My pseudo karma just ran over my inner dogma!

People just won't stop trying to frighten, intimidate, and control others by means of labels. (A complaint of mine from the first days of this blog.)

Are we in a great national label war?

Glenn Reynolds links to Eugene Volokh's mordant reference to a new blogger, who, among other things, attempts to "smear" (I guess that's what this is) constitutional scholar Randy Barnett by calling him a "pseudo-libertarian."

I guess I have my work cut out for me. Do I have to change what I call myself? (In the interest of, er, honesty? Or would that be damage control?)

"Pseudo-libertarian," of course, is not a new smear. D.C. Thornton links to a post by Hesiod -- which attempts to expose impure ("pro war") libertarians as "pseudo-libertarians":

....[S]omeone adheres to libertarian beliefs here at home, but has no compunction about imposing "solutions" on other peoples beyond our shores is an interesting question.

Is it hypocrisy, cognitive dissonance, or just plane lazy-intellectual reasoning?

I suspect that many libertarians are confronted with two choices in opposition to creeping authoritarianism in the United States. Particularly that resulting from the "war on terror." They can oppose it directly by denouncing the Government's actions, even to the point where they embrace the "lesser of two evils", and start voting and supporting the opposing political party [in this case, the Democrats]. Or, they can oppose it indirectly and seek to remove the motivating force [in their minds] behind the Government's actions. Namely terrorists, and the states that harbor or support them.

Thus, many libertarians, but by no means all, both support limited government here at home, and unilateral [if necessary] military action to "change regimes" abroad, and impose an quasi-imperial U.S. administration upon those regimes.

To them, it means the best of both worlds [sort of]. Since the Ashcroftian crackdown on civil liberties in the United States does not [yet] directly touch them [it only applies, so far, to "enemy conbatants," and immigrants], they can [in their minds] safely remain opposed to the Democratric party [and its more government, more taxes on the wealthy agenda] without suffering direct negative consequences.

But, they can also, they believe, indirectly alleviate the pressure on civil liberties in the United States by supporting the agressive policies of the Bush administration toward Iraq [and others down the road]. So what if, in the short term, it means a violation of libertarian principles "over there." That's them, and not us. And, they rationalize to themselves, we are going to "impose" a regime on the people of Iraq that is more "libertarian" in its outlook. So, it's a win/win situation!

This is discussed (and fisked as another false dichotomy), by Alex Knapp:
Note that all of Hesiod's arguments (and read the whole thing--I didn't quote it all) boil down to these points:
1. Pro-war libertarians only want war to stop violations of civil liberties.
2. In the meantime, they're perfectly willing to put up with violations of civil liberties.
3. Wars of liberation are unlibertarian.
4. Real libertarians vote Democrat.

None of these statements are actually backed up with quotes or links to any pro-war libertarians. And where's the huge groundswell of anti-war libertarians who plan on working for the Democratic party? I don't know any of them, either. As for myself, I think that Ashcroft should be impeached, Homeland Security should be junked, and we should go to war with Iraq. Oh yeah, and I've only voted for one Republican in my life, and I only did that because the Democrat was the incumbent and I was voting against him. And I'd be willing to bet that a lot of pro-war libertarians are with me on that.

This all reminds me of something else Roger L. Simon said:

....[O]ne of the hallmarks of a good weblog is the honesty of the blogger--or at least the decent attempt at honesty because no one can be honest all the time, as Molière has shown us.
I'll try to be honest here. I use the term "libertarian" because it strikes me as more honest than "liberal" or "conservative." I do not know (and thus cannot say) who I am going to vote for. I will not vote for Kerry, though, because I think he's a socialist. In the interest of full disclosure, though, I will disclose who I have voted for (in my limited lifetime as a voter):

  • 1972: George McGovern

  • 1976: Roger McBride

  • 1980: Jimmy Carter

  • 1984: Walter Mondale

  • 1988: Michael Dukakis

  • 1992: Bill Clinton

  • 1996: Bob Dole

  • 2000: George W. Bush
  • That's two Republicans, five Democrats, and one Libertarian. My politics have not changed much since 1976. I abhor socialism and moral conservatism.

