-20 votes

Open letter to online libertarians

Hello again Paulites it's me again

Time for you to give my thoughts record downvotes yet again...

Or, you know, you could try to engage with the material rather than dismiss it out of hand. I used to be in something like the same sort of mindset as you guys, yet I evolved my thinking. No reason in the world you can't do the same.

http://consentient.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/open-letter-to-o...

http://consentient.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/open-letter-to-o...




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Benettfreeman, I agree and I am thrown off by how

uncivil these responses are. Where is the goodwill among Patriots & freedom intellectuals?

Perhaps some need to be reminded that when one makes "an argument", that person is not trying to be "argumentative" and is not looking for an "argument". Rather, when one makes an 'argument', one is looking for "factually reasoned critiques" and or supporting facts to the main argument. Emotionally charged arguments that attack a person, smear, blame, condemn, express disbelief, restate ones argument incorrectly,... etc are all responses that are "beside the point".

So you are not an anarcho-capitalist and you are not a libertarian?

So, your position is... "Minarchism, utilitarianism and theism are contradictory to freedom" and we must come to terms with that and then sell freedom - anyway?

On to Steven Pinker and his Better Angels book. Yes, I understand your point about even if he's right, it does not make it morally right. I doubt that any libertarian 3.0, such as Pinker or Paul Rubin DARWINIAN POLITICS, wants to see a peaceful "Truman Show" world where he is "safe" and "free" all at the price universal all powerful & controlling hand of the State. Such "safety" and "freedom" turns us all into nothing but highly regulated "human zoo animals".

No what Steven has done in this book is more challenging to the Rothbardian Anarcho-Capitalism position. But notice, Pinker is not advancing an OUGHT, as in WE OUGHT TO DO THIS AND LIVE THIS WAY... Rather, he is advancing an IS, as in IT APPEARS TO BE THIS WAY...THE FACTS TO SUPPORT THAT IS ....

So, what is he saying? He is saying that it appears that Human Violence has declined amazingly low, compared to what we think it was.

Now to make that statement above, he must first (BLANK SLATE, BETTER ANGELS) show how violent we humans WERE in the past and even the not so recent past. Here is the reason why. Its not generally believed that we were so violent. There is the current NOBEL SAVAGE ideas that float around the liberal colleges who think, or like to think, that cro magnon man, or Early Modern Humans (EMH), some 90% of human time on the earth, was a peaceful one. That is a battle in itself, since the 'socialist-Rousseau bias' (SRB) pervades all of anthropology and most of the other science departments.

Second, he must then go over the data to show this huge decline in violence.

And finally, his IS argument can be made which is this: There is something called a "CIVILIZING PROCESS" which has lead to this huge drop in violence.

What is the Civilizing Process? Again, he is not advocating an ought, or morally sanctioning it, he is simply saying that this IS. He is saying that two components make up the Civilizing Process: A GENERALLY ACCEPTED Leviathan, coupled with a MARKET BASED trading culture, has together produced a huge drop in Human Violence.

Now, why is this a challenge to anarchists, particularly anarcho-capitalists of the Rothbardian bent? Well, this should be obvious. Anarcho-Capitalist claim that that we all can do without the leviathan, "Big Government".

Now notice, he is NOT saying that he is personally FOR or AGAINST or think one thing morally right and another "not right". He is making an IS statement, which is either provably true or not true. Its an hypothesis and like all hypothesis it needs to be examined and debated and most of all researched for facts, as best we can. And if we reject the hypothesis of the CIVILIZING PROCESS to reduce human violence, then that just begs the question, what did it?

Thanks for listening...

Treg

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

Steven Pinker????

You mean one of the Chairs of Psychology from Harvard that says that Ashkenazi Jews are a genetically superior race of people????

http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/media/2006_06_17_then...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi_Jewish_intelligence

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GexZF5VIMU

Woah Dude!!!! that source of yours is very, very questionable...

Sure I'll read your post. I'm sure he is Really against An-Cap...

I mean this not to come across as an adhominem against Mr. Pinker... I have read his stuff in the past and uff!!! man I feel like throwing up...

