Libertarian Nationalism

1904 cartoon. United States threatening Morocc...

1904 cartoon. United States threatening Morocco for release of citizen held. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I ran across this article, with a hattip to  @MZHemingway. He pretty well sums up my feelings but I won’t let that shut me up! ;)

For instance:

It’s worth remembering that libertarianism is a political philosophy regarding the nature of the relationship between citizens and states with whom they are in political compact; a philosophy that places a high premium on individual autonomy and the enforcement of negative rights. As such the government of the United States exists for the benefit of its citizens, not those of other countries. While foreigners have the same inherent, inalienable rights as Americans, their protection is simply outside of the responsibility of the United States government.

Got that? We, the Americans, created the US government to the benefit of us, the citizens of the United States.

Not really for the benefit of Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys everywhere. It’s OK if they benefit from our thoughts and actions but it’s not ever our primary aim. If you want to live like an American, you have two choices, come on over and be a US citizen, or change your government to be more or less like ours. Both work, both have been done successfully, and both have been tried and failed, it depends on you, mostly.

Or this:

We should seek non-aggression pacts with all who will treat us honorably, and alliances with those of good reputation whose interests align closely with our own and who can carry more than their own weight militarily.

With regard to nations that lack civilization, seek conflict with us, or simply wish us harm, however, a nationalist libertarian policy should have one overarching principle: if you lay a finger on one of our citizens — or otherwise violate their rights as we understand them — it will end badly for you. The nature, degree, and timing of your punishment will be of our choosing, and we will be less concerned about inflicting collateral damage or injustice on those around you than we will be in seeing you suffer for your wrong. Indeed, the harder you make it for us to punish you, the more likely it is that we’ll have to get sloppy about it. If that concerns you, we encourage you to reconsider your actions and refer you to infographics such as this for calm reflection.

There is a Marine Corps T-shirt around that summarizes this well:

No better friend

No worse enemy

Teddy Roosevelt was a mixed bag as President. An admirable man, he had huge flaws as well. What else can you say about a man who started our slide into (misnamed) Progressivism, and almost single-handedly gave us the idiotically stubborn and freedom-hating Woodrow Wilson as President. Thanks TR.

But when Ion Perdicaris was kidnapped by a non state actor (the Raisuli) in Morocco TR sent the whole Atlantic flotilla (although nobody had a clue what to do) to make the point that we cared about that individual American. You may remember the phrase,

This government wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead.”

When he was released Perdicaris commented while looking at the fleet gathered in Algiers harbor, “It was that flag, aye and that navy, and that nation, to which I owe my freedom.” or something like that, since I can’t find the quote right now. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

And this:

Punitive campaigns against nations who harm their own citizens but do not otherwise affect the United States’ interests should, therefore, be avoided, unless cogent arguments can be made that failure to intervene will harm the United States.

He uses the example of Gaddafi, which is an excellent choice. There are plenty of other examples, which might include Iraq, and Syria (or ISIS, if you prefer).

Pointedly, I do not include Afghanistan, which allowed a state sponsored terrorist group to mount an attack, using weapons of mas destruction, against civilians, in the US homeland. As such, according to doctrine, 48 hours later Afghanistan should have been a smoking, radiating, sheet of glass, but we didn’t think it necessary.

He ends this way:

More simply, our foreign policy should be motivated solely by our interests and limited only by our morality, rather than the other way around.

The Case For Libertarian Nationalism, Part II: Defense | Ricochet.

I have little to add to that.

British Conservatism

uk-us-shooping-0211I wanted you guys to see this because many of my British friends think he is pretty much of a right-wing conservative. Personally I see him as a warmed over squish someplace between John Kennedy and Walter Mondale.

And in truth that is why so often we and the cousins seem to talk right past each other. Where for us, the Constitution is bedrock very similar, in fact, to what the Catholics call “the ordinary Magisterium”, the interpretation can be explained and the meaning twisted (slightly) because of the times but essentially it means exactly what it says, no more and no less.

