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Why does LRC defend/praise depraved “heroes”? Are there any better sites?

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AtlasRises Posted: Fri, Apr 8 2011 8:08 PM | Locked

As an anarchist I am drawn to read LRC in the hopes of finding good current events commentary from a non-statist position. However, I find myself growing increasingly frustrated with the site because all too often the authors take stances on pop culture in which they defend and praise depraved celebrities, presenting their nihilism as an example of libertarian thinking or free-market success. I am writing to see whether others share this frustration, and if you might recommend other sites that focus on worthwhile accomplishments from justifiably heroic people who are actually worthy of attention and admiration.

As a few quick examples of my concern:

1. Remember Balloon Boy? Falcon Heene, a 6-year-old from Colorado, was part of a hoax in which his publicity-seeking father claimed that Falcon was floating around in a homemade helium balloon. This scare caused quite a media stir as many volunteers and government rescue crews acted on what they believed was a true emergency. It turns out the entire fiasco was fake and that Falcon had been hiding safely in his garage during the whole search. The father developed the hoax in the hopes of being offered a reality show. The father claims to believe that humans descended from aliens, and he had previously featured his family on “Wife Swap,” a so-called reality show that caters to deranged families who want to make their private lives a public spectacle. This family, including the children who swear and flip off news cameras, are an exceptionally disgusting display of depravity. Yet LRC posted an article: "In Praise of Hoaxsters: Butler Shaffer on the boy-in-a-balloon family, and other heroes."  It’s hardly HEROIC to beat your mail-order wife, lie to every person in the country who follows the news, expect the authorities to track your non-lost son and therefore expect all the taxpayers to foot the bill for your own lack of integrity, and exploit your kid on national TV and cause him such stress that he vomits as he’s being interviewed by reporters. As far as I'm concerned Balloon Boy’s father is a reprehensible piece of trash who would be quite a dangerous individual in a voluntarist society. He should be ridiculed (or ignored), not held up as a heroic example to emulate because he successfully tricked The State.

2. Several writers have recently spoken in favor of Charlie Sheen. LRC featured the article “Charlie Sheen’s Heroic Stand Against the Tyrannical Therapy Police.”  While I am indeed opposed to the state creating labels for fake mental disorders and committing individuals into hospitals against their will, Charlie Sheen’s resistance to intervention hardly stems from his resistance to tyranny. Just because The State decrees Sheen a lunatic, and The State is bad, does not mean that Sheen is NOT a lunatic. He is, in fact, a cocaine-addicted nihilist. Nothing he does is laudable. He was physically violent toward an ex-wife (indicating that he cannot control himself), he has multiple pornstar girlfriends (indicating that he does not value his life and focuses on meaningless “fun” rather than true accomplishments), and he brags about his self-destructive drug binges (indicating that he lacks self-respect). Anthony Gregory writes of “The Cannibalization of Charlie Sheen.” Sheen is not a victim of cannibalization by the media or the state; he is a worthless druggie who is so deranged and unstable that he thinks he is worth the attention he’s been given. He’s a valueless reprehensible piece of trash. Due to unpreparedness and a horrible stage performance, many “fans” booed his opening night Detroit show and left early. His Chicago show was more well-received and Lew blogged “Charlie Sheen’s One Man Show a Huge Success.” If Sheen is considered a success, I submit that LRC is on the wrong side of the battle. I seek a voluntarist society not to save people like Sheen from government tyranny, but because such a society is the way to allow truly great people to achieve their full potentials. 

3. Today Jeffrey Tucker wrote “Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’: A Libertarian Allegory.”  Tucker used to be one of the writers I respected. But in this article he goes so far as to say that “Friday” is “brilliant as a piece of viral art,” and that there is value in the unconventional rhythms (rather than lack of musical ability by a talentless singer whose voice is so tuneless that she needs to rely on AutoTune the entire song-- even when repeating the same monotonous tone over and over). He touts the inane lyrics as being representative of a desire to escape the tyranny of the school week and explore the great freedoms offered by the weekend. He writes, “When she finally announces, elatedly, that 'I don't want the weekend to end,' she is expressing more than just the desire to be permanently relieved of educational tasks; it is a cry for the civic order to recognize the human right of liberty itself.” Is this a joke? I cannot fathom taking it seriously. Black says nothing about great accomplishments that school prohibits her from realizing. She just wants to be “partying partying yeah fun fun fun fun.” She is not a freedom-minded thinker; she is the epitome of a modern teenager who does nothing of substance and spends all of her time Twittering, driving around aimlessly, and seeking short-term meaningless entertainment. (Note: I do not think Black is any worse than your average person—and there are certainly plenty of Hollywood celebrities who are equally as talentless and vapid. I’m just saying she is not the heroic example of libertarianism that Tucker suggests. He could focus on some truly talented YouTube stars like Kurt Hugo Schneider and Sam Tsui, who have achieved success outside of mainstream media, but he ignored them in favor of nonsense.)

