Category Archives: Classical Liberalism

Neoconservative Charles Krauthammer Came To Define American Conservatism

Classical Liberalism, Conservatism, Left-Liberalism, Neoconservatism, Political Philosophy

Charles Krauthammer was the quintessential neoconservative. As the scholar of American conservatism, Paul Gottfried, puts it, Mr. Krauthammer “worked to reconstruct the American Right as an extension of the Left.”

It’s rather telling, then, that a former leftist, who was hardly distinguished by his hard-right positions, has come to define the American Right.

Inadvertently (or not), Rich Lowry brought the conservative canonization of Mr. Krauthammer somewhat under control by comparing him to William F. Buckley and Irving Kristol. (Although they seemed to have been far more prolific on the book-writing front and had taken tough positions on thorny issues.) But, mercifully, NOT TO intellectual giants like Russell Kirk and James Burnham.

Whether he meant to or not, Mr. Lowry provided a slightly more sobering reality check, although Lowry still sold Mr. Krauthammer’s philosophical predecessors short.

A consummate neoconservative, the late Charles Krauthammer, nevertheless, came to define American Conservatism.

6/27:

Mainstream Conservatism Is A “Big Con,” If You Care To Sweat The Philosophical Details

Classical Liberalism, Conservatism, Free Speech, Left-Liberalism, Private Property

I quit reading this article, sent by a friend, when I reached this “conservative’s'” typical leftist outrage over thought crimes, as in, “One racist is two racists too many.”

This is a thought no classical conservative or classical liberal would ever utter, much less entertain. We don’t care what’s in your head.

The article is mostly guff.

As a libertarian, I don’t give a tinker’s toss who people hate, so long as they don’t hit them. As a strict propertarian, I support your right not to serve me if you don’t like Jews.

Now that’s freedom. Now that’s a society based on private property rights. And that’s why Barry Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act.

The “Big Con,” as my friend Jack Kerwick calls e-conservatives.

UPDATE II (12/2): A Country Is More Than An Economy

Classical Liberalism, Economy, Free Markets, IMMIGRATION, libertarianism

A country is more than an economy. America has an economy. Americans no longer have a country. I’ve been mocked for close on two decades by libertarians for holding this opinion. No worries; I won. I was right about immigration and La Raza libertarians.

I believe this is what Steve Bannon was trying to tell the libertarian-minded at the “Values Voters Summit In Washington D.C.:

Bannon specifically called out policy centers such as the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, and American Enterprise Institute for their constant support of free trade. He also critiqued for the Austrian school of economics for stressing that ‘everything is about the economy.’ He hopes to eventually bring these folks on board with his program of economic nationalism.

“We’re a civic society and a culture that has a capitalist, free market system as our economy,” Bannon said. “But we’re not an economy, and you’re not just units of production. You’re free men and women in a civic society underpinned by a capitalist system, but where other people in the world don’t practice capitalism, we have to be savvier than that. …”

UPDATE (10/23):

Nationhood? US immigration population hits record 60 million, 1-of-5 in nation:

Importing Islamabad:

 

UPDATE (12/2):

UPDATED (10/12): Everyone Has Property Rights, Whether They Know it or Not

America, Classical Liberalism, Critique, History, Individual Rights, libertarianism, Natural Law, Objectivism, Private Property

A NEW ESSAY, “Everyone Has Property Rights, Whether They Know it or Not,” is on Mises Wire.

The Indian tribesman’s claim to his ancient stomping grounds can’t be reduced to a title search at the deeds office. That’s the stuff of the positive law. And this was the point I took away from a conversation, circa 2000, with Mr. Property Rights himself, Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

Dr. Hoppe argued unassailably—does he argue any other way?—that if Amerindians had repeatedly traversed, for their livelihood, the same hunting, fishing and foraging grounds, they would have, in effect, homesteaded these, making them their own. Another apodictic profundity deduced from that conversation: The strict Lockean stipulation, whereby to make property one’s own, one must transform it to Western standards, is not convincing.

In an article marking Columbus Day—the day Conservatism Inc. beats up on what remains of America’s First People—Ryan McMaken debunked Ayn Rand’s specious claim that aboriginal Americans “did not have the concept of property or property rights.” This was Rand’s ruse for justifying Europeans’ disregard for the homesteading rights of the First Nations. “[T]he Indian tribes had no right to the land they lived on because” they were primitive and nomadic.

Hoppean Homesteading

Cultural supremacy is no argument for the dispossession of a Lesser Other. To libertarians, Lockean—or, rather Hoppean—homesteading is sacrosanct. He who believes he has a right to another man’s property ought to produce proof that he is its rightful owner. “As the old legal adage goes, ‘Possession is nine-tenths of the law,’ as it is the best evidence of legitimate title. The burden of proof rests squarely with the person attempting to relieve another of present property titles.” (Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, p. 276.)

However, even if we allow that “the tribes and individual Indians had no concept of property,” which McMaken nicely refutes—it doesn’t follow that dispossessing them of their land would have been justified. From the fact that a man or a community of men lacks the intellectual wherewithal or cultural and philosophical framework to conceive of these rights—it doesn’t follow that he has no such rights, or that he has forfeited them. Not if one adheres to the ancient doctrine of natural rights. If American Indians had no attachment to the land, they would not have died defending their territories.

Neither does the fact the First Nations formed communal living arrangements invalidate land ownership claims, as McMaken elucidates. Think of the Kibbutz. Kibbutzim in Israel instantiate the principles of voluntary socialism. As such, they are perfectly fine living arrangements, where leadership is empowered as custodian of the resource and from which members can freely secede. You can’t rob the commune of its assets just because members elect to live communally. …

… READ THE REST. Everyone Has Property Rights, Whether They Know it or Not” is on Mises Wire.

UPDATE (10/12)Facebook Thread.

Those who are unfamiliar with the methods of praxeology and deductive reasoning will twist into pretzels to find fault with this essay. Maybe read the ancients (not the neocons) on natural rights.critiquing neocons on natural rights is a straw man.