Insightful Political Analysis By Roderick on May 17, 2012 26 Theyre on to us! (CHT Tennyson.) Anarchy, Conflation Debate, Lapsus Linguae, Left and Right, Left-Libertarian, Molinari/C4SS, Personal
I stopped reading when I found out left libertarians are just like Marxists because we all believe that all white men are inherently evil.
That guy is totally the most incisive thinker I’ve ever seen! He doesn’t just strawman, he uses big words when he does it! Well, I guess I’m off to join the communist party now that I can’t fool myself anymore. If I hurry now I bet I can get top bunk in the gulag.
I sort of get the impression (because I’ve seen it made explicitly before) that if you pressed that guy he’d say the unifying evil of Marxism and “left”-libertarianism* and “the left” generally is just the belief in liberty and individual autonomy.
*The way he defines left-libertarians includes a lot of right-libertarians and a lot of the neither-left-nor-right crowd – notice that the example he gives of libertarians that are indistinguishable from Marxists is young Ron Paul fans.
No no, comrade, we’re supposed to put other people in the gulag. We get the dachas.
What if I’m white, and therefore evil, as we all obviously believe? Hmm… Maybe I’ll just summer in the gulag out of white guilt or something.
John James: That being said, I actually still don’t know what exactly a “left-libartarian” is, so maybe it is somehow a synonym for anarchist…but I doubt it.
Evilsceptic: Dude… Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!
John James: Then why does he take the “left-libertarian” position in a debate that I can’t seem to find right now?
O.K., this is already the funniest thing that I will read all day.
Incidentally, I like the part where JJ gets pissed about you being included in the collage, ‘coz you’re a left-libertarian, but apparently doesn’t notice or has no objection to the portraits of Kropotkin, Bakunin, Malatesta right at the top of the poster, or Emma Goldman right in the middle of it.
Or the Kevin-Carson-who-is-supposed-to-be-our-Kevin-Carson.
I’m pretty sure it’s meant to be George Monboit, who is the most vulgar state-socialist I can think of. A guy who is known for the quote “[Environmentalism] is a campaign not for more freedom but for less”.
Needless to say, that’s him in defense of environmentalism, not opposition.
It is a photograph of George Monbiot, but for a few years it was being widely circulated on the Internet misidentified as a photograph of Kevin Carson. (For example here.) Probably because of a Google Image search mishap, related to one of Kevin’s frequent responses to Monbiot’s columns. (For example here and in about a half-dozen other posts.) Given the other folks listed as post-WWII anarchists (the person making the poster includes left-wing market anarchists as well as anarcho-capitalists, but no other lefties), and given that Monbiot certainly hasn’t ever claimed to be an anarchist, my guess is that the makers of the poster probably intended it as a portrait of Carson, not of Monbiot.
You’re right…I’ve never even heard of those people.
Guess that’s says something nice for you, eh, Roderick?
Me: Incidentally, I like the part where JJ gets pissed about you being included in the collage, ‘coz you’re a left-libertarian, but apparently doesn’t notice or has no objection to the portraits of Kropotkin, Bakunin, Malatesta right at the top of the poster, or Emma Goldman right in the middle of it.
John James: You’re right…I’ve never even heard of those people.
O.K. So when you try to weigh in on who should or should not be on a poster about “ANARCHISTS,” if you have never even heard the names of Peter Kropotkin, Michael Bakunin, Errico Malatesta, or Emma Goldman (who are all quite famous; Kropotkin, Bakunin, and Goldman are probably three of the four most famous Anarchists in the history of the world), then let me try to suggest, as gently as possible, that you are talking outside of your area of expertise. And you probably ought to take some time to educate yourself a bit more about the history and the full range of Anarchist ideas before you weigh in on who ought, or ought not, to be on that poster.
They’re all bolsheviks. They wouldn’t recognize anarcho-capitalism as real anarchism, so why should he care to recognize them as real anarchists?
That’s a novel interpretation of Goldman’s book on Russia.
Goldman loved Herbert Spencer.
They aren’t even all communists, bro. (*)
I’m inclined to doubt this is true… (**)
… but even if it is, two bad arguments don’t make a good one.
Anyway, if J.J. wants to invest his time and energy in endless sectarian squabbling about who ought to count as a Troo Anarchist and who ought to be excluded, he should feel free to squabble as much as he wants. But to be able to even realize that there is squabbling to be done, he will first have to do some minimal work at making himself less than ignorant about the field he is squabbling over, and that requires doing something to make himself less than ignorant about the existence of folks like Kropotkin or Goldman. Otherwise, he will have no idea what he is talking about. And if he has no idea what he is talking about, then why talk about it?
(* Bakunin was specifically not a communist.)
