Rights Theory, Toleration

It’s Not a Thought Experiment Anymore

(co-authored with Steve Horwitz)

We all know the thought experiment. There are a million versions of it. What do you do if the Nazis show up? Do you hide your Jewish neighbors in your attic? Do you protest in the streets? Do you throw stones at the Nazis’ parades? Do you shoot them on sight? What are your ethical limits? What are the limits of a civil society?

Is it okay to punch a Nazi?

Classrooms across the US run thought experiments like these, show the movie “The Lesson Plan” about the Third Wave event in Palo Alto, and discuss the Milgram experiment. It’s supposed to prepare our students and ourselves to resist fascism.

We want students to say that the solution here is to engage the Nazis in reasoned debate, to resist them peacefully, and fight fascism by being living examples of civilized society.

Here’s the problem, though.

It’s not a thought experiment anymore. The philosophy classroom is no longer an intellectual version of matchstick poker. The stakes are real.

The attendees of the 2017 International Students for Liberty Conference—still going on as we write this post—no longer have to wonder what they would do if Nazis showed up.

Nazis—at least, one prominent member of the alt-right with neo-Nazi views and a handful of his supporters—showed up at ISFLC17 this weekend. They were invited by a few attendees who belong to a group (The Hoppe Caucus) that is not affiliated with Students for Liberty in any way. They arrived, got a table in the hotel bar, posted a sign that implied they were part of the official conference, and began to try to engage with passersby. It was—as the Hoppe Caucus made clear on their Facebook page—a scheme explicitly concocted in order to cause trouble.

After 30 minutes or so of what one SFL attendee called “fairly boring conversations with a Nazi” some of the SFL students began to get angry and shout. Jeffrey Tucker, who knows better than most how insidious this kind of thinking is within the libertarian movement, arrived, told the Nazi that fascists are not welcome at an anti-fascist conference, and argued with him for a few moments.

The hotel bar, quite justifiably, got tired of the disruption and asked everyone to leave. The neo-Nazi, at his own request, was escorted from the bar.

The news hit Facebook and Twitter, and the post-game analysis began.

While many felt that the situation was handled as well as it could be, others seemed intent on engaging in those familiar thought experiments. Jeffrey Tucker and Students for Liberty were called delicate snowflakes for not wanting to welcome Nazi ideology at a conference dedicated to liberty. People who supported the ejection of the Nazi and his supporters were told they were violating his free speech rights. Tucker was criticized for being visibly angry with the Nazi and for not sitting down and engaging him in reasoned debate. Many claimed that the Nazi got exactly what he wanted. People got angry. He got publicity.

We aren’t going to rehearse, here, the many arguments we have had about what happened and what should have happened.

We just want to say this: “What would you do when the Nazis show up?” is not a thought experiment any more. We never expected, in our lifetimes, to really need to know what to do when Nazis show up to one of our talks or to a conference we were attending. And because—just by chance—we were already on a flight home when all this occurred, we didn’t need to know that this weekend.

But we no longer believe that we won’t have to know. And soon.

And while we still hope that our responses to such a situation will serve as examples of a civil society, we are more resolute than ever in our conviction that believing in a civilized society does not require that one dine with neo-Nazis, white supremacists, or those who believe that ethnic cleansing is anything other than evil. Those who reject the ideas and institutions of a liberal social order are not entitled to being treated by others as if they accept them. Again, we believe it’s wrong to throw the first punch, but there’s no obligation to treat Nazis as reasonable conversation partners.

Today is also the grim anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which created internment camps for Japanese-Americans during WWII. It reminds us that it’s not just Nazis, but sometimes it’s our own government who forces to face these questions.

Do not ask yourself, any longer, “What would I have done?” in that situation. Do not ask yourself “What would I do if a Nazi had shown up?” Do not ask yourself “What would I do if my neighbor was hauled away?”

Ask yourself “What will I do?”

Because, these days, you need to know.

Published on:
Author: Sarah Skwire
  • Robert Griffis

    I think it best to react with calm and grace. I wonder what it is about this Richard Spencer person that so upsets people that they see in themselves.

    • Kirsten Tynan

      This is one of the most nonsensical things I have ever heard. Of course people do not only get upset because they see something of someone else in themselves. Often people get upset because of things they see in others—like hatred of liberty and promotion of white nationalism, just for example.

      • Sharon Presley

        Exactly, Kirsten. I hate amateur psychologists who think they know something they don’t. Since i actually am a psychologist, I can say this.

        • Mortado

          Gee, you’re a REAL psychologist? I couldn’t tell from the other thousand times you’ve brought up this irrelevant point. Freud was a “real” psychologist too, doesn’t make his views any less ridiculous or pseudo-scientific

      • White nationalism is synonymous with liberty, fyi. It’s of the anglo saxon heritage. Your entire framework for what you consider “good” and “right” is a european cultural construct. The entire framework you use to destroy this culture is also largely a “white” hypothetical, although largely theorized and developed by european jews. Thats the big lie going on. These cultural frameworks did not originate on trees, for any hominoid to pick.

        • Theresa Klein

          Just because “white” people originally came up with certain libertarian ideas, doesn’t mean those ideas can only be understood or espoused by white people. Culture is transmissible.

          • Two things- 1) What you’re describing is true. It’s what occurred during the age of Colonialism- transmission of culture. Literacy, democracy, property rights, abolition of slavery, language, modes of dress, etc. Over time you did see transmission of culture. European cultural constructs are now so prevalent across the globe we confuse them with “reality” or some “natural order”. These are, in reality, very specific cultural artifacts. What we’ve been doing since 1965 is “Reverse Colonialism”. The name evolves as the strength and legitimacy of our Western European host culture diminishes, from “Pluralism” to “Multiculturalism”. The “spin” applied – that this is “good” and an “imperative” – never changes. At some point you may catch on, that it’s a fundamentally dishonest undertaking in progress.
            2) It’s good that you recognize the framework and authorship of each side.
            You’re on the path towards understanding “white nationalism”, as something more than a pejorative used to shut down discussion of history, our recent past and now in the making.

          • Theresa Klein

            We have not been doing “reverse colonialism” since 1965. Western culture continues to expand it’s reach and spread nearly everywhere. Communism collapsed and was replaced by liberal democracies with (mostly) basic protections for freedom of speech over 20 years ago. Trade liberalization and globalization has furthered that expansion in the years since. Indeed it’s the speed with which western culture has spread around the globe that has caused anti-liberal reactions in Muslim societies. And to that point, it’s wise to not frame the advance of those values as “Westernization”, or to assign their authorship to “white” people. Universal values are universal – they do not belong to one race. Liberty is too important to go around bragging that it was “white people” who came up with the philosophy.
            Furthermore, that same anti-liberal reaction is shared by Trump’s supporters who oppose free trade. If there is a threat to the spread of western liberal enlightenment values right now, it is coming from people who fundamentally do not believe in concepts like “All men are created equal”, who do not believe in freedom of exchange. Trump is a caudillo, right out of the heart of Latin American authoritarianism, like no other President before him. His supporters have no claim to the mantle of liberty merely because they happen to have the same skin color as Locke and Jefferson.

          • You’re wrong. You are also anti-White.
            Your argument blaming the West for Muslim radicalization is wrong. Colonialism of the Muslim world by the West *was* the genesis of “Muslim moderation”. Following the utter decay (and dissolution) of Ottoman Empire, the “modernist” Muslim reformers were all pro-Western. Ataturk was explicitly anti-Islamic, sidelining the mufti and abolishing caliphate. They faulted Islam explicitly for the retrograde society it created. Those were your “moderate” modern Muslims.

            Muslims do react very negatively to the cultural degeneracy running rampant in the West. But this is the result of a “breaking” of traditional Anglo cultural norms, largely advocated by Jewish intellectuals, post 1950s.
            We are *precisely* doing “Reverse Colonialism” of the United States, post 1965 immigration act. Your objection precisely makes the point. The original Colonialism operated under the idea of a “universal” set of values. That Europeans could rule Africa or India according to European values. The Left seems to disagree. The era of Reverse Colonialism, in which we now live, operates under the same “universal” idea. The Africans somehow are assumed to practice European values and therefore represent no cultural disruption or displacement. This is false.
            America is wrong in her foreign policy, “to force her values on other societies”, because these peoples have their own cultures and incompatible ways of life. Yet we do not see prohibition of these same people with incompatible values from immigration into our country.

            The antithesis to all of the above is that values are attached to culture, which is intrinsically attached to a people – the original definition of the word “nation”, a people. Your assertion that *our* concept of liberty – as developed over centuries of European history – is “too important” to attribute to that history is your own infantile intellectual conceit. Please corall your inner totalitarian for the benefit of those of us who live in the real world and deal with its consequences.
            Your strawman projections regarding “Trump supporters” are too asinine to address. You are, after all, anti-White.

          • AP2

            White supremacists are anti-white. No Muslim group has ever killed even a fraction of the white people that white supremacists killed. As a white person, interested in the well being of white people, I fully oppose these self-hating (you’ve gotta be, if you look at the outcome of white nationalists and think “I want some of that!”) ideologues.

          • If you’re including Jewish Bolsheviks and their downstream communist progeny in your definition of “white”, then you might have a point. Communism has killed more people than any thing else, hands down. You also have no concept of the history of Muslim conquest.

          • Theresa Klein

            I’m not anti-White. I’m anti-race. I think we should all transcend race and ethnic identity and embrace the universal values of liberty and equality. I do not believe that other groups of people have “incompatible ways of life” or that they are incapable of embracing Western enlightenment values unless forced to do so at the point of a gun. That is precisely why I’m against white people swaggering around bragging about how they invented it all, since that tends to antagonize the people we’re trying to convert. We want people to be able to make those values part of their identity, and not feel them to be foreign or “white”. Again, the past 30 years has seen an acceleration, not a decline in the adoption of Westernized lifestyle and culture around the globe. The collapse of communism was inarguably an advance of those values as it replaced dozens of totalitarian socialist states with market-based democracies. Whatever you might say about leftist intellectuals, they lost, and we won.

          • Your worldview is like Thomas Friedman column. Or Newsweek economics. You are broke. You are pseudo intellectual cancer.
            Mozel tov for your thoughts. You’re very generous/brave for thinking such thoughts. Such sacrifice. Your parents are very proud of their daughters thoughts.
            In the real world, everyone is part of a race. Race is a biological reality. You are anti-White if you cannot accept white people, their culture or their nations. Your super awesome thoughts do not supersede their lives. You are against white people, Theresa Klein. Your arrogance is astounding.
            The reality is our country is in massive debt. With one side of our political spectrum dedicated to increasing that debt and displacing it’s own citizenry. Our founding population and culture is in sharp decline. You are about to see a demographic implosion, as the Millennials enter child rearing years after almost exclusive indoctrination by leftist intellectuals who believe we need to “transcend” gender and biology. This is a generation unsocialized to the realities of biology, utterly unprepared. Super awesome ideas. The theoretically defeated leftist intellectuals have so thoroughly corrupted our cultural institutions they no longer perform their functions of supporting the culture. They are anti-cultural institutions, on the tax payer dime. Serious house cleaning is long, long overdue.

          • Theresa Klein

            Well, that was convincing.

