Before I get further into this article, I feel it necessary to explain the very term “paleolibertarianism”. It is commonly defined as a combination of conservative social and cultural values with a radical libertarian opposition to the state and to government intervention.
Now at first sight when someone sees this, after they’ve been told by various sources that libertarianism is about being fiscally conservative and socially liberal, it can be quite confusing. It is important to note that a libertarian is adherent to the non-aggression axiom and can believe in whatever social philosophy he wants to; Libertarianism is uninterested in what people’s personal beliefs are, and in this way the libertarian movement has distinguished itself from the likes of objectivism, regardless of how much influence there still is from that movement.
The paleolibertarian believes that traditional western culture and family values are necessary for a free society to remain free. While our number one enemy is the state, it is also important to keep in mind that the state came into being by human error and a violent nature that far preceded the invention of a state. For this very reason, paleolibertarians see the need for some sort of social order within society, but what separates us from far right authoritarian types and paleoconservatives even, is that we believe that the power and force of the state is the absolute worst method of preserving these values, and that these values can simply be preserved through free market discrimination, freeing up the family and the churches, and allowing adherents of traditional values to protect themselves and their way of life through private property.
In short…paleolibertarians believe that the state, through social engineering and the public education apparatus, is the primary enemy of traditional values, and is unlikely to be it’s hero. Paleolibertarians also likely believe in stronger borders while the government is still in charge of the border property in an effort to preserve freedom and protect the interests of the property owners affected. Paleolibertarians also prefer decentralization as opposed to using the federal government as a magic wand.
Now why would I be talking about this now?
Just a few weeks back I received an invite to join a group called “The Paleolibertarian Caucus“. As a self professed paleolibertarian myself, I was totally shocked to find out that such a thing existed, given what I observed in much of the libertarian online community. The hatred of religion, worship of alternative lifestyles, and animosity toward the libertarianism of old has unfortunately become an overriding sentiment in the movement. Our most right wing articles at Liberty Hangout are always greeted with some strong push back from a lot of the libertarian community. But is this really because most libertarians are left wing, or is this because of the polarization in terms of left and right that our society is in the midst of right now? Observing certain societal trends and even trends within different part of the movement make me think the latter.
For one, we see that trust in the government and the power elites is dwindling like never before, and people are finally pushing back in a major way against cultural marxism and igniting a war for western culture. If this doesn’t scream out the need for the paleo strategy to make a return, I don’t know what does. Don’t we owe it to ourselves to convert the most small-government types to libertarianism that we can?
Why not start with the religious right, who is tired of having the government’s boot on their throat? Why not start with the hard working, blue collar, tea partier who just wants to raise his family the way that he sees fit? We need not pander, but rather all we need to do to make this happen is return to our roots and return to consistency. It is also apparent that the paleo strategy works fairly well when one looks at the rise in popularity of many famous libertarian talkshow hosts as they begin to market themselves to the right, like Stefan Molyneux. If we pass this opportunity now, we may find ourselves losing credibility in the long run, and we might not get another chance to build a legitimate and strong coalition that will work to change things.