The Antifragile Chaos Monkey
You know, I'm all for peace -- I've worked for it for many years. I've told the SDAE folks that LVMI is not as bad as they think. I've upbraided Virginia Postrel (in private e-mail) for her attacks on Rockwell. I've written to Justin Raimondo telling him that his screeds against Reason writers were way off the mark.I thought I was making progress, but since Ron Paul became prominent, the Rockwell crowd has been worse than I've ever seen them before. And most of the time they don't even try to answer their opponents arguments, they just attack their personality -- as we saw De Coster illustrate very nicely here.Sorry, they have to be called out for it, and I'm in a position to do it. It's my duty.
Bob,Any peace would be a false peace.On one side you have successful, cosmopolitan people like Karen deCoster and other Rockwellians, and, least of all, me.I loved the Ron Paul newsletters; I especially am fond of the famous issue that oozed with contempt for the thuggish, murderous looters who rampaged through South Central during the Rodney King riots. Best of all was the praise for the heroic Korean Americans who managed to shoot or kill some of the looters.I’ve aspired all my life (well, according to my parents, since I was two or three years old) to the same heights of rhetorical achievement demonstrated in those newsletters: I tell fundies that evolution is true, I tell fellow atheists that materialism is false, I tell liberals that there are probably racial genetic differences in intelligence, I’ve told my fellow physicists that the feds should not pay for research in physics, I told an Israeli friend that Israel is a terrorist state and that someone should assassinate the Israeli prime minister (he was rather rational in discussing the issue), etc.On the other side there are quite a few “libertarians” who do not want to be part of any political movement that includes people who behave as I do, as Karen does, as most Rockwellians do, as the writer of the newsletter did, etc.Frankly, I agree with them: it would be publicly embarrassing for them, and no doubt damaging to their careers, to be associated with Lew Rockwell, Karen, me, etc.But whether or not I agree with them, they have clearly made up their minds: they will not be in a movement with us unless we agree to shut up (which we won’t).So how can there be peace?Frankly, as successful, highly-educated, and quite affluent professionals, my wife and I really don’t wish to associate with people like Julian Sanchez et al. either, so we all agree.We simply have radically different goals: we cosmopolitan bourgeois libertarians (AKA Rockwellians) want a radical revolution that will sweep away the current order of privilege and eliminate the elite ruling classes throughout the world.The Cato/Reason crowd wants more tax credits and wider school choice.Divorce is inevitable. Peace between these two factions is impossible.“Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun!” --- William Wirt (usually attributed to Patrick Henry)Dave Miller in Sacramento
Warriors,I think you are misunderstanding me. I'm not talking about pretending to agree with people, or keeping one's mouth shut.I'm talking about attacking other people. We can disagree about what constitutes an attack, and what constitutes a lively dig, or a humorous zinger.This type of infighting among "extremists" is comical when the socialists do it. I can't believe this is unfolding the way it is.For example (and Gene you know we are friends so I am just saying this to try to be fair), calling De Coster worse than insane is an attack. And a fortiori, calling Gene a loser is an attack.
BTW just to remove any self-righteousness: I was guilty of attacking Jonah Goldberg, while I was (I hope) perfectly cordial with my critique of Michael Kinsley. Tougher cases are my articles on David Frum. The first was reasonable enough, but one could argue that I attacked him in the 2nd (per my lecturing above).
But it's...David Frum...he deserves it. He probably likes it in a sadomasochistic way.Why don't you cranky bastards just listen to some Grateful Dead and chill out? That goes for everyone who's been foaming at the mouth."I love watching you froth like that." --Frank Zappa
Bob,It strikes me that your distinctions among Kinsley, Frum, and Goldberg are quite consistent with the silver rule: do unto others as they do unto you.Frum is an arrogant hatchet man of moderate intelligence who shows no sense of integrity in his own behavior: attacking him verbally is as justified as attacking ants physically. Goldberg is similar but of lower intelligence – what can you say of a guy who is famous only because his mommy was famous?Kinsley is not only bright but seems to genuinely try to be honest – he deserves to be treated by others in the same way he tries to behave himself.Sounds to me as if you calibrated those guys rather nicely.Dave
Bob,You wrote:> I'm talking about attacking other people. [snip]>This type of infighting among "extremists" is comical when the socialists do it. I can't believe this is unfolding the way it is.Why?Sharing information about, and passing judgments on, other human beings is a central and necessary part of human existence. Ask any sociologist, anthropologist, or psychologist (or your own mom).If Gene honestly believes that Karen is “insane,” why on earth should he not promptly share this with all of us? When I saw his diagnosis of her psychological state, I clicked on the links he provided (the ones that weren’t dead) to see if she had indeed lost her sanity. Thankfully, I found that Karen was sane, sensible, and stable, as she always is. (Of course, that fact did give me some information about Gene’s psychological state.)If you think, as I do, that Gene is flat-out wrong about Karen being “insane” by all means object on that ground. But if he is wrong, he is wrong because what he said is not true.Similarly, if Karen knows that Gene is a "loser," she owes it to us all to let us know that. I don’t know whether she is correct or not, but I will say that her general theory about “mainstream” libertarians being “losers” certainly does fit in with my own experience.In the ‘90s, I was heavily involved with the California and Sacramento Libertarian Party.During that time, the chairman of the local LP threatened me to try to keep me from talking to the police or the media about my witnessing his assault of an elderly gentleman. The moderator of the local LP public-access TV program informed us that he hung around playgrounds trying to seduce eight-year-old girls (and it was a real fight to try to convince other LP members that he was not a good public face for the LP!). A bit later, the vice-chairman of the local LP simply blew his own brains out: knowing the guy as I did, I was relieved that he only killed himself instead of taking others with him.I discussed some of these issues in detail with leaders of the state Party: they could not see why I was bothered.There is a strange over-intellectualization in the libertarian movement that rejects passing judgments on the actual behavior of other libertarians – especially when that behavior is aberrant, bizarre, or profoundly evil.Rothbard, who had far more experience than I within the “mainstream” libertarian movement (and I have been involved in the libertarian movement for thirty-five years) coined a few terms for the sort of libertarians I knew: “modal libertarians” (i.e., implying they were the most common type statistically), “luftmenschen” (to distinguish them from the solid members of the bourgeoisie they loved to hate), and “space cadets” (alluding to their superficial technophilia without any real scientific or technical knowledge backing it up).The information that Rothbard, Karen, and I have tried to share about the “mainstream” libertarians is information people really are entitled to know.You wrote:> I'm not talking about pretending to agree with people, or keeping one's mouth shut.Really? Aren’t you indeed asking Gene and Karen to keep their mouths shut concerning information they believe themselves to possess about other libertarians?And, going beyond you, Bob, a very large number of commenters on the Ron Paul newsletter have made it clear that they wish that whoever wrote the newsletter would indeed have kept his mouth shut, even though, of all the complaints I have seen about the newsletters, I have seen only one (David Friedman’s) which honestly took issue with the actual factual accuracy of the newsletters. The overall tone of the comments is that we can’t have people who are making such comments as appeared in the newsletters accepted within the “mainstream” libertarian movement, whether or not those comments are factually correct.And I quite agree. There is no room for Karen, or Lew, or me, or even the younger version of yourself, in the “mainstream” libertarian movement. (Now that you have pulled off the Web so many of your writings from recent years, perhaps the “new you” will be acceptable to the “mainstream” movement.)Ginny Postrel, one of the grand old ladies of the “mainstream” libertarian movement, has a recent book, “The Substance of Style.” That title sums it up nicely. If you are not willing to subordinate issues of substance to the stylistic requirements of the Beltway libertarians, you do not belong in the “mainstream” libertarian movement – you are, indeed, in Gene’s words, “insane.”Clarity is a good thing.All the best,Dave
"Thankfully, I found that Karen was sane, sensible, and stable, as she always is."-Physistic DaveKaren is often caught flat-footed and shown that she does not know anything about who, or what, she is talking about. When she is called on it she resorts to the most irrelevant personal attacks built on the shakiest tidbits of information (she once responded to well-founded criticisms on economics from a student by pointing out that he likes fast food and - horrors! - watches TV, and then accusing him of stalking her). I'm glad to know you've habituated enough of the cult mentality to regard this nonsense as stable, sensible, and sane.I'll be there to point and laugh when the paleo movement goes the way of the Randroids.
