Whaddya want? A cookie?

Will offers a quick and dirty analysis of the problems with modern liberalism and why its lack of vision endangers us all.

My diagnosis of the malaise of American statist liberalism is that it has failed to accept that many of the ideals of FDR and LBJ are best realized by decentralized means. Clinton represented the best in the possibilities of liberalism in welfare reform and his advocacy of free trade...

However, American liberalism has a phobia of what's down the road to a sensible liberalism and so remain The American Society for the Preservation of Historic Welfare Programs. This is both comical and dangerous. Comical because it's hilarious to witness sophisticated adults confuse contortionist apologetics for ill-functioning, haphazardly structured, historically accidental government programs as an intellectually serious enterprise. Dangerous because the intellectual vacuity of the left allows the conservative juggernaut to pick up speed unimpeded.

Praktike takes umbrage to this in the comment thread, writing,

You know, you libertarians are pretty strange ... always valuing ideology over a mixed economy that has worked fairly well over the years. Sure, there are some problems, but you folks have been agitating on moral grounds while talking about what a disaster our current setup is for some time now and, truth be told, America has done pretty well regardless.

I've never understand this criticism. America has done pretty well compared to what? Without some sort of conception of the ideal good, how can we say whether or not welfare capitalism works well? Sure, it might be better than command-and-control economies, but that's like saying, "I'm not such a bad person, at least compared to Hitler." Wow, great accomplishment, mixed economy. Kudos.

Or as Chris Rock once put it,

Niggers always want credit for some shit they're supposed to do. They'll brag about stuff a normal man just does. They'll say something like, "Yeah, well I take care of my kids." You're supposed to, you dumb motherfucker. "I ain't never been to jail." Whaddya want? A cookie? You're not supposed to go to jail, you low-expectation-having motherfucker!


Share this

Mr Scheule, The

Mr Scheule,

The corresponding caucasian term is the much more socially-acceptable (provided one is not on the receiving end) "white trash" or "redneck". I have also heard use of the term "white nigger", though this is uncommon.

I don't discount the idea of having words of opprobrium to single out the lower classes. That is, there is nothing wrong with "classism" -- this is just the idea that people can be divided logically into classes. If a class of people, by definition, is lesser, then so they are. Just who is to be included in such a class can be problematic, and classifying people as lesser can lead to charges of racism or other misdemeanors.

But, back to the topic at hand. You say:

"...it seems logically less likely that a person would be racist towards his own race, and therefore, [if a black man uses the word "nigger" this] at the very least establishes the possibility that the epithet is not entirely racist in meaning."

This may be rhetorically persuasive to some, but it does not persuade me in the least. It is my experience in American life that the great preponderance of usage of the word "nigger" is by blacks, both in positive ways ("what up, my nigger?") and negative ways (as used by Mr Rock, above). Indeed, I have witnessed blacks use "nigger" quite extensively, but can count on one hand the times I have witnessed a white man do so, despite having lived in the South a very long time, which supposedly has a higher incidence of racism among whites. Further, I recall having read that study of prejudice has shown that blacks tend to be prejudiced toward blacks more than whites are prejudiced toward blacks.

Now, your appeal to "possibility" launches us into Bayesian probability, away from Aristotlean logic. And as I am sure you are aware, background knowledge is key in establishing possibilities in a Bayesian framework. Hence, considerations like those in the previous paragraph bear heavily on the matter. Since my background experience is that blacks are more prejudiced than whites, mentioning that Rock is black merely increases my confidence -- it doesn't persuade me away from my prima facie conclusions.

Back to non-Bayesian logic (the appropriate type here, I contend), since the racism of a statement can be established without resort to knowing the race of the speaker (which is not to say that context is not relevant -- it is), we should do so. Racism is illogical, and anyone can be illogical -- no appeal to the ethnicity of the speaker is necessary. The speaker's ethnicity is relevant only to the extent of establishing context.

In sum, I have argued that "nigger" should not be used, either in its traditional or its neologistic sense. Mr Ghertner thinks black people calling other blacks "nigger" is particularly funny, and so has posted it as a witty retort to a completely unrelated affair (the standard by which one judges a mixed economy). Because of this, I think Mr Ghertner is insensitive to racism, and likely a bigot -- since he has not repented in the endorsement of the use of "nigger" in what is clearly a negative sense.

