Once again I find myself angry at the level to which spooks – or wholly untrue propositions – continue to haunt the discourse of those who are ostensibly promoting freedom as a cause. Once again I find myself obliged to use the writings of Paul Craig Roberts as a particularly severe example of this. The previous time I made mention of Roberts was in pointing out how constitutionalism is a short-sighted and doomed substitute for genuine radical change, and how belief in the spooks of ‘states’ and ‘nations’ can cause one to seek nonsensical methods in furtherance of one’s causes. This time around the issue is geopolitical analysis, and how – as Roberts’ case demonstrates – one’s analysis can become horribly marred by the repetition and reification of such spooks. In short, even if one’s intentions are positive (as I suspect Roberts’ are), if one permits false premises into one’s thinking, one’s conclusions will be distorted.
Let me illustrate with specific examples:-
1. State-centric approach. Because Roberts truly believes in the spook of ‘the state’, it dominates his approach to analysis. While he has the capacity to question many conventions – such as the (absurd) official story of Osama Bin Laden and the view that Putin is a dictator (and Western leaders are the opposite) - and can even find time to make lists of whom he would (unconstitutionally, and in contradiction of most of his writings) appoint to ‘his’ administration if he were ‘elected’ as ‘President’ (a post he says he would be “honoured” to fill) – Roberts is sadly still unable to see that the conspiracies that are afoot to orchestrate power consolidation and marching tyranny do not originate from quaint little boardroom scenarios inside of ‘national’ ‘governments’. The ‘New World Order’ mentality (which to his credit Roberts at least has the courage to mention) is not limited to actors that purport to represent ‘the United States’, nor does it make sense to say that “the US is the New World Order”. The parasitic individuals engaged in globalised corporatism, rampant imperialism, military fascism and economic and environmental devastation of every kind, are not limited to a single category of passport-carrying ‘nationality’, a single fealty, or even a single umbrella organisation à la the ‘Illuminati’ model. They work at different times for different cartels (or ‘power blocs’) for different objectives – sometimes as rivals, but most often as collaborators (think two thugs beating up the same helpless victim). They are linked only by their perpetration of borderless, post-ideological crimes and by the preternatural psychopathic mindset where these schemes originate.
2. Individualism is not minarchism. Related to this first fact (that globalism is not simply a conspiracy of interstate relations) is the antecedent – and far more profound – fact that sovereignty relates to the individual, not to any grouping. When Roberts speaks of ‘national sovereignty’, and bemoans that “Washington has demonstrated that it has no respect for its own laws and Constitution, much less any respect for international law and the law and sovereignty of other countries”, he betrays that his real concern is not the individual but in triangulating a kind of time-travel conservatism (lets go back to a time before the government grew too large) with what might be called ‘naive internationalism’ (the belief in the concept of international law, which hints at the possibility of a world government, the very institution Roberts claims to oppose).
3. Britain is not great. I am very used to correcting people’s misconceptions on the first two points (the nonexistence of ‘states’ and ‘nations’, and the primacy of the individual), but as someone who has lived most of their life in the territorial polity known as ‘Britain’, and who has intimate knowledge of both the political class of this particular tax farm and their elite masters, I really cannot stomach geist-worship of the particular Anglophile variety. If one wishes to criticise imperialism from a state-centric view, how can one limit one’s criticisms to the US government without mentioning the older brother of the Anglo-American Establishment, and giving them equal scrutiny? Somehow, Roberts is under the impression that ‘Britain’ has done something good by avoiding a ‘sovereign debt crisis’, by maintaining its own central bank and managing its own bailouts (though this is a simplification and distortion of the truth anyway, given how tax money stolen from ‘British’ people has been moved all over Europe and the world). Do you really think that using the proper noun ‘Britain’ leads to an accurate or helpful analysis of the situation?
I don’t want to lecture any of these three points, and as I said originally, I am sick of saying the same things again and again to all the ‘libertarians’ I encounter on the internet. But I will ask you this:
Do you advocate freedom and autonomy – or national interests? Are you a genuine ‘libertarian’ – or (like Roberts) simply a nationalist? Do you oppose globalism because it isn’t individualism – or because it isn’t paleoconservatism?
Do you believe in the truth – or in ghosts?