"We’ve moved beyond the Mises textbook. We’re running in the open market." - Erik Voorhees

Wow, Rafael 111, you are so off base.

Its exactly this kind of emotionalism "he says that Ashkenazi Jews are a genetically superior race of people" that has made discussions of intelligence so hush, hush. Libertarians such as Charles Murray author of the BELL CURVE took so much of that kind of loose cannon kind of talk that few dare to 'go there'. Thankfully, Dr. Pinker is not intimidated by that kind of smearing and your links fail to show he said that or meant that at all.

But thanks for linking Pinker's speech. I enjoyed his breakdown and analysis of the CHH study. I particularly enjoyed part 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz5igS5n720

I have no idea why you want to "throw up", but rational and well reasoned responses are always welcome. I find Pinker to be an excellent Libertarian 3.0 who is doing the hard lifting in a liberal intellectual world.

Treg

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

The problem is, Treg, that

The problem is, Treg, that intellectual heavy lifting doesn't actually do much, practically, to further the cause of freedom.

Some stuff Pinker writes is supportive of freedom, but on the whole he's more into control than liberation.

He doesn't come out and directly condemn the enemies of freedom because he's too close to (or possibly a part of) elite controllers.

Have you heard Hoppe's speech on anti-intellectual intellectuals?

jrd3820's picture

Finally read the whole thing

“You all disappoint me immensely. Immensely and constantly.”

Hmmm…. I am hesitant to keep reading as my friends and family are the only people I can really disappoint, and I asked a few of them and none of them seem to be disappointed about anything right now. However, I am bored so I’ll go on and just assume since you do not know me you are not talking about me specifically.

“If you’re a propertarian absolutist, or a big-tenter, or a ‘return to the constitution’ theist, do you really think there is nothing for you to learn or gain by looking into those ideas that challenge your current beliefs and mindset?”

There is absolutely something to learn from looking into another mindset, usually what is to be learned is simply what I am up against. I read most threads here, on really slow days I get to all of them. I learn a lot from people that are of a different mindset than I am, but it is usually more what I am fighting against.

“When you hear Obama say “America will benefit if we share the wealth about a bit” your reply is likely to be closer to “Fuck you! Taxation is theft” than “There is no ‘America’, there is no ‘we’, and all stealing is wrong, regardless of who does it or what they call it”.

I disagree, while some insert their occasional bouts of inflammatory language, most go back to the idea that taxation IS theft under any guise. You are right, that is the appropriate response, but does it matter how it is worded if it means the same thing at the end of the day? I personally kind of like the comments by the people who say what they are thinking even if it is not sugar coated. It means they say what they mean and mean what they say and there is nothing more refreshing than that these days.

“Your activities add up to almost nothing.”

Bullshit. Oh… wait, was I not supposed to swear? Maybe my online discussions do not add up to anything as far as activism, but my online discussions give me fuel to pursue my real world activism. You have no idea what I or anyone else here does in the real world as far as activism, and just because it is not what YOU think I should be doing does not mean it is irrelevant. That goes for everyone here; I assume most people here are working on something liberty related in the real world. It is none of my business what they are doing and it might not be MY idea of a good use of time, but it is not my business nor is it yours.

“Most of you support a ‘big tent’ approach, and will allow anyone to ‘be’ a libertarian as long as they make sounds about ‘freedom’ and use the L-word identifier.”

I suppose I’ll give you that. It is not as simple as putting the word libertarian in front of other words and or actions and I do think some people are a little confused about this, but once again… it’s not really my business unless they make a thread about it asking for my opinion.

“You treat me like some sort of irrelevance because to you, I ‘am’ a nobody.”

Well, generally when the first words someone says to me are “I am disappointed in you,” they have a way of becoming irrelevant to me. That being said…. If we are all such huge disappointments why do you care if people treat you as though you are irrelevant?
Moving on…. Did you have some sort of plan on how to fix things? I may have missed the thesis (I say that genuinely and humbly) but really all I got was a list of complaints. I have a bunch of complaints also, but none of them will lead to solutions.

Thank you for your

Thank you for your response.

"does it matter how it is worded if it means the same thing at the end of the day?"