Therein lies the problem. There are very few examples of great people in our culture, but they do exist if we look hard enough. Why not praise and promote those truly inspiring and admirable people, rather than portray degenerate nobodies as libertarian heroes? It’s so depressing to read LRC when the subjects the authors cover are just as awful as what one could find on statist media—if not worse. As much as I dislike pop culture, the mainstream does a better job than LRC at their moral evaluation of scum like Mr. Heene and Charlie Sheen. Misconstruing idiocy and mediocrity as free market success leaves me puzzled and disgusted. Does anyone understand what I’m saying or am I just too grumpy and critical? Are there any other libertarian or anarchist sites with a more positive moral slant?

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Clayton replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 8:25 PM | Locked

@OP:

I agree that LRC articles can be pretty far off the mark. Wildly so, at times. That said, Lew posts links to lots of things that he doesn't himself agree with or that don't even represent consistent Austrian/libertarian thought but touch on a particular issue from an unusual point of view. I have stopped reading LRC for the last few months, can't remember why, I was getting irritated with something or other kind of like you are here.

1. I agree, the balloon boy's father is not a hero. I don't agree with Shafer on a lot of things.

2. I've not been following LRC lately so I don't know the tenor of the commentary on Sheen. That said, I think that Sheen is being taken down for his stance on 9/11 and you should consider that most of the bad things that you "know" about Sheen are not settled fact and, in fact, are being said by people who have a selfish interest in saying bad things about him. That doesn't mean he's a good guy and certainly not a beacon of moral uprightness but I highly doubt that Sheen is evil.

3. I don't know anything about Black but there's nothing wrong with wanting to party and have fun. Ideally, that is all we would ever do but the fact of scarcity drives us back to work to produce things for others so we can have a roof over our heads and something to eat.

I agree with you about not confusing moral nihilism with libertarianism. Unfortunately, we live in a world where nearly all the notable examples of libertarian actions are performed by moral nihilists. This is a symptom of the almost total success of the statist meme in the modern psyche. And, yes, it's depressing.

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ThinkAnarchy replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 8:28 PM | Locked

I doubt you will find any site you agree with 100%

The Rebecca Black article I agree was ridiculous, but he did say at the end he doubts the writer or singer had those thoughts or motivations. Most articles on LRC I enjoy and find informative, some I don't.

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liberty student replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 8:31 PM | Locked

This isn't LRC, if you have feedback about LRC, email Lew.

It is so tiresome to read all of these anonymous internet nobodies who want every website and every author to express their values, as though their values are any better than those of anyone else.

If you don't like the content at LRC, stop donating.  That assumes any of these axe grinders aren't free riders in the first place.

 

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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thorell9 replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 8:38 PM | Locked

"This isn't LRC, if you have feedback about LRC, email Lew.

It is so tiresome to read all of these anonymous internet nobodies who want every website and every author to express their values, as though their values are any better than those of anyone else.

If you don't like the content at LRC, stop donating.  That assumes any of these axe grinders aren't free riders in the first place."

There's another thread with many responses criticizing Glenn Beck. Should those posters also reserve their criticism for emails to Glenn? Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems inconsistent.

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AtlasRises replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 9:01 PM | Locked

Clayton, I can appreciate your post, especially your insight regarding moral nihilism vs. libertarianism. That is a very interesting thought. But I disagree that ideally we’d be partying and not producing. As an Objectivist-leaning person I am convinced that true happiness and contentment come from achievement.

