I was in a brief twitter discussion the other day that nearly invoked a literal face palm. It seemed so blatantly stupid I couldn’t even respond at the time. I was legitimately stunned by the take that was laid upon me. It was thoroughly absurd, at every level. I was duly informed by a pair of supposedly quite intelligent individuals, that first of all Libertarianism was not incompatible with Nazism. When I challenged them on this, when I asked them to point me towards any indication that could justify this they pointed out to me that the Nazis were okay with marijuana and favored a gold standard. Think about that for a moment.
That seems crazy right? I certainly thought so at the time. I still think that now. It did make me think about the logic and the reasoning behind this though. So let us get to the point. What binds ideologies together? What causes them to become aligned and work with each other? It seems to me that there are two potential answers. You could say that it is policy preferences that align schools of thought. You could also say that it is the underlying philosophies and ideas that align schools of thought.
Unless I vastly misunderstood the point they were making, it would seem that the gentlemen I was talking to would be inclined to say that it is policy preferences that draw causes to one another. After chewing on this the past couple days I have come to see how some people might be inclined to think like this. It is a very practical way to go about thinking. It is entirely pragmatic because at the end of the day it is policy that ends up determining how debates are resolved. Lets take the example that they posed to me, marijuana legalization. We have Democrats who actively propose legislation in favor of it. We have Libertarians who propose and agitate for this same legislation. We are even getting to the point where even Republicans are favoring it. So they all go about doing what they need to do to pass it. This is where it breaks down. They are all working towards the same policy. No one is saying these groups are actually working as one, or that they are doing it for the same reasons.
So I remain now as I was then. I firmly believe that it is up to the underlying motivations and beliefs that determine whether movements and parties are aligned with each other. It makes far more sense that groups work together and become associated when they believe the same things. Take social justice for instance, The Libertarian party at least nationally and the Democratic party are firmly dedicated to it. This is because they are both firmly committed to the same sort of individual maximizing social atomization. They share the same belief and that is what leads them to share the policy preferences. Its a shared belief and value that leads them together, not the fact that they pursue the same legal change.
As a side note libertarians and nazis are not aligned and can not be aligned. This was such a stupid encounter. Come on people are you for real? Lets be intellectually honest. We shouldn’t judge well established philosophical movements by poorly educated “entryists.”