Gene, on the other hand, I've always seen to be fair (in the sense of being committed to accuracy and proportionality, for all you PICKs* out there) and, even if wrong, then at least addressing the subject. As he has been here.*Politically Incorrect Cool Kids
Jor, here is a good example of De Coster being so bad at grasping the point that it wasn't even worth a response. Note this particular flourish;"But why he chose me as his target of distortion and, yes, lies, is not something I care to take the time to pursue." near the end of the post cited above...That ', yes,' flourish. In my limited experience of reading stuff by internet pundits, that's a tell-tale sign the writer is full of shit, and is hiding behind sheer bluster as a way of avoiding substance.Here is Smith's original essay, and here is my response. I didn't add much other than to point out that argument is tighter than a drum, hell, it's tighter than pre-awakening Scrooge's fist. I consider that the beginning of my little "Rothbard, in spite of the Rothbardians" project. I'll see where it goes next.
Dave wrote:Sharing information about, and passing judgments on, other human beings is a central and necessary part of human existence. Ask any sociologist, anthropologist, or psychologist (or your own mom).Now you're just being silly. (And yes that's my personal judgment that I am sharing with others.)What you've said above--in response to my incredulity at this libertarian infighting--is akin to someone saying of the Middle East, "I wish the Israelis and Palestinians could stop shooting each other."And then a critic says, "Why? It is natural for humans to exchange objects with each other. Just ask any economist."If you are going to pretend you don't understand the difference between voicing an opinion versus insulting someone, there's really nothing more I can say. In that case, we are all "free" to say whatever we want. The ghostwriter can talk about limp wristed gays, Kurchik can quote things out of context and say Ron Paul is a closet racist, Tom DiLorenzo can call him a pimply faced youth, Gene can call Tom a Scientologist, I can say I think we all need to stop fighting, and you can say I'm a wuss who needs to call my mommy. Nothing anybody says can ever be ruled inappropriate--or everything can--because you define every utterance as information dissemination.I reject this way of analyzing things. I am a Christian so that informs my value judgments. If I'm on a plane that's headed for a mountain when the pilot has a heart attack, I would be stunned if the passengers responded by arguing amongst themselves over who slept with whose wife.By the same token, I can't believe how much libertarians are fighting now that their movement is receiving more attention that it has in a long time, possibly ever.You're right, Jonah did deserve my ridicule. He had attacked LRC and thought he was smarter than Gene, and his ignorant impudence infuriated me. I still was wrong to respond the way that I did.
Bob,You wrote:>In that case, we are all "free" to say whatever we want.Well… yeah, Bob, actually we are.That was indeed my point.You also wrote:>you can say I'm a wuss who needs to call my mommyYeah, I guess I could – but I didn’t. I merely pointed out that anyone, not just social scientists but even the proverbial mother, of course knows that talking about and criticizing other human beings is an entirely appropriate and inevitable activity of human beings. And I certainly did not use the word “wuss” – what is it about yout that makes you so sensitive, Bob?And, Bob, even though you denounce this behavior, you are engaging in it yourself when you write:>Now you're just being silly. (And yes that's my personal judgment that I am sharing with others.)And, I’m all for your saying this! Go for it! Let me have it! Sock it to me! You prove my point for me.You wrote:>By the same token, I can't believe how much libertarians are fighting now that their movement is receiving more attention that it has in a long time, possibly ever.This is our key point of disagreement: I don’t think there is a “libertarian movement.” I will not be a member of a “movement” that engages in and condones the sort of behavior I described in my earlier post. I don’t think Karen or Lew will be either – I know that Rothbard clearly, explicitly, and very publicly divorced himself from that “movement” for reasons similar to those I mentioned myself.I did not mention names in my earlier post, for obvious reasons – most of them would be people whose names you would not recognize. But I will add that two of the Party leaders I talked some of that stuff over with at the time, and who seemed bemused that I was bothered by it, were two former LP Presidential candidates (not Ron Paul, of course, who had wisely abandoned the LP by then).I observed the initial split in the libertarian movement back around 1980, when I was a doctoral student at Stanford: Cato, IHS, etc. were then headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I knew many of the leading figures in the movement personally, such as Ed Crane. Knowing Ed as I did, I think it was a good thing that the Rothbardians split off from the Cato/Reason movement. And I think it is a good thing that the Ron Paul newsletter issue is re-affirming that split, so that the current Rothbardians (the Rockwellians/paleos/Paulistas) are cleanly splitting off from the rest of you folks.I notice that no one here expresses distress at a movement that tolerated the sort of people I described from my own experience in the “mainstream” libertarian movement and that no one here tried to argue against Karen’s claim that the “mainstream” libertarian movement is dominated by “losers.” I also notice that every single response I have gotten here confirms my point that people such as Karen, Lew, the person who wrote the newsletter, and, least of all, me are not welcome in your movement. Good.That makes my point.Clarity is a good thing.Dave
Brian Nickerson,I really appreciate your link to Karen’s great essay on immigration: I urge everyone to click on your link immediately and see how a mature adult, such as Karen, calmly and rationally discusses issues.Oh, and perhaps the reason Karen wrote, "But why he chose me as his target of distortion and, yes, lies, is not something I care to take the time to pursue." is because it is actually true? Poor old L. Neil did indeed claim, for example, that Karen was a “conservative,” rather odd considering that she is a hard-core Rothbardian anarchist!And I also really loved your letter in response, especially your closing line:>They [i.e., paleo-libertarians such as Karen] are very good at cloaking nearly fascist sophistry in libertarian rhetoric.That’s the spirit, Brian – just what I’m trying to encourage! With help from guys like you, everyone can come to realize that there simply is not a libertarian movement that includes both Lew, Karen, me, etc. and also all you modal libertarians.What I loved the most, though, was your comment:> I consider that the beginning of my little "Rothbard, in spite of the Rothbardians" project. I'll see where it goes next.Have you read anything Rothbard wrote in the last decade of his life? He made as clear as could be that his views were essentially those of Hoppe, Rockwell, etc. and that those had been his views for pretty much his whole life, and, indeed, his published comments about the Rodney King riots were even more assertive, inflammatory, and condemnatory than those in the Ron Paul newsletter.I fear your concept of Rothbard ignores the actual flesh-and-blood Murray Newton Rothbard.Incidentally, I knew Murray personally: a wonderful, fun-loving, generous guy, who was, of course, for so many years the scourge of Reason, Cato, and all of the modal libertarians.Keep up the good work, Brian: keep showing us all the clear distinctions between the two separate and never-to-be-united libertarian movements.You are still in school, aren’t you, Brian?Here’s to disunity! Clarity is great.Dave
