Category Archives: libertarianism

UPDATED: People Tend To Look Dumb When They Manipulate/Deny Reality

Ethics, libertarianism, Objectivism, Old Right, Paleoconservatism, Paleolibertarianism

“Intelligent Dasein” at Unz Review on “The Curious Case of WND’s Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian”:

Intelligent Dasein says:
• Website
April 17, 2016 at 1:00 am GMT • 200 Words

Not only that, but I’ve just checked Wikipedia’s page on paleolibertarianism, and Ilana Mercer’s name doesn’t appear there once, as of this writing. On the other hand, her own Wikipedia page is quite detailed and prominently identifies her as a paleolibertarian thinker. Curious.

I would think that anyone interested in this subject would be anxious to mention Ms. Mercer, …

I’m a paleoconservative myself, a Catholic Traditionalist, and therefore I don’t eschew Throne-and-Altar statism, as I gather paleolibertarians probably would. However, in the few months I’ve been reading Ms. Mercer, I’ve been duly impressed with both her arguments and writing style. An unforgivable omission indeed.

And yes, about and against statism: Myself “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.”

UPDATE (4/17): My comment, posted in reply, under Comments at The Unz Review:

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.

You do the bloody hard work, day-in, day-out. You write, you think; you get pelted 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 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 philosophy as you see it to the political reality, doing it in fresh, new ways.

You can’t sit on the fence, lazily, proclaiming your purity; forever suspended between what “is” and what “out 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: The editor organizes the page and the images on it; not the writer/myself.

Why would anyone familiar with the ways of the press, print or pixels, imagine I posted a picture of myself at 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 think piece from me and adhered to its tenets pretty well throughout the campaign—until someone likely told Paul Mercer was unkosher, 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.


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Gary Johnson Conjures The Very Old SCOTUS Definition Of Pornography

Donald Trump, Elections, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Religion, Hillary Clinton, libertarianism, Welfare

Gary Johnson: A Free-Trade Bernie Sanders?
By Myron Pauli

I’ve never limited myself to Republican and Democratic nominees since I cast my first presidential vote writing in Barry Goldwater in 1972. No regrets on rejecting the decent but too-leftist George McGovern or reelecting “the president!” that imposed wage and price controls, killed the gold Standard, increased domestic spending, installed OSHA and the DEA, expanded the war in Indochina, etc.

Trump, Cruz, Sanders and Clinton all have their bad points to me but the first three occasionally say things I agree with. Trump has the best understanding of national identity, Cruz had the most detailed domestic spending cuts, and Sanders may be best on foreign/military restraint.

As for Hillary: Like the old Supreme Court definition of pornography, I find her “utterly without redeeming social value.” I am not “in the tank” for anyone, so I listened with interest to the person I supported in 2012, Gary Johnson, at the Libertarian Party Debate on the Fox Business Network. Keeping in mind that the Libertarian Party’s own website says, “The Party of Principle: Minimum Government Maximum Freedom.”

So imagine my consternation when I heard Johnson say about the welfare state: “I want to support those truly in need.” Now, I have met libertarians who wanted to cold turkey everything immediately – stop Social Security checks to 85 year-olds tomorrow! OK, maybe too drastic to people who paid into the system. Others would phase out the Nanny State over 50 years. But I’ve never heard an answer in favor of the Welfare State from a “Libertarian” until now. And I heard Governor Johnson talk about states running Medicare/Medicaid as if he were Governor Kasich advocating a “more efficient” Welfare State.

Where’s the “Principle”?

Then came the old “force people to bake Lesbian-Nazi wedding cakes” issue. Certainly, one could distinguish between the Park Service, Amtrak, the utility company, or even an internationally held corporation like Starwood Hotels having less “freedom of association” than an individual – but Gary Johnson did not. He would apparently call up the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, FBI, CIA, DEA, INS, and TSA to make sure you made that floral arrangement! OK – not the most cosmologically important issue, but where is the “Minimum Government Maximum Freedom”?

