Category Archives: Philosophy

Yes, The Left Stole Liberalism And Sold Out The West


By ilana mercer

Liberals have taken to promoting socialism, which is the state-sanctioned appropriation of private property. Or, communism.

In communism’s parlance, this theft of a man’s life, labor and land is referred to as state-ownership of the means of production.

Liberals are less known for misappropriating intellectual concepts. But they do that, too.

Take the term “liberal.” It once belonged to the good guys. But socialists, communists and Fabians stole it from us.

Having originally denoted the classical liberalism of the 18th and early 19th century, “liberal” used to be a lovely word. However, to be a liberal now is to be a social democrat, a leftist, a BLM, antifa and MeToo movementarian; it’s to be Chris and Andrew Cuomo.

A French classical liberal, Benjamin Constant (1767-1830), explained what liberalism stood for:

“Individuals must enjoy a boundless freedom in the use of their property and the exercise of their labor, as long as in disposing of their property or exercising their labor they do not harm others who have the same rights.” This is the opposite of communism aka socialism.

By harm, classical liberals mean aggression, as in damage to person or property. To contemporary liberals, “harm” encompasses anything from Donald Trump’s delicious tweets to the economic competition posed by a kiddie lemonade stand.

In the UK, those in-the-know still use the word liberal in the right way. The august Economist—essential reading for, unlike American news outlets, it covers The News—has recently lamented that democracies are drifting towards “xenophobic nationalism,” and away from liberal ideas.

At the same time, the magazine allows that “liberalism is a broad church.” It mentions the “Austrians” as being among liberalism’s “forerunners”—a mention that gave me, as a devotee of economist Ludwig von Mises, the opening I needed.

So, let me ask the following:

Have the Economist’s left-liberal editorializers (excellent writers all) read what liberal extraordinaire von Mises had to say about nationalism vis-à-vis immigration?

Mises was a Jewish classical liberal in the best of traditions—a political economist second to none. He escaped the Nazis only to be treated shoddily in the American academy, by the Fabian “forerunners” of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s teachers.

Another formidable, younger classical liberal thinker is David Conway (a friend). Dr. Conway has argued most convincingly and methodically—he’s incapable of arguing any other way—that nationalism is in fact a condition for the emergence of liberalism.

To that end, Conway invokes Mises. In  “Liberalism: In the Classical Tradition,” published in 1927, Mises warned that,

“In the absence of any migration barriers whatsoever, vast hordes of immigrants … would … inundate Australia and America. They would come in such great numbers that it would no longer be possible to count on their assimilation. If in the past immigrants to America soon adopted the English language and American ways and customs, this was in part due to the fact that they did not come over all at once in such great numbers. … This … would now change, and there is real danger that the ascendancy—or more correctly, the exclusive dominion—of the Anglo-Saxons in the United States would be destroyed.”

Mises was not only a true liberal, but a master of the art of argument. Still, he didn’t imagine he needed to explain why the West had to stay Western to be free.

And in “Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War,” published in 1944, Mises could not have been more emphatic:

“Under present conditions the adoption of a policy of outright laissez faire and laissez passer on the part of the civilized nations of the West would be equivalent to an unconditional surrender to the totalitarian nations. Take, for instance, the case of migration barriers. Unrestrictedly opening the doors of the Americas, of Australia, and of Western Europe to immigrants would today be equivalent to opening the doors to the vanguards of the armies of Germany, Italy, and Japan.”

As Conway surmises, “Mises feared a massive immigration into the liberal democracies of peoples of vastly different ethnicity, culture and outlooks. Without strict immigration controls, Mises thought, host populations would rapidly become national minorities in their own lands. As such, the hosts would become vulnerable to forms of oppression and persecution at the hands of new arrivals.”

As far back as 1927, when the seminal “Liberalism in the Classical Tradition” was published, Mises, a gentleman from Old World Vienna, understood the following:

Once illiberal, unassimilable people gain “numeric superiority,” they will turn their population advantage into political advantage, using the host population’s liberalism against it.

***

ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube

Advertisements

“We must obey God rather than men”: Lutheran-Calvinist theories of resistance


“We must obey God rather than men”: Lutheran-Calvinist theories of resistance
By Keir Martland 

