Even though modern libertarians claim ideological descent from the American Founding Fathers and the rationalist thinkers of the Enlightenment, there remains a noticeable divergence between the philosophy, theology, and even lifestyle of the classical liberals of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and those of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The core of the modern libertarian pantheon rests upon the philosophy and works of:
- Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)
- Friedrich Hayek (1889-1992)
- Milton Friedman (1912-2006)
- Murray Rothbard (1926-1995)
Classical liberalism was an ideological reaction against the ascent of absolute royalism. In an age in which there was not yet a universal acceptance of the Enlightenment, many classical liberals simply wanted a world in which effeminate European aristocrats did not have lordship over the innovations of generally free peoples operating in the New World. It was, in many ways, a repudiation of the suffocating nature of the ancient system that had grown too big for its britches and refused to adapt to changing times that needed to accommodate a rising and powerful merchant/bourgeois class and frontier spirit.
Libertarianism, on the other hand, is an individualist expression of the post-Enlightenment’s progressive view of man and the world. A presuppositional consequence of the Enlightenment, once it rejected the supremacy of the Holy Trinity and the authority of Christ’s Church, was that man was in control of his own destiny and could achieve enlightenment/utopia if only he could break from the corrupted practices of the past and change the environment to encourage virtue and eliminate this world’s evils: poverty, war, sickness, and hunger. All that society needs is a guiding hand – a dictatorship of the proletariat, as in communism, or as in libertarianism, the many hands of freedom-loving men and women who act fairly in society and practice the non-aggression principle.
In keeping this in mind, we can see that the Founding Fathers were in fact not libertarians. The classical liberalism of the founding era is hardly comparable to the nature of contemporary libertarianism. Other than a few stand-alone quotes that discuss the nature of government, the Founders were white supremacists, many of whom owned slaves, reviled popular sovereignty, and at best poorly practiced a political system that reflected an unmitigated version of “all men created equal.”
As I said in a previous article on libertarianism: “libertarianism operates within the same mental framework of Marxism in presupposing that humans are fundamentally economic creatures driven by economic profit, circumstance, and production.” Marx and his descendants – Lenin, Engels, Gramschi – were writing in the generation before the giants of libertarianism came on the ascent. Men such as Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard came out of a world that was reacting against the remnants of royalism, the emergence of Marxism, and eventually fascism.
Organic Thinkers vs. Social Outcasts
The contemporary libertarian pantheon is comprised mainly of Jewish thinkers. Now, a word of caution: this is not an attempt to commence a Protocols of the Elders of Zion rant. Rather, it is simply a statement of fact and open analysis.
Though traditionalist Christians often disagree with the philosophy of the American Founders and European Enlightenment thinkers, if not finding them abhorrent, they are nonetheless a part of the great European philosophical history. Good or bad, Paine, Jefferson, Rousseau, Voltaire, and Mill are an expression of the European intellectual genius. To put it simply, they might be philosophical heretics from the line of European Christian theology, but they are our heretics.
In contrast, modern libertarianism’s saintly pantheon of thinkers are all of Jewish origin. All of them were born, lived, and died in Western societies that were still in phases of transition from the classical/medieval ages of monarchy, traditionalism, and Christian supremacy. Being of Jewish blood and culture, and having mostly agnostic or deistic sentiments, they were fundamentally estranged from the mainstream of their host counties. Hence their worldview was greatly influenced by this alienation from European blood, culture, and values. It would only be natural, then, to see that the libertarian pantheon would hold to a different value-set than John Locke, Adam Smith, or George Washington.
Regardless of living in Hapsburg, Austria (von Mises), late Victorian Britain (Hayek), or the United States, these Jewish thinkers were considered outsiders, either objectively or subjectively. Thence, with their having no organic roots unto European ethno-states, it is natural to think that their post-Enlightenment/progressive ideology which rejects the concepts of organic nation-states would naturally develop.
This difference is starkly noted in how the European liberal thinkers approach the concept of nationhood over against the Jewish liberal thinkers. Though Jefferson, for example, was an ardent classical liberal, he nonetheless had a specific vision of an organic state that fell in line with the classical liberal teachings of the day. Classical liberalism of the eighteenth century regarded the nation-state, coming out of the Treaty of Westphalia, as the culmination of the nation’s (i.e. ethnos) greatness.
Jefferson clearly believed this vision vis-à-vis his belief in the supremacy of Anglo-Saxon law, customs, culture, and blood. Without mincing words, Jefferson believed in the supremacy of the white man as the ruling patriarchy of the new American Republic. Though he might have had personal disdain for many of the tenets of the Christian faith, nonetheless he recognized its supreme place in this New World Anglo-Saxon society. In modern lingo, Thomas Jefferson was an evil racist.
