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11/03/2012

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"the liberal capitalist tail must never be allowed to wag the natural law dog."

What an interesting way to end a lecture. I'll have to reread it when I have more time. He walks a tight rope, for a catholic.

I've read several critiques of Rothbard over the years, and I enjoy them as much as I enjoy reading Rothbard's history/economics books. I often wonder if Rothbard tried to do an end-around the atheists? To say that rights come from God requires God's existence. If the declaration of God's absence is all that is needed to refute natural rights, then at some point governments would refute God. Not surprising, since I do not see much of Christianity within government's works anyway.

Thanks, Georg.

You're welcome, Eric. I know that we are very close to each other in our acute suspicion of the state and in our belief in the desirability and possibility of a civil society.

What irks me in others is the complacent attitude that knowing of the danger inherent in state power and of the detriment of state power abuse effectively releases one from the difficulty that we will have to live with it responsibly, cautiously and realistically everyday and for quite some time, and that we have to watch and analyse the state phenomenon minutely and most carefully and will have to engage in tenuous exercises involving both instrumentalisation (of the state), collaboration as well as attenuation, control and disassembly of it.

Assuming a posture of disdain, sarcasm and simplistically dogmatic repudiation, a mere cult of spitting at the state, does not at all help the effort of being up to the task.

If Americans are good at one thing, I'd say that venting might very well be it. Hence, the sarcasm and simplistic dismissals. I truly believe, for what it's worth, that much of this type of behavior stems from a sort of salesmanship mentality unique to our shores.

The simple sarcastic innuendo is the bait which lures the fish to the hook, where he or she can then delve deeper. Personally, I've developed one-liners that have been very successful long-term, where now I have many people reading recommended books and pondering the institutional possibilities of less government.

You're a very deep thinker, Georg, but I'd say most Americans over here are not. The competition for the sound byte is intense, therefore, and might explain, to some extent, the reasons for the sarcasm and dogmatism. Look at the dogmatic approach by the republicans recently. Someone in a GOP crowd brought up concern for global warming (legitimate or otherwise) and was shouted down with the simplistic shout of "USA! USA!". And we all know that any criticism of Obama will simply be labeled racist.

Ron Paul was successful because he was able to shorten his thoughts to sound byte length at a moment's notice, bringing the ideas of rule of law and sound money back from extinction in the process. We are in a race for voters and minds. As Milton Friedman once opined, "The argument for collectivism is simple if false; it is an immediate emotional argument. The argument for individualism is subtle and sophisticated; it is an indirect rational argument."

Rational arguments fall on deaf ears at first; prey to the emotions of politics. But having read many who have awoken, like I did, over the years, it may start with the simplistic but it ends with research and a deeper understanding - certainly an admittance of one's own fallible reasoning and the fallibility of our political leaders. It takes time to sift through the debris of a broken paradigm.

I thought of this quote from Lord of the Rings:

"You must understand, young Hobbit, it takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish. And we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say." - Treebeard

Isn't it refreshingly nice to have conversations at this site? Everyone seems willing to write opinions at length, and everyone seems willing to patiently "listen".

I have only one alteration to your thoughtful contribution to suggest. Where you have used the term "Americans", you could just as well use the term "Germans" and about 200 other words denoting nationality.

LOL. I yield to your cosmopolitan experience. :)

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