Liberty student, I understand your suggestion to contact LRC directly. I have done so on more than one occasion. My point of posting this on the Mises community is that I believe there is audience overlap between the two sites, and I was seeking input from other readers; I am not able to do so through the LRC site, as it does not have a forum.  While you are correct that I should not force others to hold my values, that does not preclude disappointment when I believe the culture is depraved. In regards to your insinuation that no-one’s values are better than others, this sounds like moral relativism and subjectivism. In regards to “If you don’t like the content of LRC, stop donating,” consider your earlier sentence: If “it is so tiresome to read all of these anonymous internet nobodies,” stop reading us. My post was not intended to offend you but to seek hope that people who value life still exist, and I am sorry that you seemed to interpret it as a personal attack and respond as such.

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liberty student replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 9:10 PM | Locked

thorell9:
There's another thread with many responses criticizing Glenn Beck. Should those posters also reserve their criticism for emails to Glenn? Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems inconsistent.

Yes, please email Glenn too.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Nielsio replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 9:11 PM | Locked

Atlas,

You write:

"She is not a freedom-minded thinker; she is the epitome of a modern teenager who does nothing of substance and spends all of her time Twittering, driving around aimlessly, and seeking short-term meaningless entertainment."

But Tucker never claimed she was a Randite hero. He's looking at what actually goes on in the video and why it got so many views. Even if we think most of the views are from people who think it's junk, that doesn't change the fact that we can observe the thoughts that come out of someone who is locked up in school. It is precisely the fact that their lives are so small and unimaginative that can be traced back to their school experience. Millions and millions of children have that shitty life, and this is a video describing the very simple idea of being free on friday (and gets lots of views). Maybe those two things have to do with each other.

Just because something is not consciously and deeply understood doesn't mean we can't read something into it.

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Clayton replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 9:12 PM | Locked

Clayton, I can appreciate your post, especially your insight regarding moral nihilism vs. libertarianism. That is a very interesting thought. But I disagree that ideally we’d be partying and not producing. As an Objectivist-leaning person I am convinced that true happiness and contentment come from achievement.

Well, there is no such thing as "true happiness" over against "false happiness" unless you want to follow a theological tack that we were created by a divine person with specific criteria for happiness, true happiness (worshipping and praising God), which can be counterfeited by the appearance of happiness, false happiness (drinking, gambling, cavorting, etc.)

I agree that most of us have an in-built desire to feel productive and, therefore, derive some happiness just from laboring and seeing the fruit of our labor (thereby reducing the disutility of labor). However, for all but a minority of workaholics, labor does, in fact, have disutility. This means that we only exchange away our leisure in order to labor so that we can again enjoy our remaining leisure more comfortably. The ideal life, in my mind, would be relaxing and socializing with people 90% of the time and working 10% of the time doing something I absolutely love to do - this would give me the satisfaction of leisure most of the time and the satisfaction of engaging in useful employment doing something I love and which gives me a sense of achievement.

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Eric080 replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 9:14 PM | Locked

Libertystudent, LRC and LvMI are basically two in the same.  The same people who go there go here, so talking about LRC is relevant.

 

1.,  OP, Shaffer's post was kind of a wandering, rambly article that didn't really explain his views very well.  All I took away from it was that governments engage in "hoaxes" and he was irritated with their double standard.  But he mentioned the role that "hoaxsters" play in society without explaining why it is a good thing in any detail, so I can't draw any solid conclusions from it.

 

2.  In some weird way, I have kind of been on Charlie Sheen's side.  Of course I think he's definitely gone a little loony, but as long as he doesn't hurt anybody, I can appreciate his candidness and his tendency to shake up the culture.  While he's nutty, it's refreshing in an odd way.

 

3.  Tucker pointed out, as you mentioned, that none of these themes were explicit in the video.  It is hilariously bad, but the point remains:  Kids think school is boring and they would rather not be there, yet they are forced to be there.  If a teenager wants to party and be free, I don't care.  Obviously a bit of self-induced misanthropy sets in when I look at the state of our culture (especially the teenage culture that I emerged from a few years ago), but tweens are being stashed away into education camps that kill creativity.  You say she's not a "freedom-minded thinker," but she doesn't have to be in order for the theme to seep into the lyrics implicity (obviously she didn't write the song or anything).

 

In all though, I don't mean to come off as an apologist for LRC.  There are a lot of stupid things said on that Web site.  Laurence Vance and David Kramer come to mind off the bat.