"But the PC types

"But the PC types routinelely scoff at you if you defend from racism charages on the grounds that you have black, or Jewish, friends, for example. And if you say this Jew also says X, Y, Z, and he’s not anti-semitic, so therefore I’m not either–they will reply, no, he’s also anti-semtitic, he’s a self-hating Jew."

That sounds correct.

But I'm not sure I see what your point is, as I am not, so far as I know, one of those PC types.

Scheule: "it seems logically

Scheule: "it seems logically less likely that a person would be racist towards his own race, and therefore, usage of a racist epithet by a member of the race it supposedly degrades at the very least establishes the possibility that the epithet is not entirely racist in meaning."

But the PC types routinelely scoff at you if you defend from racism charages on the grounds that you have black, or Jewish, friends, for example. And if you say this Jew also says X, Y, Z, and he's not anti-semitic, so therefore I'm not either--they will reply, no, he's also anti-semtitic, he's a self-hating Jew.

Mr. Gillory: Thank you, I

Mr. Gillory:

Thank you, I was curious as to where you were coming from. Please take no offense if I'm inquisitive.

"What is further objectionable is that this subcategory “nigger” applies only to blacks, and therefore is also an extension of racist ideology. Or, are you going to tell me that there are caucasian “niggers"?"

I very much doubt there are caucasian niggers, but I imagine there is some synonymous epithet for whites. As such, I question if this is truly an extension of racist ideology, or rather perhaps, simple classism.

"When one says, “oh yes, but X uses ‘nigger’ this way, and he’s black,” one implicitly states that the ethnicity of X bears on whether or not his ideas are racist. To imply that race bears on the ideas of those who hold them is itself a racist idea."

You may be right. However, in my opinion, it seems logically less likely that a person would be racist towards his own race, and therefore, usage of a racist epithet by a member of the race it supposedly degrades at the very least establishes the possibility that the epithet is not entirely racist in meaning.

Mr Scheule, Using "nigger"

Mr Scheule,

Using "nigger" is offensive to most people, because it has historically been part of the vocabulary of racists. To enshrine its use as a supposed neologism that means precisely what it means to those who are racist -- a lesser being, not on the level of the rest of us -- is to intellectually support and extend racist rhetoric. What is further objectionable is that this subcategory "nigger" applies only to blacks, and therefore is also an extension of racist ideology. Or, are you going to tell me that there are caucasian "niggers"?

On the second point:

When one says, "oh yes, but X uses 'nigger' this way, and he's black," one implicitly states that the ethnicity of X bears on whether or not his ideas are racist. To imply that race bears on the ideas of those who hold them is itself a racist idea.

Mr. Ghertner is one of the

Mr. Ghertner is one of the hypersensitive, dimwit-Serioso type libertarians. He has accused Hans-Hermann Hoppe of being a bigot and me of being an apologist for bigotry. http://www.no-treason.com/archives/2005/02/08/hoppe-taking-out-the-human-trash/#comment-7262

Surely he also agrees you can be a racist or anti-semite or bigot with respect to your own race or group--e.g., self-hating blacks, Jews, what have you. By Ghertner's own standards, Rock's comments are glaringly racist; that Rock is black does not change this. Now Ghertner is at the least an apologist for racism and bigotry. How terrible!

Xavier, Mr Brasi, When I

Xavier, Mr Brasi,

When I attended a university in the South, I met several men that made the distinction between "nigger" and "other blacks". Such a distinction is offensive on its face.

Appeal to the ethnicity of this Mr Chris Rock is further proof of your rascism.

Opps. Someone beat me to it.

Opps. Someone beat me to it. :oops:

Russell, What else is there

Russell,

What else is there that we can point to other than mixed economies and command and control economies? Sure, America is pretty successful compared to most other countries currently in existence, but does anyone really think this is the best things can be? I mean, Will's whole point in his recent posts has been that we all need some sort of political philosophy to guide us; without it, exactly what are we trying to accomplish and how to we know whether we've accomplished it?

Then why doesn’t the underlying logic in the passage quoted above imply that a mixed economy is inevitable?

Huh? How does that follow? Long and Johnson are arguing precisely against mixed economy solutions to patriarchy and statism. Or are you simply saying that this undesirable result is inevitable and we should just learn to accept it?

