Welcome Back, Muirgeo

by Don Boudreaux on August 15, 2008

in Weblogs

Although I seldom agree with him (her?), I’m glad that Muirgeo has returned to commenting on posts here at the Cafe.  Indeed, because I seldom agree with him I’m glad that he’s returned.

I ask everyone who comments here to treat Muirgeo (and all others) with respect.  Please — no name calling and no gratuitous innuendo.  Do read each of his comments in the best light possible.  He is not an idiot and not someone deserving to be poked fun at.

If you agree with the ideas and ideals expressed here at the Cafe, then you are a liberal (in the true sense of the term).  We liberals never suppose that we have secured full truth once and for all; nor are we ever above hearing even our most sacred values and propostions questioned.

If our ideas are sound, they will withstand scrutiny and criticism.  Moreover, because our ideas are the products of our always-limited intellects, scrutiny and criticism will, when heard and heeded dispassionately, help to improve these ideas and our own understanding of them and the world which they are meant to illuminate.

We are champions of a civil and great society; let this Cafe be a microcosm of that which we want the larger world to be.

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{ 50 comments }

Lee Kelly August 15, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Yes, welcome back muirgeo.

Ryan August 15, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Wonderful post.

Esox Lucius August 15, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Muirgeo, I apologize for teasing you in the past. I am glad you are back. I kind of missed your posts and wondered where you had gone. It's like an echo chamber around here sometimes. I have to go troll at the socialist sites to entertain myself. It is eye opening to see how stupid they think I am over there. Dig:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_08/014290.php

Nice to have you back.

Oil Shock August 15, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Don,

I am glad you addressed this issue with a blog post. I have enjoyed the exchanges I have had with him, on this blog.

Lee Kelly August 15, 2008 at 3:19 pm

There is only one thing which I take issue with, and that is the suggestion that we should be disapassionate.

If it were not for my passion for argument, ideas and liberty, I would not be here writing this. There is very little which is dispassionate about my reasoning. It may not always be communicated by the words which I write, but during the process of forming and analysing ideas I am excitable, hyperactive, and animated. The experience is not calm and dispassionate, and I would not want it to be so. The enjoyment of intellectual discovery is at least half of my motivation for engaging in it.

It is worth noting that even the most calm logician can make errors of reasoning, while an emotive student reasons with impeccable clarity. In other words, there can be passion without rudeness, clarity without sterility and enthusiasm without antagonism. Now, to echo some well worn words, we just need to find the wisdom to know the difference.

Don Boudreaux August 15, 2008 at 3:25 pm

By "dispassionate" I mean "rational."

Crusader August 15, 2008 at 3:30 pm

That's assuming muirgeo and Martin Brock are serious and not just trolls. I'm not convinced of that.

Methinks August 15, 2008 at 3:35 pm

He is not an idiot and not someone deserving to be poked fun at.

That's a matter of opinion.

I'm sure you're tolerant of my opinion as We liberals never suppose that we have secured full truth once and for all; nor are we ever above hearing even our most sacred values and propostions questioned.

Hardworking people are whining because the fruit of their labor has been stolen by the financial wizadry of wall street paper pushing assholes making pyramid schemes and calling them fancy names like derivatives. That's not free market economics it's common thievery and it's the end result of allowing unfettered greed run our markets and assuming beyond all reason that the invisible hand will slap these bad boys when they get out of line. – Muirgeo, March 27 2008

This is one of many examples of Muirgeo's illuminating questioning of our most sacred values and propositions. Not the ranting of an idiot, surely.

Don Boudreaux August 15, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Perhaps one or both are indeed trolls. So what? Treat them with civility nevertheless. Trolls are people too (and I don't say this with my tongue in my cheek).

gappy August 15, 2008 at 3:48 pm

I really appreciate this post. I started checking this post because I am great fan of Russ' Econtalk and of Boudreaux' book on Globalization; but I am coming back because the comments are often interesting and informative. But I find annoying the name calling and partisanship that pop up once in while. This is the betraying the spirit of the moderators: there is not a *single* episode of Econtalk where Russ is not genuinely curious and respectful, even though you can be sure he mostly disagrees with S. Marglin. And GMU-housed blogs (Overcoming Bias, Econlog, Marg Rev, Austrian Economists) are so good because they are open-minded, while being overall in favor of classical liberalism.