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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DanielMuff replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 9:24 PM | Locked

Eric080:

Libertystudent, LRC and LvMI are basically two in the same.[...]

No, they are not. LRC is Lew's personal, for-profit venture, while LvMI is an educational institution run by Doug French and Jeff Tucker. From what I have seen, Lew has minimal involvement in LvMI and focuses on LRC.

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Phaedros replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 9:35 PM | Locked

Wait a second, how do you know that he beat his "mail-order" wife?

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Eric replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 9:41 PM | Locked

3. Today Jeffrey Tucker wrote “Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’: A Libertarian Allegory.”

That is downright idiotic.

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Ricky James Moore II replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 9:42 PM | Locked

However, I find myself growing increasingly frustrated with the site because all too often the authors take stances on pop culture in which they defend and praise depraved celebrities, presenting their nihilism as an example of libertarian thinking or free-market success.

Beh, I don't mind these people at all. Some of them are stupid, but many of them (Sheen, for example) are just enjoying themselves how they can. Hedonism for the win.

I will break in the doors of hell and smash the bolts; there will be confusion of people, those above with those from the lower depths. I shall bring up the dead to eat food like the living; and the hosts of dead will outnumber the living.
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Gero replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 11:25 PM | Locked

I don’t pay much attention to trivial stories like the ones you’ve described, AtlasRises, so I cannot give a good analysis of them, but I understand your disagreements.

For example, I have read David Kramer’s LRC blog posts for awhile without commenting on them. His last one changed that. He called New York City police officers Nazis. While standing on a street corner, he saw a police car which he calls a “Nazimobile” that used its siren to pass through a red light so it did not have to wait like other people. He knew this because “Halfway down the block he shuts off his siren AND the flashing lights.” He concluded, “I guess I should have gotten the Nazi’s license plate number so I could report him to his “brother” Nazis. (Yeah, right.)”

Double standards and abuse of power does not make one a Nazi. I have no problem with criticizing the behavior Kramer saw, but to equate abuse of power with a racist, totalitarian, genocidal movement is an exaggeration. Just because a police officer is not a 100% libertarian does not make the officer a Nazi.

Judge Billy Murphy said (either here or here) that police complaints have resulted in the removal of police officers from duty.

In earlier posts Kramer has referenced a banking conspiracy consisting of the Rockefellers and Rothschilds. I have never seen him provide evidence for this. If there is evidence, I want to see it.

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Isaac "Izzy" Marmolejo replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 11:57 PM | Locked

Jeez, people take the recent article by Jeff Tucker too seriouly... Have a sense of humor. It gave me a few chuckles

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liberty student replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 12:24 AM | Locked

Gero:
Just because a police officer is not a 100% libertarian does not make the officer a Nazi.

Police officers are generally thugs enforcing the violent and anti-human edicts of the criminal [sic] state.

Gero:
Judge Billy Murphy said (either here or here) that police complaints have resulted in the removal of police officers from duty.

Judges are some of the most corrupt members of society.

Gero:
In earlier posts Kramer has referenced a banking conspiracy consisting of the Rockefellers and Rothschilds. I have never seen him provide evidence for this. If there is evidence, I want to see it.

You would have to be a complete noob to libertarianism if you are hearing that stuff for the first time from David Kramer.

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Ricky James Moore II replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 12:38 AM | Locked

Double standards and abuse of power does not make one a Nazi. I have no problem with criticizing the behavior Kramer saw, but to equate abuse of power with a racist, totalitarian, genocidal movement is an exaggeration. Just because a police officer is not a 100% libertarian does not make the officer a Nazi.

In the long run, and to the world at large, social democracy is worse than Nazism. Nazism burns itself out and folds; SD warps people in deep cultural ways, controls their minds on a scale undreamt of by Hitler and channels the relatively freer economy into global ideological crusades. I'd much rather live next to bankrupt fascists than rich lefties.

I will break in the doors of hell and smash the bolts; there will be confusion of people, those above with those from the lower depths. I shall bring up the dead to eat food like the living; and the hosts of dead will outnumber the living.
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Eric080 replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 12:46 AM | Locked

Muffinburg, all I'm saying is that Rockwell and the people that post at LRC run in the same circle.  Pretty unarguable if you ask me.

