Here’s a little rant I wrote in response to another wild and crazy post titled “Say what you will, Charlie Sheen isn’t giving Obama a pass” on what would otherwise be a fine Austrian Economics blog. Well, and if it wasn’t for the regular stupid religion postings. Bob Murphy was the first big name Austrian Economist I’ve communicated with, and I have to say in all fairness that he has always been very nice to me.
But Bobs wild and wacky lapses into religion and weirdness outside economics make it impossible for me to ever recommend him to others. A real shame, really, because his economic writings are excellent. One of his posts over at Mises.org provided me with the starting point for a chapter in my thesis. So, I do feel bad when I am less than kind in return – but as far as I’m concerned, it’s tough love – because Bob seems to be a genuinely decent fellow.
In any case, I responded to one of the comments on this post of his, according to which
“The point would be that a lot of innocent people died on that day and the truth of what happened has not been presented.
The freedom movement has only benefited from the 9/11 movement. I have friends that will listen to me and read Austrian economics books only because they believe that our Government is willing to take their lives to push an agenda, and they want to know how we could eliminate them from our lives. It is a heck of a lot easier to convince a 9/11 truther that we don't need the State then a Bush or O'bama supporter.”
[The wacky spelling is all his, and just to make sure there is no misunderstanding: Bob did NOT write THAT]
Ok, he’s right – there is a huge overlap between Libertarians and Truthers. Many Truthers found their way to Libertarianism because Libertarianism is the only ideology that openly opposes the State. I have observed this weird phenomenon before with my own eyes, and it puzzled me. Almost as much as it puzzles me that so many Atheists are Socialists – but that’s a big enough topic all by itself.
So, here’s what came to me, and I will try to elaborate on this sometime in the future.
The "Truth" of what happened has been presented. A group of people consisting mostly, or even exclusively, of (Saudi) Arabs conspired to crash planes into important American landmarks in something left-wing anarchists would have dubbed 'propaganda of the deed'. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, partially because they correctly anticipated the reaction of the American government. In another way, they failed - since the anticipated uprising of the "Arab Street" did not happen.
The American Government, wilfully and stupidly walked right into what COULD have been a major bear trap, only to go right ahead and dig themselves a massive hole, and succeed in achieving what the perpetrators of the 9/11 did not achieve directly.
Osama bin Laden is probably still giggling at this in utter disbelief.
The "Truth" movement, on the other hand, is little more than the outgrowth of a wild combination of hubris and paranoia.Hubris, because these people cannot believe that their powerful State has been outsmarted by a bunch of Arabs. After all, the Arabs are wild, uncivilized people who can barely count to ten and are too stupid to understand the first thing about our Great Nation. Paranoia, because the only way to explain the failue of the powerful state is to reinterprete the failure as a evil plan.
In reality, the Truth Movement is very much like the "Stab-in-the-back" movement in Germany post-WWI. Why, our powerful Empire could not have possibly succumbed to those Franzen and Tommies and Ivans and Amis - it must have been the evil people in our own government, probably the JEWS!!!!!!
Your Truthers are little more than the budding shock-troops of Fascism. Seriously. You think these crypto-Patriots, these flag-wavers, these paranoiacs are on the side of Liberty?
Maybe you people should broaden your reading list to include a little Hannah Arendt in addition to Rothbard, in particular her The Origins of Totalitariansm.
Not having read The Origins is a serious lack in your education, and probably one of the reasons you don't recognize the Truthers for what they are.
Get real, and stop embarassing the rest of us