I don't think Brock or Muirgeo are trolls. And they do not insult anyone. Let's keep the conversation going.

Lee Kelly August 15, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Crusader,

The origin of an idea does not determine its truth value, so it does not matter whether muirgeo or Martin Brock are trolls. If they refrain from personal insults then what they write can do you no harm and may even do you some good, even if that only consists of the exposure to new and different ideas. Moreover, if their arguments seem poor then try and improve upon them, so that before (or if) you reject them they have first been considered in their best light. It is my own goal to be able to argue more effectively for the position of an opponent than they can themselves, and I think that is a goal which most here would do well to share.

Crusader August 15, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Lee – theoretically I agree ideas matter, their messenger does not. However, if I consider a person so odious that I can't stand the sight of them, I don't care if they say the sky is blue.

Crusader August 15, 2008 at 4:07 pm

My point is that some people are so odious that to even converse with them about anything is a violation of core principles.

Methinks August 15, 2008 at 4:12 pm

And they do not insult anyone.

Calling people assholes, unruly children and thieves is not insulting? It doesn't matter if they're trolls or not (I don't think Martin is). A typical Muirgeo rant (such as the one posted above)is not an "argument". Although, lots of libertarians will disagree owing to their love of reasoning with the unreasonable.

Just trying to represent the other side, mind.

Unit August 15, 2008 at 4:13 pm

It shouldn't be hard for (classical)liberal-minded people to deal with countervailing opinions. After all, our views are not generally widely shared. For myself, I have had enough closed friendships with people whose mentality, instincts, propensities were so completely at odds with my own, that I can simply pretend to be talking to one of these dear friends.

Steve August 15, 2008 at 4:28 pm

This is good news. The blog has been poorer without him (her?). Although I still wonder if Mr. Boudreaux isn't using this name just to play devil's advocate. No matter… welcome back!

SteveO August 15, 2008 at 5:05 pm

I'm so glad the powers weighed in on my side.

=)

I'm ready to submit that PhD app to GMU now. ;-)

John Dewey August 15, 2008 at 5:36 pm

I wish I could claim I've never posted a sentence that revealed my frustration with another commentor. I cannot, but I usually wish later I had not done so.

Methinks: "Calling people assholes, unruly children and thieves is not insulting?"

I agree this was not a polite choice of words, and I would guess muirgeo regrets using those terms. For me, though, personal insults – insults directed at specific persons – are much more offensive than insults directed at a profession or at a political party or at a socioeconomic group. Saying that lawyers are greedy bastards is not nearly as rude as calling John Smith an idiot, IMO.

Crusader: "My point is that some people are so odious that to even converse with them about anything is a violation of core principles."

Crusader, I'm not going to speak for Martin Brock or for Muirgeo. But if you ever feel I am odious, please do not violate your core principles and converse with me.

Esox Lucius August 15, 2008 at 6:11 pm

Seriously, At least Muirgeo is an interesting read. I like the way he puts is sentences together even if I don't agree with him, ever. Try trolling a couple of times in a blog that is 180 degrees off your mark, some of these people don't sound any better than a junior high debate class. Even with all his passion (or name calling if you prefer) he is still more fun to have around than not.

And what's wrong with Trolling? I consider it intervention, besides, it takes courage to be alone with only your words and ideas to protect you.

Crusader August 15, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Crusader, I'm not going to speak for Martin Brock or for Muirgeo. But if you ever feel I am odious, please do not violate your core principles and converse with me.

Posted by: John Dewey | Aug 15, 2008 5:36:51 PM

What's your beef? Why do you care if I find them odious?

Adam August 15, 2008 at 6:55 pm

Back near the end of end of muirgeo's first go-around here, I posted something to the effect that Prof. Boudreaux just did. I didn't really get very far, but I'm glad that I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Methinks and vidyohs (among others): please, please, please, please, for God's sake – if you think he's so vile that you can't respond civilly, then just ignore him. Please. I often find the comments section here so vitriolic that I just skip them entirely, which is a shame because there are some very smart people here with some interesting things to say.

