Anarchism is Near, Statism is Far

Adam asks me,

…what is the ideal here, and when is enough enough? This directly parallels “all-things-considered” rationality; when is a citizen’s policy position “all-things-considered” enough to make one a good citizen tout court?

I fear I may not have been as clear in my original post as I could have been, because I believe Adam’s taken a different point than I’d intended to make.

Admonishing those who don’t acknowledge the full costs of XYZ public policy preference is admonishing those who’ve adopted a telescopic morality. The state is the terminus of legitimate power. There are very few recourses to an unjust state action. So, if you outsource to the state, I’d ask that one fully understands the nitty-gritty necessary to have your plate of pork chops, and that, just because one chooses to act through a mostly-unimpeachable third party, it is not an excuse to outsource one’s ethics. I’d argue, instead, it becomes more important to “get right” your politics.

If you outsource your law enforcement, you are, at least by some greater-than-0 amount, complicit in its methods. If you outsource your children’s education and their safety, you are, at least by some greater-than-0 amount, complicit in its methods. We all work on the margin, and, through marginal reforms, hope to make police abuses less prevalent and school administrators less insane. However, these trade-offs are ever-present, just the relative magnitudes may change.

Now, this is not to say that government cannot be a potential answer to a given problem. Maybe whatever cost-benefit analysis a person chooses to employ shows a clear advantage. Government is the gun in the middle of the room, and just because someone really, super-duper likes a given policy goal’s implementation, that doesn’t absolve him of the ethical duty to understand the costs of their super groovy, state-violence-backed public policy preference. Don’t blink at the implications.

Anyways, to answer Adam’s actual question: #phronesis

The Virtue of Sausage-Making(NSFW)

Was reading some of Sam’s stuff here and here and David’s here, and I got to thinking.

Specialization and trade is a(the?) source of our wealth. By being able to outsource much of what we had been historically forced to do to just live to others, while focusing our highly adaptable monkey brains on fewer tasks, we’ve been able to attain a standard-of-living not imaginable to our ancestors. I do not have to sew my own clothing. I do not have to butcher my own meat. I do not have to brew my own beer. I do not have to bake my own bread.

Awesome.

There are plenty of DIY and back-to-the-earth-types who ascribe a certain moral goodness to doing these things by one’s own hands. I don’t cotton to that particular thinking, but there’s something there worth investigating. One doesn’t need to have a hand in every single thing they consume to live a moral life, but I do think one has to acknowledge that when you outsource XYZ, you do not have the full picture of your own consumption of XYZ.

I’ve had some friends and family who are vegetarian, and even one is a vegan(we’ve since stopped talking*), and one reason for them having turned away from delicious, healthy, and wonderful meat and meat-products was because of factory-farming. This, obviously, is a false dichotomy. One can certainly eat meat that isn’t factory-raised, but is there something to the notion that we should be closer to or, at least cognizant of, the process of our consumption?

I’ve an 80-some-year-old grandmother who lives on a farm by herself. She wakes up every morning at the crack of dawn to do farm things. If she wants to eat some chicken, she goes to the coop, picks one up, snaps its neck, scalds it, plucks it, and then cooks it. I’m not a stranger to that process. I’m no stranger to the process by which I’m able to eat whatever else I eat, either. I’m Texan. It’s really nothing new, special, or altogether interesting to me, but it would be to those who’d never participated in the process.

With this in mind, a friend and I decided to go hunting(he lives in NYC and is surrounded by sanctimonious, emaciated vegans.) with a redneck friend of ours(it’s okay, he styles himself a redneck, so this is not a slur) who happens to work on a hunting ranch. Long story short:

Continue reading “The Virtue of Sausage-Making(NSFW)”

Respectability Politics, amirite?

Had a discussion earlier, and I came to a very different conclusion than others about the following two tweets:

Others viewed the first as far-too vitriolic, thus, proving-the-point. I saw the second as a provocation of such casual ease that only one firmly ensconced in the safety of the majoritarian bubble could possibly make it, which is then later followed by, my ear, false concern and admonishments for prayer.

Something I’ve been vacillating on the past few weeks/months/years is the role of rhetoric among low-status/oppressed/put-upon when addressing high-status/oppressors. How gracious are they required to be to be allowed by the cultural/social gatekeepers into the conversation? How much of this is playing into the legitimacy of whatever, possible, injustice happening?

Obviously, some/many/most of my four readers will not really agree with me on this particular issue, but, as an example, would MLK have been as effective without a Malcolm X as a ballast(or vice versa) in the wider civil rights movement?

(By the by, I understand nothing I’m saying hasn’t been beaten into the ground forever and forever now by others much smarter than I, but it’s something I can’t really square with myself)

ETA: About fifteen minutes after posting.

I Love [Sex Workers]

Adam Gurri threatened to kill my dog if I didn’t finally write a post. Knowing his penchant for quick and extreme violence, I knew I’d dilly-dally’ed long enough.

 

David Duke asks “Among us Sweet Talkers, what’s the general feeling about whores?” You can see my answer in the title. This post is really about putting a marker down to, first, keep my Fluffy safe from Adam’s anger, and, second, to lay out a rough outline on how I plan to answer this particular question and address what I see as the, inevitable, extended commentary.

 

Central Thesis: Sex work, in its many forms, is a prosocial institution.

The libertarian argument for sex work.

The public health argument for sex work.

The feminist argument for sex work.

The conservative argument for sex work.

 

To set some expectations: I don’t plan on writing long, complete treatises on the above but do plan on writing smaller morsels of an extended conversation to savor and chew over. I reserve the right to add more “The [X] argument for sex work” in the future. For better or worse(better), I feel this conversation, and its attendant tangents, will be my biggest contribution to our sweet, sexy musings here.