>>>Certainly you would agree

>>>Certainly you would agree that any statement that begins with “Niggers always…” is necessarily racist, irrational, and bigoted. Why don’t you think that Mr Ghertner’s endorsement of such a quotation is equally bigoted?
I agree with the logic of comparing a mixed economy to freer ideal. But the superfluous quotation of Mr Rock’s cited by Mr Ghertner demonstrates that Mr Ghertner is probably racist and bigoted. At least, that’s the impression I get.<<<

Jesus Titty Fucking Christ! I fail to see how a black comic talking about how he divides African-Americans into two groups (black people and niggers) is racist, irrational or bigoted. And simply quoting Chris Rock does not make Micha racist or bigoted, it just means that he enjoys good stand-up comedy.

:wall:

From the observations found

From the observations found in Micha's post about pornography's deleterious effect on culture, shouldn't one conclude that this Chris Rock quotation, while seemingly harmless, actually fosters oppressive bigotry and should be shunned and lambasted?

Gil: Ralph Wiggum is a

Gil: Ralph Wiggum is a moron. The misspelling "membarrassed" is intentional. Also, Chris Rock (who you do know is black, right?) was using "nigger" as opposed to "black people." He was referring only to a subset of the black population. I assumed you were just being sarcastic in your first post. I'm still not convinced that you're not joking. I really can't believe that anyone would be offended by Chris Rock.

Alex, When putting someone

Alex,

When putting someone down for being dumb, it is not good form to misspell.

That's why I keep coming by

That's why I keep coming by here: posts like this. Bravo, Micha.

It is outrageous that you

It is outrageous that you would post such bigoted, racist language.

Mr Nuwen, Certainly you

Mr Nuwen,

Certainly you would agree that any statement that begins with "Niggers always..." is necessarily racist, irrational, and bigoted. Why don't you think that Mr Ghertner's endorsement of such a quotation is equally bigoted?

I agree with the logic of comparing a mixed economy to freer ideal. But the superfluous quotation of Mr Rock's cited by Mr Ghertner demonstrates that Mr Ghertner is probably racist and bigoted. At least, that's the impression I get.

Gil, the only thing

Gil, the only thing outrageous here, is that you think it was bigoted or racist.

Great post, Micha. I've had

Great post, Micha. I've had a similar discussion with Democrats when it comes to the private sector handling social programs instead of the government.

They seem to not care about the huge amount of waste and fraud, as long as the "truly needy" get taken care of along the way. Also, the devastation wreaked on the African American community along the way seems to be of no consequence...

Total distrust of the private sector and total faith in the gubmint...

:end:

Gil, you're not that dumb.

Gil, you're not that dumb. Nobody's that dumb. As Ralph Wiggum so succintly put it, "I'm membarrassed for you!"

"America has done pretty

"America has done pretty well compared to what?"

Isn't the obvious answer, other countries? Put another way, from what does the power in "superpower" come from?

Quite related to practile's observation are the several paragraphs by Long and Johnson cited below in one of Micha's comments to his own very nice post on feminists and pornography: (I'll just cite the beginning and ending of the selection, since the full text is right there)

"An uncharitable reading that the situation unfortunately suggests is that libertarians can recognize non-governmental oppression in principle, but in practice seem unable to grasp any form of oppression other than the ones that well-educated white men may have experienced for themselves."

[...]

"One can see statism and patriarchy as mutually reinforcing systems (thus ruling out both the option of fighting statism while leaving patriarchy intact, and the option of fighting patriarchy by means of statism) without being thereby committed to seeing either as a mere epiphenomenon of the other (thus ruling out the option of fighting patriarchy solely indirectly by fighting statism"

Suppose this is true (I think it is). Then why doesn't the underlying logic in the passage quoted above imply that a mixed economy is inevitable? Then we are left with matters of degree and of structure. Even so, libertarians, in my observation, *always* argue that any mixture is erroneous, (which I think is Micha's point with the odd comment that no comparison is obvious), rather than argue, as Will does, over structure (centralized vs. decentralized).

Gil, "Certainly you would

Gil,

"Certainly you would agree that any statement that begins with “Niggers always…” is necessarily racist, irrational, and bigoted. Why don’t you think that Mr Ghertner’s endorsement of such a quotation is equally bigoted?"

No, I wouldn't "certainly" agree. I may, or may not depending on the CONTEXT of the statement. As I know the context that both Chris Rock originally used it in, and also the context that Micha was drawing the comparison, I'd say that the only way to see it as racist, irrational, and bigoted is if you're some kind of word Nazi.

The mere use of a word does not in itself define the argument, or person who is making the argument. If for instance I use the word "whore", it doesn't make me, or my argument sexist, against women, bigoted, classist, or even necessarily about a woman. i.e. "Bill Clinton was a political whore".

