Libertarianism: Left, Right or What?

Nine times out of ten, libertarians answer this question the same way: ‘left’ and ‘right’ are meaningless terms, and the fundamental question in governance is what role you give to the state, if any. While I believe the ‘left-right’ distinctions are of limited use, there certainly are positions and values one can easily and usefully identify as ‘left’ or ‘right’, even if they in the end merely amount to preferences in how state power is used.

I had a discussion with a self-described left-libertarian colleague recently, though he will stress this is not to be confused with the ‘libertarian socialism’ advocated by the likes of Noam Chomsky. His argument was that libertarianism must be regarded as a leftist endeavor; in part because classical liberalism started as one, in its opposition to the Ancien Régime, the aristocracy and the close relationship between Church and State. Today, he says, libertarianism is clearly leftist in its materialistic, non-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian worldview, and non-racialist, non-nationalistic outlook.

My response, given merely to create an interesting argument rather than lay out actual personal principles, was to say libertarianism is a discourse of the right. This is because libertarianism tends towards inequality; inequality of outcomes and inequality in opportunity (See Murray Rothbard’s ‘Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature‘). This is an anathema to any leftist and contradicts what may be the essence of their movement. Surely also, in the absence of a state, we will most likely fall back on our communities and religious organisations to make up for the functions it once monopolized or tried to monopolize, giving libertarianism the most conservative of end results?

Its something to think about over the weekend.

They Must Go

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It was amazing to witness the macabre media circus after Toulouse. Less than a year ago, many people irresponsibly jumped to label an attack on Norwegian leftists a jihadist atrocity, when in fact the killer was a white nationalist. In Toulouse, the situation was reversed. The left throughout the world hi-jacked the murders of innocent Jews and Muslim soldiers by blaming the killings on a Neo-Nazi in order to attack the politics of Nicholas Sarkozy. A New York Times headlined proclaimed the “Killings Could Stall Election’s Nationalist Turn” and blamed “anti-immigrant political talk” for creating a climate of hate.

Unfortunately for the left, it was a Muslim. A homegrown Salafist (now Egypt’s second largest political movement after the Muslim Brotherhood) who was actually being monitored by the intelligence services. Mohammed Merah murdered a three-year old child named Gavriel, a little boy named for one of the victims of the infamous assault by Islamists on the Chabad House in Mumbai in 2008. Merah’s relatively quick death at the hands of French police was far too kind a fate.

Jews have helped enrich all aspects of French life, from Sarah Bernhardt to the Citroen. They never got much thanks in return, from Dreyfus to Drancy, and to the murders and intimidation of the present day. There is another minority community, however, that contributes far less to France apart from welfare scroungers and violent chauvinists. For mentioning this inconvenient truth, I could be called all sorts of unpleasant things, but now is a time for truth over stupid protocol.

According to the New York Post, Merah was a petty criminal on welfare, and other sources have indicated he has received a plethora of state handouts, including housing. They not only tolerate this kind of Islamist rodent in France, the poor taxpayer has to subsidize them. Fascinatingly, the older brother of the Toulouse gunman has said he is “proud” of Mohammed Merah’s actions, and a teacher in a French school held a moment of silence and appreciation for this murderer. My solution to this is quite simple: all Islamists from or entitled to the citizenship of another country should lose their European passports and be sent promptly to whatever dump they belong in, at their own expense if possible. Mass immigration from Third World, Islamic countries is going to have to be severely curtailed. This is how you drain the subversive Islamist swamp, not by blaming Israel or justified public skepticism of mass immigration.

Why I won’t be supporting #Kony 2012

Forget Invisible Children’s troubling finances for a moment. What do these people actually want? The picture above shows the charity’s founders posing with members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Their now extraordinarily successful video openly advocates support for the Ugandan armed forces, and they have intensely lobbied the US Government to assist the Ugandan regime in crushing Kony and the LRA. They argue these forces are in the best position to stop Kony. I don’t doubt for a moment their sincerity and good intentions.

