Archive | July 1, 2009

Update and Various Animadversions

Libertarian Party of AlabamaThe LPA convention was held last weekend. The “business as usual” faction put up an opposition slate at the last minute and won the field; since the rebel slate’s supporters had assumed (despite our warnings!) that we would be running unopposed, most of them didn’t show up to vote. (The entrenched establishment is largely located in Birmingham, where the convention was held; our supporters were mostly located elsewhere in the state.) We did get one member of our slate, Matthew Givens, elected (his opponent having failed to show up), plus I was chosen as the Regional Representative for the Selma-Montgomery-Auburn tier. Well, you win some, you lose some.

This was my first visit to Birmingham in years, so it was nice to see the art museum again. Though I have to grump about some dubious labeling in the Asian Art section; for example, bodhisattvas are not “Buddhist deities” (unless St. Francis is a Catholic deity). I initially thought the translation of lingam as “pillar” was another such error (or more likely censorship), but apparently there’s controversy as to whether lingam actually means “phallus” after all.

In other news, Olbermann’s at it again. Either last night or the night before, I saw him lambasting Joe the Plumber for saying that America’s founders had rejected socialism and communism. The concepts of socialism and communism, Olbermann explained, weren’t formulated until about 50 years after the American founding, so the founders couldn’t have rejected them. Now Joe the Plumber deserves lambasting for a good many things, but this isn’t one of them. The founders were well aware of the debate between Plato and Aristotle on the subject of communism, and took Aristotle’s side; see the Jefferson-Adams correspondence, for example.

I also saw an odd headline: “Sanford Mistress Breaks Silence, Says Nothing.” Did she belch?


Gary Chartier offers an interesting challenge to the Hobbesian: namely, to identify at what point along the spectrum between Leviathan and free-market anarchism we supposedly lose whatever it is the Hobbesian claims is essential to social order.

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