We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

If anti-semitism was “only about Jews” it would still matter. Jews matter not because they are Jews, but because they are human. No different qualification is required. That anyone thinks a better qualification than being a human is required to enjoy particular human rights is precisely what is wrong with our society today. Every time someone speaks of “Gay Rights” or “Women’s Rights” or “Black Rights” or “Muslim Rights” or uses the phrase “hate crimes” I am immediately on my guard. Such people are more than likely to be a threat to human rights in general.

Damn it, how often does this need to be said before tribalists stop blathering? The whole point of the post-Enlightenment West is that every individual matters, regardless of who they are. Not just anti-semitism but tribalism in general is the virus that, as Rabbi Sacks says, keeps mutating. The only valid reason to regard an individual as better or worse is, as Dr King famously said (but as the Left seems to have forgotten) “the content of his character.” The only valid reason to treat an individual differently before the law is his or her conduct. Amen to that.

Tom Paine

75 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • The notion that “hate crimes” matter more than other crimes – that being murdered for your wallet, or to prevent you identifying your rapist, matters less than being murdered for belonging to a group the PC patronise – is just part of the PC redefinitional project. If all murders are hateful, the “wrong” groups may commit more of them, but if the PC can weight murders according to their prejudices, any off-narrative statistics can be eliminated – and better still, not talked about.

    ‘Hate crime’ was always about making PC prejudice the law, emancipated from any kind of objective basis.

  • Julie near Chicago

    ‘Hate crime’ was always about making PC prejudice the law….

    Indeed.

  • JadedLibertarian

    I always rather liked that in the gun-fu movie Equilibrium the “revolutionary precept of the hate crime” was cast as being the precursor of outlawing all emotion.

    Hate crimes are thought crimes. If I plunge a knife into a man’s chest while yelling “fucking ginger bastard” that is apparently not as bad as doing the same thing while yelling “fucking Paki bastard”. Both crimes are vicious and motivated by hate, but people of Pakistani extraction are a “protected” group where gingers are not. Why does one kind of hate trump another? Surely it matters what you actually do? Yet time and again we see people being given extra punishment for a given crime because of what they appeared to be thinking at the time. Ergo, hate crimes are thought crimes.

  • Sam Duncan

    “‘Hate crime’ was always about making PC prejudice the law, emancipated from any kind of objective basis.”

    To what end, I’ve always found find hard to discern, other than it can only be the destruction of Enlightenment civilization itself. Which sounds dramatic, but what else?

  • Flubber

    “To what end, I’ve always found find hard to discern, other than it can only be the destruction of Enlightenment civilization itself. Which sounds dramatic, but what else?”

    I’m going to be controversial but it’s to marginalise white people. (Also “White Privilege”) Primarily so we don’t complain about uncontrolled immigration leading to ethnic replacement in the west.

    It’s ironic, seeing as this is a post about Anti-semmitism, that some of the major cheerleaders for this are neurotic leftist Jews who see the next Nazi uprising around every corner, and thus fully support uncontrolled immigration leading to ethnic replacement in the west (eg George Soros) as they think there wont ever be any more Nazis, once white people are consigned to history.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Hm. It’s not at all clear to me that Georgie is afraid of Nazis, or of a Nazi uprising either.

    .

    I does seem to me that quite a few people think that by making “hate”-crimes extra-dreadful and thus requiring extra-dreadful punishment, they will discourage not only such crimes but also hate itself. “Hate” of some groups, anyway — is it less awful to hate just some one person for his own self?

  • David

    once white people are consigned to history.

    Flubber you will find that the majority of Jews, including the “neurotic leftist” ones, are also white. The only thing that makes them any different from other white neurotic leftists is their religion.

  • Mr Black

    That’s just libertarian wish-casting. Statements about universal rights sound so noble, when you are in a guarded monoculture of like minded people. But as open borders quickly demonstrates, other people have other values and giving rights to people who want you dead is cultural suicide. Libertarians are the political equivalent of pacifists, their beliefs can only exist because of the safety provided by people who do the dirty work of killing those who mean them harm.

  • … they will discourage not only such crimes but also hate itself.

    Dunbar numbers and related effects keep popping up. Humans can only see so many other people as discrete thinking individuals. Beyond that, they get blurred.

    To hold a group identity beyond that seems to require an other. The larger the group, the more hatred for the ‘other’ is required.

    This ‘hate’, however, doesn’t feel like hate to many of those who feel it. instead, it feels righteous…

    … even when they’re killing people for it.

  • Martin

    Agreed. The real Tom Paine was wrong about the ‘Rights of Man’s in the 1790s and this modern Tom Paine is wrong about ‘human rights’ now. He may be right to be on guard when someone starts talking about Muslim/gay rights etc but I’m also on guard against people like him who talk about human rights, individual rights, universal rights and so on.

  • JadedLibertarian

    Mr Black and Martin:

    Since you seem keen to exclude whole groups of people from the franchise of individual rights, I have a question for you: what makes your flavour of tribalism any better than all the others?

    Either we judge people for what they actually do, or we judge them for how they’re pigeonholed by identity politics. Do you think you’re better than the neo-fascist SJW crowd because your prejudices are in different places? Bullshit.

    Honestly, what are you even doing on a website that has the words “personal liberty” right there in the description when clearly you hold the very concept in contempt?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    What Jaded said.

  • Alisa

    I have a question for you: what makes your flavour of tribalism any better than all the others?

    Nothing wrong with tribalism in and of itself, as long as it is based on culture (i.e. commonly accepted values and principles).

    Either we judge people for what they actually do, or we judge them for how they’re pigeonholed by identity politics.

