Re: Nutshells

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Whenever I see the word "coverture", I think of chocolate.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-12-10 11:38 PM
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You're curating good, Ben.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-12-10 11:40 PM
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But from a libertarian point of view, voting is at most instrumentally valuable.

Conversation ended.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-12-10 11:40 PM
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WHEN DID YOU STOP FREEING YOUR WIFE?


Posted by: OPINIONATED LIBERTARIAN | Link to this comment | 04-12-10 11:43 PM
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Nutshell is right; ignore all reality in favour of abstruse theoretical reasons why women were too free in the libertarian golden age.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04-12-10 11:49 PM
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And the reaction to a problem is, contracts!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-12-10 11:50 PM
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I also dig "might be".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-12-10 11:51 PM
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Do libertarians never stop for a minute and just listen to themselves? I don't mean the ones who clearly get off on being dicks, like McArdle or Reynolds, but people like Caplan and the VC guys who at least attempt to maintain some consistency in their worldview. Do they not care that they always seem to end up making arguments as stupid and morally outrageous as "it's hard to see how [married women having essentially no rights] could have done much to restrict 19th-century women's freedom" to support their position?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 1:20 AM
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Apparently not Some highlights from Caplan's doubling down:

I'm ignoring marital rape. To be blunt, this issue is almost entirely symbolic.

If cohabitation was vigorously prosecuted in 1880, this argument would be fairly convincing.

If a women in 1880 wanted to write a contract, I think she did the same thing a woman in 2010 would do - talk about it with her husband. If he refused, she did the same thing she'd do today: complain, argue, bargain, etc.

Or, you know, just write the damn contract as is her legal right in 2010.


How many Gilded Age women were actually prosecuted for fornication? Laws against contraception and reproductive education were probably a bigger deal, but it's still easy to exaggerate their impact on women's freedom. How many young women in 1880 didn't know how to avoid pregnancy?

You did not just write that. Seriously? That's your fucking argument?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 1:45 AM
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Actual women lived in the 19th century. Many were literate, and even many of those who were not were able to express themselves on the record. Perhaps it would be a good idea to pay attention to what they thought and did, particularly what they thought about freedom and what they did to obtain it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 1:59 AM
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Silly fa. If we read women's writing, how could we continue to use them as symbols in our political agendas?

The other move that sends my antennae into a tizzy is the one where Jews, blacks, and gay people might be getting the shaft, but "women" (who apparently are never Jews, blacks, or gay people) are doing fine, so we're good. I've never been sure exactly how white straight women got separated out from all others as the only measure of a just society, but it is highly irritating.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 4:40 AM
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re: 11

Drives me a bit mental when it's used also as the sole measure in preference to economic equality. Like women also don't make up a high percentage of the poor and low-paid.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 4:43 AM
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that guy is so fucking socially incompetent and retarded. who would ever say anything that dumb out loud, much less write it down, much less invite strangers to read it? I'll sleep better if I imagine someone dosed his frappucino with the deadly combination of jaegermeister and mescaline* right before he got started.

*seriously, don't do this.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 4:53 AM
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Christ, now we have to actually pay attention to what women write? This feminism thing has gone too far.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 4:57 AM
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re: 14

Just the good-looking ones, Walt.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 5:06 AM
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Libertarianism often seems to me like a huge movement consisting of people who otherwise might be described as smart (at least, that's what every account of interactions with libertarians seems to say about them), but to whom some really basic things seem never to have occurred.

Recently, I was listening to an old TAL episode in which the interviewer is following that "2 percenter" group of Libs who wanted to find a state to take over and model on libertarian principles, and the reporter keeps describing their leader as a brilliant, charismatic, wonderful person. But then they're visiting VT to decide whether to take it over, and sitting in a park, and she asks, "So, what do you think the people who live here would feel about their state being taken over by libertarians?" and he's all "Oh, well, they could move I guess. I didn't really think about that." Later he says how much he loves the little park they're sitting in, and she asks him what would happen to parks in a libertarian system. He starts going on and on about how they'd all be privatized and you'd probably have to pay to get in them, or maybe they'd all be razed for industrial buildings or something, and... oh wait. Huh.

