Libertarianism for Grownups — 10 things we must realize

May 5th, 2015   Submitted by Roman Skaskiw

Horatius at the bridge

1. The Enlightenment is our foundation.

As I have written before, libertarians are often the unknowing and ungrateful inheritors of the Enlightenment. They take for granted that there SHOULD be justice. It’s beautiful, really, but it doesn’t correspond to the real world.

The big reveal which libertarians experienced, the “red pill” moment which we so often try to communicate is that the state is ultimately violent in everything it does. We say this as if it’s both surprising and disturbing. Let’s be grateful that it often is.

But in most of the world, this supposed revelation will likely cause people to look at you like you’re a small, naive child. Of course the government is violent. Of course they are looking out for their interests. Why should it be any other way? Everybody looks out for their own interests first. The world cannot be any other way.

Westerners have no idea how idealistic they are.

2. Equality is the new communism.

Nobody who advocates economic Marxism is taken seriously anymore. The argument is over, and we have won. Mostly. Yes, there is a lot of stupid, self-serving policy, and it fails for the same reasons communism did, but the serious arguments for economic Marxism are over.

Equality is the new communism. The left is advocating near-full scale mobilization toward an impossible goal — and that may very well be the point. After all, what good is a messiah once he’s arrived.

If a heterogeneous polity is to succeed, we need to focus on compatibility (probably by pushing as much as possible into the marketplace of voluntary interaction and celebrating, or at least tolerating, differences). If the left continues creating a religion around equality there will be more conflict and discontent.

3. Status, not wealth.

People who are either very powerful, or very lazy pay a huge opportunity cost by observing property right. Why should they do so?

The typical argument made by libertarians is purely an economic one: Everyone in a society would become materially better off if we all observed private property.

We are underestimating the heady appeal of riding around with a bunch of heavily armed buddies and ruling over everything through a capacity for violence. Think gang-bangers or Genghis Khan.

Many prefer status over long-term wealth. Also, time preference. Right? Our argument for why everyone should see things our way fails. It will continue to fail.

4. We are mostly doing justification.

It’s no coincidence that libertarianism consists largely of capable, industrious people. We are arguing for the world which gives us the most status. By happy coincidence, it provides for the rest of society by creating a competition in the satisfaction of needs.

But so what? That isn’t enough to convert people.

Justification is the same thing single mothers do when they advocate for communal property and communal responsibility, or what a politician does when he describes the moral imperative of welfare for his voters.

5. and 6. American libertarians have a bias, taking for granted the absence of organized external enemies. Historically, survival has been a collective effort, not an individual one.

How can living under the bubble of the most powerful military to have ever existed not create a bias? The bias of American libertarians takes for granted the absence of well organized outside enemies. Most American analysis considers only disorganized bandits and the state itself.

The world looks much different, say, on the edge of the steppe where powerful, organized actors, from the Mongol hordes, to the Bolshevik ones, to the persistent, corrupting pressure and violence of Russian intelligence, have been a far greater threat than the state or lone bandits.

Though many optimistic libertarian prose have lauded asymmetric war and voluntary security, the jury is still out. The people not making the argument about the military superiority of voluntary coalitions are the ones who do the actual fighting.

Besides, if voluntary coalitions were militarily superior, wouldn’t states have ceased to exist long ago? Wouldn’t the German principalities have defeated Napoleon, wouldn’t the Qin dynasty’s unification and bureaucratization of China have failed against the aristocratic, more voluntary coalitions they displaced?

7. Never speak about natural rights again, or if you do, realize it’s just shaming.

Shaming is good. It’s a sort of first line of defense against delinquent behavior, but let’s not pretend that the natural rights argument has come down to us from Mount Sinai or anything like that.

Even if we were to appeal to nature, we’d sooner conclude that strict private property is deeply unnatural. When economists do use nature to demonstrate private property, the examples are so laden with exceptions and qualifications, that these could just as easily serve as the rule.

8. Strict private property is an anomaly created by violence.

You get private property when you’re able to punish those who violate private property. This is the grown up version of libertarianism.

9. Free-ride-a-tarianism.

It is hard to punish those who violate private property. The price is very high.

Libertarians who ignore the creation and enforcement of property right (often by hiding behind the natural rights argument), should not be called libertarians. We need another word — “free-ride-a-tarian.”

Liberty happens when people are willing to die achieving it for the sake of their neighbors. We should be asking ourselves what society needs to look like to achieve this condition.

(Side note: I thought the answer to this question would be discussed in the context of Ukraine’s 2014 revolution which I witnessed up close and personally, but then big parts of the libertarian media went all Kremlinesque and drowned out any discussions of lessons which might have been learned. For other important libertarian lessons, look also to Georgia’s amazing libertarian reforms of 2007-2008, which were also proceeded by a Russian military invasion.)

10. The Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) is insufficient at best, and at worst, a tool for scoundrels.

There are many sorts of delinquent behavior which fall short of physical aggression. For example, fraud. It should not be relegated to a footnote.

The non-aggression principle and the zealotry with which some libertarians advocate it, casts harm as a false binary. It isn’t. There’s a gradient of harm that starts long before physical aggression: making a deal with asymmetric knowledge, a deal that you know is bad for the other party, a deal that causes negative externalities (like selling bullets to a warlord about to slaughter innocents), fraud by omission, outright fraud, not to mention lying, slander, and more.

Perhaps we shouldn’t surrender our capacity for retaliation given the many ways someone can cause harm and still remain on the right side of the non-aggression principle.