If it means the same thing, it does not matter.

However, I'm trying to talk about things that do not mean the same sa each other. Some of the things that libertarians are concerned with - especially the statists - are not even real in any sense of the word. They should NOT be concerned with these, and should instead focus on what IS real, if they want to truly advance the cause of freedom.

"I assume most people here are working on something liberty related in the real world"

I think this is a terrible assumption to make, given that it is demonstrably false. I think a fairer assessment to make is that a very large majority of the people you're assuming to have at least some activity aren't even THINKING about real activity. That comes across so clearly in the responses I've seen - not only to my writing - but to all manner of other challenges. While there ARE exceptions, I would say that the most common character constituting the supposed 'freedom movement' is a person who is disillusioned, but has very little understanding and so just upvotes and 'likes' things that reinforce his zeal-of-the-newly-converted. Except he isn't converted. Because the minute you ask them to DO something, they don't.

Which leads me onto your question as to what my proposed solution to these failings are.

I have laid these out so many times I could quote them by heart, but don't feel like repeating myself, so if you really care, go to my website and click 'movements' in the tag cloud.

jrd3820's picture

"so if you really care, go to my website and click 'movements' "

I shall do so and get back to you shortly. Until then, I wonder how it is so clear to you that people are not acting? And again, how do you get to decide whose actions are worthy and whose are not? Maybe what I consider working for freedom and liberty is not important or correct to you, but if it is important to me then... well... who is right and who is wrong?

As I said, I will go look at your tag cloud... but if you could explain to me why your ideas of actions are any better than mine or any one ease's ideas I would love to hear that explanation.

This is a battle for 'hearts

This is a battle for 'hearts and minds' (to use a phrase that people will likely understand, not my favourite). Those that want freedom for the individual are losing ground in this battle all the time. I really don't know how you can't see it. Do you want me to give you specific criteria?

Isolated acts of proselytisation (the current choice of strategy) is not working. The trend is for more and more individual blogs, more Facebook sharing, more posts on Reddit, etc, etc. But it's been a circlejerk for too long and what's more, the people that we need to be convincing are receiving the biggest torrent of alarmist control propaganda the world has ever known.

When the shit really starts to hit the fan, all of the fascists will start broadcasting their messages, opportunistically taking advantage of the crises to pass enabling acts and garner support for their awful causes. What use will a disparate big-tent loose grouping of people who don't really agree with each other be then?

We need to have the full, honest debate NOW. If I'm proven wrong on any of my positions, I will admit it. Everyone else needs to be as open and as honest. When we've got the message sorted, we need to hit the streets and get it out there - not by garish protest, but by friendly mass proselytisation that shows an understanding of what people are going through, and a explanation of what causes that, in a language they can understand. Over time, they too can come to see that our principles are true and want to join our social movement.

Of course, such a movement will present enormous organisational challenges. There will be some in-fighting. People will lose sight of what is most important. But what other option is there?

Do people really want to wait for the crisis to unfold and hope that stark reality persuades people of the truth of our message, leaving it to chance that people will hear our message above that of national socialists and populist paramilitaries? For every Czechoslovakia, where a few weeks of crisis led to the enlightenment of a majority of the population, there are countless Cambodias.

The stakes could not be higher. That is why I am so forthright and passionate in my delivery. I make no apologies for that whatsoever.

jrd3820's picture

“I really don't know how you can't see it”

No, I see it just fine thanks for your concern though.

“The trend is for more and more individual blogs, more Facebook sharing, more posts on Reddit, etc, etc.”

Don’t you fall in that group with your blog?

“What use will a disparate big-tent loose grouping of people who
don't really agree with each other be then?”

I actually agree with you here as I stated in one of my earlier comments.

“When we've got the message sorted, we need to hit the streets and get it out there - not by garish protest, but by friendly mass proselytisation that shows an understanding of what people are going through, and a explanation of what causes that, in a language they can understand. Over time, they too can come to see that our principles are true and want to join our social movement.”

Absolutely, and that is what I have been working on, but I am not waiting around for people to have some sort of debate or get the message sorted. I have my own message sorted and I act on that.

