Liberty Against Fascism:Open Letter from the Libertarian Movement

Today (August 12th, 2017), the “Unite the Right” rally is scheduled to proceed in Charlottesville, VA. The “Right” being united there isn’t just any “Right,” but one that welcomes white supremacists and self-described fascists. Multiple speakers will say this themselves, and the chants at a chaotic pre-event march the night before included Neo-Nazi slogans.

The purpose of this letter is to clarify the role for libertarianism in this rally – which is no role at all.

That clarification is necessary because it might appear otherwise. Three of the listed speakers have at one time or another identified as libertarians: Mike Enoch, Augustus Invictus, and Christopher Cantwell. Mike Enoch previously called himself a libertarian, but now mocks the philosophy as “autistic.” Augustus Invictus previously attempted to run for Senate through the Libertarian Party. Recently, though, he publicly changed his registration to Republican in disgust. Christopher Cantwell now seems ambivalent about his relationship with libertarianism and anarchism, but his primary identification is with fascism.

Regardless of how any speakers or attendees have identified in the past or present, we want to make clear that this event is not in any way a place for libertarianism. Among libertarians, some identify as “right-wing,” some as “left-wing,” and some as “radical centrists.” Virtually the entire outside political spectrum is mirrored within libertarianism, and this makes for no shortage of infighting. One area where the undersigned have consensus, however, is in a rejection of any attempt to connect white supremacy and fascism to libertarianism. Libertarians, including those who see themselves as on “the Right,” have no interest in uniting with the horrifically authoritarian “Right” – often called the “Alt-Right” – rallying in Charlottesville.

All this should be exceedingly obvious from even a cursory glance at the two movements.

On a historical note, modern-day libertarianism largely took root in the English-speaking world through Jewish intellectuals, some of whom fled the Nazis. Our movement grew as a revolt against fascism, Communism, and early twentieth-century progressivism. As Thomas Leonard has shown in his Illiberal Reformers, that third enemy’s intellectual history is closely interwoven with eugenics.

On the level of philosophy, libertarianism stresses the freedom of individuals even when that freedom goes against some supposed collective will. The entire point behind a politics of white supremacy is to replace free association with endless central planning and regulation on collectivist racial grounds. “Unite the Right” speaker Richard Spencer actively seeks to turn the United States into a 100% white ethno-state. It is impossible to conceive of this happening without a return of the total state and its horrors.

Despite the obvious incompatibility of that totalitarianism and libertarianism (of any kind), an attempted association between the two is unsurprising. Attempts at rebooting authoritarian movements often operate through a tactic called entryism. Entryism is where a smaller political movement attempts to capture a larger one and seize its resources. In cases like fascism and Communism, the tendency towards entryism is probably a joint product of amoral opportunism and an inability to rationally defend their views.

It is necessary, then, for libertarians to restate the exceedingly obvious and insist on the stark differences between our views and those of anyone with any affinity for National Socialist Germany.

Source, with (growing) list of signers to this statement @ https://libertyagainstfascism.wordpress.com/

Nationwide Screening of “1984” set for April 4.

On April 4, 2017 more than 180 art house movie theaters in 165 cities will be screening “1984” based on the novel for George Orwell, and starring John Hurt as Winston Smith. The film will also be shown at five theaters in Canada, one in the UK and one in Sweden.

The nationwide screening of this anti-totalitarian classic is inspired by the election of President Trump and the threat to freedom that his actions pose. Every President poses a threat to freedom, but we can be thankful that this President has generated a response – a desire to reaffirm our understanding of freedom and the threats to freedom posed by a powerful government.

The nationwide screening can also be seen as a way to honor John Hurt, who died last month after a distinguished career in movies.

A complete listing of theaters that are taking part is available @ http://www.unitedstateofcinema.com/

Tooley:”When Soviet Totalitarians Became American Allies”

Three quarters of a century ago, on June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, an attack on the Soviet Union across a front 3,000 miles long. Barbarossa moved the war into its global stage. It prefigured the final alliance system. It moved the Final Solution to the industrial level of killing. It helped bring the United States into the war, and certainly opened the floodgates of “pre-Lend-Lease” from the United States to Stalin’s Russia. As Ralph Raico has pointed out, the presidential powers inherent in Lend-Lease amounted to one of the great expansions of power in American history. On this aspect, see Raico’s review essay on Justus Doenecke’s Storm on the Horizon, as well as Raico’s rethinking of FDR, in which addresses the character of Hopkins.

But apart from Raico, Doenecke, and other historians in the libertarian and Old Right revisionist tradition, and in spite of the enormous impact this single event has had on world history, what a bundle of historical misinformation and misunderstandings surround it! In essence, two totalitarians agreed to divide Europe. After nearly two years of relatively close cooperation in invasion, mass killing, deportations, and forced labor, the two great apostles of the state parted ways, largely because their long range territorial, strategic, and economic plans were mutually exclusive. They were both still totalitarians, both still mass murderers.

Yet this whole issue of Hitler and Stalin as two roads to the same total state had to wait, really, until the 1980s and early 1990s before any hint of historical comparisons reached the mainstream, meaning college textbooks, academe, popular history, etc. Even all those years later, even when specialists among mainstream historians knew very well that the research on Stalin portrayed a horrifying record, treatment of the Man of Steel in textbooks, in the news media almost always pulled punches.

The amazing thing is that during the Cold War, educated Americans could hold both images in their minds: “Uncle Joe” on the one hand, and the evil Cold War Stalin on the other. A truly Orwellian feat.
Full Commentary by T. Hunt Tooley on the Anniversary of the German invasion of Russia in 1941, @ The Mises Institute https://mises.org/blog/when-soviet-totalitarians-became-american-allies