Throwing around personal insults may just be the best way to ensure that no intelligent debate whatsoever takes place and that no one leaves feeling the slightest bit enlightened.

And I hate that I can't say any of this without sounding like I'm getting on my high horse but I don't know what else to do.

muirgeo August 15, 2008 at 7:20 pm

I left the board out of respect for Don and Russ because I was not sure I was contributing positively. Don your approval for my returned participation means a lot. Thanks and thanks for the contributions your blog and Econtalk make to important open discussions about the human endeavor.

George Balella MD (aka muirgeo)

jpm August 15, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Methinks is so refreshing here. It is ridiculous that Don and most of the posters here think muirgo could possibly be taken as a serious rational poster. To refuse to recognize him for what he really is extreme intellectual dishonesty. I notice Don never calls the guy down for his rudeness, but his post today was not just insulting to those that do, but far worse, and it is this very sort of refusal to call down ideas or speech and those that profer such that liberals get away with the theft and bad policies that destroy freedom and create poverty.

to quote Ayn Rand from memory, "A scoundrel is a scoundrel and to not recognize him as such is to become one"

jpm August 15, 2008 at 8:24 pm

While I don't read all that is here, I don't ever recall anyone suggesting that muirego troll not post here, or tell him what he should or should not say.

I personally don't like him because he is dishonest in his comments and he knows it.

While I often (maybe mostly always) disagree with Martin, at least he is sincere about what he tries to say.

Muiego doesn't deserve much respect at all, he has earned the lack of it.

LowcountryJoe August 15, 2008 at 8:45 pm

I actually enjoy reading the point-of-view of the statists; if for no other reason, I like to reply to them. But replying to them without the innuendo, the verbal jabs, and the sarcasm…it seems kind of dull. I would hope that the statists have some thick skin to come here and express their paternalistic views.

However, I have to view my ability to participate (post) on this blog as a priveledge extended by Don and Russ. Perhaps I wont engage muirgeo any longer since I highly doubt I could refrain from all of the the behaviors listed above. Wait, who am I kidding here; I have no discipline!

cpurick August 15, 2008 at 9:22 pm

"He is not an idiot."

Maybe not in the clinical sense of the word. But he does believe in some things which are not consistent with reason.

"We liberals never suppose that we have secured full truth once and for all; nor are we ever above hearing even our most sacred values and propostions questioned.
"If our ideas are sound, they will withstand scrutiny and criticism. Moreover, because our ideas are the products of our always-limited intellects, scrutiny and criticism will, when heard and heeded dispassionately, help to improve these ideas and our own understanding of them and the world which they are meant to illuminate."

There's not much provision in there for lying trolls. I can defend any position I hold with fact and reason, but I tire of being presented with the same fallacious misrepresentations over and over from the same source. I thought you should have banned him long ago, and the truth is that I came here less because of the noise muirgeo brought to the blog. It would be really nice if you had some kind of rule that nobody be permitted to present a given fallacy more than once. That would make muirgeo about 90% less visible here.

I do not welcome him back. And Hayek did not share muirgeo's views.

cpurick August 15, 2008 at 9:25 pm

And no, I'm not generally nice to people who seek to enslave me. My position on the issues discussed here is a defense of my very liberty — which muirgeo seeks to take from all of you, as well.

Methinks August 15, 2008 at 9:36 pm

insults directed at specific persons – John Dewey

John, that came too but the quote I chose killed two birds with one stone. We all get frustrated with each other and occasionally snap, I'm certainly no better. My point is that Muirgeo is no better either and the posters who claim he is are factually incorrect.

I don't miss Muirgeo and I don't feel the need to suck up to Don by feigning sudden guilt (not saying anyone else is). I realize the privilege to post here is extended to me by Don and Russ, but I doubt the purpose of extending that privilege for me sensor my opinions so they more closely resemble theirs. That would seem to be against their principles and the message of this most recent post itself. I don't look forward to returning to a time when almost every single blog entry was hijacked by Muirgeo's unchanging incoherent rants. If his rant was fully explored on one thread, he takes exactly the same rant to another and everyone goes around and around on the same merry-go-round until Muirgeo takes a break. You can think Martin is a troll all you want, but at least his posts and the replies to them are interesting and he has a keen mind. The same can be said of other posters who don't hold the majority opinion on this blog. Based on long experience, that cannot be said of Muirgeo. Muirgeo worked very hard to earn the level of disrespect he receives. And JPM is correct – nobody ever told him to get lost.

