Libertarian Embraces the Authoritarianism (again…)

Which in principle should be shocking news but we are up to who knows how many entries now in documented cases of supposed libertarians embracing the ideas and principles of the authoritarian right.

This time we have Donald Trump using the rhetoric of the overt racist demanding that “If you’re not happy here, then you can leave” and “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime[-]infested places from which they came”.

This shouldn’t be a tricky one and it should be a simple matter to see that whatever your political views are (short of overt racism and ethnic nationalism) that a president that demands ideological tests of who gets to live in America is very, very bad news. In this case, attacking undisputedly American citizens as somehow being un-genuine, demonstrates exactly how the rhetoric against “illegals” is the thin of a wedge of political oppression. First strip “foreigners” of their rights and then decide by fiat who is and isn’t a “foreigner”. You shouldn’t even have to like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, or Ilhan Omar or agree with their views to see that this is a very, very dangerous turn for US politics.

If you are a regular reader then you will probably already have guessed which science-fiction writer has jumped in feet first to support Trump’s statement: Sarah Hoyt. Hoyt is an American and an immigrant to America, however she feels her bona-fides are stronger than the above four women because she thinks the right thoughts. She finishes her opening thoughts with “Fit in or Fck off. I’ll help you pack your bags. – SAH

Yup, the message of supposed libertarians and free-speech absolutists in the era of Trump is think-the-right-thoughts-or-leave. Short of literally using the term “thought crime” is couldn’t be a clearer endorsement of authoritarianism.

To be clear, this streak within libertarianism has always been there. The idea that effectively left wing politics should be forbidden from government has always been implied but in the past, they danced around the implications of how they would stop people electing left wing governments. What has been less obvious from the rhetoric but manifest in their practice, is how the sanctity of free speech was something that is used very selectively for the far right. Yes, it is turkeys voting for Christmas but it always has been.

31 thoughts on “Libertarian Embraces the Authoritarianism (again…)

  1. I personally am quite glad that Sarah Hoyt has once again popped her head out of her own ass to vent. It’s not as though I’ve had anything else to stress out about lately.

    If nothing else she’s a perfect demonstration that not all people who move to the US are worthy of my regard. C.f. Werner Von Braun, Ferdinand Marcos and the Shah of Iran. Weirdly enough, I suspect that neither Marcos or the Shah really fit in. Von Braun, on the other hand, made that work.

    I have vivid memories of pro-war types in the 60’s with ‘America: Love it or Leave It’ bumper stickers on their cars. Evidently, the phrase was popularized by Walter Winchell in defense of Joe McCarthy, who died around the time I was born. Born in Ohio, I should add, about 30 years before Ms. Hoyt became a US citizen.

    Fit in or fuck off, indeed. Just go with the latter, Sarah.


  2. The attack on four US citizens, three of them American born, reminds me of when Sonia Sotamayor corrected someone on how to pronounce her name during her Senate hearings. National Review (here) ran a spittle-flecked piece about how it’s one thing to tolerate people like her with their exotic foreign foods and worshipping exotic foreign gods, but we’ll pronounce their names the American way!
    Sotamayor is, of course, a New York born Catholic of Puerto Rican ancestry so not that exotic. And I’d bet solid cash that the writer would not have blinked if it was a Brit correcting the pronounciation of Bruttenholm or Smythe.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. One blogger pointed out that most libertarian pundits in the US are solidly Republican, even though the only Libertarian things Repubs support are tax cuts and deregulation on business.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It is very dispiriting. That infamous tweet about voting for the leopards eating people’s faces party and then being shocked when the leopard comes for your own face is funny because it’s true.

    SAH is a chronically angry person of middling intellect. If she gets her way and the authoritarian consolidation continues to progress geometrically, as it has been, I think she may find that they consider citizenship something that is conditional. She’s an immigrant, with an accent, and reasonably significant health issues.

    They’ve come for refugees, Muslims, undocumented or POC visa overstayers already. They’ve tarted marginalizing trans folk (and enabled homophobic/ discriminatory practices under the guise of “closely-held religious belief). They’re OK with really noxious and violent anti-Semitism. Next up will be the homeless — Domald Tromp already dogwhistled as much when he claimed he’d rid DC of the homeless problem. The homeless will be next for “resettlement” institutions, no doubt in my mind.

