What Richard Carrier Really Thinks

What Richard Carrier Really Thinks April 2, 2012

So, mercifully April Fool’s Day is over. And as you probably figured out, I lied in my post about Richard Carrier being a close friend of mine and running for Congress as an extreme libertarian who considers it an “enslavement” of the American people when they are taxed for the sake of clean air, supports legalizing dog fighting, wants to abolish public police and fire services, advocates for establishing private militias for better self-defense, and wants private citizens to excise a toll from each other when they walk on each other’s sidewalks.

The truth is we are not actually close friends. I was trying to sound cooler than I am.

I admit I had a lot of fun devising a post attributing to Richard Carrier positions (some of which were outright crazy) which he didn’t really hold by quote mining actual things he has written. I enjoyed the exercise in trying to craft something mildly plausible sounding and I liked the abstract idea of successfully fooling people. But I hate actually fooling people. I’m kind of a softie in this regard. I feel too much sympathy for embarrassed people unless they’re New York Yankees or conservative Republicans caught with Rent boys.

Usually in real life when I tease someone with a phony claim to give them a jolt, the words “just kidding” are off my tongue before they have more than 2 seconds to process it and begin to believe it. Don’t get me wrong, I love to tease people, but something about lying, even in fun, makes me feel like I’m using force on them and being unfair with them. So while yesterday I would have an initial rush of feeling accomplishment when I successfully would fool someone, I would always immediately thereafter wince and wish they had not posted anything publicly believing the falsehood.

Plus, I hoped not to do damage to Richard’s reputation! And, so, quickly to remedy that, let me recommend in no unequivocal terms, his posts titled “Factual Politics” for an incredibly incisive and thorough philosophical takedown on anarchistic and fiscal libertarian views on a wide range of subjects. I don’t just say this to make amends and to set the record straight, this series of posts is something every anarchist and every fiscal libertarian should read and grapple with. And every one who opposes either anarchist or fiscal libertarian positions should master the arguments for future debate and for thinking in coherent philosophical terms about their own more pro-social views. The series is long but well-worth reading in full:

Factual Politics (1)

Factual Politics (2)

Factual Politics (3) (mistitled as #4)

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