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Shameless Self-promotion Sunday #54

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 13 years ago, in 2009, on the World Wide Web.

It’s Sunday. Everybody get Shameless with it.

What have you been up to this week? Write anything? Leave a link and a short description for your post in the comments. Or fire away about anything else you might want to talk about.

34 replies to Shameless Self-promotion Sunday #54 Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Soviet Onion

    Happy Pride Week, everybody!

    In the news yesterday, while there’s no public parade, the first pride festivities in China’s modern history are beginning to take place in Shanghai. I guess that’s a step up.

    In the meantime, America is still funny.

  2. Friend of Liberty KC

    So many people in two piece swimsuits in this heat…

  3. MBH

    Hey Charles, random question. I’ve seen you and Roderick discuss modal Libertarians and modal Republicans. How do you guys mean ‘modal’ in this context?

  4. Rad Geek


    Modal as in the statistical mode, the numerically most common among a set of alternatives in the sample.

    The phrase was lifted (reclaimed?) from some particularly ill-tempered broadsides that Rothbard issued during his paleo phase (e.g. 1), the theme of which was, more or less, how the modal libertarian was (as Rothbard saw it) a dirty fucking hippy who needed to cut his hair, get a job, and stop criticizing Murray N. Rothbard.

  5. Darian

    I was getting some stuff ready for ALL’s Porcfest activities.

    I wrote a short piece exploring the principles behind the Tiananmen Square incident http://darianworden.com/blog/?p=729 and a brief piece to summarize ALL http://libertarianleft.freeforums.org/description-of-the-libertarian-left-t362.html

  6. MBH

    Hahahah… “and stop criticizing Murray N. Rothbard.”

    Well, in that case, let me jump into the modal mix. I always thought that the beauty of Mises’s version of praxeology was that it was designed to meet–what Laurence Moss called–the Harmony Theorem: that free markets are in everyone’s best interest. Moss shows how this presupposes a certain level of trust amongst a population. But Mises just sort of dismisses this as something that the legal system (monopolized) would handle. Moss points out how silly that is, since the action of the legal system is itself supposed to be part of praxeology.

    Rothbard seems to understand this difficulty better. But in expanding praxeology he abandons Mises’ Harmony Theorum. He counts hostility as a mode of human action and then describes how the market could handle it. But, he doesn’t talk about how the market could better prevent the hostile mode of action or why there wouldn’t be tremendous amounts of red markets.

    I guess what I’m saying is that, even though Rothbard brings praxeology further down the road, he does so with such a high frequency of RPMs that the engine’s not in the best of shape for the rest of the trip.

    How do you see praxeology? Do you see room for improvement?

  7. Roderick T. Long

    he doesn’t talk about how the market could better prevent the hostile mode of action

    He talks about that issue at a fair degree of length, actually.

  8. MBH


    Yeah, that’s my mistake. I should say that he doesn’t talk about it in the way I want him to–which, of course, is not what I said. (As Kelly Jolley–circa 2004–said of Bertrand Russell: there’s the part where you say it, and the part where you take it away.) Oops.

    I’m compelled by a part of Habermas’ praxeology. He seems to think that the reason that the state is so destructive is that it assumes, like Mises’ and Rothbard’s praxeology, that ends are given. So the state acts as a tool, not for the purpose of any principle or moral, but for the purposes of the private interests of whoever is in power. While praxeology can’t talk about motivations, it does have room for actions that clarify/discover universal ends (like eudaimonia). Habermas calls these communicative actions. I guess Rothbard would say that market activity is communicative action. But Habermas has in mind something different. I think it’s similar to Baudrillard’s symbolic exchange, Durkheim’s religious/social bond, etc. Again, Rothbard would say these all take place on the market, I know. But I think these other guys want to say that these kinds of exchanges direct market activity. So while they are certainly interactive and overlap market activity, they’re a bit different.

    I mean, when we talk about the components of eudaimonia, I tend to think that there is something different going on than what happens when I pay for a pair of shoes. And insofar as Rothbard doesn’t make this distinction, I think his praxeology is lacking.