    Or we don’t let them in en masse, and so are not forced to judge them in the first place – unless they ask to join the tribe, and then yes, we judge them on an individual basis (which is the opposite of en masse).

  • Ben David

    What Alisa said.

    “Those who embrace Enlightment values” are certainly a “tribe” – surrounded by much more barbaric tribes.

    Societies based on Englightment values only survive if they vet/assimilate new arrivals to ensure that the Englightenment values are still upheld.
    And it is the right of any society to vet new arrivals based on “fitting with our culture”.

    Calling this “tribalism” is typically PC doubletalk – as if it is uniquely evil for the free West to insist that immigrants take up its (very good and humane) values. Or as if the ideals of the West are insular and “tribal”.

    Don’t agree with our Western values? Think Christians and Jews are dogs and monkeys? Stay in your sh*thole, you have no inborn right to come here. Nor do “tolerance” and our other humane principles require us to let the barbarians in to wreck our culture.

  • JadedLibertarian

    Societies based on Englightment values only survive if they vet/assimilate new arrivals to ensure that the Englightenment values are still upheld.

    How is this in any way incompatible with:

    judge people for what they actually do

  • James Strong

    I think that Mr. Black and Martin should be made welcome, not questioned as to what they are even doing on this website.
    If they keep coming back then you lot might be able to change their minds. Or they might be able to change yours.
    Or they might just enjoy an argument.
    Mr. Black’s point that ‘libertarians are like the pacifists of politics [etc.]’ is worthy of consideration.
    There is at times a need for robust defensive action, very probably a need to get your retaliation in first against some threats.

    But then I am not an ideologically pure, hard-core libertarian. I think the idea of open borders is suicidally insane.

    I also think that bombing every harbour in North Africa in order to destroy any vessel that might be used to carry illegal migrants out of their territorial waters would not be a violation of the non-aggression principle.

  • The usual suspects get it wrong… as usual.

    The problem is not ‘the other’ (historically anti-Semitism has occurred in places where Jewish population was demographically small, so consider that aspect of the “it’s all down to mass immigration” theory falsified), the problem is when integration does not happen. And integration is the natural state of affairs, so if there is a growing community of un-integrated folk somewhere, in the vast majority of cases you can be sure the state is working actively to prevent integration, with policies that demotivate the natural pressures that lead to the new arrivals learning to accommodate the mores of the host society (such as ‘Hate Speech’ laws that mute criticism, welfare state payments that reduce the economic need to be accepted, ‘discrimination’ laws that curtail free association & make it harder to fire designated victim-class employees, an unwillingness to actually apply laws for fear of criticism (check the linked article, you will not find even an oblique hint about who is actually abusing children on an industrial scale), etc. etc.)

    So the problem is not immigration. The problem is a whole raft of state policies and the institutional cultures they have engendered that actively work to prevent the natural integration & assimilation processes.

  • I also think that bombing every harbour in North Africa in order to destroy any vessel that might be used to carry illegal migrants out of their territorial waters would not be a violation of the non-aggression principle.

    Yeah sure because all the trade & fishing that constitutes the primary use of those ports is perfectly acceptable collateral damage. That is quite possibly the most idiotic understanding of the non-aggression principle I have ever heard.

    But then I am not an ideologically pure, hard-core libertarian.

    Now whilst libertarianism is a broad & amorphous thing, on the basis of the above I remain to be convinced you are anywhere at all on that spectrum.

  • hennesli

    The problem is not ‘the other’ (historically anti-Semitism has occurred in places where Jewish population was demographically small, so consider that aspect of the “it’s all down to mass immigration” theory falsified)

    A good example of this is Japan where there is a lot of anti-Semitism despite having next to no Jewish population.

  • Alisa

    I didn’t say it is incompatible, JL, and I wasn’t necessarily arguing with you – I simply addressed your point, and possibly expanded on it.

  • bobby b

    Perry de Havilland (London)
    April 15, 2018 at 11:17 am

    “And integration is the natural state of affairs . . . “

    ?

    I think you beg the question here and simply assume your own conclusion.

    After millions of years of human evolution, go anywhere, sit on an urban bus, and watch your natural integration take shape. People tend to seek out and associate with others who are like themselves.

    National borders have been established since time immemorial based on racial and cultural groupings of differing people. Is this government forcing something unnatural on us? Or peoples’ natural desires?

    Would you force me to deal with Finns against my will in order to serve libertarian principles? Do libertarians value associative rights?

  • ragingnick

    but I’m also on guard against people like him who talk about human rights, individual rights, universal rights and so on.

    Amen. To talk of a universal undifferentiated ‘humanity’ is pure left wing delusion. There are only culturally and biologically distinct peoples, who are at all times in competition with one another.

    The antelope when faced with a lion does not stop to consider the ‘content of his character’; one lion may be temperementally distinct from another, but his nature will ultitmately still be that of the Lion, not of a sloth or a goat.

  • JadedLibertarian

    Amen. To talk of a universal undifferentiated ‘humanity’ is pure left wing delusion. There are only culturally and biologically distinct peoples, who are at all times in competition with one another.

    The antelope when faced with a lion does not stop to consider the ‘content of his character’; one lion may be temperementally distinct from another, but his nature will ultitmately still be that of the Lion, not of a sloth or a goat.

    Good grief.

    Would you care to tell us a bit about the “nature” of, say, black people? Do they all like watermelon and fried chicken? Are they a bit dim but man dem boys got rhythm? Are they a threat to “our women”?

    This kind of stereotyped thinking is the exact ideology behind fascism, communism and SJWism. It is responsible for well over 100 million deaths in the 20th century alone and it is a fundamentally bad idea.

