It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on this site, and that’s a shame because I need to start updating people regularly. I even know some people who will be surprised to see something in their RSS subscriptions because they were subscribed to this site back when I was still active. Really, it’s just been a placeholder, and not much more. But it’s about to be more active. Mainly, because I need a place to post more informal things, and I have this. So I might as well. But I’ve been doing paying work a lot of the time, and it has interfered with many prospects I had going, because in the end, I need to pay rent before I need to work on any other projects, and this site has been a net negative in terms of profit so far. Feel free to change that. Donation links right here.
But as part of that paying work, I’ve been writing a significant amount, in addition to doing the thumbnails, editing the podcast, running the email list, and doing some site maintenance for Agorist Nexus, along with doing some writing work for some documentaries that are about to come out. One of them will be on the dystopia that’s coming, and one of them will be on the dystopia that’s already here, and what we can do about it. But needless to say, I’ve been busy. And that’s not an excuse, but it is the explanation. I will, however, be making more content for this site. And trying to reignite all of my other projects. It’s been a long time coming.
In that spirit, here’s a simple response piece aimed at somebody who I already responded to for his bad criticism of a piece on the site. He tried to use words written by the founder of agorism to claim that non-political agorists are being somehow inconsistent. He wrote a short, poorly typed, poorly thought out screed against a much better-written piece by the founder of the site that I write for, Brandon Aragon, and for laughs, and of course, for the pay, I decided to write a comprehensive response piece to this. In this response piece, I detailed every single way he had logical failings in his substack email. He took it very personally while ignoring most of it in a response that is now posted to Twitter. So before you read this, please feel free to read:
– his post
– my post
To get started, let’s get this out of the way.
He accuses me of being “childish” for attacking the source of the words, that in this case being substack. He does not recognize the irony intended in my comments, because my comments were meant to directly clash with his comments immediately calling agorists “dOgMaTiC”, while attempting some air of superiority. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. If you want to start your piece by claiming that we’re inconsistent and dogmatic in the very subheading, don’t be surprised when I low road you too. The real childish thing is poisoning the well, and then getting mad when somebody points out how poisonous your own well is. He then claims he’s a “good writer”, after acknowledging that his writing was fraught with typos, so go figure. As far as I’m concerned, a good writer can back up what he’s saying if he does use one of these eye-catching headlines, or any of these eye-catching images. But he couldn’t do that. I proved how inconsistent he was in my piece, and if the point is to prove that he’s more consistent because of his strategy regarding politics, he failed dramatically.
He then goes on to complain that I used an archive site in order to link to his piece. I don’t apologize for that. A lot of people have deleted what they have said when I responded to it, and I have no confidence that he’d be any different. If you don’t want something online to be archived, don’t say it. People should archive things as a matter of course, to protect the record, and to make sure that people are held accountable for things they say and then walk back. He accuses me also of failing to address his points because I didn’t directly quote them. Absurd. I went directly against literally everything he said word for word, providing an extremely well-contextualized critique of all of it, and the fact that I didn’t copy and paste his words doesn’t mean that I didn’t adequately address his points. The idea that I’m only saying what’s in my head rather than what he said is rote projection, given the context of him using SEKIII’s words in a way with which SEKIII would disagree. If he has issues with my criticisms, he can say them, but to claim that I didn’t address his points is absolutely false. Also, me? Rude? Perish the fucking thought. I think it should be a given that when you read something I write I’m being at least a little bit rude. There’s actually nothing wrong with that. But it’s not even rude to link this archive. He wants his article quoted, but doesn’t want it preserved? Seems hypocritical.
He goes on to level a complaint that my claim was “uNsUbStAnTiVe” when I accused him of doing a chopjob on a quote. But he then includes only part of the full quote, refusing to elaborate further, thus proving my point. Because that was part of an introduction, and Konkin later went on to describe what he feels to be consistency, which is anything but what LB claims it is. The chopjob was including a part of a quote, and then failing to include the context from which that quote was extracted. That’s exactly what you did. You see, Samuel took the time to prove that the consistent position is a position that rejects politics. He later said that in the introduction to the book LB poorly quoted. LB did not go into any detail at all proving that this is an inconsistent position. This means that unless he’s willing to not only quote the full passage, but disprove SEKIII’s definition and application of consistency, he can’t disprove that agorism is inconsistent. THAT is unsubstantive. For somebody complaining about me not quoting somebody and coming up with unfit criticisms, he doesn’t quote this guy nearly enough to make any criticisms at all, much less ones of substance, or proving inconsistency.
