Category Archives: libertarianism

The-Camel-Ate-My Homework Theory Of Culpability

Britain, Crime, Europe, Foreign Policy, Free Will Vs. Determinism, Islam, Jihad, Judaism & Jews, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Media

“The-Camel-Ate-My Homework Theory Of Culpability” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

… Disaffected, disadvantaged, disenfranchised is how progressives prefer to depict the Muslim murderers in their midst. After all, progressives hail from the school of therapeutic “thought” that considers crime to have been caused, not committed. Misbehavior is either medicalized and outsourced to state-approved experts, or reduced to the fault of the amorphous thing called society.

The most famous advocate of the-Camel-Ate-My Homework theory of criminal culpability is Barack Obama. Obama’s flabby assumption has it that the poor barbarians of France’s burbs have been deprived of fraternité. “Europe needs to better integrate its Muslim communities,” lectured the president.

Also guilty of a social determinism that flouts their philosophy of individual freedom are libertarians. For the sins of man, hard leftists blame society and libertarian saddle the state: U.S. foreign policy, in particular. A war of aggression, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and torture are thus “principal catalysts for this kind of non-state terrorism,” argued Ray McGovern.

“The-state-made-me-do-it” argumentation apes that of the left’s “society-made-me-do-it” argumentation. Both philosophical factions, left and blowback-libertarian, are social determinists, in as much as they implicate forces outside the individual for individual dysfunction.

Myself, I despise U.S. foreign policy as deeply as any Muslim. But it would never-ever occur to me to take it out on my American countrymen.

In the context of free will, and in a week in which we remember the Holocaust, Viktor E. Frankl rates a mention.

Dr. Frankl came out of Auschwitz to found the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy. The philosopher and distinguished psychiatrist said this of his experience in the industrial killing complex of Auschwitz-Birkenau: “In the camps one lost everything, except the last of the human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

To plagiarize another Jews (myself): “You can see why liberals have always preferred Freud to Frankl [my family included]. They retain a totemic attachment to the Freudian fiction that traumatic toilet training is destiny.”

Dr. Frankl lost his beloved young wife in Auschwitz, yet told poignantly of finding her, if figuratively, in a tiny bird that flitted close by. If this man was able to discovered the reality of free will and human agency in a laboratory like Auschwitz; so too can Muslims find the will to respond adaptively to events that enrage them and are indeed unjust: Western foreign policy.

The idea that the Brothers Kouachi and thousands of their coreligionists in the West who’ve joined ISIS were driven by “disaffection” to do their diabolic deeds conjures a skit from the “Life of Brian,” John Cleese’s parody of Judea under Rome. …

The complete column is “The-Camel-Ate-My Homework Theory Of Culpability.” Read the rest on WND.


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UPDATED: A Modest Libertarian Proposal: Keep Jihadis OUT, Not IN

Canada, Government, Homeland Security, Individual Rights, Islam, libertarianism, Terrorism, The State, The West

“A Modest Libertarian Proposal: Keep Jihadis OUT, Not IN” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

He adopted the religion of peace and forthwith proceeded to shatter the peace of his countrymen.

In the waning months of 2014, Quebecer Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot Cpl. Nathan Cirillo in the back, at Canada’s National War Memorial in Ottawa. Zehaf-Bibeau then stormed Parliament, but was dispatched by a sergeant-at-arms before he could do further harm.

The mother of the martyr, Susan Bibeau, is a “deputy chairperson of a division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board.” Mrs. Bibeau has done quite well as a Canadian bureaucrat, acquiring “homes in Montreal and Ottawa.” Her errant son told mommy dearest of “his desire to travel to Syria,” a fact she revealed only after the butcher’s bill came due; following Zehaf-Bibeau’s lone-wolf, wilding rampage on Parliament Hill.

Why would a convert to Islam want to travel to Syria? To visit the ruins? And why would a Canadian civil servant, who described her son as a misfit, not report Zehaf-Bibeau’s destination of choice to the authorities? In any event, it transpires that said authorities had been investigating Zehaf-Bibeau, but had yet to determine whether or not to confiscate his passport.