Any perceived difference you have about the word "nigger" is just that, your perception. IOW your problem.

I don't know what all this

I don't know what all this talk of Chris Rock being a racist is, but he is one FUNNY-ASS NIGGAH!!!

Micha wasn't just using it

Micha wasn't just using it in the same sense that other black people use it, he was quoting Chris Rock directly.

- Josh

Micha: Came across your

Micha:

Came across your group blog today. Good stuff. Think that Seth Greenberg is doing a wonderful job at Virginia Tech.

Noticed you folks are, among other things, big sports fans. Hoping you could kindly add a blogroll link to my "College Basketball Blog," http://www.yocohoops.com. I'd greatly appreciate a permanent link on your site.

And would gladly return the favor, adding a link from my site to yours.

Thanks!

Yoni Cohen, yocohoops@gmail.com
College Basketball Blog, http://www.yocohoops.com

Welfare states work "fairly

Welfare states work "fairly well." What a glowing recommendation.
Micha Ghertner posts at http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/02/22/whaddya-want-a-cookie/
about the criticism of free markets based on the idea that welfare states work "fairly well"...
I’ve never understand this criticism. America has done ...

Mr. Gillory, I think then

Mr. Gillory,

I think then the source of our disagreement is properly our differing background knowledge.

"Back to non-Bayesian logic (the appropriate type here, I contend), since the racism of a statement can be established without resort to knowing the race of the speaker (which is not to say that context is not relevant – it is), we should do so."

I don't think I agree. As above, you noted that the background context can be relevant to interpreting a statement as being or not being racism. You found Rock's background to support the notion that it was racism; I found it to support the converse. It may be that some comments are so blatantly racist that it is inconceivable that any background knowledge could alter the perception of that comment as racist, but I'm afraid I don't agree that this is such a case.

You are implying, I take it, that Chris Rock is racist, correct? Or have I misinterpreted you?

"Mr Ghertner thinks black people calling other blacks “nigger” is particularly funny, and so has posted it as a witty retort to a completely unrelated affair (the standard by which one judges a mixed economy)."

Without concluding one way or the other, is it possible that it was the rest of the passage that Mr. Ghertner found funny, and not the epithet in particular?

Gil, Maybe you need to look

Gil,

Maybe you need to look up 'nigger':

nig·ger
n. Offensive Slang

1.
1. Used as a disparaging term for a Black person: “You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a nigger” (James Baldwin).
2. Used as a disparaging term for a member of any dark-skinned people.
2. Used as a disparaging term for a member of any socially, economically, or politically deprived group of people: “Gun owners are the new niggers... of society” (John Aquilino).

Take note of the second entry there. Personally I'd add a third meaning where it is used to indicate fellowship in a small group. i.e. 'whose ya nigger?' (accompanied by lots of chest pounding).

Bottom line getting worked up over one word is silly, and is only distracting from the real issue Micha pointed out.

Mr Nuwen, I agree that

Mr Nuwen,

I agree that context is important, as I noted above. However, I have also argued that the use of the word "nigger" is racist exactly in the way that Mr Rock used the term. I argued such above. Feel free to engage me in that debate.

The use of the word "whore" is not analogous. In no sense is the word "whore" racist or sexist. It displays an ideology (that is what the suffix -ist refers to, an ideology) of proper sexual relations, but such ideology is the norm, not the exception. I believe the term is heterosexism. I have already explained why the term "classist" is a non-starter.

Perhaps I am a "word Nazi", if we take that to mean someone who insists on the proper use of words in intellectual debate or even social or political commentary. Words like "nigger", which elicit deep emotional responses, are rightly near the top of the list of words for vigilance.

It is indeed merely my perception (or since I am now a "word Nazi", might I suggest the better term, impression?) that we have a difference of opinion regarding the proper use of the word "nigger". You seem to be holding out a similar view as Ghertner. Namely, that it is funny to repeat jokes about "niggers".

The standard I was taught about such things is to imagine one's mother is listening. My mother would not approve. Would yours? Would Ghertner's? I have seen interviews with Rock, where he admits that *his* mother disapproves. Shame on him. Shame on you all.

Mr Scheule, You say: "As

Mr Scheule,

You say: "As above, you noted that the background context can be relevant to interpreting a statement as being or not being racism."

