Defining Post-Libertarianism

“Neoreactionaries are libertarians mugged by reality” Nick Land, Outside In

In neoreaction, you will find many individuals who define themselves as post-libertarians.  It essentially means that you realize there are flaws within libertarianism that libertarian philosophy has not be able to reasonably address. I had a libertarian phase.  I always considered myself a libertarian, even in high school, but I became thoroughly entrenched in the ideology for several years starting in 2007 when I was watching the Republican primaries and discovered Ron Paul. I, like many neoreactionaries, used to be Paulbots.   I will admit that I still admire him greatly. He was my first dose of the red pill if you want to put it like that. So I began to ponder, how does one go all the way from libertarian to neoreactionary? What are some key defining features of post-libertarianism? So I went to where the neoreactionaries dwell in the dark corner of the internet known as Twitter.

This is certainly one key feature of the makings of a post-libertarian. NAP, or the Non-Aggression Principle, I addressed in a previous post. NAP is great for for basic human decency in a society. Do not kill, do not rape, do not steal. However, NAP, when followed to its logical conclusion, has been used to justify degenerate individualist behaviors which are really not that healthy for society (or the individual for that matter in some cases). Post-libertarians seek civilization. Law, order, healthy families, and healthy human behaviors make for peak civilization. Broken families and broken people make for an unruly society in which the state has to intervene in some manner to manage the problem. The libertarian would argue, “with freedom comes responsibility,” and I agree. Their solution is to allow the market to take care of the problem and that is simply not adequate enough of a solution. So, what else defines the post-libertarian?

HBD, or Human Bio-Diversity, is simply realizing that different people are different and there is a biological reason for it. When you realize that different people are different, you also realize that different peoples do not properly function in the same political system. To the libertarians reading this, do you truly believe that places like the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America would be able to adopt and implement libertarian philosophy? Could they have anarcho-capitalist societies? Libertarianism is uniquely a European philosophy which is rooted Classical Liberalism which is rooted in the Enlightenment. It is a Eurocentric belief to assume that different cultures would automatically adopt libertarianism, or any part of Western philosophy. We have seen how well adopting secular democracy in the Middle East has worked… and that brings me to my next point.

“I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” Peter Thiel, Co-founder and CEO of PayPal

This realization was a big one for me. Democracy is merely Communism Lite. The only difference is that we put it up to a vote as to whether or not we are going to violate your individual liberties. As Aimless Gromar points out in his analysis of post-libertarianism:

“Democracy is good, democracy is great, and it correlates with X, Y, Z good things, such that without democracy we wouldn’t have those good things. It’s startling to think that democracy as an independent variable might not have been chosen correctly.”

Is it democracy that protects your individual liberties? If so, how come other democratic countries are not beacons of liberty? I know you libertarians are big on your individual rights and we can both agree that the United States today is not the bastion of freedom that it claims to be. We have NSA spying, TSA searches, a vindictive IRS, and nearly every aspect of our economy is heavily regulated by some form of government bureaucracy… but we have democracy!

“Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have … The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.” Thomas Jefferson

You know that to be true. Nearly half of Americans do not pay tax. That is a recipe for disaster as soon the takers will outnumber the makers and use the legislature as a means to leech off benefits endlessly until our financial ruin… all done under the banner of rights. When was the last time the government ever got rid of an entitlement? It only grows. Another reason the demands for entitlements is growing is because of our open-borders immigration policy.

Rejecting open-borders and multiculturalism is another sign of post-libertarianism. This is kind of touching on HBD again. You can’t think of people as interchangeable cogs in a machine. People are more than units of labor. Individuals are unique, ethnicities are unique, races are unique, and cultures are unique. Look around the world at the most ethnically diverse regions of the world. They are rife with conflict. Whether it is the Balkans, the Gaza Strip, Rotherham, Luton, Malmo, Iraq, South Africa, or Detroit, you will find ethnic conflict. I hate to burst your bubble but we cannot all just get along. When you have such conflict, society must expend additional resources in order to manage the situation. Looking at South Africa, it is a multicultural democracy. It is also considered the rape and murder capital of the world. In South Africa, they have more walls and private police employed than any country in the world. Is that your vision for a free libertarian society? It is not a free society, it is a society without law and order.

Post-libertarians and neoreactionaries want liberty. They want free and healthy societies. We realize though that libertarianism is not exactly the answer to achieve this goal. Law and order create the freest societies. Democracy, NAP run amok, and multiculturalism only create entropy, or anarchy and disorder. Maybe some of you libertarians know this to be true. If so, maybe it is time to leave libertarianism and consider post-libertarianism neoreaction.

