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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/17029/adventures-in-neocon-land/

Adventures in Neocon Land

May 20, 2011 by

Most people tend to gravitate toward liberty — they just have not heard it properly defined. FULL ARTICLE by Stefano R. Mugnaini


The Anti-Gnostic May 20, 2011 at 9:02 am

“they appeared to be jingoistic, anti-immigrant neoconservatives of the most stereotypical sort. ”

The neo-conservatives are actually pro-immigrant, their leading intellectuals being mostly descended from Jewish immigrants, after all.

Peter Brimelow points out that if war is the health of the State, immigration is its Viagra. The influx of wildly divergent peoples justifies a large police and national security apparatus to regulate intertribal conflict and defend against insurgencies, and gives the State a dog in every fight on the planet.

The neo-conservative goal is to suppress nationhood and, where viable, functioning Nations exist, deconstruct them into chaotic, multicultural polities, thereby justifying the State’s bureaucratic control.

Drigan May 20, 2011 at 9:51 am

I’m trying to figure out if you were being sarcastic, joking, or what….

The Anti-Gnostic May 20, 2011 at 9:56 am

Deadly serious, friend.

Drigan May 20, 2011 at 10:26 am

I really don’t see how you can defend what you said, then . . .

Neo-cons hardly seem to be pro-immigrant when you consider that the vast majority favor kicking all who have come ‘illegally’ out.

As to whether most neo-con intellectuals are Jewish, I really have no idea. I’ve never really payed attention to who the ‘intellectuals’ are . . . or what they say, for the most part.

The bit about immigration makes sense, but it hardly is a neo-con position.

I can’t think of instances where neo-cons are in favor of multiculturalism unless maybe you mean states that have sharia law? Libertarians are certainly against sharia in practice at least as much as neo-cons . . . perhaps moreso.

Am I just completely misreading you?

The Anti-Gnostic May 20, 2011 at 10:49 am

You are completely misconstruing neo-conservatives, which is understandable given you admit that you haven’t read them much at all. The names Podhoretz, Kristol, Perle, Wolfowitz, Frum, Ledeen ringing any bells?

Ever wonder why McCain and Bush were such enthusiastic supporters of pro-immigration policies?

Drigan May 20, 2011 at 10:57 am

I guess whenever I heard anything from that crowd, I just figured it was the DC/Media spin on what a conservative was, and never thought it had anything to do with what conservatives actually believe.

Dagnytg May 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Ever wonder why McCain and Bush were such enthusiastic supporters of pro-immigration policies?

Hmmmm…they wanted votes? Reading anymore into the actions of politicians is futile. Let’s not pretend these guys are deep intellectual thinkers.

(I would make the same case for Obama.)

newson May 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm

p. 59 onwards:

newson May 20, 2011 at 7:51 pm

mccain is a reliable asset, worth every cent invested in him.

newson May 20, 2011 at 8:27 pm

remember don bolles when speaking of mccain.

Marissa May 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm

It may be a Jewish thing, but not in the way you are thinking. An enormous percentage of all intellectuals are Jewish, just look at the guys on “our” side: Mises, Hayek, Rothbard.

newson May 23, 2011 at 5:43 am

to marissa,
not hayek. and don’t forget how rothbard and mises were shunned by their own for their ideas.

Marissa May 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Thank you for the correction, newson. I did not realize Hayek wasn’t Jewish. However, Mises and Rothbard were shunned by most of the intelligentsia, Jewish or not.

Edited to add a very interesting quote I found by Hayek that sums up my own views:

“Yet there can be little doubt that men of Jewish stock almost everywhere constitute a disproportionately large number of the intellectuals in our sense, that is of the ranks of the professional interpreters of ideas. This may be their special gift and certainly is their main opportunity in countries where prejudice puts obstacles in their way in other fields. It is probably more because they constitute so large a proportion of the intellectuals than for any other reason that they seem to be so much more receptive of socialist ideas than people of different stocks.” – F.A. Hayek

newson May 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm

to marissa,
what you say is true, but incidental to my point. if you’re interested:

newson May 21, 2011 at 3:30 am
newson May 21, 2011 at 5:10 am

mccain, two generations of traitors. not bad. the makings of a great political dynasty.

pyncheon May 20, 2011 at 10:39 pm

“Where law ends, tyranny begins.” William Pitt the younger. Pray tell me how the embrace of illegal immigrants who have broken numerous State and Federal laws is consistent with rule of law? And indeed, many unwitting Christians have been led down this path in our area, even protecting illegal immigrants who have committed rape and other violent crimes, not apparently realizing that this constitutes dangerous anarchy. By the way, almost all conservatives welcome lawful immigrants.