That is not what I mean at all. The background experience that is relevant in Bayesian logic is that of he who holds an opinion. So, if you are trying to persuade me of a possibility, then you must appeal to my background experience. If my experience includes, as it does, "the incidence of prejudice/racism is more prevalent among blacks than whites", then if all you tell me about a person, or the only additional information you give me about a person, is that he is black, then you have moved me in the direction of making me believe that he is racist. All of this only relates to my refutation of your claim that "usage of a racist epithet by a member of the race it supposedly degrades at the very least establishes the possibility that the epithet is not entirely racist in meaning".

You say: "You are implying, I take it, that Chris Rock is racist, correct?"

Yes, I am.

You say: "Without concluding one way or the other, is it possible that it was the rest of the passage that Mr. Ghertner found funny, and not the epithet in particular?"

Of course the punchline is the funny part. Why not recast the objectionable bit with ellipses? Because Mr Ghertner likes the shock effect of "nigger". He thinks *that* part is funny, too. I see no reason to be charitable in my interpretation, here.

Now, Mr Nuwen,

I am fully aware of the various definitions of the word "nigger". All use of the word in modern-day America is loathsome and perpetuates racist rhetoric and ideology, as I took pains to point out above.

This should be painfully obvious, since its use is relegated to the fringes of society.

Hey guys, What do you think

Hey guys,
What do you think about using other inflammatory terms such as chinamen?

"Chinamen" is

"Chinamen" is unobjectionable -- it is merely descriptive. "Coolie" or "chinck" are inflammatory.

1. Scheule: "But I’m not

1. Scheule: "But I’m not sure I see what your point is, as I am not, so far as I know, one of those PC types."

No. GHERTNER IS, as the other thread to which I linked makes clear. Who is he to accuse others of bigotry using his brainwashed, snot-nosed student, Princess and the Pea standards, when by those same standards, he is guilty of the same or worse.

2. Pham Nuwen: I know your game. That is not your real name. I read Vernor Vinge too. This is just a made up name from a sci-fi novel. Alert, everyone.

3. Other Asian slurs include "slopes" and "snapper-heads."

4. "Cracker" is also used against whites, especially us Southrons.

man, the dumb mfkr who wrote

man, the dumb mfkr who wrote the piece obviously believes todays liberals are somehow 'more' intelligent than the fk heads who set up those programs in the first place. THATS WHY liberals are so insane. they're so hypocrytical they can't even see it. wheeewwwwwww.:dunce:

"All of this only relates to

"All of this only relates to my refutation of your claim that “usage of a racist epithet by a member of the race it supposedly degrades at the very least establishes the possibility that the epithet is not entirely racist in meaning"."

Quite right, and my background knowledge relates to my support of my claim. You claimed your background knowledge did not make the claim persuasive; I have no doubt, but nor does mine make it unpersuasive. Hence my suggestion it was our background knowledge that differed.

"Chinamen” is

"Chinamen” is unobjectionable – it is merely descriptive. “Coolie” or “chinck” are inflammatory."

...

Chinaman (chì´ne-men) noun
Offensive.
Used as a disparaging term for a Chinese man.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation; further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

...

[Walter and The Dude are talking about the "Chinaman" who urinated on The Dude's rug]

Walter Sobchak: Oh, and Dude, "Chinaman" is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian American, please.

The Dude: Jeez, Walter, I'm not talking about the guys who built the fucking railroad here.

--The Big Lebowski

:wall: I would say that a

:wall:

I would say that a majority of the people who live in my neighborhood are black, including the person living directly above me. I have heard him use the N word 4 times already today. There is a not a day that goes by where I have not heard a black man use the N word. Mr. Guillory: have you never heard a black man say to another black man "What's up, N_____?".

Are you ready to declare that there are millions of blacks out there who are racist against their own race and hate their own peers, and themselves? Does my black neighbor express racist hatred towards his friends when he calls them "N_____" to their faces on a regular basis? From what I understand, many blacks consider it to be a term of endearment when they use it themselves. When others use it, then it is indeed racist.

Micha didn't use the word himself, he was directly quoting Chris Rock. Not only do I think that there is nothing wrong with this, given the quote's relevance to the post in general, but I also don't think that many black people would object if they came across this blog entry, since the subject of the quote ties in well with the subject at hand.

I think that it is impossible to declare that Micha is a racist simply from this post, and I know racists well since I was exposed to many of them in my youth. You may be shocked at the number of times I was called a "N____-lover" in my youth for displaying disgust at racist language and standing up for people with different skin colors.

