In a Unite the Right rally held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Augustus Invictus gave a speech urging all conservative ideologies to work against the common enemy that is the left, claiming that even liberetarians should work with white nationalists.
To Mr. Invictus, I say that this is simply not true; libertarians do not need to unite with white nationalists and neo-conservatives. Here’s why I disagree:
1. Libertarianism is not a right-wing ideology
Although there are many libertarian republicans and conservative leaders who are libertarian leaning, the ideology doesn’t neatly fall on the left or right side of the spectrum. Social issues tend to find more agreement with the liberals while on economics it tends to be more right leaning, but truthfully, both sides want bigger government for different reasons, so the economic similarities with conservatives is minimal. Many classical liberals consider themselves libertarian, and in my opinion they rightly should. I do not believe in the libertarian purity test of “if you’re not anarchist you’re not libertarian” nor do I believe everyone who calls themselves one is necessarily a liberty lover, but as long as someone is fighting for less government coercion and intrusion and believes in liberty, they should proudly be able to call themselves a libertarian. So, lumping in the philosophy with every remotely right-wing is dishonest and inaccurate.
2. Calling any form of leftism a common enemy is a form of collectivism
Individualism is a cornerstone of libertarianism, so claiming that every left-leaning person is alike to Antifa members or communists is counterintuitive. Collectivism is not fought by using more collectivism and not every leftist seeks to destroy the Right. I dislike anti-free speech advocates, Antifa and authoritarians, but I do not believe everyone on the left are these things. Common enemy mentalities are the exact things that motivate extreme left groups to lump all conservative ideologies into the Nazi label. If we truly want to defeat those who wish to extinguish conservative and libertarian ideas, we debate the individuals who advocate for it, not all liberals.
3. You can’t sacrifice principles
It’s easy to unite against a common enemy, what is difficult is sticking to your principles no matter how many people may be against your ideas. Libertarians are people of reason and principle, two values that should not be sacrificed for the sake of defeating opposition.
This is why I do not consider Augustus Invictus a libertarian because if he were one, he wouldn’t stoop to using collectivism and sacrificing libertarian principles for a perceived war on conservatism. And while he did claim in the video that he is not Alt-right, his ideas sound eerily similar to them.
Libertarians shouldn’t heed this man’s advice; we absolutely do not need to unite the right.