(** You seem to think that Kropotkin, Bakunin, Malatesta, and Goldman obviously had the same sort of sectarian attitude towards “the Anarchist tradition” that, say, AFAQ does. But I don’t think that this is obvious at all. Indeed based on the explicit definitions of “Anarchism” they gave in their journals, the way that they wrote about folks like Spencer, etc., I’m pretty confident that it is false. The fact that somebody like Iain McKay makes this sort of argument now hardly means that they had any interest in making it at the time. They would of course have thought that anarcho-capitalists are wrong on important points — since they were not anarcho-capitalists. But disagreement is a different issue from excommunication.)
You’re inclined to doubt this is true.
Assuming the commies you mentioned would be in general agreement with Walter Block’s opposite number in this debate, which I just watched and which informs my views on this heavily right now, I’d have to say that there are quite a few “important points” on which there would be disagreement. In fact I’d say that fellow is advocating a different kind of tyranny of the majority, but just as bad as, or perhaps worse than, the current one.
Well, even for someone who has never heard of Kropotkin, Bakunin, Malatesta or Goldman it’s reasonable to say that – for instance – Obama is not an anarchist, is it not?
Wow, even I, who you guys would call a right wing vulgartarian, am shocked at the rampant ignorance on that thread.
It was like reading a Salon comments section about libertarians in general. Mind numbingly silly.
“A person who grows up with drunken, abusive, irrational parents, who never had anyone to protect them, is unlikely to have much faith in their fellow human beings however. Furthermore, when we think about how the media fear mongers constantly showing the worst side of human beings, can we really blame the LL, for not being certain of the ability of the market to improve the lives of all?”
My head just exploded. Comparing left-libertarians to emotionally scarred people? I can’t begin to comprehend…
A lot of what they’re saying reminds me of my first encounter with Kevin Carson’s work, in the JLS symposium on his book. I read Block’s essay, and some blog comments on the matter, and let it rest, thinking Carson was a stupid Marxist. One year later I came back to it and actually took the time to read Carson’s contributions to the symposium, which lead me to his book, which really changed a lot of my views on things.
I’ve encountered the former attitude among more than a few mainstream (or ‘vulgar’) libertarians. Why bother to read x if Hazlitt/Rothbard/Mises already refuted him/her/them/it?
I also liked what John James said about LLs:
“Plus it makes them feel cool. Like they’re in this exclusive club that most people don’t even understand.”
Right, because talking about things like fiat money and business cycles and private security agencies and ocean privatization is understandable to everyone. I mean, who doesn’t understand those things?
As a general rule, all psychoanalysis is wrong. This is especially true of psychoanalysis indulged in over the internet. JJ’s diagnoses are a perfect example of why you should just shut up if you find yourself speculating about the inner workings of people you don’t know.
JJ’s diagnoses are a perfect example of why you should just shut up if you find yourself speculating about the inner workings of people you don’t know
What do you think motivates JJ to do that? 🙂
You’re tricky one, aren’t you?
Hello, I’m Serpentis-Lucis. I’m the person you quoted, where you took issue with my psychoanalyzing, with good reason seeing as how you don’t know me or my intentions when I wrote what I wrote. Allow me to explain why I said what I said.
I’m a Left-Libertarian, I noticed that most people at Mises, especially people such as John James, see Left-Libertarians as no better than Communists. I couldn’t outright defend Left-Libertarianism because then they would see me as a Left-Libertarian and promptly become predisposed to seeing me as “irrational” or “too emotional”, or the other things they think of Left-Libertarians, as can be seen in the thread. In response to a article titled “Big Government Libertarians”, which one of the people on the thread linked to, I chose to use rhetoric to invoke sympathy for why some Left-Libertarians seem inclined towards turning to government to solve issues such as inequality, racism, sexism, etc. I explained why it seems that some Left-Libertarians are willing to accept some degree of Statism. (You of course disagree with my rationale. I would be interested in getting your own opinion on the issue.) I chose a extreme example to illustrate my point, that some people find it very difficult to believe in a freed market, especially when deep down they believe that people are cruel, selfish, etc.
I just felt the need to explain the context in which I wrote what I wrote, because it can be seen as offensive. I meant no offense and apologize for any that may have been taken. (I also psychoanalyze the Right-Libertarians by the way.)
This is adorable.
There you go, Roderick.
It’s a great weight off my mind.
“The polemics of economics are drenched in theological posures; the earnest exposures of one another’s ‘errors’ is done in language reminiscent of religious broadsides of the early 17th century, and fanciful theses concerning likely economic behavior in the future or in defense of systems which have never seen the light of day nor are likely ever to do so are advocated with a heat comparable to that which attended the controversies of early Christianity over the nature of Transubstantiation.” — James J. Martin.
Just wanted to share. Often reminded of that when arguments of this sort come up.