Just one problem, folks: the Ugandan army and the SPLA stand accused of atrocities such as the use of rape to control local populations, murder, torture and looting. Ironically, the SPLA has systematically utilized child soldiers.

According to Foreign Affairs, “the Ugandan government’s aggressive counterinsurgency measures” against the LRA has included forcing the population of northern Uganda “to relocate into what were effectively concentration camps… poorly protected from attacks, and faced dreadful living conditions. A study carried out under the auspices of the World Health Organization in 2005 found that there were 1000 excess deaths per week in the Acholi region”.

They have a lot to say about Invisible Children: “In their campaigns, such organizations have manipulated facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil. They rarely refer to the Ugandan government atrocities or those of Sudan’s People’s Liberation Army, such as attacks against civilians or looting of civilian homes and businesses, or the complicated regional politics fueling the conflict”.

Scathing stuff, but this clueless activism that puts heart before head is all too familiar.

Recently Invisible Children deleted a telling statement on their blog on the subject of military intervention:

“…when speaking of pure pacifism, we disagree. Invisible Children believes in the usefulness of strategic intervention in humanitarian crises. To ignore this is to allow another Rwanda. “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”.

Yet Kony isn’t even in Uganda, and Invisible Children admits this. The LRA operates in an area larger than France, stretching from southern Darfur to parts of South Sudan and the northern Congo. Taking Kony and the LRA down would require military intervention in no less than four African countries. To this I say: no thanks.

The Amnesty Agenda

For a long time now I have believed that one of the most evil developments of our time has been the hi-jacking of the term ‘human rights’ by some of the most unsavory people walking the globe, from Islamists to Trotskyites. Amnesty International, because its iconic status at the forefront of the Human Rights Industry, has proven to be one of the most important targets in the sights of certain agitators, who have no business near it or any serious ‘human rights’ organisation.

When Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre in London hosted the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and another Palestinian/Arabist/Islamist advocacy group called Middle East Monitor (MEMO) for a ‘discussion’ on Zionist control of the media, I tried to raise alarm. So did others. It was to no avail.

That was England. It is now time to look at Ireland, as I know there are Irish men and women who read this blog who share my concerns. An announcement or report from Amnesty is commonly regarded as unquestionable, due to the supposedly nice intentions of those altruistic souls in the Human Rights Industry. Should this be the case? Lets take a special look at one particularly heavy-hitter at Amnesty International in Ireland.

The Communications Co-ordinator  at Amnesty International in Ireland is Justin Moran, a journalism graduate from DCU. Moran’s Facebook page reveals himself to be a fan of or in contact with:

John Pilger

Noam Chomsky

Ilan Pappe

Robert Fisk

Freda Mullin-Hughes, of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Martin McGuinness

Eoin O’Broin, of Sinn Féin

An Phoblacht

Dr. Fintan Lane, a Socialist Workers Party communist and prominent Israel-basher

Dr. Sean Marlow, an advocate for boycotting Israel

Robbie Smyth, of Griffith College Dublin, said to be a communications guru for certain Irish Republican groups

Yousef al-Helou, Iran’s PRESS TV man in Gaza, almost certain to be a HAMAS affiliate

Felim Hammell (or Feilim O’ Hadhmaill), a sociology lecturer and convicted Provoisional IRA bomber, who signed the 2006 letter endorsing a boycott of Israel and a  founding member of Palestinian Solidarity in Ireland.

Justin Moran is also a  supporter of the ‘Ship2Gaza’ crowd,  and the ‘No to English Queen in Ireland’ campaign.

I am not sure how long Moran has been with the Amnesty Press Office. However, it is a sure sign that too many of those who pontificate against Israel on a daily basis at Amnesty, and who have enormous trust from the media and the wider public, may never have read a book on Israeli history that wasn’t written by the former Israeli Communist politician and pundit Ilan Pappe.

Still, its good to know what kind of people have infiltrated Amnesty in a way that would bring tears of pride to Antonio Gramsci and the Cultural Marxists. Amnesty International will no doubt have its stellar reputation for many more years, but I for one will be treating any future message from Amnesty as a party-political broadcast.