Twelve Voices, Part 2

I just saw Olbermann calling for Rick Barber to be imprisoned for exercising his right to free speech. I wonder what percentage of anarchism that is?

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17 Responses to Twelve Voices, Part 2

  1. MBH June 14, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    If “deep” anarchy means recognizing that something like anarcho-corporatism is the default setting in the world, then those who call for violence in the name of the default setting are motivated by arational impulses. It is certainly 0% anarchy to suggest those folks should be imprisoned. But at the same time, it would be likewise arational to suggest they shouldn’t be at least shamed and publicly humiliated for posing as a responsible human being.

    But I concede the point: Olbermann is indefensible when he calls for imprisonment.

    • Jayson Virissimo June 14, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

      Is it “arational” to suggest that Olbermann shouldn’t be shamed and publicly humiliated for posing as a responsible human being? After all, he did call for the imprisonment of someone who committed no tort.

      • MBH June 14, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

        Is it “arational” to suggest that Olbermann shouldn’t be shamed and publicly humiliated for posing as a responsible human being?

        Sure. But I don’t say anywhere that he shouldn’t. I just say that the game O’Reilly plays is more malignant than the game Olbermann plays.

    • Rad Geek June 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

      I’m sorry, refresh me again on what’s “irresponsible” about calling for revolution against government taxation?

      Or how, generally, objecting to government income taxes actually — how? — supports the “default setting,” i.e. the political-economic status quo?

      • MBH June 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

        I’m sorry, refresh me again on what’s “irresponsible” about calling for revolution against government taxation?

        Of course, that’s not what I said, but I respect your first amendment right to rebut the clouds.

        When left-libertarians call for revolution against government taxation, I find it oftentimes misplaced, but well-intentioned. I do not always object because I know what ends left-libertarians aim towards and I find those ends to be sane. I respect the language-game being played.

        When right-libertarians call for revolution against government taxation, a totally different language-game is being played — one that I disdain. Right-libertarians like Rick Barber aren’t after a world with radically less injustice. They’re after a world that protects their self-interest at all costs. Concepts like the Lockean Proviso are foreign to them and, once introduced to them, produce the same reaction one would find if a skunk was let loose in the room full of men with sensitive nostrils.

        Economic justice, to them, means the ability to operate within this market structure without government interference. Right-libertarians generally do not question whether this market structure — the one rigged to gush capital towards the top — would be essentially changed by the mere elimination of government (taxation). And even more cynically, a large portion of right-libertarians don’t even care either way. Most of them are right-libertarians precisely because they would stand to gain from unregulated market structures that gush capital upwards.

        That perspective is untenable, unscrupulous, unconscionable, and just plain old sick. I call it arational because it’s nothing more than a language-game that gives voice to the kind of raw animal instincts that drove Cronus to devour his children (including Poseidon — not coincidentally Roderick’s avatar).

        • Brandon June 16, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

          “unregulated market structures that gush capital upwards.”

          I think you mean regulated markets gush capital upwards, which is the purpose of regulations. If not, I suggest listening to those talks by Rothbard I posted awhile back.

          “Economic justice, to them, means the ability to operate within this market structure without government interference.”

          That’s a self-refutation. This market structure, as you put it, would not exist without government intervention. This market structure is government intervention on a galactic scale.

        • MBH June 16, 2010 at 11:46 pm #

          I think you mean regulated markets gush capital upwards, which is the purpose of regulations.

          Right. Because trading in totally private derivative markets is a regulated activity. Come on. Either refute this or give up your outdated paradigm.

          If not, I suggest listening to those talks by Rothbard I posted awhile back.

          If you can point me to any discussions Rothbard held on derivative markets, I’ll be glad to immerse myself in them.

          This market structure, as you put it, would not exist without government intervention. This market structure is government intervention on a galactic scale.

          Either this is or is not the case. I’m yet to hear any reasons why it’s not the case. If you can’t tell me why it’s not the case, then I suggest you accept that Rothbard’s world-view was incomplete.

  2. TAS June 14, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    I saw Olbermann’s clip on YouTube. Liberals are amusing. Back when Bush was the president, they were saying similar things. Apparently, opposing the government is only okay when a Republican is in power.

    Libertarians should remember the reaction of liberals to the Tea Party movement when they consider allying with liberals the next time a Republican is in power.

