Why Is It?

Why is it that most dogmatic conservative and libertarian blogs don’t provide trackbacks or comments? If they did then Anthony Gregory, Thomas Woods (of Lew Rockwell Blog) and Kevin might be able to have a constructive dialog. Instead, we have this. Such posts make people feel better, superior even. They probably get appreciative head nods from various readers and followers. But they don’t advance discussion at all.

Oh, just in case Anthony or Thomas drop by, The Liberty Papers is not Libertarian (or Republican or Democrat for that matter).

  • http://www.ThomasEWoods.com Tom Woods

    Adam, your comment is well taken, though while I appreciate that this site isn’t expressly libertarian (though it obviously has sympathies), I’d expect people who are clearly somewhere within the classical liberal tradition at least to be aware that simply shouting out “the free rider problem!” — in other words, merely repeating the typical statist line I could read on ANY blog or site — does not constitute an argument. It rather suggests to me that the author of the comment could stand to read further in the tradition before shooting his mouth off.

    Notice what I am not saying: I am not saying Kevin is stupid, or beyond redemption, or a statist dupe. I’m saying he’s launching into a major critique without much apparent grounding in the relevant literature. We all did that when we were 21; I am simply calling him on it. I honestly intend no hard feelings.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2006/11/22/comrades-i-hereby-declare-the-revolution/ Adam Selene

    Tom, thanks for dropping by. I don’t plan to get into the “free rider” discussion, I think it’s rather pointless, personally.

    I would love to see the “big guys” introduce more discussion capability, such as comments and trackbacks, on their blogs. And really, I think that’s what I’m trying to get across.

    Yes, there is a wide range of ages and experiences contributing here, which is a plus in my opinion, and one of the reasons I was attracted to being a contributor.

  • http://www.ThomasEWoods.com Tom Woods

    The Mises.org blog does allow comments, and there are usually some very good discussions there. I don’t blame Lew Rockwell a bit for not wanting to offer the comments option on his personal site — I can’t imagine the headaches he’d have to deal with. I’d never do it myself.

    There’s nothing wrong with having a wide variety of ages; the LRC blog has such variety itself. My point is that youth nearly always demands humility, but all too rarely possesses it. I’m hideously embarrassed looking back on some of the dogmatic statements I made when I was in college.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2006/11/22/comrades-i-hereby-declare-the-revolution/ Adam Selene

    You should see what it looks like on a small blog, dealing with comments and trackbacks. The flip side to that, though, is that it really only seems like half a blog, so to speak, without comments and trackbacks. Really, without those things, a blog is just a real time news and opinion journal.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/2005/11/22/a-bit-about-kevin/ Kevin

    Professor Woods,

    Thanks for coming on the thread. It’s rare when someone who gets criticised in the blogosphere to actually come on the thread and defend themselves.

    I’ll take your reading suggestions under advisement and I’ll give them a look.

  • http://www.ThomasEWoods.com Tom Woods

    I think that’s pretty much what the LRC blog aspires to be, though — real-time news and opinion. That’s good enough for me.

    Kevin, extremely gracious of you to reply to what probably seemed like nastiness on my part. I think Hans Hoppe’s A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, or his Economics and Ethics of Private Property (much easier to get) are central here. This is some of the most original and truly striking material I have read.

    I was sorry to see your attack on Lew today in the daily quote. Lew has done more for the overall cause than just about anyone — the sheer quantity of resources he has made available at Mises.org alone, for free, apart from anything else he’s done, is astonishing: whole books, hundreds of hours of free audio and video, whole print runs of classic and impossible-to-find journals, etc.

    If people disagree with him on something, fine, though I don’t see much a libertarian could find fault with. But why the wholesale dismissals? I myself am quite capable of saying, “So and so isn’t so good on X, but he’s great on Y and Z.” So I appreciate that person on Y and Z. Lew is very much that way, featuring lots of people on his site whose views he doesn’t altogether share but who are good on things he cares about. If only certain people could show him the same respect.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2006/11/22/comrades-i-hereby-declare-the-revolution/ Adam Selene

    I didn’t see an attack on Lew Rockwell in the daily quote? I saw a quote tackling Raimondo, though.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/2005/11/22/a-bit-about-kevin/ Kevin


    First of all, I didn’t attack Lew in the Quote of the Day; Tom Palmer did. He could have left Lew Rockwell out of this, I agree.

    I’ve actually read (okay more like flipped through) Hoppe’s compilation for the Mises Institute that he did last year arguing for a privatized national defense. So I am somewhat familiar with his work.

  • http://www.ThomasEWoods.com Tom Woods

    Adam: Yes, that’s the one I meant — it offhandedly mentioned Lew as well.

    Kevin: Good — though the Hoppe books I mentioned are much stronger than that one in my opinion.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2006/11/22/comrades-i-hereby-declare-the-revolution/ Adam Selene

    Personally I would highly recommend Hayek first, both Road to Serfdom and Constitution of Liberty. Friedman’s work is also worthwhile. Don’t rely just on Ayn Rand and Robert Heinlein. They deal well, in a fictional setting, with the theory of liberty and free markets, but they don’t tackle the real in’s and out’s of why free markets and liberty are good and central planning and arbitrary regulation are bad. I can’t recommend enough the classic liberal philosophers either: Adam Smith, David Hume, Frances Hutcheson, Dugald Stewart, Hobbes and Locke (although not technically enlightenment/liberal philosophers), Jefferson, Paine, Madison, Montesqueiu. Add to that John Stuart Mill and Immanuel Kant and you should have a good foundation in liberalism. From there, start exploring modern libertarian writings.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2006/11/22/comrades-i-hereby-declare-the-revolution/ Adam Selene

    And, before I forget, how could I forget Alexis de Tocqueville?

    Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.

    I could add to this list of recommended authors and philosophers for days, but will just add one more: Frederic Bastiat.