He then goes on to make the intellectually dishonest point that he never claimed to be on the same side as Konkin. Well shit if that’s the case, why did he quote him as the basis for his critique? It’s almost like it’s understandable to think he was attempting to use Konkin’s words to claim Brandon is at odds with Konkin. Nah… couldn’t be – you threw that in there cause you think the letters in that order are pretty, the only explanation for doing that other than seeking backup. [inb4: “BUT THAT’S RUDE THOUGH! CHILDISH!”]
He then ignores my entire argument as to why this is fallacious, in an attempt to use scare quotes in total and abject ignorance of what I actually said. He never once addressed the points I made. For those just tuning in, I responded with:
“His final point of “criticism” (if you can call it that, which you shouldn’t), is some vague appeal that can only be categorized as fallacious. He uses multiple large words to appear intelligent, but doesn’t describe how what he is saying is better from an evolutionary or ontological perspective, nor does he describe how supporting the state will somehow stunt the growth of bad technological applications during this period of heightened technological advancement. And simply saying we are born into a system, without describing why his approach to this system is superior is nothing more than an appeal to authority, or common practice, or again, one of many fallacies. Let’s be real here – this entire paragraph doesn’t mean anything. It might be the basis for the research into a thesis, but it’s not even a point on its own. I Kant even.”
And he didn’t address those points. He didn’t there, and he doesn’t here, respond to anything. It’s why I put “response” in quotes earlier. He didn’t want to prove in his original piece that supporting politicians and politics is the way forward, properly addressing the critiques he claims to have. He didn’t do it now either, because he doesn’t have an answer. Or, because he’s hoping people will just believe him, so he doesn’t have to take the effort to actually prove that his stance is evolutionarily or ontologically superior. My guess is that he doesn’t actually have a point in that regard. He’s welcome to get to the fucking point though if he has one. It’s much easier to claim that something is “not worth following” than it is to prove why it is not worth following. But even then, it’s not an argument about whether or not agorism is “Worth Following™” – it’s as to whether or not it’s consistent. He proves neither, but it’s cute he’s trying to move the goalposts.
Dogma does not rely on rational categories. That’s actually the opposite of what dogma does. Humorously enough, the Oxford definition for dogma which Google uses includes a sentence about rejecting political dogma, a thing which SEKIII did extremely well in his book that Muniz still does not refute.
In fact, if anyone is being dogmatic by the actual definition, it’s this guy. He doesn’t prove that the state is the only way to be consistent, or that agorism is inconsistent, but he still somehow says it, which indicates that he supports this authority, not based on rational grounds, but based on the dogmatic belief that anyone who does not employ the state is somehow being unevolved. This is never proven, so the only rational conclusion that can be reached from this is that he doesn’t rely on proof for these conclusions, and he ignores evidence to the contrary. No wonder he hates rationalism so much. If he had to prove what he knows with knowledge and evidence, it would be much more difficult, and it might not fit as nicely and neatly into an email newsletter.
Which is true. That’s what you wrote. The fact that I didn’t quote him doesn’t mean I’m wrong about what he said. And he definitely said what I said he said. And my criticism still stands. He didn’t actually disprove it in the following comments. It’s laughable how little he actually responded to. Almost like he didn’t want to confront how right I am about all of the stuff he said.
See how this is exactly what I said he said? I thought it was a virtue to be less verbose, and more concise when making points. Or is it only valuable when he does it, and strips a bunch of context from other people’s words, and ignores what people say?
LMAO great example! Flashback to win Jose called me an “annoying faggot”, And kicked me out of a “Libertarian™” content sharing GM, because I had the audacity to point out the fact that he had somebody on his show who supports adult-child sex, and defended Roman Polanski in an article for the Daily Beast. People who block people on social media, for telling the truth about people with whom they associate, and remove them from libertarian circles to enhance and protect an echo chamber, only then to insult them behind that block, so they can’t respond directly, are perfect examples of people you should support running for office alongside a platform of not talking shit about people. In fact, I met you first in that GM, and you were there when I got kicked out. All I did was link the Daily Beast article, But I guess telling the truth about the guests people have on their shows and choose to support and platform is reason enough to exclude them, under your “Perfectly Undogmatic™” idea of what a “Good Person™” looks like. Thaddeus Russell is an unironic manifestation of the “what if the child consents” meme, but a bunch of cowards are willing to have him on their shows because he has lots of numbers on social media, and these grifters want clout. If you want to talk about consistency, actually bring up consistent people in your critique of others on their consistency level. This is dogshit.
