Bleeding Heart Libertarians (the Blog): A Bibliography of Related Posts

A recent post at Policy of Truth by its proprietor, Irfan Khawaja, prompted me to compile a list of all of the posts that I have written about some of the blog posts and bloggers at Bleeding Heart Libertarians. Though Khawaja and I disagree about a lot, I believe that we agree about the fatuousness of bleeding-heart libertarianism. (BTW, Khawaja’s flaming valedictory, on a different subject, is worth a read.)

Here’s the bibliography, arranged chronologically from March 9, 2011, to September 11, 2014:

The Meaning of Liberty
Peter Presumes to Preach
Positive Liberty vs. Liberty
More Social Justice
On Self-Ownership and Desert
The Killing of bin Laden and His Ilk
In Defense of Subjectivism
The Folly of Pacifism, Again
What Is Libertarianism?
Why Stop at the Death Penalty?
What Is Bleeding-Heart Libertarianism?
The Morality of Occupying Public Property
The Equal-Protection Scam and Same-Sex Marriage
Liberty, Negative Rights, and Bleeding Hearts
Bleeding-Heart Libertarians = Left-Statists
Enough with the Bleeding Hearts Already
Not Guilty of Libertarian Purism
Obama’s Big Lie
Bleeding-Heart Libertarians = Left-Statists (Redux)
Egoism and Altruism
A Case for Redistribution Not Made

2 thoughts on “Bleeding Heart Libertarians (the Blog): A Bibliography of Related Posts

  1. Thanks for the comment about my “Going Out with Style” post.

    “Though Khawaja and I disagree about a lot, I believe that we agree about the fatuousness of bleeding-heart libertarianism.”

    I wouldn’t put it quite that way. The only criticism I have of “bleeding heart libertarianism” is that I don’t think it’s a form of libertarianism at all. But since I’m not a libertarian myself, that’s not much of an objection. And since “bleeding heart libertarianism” is more of a branding device than the name of a unified doctrine, it’s hard to criticize it in a doctrinal way. I’m actually pretty sympathetic to a lot of what goes by the name “bleeding heart libertarianism.” Some of it is just garden-variety liberalism with a free market twist. That’s music to my ears. I don’t regard it as fatuous at all.

    To the left of that is anarchist left-libertarianism. That isn’t really my cup of tea (to mix metaphors), but regardless, one anarchist left-libertarian, Roderick Long, blogs both for BHL and for Policy of Truth. I often disagree with Roderick on politics, but don’t regard anything he says as fatuous, no matter how much I disagree.

    What I object to at BHL is less doctrinal than personal. Some but not all of the bloggers there have a real contempt for the audience of the blog. Given that contempt, it’s unclear what they think they’re doing when they’re blogging. Writing for feedback from an audience? Or expressing contempt for that audience, then cutting it off when the going gets rough?

    The worst offender by far is Jason Brennan–deceitful, arrogant, vulgar, hypocritical, and sometimes just downright stupid, not because he has a low IQ, but because he seems to take pride in descending to certain rhetorical depths in an argument, especially when he’s losing. I object to the fact that BHL put up with this for as long as it has. No blogger at PoT has ever done anything like that, and if one did, I’d throw him off the site without delay. If Brennan had done at my site what he did for years at BHL, I would have banned him for life years ago. They didn’t. They spent years pretending that when Jason acted out, that was just Jason being Jason, and Jason being Jason was just a kind of sunk cost of having Jason the Prolific Powerhouse Philosopher write for your blog. It isn’t. It’s always possible to get rid of something noxious and troubling. Just hit delete and it’s gone. I just did that to a whole job. But they had trouble doing it to Jason Brennan.

    To their credit, once confronted, they took action. They reined Jay in–told him to stop deleting my comments, stop acting so overtly like an asshole, etc. And it’s worked. Good for them. That’s not fatuous; it’s to their credit. I’m sincerely grateful to them.

    Meanwhile, I’ve never treated Brennan at PoT the way he’s treated me. I’ve never deleted his stuff, never blocked him, never changed stuff I’ve said in response to stuff he’s said. I always let him say what he wants in all of its predictable stupidity, and move on.

    There are lesser versions of Brennan at BHL, but they differ from him in kind, not just by degree. Fernando Teson, for instance, writes irresponsibly fact-free junk on the Israel-Palestine issue, but falls silent when you challenge him. That’s not quite as bad as Brennan, but it’s not great.

    Having made these criticisms, I should say that one person at that site, Kevin Vallier, is so ridiculously courteous to his critics that his courtesy almost seems to compensate for Brennan’s obnoxiousness. Almost, but not quite.

    So whatever fatuousness I attribute to BHL is much narrower than what you have in mind. Some of what you regard as fatuousness is stuff I like. If it was fatuous, then I would be fatuous! That seems like a reductio ad absurdum.


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