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13 Responses to Defining Post-Libertarianism

  1. Libertarians (esp.Randians) think they are taking the moral high ground by not taking or using power. But power itself does not have a moral character – if we (meaning civilized, common law traditionalists) aren’t in power then it’s going to be Urban elves and the unholy alliance of self-interested rent-seeking groups.

    Because the Government is leftist, I thought we could just ‘cut it down to size’ and the ‘takers’ would be forced to straighten up. Under democracy, that’s not going to happen, so the only viable solution is a variation of formalism or some kind of government where our people and ideas, rather than liberalism, reigns supreme.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lesser Bull says:

    That’s a doubtful Jefferson quote.


  3. jack-arcalon livejournal com says:

    I was pleasantly surprised to find a few vague HBD statements in Ron Paul’s writings, though he had hell to pay for making them back in the 1970s, and indeed fully repudiated them.


  4. Garry Reed says:

    I quit reading when I got to your statement “NAP, when followed to its logical conclusion, HAS BEEN USED to justify degenerate individualist behaviors.” Well, yes, anyone can “use” NAP — or Christianity, or the Constitution, or the Golden Rule or the Boy Scout’s slogan “Be prepared” or your own words or anything else to justify anything. So what? NAP is a CONCEPT and can’t control how some people corrupt it. NAP is neutral — it doesn’t “justify” anything, it simply rejects coercion, intimidation and fraud as legitimate means of organizing society. Countless people today justify countless things that I don’t agree with but as long as they do it within the NAP I have no argument with them. I don’t like sadomasochism, for example, but if it’s voluntary between the people involved it’s none of my, your, society or government’s or anyone else/s business. An idea is not responsible for the people who corrupt it. Beyond that you offer a tremendous number of opinions as though they are “facts” which have nothing to do with my own conception of libertarianism, so maybe you’re not really talking about post-libertarianism as much as “post-my-idea-of-libertarianism.” (caps for emphasis only since “Leave a Reply doesn’t accept italics.)


    • If a concept like NAP can be so easily corruptible then it is probably not that great of a concept. Voluntaryism and NAP are great… to a point. The fact that they leave the flood gates open for the worst kinds of human behavior is just not acceptable in the view of many neoreactionaries. This is where NRx is different from libertarianism. We believe sometimes that the use of force is necessary to uphold and protect civilization from degenerates that are trying to destroy it.


      • Garry Reed says:

        And who defines “degenerate” and who identifies who those “degenerates” are? Gay people and black people and people in interracial marriages and Asians and Jews and women demanding the right to vote and an endless list of others have all been branded as “degenerate.” Suppose someone decides that you are the “degenerate” this time around. Will you still support NRx and happily offer yourself up for destruction for the good of society? Your hateful philosophy truly does “leave the flood gates open for the worst kinds of human behavior.” This will be my last comment since people like you are not worth the waste of time to bother with.


      • Go to a pride parade and tell me it’s not degenerate. If you don’t think it is then you are probably also a degenerate. Who would expose themselves to a bunch of people parading around, flashing their genitals, bragging about having HIV and literally sodomizing each other on parade floats? There is nothing healthy about their lifestyle and it should not be legitimized.


  5. Neon Shadows says:

    I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but this is my experience.

    I was deontological ancap. I didn’t particularly care if anarchy would work (although I thought it might), yet I supported anarchy as the only moral course of action. Anarchy was a moral necessity. All violations of the NAP were immoral.

    I don’t quite remember the chronology, but Hoppe had prepared me somewhat by allowing me to glorify monarchy as superior to the current system (even though monarchy would still be unjust). I somehow came across the book Sacred Royalty by Jean Hani, which was the tipping point, as it offered a worldview where the NAP wasn’t inviolable, for theological reasons.

    Reasoning atheistically, that is to say removing God from political philosophy, I still see the NAP as impossible to get around without redefining morality itself. But God does exist, and he does give authority to some men over others. This authority involves the power to use violence to punish, to correct, to prevent, to avenge.

    This is probably not a common argument made in NRx, but could potentially pull Christian Libertarians (particularly Catholics, but also “High Protestants”) to neoreaction. I was already socially conservative, though, this doesn’t address. This argument is really about freeing good people trapped in anarchism more than “converting” people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Problem is that Liberty movement was hijacked by Cultural Marxists, so most people who call themselves libertarians don’t actually understand Libertarianism. That’s why Hoppe is immensely useful. He presents a genuine Libertarian vision. On the other hand, that libertarianism was hijacked served to many of us paleolibertarians (now post-libertarians) as a reason to go and search for something else, and leave libertarianism behind entirely (though we agree with many of them on economics).

