Archive | January 16, 2007

F. — I.W.

Okay, this story is the exact opposite of the last one. A planeful of passengers willing to sit on the tarmac for eight hours without water or toilet facilities, and a flight crew willing to keep them there, just because American Airlines told them to. Stanley Milgram, call your office!

There will once again be lemon-scented napkins .... To those who wonder why we advocates of “thick libertarianism” or “dialectical libertarianism” keep insisting that the triumph of liberty depends on promoting the right cultural values – look no further. People who bow, sheeplike, to the commands of American Airlines are unlikely candidates to resist the commands of a government or would-be government.

What we need to promote is a culture of disobedience: a culture in which the natural response of passengers held captive on an airplane by bureaucratic incompetence will be to calmly but firmly move to the door, or to the emergency window exits if necessary, and walk away. A culture in which the thought “oh no, I couldn’t disobey the orders of the flight crew!” will be as much the exception as today it is the rule. (And a culture in which no air marshal would dare to respond threateningly to such disobedience, knowing that the other passengers would quickly take him down.)

Such a culture may be tough to achieve, since it requires both independent individual thinking and group solidarity. But that’s the attitude we need to promote and encourage.

Finally: a cheer for the heroic pilot who finally disobeyed orders, pulled in to the gate, and released his passengers from captivity. More like him, please.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what the title of this blog post means, read Eric Frank Russell’s And Then There Were None and/or The Great Explosion.

(And great acclaim goes to the reader who figures out what the graphic is referring to ….)

We the Liver

Howard the Duck Whatever you may think about the ethics of foie gras (my own view is that producing it violates a duty, that producing it nevertheless violates no right, that consuming it violates no duty, and that refraining from consuming it is nevertheless a permissible specification of an imperfect duty – but like I said, never mind), there’s something heartening about the insouciantly defiant attitude of these lawbreakers. They’re not storming the citadel, they’re treating the citadel as irrelevant.

Oh, to see the State’s edicts cheerfully ignored en masse, La Boétie style, on issues more important than foie gras!

In completely unrelated news, this is unwelcome.

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