What is it about Jeffrey Tuckers article Against Libertarian Brutalism a few years ago that caused such as ruckus?  It could be that this article was in many ways a rejection of the basic framework of Libertarian Ethics.  That is, the long standing idea that voluntaryism, and non-aggression were most important, and that all other concerns were always secondary.  It ignored the fact that the “self-ordering of society” without “external interference or controls” is exactly what happens when one’s primary concern is not initiating violence.  Instead, it seemed to elevate concerns which Libertarianism has no business being involved in.  Libertarianism has nothing to do with circumstantial, or existential questions.  Libertarianism is, by and large, a simple yet logical set of guidelines which aid in making day to day decisions.  It is simple and that is why Brutalism is better.

This is why it should be apparent that Tuckers article was not really an attack on adherents to the non-aggression principle.  It was instead a blatant attack upon the libertarian right and center.  It was an attempt to section off a group of Libertarians and isolate them from the libertarian community.  A roundabout way to say those who do not agree are racists, bigots, and misogynists.  It does not appear to have worked and may have back fired.  Just as it energized the critical theory degenerates, and the Bizarro left wing fringe to come crawling out of the wood work,  so too, does it seem to have energized the center and the right.

Why do I call the libertarian left “Bizarro?”  Just read DC Comics blurb about the villain Bizarro and you will see a description that fits the Libertarian left.

“Everyone can understand the fear of seeing your beliefs and ideals become twisted and deformed—of seeing everything you stand for reflected darkly back at you. Unfortunately for Superman, and the world itself, he experiences this very thing every single time he faces Bizarro.” 

Such is the experience of regular libertarians upon engaging in a conversation with the libertarian left.”

I believe this is an accurate portrayal of much of what is seen coming out of the Libertarian left these days.  All of the most bizarre aspects of libertarianism are on display for the world to see.  This is not Libertarianism, but in truth, Libertinism.  It is what statists claim to fear when they reference libertarianism and what worries the public at large about the community.  Can you really blame them?  Personally, I find it hard to disagree with them.  It’s one reason I choose to no longer call myself an Anarchist and now identify as an Autarchist.  There is no other way to avoid the baggage that is associated with such a term.

These Bizarro behaviors put forth by these so-called libertarians often include a refusal to swear off aggression for everything but self-defense.  Sometimes, they insist that owning property is an aggression.  Race baiting has become fairly common, and so have the claims of oppression based on Marxist Critical Theory.  This has absolutely nothing to do with Libertarianism.  If you believe in critical theory that is your business, but it has no bearing on whether you are a libertarian or not.  A firm commitment to not initiate physical violence except in defense of one’s property or person is the only thing that qualifies you as a libertarian.  This is a Brutalist position according to Jeffrey Tucker, and if that is so then I am fine with it.  As you may have noticed this blog is called The Brutal Truth.

Simple is in itself beautiful.  Therefore, Brutalism has a simplistic beauty which is found in its utility.  What Tucker calls “Brutalism” is actually real Libertarianism and everything else is not only extraneous but also an obfuscation.

Murray Rothbard in his book For a New Liberty stated exactly what the Libertarian Creed is, “The libertarian creed rests upon one central axiom: that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else. This may be called the “nonaggression axiom.” “Aggression” is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else. Aggression is therefore synonymous with invasion. (Rothbard, ch. 2)”  Notice that the only thing that matters is “physical aggression?”

Rothbard’s position is quite clearly a Brutalist position, and if that’s good enough for Rothbard then it is good enough for me.  I revel in the idea of being a Brutalist because I know that “Brutalism is Best” in all cases.  The alternative is being a “Bizarro Libertarian.”


Work Cited

Rothbard, Murray. For A New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto LVMI. 2nd ed. Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1973. Kindle