As someone who’s fluent in Hebrew, educated in part in Israel at a time when kids learned their Hillel; I can tell the Jewish sage’s most famous quotation, on a presumably American quotation site, has been bowdlerized. The American version has been shortened and socialized.
Rabbi Hillel was a “Jewish scholar and theologian (30 BC – 9 AD).” His sayings always struck me as libertarian. Justice, after all, is libertarian.
Here’s the wrong Hillel a la America:
The correct Rabbi Hillel:
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, then when?
In Hebrew, it’s very musical:
To my post “Should A Vocal, Veteran Critic Of Islam ‘Conference’ In Turkey?,” the Libertarian Alliance’s Keir Martland offers the response of a patronizing youth, who has not read one word of the (analytical) writing done by this writer regarding Islam, over the years, aforementioned in the rhetorically titled post (aka “The Islam In the Room”).
Keir Martland’s reply can be distilled thus in its “substance” (there is nothing more to it):
“There, there, little woman, you are safe in Turkey. Every Muslim I met in Turkey was nice. The place is safe because I felt safe and say so.”
Well then. That settles it, doesn’t it?? (I said why the place was likely safe for the rest, but not for me.)
In his arrogance and condescension, Martland, moreover, appears to compare me, a longtime anti-war writer (see “The Curious Case Of WND’s Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian” for similar flippancy), to the “bomb them back to the Stone Age” crowd. This, when he’s not deluding himself that an Islamic activist would bother to target him (who??), in the same way the Islamist would target me.
“I never once felt in danger or unwelcome either in Turkey,” Martland promises solipsistically.
A 20-something youth with practically no writings on the topic, Islam (and a condescending attitude toward those who’ve been thinking closely and writing publicly about the topic for ages), has nothing to fear from Islamists. (Surely being a conservative-libertarian should warrant a more realistic self-appraisal? Paleolibertarians are supposed to respect hierarchy, when earned.)
Martland’s flight of fancy is as though I were to imagine that my profile on matters Islam is like that of Robert Spencer or Andrew Bostom. While my political prescriptions, as a paleolibertarian, diverge from theirs considerably (not that Martland has bothered to discern that; he writes about my perspective from studied ignorance); as scholars, they know Islam better than I, are known by the Islamic world and are, consequently, targeted by it.
However, I certainly know how to apply my paleolibertarianism to the realities of Islam, better than this youngster (who’s done none of the work and is clearly ignorant about the “uncharitable views” he imputes to me and pontificates about).
More vapor from Martland:
Even if I did hold such views [presumably as mercer does] I would like to think that I wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to spend a week at the King David Hotel, hosted by a charming Jewish couple, with a hundred of the most radical libertarians in the world.
As he attends a conference informed by private property, the boy still fails to grasp the totally rational reason for my decision not to go to Turkey. Martland shows himself incapable of grasping what should be ground zero for a propertarian: the conservation of one’s prime real estate, one’s life.
Basically, emotion being Martland’s framework, he conflates my not going to Turkey to “conference,” with an insult to Hans Hoppe (whom I love). It totally escapes Martland that the prime consideration for me is making prudent decisions based on conservation of scarce—nay, irreplaceable—private property: my corporeal self.
And Martland, you are radical only in your own MIND. A Golda-Meir zinger comes to mind. It’s a relic from a time when false humility was at least still practiced: “Don’t be so humble, you’re not that great.”
As to Martland’s King David Hotel allusion. It could very well be random, but, to someone who knows the historical baggage, and has lived through a few wars in Israel (as chronicled in the 2003 column, “BETRAYING BRAVE BOYS”), the reference comes off as though our youth has just learned, in his history class, about the blowing-up of the King David Hotel during the British Mandate, and he thinks he can leverage it oh-so cleverly in making a parallel point.
“I understand that you have your views on Islam, just as I might – for supposition’s sake – have uncharitable views about Judaism and the Jews,” Martland intones sanctimoniously (stupidly, too, as he demonstrates zero knowledge about my views, at least he show no familiarity with them in his feelings-based post. And given his penchant for feelings-based woffle, I would not trust Martland to grapple honestly with my views on Islam).
So says a boy with little life experience, to say nothing of experience living in hotbeds of Islam as this writer has (mind you, these days Britain is more dangerous than Israel, where I grew up). So says a youth who’s written practically nothing meaningful about one of the defining issues of the day: the Western State as the enabler of Islam and its fractious faithful.
Also bandied about elsewhere in connection with my post, “Should A Vocal, Veteran Critic Of Islam ‘Conference’ In Turkey?”, is the pejorative Islamophobia. That’s of a piece with the Hillary nomenclature; the Left’s accusations of thought crimes are accompanied with a slew of big words to describe thought criminals. Now libertarians are getting in on the Left’s vile act.
