Thursday, April 12, 2018
"The Libertarian to Alt-Right Pipeline", video from Reason Magazine
Zach Weissmueller of Reason Magazine challenges us with a short film “The Libertarian to Alt-Right Pipeline”
Zach, who says he is in his early twenties himself, notes early in the video that libertarianism often appeals to young adults, especially white males, as they go through phases, and that something like “populism” can become the next “cool” idea.
But he also gets into the question “is the enemy of my enemy my friend”? He notes that Barry Goldwater back in 1964 was viewed as “libertarian” and entering the presidential race to oppose the civil rights movement. (Goldwater would later, in the 1990s, support the lifting of the ban on gays in the military with his famous “shoot straight” op-ed. Remember Johnson's nuke 1964 campaign ad?) Reagan had many libertarian impulses but attracted the libertarian segment by attacking misuse of welfare (which Clinton reformed in the 1990s).
Weissmueller notes that other supposedly libertarian figures have sometimes courted strange political bedfellows, as with Milton Friedman courting Pinochet in Chile.
Toward the end, Weissmueller notes that for historical reasons and specific problems (systemic racism of the past), “people of color” are more likely to believe in collective political values and identity politics (even intersectionality) than many white people. But the Alt-Right is gaining some traction by claiming that the rest of the world is turning so collective that white people need to do so also, or else “be conquered”, although that sounds like the echo of a Marxist argument.
There could be one more, subtle reason. Individualists often do not like to be coerced into relating directly to people whom they see as not intact. But that is becoming more socially necessary as inequality plays out and becomes more personal. Zach notes that some libertarians have a hidden fascist streak inside their own inner cores, which I think he could present a defense against dealing with “real people as people”. It’s all to easy to want to dump all losers even if you become one yourself.
Picture: Mine, Road to Nowhere tunnel near Bryson City NC. Yet a Facebook server isn’t far away (in Forest City).