Thursday, 24 June 2010

Mongnitive Dissonance

@obotheclown i think you severely doubt your own position, this is why you act the big johnny big bollocks on your site. I pity you.
-- The Master of Cognitive Dissonance

Ahem. I think it's fair to say that I don't doubt my position in the slightest. I'm not the one arguing for the state to have a monopoly on violence to act upon me to fund the things I believe in, while simultaneously telling them to fuck off when they try to extend that power to things I don't believe in. My position is much clearer, simpler and more coherent: I don't believe the state should do anything or even exist. I believe that if the false crutch of the state was removed, people would also benefit from a personal development of greater responsibility and ownership of their own problems. I also believe that as a consequence of the removal of state, people would find much a) better and b) cheaper ways of looking after those who had genuine need.

However, I absolutely and fully accept that as things stand today, the state has too much mindshare for this to happen. Most people don't even want to think about politics, let alone challenge the status quo. And even among the people who can even be arsed to think about politics, like bloggers, most people don't want to think the difficult, fundamental issues through, which is why we have bloggers like Tom Harris and Iain Dale and Guido becoming popular: they say things that appeal to people's tribal loyalties or prejudices, not things that make people think.

Even (or especially!) among people who profess themselves to be libertarians or "social liberals", there is an uncrossable chasm between those who have gone back to basics and started again and those who think things could be made better working in the current political framework. And those very people who want "liberty" in the current political framework are the most vociferous opponents of any form of anarchy.

Every time I talk to Sunny Hundal or John Demetriou, I get dismissed for the ludicrosity* of my ideas. With both of them, there are personal slurs and straw man attacks a-plenty. I think these are the people who are actually the least sure of their ground: they have a specific set of freedoms that they deem to be mandatory and self-evident, and when confronted with the idea that someone else might have a different set of freedoms or a superset of freedoms that goes beyond their own, they are too frightened to contemplate what that means to their value system to engage rationally with the idea.

So Sunny goes on about my "tin-foil hat", despite the fact that I've written here about the tolerance of Libertarianism attracting froot loops and gun nuts and how I don't like it, he immediately tars me with the "froot loop and gun nut" brush. He takes my complaints about the welfare system as "spin" to "hide my racist desire for less immigration", etc.

John bangs on about my "mad, loony AnCap arse". And that's when he's not trying, laughably, to troll me in general.

Neither of them has any kind of rational explanation for why their particular set of freedoms is more important or sensible than a) each other or b) mine.

As to the Johnny Big Bollocks thing: am I the one who writes things like: "And just in case you were in any doubt, Mr Boatang and I are indeed Demi-Gods of the Libertarian blogging world, and yes, everything that we utter is sacred - each word a literary gem worth ensnaring and putting on the world jewel market for mega bucks" (to pluck one random sample out of the air)? Or am I the one who gives his fiercest critics permanent pride of place on the front page of my blog?

Am I the one who proclaims my worth in a verbose paean of self-praise (complete with a suitably humble picture) or am I the one who thinks no-one gives a shit about my personal history?

And am I the one who has a mate on call who can be guaranteed to back my every word with a "yeah, right on, man, stick it to him" or am I the one who has to convince everyone who backs me with the compulsion of my argument?

In other words, John, in the case of this particular tweet (and many others) you might be indulging in the tiniest bit of projection.

*I may have made this up.

21 comments:

tomsmith said...

All true but I don't know why you bother

Roger Thornhill said...

Ah, yes, psychological projection. I see it all the time and as anyone who sees my posts knows, I call it when I do.

As for Sunny, I must miss most of your exchanges then.

As is so often, I am a bit between the two. I recognise that the aim point is no State, but robust, aware, sovereign people. However, in the meantime, we have to realise where we are, who is also "out there".

It reminds me I must look more into the fascinating "Stateless Ireland" that the English found so hard to conquer as brought to my attention by UK Libertarian (thanks be to him).

I do have an open mind, but, as I like to add, not so open as to allow my brains to fall out.

J Demetriou said...

You disagree with me, Obo. Therefore, you are a cunt.

Fuck, you're all fucking cunts.

I'm considerably more libertarian than all of yeow.

Now I must get back to fellating Boatang.

J Demetriou said...

DO you usually discount your opponents by telling everyone they have mental health issues?

Not a particularly reasonable or fair line of attack, is it Obnoxio the Clown?

Thanks for going through all this effort though. And thanks to my stand-in pretend J Demetriou commenter, who obviously thinks he is hilarious, playing to a much amused mob. Please carry on.

I just wanted you to know, that I couldn't care less anymore if you post your fraudulent, imposter comments.

I'll leave you unreasonable rabble to it.

J Demetriou said...

Just one quick point, tho

Why do you assume I disagree with much of your libertarian politics? Why do you pretend I am a statist social democrat, when I am not and you know I am not?

Why lie?

Mark Wadsworth said...

All good stuff, but ask yourself: who would lose most if " if the false crutch of the state was removed"?

T'would be the landowners (and indeed home-owners) who would lose most, it is in their interests to have a 'state' (the rest of us can go abroad if we don't like it here, nothing to lose). Therefore, AFAIC they should be the ones paying for it (not the productive economy through income tax, VAT etc)/

J Demetriou said...

It looks like I - the greatest libertarian blogger ever to live - disagree with myself.

Therefore, we all know that makes me, don't we children?

That's right... A CUNT!

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Why do you assume I disagree with much of your libertarian politics?"

Amazingly, the fact that you keep telling me how wrong and insane I am, might have something to do with it.

I'm not sure.

sixtypoundsaweekcleaner said...

