DiLorenzo Responds

Thomas J. DiLorenzo takes issue with my last blog entry where I wrote:

LRC house historian Thomas J. DiLorenzo likes to credit Lincoln with introducing federal conscription to America. But actually the first federal conscription in America was implemented by Jefferson Davis and the Confederate States of America.

There’s a certain difficulty anyone must face in disputing with those two sentences: They’re both flat-out true. So how does one get around that difficulty? DiLorenzo neatly handles the problem by not quoting the statements he’s disputing and of course not linking to them. This way he can characterize my statements any way he wants, which makes his task a whole lot easier:

“No Treason” Numbskulls

There’s a very silly little blog site called “No Treason” that seems to specialize in childish whining and belly aching about LRC. I’ve never heard of any of the people associated with the site despite the fact that I’ve been reading and writing libertarian literature for more than 25 years. A bunch of nobodies, in other words. They seem to be a gang of non-intellectual morons, to paraphrase the book with a similar title that I reviewed on LRC last week. One recent blurb criticizes me for writing that the Lincoln administration introduced the “first federal conscription law.” This is wrong, they say. The writer points out that the Confederate government did it first. Interesting: I never knew the Confederate states were a part of the federal government and introduced the first “federal” conscription law! (Silly me; I thought the Confederates seceded from the federal government. Must be my public school background).

As lame as it is, this line of argument is also characteristic of John Majewski, Tom Palmer, and quite a few other libertarians (or “liberventionists”), and even a self-described anarchist or two, who seem to believe that it is illegitimate to write critically of Lincoln unless one also, at the same time, writes an entire book critical of Jefferson Davis and every single resident of the antebellum South. This whining, chattering, and complaining crowd — which doesn’t seem to have ever produced any “civil war” scholarship of its own — seems much more interested in being able to strut around pretending to be holier-than-thou and morally pure than in learning about actual history or understanding how the Leviathan state got to be what it is.

If I wrote a book highly critical of Jefferson Davis, it’s a sure bet that these people would not once demand that I also criticize Lincoln for the sake of intellectual balance. They should be thought of as recreational libertarians and not serious proponents of liberty.

Absent context, it would be pretty easy to get the impression from reading DiLorenzo that I must be an apologist for Lincoln and the Union, but in fact I wrote:

When I first started reading LRC I was pleased to see the vigorous criticism of Lincoln. Lincoln is widely perceived as perhaps the greatest president, virtually a saint, when in fact he probably did more harm to America than anyone in history. Most of the criticism of Lincoln you’ll see on LRC is entirely justified. But Rockwellians consistently poison the well when they blend this criticism with a fetish for the Confederacy.

Mr. DiLorenzo: If I saw you routinely ripping Davis and the Confederacy on a highly visible libertarian site that made a fetish of Lincoln and the Union you could safely bet the farm that my criticism would be consistent. If this were simply a matter of failing to criticize the Confederacy I would not even have raised the issue; Lincoln’s crimes are far more relevant to our political situation simply because Lincoln prevailed. No, the problem is not that LRC fails to criticize the Confederacy, the problem is that LRC glorifies the Confederacy.

117 thoughts on “DiLorenzo Responds”

  1. Lopez: “Given your routine performances here, you have exactly no standing whatsoever to go complaining about “uncalled for insults”.”

    I am actually civil with people normally, even those I disagree with. What makes me lower those standards here is the totally unjutstified, bizarre, obsessive personal animus often displayed toward the LRC/Mises groups, combined with punk-ish, disrespectful attitudes. DiLorenzo has done nothing to deserve this treatment; he deserves if nothing else your quiet appreciate and respect. Not snot-nosed, petulant, demands and out of place insults. In short, it’s a hallmark of civilization to know your betters, and to be willing to give them proper respect.

    Of course, the punk-attitude, the Cartesian, know-nothing, anti-intellectual “I can reinvent the wheel” atttitude won’t permit that. Everyone is equal, man, yeah, egalitarianism, man, screw The Man, man, Screw Authority. Wow.

    “Hey, I’ll ask you the same question I put to Gregory: “Anyways, Kinsella, do you agree with Chris Dominguez’ assessment that the Confederacy was an unjust cause, since it conscripted soldiers? How many LRC contributors do you think would agree with that sentiment?””

    I have no idea what a “just cause” or “unjust cause” is. I think that’s kind of antiquated or collectivist thinking. Sounds like the kind of terminology a good ole’ boy or crank would use. Personally I believe the Confederacy was as evil as the USA–they were both states; they both enslaved (consripted) people, etc. My primary opinions about this is that the USA had no right to wage war on the South, as I have written many times, on LRC itself (Sandefur and Federal Supremacy, July 5, 2003, LewRockwell.com; Of Legal Fictions and Pro-Lincoln Libertarians: Reply to Sandefur, December 31, 2002, LewRockwell.com — all here: http://www.stephankinsella.com/publications.php.)

    I have no idea what most LRC people would say about this, although I suspect most of them would tend to agree with me on this.

  2. They seem to be a gang of non-intellectual morons, to paraphrase the book with a similar title that I reviewed on LRC last week. […] This whining, chattering, and complaining crowd — which doesn’t seem to have ever produced any “civil war” scholarship of its own — seems much more interested in being able to strut around pretending to be holier-than-thou and morally pure than in learning about actual history or understanding how the Leviathan state got to be what it is.

    Holding various self-described libertarians’ and anarchists’ feet to the flame of logical consistency is “non-intellectual”? Remaining faithful to sound premises is apparently not something Mr. DiLorenzo values.

  3. Calhoun was a great political theorist, espeically for his time, despite his flaws. It is certainly arguable the South was politically preferable to the North, though the converse is arguable as well. None of these views implies Confederacy-fetish of the type referred to by Kennedy–the stars-and-bars wielding toothless hicks yee-hawwing in their pickups.

  4. Stephan,

    “None of these views implies Confederacy-fetish of the type referred to by Kennedy–the stars-and-bars wielding toothless hicks yee-hawwing in their pickups.”

    I don’t know what the dental situation is at LRC or what kinds of vehicles the writers drive, but there’s a bunch of them who are quite fond and protective of the Stars and Bars.

  5. Stephen,

    You wrote, “As far as I am aware, none of LRC’s writers have ever claimed that libertarian principles are in any way necessarily linked with pro-Confederacy views.”

    At the recent Mises University, I got into a heated discussion with Professor DiLorenzo, in which I objected to his claim that John C. Calhoun was one of the greatest libertarian philosophers of his time. I took Professor Roderick Long’s position: a pox on both of their houses. Neither side is worthy of any praise on libertarian grounds. I was even willing to concede that, while both sides were bad, the North was even worse. Professor DiLorenzo did not agree.

  6. I wasn’t aware that DiLorenzo’s having never heard of me made me a “nobody.” I’ll be sure to tell my wife and kids before I cry myself to sleep tonight. I wonder how many other contributors to the LRC Blog and Mises Blog are also “nobodies” to DiLorenzo.

    On the other hand, I agree with most of DiLorenzo’s response. I read all four DiLorenzo articles linked by Kennedy, and would not have interpreted them to mean that the Confederacy was not conscripting, nor have expected him to mention in that context that it was.

    Kennedy is, of course, correct that neither side had the moral high ground.

  7. Calling DiLorenzo an “LRC house historian” is an uncalled for insult. DiLorenzo is an actual, published historian and economist, not just some annointed pet given the title by a think tank. Nor is he a historian for LRC; LRC is just a website run by Rockwell. None of his writers have official positions there, or even unofficial ones. DiLorenzo is a senior fellow of the Mises Insitute, but he is not the only historian there; there are others.

    DiLorenzo is not some Confederacy-fetishist. These charges are akin to the typical tactics of the left of calling anyone who opposes affirmative action a racist. It’s tiresome and getting old.

    LRC is also not a Confederacy worshipping site. You’ll never see me doing it, though I’m from Louisiana. LRC is simply a news and opinion site that links to and publishes a variety of articles and pieces Rockwell finds of interest or thinks others might. The public library down the street doubtless has pro-Confederacy books in it too. So what?

    As far as I am aware, none of LRC’s writers have ever claimed that libertarian principles are in any way necessarily linked with pro-Confederacy views. LRC has published a variety of articles, on hot-rods, on recipes, on diets, etc. Does that mean LRC is “officially pro-hot-rod”? Or does it mean that one of the writers on LRC likes hot-rods and wrote about it? There is a diversity of opinion and interest amongst LRC readers and writers. What a shock–we are individuals and individualists.

  8. Kinsella,

    Given your routine performances here, you have exactly no standing whatsoever to go complaining about “uncalled for insults”.

    And I notice that you have exactly nothing to say to Ghertner. Typical.

    Hey, I’ll ask you the same question I put to Gregory: “Anyways, Kinsella, do you agree with Chris Dominguez’ assessment that the Confederacy was an unjust cause, since it conscripted soldiers? How many LRC contributors do you think would agree with that sentiment?”

  9. DiLorenzo has done nothing to deserve this treatment; he deserves if nothing else your quiet appreciate and respect. Not snot-nosed, petulant, demands and out of place insults. In short, it’s a hallmark of civilization to know your betters, and to be willing to give them proper respect.

    I think I get why you always seem so uppity, especially with Lopez and Kennedy; you seem to regard any argument of the form “Belief X and belief Y are inconsistent” as amounting to a hysterical, “snot-nosed” insult against the person who holds beliefs X and Y. But you typically seem to be the one losing his temper, as you admit here:

    I am actually civil with people normally, even those I disagree with. What makes me lower those standards here is the totally unjutstified, bizarre, obsessive personal animus often displayed toward the LRC/Mises groups, combined with punk-ish, disrespectful attitudes.

    Here’s your summary of this “obsessive personal animus”:
    Of course, the punk-attitude, the Cartesian, know-nothing, anti-intellectual “I can reinvent the wheel” atttitude won’t permit that. Everyone is equal, man, yeah, egalitarianism, man, screw The Man, man, Screw Authority. Wow.

    It doesn’t matter how much prestige or respect you have at LRC or anywhere else if your arguments are wrong. Logic is notorious for being egalitarian that way. I certainly agree it is a moral vice to be discourteous to others, but it is certainly a moral vice to accept courteously an invalid idea. Most of the folks here, say like Lopez, would probably be a lot less “snot-nosed” if they got more arguments and less insults. For instance, I”ll bet you could get (gasp!) some praise from Lopez by responding to Ghertner’s remark about DiLorenzo.

  10. Calhoun was a great political theorist, espeically for his time, despite his flaws.

    That may very well be true, and Hitler may very well have been a great orator and military strategist. But to call Calhoun one of the greatest libertarian philosophers of his time is to say that one can be a libertarian while also morally justifying the institution of slavery.

    DiLorenzo comes across as a decent and honorable man, but he is simply wrong on this point. One need not morally praise Calhoun and the Southern Confederancy in order to legitimately criticize Lincoln and the Union.

  11. “That may very well be true, and Hitler may very well have been a great orator and military strategist. But to call Calhoun one of the greatest libertarian philosophers of his time is to say that one can be a libertarian while also morally justifying the institution of slavery.”

    While actually owning slaves like Jefferson did is not so bad as “justifying” an “institution”, so Jefferson can be a proto-libertarian, but not Calhoun. I see. Or is Jefferson now verboten too? Woops, stop praising the Declaration, I guess.

    p.s. Stefan, I’m not looking for praise from Lopez. You can courteously, respectfully disagree with someone, of course, but that does not excuse flying off the handle, always nitpicking, making personal attacks, reading uncharitable things into their views, using ad hominem, looking for the worst while not recognizing the good, acting like a Cartesian rationalist “student”.

    I’m reminded of the story about Mises, one time he was invited to some event, some college, to speak… some guy went to check on him, he was sitting all alone somewhere in the back, not getting his proper due. This is a guy who should have been feted as royalty. But I bet there were some smart-alecky libertarians on the campus who would be glad to razz him for his Austrian accent and suit-wearing fuddy-duddiness.

  12. While actually owning slaves like Jefferson did is not so bad as “justifying” an “institution”, so Jefferson can be a proto-libertarian, but not Calhoun. I see.

    Jefferson, to my knowledge, never tried to justify slavery. He criticized it as harshly unjust. One could say he was inconsistent for owning slaves, or that he made a Hoppean “second-best” argument and justified his owning slaves on the grounds that although slavery is unjustified, the slaves were better off under his care than if he had freed them to be enslaved by someone else. This is definitely a flaw for Jefferson, but it certainly not as bad as Calhoun actually defending the institution of slavery.

  13. BTW, I believe John Locke was an investor in the Royal Africa Company, i.e. a financier of the slave trade. So I guess you bettter not call him a libertarian either. My, you Randians are so strict with your little excommunications and all, shucks, it’s hard for a fella to keep up w/ you nitpicky rules.

  14. Stedman,

    “On the other hand, I agree with most of DiLorenzo’s response.”

    It’s fair to assume that DiLorenzo is taking issue with my two sentences cited above. Are those two sentences correct or not?

  15. Stephen:

    I doubt anyone would call Locke a libertarian in the modern sense (for example, he was against complete religious toleration) although there were certainly aspects of his thought that were libertarian. Unfortunately, at the time he wrote, support for slavery was pretty much taken for granted. Calhoun did not have this excuse.

  16. I am not sure what are the complicated rules for when there is an “excuse” for being unlibertarian.

    Someone please tell me what the rules are. As far as I can tell, it’s being incorrect coupled with being racist. I think maybe we can refer to some recent hate-crime laws for guidance here. We have to be strict! Don’t want to “sanction the sanctioners,” ha ha.

    By the way, surely, since slavery is NOT, in fact, justified, Calhoun did not actually justify slavery, did he? I guess his crime is in holding a false view?

  17. And don’t be an Aristotelian either, since he not only (tried to) justify slavery, he said some men are by nature designed to be slaves.

    (Actually, he was right, some men by nature are designed to be slaves, namely those-who-have-aggressed-and-not-yet-been-punished.)

  18. It’s a worse crime in PC libertarian world to have a belief about something, or to write words on paper about something, than to actually commit aggression against others.

    I think this is an oversimplification. There are two competing questions here:

    1) Were Jefferson and Calhoun good people, considering the times and places they lived in?

    2) Were Jefferson and Calhoun’s ideas good or bad?

    I am not certain how to answer 1), but Micha and I certainly agree on 2); Calhoun’s fundamental ideas about slavery seem to be much worse than Jefferson’s.

  19. Stephan:

    I don’t quite understand your point about “rules.” As to Calhoun, he was a pioneer in defending slavery as a “positive good.” Before that, most southerners admitted that the institution was evil, at least in theory. Calhoun helped to change that…so in that respect he represented a giant step backward from the likes of Jefferson.

  20. By “rules” am sarcastically treating this entire stupid conversation as the joke it is.

    I am making fun of all the hypertechnical navel-gazing dorm-room bull-session array of rules implicitly being relied upon by several posters here in acting as if their knee-jerk ranking of various imperfect historical figures is some obvious, objective science and compatible–nay, required–by libertarianism, no less! These guys are all nuts! Taking themselves o-so-seriously, jesus.

  21. Kennedy: “It’s fair to assume that DiLorenzo is taking issue with my two sentences cited above. Are those two sentences correct or not?”

    I don’t think DiLorenzo meant to include the confederacy when he used the word “federal.” He doesn’t appear to have used the phrase “federal conscription in america.” Therefore I think his response:

    “Interesting: I never knew the Confederate states were a part of the federal government and introduced the first “federal” conscription law!”

    is fair.

  22. Ghertner: NSK: “Interesting. It’s a worse crime in PC libertarian world to have a belief about something, or to write words on paper about something, than to actually commit aggression against others.

    “Indeed, when we are judging someone as a philosopher, it is worse for them to try to justify an immoral practice than it is to act inconsistently with their own beliefs. If we were judging Jefferson personally, then the case might be different. For example, I respect Robert Nozick more for acting inconsistently with regard to his beliefs when he took advantage of rent control laws in response to a threat from his landlord. I would hold him in much less regard as a philosopher if he had tried to ethically justify rent control laws. That said, I am certainly no huge fan of Jefferson. Back in my minarchist days, I subscribed to the cult of the Founding Fathers. Not anymore.”

    But we are not “judging” Calhoun, much less “as philosopher”. I believe the contention is only that aspects of his politcal views were very consistent w/ libertarianism. Those that are not, are not.

    “NSK: My, you Randians are so strict with your little excommunications and all, shucks, it’s hard for a fella to keep up w/ you nitpicky rules.

    “Moi? Randian? You might want to ask around about me before you make that accusation. I’m about as far from Rand as one can possibly get.”

    Yeah, I assumed that, so I was making a point, that you guys are acting all Randian and shit, with your unstated, arcane little clubby rules, blah blah blah.

    “The only thing Objectivists and I have in common is our shared affinity for capitalism. And even on that ground, they do not actually favor capitalism as much as they claim to.”

    Yeah, I think they claim to be like an 11, but are really only about an 8.

  23. Interesting. It’s a worse crime in PC libertarian world to have a belief about something, or to write words on paper about something, than to actually commit aggression against others.

    Indeed, when we are judging someone as a philosopher, it is worse for them to try to justify an immoral practice than it is to act inconsistently with their own beliefs. If we were judging Jefferson personally, then the case might be different. For example, I respect Robert Nozick more for acting inconsistently with regard to his beliefs when he took advantage of rent control laws in response to a threat from his landlord. I would hold him in much less regard as a philosopher if he had tried to ethically justify rent control laws. That said, I am certainly no huge fan of Jefferson. Back in my minarchist days, I subscribed to the cult of the Founding Fathers. Not anymore.

    My, you Randians are so strict with your little excommunications and all, shucks, it’s hard for a fella to keep up w/ you nitpicky rules.

    Moi? Randian? You might want to ask around about me before you make that accusation. I’m about as far from Rand as one can possibly get. The only thing Objectivists and I have in common is our shared affinity for capitalism. And even on that ground, they do not actually favor capitalism as much as they claim to.

  24. I guess in Kinsella-land once you commit a moral wrong you no longer have any rights at all. Kinda like a 1-strike law of moral rights?

  25. But slavery can be defended. It is perfectly justified to enslave a murderer as punishment, for example.

    Or for being black, according to the great libertarian philosophers.

    – Josh

  26. But we are not “judging” Calhoun, much less “as philosopher”. I believe the contention is only that aspects of his politcal views were very consistent w/ libertarianism. Those that are not, are not.

    DiLorenzo’s claim was not simply that Calhoun put forth a few libertarian-sounding arguments, judged independently of his other beliefs. Rather, it was that Calhoun was one of the greatest libertarian philosophers of his time. Now, I could understand this claim if Calhoun lived at a time where everyone else was a rabid statist who supported slavery. Then it might make sense to say that Calhoun was one of the greatest — i.e. greater than others — libertarians of his time. But there were certainly other people who lived at the same time and did not support slavery.

    DiLorenzo, by claiming that Calhoun was one of the greatest libertarian philosophers of his time, is not merely making a relative claim, nor is he making a claim about only some of Calhoun’s beliefs, isolated from others. Rather, he is making a claim about Calhoun’s philosophy as a whole. I am the first to admit that there are few if any litmus tests for being considered a libertarian. But if the term means anything at all, it must exclude those who believe slavery of another human being is justified on moral grounds.


    Yeah, I assumed that, so I was making a point, that you guys are acting all Randian and shit, with your unstated, arcane little clubby rules, blah blah blah.

    Let’s see: Is “You cannot be a libertarian if you believe the physical and violent enslavement of another man is morally justified” unstated, arcane, or “clubby?” How much more basic can you possibly get? What could be possibly less libertarian than defending freaking SLAVERY, for goodness sake?

  27. Stefan: “I guess in Kinsella-land once you commit a moral wrong you no longer have any rights at all. Kinda like a 1-strike law of moral rights?”

    Yeah, that’s my view, which is why I picked murder as the example. Murder is just any old moral wrong, ya see. I of course have written on the necessity for proportionality at length.

    Ghertner: “NSK: But slavery can be defended. It is perfectly justified to enslave a murderer as punishment, for example.

    “And this has to do with Calhoun how, exactly?”

    Wait wait wait… now you are confusing ME, G-dog. Who said Calhoun wanted to enslave murderers…? What exactly is your question?

  28. Ghernter: NSK: “Wait wait wait… now you are confusing ME, G-dog. Who said Calhoun wanted to enslave murderers…? What exactly is your question?

    “My question was why you introduced a red herring into a discussion concerning the legimitacy of praising the Southern Confederacy. Obviously we aren’t talking about indentured servitude as a legitimate form of punishment. We are talking about enslaving innocent human beings simply because of their skin color. Why you introduced this into the discussion, other than to confused and misdirect, I do not know.”

    Hmm, why I introduced a red herring. What red herrings have to do with Calhoun’s theory I really have no clue. Are you trying to change the subject?

    Anyway–assuming I agreed with you on this characterization, I guess the possible reasons are manifold. You guessed at a few yourself. What do you think?

    p.s.: Are you saying that one’s skin color is not one’s fault because it’s not chosen, is that what you are trying to say? Unlike, say, murder? Personally I would say this is a flawed analysis because there is nothing per se wrong with having a certain skin color in the first place, so we don’t even get to the question of whether it’s one’s fault or not–it’s not a fault!

  29. Ghertner: “NSK: But slavery can be defended. It is perfectly justified to enslave a murderer as punishment, for example.

    “And this has to do with Calhoun how, exactly?”

    Wait wait wait… now you are confusing ME, G-dog. Who said Calhoun wanted to enslave murderers…? What exactly is your question?

    My question was why you introduced a red herring into a discussion concerning the legimitacy of praising the Southern Confederacy. Obviously we aren’t talking about indentured servitude as a legitimate form of punishment. We are talking about enslaving innocent human beings simply because of their skin color. Why you introduced this into the discussion, other than to confused and misdirect, I do not know.

  30. Kinsella: “In short, it’s a hallmark of civilization to know your betters, and to be willing to give them proper respect.”

    Stephan, you could make me look very foolish indeed by showing everyone how wrong I am when I say that DiLorenzo necessarily defends government-funded African American Studies courses or my characterization of Lew Rockwell as a lover of international law.

    It’s a hallmark of clear thinking to be able to recognize a spurious argument, and it’s a hallmark of plain integrity to concede such when the matter is on the table. The fact that you, Stephan Kinsella, can’t muster anything approaching a rational argument means that you are lacking either or both of those things.

    And I notice that you still can’t address Ghertner’s statement, because you know it’s true.

    “I have no idea what a “just cause” or “unjust cause” is. I think that’s kind of antiquated or collectivist thinking.”

    Maybe you oughta ask your LRC blog buddy Dominguez, then. His quote (not that you don’t know this, but I want to ensure that inlookers are perfectly aware of what a sorry weasel you are) was:

    In the marketplace of ideas, a military draft–by its very existence–indicates an unjust cause.

    Are you saying that Dominguez is a collectivist? Hell, Pierce, Edmonds, and Cantor are all in the collectivist camp, too, since they’ve written those exact words on LRC.

    Sounds like the kind of terminology a good ole’ boy or crank would use.

    Well, it’s good to know what sorts of folks you judge inhabit Lewrockwell.com, Kinsella.

    I have no idea what most LRC people would say about this, although I suspect most of them would tend to agree with me on this.

    Why don’t you email those four and tell them that you judge them to be “good-ole’ boy cranks”, and see how much they agree with that? You think your boy Lew enjoys you calling other LRC authors cranks on a public forum?

  31. Lopez: Kinsella: “In short, it’s a hallmark of civilization to know your betters, and to be willing to give them proper respect.”

    “Stephan, you could make me look very foolish indeed by showing everyone how wrong I am when I say that DiLorenzo necessarily defends government-funded African American Studies courses or my characterization of Lew Rockwell as a lover of international law.”

    What the hell is wrong with being a proponent of international law? Your arguments are silly. Anyone reading your linked comments can see this. DiLorenzo not only defends these courses–he *necessarily* defends them, no less! How silly. D was only responding to a stupid comment by Palmer insinuating that Hoppe was ripping off the taxpayer since he was being paid to teach econoimcs. I.e., Palmer was insinuating Hoppe does not know economics. D was countering that charge, i.e. claiming Hoppe does know economics so is not guilty of fraud of the type leveled by Palmer. I’m a creative lawyer but there is now way to find in that a “necessary” believe in subsidizing afro-american courses! (nor even ecomomoics professors!)

    “It’s a hallmark of clear thinking to be able to recognize a spurious argument, and it’s a hallmark of plain integrity to concede such when the matter is on the table. The fact that you, Stephan Kinsella, can’t muster anything approaching a rational argument means that you are lacking either or both of those things.”

    Here comes the Randian o-so-serious shit again. You reveal yourself to be a total know-nothing, non-serious buffoon when you imply I am lacking integrity and/or clear thinking. Think about it, man! Imagine telling, say, your grandma about this, “Golly gee willickers, gramma, he’s a bad man, he is, he is.” “How do you know, chile?” “Well, gee, gramma, there’s this online forum, see, and the bad guy won’t admit that my two hyperlinked carefully constructed articles critiquing two colleagues of his are sound critiques of them, see. So that makes him bad, gramma.” “Say what? Say again chile? You ever met this man? What you talkin’ bout, willis?”

    “And I notice that you still can’t address Ghertner’s statement, because you know it’s true.”

    Ooooo, you got me. I have no idea what you are talking about. Lord you people are full of yourselves.

    “”I have no idea what a “just cause” or “unjust cause” is. I think that’s kind of antiquated or collectivist thinking.”

    “Maybe you oughta ask your LRC blog buddy Dominguez, then. His quote (not that you don’t know this, but I want to ensure that inlookers are perfectly aware of what a sorry weasel you are) was:”

    I’m a weasel, but not a sorry one. I don’t know Dominguez, dude! We have a diversity there! There are the confederate types there, there are other types there, so the eff what? Read the ones you like, disagree w/ the others. Lighten up man.

    “” In the marketplace of ideas, a military draft–by its very existence–indicates an unjust cause.

    “Are you saying that Dominguez is a collectivist? Hell, Pierce, Edmonds, and Cantor are all in the collectivist camp, too, since they’ve written those exact words on LRC.”

    YESS! DRATT! YOU CAUGHT ME! I was trying to criticize Dominguez between the lines, but you caught me out, you crafty critter! CURSE YOU, AQUALUNG!

    What I was trying to say, dude, is that all this “unjust cause” lingo is the same type of lingo spouted by all these hillbilly, good-ole-boy paleo types, that you are criticizing. I don’t “go for” that stuff (though I’m from rural Louisiana); it just does not interest me. Nor does professional sports; I find it all boring and trivial. But so what? I find people talking about our “just cause” usually do it glorifing the country, the type of rube who will cry when Lee Greenwood’s Proud to be an American is played (and PROUDLY STAND UP! at the right moment–I’ve seen these people, e.g. at 4th of July celebrations at Callaway Gardens in Georgia–I look around me in astonishment… can these be my fellow Americans?).

    “”Sounds like the kind of terminology a good ole’ boy or crank would use.

    “Well, it’s good to know what sorts of folks you judge inhabit Lewrockwell.com, Kinsella.

    “”I have no idea what most LRC people would say about this, although I suspect most of them would tend to agree with me on this.

    “Why don’t you email those four and tell them that you judge them to be “good-ole’ boy cranks”, and see how much they agree with that? You think your boy Lew enjoys you calling other LRC authors cranks on a public forum?”

    Which is it, is Lew my boy, or am I his boy? Lopez, remember Ling on Ally McBeal, she would look at The Biscuit, and tut-tut, “Silly little man.”

  32. Kinsella: “What the hell is wrong with being a proponent of international law?”

    …Asks the supposed “anarcho-capitalist”.

    “I’m a creative lawyer …”

    And quite a creative thinker. Technically speaking.

    Sadly, though, DiLorenzo’s defense of Hoppe applies equally to every tax-funded professor, for reasons I explained in that post. Unless your contention is that DiLorenzo’s wrong about Hoppe, there. Is that what you’re saying?

    “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

    Once again, Kinsella hides behind his ignorance. Sadly, his little weasel tail pokes out. Like I’ve said before, K., even you aren’t that dumb. But I’m sure you’ll do your best to convince me.

    What I was trying to say, dude, is that all this “unjust cause” lingo is the same type of lingo spouted by all these hillbilly, good-ole-boy paleo types, that you are criticizing.

    I’m not criticizing anyone for pointing out unjust causes, Kinsella. So what does Lew think of your characterization of those authors as “good ole’ boy cranks”?

  33. G-man: “Though it’s entirely off-topic, I found this comment highly amusing, Kinsella. I experienced the same thing when I attended a College Republicans meeting at my university and they began the event with a solemn Pledge of Allegiance, with a Real American Flag on the wall. I was thinking, “What the hell? Did the teacher enter the room or something? Are we back in elementary school?” I couldn’t bring myself to remain seated in a room full of standing people, as I thought that would be a little disrespectful, but I refused to pledge fucking allegiance to the state.”

    G-dog, I don’t entirely disagree, but what I was referring to was not garden-variety pledge type stuff. I mean this fucking Lee Greenwood song in particular, and all the rubes that tear up over it. The treacly lyrics filter over you like an overperfumed scent, and then these fricking lemming-fellow-citizens literally stand up, with hand over hearts, at the part where Lee intones, “and I’d proudly STAND UP,! NEXT TO YOU! ” blah blah, and they all belch out in loud unison the remnants of the song, as if it’s some college alma mater. You see that, and you see why most people meekly submit to their kids being used as cannon fodder in the state’s wars (no offense, advocates-of-the-Lincoln-war here).

    On an aside, I remember when I lived in London for a year in grad school, we–an internatinally diverse group of students–would occasionally gather in the fat Brazilian chick’s dorm room to watch movies (she had two kids in tow, inexplicably, so had a VCR). One night we watched the Schwarzenegger movie Kindergarten Cop. Maybe 15 people were in the room–Brazilians, Irish, Germans, Persians, Dutch, Spaniards, Brits, and 2 Americans (my buddy Paul and me). In the opening scene of the movie, the camera pans across a kindergarten class, saying the pledge. The entire room simply burst out in laughter, as if at some punch line. Paul and I looked at each other, perplexed. We insisted the tape be paused, and asked for what we missed. Some toothless, goofy Spaniard (or do I repeat myself) shouted out, “You Americans! So patriotic!” Whereupon they all laughed again.

    And I remember that stupid Bette Midler movie, where the Boys are, she plays a female Bob Hope type; I saw that movie in a cinema in London, and recall there is a scene where Bette is standing before a fricking HUGE American flag, the size of the screen.. and again, the audience tittered. Foreigners find our patriotism and flag-worship quaint and slightly amusing. My theory is that we have abolished religion and monarchs as our official religiosn, so we have turned to our state as our religion; the Euros still have enough old remnants around for them not to turn all gomer-pyle Gollleeee-like to some artificial flag.

  34. p.s.: Are you saying that one’s skin color is not one’s fault because it’s not chosen, is that what you are trying to say? Unlike, say, murder? Personally I would say this is a flawed analysis because there is nothing per se wrong with having a certain skin color in the first place, so we don’t even get to the question of whether it’s one’s fault or not–it’s not a fault!

    Rather than play your little word games, and distance ourselves even further from the original topic, I’ll just point out that I said absolutely nothing about skin color not beings “one’s fault.”

    I said this and only this:

    “We are talking about enslaving innocent human beings simply because of their skin color.”

  35. Hmm, why I introduced a red herring. What red herrings have to do with Calhoun’s theory I really have no clue. Are you trying to change the subject?

    Wow. Just wow. I called you on your attempt at distraction, and this is the best you can do? Listen, I know you’re in hostile territory and I know how difficult that position can be, but still: can you try just a wee bit better to defend your side of the argument? I’m sure that there are lurkers reading this thread who are on your side for the most part, but feel extremely embarrassed by the way you are conducting yourself.

    Don’t feel the need to defend every single thing that DiLorenzo says, especially when he defends the undefendable (leave that job for Block). If he says something that no reasonable person can defend, and is still unwilling to admit his mistake, just do what Roderick Long does and call him on it. Long is still a respected member of the Mises Institute. You can be too, even if you disagree with DiLorenzo on occasion.

  36. Ghertner writes: “Good God, sir. You cannot possible believe your own words. Here is what DiLorenzo said, verbatim:

    “”He [Tom Palmer] claims that Hoppe is a pure burden on the taxpayers of Nevada since UNLV is a state school. But as my old friend Walter Williams has pointed out, state employees like himself provide a service — they teach economics, help direct masters and Ph.D. theses, and interact with students — in return for their paychecks. (And Hoppe is eminentlyqualified to teach economics, unlike Palmer).

    “In no way can this be misconstrued as merely a defense of Hoppe’s knowledge of economics.”

    “This can only be read as justification for Hoppe’s right to work for the government, i.e. tax-payer funded job, whether it be teaching economics or African-American studies (the latter of which I have taken courses in, at a state-school no less, and enjoyed immensely).”

    I don’t agree at all. Palmer said Hoppe committed fraud, by being paid to do something he was not doing. D-dog said H-nizzle is indeed providing a service in return for his pizzaychizzeck, which of course implies that H-nizzle must know economizzomics, otherwise it would not be a service. This observation in no way “justifies” any “right” to “work for the government”. That’s an entirely different matter, G-dog.

    “Now, I’m not one to criticize those who take tax-payer funded jobs in a mixed economy, but it cannot be claimed that DiLorenzo was doing anything less than defending Hoppe’s right to teach at taxpayer expense,”

    Oh, but it can be so claimed.

  37. Ghertner: “Kinsella: p.s.: Are you saying that one’s skin color is not one’s fault because it’s not chosen, is that what you are trying to say? Unlike, say, murder? Personally I would say this is a flawed analysis because there is nothing per se wrong with having a certain skin color in the first place, so we don’t even get to the question of whether it’s one’s fault or not–it’s not a fault!

    “Rather than play your little word games, and distance ourselves even further from the original topic, I’ll just point out that I said absolutely nothing about skin color not beings “one’s fault.”

    Oh–I know, Mr. Ghertner–let me assure you, I KNOW.

    “I said this and only this:

    “”We are talking about enslaving innocent human beings simply because of their skin color.””

    Quite right. So…. ummm. So. We are all in agreement then? Except I, for one, don’t really care to talk about enslaving innocent people, even coloreds. Heavens, what notions you youngsters will entertain.

  38. Meester Lopez: “Kinsella: “What the hell is wrong with being a proponent of international law?”

    …Asks the supposed “anarcho-capitalist”.”

    Anarchists are not against law! Does this really need splaining?

    “Sadly, though, DiLorenzo’s defense of Hoppe applies equally to every tax-funded professor, for reasons I explained in that post. Unless your contention is that DiLorenzo’s wrong about Hoppe, there. Is that what you’re saying?”

    No, not quite.

    “Kinsella: “What I was trying to say, dude, is that all this “unjust cause” lingo is the same type of lingo spouted by all these hillbilly, good-ole-boy paleo types, that you are criticizing.

    “I’m not criticizing anyone for pointing out unjust causes, Kinsella. So what does Lew think of your characterization of those authors as “good ole’ boy cranks”?”

    He told me my allowance is now cut in half.

  39. the type of rube who will cry when Lee Greenwood’s Proud to be an American is played (and PROUDLY STAND UP! at the right moment–I’ve seen these people, e.g. at 4th of July celebrations at Callaway Gardens in Georgia–I look around me in astonishment… can these be my fellow Americans?).

    Though it’s entirely off-topic, I found this comment highly amusing, Kinsella. I experienced the same thing when I attended a College Republicans meeting at my university and they began the event with a solemn Pledge of Allegiance, with a Real American Flag on the wall. I was thinking, “What the hell? Did the teacher enter the room or something? Are we back in elementary school?” I couldn’t bring myself to remain seated in a room full of standing people, as I thought that would be a little disrespectful, but I refused to pledge fucking allegiance to the state.

  40. Gherner: “K: Hmm, why I introduced a red herring. What red herrings have to do with Calhoun’s theory I really have no clue. Are you trying to change the subject?

    “Wow. Just wow. I called you on your attempt at distraction, and this is the best you can do?”

    Hmm, I don’t know, but I am pretty impressed with myself. I used to do this all the time w/ my girlfriend. She would start whining about something, and I would change the subject. Sometimes she would catch it but then I got better at it and I would get away with the change in subject. Then, it got boring, so right after I got away with it, I would remind her of it, so she would latch back onto the main OTB, and then it would be an extra challenge to change the subject yet again, while her senses were heightened.

    “Listen, I know you’re in hostile territory and I know how difficult that position can be, but still: can you try just a wee bit better to defend your side of the argument? I’m sure that there are lurkers reading this thread who are on your side for the most part, but feel extremely embarrassed by the way you are conducting yourself.”

    Dude, you have me LOL. What argument exactly need I defend? I guess I first have to launch an “I am not a weasel” defense, before anything else–after all, how can a perceived weasel ever defend himself? So you see what you have done–this is now all about whether I’m a weasel? What this has to do with Calhoun I don’t know.

    “Don’t feel the need to defend every single thing that DiLorenzo says,”

    Oh, I don’t, especially his recommendation of “sour apple martinis.” Wait, no, those are good.

  41. D was only responding to a stupid comment by Palmer insinuating that Hoppe was ripping off the taxpayer since he was being paid to teach econoimcs. I.e., Palmer was insinuating Hoppe does not know economics. D was countering that charge, i.e. claiming Hoppe does know economics so is not guilty of fraud of the type leveled by Palmer. I’m a creative lawyer but there is now way to find in that a “necessary” believe in subsidizing afro-american courses! (nor even ecomomoics professors!)

    Good God, sir. You cannot possible believe your own words. Here is what DiLorenzo said, verbatim:

    He [Tom Palmer] claims that Hoppe is a pure burden on the taxpayers of Nevada since UNLV is a state school. But as my old friend Walter Williams has pointed out, state employees like himself provide a service — they teach economics, help direct masters and Ph.D. theses, and interact with students — in return for their paychecks. (And Hoppe is eminentlyqualified to teach economics, unlike Palmer).

    In no way can this be misconstrued as merely a defense of Hoppe’s knowledge of economics. This can only be read as justification for Hoppe’s right to work for the government, i.e. tax-payer funded job, whether it be teaching economics or African-American studies (the latter of which I have taken courses in, at a state-school no less, and enjoyed immensely). Now, I’m not one to criticize those who take tax-payer funded jobs in a mixed economy, but it cannot be claimed that DiLorenzo was doing anything less than defending Hoppe’s right to teach at taxpayer expense, and NOT simply defending Hoppe’s knowledge of economics.

  42. Meester Lopez: “Kinsella:”Anarchists are not against law! Does this really need splaining?”

    “Can an anarchist favor current international law?”

    Dude, this is a dumbass question. The good parts, yeah! that’s like asking, can a libertarian favor the Law Merchant? or the modern common law? Well–some of it, yes; some of it, no. But on the whole, international law is much more normative than conventional (municipal) legal systems, and more subject to hortations of commentators, who are more free to insert common sense moral intuitions (which tend to be consistent w/ liberty–anti-torture and death, pro-cooperation), so to the extent international law is truly “law,” I would say it tends to be more general and more consistent w/ libertarian general principles than municipal law, certainly modern statutory law.

    International law is largely the common principles of law of “civilized nations,” which tends to be: don’t kill; don’t steal; cooperate; respect others’ property; respect your agreements; etc. It tends to say to belligerent states: your act of war is unjustified.

    For example internatioanl law generally tries to dissuade war; to protect civilians; to enocurage peace; and the princple pacta sunt servanda, i.e. agreements are binding, at least between nations, which is the reason treaties are seen as binding. International law is more akin to the ancient law merchant, roman law, and common law, which was less corrupted by state’s influence than is modern municipal law (i.e., the law of given states).

    Of course it has been corrupted to some degree by the UN’s manipulations., but OTOH, it to some degree even in its imperfection serves as an institutional impediment to the imperialistic aims of any one state.

    What in partiuclar about international law bugs you dude?

  43. Micha, if you were my girlfriend, I’d have to kill myself. Or bitch-slap you. Maybe both.

    If I only knew how to do “bold” on this primitive interface I could handily thrash your long DiLorenzo screed, I assure you.

    Now, I’ve got to go take that same girlfriend–now wife–to the airport.

    Num-nuts’ view that there is something unlibertarian about admiring international law is just weird.

  44. Hmm, I don’t know, but I am pretty impressed with myself. I used to do this all the time w/ my girlfriend. She would start whining about something, and I would change the subject. Sometimes she would catch it but then I got better at it and I would get away with the change in subject. Then, it got boring, so right after I got away with it, I would remind her of it, so she would latch back onto the main OTB, and then it would be an extra challenge to change the subject yet again, while her senses were heightened.

    I’m glad I’m not your girlfriend.

    I know I’m wasting my time arguing with you since you are not taking the argument seriously, but just for any potential lurkers:

    I don’t agree at all. Palmer said Hoppe committed fraud, by being paid to do something he was not doing. D-dog said H-nizzle is indeed providing a service in return for his pizzaychizzeck, which of course implies that H-nizzle must know economizzomics, otherwise it would not be a service. This observation in no way “justifies” any “right” to “work for the government”. That’s an entirely different matter, G-dog.

    Let’s see…

    “He [Tom Palmer] claims that Hoppe is a pure burden on the taxpayers of Nevada since UNLV is a state school.”

    Note this sentence does NOT read:

    “He [Tom Palmer] claims that Hoppe is a pure burden on the taxpayers of Nevada since Hoppe does not know anything about economics.”

    Next sentence:

    “But as my old friend Walter Williams has pointed out, state employees like [Hoppe] provide a service — they teach economics, help direct masters and Ph.D. theses, and interact with students — in return for their [taxpayer-funded] paychecks.”

    Note this sentence does NOT read:

    “But as my old friend Walter Williams has pointed out, [Hoppe] provides a service — since Hoppe does indeed know much about economics, despite Palmer’s claims to the contrary — in return for his paycheck.”

  45. Again: what exactly is your criterion for judging who is an “important libertarian thinker”? If he holds some REAL BAD non-libertrian views, he is disqualified? Where is this rule book all you dudes are apparently reading from?

  46. To say Calhoun espoused a “nonlibertarian view” kind of underplays his delivery of Slavery A Positive Good on the floor of the Senate, dontcha think?

    We’re not talking about a guy who condoned slavery, we’re talking about the greatest champion of slavery in American history.

    And note that Calhoun told the Senate in 1837 that the South would secede to preserve slavery:

    It is easy to see the end. By the necessary course of events, if left to themselves, we must become, finally, two people.

  47. Dare I return to the subject? Why, yes, I do!

    “DiLorenzo’s claim was not simply that Calhoun put forth a few libertarian-sounding arguments, judged independently of his other beliefs. Rather, it was that Calhoun was one of the greatest libertarian philosophers of his time. Now, I could understand this claim if Calhoun lived at a time where everyone else was a rabid statist who supported slavery. Then it might make sense to say that Calhoun was one of the greatest — i.e. greater than others — libertarians of his time. But there were certainly other people who lived at the same time and did not support slavery.”

    Indeed. In fact, here’s some quick dates:

    John C. Calhoun: lived 1782 – 1850. Vice President 1824-1832. Served in Senate 1830-1850. Defended slavery as “a positive good” on the floor of the Senate in 1837. Spent his last days fighting for the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850.

    Lysander Spooner: lived 1808 – 1887. Published The Unconstitutionality of Slavery in 1845 and A Defence for Fugitive Slaves Against the Acts of Congress in 1850, in addition to numerous other libertarian writings.

    William Lloyd Garrison: lived 1805-1879. Published The Liberator 1831-1865. Defended the Declaration of Independence and denounced the Constitution as “a covenant with death and an agreement with Hell”. Began to argue for peaceful Northern secession by 1844.

    To describe Calhoun as one of the greatest libertarian theorists of his time is, quite frankly, a historical obscenity.

  48. Geek, what exactly is your position? Are you saying that one criterion of being “one of the greatest libertarian theorists” is that you can’t espouse any nonlibertarian views? I.e., that you can’t be wrong about anything?

  49. Kinsella: Geek, what exactly is your position? Are you saying that one criterion of being “one of the greatest libertarian theorists” is that you can’t espouse any nonlibertarian views? I.e., that you can’t be wrong about anything

    I think that there are two basic points being made about Calhoun vis-a-vis the tradition of libertarian thought.

    1. The absolute point: to describe Calhoun as a great libertarian thinker (or even a principled advocate of secession) when he vigorously defended slavery as a positive good on the floor of the Senate, and did more than perhaps any other single man to preserve and perpetuate Southern race slavery during the middle decades of the 19th century, is problematic, to say the least. (If you found someone who had eloquently and vigorously defended libertarian views, except that he supported the Holocaust on the grounds that Jews have no human rights, would you call him a great libertarian thinker? If you would, Christ, why?)

    2. The relative point: you might respond to the absolute point by claiming that, in spite of Calhoun having played a really rotten role in the defense of Southern race slavery, and taking truly despicable positions on it, he was still a leading light in the context of his time, compared to the other folks who were doing political theory at the time. But that, too, is false. Indeed, it’s ridiculous. To go around celebrating slaver Calhoun’s contribution to the thought of his time, when men such as Lysander Spooner and William Lloyd Garrison were writing political theory–often theory diametrically opposed to Calhoun’s, on libertarian grounds–seems to me to be simply ludicrous.

    I think the relative point is obvious. As for the absolute point, I think that you can only bypass it by ignoring how despicable American race slavery really was, and passing it off as if it were simply some niggling error on some minor point is just evasion. What Calhoun supported was an institutionalized assault on human liberty and dignity more systematic, more massive, more prolonged, and more awful, than almost anything else in human history, with the exception of atrocities committed with the explicit purpose of genocide. Saying “Oh, well, he’s a great libertarian except for his defense of Southern slavery” seems to me to be an awful lot like saying “Oh, well, he’s a great Catholic theologian, except that he argues in favor of worshipping the Devil.” Oh well, I guess nobody’s perfect.

  50. Rad, try a gedankenexperiment with me for a second. Suppose one of the greatest libertarian luminaries of history was some guy named Cicero X. Let’s say he was akin to a Tom Paine, or Rose Wilder Lane, or Frederic Bastiat, or Spooner, or Cato. We all read his famous works, they were influential, he was universally regarded as one of the libertarian founding fathers–like Rand, Rothbard, Mises are today.

    In 2004 some historian finally finds a document proving that Cicero X was simply the nom de plume of some famous, influential, Southern pro-slavery Senator, or perhaps a KKK guy, whatever. Now, in light of this, would you have to change your mind on the previous evaluation of the guy’s *libertarian* corpus? Would you say, “Well, we thought his Cicero X writing was great libertarian stuff–but turns out, it’s not.” — ?

    Answer this precise question, not some other question like “would you change your mind on whether he was a good man, or a fully consistent liberarian,” blah blah blah.

    If you do I trust you’ll see the relevance.

  51. I’m guessing you’ve lost interest in meaningful discussion by this point, Kinsella, but for the record (and for the benefit of any potential lurkers who do care about meaningful discussion) here goes.

    Kinsella: In 2004 some historian finally finds a document proving that Cicero X was simply the nom de plume of some famous, influential, Southern pro-slavery Senator, or perhaps a KKK guy, whatever. Now, in light of this, would you have to change your mind on the previous evaluation of the guy’s *libertarian* corpus? Would you say, “Well, we thought his Cicero X writing was great libertarian stuff–but turns out, it’s not.” — ?

    It seems you’re equivocating over the difference between a person’s writings and a person’s beliefs which motivate or inspire writing. The answer to your question is obviously no–trivially so. You’re saying “Person X writes libertarian essay L but is later found to believe in principles that clearly contradict L”, then asking if this contradicts the fact that essay L was libertarian. Well, pretty clearly no. But it does force a reasonable person to wonder if person X was extremely confused or extremely dishonest; both of these traits seem to rule out greatness. Rad Geek had it correct further up the page: “Saying “Oh, well, he’s a great libertarian except for his defense of Southern slavery” seems to me to be an awful lot like saying “Oh, well, he’s a great Catholic theologian, except that he argues in favor of worshipping the Devil.” Oh well, I guess nobody’s perfect.”

    Answer this precise question, not some other question like “would you change your mind on whether he was a good man, or a fully consistent liberarian,” blah blah blah.

    But this was the question we were discussing, was it not? In fact, you yourself claimed further up the page:

    Calhoun was a great political theorist, espeically for his time, despite his flaws.

    Along these lines, Micha says
    Let’s see: Is “You cannot be a libertarian if you believe the physical and violent enslavement of another man is morally justified” unstated, arcane, or “clubby?” How much more basic can you possibly get? What could be possibly less libertarian than defending freaking SLAVERY, for goodness sake?

    Both Micha and Rad Geek have pointed out Calhoun’s status as an ardent defender of slavery, as did Kennedy with a revealing quote: http://www.no-treason.com/comments.php?id=339_0_1_0_C

    By defending someone who was either very confused or very dishonest as a “great political theorist”, you show yourself to be either confused or dishonest as well.

    At any rate, most of this discussion is far from the original topic concerning diLorenzo and LRC.

  52. “Granted, Kinsella, you are an exception. But doesn’t this strike you as somewhat odd: In an article in which “An Abolitionist Defends the South” against its libertarian critics, the author feels no need to cite those libertarian critics by name? How do we know whether he is talking about us — in which case he is attacking a straw-man — or if he attacking some obscure libertarian critics we have never heard of – in which case, maybe he is right and maybe he is wrong, but we will never know?”

    I don’t know if it’s odd, I don’t go around looking for things like that. I think DiLorenzo often is skimpy on URLs, that’s just his thing. Why do these conversations always devolve into meta-meta-meta-discussions? Who cares that, or why, he didn’t link something? Does it mean his substantive comments are wrong?

  53. Funny, none of you has responded to DiLorenzo’s decisive article

    There’s no need to respond to an argument that addresses no claims made by any of us, or any libertarians that I know of, period. His article is a massive attempt at demolishing a straw-man, rehashing his same old tired talking-points and ignoring all of the criticisms libertarians have made of his position.

    See, this is why it would be helpful for the LRC folk to learn how to link to and quote directly those to whom they are responding, so that their readers can see for themselves whether or not the response is valid. Of course, that would risk exposing LRC readers to alternative points of view, which seems to be a major no-no in the LRC handbook.

  54. Granted, Kinsella, you are an exception. But doesn’t this strike you as somewhat odd: In an article in which “An Abolitionist Defends the South” against its libertarian critics, the author feels no need to cite those libertarian critics by name? How do we know whether he is talking about us — in which case he is attacking a straw-man — or if he attacking some obscure libertarian critics we have never heard of – in which case, maybe he is right and maybe he is wrong, but we will never know?

  55. obviously he demonstrated that Spooner upheld the Confederacy’s right to secede, which ought to make an impression here given that (a) he was an abolitionist; (b) people here worship Spooner; and (c) people here have basically accused defenders of the Confederacy as being non-libertarian, pro-slavery racists. So the point is are you spooner worshipers gonna be consistent and now disavow him, or will you admit Spooner’s views were respectable and retract your implicit accusations of others who had similar views as not holding respectable views?

    Am I on the right thread?

  56. Who cares that, or why, he didn’t link something? Does it mean his substantive comments are wrong?

    Substantive comments about what? He doesn’t tell us who he is commenting upon, what arguments he is addressing, etc. Yet you expect us to respond to this “decisive” article, implying that it is somehow related to the discussion we are having. And when we ask you how we should respond to an argument that doesn’t tell us what or who it is addressed to, you fall back on that “What, me?” excuse of “I don’t know if it’s odd, I don’t go around looking for things like that.” You can’t have it both ways, Kinsella; either you care or you don’t. I’m tired of playing these silly little games where you bait people into arguing with you but then proceed to stop taking anything and everything seriously. It’s called trolling.

  57. JTK, thanks for posting the link to that speech Calhoun gave.

    I hold then, that there never has yet existed a wealthy and civilized society in which one portion of the community did not, in point of fact, live on the labor of the other.

    […]

    …I fearlessly assert that the existing relation between the two races in the South, against which these blind fanatics are waging war, forms the most solid and durable foundation on which to rear free and stable political institutions. It is useless to disguise the fact. There is and always has been in an advanced stage of wealth and civilization, a conflict between labor and capital. The condition of society in the South exempts us from the disorders and dangers resulting from this conflict; and which explains why it is that the political condition of the slaveholding States has been so much more stable and quiet than that of the North. . . .

    Wow. I’m not familiar with Mr. Calhoun’s work or credentials at all, but I have a hard time believing anyone to be a “great libertarian” if that person holds views like this. It’s almost pre-Marxist.

  58. Charles,

    Calhoun was elected vice-president in two different adminstrations. Was Secretary of War, more than once I think, and a Senator. That speech about slavery as a postive good was deliverd on the floor of the Senate, I believe.

  59. Can you point to any libertarian here (Not Sandefur, I know his position) who said that the Confederacy did not have a right to secede?

    Actually, I would put the position differently: the U.S. federal government had no right to stop Southern states from seceding. I think that is a better formulation of the issue, rather than saying the Confederacy had a right to secede, because the Confederacy had no right to exist in the first place.

    Further, one can defend the rights of a criminal without defending that criminal or saying that he is better than his enemies. Perhaps Saddam Hussein has a right not to be tortured to death; were I to make that argument, I should not be considered a defender of Saddam Hussein. One need not defend the South in order to criticize the North, nor does one need to defend the North in order to criticize the South. A pox on both of their houses, indeed. DiLorenzo seems physically incapable of recognizing this point, or willfully unwilling to do so.

  60. Shakespeare, Calhoun–what’s the difference?

    BTW, that is one hot chick in the stars & bars bikini. Why do all the hot babe pix link to some stupid granola-crunching, Liv-Tyler looking “Knollwit” band?

  61. Well, Kennedy, here’s what I’ve been building up to–Joe Sobran has recently persuasively argued that Spooner actually was not a real person. He was just the pen-name of Calhoun (who it turns out, was also gay).

    NOW what are you gonna say, eh? eh? EH?!

  62. Knollwit Girl is adorable and beautiful and as hot as a five-dollar pistol*, you, Lawyer Kinsella, are an lumpen, grinning sub-fratboy lawyer idiot and Stars and Bars Girl is reasonably cute (if headless).

    Unfortunately, women who wear Confederate flag clothing are somewhat prone to shooting up crystal (probably in despair after enduring one of DiLorenzo’s interminable screeds) which means that fucking them is problematical if they’ve run out of bleach for their rig that week.

    Happy to clear all that up once and for all, Lawyer Kinsella.

    *Having listened more to her music I now have quite a different opinion of it. Also, if she did have a five-dollar pistol she might, after reading your nasty little misogynistic rant, be almost justified in putting a few holes in your miserable lawyer’s hide. But I would advise her against it, since I am all about the PLUR.

    (NOTE: Nothing in this comment should be construed to suggest that Dear Karen is a armbanger. I’ve never seen her post a picture of herself in a Confederate flag bikini, for one thing. Undoubtedly she is a clean-living non-tweaking Southern girl.)

  63. Knollwit Girl does seem to be adorable, but: if I click on stars and bars babe I want to see her head, and also a larger picture. Not Knollwit girl each time. Give me a choice, for God’s sake.

    Why you think my comment was misogynistic is beyond me. You are an insufferable idiot.

  64. Stefan ,

    The structure of your most recent post implies that my answers aren’t reasoned.

    Kinsella,

    The structure of second-to-most-recent post implies that you don’t know anything about theory or rights.

    To wit,

    “Questions about theory, or rights, <b>or</b> things I know.”

    Try rewording: “Questions about things I know, such as theories or rights, for example.

    Signed,

    Your friendly neighborhood English teacher.

  65. Ah, sorry Micha if I offended. I am not a consequentialist, but perhaps I went too far in suggesting you weren’t reasoning. Perhaps I should have supplied the adjective “natural -law” to the type of reasoning that Kennedy or Lopez might engage in.

  66. I think I finally understand how things go around here:

    Ask Lopez a question, and he’ll give a reasoned (and sometimes hotheaded) answer.

    Ask Micha a question, and he’ll give a consequentialist answer.

    Ask Sabotta a question, and he’ll either give a reasoned (and colorful) answer or else refer you to some bizarre, horrific back alley of the internet.

    Ask Kennedy a question, and he’ll give a reasoned answer.

    Ask Kinsella a question, and you don’t even get an answer.

    That about sum it up?

  67. Stephan,

    “John, are we in settlement talks already? So soon?”

    I didn’t realize you were suing No Treason too.

    Sabotta,

    Your premise aside, figure I have my reasons.

  68. Sabotta,

    Your premise aside, figure I have my reasons.

    Sure, why not? It’s something to do, even if it’s a hopeless waste of time. But what isn’t? The country is preparing to put a gun to it’s head and pull the trigger tomorrow, and grinning swine like Kinsella undoubtedly thinks that’s just fine. A beautiful world awaits, really. Kerry is the candidate of the Neo-Confederates and the Andres Nin Project (and the world has rarely seen such an example of clumsy, ill-advised petty treachery as that of pro-Kerry libertarians like Balko) and all their fond hopes will undoubtedly be realized.

    You might just as well go out and buy a Magic 8-Ball and ask it questions. At least there’s a faint chance that the Magic 8-Ball might later be gotten rid of on Ebay to some ironic hipster type. No such luck with Kinsella.

  69. Wow. I mean, I don’t really dig Lopez’s abrasive/antagonistic style, but I don’t see how the particular comment which DeCoster went apeshit over can be construed as more than mildly sarcastic. Perhaps she misinterpreted the Nothing Construed footnote? People can sometimes interpret things weirdly online.

    You know there’s something wrong when Lopez comes off as the sane, civil side of an argument, :).

  70. Much as I’d like to take sole credit for this latest No-Treason.com libertarian outreach attempt, Friedman, most of DeCoster’s anger was directed at Sabotta, who wrote the post with the Nothing Construed footnote.

  71. You don’t know the half of it, Stefan.

    Okay, so I’m trying to follow the blog during short irregular opportunities for internet access. What is the the big lie Sabotta is supposed to have posted about DeCoster? That she wears a bikini, confederate or otherwise? Leaving aside the fact that this would be pretty tame; he didn’t actually do it, did he?

    Kinsella, you usually seem to understand what’s being said. Can you explain the reading comprehension problem at LRC? Can you tell me why DeCoster thinks Sabotta is lying about her in the passage she cites? Can you tell me why DoLorenzo thinks I support Lincoln’s war of agression? Do you see anything on the blog to support those conclusions?

