Category Archives: War

Wage Walls, Not Wars


A “Big League Politics” Interview about paleolibertarianism

ILANA MERCER 

BIG LEAGUE POLITICS: Being a preeminent paleolibertarian thinker today, how would you define paleolibertarianism and how does it differ from standard paleoconservatism?

ILANA MERCER: First, let’s define libertarianism. libertarianism is concerned with the ethics of the use of force. Nothing more. This, and this alone, is the ambit of libertarian law. 

All libertarians must respect the non-aggression axiom. It means that libertarians don’t initiate aggression against non-aggressors, not even if it’s “for their own good,” as neoconservatives like to cast America’s recreational wars of choice. If someone claims to be a libertarian and also supports the proxy bombing of Yemen, or supported the war in Iraq; he is not a libertarian, plain and simple.

As to paleolibertarianism, in particular, and this is my take, so some will disagree. It’s how I’ve applied certain principles week-in, week-out, for almost two decades. In my definition, a paleolibertarian grasps that ordered liberty has a civilizational dimension, stripped of which the just-mentioned libertarian non-aggression principle, by which all decent people should live, will crumble. It won’t endure.

Ironically, paleoconservatives have no issue grasping the cultural and civilizational dimensions of ordered liberty—namely that the libertarian non-aggression principle is peculiar to the West and won’t survive once western civilization is no more. Which is why, for paleoconservatives, immigration restrictionism is a no-brainer.

By the way, the statement is not meant to be culturally chauvinistic. There are indigenous tribal people (say, in Brazil) who’re peaceful and pastoral. I mourn their culture’s near-extinction, as well.  Where such extinction has been brought about by the West’s chauvinism—it must be condemned.

In any event, paleoconservatives would typically grasp that libertarian principles would not endure in certain cultures. Libertarians, on the other hand, have had a hard time linking civilizational issues with the libertarian axiom of non-aggression. What do I mean? Libertarians will chant, “Free markets, free minds, the free movement of people.” Let’s have ‘em all.

They don’t always explain how these principles are to endure once Western societies are overrun by individuals from cultures which don’t uphold these principles. (From the fact that our own societies are turning out liberty hating individuals—it doesn’t follow we should import more.)

On the other hand, paleoconservatives are far less focused on the state as an evil actor and often appear more concerned with culture wars: gay marriage, cannabis, pornography, abortion. The paleolibertarian rejects any attempts by the state to legislate around the issues of:

Abortion: Completely defund it is our position.

Gay marriage: Solemnize your marriage in private churches, please.

Drugs: Legalize them and stop the hemispheric Drug War.

Wage walls, not wars.

As a creedal paleolibertarian, I see the road to freedom, primarily, in beating back The State, so that individuals can regain freedom of association, dominion over property, the absolute right of self-defense; the right to hire, fire, and, generally, associate at will.

Foreign policy—specifically, no meddling in the affairs of other countries!—is the be all and end all of both paleoconservatism and paleolibertarianism. Don’t let any of the radio or TV personalities fool you.  If he or she liked, justified or rationalized Bush’s Middle-Eastern wars or Trump’s dabbling in Niger—he or she is no paleolibertarian. (Tucker Carlson is a fabulous paleoconservative.)

Both variants are for small government and big society. Again, more so than the paleoconservative, the paleolibertarian is radical in his anti-state position, sometimes even advocating a stateless society.

BIG LEAGUE POLITICS: In what ways does your political thought differ from CATO institute libertarianism?

ILANA MERCER: CATO’s political thought is left-libertarianism. I call it “lite libertarianism.”  Lite libertarians equate liberty with abstract, lofty ideas, which—against all evidence, historic and other—purport to work magically when applied to every individual in the world.

You can say that the crucial difference between lite libertarians and the Right kind is that, to the former, the idea of liberty is propositional–a value, an idea that’s untethered from the realities of history, hierarchy, biology, tradition, religion, culture, values.

Bluntly put, the principles of American freedoms were not developed by progressive, libertine ladies, marching in pussy dunce caps; by the suffragettes or the LGBTQ community and their program. Are those significant facts? You bet!

The garden variety libertarian, CATO and Reason types, see liberty as a shared, universal quest. They appear to think that inside every Afghani or Yemeni or Iraqi is a Jeffersonian waiting to break free.

In essence, this left-libertarianism is one that underplays, underestimates or just plain refuses to recognize what I just referred to as “liberty’s civilizational dimension.”

Notice how similar are left-libertarians to neoconservatives in the tendencies just described.

INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY. Lite libertarians also tend to blame governments, principally, less so the individual, for barbarism in certain parts of the world. Your regular libertarian’s attitude to personal wrongdoing often runs to what I’ve characterized as a form of social determinism: “The state made me do it.”