  9. MBH

    Charles, thanks for that link. I’ve heard rumblings about his “paleo” stage, but I’d never seen it until now.

    The unfortunate part is that his basic take on politeness is pretty true. It does grease the wheels of social life. But, it’s a slippery slope to talk about necessarily tolerating racism, sexism, jokes against group A or B, simply because it’s rude not to play along? I don’t know about that. I mean, why is ignoring it “tail-chasing philosophy?” Isn’t that the best we could do without being harsh?

  10. Alderson Warm-Fork

    I mused on the claim by a senior UK politician that ‘we don’t currently have a government’

    And I wrote two posts on how people with radical disagreements can or should interact, sparked by the murder of Dr. George Tiller.

    Thanks for the opportunity to shamelessly self-promote!

  11. Roderick T. Long

    Re Rothbard on the modals: what’s ironic is how much that piece exemplifies so much of what it’s purportedly criticising.

  12. MBH

    Yeah, Rothbard must have skipped Psychological Projection 101.

  13. Friend of Liberty KC


    Oh why oh why does The L Word’s sappy love music so entrance me?

    ( :


    Singing like these people would be so awesome…

  14. Gabriel

    I’ve always considered somethingawful.com to be a hotbed of democrats and Ron Paul haters, and apparently this is spelled out in their sign up policy:

    “If you do not agree with these rules, please do not register an account. If you are not sure about buying an account, please do not purchase one. The only people we want to register accounts are those who really want to be here and will respect the rules and other forum members. We reserve the right to ban anybody on the forums, especially furries, Scientologists, and Libertarians.” (emphasis mine)

    Interesting huh.

  15. Nick Manley ~ Legal Name

    Well y’all,

    I am going away for a bit until my identity stabilizes. Keep up the quality conversations. I may be watching from the sidelines. Its been nice being a fixture here. I will return when I am healthier and better able to intellectually contribute.


    I found my tax refund check.

  16. Chris Lentil

    I’m working on a new project called Papers of the Libertarian Left. Here is the first release: Papers of the Libertarian Left, #1

  17. Nick Manley ~ Legal Name

    The Obama admin. is defending DOMA against a lawsuit. The legal document compares gay marriage with incest and child marriage ~ oh where else have we heard that before? Falwell’s ghost? Are you out there?


  18. Roderick T. Long

    “courts have widely held that certain marriages performed elsewhere need not be given effect, because they conflicted with the public policy of the forum.”

    Um, yeah. Anti-miscegenation laws, for example. Is that really the precedent the Obama administration wants to invoke?

  19. Nick Manley ~ Legal Name

    Obama addresses your concern, Roderick. The document goes on to dismiss the idea that the situation is comparable to when interracial marriage was illicit.

  20. Ariadne (is not an Amazonian *nationalist*)

    Yep. It’s totally different. Anti-miscegenation laws were there to protect racism while anti-equal-marriage laws are there to protect patriarchy.

  21. Nick Manley ~ Legal Name


    Both of which have a similar domineering ideological structure to them. You could make the case that they are similar in the context of U.S. constitutional law ~ even the different abstractions you mention them serving can be folded into yet another broader concept.

    I am studying Rand’s theory of knowledge and concept formation right now. Does it show? ( :

  22. Victoria

    I’ve given a lot of thought to the killing of Dr. George Tiller, and then so soon after, the shooting at the Holocaust Museum in DC. How does the right-wing authoritarian mind work, and how to keep the conditions an individualist needs to thrive in this world?

    The Democracy Now! program the other day featured a substantial interview between host Amy Goodman and Leonard Zeskin, whose new book Blood and Politics: the History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream has just been released. The white nationalist movement seems to always stage a resurgence during Democratic administrations. And then I heard a darkly familiar name from Salon Liberty’s big controversy: Institute for Historical Review. Gunman James von Brunn published his book through their press thirty years ago.


    Leonard Zeskin signs off, “We can stand up and say it’s wrong; stand up and say ‘no’ to this White Nationalist Movement.”