"I really appreciate your link to Karen’s great essay on immigration: I urge everyone to click on your link immediately and see how a mature adult, such as Karen, calmly and rationally discusses issues."Eh, what? You're joking, right? You have to be joking. It's a pile of dissemblage, dodging and nonsense from start to finish."Oh, and perhaps the reason Karen wrote, "But why he chose me as his target of distortion and, yes, lies, is not something I care to take the time to pursue." is because it is actually true? Poor old L. Neil did indeed claim, for example, that Karen was a “conservative,” rather odd considering that she is a hard-core Rothbardian anarchist!"If you knowingly do what is contrary to your professed beliefs, you don't really believe those things. How hard-core can an anarchist be who advocates using political government to achieve ends? Not at all, I'm afraid. It belongs right next to Alan Greenspan's committment to Objectivism. She either makes, or reiterates, essentially conservative arguments for immigration control, cloaked in libertarian rhetoric. There's nothing actually libertarian about the argument itself."That’s the spirit, Brian – just what I’m trying to encourage! With help from guys like you, everyone can come to realize that there simply is not a libertarian movement that includes both Lew, Karen, me, etc. and also all you modal libertarians."Watch where you wave that tarbrush. I despise 'modal' libertarians, but I despise schmodals too. Like I said, Rothbard in spite of the Rothbardians."Have you read anything Rothbard wrote in the last decade of his life? He made as clear as could be that his views were essentially those of Hoppe, Rockwell, etc. and that those had been his views for pretty much his whole life, and, indeed, his published comments about the Rodney King riots were even more assertive, inflammatory, and condemnatory than those in the Ron Paul newsletter."Yes, I have. I have the last major project he worked on, but never finished, among other things. The entire point of quoting those two paragraphs from Power and Market (which are now roughly fifty years old, according to the Scholar's Edition) is that their reasoning is airtight; if Rothbard ever took the Hoppe line, he was wrong to do so. It directly addresses the problems of political borders. We don't live in a society that is anarcho-capitalistic. The issue of stolen (public) property remains to be resolved. One does not simply leap from the social order likely (not necessarily) to exist in a free society and graft some of the institutional forms upon a tyrannized one. That's like imposing low interest rates in England because the Dutch have low interest rates, and they're wealthy. You probably know where I'm pulling that example. Were his pieces on the King Riots as viciously smattered with race-baiting rhetoric? If I can look past the Saigon thing I can certainly look past this. I'm not going to like it, though. However, I have his most of his best and most important material."I fear your concept of Rothbard ignores the actual flesh-and-blood Murray Newton Rothbard."Both immaterial and irrelevant. I'm engaging purely on the substance of ideas themselves."Incidentally, I knew Murray personally: a wonderful, fun-loving, generous guy, who was, of course, for so many years the scourge of Reason, Cato, and all of the modal libertarians."And this has, precisely what, to do with the discussion? Look in the post here on De Coster. You'll see me mention Rothbard. I've jumped to his defense on this blog before. I might have to again in the future."Keep up the good work, Brian: keep showing us all the clear distinctions between the two separate and never-to-be-united libertarian movements."I'm not a movement man. I never have been. I find plenty to like, and despise, in both major camps. I think it will only be possible to move forward when the head-case baggage underlying this nonsense (and the personal dispute that fuels it) is buried or cleared up. As the latter is unlikely, I'll await, and work towards, the former. As for what some other libertarians are doing; it's not my responsibility; they don't speak for me. Only I do. I don't speak for them, and if they are as disgusting as you say, I'd have nothing to do with them either. But then, they weren't at all related to the central topic of this post, my comment, or anything else. You brought it up."You are still in school, aren’t you, Brian?"No. What would that have to do with anything? Trying to smuggle in a cheap ad hominem to quoque attack? That's not how adults argue, dave. If you can't keep your head above the waters of temptation, I simply will not bother with you anymore.Here's a hint in the form of something I said elsewhere about Virginia Postrel;If you might think I think she's a goddamned fool for supporting the Iraq war, that shit ain't even scratching the surface. If she were a paragon of the essence of libertarianism, I would have nothing to do with it.
Dave,OK I'll go through one more round with you. I have to stop after this because (a) it's sucking up way too much of my time when I have all sorts of projects I need to be doing (woody would understand) and (b) I'm starting to wonder if you are a real person, or instead are one of Gene's kids just screwing with my head.Anyway, you wrote:This is our key point of disagreement: I don’t think there is a “libertarian movement.” OK that's fine. And you're right, I've been missing your point for a bit, because I thought you were taking the side of Rockwell et al. who were objecting to the smearbund (or whatever they call it).So now that I understand you better, did you email, say, Karen De Coster, and tell her to stop complaining about the TNR piece? That it's a good thing the Rothbardians are being ostracized and written out of the mainstream movement?You see, everyone besides you in this emerging conflict believes there are rules of warfare. And that, say, calling Ron Paul a racist and using out of context quotes is inappropriate. But you have already said that this is just disbursing information (or noise, really). So, whether or not you actually emailed them about it, do you agree with me that they shouldn't object to the alleged smears and writing out of the movement from the "Beltway Boys"?I notice that no one here expresses distress at a movement that tolerated the sort of people I described from my own experience in the “mainstream” libertarian movement and that no one here tried to argue against Karen’s claim that the “mainstream” libertarian movement is dominated by “losers.”OK, for the record, I am against pedophiles or whatever it was that you talked about. (Of course, I don't see why it bothers you, since it is natural for people to engage in sexual activity, just ask any biologist or your mom...)And as for Karen calling people losers: My point here hasn't been to say who's right or wrong on the issues, my point has been to encourage people to stop hurling insults. If Karen called Ed Crane a motherf*cker, I wouldn't have stopped to explain, "Actually, I highly doubt that Ms. De Coster has any concrete evidence that Ed and Mrs. Crane engaged in carnal behavior."And I think it is a good thing that the Ron Paul newsletter issue is re-affirming that split, so that the current Rothbardians (the Rockwellians/paleos/Paulistas) are cleanly splitting off from the rest of you folks.Oh boy, now you've put me in the titillating position of having to ask--knowing full well how conceited this makes me sound--"Do you realize who you're talking to?"I only ask because for you to classify me with DC libertarians, rather than Rothbardians associated with the Mises Institute, makes me think not.
