Friday, December 13, 2019

On Libertarian Self-Censorship

In response to my post, Urban Primitives Attack 14-Year Old Wearing MAGA Hat, where I wrote:
You really have to pick your spots.
Last night I went to the Golden State Warriors-New York Knicks game at the new Chase Center (Knicks won in OT!), I stood during the playing of the national anthem largely because I wanted to enjoy the game and not trigger any yahoos who might have been around me.
You will never catch me wearing a Trump-fan boy hat, but the bigger point is you have to know where you are, the environment around you, and when it makes sense to engage the opposition. After all, we are in statist controlled territory.
Chick98 emails:
Good Morning Robert!
I appreciate and generally agree with the comments and yours regarding
this incident. My question is when does this type of response become
the very "self-censoring" that the regressives want to impose on us?
I don't consider it self-censoring as much as knowing the environment around you. I know what I think of singing an anthem to the state but I don't know the people around me when I am in an arena and how they will react if I demonstrate against the state.

I really consider libertarians as living in occupied territory. Pretty much everyone around us is a statist to one degree or another and, especially when we are out in public, we don't know what will trigger who.

Further, there are many, many ways most libertarians fall in line with state dictates largely because the consequences of not doing so are severe. From paying taxes to getting a state driver's license, we fall in line. It is simply a method of survival.

You just have to pick your spots for protest and the like.

If you objected to rules of the King of England on American soil, you waited for your moment, dressed up like an Indian and late at night dumped British tea in the harbor. When the Redcoats marched down the street, you didn't walk right up to them with gun over your shoulder, you took your position behind a tree and, again, waited for your moment.

French resistance operatives during World War 2 did not publicly expose themselves. They published clandestine newspapers by using friendly print-shop facilities at night. They also put together clandestine intelligence networks and guerrilla war operations. This is all about picking your spots.

I should point out that I am not advocating here in the United States guerrilla war operations. We still have enough freedom and are not that oppressed to resort to such operations. My point is merely that open resistance of any kind can be dangerous and you really have to measure the costs against the benefits and pick your spots. We are not in an environment that is friendly to us.

I notice you identify in your email as Chick98 rather than with your given name, so you must understand this to some degree.

Of course, statists push to intimidate in an effort to create self-censorship. We just have to be creative about how we get around it. Confronting the state directly, however, and confronting directly its useful idiots, is generally not a good idea.



  1. Discretion is the better part of valor.

  2. Bob's reasoning is soild. If your goal is to cause mishief, than don't be surprised when mischief finds you.

  3. Libertarians have to ponder and closely consider their lines in the sand more than any other philosophy out there. Particularly these days when someone wants to jokingly bring deadly force against you and you have to respond with 110% intent when its not a joke to you.

  4. I try to minimize this kind of stuff in my life these days but I just finished engaging some statist climate alarmist types over at a politically charged "weather" site. I even acknowledged climate change and the potential for humans to have a negative impact. I simply argued against using gov't control and coercion as some type of phony "solution." I learned that these folks are rabidly anti-human and truly see climate change as THE vehicle for having govts control and coerce their fellow man. Only a very thin reed of scientism hides this. They are literally salivating at the thought of carbon taxes and other control mechanisms. There weren't even any weak denials.

    What really struck me, though, was how, even in the midst of my early parries with them, including dealing with their clear TOS violations and intimidation-type comments, they started demanding that I be silenced and my comments removed. Not arguing the facts or whether something was right or wrong. Just to ban me. And banned I was. The moderator clearly relished this process.

    Forget about challenging the State. These days, whole sectors of the internet, even weather sites!!, are heavily politicized with de facto speech codes in effect. I accept the whole website as private property and the owner can do whatever he wishes thing. Heck, I've even been disappointed in some libertarian sites that act as echo chambers and fear being challenged but this was something different. The commenters, as a group used comment "reporting" to shut another commenter down simply because they didn't like what was being said.

  5. The only way to have an argument with left-wingers is with fast-moving lead. Being fanatical cultists they are totally impervious to reason. If there's anything the 20th century history has to teach us, this is the main lesson.