Yes, in a conference about the sanctity of private property, Keir has thought not at all about the corporeal self, the starting point of private property. He then lectures me about “the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists [being] a vile group of cultural Marxists, not some brave freedom-fighters” (not that the two are mutually exclusive, but logic is not Keir Martland’s thing).
This is a common talking point—the Charlie Hebdo characters being leftist scum. It’s old hat. We’re all agreed long ago (probably before our second-hander was born), and, as usual, the aspect was covered in The Charlie Hebdo Hypocrites. Sure. We all hate the Hebdoites (although we do not want them dead; unless it’s life voluntarily taken in suicide). But the aim—mine, at least—is NOT TO END UP LIKE THEM (DEAD).
The cherry on the cake is when Martlan goes off the logical reservation completely. If you can stand the smugness:
I also hope that, if the Mises Institute was to put on a lavish conference in Bible Belt Alabama, hosted by for example Gary North, I would not turn it down for fear of encountering views and people with whom I profoundly disagree.
Not only does Martlan misunderstand whence private property originates (see above), but so, too, does he misconstrue the extension of the argument from self-preservation:
I will not go to Turkey, not because I disagree with Islam, but because, in my assessment, my life is not as safe or protected as it should be (unless the heroic Martlan gets some assault rifle training or hires Pamela Geller’s security detail; how gauche of me).
The comparison drawn between America’s Bible Belt (a hotbed of Christian terrorism) and Turkey I will not dignify. This crap has been given more coverage than it/he deserves.
First, in order of importance, forgive the verbing of the noun “conference.” Bad form.
Next: Young Keir Martland, of The Libertarian Alliance (my British home, and where you can find my weekly column), describes an exhilarating conference at the Property & Freedom Society, hosted by the fabulous Hans-Hermann Hoppe whom I know and admire, and his wife, Dr. Guelcin Imre Hoppe.
Place: The majestic Hotel Karia Princess in Bodrum, Turkey.
In the past, Dr. Hoppe had graciously extended an invitation to me. But let’s be frank. Turkey is not safe for anyone with a long and known record as a vocal critic of the religion of peace—and I here finesse my stance on Islam. Nor have I been a wallflower about the campaign waged by the Turkish government against Kurdish separatists. I don’t see how libertarians can countenance the Turks in this dispute.
It’s true that the US is also unsafe for critics of Islam (read my analysis of the attempt on the life of free-speech Jewish activist Pamela Geller), but Turkey even less so. The last is not a point of debate. “Bad things could happen anywhere, these days” won’t wash to dismiss the illiberal political and religious direction taken by the Turkish State.
In the US, we still have more rights to defend our prime real estate—OURSELVES—than elsewhere in the world (although I’m eyeing Hungary and Poland, which don’t admit refugees). The rest of the world is slowly becoming Dar al-Islam (House of Islam). In other words, it’s being made safe for Islam, but not its critics.
A whimsical, “Oh, plenty Jews attended and were safe at the Property & Freedom Society is also bogus, as none, as far as I know, has beat up on Islam systematically, in writing, for a very long time.
If anything, “Those Cartoons: A Reply To Walter Block,” critiqued attendee Dr. Block for asserting, in 2006, “under the rubric of a libertarian analysis, that libertarians would view [Muhammad-mocking] cartoons as immoral and that ‘from the libertarian perspective, both sets of acts—’drawing [forbidden] pictures of Muhammad’ and offending ‘western sensibilities’—are ‘improper.” I wrote:
… If a radical proponent of freedom such as Dr. Block can dub mild satire immoral, inadvertently tainting innocent, non-aggressive satirists, then it’s imperative to address the substance of the speech being debated, lest innocent polemicists and illustrators be maligned. What is Dr. Block’s premise for asserting these things are immoral? Other than that they offend Muslims, I see none. And to give offense is not always immoral. It is certainly not immoral to lampoon the connection between Muhammad, author of Islam, and the savagery and atavism that grip the Muslim world today. …
Nah. I don’t think Turkey is the place for my opinion, although Dr. Block is safe with his.
Dr. Block’s original article was removed. In a corrected version of “Those Cartoons: A Libertarian Analysis linked here, Walter said he offered some correction to his original apologia. I couldn’t see it (which could be my shortfall).
In any event, my point obtains. As a longtime, public critic of Islam, I would not “conference” in Turkey, not even for Hans Hoppe.
Perhaps I should have titled the post, “The Islam In the Room.”
— Ilana Mercer (@IlanaMercer) July 16, 2016
NATO pro-Erdogan: so now we *know* what side to take. https://t.co/Fq8hUA53ld
— Justin Raimondo (@JustinRaimondo) July 15, 2016
Another reason to be anti-Erdogan, pro-coup. https://t.co/oqGGjrlzW0
— Justin Raimondo (@JustinRaimondo) July 15, 2016