The Corner

Paulnuts and Giuliani

The behavior of the Paulnuts on the Mackinac ferry, noted by David, is a common consequence of pacifism and extreme libertarianism. Both think the state at war is the worst thing in the world. (Extreme libertarians think the state doing most everything else is also bad.) Most–maybe all–libertarians acknowledge a right to self defense. But in the modern world this cannot be done by militias. It requires a military industrial complex, with all the attendant consequences. Some libertarians accept this fact (while proposing modifications). Extreme libertarians do not; therefore they support self defense only in theory.

In any actual situation, the prospect of the state at war is so monstrous that the pacifist/extreme libertarian must prettify or deny the threat, and abuse Cassandras. Thus 9/11 was an inside job, the war on terror is a project of warmongering Jews, Giuliani stole WTC gold, etc., etc.

The honest pacifist/extreme libertarian would say, I will not fight, for any reason, at any time. If evil triumphs, so be it. It will be less evil than my fighting would have been. I at least have preserved my rightness. But that is a hard saying, hence these maneuvers.

Ron Paul is a pencil head, leading a jacquerie of wicked idiots.

Richard Brookhiser — Historian Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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