It seems libertarianism attracts a small (very small) minority of con-artists and scoundrels who perceive the non-aggression principle as a prohibition on retaliation: “You stand still while I lie, cheat and defraud you.”

We can do better.

66 Responses to “Libertarianism for Grownups — 10 things we must realize”

  1. HReardenNo Gravatar says:

    Fraud is aggression and it is thus not a violation of the NAP to “retaliate” against those who are guilty of fraud. Who do you consider “neighbors”. I don’t consider people living in Ukraine or Russia or the Republic of Georgia neighbors of mine. Most people do not in practice entirely accept the morality of Libertarianism. If they are not willing to accept the consistent morality of Libertarianism they are not Libertarians. Fancy packaging and verbal tactics are not going to magically cause people to accept Libertarianism. If one is not going to accept the moral reason for accepting Libertarianism then you should search for the remnant who will.

  2. Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

    I really like this article. It’s important for libertarians to think outside the box a little bit more than many have been doing. Right and wrong, and issues of ethics are great for having a moral compass to live by, but no matter how much we wish others would also live by our standards of good behaviour, it doesn’t mean the rest of world is going to.

    And so we have two choices, complain for all of eternity that we’re getting beat up, or figure out ways to beat the shit out of anybody who fucks with us, plain and simple. Yeah, we need a big libertarian gang or mafia that’s willing to kill other people.

    I like how you talk about private property as not something that’s sent from heaven. It’s a convention that makes things better. Kind of like light bulbs. You won’t see them on desert islands. It takes a lot of capital and energy to power a lightbulb, but things work better with them than without them.

    Things work better with private property than without it, but it takes a lot to defend it, so let’s get to it.

    A conclusion I’ve come to is that libertarians would do well to learn the one and only natural law that exists on this planet. You can do whatever you want, and so can everybody else.

  3. KyleNo Gravatar says:

    Mr. Skaskiw, I’m not sure what exactly you are attempting to argue when you wrote, “The Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) is insufficient at best, and at worst, a tool for scoundrels.” Were you attempting to illustrate that some people use the NAP as a black-and-white distinction, whereas (you’re arguing) it should be considered more a sliding scale of gray from less coercive to more coercive, or what?

    I’d appreciate some clarification on this point, thanks.

    • Please call me Roman. 🙂

      Yes, I think you summarize it nicely: “some people use the NAP as a black-and-white distinction, whereas (you’re arguing) it should be considered more a sliding scale of gray from less coercive to more coercive”

      NAP alone seems insufficient to create a society with low transaction costs (ie. a place where you can relax because people are not trying to harm you).

  4. macsnafuNo Gravatar says:

    Some of these points are well worth considering, while some of these aren’t nearly as clear-cut as you make them out to be. With “5 and 6” for example, you aren’t really saying anything except that it’s a difficult point to deal with. So? What are we arguing for that isn’t a difficult sell to mainstream people?

    Also, I’m with HRearden about the NAP. It isn’t just about physical aggression, but about any coercive, rights-violating action, which of course includes fraud. And who says anything about not retaliating? The NAP merely says that initiating force is wrong, not defensive or retaliatory force. The only complication with retaliatory force is practical, not moral–there needs to be some form of public notice that retaliatory force is going to be used and that it is a just action, so that other people won’t mistakenly think it is an initiation of force and attempt to prevent it. The obvious solution is a trial, where a crime can be shown to have been committed, and proof presented that someone committed the crime. There may be other ways to justify retaliatory action, but I don’t know if there are any better ways. Government or no government, trials have a well-established historical precedent.

    So while we’re playing “grown-up” libertarians, let’s not engage in silly semantic arguments, either.

    • JohnNo Gravatar says:

      Trials have a certain failure rate due to a multitude of factors. NAP is “non-deterministic”.

      • macsnafuNo Gravatar says:

        If there are other and better ways to justify retaliatory force, I’d like to hear them. Any time I give an explanation of how I think an anarchist society will work, I recognize that it is merely my best guess of how I think it would work. But only the people living in such a society will know for sure what they consider justified or not.

  5. Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

    The NAP does not preclude hunting and capturing or killing criminals.

    • JohnNo Gravatar says:

      This is a great sentence to debate because it is so short. Does killing a dolphin or other smart animals listed under http://www.nonhumanrightsproject.org/ violate the NAP principle? Why not? How can you or I be sure that Humans are for example smarter / more sentient than a dolphin? They do not speak our language, but we also do not speak theirs. Say humans are smarter than pigs. Suppose there is an alien race that visited earth. They see that Seth killed a pig and he believes that “eye for an eye” is justifiable via NAP. By the same logic they can kill you because 1) A – it was just recreational hunting or B) they were punishing a pig murderer with a murder. The aliens found that not only pig’s anatomy is very similar to human’s but their brains are about as developed as those of humans, at least when viewing through their lens.

      I fail to see how one group of animals is more special than another.

      The real “reason” why it is “ok” to hunt other animals is the same reason why it is ok to drink water – “we” would most likely not be here if it were not for sufficient water and prey. Evolution is a tough judge and non-hunting and non-violence (for example: Buddhism) is a rather recent life style for a human race.

      On capturing and killing criminals … you cannot prove that someone is a criminal / murderer. You can follow an established protocol, present evidence, arguments, counter-evidence, counter-arguments … and then 12 people (or so) make up their mind on what they think happened.

      Take a look at Travon Martin trial for instance. There were conflicting testimonies during the trial and after the verdict was reached, about half of the country thought that it was just and another thought otherwise.

      “Justice” is probabilistic. Innocent people are executed all the time. Evidence is routinely planted, computers are hacked, people get things wrong, there is a software bug, jurors do not understand statistics … something other than state should be more efficient at killing the right people, but there is no guarantee still.

