Category Archives: Reason

Libertarian Feminists Make A Move On Von Mises

Gender, History, libertarianism, Private Property, Reason, Socialism

“Libertarian Feminists Make A Move On Von Mises” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

“As I paged through the dog’s breakfast of an essay titled “The Feminism of Ludwig von Mises,” I found myself wondering:

What does midwifery have to do with Mises? Both find their way into the stream-of-consciousness non sequiturs that is the article. I suppose midwifery is an occupation dominated by women. Mises was an old-fashioned, European economist whose legacy women are attempting to occupy. That must be it!

Incidentally, naming the solipsistic feminists (a redundancy, I know) who’ve made a move on the Austrian-School economist is unnecessary. “Avoid naming names when dealing with marginal characters,” I was once instructed by a veteran journalist, who was responding to a devastating critique I had penned in reply to some self-important, insignificant sorts. Joseph Farah e-mailed one of his lacerating missives: “Good job. But who the hell are these people? Their arguments are of a piece with Yasser Arafat’s. Next time, tackle the Arafat argument instead,” he admonished.

Alas, “The Feminism of Ludwig von Mises” is devoid of argument to tackle. From the fact that Mises taught and mentored capable lady scholars, the* feminists have concluded that the Austrian-School economist “actively promoted the interests of women in academia” and “saw women intellectuals in Vienna as an undervalued human resource.” …

… Indeed, it takes a degree of provincialism unique to our country’s feminists to claim that a European gentleman, born in Austria-Hungary in the late 1800s, was one of them—a rib from the feminist fraternity’s ribcage. This writer grew up in Israel at a time when quite a few elderly, highly educated Austrian gentlemen were still around. Grandfather, a master chess player, hung out with these men in Tel-Aviv chess clubs and cafés. Having actually encountered this creature in his natural habitat, I put this to you, gentle reader:

The proposition that Ludwig von Mises was a feminist is an apodictic impossibility. …

Read on. The complete column is “Libertarian Feminists Make A Move On Von Mises” now on WND.


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The Take Offense Offensive

John McCain, Left-Liberalism, Reason, Republicans

Yesterday it was Elijah Cummings, today it’s John McCain who took The Offense Offensive on the road.

Like any good lefty, Sen. John McCain has officially taken offense at Young Turk Ted Cruz—but not for slights against his own sanctimonious self. No. Our noble neoconservative is too big for such pettiness. He’s taken up The Take Offense Offensive over slights Bob Dole is alleged to have been dealt by Cruz.

McCain the insufferable:

Sen. John McCain said Friday he doesn’t mind criticism from Sen. Ted Cruz, but he called on the Texas Republican to apologize for comments he made about former Sen. Bob Dole in a speech Thursday.

The Arizona Republican said he spoke with Cruz on the Senate floor after his remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.

“I spoke to Ted Cruz. He and I have a cordial relationship about this,” McCain said on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on Friday. “He can say what he wants to about me, and he can say anything he wants to, I think, about Mitt [Romney], Mitt’s capable of taking it. But when he throws Bob Dole in there, I wonder if he thinks that Bob Dole stood for principle on that hilltop in Italy when he was so gravely wounded and left part of his body there fighting for our country?”

Cruz made fun of McCain, Romney and Dole’s failed presidential campaigns on Thursday, joking about “President McCain,” “President Romney” and “President Dole” in urging Republicans to stand for their principles and not repeat past mistakes.

McCain said Friday that Cruz should apologize.

Cruz is right. McCain is a distraction.

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Analyze This: On ‘The Factor,’ Psychologizing Passes As Analysis

Conservatism, Democrats, English, Foreign Policy, Reason, Republicans, Russia

Bill O’Reilly, star of Fox New, has this Pavlovian response to any suggested comparison between Russian and American military bellicosity: he foams at the mouth. Why is it absolutely verboten, on The Factor, to compare Russia’s “excursion” into Ukraine to America’s naturally illicit and illegal occupations of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, on and on?

You’re in for a treat. In defense of their reflexive rejection of the reasonable, if inaccurate, comparison—for decades the US has been far more aggressive than Russia in its foreign policy—don’t expect argument from Bill, Juan Williams and the gang. What you get is a form of ad hominem, or psychologizing.