These types of basic principles don’t play for our British brethren, mostly anyway. Their history tell tells them that all is pragmatism, does it win elections. Rather like HMS Victory at sea in fact. They know what they think is right, but they are dependant on the electoral winds to get there. That is what their history tells them.

When we separated from them, we set up safeguards so that no branch could wield power on its own; that’s what our Constitution does, although it does require some integrity from some number of members of the government. Our president was originally to be rather a constitutional monarch, his power proscribed by the other branches.

The cousins are different, the system until 1689 was essentially ‘The King in Parliament’ which had at least some features of separation. Since then the monarch has been rendered increasingly irrelevant (as has the House of Lord’s) leaving Britain ruled by the Prime Minister (a creature of the commons) ruling in the House of Commons, without anything resembling a check on what they can do. Both Magna Charta and the English Bill of rights have long since, almost totally been repealed. No Checks, No Balances, No Appeal. It’s democratic in the sense that you can vote for whichever creature of Westminster you choose if you can see any difference.

Anyway, here’s Michael Gove speaking to the Legatum Institute

[Unless you really like their backdrop you can safely skip to about 11:00]I think he has a few good ideas, but it’s hard for me to judge a house built on sand, and in truth, how they run their country is their business.

But he’s also got that peculiar British blind spot that you can drive a Nimitz class carrier task force through. That the NHS actually works, and is better, contrary to all (and I mean all) the evidence, that it is actually better than Zimbabwe’s system. It’s simply an ethnic religious belief, because not only can it not be proved, it can be disproved by anybody at all with about five minutes research.

We’ve  (both Jess and I) have written about it a fair amount here, because the so-called system, which might be better than Stalin’s in the 30s is the model for Obamacare.  In one of her posts on it, Jess said this.

Someone recently said that the National Health Service (NHS) was the closest the British now have to a religion. At the opening ceremony of the Olympics there was a section given over to celebrating the NHS. We are always being told it is the ‘envy of the world’, and in something close to brainwashing, any criticism of it is usually quickly closed down by the media. We’ve been fed a version of its history which tells us that before it poor people were toothless and dying in the streets for lack of money, but that now it cares for us all regardless of cost on a basis of ‘need’ only. It is, in short, the last argument left for socialism. That may be why so many in our media circles refuse to see, even when they get a report like this, that their story no longer holds water.

There’s no such thing as ‘regardless of cost’. The NHS is the largest employer in Europe. Every doctor and nurse in every hospital, every porter, every workman in hospitals, every local doctor, every midwife and social worker, they are all NHS employees. The bill of this is huge. Whether, as some say, it is £100 billion, or £101.5 billion, it costs each of us about £1500 a year.

The BBC, funded by a compulsory tax on every household with a TV, tells us how wonderful it is and how much better than what the Americans have. It is certainly true that no one in the UK needs to worry about paying if they get ill. The NHS will take care of you – the problem is not the money, it is the ‘care’.

She also recognized that it is very politicized, and in fact Jess, who is very well connected politically, although like me she tends to not use her contacts, does, I think, owe her very life to connected people who were able to threaten the NHS effectively on her behalf. I had the distinct impression, that left to themselves, the NHS would simply have left her to die unattended, like they have so many others.

And that is the model we have chosen for American health care as well. God help us.

Knock Off The Loser Talk.

Percentage of members of the US 109th Congress...

Percentage of members of the US 109th Congress House of Representatives from each party. Data from 109th United States Congress. Legend as shown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those of you who have been reading here for a time will likely have noted that I’ve cut back on political content.There are a couple reasons for that, a lot of the time it is the same old, same old, there are few people in it (more than there used to be though) that I consider worth emulating. In addition, it’s both addictive and not particularly good for my health.

But I still read some and sometimes pass some on, as I did yesterday. And that article prompted an old and good friend of mine, Ike, to comment.

I am fully aware that I am “from outside” and as such and with my experience as well as observation of history since the start of the Colonial period I have come to believe that Nations should stick with their own domestic affairs. This tongue in cheek observation comes with my love for the America I once knew.

You have always had the best two-party system in the entire world with just the right size floating vote; that’s the way to share periods of governance between both major parties.