Crusader August 15, 2008 at 9:47 pm

Ok, I will talk nice to muirgeo and Martin Brock.

LowcountryJoe August 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm

And no, I'm not generally nice to people who seek to enslave me. My position on the issues discussed here is a defense of my very liberty — which muirgeo seeks to take from all of you, as well.

Posted by: cpurick | Aug 15, 2008 9:25:40 PM

I'm with you, cpurick. That post resonates with me to my core! There are far too many people in this society that are like muirgeo — like muirgeo in the sense that they really wish to enslave themselves and the others around them. I'd be willing to bet my net wealth that they make up a majority, as well. This is not a nice situation to be in as a minarchist. So, in this non-nice situation, if I don't feel so much like being nice to my enslavors, I hope that there's some room for understanding in these parts.

To muirgeo: I welcome you back into the fold in much the same way as I would welcome seeing a 5000 year-old patch of vegetation, recently uncovered by a receeding glacier. I'd put an emoticon in here if I felt like offering a wink but I'm not sure that would be genuine on my part.

The Dirty Mac August 15, 2008 at 10:48 pm

Muirgeo's return coincides with the return of my eczema.

brotio August 15, 2008 at 11:56 pm

Nope, not going to do it.

If I can't show Muirduck the same respect for his opinion that he shows for my liberty, and for me for having the audacity to defend liberty on a libertarian blog, then I will do my best to do as Russ Nelson and Hodak pleaded with us to do long ago and ignore the troll. He has insinuated that we are all thieves for wanting to keep what we earn – and out-and-out called Methinks and Mesa thieves when he told them that the purpose of their job is to see that "the fruit of their labor has been stolen by the financial wizadry of wall street paper pushing assholes making pyramid schemes and calling them fancy names like derivatives."

I'm not going to say, "I'm sorry I called you a duck for ducking thousands of questions, and I forgive you for calling me an asshole because I think I can spend my money better than you can" because I'm not sorry and he hasn't asked for forgiveness.

I don't put Martin Brock in Muirduck's league, because while his debating style is frustrating (as Vidyohs describes it, "round and round the mulberry bush"), it is apparent that Martin's IQ is solidly in the triple digits. There have been days when I wondered if Muirduck has a brain stem.

Adam August 16, 2008 at 12:11 am

Guys, it's not complicated. If you think he's a troll, ignore him. He'll go away. End of story.

Oil Shock August 16, 2008 at 12:35 am

The fact that muirgeo repeatedly comes back tells me that he reads atleast some of the stuff posted on this blog ( comments included ), while he may never change his views radically, trust me some of it is going into his neurons. He is smarter than most of us give hime credit for. Even if a tiny libertarian idea reaches one more person, it is a victory for liberty.

This blog belongs to Russ and Don ( private property anybody? )and for the rest of us it is a privilege to come here and learn and exchange libertarian thoughts.

If you don't like his comments ignore him. Isn't that a very libertarian trait? He neither stealing your property nor is he violating your privilege to comment here.

Regardless of whose fault it is, a bunch of comments soaked in vitriol reflects poorly on the cafe. Some of the first time visitors are very likely to get turned off. How can that be not counter productive?

"A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall" – Dale Carnegie

muirgeo August 16, 2008 at 1:26 am

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences of too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."

Thomas Jefferson (1791)

These are the words of the man who built our country's first University of higher education in the University of Virginia. He built it and insisted that it be a publicly funded (FREE!) university. He understood that liberty is maximized when a society recognized the inalienable rights of all its citizens.

