RE: META: What did I do wrong?

Joshua Clingenpeel (
Fri, 21 May 1999 12:59:28 -0700

No, you don't get it, Michael. You can't call someone 'evil.' That's about as rude as you can get. So he's a bit of a smart-ass. Ignore him. If you are a mature adult, this shouldn't be too difficult. I'm kind of interested in what he has to say. So what if he's a blunt and condescending creature. He hasn't outright called anyone 'evil' or some other horribly demeaning name. He sounds rather arrogant, but that's just personality. Grow up a bit, learn to accept other people for what they are, and if there's a flaw in his argument, attack the flaw, not the person. I'd like to see you dissect his argument (which I've only seen a little of, but you had some viable points), not allude to stabbing knives in his gut...

Pope Arhat Al-Hazred Mateed XXIII

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael S. Lorrey [] Sent: Thursday, May 20, 1999 11:12 AM
Subject: Re: META: What did I do wrong? wrote:

> Jocelyn Brown has been very helpful in her feedback, although I believe
> some of my statements and questions have been interpreted differently
> than I intended them. As a writer, it is in my best interest to be clear
> in my meaning, so I will clarify.
> At some point, I asked:
> "Is it absolutely essential that people believe in the fictional concept
> of "property rights" in order to interact productively and peacefully?"
> Jocelyn and others believe that "This is diametrically opposed to
> libertarian politics and objectivist philosophy."
> I don't see how questioning assumptions is diametrically opposed to
> libertarianism or objectivism. All I did was ask whether it was
> "absolutely essential" for people to believe in property rights.\

Your error, which both Jocelyn and I believe is 'evil' is to believe that property rights are a 'fictional concept'. Since they originate in Natural Law, they are not any more fictional than the real world is.

> I was
> thinking that whoever said that property rights were *absolutely*
> essential for people to interace peacefully and productively was being a
> bit extreme in the position. I understand very well the benefits of
> property rights, but I also understand that it is POSSIBLE for people to
> be productive and peaceful even if they don't have a formal concept of
> property rights. I believe there are certain kinds of people who would
> do just fine without that concept. However, me questioning whether
> property rights are absolutely essential cannot logically be interpreted
> as me advocating the abolition of property rights. I was just asking a
> simple question; no need to get upset about it. Extremest thinking tends
> to warp one's interpretation of others' statements and questions.

The only societies which are both productive and peaceful which do not develop property rights are primitive tribal cultures which are in ecosystems where the basic daily requirements for life are easily met from a hunter/gatherer lifestyle. Moreover, you will never find any society which has absolutely no concept of property rights, just differing interpretations of what an individual person can call 'personal' property, except for troops of monkeys or hives of insects.

> I mentioned at some point that I like to "push people's buttons"
> Jocelyn feels that "Intentially pushing people's buttons is not an act of
> respect."
> I will strive to push your buttons unintentionally from now on. Just
> kidding. Although, maintaining psychological weaknesses and then
> demanding that others avoid "pushing your buttons" is also disrespectful
> of others. I don't believe I was being unnecessarily rude to anyone.
> Button pushing has always been a form of playfulness in my family, so I
> do not consider moderate amounts of it to be disrespectful, but rather an
> act of affection.

If I say 'pretty please' while I stick a knife in your guts, is it ok? I was being polite, I can't imagine why you would take offense....

> At some point, I wrote, "Because you are so full of hostility, you do not
> realize that we actually agree on pretty much everything."
> Jocelyn wrote, in response, "Your 'I am angry' diatribe was full of
> hostility, yet you use that concept to dismiss others."
> I do not see how reassuring someone that we "agree on pretty much
> everything" could be interpreted as dismissing them. Please explain.

Condescending lies are extremely rude. We obviously don't agree on much or we wouldn't be having this argument.

> At some point, I wrote, "Because I am intelligent, I would use your own
> deepest desires to change whatever behaviors I wanted to."
> Jocelyn believes, "this statement is about as condescending as one can
> get."
> When you buy a product at the store isn't whoever you bought the product
> from using your desires to modify your behavior? If someone uses a
> persuasive argument, aren't they taking advantage of your desires to
> modify your behavior? Since I have decided to refrain from using force
> to change your behavior, my remaining options include mainly offering you
> something you desire in exchange for you modifying your behavior. A
> classic example is paying someone money to have them do work for you.
> Isn't using people's desires to get what you want from them a basic part
> of the free market system we advocate? Yet you see it as condescending
> when stated baldly.

Continuing to attempt to convince people who have already told you to get lost is not longer just polite marketing, but outright harassment.

> Jocelyn wrote, "I don't that this feedback will help, but please don't
> respond unless it's a point-by-point response that directly addresses my
> comments."
> how others respond to me reveals much about them

Still blaming others for your faults, eh?

Mike Lorrey