Monday, December 23, 2019

Scott's strawman burns to ashes

Ewww! What's that smell? Ah. I see now... Scott Adams has stepped in it again and is tracking it all over the place unaware. It would only be polite to let him know. Right?

Years ago I pointed out that his claim to be "libertarian, without the crazy stuff" simply meant he was inconsistent.

He's done it again, while explaining he only said that back then because it was meaningless. He recently said:

"... Libertarian without the crazy parts-- what are the crazy parts? Most of the libertarian belief system is the 'crazy'. Because the libertarians would say 'get rid of government and let everyone do what they want.' ...The libertarian parts are the crazy parts." 

What's wrong with those statements? Plenty. And I'll explain so he can't whine that I said "You're wrong" without giving the reasons. (He still wouldn't like it, though.)

He doesn't know what the "libertarian belief system" is, so he has no clue what it is he seems to imagine he's criticizing. How do I know he doesn't know what the "libertarian belief system" is? It's not "mind-reading", it is taking him at his word, based on what he clearly said above. He shows he doesn't know what he's talking about; there's no guesswork or mind-reading involved.

Without a foundation in something along the lines of the Zero Archation Principle, it's not "libertarian". Distilled down to the essence, the libertarian belief system is: "don't attack others and don't take or damage their stuff". If he believes that's crazy, he's a monster.

Anything else libertarian grows out of that solid foundation.

As I have pointed out, the ZAP is not a "thou shalt not"; it is really just pointing out that you have no right to do those things, not that you have to accept this truth. And it is a promise from me to you. You do what you want, just be aware of how I will see your behavior and how I might respond when you do things you have no right to do.

Maybe his problem is that it doesn't leave room for exceptions for politics and those who practice that dark craft.

Libertarians don't generally say "get rid of government", they would say "get rid of political government/the State". Politics is antisocial and illegitimate. His wishes can't change that fact. If that's what he wants to waste time on, I wouldn't say he can't, but I won't pretend he's the adult in the room while he plays with his toy Rulers and fawns over legislation.

Pointing out the illegitimacy of political government isn't the same as saying "let everyone do what they want". Remember the ZAP mentioned above? Rulers are nonsense, but rules aren't.

Do what you want, as long as you aren't violating someone else's equal and identical liberty; do what you want and have a right to do. That's a very solid wall between "do what you want" and the rest of us.

But it's so much easier to attack the strawman in ignorance than to address the uncomfortable reality. Well, Scott's strawman just burned away. He'll need to build another one to attack next time.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.