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Tuesday

A few years ago, when the QandO blog launched - with much fanfare - a new "Neo Libertarian" movement, several people immediately spotted the fatal flaw in their plan. That plan was, basically, to get libertarians to participate in mainstream political discourse with the goal of gradually influencing it in a libertarian direction.

OK, that's a really generous interpretation. What their plan really meant was that they would pre-emptively concede every substantive argument, abandon any libertarian principle, and re-orient their positions to - maybe - slightly libertarianward of whatever seemed at the time to be the status-quo. It meant redefining their principles so that they became not something absolute, but something relative to whatever was the popular flavor of the moment.

As a strategy, it might seem viable, even practical. The flaw was that in moving their principles, they lost any standard by which to measure "libertarianward". Think of it like making a compass that always points to itself, instead of to north. Try navigating your way out of the wilderness with that. Oh, but at least they're moving!

I knew where they were headed from the start, but I'm repeatedly appalled at just how quickly they're getting there. Today, I see from Billy's link, (I can't bear to read it on a daily basis, nor even to link to it directly) that one of their star bloggers has put out an article about nationalized health care. Is it about how to stop it from happening? No. Is it about how to delay it's happening? No. Is it about how to react if it does happen? No. It's about what form it the program should take.

I commented there, in part:
Do y’all ever wonder about just how power (or the quest for it) corrupts, and how the people being corrupted can move along it inch by inch without ever realizing what it is they are slouching towards? Or away from?


And what power is it they're seeking? Not to rule the world, not to gain a position of power from which they can decree freedom for all, not even the attainment of one lonely elected office. No, the only power they are looking for is so petty, so trivial and pathetic, that it's downright frightening to think that any person could sink this low to attain it.

All they want is for their vote to count.

For that pyrrhic victory, for that superficial, delusional, and momentary good feeling, they're willing to throw away everything they believe in. They're even willing to let others determine the content of their vote just so someone whose power they quake in awe before will grant them the honor of pretending, just for one fleeting moment, to listen to it.

They claim to represent some new movement based on libertarian thought. For a wink and a smile from the only people they think really matter, they're willing to throw all of it under the bus. For the desperate hope that maybe they'll be safely ensconced in some inner circle when the boots come down, they're willing to encourage the rest of us to fall on our swords.

They're not the first, and they won't be the last.

Comments

*snicker* Like the "the only power they are looking for is so petty, so trivial and pathetic, that it's downright frightening to think that any person could sink this low to attain it" line.

May I steal that for later use sometime? That's a high compliment from me. I usually coin my own snarks. ;]

Posted by Ironbear at Wednesday, November 15, 2006 08:06 PM

Damn! I thought the compass line was the killer takeaway. Goes to show you what I know.

Sure, you can steal it, if I can steal the "I liked it, that's a high compliment" line. The old Bear's really got 'em hanging, eh?

Posted by kylben at Wednesday, November 15, 2006 09:28 PM

So I take it that you are for the Libertarian ideas but not for the stupidity that some people believe accompanies them. Especially when the stupidity is a construct arising from the practitioners.

And your point about the compass is indeed a good one - these people feel that they are the leaders, the beacons that lead the lost souls in the dark. Tsk tsk tsk...

Posted by Teflonman at Wednesday, November 15, 2006 11:31 PM

Feel free. I've always operated under a "Creative Commons" philosophy on flame wars and snarks. ;]

The compass line *is* a classic, but not quite what I was looking for for when I re-enter the perrenial Collectivist vs Anarchist flame war at Renderotica's Thunderdome. Assuming I can stand to read the semiliterate gloating there without puking.

Just for grins... how long you think it'll be before Few Questions and No Observations becomes indistinguishable from a Lefty Blog?

Posted by Ironbear at Friday, November 17, 2006 02:47 AM

<blockquote>"So I take it that you are for the Libertarian ideas but not for the stupidity that some people believe accompanies them. Especially when the stupidity is a construct arising from the practitioners." - Teflonman</blockquote>

Can't speak for Kyle, but for me... at this point, I'm just too damned tired to buy into the stupidity or to suffer idiocy gladly. Especially when it's <i>lethal</i> idiocies, and that's what we're discussing here: this collectivist stuff chews people up and kills them.

The end of the collectivist road is a mound of skulls in Cambodia - or a dead, black dog hanging on a gate in front of a Sendero Luminoso "lesson".

There's self ownership and there's liberty... or there's a collar on a neck and a boot on a throat.

You don't compromise with leftists. You say "No!" in a firm, stern voice while slapping them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper - and with one hand on a gun in case they prove to be rabid. "Compromise" to a collectivist means "You give some now until I can badger you into giving up more, while I give up nothing".

The Neo-libs are going to become what they profess to want to change... while accomplishing not much at all for the price of their souls. That's a piss poor bargain in my eyes.

I don't think that Beck, Kyle, Nikoley, Warren, and I are going to accomplish much of note either towards rolling back the tide, but I at least am not planning to. I'm just marking time til the guns go off.

Least <i>I'm</i> not selling out anything that's important to me while I'm waiting.

Posted by Ironbear at Friday, November 17, 2006 03:12 AM

"how long you think it'll be before Few Questions and No Observations becomes indistinguishable from a Lefty Blog?"

Last week.

"I don't think that Beck, Kyle, Nikoley, Warren, and I are going to accomplish much of note either towards rolling back the tide, but I at least am not planning to. I'm just marking time til the guns go off."

There's another purpose: to preserve some memory of Western Civilization for when we come out the other side.

Posted by kylben at Friday, November 17, 2006 06:48 AM

That's too long-term and rarified for me, Kyle. I'm just a gunslinger.

Feedin' the kites may not be much of a contribution, but someone's got to do it. ;)

Posted by Ironbear at Saturday, November 18, 2006 01:10 AM

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