The Jewish liberal thinkers that descended after Jefferson share no such sentiments. Never do they recognize the supremacy of Anglo-Saxon virtues and values as essential to the construction of a “liberty”-oriented society. Rather, they detach the principles of liberty that the American Founders embodied and successfully applied in the context of the Anglo-Saxon cultural core of America and change them into bland, generic principles that any society can apply if only the social environment was to change.
Von Mises even chastised Australia and the United States for their “whites-only” policy regarding immigration back in the early twentieth century:
It is still more serious that the League of Nations does not recognize the freedom of movement of the person, that the United States and Australia are still allowed to block themselves off from unwanted immigrants. . . . Never can Germans, Italians, Czechs, Japanese, Chinese, and others regard it as just that the immeasurable landed wealth of North America, Australia, and East India should remain the exclusive property of the Anglo-Saxon nation and that the French be allowed to hedge in millions of square kilometers of the best land like a private park.1
Marxists fundamentally believe the same line of thought, only instead of revolving around the supremacy of the proletariat in a global commune, it is rather around the interest of the bourgeoisie that society should be constructed. People are just people, places are just places, according to von Mises.
When Americans talk about applying the principles of these men, they are applying the values of a system of European Jews who have no connection with the historical experiences of the traditional American nation – mainly its spiritual, biological, and cultural connections though Great Britain and Ireland. Furthermore, these libertarian thinkers actually have a distaste for the traditional European order and system that could be defined as “Old Europe” or Christendom upon which America was originally founded.
The Nature and Existence of God and the Christian Faith
Coming from the genealogy of the Enlightenment, which was deistic in nature and so not far removed from Marxism’s atheism, the saints of libertarianism have an especially secular worldview that does not accommodate the Christian heritage or philosophy, the core building blocks of European civilization.
Ludwig von Mises, perhaps the grand patriarch of modern libertarianism, understood the reality of his new ideology (just like Marx): that capitalism would be at eternal odds with Christianity. “A living Christianity,” said Mises, “cannot exist side by side with, and within, Capitalism.”2 Whereas communists sought to outwardly suppress the public expression and implementation of Christianity by means of the state, von Mises came to adopt a more insidious means to suppress the Christian order.
John Medaille, writing for Front Porch Republic on the attempt by Christians to “baptize” von Mises, states, “Later in his career, Mises would allow that Christianity could exist within capitalism, but only if the Christians kept their opinions to themselves, only if they were marginalized and kept apart from the political and economic orders.” This is the same type of anti-clerical, anti-religious sentiment that modern-day liberals/social democrats take: that all religion is okay so long as it is privately practiced, thereby rendering the mere existence of religion null.
Though modern American conservatives and Ron Paul supporters hail him as a great thinker, von Mises attacks Jesus and Christianity as a “class warrior,” even going so far as to write in his book Socialism (p. 420):
Jesus’ words are full of resentment against the rich, and the Apostles are no meeker in this respect. The Rich Man is condemned because he is rich, the Beggar praised because he is poor. The only reason why Jesus does not declare war against the rich and preach revenge on them is that God has said: “Revenge is mine.” In God’s Kingdom the poor shall be rich, but the rich shall be made to suffer.
His conclusion, then, is that “the Christian Faith forms a defense against doctrines inimical to property, and that it makes the masses unreceptive to the poison of social incitement.” Of course, he ignores that whole “thou shalt not steal” bit, and all the Hebraic laws that protect private property, and Jesus’s admonition to His disciples to buy a sword to defend themselves on the roads while traveling.
Mises, a Jew living in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, built his economic theories not upon the Bible, but with an explicit rejection of any biblical understanding of economics and private property rights. Being part of the growing intelligentsia that rejected the old monarchical order of church and state in symphony, Mises answered Marx in his own manner while still rejecting Jesus. Von Mises, by rejecting Jesus, the philosophical patriarch of Western Civilization, has now created the individualist economic ideological alternative to Marx’s collectivist economic ideology. Both however, accept the same premise—Jesus Christ and the Church are retrograde entities and must be removed.
Maybe it makes sense now why Rand Paul and Ron Paul never talk about religion and assert their religious beliefs? Probably because their intellectual patriarchs tell them not to.
If Mises is the Marx of liberalism, then Friedrich Hayek would have to be its Engels. Hayek, an agnostic Jew, was writing and developing his ideas in a very similar context to Mises. Having also been born in the ultra-conservative Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hayek developed his ideas in a world greatly influenced by Christian culture, yet he still rejected a theistic approach to world order.