          • It’s best for you not to directly address any of the points I’ve brought up- which I don’t think I’ve repeated in any response, new set each time. There’s too much real world info for your “I believe” signalling to hold up. The general public doesn’t have your parents or professors self interest to pat you on the head.

          • mikekikon

            What are the sources for your information and beliefs, and what leads you to believe those sources are reliable?

    • Sharon Presley

      See in themselves? I seriously doubt that people at this conference are a bit like Spencer. He is a white nationalist and essentially a neo-Nazi. Go find his video on youtube where he says “Hail, Trump” and they all do a Nazi-like salute. Then tell us about calm and grace. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o6-bi3jlxk

      • Mike Perry

        All? Looks like maybe four people in room of, what, maybe 60 people.

        • A. Alexander Minsky

          Attendance at that conference was actually between 275 and 300 people.

          • Mike Perry

            Well then, four people out of 275-300 people is definitely not all.

          • A. Alexander Minsky

            I was attempting to bolster your point, not disagree with you.

        • martinbrock

          Only a few people saluted this way, but Spencer didn’t only say, “Hail Trump!” He said, “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!” “Hail victory” is English for “Seig heil,” and Spencer knows it. He also followed this statement by raising his hand, but he was holding a glass of water. When a few of his followers then saluted, he smiled. He was deliberately evoking Nazis here. No reasonable person would deny it.

      • Mengerian Knight

        Spencer wants a predominately White nation. The people at ISFLC2017 wants a political system that we can never come close to achieving accept in a society where Whites are choosing the political system. They have quite a nexus with the Alt-Right.

        • Theresa Klein

          A political system where only whites choose is antithetical to what the people at ISFLC want. The concept of equal justice under law, without regard to race, ethnicity, or religion, is intrinsic to the principles of a free society. It’s a not a “free market” if only white people are allowed to own property. All rights must universally applicable to all individuals or that’s not liberty, that’s feudalism.

          • Lord of the Gulf Stream

            There has never been any society in history that operated “without regard to race, ethnicity or religion”. Anyone who steps on our magic dirt becomes us. Join our club, ANYONE can join. Even an idiot can see that will never work out.

          • Theresa Klein

            It’s been working great for the last 250 years.

      • 3RD LT Rico

        What’s wrong with the Bellamy Flag salute?
        Why are “libertarians” now against freedom of expression?

        • Sergio Méndez

          Oh my god…now criticizing a bunch fucking nazis is being “against freedom of expression”? I mean, isn´t part of freedom of expression the right to criticize others? Stop crying…the world is not your “safe space”, to use your own rhetoric against you.

        • martinbrock

          I don’t care what you salute or how you salute it, but if you salute this way these days, you’ll be called a Nazi. Whining about it won’t change anything.

      • Foreskin_Reattachment_Surgeon

        Awwww…Does a group of people exercising freedom of association and freedom of expression hurt your fee-fees, little “libertarian?”

    • Judaism is supremacist. That’s your answer. When you notice and feel compelled to pick through the utterly dishonest arguments constantly made in our press, don’t bother. It’s not actually a debate concerning “truth”. Their lies wielded as weapons and then discarded for new lies is the manifestation of supremacy. Only the stupid gentile, with his Anglo Saxon heritage of “fair play”, tries to sort out what’s being said.

      We did see a nice example recently with the reaction to Trump’s casual reference to a “1 state solution” for Israel. That involves Israel allowing the return of Arabs they expelled during their wars. And the resulting demographic displacement of Jews as the majority. For Jews in print across the world, this set up the self evident dichotomy of Israel maintaining its Jewish majority population, or Jews eliminating democracy so as to make their demographic minority status irrelevant.

      Pretty crazy huh? What do Jews tell the founding populations of literally all Christian countries that have accepted Jews without reservation? That we must surrender our culture and demographic hegemony.

      This all began as an argument for acceptance and participation. That moved to arguments for redress and rebalancing, affirmative action and reparation. The argument now is displacement. Extinction. “Whiteness” is the problem. You’re watching supremacists at work, dishonest from the start.

  • “Nazis—at least, one prominent member of the alt-right with neo-Nazi views and a handful of his supporters—showed up at ISFLC17 this weekend.”

    For clarity, how did you (or other attendees) identify them as Nazis? What specific violation of the NAP and individual rights did they promote, commit or threaten to commit?

    • Chaosfeminist

      a Nazi is not identified by their adherence to the NAP

      A Nazi is identified by their rhetoric and action.

      Their action leads to 16 million dead people

      I prefer to stop them at their rhetoric.

      I am not violating the NAP if I shut that fucker down by any means necessary

      • Jeff R.

        I agree. Best to shoot first and ask questions like “how do we know who is a Nazi?” later.

        • Even better, shoot them first and don’t ask “how do you know” later. Chaosfeminist *knows* who they are 😉

      • A. Alexander Minsky

        Just what “action” has Spencer ever engaged in that would lead you to classify him as a “Nazi” (or a clear and present physical danger to anyone)? It would appear that it is the anitfas who tend to violate the NAP, not the mildly autistic nerds who make up the bulk of the alt-right tendency. And while Spencer is neither nerdy or autistic, he seems far more inclined to wax philosophic about Evola or Schmitt than to initiate a physical confrontation.

        • Sergio Méndez

          Apparently you think to be a NAZI you have to gassing jews and invading Europe with panzers etc…But then Hitler was a nazi long before he came to power, long before he initiated the nazi extermination camps. You and the alt right ridiculous tactics to present yourselves other than what you are (nazis, fascists) are really obfuscating tactics, but they don´t fool anybody with a bit of common sense.

          • A. Alexander Minsky

            I will repeat the question: What action is Spencer engaging in that makes him a clear and physical danger to anyone? And if Mr. Spencer is not participating in physically threatening or dangerous activities, why lose any sleep over what sort of ideas he holds in his head? If a guy wants to sit in a bar and discuss ethnic cleansing over cocktails, presumably that is the price we pay for a free society. Do you make a habit of monitoring the subjects about which other patrons are conversing every time you go our for a libation or a meal?

            Is that Eli Roth on your avatar? I went to the same high school as the acclaimed director/actor. I was actually disciplined for teasing the future thespian (true story).

          • Käptn Kook

            TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION: http://www.radixjournal.com/journal/2016/9/28/facing-the-future-as-a-minority
            this speech is ONE of the things he says and idealizes, that identifies him as a nationalist and a collectivist with twisted ideals. looking at the whole phenomena, you see him at the tip of a reactionary, authoritarian and statist movement. granted, while this movement doesn’t necesarily have do to much libertarianism, to be tolerated, it is not even a conservative movement either. It is, exactly like fascism reviewed historically, a progressive/left statist, autoritarian reactionary movement to marxism, even with a national appeal that is calling for “peaceful” ethnic cleansing. this resembles fascist ideology perfectly. and since libertarians also call any statist-bootlicker a “socialist” even the originally not so fitting term “national socialist” fits perfectly to them. they both fit to mussolini’s fascist movement, as they resemble hitlers national socialism. everybody here knows, he didn’t call out for another holocaust, but as commentators already wrote it before me, you don’t have to gas people to have a fascist ideology.

            his views of using authoritarian government means for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” is pathetic at best and even if i would have him as a guest to crush his unsound “philosophy”, and his bold and ahistorical and superficial claims about what “whites” supposedly are and how to counter cultural marxism, namely with big government cultural fascism, i can fully understand, that such people can and should be “physically removed”, as you guys so funnily put it, if he is trying to gain fame and harness from the libertarian movement through such trolling attempts. its not like he was invited as a speaker and got shut down by rioters. he just got the libertarian version, of what he advocates. cleansing of dumb people, by people who are in many ways superior to him and don’t “need him” as much as he “needs them”.

            don’t make him a martyr of free speech now, will you?

          • Sergio Méndez

            You understand the difference between the concept of having a political ideology and carrying it to practice when you assume political power? Again, explain by your logic, why Hitler´s ideology was abhorrent before he came to power in 1933? Was he exterminating jews? Was he conducting a totalitarian state? And please, don´t make this as the guy just sited in any bar to discuss ethnic cleansing…he sited in the bar of a hotel where a conference of libertarians was taking place, that was full of those libertarian people at the moment. He was attempting to disrupt it, attempting to troll it. And in any case, it was the OWNERS of the bar that decided that his presence was disruptive and decided to kick him out. Do you believe in the bar owners property rights to decide who can stay or not in there establishment? Or suddenly “free speech” is right that can be practised in other people property without their consent?

          • A. Alexander Minsky

            This is an exceedingly strange post. Suffice it to say that free speech should be extended to those who embrace an “abhorrent” ideology. Yes, the owners/managers of the bar have a right to ask people to leave if their behavior is disrupting the experience of other customers (although in this case it would appear that it was the self proclaimed libertarians ,not Spencer, who were behaving inappropriately). And Spencer sat in a bar – he did not “sited” in a bar ( you used the phrase “sited” twice, which goes to show that you have some basic difficulties expressing yourself in the English language).

          • Sergio Méndez

            What is so “strange about my post”? Free speech does not demand that anybody allows people to speak or express their ideas in private property. What counts as misbehavior, is determined by the owners of property were speech is happening, not the perceptions of third parties. In any case, is funny you think that the people who went with the intention of disrupting and trolling a reunion of libertarians with clearly anti libertarian ideas (abhorrent ideas to be more precise), were not the ones misbehaving.

            And yes, english language is not even my second language, so its true I have difficulties with its use. Your corrections are well noted, but then, they don’t have anything to do with the arguments being discussed.

          • A. Alexander Minsky

            I didn’t realize that you aren’t a native English speaker, so I apologize if my remarks were overly critical. I found your post a strange fit for a libertarian website, since you seem to be of the opinion that Spencer’s views are so abhorrent that his having a private conversation over cocktails somehow constitutes a clear and present danger to the safety of others. It is people like Spencer who provide an acid test for the First Amendment. As Ron Paul put it : We don’t have free speech so we can talk about the weather.

          • martinbrock

            I don’t care what you advocate, but if you advocate a totalitarian state (or a white ethno-state across all of the territory of the United States), you’re not remotely a libertarian and can only pretend shock and dismay when libertarians disassociate from you. If white separatists want an exclusively white community, they may have one without violating any libertarian tenet of mine, but the United States is not remotely like a single community established through free association. It is a state dominating a continent. I’m not Hoppe’s biggest fan, but these people don’t even get Hoppe right.

          • Great. Let’s skip the evidence and jump straight to guilt. It is common sense after all (only a fool would be fooled, right?). Let’s do away with the NAP and use force absent any specific aggression and victim.

            The funny thing with witch-hunts and other un-enlightened forms of “justice” is they have a strange habit of becoming the opposite of justice. For instance, ignoring how similar arguments would apply to socialists and communists despite their killing orders of magnitude more people.

            So much for universal principles of justice such as the NAP.

          • Käptn Kook

            there is a troll in your house, you did not invite him and you already listened to this guy since months now trhogu the internet, while also writing articles since years about such trolls, because you find his views pathetic and anything but liberating. on top of that this troll and his friends usually insult you since a while, already.

            after 30 minutes of debate, which even seem to be sparked through his troll attempts. you tell the troll he is not welcome, and you don’t feel the need to debate his crap. where the hell did you violate the nap? because you called him a fascist, and rightly so?

            he resembles fascism in so many ways, literally the only thing that distinguishes him from fascists back then, is his mere pledge to not be violent. thats not enough to not be labeled a fascist. his ideals, his basic assumptions are the same! i listened to this guy long enough now. i also thought there might be more into it, and everything is just hype, and he doesnt mean it, as people understand it. but it is plain and simple racism, he can do it on his property, but he sure ain’t going to implement his batshit crazy and philosophically and historically inconsistent and unsound beliefs through big government nationwide. period.

