Universally Preferable Announcement

I am happy – well, not happy so much as rationally compelled – to announce that the Molinari Institute is changing its name to the Molyneux Institute.

Molyneux Institute

We plan to host a series of lengthy video monologues on such topics as “Libertarian Antifeminism: Can This Marriage Be Saved?” and “Why College Larnin’ Rots Yer Brain.”

The Molyneux Institute has broken all ties with its previous, differently named incarnation, in a triumphant act of fourth-dimensional self-de-fooing.

Our first affiliated scholar, Dr. David Gordon, will hold the Molyneux Chair and End Table in Apodictic Universology.


42 Responses to Universally Preferable Announcement

  1. fallibilist August 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    Is a piece of satire a success or a failure when I feel acutely sorry for its target?

    • david nh August 2, 2012 at 11:42 am #


    • Brady August 2, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

      This is sweet!

  2. erick vasconcelos August 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Also, all affiliates shall be former “software entrepreneurs.”

  3. Manuel Lora August 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm #


  4. Jason August 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Shouldn’t this come with a public apology from you for being involved with a public university? Also, for pretending to do work in a subject that Molyneux has clearly already solved.

  5. Nick Ford August 1, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    This was a universally preferable flawless victory! 😀

  6. zhinxy August 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm #


    Even this is just some sort of attempt at “satire,” and you put aside this name change plan right now, this announcement will have changed your life, because now you know that you are afraid of change.

  7. Mark August 1, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    Hahahahaha. Well played. About time someone took this on.

  8. Kyle Bennett August 1, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Obviously, this passive agressive lashing out is that of a grown-up child still resentful over being ordered not to touch the hot stove.

  9. David Gordon August 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    My Inaugural Lecture will be “How to Philosophize While Passing the Coma Test”.

  10. Larry August 2, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Satire is for sure the best solution to The (Other) Molyneux Problem.

  11. Alex M August 2, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    To use slander, rather than argument, is unbecoming of you, Roderick.

    • Roderick August 2, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      a) Satire is not slander.
      b) The positions I’m satirising have been met with excellent arguments many times; I didn’t feel any particular need to add to them.

    • Geoffrey Allan Plauché August 7, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      Alex, I assume you also find this to be inappropriate then?

  12. Tony August 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    HAHAHA. Seriously, guys. That had me in stitches.

    Well, after Walter Block i guess i can add at least two more names i’ve lost respect for.

    What’s next? Ridiculing Wendy McElroy or any other libertarian anarchist not considered part of your “clique”?

    This is so pathetic.
    Libertarianism is finally making some in-roads, and all you can do is go on a “search and destroy” mission aimed at those you have some inconsequential difference of opinion with.

    • Brian perz August 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

      For losing respect for people to engage in petty squabbles. +1

    • Roderick August 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

      Your idea of a “search and destroy” mission is … eccentric.

      • Tony August 5, 2012 at 11:03 am #

        If that works for you…

  13. Stefan Molyneux August 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    Damned funny imo, well done!

    • Ted Sonnier August 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      I have not immersed myself in the particular arguments of the debate yet, but I proclaim that Stef gets immense respect for taking this ribbing in stride. Bravo to Stef, regardless of how truth hashes out in the debate! May we all grow in knowledge and mutual respect from this debate, satire aside.

      Mises mentions in Human Action that they who create ideas, correct or incorrect, good or bad, are in a separate class from those that merely disseminate ideas. I have always striven to be of the first class, but alas I have not made it yet. Good day, my liberty-loving family!

    • Dan August 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      I’m glad that this is your response. It’s so annoying listening to people cry about libertarians making fun of another libertarian or even ripping each others arguments. I don’t care if libertarians love, hate, or whatever each other, but I do want to see vigorous debates and criticisms when there are disagreements. And it’s nice to see a libertarian with a sense of humor.

      • JOR August 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

        Socialists hated each other, and it seemed to work out well for them. Monarchists and oligarchs all hated each other, and they ruled the world for thousands of years. I prefer that libertarians hate each other, for the good of libertarianism.

        • Roderick August 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

          I hate you for saying that.

          Are we winning yet?

