Saturday, June 24, 2017

Two Items Relating to Paleoconservatism versus Libertarianism


Thing one is a headline at LewRockwell.com, by none other than Rockwell himself:

Mises Was a Nationalist

Thing two is a name change. Sean Gabb recently abdicated as head of the UK's Libertarian Alliance. His successor, Keir Martland, writes:


the organisation I now own will not be called the Libertarian Alliance, but the Ludwig von Mises Centre (or Mises UK)

The splintering of the paleoconservative movement away from libertarianism seems to be complete, or at least very near completion. That final break has been a long time coming.

I suspect it became inevitable when Murray Rothbard died with head still fully jammed up anus vis a vis the "paleo strategy." He was always mercurial with respect to strategy. If he had lived longer he almost certainly would have done a 180 at some point. But he didn't live long enough to extract cranium from rectum.

In his absence, the lesser lights who took over his work were in various ways unwilling1 or unable2 to do so either. Like a rocket in deep space that runs out of fuel for maneuver, they just kept going straight in the direction he had most recently pointed them. And when the tether connecting the paleo strategy to libertarian ideology (which led in a very different direction) got too taut, they decided to start sawing through that tether rather than let it drag them back toward sanity.

On the one hand, I'm a bit sad to see some seemingly good people floating rudderless off into the darkness on Spaceship Paleo. Fortunately quite a few have launched their escape pods from, or were made to walk the plank off of, that ship in recent years and returned to libertarianism where they are back to making positive contributions (two that come to mind are Sheldon Richman and Jeffrey Tucker), and others may yet do so.

I also wish that the paleos had listened to MacBeth -- "If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly" -- rather than try to drag libertarianism along behind them for more than two decades.

But better late than never.

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1. Hoppe wasn't just whistling Dixie (pun intended) when he framed his approach as an attempt to put libertarianism on the rails of Marx's theory of history. His class theory is "race realism," his class war is bordertarianism, his revolutionary method is "physical removal," and his dictatorship of the proletariat is the construction of faux "private property societies" as a proliferation of Hoxha-style mini-Albanias.

2. Rockwell isn't a system-builder or an ideologue. He's a salesman. When Rothbard died, Rockwell just kept selling what Rothbard had most recently sent him out to sell while looking for new faces to put on it. Once the Ron Paul presidential campaigns were done, that model started to go sour on him. Then Trump came along. I think we have the results of the 2016 presidential election to thank for the paleos' decision to finally and forever cut their tether to libertarianism.

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