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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Eric080 replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 12:51 AM | Locked

Eric, I don't think it is idiotic.  Did you read it?  I'm not asking you in a condescending tone, but once you read it,, you'll get Tucker's point.  There's a bit of psychoanalyzing going on, but it's not anything that is far-fetched.  It was a horrible pop song, but the themes are expressed implicity.  It's more commentary on what goes on in the video rather than describing it as an intentional allegory.

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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AtlasRises replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 7:17 AM | Locked

UPDATE: It gets no better today.

Tucker's article is also posted on LvMI (so perhaps liberty student can agree that at least 1/3 of my post would be relevant for forum discussion), and Kinsella praises it as a "Fantastic post." He claims "[parts of the song] are very catchy and creative" and that the song is "simple in celebrating how people like their freedom and freinds and weekends and celebrating life." Again, endless "partying" and bored, shapeless "fun" are not celebrations of life; they are hedonistic attempts to avoid the necessity of thinking.

As an additional indicator that LRC is a hodgepodge of disjointed and unprincipled commentary-- after many months extolling the virtues of the Caveman Diet and warning of the evils of carbohydrates, today LRC declares maple syrup to be a "superfood!" The site is schizophrenic in its lack of consistent principles, and it has become so disappointing to me that I'm better off not reading it. I've kept up for so long because most anarchocapitalists I know seem to find value in it and I keep trying to figure out where and why. Would anyone care to recommend a commentary site that is more calm and consistent?

 

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nirgrahamUK replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 7:27 AM | Locked

Isaac is right, Jeff's article is not be taken as serious art/pop criticism, but it is serious....it is the use of a popular meme in the service of sparking thoughts in the mind of readers drawn to the unconventional material.

its hijacking low culture to introduce ideas.

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liberty student replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 7:45 AM | Locked

AtlasRises:
Tucker's article is also posted on LvMI (so perhaps liberty student can agree that at least 1/3 of my post would be relevant for forum discussion), and Kinsella praises it as a "Fantastic post."

If you had bothered to read it on LRC to the bottom, you would have seen that it was reprinted at LRC from LvMI.  I have a hard time taking you seriously when you're not looking that close.

Your comments aren't relevant for forum discussion, this forum isn't for criticizing LvMI, it's authors or the articles.  It is a discussion forum for Austrian economics and political philosophy, not a personal rant space.  Each article and blog post @ LvMI has a comment thread associated with it on the main site where you can post your comments and criticisms.

AtlasRises:
Would anyone care to recommend a commentary site that is more calm and consistent?

Check out Infowars.com.  It's right up your alley.

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Hard Rain replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 7:51 AM | Locked

I find LRC, for the most part, amusing and it's also useful as exercise for my critical awareness. 

Just because you don't like every dish served at a buffet does not mean you should demand the buffet be dismantled.

"I don't believe in ghosts, sermons, or stories about money" - Rooster Cogburn, True Grit.
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liberty student replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 8:20 AM | Locked

AtlasRises:
As an additional indicator that LRC is a hodgepodge of disjointed and unprincipled commentary-- after many months extolling the virtues of the Caveman Diet and warning of the evils of carbohydrates, today LRC declares maple syrup to be a "superfood!"

Lew doesn't extol any of that.  He links to alt lifestyle stuff because it is interesting and thought provoking.  Mark Sisson has his opinion, and the Daily Mail has theirs, and Lew runs the ones that he finds interesting.  You're confusing being an editor with being a fanatic.

I checked out your other thread, and you seem to fancy yourself as the official Lew Rockwell watcher.  Well, bad news, we already have one.  His name is Telpeurion, and we gave him the job of monitoring Lew Rockwell to keep the lad out of traffic and away from men wearing only raincoats.

I will remind you that Lew doesn't read here, and posting here will create no editorial changes on either site.  Assumng that is your goal, your means don't match your ends.  Both Jeffrey and Lew can be reached by email, and they will reply to correspondence that isn't unpleasant.  Since we both know you're a lovely person who would never come off as dogmatic, narrow minded or judgmental, pursue the matter of their content with them.

This forum is mostly filled with students.  The few of us who don't fit into that have awesome jobs, are bi-winning with at least two sexual partners, have flaming fists, adonis dna, tiger blood and are due to start our world tour as soon as we finish banging 7 gram rocks.