  • bobby b

    Mr Black
    April 15, 2018 at 6:20 am

    “Libertarians are the political equivalent of pacifists, their beliefs can only exist because of the safety provided by people who do the dirty work of killing those who mean them harm.”

    I don’t think you can make this generalization. Some of the most dangerous people I know are libertarian.

    Tell many libertarians that they must surrender their freedom of association by government decree, and it won’t be passivism you see.

  • Alisa

    historically anti-Semitism has occurred in places where Jewish population was demographically small

    Actually, no. Rather, it occurred in places where the Jews were a large-enough minority.

  • People tend to seek out and associate with others who are like themselves.

    I recall every time I took my grandfather for a wheel in Battersea Park a few years ago (he was in a wheelchair), just for fun we would do an informal ‘survey’ to count the number of mixed race couples. We concluded that the great majority of blacks and asians we saw as couples were with a white (British?) partner. Now I am not going to extrapolate that into some overarching statistic but the sheer number of mixed race couples in London is hard to miss.

    Indeed in all the years I lived in the USA, which unlike the UK, seems utterly obsessed with race at a societal level, I never saw anything even close (I lived in Florida, Virginia, New Jersey, New York at various times). Interestingly, I find Paris much more like London in this respect.

    So why are there so many mixed race couples? Good question, and my theory is that assimilation and integration are the default when the state allows it to happen, although various states are doing more and more to change that, cheered on by a toxic alliance of SJWs & crypto-racists.

    After millions of years of human evolution, go anywhere, sit on an urban bus, and watch your natural integration take shape.

    Yes but that might mean the opposite of what you think. I take buses all the time. I also live in Chelsea. I paid millions for the place I bought & had I chosen to live 10 miles away in almost any direction, I would have paid hundreds of thousand for a similar place. Why would I do that? I want to live near ‘people like me’ and I’m willing to pay for that. So I agree with you, yes? No.

    My neighbours on one side are a (white) American married to a Malay-Chinese woman. My neighbours on the other side are Hong Kong Chinese. Directly oppose to me across the mews are a Norwegian couple. Next to them, one house is empty (name of the people about to move in sounds Italian), and on the other side is an English-Jamaican family with a dog called Elvis, and an English artist chap living next to her. The nearest cafe to me is run by Albanians who love to chat about the London property business & make reasonable faux-Italian food.

    I do indeed live surrounded by people like me. Its not about race, nationality or religion, it is about class & expectations. Now I realise those things are different for different people, and I do get out of the gilded bubble of the Golden Triangle (Holland Park-Chelsea-Mayfair) fairly often, but my observations on North End Road (all the stall shops are owned by English, half the brick shops are owned by Middle Easterners, but Poles are also starting to belatedly appear in the area) is not that different. Mixed marriages abound & the integration process is palpable, helped by the fact the area is not blighted by welfare based communities being ‘helped’ by the deadening hand of the state: the local working class work & shop in each others shops.

    So my theory that integration is the natural state of affairs (when it is allowed to happen) is based on my observations.

  • Mr Black

    Jadedlibertarian, I believe in rights for people who believe in rights for me. Thus, I believe that entire cultures should have no rights what so ever in my own country, not even the right to visit. I do not partake in the delusion that inside all brown people there is a middle class white trying to get out. I believe them 100% when they say they intend to replace or destroy us. I also believe that those of my own culture who advocate for these enemy cultures are just as dangerous to my survival and should be treated as the enemy as well.

  • Alisa

    I was struck by your stress of race rather than culture in your last comment Perry, so I went back to check and see was there anyone else who put a similar stress, and the only one that might approach this was Bobby’s, to wit:

    National borders have been established since time immemorial based on racial and cultural groupings of differing people. Is this government forcing something unnatural on us? Or peoples’ natural desires?

    Yet, it hardly warrants any further focus on race/skin color/ethnicity, instead of what most commenters here (other than Mr. Black) are focusing on – namely, culture. I wonder why you keep ignoring the latter, and instead keep discussing the former. If I didn’t know better, I’d take it for a straw-man tactic.

  • Tedd

    …integration is the natural state of affairs…

    I think that statement requires qualification: Integration is the natural state of affairs in societies that function well. I believe it has been fairly well established, for example, that there’s an inverse correlation between cultural diversity and economic success. And it seems clear that the countries most defined by immigration in recent history (the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the like) were most successful, by most measures, when high immigration and high integration coexisted.

  • Northern Light

    I think that statement requires qualification: Integration is the natural state of affairs in societies that function well

    Without a doubt, which is why shits like Blair worked so hard to make our society function less well. If they can separate us, they can control us.

  • Alisa

    As to ethnic diversity in Chelsea, that is only further proof of all this being about culture, while at the same time it is further proof that cultural integration is not the default outcome of immigration. Wealthy individuals tend to be more cosmopolitan and Westernized (and tend to be a minority everywhere they live, so they are hardly representative of anything), simply because they can afford it, and so when they move from HK or Italy to London or Paris, they fit in much more easily than refugees and labor migrants. All with various exceptions of course, but we are generalizing anyway.

  • NickM

    Bugger you Perry! I was just about to make a very similar comment to your very eloquent one of April 15, 2018 at 2:08 pm.

    For shame!

    But then I have a tribal reason to hate you. I do. You are an Appleist. For a PC builder such as myself this is Devil Worship!

  • Martin

    what makes your flavour of tribalism any better than all the others?

    What makes your flavour of universalism superior to the rest that have all already failed?

  • JadedLibertarian

    Because societies that believe in things like equality before the law have been sooo common throughout history, eh Martin? What I will say is that freer societies have consistently shown themselves to be better than less free societies.

