Net.Crybabies

Good grief. Matthew Barganier pointed out what this Maxwell Borders guy thinks:

If boiling people alive best served the interests of the American people, then it would neither be moral or immoral.

Now Max is whining like a little baby about being called on the whole affair.

If Borders didn’t think that Barganier had a point, there wouldn’t be anything for him to bitch about anyone “playing dirty” with. But like the folks at You-Know-Where say, “If you can’t refute them, just make criminal accusations”.

78 thoughts on “Net.Crybabies”

  1. Borders doesn’t have a right to work for the Institute For “Humane” (ha, ha) Studies, in fact it could be argued that Barganier is doing the IHS and their donors a favor, here.

  2. <i> in fact it could be argued that Barganier is doing the IHS and their donors a favor, here.</i>

    By making intelligent debate and informal personal blogging impossible? Yeah, big favor.

  3. We shouldn’t report Beck to the IRS because doing so would be unjust. Whether or not someone reports Borders to his employer isn’t unjust. It isn’t necessarily nice, but it isn’t immoral.

  4. Even if all the IRS would do to Beck would be get him fired or demoted for not paying taxes, it would still be bad form to report him, and assume from his “whining” that he doesn’t think he has a point.

  5. Should we report Beck to the IRS because of his position on taxation? Or would Beck rightfully complain that this is playing dirty in an argument? If Beck didn’t think that we had a point, there wouldn’t be anything for him to bitch about anyone “playing dirty” with, right?

  6. You should be embarrased for defending Barganier’s shameful tactics, Lopez. If you don’t like Max’s argument, argue against it – don’t run tattletaling to his boss. What the hell is this – second grade?

    cont…

  7. Your comment thing’s 300 char limit thing sucks. That’s why I wrote Dan Rather “caned” rather than “canned” because I was at 301 chars.

  8. not everything that is unjust is ethical. If your shoulds are all your rights, then what’s left of ethics? Anyway, running to tell his employer is not morall problematic, but ethically so. I don’t know of too many people who got personally offended when people called for Dan Rather to be caned.

  9. Your analogy only holds if you equate arrest with being canned, Micha. I’m not so sure that that’s the case. Barganier is being a bit of a wanker, but he isn’t being unjust.

  10. Lopez,

    Your distinction is correct: one act is unjust while the other is mean. But that doesn’t have any bearing on your argument, which is that “If Borders didn’t think that Barganier had a point, there wouldn’t be anything for him to bitch about anyone “playing dirty” with.”

    cont…

  11. Sure, IHS gets to judge its employees for what they do on their own time. And I get to judge Barganier , and I conclude he is an asshole for running to Max’s employer rather than engaging his arguments directly.

  12. Now you’re right insofar as that I can’t tell what Borders really thinks about the issue – he may indeed think that Barganier is nuttier than a fruitcake. That was a little far, there.

  13. Micha, if the IRS employed Beck, then they could rightfully fire him for any reason or none. The IHS employs Borders, so if they fire him over this, then they’d obviously judge they’d be better off by doing so.

  14. How is that “playing dirty”? How is that different from the neo-nazi example I gave on your site? Because you judge it different? You aren’t employing Borders, the IHS is. Their judgement is all that matters, here.

  15. By making intelligent debate and informal personal blogging impossible? Yeah, big favor.

    They get to judge what’s in their favor, Micha. It’s plausible that they value political orthodoxy more than intelligent debate.

  16. If IHS would fire an employee over something like this (and I highly doubt they would), I wouldn’t think very much of IHS. But that isn’t the point here. The point here is that Barganier’s reaction, and yours in support of him, are both bad form.

  17. Sure Max has a valid complaint. Taking a single statement out of context from a lengthy philosophical debate conducted entirely on a personal blog is bad form. Your support of this tactic deserves criticism as well.

  18. Crap. Borders is talking about cutting folks up for the stew pot based on some nebulous “interest of the people”, and you’re pissed that someone drops a dime on him for it?

  19. As far as their actual positions on the supposed meat of the matter go, they’re both wrong. I vehemently disagree with that quoted sentence from several directions, not the least of which is the utter repudiation of the concept of morality.

  20. Barganier’s position is horribly weak, because once you accept the idea that causing deliberate harm to others can be legitimate, there isn’t a limit in principle on the sort of harm inflicted. Long-time residents of Libertarian Hypothetical Fantasyland will note many examples.

  21. Borders is talking about cutting folks up for the stew pot based on some nebulous ‘interest of the people’, and you’re pissed that someone drops a dime on him for it?

    It’s no different than any other argument minarchists make. I don’t have to agree with Max to criticize Barganier.