Either these people are suffering from an extraordinary failure of imagination, or they are big fat liars who get all Bambi-eyed every single time someone tries to point out something like this. Wow. Never thought of that. Wow. OK, back to taking over Vermont!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 5:06 AM
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Caplan's argument is so stupid that I feel sorry for the guy. I always thought he was a moron, but now even his fellow libertarians are going think it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 5:07 AM
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They are, on the whole, self-regarding morons. Their whole philosophy is little more than an elaborated form of masturbatory self-worship.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 5:12 AM
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16: ... smart ... but to whom some really basic things seem never to have occurred.

That's been my experience with the breed too. They have huge and obvious blind spots they're totally unable or unwilling to detect.

I recall an argument made in favor of the absolute nature of the the second amendment taking place in the midst of the often hostile crazies wandering around Hollywood and Vine back then. Surreal.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 5:22 AM
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(Oh, and ttaM, I just got my rejection letter for the job. Not even shortlisted. Thanks for the advice and encouragement though!)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 5:22 AM
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My colleague Bryan Caplan is the sharpest thinker I've personally known. He has a penetrating insight and willingness to embrace uncomfortable conclusions.


Posted by: Hobin Ranson | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 5:25 AM
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11: In fairness, he starts out by acknowledging that blacks and gays were a lot less free back then. Although even that part is frustratingly stupid, because about black and gays he acknowledges casually that social and economic restrictions can meaningfully infringe on liberty (it would be earth-shattering if a libertarian admitted as much about the present day), but he only recognizes that could happen to Jewish people in the most extreme case, and about women, meh.

16: Vermont, really? That's frightening, although it's not like they're actually going to succeed. But I thought New Hampshire was the designated libertarian takeover target, on account of it's already more free-ish to begin with.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 5:27 AM
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22: That's my point, though. Whether a society is just or not should not depend on separating one group out and saying that if we can argue somehow that white straight women weren't oppressed, then a majority of people aren't oppressed. But (a) he doesn't even acknowledge that some women are, in fact, Jewish, black, or gay, and (b) this kind of shit has been going on forever, trying to get white straight women to be collaborators in continuing an oppressive society. The white straight bourgeois part of the feminist movement is mostly about waking up one day and going, "I was told I was a beautiful princess and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!" What T-shirt?, sez all other women everywhere.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 5:35 AM
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Before you even get to the crushing stupidity of not paying attention to things which are known and knowable--a huge, expansive body of scholarship on women in the 19th and early 20th Century and a very large body of primary documents by and about women's situation--even the theoretical obsessions are weird here, typical of the bizarro-world focus on contemporary American libertarians on their vision of the "welfare state" as the ultimate boogeyman. The oddest thing that does to their thinking is completely remove liberalism from libertarianism, so that they forget that rights and individual liberty were secured by and through the state, not in spite of it.

The way most contemporary American libertarians think, some of coastal West Africa in the mid to late 18th Century would look like a libertarian paradise, say Old Calabar. No local state of note, slave traders showed up and made deals with the representatives of "canoe houses", which were basically slave-trading corporations of mostly Igbo-speaking men. There was also a trade in supplies and so on, equally ungoverned, a perfect "free market". Only, you know, no rights whatsoever. You could be a trader in slaves today and a slave yourself tomorrow if someone conspired against you.

So even at the semi-autistic level of pure abstraction some of these guys prefer, it's eye-bleedingly bad. Beyond that, though, I just keep thinking: is it that hard to just pick up some fucking books? Read about the social history of women in the 19th Century?


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 5:47 AM
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What 18 said. What a bunch of tools.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 5:49 AM
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I just keep thinking: is it that hard to just pick up some fucking books? Read about the social history of women in the 19th Century?

