

Theoretically, the libertarian then argues, qua game theoretic models of human activity, that:

Collectivist societies, however, are hampered by ingroup/outgroup splits. If people behave as members of groups, trust and cooperation are confined to ingroups, which severely constricts the scale of social institutions and corrupts their functioning with favoritism toward ingroups and discrimination toward outgroups.

In honest contests, the individualist game can outcompete [sic] the collectivist game, which is why individualistic European societies conquered virtually the entire globe with superior technologies and forms of social cooperation.

So, why is libertarianism wrong?

But the competition for global domination is rarely honest. Thus when Western individualist societies conquered and absorbed collectivist ones, it was only a matter of time before the more intelligent tribes learned how to cheat.

How does one cheat an individualist? By pretending to be an individualist while working as a member of a group. You demand that individualists give you a fair shake in every transaction. But whenever possible, you give preferences to members of your own tribe, and they give preferences to you.

This is the crux: Ethnocentrism, primarily through crypsis.

Johnson echoes Kevin MacDonald when he writes:

There will never be a libertarian society. But libertarian ideology still performs a function within the existing system. And although libertarianism is superficially opposed to the Marxism of the Frankfurt School, both are Jewish intellectual movements that perform the same function: they break down the resistance of high-trust, European individualist societies to duplicitous tribal groups—what John Robb calls “parasite tribes”—preeminently Jews. Libertarians preach individualism, whereas the Frankfurt school stigmatizes white ethnocentrism and extols “inclusiveness” toward “marginalized” groups. But the result is the same. Both doctrines promote Jewish upward mobility and collective power while blinding the rest of society to what is happening

Ultimately, I would argue, individualism is a product of the biological and cultural evolution of European man. Individualism goes hand in hand with low ethnocentrism, i.e., openness to strangers, the universalist idea that ultimately there just one group, humanity, to which we all belong. The European mentality was beautifully encapsulated in a saying of Will Rogers: “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met.” I doubt very much that an equivalent phrase can be found in Hebrew or Arabic…

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