Yesterday, I asked Brandon Christensen to leave my blog while an interesting discussion was going on. Previously, Brandon had unlimited posting rights on this blog which he used with discretion. I asked Brandon to vacate yesterday because of a single word he used on my blog: He called me a “liar” repeatedly. There is no need for such childish insults. It’s easy enough to say, “What Delacroix affirmed is not true; see….”
Basic civility matters more to me than whatever comes out of discussion of heavy topics between strangers. Trash-talk is already all over the web. I believe it does not contribute anything useful. If it did, I would still reject it and decline to sponsor it. The haste to conclude that an opponent in a discussion is lying rather than mistaken or even deeply self-deluded is a gross form of intolerance. Personal insults are a step toward totalitarianism, I think although maybe a small step.
One of the beauties of the Internet it that it gives one latitude to reject the widespread notion that one “cannot make omelets without breaking eggs” (attributed to that great liberator, Mao Tse Tung.) I will make omelets without breaking eggs. I will continue to cause discussions to happen without carrying trash.
The topics addressed yesterday and the day before, on war and peace, and on pacifism are important. If nothing else, beliefs on these currently cripple libertarianism as an effective political movement. I expect to address them again in a little while. Brandon will be welcome to comment at any length he wishes so long as he does not insult others, including me. If he does, I will censor him. Personal insults are the only things I will censor. Absurd affirmations will be welcome, as in the past. Delirious beliefs will be given pride of place. That includes pacifist creed masquerading as anything at all. (And, yes, I think the authors of the masquerade are sincere in their self-delusion.)