Lessons Learned: A Post-Mortem of the Jim Peron Affair

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Sat, 2006-10-14 01:38

"Who gained most from a clash of ideas? He who changed his mind." The Talmud, Pirkey Avot.

Earlier this week I made a mistake. I remembered from the SOLO thread on the Jim Peron affair that a poster applauded the exiling of Jim Peron from New Zealand, based on nothing more than the New Zealand Chief Censor's classification of Peron's writings as "objectionable." The poster defended his applause with the claim that "Barring entry to those that advocate genuine crimes is a legitimate function of government." I was flabbergasted enough by this claim to remember it, but I no longer remembered exactly who wrote that. And so in response to a comment on my New Zealand Travel Advisory thread, I wrote that "even New Zealand's "Objectivists" have been known to applaud the criminalization of speech .... on the say-so of your country's Chief Censor." I was rightly called on that by Duncan Bayne. On second thought, I realized that I should not have stated it this way without having dug up the citations ahead of time, and for this I apologized, and retracted my statements. Memories can be misleading, and so I went back to the original thread on the Jim Peron affair to set the record straight, whatever it was.

Reading the thread again, I quickly found the rationalization I remembered, in post 46 of that thread (see link above.) I found, as I expected to find, something that happens on many discussion threads: later comments that put earlier ones in a different light, yet posters, including myself, staying glued to their original readings. After putting it all together, I came to a view best expressed in William Dwyer in his response (post 59) to the claim I remembered:

At the risk of defending a man whom I have been credited (accused?) of exposing, let me offer the following for consideration.

First, I am no fan of Jim Peron. The man is an unconscionable liar, all the more so, because he accuses others of the very acts that he himself engages in: defamation and character assassination. Secondly, of all the defamations that he is guilty of, perhaps the worst is the defamation of libertarianism - associating it with the idea that children have the same rights as adults and the capacity to make the same decisions as adults. Peron is not alone in this view, by the way. It is more common among libertarians than you might think.

The question, though is: Should he be denied citizenship in New Zealand. The argument that he should has been advanced by several posters, who claim that the advocacy of a crime - child molestation - is itself a crime. Let me say that I don't think this view is consistent with the right to freedom of speech. It is interesting to find some New Zealand libertarians claiming that it is, because I doubt that you will find any libertarians in the U.S. maintaining that position. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has had an especially strong influence on us, which is not to say that our government feels the same way!

We make a distinction between mere advocacy and what is called "clear and present danger." For example, a person who supports violent crime in principle, but is not plotting a specific act of violence, is permitted to express his views. If, however, he is directly involved in the financing and/or material support of criminal activity, then he becomes an accessory to specific crimes and is no longer protected by the First Amendment.

The problem with criminalizing the advocacy of crime is that people can disagree about what should be considered a crime. Take the issue of abortion. Suppose a law were passed making partial-birth abortion illegal, and suppose that Objectivists who did not think it should be illegal were to advocate it as a right. Since it is illegal, they would be advocating criminal activity or what some consider to be the murder of an innocent child. If the advocacy of a crime were itself a crime, Objectivists would be denied freedom of speech - the freedom to express their views on this issue.

Now, it will no doubt be argued that partial-birth abortion is not in fact a crime and should not be made illegal. But the point here is that it is easy to disagree about such issues, and that well-meaning people do in fact disagree about them. To criminalize the advocacy of a crime is to close off all debate about what should and should not be made illegal. It is to silent dissent and obliterate all intellectual discussion of controversial issues.

The issue of child pornography is relevant here. Should it be protected by the First Amendment? In order for a crime to be committed, there must be a victim. Now if the child is subjected to sexual abuse in the process of producing the pornography, then we can agree that there is a victim, the child himself. But what about cases in which there is no sexual abuse? Some time ago, a mother was arrested on charges of child pornography, after she had taken pictures of her kids in the bathtube and sent the negatives to a Kodak developer. After seeing the pictures, the developer notified the police, who arrested her. While at university, I visited one of my professors in her office and noticed a naked picture of her son posted on her wall. Is this child pornography? Should the police have been notified and the professor arrested? You see the problem. For some people, these pictures would be considered pornographic; for others, they would not; obscenity is in the eye of the beholder. But in neither case were the children victims of sexual abuse. In the absence of such abuse, the pictures are protected under the First Amendment.