In other words, if for the sins of man the left is inclined to blame society; a lot of libertarians fall into the same methodological error when they implicate the State. The conservatively minded paleolibertarian will recognize humanity’s innate, biblical capacity for evil.

Both factions (left-libertarians and neoconservatives) are short on punishment, individual responsibility and agency, all preconditions for ordered liberty.

RACISM. And this is vitally important: A lot of establishment libertarians have joined the neoconservative and neoliberal establishments in the habit of sniffing out racists. Sniffing out racists is an absolute no-no for any and all self-respecting libertarians.

True libertarians don’t, or should not, prosecute thought crimes or persecute thought “criminals.” Period.

BIG LEAGUE POLITICS: Which conservative thinkers resonate most with your beliefs?

ILANA MERCER: John Roanoke, John Calhoun, Edmond Burke, Russell Kirk, Frank Chodorov, Felix Morley, James Burnham (once a leftist), Paul Gottfried, Clyde Wilson, Samuel P. Huntington.

**

 This interview was conducted by correspondent Seth Segal for Big League Politics. A version was published on Nov. 23, 2018.

 

 

 

Emmanuel Goldstein strikes again!


By Andy Duncan, Vice-Chairman of Mises UK

Democrats in the United States are now demanding war, death, and destruction in the Middle-East, in places most of them would be unable to point to on a globe. Why? Because Donald Trump is trying to reduce war, death, and destruction in the Middle-East, or at least he’s trying to reduce American involvement in such terrible things. One is of course reminded of George Orwell’s quote from Nineteen-Eighty-Four:

“The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.”

Once again it seems the elites have been using Mr Orwell’s dystopian novel as a guidebook for their own continuing power over the rest of us, rather than as a portentive Cassandran warning.

Personally, I would like to congratulate President Trump for withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria, and hopefully later from Afghanistan too, to reduce the destruction wrought by elite globalism. Though no doubt he’s merely serving the whims of that global puppet-master, that Emmanuel Goldstein himself, Vladimir Putin.

But what is the United States doing anyway in such places? Was it not founded on the ambition of George Washington to avoid permanent alliances and Thomas Jefferson’s wish to avoid entangling alliances? Are two oceans really not enough to defend America, plus the largest and most technologically advanced set of armed forces in the world? The American Democrats make me sick with their double-think and their hypocrisy. Keep going, Sir Donald!

Anyhow, enough of that. Here’s an excellent interview on the subject, between Jeff Deist and Dave Smith. As our American friends would say, enjoy y’all!

Let There Be Peace


By Natalie Fawn Danelishen

Every Christmas we are inundated with songs such as “let there be peace on earth” The song and its sentiments are shared among many. So, what happened to Peace?

Perhaps, the best example of laying down arms for a moment of peace is reflected in the Christmas Truce of World War I. As Judge John V. Denson noted,

“The Christmas Truce, which occurred primarily between the British and German soldiers along the Western Front in December 1914, is an event the official histories of the “Great War” leave out, and the Orwellian historians hide from the public.”

It was, in itself, an act of rebellion since mingling with the enemy was considered an act of treason.

So, it comes as no surprise that historians wish to hide that peace could be achieved without our masters and overlords (the government). The common man does not wish for war and people will do everything in their power to avoid it. As portrayed in the World War I novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

“But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony — Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?”

Much of the same response happened on the western front. As Eddie Rickenbacker became a rebel and took to the air to watch the greatest blessing to mankind 100 years ago on Armistice day, peace. He wrote:

“it was 11:00 A.M., the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. I was the only audience for the greatest show ever presented. On both sides of no-man’s-land, the trenches erupted. Brown-uniformed men poured out of the American trenches, gray-green uniforms out of the German. From my observer’s seat overhead, I watched them throw their helmets in the air, discard their guns, wave their hands. Then all up and down the front, the two groups of men began edging toward each other across no-man’s-land. Seconds before they had been willing to shoot each other; now they came forward. Hesitantly at first, then more quickly, each group approached the other.

Suddenly gray uniforms mixed with brown. I could see them hugging each other, dancing, jumping. Americans were passing out cigarettes and chocolate. I flew up to the French sector. There it was even more incredible. After four years of slaughter and hatred, they were not only hugging each other but kissing each other on both cheeks as well.

Star shells, rockets and flares began to go up, and I turned my ship toward the field. The war was over.”

