A generally entertaining character on Free Talk Live, Christopher Cantwell, has seemingly fallen into the void of white nationalism, even if he doesn’t identify as a white nationalist. He recently parted as a co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show following a strife arising from what Cantwell believes is a blindspot in libertarian thinking (or should I say, from his perspective, the purposeful omission of a subject that makes libertarians uncomfortable, racial genetics).
My understanding is that Cantwell’s public interest in how race impacts public affairs was prompted by the recent migrant influx from predomintly Islamic practicing countries to western Europe. He believes that inheritable genetic differences among races (like those reported to influence intelligence) play a significant factor in the likelihood of people to oppose government expansion. In some cases, he said he would be willing to accept government intervention to prevent the immigration of ethnicities of people who on average score lower on intelligence tests.
The conclusion that immigration should be restricted has no merit on moral or practical grounds, but neither does the premise that genetic factors amoung human beings play any practical differences in their disposition to adopt libertarianism. White nationalists don’t make this argument, but given the strongest form of their argument for intervention (that genetic traits were the only factor that make ethnicities score higher average intelligences than others), it would make no difference to libertarians who wanted to advance freedom. (This presumption about genetics playing the only or even a significant factor is silly as average IQ scores have risen about three points per decade in the United States for the past century, a rate far too quick to be accounted for by genetic adaptation.)
What’s overlooked is that libertarianism isn’t a complicated idea. If anything, its detractors call it overly simplistic. Its lessons are elementry and uncontroversial to our basic relationships with other ordinary people. For most ordinary people, their well-being in adulthood followed from how successfully they applied their non-aggressive intuitions. If so, why isn’t everyone a libertarian?
When you think when people come closest to ratifying basic tenants of libertarianism (that they don’t have a good reason to hit peaceful people or to take their things), it’s before they were steamrolled by the state education cartel to accept obedience to authority. Everything around them incubated them in a status quo bias, where they learn that the state is the means to live at the expense of others, a mass induced Stockholm syndrome. It’s later, presumembly when they are as intelligent, that people can come to make exceptions to the basic libertarian creed.
When we are young, our curiosity peaks, but conversly we are at our most vulnerable to the reigning institutions that instil conflicting values either that make it difficult to see how non-aggression can be applied universally or that tend to undermine non-aggression. These interlocking instituions hostile to libertarianism are erected on the values of dependence and obedience.1 It’s not coincidental, if they’re to maintain their perceived authority.
Immigration intervention would only serve in time to further instil the values hostile to libertarianism. If the concern is with generous government welfare programs, which bar most new legal immigrants from receiving federal means-tested benefits, support for them tends to be swayed by how quickly immigrants assimulate economically into the wider culture, acting as a counter-veiling force on government expansion. Increasing the time that immigrants are inelligible for means-tested benefits (thus prompting quicker economic integration) would seem to be at least as politically viable and more compatible with libertarian principles that restricting immigration.
We need the full market integration of people of all classes and ethnicities if they are to hone the skills like abstract thinking that intelligence tests measure. Anything but would set us all back.
- I credit Roderick Long for developing this line of thought, but I don’t have the original article where I recalled this from.