  22. Micha, where and how did Barganier quote Max’s out of context? The boiling alive comment is a direct implication of Max’s own stated position; it’s just as pithy a condensation as you could fear for. Max dropped a mosntrous consequence into Barganier’s lap; Barganier pointed it out.

  23. Lopez, you are misunderstanding a vital point. When Borders says “interests of the American people”, he means their LIVES. If you or Barganier disagreed with the protection of Americans, perhaps you should not only be fired from your jobs, but be prosecuted for intent to harm fellow Americans.

  24. It’s no different than any other argument minarchists make.

    And therefore it’s… what? Correct? Help me out here, Micha.

    See this post for more.

    Do you really agree with Balko that Borders’ post was “hyperbole”?

  25. Do you really agree with Balko that Borders’ post was “hyperbole”?

    Sure. He used the most extreme example he could think of (actually, the most extreme example used by his opponent) to make the point that no matter how awful we think an act may be, (cont…)

  26. “Barganier’s excerpt and interpretation of Max’s comment implies that Max is arguing in favor of torture. He isn’t.” I know Max isn’t; but I have no idea where Barganier says that. In his “express your disgust” post I see …

  27. So tell me, Lopez, now that the dust has settled and the consequences of Barganier’s tactic are clear, do you still approve? Do you still think this is an appropriate way of responding to Max’s argument, even though it was easy to foresee what kind of effect this would have on public discourse?

  28. … where he points out that Borders’ argument leaves the boiling alive question open to deliberation over matters of strategy and whether we find it too gross. I see where he says that any account that leaves it open is, whether right or wrong, not a libertarian account but rather something else.

  29. … But I don’t see anywhere where he says or implies that Borders condones throwing people into the cauldron. Max’s position is objectionable enough just as he has stated it, without needing any embellishment.

  30. “I didn’t call for Borders to be fired, in part because I’m not such a grinch, and in part because the lousy advocate of bad policies is always preferable to the skilled one.”

    Barganier is clearly implying that Max is an advocate of torture, not an advocate of relative ethics.

  31. The fact that Barganier chose not to include the rest of the paragraph makes this all the more clear. After all, relativism is much less controversial than torture, and thus giving an accurate picture of Max’s argument would have made Barganier’s post less sensational.

  32. There are things that I don’t publish because I use my real name like a real grown-up. That isn’t censorship (except for those things that’d attract the attentions of FedGov), it’s simply me choosing between different values.

  33. Claudette: “When Borders says “interests of the American people”, he means their LIVES.

    Lives protected with production stolen from me? Lives protected at the expense of mine?

  34. (cont.)

    I want you to come out and say it then, if that’s what you mean: “Yes, John, I am willing in principle to kill you to pay for protection for other people.”

    Will you affirm that?

  35. In fact, my utterly unscientific survey of the “blogosphere” seems to correlate folks who get offended over this with folks that are eager to see other folks killed to feed their values. Consequentialists, minarchists, and whatnots.

    Maybe that’s just coincidental. Maybe.

  36. People have a right to dispose of their property as they see fit. If that means that they choose not to employ someone based on their perception of them, that’s their business.

  37. Is that what you wanted?

    I’m not so much concerned with consequences as you are, Ghertner. I don’t object to this particular demonstration of the market for ideas (which, despite your best wishes otherwise, this is), because no one’s rights are being violated.

  38. This isn’t about consequences. It’s about private property. It’s about the free exchange of values. It’s about libertarians (so called) getting up on their hind legs over something that offends them more than they get up in arms over other people’s lives being crushed.

  39. You don’t care what people do so long as no rights are being violated? So why do you care so much about racism? Do you think non-rights violating racism should not be criticized? Or do you agree that rights aren’t the only things that matter?

  40. “As I’ve noted before, racism is a vice, not a crime.”

    Is taking someone’s words out of context and publicizing those words in order to get the person reprimanded or fired a vice?

  41. (cont)
    Better are conservatives, and possibly the very best are “libertarians”.

    Especially “libertarians” who endorse crimes, like boiling people alive for “the common good” or enslaving everyone under a racist uber-state.

    It’s incredibly satisfying to see them squirm.

  42. (cont)
    I’m far more concerned that the Hoppean crowd wants to turn the State against brown-skinned folk than I am about the fact that the Hoppeans don’t like brown-skinned folk.

  43. (cont)
    No Hoppean yet has copped to the fact that his ideal world would mean an invasive nightmare of a state, and Borders the “libertarian” is bellyaching about the actions of the market.