Before Michael Zehaf-Bibeau came another Quebecer called Martin Couture-Rouleau. Like Bibeau, Rouleau went to war with his countrymen upon converting to Islam. He rammed his car into two Canadian Forces members near Montreal, one of whom died of his injuries.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Couture-Rouleau was known to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, or CSIS, and had been closely monitored. These authorities were confident that Couture-Rouleau and 90 other suspected extremists “intended to join militants fighting abroad.”

So what did the Canadian security apparatus do to forestall an attack on Canadian soil? First, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police staged an intervention. The Mounties tried to “talk Couture-Rouleau down” from his murderous mindset. Convinced that the therapeutic intervention succeeded, the Mounties then stopped monitoring him. Oh, and they also took away Couture-Rouleau’s passport. …

… The point here is not to belabor well-known, accepted outrages. Instead, I’d like to float a modest proposal. …

Read the complete column. “A Modest Libertarian Proposal: Keep Jihadis OUT, Not IN” is now on WND.

UPDATE (1/24):

Myron Robert Pauli: These idiots who say that America was attacked “from Afghanistan” or “from Iraq!!” – that would be true if missiles flew from there – but as it was, the US allowed people into this country (mostly Saudis – no Afghans or Iraqis on 9/11) who went to flight school in this country, boarded airplanes in this country, and even got visas renewed AFTER flying into buildings by the State Department. Security begins AT HOME and not stomping around Garbagecanistan propping up Malikis and Abadis and Kharzis.
Yesterday at 7:21am · Like

Myron Robert Pauli: Can the feds explain why when an American citizen with a biometric DoD identity card (myself) flies – to talk at a conference on Aircraft Survivability, no less – he is subjected to TWO nudie scans, TWO gropes, mass spectrometer of all carry on luggage, and one hour of interrogation ….. BUT when Umar Farouk Underpantsabomber flies to the US from Nigeria via YEMEN !!! and his dad calls the authorities on him, they let him on the airplane?????? These buffoons refuse to protect America while the government sends aid to ISIS-Sunni-“rebels” who are going at the non-threatening (albeit dictatorial) Assad and the late Khadaffi.
Yesterday at 7:26am · Edited · Unlike · 1


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UPDATED: Cameron On Criminal Culpability (Vs. Obama)

Britain, Crime, Free Will Vs. Determinism, libertarianism, Multiculturalism, Pop-Psychology, Psychiatry, Reason

Disaffected, disadvantaged, disenfranchised: This is how progressives have been depicting the Muslim murderers in their midst. Progressives, after all, come from the school of “thought” whereby crime is caused, not committed. Misbehavior is either medicalized or reduced to the fault of the amorphous thing called society.

According to this pervasive, widely accepted, therapeutic worldview—rapidly colonizing conservative thought, too—the poor barbarians of France’s burbs were driven to do their diabolic deeds.

Feelings are what count in the progressive perspective, for progressivism does not follow logic or a systematic thought process, as Jim Ostrowski points out in his book on the topic.

Likewise do libertarians, for their part, reduce immoral conduct to the fault of the state. Thus the state is said to have driven the barbarians of the burbs into a death cult that counsels killing.

Under the heading “AGAINST DOG-ATE-MY-HOMEWORK ARGUMENTATION, the column “Apartheid South Africa: Reality Vs. Libertarian Fantasy” exposes this libertarian logical contradiction—for if one holds that human beings have free will, thinking of human beings as determined entirely by forces beyond their control doesn’t fit.

From “AGAINST DOG-ATE-MY-HOMEWORK ARGUMENTATION:

For the sins of man, hard leftists blame society, and the lite libertarian saddles the state. In its social determinism, the lite libertarian’s “the-state-made-me-do-it” argumentation apes that of the left’s “society-made-me-do-it” argumentation. Both philosophical factions implicate forces outside the individual for individual- and aggregate group dysfunction.

In other words, Muslims have the capacity and freedom of conscience and will to decide how to respond to events that enrage and are indeed unjust: US foreign policy.

That’s my own political philosophy.