Honestly, Tim, that's all just history, reportage, facts, actual events, detail, context, first-hand accounts, and other such ephemera. But I have a model or theory, so all that stuff doesn't count for anything. Also, I am a real scientist.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 5:53 AM
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re: 20

Bah, that's a shame. It's been my experience with the last couple of applications too, fwiw. Unfortunately.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 5:56 AM
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21. I'm pleased to hear that, because the one under discussion here is not so much a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic, as he's left the hamper in the car.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 6:06 AM
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20. Fuck that. Still I'm of the opinion that AWB should get a job in Vermont so she can go to the barricades if necessary.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 6:09 AM
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OMG Caplan has another one up! Hobo has already retaliated at CT, and you should read the comments for his missus' contribution, which may be her best work since this

Also, I know Henley doesn't call himself a libertarian any more. But. He. Is. Vicious.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 6:41 AM
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and the reporter keeps describing their leader as a brilliant, charismatic, wonderful person.

Was that Jason Sorens, the Free State Project guy? At the time ('01-'02) I kept up with the FSP. On his blog at the time there was a picture of him posing in a sort of flowing Byronic peasant shirt as he (presumably) prepared to lead his people to the promised state. To this day, I still think of him as "Jason Sorens, that peasant shirt guy."

Either these people are suffering from an extraordinary failure of imagination, or they are big fat liars who get all Bambi-eyed every single time someone tries to point out something like this.

For a lot of libertarians, I think, politics is just an elaborate dress-up game, like being "goth" or "punk." People like Caplan intellectualize this to a greater degree, but the game remains the same.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:04 AM
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Oh. my. god. That follow-up by Caplan makes the original one look like sage wisdom by comparison.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:09 AM
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31.Last is brilliant.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:12 AM
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30. Hobo s/b Holbo (I think).


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:15 AM
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34: Don't assume.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:17 AM
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34: your original way was better. He should look into changing his name.

On the OP, you know, I feel like there was a time I backed off on full-throated mockery of libertarians, because I felt like maybe some of the more intellectual of them actually had a more nuanced worldview than I generally gave them credit for, and having not read about their ridiculous philosophy in enough detail, I didn't want to be attacking straw men. How very silly of me that was.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:18 AM
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20: Their loss.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:18 AM
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As noted in the CT comments, Caplan's website is something to behold.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:23 AM
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36: Libertarians have some good ideas from time to time (pollution credits started out as a libertarian idea), and they have critiques of liberal policies that are worth listening to, if for no other reason than every policy should be critiqued and the alternative to the libertarian one is the batshit crazy teabaggers or the outright evil neocons and theocons. The unfortunate thing is that the overwhelming majority have a huge streak of glibertarianism (perhaps the most on-target neologism ever).

The libertarian aversion to any data that isn't filtered through a Chicago School prism limits what they can usefully say, unfortunately.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:24 AM
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For a lot of libertarians, I think, politics is just an elaborate dress-up game, like being "goth" or "punk."

Specifically, it's a game of "let's dress up as robber barons, and work ourselves into a fit of indignation at all the laws and regulations that keep us from fulfilling our robber-baron fantasies."


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:26 AM
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38: I had no idea web design was ordinarily so highly regulated.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:26 AM
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39: uh huh, uh huh. I kind of hear what you're saying, but it's being drowned out by the overwhelming stupid in Caplan's posts. Maybe we can discuss the reasonable points libertarians can occasionally make when we're not deep in the maelstrom of the stupid points they make much more often.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:28 AM
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Reasonable libertarians are usually just classical liberals of some kind and often all it takes to get them to see that is hanging around with some Cato-brand libertarians or official party libertarians. Strong skepticism about the state is perfectly useful and warranted, points taken about the unexpected and perverse effects of many state interventions (though let's add market effects while we're at it to that bin). And then there's the bizarro-world autistic libertarians who aren't just trapped in an endless thought-experiment that they mistake for reality, but trapped in a thought-experiment which has the strange dual character that it is both unpleasant in the extreme and morosely autoerotic at the same time. That is to say that libertarians like Caplan imagine that the world would be better if it's much nastier AND that they personally would be vastly better off in a nastier world, that somehow they would be the ones who ended up as the master of the world around them.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:36 AM
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Also noteworthy, The Intellectual Autobiography of Bryan Caplan. Opening line: "It began with Ayn Rand, as it proverbially does."