      Say someone killed a woman. Her family thinks they caught the perpetrator and they kill him … themselves or through a justice system. Well, if a family of a female victim has the right to kill a random innocent person, then the family of a male victim ought to have the same right (if consistency is important, right?). Well, I can imagine a scenario where all but 1 person (though 0 is also possible) on this planet are killed in the name of “justice”. Realistically this is unlikely as sometimes the system gets the right person. The higher is the success rate, the sooner the domino chain of “vendetta” will end.

      Then you get wars, where “you kill one of “us”, we kill 5 of “you”. Oh you killed 5 of “us”. We kill 25 of “you” … 125, 625, … ” can again lead to the planet shaking the human virus off.

      I agree with Skaskiw that NAP is made up, but I find some of his analysis overly simplistic. I think a proper way to understand violence would involve evolution, game theory, and concepts such as optimization and conservation of energy. I know, this sounds highly abstract. I could write a whole article on just this topic. The idea is related to Sam Spade’s link about common law as means of minimizing violence.

      • DaveNo Gravatar says:

        I think you raise some interesting points.

        “I fail to see how one group of animals is more special than another.”

        Humans have used religion to rationalize control over non-humans (and over other humans, in some cases) for thousands of years. I always thought this was perhaps the “easy” way out. I think your points about evolution apply here – any species will try to control all others in an attempt to maintain survival of their own species (see Isle Royale, for example). Plain and simple. Every species is driven to survive, and control over all other species is part of this.

        “On capturing and killing criminals”

        Dealing with crime would be a lot easier if this were dealt with locally, versus in large groups/territories (states, provinces, and federal governments). Local law and order accomplishes many things:
        1. More likely to know everybody in the group
        2. A set of rules can be better created for each particular group
        3. People who don’t get along with their group can have an easier time finding another group that better fits them
        Most of the problems you mention are minimized with smaller groups

        And, if wars break out between smaller groups, other groups can better defend themselves, and work together to restrain the damage caused by the war. No more big nations, no more world wars….

        • JohnNo Gravatar says:

          So you like things that are https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifragile ?

          On criminals and violence – your arguments are grounded in consequantialism and not moralism. I think this is what Skaskiw is trying to get at, whether these are his original thoughts, he absorbed them from someone else or independently co-discovered.

          The shortest summary I can think of is “Paper don’t stop bullets.” Stefan Moleneux likes to use this one when talking about the constitution and how it is merely a piece of paper plus ink. The existence of constitution has not stopped GW himself to use military against the dissent citizens.

          Look up these words online: “The Whiskey Rebellion, also known as the Whiskey Insurrection, was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791, during the presidency of George Washington.”

          The rebellion against the British was fought over a less significant tax on tea. The constitution was created in 1787. Military was used against its citizens to extract money mere 4 years later by the same “libertarian hero” lol. So it took mere 4 years for a libertarian experiment to fail. I believe US is now moving into a communist/fascist phase – a pretty far throw from its libertarian roots.

          My conclusion is: might matters plenty. Paper / promises / deals / social norms / traditions are all dispensable. I believe Skaskiw is arguing a similar point, but then he also makes others.

          Some of his thoughts are not well defined/expressed in my opinion, some poorly argued and not backed up and some observations too simple to belong on that list. It did not have to be 10 bullet points.

  6. Dogbert on the Non-Aggression Principle: http://www.lostrepublic.us/archives/15295 🙂

    • GelnnNo Gravatar says:

      Dogbert is clearly a scoundrel.

    • macsnafuNo Gravatar says:

      People who renounce violence are pacifists, not libertarians. As we’ve already tried to explain, the NAP only says that initiating force is wrong, not *all* force.

      • Renouncing the initiation of force is best, insufficient for civilization.

        Let’s say there’s a warlord who has his victims kneeling beside a freshly dug ditch. Can I sell him bullets? It’s a voluntary exchange. He may be about to aggress against innocent people, but is that any of my business? My transaction with him is completely voluntary.

        This is an example of negative externalities.

        Negative externalities are one of many harmful behaviors that need to be suppressed, though they do not violate NAP.

        • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

          People are responsible for their own actions. Anyone who sells ammo could potentially sell ammo to someone who will use it immorally. There is no way to know what someone is going to do. Many objects that are sold could be used as weapon. A person could sell an automobile to someone who uses it to deliberately run over someone. Does that mean that automobiles should not be sold?

        • JohnNo Gravatar says:

          “Negative externalities are one of many harmful behaviors that need to be suppressed”

          How? What is your solution to this life-boat scenario.

        • macsnafuNo Gravatar says:

          I’m not sure what your example is supposed to show. That there are obviously some people who won’t renounce the initiation of violence? Sure, selling him bullets is a voluntary exchange, but the NAP doesn’t stop people from coming to the victims’ aid and stopping him from shooting them.

          I think you’re trying to say that the NAP doesn’t stop negative externalities. But clearly an initiation of force is occurring, it’s just not occurring during the voluntary exchange. Offhand, I’d say that just about *all* initiations of force don’t occur during voluntary exchanges. So what?

          Of course, the NAP doesn’t stop anything from occurring, it’s just the principle for people to follow in distinguishing between criminal and non-criminal actions. Exactly how that is applied depends largely upon the legal system in existence.

  7. JinxNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t know where to begin. You are so wrong on every point.

    Enlightenment is the soul of libertarianism, People kept in the dark by government schools and news reporting are the antitheses of freedom and the tools of government.