It’s therefore encouraging to see that British Prime Minister David Cameron does not give credit to the-state-made-me-do-it argumentation about the Islam-inspired killing of innocent Europeans. Flanking progressive Barack Obama—who does saddle society with blame for the erupting burbs of France, and contra Ray McGovern—Camerson said:

You can have, tragically, people who have had all the advantages of integration, who’ve had all the economic opportunities that our countries can offer, who still get seduced by this poisonous, radical, death cult of a narrative.”

UPDATE: “Obama: Europe needs to better integrate Muslim communities…”

Obama the progressive feels (for he does not think) that Islam-inspired crime is the fault of the French. They did not dish out sufficient freebies and fraternité.

“Our biggest advantage … is that our Muslim populations feel themselves to be Americans and there is this incredible process of immigration and assimilation that is part of our tradition,” he said.

“There are parts of Europe in which that’s not the case… it’s important for Europe not to simply respond with a hammer and law enforcement and military approaches to these problems.”

MORE moron.


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UPDATED: A Pesky Pussy @ Antiwar.com (Steigerwald, Oy Gevalt!)

Feminism, Gender, libertarianism, Paleolibertarianism, Race, Racism, Reason, Science, Socialism

It used to be that Justin Raimondo was more discerning about the women he welcomed into the Antiwar.com fold. Here is how Mr. Raimondo welcomed this writer:

A major confetti-throwing welcome on the occasion of Ilana Mercer’s first regular column for Antiwar.com. Ilana is a principled longtime libertarian, and literally an international figure: she’s an ex-Israeli, ex-South African, and ex-Canadian, now a permanent resident of the U.S. And it isn’t only her prose that’s beautiful. She’s opinionated, she can write, and she’s a lot of fun. Give her a warm welcome by checking out her column.

“Respect,” as Ali G.—the creation of comedic genius Sacha Baron Cohen—would have said.

I sincerely hope Mr. Raimondo is not losing his grip on this important outfit. For no sooner had contrarian libertarians celebrated the voluntary departure of “regimist” Cathy Reisenwitz from libertarian activism —than one of Raimondo’s new columnists unleashed herself on this writer, rabbiting on about racism. Just like Reisenwitz.

This is ironic, because, Mr. Raimondo—a life-long, creedal libertarian—had smoked Reisenwitz out for libeling Ron Paul, Murray Rothbard, Lew Rockwell and Hans-Hermann Hoppe as racists. I don’t expect Justin to defend me too; he and I have had a fractious relationship (although I was under the impression that some respect for each other’s commitment to liberty accounts for the détente). I do expect Justin to call off his hound-dog. No boot; just Kibbles ‘n Bits (it’s for her own good).

The paper trail of one Lucy Steigerwald is short, the prose turgid, the topics well-trodden, the angle never original. Nevertheless, this second-hander has enough to say about my column (begun in Canada, circa 1998). What It has to say is terribly predictable, tedious, and now time-consuming (opportunity costs mounting).

Long-time readers of this space will have figured out what it is that I’m being fingered for. A bit of hyperbole—literary license, really—has gotten me into hot water. For asserting that “whites don’t riot and loot” (from “Eric Garner 100% Innocent Under Libertarian Law”), I am said to be swimming is very polluted waters. The dodo Steigerwald has diagnosed me as suffering “certain propensities for racist generalizations.” Strictly speaking, I should have anticipated the response of tinny automatons like Steigerwhatshername, and written that “whites are less likely to riot and loot than blacks.” In any event, corrective feedback to that effect would have been appreciated and acted upon. Instead, I find myself fending off a bloodhound scenting for her prey: “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fem, Steigerwald Has Smelt The Blood Of A ‘Racist.'” Oy gevalt! Once started, nothing will stop the “fee-fi-fo-fem’s frenzy” of a Steigerwald (who has twice now maligned me).