  14. Robert Lallier August 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Watching philosophers debate is a lot like watching those old Tootsie-Pop TV commercials: one can’t help but speculate on how many intellectual “licks” they will be able to dish-out without biting.

    • Roderick August 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

      Maybe so. My post was not “debating” however. It was a joke, not an argument.

      • Robert Lallier August 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

        Indeed, in the context of this page, this is indisputably true, but your joke exists within a context upon which it is relying for its humor. That larger context is a set of philosophical exchanges with the man who is the butt of the joke here. Your objection amounts to claiming that one cannot fault your debating style when you deploy humorous barbs against your opponent because at that point you are no longer debating. One might as well claim that hockey players not be penalized for fighting because as soon as the fight breaks out they are no longer playing hockey and thus should no longer be subject to the rules of the game. For what it’s worth, I do appreciate the humor, in this instance, and I note that it is genteel and lacking in overt acrymony, and I note that it was graciously acknowledged by its object. Nevertheless, my general observation still stands and was intended in the same humorously ironic vein: philosophers, however much their devotion to reason and wisdom, are often the quickest to be unfaithful to their loves and resort to dallying with lower-brow means of dealing with those with whom they disagree. Some of the fiercest battles arise between differing sects of the same faith.

        • JOR August 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

          Your objection amounts to claiming that one cannot fault your debating style when you deploy humorous barbs against your opponent because at that point you are no longer debating. One might as well claim that hockey players not be penalized for fighting because as soon as the fight breaks out they are no longer playing hockey and thus should no longer be subject to the rules of the game.

          This is stupid. A better analogy would be the trash-talking between sports games.

        • Robert Lallier August 2, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

          Again, JOR, the objection is still special pleading: “I’m only debating when I’m on my best behavior.” As for the analogy, I think the “trash talk between sports events” is the weaker analogy. Unlike sporting events, which have a clear begining and end, do we ever really leave the arena of ideas?

        • Robert Lallier August 2, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

          More to the point, not that I am claiming it rises to this level in this instance, but at some point, even “trash talk between games” goes beyond “trash talk” and wanders into the area known as “poor sportsmanship.”

        • JOR August 2, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

          Poor sportsmanship?

          An argument is an argument. A satire is satire. An ongoing personal dispute is an ongoing personal dispute, a pathetic war of egos. You’re conflating all three of these into this one thing, which you call “the debate”, a thing which is largely a figment of your imagination.

  15. Greg Gauthier August 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    As the old saw goes: “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    Question is: when are y’all gonna man-up and get on the phone with the man? Quit tossing barbs over the wall, like a bunch of school-yard taunts picking on a dog behind a fence. If you think he’s wrong, and you think he’s a problem, then take the fight to his doorstep, and stop playing these silly games.

    • JOR August 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

      What’s a phone or a doorstep got to do with anything? Philosophical disagreements aren’t (or shouldn’t be) about anyone’s pathetic ego or ability to dominate a spoken conversation.

    • frnkd August 2, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

      Those who can, argue. Those who can’t, debate.

  16. Carl August 3, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    Be quiet all pedantic dullards.

  17. James Wilson August 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Actually, based this post alone, I didn’t know if Roderick was satirizing Molynieux’s position or Gordan’s. All I know is that if I’m in a foxhole and liberty is at stake, I would want Long, Gordon, and Molynieux to be in my foxhole, so long as they fought for the 99% of real-life issues they actually agree about instead of fighting over the arcane philosophical differences they disagree about.

    • Tony August 5, 2012 at 11:01 am #

      My point exactly.

      • JOR August 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

        All things told, libertarians probably agree with a given republicrat about 90% of “real life issues”, just not on the 10% or so that are political/economic/social in nature (there are an awful lot of issues in “real life”, after all). Does that mean they should just set aside their disagreements and work on the 90% of stuff they agree about? That seems pretty absurd to me. To whatever extent they should “work together”, they already do so as a matter of course in everyday living.

  18. Clyde Adams III August 4, 2012 at 6:31 am #

    I gather this post satirizes something Stefan Molyneux said.

    I have no idea what Molyneux said, and I don’t know where to look for it, so the joke doesn’t work for me.

  19. Ashton August 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    I was wondering where I could receive at least a Masters in Apodictic Universology.

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