“The stakes could not be higher. That is why I am so forthright and passionate in my delivery. I make no apologies for that whatsoever.”

Well, I did admit to liking people’s passion and I do not expect you to apologize for anything.

This is what I see in your post. You posted about how you are disappointed in people (you are not alone, people disappoint me often also). You wrote about how you have some good ideas yet you complain that people act as though you are irrelevant, well… as you said they are disappointments anyways so don’t worry about being irrelevant.

As far as hitting the ground running? I have been running for a few years now, and since I think you make some decent points I would suggest instead of complaining about what other people are or are not doing and if they are or are not doing it right, worry about yourself doing things right.

I do see the problem, I see it from my vantage point and from my perception of the world and I am doing what I can to remedy the problem.

The difference between my

The difference between my blog and the others, in my defense, is that virtually everything I do, I do so as to persuade people of the need for a coordinated, coherent and consistent social movement.

You say you are already doing something. I do not know what that is, so tell me about it. Tell me what you believe, and what your strategy is, and how you want to recruit people, etc, etc.

Let's explore that angle for a while, OK?

I want to hear what you have to say, so I can judge you individually. My article is a critique of most libertarians, not all. It is a critique of trends, not of the entirety.

But the main point is that unless these disparate groups and individuals start trending together, along trends they have thought out and agree on, the isolated, contradictory messages out there will fizzle.

They will need to be amplified and resonant if they are to match the shrill baying of the fascist dogs.

jrd3820's picture

Well I would love to be judged as an individual

This is what I have spent the past few years doing.

What do I believe? I believe that no elected official can change any of this (even the Ron Paul himself, now watch me get chased out of here with a burning cross lol). So, I take my message and ideas to individuals and I educate them the best I can. I do not educate them on specific candidates (except for Amash because he needed some help with name recognition), I educate them on ideas.

I have spent the past few years on college campuses explaining things like The Fed and blowback to students. Sometimes it takes time, sometimes I have to have multiple conversations with one person until they get it. I chose to focus on the Fed and blowback because I think it wakes people up to the idea that government is not thinking with their best interest in mind. I think that once people can start understanding that they will start thinking about living their lives as individuals and not following blindly in step with government. I have done this slowly but surely over the past few years and I have had great success. I have also had success in the economics department with getting curriculum and syllabi changed to include information the fed and Austrian economics. Now, maybe you do not think this is important (and maybe you do), but I find this to be important because as I stated earlier I think it helps people understand that the need for government is not as great as they seem to think.

I also promote off grid and sustainable living. I have lived on and off gird for a few years (it changes depending on what else is going on in my life)and am working towards going completely off grid within the next 2 or so years. I have helped many people (and have been helped by many people) on figuring out how to live off grid. An old roommate of mine was a government loving Obama supporter for years. He is now a self proclaimed mountain man (at least I think he still is, I have not been able to talk to him in a while because of both of our living situations).

I have worked my own personal finances out to the point where I do not have to pay taxes anymore, and I have helped (and once again been helped) others figure out how to do the same with their finances.

So, I try my hardest to help people find individual liberties and understand while elected officials have some power the real power is within individuals making the changes they would like to see.

And I am proud of everything I have accomplished. Now, you write a blog... what else do you do?

Sounds like you're doing some

Sounds like you're doing some excellent stuff. If a social movement could be organised to replicate that kind of thing on a mass scale, just think about what could be achieved. People are drawn to social movements, and with the greater pull, it would be much easier to explain things to people as well.

The one thing you mentioned that I am not down with is changing curricula. I despise schooling and would prefer to see students pulled out of schools than have their livestock training slightly adjusted.

As for me, I've been doing many things as well, but my means have been very limited for a long time, so nothing particularly note-worthy for a while. However, I manage to find ways to get ideas through to almost everyone I meet (provided they aren't openly offensive), I help others much like you, and a little way down the line (say, about a year) I should have some dosh saved up to be able to look into starting my own permaculture project.

Right now I'm looking for like minds to join up with in all my future projects.

Hey man I'll dialogue with you

Just know that I share the same sentiment of those who have already told you that your presentation lacks tactic. I honestly do not want to beat a dead horse.