          • Thanks for the specifics and the link, Kook.
            I agree with you that the article has plenty of terrible ideas, but it seemed to fall short in terms of violations of NAP or property rights. Plenty of people have bad ideas, but what distinguishes nazis and other baddies is their use of coercion. Ideas alone are no justification for punching people (even if it may be tempting), let alone for using “any means necessary”.

            A word of caution: You seem to be setting up some kind of strawman. I think it’s perfectly fine (in terms of preferences and also NAP) not to let him into the conference, criticize him or ignore him.
            That is not what the essay is about though. Specifically: “Do you throw stones at the Nazis’ parades? Do you shoot them on sight?”.

          • Käptn Kook

            well i thought the strawman is on you, since nobody is talking about punching him, killing him or whatever.
            i just clarified your question, namely why he is indeed a fascist, and that he also doesn’t have to be violent, to be one. so he does not violate the NAP, but his call for ethnic cleansing is to be seen highly critical, and may it only be, that it has very, very high chances to end in desaster and violence.

            and since you think, that the sfl did nothing wrong in telling him, that he is not welcome, there is nothing left, to debate i presume. im glad. “any means necessary” sounds problematic, but i don’t think the OP is trying to say, that violence is one of those means. even if “any” would imply it. this has to be clarified, its true.

            so: he is a fascist, as I pointed out and that is the reason, why people criticized him. he wasn’t invited, so even that he was asked to leave, was A.O.K.

          • “nobody is talking about punching him, killing him or whatever. ”

            That seemed the question of the OP, wasn’t it? “Do you throw stones at the Nazis’ parades? Do you shoot them on sight? Is it okay to punch a Nazi?”

            I still have a problem with calling him a nazi. The NAP is incompatible with nazism/fascism/slavery and other forms of coercion. So saying he is a fascist despite not violating the NAP (or threatening to) seems contradictory.

          • Puppet’s Puppet

            People really have been a bit sloppy here. We should be clear that a perfectly good libertarian can indeed be a very ugly racist–believing, for example, that members of a certain race are congenitally stupid, violent, craven, etc.; that it is e.g. morally wrong to associate with them; or that they are in other ways “inferior.” (Perhaps this is indeed what some of our present brigaders believe, although they appear to be less concerned with making the compatibility argument than with upbraiding us for our alleged failings.) He must also believe, of course, that they cannot have their rights violated–which means that if he believes in the moral permissibility of a state, that state must treat members of the “inferior” race no differently. The one possible exception is immigration; if a libertarian believes that the state owes nothing to those outside it, on some views it might be permissible for it to, say, prohibit entirely the entrance of members of the inferior race.

            Most of the more intelligent libertarians, of course, follow rationalist and ethical traditions that preclude racism as a matter of empirical and moral fact; the movement has long had this tendency. How exclusionary, if at all, should a pro-liberty conference be toward racism–or, say, for that matter, foil-hat nutjobbery? I don’t think there’s a blanket answer to that question, applicable to any conceivable pro-liberty organization.

          • Theresa Klein

            if a libertarian believes that the state owes nothing to those outside it, on some views it might be permissible for it to, say, prohibit entirely the entrance of members of the inferior race.

            That’s a lot of ifs. Suppose there are citizens who wish to invite members of the “inferior race” (which they do not think is inferior at all), to come and engage in a voluntary exchange of labor and goods on their private property? How are those people violating the NAP? How are they violating anyone else’s rights? And if they are not violating anyone else’s rights how does “the state” come by permission to deny it’s citizens the right to engage in such exchange?

          • Puppet’s Puppet

            Well, to use one example, the state physically blocks the alien undesirables from entrance to its territory. You cannot create a demand on the state to permit another party to travel to your property simply by dressing it up as a “right.” That “right” is fictitious. What if you wish to “invite” a convicted state prison inmate onto your property to associate with him? Do you have that “right”? Is the state committing aggression against you for denying you your desire? Of course not; to examine the justness of the state’s interference we must look to the party it is truly interfering with–the inmate. The state’s force is being deployed against him, and the appropriateness of said force will stand and fall with the relationship the state has with him. Likewise do we say that the state has every right (if indeed we do believe this) to restrain the movement of the alien. You have no “right” to demand of it his presence.

            With an extended back-and-forth we would probably be headed down the line of simply arguing the question of whether open borders follow from libertarianism. I’m not the best person to do this with, because though I strongly suspect not, I’m not particularly sure and haven’t thought of it much. My intention was not to broach that issue, but merely to point out that if a closed-border libertarianism is possible, then a racially discriminatory border policy, while morally repugnant, might be compatible with a libertarian state. So yes, “if.” I was bracketing the question.

          • Theresa Klein

            Well, fair enough we can discuss immigration policy elsewhere. However, Spencer wants to do a bit more than merely close the border to new entrants, he wants to remove people already here, who in many cases are married to US citizens, have US citizen children, and/or were brought here as children and are culturally assimilated. He’s talking about committing violence against people who by any reasonable moral standard should be considered citizens.

          • Puppet’s Puppet

            I will say this: For the present, I believe in deporting illegals, and I am relatively unlikely to change that particular belief without being converted entirely to the open-border position. I would almost certainly make an exception for those who came here as children, because it does strike me as immoral to do otherwise. But in general, I’ll admit, dealing with aliens already present on a state’s territory may indeed be a stickier matter for many people’s libertarian belief systems. Not all, though–especially if their very arrival was a criminal act. I do not think acculturation is particularly likely to have an interesting relevance to libertarianism per se, though perhaps on an account that sees that as relevant to some unofficial, state-apriori morally weighty concept of “citizenship,” for example.

            Again, though, here we are simply talking about libertarian “immigration theory” in general, rather than anything particularly relevant to the racial question. As for what Spencer himself may have said: I admit I have no idea what that racist piece of shit believes, and I don’t
            particularly care; he does not strike me as an intellectual luminary.

          • Theresa Klein

            Illegal immigration is a victimless crime. Does it help to point out that parents and spouses of US citizens are otherwise legally permitted to apply for residency? Should someone be separated from their loved ones, who are US citizens, possibly minor children, because of a *past* victimless crime that is now moot as they now fulfill the requirements for legal residency?

          • Puppet’s Puppet

            I think that if we are to have borders, we would naturally have enforcement. By far the most benign and morally unproblematic form of enforcement is strengthening the physical perimeter. (Why the “wall” has been such a source of moral outrage for those who do not simply support open borders is mind-boggling.) A show-me-your-papers regime, including e-Verify, seems to be just about the worst solution because of its intrusiveness and potential for racial mischief. But again, if we are to have such a thing as illegality at all (and perhaps you may indeed convince me otherwise someday) it certainly should have some punitive import. And I am inclined to think it should be substantial, for deterrence effect since we are cutting off all other options. (I keep hearing the “wall” approach can be just plain ineffective.) Without such, in general, there is not much of a thing as law. Why should crime pay? (Victimlessness is neither here nor there; if that factor disqualifies this from being a genuine “crime” then we are basically back to begging the question of open borders.) Let the immigration applicants who chose to obey the law and do it right be favored; it was bad enough that the line-cutters got the reward of enjoying their stay in our country for as long as they did.

            I will agree that the matter of breaking up families is a bit more problematic. I am inclined to hold the hard line on these matters, but I am ever so very slightly more amenable to budging here. But I am far more inclined to throw the whole thing out as a reductio; if all this seems unacceptably heartless, then perhaps borders themselves are indeed unacceptably heartless.

            To add something at this point unrelated: I had earlier said that private property can be a “public space” only to civil-rights-overreaching leftists. I should have added “and white nationalists.” Man do those fuckers ever like to whine! I swear, if one of those guys were at a party and people started to sidle away when he started up about the Jews, he’d probably start bitching about how their reactions were “silencing his speech.” I’d explained elsewhere that racism and libertarianism were technically compatible–but fuck, if this is the best they can do to impersonate our philosophy, we really don’t have much to worry about.

          • Theresa Klein

            I promise this will be my last reply. If illegal immigration is a crime, then why is the punishment banishment and not jail time? Is US residency, and marriage and children, illegally acquired property to be siezed like the ill-gotten gains of a thief?

          • Puppet’s Puppet

            Ah, you have a point. My characterization of deportation as punishment is indeed a bit problematic. Let me amend.

            If you do not have citizenship, permanent residency, a visa, an Indian tribal membership, a reciprocal passport arrangement, etc., you are not allowed to be in this country. To remove you is not to “punish” you–i.e., to abridge in any way what is your normal right (such as e.g. the state abridges the erstwhile right of the convict to keep his earnings, travel freely, not be gassed to death, etc). It is simply to put you in the position of everyone else who did not have permission to enter the country–e.g., the alien who remained in his homeland the whole time.

            We could, indeed, choose to imprison the illegals. Instead we spare them any punishment proper, mostly for our convenience but also out of a sense of mercy and sympathy for their predicament. That is always an option for the law. These are not bad people by any means. If we were to do otherwise, however, we still wouldn’t afterwards release them into domestic society. Why would we? The end of punishment means the restoration of normal rights, certainly not the awarding of rights that would never have existed otherwise! Award them citizenship? Or even a visa, or an equivalent arrangement that would even temporarily legally tolerate their presence in this country? No, we’d by right deport them after their sentence. That is not the punishment of “banishment.” Banishment is what befalls one, through extraordinary circumstances, from what would ordinarily be one’s lawful homeland. We would just be putting them where everyone else who has no citizenship, no visa, etc. is and belongs–outside our borders.

          • Theresa Klein

            But they are otherwise now legally able to obtain residency. They are married to Americans and have US citizen children. So awarding them citizenship, or residency (green card) wouldn’t be restoring their “normal” state. It would be awarding the state they could legally obtain anyway if they hadn’t been in in the country illegally in the past. Also, I would bet that most of these people would pick 6 months in jail in a heartbeat over being forced to leave the country.

          • Lord of the Gulf Stream

            Anchor babies FTW!

            Also, obviously their own countries are WORSE than an American jail, paid for by Americans. Hmmm. It must be our fault that THEIR countries are so horrible.

          • Theresa Klein

            Perhaps we should retroactively rescind the citizenship of everyone who had a baby in North America without the permission of it’s original occupants, and all their descendants by extension.

          • Lord of the Gulf Stream

            Homosex, prostitution and drug abuse are victimless crimes. Does it help to point out bla bla bla it’s now moot because it’s already happened?
            Why have any laws at all? Wow, just wow, I can’t even.

          • Lord of the Gulf Stream

            A criminal act is a criminal act. It does not matter how old they were when they committed the crime. Aliens OUT.

            No exceptions.

          • richyankee

            do you know the definition of fascism?

          • richyankee

            Julien’s point here is well taken, that applying the same standard would result in expelling anyone who disagrees with you or your crowd of ‘liberty-loving’ students. So, my question is: If you can’t abide dissent, why would you want to be identified as promoting liberty? Could you be a statist in disguise? (who thinks teh nazis should be excluded)?

