Slowly Lifting the Fog
Paul VanderKlay is continuing to pursue some understanding of Michael Malice, anarchism and libertarianism. Based on an extensive comment from Ginger Bill, PVK decided to dedicate a conversation with Bill in order to perhaps gain some further clarity on these topics.
You will recall from my earlier post on a discussion between Jordan Peterson and Malice that I felt Malice did a poor job of explaining the inside-baseball language that libertarians throw around among and between each other – for example, say the word “anarchism” to most rational people and they will think “riots.” This only made the topic confusing for Peterson; I lay the blame for this on Malice.
Further, neither Peterson nor Malice raised the point of natural law – although the dialogue presented several opportunities. Libertarianism without natural law as a foundation is a dead letter.
Returning to the PVK-Ginger Bill discussion, I found it a helpful compliment to the Peterson-Malice discussion, as Bill better explained some of the inside language. What follows are my several comments posted at PVK’s page, with some minor editing and additional clarification thrown in:
I am ten minutes in, and already can write a dozen comments. I assure you, I understand anarcho-capitalism, Murray Rothbard, natural law, the Mises Institute, as well as Ginger Bill….
Ginger Bill may be right in everything he is saying about Malice (ten minutes in). The problem is this. Those of us in the know (of the Rothbardian lingo) understand all of this inside baseball talk. Why should we expect that Peterson (or PVK) does? Use the word anarchy, and what comes to mind in 98% of the population (and keep the Greek to yourself)?
Ginger Bill explained the Greek etymology – without a governmental (state) leader. But almost no one thinks this when they think of the word “anarchy.”
Anarchy: Malice thinks individualism and voluntary cooperation; most of the world thinks riots – and Malice has to know this. Explaining this distinction would have helped the Malice-Peterson conversation. Instead, Malice just talked as if he was speaking to Tom Woods. We only have Malice to blame for this confusion.
Further (and not from this discussion…as I am only ten minutes in and it might come up later), Malice never clarifies anything about favoring hierarchies of any sort in a two-plus hour conversation with Peterson. Whose fault is that? Peterson’s? PVK’s? No….
Some discussion of intermediating institutions would have been helpful, otherwise you end up with left-anarchism – which ends in communism.
Use the words anarchy, no state, no government, etc., etc., etc., in any crowd other than a Mises Institute event and you will draw confusion unless you clearly define these terms. Malice did not; he, therefore, wasted a great opportunity.
Let’s just say that a Jordan Peterson video gets plenty of views. Also, the connection of anarchism (in the libertarian context) to the work
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