    If SAH thinks foreign-born people with expensive health problems aren’t going to targeted somewhere down the line, I’d encourage her to think again. The leopards come for everyone’s faces,given enough time. Eventually they’ll turn on each other,which creates a gap for civil society to reassert itself. But oh-so-much pain, suffering and damage comes first.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes, having seen the reactions of Vox Day and other puppies to Sarah Hoyt, I honestly wonder why she believes that she is American enough to be left alone. To people like Vox Day, she’ll always be an immigrant and never American enough, no matter how assimilated.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Whenever Beale blabs about immigration these days, I have to repress an urge to scream “You live in Italy now, you moronic putz!” at my computer screen.

        After all, it’s not like he’s going to use actual reason, logic and empathy on this subject when he ignores them on everything else.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Yes, Vox Day is an immigrant himself and can’t go back to the US, as far as I know, so he really should shut up about immigrants. Not to mention that Italy is not an immigrant friendly country these days. At the moment, the hatred is mostly directed towards African immigrants coming in across the Mediterranean, but it’s only a matter of time before they target other groups. And then the question is, “Will Beale be one of the ‘useful’ immigrants?”

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Libertariansm isn’t my bag of tea but it does have an inherent logic, in an “if x is true then y follows” way. If government/regulation is bad then smaller (or non-existant) governement is a good thing. Personally I don’t agree with the premise of government being inherently negative, but the libertarian conclusion of what follows should you accept the premise is logical.

    So the idea that that thought should be regulated simply doesn’t make sense if regulation is accepted as a negative. It is an inconsitent position for a libertarian to hold.

    I suppose one could argue that Trump (or any Libertarian backing him up) wasnt’ saying they “must” leave or talking about the government forcing them to, rather inviting them as free agents to do so. Which I suppose is consistent but shows an inherent flaw in libertarianism – without governement there is no way to enforce ideas you believe are beneficial. (Please note I don’t believe sending second – or even first – generation immigrants back to their country of ancestory is beneficial – for either the immigrant, or either nation).

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s really not a matter of “foreign born.” It’s a matter of a non-white ethnic group having economic success in the U.S., whether foreign born or not.

    In the 1880’s, the U.S. passed a series of acts specifically excluding Chinese immigration, with the Chinese Exclusion Act lasting until 1943, and also in the 19th century had all sorts of work and ownership restrictions on Chinese immigrants and Chinese American citizens. That’s because the Chinese started coming in droves in the 1850’s, mostly as illegal serf labor, working in textiles, mines, farms and building the railroads, and they successfully built communities, export and other businesses and land development. White Americans resented that success and wanted them blocked and their stuff confiscated.

    In the 1920’s, acts were passed banning immigration from Southern Europe — Italians, Sicilians, Spanish, Portugese, Greeks, etc. — all of whom were not considered white at the time. That’s because they had come in large waves since the 1880’s and had built highly successful economic communities that white communities resented. It wasn’t until the mid-twentieth century that some of these ethnicities became valuable voting blocks enough that they started being considered white instead of non-white.

    During WWII, all U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans weren’t a threat, but they incarcerated them in internment camps anyway, with two-thirds of them American citizens, many born in the U.S. And this was in large part because a large chunk of the Japanese were getting very successful at agriculture and white farmers, particularly in California resented this and wanted to take their land. Once they were interred, their stuff was seized and white farmers got a windfall. (In the 1980’s there would be more anti-Japanese sentiment and hate crimes due to Japan’s growing tech success, with the belief often explored in science fiction that the Japanese would take over the U.S.)

    And of course, 90% of anti-Semitism has come from the belief that Jews are economically successful (even when they were starving in tenements,) and need to be contained, their stuff and land confiscated. And that’s not even getting in to the African myth used to justify slavery and block African-Americans with incarceration, etc.

    And so on and so forth. You often get made white or white adjacent if your group is useful enough, to maintain the “white” majority. But if an ethnic group is successful enough, there will be “white” business owners who if they can obtain enough political leverage and officials, will attempt to use the government to punish, incarcerate, eject, etc. and take their stuff as the windfall. Whenever there’s hostility towards some “immigrant” group that also indiscriminantly targets Americans of the same ethnicity, (or against indigenous such as them having casinos and land mineral rights,) it’s always those who currently get to be “white” who resent the economic successes of the ethnicity and use pretexts to impose anti-equality laws and practices to get back their rigged economic advantage.

