Saturday, August 20, 2005

Human Beings Qua Human Beings:

This is I believe the exact moment in time that "No Treason" became "Not Reason", at least to me anyways. Sadly, few people seemed to see where it was all heading, or why *this* or *this* would be the result.

Sabotta had written:

It all comes down to the problem of evil. Why do people choose evil over good? Or, to use your terminology, why do humans choose to live below their nature? I really have no answer.

I had responded:

Here's my most recent theory - inspired by the discussions of the past 4 days here.
It's because many of them have decided not to think, a long long time ago - and there is nothing that will change their choice on that. They believe whatever cotton-candy nonesense they can stuff into their head to justify their "feelings" - and hope for the best and that nobody exposes them (if even that much self-awareness is going on).

Kennedy responded:

David Friedman has read Ayn Rand and discussed her philosophy at great length. He thinks many of her arguments are considerably less sound than you think they are.

Billy responded:

So what? There are people who've studied things like astrology and think they're considerably more sound than do people with common sense. What's the point? It's that I really don't care what David thinks, in this aspect. You're taking a second-hand approach, John. Think about it.

Kennedy asked:

Do you find it pointless to discuss things with him?

Billy said:


Look, I can't find the original post, but Klein once quoted it where he said: "But my project here is not to convince people that they should like the outcomes anarcho-capitalism would produce, but to convince them that anarcho-capitalism would produce outcomes which they, in fact, would like."

I don't know how many times I have to point this out, but that is so ethically *backwards* and upside-down that it simply appalls me when it comes from a man like Friedman. There is just no way that I can look at it without finally concluding, "He ought to know better than to say something like that, and, because he said it, there is something very seriously wrong in his way of thinking."

That's really all there is to it. And you could figure it out by asking yourself what it would mean if, in the hypothetical, A/C "would produce" national health-care and Free Cheez forever more. Now, we both know that that's not actually the case, but that's not the point. The point is that it would get the ringing endorsement of people like that "xofpi" idiot and every other commie creep on the scene. A statement like "anarcho-capitalism would produce outcomes which they, in fact, would like" is logically identical to "the end justifies the means." Now, what's wrong with *that* picture? Do I really have to explain it? (Would you dispute the comparison?)

I've seen enough of this sort of reasoning from him to last a lifetime. He's got a very lively mind, and there is just no end to the effort that he will put into evading the implications of some of his thinking. He'll simply adjust his glasses and hold up his tweezers with another "what if" departure, and the whole thing goes nowhere. Honest to god: to me, the fact that he's a libertarian is strictly incidental to my conviction that he very often belongs in the same basket with that species of "academics" who publish every kind of arcane rot to the cheers of their fellow twits, just to hear their own voices, without regard for the sensible value of what they're actually saying.

Kennedy asked:

Is he an evader believing whatever cotton-candy nonsense he can stuff into his head to justify his feelings?

Billy responded:

I'm not sure about his "feelings", but the rest of that is not far-off, to me.

Kennedy asked:

Do you think he hopes you will not expose him for what he is, or does he lacks that much self-awareness?

"Expose" him, where? To whom? He's David Friedman. He's got a broad reputation that none of here are ever going to attain, and certainly not in debate with him.

But that doesn't mean that *I* have to endorse some of his nonsense.


Editorial Note: At the time that this went down, I did not think Billy was fair to level as serious a charge as he did at David. My thinking was that any material that helped people develop libertarianism in their hierarchy of knowledge was good... and that if you give people enough time... and exposure to good thinking, even flawed positions could be corrected.

As such, I did not really see the problem with people coming at libertarianism or anarcho-capitalism from the utilitarian or pragmatic side, via David's stuff. David is an ethical, decent and caring man. I like him a lot.

But at this moment in time, I'm kinda cheezed off at him, because this most recent disgusting display by "No Treasonistas" I think can be somewhat laid at his feet. Kennedy et al. have rejected principles in order to continue being able to futz around with "Prisoner's Dilemna" and "Prudent Predatory" pragmatic, utilitarian theory.

Somebody who says "I don't understand why I shouldn't hurt other people"... is not acting as a human being, and it's an admission of very serious ethical/epistemological/metaphyiscal/political failing on a scale that is breathtaking.

When that behaviour is then coupled with unethical behavior based upon it.. they are even worse. And no.. I'm not talking specifically about Sabotta. Sabotta has always behaved in a pretty ethical fashion as far as I can tell.

Look, I know that David Friedman is an ethical and decent human being. But I am beginning to understand why Billy would like to take a big flaming dump on his doorstep, everytime he hears a No-Treasonite blabber on about "Prudent Predators" and "Prisoner's Dilemnas"


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