When you, my detractors, tell me I'm the type to steal your liberty recognize I got some big guns behind me that understood more then any of us could the nuances of liberty. I'm no Jefferson but like he I'm as interested in maximizing liberty contrary to what you all claim. It's a cheap shot when you claim force is being used to steal your liberty when in fact it is being used to spread liberty. Yes force for liberty! There is NO other way. I'm a pragmatist and a reductionist and THAT is what I suspect you all dislike of my post. You don't get to tell us about your beautiful ideology with out telling me how it plays out in the real world as Karl Marx so aptly described. Yes Karl Marx descriptions are potent regardless of his failures at solutions. You don't just get to tell us about "YOUR" money you "earned" with out defining what you mean by money. (Aristotle wrote that “Money exists not by nature but by law.”). Money itself IS law . It is "force". Behind that money you think you made all by yourself is a social contract that includes things like publicly funded institutions of higher learning.

The forefathers absolutely fretted and agonized about great concentrations of wealth and power and their implications for liberty. You guys make every excuse to ignore the conflict of the two. I am the revolutionary ( the ones they referred to as terrorist back then) you guys are the Tory's. You're complacent with power because you have a bit no matter how the masses see their liberties slipping away.

"Liberty is the proper end and object of authority, and cannot subsist without it; and it is liberty to that which is good, just, and honest."

John Winthrop (1588-1649)

Yes liberty requires authority and "force" and thats the nuance you consistently overlook with your pure and simple theory.

"The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered…staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people."

George Washington (1732-1799)

"THE PEOPLE!!!" me

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined. "

Patrick Henry (1736-1739)

Public liberty????

Liberty requires the force of the people. That's all I'm saying. If you can find evil in that it's only a lack of pragmatism and a shortage of nuance.

brotio August 16, 2008 at 1:54 am

"If you don't like his comments ignore him. Isn't that a very libertarian trait? He neither stealing your property nor is he violating your privilege to comment here." – Oil Shock

You're kidding, right?

Let me make this clear, I'm not going to ignore Muirduck because I believe I should ignore people I disagree with, but because statements like these:

3. "Suffice it to say individualism where ever it surfaces is ultimately self-destructive.”
Posted by: muirgeo | Mar 15, 2008 11:29:41 AM"
or
4. “Planning and tinkering will definitely have a place in creating a strong competitive market. The invisible hand……YOU'RE FIRED!!!… well or at least demoted.”
Posted by: muirgeo | Mar 17, 2008 9:13:45 AM

are so frustratingly stupid that I can't respond as nicely as our hosts would like. It's their house and their rules and to do my best to abide by them, I have to do my best to ignore the 'Duck. However, some people have made it plain that they intend to keep feeding the Troll, so I might find it hard to ignore Muirduck all the time.

I, for one, applauded when William F Buckley told Gore Vidal, "Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in your goddamn face and you’ll stay plastered." and I also applauded every time Vidyohs, Methinks, LCJ and others mocked Muirduck's stupidity and his covetousness of other people's property, and I'll continue to applaud every time one of them falls off the civility bandwagon and responds to Muirduck with the same respect that he shows them.

Oil Shock August 16, 2008 at 2:00 am

You don't just get to tell us about "YOUR" money you "earned" with out defining what you mean by money. (Aristotle wrote that “Money exists not by nature but by law.”). Money itself IS law . It is "force". Behind that money you think you made all by yourself is a social contract that includes things like publicly funded institutions of higher learning.

Concept of money came from the market, not from the diktat of any government. Money as we know today is fiat money. It has value only because of a govenment fiat, in that sense you are right. But, free market money and free banking existed in the world successfully.

Creation of the central bank ( lender of last resort a.k.a government bail out for the rich bankers ) is a leaf taken out of the communist manifesto. The whole purpose of its existence is to lend to institutions that the market won't lend to. It was created by Woodrow Wilson ( A socialist hero ) who also started the income tax.

Yes founders were very concerned about concentration of wealth, but they probably knew that giving the power of regulation to the government will only lead to a situation where moneyed interest can influence decision making instead of the market merits.

You were complaining the other day about big corporations siphoning funds from the public trough. What else would you expect if you make the public trough that juicy? Founders knew better about income taxes, didn't they?

Big Corporations are made of people and so is government. Government is a monopoly where as big corporations in most cases are not. There is no sense in putting your trust in the regulators any more than the big business men.