Steigerwald’s worldview belongs to a tyrannical, joyless tradition. The hateful habit of policing what people say for political propriety; snidely intimating that they are somehow defective on those grounds alone and deserve to be purged from “polite” company; scrutinizing literature, music, art, television or comedy for signs of so-called sexism, racism, elitism, homophobia, anti-Semitism and meanness—this belongs squarely to the tradition of cultural Marxism. “Political correctness, especially in libertarian circles, is cultural Marxism masquerading in libertarian clothing,” warns Hans-Hermann Hoppe. It is “[a]n intellectual joke, indicating the loss of all common sense and, propagated by self-described libertarians, seriously harmful to the intellectual reputation and further development of libertarianism and libertarian scholarship.”

Indeed, what kind of libertarian polices speech for propriety, and alights on those who violate standards set by the PC set? An excuse for a libertarian! Like left-liberals, “lite libertarians”—they’re the kind that is afflicted with the same spineless conformity; a deformation of the personality euphemized as political correctness—are incapable of appreciating a script or book; a painting or symphony; a stand-up routine, if only because the material and its creator violates the received laws of political correctness. As far as promoting the demonstrably false racism meme—what speech is racist, what slip of the pen (like mine) or tongue deserves outing; which feelings are bigoted; the kind of humor that is off-color; the fears of The Other that are verboten—this kind of left-libertarianism is indistinguishable from left-liberalism on this front.

On the matter of my alleged “propensities for racist generalizations,” here’s my reply, taken almost verbatim from “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa” (pp. 41-42):

My answer to those who’d fault me for daring to make broad statements about aggregate group characteristics, vis-à-vis crime [or rioting], … would be as follows: Generalizations, provided they are substantiated by hard evidence, not hunches, are not incorrect. Science relies on the ability to generalize to the larger population observations drawn from a representative sample. People make prudent decisions in their daily lives based on probabilities and generalities. That one chooses not to live in a particular crime-riddled county or country in no way implies that one considers all residents to be criminals, only that a sensible determination has been made, based on statistically significant data, as to where scarce and precious resources—one’s life and property—are best invested.

For me, the road to freedom lies in beating back the state, so that individuals may regain freedom of association, dominion over property, the absolute right of self-defense; the right to hire, fire, and generally, associate at will. As a paleolibertarian, however, my idea of liberty is never propositional–it is not a deracinated principle, unmoored from the realities of history, hierarchy, biology, tradition, culture, values. The paleolibertarian grasps that liberty has a civilizational dimension, stripped of which the libertarian non-aggression axiom, by which we all must live, cannot endure.

Race is never an organizing principle in my work. You have to be an idiot to say so. I am, however, a bit of a misogynist. And for good reason.

UPDATE (1/14)::

* Cathy Reisenwitz Redux: Steigerwald, Oy Gevalt!

* Target Liberty

* Quarterly Review: “Ilana Mercer reads the riot act.”


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Jeremy Bentham: Very Bad For Liberty, Indeed

Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Law, libertarianism, Natural Law, Political Philosophy, The State

The following columns make derisive mention of utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham. The columnist (guilty) assumed (guilty again) that her readers, like many good libertarians (namely, natural-rights libertarians), would identify Bentham’s name as a synonym for statism and collectivism, to distinguish from liberty and individualism.

Libertarian legal scholar Randy Barnett, I recall, particularly enjoyed this from “A Romp Down Memory Lane With Justice Roberts” (7/6/2012):

“Why would George Bush care whether a judicial nominee can tell Blackstone from Bentham, when he can’t?”

“More of a Benthamite bureaucrat than a truth seeker” is from “PATRICIDE AND PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT” (September 11, 2002).

Remember Reno!” (9/8/2006) equated Benthamism with legal excesses, whereby the law, “intended as a bulwark against government abuses,” had become “an implement of government, to be utilized by all-knowing rulers for the ‘greater good’—the founders’ Blackstonian view of the law” having “been supplanted by a Benthamism that encourages ambitious prosecutors to discard a defendant’s rights.”

“‘Mad Dog’ Sneddon Vs. Michael Jackson” (7/5/2005) mentions once again the Benthamite notion of “the law as an implement of government, to be utilized by all-knowing rulers for the ‘greater good.’

The Library of Economics and Liberty expounds a little more about Bentham the utilitarian, whose “publications were few,” and whose foundational belief was “that all social actions should be evaluated by the axiom, ‘It is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.’”