I am unfamiliar with that proverb.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:36 AM
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Fair enough. There's a time to engage and a time to point and laugh.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:36 AM
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Turn, turn, turn.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:37 AM
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Honestly, not caring much about Caplan, but caring quite a bit about political theory, this dustup strikes me as an opportunity to not merely discredit for all time right-libertarianism but also classical and modern liberalism.

The opportunity is enhanced by the previous post about curators...curates...those who tend care for the commons, be they artifacts or souls. As should we all, as everything must be and is the commons.

See, once you realize that private property, including self-ownership (as usually conceived), is theft, and always and everywhere diminishes liberty, and always and everywhere leads to despicable Caplanism, then liberalism itself is consigned to the dustbin of history.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:37 AM
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43: something something first against the wall something something.

44: it's a synonym for "I was deflowered tremendously late in life". Comes from Greenspan.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:38 AM
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Libertarians ... have critiques of liberal policies that are worth listening to, if for no other reason than every policy should be critiqued and the alternative to the libertarian one is the batshit crazy teabaggers or the outright evil neocons and theocons.

In the US, advocates of mainstream liberal policies ought to be listening to critiques from the left, not the right.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:38 AM
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Taking the kind of rights that Caplan actually cares about, I wonder if he would argue that the right to start and operate a small business in Communist Poland was no different than in the US, or the existence of a 'free market' in general. It's not like they didn't exist, both legally and illegally. And there was also the extensive 'favor' trading system through which people obtained a wide variety of goods and services.

But for anyone wondering about how crazy Caplan is, it's worth remembering that he made a splash a couple years ago by writing a book arguing that democracy is bad and only those who subscribe to the Randian worldview should have the right to political participation. Or maybe I should rephrase that - Caplan believes in libertarian flavoured democratic centralism.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:39 AM
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I am unfamiliar with that proverb.

I think it goes: "What begins with Ayn Rand, stays with Ayn Rand".


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:40 AM
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Belle over at CT has convinced me that I shouldn't think about this a moment longer. To work.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:42 AM
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50 is excellent, but "Caplan believes in libertarian flavoured democratic centralism" will entertain me for hours.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:42 AM
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50.2: so did he crib that from Starship Troopers, or what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:42 AM
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Oh man. Of course he has Civ II scenarios on his faculty page, but suggested rule revisions for Champions? Priceless! I wonder how well they track with the ones I came up with in high school?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:43 AM
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Wow, Tim Burke's comment in that Crooked Timber thread is teh awesome. Not sure when the last time he's let that much anger/contempt show on teh internets was.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:45 AM
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Caplan's website is something to behold.

So is his graphic novel!

(Holy shit, that book looks like ten tons of batshit awesomeness.)

I am unfamiliar with that proverb.

It usually begins with Ayn Rand. (I credit this funny book, which I stumbled on to my sophomore year with inoculating me against collegiate Randiness.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:47 AM
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So. His graphic novel: more or less batshit than Mr. A?


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:49 AM
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Mr. A, for those not yet enlightened.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:50 AM
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someone dosed his frappucino with the deadly combination of jaegermeister and mescaline right before he got started

Perhaps he had a Starbucks Benzadrinacino ®


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 7:58 AM
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#58. Having only looked at the first twenty pages or so, I'm going with more batshit. I think the following line is spoken by a robot assassin:

"See, Firefighter, Ambassador is right. Allegra special girl. Special nerdy girl who keeps secrets from Daddy."- p. 12, panel 5.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:08 AM
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54: In Starship Troopers, it isn't that political participation is limited to "only those who subscribe to the Randian worldview" or anything similar. It is limited to those who served in the military, but that isn't because of intellectual superiority. In the novel, those defending the limited political participation make the point that those who served are most likely less intelligent than those who didn't and that the reason for the requirement is to get voters who can think of something beyond their own interest. Heinlein is not Rand.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:11 AM
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57: I think I may try to read that if I can get hold of some quality smoke. Stoned goes well with crazy.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:17 AM
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61: I'm predicting yours are the first human eyes to gaze upon page 12, panel 5.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:18 AM
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There's a conversation you can often find yourself having with an intelligent 4 year old, which goes:

4-y-o: "I've invented a [really quite thoughful idea for the public good which can't happen because of either basic physics or it would cost $4 quadrillion]."

