Sent: Friday, February 15, 2019 6:13 AM
I saw your letter in LewRockwell.com concerning the compatibility of homosexuality with libertarianism. Of course there is no conflict between the two. Libertarianism has nothing to say about voluntary sexual choices, good or bad. Like you, I find the idea of intimate relations with other men to be unthinkable. In my case, I have a son who is gay and I find it difficult to think about his relationships without experiencing a shudder of revulsion…not for my son, but for the acts. My son, on the other hand, seems totally accepting of the idea of any sexual combinations. Perhaps it is my generation (I’m 61) that was conditioned to be conventional, but my reaction to seeing two men kissing seems more visceral than that. It is something deep in me. I joke with my wife that when I experience those feelings, it is my inner homophobe coming out.
My son carries inside him some contradictions that I am watching unfold. On the one hand, he has been influenced by identity politics and the idea of intersectionality of oppression. On the other hand, he does not advocate violence. When we discuss (we can go on for hours discussing and disagreeing and still being totally calm and civil…something that I cherish in him) topics that he is most interested in (gay liberation, social justice, politics) he advocates for a kind of uniformity of society, one that embraces his life choices. I cannot go there (see my aforementioned revulsion).
He once asked me “what kind of world do you want to live in?” when I failed to jump on-board his politically correct train. I thought about it for a moment, then answered “I imagine a Black Nationalist living on my right, a Born Again behind me, a Bleeding Liberal on the other side, and a couple of lesbians across the street. We’d wave to each other, help shovel out each other’s driveways after a bad storm, and maybe even have civil conversations about our different opinions, but otherwise we’d just leave each other alone.” My son didn’t think such a thing was possible, believing as he does that NAP is not enough of a glue for society. We disagree, but he does have a point given the emotional nature of all the human beings I know. Unless they adopt the NAP, then it will be a society of rising tempers and eventually violence, sort of like what we sometimes see now. Nevertheless, when he asks me about what I think of his life choices, I ask a counter question, “Are you hurting anyone? Are you lying to anyone? Are you taking other people’s stuff? If not, then you are doing nothing wrong regardless of what anyone thinks.” If that is the only life-lesson he gets from me, that will be OK even if I shudder at his other choices. R
Thanks for your lovely letter. My son is straight, but if he were gay, I would love him just as much as I now do. I’m sure you and I think alike on this.
I regard Hans Hoppe as one of the most gifted libertarian theoreticians who ever graced this planet. However, on this one issue, I think he is mistaken. He writes as follows:
“As soon as mature members of society habitually express acceptance or even advocate egalitarian sentiments, whether in the form of democracy (majority rule) or of communism, it becomes essential that other members, and in particular the natural social elites, be prepared to act decisively and, in the case of continued nonconformity, exclude and ultimately expel these members from society. In a covenant concluded among proprietor and community tenants for the purpose of protecting their private property, no such thing as a right to free (unlimited) speech exists, not even to unlimited speech on one’s own tenant-property. One may say innumerable things and promote almost any idea under the sun, but naturally no one is permitted to advocate ideas contrary to the very purpose of the covenant of preserving and protecting private property, such as democracy and communism. There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and expelled from society. Likewise, in a covenant founded for the purpose of protecting family and kin, there can be no tolerance toward those habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal. They—the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centered lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism—will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.”
Source: Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2001. Democracy–The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order. New Brunswick: Routledge. p. 218.
If Hans had said these folk, democrats, commies, gays, hedonists, etc., should physically be removed from condominiums which are dedicated to a different life-style, that would be fine and good. After all, free association is one of the very bed-rocks of a civilized (e.g., libertarian) order. But he did not say this. Instead, he averred, they should be “expelled from society” a very different matter. This is fallacious on his part. Of course, under libertarian law, those who reject the conservative life-style Hans favors would be equally able to exclude, not from “society” but from their own condominiums, given restrictive covenants, people with whom they do not wish to associate, who are more straight, family oriented, etc.
Walter3:50 am on June 7, 2019 Email Walter E. Block