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Number 944, October 15, 2017

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More Nonsense from Reason
by Sean Gangol

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

In my last article, “Open Letter to Reason Magazizne”, I called out Reason magazine for their virtue signaling and the overall dishonest reporting that has led to my decision to not renew my subscription, which is soon to expire. What led to this decision were two videos from Reason TV, the first one Trump Denounces Racism in Charlottesville Too Little, Too Late, and the other What the Alt-Right Gets Wrong. In the letter, I mainly addressed the fallacies in the video about Charlottesville. I addressed a few of the problems that I had with the Alt-Right video, but it had so many fallacies that it probably would have taken an extra three or four pages to address them all. Yet, I thought that it was important to address them, so I decided to dedicate an entire article to everything that was wrong with that video.

At the beginning of the video, we are told that people are calling libertarianism “The Pipeline to the Alt-Right.” The reason why anyone would say such a thing? It was because certain members of the White Nationalist movement, such as Richard Spencer and Christopher Cantwell, had once identified themselves as libertarians. This explains why Reason is so desperate to distance themselves from the so-called Alt-Right, though I don ’t recall anyone outside of Reason ever making such a claim about a “Pipeline.”

As I pointed out in my Open Letter article, I absolutely despise the word Alt-Right, as well as the Alt-Lite variation that was used in the video for the same reason I hate words such as Rape Culture or Hate Speech. These are blanketed terms that were created out of thin air and were never properly defined. So basically, you can make these terms mean whatever you want them to mean. I think Donald Trump was spot on when he asked a reporter “What is the Alt-Right? Can you define it?” The very fact that you can use these terms to paint people such as Ann Coulter, Tucker Carlson, Milo Yiannopoulos and even nationalistic libertarians such as Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern with one broad brush, kind of proves my point.

Now, one of the issues that Reason seems to have with the so-called Alt-Right is that they are against illegal immigration. I hate to break it to them, but opposition to Open Borders isn’t just synonymous to what you call the Alt-Right. Despite their attempt to lead people to believe that you can only be a true libertarian if you believe in Open Borders, there are many prominent libertarians that disagree with that stance. It’s interesting how they used an old interview of libertarian leaning economist, Milton Friedman to reinforce their point about free trade, yet they didn’t mention that this same economist also said that it wasn’t economically feasible to have open borders in a nation that has a massive welfare state. For that matter Murry Rothbard, who was much more hardcore when it came to libertarianism than Friedman, didn’t like the idea of Open Borders either. Also, as Lauren Southern pointed out in her response video, they tried to compare today’s immigration with that of the early twentieth century, which is asinine because many of today’s immigrants have no desire to assimilate like they did in the past. It reminds me of the old footage of newly arrived immigrants from Italy, who were waving American flags. Now compare that with the immigration protests of 2006, where you had illegal immigrants waving Mexican flags while chanting “Viva, Mexico!” Though I have to say that my main concern about immigration has more to do with the type who want to replace Western values with Sharia Law, as it has been happening in Europe. Reason mentioned this concern, but they didn ’t really have any response for this except that America isn ’t Europe. For many years I was actually on the fence about the issue of immigration and what made me side against Open Borders was that the advocates of that position were not able to give a coherent answer of what to do about immigrants who want to see our way of life destroyed.

Then they gave the so-called Alt-Right flack when Tucker Carlson called for the regulation of Google as a monopoly. I find it interesting that they can’t even properly define the Alt-Right, but they somehow assume that there is a consensus among this group when it comes to regulations. As Lauren Southern also pointed out, Google is a corporation that receives benefits from the government which gives it several advantages over their smaller competitors, so regulating it doesn ’t seem as unreasonable as you may think. Personally, as deplorable as I find Google’s freedom hating policies, I don ’t think government interference will make it any better.

Then they said that the Alt-Right is selective in what speech they choose to defend and they used Kathy Griffin’s severed head photo as an example. I have a hard time believing that Reason doesn’t know that calling somebody out for bad taste isn ’t the same as preventing somebody from exercising their free speech. Most of the backlash that she received came from her friends at CNN, who are no fans of Trump or the so-called Alt-Right. They also mentioned the Trump supporter who disrupted a play that featured the current president being assassinated. While I think that it is inappropriate to interrupt a play that people payed good money to see, it still pales in comparison to the tactics that Antifa uses to silence their opposition.

For some reason they felt the need to bring up the time that Donald Trump talked about suing the media, which to be honest I don’t think he was all that serious about. Also, it wasn’t just that the media was producing news that was unfavorable to him, but they have accused him of being everything from a white supremacist to a Russian stooge, which I would say at the very least borderlines on slander or libel. Southern rightfully pointed out that if Reason’s staff was accused of engaging in pedophilia, they would most definitely take their accusers to court for defamation. Though quite frankly, I don’t know why Reason is so concerned about something that Trump is not likely to act upon.

I mentioned in my Open Letter article that this video belittled all efforts to preserve Western Civilization. This is something that I find incredibly perplexing because if it weren’ t for Western values we probably wouldn’t have libertarianism. Hell, for that matter, we probably wouldn’t even have concepts such as racial or gender equality, as well as the concept of gay rights. People complain about America being slow in legalizing gay marriage, but if you take a look at countries outside the West, gay people have to fear more for their lives than they do about ever having the legal right to marry. Then I became absolutely disgusted when the host of the video said that America was never great. I don ’t claim that America was ever perfect, but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I am not even sure that I would have even heard of libertarianism if I had been born in any other country. The very idea of free speech also seems unique to America because even our neighbors to the North have a hard time understanding that concept. It’s ironic that they repeat the same mantra from Black Lives Matter about America never being great, yet how many countries do you know of would tolerate a group that calls for violence against police officers?

This pretty much adds to the list of reasons why I no longer want to have anything to do with Reason magazine. It ’s a shame, since there are very few libertarian publications out there, but any magazine who wants to call itself libertarian, needs to follow the principles that it claims to represent. They also have to stop being intellectually dishonest about certain groups that they may not agree with, otherwise they are no different than the mainstream media.

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