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Libertarianism and the Alt-Right: a Connection and a Cartoon

Liberty Hangout posted this cartoon recently then deleted it. I wrote out a comment then when I clicked to post I got the message – it was gone. That was a shame as far as I’m concerned because the cartoon provides a lot to discuss. Regardless how one thinks I feel this cartoon lends a talking point that is great for discussion. The cartoon is not so great if you want to have just one particular discussion. But if you’re a Platypus you aren’t afraid of different ideas nor of thinking about things carefully. Below is the comment I tried to post there and this is the cartoon which I had to hunt down on Google. Luckily I was able to find it.

Alt-Right Cartoon

“This is a very good cartoon. It gives a person a lot to think about. On the one hand there is the notion of the alt-right as running away to their own safe space as a reaction to others. That, of course, can be construed as just an excuse for their own racism. Then there is the idea that identity politics breeds more identity politics. The Alt-right folks are clearly angry so the hatred is, according to the cartoon, created and not inherent. However, I find it hard to believe that someone who is happy to get along, and seeking to get along, would be turned into the very thing they are against over there in Libertarian land. Then there is the omniscient view, or what I like to call, “platypus view” where they are all a bunch of messed up people who seem to think that skin makes them vital and important, that somehow they are made better by the body they were born into rather than the things they do with it. Very good cartoon indeed.”

I’m honestly not 100% sure what the cartoonist really want to say with this. I know that some consider libertarianism a “pipeline” to the alt-right and as I visit the various libertarian pages several times a day I can see that is true for some. I do not think it is true of those who are really there to seek liberty. Libertarianism is a mixed bag as far as the group demographic is contains people of all sorts. Those people are drawn to the movement for various reasons. As a running joke many think it’s just about legalizing pot. For some that actually is true and that was the one thing that brought them into the fold. Among that group alone will be some that learn and grow and others who do not. The liberty movement, and the libertarian branch of it, should teach individual freedom and rights. Of course freedom of association is one of the most important right. I see some libertarians, a minority but some nonetheless, using that to say “I have the right to associate with¬† whom I want and I want to associate with people of my own race.” I’m not here to argue the logic or good wisdom of that choice because they are right of course in terms of rights. I simply use that as an example of just how the logical thinking on rights can lead to what seems to be a logical thinking on racism.

Make no mistake, it is racism. You might argue with me that it is racism you have a right to, or racism that you think is beneficial, but you can’t argue that it is racism.

Maybe you can argue that you were driven to this form of racism by the racism of others and you feel the need to band together to protect yourself.

I don’t see wisdom in racism so arguments that promote it are not persuasive to me. Though one can come up with a million justifications for it I reject them. I will always maintain that racism is nothing more than thinly veiled collectivism. It is one person seeking to elevate himself by virtue of nothing more than what color his skin happens to be. That is an unearned elevation.

I think that those libertarians who leave to go to the alt-right were never really libertarians to begin with but rather were superficially there. Transients of thought on their way to someplace else. The alt-right is certainly someplace else but it’s not someplace better.

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