Right-wing libertarianism in the age of President Trump

 

When a famous Canadian anarcho-capitalist sings the American anthem after the US presidential election, you know something big just happened in American, and world, politics.

Emperor Trump triumphant. America is saved! (for now)

There’s something leftists were right about: the sea level will rise, after the ongoing deluge of their tears. Also, the weather is getting warmer from all the burning of private property and American flags at those peaceful protests.

Congratulations, America!

Despite some misgivings about trade policy and a few other issues, many right-wing libertarians openly endorsed Trump, and even more others would concede that he was a far better option than Hillary Clinton,  and would show some support, if for no other reason, to make leftists mad. Personally, I was fully onboard the Trump train from the beginning, and I’m still celebrating.

First of all, I’d like to thank Gary Johnson for being such a wonderful non-factor. Even his choice of VP was brilliant , a wink to undecided Democrat voters, while Gary fell short of endorsing  any particular candidate (except, reluctantly, himself) and focused like a laser beam on staying consistently unelectable across the board.

Now what?

It looks like ample sectors of the Libertarian Party are warming up to an alliance with the anti-war (???) Democrats. Uhh, yeah, why not? That would be a wonderful idea and I sincerely wish them the best of success in attracting Democrat voters in the coming years.

Should the Libertarian Party reach out to Democrat voters?

For the rest of us, who have given up on the LP long ago, the way ahead is a bit more complex. Forget about fierce battles and NEVER-X hashtags. For now, we need healthy debate and friendly competition with our brothers-in-arms (in this electoral battle,  at least) of the alt-right. Many of them are former libertarians and, perhaps more interestingly, a few right-wing libertarians have come as close as it gets to being there while arguably remaining libertarians. For instance, I’m intrigued by Max Sand and his pals at “The 1st Irregulars” (previously “Cantwell’s First Irregulars”) a small group of former Chris Cantwell fans (why “former”?  it’s complicated, don’t ask )  who are pushing this concept of National Capitalism. It’s nothing very original or mind-blowing,  but I think they are on the right path, at least compared to open-borders libertarians and alt-right neo-reactionary larpers, and they are working hard to bring people to their vision, so we should keep an eye on them.

Their catchy motto 1433 is supposed to be an All-American, national-capitalist answer to the old, stale and endlessly recycled 1488 ,  the oldest forced meme ever devised. The “33” is allegedly from article 3, section 3 of the US Constitution, which deals with treason. They made the “33 precepts” to match this motto.  There’s also the widespread notion that, just like “88” can also stand for “HH”, short for “Heil Hitler”,  the “33” stands for “CC”, short for Christopher Cantwell, but don’t mention it, they will deny it and they’ll get triggered.

Oh, and their influence is not limited to America. They are attracting a sizable  right-wing libertarian audience and even contributors from elsewhere in the Western world where decades of leftist policies are finally facing a backlash (or a “whitelash“, as Van Jones would have it).

Don’t let socialists monopolize nationalism

More generally, right-wing libertarians in the coming years must work inside the Trumpist coalition to compensate for what I like to call the Strasserist influence coming from some sectors of the alt-right. As a label for their socialist leanings it may be somewhat hyperbolic, but it makes them really mad, so I think I’m onto something.

Our main target in this context seems to be trade policy. As I mentioned in my article about free trade and automation, there are good reasons for middle class Americans to be seduced by Trump’s protectionism and even Bernie Sanders’s crude anti-elitist message. Telling middle-skill workers to drop dead won’t cut it as strategy,. We can do better. My proposal of describing workers with substantial savings as small capitalists is meant to  be a first line of defense against the specter of “technological communism” increasingly floating around, but it may seem far-fetched to a working-class audience, at least without massive wealth transfers. In the meantime, we must have a closer look at the economic phenomenon of job polarization , that is,  the decrease in middle-skill job availability in Western societies. We must look at its many causes and identify ways in which more economic freedom can address these problems, ways in which regulations and other forms of government intervention are making it harder for American workers to adapt.

Besides its alleged benefits to middle-skill workers, protectionism is often pushed on the grounds of its alleged military-strategic value. The reasoning is that the less dependent the nation is on trade with other,  potentially hostile, nations, the less vulnerable to trade blackmail. The usual “antiwar” libertarian answer is a non-starter. Most Americans are generally against war, but also against letting America’s puniest enemies walk all over the nation (remember, Ron Paul fans, the winning anti-interventionist motto is “America first!”, not “America bad!”). Instead, libertarians should, for instance, emphasize the strategic benefits of a large network of friendly trade partners, and an even larger network of neutral ones.

We should also leave the minority pandering to the left and stop making assumptions about nonwhite (actual or potential) libertarians. They aren’t a bloc, they are individuals and should be treated as such. For instance, we should dispel this notion, this false dilemma, that smart, freedom-loving nonwhites must be either forcibly integrated in white communities or forced to coexist with dimwits and criminals. Group IQ and crime statistics are almost a non-issue when sub-groups can segregate or secede.

Let’s jump into the future, fellow deplorable right-libertarians!

In summary,  IMO the way forward for right-wing libertarians is:

  • Let the LP be the LP and suck as many left-wing votes as it sucks.. in general.
  • Get used to coexisting with the alt-right and competing for the same audience.
  • Have a fair and honest look at economic nationalism, acknowledge its merits compared to the status quo (at least with current work regulations ),  find real drawbacks and propose credible alternatives. Examine the underlying problems in the job market.
  • Keep hammering home the economic case against the welfare state in general and socialized healthcare in particular. Take the time to examine specific bottlenecks caused by regulation and government intervention. This is an area where the alt-right is pretty leftist, so right-wing libertarians can make a difference.
  • Don’t let your anti-war views make you sound anti-American. Also, leave cops alone. You want them privatized, not dead.
  • Be honest and upfront about “minority issues”. Reach out when it makes sense but don’t pander. Stay focused on finding the truth and they will respect you more.

But above all, have fun! This is a time to celebrate and laugh with justified schadenfreude at the leftist meltdown.

Make way, alt-right Strasserists!