Now, does Nick Gillespie really think altering tax policy will magically transform low-IQ, inbred Muslims from the Maghreb into patriotic French republicans who work at Parisian software shops? It’s tempting to say it is just another pose, but the evidence is piling up in favor of the argument that Nick Gillespie is a stupid person. Anyone who truly believes altering tax policy will reverse a thousand generations of evolution is an idiot.
That’s the fundamental problem with modern libertarians. They believe this or they simply are incapable of mastering ground floor level biology. The reason the country of Niger is a basket case is that’s the way the people of Niger want it. It is full of Hausa. The reason Paris was Paris was that, up until recently, it was full of Parisians! Now that Paris is filling up with North Africans and Arabs, it is looking like Algeria with better plumbing.
What’s happened to libertarians is a form of what Vox Day calls convergence. It used to be that libertarians accepted the chain of causality. They worked backward in order to arrive, obliquely, at the first cause. If you wanted to have a nation of maximum freedom, you had to have a nation with rational laws and that meant a rational, Anglo-Saxon culture. The result was a libertarianism in one country model.
Then a new breed of libertarian showed up mouthing all the economic arguments of libertarians, often with the zeal of a fanatic, but embracing liberal cultural arguments, re-framing them in terms of personal liberty. The result is libertarians have almost fully converged now with the liberals. They have been assimilated into the Borg. Libertarianism, like most libertarians, is all about someone else paying for their ethnic dining habits.
Jeez, that stung me, and I’m only an onlooker.
Not that Gillespie is completely wrong, mind. The origins of the decay of France—and the rest of Europe—can easily be traced to their witless embrace of the eternally destructive force that is socialism, sure enough. But to assert that the recent exponential acceleration of that decay has little or nothing to do with the importation of hordes of primordial fanatics openly hostile to the culture that brought them in—vociferously dedicated to its destruction; antipathetic to assimilation; implacable and intractable, eager to do violence against it by any means they can contrive—bespeaks a willful blindness I can’t even begin to grasp.
And I’ve long considered myself a libertarian of the small-l variety, and have admired Gillespie’s writing and quoted it here who even knows how many times.
That said, Z’s last line still smarts a little. And like I said, I’m only an onlooker here.
The bottom line is, all the old paradigms have been overturned, and not just in France, or even Europe. Here in the States, what we thought of as conservatism has been revealed as useless against the Progressivist onslaught, an ideology all too comfortable with its own perpetual defeat. The political party long associated with it stands exposed by its actions as fraudulent, a subterfuge in collusion with its declared enemies, struggling to maintain an unworkable status quo that benefits not the governed, but the government.
Our gutless leaders have not only refused to mount an effective, proactive defense against a deadly jihadist foe, they’ve actually repeatedly suggested that occasional mass murder in our public spaces is just something we’ll all have to learn to live with, while boasting of our supposedly indisputable military supremacy—a hollow supremacy purchased at unimaginable expense, which is incapable of dispensing with an enemy comprised of illiterate goatherds dwelling in remote mountain caves and barren deserts after a decade and a half of violent struggle. They rattle cardboard sabers and mouth empty threats to vanquish an enemy they’re too goddamned cowardly to even name.
The real issue, politically and ideologically speaking, is not so much convergence as it is irrelevance—an irrelevance imposed by insuperable reality, unmoved by definitions and assumptions that are all too obviously outdated, rooted as they are in a stultified political structure that dates back to the Civil War. That structure refers whenever convenient or useful to a Constitution it long since discarded; professes reverence to principles it holds in contempt; and relies on a history it never bothered learning in the first place.
Conservative me no more conservatives, and liberals and libertarians too. Republicans? Democrats? Libertarians, Greens, Socialists, Fascists, Populists, Communists? Meh; might as well talk to me about the Whigs as if they still matter.
There’s now a strong wind blowing, and it’s already sweeping all the old detritus aside. Trump was merely the first gust of it. The old-line pundits complained that he wasn’t really a conservative, and he clearly wasn’t a liberal either. But instead of attempting to wrap their old strictures around him, what they should have done was just admit right up front that they hadn’t the vaguest clue what to make of him. They might at least have then been able to maintain their claim to some sort of intellectual acuity, rather then ending up looking like the befuddled guardians of an old, tired order that history already sidestepped and left behind.
Now all that fresh wind, that new paradigm, really has to do to establish its dominance and forever alter the landscape is adequately and persuasively answer a question or two: will it effectively defend me from murderous Islamist troglodytes, and can it be persuaded to leave me mostly the hell alone, to live my life and pursue my humble ambitions as I see fit?
The Constitution doesn’t enter into it; it’s as dead as the dodo, and has been for decades. The Founders’ vision of freedom and legitimate government doesn’t either, for better or worse; it, too, is gone, and cannot be brought back. Government of the people, by the people, and for the people was finished the moment the people felt secure, prosperous, and comfortable enough to start ignoring what was being done in their name by their supposed representatives, and to suffer no personally disastrous consequences from that disregard.
In addition to the questions I just posed, the ultimate one is this: will it work? Along, perhaps, with: can I trust it?
Whatever rises up to replace the current muddle, if it just handles those questions adroitly, it will truly change the world. For the better? For the worse? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see about that, won’t we?