    Latinos/non-white Hispanics are the biggest ethnic group after the catch-all category of white. They’re growing in leaps and bounds. And they are having economic successes, building vast webs of communities, and just simply being part of the workforce. And millions of them are citizens, natural born and naturalized, and can vote. Republicans briefly flirted with the idea of trying to get Latinos as a voting block, since they’d had some success with Cubans thanks to the Cold War and many Latinos have conservative, Catholic social views. But too many of the white base they were courting are deeply threatened by the idea of Latinos being both a major demographic and economic force in the country. And with NAFTA, they resent that Mexico has been successful and benefited from that trade agreement.

    So at a time when Russian, Eastern European, German and Japanese immigration is on the rise and often coming in undocumented or over-staying visas, including coming through Mexico, and two-thirds of the undocumented come in by air, boat or the Canadian border, Trump is focused exclusively on Mexico entry immigrants, especially the refugees from Central America since he can categorize them as crooks and freeloaders. It started before him, with Republicans banning undocumented migrant workers, even though that’s caused farmers’ crops to rot in the fields for the past ten years. And more disturbing than his tweet is his new illegal executive order where he’s revoking their ability to come in as refugees, which is the next step after the concentration camps that exclusively house Latino immigrants. This is an old American tradition and it’s based on the “economic anxiety” of white people losing power, economic success and majority status. ICE has detained and imprisoned thousands of U.S. citizens because they are Latino — they are trying to make the ethnic group a pariah to be able to block economic advancement.

    It’s a losing battle for them because first off, Central American immigrants bring in lots of skills we need in agriculture, construction and trades, healthcare, maintenance, etc., as well as educated professionals and children who will become them. Second, because these things never work as a tactic for very long and U.S. trade is deeply emeshed with Mexico and Central America, including its wealthy business people. Third, because there are a lot of white Hispanics and white Latinos; the group was on track to be adopted into “white people” to make up the numbers of “whites” so that white people remain the majority. Makes a racial/ethnic based persecution harder to do because Latinos are thoroughly inter-married and fit in perfectly fine. And fourth, Latino Americans are a long established, multi-ethnic population, not recent, and keep having American born kids and will keep growing as an ethnic group. They can’t stop it. But Republicans and Trump are betting that white evangelicals will keep voting them in office on the promise of stopping random ethnic groups picked and demonized as the enemies of “white people.”

    Racism is an economic and political tool. It’s always about money and perceived economic/social status. Libertarians are for oligarchy of property owners with indentured serf labor. Essentially the long operating system of many Central and South American countries is their ideal. So most of them happily embrace racism and ethnic prejudice to better prop up oligarchies of the supreme, intelligent righteous wealthy people over the peasant serfs. And they’re always not the peasant serfs, of course.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. “First strip “foreigners” of their rights and then decide by fiat who is and isn’t a “foreigner”. ”


    In addition to the scary logic, I’m also struck by the glaring hypocrisy in the arguments. Hoyt starts off by bashing AOC because

    “That woman loves the country as she wants it to be, with HER in charge. The country as it is? Not so much.”

    which is apparently a horrible opinion to have for a politician. Except when it’s Trump, I guess. Swap the gender and you basically have a critique of the main premise of the Trump campaign: “America is not so great as it could be, put me in charge and I’ll Make America Great Again”.

    Also, in the part not written by Hoyt but her friend:
    “It is entirely reasonable to refer to all three of them as immigrants. It was a key part of their formative experiences. Every single one was raised by, at minimum, one person who did not come from the US originally. ”

    So I guess Kendall is OK with calling Trump an immigrant too? His mother, and all his grandparents, where immigrants. Donald jr, Ivanka, Eric and Barron also have foreign-born mothers.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Every time the Right gets up in arms about freeze peach, it always means “I should be free to say exactly what I want to say and you should be free to hear it without the opportunity to reply and tell me how full of it I am.”

    They continually reveal how little they understand what ‘freedom of speech’ really means.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Some of them understand but they know they can game the refs and get some attention. After the Atlantic dropped Kevin D. Williamson for his belief women who get abortions should be hung, he soon started playing Tragic Free Speech Martyr to advance his career.
      Some of the religious right really do feel people have no right to speak back to them. They’ve imbibed heavily of the wine of Holier Than Thou.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Read this article today and was rather sad because it’s on point, with data. While Trump’s racist nativism is bad for the Republican party on the whole as a strategy, it is effective as a tactic for Trump to get re-elected:

    Because of people like Hoyt, if you can peel away enough white racially-resentful Democrats to vote Republican or stay home and conservative Hispanics, and combine it with Republican-controlled state voter suppression as we saw in 2016 and 2018, Trump has a decent shot at re-election.