    I wish someone would run a "pseudo-libertarian" candidate, but I don't see that happening. (Actually, my blogfather floated an idea ahead of its time -- which I won't bring up....)

    Because I have switched parties so many times, I have grown quite accustomed to being called a "liberal" by conservatives, and a "conservative" by liberals. A DINO, a RINO -- all that stuff. "Libertarian" is one of those words which more accurately describes my beliefs than any other, although lately I have tried to get away with calling myself a "libertarian centrist," because I believe that "small-l" libertarianism should be acknowledged as the new center that it is. Activists in both parties hate those who refuse to conform, and more than anything they hate those who refuse to listen to them or take them seriously. Thus they always tend to hate the majority -- particularly the new libertarian majority.

    But hell, if people don't want me to call myself a libertarian, there's nothing new about it, and nothing I can do about it. (And in fairness, I only voted for the Libertarian presidential ticket once -- in 1976.)

    Sometimes it's just easier to accept labels which are intended to intimidate. If I am called a conservative by angry liberals, a liberal by angry conservatives, a pseudo-libertarian by angry libertarians, well, I'll try to plead guilty.

    But I can't be all things to all people.

    As I keep saying, I only want to be allowed to think what I think.

    So, let the labels fly.

    (Obviously, my thoughts are so impure that they're only pseudo-thoughts.)

    UPDATE: I am still marveling over Proculian Meditations -- a new blogger who obviously takes after Marcus Antistius Labeo. ("Undisguised antipathy to the new regime" is always in style -- and very much a classical value....)

