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.”