However, with modern Liberalism gone awry and right off the track, can America afford any third Party risk of handing government to the Dems again? I know the Reps are not perfect right now but it seems to be the time to ensure a few Rep victories in a row and defeat the Dems to elect “the better of two known evils” rather than the Dems gaining ground and getting stronger.

America is in my humble view at risk, and seriously so, if your elect the Dems again in 1916, not even to mention 1920 and 1924. You have to defeat the Dems and let them self-destruct before they become and African Party.

Would love to hear what you think.

IkeJ

I agree with him. The Republican party has never been a conservative party, it grew out of the statist Whig party, and it’s roots have always shown through. Whether we’re talking Lincoln, Grant or TR, nobody is going to think they are conservative icons. But it is the party of Coolidge and Reagan as well, and they are.

The  thing is, we just don’t have the time to build ourselves a bespoke conservative/libertarian party, the old wobbly-wheeled whiggish Republican party is going to have to serve, once more, as it has quite well the past. Kurt notes in the linked article that America is more conservative than it has been in a hundred years. He’s right, we’re chipping away in the state houses, and the legislature, and increasingly in the Congress well. The only way we’re going to lose–is to quit, and why would we do that just as we’re beginning to win?

Here’s Kurt:

Oh my goodness, the 2014 election victories didn’t end the war! You mean the progressives are still out there dreaming of a future full of hugs and goosestepping? You mean the GOP Establishment hasn’t just given up its power and knelt before us, begging to be forgiven for its craven crony corporatism? You mean the fight’s not over?

No, the fight’s not over. So stop whining that you can’t go back to sitting on your rear end – we have a long campaign ahead. I know you’re tired. I know you’re frustrated. And I don’t care.

Some people want to throw in the towel just as we are approaching the knockout. News flash: Our opponents punch back. Time to take the hit and drive on.

We’re winning, only we haven’t won yet. So pick up your (figurative) weapons and follow me. The fight’s up ahead, and we’re going to keep moving to the sound of the guns.

Writer Brian Cates has the right idea. Jolted into action by Andrew Breitbart, as so many of us were, he watched conservatives win in 2010 and things marginally improve. Then 2012 moved us backwards. Then 2014 moved us forward again as we retook Congress. Then, last week, he watched Team Boehner and McConnell roll over on immigration funding after utterly botching their strategy in a manner that would make the French Army proud.

So, like all of us, he had reached a decision point. His options: Give up or fight on. In a brilliant series of tweets, collected here, he chose to fight on. (Hat Tip: Glenn Reynolds)

Yeah, the GOP stinks. Yeah, there is a contingent within the GOP that prioritizes its own power and position over conservatism. Well, welcome to human nature – a certain percentage of human beings simply suck. You can cry about it like Nancy Pelosi at a Bibi speech or you can man-up and deal.

The only viable strategy is this – complete the seizure of the GOP’s infrastructure, turn it completely conservative, and then go and defeat the liberals. And that’s hard. And that won’t happen overnight. And we’re going to be disappointed – probably a lot. But the alternative is to cede the country to the liberal fascists who want to force us to live in carbon-free huts, steal our sacred Constitutional rights, and peer into our bedrooms lest we commit felony cisnormativism.

I’m not willing to let that happen. What about you?

Keep reading Knock Off The Loser Talk. This Fight Hasn’t Even Begun – Kurt Schlichter – Page 1.

Suck it up and saddle up guys, nobody ever said keeping America free was going to be easy or cheap.Why would something so valuable be, remember what Thomas Paine said about the value Heaven places on its good’s? He’s right.

The other thing guys, is this. look around the world at our friends, Australia has a Conservative PM, and he’s making the place take off, Same in Canada. They’re just waiting for America to become America again. And have you been looking at Britain at all? UKIP looks about ready to storm Westminster, which is even more a law unto itself than Washington is.

I rarely make predictions, and I could be wrong but, I think if we keep our course, in a few years we’ll see a boom that make the roaring twenties seem boring. But we must stay the course, we are America, we lead, and we win.