    If you look at the people who’ve spouted the sort of identitarian twoddle you seem to favour, you’ll find you’re not in good company. What do Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro and blue haired, problem glasses wearing feminists all agree upon? You are not you, you are your “identity”. Whether that identity is Aryan master race, proletarian revolutionary or LGBTQWERTY is neither here nor there. As soon as you stop letting people be people and start reducing them to crude categorisations, injustice has always followed.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Mmm…

    Underneath these groupings — racial, cultural, ethnic, philosophical, religious and not-religious, more — aren’t there four atavistic commonalities among humans, individual humans: territorialism, acquisitiveness, possessiveness, and some sort of “groupism”: the urge to be a part of a herd or a pack (politically, the family; the clan; the tribe; the coalition of tribes; the nation, if things get that far; political factions too), and to identify with that group. To feel that one has values, standards of behaviour, tastes and interests, and often goals, in common with the others in the group. To feel “a sense of belonging” in the group. To have, as a result, the feeling that one is acceptable to the other members of the group.

    In particular, certain groups exist to protect territory or to extend it, likewise food and other possessions. These are groups of people who are prepared to act in concert to defend all the members of the group and their, or its, possessions.

    It seems to me (from what I’ve read) that these four characteristics are drivers of behavior that are quite common in the other animals, and that it should be unsurprising to find that we, too, share them.

    Please note! The degree to which any given particular individual human person is influenced by or acts upon any of these characteristics, or drives, varies highly from person to person. I only mean that whatever tendency there is for us to sort ourselves into various groups may well result from more fundamental traits basic in human nature.

    [Please note also! This has nothing to do with other human traits such as humans’ intelligence or the existence of human values (which also differ in degree and kind from person to person).

    [And above all, please note: None of the foregoing implies that “the group” is somehow more important than the discrete, individual human person.]

    .

    Just musing….

  • Alisa

    Julie, this is indeed the ‘is’ – I guess the discussion, here and elsewhere, is about the ‘ought’: ought we give in to our tribal instincts at all, and form tribes accordingly? If yes, on what basis should we (ideally) form them? If no, what comes instead?

  • Martin

    Most of those ideologues are more similar to you than me in the case that most of them are universalists and their ideology is the offspring of the Enlightenment. Jacobinism, Liberalism and Communism have the same parents. They’re all failed ideologies and we have seen across the past two centuries that they either fail everywhere or only work in certain cultures and are not universally applicable. I would agree that humans are complex creatures that defy crude categorisation. But that is why I am not a libertarian or a Universalist.

  • Mr Black

    The foundational problem with libertarianism is that it permits those who wish to destroy it equal rights and access to the tools of power as it does for its own adherents. Thus it is quickly destroyed by anyone with the will to do so as a libertarian will do nothing in their own defence. A culture that has no moral certainty in its own superiority is useless as a means of long term success as it will make way for all those other cultures wishing to supplant it.

  • The foundational problem with libertarianism is that it permits those who wish to destroy it equal rights and access to the tools of power as it does for its own adherents.

    So how does that work?

    Libertarians demand free speech, so you can attack bad ideas (like Islamism) without the state getting in the way. Libertarians demand free association, so you can hire or fire people who don’t ‘fit in’ with the prevailing culture without the state getting in the way. Libertarianism demands the right to arm yourself, meaning violent civil intimidation becomes a very high cost high risk activity. Libertarianism demands natural law be applied without identitarian restriction, so predatory child molesters end up in jail. Libertarians demand the state not replace charity with tax funded welfare that supports people who then feel no need to integrate and become employable or at least become appealing to charity-givers.

    If you are going to critique libertarianism (and it needs critiquing), learn what it is and isn’t first.

  • Tedd

    A culture that has no moral certainty in its own superiority…

    That’s a non sequitur in relation to the rest of the paragraph. Absence of certainty about its own moral superiority is not even remotely a feature of libertarianism. (Nor, in my experience, of libertarians!) If anything, libertarianism could be accused of naivete for asserting that freedom will lead to superior outcomes–hardly a case of lack of moral certainty. (Although I would point out that many self-described libertarians are not consequentialists; their support of freedom is based on principle, not on the belief that freedom necessarily leads to better outcomes, however defined.)

    Also, what Perry said.

  • Perry de Havilland (London) at April 15, 2018 at 11:17 am makes a very good point: the state is fouling up all paths to integration by denying free speech, freedom of association, etc.

    They also work to demotivate integration from our side: “rub the British people’s nose in diversity” tells us the PC expect immigrants to rub our noses in their contempt for us, and if that were not enough, what better anti-immigrant motive could you be given than to be told that immigrants are their excuse for abolishing our free speech. The PC wanted to force integration on us, not persuade us, because they are all about having power over the deplorables.

    Perry says integration, when not cursed with these evils, will naturally happen. Some others dispute this. IMNSHO, some rate of immigration naturally leads to integration. A higher rate can defeat it – and part of Blair’s behaviour was to encourage a high rate. What matters to me is Alisa’s observation: PC is like HIV – when you have it, something trivial can kill you. Without political correctness, our rate of immigration from countries where anti-semitism is violent would be lower, but also, without political correctness, we’d be better able to survive the rate that was inflicted on us.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Alisa, at 10:37, writes: Nothing wrong with tribalism in and of itself, as long as it is based on culture (i.e. commonly accepted values and principles).

    To my way of thinking tribalism tends to be associated with the accident of birth and a preference for loyalty to the group at the expense of thinking for oneself as an individual. You don’t choose to be in a tribe – you are of it, as it were. It is not like, say, being in a club where you get to sign up and if need be, where you can cancel your membership and leave. And that means that I instinctively dislike tribalism because it elevates the idea of group loyalty over individual judgement and volition. One of the defining qualities of the Englightenment was its push against tribal thinking and to an idea of a common humanity.

