Friday, August 28, 2009

The reset button

I probably shouldn't have to restate this so often, but I understand why I do. I frequently address political topics here at KN@PPSTER, and moreover I address them in the context of the existing system.

For example, I may point out that a thoroughgoing statist has done something which, within the parameters of that system, is at least nominally "good." Or I may analyze an upcoming election from a "horserace" perspective. This means that new readers may mistake me for something I'm not, or that long-time readers might wonder if I've fallen off the wagon. So:

- I'm a libertarian. In particular, I am a libertarian of the Zero Aggression persuasion, i.e. one who believes that there are no circumstances under which initiation of force is the right thing to do.

- I'm probably not a "ZAPsolutist" (a term used by detractors of the Zero Aggression Principle generally, but possibly of some descriptive value with respect to the distinction I'm about to make) as I can envision situations in which no "right," i.e. non-force-initiating, option is available that wouldn't leave me dead, an outcome I'm willing to make certain concessions (but not others) to avoid. When reality decides it's in the mood for some heavy petting, ideological hymens don't necessarily always emerge intact. In the event of such a situation, my general outlook is that I'd rather do what I have to do to emerge alive, and then attempt to make restitution, than hope for an afterlife in which I can feel good about having made the morally correct call.

- I am an anarchist, in no small measure because I believe that the state inevitably creates the kinds of situations described in the foregoing paragraph. If you build a machine which functions on a feedstock of theft and produces an output of force, don't be surprised when poverty and death result.

So, when you see me attempting to teach Rachel Maddow 7th-grade civics, or saying nice things about Ted Kennedy, please don't assume that I'm doing so because I support the state or think that the late Senator from Massachusetts was the bee's knees. I don't. I'm just doing what bloggers do: [note to self: Don't forget to insert self-important verbiage that disguises the reality -- "dicking around while trying to make themselves look clever" -- here before hitting the publish button].

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