Regulators are generally paid and bought by the corporations. Less regulation is the solutions.

Here is a good place for you to start some reading

BoscoH August 16, 2008 at 2:12 am

You have to hand it to muirgeo. He is willing to defend the indefensible, and proudly. And in the lion's den. For me, the frustrating part about his comments here is that they often go completely off topic. I think it would be fair and civil to point these instances out, and would likely avoid the acrimony that so often ensues. Welcome back George. I think you can see from Don's posting and some of the reaction to it above that you present us with an interesting challenge. I hope we can rise to it.

Oil Shock August 16, 2008 at 2:14 am

“Planning and tinkering will definitely have a place in creating a strong competitive market. The invisible hand……YOU'RE FIRED!!!… well or at least demoted.”
Posted by: muirgeo | Mar 17, 2008 9:13:45 AM

LOL. Suddenly I had this image of Al Gore tinkering with the global climate in an attempt to cool it. Global air conditioner??

brotio, let's agree to disagree. I still believe it is Don & Russ's prerogative to decide what passes for a decent comment. I don't see any personal attacks in the comments you quoted. I see muirgeo as misinformed/misguided person and I have no reason to believe that he doesn't believe in what he is talking about. His rants are usually against the philosophy of liberty, not against any individual commenter ( from my experience so far ).

Also personal attacks don't bode well for the intent of this blog.

Oil Shock August 16, 2008 at 2:20 am
brotio August 16, 2008 at 2:35 am

Oil Shock,

I agree that it's our hosts' prerogative to decide what passes for a decent comment, and because our hosts have asked us not to respond to someone who calls us assholes and thieves in kind, I've said I'll do my best to ignore Muirduck.

I only took exception to your implied assertion that I should ignore Muirduck because I DISAGREE with him.

muirgeo August 16, 2008 at 2:54 am

Big Corporations are made of people and so is government. Government is a monopoly where as big corporations in most cases are not. There is no sense in putting your trust in the regulators any more than the big business men.

Posted by: Oil Shock

So by this do you mean you believe in Corporate rule or as some call it Corporatism? And do you NOT believe that government should be of, by and for the people? if it's of, by and for the people it can't be a monopoly.

BTW Corporations don't exist with out government.

It's late, I'm tired and the idea of what money is is infinitely complex. You are not telling me you have that all worked out are you? Thanks for the links.

Here's a couple back at you.

http://www.monetary.org/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dmPchuXIXQ

Wait a minute. One more thing. I'm always confounded by conflicting positions. I see you chime some support for modern day corporations yet deride the current monetary/ government system that might likely be responsible for their great success at concentrating power. I have a hard time separating the two. Too often it seems the classic liberal thinker here tries to claim all the success of our current economy in favor of the liberal components of our system and all the failures a result of government intervention. I just don't think the facts support this. The current massive Wall Street collapse was the result of letting the baby play with the gun and not putting a safety lock on it. Wall Streets survival was completely the doing of government intervention.

http://tinyurl.com/64jrty

Dr. T August 16, 2008 at 2:57 am

If our ideas are sound, they will withstand scrutiny and criticism.

Scrutiny and criticism are fine. Idiocy is not. Neither are attempts at argument that have one or more major rhetorical flaws (generalization, straw man argument, anecdotes instead of data, ad hominem attacks, appeals to authority, appeals to popularity, etc.). Most of Muirgeo's posts have one or more of these failings. I see no reason to celebrate the return of such a commenter. It's like rejoicing over the return of athlete's foot: a mildly annoying fungus that's hard to get rid of.

muirgeo August 16, 2008 at 2:59 am

"…. you present us with an interesting challenge. I hope we can rise to it."

Posted by: BoscoH

I don't present an interesting challenge. The realities and complexities of the real world in which we all live presents an interesting challenge. It's very important not to over-simplify.

Unit August 16, 2008 at 3:00 am

Muirgeo,

in your first paragraph you claim that higher education is an inalienable right.
However, I guess you don't believe that private property should be one.

In the second paragraph, funding to higher education turns out to be part of a social contract. Also the money system is guaranteed by force through the state. No mention of fractional reserve banking on all that.