    Also, as JadedL has said in response to Martin, those societies that have observed notions of rights, due process, equality before the law and respect for individual autonomy haven’t been common, but those that have done so are so superior in every respect to those that are not that it is not even a close contest. Of course, libertarianism will be regarded as “utopian” or unattainable to those who think Man’s lot is to be swayed by the easy sophistries of “blood and soil” thinking etc, as plainly is the case with libertarianism’s detractors.

    It seems that ideas of liberty, of minding one’s own business, tolerance and voluntary action really get under the skin of some people, but that says more about them than it does of those values.

    By the way,the original quotation was brilliant.

  • Mr Black

    Perry, you forgot the most important point. Libertarians believe in doing nothing to oppose evil. Talk, talk, talk. Meanwhile the enemy has established no-go zones because their members are prepared to break the law and shelter their wrong-doers. Moral certainty allows you to violently crush opposing ideologies when they surface. Libertarians allow them to form, grow, expand and then take control. Because talk, talk, talk. When was the last time ANY libertarian was on the frontline of a mob, marching and fighting to oppose some evil in society? You talk to demand equal rights for the people who want you dead. It Is Suicide.

  • Read what I wrote you, assuming you are capable, as I actually answered the point you keep making.

    Moral certainty allows you to violently crush opposing ideologies when they surface… When was the last time ANY libertarian was on the frontline of a mob, marching and fighting to oppose some evil in society?

    Please post a selfie of yourself & your brave cadre of activists ethnically cleaning Oldham or just STFU.

  • Martin

    One of the defining qualities of the Englightenment was its push against tribal thinking and to an idea of a common humanity.

    And from that idea we get Jacobinism, Communism, liberalism and so on….

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Mr Black seems to be doing a lot of talk, talk, talk here, as far as I can see. And actually pushing for pro-liberty ideas has had its successes, such as making the world a sight richer than otherwise. The “Talk, talk, talk” of Adam Smith, to give one such example, has been rather more potent than whatever other fantasies of violence you get excited about.

    And as already stated, libertarians/classical liberals favour self defence (the picture of the handgun at the top of this page should be a clue). In fact, libertarians tend to be out front in making the case for self defence and the legitimate use of force thereto.

    And talk of “violently crushing opposing idealogies when they surface” – what exactly does that mean? Getting hold of Marxist geography teachers and shooting them? Killing and jailing anyone who says or writes something that gives you the heebie-jeebies?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Martin: And from that idea we get Jacobinism, Communism, liberalism and so on….

    Liberalism and communism are polar opposites: that they may also at one point had a sort of “common humanity” genesis does not mean they are not both dramatically different as regards the role of the State, private property, etc. And anyway, today, much of the post-modernist Left is as obsessed with tribalism and identitarianism as the alt-right, with which it shares a great deal in common, and more than either side might admit. And the post-modernist left, of course, seems even to have given up belief that old Marxists had that industry and science are worthwhile.

  • Mr Black

    Yeah… nonsense replies to a legitimate point is a pretty clear signal that you’re out of answers. Following the law and granting equal rights as a response to an invader ideology is about the weakest response imaginable, which is why the kinda-sorta libertarian ideas of the west are currently being torn down to accomodate an invader ideology. They belive in it enough to bash and stab and kill to expand their power. You’re going to do what? Discuss the finer points of free speech with 20 like minded souls? Guess who wins. They believe in their own superiority over you and are willing to kill you to prove it. You’re not willing to kill them. Guess who wins. This is happening right now, it’s not a theoretical discussion.

  • Libertarians believe in doing nothing to oppose evil. (Mr Black, April 15, 2018 at 8:25 pm)

    By that definition, there would be very few libertarians on this blog. Also, it is the government who are doing nothing to oppose some obvious evils – while engaging in obvious displacement activities fighting the ‘evils’ of *isms and *phobias they define.

    Talk, talk, talk.

    It’s a blog. All we can do here is talk – or rather, type.

  • Mr Black

    JP, here’s the rub. In theory, a perfect world creates a libertarian society with no internal or external rivals. In practice, there are always rivals and they use your rules to destroy you. Libertarianism has no natural support and no internal defence mechanism. When the Nazis march in the streets, people take bats and clubs to meet them. Libertarians sit at home discussing how mistaken those Nazis are. Unless you’re willing to defend your ideas of freedom, they are worthless.

  • JadedLibertarian

    Mr Black, you sound like a prize plonker.

    Who exactly should I be taking up arms against? Politicians? Muslims? The police? The postman perhaps? Who should I go all Anders Breivik on?

    If the shit hits the fan I’ll be manning the barricades along with many others here, but until that day I’d like to keep the civil in civil society thank you very much. That means I don’t get to kill the people I disagree with.

  • Mr Black

    Yes Naill, we talk here but there is also nothing but talk off the blog as well. Any libertarians volunteered to protect conservative speakers against the leftist mobs? What about patrolling muslim no-go zones to ensure people can move safely on public streets? These are real things with real risk but where are these liberty loving people? Elsewhere, is the answer. Talking. Libertarian principles may be wonderful but the enemy has street gangs and we have talkers. So the enemy owns the streets.

  • Mr Black

    JL, by the time civil society isn’t civil anymore it’s far, far too late for you and you 5 closest friends to take a stand. I’ve made a couple of real, meaningful suggestions you could to defend your claimed principles just above. There are doubtless many others that could be named. Strange that you didn’t think of such things yourself and had to resort to nonsense.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Mr Black is putting up so many straw men he is going to start a fire soon.

