Many political and economic issues are complicated, but it’s easy to answer this question: What is libertarianism? As the great Murray Rothbard emphasizes over and over again, libertarianism is only part of a correct natural law ethics. It says that you can use force only in response to force or the threat of force. You cannot kill or assault people or steal their property. There’s much more to morality than that, but that’s the libertarian answer to the basic question of political philosophy.
As Murray explains in The Ethics of Liberty,
It is not the intention of this book to expound or defend at length the philosophy of natural law, or to elaborate a natural-law ethic for the personal morality of man. The intention is to set forth a social ethic of liberty, i.e., to elaborate that subset of the natural law that develops the concept of natural rights, and that deals with the proper sphere of “politics,” i.e., with violence and non-violence as modes of interpersonal relations. In short, to set forth a political philosophy of liberty.
The Ethics of Liberty Best Price: $9.63 Buy New $19.00 (as of 02:25 EST - Details) Unfortunately, so-called left libertarians aren’t satisfied with this. They say that libertarians are bound to defend something more than the nonaggression principle, and that libertarianism involves commitments beyond just this. One such proponent recently said, “I continue to have trouble believing that the libertarian philosophy is concerned only with the proper and improper uses of force.” But no matter how difficult it may be for that person to believe, that is precisely what libertarianism is, and that is all it is.
We have been told by some libertarians that yes, yes, libertarianism is about nonaggression and private property and all that, but that it is really part of a larger project opposed to all forms of oppression, whether state imposed or not. This has a disturbing implication for the left libertarian. Opposing the state is not enough; a real libertarian must oppose various other forms of oppression, even though none of them involve physical aggression.
I want to talk about an especially disturbing example of this, the claim that we ought to support transsexuals and other deviants against those who want to preserve the family and who recognize that there are two and only two sexes, men and women.
A left libertarian just wrote to me: “Why are you publishing right wing Christian attacks on transgenderism…. This article by Vasko does not belong on any libertarian site.”
If you read the article that my correspondent objected to, you will see that it is simple common sense. The author is Vasko Kohlmayer, who is one of the best writers on social issues today. He says,
When in 2015 former Olympian Bruce Jenner came out as a transgender person, Glamour Magazine named him one of its 25 Glamour Women of the Year. A few months later Time Magazine had Jenner on its eight-person shortlist for the 2015 Person of the Year. Although Jenner did not quite top the Time List, he did win the Social Media Queen award at the Teen Choice Awards, which was one among many honors he received during that eventful year.
To most normal people all this adulation may seem a little misplaced for a biological male who fathered six children and says that he is a woman. The acclaim and accolades that Jenner has received over the last six years, however, are characteristic of the drift of our popular culture which has been promoting transgenderism as something good, positive and wholesome. Inventing Transgender ... Buy New $9.99 (as of 02:45 EDT - Details)
But nothing could be further from the truth. Rather than living a life of fulfilment and happiness, the vast majority of those who adopt this lifestyle face a lifetime of suffering and desolation that usually culminates in a premature death.
And yet this reality is being concealed behind the false imagery and language that are used to portray this deleterious lifestyle. The result is that many who embark on this path are largely unaware of the dangers inherent in their choice.
It is, therefore, important that we use correct language when discussing this matter. The term that most accurately captures the essence of this lifestyle is immoral….
…the transsexual lifestyle leads to a range of highly adverse outcomes. As a result, the lives of most of its practitioners are characterized by pain and anguish. The reality of transgender existence is harsh by any measure. The rates of chronic illness, sexually transmitted disease, homelessness, alcoholism, drug abuse and unemployment are many times over those of the regular population. The cumulative effect of these ills is so bitter and distressing that the attempted suicide rate among transgender individuals is nearly twenty times the national average.
Today, these obvious truths are not only ignored. The leftist establishment wants to overthrow them. As Kohlmayer says,
Transgenderism has been until relatively very recently deemed a serious moral failing by nearly every culture throughout history. It was only with the advent of contemporary progressivism and wokism that it has been accepted and then promoted by the cultural mainstream. Sadly, the subversion of our moral order is now nearly complete. So much so that on his very first day as president of the United States, Joe Biden signed an executive order which, among other things, forces schools that accept federal funds, which most schools do, [to] allow boys who “identify” as girls to compete with genuine girls in athletics. It would also allow these boys to use girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms. For a New Liberty: The... Best Price: $15.48 Buy New $10.06 (as of 03:09 EST - Details)
What Joe Biden and the Democrats have done testifies of the deep moral corruption of the contemporary left. As far as we know, no culture has ever allowed such a thing to take place in its midst. And neither should we.
If we correctly apply Murray’s nonaggression principle, we will reach a simple conclusion. Adults are free to mutilate themselves, but those of us who don’t share this insane desire have no duty to cosset them and protect them from “oppressors” who do not assault them. To the contrary, we should condemn the movement to normalize the abnormal.
Further, although we can’t stop people from mutilating themselves, we do need to protect children from transgender activists who want to inject them with hormones and assault them surgically in a futile effort to change their biological sex. No one has the right to do these things to children, not even their parents, any more than a parent has the right to cut off a child’s arm or leg.
The transgender activists say that they are just helping children trapped in the wrong body to achieve their true identity, but their claim is nonsense. Joanna Williams calls attention to a book that exposes the fraud:
Inventing Transgender Children includes contributions from academics, psychiatrists and parents, as well as young adults who transitioned as children but are now questioning the process they underwent. Together, they show that far from being an ever-present biological reality, transgenderism is an entirely invented concept with no basis in neuroscience, psychology or psychiatry. They argue that there is little evidence to support claims that brains are sexed, and no evidence whatsoever to suggest that some fetuses develop with mismatched brains and bodies. In fact, they note, “The idea that transgenderism is an internal, pre-social phenomenon that has existed throughout history is not an evidenced fact, but a proposition”. And far from being a long-standing proposition, it was only around five years ago that the existence of the transgender child became widely accepted.
Egalitarianism as a Re... Best Price: $3.44 Buy New $8.95 (as of 07:55 EST - Details) I’d like to close with two examples of the transgender threat. One involves girls’ sports teams. Transgender males are much stronger and faster than almost all females, and if they can compete as women, they will nearly always win all the prizes. And yet the activists, joined by left libertarians, say that it is “discrimination” if we protest against government edicts that require these “trannies” to be classed as women. In a recent case, a boy athlete, masquerading as a girl, beat the girls. Let me be even more un-PC: If sports are sexually desegregated in this fashion, no actual girl—from high school to the pros—will win anything important.
The other example is the so-called bathroom controversy. Scott Lazarowitz identifies the threat:
When anti-discrimination laws now include certain groups based on their lifestyles and private sexual activities, that is an entirely different matter. The legal activism is the activists’ way of forcing not only social acceptance but forcing access into the private lives and private property of others.
The activists are becoming increasingly personal now. Such legal inclusions are now becoming personally invasive of the private activities and moral beliefs of the activists’ victims.
You see, the subjects of private bathroom or showering activities, nudity, sexuality and sexual-oriented lifestyles are very uncomfortable subjects for some people. That is because those are private matters. They are personal matters.
The activists say that traditionalists have a problem with their sexuality and their bodies, when no, it is those on the left who have the problem. Not only do the LGBT activists and their leftist cohorts show a lack of decency and discretion, and a lack of understanding of privacy and dignity in regards to human sexuality, but they now seem to side with intruders and invaders.
Murray Rothbard’s libertarianism is a great and wonderful edifice. We must not allow the left libertarians to set it aside. As the Bible tells us, “The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools is infinite.” (Ecclesiastes 1:15, Douay-Rheims Bible)