The Truth Will Set the Vitriol Free?

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As I finally got around to reading Bob Higgs’s brilliant comments on the hate mail he got after his appearance on C-SPAN, I was both shocked and thrilled. I was shocked at his ability to respond, both in real time, and in print, with such grace and humor. I was thrilled that I have gotten just a little opportunity to learn so much from people so brilliant.

As I told Bob in private correspondence, we all get more than our share of “hate mail” and I openly admit to occasionally being puzzled as to why. The one thing that should buffer one against such attacks, however, is the truth contained in one of the things Bob said, “As a rule, they [my writings] uphold peace, voluntary cooperation, tolerance, and friendship toward all who do not proclaim themselves to be my sworn enemies.”If I may be so bold, that which a radical libertarian, a market anarchist, a voluntarist endorses is absolutely, positively NOT about hate and lies. An Anarchist’s Declaration, which I reprint here in full, is ample testimony to that. To wit:

  • I wish no power over you.

  • I wish that you have no power over me.
  • Where I have power over you, I shall seek to renounce it.
  • Where you have power over me, I shall pray that you renounce it, and so long as it be extant, I shall condemn it.
  • Where there are those who would try to give me power over you, I shall denounce them and condemn them.
  • Where there are those who would try to give you power over me, I shall laugh at them and condemn them.
  • Where you would use force to sustain any putative power relationship over me, I shall condemn you and resist you, and call to my brethren in our struggle against you.
  • Where a tyrant, a majority, a plurality, or a minority presume to grant you power over me, or over anyone else, I shall condemn it, resist it, renounce it and denounce it.
  • Where there are those who are subjugated beneath the boot heel of power, by “democratic” means or otherwise, I shall support their resistance, their condemnation [of that power], their denunciation and their renunciation.
  • I shall make no compromise with evil.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but nothing in any of that sounds like it deserves vitriol in even the smallest way. (That is, well, unless one ENJOYS having power!)

11:41 am on May 8, 2009