Recent stories about a Students for Liberty member being kicked out of the movement for his support of the author Hans-Hermann Hoppe have revived debates between right- and left-libertarianism. Wait, what? When did I miss the bus on this new classification?
Initial usage of right and left when it came to libertarianism left only right-libertarianism at all, as left-libertarianism is merely another socialist viewpoint on the collective ownership of resources, that is inherently anti-capitalist. This is why, amongst libertarians, the distinction hasn’t mattered the least bit: we considered leftists who described themselves as libertarians, as being very confused about what the philosophy means.
There is every importance in the world between what we say and what we end up doing
Our libertarian friends in America however, as they often do, created us a whole new division between right and left, in which, and this is according to its supporters: the right believes in a strict application of property rights and the left has sucked up to “cultural marxism”. Interestingly however, it is the supporters of German “libertarian” author Hans-Hermann Hoppe who constantly nag the liberty movement about the importance of culture and the feeling of national identity.
Before I say my piece about the pretend right-libertarians and the division they themselves came up with, let me just say that I understand the arguments put forward by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Private property tenants should be allowed to remove trespassers from their property, which particularly includes people who hold wildly anti-freedom believes.
This “physical removal” argument is definitely making its rounds, and has been adopted by the alt-right meme-culture as a significant feature. Lest we forget, there is every importance in the world between what we say and what we end up doing. Hans-Hermann Hoppe could have denounced white nationalists and national socialists as a group of collectivists who use his positions for their dangerous rhetoric.
That is however, not what Hoppe did. In fact the German author seems all too keen to welcome the alt-right as his supporters, gives interviews to far-right papers and only occasionally calls the welfare-state ideals of people like Richard Spencer unfortunate.
One thing should be very clear: grouping people in categories in order to attribute certain behavioural characteristics to them, is inherently collectivist. Ron Paul, now often claimed by these right-libertarians, has been equally clear on the topic:
“Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups.”
By aligning with the worst parts of the political sphere, Hans-Hermann Hoppe has done the liberty movement, and himself in the meantime, an immense disfavour. Hoppe also fails at denouncing the support that he is getting for the far-right, for which he serves as an enabler.
And the people stuck with this mess, are us. In a “the end justifies the means” sort of approach, people who describe themselves as libertarians flirt with the alt-right, and other Trump-style nativists. As if defending a philosophy which is outside of the mainstream wasn’t tough enough already…
We should stop the nonsense
And yes, I get it: the left is driving you insane. They are politically correct, they know little to nothing about economics, and their feeling of self-entitlement is monumentally high. Adopting the paranoia that everyone who disagrees with you must be leftist, a cultural marxist or what have not, is utterly ludicrous.
We should stop the nonsense about left- and right-libertarianism. Libertarianism was about not being fooled by the left/right spectrum which only supports the narrative of big government. Either you believe in the ideas of liberty or not. And yes, this means means that there is a big tent from objectivists to classical liberals, but it surely doesn’t include the proponents of racial politics.
Dear Hoppeans: you left the liberty-movement and expected us to follow you, yet nobody outside of a few losers with toy helicopters did. As you are the champions of freedom of association, here’s a little association freedom for you: get out.