Jeffrey Tucker highlights the differences:
To the cheers of alt-righters everywhere, those angry lords of the green frog meme who hurl edgy un-PC insults at everyone to their left, the Democratic nominee has put them on the map at long last. Specifically, she accused Donald Trump of encouraging and giving voice to their dark and dangerous worldview.
Let’s leave aside the question of whether we are talking about an emergent brown-shirted takeover of American political culture, or perhaps merely a few thousand sock-puppet social media accounts adept at mischievous trolling on Twitter. The key issue is that more than a few alt-rightists claim some relationship to libertarianism, at least at their intellectual dawning until they begin to shed their libertarianism later on.
What are the differences in outlook between alt-right ideology and libertarianism?
- The Driving Force of History
- Harmony vs. Conflict
- Designed vs. Spontaneous Order
- Trade and Migration
- Emancipation and Progress
It’s a pretty good comparison, although not entirely accurate about the Alt-Right and understandably biased towards libertarianism. Regardless, it serves as an effective delineator that suffices to explain why I, once one of the top 25 libertarians on the Internet, can no longer reasonably be described as a libertarian, Christian, nationalist, or otherwise.
It’s not that I am opposed to libertarian ideals. Quite to the contrary, I cherish them as deeply as I ever did. It is merely that events, and a deeper understanding of history, have caused me to conclude that libertarian ideals are as ultimately utopian and irrelevant as communist ideals, progressive ideals, and conservative ideals.
I was always a minarchist libertarian; I embraced libertarianism out of pessimism towards the government. But libertarianism has turned out to be nearly as economically ignorant as Marxism, and nearly as dangerous as Leninism, Nazism, or Maoism. Mass immigration, of the sort considerably more limited than that envisioned by the purist libertarians who correctly subscribe to open borders, has proven to be at least potentially as disastrous as any of those three historically infamous ideologies. Just how bad, we don’t know yet, because the scenario is still in the process of playing itself out.
The key difference between the Alt-Right and libertarianism is that libertarianism insists on the existence of Rational Man. The Alt-Right observes, to the contrary, that Man is an irrational, rationalizing creature. Where you fall on that question alone will logically dictate whether you ultimately side with the libertarians or the Alt-Right, if your ideals incline towards the libertarian.
Tucker writes: This similarity is historically contingent and largely superficial given the vast differences that separate the two worldviews. Does society contain within itself the capacity for self management or not? That is the question.
To which the Alt-Right responds: Define society.
That being said, one intellectual subset of the Alt-Right could well be described as National Libertarianism, because, after all, once the nation has been sufficiently established and defended, it still has to decide how it will henceforth live.