  3. scineram June 15, 2010 at 7:24 am #

    False. He wants him in jail for incitement of treason and violent revolution. That’s hardly just an exercise of free speech.

    • Sheldon Richman June 15, 2010 at 8:03 am #

      You gotta be kidding. Those were words.

      • scineram June 16, 2010 at 5:17 am #

        To my knowledge Hitler never killed anybody, just spoke. The analogy stands.

      • MBH June 16, 2010 at 5:41 am #

        Sheldon, even if they’re just words, what language-game is this guy playing? Screaming ‘fire’ in a crowded theater is just using words too. What should be said about arational language-games? Do you really want to act like they’re benign?

        • Rad Geek June 16, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

          scineram:

          He wants him in jail for incitement of treason and violent revolution

          This is obviously a ridiculous stretch which goes beyond any conceivable immediate threat into the pure criminalization of political opinion. (Much like those who, not so long ago, wanted government to imprison anyone who advocated the overthrow of the United States government, just for advocating it.) But even if this were true, how does that make things better? There’s nothing morally wrong with “treason” against nonconsensual governments. (In fact it is not treason at all; you can only betray something that had a binding claim on your loyalty to begin with. Governments do not.) Or with revolution. Proposing to imprison a man for either is just as tyrannical as proposing to imprison him for any other form of political speech.

          scineram:

          To my knowledge Hitler never killed anybody, just spoke.

          Dude, seriously?

          You do understand the difference between orders and incitement, don’t you? And, in turn, between incitement and advocacy? And, while we’re here, between the literal use of language and the use of metaphor?

          MBH: Screaming ‘fire’ in a crowded theater is just using words too.’

          Of course you are quoting the ruling in Schenck v. US (1919), another appalling ruling that took an exceptional case of very minor and limited import (in which incitement, based on knowing deception, can become criminal by inflicting an imminent, threat to the life and limb of reasonable people acting on the deceptive claim) and then strips out all of those limiting factors and wildly extends the principle by way of an idiotic analogy between physical danger to individual people, and ideological “danger” to the legitimation of Woodrow Wilson’s war policies. (Holmes was upholding the tyrannical Espionage Act of 1917, and defending the government’s decision to lock Charles Schenck in a cage for half a year, as punishment for printing pamphlets against the draft and advocating that men refuse to fight in World War I.)

          This is not an encouraging precedent. And your application of it here is quite as ridiculously authoritarian.

          MBH:

          What should be said about arational language-games?

          As an Anarchist, I do not consider objections to government taxation to be “arational.” In fact I am quite happy to call such objections “benign,” except that that’s too weak a term of praise.

        • MBH June 16, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

          This is not an encouraging precedent. And your application of it here is quite as ridiculously authoritarian.

          I continue to respect your first amendment right to ignore the meaning of my point and to instead rebut the clouds.

          If I were following the logic of Schenck v. US, then I would say Rick Barber should be imprisoned or that calls for his imprisonment would be just. I say neither. In fact, I go so far as to say that mere calls for his imprisonment are “indefensible.”

          Following the logic of your authoritarian charge I could point out that you use the phrase “the legitimation of Woodrow Wilson’s war policies.” Why do you support those?

          As an Anarchist, I do not consider objections to government taxation to be “arational.” In fact I am quite happy to call such objections “benign,” except that that’s too weak a term of praise.

          I continue to respect your first amendment right to ignore the meaning of my point and to instead rebut the clouds.

          My aim is hardly “objections to government taxation.” My aim is the purpose of those objections. As a 41% anarchist, I distinguish between, say, a white supremacist calling to end government taxation and Ghandi calling to end government taxation. Those calls are immersed in different language-games. It’s the arational language-games that deserve close scrutiny.

          Would you describe Hitler calling for oxygen as better than benign because calls for oxygen are better than benign?

  4. b-psycho June 15, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    A political candidate affiliated with one of the two major parties that has juggled power for the longest, to promote himself as their next loyal representative, uses pseudo-radical rhetoric. A TV host aligned with the other major calls his rhetoric treasonous…

    On top of everything else, Keith is playing right into the idea behind that stupid ad. I wonder if he realized that and thought about the implications when the cameras went off…nah, probably not.

  5. jrlcat June 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    The idea that Barber is sincerely calling for the violent overthrow of a government is pretty silly given the context. I mean, it’s an ad for a candidate who’s running for an elected office.

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