In a word, utilitarianism, and by extension, statism and collectivism.

Counter to Adam Smith’s vision of “natural rights,” Bentham believed that there were no natural rights to be interfered with.

Trained in law, Bentham never practiced, choosing instead to focus on judicial and legal reforms. His reform plans went beyond rewriting legislative acts to include detailed administrative plans to implement his proposals. In his plan for prisons, workhouses, and other institutions, Bentham devised compensation schemes, building designs, worker timetables, and even new accounting systems. A guiding principle of Bentham’s schemes was that incentives should be designed “to make it each man’s interest to observe on every occasion that conduct which it is his duty to observe.” Interestingly, Bentham’s thinking led him to the conclusion, which he shared with Smith, that professors should not be salaried.

In his early years Bentham professed a free-market approach. He argued, for example, that interest rates should be free from government control (see Defence of Usury). By the end of his life he had shifted to a more interventionist stance. He predated Keynes in his advocacy of expansionist monetary policies to achieve full employment and advocated a range of interventions, including the minimum wage and guaranteed employment.

Jeremy Bentham was a thoroughbred statist; the quintessential bureaucrat and social engineer, who devised ways to tinker in oder to optimize the individual pawn’s common-good conduct.


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UPDATE II: 2014: The Year Of Living Racially (FREE People Don’t Fear ‘Racial Polarization’)

Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Political Correctness, Private Property, Propaganda, Race, Racism

The current column, “2014: The Year Of Living Racially,” surveys some of the major racial milestones of the year, only to conclude … Well, read it yourself, on WND.

My man Richard Sherman said something that kicked off the 2014, year-round, banal, racial back-and-forth that parades as debate in the U.S.

Other than that the Seattle Seahawks are my team, on account that they’re from my neck of the woods; what I know about American football is dangerous. So naturally, I was rooting for, if not watching, the Hawks, when, following their victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Sherman said That Thing. And from their citadels of stupidity, U.S. mainstream media—conservatives, liberals and libertarians—went into full St. Vitus mode

“I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like [Michael] Crabtree, that’s the result you gonna get. Don’t you ever talk about me!”

Sherman sounded good to me. Still does. The man was pumped, as men ought to be in a testosterone-infused game. The Seahawks’ cornerback was correct to point out that his “outburst,” following the “defensive play that sealed his team’s trip to the Super Bowl,” was an extension of “his game-time competitiveness.”

“Let’s not make thug the new N-word,” pleaded John McWhorter, a scholar of color, whose intellectual and moral authority in the culture stems primarily from the concentration of melanin in his skin cells, not from the force of his argument.

Come again?

As in January of last year, I still don’t get the reason for the fuss over what Sherman said. His boisterous bit of theatre set in motion some racial, national free-association, which no man or woman with a brain cell to rub between them can follow.

Speaking of mindlessness, in February, the president of black America launched his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. Barack Obama claimed “this initiative” as his “lifelong goal,” “even after he leaves office.”

If to go by Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010,” “rising inequality and declining mobility,” as well as “widespread decay in moral fiber”—these are as serious and widespread among “white, lower-status, less well-educated Americans,” as they are among the black and Hispanic communities. It was against this backdrop that Obama signaled his intention to deploy his signature initiative to keep at least $200 million belonging to “leading foundations and businesses,” for “programs aimed at minority youth of color.” …

Read the rest. “2014: The Year Of Living Racially” is now on WND.

Happy New Year.
ILANA

UPDATE I: The title of the column is from a movie, but I doubt anyone under 40 (Kerry Crowel excepted), brought up on current Hollywood fare, will remember “The Year of Living Dangerously.”

UPDATE II (1/2): FREE People Don’t Fear “Racial Polarization.” I am not sure why people, in this so-called free society of ours, “worry” so much about what they term “racial polarization.” Leave people to fire, hire, rent, employ or live with whomever they wish. So long as there is no aggression against The Other, who cares about “racial polarization”? Isn’t the right to include and exclude a feature of freedom of association and the right of private property.


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