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Friday, September 19, 2008

Dan Grow on "Holtzist brown shirts"

Daniel Grow wrote:

DG) Brian Holtz recently posted a message that suggested I called him, personally, a fascist or totalitarian.  I did not. (DG

You have written:

  • the Holtzist brown shirts have abandoned the principle that only "effective and judicious anti-pollution laws" should be on the books
  • The terms "eco-fascist" and "eco-totalitarianism," although technically accurate, are reportedly inflammatory
  • Hopefully we won't call for Pol Pot style accusations of "economic sabotage" for those SUV driving urban dwellers and their micro-aggressions
  • recall that all of the "evils" the eco-totalitarians would criminalize are the direct result of governmental subsidies
  • [characterizing my tax policies:] eco-fascism et al in favor of [i.e. in lieu of] income taxes
  • [characterizing my green tax shift:] More eco-fascism, with a bonus fallacy
Thus you've repeatedly said I advocate "eco-fascism", you've categorized me as an "eco-totalitarian", you've talked about "Holtzist brown shirts", and you've compared my policies to that of Pol Pot.  Your rationalization for this misbehavior is:
DG) such policies would move us closer to totalitarianism and socialism, and away from a libertarian society. (DG
Are you saying that geo-anarchist Prof. Fred Foldvary is advocating "eco-fascism" and "eco-totalitarianism" when he advocates a green tax shift?  A green tax shift would actually move us away from the current command-and-control environmental regulations of the bureaucratic nanny state, and limit all so-called taxation to mis-use of the commons (i.e. aggression).  But your standard of comparison isn't the status quo; your standard of comparison is your own anarchism.  You are saying that any disagreement with anarchism amounts to advocacy that we be "closer to totalitarianism and socialism", and that this justifies your name-calling of "eco-fascism", "eco-totalitarian", "brown shirts", and Pol Pot comparisons.  I say that such behavior suggests moral and intellectual bankruptcy.
BH) Saying that any disagreement with anarchism makes one a "fascist"/"totalitarian" is simply a (quite welcome) admission that one lacks the moral and intellectual resources to defend anarchism.  (BH
DG) And I have never said "any disagreement with anarchism makes one a fascist/totalitarian."  (DG
If you see your own statements as satisfying the premise of my statement above, that's hardly my fault. People reading your statements above can draw their own conclusions.  The bottom line remains: if you can't argue against taxing aggression against the commons without invoking "brown shirts" and Pol Pot, then your arguments aren't worth answering -- especially not when we both have congressional campaigns that are in the home stretch.  After the election I'll be happy to again rebut your arguments that the state should never try to punish/deter pollution aggression through a schedule of contestable default fines and that pollution should only have legal consequences when it annoys someone enough to file a lawsuit. But if you want me to debate such extremist views before election day, you're going to have to be brave enough to draw attention to them on the front page of your campaign site, and not just here in the cozy confines of the LP Platform community. :-)  At the moment, the words "pollution" and "environment" seem not to exist on your campaign site.