Jeffrey Tucker’s Case Against Libertarianism

Jeffrey Tucker Reduces Core Libertarian Ideals To “Brutalism”

In the ongoing conflict between leftist infiltrators who want to redefine libertarianism, and purists who wish to stay on message, yet another high profile libertarian has ditched principle for popularity, and condemned principled action as racist, and misogynist. Jeffrey Tucker, publisher at Laissez Faire Books, and fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education, wrote an article today titled “Against Libertarian Brutalism”. Mr. Tucker, to his credit, had the decency to acknowledge that we “brutalists” as he calls us, are correct in our assertion that libertarianism itself cares not for aesthetics, or race/gender baiting, before calling us racists, misogynists, anti-Semites, boors, and a list of ad-hominems too long for me to list.

According to Jeffrey Tucker, the people Tom Woods referred to as “thick libertarians” are the “humanitarians” who love all that is beautiful about liberty.

The humanitarians are drawn to reasons such as the following. Liberty allows peaceful human cooperation. It inspires the creative service of others. It keeps violence at bay. It allows for capital formation and prosperity. It protects human rights of all against invasion. It allows human associations of all sorts to flourish on their own terms. It socializes people with rewards toward getting along rather than tearing each other apart, and leads to a world in which people are valued as ends in themselves rather than fodder in the central plan.
We know all of this from history and experience. These are all great reasons to love liberty.

But, Jeffrey Tucker explains, there is also a dark side to libertarianism,

But they are not the only reasons that people support liberty. 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.

Jeffrey Tucker
Jeffrey Tucker

What a dramatic contrast! Humanitarians vs. Brutalists, people who love prosperity vs. people who hate everything, people who value diversity vs. racists. Well, when you put it that way, these “humanitarians” certainly sound like wonderful people, and those brutalists sound like terrible evil villains. Good thing we have Jeffrey Tucker to explain to us the difference between good and evil, with this absurd false dichotomy.

Then again, this all sounds rather familiar. Those kindhearted Democrats who want to help the poor vs. those evil Republicans who care about nothing but corporate greed. Ron Paul’s “racist” newsletters vs. that moderate with the nice hair. The perpetual compromises of the Libertarian Party vs. hard line non-aggresionists.

It’s really sad to see a guy like Jeffrey Tucker descend into the tactics of politicians, to false dichotomy, strawman, and ad hominem, all in one article. All while failing to make any substantial point whatsoever, but this is what happens when one allies with leftists. Since words have no meaning, there is no need to actually say anything, just appeal to the emotions of your target audience. You don’t have to make your case, just call your opponent a racist. No need for a consistent stance on anything, just call for compromise and be inclusive of all but those “extremists” unwilling to abandon their principles.

This isn’t Jeffrey Tucker’s first flirtation with leftists, he co-authored an article with Cathy Reisenwitz making Ludwig von Mises out to be a feminist. He wrote of a “new libertarianism” which “should embrace the ideals of feminism in the same way we embrace the anti-slavery cause“. He has praised Cathy Reisenwitz’s “proto-socialism”.

I’d really like Jeffrey Tucker, or Cathy Reisenwitz, or any of these other race baiting feminist goons, to tell me exactly where are all these openly racist libertarians you speak of? Who exactly is it? Better yet, what is racism, besides that which mentions race or has a disproportionate demographic?

Am I sexist for having sex exclusively with women (and inanimate objects)? Does this make me homophobic? If I had a policy of only having sex with black women, would this make me a racist? If I sing along to a black rapper, and I say “nigga” does this make me racist?

The problem you have with we “brutalists” is not that we are racist, homophobic, anti-Semetic, etc… Because clearly that’s not the case. Even Cathy notes “it’s difficult to survey for racism, as most racists don’t self-identify as such“. What people like Cathy, and now by extension, people like Jeffrey Tucker do, is find any mention, implication, or demographic disparity pertaining to race or gender, and then label it racist or misogynist. They find any disparity of wealth, and call it privilege. All of these disparities need to be abolished in the eyes of the egalitarian, and libertarianism simply has no opinion on the matter. Rather than point out that they are creating hysteria over something that is not bigoted at all, sometimes we’ll address the fact that bigotry and privilege are not things which our core philosophy is terribly concerned about. For pointing that out, we are called racists and misogynists and homophobes and anti-Semites, which is the last dying breath of an argument lost.

If Tucker wants to make the case that libertarianism helps women, fine. Nobody is saying not to. If he wants to make the case that black people would be better off without the State, fine. Nobody is saying not to. What we “brutalists” are saying is, egalitarianism is not the means or end of libertarianism, and saying otherwise in hopes of attracting Democrats into our ranks is illusory.

When you repeat statist race propaganda, do you grow our ranks? No. You simply distract from the point that race is irrelevant. You give credence to those who would use the State in their perpetually failing efforts to “correct” these disparities. You feed into the misperception that libertarianism is racist for not caring about race. You turn off the independent minded black, female, and homosexual people out there who would otherwise join us.

To act like you are somehow taking the moral high ground, or doing something courageous in this is just plain ridiculous. What bravery does it take to make a stand against racism in 2014? How much intelligence is required to see a demographic disparity and shout “racist, misogynist, bigot”?


How much courage does it take to stand up for a comedian’s right to tell a joke, while the full forces of the State are trying to censor anything disagreeable? How much principle does it take for an atheist to stand up for a religious man’s right to believe in an ancient cryptic fiction novel? How much intelligence does it take to see past a pie chart of skin color, and try to address something more meaningful than race?

More than any leftist is ever going to muster…

Shame on Jeffrey Tucker for taking the wrong side in this conflict, and for using every underhanded, principle defying logical fallacy in the book to do so.


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Christopher Cantwell comedian, writer, voice artist, and Patriot.

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