Category Archives: Ilana Mercer

Political Philosophy Is Not Like Sexual Orientation

Ilana Mercer, Labor, libertarianism, Paleoconservatism, Paleolibertarianism, Political Philosophy

Here’s my one reply to comments at The Unz Review about “The Curious Case of WND’s Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian”:

Political philosophy is not like sexual orientation: You don’t just come out to the world, call yourself a thinker, and expect to be get embraced. You shouldn’t get away with that, although some try and succeed.

You do the bloody hard work, day-in, day-out. You write, you think; you get panned or praised; and you get up and do it again the next day.

You can’t just come out every day and proclaim, ‘I’m a perfect paleolibertarian, I believe everything Murray Rothbard said. Look at me, ain’t I neat, unlike Mercer,” not having written a coherent systematic sentence in your life.

And by systematic I mean, don’t just parrot the greats! The work involves, yes, applying the political philosophy as you see it to the political reality, doing it in fresh, new ways, without fear or favor.

You can’t sit on the fence, lazily, proclaiming your purity; forever suspended between what “is” and what “ought to be,” and revel in your immaculate conception (while throwing stones at me, as so many in this community have done).

In a word, you can’t be lazy, smug; an intellectual nullity that tears the hard-working down (love split infinitives).

As to The Mercer Image posted at The Unz Review: The editor organizes the page and the images on it; not the writer/myself. The Unz Review is a tightly edited website.

Why would anyone familiar with the ways of the press, print or pixels, imagine I posted a picture of myself at The Unz Review. Ridiculous!

The point of the essay is simple. My work over 2 decades (voluminous) speaks for itself. Good or bad.

It is systematic; it is paleolibertarian. Any scholar of substance would locate it squarely in the paleolibertarian tradition. Such a scholar might also distinguish a salient thing that sets this thought apart from some of those surveyed in the volume under discussion. As I wrote in defense of John Derb:

I cop to Western man’s individualist disdain—could it be his weakness?—for race as an organizing principle. For me, the road to freedom lies in beating back the state, so that individuals may regain freedom of association, dominion over property, the absolute right of self-defense; the right to hire, fire, and, generally, associate at will.

As for Israel: Why not ask the Ron Paul 2007 campaign why it commissioned a brief think piece from me and adhered to its tenets pretty well throughout the campaign—until someone likely told Paul that Mercer was un-kosher, and until someone instructed the campaign to quit calling on Mercer?

“Unshackling Israel,” mentioned in “Is Ron Paul Good For Israel?,” was commissioned by the Paul camp and repeated on the Paul campaign trail to good effect.

[SNIP]

The article under discussion: “The Curious Case of WND’s Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian.”


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

Kerwick: Where’s One Of Paleolibertarianism’s Most Prolific Writers In Book About Dissident Right?

Conservatism, Ilana Mercer, Intellectualism, libertarianism, Old Right, Paleolibertarianism

What is he thinking? Author, columnist and academic Jack Kerwick is incorrigibly honest, intellectually honest. Doesn’t he know it’ll get him nowhere?

In a column at Beliefnet.com, “Missing ‘Right-Wing Critic of American Conservatism,'” Dr. Kerwick suggests that the omission of one ilana mercer from a new book entitled Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism is a grave one.

A “discussion of ‘paleolibertarianism’—an oft-neglected variant of the classical liberal perspective from the genuine right,” ventures Kerwick, “could’ve been vastly enriched had only [its author, George Hawley], said a thing or two about a specific paleolibertarian writer whose omission from his exposition struck this author [Kerwick] as glaring.”

“That writer is Ilana Mercer.”

” … There are three reasons why it is imperative that Mercer be included in any discussion of paleolibertarianism”:

First, and most obviously, she is a paleolibertarian—and a tireless one at that. For decades, this defender of the paleolibertarian vision has published a couple of books and thousands of articles and blog posts in which she’s shattered not only leftist pieties but neocon and “libertarian-lite”(left-wing libertarian) sureties as well. Much blood, sweat, and tears, to say nothing of opportunities for professional advancement, has Mercer foregone in her campaign against the idols of our Politically Correct age.