President Vladimir Putin, said (today, Monday, March 3) Bill, is a thug. That’s why he can’t be compared to “a good country” like the US. (Childish doesn’t begin to cover this stuff.) Apparently Bush and Obama are never to be called thugs.

Why, Billy? Because they’re American?

The other “argument” for the lack of validity of said comparison was that Putin seeks the recrudescence of the Russian empire (my usage; Bill and the gang did not use that word. Read about Bill’s valiant but botched attempts to promote English). Bill has read Putin’s mind, and knows he wants Russia to be an empire again. Hence we cannot compare the actions on the ground of the two countries.

If ever you doubted that liberals and conservatives are situated on the same foreign-policy continuum, listen to the prescriptions for Ukraine of leftist Juan Williams. On the same silly segment, the Fox News “analyst” recommended that the US freeze the assets of individual Russians, stateside and abroad, expel visiting Russians and stop Russians from traveling to the US, all in retaliation for the presence of Russian forces in Crimea (which is dominated by a Russian-speaking population). Williams, naturally, also wants to see economic sanctions placed on Russia.

Williams is an “analyst” in the same way Bill O’Reilly is a thinker.

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UPDATED: Cite Your Sources, Creep!

Ethics, Etiquette, Ilana Mercer, Morality, Paleoconservatism, Race, Reason

I receive the Taki Magazine newsletter in my In-Box.

I often click on it for a quick once-over.

With some exceptions, speed reading is the mode reserved for the stuff. With exceptions like Sailer, of course (Pat Buchanan is read on WND), the reason for this was touched upon in a Feb. 15, Facebook, thread with a Fred Reed fan.

While I too think “Fred Reed rocks,” information-rich work is my preference. I love Reed for his audacity, but riffing does not do it for me. I need information.

Unless I learn something substantive in the process, I’m not interested in other people’s opinions. I have too many of my own. :)

As I was skimming a riff by a character called Jim Goad (one of whose light-reading posts I was decent enough to reference in a January post of my own; naturally I cite my sources)—I came across a remarkably familiar line on a rather obscure matter of logic, also the only analytical part in this riff of a column.

This character was motivating (dah) against an “egalitarian … fallacy, which roughly runs thusly.” And Goad writes:

Differences within any group are greater than those between groups.

The familiar part of the Goad column was this:

“Against every known rule of logic,” he notes,” “this statement is always used as some blanket proof of equality.” Goad promises to “carefully dismantle this super-dumb time bomb.” He continues:

Here’s why the statement is deceptive: Differences between highs and lows WITHIN a group do not discount or magically wash away differences between group AVERAGES.

High and low did I search Barely A Blog, but was unable to locate the familiar point of logic made on BAB so long ago. Finally, it came to me: I would have alluded to inter-group differences. Yes! I found what I was after using the “inter” prefix in the BAB search window.

The post is “The Kindness Of (Caucasian) Strangers (On Brotherly Love).” It’s dated 01.31.10. My identical line of reasoning about this obscure matter is as follows, verbatim:

… no; we’re not all the same. A common liberal refrain (I would like to see what Steve Sailer has said in this regard) is that differences between individuals are statistically more significant than those between cultural, ethnic, and racial groups. I don’t see why the fact of inter-individual differences would nullify inter-group variance. That’s liberal logic for you. [ILANA MERCER]

Moreover, I have never heard of the formal fallacy Goad cites to label his inquiry. However, on perusing the Wikipedia entry, I found empirical refutations but no analytical ones–no allusion was made to the deduction that appears in the Mercer post titled “The Kindness Of (Caucasian) Strangers (On Brotherly Love).”

Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but unacknowledged, lifting someone’s ideas without attribution is disgusting—it tells me all I need to know about a person.

Alas, borrowing of this nature is mostly impossible to prove. This is why passing off the often-idiosyncratic ideas or references of others as their own is “par for the course” in these circles. Nevertheless, shame we shall when we come across this lowly practice.

About the natural law, Sir William Blackstone noted that it should include such precepts as that human beings should live honestly, hurt nobody, and render everyone their due (in Conway, 2004). Clearly, this is an instinct alien to some.