    Equality means equality of opportunity not outcome. Comparing theft to earned status or wealth is beyond the pale. I will kill for my wealth if someone tries to rob me, what is their status then?

    You say pols and women use laws and guilt as a justification for theft. Because someone uses babies or the poor to justify taxes, it still is theft. Changing this will take time and the libertarians principles.

    The government steals my life force in the form of my wealth. All we really own is our time in this realm, So when the government demands monies from us we must earn that money, and that takes our time, the only real property we have.

    Libertarians realize the need for an organized defense, we just want that to be defense, not offense as people roaming the world picking fights to employ weapon manufacturers.

    I am astounded with your take on natural rights. THEY DO COME FROM GOD.
    “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The first draft said,”the pursuit of property, which was changed to happiness. YOUR RIGHTS DO NOT COME FROM MAN!!!

    Without property rights, I could enter your home, steal your food moneys even your home and land, come on you really could not mean what you wrote.

    The last two just escape me. We as a nation have shown time after time we are willing to fight WHEN wrongs are being cast upon us.You are comparing todays governments volunteer army to the volunteers who lined up for WW2. With the all volunteer army the government is able to have “perpetual war for perpetual peace”. That is far different than what needs to be. I am sure the draft will return and so will the end of our “wars all the time: nation. That needs to be worked on.
    The problem I see with your reasoning is that you are fatalistic, what is now is what will be forever.
    Now I admit these institutions are being stepped upon by the government but that is what the libertarian movement is based upon. Lastly not an insult but were you born or educated in the USA and when? I feel you misunderstand what we libertarians stand and are willing to lay down our lives for.

    • JohnNo Gravatar says:

      One has to define “libertarian” in order to have a successful argument.

      What if I I say rights come from a bear. If a bear allows you to shit in his woods, you may 🙂 If not, you might get killed.

      Stefan Moleneux claims that there are no rights, only properties. I think Skaskiw argues further – there are no properties, only violence and threats and hints of it.

      While I also think that Skaskiw’s article is not fully original and is full of holes, I happen to be “libertarian”-ish and I do not believe in God. While the majority of pro-free-market folks in America happen to be religious, not everyone is. What now?

      • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

        Rights are a concept. It makes sense to live one’s life as though there are rights because those who do will generally be civil in their interactions with others. I don’t care what Stefan Molyneux claims. You may think I am be uncivil in making that statement but I don’t consider his opinion credible. I won’t elaborate and you probably know the recent controversies. I disagree with Skaskiw regarding the article. I am an atheist and I am pro-free market. Btw, I don’t know that the majority of folks in America who are religious are pro-free market. Many religious people support restrictions on immigration to the USA which is anti- free market. Most of them support trade restrictions which is anti-free market. Most support government restrictions to some degree on businesses and employers etc…

        • macsnafuNo Gravatar says:

          I’ll go further. Not only are rights a concept, they are a normative concept of what we expect from society. Of what we consider fair and just. Ultimately, though, rights are merely a means to an end: the kind of society that we want to live in. So really, what people need to ask themselves first is what kind of society or community do they want to live in, and then ask what is the best or most appropriate means for achieving that end. Because some means *are* better and more appropriate than others.

          It’s important when discussing rights and defining rights to realize what any particular rights-conception or set of rights will really achieve in society, and to realize that talk of rights is merely a shorthand for getting one type of society or another.

          • —“Not only are rights a concept, they are a normative concept of what we expect from society. Of what we consider fair and just. Ultimately, though, rights are merely a means to an end: the kind of society that we want to live in. So really, what people need to ask themselves first is what kind of society or community do they want to live in, and then ask what is the best or most appropriate means for achieving that end. Because some means *are* better and more appropriate than others.”—

            Great!

            • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

              What kind of society or community do you want to live in?

              • Good question. This is just off the top of my head:

                – honest people.
                – people who won’t cheat me.
                – people who will give a warranty and ensure symmetry of knowledge before transactions / contracts.
                – mutual insurance (you defend me, I’ll defend you)
                – moderate respect of families and children.

    • What if “rights” are things which weak people want, but have not the means to achieve?

  8. Man hat tanNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Roman, please help me understand something. I wanted to find out more about you and took to your Twitter. I saw you re-tweet a post by @MikaelSkillt: “Good day today, got my service insignia presented to me. #Azov #sniper #Ukraine #RussiainvadedUkraine #SwedsAtWar”. This does not appear to be a random endorsement of that man, as you also re-tweeted his posts 7 more times this year: on April 27 (twice), on April 24, on April 9 (twice), then on February 28 and February 21. I wanted to find out who this guy is and this is one link that I found: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28329329

    Here is just one interesting excerpt: Mr Skillt believes races should not mix. He says the Jews are not white and should not mix with white people. His next project is to go fight for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because he believes Mr Assad is standing up to “international Zionism”.

    My question to you Roman is: were you aware that Mikael Skillt is openly anti-Semitic? If not, then now that you do know – would you openly dissociate yourself from this man? Would you for example delete your re-tweets of his posts?

    • RomanNo Gravatar says:

      No, no, and no. I hate this whole idea of people getting blacklisted for their beliefs, also I am deeply grateful to him for risking his life in defense of Ukraine.

      • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

        Oh you’d like for people not to comment about that bigot and racist. Had that guy been born about 70 years earlier in Germany I’m sure there would have been a high position for him in the National Socialist regime. He’d be a big time goose stepper. Why does matter what color a person’s skin color is? If you see no reason to distance yourself from a guy like that then you are no supporter of freedom.