      Paleolibertarianism (Libertarianism before Cultural Marxist “infiltration”) in a nuthell:

      The problem with our status quo society is that it is denying private property. Hoppe explains (note immigration here means any moving around, not just across national borders):

      The current situation in the United States and in Western Europe has nothing whatsoever to do with “free” immigration. It is forced integration, plain and simple, and forced integration is the predictable outcome of democratic one-man-one-vote rule. Abolishing forced integration requires the de-democratization of society and ultimately the abolition of democracy. More specifically, the power to admit or exclude should be stripped from the hands of the central government and reassigned to the states, provinces, cities, towns, villages, residential districts, and ultimately to private property owners and their voluntary associations. The means to achieve this goal are decentralization and secession (both inherently undemocratic, and antimajoritarian). One would be well on the way toward a restoration of the freedom of association and exclusion as is implied in the idea and institution of private property, and much of the social strife currently caused by forced integration would disappear, if only towns and villages could and would do what they did as a matter of course until well into the nineteenth century in Europe and the United States: to post signs regarding entrance requirements to the town, and once in town for entering specific pieces of property (no beggars, bums, or homeless, but also no Mohammedans, Hindus, Jainists, Buddhists, etc.); to expel as trespassers those who do not fulfill these requirements[…]

      State leads to forced integration, which, apart from infringing on private property, also leads to destruction of social capital, so secession and elimination of democracy is the only appropriate remedy. Here he is summing it all up nice and short:

      [T]rue libertarians cannot emphasize enough […] that the restoration of private property rights and laissez-faire economics implies a sharp and drastic increase in social “discrimination” and will swiftly eliminate most if not all of the multi-cultural-egalitarian life style experiments so close to the heart of left libertarians.

      Indeed, for private property owners have incentive to increase the value of their property, which means that they would have every reason to discriminate against high-time preference libertines and irresponsible people in general.

      Personal Freedom
      In that last quote, Hoppe says “multi-cultural-egalitarian life style experiments.” What does he mean by that? Well, things like “vulgarity, obscenity, profanity, drug use, promiscuity, pornography, prostitution, homosexuality, polygamy, pedophilia or any other conceivable perversity or abnormality.” Some libertarians are hopelessly confused, says Hoppe. They think that in this world of free markets and private property, sodomites will be super-free to “love” who they want to “love”, live how they want to live. Not so:

      They [these confused libertarians] fantasized of a society where every one would be free to choose and cultivate whatever nonaggressive lifestyle, career, or character he wanted, and where, as as result of free-market economics, everyone could do so on an elevated level of general prosperity. Ironically, the movement that had set out to dismantle the state and restore private property and market economics was largely appropriated, and its appearance shaped, by the mental and emotional products of the welfare state: the new class of permanent adolescents.
      This intellectual combination could hardly end happily. Private property capitalism and egalitarian multiculturalism are as unlikely a combination as socialism and cultural conservatism. And in trying to combine what cannot be combined, much of the modern libertarian movement actually contributed to the further erosion of private property rights.

      Hoppe realizes that in a world where private property is respected, with no regulation on how such property might be used, there would be large amounts of social stigmatization to prevent people from living the high-time preference lives or parasitic and unproductive lives.

      Free Speech
      There wouldn’t be LGBTQQIAAP+ in ancapistan, the would also be no unlimited speech. A libertarian world is one in which we all basically live in these private gated communities that are generally managed by big landowners and their insurance companies (the insurance company is also the private police). These private holdings will not tolerate viewpoints that break the contract made with them:

      In a covenant concluded among proprietor and community tenants for the purpose of protecting their private property, no such thing as a right to free (unlimited) speech exists, not even to unlimited speech on one’s own tenant-property. One may say innumerable things and promote almost any idea under the sun but naturally no one is permitted to advocate ideas contrary to the very purpose of the covenant of preserving and protecting private property, such as democracy and communism. There can be no tolerance towards democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and expelled from society. Likewise, in a covenant founded for the purpose of protecting family and kin, there can be no tolerance toward those habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal. They — the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centered lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism — will have to be physically removed from society too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.

      If you want to advocate legal plunder, ecofeminism, or worship of sodomy, you will be expelled from society.

