I made a thread awhile ago asking for questions to answer. If you have more questions, comment below, send a tweet, or reply on the Facebook post. I will include them in a future post.
How do you reconcile the State of Israel and Libertarianism?
This really deserves an article in its own right and I will get to that some day. The Arab argument in most cases is patently ridiculous. I do not understand how libertarians can talk about “illegal settlements” and “international law”, but later call the UN evil. That is either idiocy or antisemitism. Secondly, I do not understand how a libertarian can support a specific collective and their claim to an arbitrary plot of land that is not even in full use by anyone.
As for Israel itself, it is a socialist, bureaucratic hellhole. It is probably middle to worst in the developed world in terms of taxes and regulation, with some exceptions (hi tech). From a more abstract perspective, Jews and Jewish organizations bought land, settled and developed unused land (ie, homesteading; to say all the land in a country is owned is ridiculous. even today, most of the land is unused). That gives them greater title to their land or most of the land, even if it is east of the 1948 Armistice Line.
Is the IDF immoral because it built with slavery (conscription) and theft (taxes)? Yes, however, that is the system implemented by the vast majority of Israelis. One does have the right to yield rights like that. There is a growing movement to end the draft, something that brings the secular and religious together. Regarding the conflict, siding with the IDF is the best we can do in the situation until the state is pared back.
I will have to cover this much more in depth in a future post.
What is the role of Jewish Libertarians in Israel and what their goals might be?
There are a few groups that I know of: Jerusalem Institute MS, Moshe Feiglin, and there have been other small groups. Unfortunately, the security situation overrides everything, so while some reforms are possible, its not as easy to pursue as elsewhere. Likud is the main market liberal party, but Jewish Home, Yisrael Beiteinu, Yesh Atid, and Kulanu are known for libertarian views economically and sometimes socially. The father of the founder of Yesh Atid, Tommy Lapid, lead a libertarian party Shinui in the 90s and 00s. It folded when Kadima popped up.
I dont live in Israel, so I can only guess a bit, but the main goals right now would probably include: ending the draft, eliminating the land monopoly, reducing tariffs and taxes, and reducing bureaucracy. To build a house, you need to get permits from a zillion committees that can take half a decade. This has caused a housing shortage where demand outstrips supply, and obviously, prices go up and up.
Israelis are a bit ignorant when it comes to economics. Many of them come out of European socialist countries, so the American libertarian tradition is unheardof. However, Anglo clout is growing. Meanwhile, they still support tariffs on imports, price floors and ceilings, an inflationary exchange rate to prop up exports.
How did you turn from Socialism to Libertarianism?
A friend of mine would always post libertarian articles. Occasionally, I would argue with him and his friends, very viciously. One day, a post caught my eye, a link to a book called How to Make a Living Outside the System: A Practical Guide to Starting a Black Market Business by Tarrin Lupo. Business schemes were always a thing for me, so I had to read it, and I learned a lot about actually applied agorism. Around the same time, I noticed the same friend had his political views as Agorism. I looked the term up on Wikipedia (the contemporary version that I had read; it has since lost about 40% of the content due to being unverifiable) and that basically convinced me, along with other sources I cant remember. It took about six weeks in July/August 2010 and it all just made sense and clicked. It was clear to me that people in general and the disadvantaged were screwed by government and better off in the free market.
Since then, I care less about those results and more about the morals (what I produce is mine even if someone is starving next to me). I have been an agorist, an “an”cap, very militantly anti-police, then a voluntaryist/autarchist, and now I would call myself a reactionary. Interestingly, the one thing I have always been for the past decade of evolution is a Zionist, even when I was a militant antitheist.
How can we link Jewish history and culture to libertarian ideas?
My forthcoming book will cover this. Libertarianism seems more grounded in Judaism than in any other religion/nationality because we were so oppressed by governments for over 2000 years that we had to turn to self-governance and small internal government without coercion. Coercion could lead to the secular authorities being brought in. Even today in insular Jewish communities, calling the Man is a controversial no-no.
Where are there more Jewish Libertarians? Where are they hiding?
This is a good question. I grew up in a conservaform household that voted straight Democrat. Our synagogue and every Jew I knew seemed to be a Democrat. I always thought thats what Jews were. It wasnt until my THIRD year of college that I met Orthodox Jews and was stunned by not only how many were Republican, but how conservative they were.
The problem is that 70% or so of Jews in America are some form of secular. Only 10% are Orthodox; only 16% keep kosher (hard to believe I straddle this, doing the best I can in my situation). The rest are liberal in religious views, so to fill that void in their life, they turn to leftism. There also seems to be an association with intelligent people being easily infected with leftist views, and Ashkenazi Jews (the largest portion of American Jews) are highly intelligent.
Jewish Libertarians are hiding all over. I remember when I met a fellow Kahanist libertarian (I thought that was impossible). One of my goals with this sapling organization is to create real life networks so we can find each other more easily. My goal is to set up groups in New Hampshire, NY/NJ, and DC for starters. Whats ironic is how many leading figures in classical and modern libertarianism are Jewish, at least racially.
How do you consider yourself Libertarian when you support foreign aid? Its unconstitutional as well as a financial burden to this country and taxpayers. It is nothing more than legalized theft.
What an assumption! I dont support the aid. It hurts Israel and America in many ways. It cripples Israeli industry, defense policy, and foreign policy; it makes Israel beholden to the United States. On the flip side, billions are stolen every year from Americans via taxes or inflation to send over to an unnecessary cause. While total foreign aid is only about $40 billion, we have to start cutting the budget somewhere. If we cant agree to do this, how can we tackle Social Security?
Israeli economists oppose the aid and one of the constituent parties of the current Jewish Home party wanted to end the aid when it competed on its own in elections. Its a minor issue in Israel and the government figures free money is worth it.
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