          • @richyankee:disqus No. The suggestion that it might be ok to use force (punching/stoning/shooting) against people like him is what I question, as that question stands at the core of libertarianism (that’s why I keep going back to the NAP).

            His not being let into the private event is a different question and doesn’t bother me. I saw no suggestion to use the state to suppress him, so I don’t follow your “statist in disguise” line of thought. The notion that libertarianism principles and values should dictate such preferences and tactics seems questionable to me (although may be relevant to BLM since mostly “thick” libertarians). My view is that just like Bill Nye debated a creationist, I wouldn’t object to a libertarian debating those guys (we invite and debate statists all the time). But that was not the agenda for this conference or the preference of the organizers.

          • richyankee

            well, there is no difference between using force against the guy and the statist methods to which I refer. This incident took place in a bar (a public place) not a private event. So there is nothing about which to disagree except the statist label. And I like that in this case because it makes the point that the ‘libertarians’ wishing to banish the ‘nazi’ are willing to resort to force where no aggression has been committed against them. That is the essential position of the state wherein, that which is disallowed (speech or otherwise) is enforced.
            And if libertarians need to resort to force to exclude adverse opinions, arguments or groups of people in agreement with those opinions, then the flaw is in their principles or in their understanding of them.
            Libertarianism defeats itself in so many ways as to render the term almost meaningless. This is just an example of it.

          • Puppet’s Puppet

            Bars are not “public places” to anyone but the authors of the ever-expanding set of American “civil rights” law.

            Libertarians have no particular aversion to using “force”; they just believe they must be within their rights to do so. The difference between state force and what happened to Mr. Spencer is not only obvious to all libertarians, it is utterly central to their ideology.

            The Young Libertarians, a private club, were renting a space from the Marriott, a private business. They requested that the Marriott expel Mr. Spencer from outside their event, also on the premises, on the grounds that his presence was disruptive in that he was misleading people into thinking he was somehow affiliated or whatever. Marriott considered this and decided to perform this service, in order to better serve the interests of a major guest as a part of the facility conditions during its stay.

            Whether the libertarians were too paranoid about this, or whether they were acting in harmony with some sort of general spirit of engaging adversaries in conversation or whatever, is beside the point. Nobody’s rights were violated; nobody would have committed “aggression” except Spencer had he insisted on remaining on the Marriott premises after he had been asked to leave by management.

            You may have your own ideology, your own sense of what liberty, aggression, and so forth, mean. And you may not think that the distinction between the terms of arrangements between private parties (such as a guest and landlord) on the one hand, and the policies and actions a state takes toward its citizens on the other, is of much moral import at all. You wouldn’t be the first to think that. But it is not libertarianism. There is no sense in which that ideology “defeats itself,” certainly none you have described.

          • richyankee

            no, it is you who are confused.

          • Puppet’s Puppet

            Well, that was certainly enlightening.

            Surprising, too. You did seem to be a lot more interested in engaging us with actual discussion than the various shitposters who have come here over the past few hours just to troll us, which is far more important to me and most of the people here than what your opinions happen to be. This latest reply is a very different sort of beast; I have no idea what its purpose is. If I am indeed stupid and need to have things explained to me, how was this supposed to help either one of us, rather than simply wasting your time? Are you just out of ideas beyond the “so’s your old man”? Who the fuck knows anymore. If I was rude to you earlier somehow I apologize. With this, I give it one last shot, but this comment section has turned into a fucking cesspool.

          • 3RD LT Rico

            None of the AltRight people here are shitposting.

            We are all asking fairly straight forward logical questions to Left-Libertarianism and the Left-Libertarians only dodge.

          • Lord of the Gulf Stream

            But if the Young Libertarians requested the Marriott expel Leroy because they didn’t like the color of his skin, you would be screaming ILLEGAL!

          • Lord of the Gulf Stream

            Don’t worry, no one is trying to pretend we are not Fascists.

          • Sergio Méndez

            You may not be pretending to be a fascist (I congratulate you on your honesty, even if to affirm the most crappy ideals), but many pseudo libertarians are. You call them fascists or nazis, and they deny it, and start using euphemisms like “race realist” or “white ethno nationalist”, and I wonder why…

        • Theresa Klein

          This is a fair comment. I think the critical thing is that it needed to be made clear to anyone attending the conference that Spencer was NOT part of the conference or the liberty movement, that he had no association with students for liberty and that his ideas are rejected by the vast majority of libertarians.

      • The NAP tries to address the question “when is it permissible or justified to use force?”. The answer is it generally is not, except proportionally against individuals that commit aggression. If you cannot prove they committed aggression or are threatening to, then you are the aggressor. You are in the wrong.

        The NAP recognizes individual responsibility and free will. The whole “ideology leads to murdering people” is exactly the kinds of things the alt-right says about Islam. It is wrong in both cases, as it is presuming guilt and is un-falsifiable (so much for the rule of laws, due process, evaluating facts and actions, or rationality in general).

        Does this guy control and own other people’s mind? No. Do you control other people’s minds? No. So how can you justify using “any means necessary” (nice euphemism and admission of non-proportional use of force) to someone speaking his mind who did not make any specific threats (that you could demonstrate) against specific victims (that would therefore have a claim against him).
        The NAP does not permit just anyone to use force, but specifically the victim (or people the victim has delegated her right to). Having not demonstrated any specific victims, how do you justify taking action against a supposed perpetrator?

        By your own admission (since you have provided no evidence of violating the NAP), if he punches you back and injures or kills you, he would arguably be in the right, defending himself.

        Let me offer a parallel: socialism and communism have led to many more millions dead, would I be justified going around “shutting down those spreading such ideology and rhetoric by any means necessary”?
        I shudder.

        Btw, please let me know if any of my reasoning extends into “dangerous rhetoric”. I only engage in discussion with civil and non-threatening people.

        • Puppet’s Puppet

          It seems rather clear that that was a bit of a troll/rant, not really an earnest attempt to engage and challenge libertarians on their own views–despite the use of the libertarian-specific jargon. (It’s not exactly a trade secret.) Rather remarkable that it has managed to earn so many thought-out responses.

          • Hehe, possibly.
            Consider this a perspective to the OP then (“Is it okay to punch a Nazi?” and related questions).
            Either way, I feel this was valuable to me to think through the question.

        • Theresa Klein

          I’m curious as to where or when anyone involved was using “force”. Yelling at someone isn’t force. Marriott is within their rights to ask someone to leave their private property. He was in a bar, he had not paid for a venue there like SFL. Marriott was under no obligation to allow him to sit in their bar and argue with people. Nobody used force against him. There was no aggression whatsoever. The private property owner asserted it’s right to remove him. That’s all.

          • Theresa, you’re correct on that part.
            But if you read the OP you will notice: “Do you throw stones at the Nazis’ parades? Do you shoot them on sight? Is it okay to punch a Nazi?”.
            Also, if you read the parent comment (to which I was replying): “I am not violating the NAP if I shut that fucker down by any means necessary”.

      • geoih

        “A Nazi is identified by their rhetoric and action.”

        You mean like the FDR administration?

      • Mengerian Knight

        So which is it? Is it noticing racial realities that defines an ideology as “Nazi,” or is it actually favoring mass-murder that makes one a “Nazi”? You’re pulling a bait-and-switch, saying Spencer is a “Nazi” because he realizes their are racial differences, and then advocating violence against him for his ideology because “Nazi” means wanting to murder 16 million people.

      • 3RD LT Rico

        Communism is an egalitarian ideology that resulted in way more deaths than National Socialism.
        Should we attack anyone advocating for “equality” out of fear that it will lead to Stalinism or Maoism or PolPotism….(so many violent Left-wing dictators)?

        • Foreskin_Reattachment_Surgeon

          The end point of this line of argument is political violence across the political spectrum. These people believe that “Nazi” rhetoric leads inevitably to violence, so they feel justified in using violence to shut it down. I actually understand that (although it is in no way, shape, or form “libertarian”).

          I believe that libertarian-egalitarian rhetoric leads inevitably to violence against my people and culture. Therefore, I feel justified in advocating violence against the members of this forum.

          See how easy it is? If you “believe” that violence from the other side is inevitable, then you will inevitably support violence against them. This is a recipe for social war.

          As a national socialist, I am quite comfortable with this. It does not violate any of my core principles.

          I confess to being a bit surprised/amused to see so-called libertarians promoting political violence, though.

      • Lord of the Gulf Stream

        Everyone is equal. EXCEPT THOSE DAMN NAZIS! SHUT. IT. DOWN.

    • Mengerian Knight

      Tucker, along with apparently the authors of this article, think anyone noticing the fact that races differ, on averag (and that people tend to identify with people of their own race) is automatically a Nazi.

    • martinbrock

      Spencer is a neo-Nazi because of what he advocates and how he advocates it. He was a neo-Nazi before this event. He calls the United States “a European nation” and advocates a “white ethno-state” in all of its territory. He advocates the removal of non-whites from this territory. He says things like, “Hail our people! Hail victory!” evoking notorious Nazi language an imagery. It quacks like a duck.

  • erp617

    News flash. The nazi’s have been here for the past 8 years and aren’t planning to go away.

    • D Hampton

      Why 8 years?

      • Foreskin_Reattachment_Surgeon

        Because American history began 8 years ago with the election of our first Afro President. Duh.

      • erp617

        Before that they were a little more circumspect about it, with Obama they came out of the closet (no pun intended) and elevated him into a god, not just a dear leader.

  • J Peterson II

    In which Steve compares storm troopers goose stepping and literally taking Jews from their house to some guys sitting at a bar.

    • Benjamin Cliff

      That is a really great point. In this case they haven’t actually started killing the Jews yet, (they just want to) so they obvious can’t be like the Nazis: who started out the same way. Oh.. and they are supporting ICE raids where ICE is literally dragging brown people from their legitimately acquired homes and businesses. But don’t mind that. It is bad form to complain about fascists until you are a shower being gassed, or whatever thing they choose to do this time.

      • J Peterson II

        //so they obvious can’t be like the Nazis: who started out the same way. Oh.. and they are supporting ICE raids where ICE is literally dragging brown people from their legitimately acquired homes and businesses.//

        Wait, Spencer was involved in that? If Spencer was indeed an ICE agent dragging people from their house then in this case you’d have a more legitimate argument. I’d say it is fair game, beat him up. But Spencer was sitting at a bar.

        I never said it was bad form to be critical of nazis, just that its bad form to compare two completely different situations as if they are the same.

        • Benjamin Cliff

          If we were talking about beating Spencer up, what you are saying would be relevant. But we are talking about opposing him, and not giving his ideas a platform at a libertarian conference. A very basic form of freedom of association.

          The Nazis did not start off killing people, they started out hating them and saying they caused problems and needed to be dealt with.

          It is not hyperbolic to talk about the problem faced by dangerous ideologies which need to be opposed before they are able to materialize and gain power.

          Already with Trump we have seen some of this toxic nationalism with, xenophobic and racial tensions gain some power and traction in the US. The danger is the there. The hate is there. We have to fight. Both ideologically, but also sometimes culturally.

          Not giving fascists a platform is a form of cultural denial of their legitimacy. We should obviously engage intellectually, but sometimes we also engage in other ways which are consistent with people’s rights.