...big johnny big bollocks...

*snigger*

Kevin said...

isnt arguing amongst yourselves over the minutae of libertarian dogma all a bit pointless.

if you ever want to have an effect on the larger world that obnoxio says wont entertain thinking the unthinkable - then surely the libertarian right need to coalesce around a broad spectrum of ideas.

sure you can insult each other and argue each other to a standstill - cause thats what happens as no one will ever back down - but apart from being catharitc - it doesnt seem to achieve much.

and its exactly what you see in other groups such as the trots, far left and BNP.

as i say - if it makes people feel better - keep on arguing amongst yourselves - but if you ever want to achieve anything other than to be looked on with contempt by the mainstream politicals - might be time to start finding areas you agree on , rather than disagree.

J Demetriou said...

This is what is so amazing about Obo. He ignores my regular comments where I praise his views and agree with him. But as soon as I say 'you're going too far there in my view', he freaks out.

It's called 'being dogmatic'.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, nobody agrees with B&D. Their only purpose is to sow dissent.

J Demetriou said...

To the fake J Demetriou, it's not called being dogmatic, it's called cuntishness. Something that pertains to everyone who disagrees with me and my fellatio friend Boatang.

Now think of a new name for yourself.

Kingbingo said...

"there is an uncrossable chasm between those who have gone back to basics and started again and those who think things could be made better working in the current political framework."

And there are also those who have gone back to basics and STILL decide that we need a state. Albeit in my case a state closer to 5% of GDP rather than the current 50%. But you seem to think that anyone who has gone back to basics will have to agree with you in this ancap toss.

But that's still escapism. Sure its fun to debate the perfect society, but only 1% or less of the population are interested in having that conversation. The only real thing a libertarian can do is work within the existing framework for a smaller state.

Kingbingo said...

"isnt arguing amongst yourselves over the minutae of libertarian dogma all a bit pointless."

Eggs fucking zackly!!

Ob wrote a great piece months ago about fractional elements arguing the toss over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Then shortly after he had some sort of epiphany and went all Sargent Barnes on us.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"The only real thing a libertarian can do is work within the existing framework for a smaller state."

And how is that working for you? You seeing any signs that iDave is going to slash the state?

No?

"Ob wrote a great piece months ago about fractional elements arguing the toss over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Then shortly after he had some sort of epiphany and went all Sargent Barnes on us."

No. I still support the LPUK's minarchist policy because it's the closest thing to what I believe.

But while you might be satisfied to keep fighting the state's insatiable need to swell and swell and consume more and more of what people produce and stick its nose further and further into your life in exchange for those handful of things that a state might conveniently (if inefficiently) provide, I choose to argue for going that final step forward to truly change society.

Mark my words, Kingbingo, if, by some miracle you managed to reduce the state to 5% of GDP, by the time your children pass on, we will be back at 50% and people like yourself will still be calling AnCaps hopeless, impractical idealists, when all we need to do is shrink the state to a more manageable size.

Much like socialism, the state has been tried over and over in a myriad different forms and every single time it's been found wanting.

Yet just like the socialists you despise, you claim that if we just have one more go at it, doing it your way, all will be well.

Kingbingo said...

Murry Rothbard who is the closest thing Ancappers have to a interellectual wellspring was never able to solve the problem that if you remove the state another one or something that looks very much like it will just very quickly replace it. Now while I liked Rothbards work on banking and money he did seem a little unhinged when it came to his fundamentals of the state type stuff.


Modern proponents of this Ancap waffle, which is really just Obnoxio and 3 other bloggers, plus a handful of commenters, have never been able to answer this point. As soon as they do I'm all ears. I read every bastard thing Ob writes, i'm just back from hols and I still went back and caught up, so the momment Obby solves this conundrum I'll be listening.


The best thing I can say about these Ancappers is that by advocating their postion my Minimal State stuff is no longer the extreme, just by there being an Ancap postion Minimal State stuff becomes less scary. But if they want to be taken seriously they need to have serious anwsers, which at the moment they lack. and i belive they always will.

Kingbingo said...

"Much like socialism, the state has been tried over and over in a myriad different forms and every single time it's been found wanting."

Actually small states, by which I mean those that retain power over setting a 'small' body of law, the enforcment of that law and military hiercahy only, while bound by a strong consistution have been some of the most amazingly sucessful forms of human endeviour ever. loads of examples, the best being the Romans, the British Empire, the USA.

Now your correct that in each case eventually, after many generations the rot of socialism managed to get in. And in each case destroyed the greatness out of each of them.

The great challenge is to engineer a state that is socialist teflon coated. That remains socialist free as long as possible, or better still allows socialism to be experimented with and then washed away cleanly.

I hope one day to be able to propose something that might do that.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"I hope one day to be able to propose something that might do that."

Right, so let me get this straight: the worlds finest minds have been trying for 5,000 years to come up with a perfect form of government, they have tried pretty much every single permutation that can be found but they ALL have something wrong with them that leads to the eventual collapse of the society bound by that state.

And yet you're insisting that I'm the mad one because I don't think that 5,000 years of failure has given us enough time to work out the wrinkles?

And somehow, despite that I have no legal training, the fact that I can't come up with a legal framework that meets your specific requirements and that would work without the coercion of the state somehow invalidates my argument?

I just want to be absolutely clear on this.

As an aside, I'm just curious how, in primitive tribes, punishment can be applied to someone, despite there being no over-arching body of authority that has the power to tax people on pain of going to jail.

Kingbingo said...

That was a load of cock waffle.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

So, no actual counter argument then? Can I accept that you give up?