#winning is never depraved.

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Giant_Joe replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 11:00 AM | Locked

In the long run, and to the world at large, social democracy is worse than Nazism. Nazism burns itself out and folds; SD warps people in deep cultural ways, controls their minds on a scale undreamt of by Hitler and channels the relatively freer economy into global ideological crusades. I'd much rather live next to bankrupt fascists than rich lefties.

I take it you've read some Alexis de Toucqueville? :)

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Daniel James Sanchez replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 12:40 PM | Locked

nirgrahamUK:

it is the use of a popular meme in the service of sparking thoughts in the mind of readers drawn to the unconventional material.

its hijacking low culture to introduce ideas.

Indeed, and it was a damn successful hijacking as well.  The mises.org version alone now has 811 Facebook likes (which is very high for Mises Dailies).

Full-grown men and women who burn so many calories energetically hating the output of successful kids like Justin Bieber, Robert Pattinson, and Rebecca Black crack me up.  While trying to come off as so mature, high-minded, and cultured, they end up showing how immature, petty, and boorish they are.

Meanwhile, in writing this piece, and braving the ire of a few inevitable whiners in order to spread a pro-liberty message to hundreds, Jeffrey Tucker, an erudite, elegant fan of choral and classical music, shows once again how broad-minded, thoughtful, and clever he is.

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Ricky James Moore II replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 12:47 PM | Locked

Full-grown men and women who burn so many calories energetically hating the output of successful kids like Justin Bieber, Robert Pattinson, and Rebecca Black crack me up.  While trying to come off as so mature, high-minded, and cultured, they end up showing how immature, petty, and boorish they are.

Yeah, that sort of thing is basically a signal for me to instantly stop talking to the person. I've never met a Bieber-hater who wasn't a half-wit.

I will break in the doors of hell and smash the bolts; there will be confusion of people, those above with those from the lower depths. I shall bring up the dead to eat food like the living; and the hosts of dead will outnumber the living.
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Anarcho-libertarian replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 2:44 PM | Locked

AtlasRises:

As an additional indicator that LRC is a hodgepodge of disjointed and unprincipled commentary-- 

Chew on this quote from Walter Block in his introduction to LRC's Open Letters on Behalf of Ron Paul:

"The essays on this page constitute the opinions of their authors, only. Some of them contradict each other. Some of them are incompatible with the views of Congressman Ron Paul. The only thing they all have in common is that they are an attempt, on the part of their authors, to promote the candidacy of Dr. Paul to a narrow constituency, and that they were approved for that purpose by Lew Rockwell." ~ Walter Block

In this regard, you will notice how often Lew writes in the front page headline "blah, blah, blah, says John Doe" or "...according to Jane Doe." By not hearing differing viewpoints you put yourself at an intellectual disadvantage.

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Ricky James Moore II replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 2:51 PM | Locked

Anarcho-libertarian:

AtlasRises:

As an additional indicator that LRC is a hodgepodge of disjointed and unprincipled commentary-- 

Chew on this quote from Walter Block in his introduction to LRC's Open Letters on Behalf of Ron Paul:

"The essays on this page constitute the opinions of their authors, only. Some of them contradict each other. Some of them are incompatible with the views of Congressman Ron Paul. The only thing they all have in common is that they are an attempt, on the part of their authors, to promote the candidacy of Dr. Paul to a narrow constituency, and that they were approved for that purpose by Lew Rockwell." ~ Walter Block

In this regard, you will notice how often Lew writes in the front page headline "blah, blah, blah, says John Doe" or "...according to Jane Doe." By not hearing differing viewpoints you put yourself at an intellectual disadvantage.

There's nothing wrong with being ecumenical. Being open-minded is useful. But you shouldn't be so open minded your brain falls out. Lew puts a lot of stuff up that is just wacky or nonsensical. There is a difference between saying that the Mubarak might have been behind Anwar Sadat's assassination and saying that the CIA is using energy beams to kill birds.
I will break in the doors of hell and smash the bolts; there will be confusion of people, those above with those from the lower depths. I shall bring up the dead to eat food like the living; and the hosts of dead will outnumber the living.
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Daniel James Sanchez replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 2:54 PM | Locked

Good point AL.  AtlasRises calling a collection of writers "schizophrenic" because they don't agree on everything reminds of when "cultural critics" call the "American public" "schizophrenic" for various reasons.  Calling any group of individuals "shizophrenic" is methodological collectivism at its crudest.

