Saturday, December 29, 2007

Abolish slavery instead

Listening to: "Thunder Road," Bruce Springsteen

Walter Block has a few words for libertarians who have been unable to bring themselves to actively support Ron Paul for president. It's interesting to hear what Block thinks of us, but in terms of a response (having recently read The Fountainhead), I have to go with Howard Roark's memorable response to Ellsworth Toohey:
Toohey: Why don't you tell me what you think of me? In any words you wish. No one will hear us.
Roark: But I don't think of you.
Sunni Maravillosa, who is among those called out by Block in his essay, has more patience with the guy and has a detailed rebuttal. Block lost me long before he explained why voting for Paul would be a valid defensive act:
Suppose a slave master allows his slaves to choose between Overseer Goody, who has a very light and judicious touch with the whip, and Overseer Baddy, who never met a bloody back he didn’t like. The slaves take up the master on his offer, and vote for Goody. Are they thereby demonstrating support for slavery, for goodness sakes? No; they are only registering a preference for Goody over Baddy.
This is a perfect analogy. We have more than a dozen overseer wannabes who are itching to bloody backs, and one guy who promises "a very light and judicious touch with the whip."

Don't you see, Walter? He's still going to use the whip.

I admire Paul and, if we have to have a Great Ruler, acknowledge he is the best of the lot. But voting to give someone the whip is not an option for a free man.

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Anonymous CK said...

Actually, Ron is more likely to hand you the whip and walk away.
Of course once your own whip is in your own hands, you can sell it, burn it, try to use it on some other human, hang it on your wall as a reminder, or find that it is still being used by you on you.
Quotidian whips BW, they are everywhere; every hostage to fate you have voluntarily given is but another quotidian whip. Every choice for more "efficiency", frees yourself to hold and brandish your own whip on your own back.
But that is just theorizing, of actions you can take, you can refuse to participate ( valid action taken by almost half the electorate in presidential elections, by 3/4 of the electorate in off year and special elections ), you can choose from one of several choices in a primary vote or one of a few choices if you wait till the national election and vote then.
You can actively work against the election process, simon Jester the electronic voting machines, cut the power supply to precinct voting stations, block traffic to the polls. I think I have covered the three basic actions:
Refuse to participate
Vote among the limited offerings
Work against.
The rest is just rhetoric and grandstanding.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous John Newman said...

I like Ron Paul, but chances are 99.99% I ain't voting for him and 100% not for anyone else. If Paul were running for dictator and promised to dismantle the federal government down to its original intent there is that 1% chance that I would vote for him. However, Paul is running for president and he promises to do what he can as president, within the system and according to the Constitution. Therein lies the problem. If he actually follows the law of the land, he can't do much to rid us of the two-headed monster.
But, here's my 1% problem, if he, by some miracle, gets on the ballot in November, and promises to bring all of our troops back home, which would immediately stop our aggression and killing around the world, can I, in good conscience, not vote for him?
If four years of a Paul presidency would stop the killing and murdering of millions of people, is it worth a vote?

10:22 AM  
Blogger Wally Conger said...

I'm sorry to read these latest pieces by Walter Block. He was one of the movement's philosophical "plumblines" for so many years.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous CK said...

Console yourself John.
The only way your vote would matter is if: 1) he were on the ballot, 2) the final result was a tie after recounts.
See how easy that is? No lesser weevilisms to worry about. Why it might even be mathematically worth your while to speak out against him so as to help ensure that he does not appear on the ballot. If you can help make sure that he is not a selectable choice then you are absolved of not acting against your conscience. And it will most likely be 8 years of a Paul presidency.

12:30 PM  

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