The Cultural Desert of British Libertarianism: A Study in Failure (2015), by Sean Gabb

A speech given on Tuesday the 17th March 2015 in London to the other Libertarian Alliance.

Sean argues that libertarianism has had no impact in Britain since the 1980s because libertarians have concentrated on abstract economic arguments at the expense of cultural engagement. We face a ruling class that has hegemony both in high art and in popular culture. If we want to make any progress, we need to be looking at an artistic and cultural challenge to the current order of things.

This is an audio only upload

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4 thoughts on “The Cultural Desert of British Libertarianism: A Study in Failure (2015), by Sean Gabb

  1. Curt Doolittle

    While I laud the criticism of our abstract arguments, I will simply point out what the data says: that libertarians fail because the left majority rejects our economic argumnets, and the right rejects our moral arguments.  

    As I have written about somewhat extensively by now, libertarians are, according to the evidence, morally blind. Not as morally blind as progressives, but none the less, morally blind.  And we consistently make immoral arguments. 

    The reason being that the extreme libertinism that we are propagating under the term 'libertarian' actively seeks to undermind construction of the commons, makes no demand for truth telling, nor for the ostracization and punishment of those who prevent the commons, and engage in deceit. 

    However, the west – the only people ever to produce liberty in human history – accomplished this feat through means diametrically opposed to those of the libertines: (a) participation in the violent construction of individual proprety rights in order to obtain those property rights from others in exchange. (b) the violent suppression of authority wherever it arises whenever possible, (c) the violent suppression of all deceit in all forms in all walks of life wherever it occurred, (d) the production of commons and mandatory participation in that production, (e) the ostracization, deprivation and frequent murder of those who violated commons whehter normative or physical.  

    Liberty is a consequence of the militia's martial virtues.  

    There is no other possible means of constructing proerty 'rights' except as in such an exchange.  There is no possibility – an absolute impossibility – to produce an anarchic polity in a low trust society without producing demand for an authoritarian state to suppress these behaviors.   Any more than there is a possiblity of producing a communist society.  Why?  Becuase incentives for labor under the voluntary oganization of prodocution are necessary.  Just as incentives for the voluntary construction of commons is necessary.  Niether property, truth telling, nor contribution to the commons are of obvoius short term interest.  And that is why man has rarely except in the martial peoples been able to construct truth telling, trust, property, and commons.

    Libertinism fails becuase it is a mere verbalism.  A beggardly appeal.  YOu cannot ask the under classes to cease their parasitism.  YOu cannot ask the bureaucratic classes to cease their rent seeking.  You cannot ask liars to stop lying when it is their means of survival.  It is irrational for them to obey. In fact, maximum parasitism and rent seeking are the most rational course of action for all peoples.  

    Liberty was constructed by violence.  It must be constructed by violence.  It has never been constructed by persuasion.  Because it is not in the interest of the many.  Liberty is an aristocratic virtue.  The producer of goods and services cannot ignore the demands of the producer of property rights.  

    And that is what libertarians are doing: carrying on an act of verbal fraud in order to avoid a trade with the producers of property rights using organize violnce.  They want high trust norms in exchange for the creation of order.  Libertines do not want a trade.  Warriors will give us our property rights in return, but only if we give them their norms.  

    To ask otehrwise is to perpetuate an argumenative fraud by which we make a false moral appeal that we should get what we desire at a discount, while they should sell what we desire at a discount.  

    This is merely fraud.

    And this fraud is why we fail.

    Whatever happens in your home is your own business. But talking, advertising, promoting, evangelizing it is not your own business – it takes place in the normative commons.  And it is that commons that conservatives produce.  We merely ride upon it.

    If we want our property rights we must exchange with conservatives their want of norms.  No one gets what he wants en toto.  All exchanges are a compromise.

    If we exchange with conservaitves, then we can crush the kleptocracy.  And be the thought leaders of all.

    Otherwise we will remain the decadent, immoral, and irrelevant in all politics.

    As libertines deserve to be.

    Curt Doolittle 
    The Propertarian Institute 
    Kiev, Ukraine.