Matthew Swaringen May 21, 2011 at 2:24 am

Pray tell me how embracing the State and Federal government is consistent with the rule of law? Their dictates are arbitrary and unjust. They restrict freedom of movement without any valid property rights over the land being crossed. They force people to pay taxes for services and wars they don’t want.

Common or natural law exists separate from government. Property rights imply trespass is illegal, but where people cross unowned land no one should have the right to force them to stop.

pyncheon May 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Are you actually contending that illegals are crossing “unowned” land, and not otherwise interfering with the rights of others? If so, you are delusional. Their demands for social services in another country as “free riders” have caused massive hardship, for example, even apart from the commission of ordinary crimes. And far from embracing any govt, I merely pointed out the clear fact that if any group can simply ignore our laws, we have anarchy and ultimately tyranny as a certain result.

Marissa May 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Who owns the roads which immigrants, legal or otherwise, use to cross into the country? Social services should not exist at all, either for “legal” residents or otherwise. And when a group ignores unjust laws (anti-private-property laws) there is not tyranny. However, when an “illegal” immigrant cannot report any crime they see being conducted around them for fear of being detained and forced off their property, then there is tyranny.

The Anti-Gnostic May 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Your premises beg the question of why people would illegally immigrate to the US to begin with.

Seattle May 23, 2011 at 3:53 am

Their demands for social services in another country as “free riders” have caused massive hardship

So have the demands for “social services” from the government among natural-born americans. Illegal immigrants are hated only because they failed to kiss the royal ring. They’re human beings like you and I.

Dave Albin May 20, 2011 at 9:22 am

The work of the Mises Institute is critical for the reasons outlined in this article. A lot of people want freedom and liberty, but don’t fully understand what that means. Also, most people now have grown up since World War II during which time the two political parties became more and more similar. I think that may be slowly changing as we now see how we really only have one choice now – make the state bigger, or make the state bigger by slightly less.

J. Murray May 20, 2011 at 10:02 am

The hardest part of libertarianism is that it requires quite a lot of one-on-one time to convert someone. What libertarianism lacks are cute, 30 second sound bites that can quickly latch onto a base emotion and generate a huge following. “Hope and Change” for instance. Because libertarianism is a rejection of politics and more of an ethical ideology, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to boil it down into simple concepts that can generate a following by putting it into an advertising spot on television.

Drigan May 20, 2011 at 10:30 am

That’s the hardest part of any conversion. I think it’s also the thing libertarians intentionally discourage. Rather than get involved with politics, which would likely involve meeting people who are politically oriented, they tend to run away screaming “YOU EVIL STATISTS!” This somehow doesn’t endear libertarians to those who don’t understand why what they do is a form of statism.

David May 20, 2011 at 11:33 am

This would require actual thought. When, the day after bin Osama Laden was killed, 25% of Yahoo searches were trying to determine which pop group/film/etc. he had been associated with — you can pretty much count that out.

David May 20, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Yeah. Attempts at giving libertarian arguments to the average Joe can be extremely tiring. It’s so far outside the box of the mainstream dialog that people don’t really know how to respond. Just an overview of the concepts can take hours and upset many firmly entrenched false premises. This is, I believe, the power of the Austrian view of economics. It can definitively prove that many of the economic problems normal people fear when confronted with the possibility of a vastly diminished or nonexistent state are not really problems at all.

One of the biggest hurdles can be helping a person to think abstractly who has no experience doing so.

Jennifer Smith May 20, 2011 at 11:02 am

Two things: First, Very well written blog – I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Second, @Drigan – As a capital “L” Libertarian, I have to disagree with your statement about us not getting involved in politics. We are involved – it’s getting everyone else who complains about anti-liberty issues to get involved, too. Ask yourself what you do to further the cause of liberty. Do you volunteer with your party? Donate money? Donate time? I do all of the above, and I can tell you without hesitation that the LP isn’t the issue – waking everyone else up is the challenge.