Kenneth Elzinga and Matthew Givens, writing on Hayek for the Association of Christian Economists, note:
Hayek wrote as though the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not exist. In Hayek’s adult life, he did not participate in worship services, confess a Christian creed, or take the sacraments. His philosophy of classical liberalism stressed the importance of liberty. But Hayek ascribed a different meaning to liberty than do the Christian scriptures. . . . Biblical freedom, on the other hand, can be understood as being set free from the curse and destructiveness of human sinfulness.
To Hayek, Christianity only brings an internal liberty and peace and has no hold on the ways and means of the material world. Again, much like his predecessor Mises, Hayek effectively nullified any purpose for the Christian religion. If the religion cannot be practiced openly in defining the way the world is governed, then what is the point of it?
Furthermore, as Alain de Benoist argues, Hayek’s approach to Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” concept is an “evolutionary approach” using the Darwinian presupposition that spontaneous order, as it relates to economics at least, is a positive good. Just as random interactions in the biological world should evolve the species forward, so random, unguided interactions in the market should always yield the aggregate good. Marx adopted this theory in dialectical materialism and Hitler adopted it for Aryan supremacy.
Though liberty was Hayek’s greatest social and individual goal, Hayek at least understood that some sort of prevailing morality was needed to hold society together and make liberty function, given that humans need to be responsible creatures for liberty to flourish. Of course, Hayek wanted to have his cake and eat it too, as he rejected any spiritual, metaphysical, and institutional superiority for the Christian faith, yet wanted its fruits to be applicable to his deracinated ideology.
By rejecting the notion that God is an active being, Hayek reduced his ideas down to the lowest common denominator inside man’s reason, given that no one human or institution can intimately know the Creator.
Libertarianism as Foreign Religion
Marxism’s goal was to crush out religion and make the ideology of Marxism the new religion with the state as its “church.” There is no room in Marxism for accommodating the ancient history of Europe (or any civilization for that matter), as the historical components of civilization are part of a dark and regressive past.
The same plays true for libertarianism. Libertarianism scorns the past of hierarchies, monarchies, ecclesiastical leadership, military and warrior castes, collective identities, and narratives that define a people as a nation. Unlike Marxists, however, who use the power of the state as a broom to sweep away the retardation of the past, libertarians have their banks, industrialists, mega-transnational corporations, and amoral societal media-values to erode the classical virtues of society.
Until the Enlightenment, Europe had never known such debased ideological presuppositions as Marxism and libertarianism. From ancient Greece though the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, despite the changes and flows in philosophy, European civilization still retained a common understanding of tribal loyalties and identity in the organic nation-state. Whether in the context of the Greek polis, barbarian tribes, medieval dukedoms, or the great British Empire, Europeans have always had a generally proper understanding of a holistic and organic society ruled by hierarchies and guided by ancient customs and organized religion. It is not until non-European thinkers – Jewish Marxists and Jewish libertarians – enter into the philosophical discourse of post-Enlightenment European society that Europe starts going astray into the philosophical wilderness of narcissistic nihilism and rejects the divine, the organic, and the sacred in exchange for the secular, the artificial, and the profane. This philosophical behavior is foreign to the European tribes, and its origins are foreign peoples.
Ideologies are products of their intellectuals and these intellectuals’ environments. Mises, Hayek, and the others were raised as Jews, born of aristocrats with Darwinian outlooks that were translated into philosophical application. Where is the Christianity here? They were anti-Christian from the beginning, and the products of their foreign, Talmudic experiences and views stand in contrast to the world order Christians created, whether Roman Catholic, Protestant, or Eastern Orthodox.
Given this libertarian distaste for the active Christian God, it should be no difficult task to understand that libertarians would then naturally abhor and reject the things that proceed from God’s established order on the earth, such as national borders, race, established religion, hierarchy, and so on. Make no mistake about it: libertarianism is not simply an economic theory. Marx, Mises, and Keynes were all economic theorists who received accolades and built movements based on their ideas. But at their hearts, they were redefining society and the nature of mankind and his relationship to God and the cosmos. These are not simply men constructing economic theories as it relates to the prosperity of X. They are revolutionizing society away from the values and identity of Christendom. They are all multicultural egalitarians who abhor natural hierarchies and a God-ordained world order where the supernatural and mystical are united in symphony with the physical.
Marx attempted to explain how there will exist one day a natural hierarchy of men walking as gods on earth. The libertarians are arranging a societal order, whether intentionally or not, that reduces man to a creature who can initiate his own earthly salvation and at best places God at the back of the bus. So it raises the question, then: why are so many Christians turning to libertarianism? In many cases, it rests on a false understanding of libertarianism. The Religious Right, having failed to achieve electoral and political victory over leftism in America, has left millions of lost and upset rightists in America looking for someone to save them and reduce the state’s pressure on them.