A Manifesto for Conservatarians

n_mj_cooke_130412-998x748This is fascinating. Two very good minds,thinking about the future. David Harsanyi of The Federalist interviews Charles C. W. Cooke of National Review officially about the latter’s book, but they get around some. Lots of good insight here, I think.

You can’t go far these days without running across someone describing themselves as a libertarian-leaning conservative. In his new book, “The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s FutureNational Review’s Charles Cooke proposes a philosophical and political framework that fuses conservatism and libertarianism into a cohesive and effective political brand. The Federalist talked to Cooke about how divisions on the Right over issues like abortion, gay marriage, immigration and foreign policy can be overcome—and how conservatarianism might be the future of the Republican Party.

The Federalist: The fusionist idea has been bouncing around since the dawn of the modern conservative movement. How did you come to the idea of writing a manifesto for conservatarians?

Charles Cooke: The two halves of the title fit together quite nicely, I think. The conservation part is reactive. I have heard people since the Bush administration explaining routinely what they are not. Many did not want to be described as ‘conservative’ and many did not want to be described as ‘Republicans,’ but few were unwilling to go as far as to suggest they were ‘libertarian.’ You hear this a lot: people say, ‘I am conservative when I am around libertarians and libertarian when I am around conservatives.’ I wanted to find out who these people are and what they want and why they are confused. But I also wanted to offer my own explanations as to how they can co-exist and where I think they can go with these instincts and these ideas. And how the various factions on the Right could coexist.

The Federalist: Is there a politician out there now that embodies the philosophical outlook of conservatarians?

Charles Cooke: It’s a difficult question because there are so many factions on the Right, you can get a lot of traction by appealing to any one of them. As such, there doesn’t seem to one candidate who is fits the bill. The closest person is probably Rand Paul.

The Federalist: My sense of Paul too often betrays a paleo-libertarian instinct that, in the end, will probably turn off most conservatives that lean small “l” libertarian.

Charles Cooke: I agree. I think the connections to his father will also damage him. And, you know, it’s a good question but it some regards it misses the point. This is supposed to be a way of changing the minds of voters. The very notion that Americans would be putting all of our stock in one person in the executive branch is in and of itself a problem. Because that is how we now discuss politics.

The Federalist:  Most voters have a difficult time detaching ideas about process from specific policies. Liberals, especially these days, conflate policy and process because outcome is what really matters. Focusing on a single person is a lot easier for voters who aren’t generally very knowledgeable about specifics. So, I imagine, your argument is more difficult to sell than almost any other contemporary political philosophy, precisely because it is built on that distinction.

Keep reading Can Libertarians and Conservatives Coexist?: An Interview With Charles C.W. Cooke.

In many ways this is where I fit in to our political society, and it’s pretty much a traditional American stance; “Leave Me Alone!” Shouted at the top of our voices.

CPAC 2015

Gladstone quoteI haven’t been doing much politics lately. That doesn’t mean that I no longer care, I do as much as ever. It means that for the present all we can really do is hold, and frankly I’m very disillusioned with the Republicans, who have turned into democrat (not so) lite.

Still CPAC is different. Even though they let some of the ones we derisively call RINOs talk, it’s about conservatism, and doing things that work. So, here’s a selection from last weekends CPAC 2015.

My overall thrust remains what it always has been. It is summarized quite well in the lead quote in the sidebar.

This you really want to listen to, it is that important!


And we’ll finish off with a man who knows all to well what Brent Bozell was talking about. If what you know about UKIP comes from the British press, you’ve simply been lied to. Unless I had a very good reason for voting for somebody else, and some do, I’d vote UKIP in a heartbeat.

 

The Telegraph and Peter Oborne

OK, I heard that, “What’s this still another British story? I thought this was a Nebraska blog.”

Well, yeah it is but, this has meaning for us too. In his statement here from Guido Fawkes, Peter Oborne tells us why he quit The Telegraph

Five years ago I was invited to become the chief political commentator of the Telegraph. It was a job I was very proud to accept. The Telegraph has long been the most important conservative-leaning newspaper in Britain, admired as much for its integrity as for its superb news coverage. When I joined the Telegraph had just broken the MPs’ expenses scandal, the most important political scoop of the 21st century.

