Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Personal Note on ISFLC 2015

No, I wasn't there. But Mackenzie Holst was. Due to a slight comedy of errors, when she read an "open letter to Ron Paul" crafted by herself, Cory Massimino and Aaron Shelby Baca, that letter was apparently attributed (as reported by, and later corrected by, Dave Weigel at Bloomberg) to the Center for a Stateless Society, where I work and where Cory is a Fellow.

By "comedy of errors," I mean this: Cory posted the letter to C4SS's work group with a proposal that we publish it, but when it comes to such things we have an internal process that sometimes becomes an eternal process. I'm not complaining about that, by the way. I think it's good for organizations like C4SS to talk out anything that there's significant disagreement on. Without naming names other than my own, some people supported publishing the letter, some opposed it, and my opinion was, well, "meh." Not because I had any great problem with its content, but because it was (and is) my opinion that as Ron Paul fades into obscurity, it's kind of silly to give his cultists new rallying points to keep their obsession alive.

So anyway, we were still discussing the matter when the letter was read at ISFLC; while Mackenzie Holst, who neither works for nor has any past association with C4SS, was under the impression (presumably due to some kind of communications cock-up) that we had endorsed it, planned to publish it, and stood behind the public reading of it.

I understand that she's paid a personal price in terms of being dogged by Paul cultists right up to the point of deleting her social media accounts, etc. I don't like identity politics and such very much. I don't consider myself a "Social Justice Warrior" whatever that is (it's something I see "right libertarians" and conservatives posing as libertarians throw out as snark quite a bit). But even I can't help but notice how much meaner these allegedly "equal opportunity assholes" tend to get when it's a woman they're picking on (perhaps they worry slightly less that a female victim will forsake the non-aggression principle and break someone's nose by way of imparting a much-needed lesson in basic manners).

So anyway, since C4SS doesn't -- and probably shouldn't -- really have a position on the whole thing other than "no, that wasn't us," I think it behooves me to personally (but publicly) thank Mackenzie, Cory and Aaron for such outstanding work.

Since "the incident," Dave Weigel has published a second Bloomberg article which makes it sound like we left-libertarians (but I repeat myself), led by C4SS, Jeff Tucker and some poetry slammers, have all but completely taken over the "liberty movement." And we got denounced at VDARE, too, on pretty much the same grounds. Rumor has it that various Kochtopus operatives, Hoppe enthusiasts and paleo Viking re-enactors have barricaded themselves in a conference room at the convention venue for a forlorn last stand. Hopefully (OK, maybe not hopefully, but probably) they'll come out waving white flags and learn that it was a false alarm before they starve to death.

I couldn't have bought a media talk-up like that with a five-figure PR budget. And we got it for free. Thanks, you guys!

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