Again... :wall:

One more thing... I

One more thing...

I personally don't like the fact that black people use that term. I think that it is rather unfortunate and I wish that they wouldn't use it. Unfortunately, as a white man, I have no business telling them how to use that term and how to relate with their own race. If you are not black yourself Mr. Guillory, then I'd suggest that the same applies to you. If you disagree, then I suggest that you approach and talk to the next black person you come across that uses that term and see what happens.

The standard I was taught

The standard I was taught about such things is to imagine one’s mother is listening. My mother would not approve. Would yours? Would Ghertner’s? I have seen interviews with Rock, where he admits that his mother disapproves. Shame on him. Shame on you all.

Niggah please!!! Didn't yo mama ever teach you to WASH YO BUTT!?!?!!

Take a Pill Wow, this post

Take a Pill
Wow, this post is just nuts....

Waves his way through

Waves his way through gaseous clouds of stupidity...

I asked,
"Then why doesn’t the underlying logic in the passage quoted above imply that a mixed economy is inevitable?"

and Micha replied,

"Huh? How does that follow? Long and Johnson are arguing precisely against mixed economy solutions to patriarchy and statism. Or are you simply saying that this undesirable result is inevitable and we should just learn to accept it?"

I have just carefully reread the selection, and I am baffled how one derives your interpretation from that text. Perhaps in the complete text from which it is extracted an escape is made which turns the observed facts around. But I'm not going to read it, because your provided selection is clear: significant political violence is not limited to government; that the government exists at all is evidence that it is inevitable; and libertarians have, let's be polite here, not conceded this reality.

My observations then follow. I'd like to understand why there is this difference in how we read, but it seems the chasm in our interpretation of the english language is too large. Best regards anyway.

BTW, I'm entirely unconvinced by Wilkinson's recent line of posts. The one dealing with empiricism absolutely reeks of banality when read by a mathematician/engineer. The underlying subject is interesting, cf "Trust in Numbers" by Porter; it sure is possible to bend facts to ideology in transient environments. But in the long run, that's not what happens. Will is simply projecting. Yuk.

So I'll retire from the libertarian scene until the next sex-post-with-interesting-analysis-of-the-complicated-dynamics shows up, and Henley points to it.

Gil, I agree that context is

Gil,

I agree that context is important, as I noted above. However, I have also argued that the use of the word “nigger” is racist exactly in the way that Mr Rock used the term. I argued such above. Feel free to engage me in that debate.

There is no point in engaging you in that debate, you have made up your mind, and nothing I can say will make you change it. I personally think you are wrong in your assessment, based on my knowledge of the context. At this point I can only assume you don't know the full context, or are willfully ignoring it so you can race bait, or troll.

Perhaps I am a “word Nazi", if we take that to mean someone who insists on the proper use of words in intellectual debate or even social or political commentary. Words like “nigger", which elicit deep emotional responses, are rightly near the top of the list of words for vigilance.

It is indeed merely my perception (or since I am now a “word Nazi", might I suggest the better term, impression?) that we have a difference of opinion regarding the proper use of the word “nigger". You seem to be holding out a similar view as Ghertner. Namely, that it is funny to repeat jokes about “niggers".

1) No, word Nazi, as in a person who thinks that they can (and have the right to) act in a fascist or controlling manner in other peoples use of words, or language, and/or someone who thinks they can 'exterminate' a word by decree. IOW a Political Correctness Extremist.

2) I never said a single word about whether it was funny or not. It doesn't matter one wit, if it was funny or not, or even that it was a joke. First off Micha did a proper quote, the word "nigger" had NOTHING to do with the comparison being made, so any conclusions you are making about Micha over his quote, are complete garbage IMHO. As far as I'm concerned that should be the end of the story. As to the second though, you need new glasses boyo. I said quite clearly that it depends on CONTEXT whether it was RACIST or not. In this case I don't see it as racist. That has to do with context. Just what context do you think Rock said that? You think he was in front of 500 white people? No, he was on stage at the Apollo, and the use of the word "nigger" was deliberately used to identify with his audience, and the cultural makeup of that audience was black. Also you may want to ponder what Chris Rock also said on that stage:

"I love black people, but I hate niggas"

3) Do you think Bill Cosby is racist? He used "nigger" in a very similar context recently. If not, I'd love to hear why you think it's different.

The standard I was taught about such things is to imagine one’s mother is listening. My mother would not approve. Would yours? Would Ghertner’s? I have seen interviews with Rock, where he admits that his mother disapproves. Shame on him. Shame on you all.

