Editor’s Note: If you are a libertarian wishing your party better understood the border and other issues consider looking at the Constitution Party. On this issue the Constitution Party of Tennessee’s platform states: “We affirm the integrity of the international borders of the United States and the Constitutional authority and duty of the federal government to guard and to protect those borders, including the regulation of the numbers and of the qualifications of immigrants into the country. “
By Donald Hank
The libertarian think tank Mises Institute just published an article titled ISIS May Be Our Ally Some Day. (My thanks to our friend Peter in the UK for this tip).
Expressed in the following sentence from the piece is perhaps the most dangerous error of ideological libertarianism:
“In the West, since the nineteenth century, nationalism has largely filled the role of manufacturing consent to government domination, by drawing arbitrarily the contours of a fantasized historical and cultural community.”
Libertarians make the same grievous mistake as radical leftists in that they ignore cultural identity and pretend it does not exist. I discussed this and its disastrous effects here.
Their attitude is: 50 million people share the same likes and dislikes, the same customs, the same religion and the same cultural identity? So what? It’s up to us to erase this identity to save the world from war.
Liberals, including Libertarians, think that it was nationalism that gave the world the Third Reich and WW II. Quite the opposite is true. It was indeed the supranational idea of a united Europe that inspired Hitler, and the idea was carried on by his former officials after the war, as disclosed here and here and in this video by Edward Spalton and Rodney Atkinson, respectively.
By attempting to erase all cultural differences, Libertarianism and Leftism both seek to dominate while hypocritically endorsing “liberty.” Instead of divide and conquer, they seek to artificially unite and conquer.
The author mentions the 19th Century as a turning point, alluding to the Treaty of Westphalia which enshrined in international law the concept of respecting the sovereignties of nations. Today’s utter disregard for national sovereignties gave us the hideous grotesquery of a shattered Libya where the US hegemon decided arbitrarily to take out Ghadaffi, a progressive and beloved secular leader who brought unprecedented prosperity and refused to allow Islamic radicalism to get the upper hand. The author is, perhaps unwittingly, supporting this lawlessness.
The contours of a historical and cultural community they speak of are anything but arbitrary. Calling them arbitrary is indeed arbitrary in itself. The author is referring to national groupings whose constituent populations identify with each other sentimentally and intellectually. Nor is this community in any way a fantasy.
Go tell an Italian that the Italian identity is a fantasy. Be prepared to run.
But especially, do not tell a Russian that there is no such thing as a Russian identity, that it’s all in his head (BTW, the Russians’ strong sense of identity is one of the main reason for the utterly irrational hatred of all things Russian that permeates the West, particularly the upper strata, who cleave to the dangerous notion of supranationality endorsed by the Mises Institute author). False modesty aside, I am particularly alert to cultural differences because of my intimate exposure to many cultures and languages over about 55 years. My analysis is not only from intuition or from a study of other people’s ideas, eg, from having read books or heard lectures, but primarily from years…