Monday, December 08, 2008

Flamewar!

L. Neil Smith once described one of the less-effective Libertarian gatherings -- possibly an LPUS convention -- as [some vast number] of shrieking eunuchs trying to beat one another to death with shoelaces.

     Which pretty well sums up how I feel about the "Prag" vs. "Three-percenter" debate going on over at Say Uncle's, sparing a pang for the unmannerly abuse heaped on one of the longest-term gunbloggers by some participants in the debate.

     Lemme tell you where I stand (you won't like it and I don't care) with a little Zen story: in the woods, there are rattlesnakes.  They generally warn you right before they strike but they are very difficult to spot any sooner.  Will hikers be made more or less careful if all the rattlesnakes turn bright neon-pink overnight?

     --And you flamewarriors?  It's damn sure none of you are helping things by throwing snitfits.   Fine, fine, there's a deep & awful divide; let's get over it and keep movin', understanding we may, at times, sign some of the same petitions, sometimes buy ammunition the same calibers, recoil from some of the same news stories -- and still have very different views on where to go and how to get there.

     While I think it takes a broad front to effect change, from hometown commandos to smooth-talkin' lobbyists in nice suits and I have no expectation of unanimity of opinion across that many different sorts of folk, I don't require anyone out there to agree with me.  I am, after all, an anarchist; while I may find myself moving in the same general direction as others, I follow my own path.

     As for you, you're own your own -- pick a side, or don't.  In the long run, we're all dead anyway and there are better ways to take the journey than to be dragged, kicking and screaming.

15 comments:

og said...

"I am, after all, an anarchist"


!

Crucis said...

I have to confess that I don't know the difference between "Prag" and a "3 percenter."

Don't much care either.

Tam said...

Crucis:

Ah, but you are one or the other! You must be.

Choose now, or it will be chosen for you!

(This is me, rolling my eyes.)

;)

Roberta X said...

Og, this was news to you? Like Heinlein's Prof. de LaPaz, I'm happy enough to (mostly) play along with the game of Government; so far, I have not found it to be too much of an impediment to me, directly. Sometimes it benefits me. But it is nothing more than a game -- people do stop playing it. When they do so in such wise as to harm others, they usually get slapped down. There are plenty of UnPapered folk around who have harmlessly stopped playing. True, they're not gettin' any Valuable Game Points, either, but they don't want to.

If one cannot take a mental step outside the system, it is easy to get caught in conceptual traps like assuming government is always gonna be there -- or that it is something concrete and monolithic that can be either wheedled or beaten into doing (one's own conception of) The Right Thing for any length of time. Next thing you know, you're deep in the trenches of some side-issue instead of keeping your eye on the real problem. Worse yet, you've tricked yourself into an Either-Or argument that obscures other possibilities.

The universe is out to kill you -- and those of your fellows who would govern you? Why, they're just there to help.


Crucis, count yourself lucky. Me, I just had to go sneak a peek at the Gorgon in my compact's mirror.

og said...

Sorry, I didn't mean that to sound like snark.

I know a bunch of anarchists. If you truly are one, you are the only one I know with an IQ above 11

As far as taking a mental step outside the system? I split with the whole program a long time ago. A lot of people make a lot of assumptions about me based on knowing me, or reading my blog. Those assumptions are wrong. I'm so not what most think I am, and I follow my own rules. That being said? Anarchy doesn't work. Not in any definition I've ever heard. Nor in any practice I've ever seen. It's like Libertarianism. Or communism. It's pretty, but the actual practice of it is never what the optimal image is. The representative republic is dirty, fraught with nastiness,corruption, and greed. It is the second worst system of government ever tried. The worst, demonstrably, is everything else.

I would no more call myself a republican than a liberal or an anarcho-syndicalist. I play the game. But- and this is important- I know it's a game. Once you attach a label- any label- to yourself, no matter how innacurate, it is often impossible to extricate yourself from the game.

I guess it's just surprising to me to have someone so demonstrably intelligent affiliate themselves voluntarily with a group of people I consider so intellectually bankrupt.

DirtCrashr said...

How can you pick one side of a polarity over another? I'd rather triangulate, or get up in my hot-air balloon and see farther. :-)

Anonymous said...

I wish, I wish, I wish I might, that just ONE percent of Americas gun owners would become politically active.

Not in the screaming idiocy I so often see - but in the take the time to attend local Repub and Demo party meetings.

Keep quiet, run errand, infiltrate. And when the time comes kick "Les Connards" out and take our political parties back.

Need a blueprint? Robert Heenlein's "Take our Government Back" will do. Written in the 1940's - but that sort of thing goes out of date at about the same rate as a well kept 30/40 Krag.

Keep your ammo fresh - or keep reading - and it's always fresh.

By the way, nice blog, always interesting. But it's time to meet the HF net.

73 Pete Allen

Roberta X said...

H'mmm, Og, I'm probably not that kind of anarchist; it's just that I came to the realization that I didn't hold The State or The Law in any particular esteem, it was just something that I mostly went along with and evaded when I found conflict between 'em and my moral sense.

Representative republics have a mixed history and, as you point out, their main virtue is that everything else works worse -- but (IMO) any of the various systems have worked not so bad when they mostly stayed out of the way of the voluntary transactions and free associations of individuals.

...Now, as to the snot-nosed and unwashed youth squatting in "liberated" property, bemoaning the ills of Capitalism and callin' themselves "anarchists," I would not be on their team; they can take their black flag, starch it, fold it until it is all corners, and use it as bumfodder: anarchy isn't about teams or flags, it's about bein' opposed to being pushed around by the State -- no matter if it's Kings or the Popular Whim or the august and duly selected Representatives, they've none of 'em got any inherent right t'order me around. I'll play along or not, as suits me; not to prove a point but because I can't do it any other way.

Roberta X said...

Pete, it's nice to meet you. Thanks for your kind words! --I swan, I will get myself back on HF CW eventually. Tryin' to dig out the various rigs and their power supplies at present. The ancient Ten-Tec I picked up at Dayton this Spring is a bit iffy.

CounterClckWise said...

+1 hojillion! This is me, hearting you.

Og, actually I'm surprised that you didn't know this from reading all of Roberta's blog...but then you also thought I was a Ron Paul voter, so it's probably because we're just a rounding error on a rounding error as far as democracy is concerned.

Try reading some Nock to get a good right-leaning view of anarchism -- there's a guy with a mind so sharp that it could split atoms.

Roberta X said...

Me, I'm flattered that Og think I'm smart. The anarchist thing, OTOH, is pretty easy to miss: I even vote.

og said...

yeah, I read nock when I was a teenager. I wasn't impressed then, I'm not impressed now. Sure, great thinking, yada yada. I'm less impressed wiht high ideals as "how do I make it work?" most of the great thinkers are remarkably silent in that respect, because if a single one of them had ANY idea, we'd already be doing it.

I read this blog pretty regularly- and it's most definitely NOT the blog of an anarchist.

Roberta X said...

Okay.

Crucis said...

I prefer RTTY myself, next CW. I have a mic for my HF rig around somewhere...

W0TMW

WV: guntshw

Yes, I will be attending a gunt show this weekend.

perlhaqr said...

I get your point, but how cautious would any of the hikers be if they didn't know that rattlesnakes would bite?