My mother lives in a country where 99% of the population is blacker than pitch. She hears the word "nigger" more times a day, than I've probably heard it my whole life. Face it "nigger" may have been a curse in the past, but culture moves on, and it is being reclaimed to mean little more than "dude", "buddy", or "fella". Culture moves on, and words meanings change with time.

I am fully aware of the various definitions of the word “nigger". All use of the word in modern-day America is loathsome and perpetuates racist rhetoric and ideology, as I took pains to point out above.

Like I said above, you have completely closed your mind to any debate on this, thus it is pointless to try and debate it with you. Further I think you are full of hogwash, and you don't understand very much about America if that is your view. You might want to look up Article One of the Bill of Rights and do some thinking about why it is there, and why using words even OFFENSIVE words is damn important.

Kinsella, 2. Pham Nuwen: I

Kinsella,

2. Pham Nuwen: I know your game. That is not your real name. I read Vernor Vinge too. This is just a made up name from a sci-fi novel. Alert, everyone.

You do? And just what "game" would that be?

Yes, I use a Nome de Plume, so what?

I do too, I like his work a lot, that is why I picked it. Would you be happier if I used Thomas Nau, Edward Bear, or Lucy Kropotkin?

Alert to what Stephen?

Russell, But I’m not going

Russell,

But I’m not going to read it, because your provided selection is clear: significant political violence is not limited to government;

So far so good...

that the government exists at all is evidence that it is inevitable; and libertarians have, let’s be polite here, not conceded this reality.

Where does this come from? I'm guessing you're talking about this passage,

Libertarian temptations to the contrary notwithstanding, it makes no sense to regard the state as the root of all social evil, for there is at least one social evil that cannot be blamed on the state — and that is the state itself. If no social evil can arise or be sustained except by the state, how does the state arise, and how is it sustained? As libertarians from La Boétie to Rothbard have rightly insisted, since rulers are generally outnumbered by those they rule, the state itself cannot survive except through popular acceptance which the state lacks the power to compel; hence state power is always part of an interlocking system of mutually reinforcing social practices and structures, not all of which are violations of the nonaggression axiom. There is nothing un-libertarian, then, in recognizing the existence of economic and/or cultural forms of oppression which, while they may draw sustenance from the state (and vice versa), are not reducible to state power. One can see statism and patriarchy as mutually reinforcing systems (thus ruling out both the option of fighting statism while leaving patriarchy intact, and the option of fighting patriarchy by means of statism) without being thereby committed to seeing either as a mere epiphenomenon of the other (thus ruling out the option of fighting patriarchy solely indirectly by fighting statism).

But Long and Johnson are certainly not saying that government is inevitable; rather, they are saying that it has arisen historically by certain non-statist means (by definition), and that in order to eliminate the state, one must address these extra-state social evils. Long and Johnson are both anarchists and they are both arguing that patriarchy cannot be vanquished without also vanquishing the state, and the state cannot be vanquished without also vanquishing patriarchy. How one can read an endorsement for mixed-economy, welfare state capitalism from this or any other part of the article, I do not know.

I regret your decision to leave on such short notice. This discussion was just beginning to get interesting.

"I have just carefully

"I have just carefully reread the selection, and I am baffled how one derives your interpretation from that text. Perhaps in the complete text from which it is extracted an escape is made which turns the observed facts around. But I’m not going to read it, because your provided selection is clear: significant political violence is not limited to government; that the government exists at all is evidence that it is inevitable; and libertarians have, let’s be polite here, not conceded this reality."

I'm afraid I don't follow this either. From my reading, they are arguing that the State is the result of certain non-state relationships, but I see nothing speaking to the evitability or inevitability thereof. This idea, at most, suggests that a top-down approach to removing the government will be unlikely to work, since the State gains support from many structures already in position. I agree. But I don't know where in the argument you see the leap to: the government is inevitable.

"Pham": 2. Pham Nuwen: I

"Pham":

2. Pham Nuwen: I know your game. That is not your real name. I read Vernor Vinge too. This is just a made up name from a sci-fi novel. Alert, everyone.

You do? And just what “game” would that be?

Yes, I use a Nome de Plume, so what?

Only annoying, cowardly losers do that, dude. That's so what. Are Gil and I the only non-losers who post here?

