Monday, 29 February 2016

IN DEFENSE OF ANTI-STATISM


Among alt-right commentators today, there is a general trend to sneer at libertarianism, as well as its more radical incarnation, anarcho-capitalism. The ultimate source of this cultivated sensibility seems to trace back to two main motivations:

(1) a wish to disown the legacy of Ron Paul and signal that one is now “above” such ostensibly "juvenile" concerns and has “matured” in one’s thinking (which amounts to question-begging in its most fundamental form, since the basis of one’s intellectual “maturity” appears to be defined by little more than the fact that one no longer holds to libertarian or “an-cap” principles).

(2) a desire to spout puerile, pseudo-macho maxims about the supremacy of “lawful” authority, and to bluster about how any interlocutor who objects to such notions is just a loser who deserves to be “ovened.”

Some will object that the latter proclivity isn’t meant to be taken seriously; rather, it is only employed for “trolling” purposes, much like those ubiquitous dank memes featuring a grinning "Pepe the Frog" gassing Jews at Auschwitz while sporting a Trump wig and a swastika armband, etc. Shock value is surely a useful, important, and entertaining means of thumbing one’s nose at a corrupt establishment. When dark humor is artfully harnessed to display defiance against repression, deceit, smelly cant, and repugnant cruelty, a la Jonathan Swift’s famous satire "A Modest Proposal" (a pre-internet instance of “trolling”), the results can be splendiferous indeed.

A Modest Proposal: a Trump-lookalike prepares to chow down.
However, it seems to me that the overtly dismissive and obnoxiously catty anti-libertarian attitude now in vogue in alt-right circles springs from a much more deep-seated motivation. Those who talk with reverence about “lawful” authority, after all, define such authority in a selective manner. As one commentator put it explicitly, “We don’t want to be left alone, we want to rule.”

Put another way, they don’t really have a problem with totalitarian dictatorship, so long as they are the ones who get to be the “dic(k)s” in charge. Their main objection to the current dispensation is that the “ovenworthy” people are at the helm, instead of in the proverbial (or perhaps literal) oven. In hip-hop parlance, they “hate the player” instead of properly “hating the game.” To their minds, the engine of the state would be properly utilized to crack down on dissent, were an openly tribalist white nationalist regime in power, rather than the current anti-white globalist regime.

I should make clear that I have little interest in defending libertarianism or anarcho-capitalism as ideologies, not because anything about them offends me, but simply because I don’t find them terribly compelling. The state will always exist in some form, for better or for worse. It’s folly to pretend otherwise. And it’s worse than folly to assume that the state can somehow be rendered more benign through electing representatives who claim to represent our interests. With very few exceptions, governmental representatives will only act to promote themselves at the expense of the electorate. In politics as elsewhere, the prospect of power tends to draw the very worst sort of men and women, whose general depravity is beyond our ken even to imagine, much less comprehend.

That said, I see no reason to promote any vision of statism, and every reason to promote defiance against all who claim an arbitrary stake of authority over one’s ability to live according to the dictates of one’s conscience, or freely associate with whom one chooses. The recent push to support one particular candidate to lead the executive branch of the U.S. government is unlikely to end well for the alt-right. Anyone who wishes to pursue and promulgate truth must understand that striving for truth and questing for temporal power amounts to an immediate conflict of interest. I hereby call it: the so-called “Trumpening” is in fact a false flag.

What I am arguing for here does not in the least amount to a call to pacifism, appeasement, or disinterestedness in national affairs. Every act of resistance is legitimate, including violence in some cases, when one is under attack from tyrannical forces. But the irritatingly glib “will to power, brah” pro-state rhetoric and bluster of some is silly, charmless and counter-productive.


Andy Nowicki, assistant editor of Alternative Right, is the author of eight books, including Under the NihilThe Columbine PilgrimConsidering Suicide, and Beauty and the Least. He occasionally updates his blog when the spirit moves him to do so. Visit his Soundcloud page.


 

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