That quiet, peaceful Christmas and the day of Armistice 100 years ago are evidence that the common man does not wish for war. As Afghanistan enters its 18th year, children that were born when the war started can soon sign up to fight in it. If there is one thing we know about Afghanistan, it is that we don’t know why we’re still in Afghanistan. How many, men, women, and children must die before it ends? The truth is not what they are telling us, and this war will only end when the common man rises up and demands an end to it. As Lew Rockwell once said:

“We don’t oppose the state’s wars because they’ll be counterproductive or overextend the state’s forces. We oppose them because mass murder based on lies can never be morally acceptable.”

If wars are started by lies, the truth is the antidote. As the song goes “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

Thoughts on the Fallen


Thoughts on the Fallen
by Sean Gabb
11th November 2018

A hundred years today since the end of the Great War – a sentence ripe with melancholy. I am old enough to have been a child in the visible shadow of that war. Yes, I would listen to men and women, younger than I am now, talking of their part in the Dunkirk Evacuation, or discussing who had made a fool of herself in the street when the bombs fell on Chatham. That second war, filled with colour and excitement, was barely history when I was a boy. Its end was more recent than Tony Blair’s Serbian adventure is to us. Habits of life and patterns of friendship set in The War were still established facts in the world that I had joined. Behind this, however, loomed the greater and more terrible events of an earlier war. Every day, I saw the old women in black, the old men without arms or legs, or wearing dark glasses – the memorials built large so all the names of the fallen could be fitted on them in capitals an inch high. There was no colour in that war, no excitement – only the sadness of irretrievable loss. Read more

Niger: Finally, A War John McCain Doesn’t Love


By ilana mercer

News first broke about America’s Niger misadventure on October 4. “The real news here is that the US has forces in Niger, where they’re conducting covert operations,” this writer tweeted out. “Hashtag America First.”

Official media ignored the ambush of the American Special Forces, until the story gained anti-Trump traction. No word came from John McCain. Three weeks hence, the senator from Arizona is making history. McCain, who has never encountered a war he wasn’t eager to prosecute, is questioning the folly in Niger.

The senator from Arizona can run but can’t hide from the pollution he has left along his political path. Republicans wisely rejected war in Kosovo; McCain jettisoned party loyalty to call for bombs from above and “more boots on the ground.” At the prospects of war with Iran, McCain burst into song, “Bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb-Iran.” The possibility still makes this war ghoul smile. Before that, McCain promised a 100-year war in Iraq.

Senator McCain’s jingoism has encompassed Syria, Georgia, Mali, Nigeria, and China. Where the US could not effect regime change, as it did fecklessly in Afghanistan and Libya—McCain would typically call to side with an imagined local “friend of America” against an imagined “foe of America.” McCain has many imaginary friends.

Where his target country was beyond US bullying (Russia), the idea of the resumption of a cold war was an option McCain liked. He is currently fulminating over a slight delay in sanctions against Russia. When all efforts to tame the world militarily fail, McCain is partial to the idea of UN troops acting as his surrogates, say in Sudan.

No war makes Johnny a sad boy. But now he’s considering a subpoena over Niger.

GLOBAL CENTRALIZER

Playing out in Niger are the permanently entrenched, unchanging, American foreign-policy interests. Keen observers will detect a familiar pattern. Once again, the American bias everywhere is toward a powerful, overweening central state. This conceit has put our forces on a collision course with the tribal interests America toils to tame.

Indeed, US foreign policy often flouts local authority. It certainly disavows separatists and generally discourages any meaningful devolution of power. Born of a loose confederation of independent states, America now stands for the strong centralized state. Our interchangeable leaders strive to see the same in the tribal lands of the Middle East and Africa.

MEDDLING IN YEMEN’S CIVIL WAR

In Yemen, America is working to impose a central authority on “bickering sheikdoms.” In the South alone, Yemen has 14 such principalities. Southern secessionists are at war with the north, have been for at least 139 years. There, “even the bottled water,” notes the Economist, “is called ‘South.'” There’s no such thing as a united Yemen. Never was.

Into this fray, the US has waded. So stupid and dangerous is our foreign-policy colossus that it imagines America is fighting al-Qaida by backing the Saudi-led coalition to vanquish northern Houthi rebels. The northern Houthi rebels, however, clearly wear many hats. More so than the invading coalition, the rebels are of the community and often for the community.

As America’s Emirati partners in Yemen are realizing, “Motivating recruits to push north is an uphill task even with the payment of bonuses. Those who were happy to fight for their own homes seem unenthused about fighting for somebody else’s.”

Would that the Empire’s military would confine itself to that constitutional mandate: fight for home and hearth and no more. Alas, our soldiers have been propagandized to conflate fighting for American freedom with fights in Niger, Burkina Faso (yeah, I know) and Mali.

