17 January 2011

Why I write

During the whole TSA dust up that took place a few months back, I briefly touched on (one of) the reasons that I write. The one mentioned in that post is that I write to get feedback from others about what I've written. Often times, I'll also engage in Internet debates with people about issues for this very reason. I've had at least one friend of mine tell me that she'll never be convinced of anything that I have to say to her and that she would appreciate it if I would stop arguing with her and her friends on Facebook (about political issues). I tried to explain to her that I don't argue necessarily to convince her or her friends that I'm right. Rather I do it to learn. I do it to find out that I may be wrong.

That's not the whole story, though. Libertarianism forces one to look at politics and government completely differently than the way we are taught in schools or how we are told by the media. The reason that I write is because it forces me to think things through. It forces me to examine exactly what I think and believe about something, why I think and believe it, and if I can even support those positions rationally. When I sit down to write, I know that people who read it are going to disagree. So, before I publish anything, I try to critique my own work to be sure that it is internally consistent, that I've already tried to address possible rebuttals. (Despite what it may seem like, I really don't like to "argue" with people.) There have been times when I've gotten halfway through a post and abandoned it because I didn't feel that I could make a strong or coherent enough argument.

Occasionally, though a post or two does slip through which still isn't very well thought out, written, or coherent. There are a number reasons for this (any/all of which are in play for a particular bad post):
  • I tend to write whatever is on my mind without thinking about the final product (post) as a whole.
  • I generally write in my spare time and don't devote the amount of time really necessary to write at a higher level.
  • I have a number of points I want to make about a topic, but I don't organize them ahead of time.
  • I'm just not terribly well educated (yet) about a particular topic, and the writing reflects that.

The reason I write all of this is because there are a few topics that I have in my head that I want to write about, but they're very vague ideas at this point. (The "Follow the money" post/series linked above is one of these that never got fully fleshed out.) I haven't written about them, partly because I don't write "seriously" enough for me to spend a lot of time thinking about them and form a coherent post. Well, I'm going to make a run at some, if not all, of these topics in the next few weeks. I'll do my best to post a few smaller stories and some quick commentary to keep the ten or so of you that are actually still reading interested, but the longer posts will probably be fewer and further between for awhile.


  1. And besides, it's extremely difficult to convince a LIEberal that they are wrong since most of what they believe (believe!) is based on emotions and faith rather than logic and reason. If they were logical and reasonable, they wouldn't hold left of center beliefs.

    As the great liberal songstress once sang: "Feelings, nothing more than feelings...".

  2. To the above commenter: Hmmm... Sounds like a pretty oversimplified view of someone different from you. While there are people of all political stripes that operate out of emotion instead of reason, there are many who hold left of center views that are quite thoughtful and reasonable. You may not see them as correct (and you certainly don't need to)... But reasonable people exist in all walks of life. I find that befriending them and seeing the world from their perspective has made my life a much fuller one. Just a thought...

  3. @Dandapani: Not to pile on, but I think that the same could be said of people who are "right of center". To me the argument isn't about left or right. It's about the role of the state. The belief that the right wants smaller government while the left wants bigger is widely held, but in reality isn't true. They both want (or at least work toward, intentionally or not) bigger government, just in different areas.

    I alluded to this when I mentioned that libertarianism forces one to think differently about government and it's something that I want to explore in later posts.

  4. If I were to attempt to answer the same question, I would be very pleased if this is what I had written as my answer. Reading this made me wish I had more time to write again.

  5. Nicely said. When talking to my Liberal (and Right-wing) friends I often beg them to convince me that one or the other of these two parties will ever do us any good and that they are not both trains on parallel tracks leading the nation swiftly toward a cliff. How much happier I would be, I argue, if I could ONLY believe that the Democrats (or Republicans) had our best interests at heart and believed in freedom and the U.S. Constitution. *SIGH*

  6. Mucho respect Johnny Edge. Keep up the fight and keep reading Lew Rockwell. He and his creed is the best of the best.

  7. I'm a progressive and feel that libertarianism, if actually implemented, will result in a capitalist playground.

    But I bookmarked your blog after reading this post. I sincerely look forward to more well thought out and internally consistent posts. I'm sure there will be much I can learn from your perspective.


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