Marissa May 21, 2011 at 8:47 pm

As a member of a state LP that just wasted thousands on a ridiculous ad campaign, I disagree that the LP “isn’t the issue”.

Drigan May 23, 2011 at 8:09 am

There was a reason I didn’t use a capital “L”. You’re right, Libertarians very much try to get involved with politics, the average libertarian, however, doesn’t. Unfortunately, I see the Libertarian party as a group that will never be viable due to network effects. I think a much more viable route is the one Ron Paul is taking: convert the Republican party from within. I bet his district has a higher percentage of libertarians in it than any other in the US, primarily due to his efforts.

Conversion works, but only if you’re dealing with non-libertarians in the first place. 99% of Libertarians are already libertarian. I think you’ll have much better luck recruiting from within the Republican party, and somewhat better luck recruiting from the Democrat party.

As to what I do, honestly, very little, but what I can. I argue against those that misrepresent the facts, and I try to convert those I associate with. As a computer programmer getting an MBA and father of 3 who are 3 and under with a new house I don’t really have a lot of time for much more.

David May 20, 2011 at 11:29 am

According to what I’ve read, illegal immigrants constitute 25% of the prison population. So they may not be committing “all” the crimes, but they are certainly responsible for a disproportionate amount of it.
They are also disproportionately likely to be victims of such crime.
And they unquestionably compete with the poorest Americans for low-skill jobs.
Which makes me wonder why allowing the status quo to continue is considered a badge of “compassion”.

The reason the situation exists, of course, is that it is advantageous to the large agricultural combines and homebuilders — not to mention those well off enough to be able to hire domestic help — to articificially inflate the labor supply, thus driving down costs. A similar argument could be made even with respect to “legal” immigration, eg the H1B visa program.

I concede that in a society where the government had less power to regulate the market and confer perks, this might not be an issue. But the fact is we do live in such a society, and opening the borders before addressing the societal/economic/political structural issues is attacking the problem from the wrong end.

But there is a more basic argument to be made. While there have been successful/stable multi-ethnic societies, there has never been a multi-cultural society which was stable/successful. Before the present age of political correctness, a great deal of effort was expended to “assimilate” immigrants (ie maintain a unified culture even while allowing for immigrants from all over the world). But the leaders of and advocates for today’s immigrant communities — in particular the Latino community — are for the most part not interested in assimilating, because they regard the patrimony of Western civilization (including classical liberalism) as evil. Argue the merits of “libertarianism” vs. “conservatism” all you want — it’s not going to matter if this trend toward Balkanization continues.

newson May 21, 2011 at 5:21 am

i don’t think la raza have la acción humana as part of their political platform.

Dave Albin May 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Driving down labor costs makes us all better off because lower labor costs, being the largest part of the cost of most goods and services, equates to lower prices for all.

Regarding assimilation, whenever the government forces people together, it’s a bad idea. This occurs with closed borders – rather than people naturally migrating to one another, the process is skewed and disrupted, eventually forcing people together. People may initially prefer balkanization and stick with their own, and this may last for hundreds of years. Eventually, with free trade, people will learn that their trading partners aren’t that bad. And, even if they don’t, trading partners need each other and learn to get along.

The Anti-Gnostic May 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm

‘Free trade’ has never been understood to mean the mass movements of people across national borders. Europe and Asia engaged in complex trade throughout history, when there were far more borders and no civil rights laws. Current immigration is the result of elites using government policy to increase the supply of labor, socialize the costs of importing such large numbers of individuals and their families, and further insulate themselves from lower-tier whites and restive blacks.

newson May 20, 2011 at 8:04 pm

you’ve painted way too rosy a picture. look at how the elite recoil in horror at marine le pen’s scores in the opinion polls. how the dare the french claim some right to their own, indigenous culture. and god forbid the british pretend to britishness. it’s a culture-war.

augusto May 21, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Yeah, but… what French culture is she talking about? Surely you know that until the French Revolution there were hundreds of languages in France, and a Breton man was as foreign to a Nissart as a Finn. The French Revolution made all other languages illegal. Napoleon created a national educational system that was specifically and intentionally designed with the purpose of artificially building what we know today as “French culture”. Napoleon even created the Ecole Normale, a training school for teachers – to make sure education was standardized throughout the country.