Ultimately, all the spots America chooses to mess with are too complex for the prosaic American mind to grasp, for we are schooled to see societies unlike our own through a Disneyfied, angels-and-demons prism.

More so than the Middle East, Africa is riven by tribal interests and dynamics. These, McCain or CENTCOM (the United States Central Command) have no hope of understanding, because they’re wedded to the idea that their own home (America) is nothing more than an idea, and never a community of flesh-and-blood people with a shared, treasured patrimony.

AND NOW, NIGER

To their credit, Africans’ fealty is not to deracinated political propositions—democracy, human rights, gay marriage, and communal bathrooms—but to each other. They will kill for clan and kin. (And they kill each other, too.)

Niger is no different. You’re told that the Americans and the French are empowering the local forces of Niger against the mythical ISIS. Poppycock. This is never the case. In Africa, as in Afghanistan or Iraq, the conflicts are regional, tribal, old, if not ancient.

Tongo-Tongo, the Niger village that ambushed our unsuspecting Green Berets, had not been “infiltrated” by hostile forces; that’s the take of Niger’s central government, itself a very recent development. If past is prologue, it’s fair to assume that the Niger government is vested in developing as a French and American client state with all the attendant perks.

Villagers have likely learned not to wait for any trickle-down from the state. The Tongo-Tongo villagers enticed our forces to mill about, giving their homie militant benefactors just enough time to set up an ambush in a kill zone.

Imagine! Locals don’t particularly relish a visit from the American and French patrolmen and their Nigerien puppets.

Again, Niger is heavily dependent on bribes from the West (foreign aid, we call it). We reward Niamey (the capital) to play war games with us. This is another case of an Islamic, if multi-ethnic, tribal land, whose people don’t want Americans there. (And even if the people of the region wanted us there, America has no business being there. Deplorables voted against the concept of making Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali great again.)

So, if John McCain’s hatred of President Trump has driven America’s most ardent warmonger to question the American intervention in Niger—that’s a good thing.

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

Lincoln Or Lee? What Would Hitler Say?


By ilana mercer

“Some crazy person just compared President Abraham Lincoln to Hitler. Yes, this just happened on CNN and Brooke Baldwin’s reaction was perfect.”

So scribbled one Ricky Davila on Social Media (Twitter).

Indeed, an elderly Southern gentleman had ventured that President Lincoln, not General Lee, murdered civilians, a point even a Court historian and a Lincoln idolater like Doris Kearns Goodwin would concede.

While the Argument From Hitler is seldom a good one; Ms. Baldwin’s response was way worse. Were she an honest purveyor of news and knowledge; anchor-activist Baldwin would have sought the facts. Instead, she pulled faces, so the viewer knew she not only looked like an angel, but was on the side of the angels.

Pretty, but not terribly bright, Ms. Baldwin would be shocked to hear that the civics test administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recognizes as correct the following answers to questions about the “Civil War”:

If asked to “Name one problem that led to the Civil War,” you may legitimately reply: “States’ right.”

If asked to “Name the war between the North and the South,” you may call it, “the War between the States.”

Brook would wince, but, again, your reply would be perfectly proper if you chose to name “economic reasons” as one of the problems that led to the Civil War.

Not even the government—the USCIS, in this case—will risk denying that the 1861 Morrill tariff was one cause of the War of Northern Aggression. Lincoln, a protectionist, was expected to enforce the tariff with calamitous consequences to the “the import-dependent South, which was paying [at the time] as much as 80 percent of the tariff.”

It’s fair to assume that the civics naturalization test (I took it) was not written by pro-South historians. Yet even they did not conceal some immutable truths about the War of Northern Aggression—truths banished from Brooke Baldwin’s network.

And from Fox News.

There, you must tolerate progressive Republicans, like John Daniel Davidson of the Federalist, warning about the dangers of identity politics in a majority-white country like the US. (Davidson should try out identity politics in a minority white country like my birthplace, South Africa, where the lives of white farmers are forfeit.) Another Federalist editor seen on Fox is Molly Hemingway. She has vaporized about the merits of “taking down Confederate statues.” If memory serves, that was a position the oracular Chucky Krauthammer was willing to dignify.

Back to the white, marginalized gentleman, mocked on CNN.

In all, Lincoln’s violent, unconstitutional revolution took the lives of 620,000 individuals, including 50,000 Southern civilians, white and black. It maimed thousands, and brought about “the near destruction of 40 percent of the nation’s economy.”

While “in the North a few unfortunate exceptions marred the general wartime boom,” chronicled historian William Miller,  “[t]he south as a whole was impoverished. At the end of the war, the boys in blue went home at government expense with about $235 apiece in their pockets.”  “[S]ome of Lee’s soldiers had to ask for handouts on the road home, with nothing to exchange for bread save the unwelcome news of Appomattox.”