Then in the third paragraph, you launch into generic gratuitous slanders: all of us are somehow complacent with power except you. You're trying to signal that you are morally better than us. It could be true, but (as you said before) you haven't defined morality….

You claim to be the true liberal here, but give no hints as to how you will achieve greater liberty. Through public funded higher ed?

Finally, you link liberty to authority and force and call that "nuance" when in fact you remind us of the guy who is currently president.

cpurick August 16, 2008 at 3:02 am

muirgeo:
"Yes liberty requires authority and "force" and thats the nuance you consistently overlook with your pure and simple theory."

Certification required to join the Libertarian Party:
"To validate my membership, I certify that I do not advocate the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals."

Oops. Sounds like you're lost.

And this:
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel."

muirgeo, you approach that jewel very suspiciously whenever you start talking about me paying for others' health care. And I'm not put at ease by your belief that you're using force to advance liberty, even if that's how you rationalize it.

I think that pretty much rules you out as a libertarian. And that's fine, because you're not the first person to make that mistake.

And I'm going to offer you one more thing. The opposite of "libertarian" is "authoritarian." As a supposed libertarian, tell me the difference between your views on health care, and those of an authoritarian.

Now you may not realize this, but nothing that's transpired here, up to this point, bothers me in the slightest. I can dispatch socialist claptrap in my sleep. See? No hard feelings!

What does bother me is that now you will begin to insist that you are a libertarian and I am not. In fact, it's been clearly established that you are a leftist, a socialist, a progressive, a Democrat. You are a liberal, but not the type referred to by Hayek and Boudreaux. You seek security above all else, and while you paste pretty quotes, you in fact fear and despise liberty, because it does not produce the results you want. Liberty is too hard for you.

You are what is known as a "concern troll."

If you want civil treatment, you can start by not insulting the intelligence of everyone here who wants real liberty. They don't want what you want. This is firmly established, and it's all that matters.

Suppose for a second, that you are the true libertarian, and the rest of us are all just anarchists, for example. Aren't you being silly to hang out on an anarchy blog just because it calls itself libertarian? I mean, it's well established that you are not about what this blog is about. Are you here to defend the use of "libertarian" among us anarchists, or do you really hope to convince us that you know a better way?

When your Marxist fallacies are identified, will you at least show us the dignity of getting new ones instead of repeating them?

muirgeo August 16, 2008 at 3:06 am

Amazing data! I just have to believe liberty was maximized in the first period… and as a bonus so was the economy.

Anyone care to take a shot at explaining this data and how it's consistent with libertarianism?

cpurick August 16, 2008 at 3:06 am

"Kurt Vonnegut's story has been made into a movie titled 2081. Finally when everyone is equal"

Ooooh, based on Harrison Bergeron. I cannot wait!!!

Russell Nelson August 16, 2008 at 3:20 am

I am also displeased by muirgeo's return. He writes a fallacy, is corrected, and writes it again. Repeat until disgusted. There is no evidence what-so-ever that muirgeo is interested in learning anything. I'm happy to learn. I know I don't know everything. Muirgeo seems incapable of learning.

For example, very early on, Muirgeo started asserting that markets require regulation, therefore there is no such thing as a 'free' market, therefore it's never wrong to regulate markets. Everyone here can see the lack of logic, and I've corrected him MANY, MANY times, but does he ever learn?

You know you're being trolled when the troll says increasingly outrageous things in an attempt to keep you on the hook (hence "trolling"). Then, when you get disgusted and stop responding, the troll goes back to making reasonable arguments.

Wash, rinse, repeat for endless amusement. When you're under attack by a troll, the only successful response is 100% silence. If someone breaks discipline and responds, they're on the hook and the troll starts reeling them in and out.

If 100% silence is not possible, then moderation (human filtering) is required. I've seen this again and again and again (google for "russ" if you doubt my experience).

cpurick August 16, 2008 at 3:22 am

muirgeo (ysati):
"Anyone care to take a shot at explaining this data and how it's consistent with libertarianism?"

Because there's no rule saying that any of us cannot be rich. That's your answer, troll.

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