April, 2008

Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

Spectacle Letters Column Guidelines. If you write to me about something you read in the Spectacle, I will assume the letter is for publication. If it is not, please tell me, and I will respect that. If you want the letter published, but without your name attached, I will do so. I will not include your email address unless you ask me to. This is in response to many of you who have expressed concern that spammers are finding your email address here. Flames are an exception. They will be published in full, with name and email address. I have actually had people follow up on a published flame by complaining that they thought they were insulting my ancestry privately. Nope, sorry.

Bruce Clark writes 'There are more varieties of libertarianism than there are strains of the left! (Speaking of the left, the very name “libertarianism” was hijacked from the left in the middle of the 20^th century. Prior to that, libertarianism was a variety of anarchism.)', but then goes on to address only what Kevin Carson calls "Vulgar Libertarianism", as though paying that lip service was sufficient to support ignoring what he chose. His theme of "How do libertarians justify this slow subversion of demo­cracy, in favor of rule by private interests? /They don’t talk about it!" rests entirely on only considering the very people who do not address these matters, editing the rest out. Then, he works within this narrower area, bringing in spurious justifications and extenuations for government, its activities and the taxes supporting them on the back of not appreciating the other options that he has excluded - taking it as read that there should be these things, that people have accepted them and imagining an inconsistency in rejecting the price associated with them. In point of fact, subverting democracy needs no justification - rather, supporting it does (if it can be done beyond arguments of "least worst", which build in the necessity in the first place). The result of all this selective editing is twofold, it creates a straw man by selective editing and it builds in unexamined assumptions that can only lead round in a circle and end up back where /Bruce Clark starts from.

/ For a wider exploration, I would suggest that your readers look at /Kevin Carson's site http://mutualist.blogspot.com - they can only develop informed opinions if they don't start with a limited deck of cards to work from.

Yours sincerely,

Dear Jonathan Wallace,

Enjoyed the articles I have read so far. (2 by Bruce Clark) They are fresh air that has come in through a window someone has left opened. I applaud your courage and sprit that has propelled you to follow through with the birth of "The Spectacle". I look forward to reading more of the past and future articles.

Thank You.



I just read Krakauer's book and was appalled at professionals taking unqualified people up that mountain when even the experts die in the climbing process. I'm not a climber (at 74 not even much of an athlete anymore), but think I have better sense than to offer my body up to something like this. I found your article, A State Of Nature, on the computer this morning, and read it with great interest. I'm curious about your background. Are you a climber? Have you done Everest?

Jim Law - Albuquerque

Dear Mr. Wallace:

After Obama's speech on race relations earlier this week, an awed Hollywood lined up behind him, pledging renewed support. The list of supporters read like an Oscar program. This is bad news for Mr. Obama, who needs the support of working class white men who don't care who Sean Penn votes for. So let's forget star-struck Hollywood; what has Mr. Obama done for red-meat Reagan Democrats? Has he worked on behalf of middle-class families worried about rising prices and falling incomes? Yes, but so has Hillary.

In what way, then, is Obama different? Because he speaks to an audience with a respect for their intelligence. He uses a frank and reasonable tone that causes a listener to actually pay attention to his words. Obama makes good use of that openness, not to harp on a narrow point, but rather, to reframe issues in a way that invites participation, that invites inclusively. For this reason, I believe that if he's given an honest listen, even Reagan Democrats …. Oh, good grief I sound like one of them, don't I? Is it possible to give up this Obama-worship once and for all? Yes we can. YES WE CAN!!

Jeramy Bender

Dear Sir,

I have read some of your writings and I think you have a brilliant mind, probably because I agree with your thoughts and insights.

Who are you? I would like to read more of your writings, and perhaps discuss issues with you.

Thank you, - Archie McCoy