The appropriate response to someone like Jim Peron is for decent people to ostracize him, not for the state to expropriate his property and to deny him the right to live where he chooses. What Peron has done to the cause of libertarianism is disgraceful; what libertarians who want him deported are doing to it is even more disgraceful!

It is not surprising that Dwyer's comment was more cogent that mine. He had reliable, first-hand information; I had none from sources I judged reliable enough to base a moral judgment on. (One of my sources, Barbara Branden, proved to be worse than unreliable, a manipulator and a liar.)

Still, I'm rather proud of the fact that I never lost my grasp of political principles and historical precedent. I also confirmed my evaluation of MSK and his clique as enemies of principles qua principles. MSK was particularly adept at manipulating everyone's understandable revulsion at Peron's doings into a totalitarian repudiation of principles and logic, and substituting, in place of principles, a pragmatic calculation of short range interests. MSK went so far as to endorse, in post 44, the prosecution and imprisonment of Capone by the Feds for tax evasion. What that precedent did to individual rights of all generations of Americans up to our own was, according to MSK, less important than that Al Capone's immediate neighbors and competitors were safer, for a few years, while the capo di capi was in prison.

What did surprise me was Linz Perigo's (in post 60) response to Dwyer and, presumably, everyone who didn't buy into MSK's program of the primacy of revulsion over cognition:

Bill, you champion - nice to see you posting here. You paid a terrible price at Peron's vindictive hands for speaking the truth, till you were finally vindicated.

I must disagree with this statement, though:

"What Peron has done to the cause of libertarianism is disgraceful; what libertarians who want him deported are doing to it is even more disgraceful!"

The latter would be guilty of inconsistency born of understandable revulsion; they would be mistaken. Peron is guilty of far, far worse.

On re-reading this post I was struck by two things. The first is that Lindsay Perigo never failed to recognize that for "libertarians" to want Jim Peron deported was an "inconsistency," a lapse in logic, a wrong, a mistake. I missed that on first reading, probably because of what Linz rightly identifies as my tendency to be "a monologuer & a very bad listener." And, because I missed it on first reading, I pestered Linz on two subsequent occasions for what I wrongly thought was a wavering from principle - because I didn't read what he wrote deeply enough. This was a failure on my part - a failure that I will work to correct - and an injustice to Linz, for which this is an unconditional apology.

Not an excuse, but I think it likely that Linz deliberately made the point as he did (indirectly, in a passing reference to another poster's argument) so that only the most attentive readers would get it, and so that inattentive readers, among whom I should not have been, would miss it. I hope that Linz will correct me on this point if I'm wrong, but I think that Linz was deliberately, and for good tactical reasons, de-emphasizing anything that could be twisted by enemies of liberty into a defense of Jim Peron. More on that below.

The second thing is that, from an Objectivist writing about Objectivists, calling "inconsistency born of revulsion" a mere "mistake" would be unexpected. I guess that Linz was trying to bridge the ever-widening gap between non-Objectivist "libertarians" and Objectivists. Objectivists know that emotions are not tools of cognition. And in Ayn Rand's moral theory the root of all evil is the compromise of cognition ("inconsistency,") in order to act on faith or whims or emotions ("understandable revulsion") instead. Fundamentally, the rapist's and pederast's evil is different only in scope, not in kind, from that of any man who indulges in "inconsistency" to gratify his "revulsion."

Yet the above is unexpected only if it is read as a debate about ideas. Having read everything that Perigo posted on SOLO about the whole Jim Peron mess, I now understand that he was mainly engaged not in debate but in damage control. And in the context of damage control, the priority was to have a chorus of "Libertarians" and "Objectivists" proclaim their total moral condemnation of Peron the Namblaphile. Even if the loudest voice in that chorus was MSK advocating the total abandonment of principles as such. And any argument that ascribed rights to Peron, and a violation of those rights to New Zealand's Chief Censor and its Immigration officers, was dangerous because it would be twisted in the common mind, by enemies of liberty, into association of Libertarians with a Namblaphile.

In Linz's place I would have done the same, if only I'd been smart enough to. Jim Peron's lies created an emergency that, without maximal damage control, could have destroyed the entire Libertarian movement in New Zealand. Which is why I would never put myself in Linz's place. As long as the defense of liberty can be reduced by the lies of one jerk to a matter of damage control, is is indeed "earlier than you think." Even in New Zealand. Perhaps especially in New Zealand.