Until very recently (no more than 30 years if I remember correctly), you could go to a French-English bilingual school in France, but teaching the old languages of the France was illegal.

The Frenchness that J-M Le Pen and his daughter so staunchly defend is a monster created by the state at the cost of thousands – probably millions – of people as the State’s armies forced integration.

The Anti-Gnostic May 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm

This only underscores that, left to their own devices, human beings diversify to a point never even imagined by the multi-cult. Contrary to the globalist wet dream, we are not evolving towards a worldwide cappucino-colored race of people who all speak American English.

newson May 23, 2011 at 5:07 am

have you watched idiocracy?

newson May 23, 2011 at 5:41 am

true points, but to the extent that you, o glorious state leader, are forcibly binding peoples into a nation, it helps that your various subjects have much in common to start with! le pen’s success is coming from a popular base, call it xenophobia if you will, but it’s definitely not top-down.

Kunsthausmann May 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm

My experience with members of this movement [the tea party] is that they are not antiliberty, though some of their views would qualify as such.

Is that not a distinction without a difference?

most people tend to gravitate toward liberty

I beg to differ. Most people gravitate toward liberty for their own selves but enslavement for others. In the USA, this tendency takes on the proportions of caricature, as when a flagwaver mouths a platitudinous rhetorical question about “the land of the free and the home of the brave” but makes excuses for a form of enslavement called the draft. Or when a tea partier shows up in a scooter paid for by government and then hoots about excessive government spending. Even when the inconsistency in tea partiers’ attitudes is not so obvious, personal acquaintance with them makes it difficult not to condemn them. For example, there is the case of a tea partier in northwestern South Carolina who married a taxfeeder who enjoys a generous pension that he obtained upon completing thirty years of employment by a large, rustbelt city in southeastern Michigan. (He worked in a department called, get this, Community and Economic Development Department. He also enjoys benefits obtained from the Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs.) What’s strange about her tea partying is that she doesn’t see fit to protest against the taxfeeding of her own husband, who has helped her to obtain a relatively luxurious lifestyle.

Likewise, progressives posture as freedom fighters, but what they really want is for government to coerce strangers to bear the burdens of the progressives’ own alleged caring attitude. As with the tea partiers, progressives desire liberty and luxuries for their own selves and for those with whom they sympathize, but enslavement for others.

Electoral politics is nothing if not a game of rent seeking and privilege seeking, and most Americans are happy to play along with it in proportion to their belief that it will benefit them more than it costs them. So, no, most people do not gravitate toward liberty. Instead, they gravitate toward parasitism.

“they just have not heard it properly defined”

What is the referrent of “it”? Is it a concept or a word? Use of the word “liberty” in the author’s preceding phrase suggests that the referrent is a concept. But the next sentence, just quoted above, suggests that the problem can be framed as a quarrel about definitions. As noted, however, the primary problem with most people is not that they haven’t assigned the word liberty to the right concept but that they are rotten

Capn Mike May 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm

“the primary problem with most people is not that they haven’t assigned the word liberty to the right concept but that they are rotten.”

I hate to admit it, but you may be on to something there. (sigh)

Dave Albin May 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm

If true (and I’m not disagreeing with you), then AC is the only way.

Stefano May 20, 2011 at 6:42 pm

By ‘Properly defined’ I mean kind of what you said. Most folks prefer liberty for themselves, but fail to see that it cannot be selectively applied. When properly defined, they can see that my liberty demands your liberty, and that ‘freedom is indivisible.’

I do appreciate the depth of inquiry, although I think you might be trying a little too hard to parse that phrase.

noah May 22, 2011 at 1:09 pm

“Most people gravitate toward liberty for their own selves but enslavement for others.”

“So, no, most people do not gravitate toward liberty. Instead, they gravitate toward parasitism.”

To my eyes, the first statement contains an internal contradiction that is resolved by the second statement: the desire to enslave others for your own gain is NOT truly a desire for liberty, but rather it is a desire for dependency, security and safety. That gravitational pull grows ever stronger with the increasing mass of the nanny/welfare state, which feeds not on people’s fear of being enslaved, but on their fear of truly being free.

