I owe an apology to Jesse Walker In a post a while back discussing how I have come back around to religion, and how following a strongly traditional mainstream faith fits my political outlook and my pragmatic view of life, I mistakenly dissed a good man.
The man I dissed was Jesse Walker. It happened rather innocently on my part but this does not excuse my error. At the time, I was hammering on anarcho-libertarianism, one of the flavors of libertarianism that can only exist so long as it is located within a good strong society, with orderly people, not generally organized along strict libertarian lines. A lot of people whose understanding of libertarianism goes about as far as “Atlas Shrugged” label themselves libertarians, and apply snark rather than deep thought and confuse their lightweight version of anarcho-libertarianism for a workable libertarian critique, and this seriously chaps my ass. It comes across as dumb and shallow, and to my way of thinking, the only anarcho-libertarian experiments that have really worked before involve communes set up to promote vice – to sell dope, or sex, or gambling. (See, e.g. pre-1960 Las Vegas…)
In the process of hammering on thatt viewpoint, I put up as exemplars the good folks at Reason.com, some of whom… well, labeling their viewpoint as anarcho-libertarianism is probably an insult to Murray Rothbard, it doesn’t rise to his level of forethought or sophistication. My main motivation was to hammer on the anti-conservative dialogue steadily maintained by a number of writers at Reason, in particular, the offhand bashing of religion in which that subset engages.
I am of the opinion that nobody has any business tearing down mostly useful social institutions, organized religion in the West being mostly useful, most of the time, like civic associations or neighborhood associations, or other vital moderators of human behavior. Burke agreed with this; as did classical liberal John Stuart Mill, especially in his later years; and Hayek was perhaps the leading proponent of respecting “how people traditionally do things,” lending it an empirical rationale and voicing a philosophical kernel that underlies the theory of spontaneous organization, so in vogue today. That is the background; I was pissed.
My error was to bash Jesse, when I meant to bash Nick Gillespie, and I apologize for it. Jesse is actually a voice of reason at Reason, and his own blog is quite deliberative, and he and I would probably agree on many philosophical matters. Hell, he even quotes Albert Jay Nock in this entry… I recognize a lurking Hayekian in Mr. Walker, and I respect that, and apologize for my erroneous slam.
I wrote the entry at a time when Reason’s writers Tim Cavanagh and Nick Gillespie were coming off a series of cheap shots at Catholicism, including the tossing around of the term “mackeral snapper”. That’s no big slur, I guess, unless you figure calling a Black person a “fried chicken and watermellon eater” isn’t a cheap shot. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a cheap shot, an ad hominem, and even if my mistaken reference to Jesse is inexcusable, perhaps you can understand how I got there.
Anyhow, enough rationalization. The yellow flecks are egg on my face, my voice sounds muffled because my foot is in my mouth, and you can’t hear me too well because my head was inserted in my rectum, at least on this point.