You: Yes, it would, but I'm afraid the world isn't like that.

4-y-o: Why not?

You: [attempt to explain either the science or the economics at 4-y-o level]

4-y-o: Oh. [changes subject]

Except that Caplan's response is to go: IT IS IT IS IT IS!!!eleventy11!!! and hold his breath until his face turns blue.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:18 AM
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62: I maintain that a feeble-minded Randian, reading Starship Troopers, could take from it the idea that political participation should be limited to an elect willing to put their principles on the line even if it means hardship or privation, and, since their doughy asses are vanishingly unlikely to join the military, generalize it to those who are willing to embrace Hobbesian harshness in the interest of generically defined "freedom".

And wherever you come down on the various Heinlein questions, there are legions of idiot Randians ready to come down on the side that treats him as a literal, glibertarian maximalist weirdo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:19 AM
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66: True dat. But, I kind of liked the book so I like to remark on the differences.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:21 AM
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67: oh, I like the book, too. And we probably shouldn't reignite the Heinlein debates; that always ends vaguely uncomfortably.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:23 AM
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68: Is it a thing here? I'll go RTFA or maybe just take your word for it and drop it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:25 AM
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Cause eventually in such a conversation we're all going to have to figure out what it means that Lazarus Long gets to schtup his own mother and Heinlein thinks that's a good thing.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:27 AM
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I'm sad that every single blog I'm reading is now about this subject.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:28 AM
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Lazarus Long's mom was hot.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:28 AM
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69: I was looking for some relevant threads, but yeah, it's a thing all over the internet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:29 AM
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Like the cats with captioning?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:32 AM
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Like the cats with captioning?

Shhhhh. Keep that one quiet. We want to surprise helpy-chalk on his birthday.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:33 AM
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Why not get him a DVD.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:37 AM
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It's like there's a crowd of people gathered around some kid who is doing progressively crazier and riskier things. First he does a ninja routine where he leaps across the roofs of buildings. Then he douses his hand in gasoline and lights it and dunks it before he gets burnt. And so on. And the crowd keeps shouting out progressively more crazy things to do and the guy is so into it that he's not even noticing that he's getting closer and closer to winning a Darwin Award. Nobody can believe that the guy keeps doubling down.

Like, what's next? Antebellum slaves were more free because he googled it and it turns out that most of them would rather have been slaves in America than farmers in West Africa, so being enslaved must actually have been an implicit contractual choice of some kind? Get some more popcorn, folks. Who knows where Mr. Caplan's Wild Ride will take us next!


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:39 AM
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77: Slaves in the US were freer than farmers in Africa because the farmers lived in constant fear of slave raids, while the slaves were secure in the knowledge that they were valuable property, protected by virile white men.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:43 AM
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Isn't Bryan Caplan a former part-time commenter here? Or do I have him confused with someone else?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:44 AM
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Economic life on the shtetls was kind of constraining, who wouldn't prefer the excitement of the free-wheeling high stakes underground economy of the camps?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:48 AM
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I thought I'd just dispense with the preliminaries.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:49 AM
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Caplan's book about voters was pretty interesting, I thought. I didn't read the whole thing, but he starts with a survey rather than making things up wholesale as here or plucking from headlines, and his conclusions about how an electorate can be easily manipulated in some directions seem pretty sound, and the survey provides a basis to identify which directions will work.

Maybe he writes more than he should, the linked post is stupid in a typically libertarian way. 77 seems pretty good. He enjoys having an audience more than is economically rational.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 8:50 AM
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Isn't Bryan Caplan a former part-time commenter here?

I knew someone by a similar name in HS and had to click around for photos to make sure it wasn't the same guy. It's a pretty common name.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 9:26 AM
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Caplan is apparently working on a book titled Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent Is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think. Works out better if you have more sons than daughters, though, so that you can collect more in dowries than you have to pay out.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 9:29 AM
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Call me old fashioned if you must, but if I had a daughter I would not only refuse to pay a dowry, I'd insist on a payment in cattle directly proportional to her hott-ness.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 9:32 AM
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Honoured!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 9:33 AM
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ttaM yeah I always get a little thrill.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 9:41 AM
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suggested rule revisions for Champions?