Freedom Fighter May 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I’m unemployed since June 2010. An example of liberty is my refusal to accept government unemployment benefits. People tell me that I have the “right” to claim unemployment benefits because I paid for them.

1) I was forced to pay unemployment insurance, that doesn’t give me the right to make any claims. Maybe to claim back what I was forced to pay but in the form of restitution, not unemployment benefits.

2) If I have the “right” to unemployment benefits, this means that somebody is forced to pay and I refuse to force others to pay unemployment insurance. It’s Lew Rockwell, through much of his writings about positive rights = forcing others that opened my eyes.

3) I would absolutely hate the arrogance and condescension of government staff frowning upon me and making me jump through hoops if I ever asked for unemployment benefits. Therefore I refuse to claim any benefits.

Freedom is to not force others and to pay for yourself.

Rights cannot be positives, because it implies others are forced and therefore, it’s precisely those “rights” that are destroying our liberties.

Freedom Fighter May 20, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Rights that bring freedom are essentially negatives, that is rights to be left alone, rights to not be invaded, rights to privacy, rights to private property.

“rights” to benefits implies that others are forced and therefore those kinds of rights are the most pernicious enemies of freedom.

If I don’t have the freedom to not pay unemployment insurance when I work, I still have the freedom to refuse unemployment benefits when I’m slacked, LOL :-D

SA May 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm

That is a noble position, to be sure; but I tend to think of unemployment benefits, and really all government entitlement programs, as a tragedy of the commons. It’s true you’ve paid into the system, but I agree with you that that alone isn’t enough to justify taking out. However, with all the other government regulations, tampering with the money supply and credit, wage restrictions, tariffs, etc, not to mention the crowding out of other forms of private unemployment assistance by these selfsame government unemployment benefits, it almost seems like a pool of resources that, if not used by you, will be used by somebody else. Yes it’s unfortunate that these policies have so blurred the lines of private property rights as to make the property of one the potential “assistance” of all, but now that it is the case, I don’t necessarily see it as a violation of libertarian principles to “get yours.”

It makes me think of other “services” rendered by the government. If my house is on fire, I won’t try to put it out myself just because, as a student, I happen to be a net consumer of taxes; I’ll call the fire dept. As a student, my state granted me an academic scholarship (funded through the lottery). I drive on tax-funded roads. And so on. Sure I’d rather these things be privately funded, but I have to live my life.

J Chancey May 23, 2011 at 12:42 am

You certainly have the right to refuse benifits, but I think you are looking at this issue a little backwards. The money you would collect from unemployment or other “welfare” type payments has already been stolen, and refusing it will not make the state return it to its rightful owners. Taking these types of benifits is removing the money from the state’s coffers and putting it back into the pocket of an individual, sort of a refund on all the things, material and otherwise, the state has stolen from you over the years. I will always take any money I can get from the government as any amount is less than what it owes as restitution for the violation of basic rights of life and liberty as well as property. Also, any money that the state spends on welfare and other direct transfers of wealth to individuals is less that it has to pay for police, beauracrats, and wars.

Shay May 23, 2011 at 2:27 am

…or maybe justification for it collecting even more, since the programs are clearly successful and benefiting so many people. :)

Peter Ploeter May 22, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I was so happy and excited when I saw you in that audience. I immediately recognized that bow tie!! I kept hoping he would ask you a question, though I didn’t expect them to.

Stefano May 22, 2011 at 10:39 pm

I made a big mistake-I told him I wasn’t too keen on hannity, and that I thought “conservatives” worshiped at the altar of a false construct of Reagan. And they only gave us about 5 seconds to answer questions, so it was easier to scream things like “he’s a RINO,” or “We’re not racists, we voted for Tim Scott” than make any real points.

R.J. Moore II May 23, 2011 at 4:17 am

Ever tried to talk to a movement Con about NeoCons? Or about how Reagan was a big government leftist? They don’t care. They will deny it to the hilt but never dispute any of the actual facts – when the very name (Republican) is strong indication that, yes, it is a left-wing movement.

Vanmind May 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Funny how it seems that Ron Paul, representative from south Texas, is never the one to mention how “…immigrants, even of the illegal type, put more into the economy than they extract.”

Politicians are politicians are politicians.

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