The theology of Luther, Calvin, and other sixteenth-century Protestants is similar in some respects to that of S. Augustine, and arguably in the case of Calvin, based on a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of Augustine’s doctrine of predestination, with Harro Hopfl describing the latter as Luther and Calvin’s “favourite Patristic theologian.” Whatever the provenance of it, there is in the writings of Luther and Calvin a strong emphasis on the fallen nature of man. Now, earlier Christian thinkers with such a view of the impaired, flawed, even wretched nature of man, tended to also hold such a view of society as a whole. When thinkers such as Augustine or later ‘Political Augustinians’ applied themselves to political matters, because of their view of man and society, they gave no ‘naturalistic’ interpretation of government, authority, and power, no account of it independent of the source of all goodness, God, since man and society were, on this account, incapable of any virtue apart from Christian virtue. Their treatments of politics, then, left little room for theories of resistance or even for theories of ownership and political authority independent of the Church; rather, such thinkers tended to view all dominion as belonging ultimately to the Church and they expected at least passive obedience from the Christian to the established secular – delegated – and spiritual authorities. Yet there developed in the sixteenth-century a Lutheran-Calvinist resistance theory, or theories. It is, on the face of it, hard to see how the resistance theory as found in Theodore Beza or the Vindiciae contra Tyrannos developed from the writings of Luther and Calvin. Read more

Towards a naturalistic account of man, society, and politics


Towards a naturalistic account of man, society, and politics
By Keir Martland

For much of the Middle Ages – ordered anarchy though it was, owing to the situation on the ground of overlapping jurisdictions and law codes – the path to a fully-developed political or legal philosophy of any kind was blocked. There were, to be sure, a number of obstacles for the political philosopher, and no single factor can be held entirely responsible. Among these factors was the very idea of Christendom itself, since men in the Middle Ages did not separate ‘Church’, ‘State’, ‘Empire’, ‘kingdom’, ‘Europe’ etc. If ever Hilaire Belloc’s line that “Europe is the Faith and the Faith is Europe” was factually correct, it was during the early to high Middle Ages. Naturally, this lack of clear thinking was one significant impediment to the development of serious political thought. At the same time, this Christendom required, so many thought, a single dominus. Whether pope or Western Emperor, for as long as the secular realm was thought of in the same terms as the spiritual realm, where one Lord and one Faith were both sufficient and necessary, for as long as the mission of the temporal powers was the same as the mission of the spiritual powers, one man on earth surely ought to be lord of the world. As a result, for much of the Middle Ages, while the battle for the position of dominus mundi raged between pope and emperor or pope and king or emperor and king, the ‘political thought’ produced was necessarily to a certain extent propaganda which took for granted the unity of Christendom under one divinely-appointed head. Read more

Bottom up versus top down


Bottom up versus top down

By Neil Lock

Today, I’m going to look at two diametrically opposed ways of thinking, and at the practitioners of those two ways. One way, I call bottom up; the other, top down.

Bottom up thinking is like the way we build a house. Starting from the ground, we work upwards, using what we’ve done already as support for what we’re working on at the moment. Top down thinking, on the other hand, starts out from an idea that is a given. It then works downwards, seeking evidence for the idea, or to add detail to it, or to put it into practice.

These two opposed methods bear on far more than just the way we think. The idea of bottom up versus top down can be applied to many dimensions of our lives. It can be applied to our overall world view, and to our views on religion. To how we seek knowledge. To our ethical and political views. To our conception of government and law. To our opinions on economics and environment. To how we communicate with others. To our views on education and media; and many more. Bottom up versus top down isn’t a single scale of (say) 0 to 100, but a multi-dimensional space, in which each individual’s position is represented on many different axes.

Read more

Praxeology and a priori truth: an interview with David Gordon


By Richard Storey

The following is an interview I conducted with the brilliant philosopher, Dr. David Gordon, who has been described as the semiofficial reviewer of the libertarian community.  There is hardly a better mind to help us understand ‘praxeology’ and the basis for Austro-libertarian thinking in the school of von Mises, Rothbard, Block and Hoppe et al.  Please follow the links for helpful resources to understand the definition of some philosophical terms and to access useful materials mentioned by David.

R: David, you have divided up two schools of thought in philosophy and economics – the German school, which I think stems from the Vienna circle, influenced greatly by the British empiricists, such as Locke and Hume; and the Austrian school spearheaded by Ludwig von Mises who was influenced by Menger and Böhm-Bawerk.  Now, Mises was somewhat of a rationalist; at least, he used the language of Immanuel Kant to show we need some sort of dualism when we engage in the empirical, physical sciences (which use the scientific method and the historical method).  That is, in order to gain knowledge from the world, we must use rationalistic thinking as well.  In that sense, would you say Mises’ thinking hearkens back to Aristotle by ascertaining those irrefutable axioms we can determine rationally for ourselves? Read more

Epicuro, quem é e porquê todo liberal deveria conhecer.


Willian Pablo

Note: My Portuguese is less than perfect, but this is an interesting and well-informed overview of Epicurus. Some nice mentions of me as well! SIG

O contrato social, a busca pela felicidade, o individualismo, o decaimento do poder da religião e o advento do racionalismo científico. Parece moderno para você? Não se engane, esses pensamentos constituem uma doutrina filosófica bastante antiga, fundada em 307 antes de cristo e redescoberta justamente no período do advento do pensamento moderno, no sec XVII.

Read more

« Older Entries