Epistle to the Libertarians
Peter A. Taylor
December 9, 2014
I walked to Master Moldbug but the road was too long.
I visited Master Jim and he hit me with a stick.
— Samo Burja
This is an invitation for libertarians to abandon the white light and fluffy bunnies, and embrace the neoreactionary Dark Enlightenment.
1. "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him."
Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, et al, were very flawed human beings, and are not reliable role models. Jefferson was a brilliant polemicist, not a brilliant social scientist. You have been lied to. The propaganda behind the American revolution was stirring, but it doesn't stand up to thoughtful criticism (e.g. "the consent of the governed" is an incoherent concept, is self-serving for demagogues, and is orthogonal to tyranny). The American Revolution was not compatible with the Just War doctrine. Democracy and "natural law" are not automatic allies, and are at best orthogonal to one another. The Constitution is no better than the character of the men who work it; it is irrelevant now, and was never more than marginally helpful.
2. "I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible." — Peter Thiel
Democracy only works under special circumstances. Those circumstances no longer obtain in the US. What we call "natural law" was basically English common law of the 17th century. It was a product of a particular culture, and it is not "self-evident" to anyone who did not receive a very particular kind of moral education. There is also a credible argument that genes and culture co-evolve, and that the process of transplanting culture from one society to another may take 500 years of determined coercion.
3. The US is basically being run by a class of sanctimonious, quasi-religious zealots. In essence, they are adherents to a religion so dumb it doesn't even know it's a religion (apologies to Rev. Ivan Stang of the Church of the SubGenius). Part of the reason democracy isn't working is because the majority of the voters no longer have the moral character needed for democracy, and part of the reason is that public opinion is almost completely manufactured by institutions that have been captured by these "Progressives".
4. "The difference between a reactionary and a conservative is that a conservative thinks you can negotiate with Cthulhu." — Nyan_sandwich
If you play the game according to the Progressives' rules, there is no path to victory for those who hold to "natural law" and "commutative justice". If you speak out (e.g. in favor of free association), you'll be fired under threats of lawsuits. If you run for office, the IRS, NSA, police, and courts will leak every insinuation that you ever jaywalked to a salivating press (who will sit on embarrassing news about your opponents). Your candidates (if you can find any) will be drowned under an ocean of "low information voters" who think the government is God, and is going to (A) give them tons of free stuff and (B) punish and humiliate their imagined enemies (e.g. libertarians).
Trying to work with the Progressives, so that they'll accept you and embrace some of your ideas, is particularly counterproductive. For most people, politics is tribal and focused on emotional gratification. Partisan progressives don't want to cooperate with you. They want to humiliate you, claim moral superiority over you, and disenfranchise you. Nowhere is this more clear than with respect to immigration policy. Immigration policy is designed to ensure that future voters will be overwhelmingly people who vote tribally, and who are at best indifferent to limited government and the rule of law.
The Republican Party, even in the Tea Party wing, fails to offer a meaningful alternative to the Founding Fathers' incoherent and demagogue-friendly "consent of the governed" model of political legitimacy. They have bought into too much of their enemies' philosophy from the start. The Libertarian movement is torn between a moderate wing, which is similarly pwned, and a radical anarchist wing that refuses to accept the political context that it requires in order to be relevant.
5. One proposed path forward is to "exit in place" and try to rebuild (or build anew) moral institutions that can stand upright in the hurricane-force winds of Progressive government-supporting propaganda. In other words, we need a new religion. Mormonism and Catholicism are the best of the existing major religions (and notably the least democratically governed). Note that an operational definition of a "theocracy" is any government that controls the education system. (See James A. Donald.)
6. Another possibility to work towards in the US is to dissolve the Union. Fanghorn Forest notes that the demographic groups that are the most supportive of breaking up the Union are Blacks and Hispanics. This suggests that my view of immigration is backwards. Some political jiu jitsu may be in order. Perhaps La Raza is our friend. But you have to be pretty sure the patient is terminally ill before you euthanize him. The religious traditionalists (theonomists) tell us that despair is a sin.
7. Another possibility is to "go Galt" (or go Aaron Clarey). Welcome the bankruptcy of the US government. When the money dries up, and a new generation comes along that doesn't expect to live at someone else's expense, and doesn't believe that disbelief in the supernatural gives them supernatural powers, maybe we can rebuild.
8. Another possibility is for everyone who can to move somewhere less prone to mob rule (e.g. follow Nick Land to Shanghai).
9. Whatever follows the current American system of government is unlikely to recreate the cultural and religious situation of the 18th century in Great Britain's North American colonies. Even if it did, we know that democracy doesn't last long (as John Adams himself remarked). A new model, or a recycled old model, of government is needed. This could be a corporate structure, a monarchy, or something else. Everything is on the table. How well future governments function is likely to be a function of how difficult it is to emigrate, but how the right to emigrate from a sovereign nation is to be protected is unclear. Limited franchise democracy seems to be attractive but politically unstable. How well governments function is also likely to be a strong function of the dominant religion.
Possible solutions seem to boil down to either a new religion (or quasi-religion) or at least partial abandonment of democracy. If we take the new quasi-religion route, it needs to be significantly different from the current versions of libertarianism that are either determinedly infeasible, or contain too much political ancestor worship for Jacobins like Thomas Jefferson, or heaven help us, John Hancock (25:18) and James Otis ("...if the Devil had been here the last Night, he would have gone back to his own Regions, ashamed of being outdone....").