I was very conscious that I was joining a formidable tradition of political commentary. I spent my summer holiday before taking up my duties as columnist reading the essays of the great Peter Utley, edited by Charles Moore and Simon Heffer, two other masters of the art.

No one has ever expressed quite as well as Utley the quiet decency and pragmatism of British conservatism. The Mail is raucous and populist, while the Times is proud to swing with the wind as the voice of the official class. The Telegraph stood in a different tradition. It is read by the nation as a whole, not just by the City and Westminster. It is confident of its own values. It has long been famous for the accuracy of its news reporting. I imagine its readers to be country solicitors, struggling small businessmen, harassed second secretaries in foreign embassies, schoolteachers, military folk, farmers—decent people with a stake in the country.

My grandfather, Lt Col Tom Oborne DSO, had been a Telegraph reader. He was also a churchwarden and played a role in the Petersfield Conservative Association. He had a special rack on the breakfast table and would read the paper carefully over his bacon and eggs, devoting special attention to the leaders. I often thought about my grandfather when I wrote my Telegraph columns.

That is, I think, pretty close to ground truth. I also have found as I suspect many of you have that the Telegraph has (or maybe had) the best and most objective coverage available of US politics. I started reading it online when it became obvious that the US media had become the propaganda wing of the Obama campaign back in 2007. It was a good, decent, reasonably objective newspaper, although a bit too left-wing by American standards. I suspect it’s something I share with most of my British friends. I too have noticed that it has been changing.

For the last 12 months matters have got much, much worse. The foreign desk—magnificent under the leadership of David Munk and David Wastell—has been decimated. As all reporters are aware, no newspaper can operate without skilled sub-editors. Half of these have been sacked, and the chief sub, Richard Oliver, has left.

Solecisms, unthinkable until very recently, are now commonplace. Recently readers were introduced to someone called the Duke of Wessex. Prince Edward is the Earl of Wessex. There was a front page story about deer-hunting. It was actually about deer-stalking, a completely different activity. Obviously the management don’t care about nice distinctions like this. But the readers do, and the Telegraph took great care to get these things right until very recently.

The arrival of Mr Seiken coincided with the arrival of the click culture. Stories seemed no longer judged by their importance, accuracy or appeal to those who actually bought the paper. The more important measure appeared to be the number of online visits. On 22 September Telegraph online ran a story about a woman with three breasts. One despairing executive told me that it was known this was false even before the story was published. I have no doubt it was published in order to generate online traffic, at which it may have succeeded. I am not saying that online traffic is unimportant, but over the long term, however, such episodes inflict incalculable damage on the reputation of the paper.

And that is important, it is quite easy to lose the trust of people like me, and I suspect like the normal British Telegraph reader as well, because we are in essence, the same clientele. Conservative, yes, but owing a lot to our Whig ancestry. And almost all of us believe that” “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.’ It’s going to be difficult to regain our trust, I suspect.

A lot of electrons have been disturbed in relation to the HSBC mess in the UK, and Mr. Oborne speaks of it at some length, you’ll have to figure it out for yourself, I haven’t been paying much attention to it. But I will say this, the combination of international banking and government (either UK or US) is about as close as you can come to a legal (not moral) criminal conspiracy. if we don’t get some serious curbs put on these guys, and I’m not talking about regulations written with the ‘help’ of the banksters, I’m talking about serious criminal indictments, we may come to think of the 1930s as the good old days.

 

She has a point, although there are some mostly conservative libertarians, and acolytes of the Austrian school of economics. More, many more are needed.

This turned up in my twitter feed on Wednesday afternoon, while I have no corroboration, I have few doubts either.

Now do understand I have no more information than anyone else, it could be just a squabble between a columnist and his employer. But I don’t think so, and if I did I still would be very cautious about what I believe.

In a related matter, also having to do with press honesty, have you seen Sharyl Attkisson’s TEDx talk? Do watch, you need to know this stuff.

 

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