Ad hominem is the logical fallacy of attacking the person instead of rationally criticizing what the person says or does. For example, if you say “Firearm ownership is a right.” and I say “Gun owners are nuts who want to shoot everybody!” then I am committing an ad hominem. I am attacking gun owners as persons instead of making an intelligent response to your assertion. This is a logical fallacy. That means it is a logically broken statement. It’s not an effective rebuttal.
Recently, I was accused of not hating the state enough. I thank that person for the external validation. My goal is not to hate the state at all. In fact, I find hating in general to be counter-productive. It clouds the mind’s rational capacity. It weakens the hater. It’s self-destructive to hate. I want to purge all hate from me.
In fact, hating the state is a form of ad hominem. If you hate the state, want to be an enemy of the state and/or want to hurt state-supporters and/or state agents, your energy is illogically misdirected. You’re focusing on attacking the people. You’re not focusing on a reasoned discussion. You’re just saying things like “You suck.” or “You should be killed while you sleep.” (Yikes!)
I can’t speak for you, but my struggle is a principled one. I’m not opposed just to Obama or just to Bush. I’m not opposed just to TSA agents or just to US marshals. I’m opposed to aggression, in whatever form it may take, no matter who wields it.
Are you opposed to bad people (statists)? Or bad ideas (statist philosophy)?
If the former, it makes sense to talk about killing cops and TSA agents.
If the latter, it makes sense to focus on the non-aggression principle and reasoned rebuttals of aggressive ideas.
I’ll take the latter.
btw here is a great quote on this topic (H/T Nick Ford):
”Ž”The hallmark of political anarchism is its opposition to the established order of things: to the state, its institutions, the ideologies that support and glorify these institutions.” -Paul Feyerabend
18 replies on “Statists are not the Enemy”
George I have to ask, why is attacking the supporters of the system any worse than attacking the system, in all fairness I understand some men are duped, HOWEVER, at the level the “president” is they are not duped THEY ARE RUNNING IT-
I’m saying it’s a logical fallacy to attack the people (ad hominem). It’s logically sounder to attack the ideas. That’s it in a nutshell. Does that make sense to you, Jesse?
I hate the state, at it’s root.
Do you find that to actually work for you?
I can understand that and tend to agree, however, in some cases when the “men/women” are the “system” for all intents and purposes there is an ethical “quota” that is reached- i.e. self-defense…which can entail verbal/printed or even physical “force” as it were against an individual – if they are initiating against you…
Absolutely agree that aggression is the root problem. Unfortunately, I can agree all I want, but if I ignore the aggressive people around me, we gain nothing from that agreement.
People implement and act out their principles (or good or bad). In a perfect and pure world, we could discuss the principles alone.
But in the real world, actual human beings act out that aggression. Flesh and blood cops pull the triggers and swing the clubs that kill the innocent. They, and the politicians who enable the destruction of freedom and the economy, ARE the aggressors – in the flesh, up front and personal. They will not be stopped just by our reasoned discussion of the abstract.
Stereotyping and group guilt accusations are not part of the solution, of course, but refusing to call a spade a spade when individuals choose aggression is something else altogether. They must be held accountable, as individuals.
Sure, there can be a moment when self-defense against a statist is justified. But that’s a separate issue. I’m talking about the idea that all statists are one’s enemy and one should rail against them or plot to hurt them absent direct personal provocation.
Nice post, I have the same position concerning my opponents. Even though I may disagree with them, most genuinely want to help others and improve people’s lives. There are bad people out there yes, but it is good for people with political opinions to focus on the ideas of the opposition, rather than the people themselves.
Again, nice post to read, and cool picture at the top. Have a nice day.
Thanks Ryan! Glad you liked it.