Libertarian Alliance Remembrance Post 6: what ought Libertarians to plan for, and discuss, regarding what’s worth defending, and why ought we to defend anything at all?
UPDATE….and Tim Worstall does it better than I do as well….
That’s it for this year, you’ll all be relieved to know…but first, I will direct you to the Devil, who writes all this quite important stuff, which ought to be noted and spread virally into the endarkening before it’s too late, far more effectively that I do. Then I’ll just make the point that this being the 90th commemoration of the end of World War 1, it’s probably the last one of any size: moreover, that it’s remarkable that we have any of what my old dad used to dub “the poor old chaps” left to witness it.
The centenary will probably have State-regulated fireworks compèred by Jonathan Ross. There will be scantily-dressed BBC-news-readerettes who will hand out strangely unfamiliar red flowers in the streets shopping prestinks, to bemused passers-by, the whole thing edgily-videoed by wildly-waving handycams. (“And now it’s back to you, Russell Brand, in the studio!”)
There are many strands of Libertarianism. Chris Tame used famously to say that “there may be two Libertarians somewhere who agree about everything, but I’m not one of them!” Of course he was just making a point theatrically, which he was good at, but he meant that, unlike Trotskyo-Marxian fascists and big-statists, we can amicably discuss a large range of ideas without pogromising each other.
For example, Sean Gabb and many others have always opposed British involvement in Iraq (and for all I know elsewhere too) as not involving any vital British interests and therefore totally unjustified. He may turn out to be right, but I have always disagreed. I think the West responded with much too little, and much, much too late after 9/11, dragged down and back (until it was too late) as it was, by internal traitors in the UN, the EU, on the Beltway especially, and elsewhere, from the easy and clean fulfilment of its essential and unitary objective.
Then, there are Libertarians who would restrict the Franchise on property criteria. Insofar as we have a State, and a government, and while this is unavoidable, then it should be a pluralist democracy and so therefore I support these people, Salisburianly speaking. But I risk scandalising others as a result. It does not matter: we will not bury ice-picks in each other’s skulls.
To libertarians like me, Western Civilisation, especially when conflated with all the popular externalities created BY free markets and minimal State-Planning and especially when un-influenced by what Sean Gabb calls the Enemy Class, offers the fastest and least-destructive path for all Men to improve their lives and be happier. We do not know what comes after this life, if anything (that can be perceived in a physical sense) and can’t ever so far as we know find out; although many of us – even among Libertarians – believe there is a God, and that He approximates to that Being hazily described in 1.Genesis and also in 1.John.1. Paul of course said that “for now, we see as through a Glass, Darkly”: all we can therefore do is what seems best, or least bad, at the time. Human existence is imperfect, but small bits of progress can be made, and accumulated, provided they are allowed to. It’s the “not allowing” bit that totalitarians do that causes the problem.
What distinguishes Western Christian (in the old pre-secular sense) Civilisation from those others it has had the bad fortune to have to oppose and defend against, is the gradual if imperfect rise of a notion of individual conscience and liberty of thought and action. The going has not always been easy or uninterrupted. But in the end, we arrived shakily, “darkly”, at something whereby one could go through life substantially without coming into contact with the jaws of the State (Sean’s words roughly interpeted, not mine) and a degree of liberty meant also that there was a degree of spontaneous order.
These poor old chaps now finally pass out into the sunset of history, soon to be followed by those left from a later and worse conflict. They thought through the prism of their time, rightly or not, about what was worth defending. It would be nice to think we didn’t have to, but what we face now is just another manifestation of the enemies of individual freedom, this time very sadly right at home inside the West. Yes there may be a few terrorists skulking about, but add up all the deaths and destruction they have wrought and yet could, and it’s a pinprick compared with what the Gramsco-Marxians intend and are incrasingly coming out into the open with. Terrorists can only kill people and blow stuff up: they can’t begin to erase ideas.
If individual people are strong in what they believe, and if they honestly believe it, then terrorists can only isolate themselves further. But if we all acquiesce in the deliberate and purposeful Gramsco-Marxian elimination of our culture and the freedoms it gave rise to, then there is no place for llibertarianism to hide.