I am a US-based, classical liberal writer. I pen WorldNetDaily.com’s longest-standing, exclusive, paleolibertarian, weekly column, “Return to Reason.” With a unique audience of 8 million, WND.COM has been rated by Alexa as the most frequented “conservative” site on the Internet. I also feature on RT, ranked 999 on the WWW, with the “Paleolibertarian Column.” (Here are some thoughts on RT’s overall excellence as compared to the malfunctioning American media.)
Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, I contribute to London’s Quarterly Review, and am a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, an independent, non-profit economic policy think tank.
Nevertheless, I am forever being peppered with patronizing notes from readers—hardly patrons, for a patron is “one that supports, protects, or champions; a sponsor or benefactor.” This persistent condescension (usually from older, authoritarian males, some in position of influence) necessitates that I remind reality bound readers of the following: The age of the Internet guarantees the futility of energetic efforts to marginalize myself and others, who like me, write outside of accepted orthodoxy. In my case, for almost two decades.
A recent exercise helped me to appreciate just how much the libertarian establishment, much like its mainstream cohort—and desperate to sustain its sinecured monopoly over the marketplace of ideas—will forever opt for the “statist quo” (to use a Jeff Tuckerism), in the face of popular trends to the contrary.
I was asked to attend a workshop and deliver an address at a local chapter of a property rights organization. Closer to the time, however, I was informed that I had been dropped in favor of an individual from a well-heeled think tank.
You see, this writer is an independent, one-woman band, whose fidelity is to the truth alone. As such, or so I was told, I lacked name recognition. Since I had never heard of the individual who was to fill my much-smaller shoes, I did a few Internet searches. I discovered that the group had opted for establishment, not for name recognition.
GOOGLE threw up 245,000 results for the establishmentarian to my name’s 1,310,000 results.
FACEBOOK had me at 3400 Friends (and no time YET to vet the rest). Mr. Establishment was stuck at … 4. (Here is my FACEBOOK “FRIENDSHIP” POLICY.)
MY BOOK’S FACEBOOK FAN PAGE garnered 594 Likes; Mr. Establishment’s Author Page had all of 25 Likes. Amazon was as dismally populated.
TWITTER: Mr. Name Recognition had 67 followers to my modest 771.
WND & RT, as mentioned, carry my weekly column. They rank, respectively, 1,874 and 999 on the WWW by Alexa, the premier website ranking site. I presume that Mr. Establishment produces the occasional ponderous, desiccated, extremely well-concealed position paper. If so, he does it on a site that ranks 47,094th on Alexa.
How long can these Beltway based think tanks and their patrons delude themselves about their reach or appeal? They excite as much passion as a wet blanket during the perennial, Washington State power outage.
Not too shabby for one woman.
Please log-in to, or join, Facebook in order to “Like” The Cannibal. To read The Cannibal is to love it. Guaranteed. To review this book on Amazon is to support what will prove to be a prophetic text.
In a gracious note to this writer, the one and only Patrick J. Buchanan wrote: “I believe your book is being sold [or bundled on Amazon] along with my new book, ‘Suicide of a Superpower: Will America survive to 2025.’ … my 18,000-word chapter on ethnonationalism and tribalism and the surge of both throughout the Third World—as well as our own declining world—tracks pretty much with what you wrote…”
Every bit as gratifying to this writer was a courtesy copy of “Suicide of a Superpower,” thus inscribed: “To Ilana Mercer: Fellow Columnist and Fellow Conservative, with The Respect and good wishes of The Author.”
Still and all, to say that the publication process of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa has been punishing would be an understatement. …
All in all, patrons are preferable to the patronizing. I thank my patrons—you know who you are.
Speaking of patrons, as was announced in July of 2012 , Barely A Blog (BAB) Comments Section was closed down by necessity. (Related are the posts, “The Closing of The American Mind? What Mind?” as well as “Barely A Blog (BAB) Closes Comments (& Says ‘So Long’ To Cowards).”
For years, I’ve moderated this forum, hoping to educate visitors. The goal was noble, but naive. The labor-intense effort involved considerable opportunity costs, and few returns (Comments do not drive traffic to BAB or to IlanaMercer.com).
Time is scarce and thus precious.
With the exception of a few valued voices (who may, like Myron Pauli, submit editorials), this public-minded forum attracted a lot of maladroit, often maladaptive, men and women who, for the most, hadn’t the faintest idea how to behave on private property (BAB).
For over a decade, I’ve written a quality, consistently hardcore, paleolibertarian column, which no paleo site carries. Not one. This is quite astonishing, if you think of it. It says a great deal about the ossified mindset within this community. Assorted sites will feature, year-in and year-out, the same establishment columns. Or choose more malleable mediocrities. But they avoid like the plague even mention of the weekly output of this hard-right writer. Does the paleo practice of ignoring reality, highlighted in the post “The Paleo Problem: Intellectual Dishonesty Or Senility?”, amount to a child covering his ears and humming loudly, in the hope that reality will magically change?
Yes, and worse.
In his Foreword to Nonsense, Robert J. Gula’s handbook of logical fallacies, Hunter Lewis cautions that it is, in “a broader sense” (“broad” being Gula’s genius and sensibility), a logical fallacy to inject information or arguments that are … incomplete, or to omit some important fact, point, or perceptive, … whether intentionally or unintentionally.
In “Ilana Mercer and the Paleolibertarian Ideal,” columnist and political philosopher Jack Kerwick parses paleolibertarianism as “the conviction [first] … that a world in which men and women are free to order their lives in accordance with their own moral purposes, not those of the governments under which they live, is an ethical ideal worth aspiring toward.”
But that’s not all:
For years, Mercer has authored a weekly column — ‘Return to Reason’ — at the very popular WorldNetDaily website. The most casual perusal of her archives there readily reveals that she is as ardent a champion as any of that tradition … applauded for affirming ‘libertarian principles while opposing open borders, libertinism, egalitarianism, and political correctness.’
…It is this conviction that explains why everyone who is familiar with Mercer’s thought locates it squarely within the classical liberal or libertarian tradition. Yet to look at it more deeply — though not much more deeply — is to see why it just as solidly compels us to locate it within libertarianism’s paleo strain.
…Whether addressing a broad range of issues in an equally broad range of arenas — as she does in Broad Sides — or shedding blood, sweat, and tears to draw the Western world’s attention to the systematic injustices to which her native South Africa is daily subjected — as she does in Cannibal — Mercer is forever cautioning readers against succumbing to the contemporary Western temptation to indulge in abstractions. To put it another way, she has been laboring tirelessly to remind us of something that this generation of liberty’s defenders are all too ready to forget: Liberty is as dependent upon historical and cultural contingencies as is any other artifact. And it is just as fragile.
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