    Doesn’t matter that re-electing Trump will cause leopards to eat their faces and continue to make their situation worse. It’s the perception of status, of who’s going to be in control of things and that this should remain in the hands of a white, man-dominated supremacy in the U.S.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. The problem is that most of the white swing voters have massive racial grievances which turns them to vote Republican, for white nativism and security of white dominance. A lot of Republicans, including the POC Republicans, don’t have racial grievance directly. They are just wedded to the Republican party as their identity and so vote for the Republican candidates, putting up with whatever white supremacy nativism is expressed as no big deal. (People who have chosen a political party mostly stay with and vote for that party.) The rest of the white Republicans do that too plus have the racial grievance and those are Trump’s “core” voters.

        Swing voters — not affiliated with either main party or affiliated but willing to shift — are in the majority white people. And white people in the majority defend white advantage in a rigged white supremacy society even if they don’t have heavy racial grievance because they see it as necessary to their identity of being good, nice, righteous people, which they get for being white. So if Trump demonizes POC, as he does, and promises to preserve and increase white dominance, as he’s done his entire political career, they’ll likely vote for Trump. And a lot of the other white swing voters who defend white advantage and also have strong racial grievances will also vote for Trump. So his ability to get swing voters is pretty good. And he doesn’t have to get all of them to even vote specifically for him. As we saw in 2016, if swing voters vote for a third party candidate or just stay home and sulk, that’s a vote for Trump.

        If Democrats can turn out their broad coalition in sufficient numbers, they will win. That’s what happened in the 2018 elections. Which is where corporatism and Republican voter suppression tactics come into play. Studies found that approximately nearly 200,000 votes in Wisconsin were suppressed. Trump won Wisconsin and the electoral college for the presidency by 20,000 votes. Voter suppression in Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania effectively won him the electoral college. Poor workers for giant corporations like WalMart and Amazon are treated like robots by their employers. They can’t easily get time off to go vote and corporations and Republicans have fought against having election day be a national holiday for decades. And the Republicans when they control an area make it as hard as possible for poorer people, POC and college students to vote through suppression tactics. Even if workers can manage to go vote, the economy and work conditions have consistently degraded for them, discouraging them from trying to vote as they don’t believe any politician will help them. So their non-votes become votes for Trump.

        It only requires a thin slice of really angry, really anxious white people who pretend poor brown people are the source of their problems to keep their cultural status elevated, and it swings to Trump. For the Republicans, the strategy has increasingly pushed them into a far right box that is making them lose demographically over the long term. But Trump doesn’t care — he just needs to float a thin slice of voters who are increasingly scared that POC have slightly more equality and thus more prominence, or rather perceived prominence, which reduces their white favored status.

        The majority of white men vote Republican. The majority of white women vote Republican. They preserve white supremacy policies. White swing voters aren’t going to break from Trump or voting against the Democratic candidate because they think that Trump is racist, because that’s preserving things for white people and white people’s status. They may break from him because they don’t think he’s brought them enough goodies and failed his promises to give them goodies, but not necessarily enough of them. The whole election relies on blocking voter suppression and on Democrats getting out their whole coalition to get around voter suppression — not the swing voters.

        Liked by 3 people

      1. I think the U.S. is quite adequately demonstrating how easily racist shit can be used to destabilize its whole political system.

        Never forget that the whole rise of the ‘Religious Right’ in the U.S. had nothing to do with Roe v. Wade (that’s just how they sold it to the rubes); it was really started by Brown v. Board of Education. Or, more directly, by Bob Jones University v. United States. Which was basically the case which started when the IRS said ‘as a private institution, sure, you don’t really have to abide by the rules under which schools were required to be integrated; however, if you’re going to reject that, we don’t have to accept your tax-exempt status either’.

        Liked by 3 people

  10. She wants them to fit in? In my idea of the United States people don’t rant about immigrants or their families not being good Americans. Unfortunately I like to keep my views consistent, so if I ever ruled the world I’d have to let Sarah continue spouting off.

    Liked by 4 people

Comments are closed.