These opinions warrantied for the lifetime of your brain.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The LP Mission Nobody Disagrees With

Paulie, I'll just repeat: identifying a pattern of juvenile incivility is not the same thing as 1) juvenile incivility or 2) trying to purge anybody.  The abuse that Angela offered to her fellow LNC members was orders of magnitude more juvenile and uncivil than the Hospers essay, and yet Angela is excused from accusations of trying to "purge" anybody.  My assumption is that any LNC member or alternate can submit anything reasonably relevant for the meeting binder.  Somebody on LNC apparently thinks it was relevant to point out that Angela's pattern of behavior is not exactly novel or isolated.  That just doesn't equate to a call for purging  the LP of all anarchist members, no matter how many times you repeat the charge.  I will stomp on any reformer/moderate you can quote inviting anarchists out of the LP, and I also criticize anybody (like Wayne Root) who tries to say that anarchists aren't libertarians.

I've seen this moral relativism over and over during my involvement in the LP: to accuse somebody of incivility is itself dismissed as uncivil.  Everyone involved in a dispute is assumed equally guilty, truth is not a valid defense, and insistence on truth is a character defect. I would expect better from Libertarians, but maybe I shouldn't.

I'm glad that in your subsequent comments you clarified that reasonable Libertarians can disagree about the meaning and implications of the Pledge.

Tom Knapp, you're simply arguing by assertion.  Until you address the facts I cited about 1) the evidence in the hands of military leaders in early Aug 1945 and 2) what those leaders were saying about it contemporaneously, then I see no need to address your unsourced reports of self-serving after-the-fact evaluations by such leaders.  To call "bullshit" any identification of trade-offs in the consequences of alternative choices is nothing more than saying that you've managed to keep yourself innocent of any knowledge about how such trade-offs arise in the grownup world.   If  over a hundred thousand living breathing Asian people dying every month is "hypothetical bullshit" to you, then maybe as a Marine you can muster a little sympathy for all the Americans among the many thousands of allied POWs who were under orders to be executed upon any invasion. I suspect that your moral calculus is driven by Hiroshima newsreel footage, rather than by a sober analysis of all the consequences beyond the camera's lens.

Jeff, not only are Susan and I closer than most realize or than we admit, we're even closer than you suggest. I NEVER "place the emphasis on electability".  I say: present mainstream ecumenical libertarianism to the voting public, and let the chips fall where they may.  I'm not really interested in farm-team "victories" (like my walk-on to the water board seat to which I'm being sworn in tonight) that don't measure public desire for more freedom, but I'm also not interested in using elections to build "cadre" of state abolitionists.  Rather, I'm interested in using elections to increase, harness, measure, and publicize the public demand for moving public policy in a libertarian direction.  I bet you cannot find a single radical or reformer who would say: "No, I'm not interested in using elections to increase, harness, measure, and publicize the public demand for moving public policy in a libertarian direction."  All the sturm und drang over "education" vs. "winning" is just a clash between two titanic men of straw.  I don't know anybody who actually holds the positions that each side is arguing against.