Recently, Lew Rockwell, a longtime advocate of anarcho-capitalisism and a close associate of former congressman Ron Paul, pummeled Congressman Justin Amash’s libertarian credentials, even going so far as to call Amash a “leftist.”
Later, Rockwell praised the strong cultural foundations of Hungary and Poland as a way to protect the people from government control.
The conversation began with a question about Rockwell’s view on nationalism. Rockwell points out that “all the bad people in society hate nationalism.”
In 2016, Rockwell wrote a book titled Fascism vs. Capitalism delineating the differences between the two. He goes on in the interview to differentiate between imperialism and nationalism. Here’s what Rockwell told interviewer Atilla Sulker at the Mises Institute (abridged):
Interview conducted 7/20/19 at the Mises Institute, in Auburn, AL
Atilla Sulker: What are your views on nationalism.
Lew Rockwell: Well like Mises, I’m pro-nationalism. I think it’s normal to love one’s homeland.
I notice that all the bad people in society hate nationalism, and are always denouncing it, whether it’s the New York Times, or the Washington Post, or academics, or left wingers. It’s bad. I noticed that Colorado State University banned the use of “America” and “American” as words that would trigger people.
AS: Why do you think people like the Bushes and the McCains, who in many ways can be seen as nationalistic imperialists, denounce Trump’s brand of nationalism?
LR: I don’t think that imperialism is at all, necessarily connected to nationalism. The good nationalism has nothing to do with imperialism. It should oppose imperialism, because it brings war and destruction to your own people, as well as other people. But I think Bush and McCain, both of course, extremely evil and promoters of world government, are not nationalists at all.
The U.S. is the ultimate example of never minding your own business- minding other people’s business. Because of course the U.S. always knows what’s best. The U.S. is the font of wisdom. Also, it’s the biggest arms dealer in history, selling weapons to, giving weapons to countries all over the world, to start wars. And once those wars start, well it’s just a great business opportunity for Lockhead and others, and the rest of them.
Somebody mentioned today, during the contest (Mises University event), that 91 percent of U.S. senators, take money from Lockhead. Raytheon, and all the rest of these companies of course, pretty much own the Congress. And that’s the money that’s on the surface. There’s a lot of money that changes hands under the table. And they do things like having very beautiful women being their lobbyists, offering themselves to the senator, or the congressman, and they’ll do what the company wants them to do.
The U.S. has pretty much always been at war, ever since it was founded as an independent country. Not good. And Americans, I don’t think, think of themselves as a war like people. It’s those other guys that are warlike. We’re all just peaceful. But of course the U.S. has troops in 181 countries, its military bases everywhere, its navy everywhere, its air force everywhere. In the official statement of military goals, it’s dedicated to making sure that nobody can ever rise up, or ever do to other countries what the U.S. has repeatedly done to other countries. Very bad business.
AS: What do you think of Amash’s recent breaking from the Republican Party, and his sort of “bold stance” against Trump? And what are the implications for libertarians?
LR: I guess he’s popular with the Libertarian Party. But it seems to me that there are so many things wrong with Amash. For example, he wanted to have taxpayers pay for soldiers sexual transformation surgeries, which are extremely expensive. I think he’s a leftist in many ways. I don’t really think he’s a libertarian.
I imagine Amash would vote with the Democrats about giving free healthcare to illegal aliens, and all those kinds of things.
I think they’re policies are so crazy. I was talking to a very prominent guy in Washington the other day, and he doesn’t like Trump. But I said that it seems to me that the Democrats are so crazy, that they’re going to reelect Trump just on that basis. Because no Americans, including hispanic Americans, believe that anybody should be able to come here, go on welfare, and get money for medical care, and so forth. The far left is of course very much in favor of that. I think that alone would elect Trump.
I’m very disappointed by all the people he brought into his administration- John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, who also took explicit pleasure in the fact that people in Iran are starving to death. Very very nasty. Very nasty creep. They’re all creeps of course. Probably the one exception is Ron Paul.
AS: Can libertarians be reformists and take back the government by gradually voting their way to freedom, via electing so called “freedom candidates”?
LR: Well I think there’s definitely going to be a collapse.
AS: Nowadays, you have a lot of these supposed libertarians saying “Oh, let’s not deal with people like China, and Russia, because these guys are dictators”, and so on. “They’re evil!”. What would be your response to that?
LR: Well, first of all, the business people, regular people in Russia and China, are hardly dictators. So they’re saying that Putin is a dictator, that Xi is a dictator. I don’t think either one of them has all power.
AS: Let’s take a hypothetical. Would you rather live in a traditionalist society with a statist government, but a good culture, or a relatively free country with a culture gradually shifting to amorphism?
We then briefly discussed what some current examples of these might be. Turkey and Hungary came up as two examples of a more traditionalist society, with a strong state. And America was an example of a country with an amorphous culture, but a slightly less consolidated state, due to the existence of some civil liberties (free speech, religion, etc.).
LR: I would have to be a Hungarian. But if I were, I think I would revel with what Orbán (Hungarian Prime Minister) is trying to do- even though it’s the government- protect the country from mass immigration. Neither one of those (the two scenarios outlined in the question) is an ideal thing, but I think that if there’s a really strongly rooted culture, that means there are areas that the government can’t actually touch, and that I think is the basis for increasing freedom. There’s probably far more freedom in Hungary or in Poland, even though they’re always denounced.
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