  23. Nick Manley ~ Legal Name


    There was a book titled The Authoritarian Personality. I am not sure of its quality. Others may be able to provide you with personal reviews of it. I recommend Ayn Rand’s essays on the anti-conceptual mentality and tribalism. Her discussion of “selfishness without a self” is instructive on this point.

    EWWWW! IHS! Thank you for mentioning that.

  24. Roderick T. Long

    EWWWW! IHS! Thank you for mentioning that.

    Do you mean IHR? The only IHS I know is good guys.

  25. Nick Manley ~ Legal Name

    Oh yeah! Thanks for correcting me, Roderick ( :

    IHS people I’ve met are great folks.

    IHR is EWWW.

  26. Nick Manley ~ Legal Name

    Speaking of IHS related things: the post BCS social networking site is up.


    Pete E invited me to it! Fierce ALLy Noor has started an Alliance group on it.

  27. Victoria

    Nick, The Authoritarian Personality is a major work in social psychology, which I encountered in my psychology degree program. From Wikipedia, “TAP is an influential 1950 book by Theodor W. Adorno and three co-authors, researchers working at UC Berkeley during and shortly after WW2. The personality type they identified can be defined by nine traits which were believed to cluster together as the result of childhood experience. These traits include conventionalism, authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, anti-introspection, superstition and stereotypy, power and “toughness”, destructiveness and cynicism, projectivity, and exaggerated concerns over sex.

    “A central idea of TAP is that authoritarianism is the result of a Freudian development model, in which excessively harsh and punitive parenting causes children to identify with and idolise authority figures……”

    Note the similarity to Alice Miller’s theory. Also, in “Further Reading” I see a link to Bob Altemeyer’s (2007) The Authoritarians, which was mentioned on Salon Liberty and in conversation between Aster and me in 2007.


  28. Victoria

    I was just looking at the Police thread, and it struck me how apropos Nick’s question was, about The Authoritarian Personality and the related work of Bob Altemeyer and Alice Miller. How did those pigs get to be such pigs? Understanding how they got that way may well increase one’s confidence in dealing with them effectively and de-escalating conflict, especially when one is in a triggered state.


  29. Life, Love, and Liberty

    Arthur Silber is a real pioneer in this area. I am eager to see the next installment in his original tribalism series.

  30. Life, Love, and Liberty

    Attention! Attention!

    I have created The Noor Appreciation Society of Noor. All who appreciate anarcho-Noor are welcome to join!


    (This will be confusing for those not part of the LL community)

· July 2009 ·

  1. Life, Love, and Liberty

    Well Noor and others are combating the conservatives on BCS right now. Y’all come join us:

    “It would seem anarchists and conservatives have a different definition of the word statist.

    Anarchists see statists as all who are not anarchists. I see this as bigotry. It’s just like what the militant gay marriage supporters do: demonize all who don’t completely agree with them by calling them bigots or homophobes…

    Now, the conservative defines a statist as someone who thinks government is the solution for all our problems.

    There is one thing we can agree on, though: our utter distain for the current administration…”

    I responded thusly:


    How is it not bigotry to deny gays access to what you traditionalists consider a scared institution? If you have no beef with gays, then why exclude them? In effect: you’re saying that gays are not good enough to participate in what you consider the fundamental building block of society. To then posture as not being bigoted towards gay individuals defies comprehension. No gay person could ever be your friend without suffering the effect of being de facto treated as a second class person.

    And for what? Because the Bible allegedly says so? What kind of benevolent God excludes an entire class of people from a scared institution? Your God is a sadist then.

    “If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him”

    ~ Mikhail Bakunin


    Yes, a God so cruel would have to be fought tooth and nail.”

    I asked him what he thought about transsexuality. This should get interesting…

  2. Roderick T. Long

    the conservative defines a statist as someone who thinks government is the solution for all our problems.

    Given that hardly anyone thinks government is the solution for all our problems, this effectively defines statism out of existence.

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