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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rally Voters With Anarchism or Lessarchism?

Starchild wrote:

SC) perhaps the suggestion that my approach is metaphorically equivalent
to deliberately sending an elevator full of people hurtling to their
deaths makes it inapplicable? (SC

Not really, because I argue that abolition of all government power would
lead directly to unnecessary deaths. Even if it didn't, the catastrophe
of an elevator crash is an apt metaphor for what I argue would be the
catastrophe of the five specific quasi-anarchist policies that I
listed. By contrast, saying I want to "push the emergency stop button
and prevent" reduction of government power is an unfair characterization
of what I advocate.

SC) Neither is anyone arguing that people shouldn't be welcome to stop
supporting the libertarian movement when they believe society has become
too free. (SC

I never said you opposed people's freedom to decide in the future that
government has gotten too small. By contrast, you said that I want to
"push the emergency stop button and prevent" the reduction of government

BH) Do you seriously claim that the way to maximize their unified
political impact is to ask them to line up under a banner of personal
secession, immediate non-enforcement of all tax laws, no default
fines/regulations for pollution, privatization of all streets, and
immediate unlimited immigration? (BH

SC) I don't simply want to "maximize the political impact" of a group of
people -- I want our impact to advance the cause of liberty as much as
possible (SC

That's exactly what I meant. What else could I have meant by
"maximizing the unified political impact" of people who want more liberty?

SC) The specific policies you mention above are merely a few of the
many, many potential *planks* in a non-aggression platform. (SC

Every politician this side of Hitler and Mussolini would say they oppose
"aggression" when it's left undefined or ambiguous. If you're
embarrassed by the five positions above, just say so. As for me, there
is no subset of the policies I advocate that I find embarrassing. I'm
unapologetic and unashamed in my libertarianism. Perhaps someday you
will be too.

SC) I'm not asking people to "line up" under a banner -- that sounds
fascist. (SC

It's just silly to say that partisan unity "sounds fascist". Look, we
are the Libertarian Party. We ask people to register in our party, and
no other. We ask people to vote for candidates we endorse, and no
other.(*) We ask people to donate to our party, and no other. If you
don't see how that can fairly be described as asking people to "line
up", then I can't cure your blindness.

(*) I favor fusion rules allowing us to endorse non-LP candidates. The
point remains that we try to get people to vote in a particular way.

SC) Is that how you'd describe your own approach -- asking people to
"'line up' under a banner of gradually changing public
policies in the direction of freedom?" (SC

"Gradually" is your word, not mine. When you're done arguing with the
voices in your head, let me know if you want to argue against my actual

SC) let's acknowledge that the libertarian movement is a radical one (SC

Yes, any form of libertarianism is radical compared to the status quo
nanny state: . That doesn't
mean that self-described "radical" libertarianism is the optimal
libertarianism. (I still say I'm a more radical libertarian than thou,
because I value actually minimizing force-initiation over merely
abstaining from all possibility of it.)

SC) and embrace the radical goals that are consistent with a society
based on non-aggression (SC

Bait and switch. Replace "non-aggression" with "opposition to
aggression", and you've got a sale. I don't care how often you ignore
it, I'm going to keep showing you the difference between 1) abstaining
from force-initiation and 2) minimizing force-initiation.

SC) In responding, you deleted most of my previous message, even though
some of your responses here relate to the deleted material. Would you
say that you "fled" from my words? (SC

Yes, if you could identify a single substantive point -- let alone a
direct question -- that I didn't respond to (or to which I consider the
response obvious).

BH) The fundamental question here is: which is better for rallying
lessarchists -- anarchism or minarchism? (BH

SC) Ugh -- can we bury the term "lessarchist?" (SC

Wow, could you be any more blatant in evading what you even quote me
explicitly calling "the fundamental question"?

Lessarchism means systematic belief in less government power, and
anarchism means systematic belief in no government power. If you want
to propose alternative labels, do so, but please stop dodging the question.

BH) The success of feminism and environmentalism has been in spite of
their most radical advocates, not because of them. (BH

SC) you do acknowledge that these movements have been largely led by
radicals? (SC

The leaders of any movement are obviously going to be ahead of the curve
compared to the general population, but no, the successes of feminism
and environmentalism have definitely not been driven by their most
radical advocates. Do you assert the grammatical negation of that last

SC) Nathaniel Branden: "Without the moral dimension, without the
spiritual dimension, we may win the short-term practical debate, but the
statists will always claim the moral high ground" (SC

Nobody's arguing against invoking morality. On the contrary, you
consistently decline to confront the moral distinction I've posed to you
for years: abstaining from force initiation versus minimizing it.

Your earlier comment was about "evangelism", not "spirituality". I just
don't agree that the example of evangelical religion teaches us the
lesson that the freedom movement should be defined and led by its most
fringe elements.