I had to look at these. They're mostly minor, but you have to be amused by this sentence:

Normal characters are assumed to be middle class with no political power and normal civil rights.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 9:43 AM
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Works out better if you have more sons than daughters, though, so that you can collect more in dowries than you have to pay out.

Unless you live in a brideprice-paying culture. Gotta check these things!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 10:01 AM
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Belle's comment on the CT thread is right on. Yesterday, you guys shamed me from ridicule by showing that HG had met the model for Forrest Gump, and today you want to suck me into another game of make fun of the retard? The guy has serious issues: he's so far gone, he thinks that the actual historical experience -- as to which he is surrounded by experts -- is irrelevant to his argument about history.

I can't believe that anyone actually takes this stupidity seriously. And guess what? No one with any power takes libertarianism any more seriously than they take Star Trek physics.

Wait, why is my office suddenly flooding with tachyons . . .?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 10:16 AM
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"It began with Ayn Rand, as it proverbially does."

Lame proverb, but I like it as an epitaph.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 10:29 AM
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I really don't see what's so wrong with building a political philosophy around fantasies of Ayn Rand's brain in a supermodel's body.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 10:42 AM
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66 - It's just a hop-skip-and-jump from that to David Frum's Donner Party capitalism discussed in that infinitely long Holbo post of yore ("Dark Satanic Millian liberalism").


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 10:49 AM
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90.last: Sorry. That was me. I was reversing the polarity on the deflector dish when I dropped my sonic screwdriver and shorted the warp core. On the plus side, sitting next to me is Ayn Rand, only she has a goatee and is rambling on about the importance of social insurance.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 10:58 AM
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When folks arguing for the 1880 utopia are equally irrelevant to mainstream political discourse as the ones arguing for the Communist or Fascist one, then Belle, Charlie, et. al. will be right. Unfortunately unlike my friend in college who used to try to convince me that North Korea is a model of freedom, the right-libertarians are treated as serious people (tm).

NB, Folks who know more about classical history than I do, wasn't Cato a defender of oligarchic government by a hereditary aristocracy, or has HBO's Rome screwed with my memory?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 11:02 AM
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There would be a screenplay in this if it hadn't already been done to death. The ordinance passed.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 11:02 AM
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Plutocracy is taken seriously.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 11:05 AM
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Also, what is that shit about the Market being always triumphant, making laws and custom irrelevant? Doesn't that make meaningless the whole libertarian project, and all other ones too? Again, with the imitation of doctrinaire Marxism for dummies.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 11:08 AM
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Caplan is an idiot. I thought that JS Mill was a big libertarian hero and libertarians could just say "If we libertarians were back in the 1800's, we would work to end slavery and work for women's rights just like our libertarian hero, JS Mill."

JS Mill surely pissed of enough people and libertarians love that but I guess you need to piss people off by being wrong to be a libertarian.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 11:12 AM
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Plenty of libertarians think the Civil War was a bad idea, because it increased the size of government and the market would have tended to liberate the slaves, anyway.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 11:14 AM
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I don't know why I'm concern trolling this, but I guess it should be pointed out that this whole affair started with Libertarians, Boaz and Wilkinson, criticizing fellow Libertarians about Gilded Age utopianism.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 11:20 AM
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the market would have tended to liberate the slaves, anyway

The Yes Man have a brilliant PowerPoint presentation on this.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 11:21 AM
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101 -- One set of trekkies thought the other set's uniforms were overly garish. Brings down the whole atmosphere.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 11:56 AM
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103: That's "trekkers" to you.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 2:39 PM
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101: not all libertarians are selfish morons, but than we tend to call them ex=-libertarians, like Henley.

Re Heinlein, I wonder how much you could blame him for libertarian obsession with the late nineteenth century as the model for all societies to emulate. Heinlein sure was a sucker for that Everytown in Wild West, USA feel, but at least he had the excuse to have grown up in the early part of the last century...


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04-13-10 11:41 PM
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