July 8, 2015

Jeffrey Tucker: Brutalist?

By In Bionic Mosquito, Blogs

Look, I will admit that when it comes to plumbing the depths of libertarian theory and philosophy I am not the deepest thinker – instead, rather a simpleton.  I do my best to consistently apply the non-aggression principle, nothing more.

Jeffrey Tucker wrote what is overall a very good defense of property rights and a good explanation of the value of free-market-derived feedback, using as the context the recent Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage: “Everyone Needs Freedom to Discriminate.”

To make the case against such laws [laws disallowing discrimination], it ought to be enough to refer to the freedom to associate and the freedom to use your property as you see fit. These are fundamental principles of liberalism. A free society permits anything peaceful, and that includes the right to disassociate. Alas, such arguments seem dead on arrival today.

So let us dig a bit deeper to understand why anti-discrimination laws are not in the best interests of gay men and women, or anyone else. Preserving the ability to discriminate permits the market system to provide crucial information feedback to a community seeking to use its buying power to reward its friends and noncoercively, nonviolently punish those who do not share its values

Good enough.  But something seems not quite right.  I am recalling Tucker’s infamous “brutalist” essay from a year or so ago:

There is a segment of the population of self-described libertarians—described here as brutalists—who find all the above rather boring, broad, and excessively humanitarian. To them, what’s impressive about liberty is that it allows people to assert their individual preferences, to form homogeneous tribes, to work out their biases in action, to ostracize people based on “politically incorrect” standards, to hate to their heart’s content so long as no violence is used as a means, to shout down people based on their demographics or political opinions, to be openly racist and sexist, to exclude and isolate and be generally malcontented with modernity, and to reject civil standards of values and etiquette in favor of antisocial norms.

To simpleton me, this raises a question: when Tucker wrote about brutalists, was he referring to himself?

Written by Bionic Mosquito

Some talking head on CNBC, when referring to Ron Paul, called him a “mosquito.” My reaction – if he is a “mosquito”, he is a pretty powerful one. Hence the name…. More about me, with contact information, here: http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/p/about.html