Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Sunday Ruminations, or "Hey Garçon! (Ego) Check, Please!"

A few days ago commenter Lucian Samosata wrote:
As a student of philosophy and political theory, I must say I honestly believe that you are one of this century's foremost thinkers on those subjects. I hope that your value becomes more widely appreciated. Have you thought about writing a book?
Flattery will get you everywhere nowhere, Lucian. (Suckup!) ( j/k!)

I replied:
I've thought about it, but I doubt I could sell it.
I've thought about it a lot more than that, though, so I've decided to expound on the topic a bit today.

I've been studying the topic of individual rights, with special emphasis on the right to arms of course, since about 1994. I've read dozens of books and easily thousands of essays, articles, trial decisions and dissents, web-posts, and papers in that time. From 1995 through 2000 I played around in the Usenet newsgroups; mostly in the napalm-splashed mosh-pit of talk.politics.guns. In late 2000 I was one of the early posters to the now-defunct, where I wrote a couple dozen essays, and even had a couple reprinted at and I've been a member of since Themestream folded. In 2002 I invested eight months and over 1800 posts at (link left cold on purpose). I've been running this blog for over two years now, starting a little over a year after DU's administrator "Skinner" personally kicked me out of his approved-members-only groupthink echo chamber. All told, I've written probably well in excess of a million words on the topic (with side trips to education, current affairs, and other sundry matters).

You'd think it would be fairly easy to assemble a book out of all that. Maybe. If some university somewhere offered a Master's program in the 2nd Amendment, I'm willing to bet I could sit down and whip up a qualifying thesis in fairly short order, but the thing I've discovered is that this subject is pretty complex, and consequently pretty dry. On the surface, of course, it's very straightforward, but decades of propaganda, of urbanization, of changing demographics, have altered the beliefs and perceptions of a large proportion of the population. And therein lies the rub.

Sure, I could write a book, but who would read it? I've noted before that TSM is largely preaching to the choir. I view my time spent at DU as some of the most challenging and educational (though I often felt as though I needed to be wearing a pressurized biohazard environment suit). Being challenged to defend your beliefs and to defeat another's using verifiable fact and accurate citations is very educational, even when it's an obvious exercise in futility. I haven't had much of that recently, so when I stumbled upon Alex at Ian Hamet's Banana Oil! blog I felt like I had the opportunity once again to actually argue a point or six, futility be damned.

Alex said this at one point in our ongoing exchange:
This entire blog is written to demean, make fun of, belittle and generally harass those who don't agree with you.
Nope. It's written to illuminate, expose, correct and educate. The demeaning, belittling, and harassing is just an extra added side benefit. Dr. Michael S. Brown wrote one time that the anti-gun crusade has been a decades-long slow-motion hate crime against guns and gun owners, and I for one am just a bit weary of it. Giving some back is occasionally cathartic.

But it wouldn't make a very good book, I think. Too much of that is too off-putting. And too much dry exposition is as well.

I'm well aware that I am nowhere near as eloquent as Bill Whittle. Nor am I as wickedly humorous (or quick) as James Lileks, or as surgically observant as Theodore Dalrymple, or even as technically precise as Steven Den Beste. But most of all, I'm starkly aware that even if I wrote a book, the people who most need to read it would be those least likely to.

Writing a book on "philosophy and political theory" would be a huge amount of effort with very little return on investment. I'm mostly a technically proficient essayist. I can live with that. Apparently so can the two or three hundred or so of you who read this blog on a regular basis. (And most of you wouldn't buy the book anyway!)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.