The Cost/ Benefit Analysis Libertarians Can’t Solve

I noted to a friend the other night (actually, at about 7am) that the intersection of libertarianism and reaction is that we hold unreconstructed forms of our 18th and 19th century parties, Whigs and Tories respectively.

But it underscores the recurring problem with libertarians. Moldbug essentially posits that only the ancom revolutionary (Žižek and his antecedents) and the reactionary (in the manner of Carlyle) have held consistent ideals over the past several centuries.

Libertarians think they do too.

They entirely miss the point. In holding the view that they are separate from, and better than these two poles, they end up helping only one. No prizes for guessing which one that might be.

When the real liberals of old were breaking down classes and instituting greater franchise, it did not benefit them. The political freedoms they fought for led materially to the rise of the socialist parties and the modern political system. They were, in terms of policy, better of with a few small restrictions imposed by an elite than they are today with redistributive policy enforced by the masses. I mean did the liberals of old really think that people would vote themselves a free… everything?

Today, many express their frustration and even outright opposition to democracy, without owning the reality of their disastrous choices. ‘Any organisation that is not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing.’ So saith Robert Conquest’s 2nd Law of Politics. Such was the fate of the Whigs. The same is gradually becoming the case with libertarianism, thanks to rent-seeking social justice warriors who are sinking that ship.

So I provide, in belated honour of the late Davila’s 101st birthday, two new cautionary aphorisms for libertarians.

‘If freedom is valued as an axiomatic good, then political freedom must be sacrificed. It is the least important freedom.’

‘Consequences inevitability come from progress. You can neither foresee the former nor direct the latter.’

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