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Me so smart

Quote from myself: “Either the Democrats or the Republicans are going to come together behind one candidate. The winning candidate is going to have upwards of 35% of the vote.”

Advantage: me!

(Yeah, I spent too much time reading self-absorbed blogs while doing research on the previous post. I admit it.)


  1. So, uh, Bryant. Just what *is* your political stance? I mean, I read through your posts, and it seems like you’re the archetypal anti-two-party-system-er, and you seem like a Leftist in real life, but your posts seem to lean to the Right. Plus all those Right-Wing blogs in your links sections.

    So, what’s the deal? I mean, not that it’s a big deal or anything. I’m just more curious for clarification than anything else.

  2. Nobody ever asks!

    I’m a pragmatic anarchist. I don’t think we’re up for anarchy as a society at the moment, but I think we could get there. I think the United States is too big to effectively represent its own population.

    I worked for the anti-ROTC movement while I was at Harvard, but at UIowa I became deeply disenchanted with the campus leftists. (Long story, ask me in person some time.)

    I link to Tacitus and the Volokhs because I think they have interesting things to say, even though I disagree with ’em. I link to Cold Fury because I think Mike is an interesting guy even though I disagree with him a lot. Flit is more of a right-wing blog ever since Bruce added that Lutas guy, and I may wind up dropping it some day because I think Lutas is not at all interesting. I’m not sure if the guy who runs Intel Dump is left-wing or right-wing, but he’s smart.

    I’ve dropped a couple of left-wing blogs, too — Atrios got shrill and Matt Yglesias got, mmm, I don’t know. Complacent. But I read Talking Points Memo, CalPundit, and Orcinus religiously.

    I’m always wary of restricting my intake to one position or another. You get calcified that way. Actually, one of the things I like about Cold Fury is that I can talk to Mike — in a way, he’s my window into the world of a certain flavor of conservative blog. I trust Mike not to say the UN bombing was “a good start,” as opposed to some people I could name.

    Do my posts really lean to the right? I try to be a little balanced, but heck, I’ve been lectured at for having an insular leftist point of view. From time to time I make a point of saying “Wow, that leftist comment was really stupid,” because I know I tend to give the left more slack and I think that’s a bad habit on my part. Dorks are dorks no matter which way they vote.

    I’m much more of a capitalist than a socialist, which is another reason I don’t spend a lot of time in the activist movement. I think big corporations are deeply dangerous, but I think group action is ideally a better way to correct that problem than is government action. Governments are big corporations in their own way. I think a lot of current anarchist movements haven’t come to terms with their own implicit (or explicit) desire for laws to outlaw corporations.

    If the libertarian movement wasn’t such a haven for anti-social idiots, I might have wound up there, but I think the number of libertarian blogs that came out in favor of invading Iraq pretty much demonstrates why I don’t count myself as a libertarian. Unqualified Offerings is often pretty close to my political views — he’s an anti-war libertarian.

    That may have been an over-lengthy answer, but feel free to ask for clarification. I don’t totally understand myself, myself.

  3. I always thought your posts leaned to the Left – but my political ideology doesn’t map well to the whole “Left:Right” layout, so it’s hard for me to really make those judgment calls.

  4. t.rev t.rev

    I had an epiphany about Why People Hate Libertarians the other day, and why the criticisms I hear seem to have relatively little to do with most of the libertarians I know. It seems like a small fringe of seriously socially crippled people (and coming from me, that’s saying a lot) have ended up as the public face of the tendency. Maybe predictably, I got pilloried when I brought it up, where I brought it up, but anyway, here it is:

    Sane libertarians do not care what you think. Oddly enough, I’ve had this statement interpreted as more or less precisely the opposite of what I meant, so let me be excruciatingly pedantic about it: I don’t mean that they’re going to do what they want without regard to whether it harms other; that’s contrary to the principle forbidding ‘force or fraud’. I mean that they don’t care what’s going on inside other people’s heads; they don’t need to be proven ‘right’. Whatever you think is fine, as long as you leave them alone.

    This seems to have two consequences:

    1) The majority of people who habitually argue in favor of libertarian positions in public are at least somewhat loopy, in that they don’t practice what they preach.

    2) Pretty much every other ideology (except some branches of conservatism, which may be why libertarianism gets grouped on the right, something that baffles me otherwise) does try to persuade (or force) people to agree with it, and libertarian lack of interest in agreement makes people suspicious by comparison.

    I don’t claim that these reasons are consistent with each other.

  5. That’s a pretty interesting theory. I’d actually be willing to accept it — I don’t actually spend a lot of time arguing in favor of anarchist politics, although that’s partially because I am sick and tired of the inevitable Election Day discussions. So sure, I can see libertarians feeling the same way.

    But practically speaking, would people be more likely to leave them alone if they were also of a libertarian persuasion? Or is the “leave people alone” element stronger than the “act in such a way as to increase my chances of being left alone” element?

    Hm. Offhand I’d suspect the latter. Interesting.

  6. t.rev t.rev

    I think that ‘leave people alone’ is a big part of it, but I also think that, at least for a lot of libertarians, ‘act in such a way as to increase my chances of being left alone’ is much closer to ‘leave people alone’ than it is to public advocacy. In this sense, politics is a negative-sum game; the only way to win is not to play.

  7. t.rev t.rev

    Hm, I could have cut my posts in half by referring to the Golden Rule. Reformulation:

    Libertarians want to be left alone and don’t care what you believe. Thus, libertarians who try to persuade others (and irritate them in the process) are breaking the Golden Rule (and thus nitwits).

  8. t.rev t.rev

    And what should pop up on your main page but the following quote?

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