    posted by Eric on 02.02.04 at 04:33 PM


    Your votes parallel mine most of the time in _certain_ ways! But mine were stupider, and will probably continue to be stupid. I really regret having thrown away my vote so many times. I had a really misspent youth, as they say, just because I hated the Republican candidate at every turn. Here's my confession:
    1960 -- 5 years old. Kennedy was like the Pharoah, Godlike. Loved the idea of going to the Moon, spaceships, aliens. When he was shot, we were all shocked, but I hated the fact that my cartoon shows were all pre-empted by the news and the funeral.
    (I was also mad at another funeral a little while later. "Aww, who wants to watch a funeral in a Church on a Hill?", I whined to my Dad, who was a historian and who had fought in that greatest of all Wars.)
    1964 -- way too young to vote. Our family supported Johnson. I didn't know about ideologies, liberalism vs, conservatism, then at all, but we opposed Goldwater. I don't remember, but I think we thought he was going to blow up the world. Our neighbors the Melbyes were for Goldwater. We thought that was strange. (Hank Ketcham, creator of "Dennis the Menace", was also for Goldwater.) Now, I wish Goldwater had won. AuH2O -- in my heart I now know he was right.
    1968 -- too young to vote, but our whole family supported Eugene McCarthy. We also liked Robert Kennedy. We hated Wallace, he was a racist.
    1972 -- McGovern. My family and most of those in my milieu were for McGovern. I was still too young to vote that year, but I supported him because I hated Nixon. The War in Viet Nam, "law and order", marijuana. I liked John Hospers of the Libertarian Party (just starting up then). I was becoming libertarian then.
    1976 -- MacBride. I really, _really_ wish I had voted for Ford instead, who was really quite libertarian as I see him now, and much more effectively so than those clowns in the Libertarian Party. He's now in the pro-homosexual Republican Unity Coalition. Instead, by not voting for Ford, I helped Carter get in the White House. Carter turned out to be the worst, most disastrous President in my lifetime so far.
    1980 -- Carter. I really, _really_ wish I had voted for Reagan instead. I identified Reagan with Fartwell and the Moral Majority. My two big issues at the time were abortion and the ERA. I was also contemplating John Anderson, but I figured the main thing was to keep Reagan out of the White House.
    1984 -- Mondale. Abortion, ERA, and the first woman ever on a major-party ticket. Hated Fartwell, thought Reagan was his puppet. I still rather like Mondale, the last of the New Deal liberals, but it was Reagan who brought down Communism. The New Deal was good for its time, but I'm glad Reagan shifted the paradigm.
    1988 -- didn't vote for a President that year. Dukakis stunk and Bush stunk even worse. Complete phony-baloney. Worst choice I can remember.
    1992 -- Clinton. I was quite impressed by him at the time, and Hillary was hot, too. I also liked Perot. First Presidential candidate I ever voted for who won, good for me, hip hip hooray. Increasingly disgusted with him and turned off by Hillary, as was Camille Paglia (with whom I was becoming familiar). Clinton's signing the DOMA was the last straw. An act of supreme gutlessness. Still glad I voted for Clinton in 1992, glad he won over "the, uh, Bush thing?". Bush Sr., second only to Carter as a disastrous, null President, and not even with Carter's sincerity.
    1996 -- Well, Clinton again, but it was close. I had hoped the Republicans would nominate somebody like William Weld, but instead we got Gary Bauer, Alan Keyes, etc.. Very bad. Fartwell wasn't looming quite so large, but Robertscum, Ralph Reed (even uglier and phonier than Robertscum), and Buchanan were prominent and loud. Dole wasn't distant enough from that crowd for me. I did like his _style_ and his World War II record. Nearly voted for him, but didn't want to take any chances on what he'd do, better to continue with a known blackguard, I guess.
    2000 -- Gore. Camille Paglia was supporting Bradley, but he was playing the "race card" too much for me. Didn't like that and still don't. Camille Paglia then voted for Nader. Nader and Buchanan looked best to me, stylistically. Buchanan is a Nazi, but I liked his _style_, still do, which is precisely what makes him so dangerous. We'd better never have another Great Depression, or else Buchanan will be our Fuhrer. Nader was at least a sincere Leftist as compared to Gore, or "the Gore-bot" as Tom Tomorrow called him. Browne was and is nothing but a clown. Bush had nothing whatsoever that appealed to me. Ended up voting for Gore just to keep Bush out.
    2004 -- Don't know. I like Dean, but he's weak on the military issue. Bush is OK on the military issue, he's a much better leader than I had ever thought before 9/11/2001, he did toss out the Taliban and he did nab Saddamn [sic], I can see why he's liked, but he's run up a huge deficit, and he's supporting that abominable Federal Anti-Marriage Amendment. I can't vote for him if he's pushing that. Lieberman probably looks like the best bet, if he can get nominated, but he's got a bad record on guns. None of the others look good. Maybe if Coulter keeps attacking Kerry she can make me like him.
    I know, I know, I sound like an idiot. I sound like a down-the-line, yellow-dog Democrat, even though I'm not. I really should have supported Goldwater, Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. I was too stupid. Now, I'm probably going to vote for a Democrat _again_. I really don't know. No other President, not Nixon at his most "law-and-order"-ish, not Reagan at the behest of Fartwell, not the elder Bush, not any President, Democratic or Republican, within my lifetime, prior to this one, has ever pushed for a Constitutional amendment designed, not to protect, but to deny, individual rights. But this Bush is or seems to be doing so, and that I cannot and will not tolerate. Maybe it won't get anywhere. Maybe the military issue is more important. Don't know.

    Steven Malcolm Anderson   ·  February 3, 2004 3:13 AM

    Actually, you make my point for me. Thanks.

    You (amd Alex Knapp) denounce John Ashcroft in one breath, yet will vote in the next election to keep him in power. (either by supporting Bush, or failing to vote for the one legitimate candidate who can defeat him, the Democratic nominee).

    Hence my point about "cognitive dissonance." I think your vocal opposition to Ashcroft etc., is nothing but window dressing. Unless you are willing to put your money and votes where your mouths are, no one should take your libertarianism seriously. It's totally unworthy of respect.