When John Stossel quoted Milton Friedman that open borders were not compatible with a Welfare State, all that Johnson had were platitudes about Mexico’s best coming here to do jobs that “Americans won’t do.”

Dear Gary – if we really had no Welfare State -– e.g. “Live Free of Die” — is there not a wage at which whereby Americans would “do” the work? I was almost tempted to ask whether one has to actually cross the border to be a citizen since libertarians are net-savvy, can’t we have Chinese, Pakistanis, Congolese, etc. just apply “on-line” to be a citizen and vote in our elections? If Trump goes overboard on “drug dealing rapists” or “terrorists,” Gary Johnson seems to think the rest of the world are all angels completely compatible with “American citizenship.” ZERO admission criteria other than “no criminal record” into a Welfare State Democracy.

Not only must the Bears admit Goldilocks but also house her, feed her, and bake her Nazi-Lesbo wedding cake! In fact, Gary Johnson said that the candidate he was closest to was Bernie Sanders and was pressing to get the disaffected Bernie voters when Hillary wins the Democratic nomination. That may be fine – but are these angry Bernie voters “libertarians,” or just a bunch of social-leftists protesting crony capitalism? From Gary Johnson’s website, there is nearly nothing on programs to cut compared with Cruz, and virtually zero for “socially conservative libertarians.” Johnson emphasizes more a “dope smoking abortion-lovers for free trade” than a more consistent Ron-Paul type libertarianism.

All in all, I still have my personal dilemma: Who to vote for on November 8th? I have a choice of rather flawed candidates and, if I do vote Libertarian, is that to be interpreted as a disgruntled Sanders-independent opposition to Madame Defarge? Do I go with the demagogic braggart Donald “Believe Me” Trump or Carpetbombing Cruz? Muddled Gary? Do I write-in Jim Webb or Ron Paul? Do I just oversleep and forget to vote?

**************

Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.

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The Curious Case Of WND’s Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian

Classical Liberalism, Conservatism, Ethics, libertarianism, Neoconservatism, Old Right, Paleoconservatism, Paleolibertarianism

“The Curious Case Of WND’s Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

The reader should know that I cringe as I write this first-person account.

Why the disclaimer?

Opinion differs about how often to use the first person pronoun in various genres of writing. Certainly its overuse in opinion writing is a cardinal sin. To get a sense of how bad someone’s writing is count the number of times he deploys the Imperial “I” on the page.

Abuse “I” when the passive-form alternative is too clumsy. Or, when the writer has earned the right to, because of her relevance to the story. The second is my excuse here.

Righting two wrongs I must.

Clichés about victors writing history aside—it has become apparent to me how easy it is to write individuals out of their place in history, however meager that place and past are.

Since history is another term for reality chronicled, it is ineluctably tied to truth. It’s crucial to tell history like it is.

The stage has been set. Onto it steps a young academic, George Hawley, who’s taken on the first assiduous investigation of an exceedingly small set of individuals: “Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism.”

There is, however, lacuna in Dr. Hawley’s work. By his own admission, Hawley has failed to mention one veteran writer who falls squarely in the even-rarer paleolibertarian subset.

She has been writing voluminously in that tradition, week-in, week-out, for close on two decades (since 1999), and is the author of two unmistakably paleolibertarian books, one of which is “Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa.” (Oh Buddha! The Imperial “I” has now given way to third-person writing. Mea culpa, gentle reader.)

Undergirding these, and the forthcoming “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed,” is paleolibertarianism.

Plainly put, I (ouch) believe that ordered liberty has a civilizational dimension, stripped of which the libertarian non-aggression axiom, by which we all must live, cannot endure. That’s me. That’s my work.

Another academic, author and Townhall columnist Jack Kerwick, contends the omission of one ILANA Mercer from the first academic’s book covering the dissident Right is a glaring one.

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

… Read the rest. “The Curious Case Of WND’s Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian” is now on WND.


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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


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