Recently my conservative friend Milo Yiannopoulos was featured in an interview on TheNation.com. You might wonder why this notorious lefty magazine would be interested in the view of the most notorious right-wing commentator of the present season. The answer might have something to do with a certain common enemy. After all, in this interview he referred to libertarians as “a joke.”
By: T.J. Brown
This article first appeared at FEE.org
“Libertarians are children. Libertarians are people who have given up looking for an answer. This whole ‘everybody do what they want’ is code for ‘leave me to do what I want.’ It’s selfish and childish. It’s an admission that you have given up trying to work out what a good society would look like, how the world should be ordered and instead just retreated back into selfishness. That’s why they’re so obsessed with weed, Bitcoin, and hacking.”
We can agree to disagree on issue priority. Ending the drug war and mass incarceration, monetary exploitation by central banks, and developing technological alternatives to State controls over market commerce and communication isn’t as interesting to some people as combating feminist dance therapy classes on campus. But I think that to dismiss these things as “a joke” holds less intellectual fortitude than the script for Ghostbusters 3.
Liberty Is a Good Thing
Yes Milo, libertarians want people to be able to “do whatever they want” within the bounds of respecting individual and property rights. A gay couple should be able to engage in a voluntary relationship and contract without religious persecution. A retired veteran with PTSD should be able to smoke marijuana in his own back yard without fear of the DEA kicking down his door.
The government should have little to no authority to dictate what somebody does with their own person or property. Isn’t that why the Brexit referendum to leave the EU was successful?
Freedom is not only essential to the good life, it is the institutional condition that built civilization as we know it. Everything else that Milo and others of his bent appreciate about the world relies on this condition. It is cavalier, to say the least, to dismiss as a childish luxury the thing that it took so many hundreds of years to develop, understand, and secure.
Self Interests Fuel Capitalism
There’s a difference between being selfish and pursuing one’s own self interests. Individuals having the autonomy and instinct to maximize happiness is one of the most universally beneficial aspects of humanity’s evolutionary timeline. Granted philanthropy will always exist and can serve to benefit society on an unprecedented scale. But to promote this idea of obligatory philanthropy to the collective nation state is ludicrous.
Western civilization didn’t come to be via central planners. The ambitions of individuals are what built this nation (and the idea of the West itself, that very thing that Milo claims to be defending), built by the dreamers who came to build a life for themselves; something that couldn’t be achieved in a hard nationalist rulership. America should not be viewed as a commune to be directed, but rather as a spontaneous economy where ideas can compete. It is only within this framework that innovation can arise and accomplish feats that are unimaginable by any non-capitalist society’s standards.
It’s also interesting that Milo, as the world’s premier supporter of Trump, prefers this idea of global altruism and selfless allegiance to the nation state. Donald Trump achieved much of his success through his own self interested volition. Sure, some political connections and under-the-table cronyism likely contributed, but overall Trump became a billionaire not because of any patriotic duty to America, but by engaging in capitalist ambition and “selfish” pursuits of success via enterprise.
America’s Lifeline Is Not Dependent On Its Politicians
Another concerning statement Milo made in this interview was his response to a question, “What will happen if Trump doesn’t win?” His answer:
”America is done. The Second Amendment won’t survive.”
I know Mr. Yiannopoulos is still recovering from his European feudal past, so I’ll be gentle.
America doesn’t retain its rights through the mercy of our politicians. For years, we’ve been told we have to be pragmatic and plead with Washington bigwigs for our freedoms. We’ve been told that we have to settle for bureaucratic guardians and cuckservatives to keep the mean ol’ Democrats from taking our guns. Continuing this cycle of right-wing cowardice serves to help no one. And I think many in the Alt Right may agree with me, even if we agree on nothing else.
I know in Europe you guys conceded your right to free speech and self defense at the whim of governmental dictation. But America will not go down so easily. First Amendment and Second Amendment rights are not subject to voidance just because a globalist harpy gets into the Oval. Nor will Americans acquiesce to the military draft you recently championed in a speech I attended. Our rights were not obtained by requested permission from the King, and our rights will not be taken by the arbitrary ruling of a leftist Supreme Court.
Look Milo, I understand the importance of the cultural war being waged against the West as much as anyone. From corrupt leftist politics to regressive Marxist academia and media, I, like you, want to combat this wave of ideological cancer infecting one of the last bastions of freedom.
But we can do so without going full fascist™. As you admit, the rise in the popularity of the Alt Right and more nuanced cultural libertarianism is about culture. It doesn’t really have a defined economic policy. Well, let libertarians help you with that. Let’s not go back to establishment Republican corporatism or ignore economics completely and leave the door open to socialist sympathizers. Don’t cast out liberty and sensible economics in your pursuit of culturally saving the West. Because if you do, you’ll be contributing more to its demise than its preservation.