    "John Kerry os a socialist?" So what if he is? (I think that's ridiculous, but I'll humor you).

    If he's President, Bush and Ashcroft will be gone, and Kerry will be held in check by a hostile GOP Congress. Whatever socialist inclinations he has will not come to fruition.

    Whether that is because Republicans are fighting on principled or opportunistic grounds, matters little.

    And, if Iraq truly was a "war of liberation," in which we didn't impose a quasi-imperialistic regime on the country, I might actually be sympathetic to your B.S. arguments in favor of this war.

    Unfortunately for you, reality proves you wrong on a daily basis. Moreover, there is every reason to believe that a Preisdent Kerry (or Dean, or Edwards, or Clark) would actually do a better job achieving your stated goals in Iraq better than the corrupt, cynical, incpompetent Bush administration.

    So, unless you aknowledge reality, I'm going to continue calling you "pseudo-libertarians." It's all you deserve.

    Hesiod   ·  February 3, 2004 1:17 PM


    It's official! I am now certified as a pseudo-libertarian by Mr. Hesiod himself. (The same guy who has Instapundit crossed out on his website -- which means he's w-a-a-a-y cooler than I am.)

    I am crushed!

    All I can do now is beg. PLEASE take my libertarianism seriously, Mr. Hesiod! PLEASE???

    I DEMAND your respect!

    Actually, I should thank you for making my point for me here.

    Which was: I don't care about these labels; I merely reserve the right to think what I think. (About the war, about liberalism, conservatism, socialism, libertarianism, or anything else.) Whether you think it's libertarian makes no difference to me.

    Besides, if I arranged my alleged "libertarianism" to conform to your demands, then I would be completely unworthy of any self respect. (And I doubt you'd respect me either, although you might enjoy arguing, "winning" arguments, and other mammalian pursuits.)

    I should also thank you for humoring me about Kerry, but my thoughts aren't original. Many would agree that his economic policies closely resemble moderate socialism as generally defined:

    By the way, where are my "B.S. arguments in favor of the war"? Feel free to humor me some more.

    Can I call myself a "South Park Republican" now? Or will someone call me a pseudo-South Park Republican?

    Eric Scheie   ·  February 3, 2004 1:59 PM


    The following comes from a 1993 Libertarian site,

    It recites McBride's 1976 platform (and I thought you might like it):


    As early as 1976 our Presidential candidate Roger McBride ran on a platform that included the following:

    Repeal of all laws regarding consenual sexual acts between adults (with the age of consent reasonably defined). This would include abolition of laws prohibiting prostitution and solicitation, whether gay or straight.

    Repeal of legislation prohibiting unions between members of the same sex, and extension to such unions of al legal rights and privileges presently enjoyed by partners in heterosexual marriages.

    An end to the use of loitering statutes and entrapment procedures as a means of harassing gays and prostitutues.

    An end to the collection by government agencies of data on the sexual preferences of individuals.

    Elimination of regulations specifying homosexuality as a justification for denying or revoking state licenses (for doctors, lawyers, teachers, hairdressers, etc.).

    Repeal of laws prohibiting cross-dressing.

    Recognition of the right of a homosexual parent to be awarded custody of his or her natural child, and of the child to choose the homosexual parent as guardian.

    Elimination of laws specifying homosexuality as grounds for denying the right of adoption.

    Equality of treatment of gay people in regard to government service, including particularly membership in the armed forces.

    " These positions were stated back in 1976. One might asked what were the Democrats and Republicans were saying in 1976," remarked Dave Doss, Pierce County Vice-Chair who introducted the resolution.

    **END QUOTE**

    It has never been made clear to me how, by "throwing away" my vote, (or by "failing to vote for the one legitimate candidate who can defeat him") I "helped" either Ford, or Carter.

    Wouldn't that have depended on which of the two I might have been more willing to vote for?

