Anarcho-capitalism and the alt-right

I noticed I was getting a few hits from the /r/anarcho_capitalism sub-reddit and stumbled on an interesting post by /u/chewingofthecud trying to compare and contrast An-caps to the alt-right. Overall it was a pretty interesting discussion. You can read it all here.

This is otherwise hard to explain because according to contemporary (read: wrong) ideas about the political spectrum being neatly divisible into left and right, the two are pretty much first cousins, if not siblings. This isn’t just a Freudian narcissism of small differences thing. When you understand that ancaps are uber-universalist (that’s why almost all of them are deontologists), but the alt-right are what you might call “particularists” (the opposite), things start making a lot more sense. Ancaps generally want one unswerving rule or standard (something like the NAP) to prevail in all times and places, and alt-righters see “different standards for different people” as being not only OK, but actually closer to the way the world really works (there’s also an rejection of the “natural fallacy” implicit in a lot of the alt-right, but that’s another discussion).

I have never been an an-cap myself, but it is my understanding that more than a few have gone through that route before adopting a more neoreactionary or alt-right style mindset. As such, there tends to be a lot of arguments on that sub between alt-righters and more traditional an-caps. Personally, I avoid commenting there as I consider it the territory of others. Other people aren’t so conscientious so you get lively debates fairly often which then inspire posts like the above.

In any event, I tend to agree with OP that a big issue with libertarianism and an-cap-ism is that it fails to address or acknowledge that (universalist) equality is a myth. This makes it very difficult for them, or anyone else, to deal realistically with people as they actually exist. And they exist very unequally.

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4 Replies to “Anarcho-capitalism and the alt-right”

  1. Perhaps we roll in different circles, but anarch-cap definitely does not fail to address the equality myth. As a matter of fact, anarch-cap is much closer to neoreactionary in that regards than many think (see: Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature, The Egalitarian Menace, etc).

    I personally have a huge problem with the altright’s contradictions. How can a people claim to be anti-communist, yet many of them support socialized healthcare? How can they be anti-egalitarian, yet support Democracy?

  2. The equality myth is mostly dealt with via time preference. Some people can plan ahead, and other people seem to need instant gratification.

    The Alt-Right’s apparent contradictions can be understood like this- you’ve got a bunch of white men who have been systematically discriminated against in the name of ‘diversity’. Their rights to freedom of association and private property have been abrogated as well. Meanwhile we have conservative and libertarians who supposedly understand these principles, yet they have not ended these injustices.

    What good, then, are these principles? The Alt-Right now just wants to win. Some of them want an ethnostate. They want to win first and worry about socialized medicine or democracy later. And they want to do this precisely because the idiots who supposedly understand the principles have not fixed anything, but instead are running around calling them racist.

    1. This comment is generally correct for a large chunk of the Alt-Right.

      I would add that for me, I see libertarianism and ancap as safe places for people to hide so they don’t have to ask themselves the really hard questions.

      An example would be acknowledging racial issues. A libertarian is simply someone who sees the system is no longer working and says “I just want the system to leave me alone” instead of getting at the root of why some aspects of the system are not working because he knows at some level he might have to delve into issues that could make him the closest thing to a heretic we have today, a racist. Never mind the fifty billion ways you could be considered a racist, even a hint of it will make you a literal demon worshiper in the eyes of polite society. Oh the libertarian will come up with countless explanations for how things should be and why they are bad now, but most of it is ultimately smoke blown in the air.

      There’s also the pesky problem of how do you get a libertarian systems or ancap set-up to stick. At best, if you could very carefully select members of a new community, isolate them completely and provide resources, that new community would only stay libertarian or ancap for at best one generation before someone stirs up the pot and breaks whatever foundational principles they chose. It just doesn’t last in the real world.

  3. “a big issue with libertarianism and an-cap-ism is that it fails to address or acknowledge that (universalist) equality is a myth. This makes it very difficult for them, or anyone else, to deal realistically with people as they actually exist. And they exist very unequally”

    The Ancap view recognizes inequality in outcome, choices, the right to exclude, etc. We just don’t see why one group (say- Congress or Police) can morally do something like tax, wage war, regulate; while other groups (Wal-Mart, Red Cross) can not morally do so. What if every 4 Years Wal-Mart allowed you to vote for a CEO? Then could they morally tax your income, regulate the economy, and cage people for not obeying drug laws?

    All we ask is that you extend the principle of Non-Aggression you hold all private persons to-No stealing, no murder; and equally apply them to the State

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