Quote of the day

From Roderick Long (yes, I know, these quotes just keep getting longer and longer):

Once when I was 12 or so I went up to the checkout with six comic books I'd picked out, only to realise I had just enough money to buy four. So the clerk at the cash register started to pick two at random to put back, as though I would have no preference as to which four of the six to keep. I was amazed. When I was in high school I intended to become a novelist. One of the counselors thought this was a great idea, and advised me, "take a look at which novels are the best sellers, and try to write novels like that" -- as though I might want to be a novelist without having a preference for writing any particular sort of novels. Once again I was amazed. I'm likewise amazed whenever I see the argument that "if you want to be successful in promoting libertarianism, you need to give up on feature X or feature Y" -- as though someone might want to promote libertarianism without caring about promoting any particular version of libertarianism. (I'm talking about cases where feature X or feature Y is part of one's view rather than, say, a dispensable rhetorical emphasis involved in promoting the view.)

That's a great way of putting it. We're libertarians because we care, not because we want to win or, for that matter, even be popular.

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Written on Friday, January 27, 2006