    Eric Scheie   ·  February 3, 2004 3:40 PM

    You're right about that! (as always) I was coming back here to apologize for having been such a boob throughout my whole life, and then perhaps say something else about boobs or about Bush's War on Boobs on the Boob Tube.
    I still regret not having given Ford a vote when I had the one chance to do so. One thing: Ayn Rand liked Ford. My esteem for Ford rises continually. Carter, by contrast, has disgraced himself as an ex-President as well by his denouncing America and pal-ing around with dictators like Castro. And, as with Mother Teresa and others like that, the more the media canonize him the more I dislike him.

    A few other things:

    George Wallace, it turns out, was not actually a racist but he did opportunistically play footsie with that milieu. He did, however, repent of that in his later years, unlike Strom Thurmond, who turns out to have been a real bastard.

    During the Reagan years, while I strongly disliked him, or his policies, or what I perceived to be his policies, I nonetheless liked his "Star Wars" concept. It seemed like a humane alternative to deterrence by threat of mutual assured destruction (MAD), and I wondered why it was so vehemently opposed by those who claimed to be the most horrified by nuclear war. I observed that, if JFK had proposed this, it would have been hailed by the same people as an example of his enlightened statesmanship and far-seeing vision.

    Shortly before 9/11/2001, while not quite a Leftist, I was quite friendly to the Left, e.g., reading Chomsky with some respect and returning to my old boyhood admiration of Eugene V. Debs and the I.W.W..
    After 9/11/2001, I was more and more disappointed, angered, disgusted, repelled, day by day, with everything I was hearing from the Left. I began to adopt an implicit "pas d'ennemi a Droite" (no enemy on the Right) attitude, liking even such as Ann Coulter and George F. Will for their stand on the War on Islam's Terror. Shortly after 9/11, when Jerry Fartwell (he called Ellen DeGeneres "Ellen Degenerate", so fair is fair) and Pat Robertscum blamed the mass murder on gays, Lesbians, Pagans, atheists, etc., those two despicable dysangelists were sharply slapped down by the "National Review" and by nearly all other conservatives. The "National Review" was quite friendly to homosexuals then. We were, as I was saying then, at last, a _nation_. Americans.
    When Trent Lott expressed his regret for the passing of Jim Crow, a few idiots couldn't see what all the fuss was about, but major bloggers on the Right such as Glenn Reynolds and Andrew Sullivan justly condemned his racism, and the Republican Party forced him to step down.
    The Supreme Court, the Rhenquist Court (which had made some very good decisions in free speech cases), agreed to hear the case of John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner, to revisit that bad 1986 Bowers vs. Hardwick decision, to revisit this whole question of "sodomy" laws and Big Brother in our bedrooms. Some years before, the "National Review" had come out with a special issue with a bold red cover calling for an end to the "War on Drugs", for legalizing drugs and fighting real crime instead. In passing, William F. Buckley mentioned "sodomy" laws and advocated their repeal also.

    And, so... ...But then Santorum opened his ugly mouth and attacked, not only homosexuals and homosexuality, but the very concept of individual rights and privacy, explicitly advocating total state control over our most intimate lives. And -- he was defended, not only by the Fartwells and Robertscum, but by a whole spectrum of people on the Right, including "warbloggers" I thought were strongly libertarian, who praised his piety and his great wit and wisdom, as though he was a Second Coming of G. K. Chesterton or St. Thomas Aquinas, and also made him into a martyr, saying he was being persecuted and "demonized".
    They then attacked Lawrence and Garner vs. Texas as an evil decision, "judicial tyranny", "inventing a Constitutional right to sodomy!", etc., etc.. And Bill Frist, who replaced Trent Lott and from whom I expected much better, praised Santorum, expressed a "fear" that the right to privacy would mean "condoning criminal activity", said that the Court had usurped states rights to set their own mores by banning homosexual relationship, and then called for a Constitutional amendment to forbid states to set their local mores by recognizing homosexual relationships.
    Lawrence & Garner was denounced by a whole spectrum all over the Net and in all the media, from Fred Phelps to Jeffrey Rosen in "The New Republic". And then the media wondered why there was a backlash against homosexuals' rights!
    I've concluded that, since I'm against most of the Left, since I'm against most of the Right, and since I'm not in the Middle, a two-dimensional or three-dimensional spectrum is no longer a luxury but a necessity for me.

