Suicidal Libertarianism

Confession No.1: I generally like Don Boudreaux’s writing a lot.

Confession No.2: I think this is simply insane. By that I mean: I simply don’t get it, at all.

Boudreaux begins by explaining the concerns of a “few friends whose opinions I hold in the highest regard” that “immigrants will use their growing political power to vote for government policies that are more interventionist and less respectful of individual freedoms.” Hard to imagine, I know. Especially if one ignores insignificant examples such as — ummm — the state of fricking California.

It then gets weirder. We learn that “concern over the likely voting patterns of immigrants is nothing new.  Past fears seem, from the perspective of 2013, to have been unjustified.” I’m about to poison my nervous-system with my own sarcasm at this point, so instead I’ll simply ask, as politely as possible: What would count as evidence of America moving in a direction that was “more interventionist and less respectful of individual freedoms”? Would it look anything at all like what we’ve seen — in highly-accelerated mode — since the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act?

Then comes the overt celebration of libertarian suicidalism:

But let’s assume for the moment that today’s immigrants – those immigrants recently arrived and those who would arrive under a more liberalized immigration regime – are indeed as likely as my concerned friends fear to vote overwhelmingly to move American economic policy in a much more dirigiste direction.  Such a move would, I emphatically and unconditionally agree, be very bad. Very. Bad. Indeed.

I still support open immigration. I cannot bring myself to abandon support of my foundational principles just because following those principles might prove fatal.

The thing is, they did prove fatal. That’s why the neoreaction exists.

June 25, 2013admin 33 Comments »
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33 Responses to this entry

  • Mark Warburton Says:

    Yes, I’ve abandoned open boarders myself. You can see that they’re doing what they can for their kin et al to survive – at the expense of cultural self-determination and a higher degree of economic freedom, of course.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    With sensible criteria of selection and a near-complete absence of democracy, it would all be OK. For a ‘capitalist’ democracy to mass-import unproductive, culturally-hostile, ardent anti-capitalists is to ram a shotgun in its mouth and pull the trigger.

    [Reply]

    Mark Warburton Reply:

    Nail. On. Head.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 8:15 am Reply | Quote
  • fnn Says:

    Vox Day says he’s a national libertarian.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    ‘My nation’ opted for terminal socialist auto-destruction before I was born, so that kind of label means nothing to me. Some kind of extra-territorial capitalist refuge is the most I hold out for. But it’s still irritating to hear ‘libertarians’ gloating about plowing demographic salt into the charred ruins of anglophone free societies.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Dare one invoke the Maurrassian distinction between pays légal and pays réel?

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 10:11 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    What? You don’t think foundational principles are more important than life itself? What kind of evil person are you?

    [Reply]

    Orlandu84 Reply:

    Lol! Your humor has brightened my morning, thank you.

    In all seriousness though, one could claim that much of our world’s insanity comes from sacrificing lives for principles. Sacrificing your life for another person is a way of life that I understand and support. Laying down your life for an abstract principle just seems silly to me. Still, I have to admit that not too long ago the principles of “freedom” and “democracy” seemed much more important to me.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    @ Spandrell
    Seems to me it’s even more gone than that. Something like: “The principle of freedom is more important than freedom.”

    Of course, the back-story is rather different, and straight out of your territory. “Far rather the last glimmer of freedom be obliterated from the earth than the wicked idea that culture matters be — even momentarily — entertained.” (As for HBD — * shudder*)

    Boudreaux says he’d willingly sacrifice the world for blank-slate universalism, and we’re supposed to be impressed.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 11:48 am Reply | Quote
  • KK Says:

    A quick notion. Contrast this:

    I still support open immigration. I cannot bring myself to abandon support of my foundational principles just because following those principles might prove fatal.

    with what Handle wrote about how traumatic the experience of significant shifts in political views is a few days ago here:

    I’m curious that few people (except the great Peter A. Taylor and Neoneocon) have written about the real trauma and Kubler-Ross stages of grief that modern folk experience when they have significant shifts in their fundamental ideas like religion or politics. I don’t want to get too Psychiatric about it – but I think that trauma is necessary for change. I want all the pre-reactionaries to be deeply betrayed and disillusioned and depressed beyond any hope at all. I want them to be inconsolable and in a furious rage at the Republican party and all those of the past to which the present was a distant future conveniently betrayed.

    That guy you’re quoting is ready to throw everything his forebrain can come up with to keep that wolf at bay. He’s right to so, in a sense, because what lies there will make him deeply uncomfortable, and the process (especially the moment of epiphany) will be painful. We’re talking about the overthrow of a man’s entire worldview here. It hurts. I know it personally despite not ever having even been a libertarian or a liberal beyond the default level.

    Avoiding the crisis by protecting the ego at any cost is the normal reaction to this situation.. Boudreaux needs to hit the bottom much harder to reconsider his foundational principles.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    You’re right. (To pillage from James Goulding) Boudreaux needs to get the monkey of deontology off his back. It’s a Cathedralist sickness.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 11:56 am Reply | Quote
  • Thales Says:

    You say you will die for your beliefs, yet how many of your beliefs have died for you?

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 3:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rayn And Says:

    This is why a little Ayn Rand can’t hurt. If your principles lead to suicide, your principles are anti-life, anti-man, and need to be abandoned. He is basically saying A is not A, by claiming to value something that, by valuing, will destroy all his values.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 4:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    In the end this proves that Robin Hanson is right. Most human behavior is signaling. It’s that simple.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 4:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mangan Says:

    It’s obvious that Boudreaux’s real principles consist of believing and saying nothing that goes against PC.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 4:43 pm Reply | Quote
  • libertarianism is chick think Says:

    hey, lets you and him die for my beliefs.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 6:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • Old Rebel Says:

    Great post.