        ” All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

        – Edmund Burke

      • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

        I believe that there are situations in which a person should be blacklisted for some horrible beliefs they have. If I were a vegetarian (I like eating meat) and I was a member of a vegetarian club in Germany in the 1930’s I would not want Hitler who was a vegetarian as a member of the club. Thee are people who hold such horrible beliefs and ideas that I would discriminate against them on the bases of those horrible beliefs they hold.

        • RomanNo Gravatar says:

          Well, I don’t quite know his beliefs in detail, nor were they expressed in my re-tweets. They were about the war with Russia. But let me ask you hypothetical questions since you’ve brought it up.

          Is it okay for Israel to be a Jewish society which excludes others?
          Is it okay for Japan to be a Japanese society which excludes others?
          Is it okay for Sweden to be a Swedish society which excludes others?
          Or France to be a French society? Poland a Polish society?

          Should the pressure applied to Europeans for them to become multi-cultural be applies to other groups as well? Should Israel become multicultural? Should Japan?

          • Nikos SakkasNo Gravatar says:

            Roman, who the hell is putting pressure to Europeans to become multi-cultural? How you ever got this impression? Nobody is putting force to anyone to become anything, doors are open. And after centuries of silly wars that’ s quite some huge progress

            • RomanNo Gravatar says:

              http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-18519395

              “The struggle between man and tyranny has always been the struggle between memory and forgetting.”

              You need identity and roots to resist tyranny.

              Here’s the head Rabbi of Kyiv agreeing with me. He said at this conference “there’s a difference between nationalism and nazi-ism.”

              Given the aggressive program of making Europe multicultural (as articulated by Peter Sutherland) I think Europeans have a right to feel a little resentful, especially because even though this masquerades as a universal principle, the pressure is exclusively applied to Europeans.

              I think everyone should have a homeland. And I think this view, not the forced integration one, is the tolerant view.

              But we are straying pretty far afield. I also have no idea how (if) my views relate to those of the Swedish guy fighting with Azov.

              • RomanNo Gravatar says:

                Forgot the links.

                Head rabbi of Kyiv — “There’s a difference between nationalism and nazi-ism.” — http://uacrisis.org/ru/chief-rabbi-of-kyiv-and-ukraine-there-is-n o-ethnic-or-religious-hatred-in-ukraine/

                EU should ‘undermine national homogeneity’ says UN migration chief, Peter Sutherland — http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-18519395

              • Nikos SakkasNo Gravatar says:

                “Given the aggressive program of making Europe multicultural (as articulated by Peter Sutherland)”

                There’ s nothing like that; sorry I don’t know Peter nor do I know the rabbi your mention.

                But I know a lot of ordinary Europeans; thousands of them. Of course they have the right to feel whatever they feel but there is no evidence they feel resentful as you say; only the extreme right and stalinist left feel so. Endangered species, so to say.

                The EU is a huge progress, breaking away from a many century war legacy. That’ s the basic ideas and this is the context it should be evaluated. A century ago we would be in some trench waiting the bomb to turn us into tiny little pieces. For some silly reason. No thank you!

                Whoever agrees to the basic idea is welcome; whoever disagrees is again welcome. No violence, no pressure whatsoever.

                • RomanNo Gravatar says:

                  You don’t need to “know” those authors. I provided links so you can read — though you’ll need to translate the second. Read what the EU immigration chief has said about his goals.

                  This universalism and multiculturalism masquerades as a universal principle, but it is only applied to Europeans, which are already the most diverse countries on the planet. No one complains about Japan being 99.5% Japanese, or Israel’s stringent immigration policy.

                  Anyway, let me correct one thing. The Stalinist left was not nationalist. That’s an absurd proposition.

                  The Stalinist left murdered literally millions of nationalists. The only meaningful resistance to the Soviet Union came from nationalists in Lithuania, Ukraine, Estonia, Poland, etc.

                  The Soviet Union, like all tyrannies, needed to obliterate identity. Russian identity too.

                  Russian history stopped existing from 1918 to 1943. It was only when the Soviet Union stood on the brink of defeat that they allowed for some limited, tightly controlled Russian nationalism as a rallying cry to get people to fight.

                  Alexander Solzhenitsyn: “Before the camps, I regarded the existence of nationality as something that shouldn`t be noticed—nationality did not really exist, only humanity. But in the camps one learns: if you belong to a successful nation you are protected and you survive. If you are part of universal humanity—too bad for you.”

                  • Nikos SakkasNo Gravatar says:

                    I personally salute multiculturalism and agree with the UN guy (as i do with Solzhenitsyn). By the way, I don’ t see him raising any issue about “any aggressive multicultural program” unfolding. I guess this is your own interpretation. In any case tolerance is a core value, a EU foundation and tolerance must be respected by all and extended to all. All apart from the intolerant (radical Muslims, etc); that’s what the vast majority, me included, goes for in the EU.

                    • hxcNo Gravatar says:

                      Oh, fuck the EU and fuck their central-planning of society.

                      When did everyone forget about spontaneous order and the role of markets??? Bunch of econ illiterates bitching about social issues that neither understand

                  • hxcNo Gravatar says:

                    So you’re trying to preserve, what, slavic identity? I’m no supporter of injecting racial tensions into society either but don’t give me the nazism-behind-a-mask-of-mutualism b.s. Though the “usury” crap always made me wonder about mutualists, haha… Seems they simply don’t understand markets, really just hate jews and foreigners lol. What are you, nazi youth?

                    Europe’s been fucked up for a while and the issue is leftist government, not merely some fucking racial agenda. Same problem with the Middle East. For christ’s sake, they call themselves the Islamic State, haha. Fucking losers with a mentality like yours. “Fuck the state… except mine!”