But just to be incredibly specific and extremely clear, if the person allegedly running for office to have the back of an agorist is not also an agorist, how do we know that we have any shared interests at all, much less the shared interests of total freedom? What kind of position of power that could even do anything would encourage a consistent anarchist to adopt said position, and if they’re not a consistent anarchist, how could we trust that they’re going to do the right thing once they’re in? This fairy tale kingdom that a lot of people have in their minds, where some perfect person gets to be perfect for their purposes, and represent them ideally, doesn’t exist. There are means to this alleged end that need to be highlighted and addressed, and then thoroughly criticized, before this approach can be consistently advocated by the consistent. The idea that you can simply throw this kind of thing out there is laughable at best. Like wouldn’t it be great if we got somebody in who would do everything we wanted and the system allowed them to get there somehow? Wouldn’t it be great if the system gave them this kind of power to completely erase the system? This is why he brought up the Nazi analogy, as a reference to an article written by Graham Smith, which you can read here, or listen to here. Because the idea of reforming the Nazi party from the inside is exactly as absurd as the idea of reforming any other state from the inside. They will still fundamentally act within their own interests. Plain and simple. Not describing how we get there, and then describing an ideal system where we already are there, is fanciful at best, and does nothing to address real concerns at all.
Hilarious! He simply ignores the rest of what I say. Never mind that I’m including enough facts to prove that it’s not Brandon who lacks consistency in this regard, and that it’s he who needs to work on his own consistency. Never mind the fact that I was right in my criticisms, or that I can adequately contextualize them within my criticisms of what he had to say. Let’s just dismiss it by citing the amount of words, as though the amount of words invalidates what they said. Nah. I specifically said all that for a reason. I wanted to prove that he was throwing stones in a glass house, and that maybe he shouldn’t do that. And what’s great about this particular line is the ad hominem he throws in there about me being atheist. So what? If God is real, then maybe don’t look at this as somebody who shouldn’t talk about it, talking about it, and accept that this might be one of the mysterious ways the Bible could speak to you and improve your life. But oh no, somebody whose belief system he doesn’t like is criticizing him on the consistency of his belief system in his own life. I wonder where I’ve heard that before. Almost like I did a better job of what he was doing to Brandon, only I did it to him, which makes it suddenly unacceptable. Definitely a hilarious conclusion.
If you get to be rude to literally every poor person out there, myself included, by posting a Paris Hilton shirt that says stop being poor as the first thing people see when associated with your article, and then doubling down on that multiple times within and without, don’t be surprised when people are rude in response. He literally admitted that it doesn’t matter if it hurts people’s feelings if it’s true. So clearly it’s okay for my comments section to call him out on being in debt while calling out poor people. If it weren’t for the system this country is built on, he’d actively be below poverty if he’s not already. Seems like a reification of that old axiom that Americans fancy themselves temporarily embarrassed millionaires.
Anyway, no I didn’t. I did a fine job of criticizing his piece, and watch, he’s even going to ignore most of what I said here. It’s a lot easier to do that than confront the ideas I present him with. And he’s already getting retweets from fellow right-wingers, supporting his thread, so why try to actually formulate a rational response, especially when rationalism is faux pas in this corner? I mean, it’s still dogma, but as we’ve already established, he doesn’t care about that. As long as the dogma suits him, and it seems to be on his side, he’ll be as dogmatic as they come. Ultimately, this is yet another example of confirmation bias. The idea that he can look outside his circles and find out that maybe this approach isn’t very pragmatic at all either doesn’t occur to him, or is brushed off. He’s not consistent, and he’s not against dogma either. He just belongs to a different dogma than he believes we belong to. That makes it acceptable to reject our ideas wholesale. Well, he can choose to do that if he wants. I won’t join him. I’ll keep putting my time, effort, and energy into proving that the system is corrupt, all while people who claim the same stuff throw their money at politicians who repeatedly and regularly disappoint them once they’re in office. I’m 100% sure we’re the inconsistent ones while the other strategy has consistently failed to provide a net increase in freedom, or a net shrinking of the state, ever. I’m sure that if we vote a little bit harder, it’ll work this time. I’m sure that we can trust politicians to eliminate their own jobs, and to be in our corner, or at our flanks, or whatever. I’m very sure that we got totally hosed by his substack screed. But here I am being wedded to my alleged dogma, which is somehow also based in rationalism, the antithesis of dogma, being completely wrong about everything as usual. Feel free to ignore this if you like the status quo. If you don’t, feel free to share this, and my other content at Agorist Nexus.
Want freedom? Don’t wait for dogmatic politics and their ideological serfs to catch up. Start today!
(P.S.: hey, LB – perhaps if you want to criticize the consistency of agorism, you should read the book which started it – NLM details how even in the 70s, your strategy was already a failure… here’s a link to a free copy, if you want to actually be consistent)
And if you want to help me do silly things like get rent and eat, feel free to throw some support my way. I’m deeply grateful when people think I’ve earned a living.