"If you're my friend, then why do you have a gun in my face?"

I happened across moments ago on another blog a philosophical defense of global hegemony in general, and the U.S. as the hegemon in particular.  Naturally, I replied in opposition.  Try to guess where.


About b-psycho

Left-libertarian blogger & occasional musician.
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4 Responses to "If you're my friend, then why do you have a gun in my face?"

  1. Todd S. says:

    Words fail me that so many felt the need to respond positively in the comments. Really? At a supposedly left-libertarian site? At least you and Long were attempting to get him to see his own cognitive dissonance.

  2. ricketson says:

    Todd: I think that BHL is half left-lib and half mainstream. Teson seems to be more on the mainstream side, such that I barely recognize him as a libertarian. He seems to be a libertarian of convenience — he happens to support a number of policies that are lumped together as “libertarian”. I think his ideology is more neo-liberal than libertarian.

    b-psycho: Regarding the “means and ends” distinction made by Teson and Co., I think it is probably BS. This distinction is typically a way for people to excuse their own evil acts while condemning the evil acts of others — based on nothing more than faith in their own motivations and abilities, and distrust of the motivations of others. I think that distinction (means vs. ends) is only meaningful when the actor has a clear plan to achieve his ends, and everyone involved has faith that the actor is willing and able to accomplish the professed “ends” (e.g. a surgeon is able to close the incision that he makes). When the “ends” are 100 years in the future, and we don’t really know how we’re going to get there, they are meaningless.

    Issues like this make me wonder if it is worthwhile to engage the writers at BHL, or philosophers in general. It seems that you can’t even begin to talk with them unless you have a degree in philosophy, because they so often rely on rather convoluted preconceptions that other philosophers have fretted over before. Somewhere in all this, and their search for “truth”, they seem to get lost in their own minds, and forget that any social theory needs to account for the fact that people have different opinions about things. Teson seems to be a true believer in liberal institutionalism, and this blinds him to the fact that there were true believers in communism , and that the communist ideal was fairly nice (i.e. the USSR had good ends).

  3. B Psycho says:

    That kind of ends and means discussion is why I’ve come to the view that, when it comes to typical global power actions, the proudly amoral asshole is ironically on a slightly higher moral ground than the one committing the same acts and spinning them as Good For You.

    I obviously oppose the dominance in both cases. Still, at least the ones that will openly say “we’re doing X, Y & Z to further our interests, period” sets parameters for debate directly on ends; you know the means are terrible, but they clearly don’t care, so it’s not really the topic. With dominance claimed as leading to a global public good, on the other hand, you have to simultaneously argue tactics and a Big Lie.

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