"Kubby then wrote this article, which included extensive and gross personal attacks on me."Yes, jor, this was pretty... well, in deference to Bob, let me not say 'nutty.' But Kubby attacked her views, period.
Dave, you do realize that Ron Paul himself has rejected the language of the newsletters, which makes him... a Beltway libertarian!
"Frankly, as successful, highly-educated, and quite affluent professionals, my wife and I really don’t wish to associate with people like Julian Sanchez et al. either, so we all agree."Yes, Dave, look at that last name -- he's probably all greasy and shit. and smells like tacos or something.And maybe he even hangs out with prostitutes and Samaritans and disreputable people like that.
"Incidentally, I knew Murray personally: a wonderful, fun-loving, generous guy, who was, of course, for so many years the scourge of Reason, Cato, and all of the modal libertarians."Well, he was the 'scourge' of those places after he lost his bid to control the Libertarian Party and be the leader of the 'modals.' Once they rejected him, sure, then he started to dump on him -- just as he had with his old friends on the New Left once he saw that alliance wasn't working.You really don't recall his days of praising the Black Panthers and the North Vietnamese victory, Dave?
"that no one here tried to argue against Karen’s claim that the “mainstream” libertarian movement is dominated by 'losers.'”Because it's a stupid, ad hominem attack, has nothing to do with any intellectual point, and is surely false?"Frankly, as successful, highly-educated, and quite affluent professionals, my wife and I really don’t wish to associate..."By the way, Dave, I've been to Mises Institute events and CATO lunches. Believe me, the latter are way more upscale. Why the average millionaire Wall Street banker at a CATO lunch probably thinks of the LVMI crowd as a bunch of 'losers'!Of course, I know that is irrelevant to the intellectual debate involved -- but apparently you don't!And whose sock puppet are you, anyway?
Dave confirms everyone's suspicions that, whatever useful meaning the term 'modal libertarian' once had, it has simply become a word for "libertarians who disagree with Hoppe about immigration".
"I notice that no one here expresses distress at a movement that tolerated the sort of people I described from my own experience in the “mainstream” libertarian movement and that no one here tried to argue against Karen’s claim that the “mainstream” libertarian movement is dominated by “losers.”"That might be mainly because it is a red herring. The individuals in question (Sanchez, Wiegel, Balko, etc.) are not even the ones you are claiming to have engaged in these behaviors. I don't see much need to moan about the evils of the LP because I've never thought of them as much more than a joke anyway. They're a movement; and what's more, a party devoted to accomplishing something through electoral politics. Of course they're going to be a bunch of knaves. On the other hand, I used to think substantially better of the Rockwellites but this is becoming an increasingly unjustifiable attitude. They, too, seem to care more about political expediency, bitch feuds, and cults of personality than ideas. They can be safely written off with the same contempt.
"Have you read anything Rothbard wrote in the last decade of his life? He made as clear as could be that his views were essentially those of Hoppe, Rockwell, etc. and that those had been his views for pretty much his whole life, and, indeed, his published comments about the Rodney King riots were even more assertive, inflammatory, and condemnatory than those in the Ron Paul newsletter."So:1) It's a dirty, lying smear tactic to accuse the Rothbard-Rockwell crew of having written those newsletters; and2) What was in them was wonderful, and even tamer than what they wrote themselves?!
Bob,You wrote to me:>So now that I understand you better, did you email, say, Karen De Coster, and tell her to stop complaining about the TNR piece? That it's a good thing the Rothbardians are being ostracized and written out of the mainstream movement?Well, as I hope I have made clear I strongly encourage people, including you, Bob, to disseminate information they have about other people, both positive and negative. So, I certainly would not tell Karen to stop complaining about the TNR piece! While I think that in the end it is very positive for us paelos, I certainly disagree, as she does, with the spin TNR tried to place on it (although it got very little attention in the MSM and probably had no net effect on the Paul campaign), and I strongly support her in expressing her anger and disgust towards TNR (I’ve been disgusted with TNR for forty years myself).I did indeed send Karen a note telling her that I thought it was an extremely positive development that this incident is underlining the split between the cosmo-libs and the paleo-libs and offering her my encouragement for the great work she has done.And Rothbard himself formally declared his secession from the “mainstream” movement almost twenty years ago: if the “mainstream” movement has finally gotten around to ostracizing and writing off us Rothbardians, they’re a bit slow on the uptake. We already ostracized and wrote them off almost twenty years ago!You also wrote:>And as for Karen calling people losers: My point here hasn't been to say who's right or wrong on the issues, my point has been to encourage people to stop hurling insults.Some people consider plain facts to be insulting. It is a plain fact that the majority of the people I have met in the mainstream libertarian movement are people my wife and I would not want in our house or on our property. I am quite certain that most middle-class Americans would feel the same way about these people. On one occasion, when I was still involved in the Libertarian Party, we invited a friend, another physician, to a Libertarian activity. It was so embarrassing for us to have her see all of the “mainstream” Libertarians, that we never made that mistake again.I think it is a fair description to call these people, as Karen does, “losers.” As I said before, she may or may not be correct about Gene: I just don’t know. But I am quite certain she is correct about the mainstream libertarian movement as a whole.I think you do understand that I do not advocate that people lie. But I do not think they should restrain themselves in telling what they believe to be the truth: e.g., I think Karen really does think Gene is a “loser,” and I disagree with you that she should refrain from saying so.You also wrote:>Oh boy, now you've put me in the titillating position of having to ask--knowing full well how conceited this makes me sound--"Do you realize who you're talking to?">I only ask because for you to classify me with DC libertarians, rather than Rothbardians associated with the Mises Institute, makes me think not.Of course, you’re “Fightin’ Bob” Murphy who has taken down most of his stuff from the Web and from LRC!I know what your past has been: I am watching with great interest to see what your future will be.I am sorely perplexed that both you and Gene are surprised by what I and Karen and others (Lew, Ilana, Derb, Justin. etc.) have written about the dramatic split between the paleos and the modals, especially since you both used to contribute to LRC. This split has been reality for close to two decades. I think the current brouhaha over the Ron Paul newsletter issue is serving, in a salutary manner, to emphasize and underline the split for a younger generation, but surely the split is not news for you guys. LRC has covered this topic for years.Did you think this was just some silly game Lew, Karen, et al. have been engaged in? The spilt is real, it has been very clear-cut for a very long time, and it is about very fundamental issues of ethics and human behavior.Bob, you said you had to bow out of this debate. I’d therefore like to end this note by offering you my very best wishes – I actually like all of you guys, despite our strong disagreements. I was really thrilled to see that you have yourself a sweet young wife and are starting a family – it’s a lot of fun. I really am curious to see how your personal alignment among the various libertarian movements evolves.Wishing you and your family in all sincerity all the best,Dave Miller in Sacramento
"I think you do understand that I do not advocate that people lie."Advocacy of lying, or at the very least of making assertions for which you have absolutely no evidence at all, is implicit in all you have said here.