Many years hence, Americans look upon the terrible forces unleashed by Lincoln as cathartic, glorious events. However, “The costs of an action cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to morality,” noted Mises Institute scholar David Gordon, in Secession, State & Liberty.

At his most savage, General William Tecumseh Sherman waged “total war” on civilians and did not conceal his intent to so do. On commencing his march through Georgia, in September 1864, Sherman had vowed “to demonstrate the vulnerability of the South and make its inhabitants feel that war and individual ruin [were] synonymous terms.” To follow was an admission (of sorts) to war crimes: “The amount of plundering, burning, and stealing done by our own army makes me ashamed of it.”

For Sherman’s troops sacked and razed entire cities and communities“:

Sherman’s troops exhumed graves to loot the corpses. Sherman’s troops tore up little girls’ dolls and nailed family pets to doors. Sherman’s troops left countless civilians – including the slaves they were supposedly liberating – without food or shelter. Sherman ransomed civilians to armies in the area, threatening to execute them or burn their homes if they did not comply. Sherman had a few contemplative moments and was always careful to maintain plausible deniability, but he knew what was happening and let it happen.

Here’s the brass tacks (via William Miller, Yankee sympathizer) about Lincoln’s brutality and the extent to which the North upended life in the South:

“Confederate losses were overwhelmingly greater, representing a fifth of the productive part of the Confederacy’s white male population. Thousands more died of exposure, epidemics, and sheer starvation after the war, while many survivors, aside from the sick and the maimed, bore the scars of wartime and most war malnutrition and exhaustion all the rest of their lives.”

The South sustained direct damage as the war was fought, for the most, on its soil.

“Land, buildings, and equipment, especially of slaveless farmers … lay in ruins. Factories … were simply forsaken.” “Poor white and planter were left little better than ex-slave. … [A]n every-day sight [was] that of women and children, most of whom were formerly in good circumstances, begging for bread from door to door. In the destruction of southern life few suffered more than the ex-slaves.” By estimations cited in Miller’s A New History of the United States, “a third of the Negroes died” in their freemen, informal, “contraband camps,” from “the elements, epidemics, and crime.”

“The weakening of purpose, morale, and aspiration among the survivors was depressing enough to make many envy the dead,” laments White, noting that “rebel losses in youth and talent were much greater than the devastating total of human losses itself.”

“The men in blue,” said one Southerner late in 1865, “destroyed everything which the most infernal Yankee ingenuity could devise means to destroy: hands, hearts, fire, gunpowder, and behind everything the spirit of hell, were the agencies which they used.”

Still, despite having just fought a civil war, there was a greater feeling of fellowship among our countrymen then than there is today.

Struck by how achingly sad the South was, a northern observer, on a visit to New Orleans in 1873, cried out with great anguish: “These faces, these faces, one sees them everywhere; on the streets, at the theater, in the salon, in the cars; and pauses for a moment struck with the expression of entire despair.”

Today’s America lectures and hectors the world about invading Arab leaders for “killing their own people.” What did the sixteenth American president do if not kill his own people?

Yes, “Emerson’s ‘best civilization’ was about to be ‘extended over the whole country’ with a vengeance.”

Of this, Adolf Hitler wholly approved.

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin will be shocked—OMG! kind of shocked—to know that in his Mein Kampf, Hitler “expressed both his support for Lincoln’s war and his unwavering opposition to the cause of states’ rights and political decentralization.” (Primary sources: http://www.mondopolitico.com/library/meinkampf/v2c10.htm & https://archive.org/stream/meinkampf035176mbp/meinkampf035176mbp_djvu.txt)

Hitler vowed that in Germany as well, he and his National Socialists “would eliminate states’ rights altogether,” political decentralization being the greatest obstacle for all dictators.

In a word, Ms. Baldwin, Hitler liked Abe Lincoln’s impetus and for good reason.

Pull faces all you like. Your guest was right. “Confederate generals, despite hearing news of death and destruction from home, strictly enforced orders protecting the person and property of Northern civilians.”

****

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

Some thoughts on pacifism


Some Thoughts on Pacifism
By Neil Lock

Christian Michel has posed the question: “Is pacifism not only inept, but also morally abhorrent (evil everywhere should always be fought)?”

This question isn’t as simple as it sounds. For a start, my dictionary gives three different meanings of the word “pacifism.” (1) Opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes. (2) More specifically, refusal to bear arms on moral or religious grounds. (3) An attitude or policy of non-resistance. Read more

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