      Covenant and Security companies
      Anarcho-capitalist world would be ruled by private law, for example security companies. These companies will be accountable to no one except their customers, and act like private administrators of their own brands of justice. Their biggest function will be to protect their customers. Hoppe explains:

      Furthermore, insurers would also be particularly interested in gathering information on potential (not yet committed and known) crimes and aggressors, and this would lead to a fundamental overhaul of and improvement in current — statist — crime statistics. In order to predict the future incidence of crime and thus calculate its current price (premium), insurers would correlate the frequency, description, and character of crimes and criminals with the social surroundings in which they occur and operate. And always under competitive pressure, they would develop and continually refine an elaborate system of demographic and social crime indicators. That is, every neighborhood would be described, and its risk assessed, in terms of a multitude of crime indicators, such as the composition of the inhabitants’ sexes, age groups, races, nationalities, ethnicities, religions, languages, professions, and incomes. […]
      Unlike states, [insurers] could and would not want to disregard the discriminating inclinations among the insured towards immigrants. To the contrary, even more so than any one of their clients, insurers would be interested in discrimination, i.e., in admitting only those immigrants whose presence adds to a lower crime risk and increased property values and in excluding those whose presence leads to a higher risk and lower property values. That is, rather than eliminating discrimination, insurers would rationalize and perfect its practice.

      The whole world will get chopped into what amount to gated communities, and insurance companies will decide who can live in them and who can’t by discriminating on basis of reason for which the community was founded for.

      Expanded private control is not free-love, drugs and sex-change operations. It is a rule of property owners. Private communities would have their rules, and if you break their rules they will expel you. Arguably, most of those communities would be socially very conservative, as it’s in private owner’s best interest to increase the value of his property, which can only be achieved by having low-time preference high-quality people, and low-time preference is achieved only by social conservatism (delayed gratification, traditional sex roles, etc.).


  6. Michael says:

    A good dose of realism and the idea of competition is what worked for me. I was a Rothbardian sort of an anarcho-capitalist (though it merits mention that I always preferred my own culture and traditional values). If we are individually sovereign, with no state, and only private property, then we can (or, indeed, for the purpose of enforcing property rights, must) form contractual communities. With a large number of these, and clear contractual obligations, the freedom is not in voting or discussing or participating in governance, but in the exit clause of the contract – the ability to leave and join another community (which, incidentally, is common advice for those who are displeased with modern Western democracies). Such small communities are inherently vulnerable to predation by larger powers, which creates an impetus to grow (by alliance or by conquest) in order to be a less attractive target, or else (and more reasonably if we are talking about a plan of action for today’s world) maintain a sort of mutual protection pact at the level of current states. All this is to say that anarcho-capitalism leads us to oblivion or else back to a large state.

    Additionally, I realised that within a large state, freedom of speech and freedom of association are not sufficient protections against degeneracy. Being free to say whatever one wants about undesirable groups, or to refuse to trade with or employ them, does nothing to get rid of them or the damage they do to public and civic culture which is supposed to be shared. Nor can abolishing the welfare state solve the problem; in the culture of dependency, it is likely only to make the trouble-makers all the more troublesome. Combine this realisation with increasing popular support for the abrogation of basic freedoms in order to shield degenerates and undesirables from exclusion by the majority, and you have an express trip from libertarian to something else.

    On the cultural side of things, I have the good fortune to live in a country which has not murdered or rebelled against its rightful rulers (albeit the motherland certainly has a number of times), and which is the inheritor of a glorious colonial legacy. I have the coincident misfortune of living in a country wherein the risk of rebellion against rightful rule looms on the horizon, and wherein our history and heritage are popularly regarded as tainted, a source of guilt, and something to be disavowed and denigrated. Hoppe and Hobbes deal with the former point quite tidily (I prefer Hobbes these days). The latter ties in to the issues mentioned in the previous paragraph.

    In summary, then, the stepping stones from libertarian to something else, for me, were:
    – exit clause (failure of democracy)
    – mutual defence (realism)
    – need to protect not only rights but theoretical/cultural foundation of rights (failure of multiculturalism)
    – welfare state as a means to pacify in absence of more direct solutions to the problems of degeneracy and the existence of criminal groups (realism)
    – monarchy under deliberate threat from within (failure of democracy)
    – national identity under deliberate threat from within (failure of multiculturalism)
    I think that about sums it up. Democracy is a failure, multiculturalism is a failure, and we must be realistic. Non-degenerate libertarians who realise these things cannot remain libertarians.


  7. Michael says:

    Forgot to mention; my three key reasons have been covered neatly in your post. I agree with the conclusions drawn.


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