Dave,OK you called my bluff. Please click on these links--one, two, three, and four (note the Preface's author on this last one). Now because I urge people to refrain from insulting each other, I can't be a Rothbardian / Paulista? Or I've drifted away from my roots? Please keep in mind that you are having at least three separate arguments on this thread, and we don't all necessarily share the same views.And thanks for the kind farewell. Of course I hope you and your family do well too.Bob
"The spilt is real, it has been very clear-cut for a very long time, and it is about very fundamental issues of ethics and human behavior."Ironically, the current expressed attitudes of LRC writers to such things as piggytrooper violence (even against black people) now align with what they would have described as 'modal libertarianism' 20 years ago.So it strikes a serious observer that perhaps the disagreements aren't so much fundamental as tribal.
Bob,I've been aware of your involvement with Mises and LRC since that involvement began.I’m also aware of your recent moves to, shall we say, “reposition” yourself (e.g., pulling many of your writings off the Web.I am genuinely curious as to how that repositioning will develop over time.All the best,Dave
jor wrote:> Advocacy of lying, or at the very least of making assertions for which you have absolutely no evidence at all, is implicit in all you have said here.Well.. I certainly have not said that explicitly, now have I?Nor have I myself made any assertions for which I have absolutely no evidence.Beyond that, without your giving further details, I suppose I can only say that it is “implicit” in your mind but not in mine.For the record, I am vigorously opposed to making assertions without evidence, and it does seem to me that Gene has done so with regard to Karen. But then, I am sure that Gene disagrees with me on that, and it is he, not I, who has to make that decision, don’t you think?This is, after all, his blog, not mine! I’m a guest here, and my parents taught me to be polite to one’s host.Dave
Gene wrote to me:>So:>1) It's a dirty, lying smear tactic to accuse the Rothbard-Rockwell crew of having written those newsletters; and>2) What was in them was wonderful, and even tamer than what they wrote themselves?!As to point 1, it’s complicated, isn’t it? What do you mean by “the Rothbard-Rockwell crew”? Am I a member of the “Rothbard-Rockwell crew”? I’m not yet prepared to admit my authorship of the Ron Paul newsletters, but I will admit that, at the time, I was indeed contributing “Rothbardian” pieces to more than one dead-tree libertarian newsletter.If you mean that Murray or Lew themselves wrote the newsletters, I don’t know that they did. If you mean that someone wrote them under Murray’s or Lew’s instructions, I do not know that either.If you want my wild guess, the writing style sounds to me like someone trying to imitate Rothbard, not like Rothbard himself. It also does not sound to me quite like Lew’s style, and I was reading a lot of stuff by Lew and Murray on just this subject at that time. So, I’d guess that it was written by some young guy trying to re-work Murray’s and Lew’s stuff into his own words. But I really don’t know who wrote it – could have been Murray or Lew for all I know, or even Ron himself (though I am inclined to take his word that he did not write it). And, I am pretty certain that it was not one single person who wrote all of the pieces posted by TNR, based on variations in style, approach, etc.So, whether it is, as you put it, “a dirty, lying smear tactic to accuse the Rothbard-Rockwell crew of having written those newsletters” depends on what you mean by the “Rothbard-Rockwell crew,” doesn’t it?I’ve never objected to TNR’s posting the newsletter material on the Web. I do object to how TNR and many other commenters have characterized that material: I do not agree that it is homophobic, racist, etc., and I have read everything that I know of that TNR has posted.One of the reasons that I dropped in here, Gene, is that I am curious as to why you yourself are critical of those newsletters, particularly the one relating to the Rodney King riots. Were you unaware on the Rodney King issue of the tack that Lew and Murray had taken at the time? Were you unaware that Lew and Murray were more than willing to engage in straight talk that offends the “mainstream” libertarians?You’ve been associated with LRC for a long time! How could you not have been aware of that?I can only think that either you were indeed aware of it in the past and, for some reason, only now are expressing outrage, or else that you were extraordinarily naïve in the past.Let me emphasize that I am not suggesting or conceding that Lew or Murray has ever been homophobic or racist: as you know, I do not think the newsletters are homophobic or racist. I have a couple gays in my family, and am in a biracial marriage, so that my kids are biracial: if I saw homophobia or racism, I would object.But, evidently, you do see racism and/or homophobia. So why are the newsletters a revelation to you? Why did you not know about this long ago? The disdain for the sensitivities of the mainstream libertarian movement at LRC has never been a secret!I hope I’ve answered your questions. On point 2, you’ve expressed my views. On point 1, I do not know who wrote those newsletters, and I do not think that making them available on the Web was, in and of itself, a “smear job” (though that may have been the motive of those who did post them). I do indeed think that the characterization of those newsletters by TNR, Reason, and many “mainstream” libertarians is quite clearly a “smear job.”But that’s why I have never been a mainstream libertarian during my thirty-five years of involvement with libertarianism.Dave
Gene wrote to me:>And whose sock puppet are you, anyway?Hmmm… You think I’m not really me?That’s pretty funny! I’m tickled by the idea that I’m important enough that someone might actually think it useful to pretend to be me.Well, let’s see. You could check with Stanford that “David H. Miller” did get a Ph.D. in physics awarded in 1983.You must not read everything on LRC or you would have seen my column supporting Ron Paul ( http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/miller-da1.html ).It’s been so long since I knew Ed Crane that I doubt he remembers me any longer.Do you know Scott Olmsted, the long-time Rothbardian activist in the Libertarian Party ( http://lprc.org/history.html ) – Scott and I were friends at Stanford, though we’ve fallen out of touch.Of course, lots of people who were in the Sacramento Libertarian Party in the ‘90s should remember me as someone who was not a “mainstream” libertarian, but, given my experience with those guys, you’ll understand my not suggesting any references (and a number of them have probably died or killed themselves by now anyway). Is that enough bona fides? Or don’t you really care?Do you really think I am really Karen pretending for some reason to be an obscure physicist named Dave Miller?Karen should really get a kick out of that!David H. Miller, Ph.D., in Sacramento
Gene wrote to me:>Dave, you do realize that Ron Paul himself has rejected the language of the newsletters, which makes him... a Beltway libertarian!Or… a politician! I hope that if I ever find myself in Ron’s position, I would say something like the following:>You are taking that quote out of context, and it was written by an assistant who did not work out and had to be terminated. However, if you read through the entire article, you will see that its point was to express utter contempt for violent thugs who assault, loot, and murder for any reason, and, yes, most of the violent thugs involved in the Rodney King riots were indeed blacks. I will not apologize for anything the newsletter said unless you choose to point to specific details and show me how and why those details are mistaken.I actually think that would have been more effective politically – well, not with the New York Times or the cosmo-libs, but then they would never vote for Ron, anyway.I’m not trying to claim that Ron, Lew, or anyone else always makes the best decisions, you know. I am merely pointing out that the newsletters were not racist or homophobic and that there is necessarily a split in the libertarian movement between those, on the one side, who refuse to associate with people such as me who hold that belief and, on the other side, people such as Karen, Lew, and me – a split I of course greatly welcome.After all, Gene, if you really think we are “insane,” you can’t really work with us, now can you? And surely I am at least as “insane” as Karen, in your book?I do understand that Ron found himself in a spot where he had to make a decision rapidly and chose to make a decision different than I would have made.Gene also wrote to me:>Julian Sanchez [snip]>Yes, Dave, look at that last name -- he's probably all greasy and shit. and smells like tacos or something.