          • J Peterson II

            //But we are talking about opposing him, and not giving his ideas a platform at a libertarian conference.//

            He was inside the hotel bar, not in the conference itself. No one gave him a platform.

            //It is not hyperbolic to talk about the problem faced by dangerous ideologies which need to be opposed before they are able to materialize and gain power.//

            Richard Spencer’s ideas are awful on every possible level, but you debate Spencer calmly and rationally so you can change other people’s minds about his ideas by exposing their weaknesses… And you show the world that you are smarter, better, kinder, and more attractive than anything he has to offer. And it would work as a tool to convert the uninitiated and those who were riding the fence. On the one side, we have a guy who seems like he’s making sense (“seems like”, being the important point here) and on the other, we have a mob of rowdy jerks who seem to have nothing more for substance to add. You should understand what this does for Spencer. It is the best outcome he could have possibly hoped for.

          • Sergio Méndez

            Yeah, because everybody knows that Steve is saying Spencer is a nazi because he was sitting on a bar, and not because he defends nazi ideals about race, ethnicity, nationalism and anti semitism; not because he quotes approvingly nazis like Joseph Goebbels. It was only because he was sitting in a bar….

          • J Peterson II

            //Yeah, because everybody knows that Steve is saying Spencer is a nazi because he was sitting on a bar, and not because he defends nazi ideals about race, ethnicity, nationalism and anti semitism//

            All vile things, agreed.

            // It was only because he was sitting in a bar….//

            Yeah, he was in a bar. And the bad comparison was bringing up a scenario that didn’t happen such as taking people from their homes. All Spencer is doing is sit around and talk and write things down or give speeches about some twisted shit. I can do that all day long and nobody will die, even if I say and write exactly the same things, because nobody believes my opinions override morality. It’s those people committing aggression and without whom the world would be a different place. They bear full and sole responsibility for their actions

          • Sergio Méndez

            “All vile things, agreed. And I never said he wasn’t a nazi, I was disputing the comparison of nazis showing up an taking Jew from their homes to being at a hotel bar.”

            Who was comparing both?

            “Yeah, he was in a bar. And the bad comparison was bringing up a scenario that didn’t happen such as taking people from their homes. ”

            Do you understand that nazism started with people discussing those ideas privately so they can come to power later an implement them? Have you ever read Hitler’s biography or the history of the nazis? Because Hitler´s first speeches actually happened in pubs… Obviously nobody is saying that nazis discussing their odious ideas is the equivalent of taking jews from their homes (I don´t know where do you get that idea)….I think the point of the article is that nazis in this era have become a threat again, with the rise of extremist right wing parties and governments in the US and Europe, governments that are supported enthusiastically by this people.

          • A. Alexander Minsky

            Would you consider Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to be a part of this “rise of extremist right wing parties and governments in the US (sic) and Europe”? Orban prevented Spencer from holding an “Identitarian” conference in Hungary a few years ago. Do you applaud Orban’s tough stance against the “alt-right”? Or as a libertarian do you bemoan this use of government power to prevent the exploration of unpopular ideas? And does Orban’s stance make you rethink your rather simplistic lumping of all European nationalist forces under the rubric of the “extremist right wing”?

          • Sergio Méndez

            Alex:

            I don´t know Orban or Hungarian politics to know. I certainly against him using the power of the state to not allow people to reunite and have a conference (yes, even a conference of nazis). What is your point? That there isn’t a surge of right wing extremist parties in Europe? How does that prove is not the case? Are you pretending it is analogous with the decision of the owners of a private establishment to remove Spencer from it? Do you claim not allowing people to move from country to country to exercise their right to free speech is equivalent to have people allowed in private property say whatever they want?

          • J Peterson II

            //Who was comparing both?//

            Steve was (or Sarah).

            //Obviously nobody is saying that nazis discussing their odious ideas is the equivalent of taking jews from their homes (I don´t know where do you get that idea)//

            Try reading the article again.

          • J Peterson II

            Part of your problem, Sergio (aside from your economic sophisms, engaging in identity politics, cult personality of Kevin Carson, et al, and echo chambering of C4SS) is that you are assuming I don’t have concerns about fascism rising when I certainly do. The problem is when someone comapres two different scenarios such as what this article is doing. It seems to be smuggling in the idea that punching Nazis is ok based on the scenario when defensive force is justified (pulling jews from homes) and a white nationalist sitting in a hotel bar where it wouldn’t be legitimate. This is akin to when Richard Spencer was hit “libertarians” (present company included) were advocating hitting him and used similar examples of actual stormtroopers killing or gas chambers as justifications for doing so. It is a bad comparison and should be ridiculed as such.

            In any case, as much as I do fear fascism, how it was handled when Spencer showed up and what the likes of Horwitz are defending is juvenile. The libertarians and conference attendees were the ones told to quiet down by the staff, and were the ones actually causing the problems that got the whole group sent away, not him. Spencer was the one who was calm and polite (again, the goddamn white nationalist behaving well, and the libertarians behaving like insolent, angry children), his opponents presented only outrage by chanting “fuck you, fuck you” and shout him down instead of actually doing the more meaningful and difficult work of challenging his terrible ideas.

            He won that night (not his ideology but how he handled it) because he gets free publicity, converts those on the fence, and makes libertarians look like a bunch of TrigglyPuffs who can’t handle a calm discussion. You and Horwitz are correct that him and his ideas are threats but people like Spencer get their power from precisely these kinds of reactions. So Spencer is a very successful troll who grows in power and fame with every single incident like this one.

          • Sergio Méndez

            Sorry, I read the article again and I don´t see any place where Steve or Sarah compare a nazi showing up into a bar with a nazi forcibly taking jews from their homes. Since you have, I am sure you can show me where in the article does that comparison occurs.

          • Lord of the Gulf Stream

            And everybody knows you must just SHUT. IT. DOWN. because you cannot disprove the TRUTH.

          • Dain Fitzgerald

            “Richard Spencer’s ideas are awful on every possible level, but you debate Spencer calmly and rationally so you can change other people’s minds about his ideas by exposing their weaknesses…”

            What we’re seeing in practically real time is that even among libertarians this is nearly impossible to live up to. Two possible reasons spring to mind: (a) dullards will hear and be persuaded by bad arguments, which will eventually lead to very terrible negative externalities; and (b) it’s crucial to signal to progressives (hence “bleeding heart”) that they’re in solidarity with them at a fairly broad and basic level; this means absolutely not abiding Nazis.

          • Theresa Klein

            To be fair, dullards will be MORE likely to hear and be persuaded by bad arguments if you DON’T calmly and rationally debate them. It’s important for people to know that Spencer isn’t welcome and isn’t one of us, but it’s even MORE important for people to know WHY.

          • Lord of the Gulf Stream

            Or (c) THE NAZIS ARE RIGHT and the Truth will always win any debate. You must SHUT. IT. DOWN.

          • Theresa Klein

            He was inside the hotel bar, not in the conference itself.

            True. And Marriott is under no obligation to let him us the bar as a platform. He didn’t pay to be there.

      • 3RD LT Rico

        The Civil Rights Act of 1964 has violated the NAP way more than the AltRight.

        • Sergio Méndez

          Funny, I just found this question on facebook….speaking of the nap:

          “So how do we get conservatives and some “libertarians” to be as offended by the government collectively banning entire religious or national communities as they are about a private organization banning one Nazi?”

          Yeah, the alt right want ethnic cleansing, genocide and supports a government (like Trump´s in the US) who wants to force mass deportations of hispanic immigrants and ban muslims from 7 different countries from getting in the country…but hey, they NAPers at hearth!

          • Theresa Klein

            Every night I cry bitter tears for those poor racists being forced to serve black people in their restaurants. *sniff*

          • Lord of the Gulf Stream

            You’ve obviously never worked in a restaurant. Talk to some waiters/waitresses, even black ones. Let us know what you find out.

          • Theresa Klein

            I;m aware of the fact that black people are poor tippers. BFD.

          • Lord of the Gulf Stream

            I just don’t see any downside.

        • Theresa Klein

          Because being forced to serve a black person in a restaurant is just like being dragged from your home by ICE agents and deported.

          • 3RD LT Rico

            “Because being forced to serve a black person in a restaurant is just like being dragged from your home by ICE agents and deported.”

            Yes. The civil rights act of 1964 violates property rights and freedom of association. The Illegal getting dragged off by ICE wasn’t supposed to be in the country and is an invader.

      • Mortado

        Spencer doesn’t want to kill Jews you mong. Try actually listening to what he has to say for himself instead of going off what the NYT tells you to think. Remember their ridiculous slander of the Pauls and Block?

    • Steve Horwitz

      Normally I’d just say “screw you” but the fact that you completely erased Sarah from this post, as it’s posted under HER name, tells me everything I already know about you is exactly right.

      • J Peterson II

        Good one.

      • J Peterson II

        I would say how you are a hack of an Austrian who dislikes your screeds on nationalism or the “alt-right” being compared to Israeli nationalism, ethnic cleansing, or the importance of Israel being Jewish. Or, for that matter, bringing up the tribal and ethnic and territorial rights and preferences of the hundreds of other indigenous peoples across the Earth. I could go on such as the pompous and pretentious attitude you have, such as you aren’t an Austrian unless you get paid to be one (by that logic I am one since I do) who is a coward and can’t debate many of your knee jerk claims on their merit without reverting to blocking people or appealing to authority….

        but already know everything about you from this comment.

        • Käptn Kook

          whad?

          • Puppet’s Puppet

            Who knows, man…

  • Doug1943

    I think Julien Couvreur has asked the question that needs to be answered first. Were these guys wearing Nazi armbands, advocating gas chambers for Blacks and Jews? That’s first of all.

    Secondly, if what they were doing was sitting behind a literature table or selling their newspaper outside… perhaps this is a solution: have a designated, reserved area for people you consider small-d democrats, who, while not necessarily meriting your political approval, are people who are inside the pale with respect to democratic debate: that would include democratic socialists, Young Republicans, even American Renaissance. Beyond this area is just … public space, where anyone can have a literature table, sell papers, etc. without seeming to be tolerated by you as part of the political argument.

    One problem that will arise: whether to distinguish one-party-state totalitarians on the Right, from those on the Left: many Leftists (most of the ‘far’ Left, who look to the Bolsheviks for inspiration) are in practice very happy with a one-party state, provided it’s their party. Mass executions, secret police, strict censorship … they have no objection to these things, provided they are doing it. But they seem to be welcome at all liberal political events — at libertarian events too?

    I absolutely grant that young Marxists are generally much better human material than young Nazis. (Or old ones, for that matter.) So, pragmatically, there is a case for treating them differently. But it does seem odd to treat an admirer of Joseph Stalin differently from an admirer of Adolf Hitler.

    • A. Alexander Minsky

      Interesting point. I live just outside of Cambridge Ma. In 2014 a small group of professed Bolsheviks held the inaugural meeting of the Stalin Society of North America. The event was keynoted by the Stalinist apologist ,and tenured professor, Grover Furr. No one protested ,or even took much notice of the event. And Professor Furr doesn’t have to worry about being sucker punched in the face by a masked antifa.

    • Theresa Klein

      I’d rather like to think that libertarians are better than progressives as far as banishing people with epically bad ideas is concerned.
      No, we shouldn’t tolerate white nationalists the way the left tolerates communists.

