To Collectivists, Lenin And Mussolini Defined "Liberty"

by Will Grigg

A character played by John Wayne once dismissed an irritating fellow as someone who was merely spitting out words in order to watch them splatter. In similar fashion, the leftist publication Salon continues to emit anti-libertarian screeds in the hope of attracting internet traffic. It isn’t interested in examining ideas.

Salon’s most recent effort focuses on a proposed measure in Kansas that would recognize the right of business owners not to accept patronage from homosexual couples. According to the author, "Since it is the state that is ultimately tasked to bring out the violent enforcers who effectuate the discriminating intents of public accommodations providers, the state literally cannot get out of the way."

Actually, anti-discrimination laws depend on threat and practice of state violence. This isn’t true of a business owner who merely declines the patronage of someone he finds objectionable.

Without naming Mussolini explicitly, the Salon contributor begins with the assumption found in the fascist dictator’s totalitarian formula: Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state. He does explicitly invoke Lenin’s statement that the basic political question is “who does what to whom.”

So according to Salon, “liberty” is a gift of the state, and libertarians are heretics because they reject Lenin’s doctrines.

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Comments Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Feb 25 2014, 7:10 PM

7565 Will Grigg, you're a propagandist's dream. Or tool. Take your choice. – Let's start with your title: The Salon article doesn't mention collectivists or Mussolini. Even the alleged definition of "liberty" by Lenin is actually a question: Freedom for whom to do what? (Amusingly, the end of your – dare I say "screed"? – crawfishes on these facts.) Chuckle. – And then in paragraph 1:

1) You invoke a John Wayne film character as having credibility. Heh. The Wayne himself had even blunter opinions – such as it was ok to steal land from 'selfish' Native Americans. Why, it's only a short step from there to denying service to LGBTs, right?

2) You call Salon "leftist" as if that were something "bad." LOL. You also use prejudicial language: "emit" istead of "write," "anti-libertarian screeds" instead of "analytical articles" or even "rational and acerbic op eds," Then you use the dismissive "in the hope of attracting internet traffic," implying that Salon has few readers. Really reaching for it there, aren't you? Grin.

All this culminates in the big lie: Salon "isn't interested In examining ideas." In fact, Matt Bruenig (the author) discusses the concept of the state's role in so-called private discrimination, explores relevant court history (Shelley v. Kraemer), gives an example of conflict arising from discrimination, and exposes the silliness of Carney's assertion that Carney just wants to stop the state from forbidding things.

Bruenig points out, e.g., that if a restaurant owner tells LGBTs they must leave and they refuse, the owner then calls the cops, who will definitely be "violent enforcers" if need be (or, In my opinion and as numerous reports on this site show, even if there's NO need for violence). As the cops get called, the state, as Bruenig says, "literally cannot get out of the way."

You, on the other hand, illogically say that "Actually, anti-discrimination laws depend on threat and practice of state violence. This isn’t true of a business owner who merely declines the patronage of someone he finds objectionable." You've got it partly correct. Both anti-discrimination AND pro-discrimination laws depend on the threat and practice of state violence. And Bruenig's example shows that the state WILL be called if any conflict iis involved. Restaurant owner: I want the cops to arrest these gays or get them out of here. Customer: I want the cops to arrest this owner or make him serve me like he does the rest of the public. One way or the other, the cops will get called.

Now if you'd said "private club owner," that would've been different. If a guy has people pay dues to belong to his club (which happens to be a restaurant) and admits members only, he can be as bigoted as he wants, sell t-shirts saying "faggot-free zone," or whatever. He can be as moronic as he wants in THAT environment. But again, he WILL call the cops if some gay guy objects to the PRO-discrimination policy.

You also lie when saying that Bruenig "begins with the assumption found in the fascist dictator's totalitarian formula…" You're trying to equate, by implication, Bruenig with Mussolini. Bruenig actually begins by stating that Kansas' attempt to discriminate against gays has reopened discourse about the state's role "in so-called private discrimination" He further notes, correctly, that conservatives and libertarians are wrong about state action not being involved in "private" discrimination.

You also misquote Bruenig's quote of Lenin's quote. Again, this reflects your poor reading of the article. (I don't recall Bruenig calling libertarians "heretics" either, but I have no hesitation in calling them ignorant and/or illogical.) Chuckle. Moreover, Lenin's question about freedom – "for whom? to do what?" – is germane amd vital. Is it freedom for corporatists to poison our water with chemical leaks? Is it freedom for West Virginians to "taste the freedom!" that Freedom Industries spewed into their water? Is it freedom for bigots to drag gays behind trucks, or merely (comparatively) to refuse them service in a restaurant? Such questioning directly bears on what sort of society you want to live in – or Can live in – in peace, friendship (or at least tolerance), and health.

Ok, Willie. Your turn. Chuckle.

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