Barba non facit philosophum

Every once in a while a concept comes along that’s so bad it must be addressed- or at least, countered with something rooted in anything aside from abject pontification. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been a registered Libertarian since being eligible to vote- the Patriot Act pushed me in that direction, discovering a whole world of folks who seemed to embrace the philosophy of Locke with the passion of Thoreau and the rejection of the nepotism that comes from the two party snake. A lot of the talking points at least sound good, Survivalism and self-reliance was a long-standing cornerstone, the people seemed at least concerned with preserving and advancing the interests of individual liberty, a personal life philosophy of mine and one that’s becoming ever more difficult to reconcile.

Philosophy keeps being used- as with the classic exchange between Alec Lemas and Fiedler in Le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, one’s personal philosophy is the driving force behind that which we do. Collectively, Marx, drawing from the classical philosophers, refers to this as Praxis in The German Ideology– action we take rooted in reality to further our goal. You may recognize this word from a series of posts from the late great Mike Vanderbough; he was a former adherent of Marxism and as such used their language. Regardless of the emotions this may stir, Marx is the root of the continuum of issues we see today forming the Left, and if any of you took the time to study it beside reading interpretations confirming your own bias you’d better recognize the signs in order to formulate a counter.

Which brings us back to ‘philosophy.’ How do we define libertarian philosophy? Rothbard? Von Mises? Ayn Rand? Ron Paul? Is it a study political economy being the amalgamation of capitalist distribution of resources with the logical social conclusion of Marxism, that being an abstract society without definition? Certainly it cannot be the Marxist-rooted Anarchism furthered by Chomsky as some so haplessly claim; or is it? Is it to be simply dismissed as ‘No More Government Interference!’ with little to no direction or path, allowing an ‘anything goes’ atmosphere absent moral standards? Certainly the adherents of the more vocal ‘libertarian’ groups feel so. Rather, could it be rooted in Max Weber, in his dissertations derived from Calvinism and the justification of Capitalism? That Liberty defined, being the right to accumulate wealth and develop according to one’s will and in line with God the Almighty was an underlying current of Weber borrowed from Wesley and uniquely American in continual reference to Franklin. But we are rarely subject to this definition, save the cries of restoring that which was too flawed to stand in its genesis, hence a branched model separated only in theory alone. But this implied religiosity cannot be, among the Libertarians who wish to disprove Durkheim’s Anomie theory in vain, failing to recognize the means of both Mechanical and Organic Solidarity and what role religion plays in social cohesion. Religion is but a sinful word among many in the ‘libertarian’ movement. Ask them, you’ll see. Quickly do they forsake Christianity for the moral equivalence argument of the Left as the roots of the Left were, after all, the originators of the denial of the existence of God. Amid these factors, Libertarianism then defined by its adherents, appears to simply be an idea in search of philosophy defined quite plainly by whomever is writing about it, theoretical grounding be damned.

Libertarianism thus is one logical framework of Hegel. It is largely from Hegel the ideology of  Revolution is rooted. The battle of the individual against the divine rule of Kings, the questioning of all that is the status quo among the classes and the masses, the rooting of the Enlightenment and the tree from which its Revolutionary branches sprung. The Master-Slave dialectic is that from which the Conflict Paradigm of Marx arose. Simplistic cries of “WE ARE THE 99 PERCENT!” and “BLACK LIVES MATTER”, as with the repetitive phrases of Orwell’s Boxer the Workhorse, embody this process entirely- us at the bottom versus them at the top- and the police in this paradigm serve the only purpose of protecting that top percent in the tradition of the modern Praetorian. Perhaps this is true, perhaps not, defined alone by the paradigm of the observer. But how does this paradigm work when applied to libertaianism? Dwell on that as you read certain contemporary would-be “philosophers.” Libertarianism at its root appears to diverge from Marxism in its philosophical sense upon the idea of absolute right to property alone- rejection of any authority aside from self-rule, however defining this through Capitalist terms rather than that of Community Property, thus maintaining the social goals of Marx forgetting somehow that he was an acting economist criticizing the economic structure of royalty in the development of the industrial revolution. With that, it fails to address several very poignant issues rather simply leaving morality and standards to the social constructionism popular with those concerned with breaking a society.

Libertarianism is thus a movement in search of coherent philosophy, while Marxism and its decedents are a philosophy perpetually creating a movement.

Why do I submit to you this philosophical-based essay? It is not solely to rebuke Libertarianism as an institution, albeit a minor one. I do however wish to raise points nearly never made, as it is critical to understand where the root of your movement lay should you wish to attach yourself to it. If not you are no better than those you rebuke, collectively dismissed as useful idiots. Further, you must know where the ideas of your movement originate in order to keep it grounded, to keep it from becoming co-opted and to ouster those engaged in undermining it, in order to allow it to manifest in the world you want to live. Further still, a movement with no philosophy is no movement at all. Which one of the options explored here have gained more ground in time? Thus enters politics.