Given the nature of the current economic crisis, this is not surprising, as people need jobs, money, and economic growth, and issues such as gay marriage and pot legalization are less important given the immediate economic imperative. Plus, the Ludwig von Mises Institute and other libertarian organizations, such as the CATO Institute, gave easy-to-understand and (generally speaking) correct explanations regarding the causes and nature of the modern-day economic crises.
But, let us suppose the economy recovers. Will Christians remain committed to this new, libertarian ideology that accepts cultural Marxist tenets and a fundamentally Enlightenment worldview? Only time will truly tell, but it should be known that this alliance between Christians and libertarianism should be temporary. The relationship that Christians have with libertarians is very similar to the one they share with many right-wing pagans—it is a temporary friendship to do one thing: destroy the current establishment. After that, it is a free-for-all. Just like nations, the religious-ideological composition of the sociopolitical landscape will change, and new alliances will be forged.
But first, we have to take care of our own. It is imperative that Christians awaken to the vast differences between a Christian world order and a libertarian one. They must not become accustomed to think that the Founding Fathers were libertarians anymore than they were Marxists or sodomites.
America was founded as a Christian nation. Not in 1776 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but in 1607 at Jamestown, Virginia. It was our nation from the beginning, and it should remain so now. The union of soul, blood, and soil is what our nation is built upon and libertarians, much like their Marxist kin, seek to undermine it through mass immigration and a displacement of religion from the public sphere.
Libertarian saints such as Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, and their contemporary demigods like Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Justin Amash need to be suffocated out. Libertarianism’s takeover of the GOP represents the utter end of Christian America on the Right, as it, not socialism, will have effectively displaced Christianity as the prevailing worldview of the Right to stand against socialism. A more preferable alternative would be to have socialism crush libertarianism and then let socialism implode on its own.
Christianity in America will thrive again only once it provides a clear alternative to the corrupted Americana. This is why Orthodox Russia and Islam stand as such threats to the secular West. They do not compromise and synthesize with libertarianism; they confront it.
Christians of all stripes would find greater social success if they took their Christian faith from defending a dead country with its corrupted symbols and instead condemned the status quo and offered a viable alternative. A Christian synthesis with libertarianism ultimately winds up defending the very same institutions and presuppositions that got the United States in the socially degenerated situation it is in now.
The fight with libertarianism is not just a philosophical battle, but also a spiritual battle. St. Paul commands us, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (II Corinthians 6:14). For a Christian to attach himself to the heretical presuppositions of libertarianism’s saints is to be unequally yoked with the ideology of unbelievers that scorn the teachings of our Lord.
Christianity must now stand as the antithesis to the secular thesis that is socialism and libertarianism. It needs to rediscover that it is not in fact a product of the Enlightenment, but the enemy of Enlightenment antitheism. Secularism is and will continue to carve chasms in people’s souls as they seek higher meaning in a world ruled by hedonism and materialism. And libertarianism will perpetuate these empty notions, while heathenry and Islam will confront them. Libertarianism, even if it succeeded in taking over the American institutions, would sow its own destruction in the accommodation of ideologies that are antithetical to its presuppositions.
Islam will conquer libertarianism, not the other way around. So the question is, will American Christianity tolerate this? Or will it rediscover its ancient mandate given by God to subjugate the world, rather than conforming to it?
It is because of this worldview that modern Western Christianity has failed to defeat the forces of socialism and communism. Many Christians, mainly Americans with well-intended hearts, follow after von Mises and the other members of the pantheon as a philosophical means to reject the harsh brutality and injustice of communism. As well, the fact that the United States and capitalism triumphed over the USSR and communism in 1991 legitimizes the ideological supremacy of capitalism over all other philosophical or ideological creeds to those who consider themselves “right-wing.” To the libertarians, fascism and communism are social and economic evils that deserve to be in the dustbin of history—but so does the “archaic” history of the Christian West, whether it be the legacy of the Roman Catholic Church or John Calvin’s Geneva. Fortunately, however, Eastern Orthodoxy and parts of eastern Catholicism have been largely unaffected by this foreign philosophical intrusion into our religion and just might provide a means to defeat this humanist heresy inside the Church and redeem European Christianity.
Progress is the order of the day – progress for the exaltation of man. Any religion that teaches that man is totally depraved and unable to save himself must be thrown out as it “dopes” the mind and great ingenuity of the potential power which lies within. Thus according to the descendants of the Enlightenment, but not Christ.