    Back to libertarians and the Libertarian Party in the 1970s. Their platform was superb on that. One of the most passionate, eloquent, splendid defenses of homosexuality that I have ever read, not only in legalization but in moral terms, was a booklet by Ralph Raico, "Gay Rights: A Libertarian Approach". At that time the lines seemed clear. Libertarians compared themselves to the Abolitionists. Libertarians were against "sodomy" laws, censorship, drug laws, the draft, etc., while conservatives were for those things. Somebody wrote a book back then, "Sexual Freedom and the Constitution". Ayn Rand cited Griswold vs. Connecticut (legalizing contraception by married couples) as an exemplary invocation of the Ninth Amendment, and also royally fisked the Papal encyclical against contraception "Humanae Vitae".

    Today, however, much of the libertarian movement is inundated by, if not dominated by, people who hate Lincoln as much as FDR, admire the Confederacy, hate "judicial tyranny" and favor unmitigated "states' rights". There are also Holocaust deniers. And a flood of homo-haters.
    Back in the 1970s, Lawrence & Garner would have been greeted with unmixed jubilation. I fully expected the equivalent of that bright red cover on "Liberty" and "Reason" celebrating that decision. The government is officially out of our bedrooms! The U.S. Supreme Court has now explicitly recognized sexual relations between consenting adults in private as a Constitutional right!
    There wasn't. Instead, there was a flood of "I'm a libertarian but...", cold indifference, quibbles about trivialities. Whenever I read Reason's "Hit and Run" blog, I see a whole bunch of homo-haters indistinguishable from Buchanan or the Christian Coalition in their views and arguments. And yet they call themselves libertarians!
    And yet, there are an increasing number of homosexuals coming out as conservatives, of conservatives coming out as homosexuals, and of pro-homosexual conservatives like William Safire and David Brooks. They call themselves conservatives! The line between "libertarian" and "conservative" has become quite blurred since the 1970s...

    Steven Malcolm Anderson   ·  February 3, 2004 7:22 PM

    You voted for Jimmy Carter to be re-elected?

    That's inexcusable :)

    IB Bill   ·  February 4, 2004 5:14 PM

    Hey, at least Carter lost, so don't blame me too much! (And I hated voting for Carter; I knew he was going to lose, too. It's just that I did not like Reagan. I blamed him for exacerbating the Culture War -- the politicization of life styles -- for political gain. Now, I am ready to forgive but the damned war refuses to die.)


    Steven, you are so bright, so knowledgable and and so thoughtful that you need not apologize for being a boob! I assure you and all readers of this blog that I have been more of a boob than anyone! (If you had any idea....)

    And Steven, on the latest "boob tube boob" I think that there are a number of far-right moral conservatives who are so pissed at Bush right now that they blame HIM for the boob! I know it makes no sense, but then, it isn't my job to make sense of it.

    Eric Scheie   ·  February 4, 2004 11:01 PM

    Dear Eric: Thank you!

    Steven Malcolm Anderson   ·  February 5, 2004 1:55 AM

    What a phony you are.

    If you truly don't care what you are labelled, so long as you are "allowed" to think what you think, then why the whiny, pathetic blog post decrying the "pseudo-libertarian" label in the first place?

    It's obvious that you DO care, and that this is a touchy subject for you. It's also obvious that your political philosophy is best described as "pseudo-libertarian," because you damn sure aren't a libertarian proper.

    "Libertarians for Bush," is as comically oxymoronic as "Nipple-lovers for John Ashcroft."

    Just accept it that you ain't a libertarian or an objectivist, and move on with your life. OK?

    And, quite frankly, I object to your straw-man baloney claim that I am somehow depriving you or attempting to deprive you of your right to think a certain way.

