Saturday, January 12, 2008
The Ron Paul Affair
You can find an extensive set of links to libertarians discussing it at Timothy Sandefur's blog. My only contribution has been to take issue with some of Timothy's less defensible arguments, including his claim that the central feature of the views of Rothbard, or at least "the Rothbardians," by which he means Lew Rockwell and the Mises Institute people with whom Ron Paul has been associated, is moral relativism. I'm not a fan of Murray Rothbard, and the Mises Institute people are not fans of mine, as those readers who have been involved in libertarian back and forth may already know, but a moral relativist Rothbard wasn't and Tim's attempt to defend the claim that he was "at best equivocal" on that point I take as evidence of the corrupting effect that Objectivism can have even on a reasonable person, which Tim seems to be. I thought the most perceptive post on the whole matter was one by Ross Douthat on why members of political fringe groups tend to have, and tolerate, and sometimes absorb ideas from, nutty friends.