The current election for the future of the nation is indeed disturbing- but which one has not? Early on the Libertarian candidate showed promise- and subsequently fell apart, first by picking the worst possible running mate in terms of personal liberty and second becoming the worst possible candidate to take seriously. I ask of the ‘Libertarian philosophers’, if you were so truly concerned with the direction of things, not simply talking as Marx pointed out of Hegelians in The German Ideology, why have you not lobbied Johnson’s staff to make him into a better candidate and a viable option? Why have you not, with your numerous readers and established name within the Libertarian movement, openly campaigned on his behalf in anything resembling an effective model? Take the recent essay by well known pontificate Claire Wolfe; in it, she justifies support for the Democratic Socialist candidate by continuing the facade of faux-resistance by the Republicans elected to the House and Senate. For what reason have you not made the Libertarian candidate stronger? You certainly could, surely, and be taken seriously by your name recognition alone. As of this writing you have not. Because you know, as do I, he’s nothing more than a spoiler by disenfranchised Republicans rehashing old talking points from the Left sans-effective social action. But the cries of ‘Free State Project!’, ‘rallies!’,’Restore the Constitution!’, and the most illogical of them all, ‘armed nonviolence’ (what’s the point? The right to arms demands assurance of violence on its behalf or its no right at all). Nothing changes because the Left understood long ago it was much easier to play the long game and create the change you wish to see from inside a party already existing. The government did not grow because it is a living entity, it grew because people elected those who enabled it to happen. Those people are not your people, you are not theirs and they want you gone in the name of progress. They’ve done so coupled with a monopoly on the power structure rendered in the University System. The Right attempted to mirror this from the bottom and was shut down by the power structure of both parties with the greatest weapon in America- the IRS, which leads to the conclusion that the entirety of the structure wants a sole state under the facade of opposition. They’re not there quite yet, but close. The Left perpetually advances while the genuine Right, clinging to whatever status quo may remain, rudderless amid faux-philosophy, attempts in vain to halt the Marxist advance. Thus, the ballot box has indeed failed.

Thus, when  I read the self-labeled ‘Freedomista’; itself a label attempting to infer analog to Marxist Guerrillas who actually have at a minimum took up arms for a cause; advocating for a Democratic Socialist candidate as our best option coupled with a futile use of chance obstructionism I find revolting. It is not only a contradiction, but with a jaundiced eye coupled with actual serious training in higher education, a near-surrogate level rendering of her garments. Is it the words the Republican candidate used eleven years ago which disturbed you so? The Republican is a boor. Why do you care among an ‘anything goes’ social system to which you adhere? So was Kennedy, behind the scenes, so was Clinton, very openly, and likely so were a good measure of the others. With all of the emotion, venom and illogic of a Social Justice Warrior you lash out against the best option we have, short of replacing bullets for ballots, as our feminist-turned-liberty philosopher decides our best path forward is the sure fire bet to irreversible destruction through complete socialist control of the Judicial System. The colors ring true. But this matters not to the ‘freedomista’ who’s revolution has still yet to manifest. What’s keeping you my dear?

Don’t worry, we’ll wait whilst cries of  ‘revolution starts at home!‘ are chanted by those who’ve championed such drivel. It’s false and we all know it. A better outcome would result from aiding the best option, our side winning even if its not ideal, forcing the Left to overplay its hand in the streets in the coming insurrection thus winning the opinion of majority populace through their savagery. The stilted media would further be hung by the noose they’ve tied for themselves through their own propaganda. Instead you offer at best maintaining a status quo which has only moved rapidly Left, all legally I may add, in quick fashion brilliantly painting the Right as everything they say we are, destroying any chance for winning the people. The lone instance of the Right taking kinetic action ended in further fragmentation and government empowerment from its lack of preparation or realization of mass base. This from a government, may I remind you, without the aforementioned complete control of the Judicial Branch.

Some will simply at this point revert to the intellectual cop-out, there’s no voting our way out of this, that may be true, but absolutely will be true post-2016. No solution ever follows such statements. Associated is cries of a rigged game all along, which can neither be proved nor disproved, thus should be squelched if real results are desired. A Solution? Work harder now to do all you can. You do vote- if for this once and once alone. This also means one doesn’t dismiss all options until there is no option, but commit to the first option (ballots) while preparing for the next (bullets). Organize within your communities. Gain stature and build social capital. We are dangerously close to replacing Bullets for Ballots, an outcome as one who’s seen what that looks like no one should be hoping for, but without the first there may be little chance of success from the second. Revolution likely will not turn out the way you wish. And with a Democratic Socialist victory, only the voices allowed to remain will remain, crushing any meaningful resistance before it forms, save for those who’ve followed advice of a very few.

Dwell on that one.

Until that time, coming sooner rather than later, I challenge the reader to at least forsake the laity faux-philosophy that merely makes one feel better about the world prevalent in the ‘liberty movement.’ It’s all been covered long ago by people further down the road than we, with a better snapshot of what social upheaval looks like from the ground level than the ‘philosophers’ who keep telling us, minus any real experience. With that, certain voices should not only be hereby rejected entirely, but exposed exactly for the surrogates they are- may you never forget for whom side they advocate.

I leave you with a quote from a man whom everyone concerned should become familiar with, if not already:

Politics is a strong and slow boring of hard boards. It takes both passion and perspective. Certainly all historical experience confirms the truth – that man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible. But to do that a man must be a leader, and not only a leader but a hero as well, in a very sober sense of the word. And even those who are neither leaders nor heroes must arm themselves with that steadfastness of heart which can brave even the crumbling of all hopes. This is necessary right now, or else men will not be able to attain even that which is possible today.

-Max Weber

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  1. Pingback: Weekend Reading: Brushbeater – “Barba non facit philosophum” | The Defensive Training Group

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