>And maybe he even hangs out with prostitutes and Samaritans and disreputable people like that.Oh no, Gene, haven’t you seen the man? A true cosmo-lib metrosexual! I’m sure he dresses better than me, probably uses the most fashionable cologne, and has read and fully absorbed Ginny Postrel’s “The Substance of Style.”No, I won’t associate with Sanchez because he is a person of poor character.As to Julian’s associating with prostitutes, if you say so.And, yes, Gene, I did get the reference to Jesus. I’m not a Christian and never have been one – my family attended a Baptist church when I was a kid, but I adamantly refused to ever be baptized or to join the church, much less accept Christian theology or “accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour.” Like most non-Christians (and even many non-fundamentalist Christians and quite a few Christian theologians), I view the Jesus of the New Testament as essentially a literary creation conjured by the early Church to meet its theological needs: presumably those stories were very loosely based on a real Galilean itinerant preacher. (See, e.g., “The Dishonest Church” by retired United Church of Christ pastor Jack Good for a perspective similar to my own.) I’m somewhat more critical of Christianity than Murray was (no doubt because of my having attended a Baptist church!) but I agree with his basic view that one can recognize the contributions and historical significance of Christianity even though one is not a Christian.So, no, I actually would not associate with Jesus, at least not as he is portrayed in the New Testament, and, as I suspect you know, neither would the vast majority of contemporary Americans. Try re-reading Dostoyevsky’s famous “Grand Inquisitor” passage.On the other hand, I would not have crucified him either. And I’m not so sure the same can be said for all of those who are so eager to attack Lew Rockwell and, now, Karen deCoster.I think, Gene, that I have now answered all the posts to date directed to me that seemed to actually request an answer.I’ll check tomorrow to see if anyone wishes to continue the conversation.Although I strongly disagree with you and although I do not see how you and I and most of the other guys here could be in the same political movement, thanks for allowing me to be your guest – I hope I have respected you as host.All the best,Dave
"And I’m not so sure the same can be said for all of those who are so eager to attack Lew Rockwell and, now, Karen deCoster."Maybe not all, but I'll speak only for me; I would never do that to anyone."If you want my wild guess, the writing style sounds to me like someone trying to imitate Rothbard, not like Rothbard himself."Good guess. I'm only calling it a good guess because I guess the same thing, and I know I'm always right*. It feels like someone trying to write like others. The writer was probably a young man, or an inexperienced writer, at the time.*I'm wrong 72% of the time; and 33% of all statistics are made up on the spot."Let me emphasize that I am not suggesting or conceding that Lew or Murray has ever been homophobic or racist: as you know, I do not think the newsletters are homophobic or racist. I have a couple gays in my family, and am in a biracial marriage, so that my kids are biracial: if I saw homophobia or racism, I would object"I wouldn't doubt you're right about Rothbard and Rockwell both. They used race-baiting as a tool, nothing more. It was like using a stick of dynamite to snuff out a candle. But, at least we get somewhere, here. The problem is one of interpretation, and I don't know as it will be possible to bridge it. As I've said before, I consider Rothbard the premier modern libertarian theorist. But this, as well as many other things in his activist efforts, reveals a stunning ineptitude for strategic and tactical thinking."Well, he was the 'scourge' of those places after he lost his bid to control the Libertarian Party and be the leader of the 'modals.'" --GeneEr, not so much; the term modal libertarian was coined sometime in the seventies. Rothbard was already irritated with, and attempting to tamper down the influence of, the so-called modals well before he finally split with them.
"So, no, I actually would not associate with Jesus, at least not as he is portrayed in the New Testament..."Thanks, Dave, this pretty much says it all.
Gene,Glad you appreciate the comment.I hope you do appreciate that my point was that none of the critics of the Ron Paul newsletters would have associated with Jesus (as portrayed in the New Testament) either – he was hardly an acceptably cosmopolitan metrosexual! Indeed, considering Jesus’ extraordinarily “judgmental” nature (e.g., on the divorce issue), I’m quite sure that they would condemn him in a way that I would not. (I’m actually with the man from Nazareth on the divorce issue, and on several other matters on which he is now generally viewed as politically incorrect.)I would merely have shunned him.I notice you have not chosen to reply to my question of how you could possibly have not known long ago that the attitude in the newsletters was the standard paleo attitude (especially Lew’s attitude) given your long association with LRC. It does look to me as if your suddenly objecting so vociferously to that attitude is more than a bit opportunistic, but perhaps I am simply misunderstanding your motives. As you know, I am reluctant to condemn others without convincing evidence, though I certainly encourage others to freely vent their views.All the best,Dave
Brian Nickerson,You wrote of Lew and Murray:> They used race-baiting as a tool, nothing more. It was like using a stick of dynamite to snuff out a candle.Have you followed any of the comments of the black UC Berkeley professor John McWhorter on race? (Incidentally, my main interest in McWhorter is his writings on linguistics, which are wonderful – I highly recommend his “Power of Babel.”) He is very harshly critical of the prevailing ethos in the American black community.Why is it “race-baiting” when Lew and Murray do it but not when Prof. McWhorter does it? Isn’t it possible that “race-baiting” = “telling truths about an ethnic group that need to be told openly and publicly discussed”?This is what bothers me about the critics of the newsletters. “Race-baiting” is a codeword meaning “don’t criticize black folks the way you would if they were white folks”!I’m old enough to remember Jim Crow – I argued against it as a child, not only because I thought it was wrong but even more because I thought it was stupid. The current double standard embodied in terms such as “race-baiting” seems to me just as stupid.Incidentally, I feel that way not only with regard to those I support politically. I also thought it was bizarre when Hillary was accused of engaging in racist behavior when she pointed out that it took LBJ, not just MLK, to pass the ’64 Civil Rights Act.Hillary was simply telling the truth and in a way that was highly relevant logically to statements Barack had made.And I say this even though I prefer Barack to Hillary and although, at the time, I deeply hated LBJ (I disagreed with MLK on some issues, but I profoundly despised LBJ -- a murderer, a thief, a bully, and a common two-bit criminal).You wrote earlier in response to my question as to whether you had read anything Murray wrote in the last decade of his life:> Yes, I have. I have the last major project he worked on, but never finished, among other things. [snip]>if Rothbard ever took the Hoppe line, he was wrong to do so.I should have made my point clearer.The clearest expression of Murray’s broad, mature thought was what he wrote for the Rothbard-Rockwell Report during his last decade. He laid out there in some detail, repeatedly, how he saw his economic views, his views on political strategy, his culturally “bourgeois” views, his views on the Rodney King riots, etc. as forming a necessarily seamless whole. He particularly indicated how fully he endorsed the views of Hoppe and Rockwell. Some of this had already appeared in essays decades earlier (such as the wonderful – or, depending on your