      • Doug1943

        But should libertarians tolerate (by which I think you mean, allow to participate in their public meetings) communists? I don’t have an answer here, but I think it’s worth thinking about.

        Also: another problem, to which I have no answer is this: there is a spectrum, in my opinion, which starts with mild patriotism (‘I love my country/people/nation in a way that I don’t love others), runs through super-patriotism (‘USA! USA!’), on to outright aggressive expansionist nationalism and then to various forms of outright fascism.

        It’s complicated, however: Franco’s Spain was pretty nasty (I wouldn’t use the word ‘fascism’ for it but I understand why other do) , but not aggressively expansionist. The same for many super-nationalist right-wing regimes, eg Argentina under Peron. They would have been, had they the chance, but the material possibilities weren’t there.

        American nationalism has always been made complicated by the fact that the US is deeply multi-tribal: whites from all over Europe, Blacks, Hispanics … the really nasty nationalist states are those with ethnic homogeneity, or which can obtain ethnic homogeneity by some judicious murder and/or expulsion: Germany in the 1930s being the supreme example.

        So white nationalists in the US have a problem: they don’t have a state. They could only get one by some sort of massive convulsion that drove out a third of the population. This isn’t going to happen, given that 30% of the armed forces, and 20% of the officer corps, are ethnic minorities.

        In a way, their problem is similar to that of Hispanic nationalists and Black nationalists in the US: they have no possibility of having a state. Of course, Latinos have Mexico, but they’re ashamed of Mexico — this is why aggressive Chicano nationalists in the 1960s/70s had to invent an imaginary state located in the Southwest, ‘Aztlan’. Of course Black Nationalists have Africa or the Caribbean, but, again, they’re ashamed of these Black-run countries (the ones who know anything about them). There have been ‘back-to-Africa’ movements among US Blacks, but they never amounted to anything: they were just scams.

        This means, I think, that white nationalists can be roughly divided into two categories: the real Nazis, who actually do envisage some sort of apocolyptic upheaval in the US, in which they drive out or exterminate all other tribes, on the one hand. On the other, people who have been driven by the incessant identity politics of the Left, with their “it’s all your fault” moralizing (High Black crime rates: blame the white man!), into asserting some sort of identity politics of their own, which are necessarily vague, since, like the Black and Hispanic nationalists, cannot put forth a rational program of ethnic cleansing (unlike nationalists in many other parts of the world, where they have been successful, or have a good chance of being successful, in purging their home territories of ‘Others’.).

        So if I were confronted with a self-identified ‘white nationalist’ I would ask them: is it your goal to have an all-white homeland? If so, they’re really beyond the Pale. But if they’re just reacting to the ‘white-privilege, white-is-evil’ nonsense of the Left, and don’t really know what they want, then they’re worth reasoning with.

        This doesn’t solve the problem of whom to allow to have a card-table outside your meeting, or whom to have on a panel discussion, or whom to let speak from the floor in a question period, since there is in practice not such a clear-cut distinction between fascist white nationalists and confused-reactive ‘white nationalists’. My own instinct is not to try to enforce any exclusions, but rather to make it clear in argument and discussion that there is a line between people who are just playing the identity politics game of the Left, on the one hand, and people whose political program necessarily implies mass murder on the other.

  • Kevin Patten

    Utterly fascinating: One can identify as a “Libertarian Muslim” — with all of the Koran’s hateful teachings, and all the chaos taking place in Europe — but yet a “Libertarian Nationalist” is an oxymoron. (I know…Spencer is a white nationalist — which is different than a civic nationalist.) Still can’t figure that one out.

    • Sergio Méndez

      Because Islam is a religion with different interpretations (like almost all mayor religions) and flavors, including liberal tolerant blends. While Richard Spencer is a fucking nazi, and nazism on its very essence advocates for genocide, ethnic cleansing and is anti cosmopolitan. There are no flavors of nazism that could have being considered libertarian in any way.

      • K.P.

        I recall Roderick Long admitting to the theoretical possibility of “Nazi green libertarians” in a lecture he gave. (Although saying they wouldn’t be sustainably libertarian in the long run)

        • Sergio Méndez

          Actually he recalled that “possibility” for the sake of argument, not because he considers it something real.

          • K.P.

            And the possibility of a flavor of Nazism passing the libertarian test is my entire point. It is indeed possible.

          • Sergio Méndez

            On the contrary, it is an oxymoron. Starting with the fact that nazism depends and glorifies the use of force and the importance of the state.

          • sandy

            nazism depends and glorifies the use of force and the importance of the state

            Adolf Hitler’s regime did.

            But if you slap the label ‘Nazi’ on anyone who holds even one of a large selection of ‘politically incorrect’ thoughts in their heads, then you’re expanding the term in a way that absolutely allows for the kind of ideological variations that K.P. and Roderick Long are talking about.

            (PS: Personally, I’d never identify as a Nazi, or anything with socialist in the name.)

      • Käptn Kook

        but it is “>>peaceful<< ethnic cleansing" at least give him that… he is trying so hard to be a good guy!

        • Dain Fitzgerald

          Ha, yes.

          Free markets though, they’ve always come about purely through voluntary exchange. The state doesn’t pave the way for it 99% of the time, historically. Not at all.

          • Theresa Klein

            Free markets have come about through a long, long, war against the state. Only grudgingly did the state ever agree to recognize anyone’s “rights”, whether to private property or free exchange, or even to not just be killed for no reason at all.

      • 3RD LT Rico

        Communists have killed more people than National Socialism.
        By your logic we should physically attack anyone advocating for egalitarianism because utopian equality might lead to Stalinism.

        • Sergio Méndez

          First, when did I said anything about attacking Spencer or Nazis? Was Spencer physically attacked in this bar by any libertarian? Or are you just making up shit about what happened, or pretending that his removal by THE OWNERS of the bar implied violence or even anything unlawful, considering their property rights…

      • Dain Fitzgerald

        Actually Richard Spencer isn’t a Nazi. He’s a white nationalist, who AFAIK proposes no violence.

        If distinctions and interpretations matter, then know that.

        Kevin’s point stands. It’s bleedingly obvious that the BLH crowd are making distinctions based on what happens to be fashionable in 2017. Their reference point is the sensibility of the modern left, which makes them come off as obsequious, even if just theoretically.

        • Sergio Méndez

          Sorry, Spencer IS a nazi, who holds their same views on nationalism, race and anti semitism. Who quotes approvingly nazis and has never ever refused to denounce them. His philosophy entails, by its very nature, violence (by the arms of the state) used against minorities. And his idea that ethnic cleansing can be carried away in a peaceful manner is a joke only very gullible people and outright idiots could believe.

        • Theresa Klein

          Any day now, that racism concept is going to come back in style. Any day now.

      • Lord of the Gulf Stream

        Or maybe libertarian ideas are a bunch of weak sauce bullshit that make no sense when they cold light of reason and logic are put upon them.

    • Käptn Kook

      the only thing that is utterly fascinating, is that so many people started to get obsessed with that single violent strain of political islam and a flawed perception of history relating to both east and west, that they nitpick, misinterpret and circle jerk in their echochamber of pure bigotry, to fit their narrative and legitimize anything upon those unsound basic conditions.
      also, just outright dismissing the fact, that there are indeed possibilities to unite western culture or and islam on equally unsound premisses, like some out of context quotes of a sacred text or mixed up understanding of causes and effects with things taking place in the islamic world, or europe for that matter.

      what is utterly fascinating, is that you guys don’t even realize, how you are 1:1 on par with those extremist fundamental islamists and their reactionary violence, that they try to justify with skewed perception of nitpicked islamic teachings.

      even more so, if your answer is nothing less reactionary then building up some idea of “nationalism” along your libertarianism, which is EXACTLY what this specific political islam has been corrupted by. you guys are really nothing less than the latest mirroring of nationalist anti-west religious nutjobs. that’s why so many of you also justify the freakin’ crusades as “merely a reaction to islamic opression”! no shit, what do you guys think triggered and nurtured political islam, which is a MODERN PHENOMENA? figure this one.

  • Puppet’s Puppet

    First of all, hats off to the entire libertarian community for its insightful and sustained discussion of cases like this, as well as social media censorship policies, private university speech codes, and other cases in which Constitutional free speech is not an issue. Prior to a year or two ago, I would have assumed that libertarians were such myopic private-property fetishists that they would have been utterly uninterested in such matters. But in reality–in the face of their enemies throwing up both ludicrously broad (“hate speech silences the free speech of others”) and ludicrously narrow (“you don’t have the ‘right’ to speak where you are invited, or meet without being disrupted, or without my fist in your face, you fucking snowflake”) notions of free speech–libertarians have been strikingly mature and profound in their thought. They’ve been clear about what the Constitution, or natural law, provides for–but at the same time clear that, while voluntary associations have the ultimate right to censor on their own terms, in practice when picking a policy they might want to bear in mind an original hypothesis and impetus behind this noble experiment of free speech: that a free exchange of ideas can only enrich us all; and that stupid ones are better exposed than suppressed.

    In that spirit, if we accept the most reliable accounts of events at the YAL conference, it seems clear what our verdict should be on the kids’ behavior. This was not a public demonstration, nor even an event open for public walk-ins, but a closed conference–hence the fact that the Nazis were not permitted to set up inside the actual event. That “purity tests” and even organizational structure in general are often an uneasy fit for pro-liberty organizations is a problem as old as the movement itself, but it seems well established that I could not, say, hope to set up an official “Stalinist tendency” within the YAL. But here the Nazis were actively impersonating a so-called “caucus,” whereas they actually had no affiliation with the organization at all. If it was reasonable to exclude the Nazis from YAL in the first place, it certainly makes sense not to “engage” with them on these terms; that hardly makes YAL “snowflakes.” Since neither the Nazis’ rights nor the abstract virtue of free exchange of ideas were particularly relevant to this situation, it made perfect sense to ask Marriott to escort them out. I myself would not have given them 30 seconds, let alone minutes.

    YAL, Prof. Horwitz, and others are especially to be commended for addressing head-on the problem of people claiming the “libertarian” banner who, for all the movement’s diversity, are clearly beyond the furthest pale. There are a handful of these on the Left, such as Chomsky and Jason Brennan (just kidding with you there, chief–seriously, though, gun control?), but it’s overwhelmingly a problem on the self-described “Right,” including its more unsavory sectors. Add to this the “buffer zone” of foil-hat kooks that the libertarian label seems to attract, the un-P.C. questions–such as biological I.Q. differences between the races and the legitimacy of Confederate secession (both of which I happen to vehemently reject)–that genuine libertarians distinguish themselves by being willing to engage, and the movement’s sometimes unsavory history of collaboration with various “paleocon” movements, and you can see the need for clarity.

    This brings my too-long comment finally, however, to the matter of overreaching. Jeff Tucker did this at the Hoppe Caucus incident when, in explaining an action that needed none, he engaged in chickenshit histrionics about fearing for his “safety” from the Nazis. That is the regressive Left’s game. This is not postwar England, let alone prewar Germany; and the handful of keyboard-warrior neckbeards that the clickwhoring news media, SPLC swindlers, and so forth insist on hyping as a burgeoning “movement” are nothing to be actually scared of. (There will always be lone wolves, but they do not use booths.)