    Libertarians (well, those whom I know and read) aren’t so naive as to think they won’t have enemies. They know the world is full of people who are inadequate and unpleasant in many ways, and find the appeal of power, predation and violence to be greater than working hard and building value with the consent of others. That’s why libertarians want to push for a society where evil and destructive people’s capacity for trouble is kept in check, most obviously by limiting and reducing the power of the State to a minimum. The State, in its various forms, most obviously those that came about in the 20th Century, killed upwards of 100 million or more. What move back towards liberty there has been since 1945 and certainly since the end of the Berlin Wall is in part a reflection of that fact. And some “talk, talk and talk” was involved. (Things such as books, etc. Amazing.)

    Mr Black, you made “real, meaningful suggestions”, have you? I must be getting tired because all I read from your comments are demands for violence of some kind and a sneering at a pro-liberty blog for being in favour of liberty. You might as well denounce a Christian blog for supporting the idea that Jesus is the Son of God.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Mr Black, I know of libertarians who do things like teach self defence and protect people. In fact as you know perfectly well, however, even making the case for self defence requires “talk”.

  • Any libertarians volunteered to protect conservative speakers against the leftist mobs?

    Actually there were several libertarians who helped beat off the antifas at the Sargon of Akkad talk, so you can fuck right off, you don’t know what you are talking about.

    You’re not willing to kill them. Guess who wins.

    Like all real libertarians, I support private ownership of firearms as I have already explained. I am totally willing to kill someone who is trying to kill me. You have simply acted as if your points were not answer when they were. Get lost.

  • bobby b

    “Any libertarians volunteered to protect conservative speakers against the leftist mobs?”

    Sure. Check out the Oath Keepers, who regularly band together to protect conservative speakers. Their website main page sets out what is essentially their creed – which is a long list of all of the various government orders they refuse to follow. Declared libertarians? I don’t know, but that creed is libertarian at heart.

    Check out the biker gangs who also show up to stand alongside those Oathkeepers. Who in US society are more libertarian than those guys?

    Look at the defense of the Second Amendment in the US. Most of it is done by people seeking to retain individual power against government. Hunting rights? Not so much. Declared libertarians? I don’t know, but that ideal is the essence of libertarianism.

    Our recent tax decrease? A libertarian impulse, which takes hold following persuasive talk.

    The fight for the shrinking of the regulatory state in the US? Libertarian thought, expressed to others through speech, which changes minds, making people more libertarian than they were before.

    You seem to want to condemn an ideology that seeks to lessen the power of one man over another because its adherents fail to exercise power over others. You need to understand that libertarianism is not one discrete and complete position, but the collection of many points along many philosophical continuums all of which hold that each individual is just as sovereign as all individuals together, and that people acting on these individually-held libertarian impulses accomplish much towards a better society each and every day. “Libertarian” is less a complete label of an individual than it is a description of where that individual stands on many issues.

    Now you’ll have to excuse me, because this person holding some libertarian and some non-libertarian philosophies has to go and teach a class on “Building Your Own AR-15” in an hour. I bet I’m directly responsible for a lot more armed citizens in my country than you are in yours. 😀

  • Alisa

    Niall:

    The PC wanted to force integration on us, not persuade us, because they are all about having power over the deplorables.

    And the government/establishment wanted to force immigration on its citizens as well (maybe not in the UK, but elsewhere in Europe for sure). Like all potentially beneficial things, immigration is only beneficial when not enacted from above.

  • Alisa

    Jonathan:

    To my way of thinking tribalism tends to be associated with the accident of birth and a preference for loyalty to the group at the expense of thinking for oneself as an individual. You don’t choose to be in a tribe – you are of it, as it were. It is not like, say, being in a club where you get to sign up and if need be, where you can cancel your membership and leave.

    Frankly, I am rather surprised by that being your way of thinking, as it is a very primitive take on the concept of tribalism. If nothing else, tribalism is an inborn instinct, as described by Julie and others*. The fact that its roots lie in our hunter-gatherer past does not at all mean that in our current times it must be applied in similarly primitive ways – and in fact, it has been applied in much more sophisticated manner for centuries: just think of the idea of freedom of association, which is hardly a modern one, and which clearly takes into account our tribal instincts, with the resulting personal aspirations to belong to one group and not another.

    *You can see this throughout this very thread, where various commenters are arguing about libertarianism and its attributes – if that is not a debate about a certain ideological/political tribe to which some see themselves as belonging, while others wouldn’t touch with a long pole, I don’t know what is.

  • Jacob

    “historically anti-Semitism has occurred in places where Jewish population was demographically small”

    Actually antisemitism occurred everywhere…

    And, yes, the Jews maintained their own religion, customs, culture and society and didn’t assimilate into the host population (mostly).

    That can explain antisemitism, but can it justify it?
    Is assimilation required to respect the human rights (of Jews)?

  • bobby b

    “Is assimilation required to respect the human rights (of Jews)?”

    Let’s switch this to “(of anyone)?” to make sure we’re not just talking about a one-off.

    Is it a requirement before people should respect an entering and very different group? In a purely rational sense, no.

    But, is it a requirement before people do respect an entering and very different group? I think it is, just as a function of a very natural tribalism called nationalism.

    Entering groups can choose to join our existing society – which is the good-faith way of asking to become a new citizen of their target destination – or they can spurn it and remain exactly as they were when they were still back home.

    The first group becomes part of their new people. The second group are invaders, land-takers, and will not be accepted by the people who are true members of the nation.

