“I am going to hold a pistol to the head of the Modern Man. But I shall not use it to kill him—only to bring him to life.”
- G.K. Chesterton
Ever since I can remember, I have been drawn to right-wing politics. When I first got the chance to write articles for my high school newspaper, I did my best Hilaire Belloc impression and critiqued war, the state, and corporate capitalism from a reactionary perspective. I knew I hated the Left, but what was I for? This was the George W. Bush era, after all; wars for "democracy," orange alerts, consumerism as the answer to 9/11, and massive expansions of government power would have horrified previous generations of traditionalist conservatives.
Frustrated with the Right, Ron Paul's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns radically changed my political beliefs and introduced me to a philosophy I was initially skeptical of: libertarianism. While the Hannitys and Limbaughs of the world almost take pride in their anti-intellectual sloganeering, under the banner of libertarianism, Paul was the most conservative presidential candidate since Grover Cleveland. Principled, anti-war, anti-Fed, and anti-corporatism, Paul wanted to burn everything to the ground.
I liked that. Reactionaries are counter-revolutionaries against liberalism's ideology of perpetual revolution, rebuilding and restoring. Conservatism, on the other hand, conserves nothing but status quo liberalism.
It wasn't just Paul's principles and manners that shook me, it was the philosophical rigor. There were no slogans (well, except for the End the Fed! End the Fed!). Instead, he led me down another rabbit hole. Starting with the lightweights like Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek and moving on to bomb-throwers like Murray Rothbard and Hans-Hermann Hoppe, libertarianism became my new home.
I began writing. A lot. I started writing multiple articles a month for PolicyMic and would publish anywhere else I was welcomed (including Strike The Root, Freedom's Phoenix, ZeroGov, and LibertyUpward). Believe it or not, before they changed their name to Mic and became a Jezebel/Buzzfeed shitshow, PolicyMic was actually a great site that featured liberals, conservatives, and libertarians like myself.
Anyway, after I stopped receiving article requests from PolicyMic, and with the 2012 election over, my fingers fell into a bit of a rut and writer's block set it. Ron Paul lost. I know, I know, he was always going to lose. But if someone like Paul could not convince the country to abandon the empire and restore the Bill of Rights, who could? Without Paul, what would libertarianism become?
Sadly, we have seen what has happened. Anyone familiar with the libertarian movement since 2008, but especially since Paul retired from Congress, has seen the movement take a hard, hard Left turn. I talk about this in the introduction to my book, but perhaps more than anything, this Leftward shift inspired me to write a nearly 300 page book on why libertarianism is (and, more importantly, must be) a right-wing movement. Try and square the left-libertarian circle all you want, but a society with lots of private property will be unegalitarian, hierarchical, traditional, decentralized, and will have no room for those who seek to socialize the costs of their actions on to others.
Because of this, I am also thrilled by the rise of the AltRight. In their root-and-branch rejection of liberalism, combined with an identitarian (rather than abstract) approach to the Right, I see them as natural allies to reactionary libertarians. Although less popular than the AltRight, the NeoReactionary (NRx) movement has also had a tremendous influence on me, adding much-need iron to the anemic philosophy that passes for libertarianism today.
A large number of those that make up these movements are former libertarians as well. Plus, they are incredibly mischievous and heretical to the bland, soulless, atomized, corporate liberalism that dominates pop culture, Hollywood, large corporations, the media, churches (even the Vatican), and especially the universities. Permanent interests, temporary allies.
In just over a decade, I started off as a traditionalist conservative and went from a nihilistic, atheistic libertarian to a radical reactionary. Life comes at you fast sometimes, and it is always cyclical. But I don't want to give everything away. You should probably just go ahead and buy the book.