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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Oh Boy

My friend Jim Henley interviews Jon Henke, the founder of "neolibertarianism." Jim is perhaps too much of a gentleman to say it, but the interview makes it quite apparent that "neolibertarian" is an alternative locution for "chowderhead."

For example, Henke says, "The question — unanswered by many libertarians — is just how specific (and nearby) those threats must be. If a gunman fires in the mall, must he point the gun *at* you before you take action against him? If you see a robbery being committed across the street, may you initiate force against the robber to stop it? After all, he’s not attacked you. If you may, just how far away must an attack occur before it’s no longer permissable for a libertarian to intervene?"

Well, Jon, this question is "unanswered by many libertarians" because it is a stupid question. Libertarian justice has nothing to do with distance! No libertarian objected to invading Iraq because Saddam Hussein was too far away. The chief objection was that an invasion would kill innocent people. But perhaps Henke thinks libertarianism doesn't care about that if the people are over, say, 5000 miles away.

Henke goes on to declare: "When Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the wall, he didn’t criticize every variant on religion. He was mainly concerned with Catholocism, because that’s where he’d come from, and their flaws were in his immediate sights. Similarly, we’re trying to rescue the political relevance of libertarianism from what we perceive (and history has shown to be) the near-suicidal Idealists in the movement, who seem far more interested in excluding the insufficiently pure, than in making marginal progress.

"Since we come from that place, we’ll deal with the Paleos a great deal. I happen to think the Neoconservatives, evangelical conservatives and moderates get a worse rap than they deserve, but that’s the nature of hysterical politics."

In other words, these are a group of "libertarians" whose main focus will be on attacking libertarians and cosying up to non-libertarians.

Good to have you on our side, folks!

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