Bill Cosby and Chris Rock are obviously horrible self-hating, anti-black racists, and Ghertner and most others here are nothing but apologists for racism! My government teachers and Saturday morning infomercials between the cartoons told me so! Naaa naaa!

Pham, Why do you refuse to

Pham,

Why do you refuse to engage in debate with me? Do you consider all minds made up, on every issue? You obviously don't have access to my thoughts, so I can only conclude that you consider my case persuasive, but that you are unwilling to admit it.

On Bill Cosby, you are wrong, I think. It was recently all over the news media that he criticised the culture of the black community for an entitlement mentality and substituting phrases like "black is beautiful" with "nigga, please". He is quoted as saying:

"We are going to call each other names of ugliness. Comedians coming on TV [saying] 'I am so ugly, you are ugly, yuck, yuck.' That's all minstrel show stuff. I am tired of it," he continued.

"I am talking about profanity. I am talking about cursing at each other like it's something hip, like it's something that's right..."

I have also read that Cosby, years ago, counciled Eddie Murphy to drop the profanity, and just be funny. Murphy ignored that advice, but it is interesting that as he has aged, his comedic direction has gotten much cleaner.

What I don't get about you, Pham, is your implying that I advocate suppression of speech. All that I have said here in this comment section falls into the category of cultural criticism. Certainly, you understand the distinction.

It seems to me that there is a class of Americans, generally those who are young and don't have children, who care not one whit about preserving and improving our culture. When that class intersects with the class "libertarian", the cultural conservatives are right to call them out on the carpet.

Many of you think that I am blowing this all out of proportion. But, as freeman said above, he senses the wrong in using the word "nigger". If you sense that wrong, then the least one should do is to not use it, and not approvingly cite uses of it.

As to Ghertner's complete failure to even discuss this matter on this comment thread (prefering to spend his valuable time posting about leeches and penises), I consider him to be one of the "libertarians" for whom culture does not matter: he doesn't care one whit whether his actions contribute to a disfunctional culture. It's all just a funny game to him.

A significant part of the

A significant part of the background of the Chris Rock quote is his experimentation with the terms. He tried to use the offensive term in a way which captured the disapproval of his black audience for a segment of the black population. The use of the epithet provides emphasis and, in Mr Rock's case, demonstrates his membership in the "in-group". As a black man, he is socially permitted to use the epithet in circumstances in which its use by a white comedian would be problematic. His use of it in relation to antisocial blacks is unusual and challenges the audience's comfort level. It was a twist on the common comedic practice of highlighting aspects of black culture and contrasting black and white worldviews and life experiences. The routine met with commercial and critical success partly because it rang true with audiences. The use of the epithet in this context should not lead one to conclude that Mr Rock is a racist unless one's definition of racism is quite broad.

The use of the epithet in this blog opened the poster to charges of racism. It seems clear from the context that the quote was not deployed to convey a racist message; however, the rules of usage and the prevailing rules of argumentation over what is or is not politically correct put the poster in the unconfortable position of having to resort to context to defend himself while his accuser has only to point to the use of the offending word. This is a perhaps unfortunate cultural fact, and prudence dictates that one be circumspect in using politically incorrect language.

Kinsella said: Only

Kinsella said:

Only annoying, cowardly losers do that, dude. That’s so what. Are Gil and I the only non-losers who post here?

That is simply not true. Don't be an ass.

Many of you think that I am

Many of you think that I am blowing this all out of proportion.

Ummm, yeah, a tad.

As to Ghertner’s complete failure to even discuss this matter on this comment thread (prefering to spend his valuable time posting about leeches and penises), I consider him to be one of the “libertarians” for whom culture does not matter: he doesn’t care one whit whether his actions contribute to a disfunctional culture. It’s all just a funny game to him.

Why is he obligated to 'discuss' nonsense accusations? Because you want him to slum down to your level?

Listen, take a deep breath and a step back, and try to imagine how you're coming across on this thread. Try to see how others see you. That's the essence of emotional intelligence.

Stephen, What little respect

Stephen,

What little respect I had for your writting skills, just went out the window. You know I thought the way the guys at NT treated you, was ugly, and have said so on several occasions. Now I'm forced to conclude they might have something.

I have used this Nome de Plume consistantly for the last 4 or 5 years across all sorts of blogs, and usenet. If you want my real name, I'm more than willing to provide it. Sean Hawthorne. Please feel free to tell me again that I'm a coward, and loser.

As to the rest of your post, I can only hope you were high on crack, or were being massively sarcastic. Either way, grow up Kinsella.