Most of the people in the Liberty movement- however they denominate themselves- are very intelligent people. Whether or not they have formal education they are at least well informed. A lot of us have graduate degrees- some of us even graduate degrees in Philosophy. I am glad that you are challenging people. I'm willing to listen to you. I read some of your work on your website and I would like to ask you what it is exactly that you would like to dialogue about. Maybe is a series of things. I mean not to offend but from what I read thus far I am still lost as to your beef with libertarians. Is it epistemic, metaphysical?

Do you have a formal education in philosophy (which is not necessary)? if so, what language craft are you most well versed in so that I may communicate with you more easily. -By language craft I mean "metaphysical frame-work," "school of thought," etc...- The reason I ask is for us not to talk pass one another.

"We’ve moved beyond the Mises textbook. We’re running in the open market." - Erik Voorhees

Thank you very much for your

Thank you very much for your thoughts. The points I want dialogue on are clearly spelt out in Part 2 of the letter. I am presenting libertarians with their failings and am happy to discuss any part of my argument AS IT PERTAINS TO THE IDEAS - i.e. the meat of my argument.

Believe me, I've tried 'tactics' that are less abrasive, but given how deep the problems are with libertarianism, I have failed to find a message that adequately challenges people on these very important points, but maintains the kind of mollycoddling most of them seem to expect.

Have you noticed how everyone focuses on me the person (not to mention the high opinion of myself that THEY IMAGINE I have, which I don't) and not the ideas I am challenging them with?

Wouldn't you be a bit miffed if you were trying to communicate with people about their failings, very nicely at first, but however you went about it, they ignored you because you were nothing like their icon Ron Paul/Gary Johnson/whoever?

okay

I will revisit that part of your text with more detail at another time because i currently have some things to attend to.

I look forward to talking to you about the "meat of your argument."

On the topic of people giving you ad-hominems: I think it's trite to even talk about. (Since I honestly felt you common on across in that same way.) - lets not get caught up in that. Lets move on to your ideas for which bothers me that you cannot just simply state them; you refer people to your texts; which is not a bad thing- it simply comes across in not the best light. so please lets be as succinct as possible here.

No one likes to be told they are wrong (period). Dialogues like this are to be had in charity. Sure these "icons" are admirable; but the consensus I have found is that its not about them but about their ideas that lead people to further clarity of mind.

By Nominalism do you mean an exclusion of universals along with analogical predications, or just an exclusion of universals while still adhering to analogical predications?

"We’ve moved beyond the Mises textbook. We’re running in the open market." - Erik Voorhees

If I write something down and

If I write something down and then people ask me what my points are, I'll refer them to the text because that's why I wrote it in the first place.

If they interact on a specific point and want clarification, then I will just answer the question, but simply saying "what do you mean?", then why would I waste my time restating what I have already said. The effort should not be all mine.

Are you going to engage with me about my ideas? You say you look forward to talking to me about the meat of my argument, but you haven't actually referred to it yet.

Oh, and you can use any

Oh, and you can use any language craft you like, provided that you refer to things that are real, and not merely constructed. So please stick to nominalist ontology. :)

You want your ideas listened to?

Don't start off lumping all libertarians into a pile that you dismiss en masse. I quit reading after a couple sentences, if that is how closed your mind is, I don't care what else you have to say.
Have a good one!

This is the article that got my posting privileges revoked:
http://bklim.newsvine.com/_news/2013/05/12/18212165-dr-stan-...

Don't lump all my sentences

Don't lump all my sentences into a pile that you dismiss en masse. I read your comment all the way through. See how closed minded I am not? I would really love to hear what you have to say, were you to read my IDEAS and respond with your own IDEAS.
Have a good one!

Also...

One would be surrounded metaphysically and physically, not metaphorically and physically as you suggest in your "letter"

-The Supraphysical Brushfire fromTexas (in North America)

No, you are wrong. I

No, you are wrong. I emphasise metaphor because, in terms of ontology (the part of metaphysics that would be at use had I used that word), I was not surrounded in that sense.

Thanks.

Figuratively speaking.....