view, infamous! – essay on feminism in “Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and other Essays”), and those earlier essays do validate his point that the structure of his thought was essentially the same throughout his life.Now, of course, I disagreed with Murray on some details: I have some doubts about Hoppe’s “argumentation ethics” (though I like Hoppe’s stuff on immigration, city-states, monarchy vs. democracy, etc., as Murray did); like so many young Rothbardians, I independently came to a different conclusion on copyrights than Murray held; and while I share Murray’s love for the Baroque, I do not share his interest in early jazz.But my central point is that, for better or worse, there is a broad, unified Rothbardian philosophy that extends beyond his technical work in MES, P&M, “The Ethics of Liberty,” etc.Those of us who are young Rothbardians – Lew, Karen, myself, etc. -- are sympathetic to that broad over-arching structure of Rothbardiainism. Unlike say Radian Objectivism, there is of course no rigid criterion for being a Rothbardian – Murray was a mellow atheist, I am an occasionally combative atheist, and Lew is a Christian.Nonetheless, I think your “little ‘Rothbard, in spite of the Rothbardians’ project” is truly missing the boat if you do not investigate Murray’s own perspective on the natural interlinking of the Rothbardian thought world. Perhaps, he understood his own thought better than his critics do.I hope you’ll take these comments as a non-combative explanation of things I think you might benefit from investigating in more detail.Returning to the original topic of this thread, Karen, you wrote of her comments on immigration:>If you knowingly do what is contrary to your professed beliefs, you don't really believe those things. How hard-core can an anarchist be who advocates using political government to achieve ends?Brian, if you read her column that you linked to carefully, she stated:> I have never, ever "demanded" border controls. To support my point, Smith links to nothing that I have said that "demands controls," but only states that as his interpretation, and leaves it up to his very trusting readers to believe him.[snip]> Third and most important - I have never once advocated for "closed borders." There have been folks on LewRockwell.com who have done so, and indeed I was very much appalled by some of the pieces in the past that agitated for fences and immigration police, but then again I suppose this is a forum where different viewpoints are aired and debated.Nowhere in the article you kindly linked to did she advocate state action. Nor does she in her original WND article (http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26246 ).To the contrary, she argues in great detail the point that she shares with Hoppe (and me): she supports neither “open borders” nor “closed borders.” She argues that this is a false dichotomy that results from accepting statist premises. Karen makes quite clear that she wishes to have a purely “anarcho-capitalist” system in which all property is privately owned, and I think she suspects that the result will be much less immigration, at least of the bad sort of immigrants, than we would have under an “open borders” regime – I hope I am not attributing my own views mistakenly to her on that last point: I am quite happy to refer to “good immigrants” (e.g., most Asians) and not-so-good immigrants (e.g., some Hispanics). Now, you may disagree with her, and you are certainly free to express that disagreement – indeed, I encourage it.But, while one may argue that her position is illogical or impractical (I happen to agree with her myself), it is not fair to say that her position repudiates her anarchist views. On the contrary, as she presents it, her position on immigration is clearly based on her anarchist views.If you re-read it carefully, I think you will see this. You will no doubt still disagree with Karen and me, but perhaps you may be able to see your disagreement in a somewhat different light.I also wanted to let you know that I provided some factual historical information in reply to one of your comments on another forum that you may have missed ( see http://www.reason.com/blog/show/124625 near the bottom ). This does not relate to Karen, but you may find it of interest in light of your interest in the history of the paleo/modal split.Finally, you asked me:>Eh, what? You're joking, right? You have to be joking. It's a pile of dissemblage, dodging and nonsense from start to finish.when I wrote:> I really appreciate your link to Karen’s great essay on immigration: I urge everyone to click on your link immediately and see how a mature adult, such as Karen, calmly and rationally discusses issues.I trust you know now that I indeed meant it. I don’t agree with Karen on everything, of course, (she’s far more into health and fitness than I, alas), but, yes, I do think she is an intelligent, mature adult who thinks and writes carefully and hews firmly to a natural-rights Rotbhardian anarchist line. I think the contrast between her and the Reaosnites/Catoites is quite dramatic: I think the Reaosnites/Catoites are generally immature, irresponsible, spoiled little children. In some cases, perhaps this is due to their age – in other cases, such as Tom Palmer, that excuse is lacking. And, I have followed the grand Cato/Reason saga for more than three decades: I am not hurling out accusations without knowledge.I’d be happy to have Karen into my house (after I did a lot of housecleaning!), have her meet my wife and friends, etc. There is no way I would allow most of the Reasonites/Catoites to step foot on my property – and I am not making a “classist” remark based on the fact that my net worth is higher than theirs. I believe them, on good evidence, to be slimy, irresponsible people of poor character and I do not want them around me or my kids.I hope I’ve tied up any loose threads in our discussion that I should have answered earlier but failed to in the heat of the debate. I’ll be curious to se how your views evolve through time, just as I will be curious to watch Bib Murphy’s. I suspect I already know the evolution of Gene’s views, but we shall see.All the best,Dave
Dave, the paleos have gone soft on us. Do you see how often some Cosmotarian at LRC, like Lew Rockwell, posts some mealy-mouthed whining about police brutality? And half the time the cops were just thrashing some well-deserving niggers (like there's any other kind)!I guess there's no room for True Paleos in the Lew Rockwell movement anymore.
Anonymous,Fascinating that you chose not to share your name with us!If you actually read the newsletters, you would know that the point was not that Rodney King was black but rather that he was a violent thug (he now has a long record -- http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/lapd/kingarrests.html ) who was violently resisting arrest.That you insist on treating this simply as a matter of his race proves that, like nearly all critics of the newsletters, you are an inveterate racist.We paleos defend the rights of all human beings, regardless of race: my own children are biracial, and I strongly oppose discrimination on the basis of race, although like any libertarian, I defend the right of private firms to discriminate. But when people who happen to be of one particular race violate the natural rights of other human beings, we paleos do not let them off the hook, or decline to mention their ethnicity, simply because they are members of an affirmative-action protected race.Man, you are a racist! Are all of you cosmo-libs racists?Dave Miller in Sacramento
I accidentally clicked the anonymous button, my bad.And, I never said anything about the newsletters. Have I mentioned that I don't think they're particularly good examples of racism? I have in mind something more like Lew Rockwell's old articles praising gratuitous police violence. And this old gem:http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/12_2/12_2_4.pdf
To re-cap, Dave thinks it’s sane, stable, and mature to imply, without any reason whatsoever beyond the fact that they disagree with Hoppe about immigration (i.e. that they are ‘modal libertarians’), that Wiegel, Sanchez, Balko, Callahan, and everyone who doesn’t toe the LRC party line (whatever it might be at any given time) are all child molesters (i.e. that they are losers, a term which Dave insists means "child molesters and similar trash", rather than identifying a particular income bracket).Clarity is a good thing. Or something.