Second, not only is Mercer a veteran paleolibertarian writer. She is unquestionably the most visible, the most widely read, of such contemporary writers. At one point, she was nationally syndicated by Creators Syndicate, and for nearly the last 20 years, WorldNetDaily (WND), a site that boasts roughly 1 million visitors a month, has featured Mercer’s weekly column, “Return to Reason”—its “longest standing, exclusive, paleo-libertarian weekly column.”

In addition to WND, Mercer’s work has been showcased in a plethora of outlets, both internationally and stateside, and she’s currently a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies.

No paleolibertarian—to repeat, a rightist proponent of a tradition-grounded classical liberal ideal—has nearly as much exposure when it comes to scholarly and popular audiences alike as does Mercer.

Third, Ilana Mercer is a woman. Moreover, she is a Jewish woman, the daughter of a Rabbi who was raised in both South Africa and Israel. This is no insignificant detail: Mercer is a standing repudiation of the stereotype, all too easily reinforced by her exclusion from any study of “right-wing critics of American conservatism,” that such critics are exclusively elderly white men. …

OUCH.

Read the rest. “Missing ‘Right-Wing Critic of American Conservatism” is on Beliefnet.com


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

Tweets: New Book Cover, Trump News, Neocons & Kelly Knaves, SCOTUS, Pope, Sealed With A Woof

Donald Trump, Ilana Mercer, Jihad, Law, Media, Republicans, The Courts

Title change: The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

UPDATE II: NRO Writer’s ‘UnFollow’ Leads To Musing About The Manners-Morals Connection

Conservatism, Donald Trump, Etiquette, Ilana Mercer, Intellectualism, libertarianism, Morality, Neoconservatism

National Review’s Kevin Williamson, aforementioned, once told me he was a libertarian anarchist. Although I never saw evidence for the claim, I took him at his word that he was a friend behind enemy lines. (It’s also true that I don’t study NRO’s output.) In the couple of exchanges we had, Williamson seemed far less uptight about intellectual differences than most Americans. Myself, so long as ad hominem is avoided and respect is shown—I can easily befriend ideological adversaries. And I do. One of the nicest gentlemen, for example, is Benn Steil, director of International Economics Council on Foreign Relations. I can’t imagine Dr. Steil churlishly unFollowing me. We differ. So what? I enjoyed his book, “The Battle of Bretton Woods,” immensely.

The UnFollow/UnFriend churlishness is not the province of neoconservatives and Republicans alone.

From experience, libertarians can be as uncivilized in their interactions. The column “Schooling Beck On Trump’s Nullification Promise” mentions “Ivan Eland’s learned rundown of U.S. presidents,” Recarving Rushmore: Ranking the Presidents on Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty. I contacted Eland as a courtesy. As did I ask him if he would kindly reciprocate with a Follow on Twitter. Unlike the polite Lawrence W. Reed of the Foundation for Economic Freedom, Eland has simply ignored me. Perhaps he’s on vacation.

Manners are a species of morals. Other than to hate mail or rude mail, I respond to all letters I receive—to each and every one. Many thousands since 1998, which is when I got my first newspaper column, in Canada. Due to time constraints, my replies are laconic. But if a reader has bothered to read my work and comment on what I have to say—then it’s only decent and proper to reciprocate.

I haven’t always been firm in this resolve, but I try my very best. If a colleague writes, I reply, whether I like them and their stuff or not. Ignoring a correspondent demonstrates contempt for that individual—a contempt that reflects on the rude “interlocutor.”

UPDATE (1/24): Facebook readers dispute the characterization of Williamson as remotely intellectual.

Christoph Dollis: Well, I’ve always known Kevin Williamson as a moron. Sorry that it hurts, and I get that (I’ve had similar experiences), but in my long-held opinion about Mr. Williamson, you haven’t lost much. I’m pretty sure Williamson is a staunch friend of arch cuckservative Ed Morrissey of Hot Air. ‘Nuff said.”

UPDATE II (3/5):


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint