“Good Ole’ Boy Cranks”

That’s Lewrockwell.com contributor Stephan Kinsella, describing fellow LRC’ers Brad Edmonds, Michael Peirce, Myles Kantor, and Chris Dominguez. The reason for this bizarre attack? Those folks all think (as do I) that the concept of an “unjust cause” is a coherent one. In Dominguez’ weblog post linked above, he quite correctly notes

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

Of course this applies to the Confederate States of America, among others, since the CSA vilely conscripted soldiers in the War Against Northern Aggression. When pressed on that question, Kinsella boldly disagrees:

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.



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.

Called on the matter, Kinsella then clarifies:

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 haven’t been criticizing anyone for pointing out injustice, and I judge that Kinsella’s dead wrong. So I’ll pose an open question, Lewrockwell.com’ers: Do you agree with Stephan Kinsella’s characterization of Edmonds, Peirce, Kantor, and Dominguez as “good ole’ boy cranks”?

28 thoughts on ““Good Ole’ Boy Cranks””

  1. Great work with pulling up that Edmonds article about military boob jobs. Hah. Despite his use of the trite phrase, I suspect he would agree with Kinsella on this one. Good to know you can use a search engine though.

    You are really grasping.

  2. You know it bugs me that NT and LRC seem to have this sudden hate-on for each other. I read both blogs, and think both usually present very well thought out stuff. It is counter productive to the cause to fight each other over nits and picks. Remember our “collective” enemy (no pun intended) is the State.

  3. Pete: “Despite his use of the trite phrase, I suspect he would agree with Kinsella on this one.”

    You’re saying that Brad Edmonds would agree with Kinsella that he’s a “good ole’ boy crank”?

    Nuwen: “It is counter productive to the cause…”

    Um, which cause would that be?

  4. Since we’re on the topic of how to use language, it occurs to me that perhaps Lopez and Kinsella use language very differently? Whenever Kinsella isn’t spouting nonsense, I’ve noticed he has a tendency to take any overt disagreement with his position as a personal attack whereas Lopez seems second only to Kennedy in keeping his cool. Lopez explains this (I can’t find the link) by saying no-treason.com is only concerned with valid arguments, not fame or prestige, etc. But something similar happens in everyday life, right?. I’ve noticed that there are a wide array of ways people will react to overt disagreement depending on the context and how that disagreement is presented, depending on factors like body language, tone, word choice (e.g. does your word choice imply the other party is stupid or lazy for not seeing your view), etc. I even read the other day that in Japan people almost never say “no” directly (can’t remember if they have a word for it), but instead have stock phrases like “That’s impossible”, or “That’s hard to do”, or “I’ll give it thought.”

    Having said that, I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest that Nuwen does mention the nature of “the Cause”:

    It is counter productive to the cause to fight each other over nits and picks. Remember our “collective” enemy (no pun intended) is the State.

  5. I would suggest that Brad Edmonds would agree with Kinsella on the concept of a ‘just cause.’ When considering his use of the term, you must pay regard to the context and the audience to whom Edmonds was writing. You seem to have no intention of arguing the point in question.

    Your use of google as a research technique, and your disregard for the context and meaning of the authors shows you are have no interest in debate. You prefer to score cheap points through trite methods. It is sad really.

  6. Of couse there is such as thing as ‘just/unjust causes’. That does not mean everything done to further a just cause is automatically okay however. Overthrowing Iraqi Ba’athist was a ‘just cause’ but it does not follow that everything done ostensibly to that end is just.

  7. I’ve always considered Lopez a bit of a hothead.

    Must be my imagination. On the other hand, maybe by arguing with Kinsella Lopez appears cool and collected by comparison.

  8. Is it just that none of you rotten bastards can never possibly get along, or what?

    Stefan — you’re correct; the other parties are stupid and lazy for not seeing my view, which, of course, requires only the merit of being a proper grasp of reality (which merit abounds), not simply that it’s mine. Stop taking things so damned personally.

    I call for nits and picks on the field at sunrise because I never liked any of you sonsofbitches. If this be unjust, make the most of it.

  9. Lopez–fuck who, exactly? You lost me.

    I like Pete’s pic, but as a Louisianan, I take offense at being compared to a Georgian.

    I don’t know what you twerps are jabbering about, implying I’m a hothead. I’m a lovable little fuzzball. Everyone loves me.

  10. CONTEST!

    <i>but as a Louisianan…</i> says Kinsella

    Unwisely, Lawyer Kinsella buys a hot dog from the pushcart being operated by the very large fat man wearing a hunting cap with earflaps, who is muttering something about Boethius.

    (A contest! There is a hidden literary reference in this Comment. Try to guess what it is! I’m quite certain that Lawyer Kinsella will never guess it, even if he asks that respected scholar DiLorenzo for help. Especially not if he asks DiLorenzo.)

  11. Pete: I would suggest that Brad Edmonds would agree with Kinsella on the concept of a ‘just cause.’

    You’re suggesting that Edmonds would agree that “unjust cause” is an incoherent concept? If so, why would he use it as such? It’s clearly meant to mean something from the context. Are you saying that Edmonds would now agree with you that he was being incoherent (and presumably a “crank”), there?

    You seem to have no intention of arguing the point in question.

    Look, it’s quite simple: either Kinsella is correct that quote-unquote “unjust cause” is a coherent concept, or he’s incorrect. If he’s correct, then those LRC authors linked above, all of whom use that phrase as a coherent concept in those linked pieces, are “good ole’ boy cranks”, because that’s Kinsella’s judgement of people who use that phrase in that fashion. That is, unless they now repudiate their former position and note that they were all being incoherent.

    If Kinsella’s incorrect, then he’s simply incorrect.

    What part of this is so difficult for you to grasp? Please indicate exactly what you disagree with, and why.

    Your use of google as a research technique, …

    Pardon my Spanglish, but exactly what the fuck is wrong with that? Are you saying that using Google is an invalid research method? Why?

    …and your disregard for the context and meaning of the authors…

    Dude, either “unjust cause” is a coherent concept or it isn’t. That’s the context and the question, here.

  12. Since we’re on the topic of how to use language, it occurs to me that perhaps Lopez and Kinsella use language very differently? Whenever Kinsella isn’t spouting nonsense, I’ve noticed he has a tendency to take any overt disagreement with his position as a personal attack whereas Lopez seems second only to Kennedy in keeping his cool.

    That doesn’t seem to indicate a different use of language, but rather a different interpretation of disagreement. I assuming, here, that Kinsella understands and can process rational arguments. I judge that he has a large amount of ego tied up in his political positions, thus is quite sensitive to attacks on them.

    That doesn’t make them easier for him to defend, but then Kinsella isn’t my audience.

    Having said that, I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest that Nuwen does mention the nature of “the Cause”…

    “Our collective enemy”? I’m not sure what you mean here, but I’ll note that if I could dig a hole in the cell and escape, I’d have exactly no obligation to leave the tunnel open behind me. I’m not contracting with any of you to do any damn’ thing, least of all join up in some “cause”. Fact is, given that political liberty is a public good, there’s no reason at all for me not to free-ride off the lot of you, assuming that libertarian movements will ever do more than win uncontested elections for Possum County Dog-Catcher. Which they won’t. Which is why I’m looking elsewhere.

    The implication here is that all free-market types share the State as an enemy, but all you have to do is to cruise over to the LRC blog where you can witness Bob Wallace bleating on about how much he needs government borders. It’s bloody obvious that Wallace hates the State less than he fears wetbacks. Or dig up your local voter’s guide and look at the LP candidates proposing how to make government more efficient. They’re part of the God-damned problem, not the solution, and if you don’t think so, then contemplate Wallace bloody winning, and see what a vision of freedom universal citizen-tracking would be. ‘Cause that’s what it’d take to make his wetback dreams come true, only him and every other Hoppean are too dishonest to admit it. I trust I don’t have to explain how much “efficient” government scares me.

    If you care to boil it down far enough, which logic and bloody honesty ought to make you do, you’ll find that there are actually damn’ few libertarian types out there who are prepared to deal with the implications of “freedom”. Instead, you find a massive array of folks who want varying amounts of tar beaten out of other folks. ‘Cause they all “need” public roads, or “free” police protection, or borders, y’see, and their “need” is such that they feel justified to stick a gun in your mouth and make you turn out your pockets to pay for it.

    To put it as concisely as possible, fuck them. Mary Ruwart won’t be giving me any Libertarian Communicator awards, and that’s fine with me, because I don’t have any desire at all to sweet-talk you into any particular thing. Y’know what? I don’t give a good God-damn whether any of you inlookers ever “get it”.

    Get it?

  13. The book had a complicated story, you know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs,
    a lotta what-have-yous. But it’s strange the way certain passages stick in a guy’s head over the years. The clearest thing I remember from ACoD is a muscular female rump manipulating a bar stool. Lo and behold, modern technology comes through permitting a reread of that semi-salacious passage.

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