Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rattling the cage of The Barefoot Bum

Evidently I have rattled someone's cage too many times. "The Barefoot Bum," a fellow blogger, got annoyed with my most recent post of all things, the new years list of political economy cannots. He deconstructed my New Years list in a lengthy rant, and then proceeded to deconstruct my humble reply in another rant.
Mr. Bum and I have one thing in common, that is we are both skeptics of religious and mystical stuff, at least I am. Ergo we both get posted onto Planet Atheism, a collection of free-thinkers and atheists of all political stripes. Mr. Bum's politics is statist, verging on Marxist/communist and of course I'm not.
Months ago, maybe a year ago, Bum asked if I would debate him on the Richard Dawkins forum, a neutral site he said. The topic was to be libertarianism vs. Marxist-socialism or something like that, and I foolishly accepted. Fortunately before the 'debate' the Dawkins site was hacked, closed down and reopened in a new format, no longer was the same kind of open forum available. That was fine with me, I'm more of an empiricist with principles, and debating fundamentals is not really my style. I prefer looking at evidence, which of course is one reason I am an atheist. Even there I have a fairly laissez-faire attitude. Mr. Bum is much more of a rabid atheist than I. Like many bloggers on Planet Atheism, it is just their disbelief defines them.
I am trolling for skeptics on Planet Atheism, hoping that some of that healthy skepticism readers might have may extend into the political sphere, the real world, where it actually makes a difference what you believe.
Of course I do think religious belief is harmful in many ways to the believer and those around, but the libertarian principle of non-aggresion applies. Religious beliefs should not be used to subjugate or coerce others period. The right to live free, without coercion is a fundamental human right. It is not a right given by government or by a deity, or a proclamation by any authority. It is like oxygen, (the right to life) and almost as important. I won't debate that, and everything else that I believe follows from that.
So, if you have read Mr. Bum's rants (or just scanned them), you might surmise Bum is a bully. Of course that makes sense, how else can one believe in communist ideals? The essence of Marxist philosophy is that your life is not your own, you owe a debt to society by virtue of your birth and your upbringing, and in Canada and much of the Western world (including the USA) that is the philosophy that underlies our so-called democracies. Bum is a bully, as much in his politics, as his lack or religious belief.
Why is he so upset with my New Years list? Why now? I've been ranting for two years, why is he so pissed off with me this week?  Maybe he is frustrated with the way things are going. He resorts to name-calling:
"I'm deeply suspicious of the intellectual integrity of anyone who calls him- or herself a Libertarian or who admires in any way the politics of Ayn Rand. I'm convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Allen Small himself is not an honest seeker after the truth, every bit as dogmatic, tendentious and impervious to reason as any Creationist."
That is a sign of frustration, I am "not an honest seeker after the truth..... dogmatic......impervious to reason," well pardon me for living.  I too would be frustrated if my dream-Marxist world had collapsed to the point where just Cuba and North Korea are all that is left of the great revolution of the proletariat. The former communist world has taken on a decidedly capitalistic appearance, though it is still coercive by nature; they have moved closer to us in the West and unfortunately we have moved closer to them in many ways.
That will be reconciled at some point, and I think it is likely to happen in the West sooner than later. It may already be happening, and Mr. Bum can smell it! So he is angry and frustrated with the media because now there are competitive viewpoints available on radio and television and because there are folks like me that spew libertarian propaganda and dogma across the internet.
I'm sure not much has been solved by this posting, but as an empiricist I will let the evidence speak for itself. Do libertarians have all the answers to all that ails us? I doubt it. What I do know is that if there is a competition of ideas, and people are free to choose what are the best ideas for their own circumstances, that is a dogma and a truth I am willing to defend.      

1 comment:

  1. As always, reading The Barefoot Bum (or anything written by a Marxist) is a great exercise in finding logical fallacies and other complete failures in thought. Deconstructing his argument and pointing out his unfounded assumptions, completely incorrect premises and absurd leaps of logic would be entertaining, but ultimately fruitless.

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