    Jews? Syrians? Mexicans? It matters not which group they come from. If they do not wish to become (in my case) American, they should stay home. This is the home of Americans. This is not the home of Jews wishing to make this a Jewish land, or Syrians wishing to make this another Syria, or Mexicans wishing to extend their border. You don’t just get to choose to make a geographical move – you choose to join someone else’s nation. Or you go back home.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Alisa writes: If nothing else, tribalism is an inborn instinct, as described by Julie and others*. The fact that its roots lie in our hunter-gatherer past does not at all mean that in our current times it must be applied in similarly primitive ways – and in fact, it has been applied in much more sophisticated manner for centuries: just think of the idea of freedom of association, which is hardly a modern one, and which clearly takes into account our tribal instincts, with the resulting personal aspirations to belong to one group and not another.

    An instinct is inborn or a product of long, unchallenged behaviours for good or ill; and my point is that instincts such as this are ones that people can and sometimes should try and rise above. (Such as the instinct to fear those who look and sound a bit different to us.) We have all kinds of instincts, some more benign than others; some are hangovers from our pre-history. The instinctive preference for “one’s own kind” and fear and suspicion of the “other” may be a fact of nature; it is not something we have to accept or just go along with.

  • Jacob

    “The second group are invaders, land-takers, and will not be accepted by the people who are true members of the nation.”

    Why “invaders”? Did they invade anything or take anything by force? (That would be criminal).
    If newcomers respect the host nation’s laws that would be enough, IMO. Why insist on cultural (and maybe religious) assimilation?

    I mean – anyone is entitled to dislike and feel aversion toward any other (strange) group. That is fine with me. But this does not justify persecuting or even killing these other people.

  • bobby b

    “I mean – anyone is entitled to dislike and feel aversion toward any other (strange) group. That is fine with me. But this does not justify persecuting or even killing these other people.”

    Sure, but I’m not speaking of persecuting or killing people. I’m speaking of simply not extending an invitation and an open door to them to come into my country. I think the threshold that I need to meet in order to do that is considerably lower than the threshold needed to justify killing people.

    Nations have borders. We within such borders have the absolute right to question who we allow to come into our borders from outside. There is no human right to migrate anywhere one chooses.

  • Alisa

    We have all kinds of instincts, some more benign than others; some are hangovers from our pre-history. The instinctive preference for “one’s own kind” and fear and suspicion of the “other” may be a fact of nature; it is not something we have to accept or just go along with.

    Indeed, with my point being that the tribal instinct, in and of itself, is benign – unlike some other instincts, such as grabbing someone else’s food (and possibly killing that someone else to make his dinner one’s own), just because one is hungry, and it may be easier than doing one’s own hunting.

    An instinct is inborn or a product of long, unchallenged behaviours for good or ill; and my point is that instincts such as this are ones that people can and sometimes should try and rise above. (Such as the instinct to fear those who look and sound a bit different to us.)

    Yes, and for the most part they do, at least in the West. That, while at other times they simply shouldn’t – such as when the tribal instinct is expressed in terms of culture.

  • And, yes, the Jews maintained their own religion, customs, culture and society and didn’t assimilate into the host population (mostly).

    Likewise Chinese, they often do not ‘assimilate’ either, yet (in the West) anti-Chinese sentiments are quite rare even where they are quite numerous in easy-to-identify ‘Chinatowns’ (which used to called ‘Ghettos’ when applied to Jewish areas 😉 ). But Chinese (and indeed Jews) usually integrate quite well and quickly (they go into business rather than onto welfare). Frankly so do people from India for the most part. This makes anti-Semitism even more inexplicable vis a vis the experience of others.

    That is also why I usually use the term ‘integration’ rather than ‘assimilation’, because it is an important distinction… If you assimilate (i.e. largely adopt the local culture), you integrate, but you can integrate without assimilating, which is what some Jews & many Chinese do. That said, most Jews that I know in the US & UK are utterly assimilated and not just integrated (they are mainstream secular British by any meaningful measure & you could know them for years without even knowing they were ostensibly Jewish, much like many English Catholics).

    I think when neither happen, that is where problems are inevitable, and we currently find political & academic elements within the US & UK actively working to discourage assimilation via ‘hate speech’ & anti-free-association laws, and discourage even integration via welfare state dependence.

  • Alisa

    That is also why I usually use the term ‘integration’ rather than ‘assimilation’, because it is an important distinction…

    There is another reason why it is important: historically, Jews in diaspora were given the choice of total assimilation (which in those times meant religious conversion), or legal discrimination – which meant, depending on the country, being barred from land ownership, residence restricted to certain areas, paying extra taxes, etc. Such legal discrimination prevented integration, and while many Jews chose to assimilate (convert), others were forced to remain a more distinct culture than they would have (possibly) become given equality before the law and free choice.

    By the time they were given equal rights in Europe, it was too late, because the primitive tribal feelings among the non-Jewish population became entrenched over centuries of forced separation between the Jewish communities (ghettos) and the rest of the local populations. Cue in a world war and later an economic meltdown, and the rest is bloody history.

    In any case, I think it is legitimate to bar immigrants from certain cultures (or all immigrants for that matter – although more often than not it is quite unwise). However, once you let someone in as resident (as opposed to a mere tourist), legal discrimination against them is both illegitimate and stupid.

  • Paul Marks

    Good post!

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa, on April 16, 2018 at 11:18 am you quote from a comment by Johnathan:

    To my way of thinking tribalism tends to be associated with the accident of birth and a preference for loyalty to the group at the expense of thinking for oneself as an individual. You don’t choose to be in a tribe – you are of it, as it were. It is not like, say, being in a club where you get to sign up and if need be, where you can cancel your membership and leave.