  44. (cont)
    It’s fun to point out that Lewrockwell.com knowingly harbors such, since they scatter like roaches whenever the light shines on them. But you’ll also note that I’ve invited several LRC’ers to adopt a peaceful white seperatist position. That wasn’t baiting the wretches, that was serious.

  45. (cont)
    I could take Karen DeCoster to task for her obvious problem with homosexuals, but I haven’t seen where she advocates having men with guns stand at a line on the map and keep them out.

  46. Especially “libertarians” who endorse crimes, like boiling people alive for “the common good” or enslaving everyone under a racist uber-state.

    Of course, Borders never endorsed this particular crime, which would be clear if Barganier hadn’t taken his words out of context.

  47. (cont)
    That isn’t to say that hating homosexuals isn’t stupid. It is. But the main problem I have with politics in general, and Borders and LRC in particular, is that most people won’t stand by the conclusions of their political positions.

  48. Now since we’ve dismissed the idea that Borders was engaging in ‘hyperbole’, we can see that there is no difference in principle between this spat and Balko’s hypothetical “creepoid vs. PTA”.

  49. (cont)
    It’s fun to point out inconsistencies, Ghertner: “Of all the pleasures in life, nit-picking is the one I enjoy the most”. Heck, I’m no rational evangelist – I wouldn’t do this if it weren’t fun. The common racist is a dime-a-dozen, nearly worthless rhetorical target.

  50. Claudette,

    I’m speaking of killing me in order to pay for protection for other people:

    I want you to come out and say it then, if that’s what you mean: “Yes, John, I am willing in principle to kill you to pay for protection for other people.”

    Will you affirm that?

  51. Yes. Yes. Yes. This is Borders’ point: our rights are politically endowed. We do not have any arbitrary, mystical “rights” other than the ones given us by our constitution…

  52. (cont)
    So, yes, Lopez, it is unfortunate that some people are outside of those rights. But we are protected because we are fortunate enough to be under a government that is willing to give them to us.

  53. Micha: “Barganier is clearly implying that Max is an advocate of torture, not an advocate of relative ethics.” No, he isn’t. Barganier has many standing problems with Max’s policy positions, not the least of them that Max is pro-war, whereas Barganier writes for AntiWar.com. …

  54. … The “boiling alive” bit is part of a longer argument about why total war against the wogs is permissible. I see no reason to uncharitably read Barganier as calling Max a boiling-advocate here rather than, say, an advocate of a morally indefensible war.

  55. Micha: “After all, relativism is much less controversial than torture …”

    N.B.: since Max’s account of rights entails the monstrous consequence that you aren’t doing anything wrong to a foreigner by torturing her for no good reason at all …

  56. … (up to and including boiling her alive just for the sadistic pleasure of it), the position ought to be just as controversial as torture. If it’s not, then that’s merely a matter of not thinking through the ideas that you claim to be discussing.

  57. “But we are protected because we are fortunate enough to be under a government that is willing to give them to us. ”

    Give it up Lopez….you’d be better of arguing with a brick wall.

  58. Claudette,

    Thanks for affirming that, and for clarifying your position. I’m still confused: would you say that Jews in Hitler’s Germany had no “rights”, then, and it was proper (if perhaps distasteful) for the Nazis to shovel them into ovens?

  59. Micha,

    “You should be embarrased for defending Barganier’s shameful tactics, Lopez. If you don’t like Max’s argument, argue against it – don’t run tattletaling to his boss. What the hell is this – second grade?”

    I would disapprove of what Barganier did if the position Borders expressed were irrelevant to the job. On it’s face, publicly expressing the opinion that it would not be immoral to boil people seems relevant to working for a place called the Institute for Humane Studies. Now if he has no input into the content of the IHS web site then one could argue that his opinion is not relevant. But if someone were working at NT, say as a webmaster with no input to the content of the site, I think it would be fine to bring to my attention the fact that he was elsewhere expressing opinions flatly incompatible with NT. Under certain circumstances I might sack him.

    “Should we report Beck to the IRS because of his position on taxation?”

    Beck has made no effort to conceal his position from the IRS, on the contrary he has brought it to their attention in no uncertain terms.

  60. Micha,

    “Taking a single statement out of context from a lengthy philosophical debate conducted entirely on a personal blog is bad form. “

    That would be valid criticism if Barganier had not linked the statement directly to the full context. But he did.

    And frankly the full context didn’t add much value for me, the moral nihilism evident in the quote is simply and fully confirmed by that context. What I object to in Borders’ post is fully manifest in the sentence quoted.

  61. Lopez, there is simply no convincing you of the true context of Borders’ words. It is insane to suggest he advocates boiling alive. I know him personally and can promise you that isn’t his meaning.

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