    I'm just stating that if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a must be a duck!

    But, you insist that instead of a's an Aardvark!

    Hesiod   ·  February 6, 2004 1:18 PM


    Sorry if I came off that way; I would say I am more curious at this point than anything else. If I just wanted to claim to be a libertarian, then why bother with this at all? I have taken these various tests which place me on the libertarian side of the chart, and I agree with most libertarians more than I agree with most Republicans or Democrats. "Libertarian" thus attempts to be a handle on what I think, but obviously not all libertarians are the same.

    How do I know that you are a "libertarian"? You say so? So what? What if I just say you're not a libertarian?

    How it is "phony" to discuss the legitimacy of these labels escapes me.

    Where's my "straw-man baloney claim" that you are "somehow depriving me or attempting to deprive me of my right to think a certain way"? You said I wasn't a libertarian, but a pseudo-libertarian, and I said I didn't care. You seem more interested in hurling labels than in stating why I do or don't deserve them. (What's this "Libertarians for Bush" business other than a "straw man baloney claim"? And you never identified my "B.S. arguments in favor of the war", either.)

    Anyway, you did ask an argumentative, but somewhat legitimate question: "If you truly don't care what you are labelled, so long as you are "allowed" to think what you think, then why the whiny, pathetic blog post decrying the "pseudo-libertarian" label in the first place?"

    That's a tough question, because if I answer you at all, I appear not only to care, but because I claim not to care, then I appear to be the phony you claim I am. (Plus I am whinier and patheticer for continuing my whining and pathos.) But if I don't answer it, then you will appear to be right. So either way, you would appear to win.

    However, you omit the possibility that my objection might be based not so much on what you think of me (or whatever label you might bestow on me), but on the constant use -- by many people across the political spectrum -- of labels, either to pigeonhole people or bludgeon them into agreement under false premises. The assertion that someone is not a "real" libertarian, nor a "real" conservative, nor a "real" liberal is as much a form of ad hominem attack as is calling someone a "communist" or a "fascist." It is not productive, and offers no logical bearing on any issues other than the truth of falsity of the labels themselves. Likewise, putting words in my mouth ("libertarians for Bush" for example), or calling me a "phony," are assertions which have no bearing on the logic of anything I said -- or even on the subject of whether or not I am a libertarian.

    I dislike that form of argument in general, and I don't like seeing people fall for it. That's more important to me than whether you consider me a libertarian. But again, I am delighted that you continue to make my point for me.

    Using the same methods you use, I might just as well pronounce you a socialist, and declare that a socialist claiming to be a libertarian is in no position to be calling anyone else a pseudo-libertarian.

    And I could conclude by saying, "What a phony you are."

    I hesitate to say that this is all a waste of time, because then you would call me a phony for having wasted my time and then whining pathetically about it.

    Still, I remain curious as to whether I have the right to refer to myself as a libertarian in the general sense. Other than calling me a pseudo-libertarian, a phony, a whiner, and pathetic, I don't think you have proved your point.

    My general characterization of myself as "libertarian" is based on my general agreement with many libertarians, and my scores on tests like the one at

    My political compass tested out as follows:

    Economic Left/Right: 4.50

    Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.54

    There's also this test (more simplistic), which also said I was "libertarian":

    Just curious: do you, Hesiod, possess any special expertise to define or determine who is a libertarian or what libertarianism is? If not, on what basis do you make your judgments?

    Eric Scheie   ·  February 6, 2004 3:44 PM

    As some of you may know, Michael Badnarik has been nominated to run for
    President in 2004 on the Libertarian ticket. If you get a moment, you might
    want to check out this guy's websites (even if you aren't Libertarian) -- he
    is VERY pro-gun and pro-all the other amendments too!

    Michael Badnarik for President Campaign HQ -----
    Badnarik2004 Meetup In Your Town -----
    Badnarik2004 Discussion ----
    Badnarik2004 Webring --

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    Melissa Seaman   ·  June 13, 2004 1:35 PM

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