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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Garbage Day on

The only "fevered imagination" here is Tom's, imagining that we're talking about two different things.

Here's a paraphrase of the Dallas Accord:

"The LP shall systematically call for the abolition of every government power, agency, purpose, and function. Smallarchists in the LP shall remain happy that the LP doesn't use the word 'anarchy' and that the government will be allowed to maintain a P.O. box -- at a private firm like Mailboxes Etc."

Wake me when an LP radical offers a cogent defense of this asymmetry.

For the hypertext-impaired, I again paste my thesis below. Tom, I dare you to quote me anything you've written above that either 1) cogently disputes a single claim I make, or 2) offers any evidence that I'm making any of this up.

I wrote: BH) Radicals want the LP to officially disagree with all principled libertarians whose principles aren't identical to theirs. (BH

Eric Sundwall replied: ES) Nice little embed there leading one to conclude that principled libertarians aren't radical. (ES

Eric's logic skills fail him.  If I had talked about "all true birds that can swim under water", Eric would claim I'm saying that non-swimming birds aren't true birds.  Eric needs to learn the difference between qualification and apposition.

BH) The closest they've ever come [to trying to justify the asymmetry] is just to claim that they're right on every disagreement over libertarian principle, which of course is the fallacy known as begging the question. (BH

ES) If in fact one side was indeed correct on all occasions, does it follow that this fits the idea of begging the question? (ES

Well, Eric, it turns out that my geominarchism is indeed correct on all occasions where your anarchism disagrees with me.  So you tell me -- would I be begging the question to invoke my correctness in platform disputes?

Eric writes: ES) the anarchist per se will have advantage when an advocation abolition at a particular turn in government rather than the whole. Whereas the minarchist runs into trouble advocating a retention or new function thereof. (ES

Thus Eric stumbles into acknowledging the asymmetry that I claim results from a lengthy platform under the Dallas Accord.  So now we've had two LP radicals (Tom and Eric) acknowledge the asymmetry, and precisely zero have tried to justify it or answer my criticism of it.  (Insert sound of crickets chirping.)

Eight minutes after acknowledging the asymmetry I posited, Eric hand-wavingly asserts that I have "created another straw man radical", but makes no effort to explain how I've allegedly done this.

Kevin asks "Why are LP anti-anarchists so motivated to defend and protect the State, rather than allow anarchists to move voters in the direction of pure liberty as far as voters will go?"  This conjoins a strawman and a false dichotomy. LP smallarchists don't "defend and protect the State" -- we simply disagree with the anarchist proposition that abolition of the State is consistent with minimizing the role and incidence of aggression in society.  To ask why minarchists are motivated to this disagreement is a question that answers itself.   Kevin's "rather than" is simply a misrepresentation -- one that comes immediately after he quotes me saying "our most radical candidates will still be free to campaign for zero-government abolitionism".

Tom Knapp writes: "There's no enforcement mechanism for holding candidates accountable to the platform."

The LP Bylaws disagree.  Article 12.4 says "The National Committee shall respect the vote of the delegates at Nominating Conventions and provide full support for all nominees for President and Vice-President as long as their campaigns are conducted in accordance with the Platform of the Party."

Tom writes: TK) the recent "reform" movement seems to be moving in the direction of platform changes that would make platform citation a poison pill proposition for anarchists. (TK

Fevered nonsense.  No such "poison pill" language was added to the platform during the reformer-led rewrite in 2008.  Tom accuses me of "making stuff up", but it's now clear that he's simply projecting.

The 1983 letter from Rothbard delightfully diagnoses the asymmetry of the Dallas Accord.  Rothbard was absolutely correct to characterize the LP platform as crypto-anarchist: MR) Even as anarchists I frankly don't see what you [Wendy McElroy] have to complain about on the current platform. The LP Platform, in addition to attacking every conceivable form of government intervention, also calls for: "eventual repeal of all taxation", and, pending such repeal, the immediate termination of "all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion." While it is true that the platform does not explicitly use the word anarchism or call for smashing the State, what else, I ask you, would be left of archy if this platform were implemented? About the only thing left would be government monopoly of justice, and ever there, the platform "applauds the growth of private adjudication of disputes by mutally [sic] acceptable judges." (MR 

Tom Blanton and Brad Spangler exemplify the incivility and intellectual vacuousness typical of radical libertarian reaction to LP reformers.  Wiping the foam from Blanton's mouth, it's trivial to correct the one substantive accusation that he attempts to muster:  my records tell me that the only time I've ever written about "good government" was when I criticized Susan Hogarth's favorite candidate Michael Munger for saying "I want to restore good government".  (Susan Hogarth is the leader of the LP Radical Caucus.)  Here's a challenge to Blanton and Spangler: quote a clause from me, and then argue cogently for its grammatical negation.

Kevin Craig writes: KC) Many minarchists seem to fear a build-up of momentum toward liberty. Anarchists want momentum. Minarchists want to put on the brakes. (KC

Kevin, I call bullshit on this.  I challenge you to quote me a moderate LP leader asking that we "put on the brakes" lest we build up too much "momentum toward liberty".  To quote Tom Knapp: stop making stuff up.  It's simply bullshit to say that disagreeing with anarchism is equivalent to opposing more liberty.

Al Newberry says: "I don't know why the minarchists bitch about us so much."  Al, have you been called non-libertarian by an LNC member?  Have you been admonished as a possible pledge violator by a Judicial Committee member or a candidate for state LP Chair?  Have you been compared to Pol Pot by a Platform Committee member?  Have any of your positions been declared by a (Reform or Radical) caucus leader to be grounds for disaffiliation by any state LP who endorses your candidacy?  I can cite each of these things happening to smallarchist LP candidates.  Al, if you don't want LP smallarchists to "bitch" about LP anarchist attacks on them, then help us make the Platform and Pledge a demilitarized zone in the LP's anarchist-smallarchist internal conflict.

It's ludicrous to claim that "in order to get the scraps we may be thrown, we have to ask for the whole loaf of bread we desire".  That's like saying that the way to get the best price for a new car is to offer to take one for free.

I wrote: "small-government libertarians will be equally free to campaign for a limited constitutional Ron-Paul-style government".  Brian Miller replies: BM) So Holtz would argue that votes to ban same-sex adoptions, border-closing visa-cancelling [sic] xenophobia, and abortion bans are all now "legitimate small-government libertarianism." (BM

No, I've never argued or implied that it's legitimately libertarian to fear foreigners qua foreigners or to deny equal rights based on sexual orientation or preference.  I have indeed argued that the question of fetal personhood is orthogonal to the defining libertarian question of how much freedom persons should have.  And open borders is indeed a second orthogonal franchise schism that divides libertarian intellectuals; my position is explained at  You may not like intellectual pluralism and tolerance among libertarians on these two franchise questions, but you're just going to have to get over it.

I don't need to waste any space here defending Ron Paul as a legitimate libertarian -- especially when I have a list of 19 radical libertarians who bitterly criticize LP moderates even as they embrace Paul (and his dozen heresies against radical libertarianism):

Finally, I repeat my challenge to Mr. Knapp: quote me anything you've written above that either 1) cogently disputes a single claim I make, or 2) offers any evidence that I'm making any of this up.  If your keyboard doesn't have a quotation-mark key, you can get one that does on for $7.