"I notice you have not chosen to reply to my question of how you could possibly have not known long ago that the attitude in the newsletters was the standard paleo attitude (especially Lew’s attitude) given your long association with LRC."I knew they used to talk like this. But they abandoned this type of racist talk in the early 90s, Dave. In fact, their recent moves have been significanty away from this type of nonsense, .e.g, replacing Hoppe with Long at JLS, running Cindy Sheehan and Daniel Berrigan at LRC, and hiring a bunch of CATO guys at AntiWar.com. In fact, I don't think you should hang out with them anymore."Opportunistic"? WTF? Yes, Dave, the Beltway libertarians are no showering me with contracts and money because I wrote this stuff?
"Fascinating that you chose not to share your name with us!"Why in the world is that 'fascinating' Dave? Anonymous publication has a long been engaged in by very esteemed writers? You've never heard of 'Publius,' 'Brutus,' or 'Federal Farmer'?Dave, having a degree in a specialized technical subject does not prove you are either 'educated' or 'intelligent.' Your posts here are arguing against this.
jor,Okay, so now we have proof beyond a reasonable doubt, in your own words, that you are a racist.Yeah, yeah, I know you were only “kidding.”I was born in a former slave state in the early ‘50s. I know that racist line: “I was only kidding.”Jor, you’re a racist.And your attempted paraphrases of what I said are not my words. Anyone reading this can read what I actually wrote and see that I did not say what you attribute to me.I guess there is something to that old saying: scratch a cosmo-lib, find a racist.Dave
Gene wrote to me:> Dave, having a degree in a specialized technical subject does not prove you are either 'educated' or 'intelligent.' Your posts here are arguing against this.Well, Gene, I guess you and I could compare our SAT scores, and our actual accomplishments in real life, and our comparative knowledge of each other’s fields (I had an offer to do a post-doc in economics with an Austrian economist – how many offers to do post-docs have you received so far in any field?), etc.But, frankly, I think that wold be rather pointless: the actual content of what you and I have posted here speaks for itself.Let me focus on the central matter which does indeed show the difference between my side and yours: you accused a bright, articulate, and thoughtful woman of being “insane” just because you hold a different perspective on some issues than she. She called you a “loser,” but only in response to your rather strange accusation against her, and she did offer some evidence that you have been rather slow in achieving your life goals. I understand that there may be perfectly good reason for that slowness, and I have made clear that I do not know whether you are a “loser” or not. (But I do indeed agree with Karen that some people are properly considered “losers”: perhaps you reject that point in general.)And now you are implying that I myself am neither “educated” nor “intelligent.”Cool, Gene.I will not argue with you about that. But I will point out that you are now treating me in just the same way you treated Karen deCoster. Let everyone decide for himself how to interpret your oh-so-admirable and oh-so-tolerant behavior.Dave
"But, frankly, I think that wold be rather pointless: the actual content of what you and I have posted here speaks for itself."Yup."you accused a bright, articulate, and thoughtful woman of being “insane” just because you hold a different perspective on some issues than she."No, because as soon as someone disagrees with her, she launches personal attacks on them."she did offer some evidence that you have been rather slow in achieving your life goals."Dave, how does her saying this "provide evidence" for it?!"Physicist Dave likes to eat live babies."Have I now offered "evidence" for this?"Okay, so now we have proof beyond a reasonable doubt, in your own words, that you are a racist."And Dave, we now have proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are a nitwit.
Hey everybody I'm back! I finished my Important Project and so now I can do my part to test what happens if you get more than 100 comments on a blogger post. (I suspect the atmosphere will catch on fire.)Dave,OK let's do the childish thing first. Gene can't really respond to your tack of, "I withhold judgment on whether Gene is, in fact, a loser," since it would be unseemly for him to do it. So let me inform you that he is not a loser; I don't hang out with losers. I shouldn't have to say that, but hey, you weren't sure if we were against pedophilia so I don't want to assume anything.Now then, Gene used to program for a Wall Street (I think?) firm. I don't know for sure, of course, but I daresay he made a lot more money at that time than the median person in the group you consider winners.Gene has written a book on Austrian economics that I used as a text in my undergraduate class, and he wrote a novel that is cool. (Difficult but cool.)He also has a cool wife and clever, sweet kids.And oh yeah, he's also getting a PhD.Issue number two: Dave, the reason I thought you were a made-up person earlier is that I couldn't believe you were playing the elitism card. If someone told me, "Yeah, there is another fight that's broken out between the DC Beltway crowd, who hobknob with politicians and stock brokers and appear on TV all the time, versus the Auburn Alabama crowd, who write articles on the Internet, and some of the rank and file are calling the others unsuccessful losers," I would have guessed incorrectly as to which group was doing the namecalling.Now maybe you are talking about people who try to run LP campaigns for mayor around the country. OK, I could believe that those people are "freaks."But in terms of CATO vs. LvMI, I think it's a better strategy to keep the arguments intellectual. The smartest people associated with the latter are smarter than the same from the former. And the ideas are purer from the latter. So they win on ideas.But you seem to have wanted a debate over who has more money or worldly success. I think the DC crowd would win if you're going to use that criterion.Finally, can you clarify? You had talked of your desire for a revolution to sweep through the land. And yet, you are also eschewing any alliances with people who are much closer to your views than the average American is.So is it sort of like, taking the message to the people, rather than the libertarian Pharisees?I.e., are you saying that the "moderate" libertarian leaders are a bunch of nutjobs in their personal lives, who are also sellouts ideologically? And so the revolution has a chance if you could talk to Joe Sixpack, because even though Joe might vote for Obama this time, he is a "real guy" and could see the truth if only someone explained it?Sorry for all the question marks; not sure why that paragraph turned out that way. And I'm not being sarcastic or "leading the witness" with those questions. I'm really trying to understand your worldview. As I said, your viewpoint didn't fit into my neat little categories of two weeks ago, and so now I have to make a new one.
Bob, what you don't get is that by 'loser,' Dave means 'Someone not like me.' Jesus and Buddha were, to Dave, losers.And Dave, here's one to contemplate: Why did neither you or De Coster, in 'defending' her, ever attempt to address a single substantive point in the post I made criticizing her writing? Dave, I took a number of very specific things in her writing that appeared nutty to me. No address at all -- just personal attacks. Hmmm...
"And your attempted paraphrases of what I said are not my words. Anyone reading this can read what I actually wrote and see that I did not say what you attribute to me."Ah, but I was not attempting to paraphrase you. I don't know or particularly care whether or not you're a racist, or whether or not you're a Stockholm-suffering police apologist.My aim was only to show the utter silliness and irrelevance of your posturing, through parody."I guess there is something to that old saying: scratch a cosmo-lib, find a racist."I'm neither a cosmo-lib, nor a racist.
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