    The most relevant guilty party after this fashion, however, is Prof. Skwire and Horwitz themselves. Because, like everyone else so far, I’ve been commenting on a sideshow to Skwire and Horwitz’s post–the propriety of the YAL actions at their conference (“We aren’t going to rehearse, here, the many arguments we have had about what happened and what should have happened”)–rather than its central thrust. Read the post again: Its actual central thrust was to, with great fanfare, herald the shift of the mood of the Nazi-punching question from irrealis to realis. The Nazis are now afoot in this country, you see, and it’s not just a bunch of histrionic hype! The BHL co-post was at least modest enough in its ambitions to limit itself to insinuations about the relevance of Japanese prison camps to the present government situation. The Horwitz Facebook post decided to hitch this incident, and the general (and highly commendable and, as I explained above, necessary) fight against the Hoppites, to score points in the age-old general debates about collaboration strategy. Libertarians “need to walk away from the conservative movement“–my emphasis; his words.

    Enough. I’m a proud left-liberal and a staunch never-Trumper, but this is just ridiculous.

    • 3RD LT Rico

      “I’m a proud left-liberal”

      Look at the people currently siding with Left-Libertarianism.

      • Puppet’s Puppet

        I have absolutely no idea what you mean by this, much less its connection with my comment. (Though my hat is certainly off to you for reading it!) This isn’t snark. Left-libertarianism is such a fringe, to say nothing of ill-defined, political affiliation that I have no idea what the demographic trends are in terms of who considers themselves allied with them at the present.

        • 3RD LT Rico

          You are a left-liberal, a progressive, a believer in social justice, and I’m assuming an advocate of a large democratic socialist welfare state. That’s fine, we can debate the pros and cons of all that stuff later.

          I’m simply pointing out that when push comes to shove the Left-Libertarians of BHL are essentially allies of big government progressivism and will throw Liberty & Capitalism under the bus to be SJWs.

          • Puppet’s Puppet

            You were the first of the various white nationalists to come here and mini-brigade us over the past few hours, so I didn’t get to read the rest of your troll posts. I apologize for wasting your time with my reply.

  • Why are you all letting yourselves be trolled so hard? Okay, the Nazi was there to cause trouble and I’m glad a group of attendees decided to make them go away. But this carrying on just gives them the satisfaction they wanted. It’s silly. If 4Chan ever comes for SFL, you’re doomed.

    Maybe you never got bullied as a kid. I did. It sucked for a while, but eventually I learned how to neutralize them without getting indignant.

    Why drag this out for days? You’re playing right into their hands.

    • Sean II

      Good rule of thumb: if the terrifying threat to your safety can be chased away by a slender middle-aged libertarian in a bow tie, maybe it’s not quite 1934.

      • Puppet’s Puppet

        No, but it’s only the Left (more specifically: the Statist Left across the board; and a certain subsector of Left-Libertarians–basically all syndicalists, and the C4SS crowd of market-anarchists, specifically not left-liberals) that likes to pretend that it is.

        Like I mention in my much-too-long comment below, it was a serious mistake for the dude to whine about his “safety.” But this thread, for instance, illustrates why the time and place for engaging with divergent views is not inevitably “always”–especially when your conversation partners are not overly concerned with being constructive. We have been brigaded today, to the point where the majority of the comments on this page are from white nationalists. If one of the post authors had wanted to see what reaction was from some of the more thoughtful commenters like you is, he will probably decide otherwise when he notes the task of wading through a sea of rants about the Jews and such. Personally, I think young libertarian dude should have just kicked their asses out of the Marriott without excuse, then have been done with it. You’re right that all this hand-wringing is often a bit silly. But note (as, again, I mention in my too-long comment below) that the post authors’ primary purpose in bringing all this up was to have an excuse to launch a Nazi panic and use it to score points in the old intra-libertarian strategic argument about whether to focus collaboration ambitions on “conservatives” or “liberals.” That’s their real bag.

        • Theresa Klein

          I don’t know about you, but if focusing my collaboration efforts on “conservatives” means inviting Richard Spencer to have lunch with me, then I’ll take “liberals” for $1000, Thanks.

          • Puppet’s Puppet

            But it doesn’t! That’s my point. The authors, like various other people with an agenda, are hyping the “new” menace of these obscure but long-present losers in our generally ever-less bigoted society. For “antifa” it’s because they want someone to play with, as though either of them mattered. For the mainstream, antiliberal center-left to left, it’s similar but also so they can continue to whine and be “woke” and virtue signal to each other and press their vile agenda on our society and so forth. For the press it’s old-fashioned sensationalism to increase readership, a game as venerable as the business itself. And so on. And for these two, it’s an excuse to lecture their fellow libertarians to disengage from collaboration with “the conservative movement” (Horwitz’s own words; read his Facebook post) and embrace the liberaltarian strategy that they are apparently pushing. It’s bullshit. I actually have no particular strategic opinion one way or the other–and I am, after all, myself a self-identified left-liberal, a registered Democrat, and so forth–but I call a spade a spade.

          • Theresa Klein

            Your response would be totally reasonable if it weren’t for the fact that these obscure long-present losers just helped elect a man to the presidency who has already demonstrated a willingness to harm innocent people almost purely as a token gesture to their specific complaints about Muslim immigrants. Not only did they help elect him, but he knows it and is willing to hurt the people they hate to repay them. Last week, an “illegal” alien mother of two US citizen children who came here when she was 14 and is now married to a US citizen was deported. What was her crime ? At the age of 16 while working in a garment business in Los Angelas, she used a false social security number. That’s it. I can draw a direct line between the alt-right and actual human beings actually suffering as a result of the policies they support.

          • “Your response would be totally reasonable if it weren’t for the fact that these obscure long-present losers just helped elect a man to the presidency who has already demonstrated a willingness to harm innocent people almost purely as a token gesture to their specific complaints about Muslim immigrants.”

            This isn’t fair. These “obscure, long-present losers” helped elect every other president before Trump. That’s precisely what makes them “long-present.” You can’t say that they, alone (or thanks mostly to they) got Trump elected. That’s not true.

        • Sean II

          “If one of the post authors had wanted to see what reaction was from some of the more thoughtful commenters like you is…”

          I’m not one of the more thoughtful commenters, as far as the people you’re addressing are concerned.

  • William N. Grigg

    Is ignoring them — thereby depriving them of the social media oxygen they require — an option?

    • Dain Fitzgerald

      +1

      But to answer the question, apparently not. Most people can, actually. Just as we ignore the silly guy on the street corner screaming Bible quotes. But there’s a reason those who DO stop to argue with Bible guy are fellow Christians, former Christians or angry atheists…

      What we’re seeing is how incredibly rare it is for people thoughtful about politics – even live-and-let-live types – to be thoroughly laissez-faire on matters merely of speech and thought. (No physical harm or threat to property.) It’s not in the constitution of intellectuals to be truly “no skin off my back, man,” because the potential harm of thought and speech acts is precisely what they were put on Earth to contend with. It’s their bread and butter. Non-intellectuals are generally more Meh because they DON’T deal in the world of ideas, so don’t comprehend or anticipate harm.

    • Jeff R.

      It’s more fun to pretend you’re fighting the good fight (while not engaging in any actual combat, of course).

    • Theresa Klein

      The problem is that he had a sign implying he was affiliated with the conference in some way. Therefore, there was a risk that some attendees at the conference might believe that libertarianism was in some way supportive of his views, which might drive people away from the movement. It was therefore necessary to make it perfectly clear that he was not affiliated with the event or with libertarianism in general. A large crowd of libertarians chanting anti-facist slogans is as good a means as any. And nobody’s right’s were violated. He was on private property and Marriott is entitled to decide who can sit in their bar.

  • Hollis Butts

    It’s interesting that “What do you do when collectivists show up?” is never a question. I read “A Nazi is identified by their rhetoric and action. Their action leads to 16 million dead people I prefer to stop them at their rhetoric.” Well, collectivists also had a colorful history in the 20th Century. Reminds me of the European attitude where saying nice things about Nazis is illegal whereas apologists for the history of the left are accepted, often courted.

    • Yup. Attribution of guilt to some rhetoric, ideology or thought (as opposed to individuals actions) seems not only fragile in theory, but fraught and discretionary in practice. The “socialist” part of “national socialist” seemingly escapes the mind from misguided libertarians who frankly should know better.

      Will Horwitz re-frame the essay as “what do you do when collectivists/socialists/communists show up” and generalize his conclusions?

      • Käptn Kook

        if freaking antifa-communists would troll an sfl conference, you think those people would be accepted in any way? i dont think so. if some warmongering neocon-statist would try to troll the sfl, people wouldn’t call them out and tell them to leave?

        this also has nothing to do with attributing “guilt”. we also don’t have to wait for “individuals actions” to happen, to condemn certain viewpoints! (apart from that the whole idea of spence is to get rid of people, that are merely associated with a certain disliked group, without individually having done anything, either. much hypocrisy, if you don’t condemn this, too!)
        It’s all about the openly stated ideals, and the calling for “peaceful ethnic cleansing”, which is not just some rhetoric. it is a supremacist mindset and a call for action, with an obviously downwards spiraling effect. an unsound philosophy that isn’t remotely libertarian, while so often making remarks of “classical liberalism” or whatnot, which seems to merely be degraded to a lip service, to have somewhat of a sound footing, to be able to somehow keep up their house of cards of bullcrap claims a little longer.

        • In no way did I suggest “those people should be accepted in any way” at the SFL conference (you are putting words in my mouth). That would be against free association. I suggested that they should not be subjected to unjust violence (ie. is it ok to punch/stone/shoot them) and questioned the label of nazi since a defining characteristic of nazis is coercion.

          If an ideology “leads to” violent outcomes in some obvious automatic “downwards spiraling effect”, as you suggest nazism does with “very high chances”, then I must ask again: do you apply the same standard to socialism and other forms of collectivism?
          When is it ok to punch a socialist?

    • Puppet’s Puppet

      I read “A Nazi is identified by their rhetoric and
      action. Their action leads to 16 million dead people I prefer to stop
      them at their rhetoric.”

      That’s interesting. I never read that once in the entire article, nor in the Facebook post it links to.

      • Hollis Butts

        It was a quote taken from a comment made about the article.

    • Theresa Klein

      Because collectivists never show up at libertarian conferences pretending to be libertarians.
      Collectivists show up at libertarian conferences to protest them. Nobody will ever, ever confuse a collectivist with a libertarian because collectivists are honest about who they are.

    • Hollis Butts

      I accidentally “liked” my comment. Is there some way to erase that?

      • Puppet’s Puppet

        Downvote it.

  • Craig J. Bolton

    And the answer is, in the words of Malcolm X, “take any action that is necessary.” Why, pray tell, would one want to a priori limit one’s responses when the future context is unknown?

    • 3RD LT Rico

      What are you arguing for?

  • Craig J. Bolton

    And
    the answer is, in the words of Malcolm X, “take any action that is
    necessary.” Why, pray tell, would one want to a priori limit one’s
    responses when the future context is unknown?

  • 3RD LT Rico

    If “Libertarians” are really against ethno-nationalism and state violence why aren’t you protesting AIPAC, NAACP, and La Raza?

    Leftist non-White ethnic advocacy groups push for and had success implementing numerous anti-White state enforced policies such as Affirmative Action, Disparate Impact EEO lawsuits, increased welfare handouts, and violations of property rights thru civil rights legislation.