    You take issue with this, and I agree with you. That is the understanding of ‘tribalism’ that apparently makes it a pejorative in the minds of many people. My remark was intended to point out that what I called “groupism,” meaning the human habit of gathering together with others on the basis of any number of interests, understandings (philosophy or ideology), values, or instincts, is virtually universal and oughtn’t to be vilified in and of itself. This is why, in a technical discussion, I would try not to use “tribalism”except in the formal anthropological sense.

    Subsequent comments by you, and several others, are very good and express my own view of what is and what ought not to be quite well. (And of course, a “moral code” does, among other things, provide a principle which discourages or prohibits joining with certain groups … rightly or wrongly.)

    I do not think, however, that avoiding joining certain groups because of their culture is necessarily a bad thing. I’m not about to join any group constituted of those who believe in “Islamicism,” for instance — a culture which considers murder as absolutely required in by Allah the Supreme in certain circumstances, such as the murder of homosexuals, or many cases of rape where the victim may be murdered, or cases like the World Trade Centers, or the London subway bombing, or the Mumbai mass murders, or the Rotherham and other cases where rape is acceptable to the cultural group … and on and on and on. Or the kind of culture that Lenin/Stalin/Mao/etc. created and presided over, where mass murder was perfectly acceptable if it served the Greater Good of Communism (or self-aggrandizement). On the other hand, I’m sure you agree with me there (unless you are really the Devil wearing an Alissa suit), so probably I have misunderstood you. I merely write this paragraph for the record.

    So, thank you all. Very good discussion.

  • Alisa

    On the other hand, I’m sure you agree with me there (unless you are really the Devil wearing an Alissa suit)

    Julie, I haven’t worn a suit in many years (and I’ve never owned a Prada suit), but I do agree with you 🙂 What made you think otherwise? I’m asking just so that I can avoid causing similar confusion in the future.

  • Mr Ed

    A bit late to this one, but to my mind, a good contrast between integration and assimilation would be the contrast between Jews coming to England from Cromwell’s time onwards, who to a significant degree have retained their identity and the Huguenots, around 200,000 Protestants who left France c. 1685, going to the Americas, the Cape, England, Ulster, Germany and the Low Countries and so on. Certainly now in Britain, a Huguenot ancestor might be a nice piece of family history, e.g. Sir W S Churchill’s mother’s family, but they are hardly distinguishable now. Whereas English Jews can certainly be English and retain their distinct identity. An Israeli (Ha’aretz reader) once told me that he was shocked at how observant of religion Jews he’d met were in England, compared to his set in Israel, but then he would tend to meet the observant through the Synagogue.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa, I think I misinterpreted the confusion into existence. It’s on me. Go forth in peace. :>))

    . . .

    bobby, you wrote a truly excellent statement about what “libertarianism” means in the real world:

    ‘You need to understand that libertarianism is not one discrete and complete position, but the collection of many points along many philosophical continuums all of which hold that each individual is just as sovereign as all individuals together, and that people acting on these individually-held libertarian impulses accomplish much towards a better society each and every day. “Libertarian” is less a complete label of an individual than it is a description of where that individual stands on many issues.’

    .

    Personally, I think what we Libertarian Activists should do is set up Re-education Camps for up to perhaps 100 million or more Americans. We can enroll Mr. Ayres and with his lovely wife Bernardine as our first students. Naturally all Bernie voters will have to be accommodated, as well as the bulk of Shrillaryites. Also most of the MSM and a good many from Academe, and not just Profs either. See me after the seminar and we’ll work out the details.

    We’ll need janitorial staff, of course. The unre-educable could be assigned the dirty jobs that nevertheless Somebody Has to Do. Guess which couple is my first pick for policing the loos. 😈

  • bobby b

    Thanks, Julie. 😎

  • Alisa

    You need to understand that libertarianism is not one discrete and complete position, but the collection of many points along many philosophical continuums all of which hold that each individual is just as sovereign as all individuals together, and that people acting on these individually-held libertarian impulses accomplish much towards a better society each and every day.

    If only most self-described libertarians understood that. I wonder if it’s a coincidence that all those Oath Keepers, bikers, etc. do not describe or even think about themselves as libertarians, and I also wonder if that is necessarily a bad thing. Someone some of us here know once told me that he is a ‘sociable individualist’ – if we must have labels (which I generally tend to doubt), then I like that one.

  • Tom

    I’m pleased to have stimulated such an interesting discussion — especially on the tribalism point. I didn’t deny tribalism — as well as my football tribe I belong to the Nikon tribe of photographers and the Apple tribe of computer users. I merely pointed out it is something to be aware of and to rise above when necessary. I would only add that we should perhaps be careful not to dismiss ideas because they have been “claimed” by other political tribes. For example equality before the law is an old, valuable idea that has nothing to do with more generalised modern (and postmodern) ideas of equality. Not least because law is designed to distinguish between individuals on the basis of conduct whereas leftist ideas of equality are identity group or class based. To them, a badly-behaved member of a privileged group or class is still privileged and a well-behaved member of an unprivileged group earns nothing but a condescending (and permanently probationary) “ally” status. In a sense their objective is to reverse the change from status to contract that was the key development of the legal history of the West. In feudal society (as in the one they are trying to create) your status determined your legal rights, your prestige and your economic opportunities. Your individual merits counted for little or nothing unless you could pledge them to a privileged person who would be your patron. Compare that with what a Czech friend was telling me yesterday about how skilled and competent “bourgeois elements” were often paired in Communist Czechoslovakia with useless people who checked the right class boxes. So her skilled father held a low rank in the Army as ADC to a proletarian incompetent who was nominally in command of a key defence function. The idiot proletarian was in effect a feudal patron to whom her father bent the knee.

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