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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

MNR, Cult Founder

You know how you can tell something is a cult? When people start talking about 'deviations' that make people 'unacceptable'.

19 comments:

  1. Let me get this straight. Proper libertarianism is anti-deviationist, and if you deviate from this, then you are not a good libertarian, but are instead a cultist.

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  2. No, Stephan, I think it's this: if you don't have anything worthwhile to say, just yap at the heels of those who do, especially people who share as much with you, ideologically, as possible.

    Gene, do you seriously maintain that being pro-gun control is no big deal? Seems to me that it is one of the most obvious fundamental rights, that guarantees, in a practical way, the right to secession and/or revolution.

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  3. I assume Gene himself is pro gun rights and anti-war.

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  4. "No, Stephan, I think it's this: if you don't have anything worthwhile to say, just yap at the heels of those who do..."

    Funny, Gil, when I was writing almost 200 LRC articles and one of LVMI's top-selling books, no one thought I didn't have anything worthwhile to say.

    As far as gun control goes, it's a matter for each political community to decide on the proper balance between defense and public safety.

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  5. No, Stephan, I think it's this: if you don't have anything worthwhile to say, just yap at the heels of those who do, especially people who share as much with you, ideologically, as possible.Like Karen saying I hate human freedom? :) (I'm a pacifist.)

    While I'm on the topic, let me be clear: As a consistent pacifist, I OPPOSE "gun control," because (duh) it makes no sense to say, "Violence doesn't solve anything" and then follow up with, "That's why armed guys from the gov't should force people to hand in their guns."

    Gene, what the frick is this?!

    Gene: As far as gun control goes, it's a matter for each political community to decide on the proper balance between defense and public safety.Is this one of your classic My-name-is-Gene-and-I'm-going-to-write-something-that-everyone-will-misinterpret-and-then-say-I'm-using-Chaucer's-definitions-of-the-terms-in-my-statement?

    Because your statement definitely sounds like you should get booted from the libertarian movement.

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  6. I don't know what the deal is lately in my blog comments; I am putting carriage returns in after my italicized quotations. :/

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  7. "Let me get this straight. Proper libertarianism is anti-deviationist, and if you deviate from this, then you are not a good libertarian, but are instead a cultist."

    Look, I am around professional political theorists frequently at Cardiff U. and at conferences. None of them ever talks about "deviations" from some "correct" political theory; if some did, they would (properly) be regarded as a nut.

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  8. Thanks for illustrating my point, Bob. Serious political thinkers do not "boot" people from movements; that's a Stalinist idea with which Rothbard infected libertarianism.

    Personally, I don't have the least concern with what some "movement" thinks of me; getting worked up over that ossifies you intellectually into just saying what the movement wants you to say. In fact, to the extent any "movement" finds me too congenial, I've failed as a philosopher.

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  9. Oh my gosh Gene. I don't spend time ripping my relatives for their anti-libertarian views on my blog.

    I rip people who claim to represent libertarianism when (in my opinion) they don't.

    Now when you serious political scientists label someone among you as a "nut" for talking in this way, are you booting them from polite society?

    (At this point I am just screwing with you Gene. It amuses me that you think I am trying to fit in with the cool kids when I have written extensively on pacifism and Intelligent Design. Can you think of a way for me to ostracize myself more? Oh wait I know, I am against the feds controlling immigration, everyone! Woo hoo!

    Are you impressed Gene?)

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  10. Gene, a deviation means a difference from -- and some of us think libertarianism means something. I would be surprised if you think a pro-welfare rights, pro-public education, pro-war, pro-tax, pro-regulation, pro-minimum wage leftist is still a libertarian. I fail to see how this is cultist.

    As for your bizarre accusation in the other thread that I am only a scare quotes "Austrian"--well, never effing mind.

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  11. Gene, and the rest of you bickerers: it is perfectly legitimate for a voluntary association to ban the ownership of guns by their members as a condition of membership. It is perfectly legitimate for property owners to ban the carrying of guns on their property. It is therefore completely compatible with libertarianism to support the principle of limited gun ownership. What is not compatible with libertarianism is to have the State impose rules on gun ownership on private property. By the same token, it is compatible with minimal state libertarianism to have the state control the management of guns in public spaces (which brings us to the inherent illogic of minarchism, but that's another debate).

    So, if a group of Quakers would set up their own commune and make it a condition of entry not to carry guns, there would be no problem.