....how exactly can one be surrounded? "He was metaphorically surrounded" <---- doesn't make sense.

"Metaphorically...we are all surrounded." <---- What are you anthropromorphisizing?

Ontology? Yeah, that supports what I said....metaphysical domain in which someone could be surrounded by an abstract concept or participate in an abstract relationship.

I'm definitely interested considering metaphorically has been adapted in a new way. Please explain. :)

Raise the roof, Renee

Yeah your error of omission is the Cartesian perspective that addresses culture and entanglement based on semiotic quality.... You've actually delimited your cognizance quite a bit to a critique of syntax (not semantics, just FYI.)

Love,
A North American from Texas

I'm sorry, I don't get your

I'm sorry, I don't get your impenetrable in-joke.

Interesting.....

...that a self-professed philosopher doesn't recognize an allusion to Renee Descartes.

Hmm.

Leave it to the Cartesians.........where would you be without us?. Aha.

I don't think the meditating

I don't think the meditating Buddhas on your banner really fit you or your Site well.

So, you hate us all. I have never even heard of or from you before. I keep reading about your big plan - I guess missed that part.

Listen, I'm not attacking you

Listen, I'm not attacking you out of hate. I'm sharing, albeit out of frustration for how you are ostensibly concerned with freedom, yet nearly every you do undermines that cause.

If someone you knew wanted to grow their hair long, yet every time you saw them they had a different style of crew cut, yet went around saying "Someday I want to have long hair, it's gonna be cool", wouldn't you at least offer them an insight into where they are going wrong.

I know very well that you haven't heard of me before, but really I am irrelevant. Concentrate on the message. Do you have ANYTHING to say in response to that?

I don't like the Buddhas either, so if you have any good (and nice!) suggestions as to what I should put up there, I'm all ears.

Web Graphics

"Listen, I'm not attacking you out of hate. I'm sharing, albeit out of frustration for how you are ostensibly concerned with freedom, yet nearly every you do undermines that cause.",/I.

How do you know what I do?

"If someone you knew wanted to grow their hair long, yet every time you saw them they had a different style of crew cut, yet went around saying "Someday I want to have long hair, it's gonna be cool", wouldn't you at least offer them an insight into where they are going wrong'

Do you mean 'cool' as in 'not hot' and they were making an error in judgement? If so, I would make a determination whether or not the guy was of sound mind and willing to change. Then I would make a judgement whether or not it was my business or whether it would be something I would regret telling him like if he was planning a hike through the Sahara and could die or similar circumstance. At that point I would, with no reservations, tell him.

I have absolutely NO idea where you are going with that.

NEW WEB GRAPHICS
I think you could keep the same banner theme (ancient Asian) but get a furious Ghengis Kahn bust in place of the Buddhas and arrows could be spattered around randomly with no rhyme or reason to their placement. You could have a misty obscured Wallpaper of a dusty scene of the Mongol Hordes savagely stampeding a small village with lots of blood and gore visible.

The overriding problem...

is that you are a narcissistic authoritarian sociopath. And you frame all your ideas and content accordingly.

You are advanced and "evolved" and everybody else is backward neanderthals who should be feel blessed by your superior presence and bow and prostrate themselves before you.

Even if there were some merit to some of the concepts you present, the overriding issue is YOU and how you should be followed and worshiped and people should gratefully and thankfully put up with your condemnation and constant criticism of them.

Fortunately for society, and unfortunately for you, you have none of the charm and social engineering skills associated with the more successful and famous sociopath/psychopath cult leaders that litter the pages of history.

.
~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

Yeah I remember you from

Yeah I remember you from before. :(

All I can say is that your reading of my thoughts and intentions is horribly, horribly wrong, and that you are someone that seems to specialise in awful strawman arguments and character defamation.

If you have nothing to say about the IDEAS I am presenting, what's the point in simply attacking me?

I would have thought that anyone interested in ideas and in fora where these ideas are shared would just think that you make yourself look cowardly and ignorant.

Granted, my presence here and my communication represents a strong confrontation, but I'm focused on the bad ideas that libertarians have, not calling them every name under the sun like you have to me.