UPDATE (3/2): As my dear (most original) friend professor Walter Block once said to me, when we first met (2000?), “You are a natural praxeologist.” I’m sure I make a lot of mistakes, but this method comes naturally. Mercer columns tend to consist in logical deductions. Other than in similar circles, this is not a common style/habit. (We stand on the shoulders of the brilliant David Gordon.) When you see your reasoning, it’s like seeing an image of your offspring. Others might say, “All babies look the same,” but you know that bundle is yours.

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Conservative Argument From Feelings Against Fem Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action, Ann Coulter, Conservatism, Feminism, Gender, Reason

Presumably pursuant to the posts “Conservatives and Lefties United Against The Beauty Ideal” and “With Some Exceptions, ‘Women Are Fascists At Heart,’” Ben Cohen of “American Thinker” has been kind enough to send me his piece, “The Legitimacy of White Male Anger.”


My problem, however, with “The Legitimacy of White Male Anger” is its non-stop apologetics, which come close to accepting the premise of “gender parity through affirmative action,” provided women are a little more gracious about all the concessions they are getting.

“Those demanding that more women be hired in various academic fields” are “sanctimonious and callous,” “blatantly self-serving”; not nice, demanding.

This amounts to psychologizing, not arguing.

Moreover, why is it “bad” for men to have given an “unfriendly reception” to women who’ve been forcibly integrated into the traditionally male trades?

If they don’t deserve to be on the job, on merit, why does friendliness matter; why is it the focus here? And why have men taken to arguing like women? (“You hurt my feelings. Be nice.” Or, “do feminists ever stop and consider the men’s perspective?”)

It’s disconcerting.

As an individualist, I am all for recruiting your lesbian, Amazonian lady to the traditionally male occupations. She is a rare creature who can match men in physicality. Seek her. Keep her. In an increasingly feminized, soft society, warrior women need the military, for example, as an outlet for their abilities. Let these women join the police, military or the fire brigade. An exception, not the rule, however, is the woman who can match a man in strength, speed, physical endurance and handiness.

So why on earth is male “unfriendliness” toward women who force them to do double duty on the job relevant? Even the woman-glorifying, TV cop series we all watch can’t help but display men outrunning their partners, catching up to the criminal, pummeling the thug, and saving the more feeble female cop’s life.

A male cop who serves along a 100 pound woman with silicone for breasts is risking his life. Receiving her with hostility into the force is hardly the issue here. Neither is it wrong.

I hardly think an “unfriendly” reception is the crux of the matter in the grander program of engineered gender parity.

Read “Freeze! I Just Had My Nails Done!” by Ann Coulter, where she gets straight to the matter:

How many people have to die before the country stops humoring feminists? … The inestimable economist John Lott has looked at the actual data. (And I’ll give you the citation! John R. Lott Jr., “Does a Helping Hand Put Others at Risk? Affirmative Action, Police Departments and Crime,” Economic Inquiry, April 1, 2000.)

It turns out that, far from “de-escalating force” through their superior listening skills, female law enforcement officers vastly are more likely to shoot civilians than their male counterparts. (Especially when perps won’t reveal where they bought a particularly darling pair of shoes.)

Unable to use intermediate force, like a bop on the nose, female officers quickly go to fatal force. According to Lott’s analysis, each 1 percent increase in the number of white female officers in a police force increases the number of shootings of civilians by 2.7 percent. …


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The Mindset Of A Subject

Healthcare, Law, Natural Law, Reason

“It is the law of the land,” parrot the statists, whenever the notion of repealing Zero Care is raised.

But even the legal positivist, for whom the law does not have to embody the “ideals of justice, democracy, or the rule of law” to remain in force, must concede that Obamacare is destructive to all Americans.

Americans are certainly coming to this realization. Polls show that “82% of Republicans and 58% of voters not affiliated with either party view the law unfavorably.”

As one natural-law scholar put it, “The human person is not a means for the ruler’s use.” (p. 174.) “A rule that does not issue from the activity of reason, an arbitrary rule or an arbitrary decree would savor of lawlessness rather than law.” (p. 172.)

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