    Why only virtue-signal against White-nationalist statism but not Black or Mestizo-nationalist statism?

    • AP2

      Self-defense. White nationalist ideology has killed magnitudes more white people than black or “latino” supremacy groups. As a white person, I’m opposed to ideologies that kill white people.

      • 3RD LT Rico

        Communism has killed more people than ethno-nationalism.

  • Mengerian Knight

    Your “neighbor’s getting hauled away” now because a couple of Alt-Right guys expressed their opinions? You must really think the facts are on Richard Spencer’s side, since you associate the mere ability to get his message out as inevitably leading to the Alt-Right gaining power and having the ability to implement their views.

  • Mengerian Knight

    If someone showed up to my event and wanted to promote flat-earthism or YEC, I’d want them to be able to engage with whoever wanted to listen, so everyone could see how wrong they are. Apparently you and Tucker think just the opposite about how tenable the Alt-Right’s views are.

    • 3RD LT Rico

      Spencer wasn’t even in the ISFLC.
      He was in the public accessible hotel bar.
      And he didn’t get kicked out until the “Libertarians” started using Communist Antifa style tactics to cause a ruckus and no-platform him.

  • Dain Fitzgerald

    “We just want to say this: “What would you do when the Nazis show up?” is not a thought experiment any more. We never expected, in our lifetimes, to really need to know what to do when Nazis show up to one of our talks or to a conference we were attending.”

    Ya know, I remember at an Oakland community college I attended frequently being exposed to the literature and rhetoric of radical leftists. Maoists, hateful black liberationists, Israel = genocide types, the whole proverbial shebang. I was able to withstand their presence. In fact I didn’t mind. Let them do their thing short of inciting violence or committing it. So no, it’s not a thought experiment. Not for lots of us. It never has been. We’re tested by encounters with noxious ideologies and we pass with flying colors. Of course – and here’s the rub – THEY have the numbers (or rather, their more reasonable but sympathetic counterparts do); free speech absolutists and heterodox righties do not. Which brings me too…

    What’s different I suspect about this situation is that BHLs fear word would get out that they didn’t take on these Nazis like they should have. Tolerating them would be seen as implicitly agreeing with them (bad news for libertarians: the fact they showed up at all at YOUR conference is too damning to come back from; curiously, a small number of Trotskyists at a lefty conference wouldn’t sink the entire leftist project or mar its reputation; that’s the perk that comes with being culturally dominant.)

    • Theresa Klein

      Trotskyists don’t exactly have a reputation worse than the general Marxists they tag along with.
      You’re correct that it is important for libertarians to make it PERFECTLY CLEAR that Spencer and his ilk are not welcome within the movement.
      The time has come, the moment is now. The long dalliance with the racist right must end. It must end publicly and definitively. Or libertarianism is dead for a generation, or more. And with it, what’s left of liberty in America.

  • Mengerian Knight

    Why such a different standard for White identity and any other ethnic identity? Whether or not you support Mestizo groups, Black groups, Jewish groups etc. coming together and advocating for their interests, you certainly never have such vitriol for them as you have for the Alt-Right. But now you have a White man advocating for White identity, and it’s “Oh My god he’s a Nazi and wants to murder people ‘What would I do if my neighbor was hauled away?’ is now a real scenario.”

    Why such double standards? Why do you accept the norms that White identity is somehow a unique evil that has to be treated so much worse than any form of non-White identity?

    • King Goat

      Curious. The KKK and the NAACP both existed in 1930 Alabama. Equivalent to you? Irrational to find one deplorable and the other commendable?

      • Simon Corso

        #Blacklivesmatter activists murdered more people in 2015/2016 than the KKK did in it’s entire existence.

        Perspective. Get some.

  • 3RD LT Rico

    Do “Libertarians” have an argument?

    Why is the AltRight factually wrong?

    Non-Whites overwhelmingly vote for big government progressivism. How does liberty survive with open borders?

    Why don’t you critique non-white collectivist/statist advocacy groups?

    This current year batch of “Libertarians” have no answers because they are essentially obsequious pawns of the dominant Progressive hegemony.

    • Theresa Klein

      Non-Whites overwhelmingly vote for big government progressivism.

      Bullshit.
      Non-whites may for for *Democrats*, but that has much to do with the legacy of racism against non-Whites within the Republican party. When you’re givne a choice between a party full of people that hate you due to your skin color and a party of people who just want to give you some free shit, most people are going to opt for the free shit, even if they wished there was a party that was both non-racist and fiscally responsible.

      • 3RD LT Rico

        Normie Republicans are the least racist people on the planet.

        And non-Whites DO vote for big government welfare. A vote for the Democratic party is a vote for free stuff.

        • Theresa Klein

          Well, so do white people. 41% of whites voted for Barack Obama. White people voted for the FDR – a white man. White people voted for LBJ – another white man. White people voted for Bill Clinton – yet another white man. White people all over Europe vote for social-democratic welfare states. Voting for socialism is completely within the norm of white-people political behavior.

    • Sergio Méndez

      Whites (and specially male whites) vote overwhelmingly for big goverment in the US (since most of them vote republican)…so what shall we do with them…deport them?

      • Theresa Klein

        Exactly. Trump is not a defender of liberal enlightenment values. He’s a tin-pot authoritarian who has no problem using government authority to reward his friends and punish his enemies. And the people who voted for him (mostly whites) did so because he promised them benefits in the form of protectionist trade policies and big infrastructure projects. So basically white people have forfeited whatever claim the might have had to being the defenders of America’s libertarian traditions.

      • 3RD LT Rico

        You can’t deport all Whites because the United States of America only exists due to the White race.

        • Sergio Méndez

          Man, I was just taking your own logic to its natural conclusion.

      • 3RD LT Rico

        How are gun rights doing in California?

  • wombat1950

    We should round up Nazis into concentration camps and gas them with zyklon-b.. give them a taste of their own placebo! Black Lives Matter!!!

    • Puppet’s Puppet

      You think you’re being outré with your trolling, but you’re a bit late to the mini-brigade. Really, you’re only a bit further removed from the folks who are already here–putting in a lot more effort than you, I might add. Justice for Harambe!

  • WHAT

    Oy vey, dem natziiiieeeeez, ids anudda shoah!11!!!

    You`ll do nothing but kvetch, as usual.

  • Lord of the Gulf Stream

    Free speech is a human right. Except for people we don’t like.

  • urstoff

    Apparently this got linked on Infowars or someplace like that. 160+ comments on a BHL thread!

  • Simon Corso

    1. Keep repeating that it’s okay to punch Nazis.

    2. Call everyone who disagrees with you a ” Nazi ”

    It’s an infallible plan. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Mortado

    Spencer is great, Tucker is a loser who will never ever be relevant. Also, calling people like Spencer a Nazi is pretty silly. “Nazi” doesn’t mean “people who don’t hate whites and don’t want to turn the entire world into a violent third world shithole”. And no, Spencer has never advocated for genocide or the physical harming of other races. This is why libertarianism has become a joke. You sound exactly like the hated progressives and antifa subhumans.

    • Theresa Klein

      Interesting use of the word “subhumans”.

      • Pajser

        Yes, interesting really.
        He wants to convince himself and other people that violence against anti-fa doesn’t require same justification as violence against other people.
        First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out .. Because I was not a Socialist. … ” (Martin Niemöller)

        The number of Nazis on this forum, and their attitude – their attempt to present themselves not as enemies of the ideology, but as compatible – should make libertarians think and prepare for possible cases of entryism. Libertarian Party already had recent case of Augustus Sol Invictus guy in Florida, who, although he did huge errors in his execution of entryist tactics, still got nearly 25% of votes on some internal elections. Those who are not informed should google about that truly interesting story.

        I should say, however, that excessive fear of entryism is sometimes other side of the coin, and balance is right thing. Also, that I am not libertarian; I am far left, so the reader should take it into consideration too.

        • 3RD LT Rico

          This isn’t a case of entryism but a case of exitism (new word!)
          The vast majority of Alt Righters did go through some sort of Libertarian phase.

      • Mortado

        It was mostly tongue-in-cheek. I don’t see how any libertarian could have a positive view of antifa considering their eagerness to destroy property and to physically assault anyone even suspected of being a “fascist”. They’re a bunch of modern day Jacobins and want to use violence to further their agenda. The fact that Tucker and co. want to associate themselves with that movement is telling. Rothbard would be rolling in his grave

    • martinbrock

      Since 1940 or so, when someone raises his right hand and shouts “Seig Heil!” (translated into English) after advocating a white ethno-state spanning a continent and the removal of non-whites therefrom, people across the political spectrum, far beyond the extreme left, will call him a “Nazi”. If Spencer doesn’t want to be called a Nazi, he needs to stop doing that sort of thing.

      • Mortado

        Oh I agree that Spencer has done some idiotic things for the sake of controversy, but his actual ideas really are not that radical. The only thing that he does differently is treating the white race like every other race and not as some sort of boogeyman to be destroyed. Has anyone here ever published any screeds against Israel for existing as a distinctly Jewish state? Or against the Japanese for having a strong identity and not wanting to lose that? People are waking up to the blatant double standards in racial politics, and if you want to be taken seriously, you’re going to either have to apply your principles to every race equally, or point out what makes whites and whites alone worthy of being erased via state-enforced multiculturalism.

        • martinbrock

          Spencer’s “white nationalism” is nonsense, because “white” has never described a nation comparable to the Hebrews or the Japanese. No one a century ago thought that the French, Germans, Spanish and Britons were “one people”. These people were continually at war. The English and the Welsh weren’t even one people. Even if everyone in the United States were “white”, the nation would still be multicultural.

          Helen is a small town in the Georgia mountains north of my home in Athens. The whole place is patterned after a Bavarian village and attracts tourists year round. The Savannah Irish Festival attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year, and I could list dozens of similar events in Georgia alone. If you think your German or Irish or other European culture is being erased, you have ample opportunity to pencil it back in.

          None of these events compares in size to the incredibly multiracial, multiethnic and multicultural Dragon Con in Atlanta each year. The many cultures represented at Dragon Con include Middle Earth, Steampunk and Anime, and these cultures occupy the imagination of young people far more than Spencer’s “European culture” ever will, like it or not.

          • 3RD LT Rico

            The Founding Fathers did view Whites as a group. We know this from the census categories at the time and our nation’s first immigration law that limited naturalization to “free white persons of good character”.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalization_Act_of_1790

          • martinbrock

            The Founding Fathers were racists. What else is new? This fact doesn’t make “white persons” a “nation”. A nation definitively is a group of people with a common language and culture. The founders would not have called English, German and Spanish peoples one “nation”. If they wanted to create a nation dominated by one race, they failed, and most people of every race in the nation today are happy that they failed.

          • Mortado

            I’m an ethnic nationalist myself, so I actually agree with you there. I’m not concerned with the erasure of European culture in the US, but in Europe. What will become of British cultural life for instance if ethnic Brits become a minority in their own land and have an ever-growing population of Muslims who hate pretty much everything British culture has historically encompassed? Anyway, if you want to see the effect of multiculturalism, there are plenty of studies out there showing how it is inexorably linked to social conflict and a decline in cohesion and trust. Or you could just look at the history of places like Austria-Hungary, Yugoslavia, the USSR, and, yes, the US.