    It is reasonable to assume that even in an anarchist society, ownership rights of guns would not be de facto unlimited, since there will be social limits to what kind of guns are acceptable for those who care to interact with the rest of the community.

    Following this logic, it is not possible to argue for unrestricted gun ownership in a statist society.

    If one proposes a system without state control over gun ownership, one has to simultaneously argue against the existence of the state - understanding that even without the state, it would not be possible to just carry around guns as one pleases wherever one goes.

    To support Gene's point of view: to talk about 'deviation' is absurd. Nobody owns the label 'libertarian'. It's not a trade mark.

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  12. As a consistent pacifist, I OPPOSE "gun control," because (duh) it makes no sense to say, "Violence doesn't solve anything" and then follow up with, "That's why armed guys from the gov't should force people to hand in their guns."your statement definitely sounds like you should get booted from the libertarian movement.Bob, what, do libertarians not allow for people to form communities that set shared rules - including restrictions on weapons - as longs as those who don`t wish to accept the rules can leave?

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  13. TT asked, Bob, what, do libertarians not allow for people to form communities that set shared rules...
    Of course it allows for that. We all know it allows for that.

    If McDonald's says, "No shirt no shoes no service" that is totally fine. But I wouldn't say, "The political community weighed the tradeoff between personal expression and public decency."

    No, I would say property owners can set rules on their land.

    Gene knows this, I know this, Stephan knows this, Karen knows this.

    So my point was, I think Gene would say, "By 'political community' I didn't mean anything at all like modern politics, I basically meant a community deciding things that influence everyone perhaps in a perfectly voluntary manner."

    So my point that he is using definitions that none of us would recognize.

    Now, if he really *does* mean "political community" the way 99% of Americans would use the term, then yeah he is not a libertarian. That's fine, maybe he doesn't want to be a libertarian. But words mean something.

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  14. Bob, what bothers me is that many libertarians seem to refuse to acknowledge that the threat of violence underlies most property, from rights to land, to lobstermen`s territories to trade secrets. Granted, our rules and mechanisms for avoiding violence have become more sophisticated, but rules can be maintained only by means of sanctioning rule-breakers.

    Even in a "voluntary" community, if you disagree and insist on flouting a common rule, an enforcer may show up and forcibly remove either you or your weapon. Is such a community allowed, as long as one can move elsewhere? If so, how is this different from a local government?

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  15. The critical issue is this: if the state forsakes the ability to control gun ownership, it forsakes its ability to assert its monopoly of violence, and hence negate itself.

    The question of weapons ownership management is at the root of the statist project. Attacking the right of the State to manage gun ownership is to attack the existence of the State.

    Hence, no State will allow for the unrestricted transport and bearing of arms in public spaces. Since in order to move a gun from the manufacturer to the user it is necessary to use public space, the State will always manage the ownership of guns.

    All Libertarians can do, while there is a State, is try to negotiate with Leviathan about the extent of this management.

    But, as long as we live in a State, restrictions on arms are unavoidable - and necessary.

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  16. TT - it isn't. One of the key problems of the Libertarian theory of rights is the fact that humans have children. If humans could choose freely in advance where they are born, and who their parents should be, then all would be fine. But, this is not so, and Libertarianism needs to deal with the problem of the rights of children, and the impermissibility to be bound by a contract to which one did not consent.

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  17. Bob, I have no problem with people deciding X is or isn't a libertarian. Nor do I care what category someone else puts me in. But that's a little different from talk of 'deviations', is it not?

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  18. TT,

    That's a good point, about violence being necessary to enforce property rights. When I presenting my case for a pacifist an-cap community--where private judges made rulings on property infringements, and the "civilized" community ostracized but did not use violence on the criminals so judged--I think it really flummoxed the anarcho-socialists. I.e. their whole world view was, "Property is upheld with violence," and I don't think they knew what to do with my scenario except to say most an-caps thought it was dumb.

    Gene, sure, I don't go around analyzing "deviations," but I think it's more of an icky sounding term than anything qualitatively worse than what I *would* say. E.g. people at Cato might talk about "bright line rules for who is a libertarian" or something, which sounds nice and fuzzy but is basically the same thing of grouping people in and out.

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  19. "I rip people who claim to represent libertarianism when (in my opinion) they don't."

    Hmm, well, I suppose there is something to that. Fortunately, I don't claim to represent libertarianism!

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