                    I live in SoCal, I am a stoned and educated white male, I don’t give a fuck about people that constantly bitch about race and bitch about israel and pine for vanished states while pretending to be libertarian. Learn some econ and quit hiding behind some minarchist bullshit.

          • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

            The state of Israel allows non-Jewish to live in Israel and participate in the culture and even politics in Israel. In fact non-Jews are treated better in Israel than Jews are treated in many of the other countries in the Middle East which are officially Islamic nations. I don’t know where you are getting this idea that the nations you mentioned exclude others. There are many non-Japanese people living in Japan. How are they being excluded? I don’t agree with your premise and my advise is for you to check your premise. Yes, I couldn’t resist posting that line.

            • RomanNo Gravatar says:

              I think you’re moving the goal posts — “allows non-native to live in . . .”

              And I think you know it.

          • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

            That’s called collectivist-speak. Which Israeli, which Japanese, which Swede, which Pole, which Frenchman ever gets to pretend that they’re the one who makes decisions on behalf of others? Suffrage does not turn make-believe titles into legitimate power stations — indeed no nation states exist at all outside the programmed minds of the complicit and the confused (suffrage itself is imaginary because no “rights” exist at any time in any place).

            Oh, sure, there are plenty of NWO operatives (the complicit) who parrot the claim that nation states are not only real but also capable of either “helping refugees” or “preserving culture” depending on the so-called democratic will of The People (another of the NWO’s collectivist head-fakes). Any sane individual ignores such grifters as well as the so-called refugees/patriots trying to ride their “democratic” coattails.

            “A bunch of people in this region use the same language” does not magic-spell a regulatory political entity into existence. Laissez-faire translates best as “Get over yourselves.”

            • RomanNo Gravatar says:

              Here’s Rothbard on this issue:

              “However, on rethinking immigration on the basis of the anarcho-capitalist model, it became clear to me that a totally privatized country would not have “open borders” at all. If every piece of land in a country were owned by some person, group, or corporation, this would mean that no immigrant could enter there unless invited to enter and allowed to rent, or purchase, property. A totally privatized country would be as “closed” as the particular inhabitants and property owners desire. It seems clear, then, that the regime of open borders that exists de facto in the U.S. really amounts to a compulsory opening by the central state, the state in charge of all streets and public land areas, and does not genuinely reflect the wishes of the proprietors.

              Under total privatization [..] With every locale and neighborhood owned by private firms, corporations, or contractual communities, true diversity would reign, in accordance with the preferences of each community. Some neighborhoods would be ethnically or economically diverse, while others would be ethnically or economically homogeneous. Some localities would permit pornography or prostitution or drugs or abortions, others would prohibit any or all of them. The prohibitions would not be state imposed, but would simply be requirements for residence or use of some person’s or community’s land area.

              While statists who have the itch to impose their values on everyone else would be disappointed, every group or interest would at least have the satisfaction of living in neighborhoods of people who share its values and preferences. While neighborhood ownership would not provide Utopia or a panacea for all conflicts, it would at least provide a “second best” solution that most people might be willing to live with.” – Nations by Consent.”

              • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

                Yeah, next time tell this avatar something new. Rothbard wasn’t exactly on the ball about everything.

                The concept of nations is rooted in pre-zoroastrian serpent cults and is as imaginary as rights and celtic spellcasting. That makes the concept of an-cap consensus nations nonsensical (think instead of society being an interplay of reputations among billions of individuals — none of whom owns their specific reputation but each of whom can influence their reputation by way of for-good-or-bad praxeological activity).

                Setting aside the myriad of explicit and breakable contractual agreements that would take place, there would be no cartel-style an-cap community consensus about anything (at least nothing beyond those breakable contracts — which is why this avatar set them aside for the sake of this comment’s embedded thought experiment) … more like coopetition-style an-cap community coincidence that could “look who moved into the neighborhood” change at any moment (a language barrier would be enough to discourage most from settling down in unfamiliar territory — which is to say that socialist programs provide most of the incentive to those who emigrate to places where they don’t understand the locals). No government borders would exist, obviously, and everything from land to sea plus in-between would be private property that owners could and probably would declare as invite-only. That doesn’t mean a single nation would exist, but rather quite the opposite: the very idea of nations would go back to the other side of Mount Qaf to sulk with the rest of the mythical jinn.

                Keep in mind, all you avatars out there, that almost every genuine refugee becomes a refugee because of the antithesis to the nation state thesis. The NWO’s desired synthesis is, of course, a mass psychosis known as New Age Universalism, so laughing at that entire dialectic is a prerequisite to exorcising the NWO (though few would laugh at the NWO’s retaliatory tantrum-genocide).

                Keep in mind as well that it is no more sensible to differentiate between a bunch of individual pretend-nations within a particular region and an equally imaginary nation state. Collectivism of whichever kind amounts to an-nothing. In any case, quoting Mr. Heavyweight represents an appeal to the ultimate an-cap authority for what is in the end a mere deflection from the Roman avatar’s previous comment. Try substituting the word “individual” for the word “society,” because groupthink isn’t a thing and the only ways a region of the planet could over-the-long-haul exclude anyone would be by way of community coincidence (until “look who moved into the neighborhood” happened), by way of explicit-yet-expensive-to-manage contracts between numerous neighbors & almost-neighbors (until someone therein decided to bust such a social engineering cartel) or by way of institutionalized you-must-obey governance complete with imaginary jurisdictional borders and fabricated enforcement officials and legalized plunder to pretend-fund it all (until people wised up again).