    Libertarianism is indeed suicidal. I once exchanged emails with Jacob Hornberger of the libertarian Future of Freedom Foundation. I pointed out to him that both mainstream parties in Mexico are members of the Socialist International, and that once Mexicans become the majority, all hope of preserving Western standards of liberty will be lost. No problem – he simply ignored any fact that didn’t fit into his worldview.

    Here’s the exchange:

    http://lsrebellion.blogspot.com/2013/05/hornberger-strikes-back.html

    As you can see, he is rather rigid in his ideology.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 7:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • Scharlach Says:

    Spandrell is right. This is just signalling that costs Bourdreaux nothing because he lives in a tenured fortress a thousand miles from the Mexican border.

    And even if those immigrants make their way northward, they’ll still be a boost to Bourdreaux because their kids will do what they’ve been doing in my home state for a few decades now: maxing out on subsidized federal loans to attend state colleges for six or seven years before dropping out or leaving with a meaningless degree.

    Next time I fly to L.A., I’m going to do a photojournalism project. I’m going to drive around all the neighborhoods that my parents used to live in and just take lots of pictures. They will speak for themselves.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 8:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • Scharlach Says:

    In fact, I’m going to start a blog series exploring the point you make, admin, that my blessed California Republic is essentially a “patchwork state” for trying out massive open borders and extreme welfare democracy. How’s it working out? An empirical question.

    I think I’ll start with one of my favorite stories. It’s about Oscar Hernandez, the mayor of Bell, CA.

    From Wikipedia:

    Hernandez was appointed mayor of Bell, California in 2009. He also served as mayor in 2006 and 2007. In June 2009 a methanphetamine lab was found on a property Mayor Hernandez had rented out. On July 20, 2010, a scandal erupted when it was discovered that Mayor Hernandez’s Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo was receiving remuneration of almost $800,000 per annum, despite the municipality being one of the poorest in the area. On July 12, 2010, Oscar paid $250 to members of the Southside 18th street gang in Cudahy to persuade the residents to keep him as mayor.

    Hernandez, along with Teresa Jacobo, Luis Artiga, and George Mirabal, was recalled from the council on March 9, 2011, with over 95% of the voters voting “yes” to recall Hernandez and his colleagues.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    If California didn’t exist, Azathoth would have to invent it.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 8:55 pm Reply | Quote
  • j. ont. Says:

    Sorry for the off-topic post, but would you be able to re-upload the first part of the dark enlightenment series? Seems to have gone missing.

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    This seems to work.
    http://www.thedarkenlightenment.com/the-dark-enlightenment-by-nick-land/

    [Reply]

    j. ont. Reply:

    Beautiful. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 26th, 2013 at 2:23 am Reply | Quote
  • John Hannon Says:

    “Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”

    – Enoch Powell (from his “Rivers of Blood” speech)

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’d forgotten that was in there. That speech and its reception is a fascinating subject. It was an exercise in concentrated classical scholarship, interpreted by the ‘educated’ establishment — either through ignorance or mendacity — as a piece of rabble-rousing gutter politics.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 26th, 2013 at 10:17 am Reply | Quote
  • nickX Says:

    His foundational principles constitute confusing the laws of nature with the general operating patterns of markets built open a highly evolved legal system, which in turn depends on the political environment. He thinks that, as a matter scientific law, voluntary market interactions are the only important interactions we will have with immigrants. Any coercive relationship (e.g. via politics and in particular the powers that come from being voters, members of government bureaucracies, etc.) lies beyond the ability of his foundational principles comprehend. Jumping outside his erroneous principles he can comprehend the problem, but regardless of the reality he must stick to those principles.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 27th, 2013 at 5:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • Libertarian Suicide | A War Room Says:

    […] A is Bryan Caplan, and his influencees such as Don Boudreaux, who support unrestricted immigration from the socialist third world. Some of us believe that […]

    Posted on July 8th, 2013 at 12:38 am Reply | Quote
  • Anonymous Dinosaur Says:

    “I still support open immigration. I cannot bring myself to abandon support of my foundational principles just because following those principles might prove fatal.”

    As far as I can see, there’s no evidence that he means that he doesn’t care about risks and is thus suicidal because principles are higher than survival. It seems much, much more likely that this is like a response to Pascal’s Wager. Sure, maybe there’s a god and I’ll be going to hell, but why work from pure hypotheticals about what risks might happen?

    That’s not to say that he’s accurately assessed the risks; it’s just to say that he almost surely meant something different than you think he does. If he found out that that risk is, in fact, what happens, it’s likely he’d change his views, because it wouldn’t be a mere hypothetical ‘scare story’ anymore.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Do you have any evidence to support this interpretation? It seems out of keeping with Caplan’s reliable adherence to extreme deontological stances (without notable exception, that I can find).

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 10th, 2013 at 2:25 am Reply | Quote
  • rob Says:

    I don’t think you understand that the Libertarians are for uniting advanced countries in free immigration but quarantining anti-democratic ones while going in to topple their regimes.

    As you can see from OPERATION DEMOCRACY they’re not waiting around for people tpo pay attention, they’re ripping these Islamic dictaorships limb frtom limb as they did the Commies when we sat around and argued against them then in the US.See: http://www.libertarianinternational.org

    The Libertarians also led the way toppled the Latin dictatorships and are building a lIbertarian movemenyt in Latin America.

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    I think the general sense around these parts is that democracy is part of the problem. Mexico is run by socialists because it is democratic, not because it isn’t. Democracy is only a good thing under special circumstances, which no longer appear to apply even in the US.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~peter.a.taylor/autopsy.htm

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 22nd, 2013 at 2:20 am Reply | Quote
  • 3.9 Anarcho-Tyranny | Radish Says:

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