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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Clayton replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 3:04 PM | Locked

Ozzy on Justin Bieber:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTrBY3jgroo&feature=related

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
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SirThinkALot replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 3:04 PM | Locked

 Clayton, I can appreciate your post, especially your insight regarding moral nihilism vs. libertarianism. That is a very interesting thought. But I disagree that ideally we’d be partying and not producing. As an Objectivist-leaning person I am convinced that true happiness and contentment come from achievement.

 

Honestly though, unless you go into business for yourself(which I recommend most people do, given the opportunity), most jobs dont offer any real feeling of achievement. 

 

In any case, theres nothing wrong with not working(or not wanting to work).  In fact most economic activity is aimed towards increasing leisure time.  Thats the whole point of investment in capital goods:  to make workers more productive so they wont have to work as much.  Even most work is(paradoxially) done with the purpose of increasing leisure, since most of workers paychecks either goes towards leisure activities, or goes into savings in the hopes of being able to late retire and not work. 

 

We'll never completely eleminate the need for human labor, but I think a healthy, sustainably growing economy will eventually reach a point where people will only work a few hours a week at most. 

OBJECTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you preface everything you say with the phrase 'studies have shown...' people will believe anything you say no matter how ridiculous. Studies have shown this works 87.64% of the time.
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Caley McKibbin replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 8:30 PM | Locked

I don't even know who Justin Bieber is.

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SirThinkALot replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 9:56 PM | Locked

 

Hes a pop-singer, I cant tell you anymore than that...hell I cant even name one of his songs.

 

I also cant say what the big deal with Charlie Sheen is either....Then again I find most celebrity news to be gag-indusing.

OBJECTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you preface everything you say with the phrase 'studies have shown...' people will believe anything you say no matter how ridiculous. Studies have shown this works 87.64% of the time.
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Ricky James Moore II replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 10:35 PM | Locked

Inducing. I like Charlie Sheen.

I will break in the doors of hell and smash the bolts; there will be confusion of people, those above with those from the lower depths. I shall bring up the dead to eat food like the living; and the hosts of dead will outnumber the living.
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Isaac "Izzy" Marmolejo replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 11:32 PM | Locked

I could care less about Charlie Sheen's personal life but some of the stuff he says is hilarious

My Blog: http://www.anarchico.net/

Production is 'anarchistic' - Ludwig von Mises

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Telpeurion replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 11:52 PM | Locked

The writers at Lew Rockwell tend to show in in their writings that they will take anyone's word over the government's. Not necessarilly a bad position, but there is a great deal of difference between giving someone the benefit of the doubt, versus ignoring evidence you don't like. Case and point, the siding of many writers with creationism and snake oil medicines. Rather than attempting to direct attention to the State's use of force as the core issue (though they sometimes do), these individuals attempt to the discredit science and industries simply because the state has its hand in them. Fun example: Karen DeCoster's incessant obsession with the cup cake industry and other "man-child" pleasures for adults. As a worker in the amusement industry, I like to think that you can still take a load off from time to time and have some relaxation that isn't induced by endorphins during exercise. Karen believes that all of these adults participating in so-called childlike behaviors are purely due to the state. If it isn't something she likes, she'll say it is an excess caused by the Federal Reserve. Surely, once we have abolished the state, Disneyland will be no more. Right.

I will be honest and say that I often enjoy the content on the site, and check it several times daily... But those little nuggets of wisdom from Gary North, David Kramer, Christopher Manion, and the fore mentioned DeCoster make me loathe to send these links to my friends. If the wide spread dissemination of knowledge is our objective, as many here say it is, then is it not just to voice our concerns about our contemporaries who may be running counter to this goal?

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liberty student replied on Sun, Apr 10 2011 12:57 AM | Locked

Telpeurion:
If the wide spread dissemination of knowledge is our objective, as many here say it is, then is it not just to voice our concerns about our contemporaries who may be running counter to this goal?

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Telpeurion replied on Sun, Apr 10 2011 1:04 AM | Locked

Okay, I'll say "subjectively fair" next time.

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