Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Libertarians Are Not Our Friends

the-statue-of-liberty-2602636_1920 Liberty under attack

In a very revealing article many years ago called "Why I am Not a Conservative," a very famous libertarian let the cat out of the bag. He loudly denounced the argument for tradition and custom by calling for a form of anything goes liberalism and atheism. Some go even further, coming close to anarchy with their complete opposition to the state and its powers from taxes to the military and from policing to favoring prostitution, unlimited immigration, abortion, drugs, obscenity, and license. As I said, anything goes . . .

Conservatives and American Greatness readers should not depend on or defend libertarians or their ideology. Make no mistake, by dividing elections and voter support on the Right so conservatives lose, and by stealing donor funding, libertarians oppose conservatism. Do I need to repeat that?

Did I mention, libertarians also do not believe in our American Founding? They see nothing special, let alone exceptional or providential, about the land of the free and home of the brave. Let me state the argument against libertarianism, as clearly as possible. There are seven points that need to be made, pondered, and then remade.

  • Individualism, an ism, is a harsh and insane ideology and not the same thing as viewing individuals as human persons, created by God and made in His image. In truth there is much more to reality—which is multidimensional, variegated, and complex. Families, marriages, communities, schools, churches, and civil associations are, in fact, the bulwark of life—not isolated, atomistic individuals untethered to anything.
  • The market works and also at times, fails. We are citizens in nation states, not global individuals adrift and rootless. We are certainly more than contracting consumers.
  • Opposed to Natural Law as upheld and described in our Declaration of Independence, libertarians deny there are any self-evident truths, a Creator, or even inalienable rights.
  • The "harm principle" of John Stuart Mill upon which libertarianism rests, is a moral claim that demands a moral basis both for human flourishing and ethics, neither of which libertarianism provides.
  • "Conscription is slavery and taxation robbery," according to Murray Rothbard, the ultimate and exemplar libertarian. Is that extreme? No Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard? We would be, for all practical purposes, defenseless. And a principle of no taxes is not the same as limited government.
  • For a libertarian, virtue does not exist and cannot be coerced. Freedom does work, as Hayek thought, but surely it cannot be evaluated apart from the ends that it serves.
  • Facilitating the debauchery of society by eliminating any sense or definition of good character is, by definition, debased, and results in a form of narcissistic nihilism. There is nothing above the self. Think of Burning Man writ large and you can picture the result of libertarian rule or lack thereof. Would you want that?

All thinking persons know—and evidence abounds—that libertarians with anti-statist mentalities are dangerous, ideological, illusory, and impractical. Taking a one size fits all approach to every situation is wrongheaded and totally misguided. It is philosophically illogical and amounts to policy stupidity. It is zealotry at worst and naïveté at best.

Ayn Rand, the all-time libertarian champion and novelist, was a so-called "objectivist" but she denied human anthropology and any aspect of altruism, charity, or religious faith. We should reject her and her ilk outright, as William F. Buckley, Jr. did on his television show "Firing Line." He called her ideas a form of "fabulism."

People like the well-known RINO former Wisconsin congressman, Paul Ryan, espoused her views, accomplished nothing, and did not work to conserve America.

Even more problematic are the few Catholics who try to sync libertarian views with their faith. It is impossible and heretical. At roughly 2 percent of the U.S. population (and only 600,000 registered voters), libertarians are way overrepresented in Congress, and especially on Fox News.

Libertarians, one has to conclude, are in it for themselves and have no morals or responsibility. Maybe that should not be so surprising.

Conservatives therefore, need to recall the words of the father of our modern movement, Russell Kirk, who called libertarians nothing but "chirping sectaries." He thought what they supported to be utopian and unworkable and that it was, "hubris to imagine we don't need the state—or even God—to prevent social chaos."

First published in American Greatness: 

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