    All I can conclude from what I seeing is that these people can’t think straight when they get worked up.

  72. “Kinsella, you usually seem to understand what’s being said. Can you explain the reading comprehension problem at LRC? Can you tell me why DeCoster thinks Sabotta is lying about her in the passage she cites? Can you tell me why DoLorenzo thinks I support Lincoln’s war of agression? Do you see anything on the blog to support those conclusions?”

    Thanks; disagree w/ premise; no; no; no time to examine.

  73. Lopez,

    I can’t fairly charcaterize LRC reading comprehension based on the two data points I just offered, though I think some others at LRC suffer from the same problem. I’ll settle for Kinsella telling us whether he thinks there is any merit to those two specific charges: That I (and NT?) support Lincoln’s war of aggression and that Sabotta lied about De Coster in the passage she cites.

  74. To Patri:

    Interpreting things weirdly is DeCoster’s stock in trade. Whether it’s just stupidity or a stupidly dishonest tactic is impossible to say – the end result is the same. Does she link to the crypto-Nazis over at The Occidental Quarterly because she genuinely thinks they are no more than ” paleocon-Nationalist, but very interesting” or is she being deliberately misleading?Being the leader of Lew Rockwell U.’s cheerleading squad is a 24/7 job – one we “lefty-libertines” cannot possibly appreciate.

    DeCoster’s implied accusations of nellyism (as C. would call it.) and dicklessness are unfair. All she needs to do is buy a airplane ticket (I may be “obsessive” but I am not known as John “Cheap and Lazy” Sabotta for nothing) and go out on a date in order to have this be disproven in some mutually agreeable fashion. Aside from the sordid physical aspects (which might be kind of fun) a date with Karen DeCoster would somehow perfectly fit in with the general present day situation of impending disaster and gloom. What could be more appropriate in these latter days of the Law, on the eve of a nightmarish election, in a world devoid of hope or meaning? Later on we could repair to the Hurricane and order greaseburgers, sitting silently at our table, filled with mutual detestation and self-loathing, surrounded by loudmouthed fools in flannel shirts and stained parkas, watching junkies play “Bubble Trouble” on the Neo-Geo, while outside the God of Shadows, the progressive democratic masses and the Islamofascists hunt each other down in the wind and the rain and the gathering darkness.

  75. Delerious, crazed.
    Pot, kettle.

    Just in case it disappears,

    re: The Sicko Factor Looms Again

    A quick follow-up. About 18 hours ago (yeah, Wednesdays are basically 18-hour days for me), I posted this. Not out of anger, or frustration, but for the pure joy of kicking some little shit-for-brains up his lyin’ a-hole. (See comment posted at 2:04am on 10/22.) Like I have said before, about once a year I feel like giving some poor wannabee his 5 seconds of fame. Time to let it rip.

    Now see his comment on 10/27 at 6:14pm, and see a stammerin’, stutterin’ little mother____er run. No apology, no reneging his erroneous comment, no trying to save face in some sort of last-ditch effort. Quite simply, he lies some more, and tries to say that I misconstrued his words just a little bit….and he fails miserably, the dickless, little numbnut.

    In other words, I called the little fucker to the carpet, and he couldn’t grow the balls to admit defeat, retract his lie, and walk away from it it like a man. Instead, he stammered, stumbled, and blogged his way to absolute chickshithood. But what do you expect from a [insert P-word here] like that?? Nothing but a Class-A Cop-Out.

    Oh yeah, and his butt-buddy (see 10/27 comment at 9:08pm) apparently thinks he’s saving face by calling me to the carpet for not attacking Tom DiLorenzo, because Mr. Butt-Buddy hates DiLorenzo and his pro-states’ rights viewpoints. As if THAT has a gd thing to do with a anything whatsoever. Yeppers, I called out a lie from these losers, into the open, and therefore, I must necessarily attack Tom DiLorenzo because dickless.com ain’t be liking him too much. Great logic, you pointy-headed juveniles.

    Posted by Karen De Coster

    I think the homosexual pejoratives are the best part. DeCoster could make Sabotta look very foolish indeed by quoting his erroneous comment (so called) and then refuting it. I’m sure his “five seconds” will be up before then, or that it’d be too much bother, or some other reason will preclude that, though.

    Us dickless juveniles will likely have to remain content with the homosexual pejoratives.

  76. What part of “Nothing in this comment should be construed to suggest..” doesn’t DeCoster understand?

    Intelligent readers can compare my comment and DeCoster’s weird mirror-image version of it – although why anybody would care enough one way or the other is beyond me. I suppose it’s possible that DeCoster deliberately misread what was written in order to provide an opportunity for yet another outburst of hysterical nonsense. However, I doubt this – I just think she’s not very careful about what she reads or writes. (So much for “obsession”).

    In the end, I suppose, I had too much negative faith in the LRC crowd. Swann is probably right – you are irrelevant. (Not for lack of bad intentions, though.)

  77. Karen DeCoster replied to this on her blog: http://www.karendecoster.com/blog/archives/001326.html

    The Sicko Factor Looms Again

    I am going to do something, here, that I have never done before. I am going to give a slight bit of “attention” to an asshole that doesn’t deserve it, and I am going to use language that I have never used before in this blog. But I am fed up with the sickness that permeates my pores from afar.

    I was sent an email this morning, linking to this crap. Some total asshole makes another obsessive, moronoc, sick, and totally uninformed statement at this shithole-of-a-so-called-website (near the bottom of the “comments” thread):

    “Knollwit Girl is adorable and beautiful and as hot as a five-dollar pistol*, you, Lawyer Kinsella, are an lumpen, grinning sub-fratboy lawyer idiot and Stars and Bars Girl is reasonably cute (if headless).

    “Unfortunately, women who wear Confederate flag clothing are somewhat prone to shooting up crystal (probably in despair after enduring one of DiLorenzo’s interminable screeds) which means that fucking them is problematical if they’ve run out of bleach for their rig that week.

    “Happy to clear all that up once and for all, Lawyer Kinsella.

    “*Having listened more to her music I now have quite a different opinion of it. Also, if she did have a five-dollar pistol she might, after reading your nasty little misogynistic rant, be almost justified in putting a few holes in your miserable lawyer’s hide. But I would advise her against it, since I am all about the PLUR.

    “(NOTE: Nothing in this comment should be construed to suggest that Dear Karen is a armbanger. I’ve never seen her post a picture of herself in a Confederate flag bikini, for one thing. Undoubtedly she is a clean-living non-tweaking Southern girl.)

    If there’s one thing I cannot stand, it is obsession. The other thing I cannot stand for is lies. Outright fucking, delerious, crazed lies. This shit-of-a-twit better think again: I do not own a “Confederate bikini,” I have never posed in a Confederate bikini, I have never posed in ANYTHING that risque that has ever been anywhere on the web, nor would I. It’s just not me. Posing with guns yes, bikinis no. So get your facts straight you goddamn sicko. You got me mixed up with some other “non-tweaking Southern girl,” you shithead, so fuck off and for once, get a life.

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  80. DiLorenzo seems to think he is the self ordained high priest of the Neo-Confederate movement, which is nothing more than a dressed up version for white supremacists smart enough to realize being a card carrying member of the KKK may not be wise in 2005.

    Profiting off of his vehemently ‘anti-Yankee’, ‘anti-Lincoln’ publications seems to be DiLorenzo greatest ability.

    This guy enjoys existing in the past of the deep South’s slave empire. It’s a real shame some people are still promoting the failures of the Jim Crow segregated South by way of attacking Americans most responsible for dismantling a system constructed on pure hate.

  81. The remaining fact is . . .

    Unlike the politicians, who can whore with each other and achieve their goals, we who wish to be free cannot tolerate one another beyond the first preconceived individual notion disputed. As a result, we make better war (words or otherwise) upon each other in the name of liberty . . .

    Than we do against the opponents of liberty.

    The statists know and understand that, which is why we are left to ourselves, arguing about the crumbs of freedom, while they consistently run end-arounds and compromise liberty at every turn.

    Truth is, we are all statists, despite whatever peculiar aberration any of us might claim as a counter-argument. Not one of us has taken up arms against the oppression within, so our opinions are little but speculative conjecture about what we might do if only we had the chance to prove we might do if only we had the chance.

    Roosters posturing for the hens.

    It is tiresome. Does anyone have some genuinely new ideas?

  82. our opinions are little but speculative conjecture about what we might do if only we had the chance to prove we might do if only we had the chance.
    ….
    Does anyone have some genuinely new ideas?

    How about writing coherent sentences?

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