You invited me to comment on, or offer a writing about your essay regarding libertarianism. As I read your draft, I find my self agreeing with some small points in your essay, and then nodding off as you have a tendency to attempt to merge the real world with your philosophical one. Call me simple (and I believe that you have on occasion) but frankly, I find it tedious and repetitive wading through some of your moral dilemmas. Not being inhabited by some (most actually) of your "demons" I am so distant from some of your "reasoning" that I tend to "skim" some of your analogies, which I know you struggle greatly with.
When I muster the energy to really read and track with your writing style, as you try to correlate "the sound of one hand clapping" with some liberal political dogma, I find that there are so many ways to "derail" your train to nowhere, that I don't know where I should begin. Then it dawns on my thick skull, that it is pointless to begin at all. You cover so much ground in this essay, as usual, it seems as though you want to pull together all the writings you have published in the past year, and every book you have read into some grand metaphor for life. You struggle with the paradoxes and dilemmas of liberalism in one sentence, then you attack social conservatives (social Darwinism is the current popular liberal put down for conservative thought now) as though you have the answer to humanities problems. I could easily take most any particular paragraph in one of your writings, and write 1000 words which counter most of your bias, simply because I disagree fundamentally with most of your basic political philosophy. At least in one corner of this essay, you seem to acknowledge that government can have its limitations. Perhaps that is fall out from your recent battle with Uncle Sam regarding "free speech" on the Internet.
Keep struggling with those dilemmas. You will either go completely berserk, or you will come to your senses and drift towards what you so venomously refer to as "social Darwinism."
Sorry, but I think your topic needs to be more sharply focused.
I wrote to Bob that this mail seemed rather testy and that I had hoped for more substance. Bob responded:
You are right Jonathan, I was in a bad mood (and it was late at night) when I sent my reply to you regarding your latest "epistle." I guess I should offer a reply, but it is only regarding one of your points. As I said before, your latest writing needs to be narrowed and focused, it goes in too many directions for anyone to do justice with a single reply. Here is a "snip-it" you might enjoy.
"The tragedy of the commons" is Mr. Wallace’s ultimate fable. It is a fairy tale, (as is most of liberal dogma) in which proof of the inability of private enterprise is illustrated. In the fable, people are not able to control their greed and propensity to destroy their environs. The point, according to liberals like Wallace, is that when people are left to their own devices, without the omnipresence of government (comprised of benevolent liberals like Wallace, who ARE intelligent enough to know what is best for the people) they are predestined to destroy and foul the environment.
According to Mr. Wallace, capitalism and free markets are the ultimate evil medium in which the "Tragedy of the Commons" flourishes. As an example of his theory, he points out that some poor natives on an island which was covered with "guano" found out that the guano (shit) was worth money. They, being unfortunate not to have a benevolent liberal leader to stop them, stripped the island of the shit, and sold it. Now, according to Mr. Wallace, though they are all millionaires, they all eat canned food, smoke, drink, have diabetes, and are over weight. I guess the point Mr. Wallace wants to illustrate is that when they were poor, and lived on an island of shit, they lived longer and were better off.
Mr. Wallace lives in a metaphorically similar "island of shit" called New York City. Only, in this case, the natives actually brought the guano in. They, being mostly liberals, must be in hog heaven.
Well, Mr. Wallace, call me stupid, (and I know that you do) but I will take my chances with free markets rather than exist in poverty on an island of shit. But, that’s why I am not a liberal. That is also one of the reasons I want to keep my guns, just in case so some liberal who thinks he knows what is best for me, wants me to live on an island of shit. (The last remark is intended to be partly humorous, and partly serious.)