                People tend to behave, at least these days, as though they believe that the only way to secure their prospects for peace & prosperity is to demonstrate that they have access to some kind of insurmountable power. Being naive enough to follow such a deliberate NWO script becomes a catalyst for “rights” garbage and “billions of sovereign nations” crap. To claim oneself as a one-person nation is to claim that at least one government has “the right person” in power. Meanwhile, freedom is in no way empowering and only freedom counts.

                What’s more, declaring oneself to be a nation is not only a demonstration of psychosis, it is a voluntary political repression known as self-suppression. Wasting energy & resources in an attempt to suppress the self and make everyone else recognize one’s “official nationhood” would not result in more respect during contractual negotiations. Again, people tend to make the mistake of thinking that they need to bring p-o-w-e-r to the table, which guarantees only that they will be sacrificing f-r-e-e-d-o-m (in such a case: sacrificing freedom from the self-suppressing tyranny of a psychotic individual pretending to be a nation).

                The biggest barrier to sustaining any an-cap society would be the fraudster remnants of the NWO who would remain tireless in their efforts to trick people into once again forming several kinds of governing bodies, Fabian-style, starting with “neighborhood associations” and then spreading like any other disease. Yet here in the early 21st century, not even close to realizing an-cap, some avatars at sites dedicated to anarchism are already talking about the need for future “consensus.” Again, laissez-faire — or in other words, get over yourselves, this avatar will do likewise, and a lot of shifting coincidences will take place (plus some inevitable fraud — mostly from those NWO remnants).

                • RomanNo Gravatar says:

                  Thanks for the comment. I’m only going to react to one small part of it, as it is pretty far from the topic of the essay.

                  > concept of nations is rooted in pre-zoroastrian serpent cults

                  I think it’s pretty clear that nations grew out of extended families and clusters of distantly related people who formed tribes.

                  Here’s an important book against which libertarians should weigh their assumptions: http://www.amazon.com/The-Origins-Political-Order-Revolution/dp/0 374533229

                  I recommend ignoring Fukuyama’s conclusions (he’s an academic trying to justify statism), but pay attention to wonderfully detailed histories, and test your libertarian ideas against them.

      • Man hat tanNo Gravatar says:

        Interesting. What are your thoughts on Oles Buzina?

        • RomanNo Gravatar says:

          It’s sad, that some isolated incident still make Ukraine seem like Russia:
          List of Journalist killed in Russia — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia

          But the differences are still night and day, as articulated by the Libertarian Party of Russia: http://libertarian-party.ru/blog/an-appeal-to-western-libertarian s-about-the-war-in-ukraine

          This is another off topic question from you. It really belongs on my previous essay. I seem to have attracted a tail of Russian trolls that ask me off topic questions on Twitter and elsewhere. If I start to assume you’re another one, Manhattan, I’m going to start ignoring you.

          • Man hat tanNo Gravatar says:

            Roman, you are obviously free to ignore me, and I am free to ignore you, if I find you as a source of information of not high enough quality. I (and others) found your support of Mikael Skillt surprising. I wanted to probe what other believes you may have, as there was plenty of cheering in Ukraine after he died. I did not want to assume what you would think and so I asked directly.

            You do not need to reply, but your support of this guy, who is supposed to be “a hero who is risking his life for Ukraine” brings in question your arguments that portray the other side as made up of immoral characters.

            “My goal is a white Ukraine,” Skillt told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SVD) last week. Skillt was reported sentenced to two months in prison by Sundsvall District Court in 2009, for ‘vandalism, and assault with racist motives’. He would fight for al-Assad because he believes Mr Assad is standing up to “international Zionism”.

            I doubt that he is a fan of gays but that is a speculation. The point is, had he been fighting for the other side, I am pretty sure that you would dedicate a page to everything that is wrong with him and people who use him.

            I suppose white Ukraine also means no Tatars in Ukraine amongst other things, and since 2014 Kiev “cares” deeply about the Tatars, but not as much before 2014.

            You write, petty gangsters and vain nobodies are elevated to positions of power and status. Participating in a Ponzi scheme and being nobody is their crime, a reason for libertarians to side with your views.

            Scott Horton, a white guy married to a Ukrainian Jew called you a Nazi and you wrote a full article about, complaining how his allegation is baseless and that you never met his wife. Well, Hitler never visited any concentration camps or spoke about them publicly. All of his orders were verbal. Physical distance can be just a form of plausible deniability. You write: this is what Chris Martenson is defending. I found no evidence of Chris supporting what you alleged. There was no blog, tweet, re-tweet, etc. You, on the other hand, are endorsing a dude who states openly some pretty messed up views, views not rooted in Enlightenment, at least in the eyes of grown-up libertarians.

            There, I made a connection to your post. Are you really in a position to preach?

            • Did you research the background of everybody I ever re-tweeted?

              I think he’s a hero for defending Ukraine against the Russian disinformation, brutality, and real, explicit, violent expressions of Nazi-ism with real swastikas. See for yourself: http://romaninukraine.com/russian-nazis-in-ukraine-collection-of- links/

              I think a measure of nationalism is a good thing. And I think Europeans should be a little upset with the EU’s Peter Sutherland (and many others) trying to “undermine European identity” with forced integration.

              Everyone should have a homeland.

              Generally, opponents of massive third-world immigration advocated by Sutherland have to face the dishonest accusation and obfuscation like the ones you’re leveling at me. Fewer and fewer are buying it.

              It’s not unreasonable to want a homeland.

