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    The foundations of tyranny..., 2003-06-20 02:27:44 | Main | Cambodia..., 2003-06-22 04:08:57

    Objectivists of the ARI variety:

    in their habitually insane way continue harping that to "relinquish lands crucial to its defense" Israel signs a warrant for it's own destruction. Note that the latest attack on Israel was in the settlements, that the settlements don't "buffer" Israel from Palestinians but instead provide insecure targets for Palestinian militants to attack. All the settlements do is make Israeli innocents - who are in the settlements overwhelmingly because of quality of life factors that derive from maximum state entitlements to settlers - easy targets for violence. The "security" provided, and the policy goal so far as I can tell, is to lure Israeli citizens onto the front lines as bomb-fodder.

    Second point: per describing the settlement issue as "land for peace" - the settlement issue is both "land for security" and "respecting property rights". The latter is why the ARI position on the settlements is so absurdly hypocritical: they worship at the house of Property Rights, but endorse annexing Palestinian territory as the Moral Thing to Do.

    The third point: "negotiating with terrorists". Hamas doesn't (yet) represent the Palestinians, its sole function is not (yet) terrorism, and the people you're negotiating with (namely the Palestinians) are by and large not terrorists, nevermind that the majority of Palestinians do not (yet) support said terrorism. Ascribing collective guilt to a people for the actions of individuals flies in the face of Rand's "individualist ethics".

    Fourth point: the most astonishing detail of this month's Pew study on world opinion is that "47% of Israelis believe that the U.S. favors Israel too much" (p. 5, as David Horowitz might exclaim, that's a whole lot of self-hating Jews), giving evidence to the fact that Tracinski doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. The only country where a plurality or a majority didn't concur with that statement was the US, where a full third still agreed. Given the conflation of terms between "terrorist" and "Palestinian" the ARI stance remains part of the fringe in the US that objectively pays lip service to US-endorsed genocide in the occupied terrotories.

    I'll never understand how the ARI - an organization best described as "deranged neo-con imperialist", a lobby for the secular business wing of the Republican Party (note the flip on Iraq: under Clinton Iraq is the wrong war, under Bush Iraq suddenly becomes imperative; and their defense of massive, state-assisted tech monopolies like Microsoft makes no sense) - gets away with claiming the intellectual heritage of Rand. Rand herself was an isolationist hawk: rejecting both foreign aid and the Vietnam war as "altruistic" (certainly a criticism she would have of our present adventures in Central Asia and the Middle East, also endorsed at large by the ARI, which is lately lobbying for an invasion of Iran, as it has been for years); discarding out of hand the idea that the Soviets were a military threat; describing US foreign policy - quite accurately but for the wrong reason - as "disgraceful". This is the woman who foolishly stated, but nevertheless proudly stated, that America "has never engaged in military conquest", that a nation has "the right to use force, but not as an instrument of compulsion and brute conquest--as the armies of other countries have done in their histories--only as an instrument of a free nation's self-defense". She may have been a Zionist but I can't imagine her endorsing the settlement policy, the theft of Palestinian olive groves, the collective punishment, the bulldozing of innocent's homes, or any such Israeli practices that violate the basic principles she tried to stand for. I can't even imagine her arguing that we have a right to force what we call "democracy" on another nation, let alone instigating and propping up one tyranny after another. I've never at any point entertained Objectivist philosophy - not least because I'm allergic to pompous, moralizing hacks - but had enough Randroid pals quoting her to me in college to know that this is shit Rand would never have put up with.

    I don't much enjoy discussing ideas as though dead people own them, but if you're going to go around staking claims to the intellectual heritage of a corpse it's generally best not to completely betray the corpse's core ideals. Give me a "neo-isolationist" libertarian, or even this guy. The ARI are a bunch of Bolsheviks by comparison. I don't particularly concur with right-libertarian anti-interventionism (it'd be better than our centuries of manifest expansion and malignant hegemonism, otoh), have serious disagreements about the free trade imperialism which they regularly espouse the wonders of (but it might work better if we weren't enforcing monopolies on intellectual property at the same time as we strike down native protectionism of infant industries, and they are, if nothing else, more consistent about it than President Bush who - like the "anti-globalization" protesters he accuses of the same - doesn't like trade). But I can hold the cats in some high degree of esteem on foreign policy even if I think they're a bit backwards: you can still cajole your ideological caricature of a libertarian into admitting that corporate oligarchy is a problem, you just won't get far trying to convince him that it's a bigger "problem" than entitlement programs and the welfare state - and if you managed to you'd probably just create an anarcho-syndical monster like me. Boo. All your Starbucks windows are belong to smash.

    Ie. I don't agree with, say, Raimondo's stance on Yugoslavia, but that doesn't mean I'm fucking insane for linking to him [if he's guilty of "anti-Muslim biggotry" is his anti-occupation stance supposed to be because he's more anti-Jewish than anti-Muslim? I don't get that]. Compared to the ARI position the guy is a goddam saint: Raimondo at least admits he's a conspiracy theorist, perhaps in keeping with the mindsets of the 50% of Americans who think Saddam was behind 9/11, except that there's actually some vague scraps of evidence suggesting that Mossad knew something about 9/11 beforehand, making Raimondo's rants on the subject less of a waste of time. So far as I've seen Raimondo is guilty of a difference in opinion and fuzzy math, but not the invertibrate lying that would bring me to block him off a blogroll (see Jared Israel, who really is pro-Milosevic - albeit somebody needs to play legal consul in a capital trial). Old enemies are sleeping dogs. In lieu of a majority in the Democratic party that gives a shit about what we're doing to the world I'll let the sleeping dogs lie, and if one should occasionally bark up the right tree (like opposing the use of DU munitions in the FYR, or "humanitarian" bombing of civillian targets, or the fact that the FYR intervention was more about preserving NATO than preventing atrocity - explaining to me why it didn't prevent atrocity, and to Raimondo why intervention is Bad Generic) I'll even link to them, god forbid, were it an ubiquitous endorsement of what they think.

:: posted by buermann @ 2003-06-20 18:12:31 CST | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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