Wednesday, July 25, 2001

At 12:54 PM 7/17/01 -0700, Sandy Sandfort wrote:

Though I didn't see what preceded your disquisition on what libertarianism is and isn't was very well thought out and cogent. Having said that, I think your below-the-by-line comments ("Mods vs. Trads") was gratuitous and fell well short of the mark.

Lawrence Auster is a traditionalist writer that attends a monthly chat fest in NYC with Lois and me. The quotes in the piece are his. He was arguing that libertarians have no moral philosophy and I was just pointing out that they weren't expected to, qua libertarians (apart from the non-aggression axiom).

I thought your prior demonstration that there is no generally accepted definition of traditional values that your sparring partner could safely rely on was unarguable. Then, in one paragraph, you proceed to make unsupported (and unsupportable without definitions) distinctions between "Mods" and "Trads."

There's actually quite a bit of evidence that the broad categories differ in "levels of personal satisfaction". John Stossel in "Happiness" got into that quite a bit. Here's a summary written by someone:

Just as one example, I really doubt that fundamentalist Muslims (one flavor of "Trad") are happier, healthier or wealthier than there more westernized counterparts in countries like Lebanon or the US.

Stossel's general point is that people in Western Democracies are happier than people in 3rd World dictatorships but that within Western Democracies Trads are the happiest.

The terms Mods and Trads are my terms of art. Traditionalist is an obvious term so I needed an opposite and used "Moderns" shortened to Mods. This let me get away from political terms like liberal/progressive/conservative etc. which have lost meaning through overuse.

You can broadly separate Mods and Trads by things like church attendance, sexual mores, attitude towards reason, and attitude towards Western Civilization, as well as by self identification. The categories aren't sharp in the middle but at the edges they are pretty clear.

BTW, libertarians are probably psychologically closer to Trads than to Mods because of their strong beliefs (Mods eschew Belief) and their optimism.

One way we can know that Mods are more depressed than Trads is via self-reporting. If you read the fiction produced and read by Mods you find it to be very depressive. Filled with failed love affairs, suicide, existential angst, fin-de-sicle, etc. Think of the classic New Yorker short story. Their non-fiction is also quite depressed. Likewise their songs and movies. On the other hand, Trads produce, read, sing and watch books, music and movies that are much happier, optimistic, and un depressed.

Note that I am speaking in terms of statistical averages and not individuals.

Let me unpack my .sig line:

Mods vs. Trads. Mods are much less likely than Trads to form lasting family relationships,

Can one doubt that promiscuity, divorce, and abandonment are a bigger part of the lives of Mods than Trads? Consider that most homosexuals are Mods and they skew the numbers in and of themselves (as do the Condits, Clintons, and Kennedys).

they kill themselves and others much more frequently,

Certainly suicide seems popular among Mods. Lovers of Sylvia Plath, etc. Most murderers in America are progressives in their voting patterns (90% Democrat voters) and life styles.

they suffer more from drug and substance abuse,

Obviously. Party hearty.

they are more prone to disease,

Because of their life styles they are more likely to live alone and those who live alone suffer more medical problems if only because there's no one to keep an eye on their health. Drink, drugs, and sex are related to increased risk of health problems. Likewise the average lower family incomes and irregular habits, diet, etc.

they even have a higher accident rate,

Because their habits are less regular and they are more likely to be wandering around in circumstances that carry an increased risk of accident. Recall Ted Kennedy's speech at the 1988 DemonCat National Convention. His rap consisted of a series of indictments of George H. W. Bush punctuated by "Where was George?". Republican operative immediately churned out t-shirts reading "Sober, At home, In bed with his wife." Those who practice such habits have a lower accident rate than those who find themselves drunk, out at night in a car with une fille de joi.

they have lower family incomes,

Sloth is a problem here. Also steadiness. Level and quality of education.

their MMPIs are much more jagged,

By definition Mods deviate psychologically and so their MMPIs do too. Here it's not a matter of politics but mental status. One can be a radical and still have a flat MMPI but Mods have a host of adjustment problems that score them poorly. Obviously, a careful study would be required to establish this.

their life expectancy is shorter,

Because of all of the above.

and they score lower on tests designed to show levels of personal happiness or satisfaction. Sounds like a maladaption to me.

Happiness is psychologically related to a sense of personal effectiveness and control. You'd be unhappy too if you felt that life and the world were doomed empty shells and everyone was completely dependent on government action for their survival.

To avoid being poor in today's America, you need do only three simple things. 1) Get a high school diploma, 2) Get married, 3) Get a job. (Any diploma, any marriage, any job.) Only 0.2% of persons who have accomplished all three are poor today. No excuses.
At 11:10 AM 7/25/01 -0400, James B. Kalb 69 wrote:
Left out the most obvious point, that antidiscrimination laws make the proposal to separate marriage and state and turn marriage into a matter of private definition and communal expectation and custom unworkable. Any time anyone recognizes traditional marriage as something special he'll have to do the same for homosexual couplings or violate the law. Libertarians naturally oppose such laws but it's not an issue they make much of or apparently feel strongly about.

We're always getting beaten up for opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 et. seq.

I think libertarians do emphasize it. At least I do.

I always point out two things:

1) It's not illegal to discriminate against the protected groups in the protected interactions but such discrimination merely gives rise to civil liability.

2) If such discrimination is wrong and should give rise to civil liability, why not similarly punish those who discriminate against protected groups in the selection of friends or marriage partners?

"I favor discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color sex, age, alienage, previous condition of servitude, recent interstate travel, handicap, sexual or affectional preference, marital status, Vietnam-era veteran status (or lack thereof), occupation, economic status, and anything else I can think of."

Tuesday, July 24, 2001

We'd better hope that strong cypto, cheap telecoms and free markets can provide the organizing basis for a workable society because it is clear that coercion as an organizing principle ain't what it used to be.

My Favorite Webcam

Zermatt (Visibility may vary).

Monday, July 23, 2001

Antiglobalization Activists Are Shifting Focus to Multinational Corporations

Sayeth the WSJ.

"We're going after the root of the problem," Mr. Brune said. "Corporate campaigns are the next frontier -- and definitely it's companies like CitiGroup , Boise Cascade and Exxon that will be seeing this for sure."

Note to demonstrators: Pick corporations headquartered in non Right-to-Carry states only. Armed employees are hard to blockade. See Right to Carry States for a colorful map showing the states to avoid.

As for the speaker's three targets, C seems safe since it is headquartered in (officially) disarmed NYC. Watch it with the other two, however. BCC is headquartered in heavily armed Boise, Idaho and XOM is headquartered in equally heavily armed Irving, Texas.

Maybe they should concentrate on rioting against the Federal Government headquartered as it is in (officially) disarmed Washington, D.C.

"Nuke 'em till they glow then shoot 'em in the dark."
--Courtesy of the National Committee for the Preservation of Antique Right-Wing Slogans.