              But getting back to the start of this off-topic conversation — I have no idea how much his beliefs intersect with me.

              He’s remains a hero in my book. Nobody is perfect.

              • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

                Even the worst of men are not 100% bad. Sure you kind find something even a really horrible person has done that you think is good. That does not excuse imo the bad that they have done.As for nationalism, that is not necessarily a good thing. Take for example National Socialism. The Nazis were nationalists.

              • JohnNo Gravatar says:

                Hi Roman, the following re-tweet of yours is a fake. The actual footage was taken on May 9, 2009 in Novosibirsk, Russia. Would you kindly delete this fake designed to promote hatred and inciting civil war? Would you please start doing your homework and start screening questioning updates by @Ukroblogger?

                ==========

                Roman Skaskiw retweeted
                Ukrainian Updates ‏@Ukroblogger 4h 4 hours ago Ukraine
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCWdDPbszQg … *Street-smart* artillery in #Russia-held #Donetsk? Crazy dad to his kid: ‘Cool,huh?’ #Ukraine

                • JohnNo Gravatar says:

                  Wow, thanks for handling it properly.

                • JohnNo Gravatar says:

                  Now, what is the point of re-tweeting this?

                  Roman Skaskiw retweeted
                  English Lugansk ‏@loogunda 9h9 hours ago
                  #Propaganda looked like this @100007182042214 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LArKNQprbKY

                  It does not support your point in any way – real civilians are killed. They blame Merkel and Poroshenko. They say many other things implicating the Kiev side in the atrocities.

                  What was the point of re-tweeting with the word propaganda in it? Did you actually watch the video? What evidence do you have that the account presented is wrong / faked?

                  I do not get it. How “religious” do you need to be to ignore facts presented in this video? The responsibility is clearly on the Kiev side, the one you are siding with. Or are you cheering the deaths of the innocent people?

                • JohnNo Gravatar says:

                  Hm … no wonder the majority of libertarians cannot take you seriously.

                  Roman Skaskiw retweeted
                  GorseFires Collectif ‏@GorseFires Sep 5
                  Putin’s War: Russia has a new weapon against Europe: creating more #SyrianRefugees

                  So, US and partners arming “rebels” and destabilizing the whole region had nothing to do with this crisis? Somehow it is Putin’s fault. What a joke!

                • JohnNo Gravatar says:

                  Azov battalion – not exactly the folks you want to endorse in order to impress libertarians. Also, you are cheering the economic blockade of Crimea which hurts Ukrainian farmers in Ukraine and raises prices for innocent civilians in Crimea, including Ukrainians and Tatars that you supposedly care so much about. You are not libertarian – you are a neocon.

                  Roman Skaskiw Retweeted
                  Ukrainian Crusade ‏@UANationalists 4h4 hours ago
                  #AZOV JOINED THE BLOCKADE OF #Crimea http://ukrainiancrusade.blogspot.com/2015/10/azov-joined-blockade -of-crimea.html … #Ukraine #RightSector

            • ps – It’s easy for people who’ve never been to war, who’ve spent their lives AVOIDING physical danger, to think that soldiers are all warrior-poets that spend their off time discussing Weber’s influence on Mises.

              These are not the guys who fight. Libertarians (largely) are not the guys who fight. It tends to be a combination of conservatives and ruffians – to the great distress of liberals, and apparently some libertarians too.

              But when the horde is nearby, these guys are your best friends.

              • JohnNo Gravatar says:

                Oh boy oh boy oh boy, what have I missed? No usage of the word “we” this time?

                “It tends to be a combination of conservatives and ruffians – to the great distress of liberals, and apparently some libertarians too.

                But when the horde is nearby, these guys are your best friends.”

                You are the one screaming that the “horde is nearby”, that “we are trying to survive here” and yet that leather couch that you dip your bottom in as you type away is oh so impossible to leave.

                You would much rather see the 18 year old kids conscripted, the American soldiers and bored white supremacist Nazis do your bidding.

                Has anyone said this to you: “You talk the talk, but do you walk the walk?” or will I be first?

              • JohnNo Gravatar says:

                Roman, when you wrote

                “The mercenaries also stole victims credit cards and used them to buy vodka — shows what type of people they are.”

                I already had a feeling that only a 14 year old, not a 40 year old would try to use this as an argument (aside from not being substantiated). But now that the moral qualities of your “hero” are in question, you apply https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/special-pleading, a double standard. Suddenly it is ok that Skillt is a son of a bitch, for as long as he is “our” son of a bitch.

                Another funny piece of news today – the same crazy skinheads to whom you refer as “ruffians”, and horde-protectors were hurtling explosives at 300 gays who decided to go on the “equality” parade in Kiev. This was not random. Klitch (who should not have been in the government) knew that this would happen and asked gays to refrain from participating in that march.

                What goes around comes around, buddy. If you cannot distract Neo-Nazis with a war, they will start destroying the fabric of the society from within. You were quick to yell how much it sucks to be gay in Russia. Where are your tweets now?

                Enough about you for now. I will be doing a critique of this article, like it or not. I saw two (I think) potentially interesting ideas in it but I also had a lot of “huh?” moments when I read it. I will be providing details when I do not feel like biking.

    • RomanNo Gravatar says:

      “Jews are not white” — As I understand it, most Ashkenazi Jews are genetically about half European, but Jews themselves often claim not to be white. Here, in the Times of Israel: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/ashkenazi-jews-are-not-white-respo nse-to-haaretz-article/

      So I don’t know why you are bringing this up.

      Anyway, let’s keep the comments relevant to the essay. Thanks for following me on Twitter.