The most persistent vestige of the Jim Peron affair is that some activists have come to think that the primacy of emotion over cognition is a badge of moral virtue (which, in the context of damage control, in a sense it was.) But men don't live in lifeboats. In normal life, moral indignation, like any emotion, is moral only if it is integrated enough with logic and principle to exclude unreason and inconsistency, not invite them in. Unreason, even if born of an understandable emotion, is not a mere mistake but the ultimate foundation of evil. Time for repairs - for real damage control - not in public relations, but in philosophical fundamentals.

So - what is to be done?

Reason - in the Objectivist sense of logic operating on the evidence of the senses - is the only moral foundation for virtuous passion and for passionate virtue. In the normal context of human life, reason is the foundation and pivot on which the selfishly virtuous man engineers the force of his passion.

To permit the opposite, to let passion subordinate and even injure one's reason, to excuse "inconsistency" as a tolerable consequence of "understandable revulsion," is to drain both reason and right passion of the purpose and source of their strength.

The subordination of reason to faith or passion is the primary source of the greatest evils in the world. The subordination of reason to faith is, as I pointed out before, the prime mover of child rape and child abuse in the world. A man who subordinates his reason to "the inner voice of God in his soul" subordinates it to anti-reason: when he thinks that he is listening to "the inner voice of God in his soul," he is in fact listening to, and handing his soul over to, the voice of the last vestiges of pre-human, pre-rational, reptilian brain in his hormones and his brainstem. Take a Jim Peron, add faith, and you have Graham Capill. Or Iranian mullahs executing homosexuals, and presiding over the sale of nine-year-old girls in "marriage" to child-raping adults.

The subordination of reason to passion is the prime mover of totalitarianism. Every form of totalitarianism - Communist, Nationalist, Socialist, Militarist, Fascist, and Theocratic - gets its license for democide from what its followers believe to be a passion for righteousness. Today, the combination of passion and faith is the foundation of religious totalitarianism, of Al Qaeda and Islamic Republics and the Lord's Liberation Army, of democide in the service of the vestiges of primitive reptile in the blood pretending to be the voice of God. One does not compromise with its more lethargic followers in false hope that they will help to subdue their hyperactive brethren.

The most necessary precondition of liberty is the supremacy of reason in the minds of men. Libertarianism is the delusion that one can get to liberty without that precondition. In New Zealand, as in America, it is the delusion that there is a political shortcut to liberty. There is no shortcut to liberty, damage control or no damage control. If you want liberty, promote Reason. Without compromise. To tolerate, as allies toward some tactical advantage in the pursuit of liberty, those who compromise their reason, is a strategic error.


( categories: )

"I'm interested in what the

Robert's picture

"I'm interested in what the thread subject is about; at least there, there's some content to assess. This other stuff is not relevant to the thread."

I'm interested in why the Peron business keeps getting stirred up and why Adam is always the one holding the wooden spoon. Which is probably what Linz is wondering right now.

On the surface Adam (for reasons unknown) appears to be building a case to hang one of the Libz, or PC or Linz specifically, for alerting Winston Peters about Jim Peron's previous activities, thereby starting the whole immigration ball rolling.

Except he presents no evidence (because there is none) that Linz and PC or any Libz member had anything to do with it. 

 

Certainly, PC (and myself for that matter) publicly mused on the morality of banning Peron from the country -- after the fact. We can argue intelligently about whether the deportation was morally correct or not, but our arguments and musings are not an admission or evidence that either of us (or Linz) were the one to set Winston Peters off.

I maintain that it was Peron’s lies and attendant untrustworthiness that led to the Immigration Department to rule against him. As far as I’m aware New Zealand’s Chief Censor (as opposed to Interpol and the NZ Police) have nothing to do with immigration rulings and Adam has not produced evidence to the contrary.

There is an entirely plausible and mundane alternate explanation to Adam’s, one that doesn't require conspiracy, treachery, and emotionalism. All it requires is a internet connection and a working knowledge of Google. You see the entire Peron-NAMBLA-thing has been rumbling round the internet for some years now. William Dwyer made his allegations long before Peron ever alighted upon NZ shores. Don't believe me? Go google Jim Peron yourself! My bet is that you'll be directed straight to the archives at RoR and SOLOPassion and from there to previous Peron discussions on Atlantis (?) and beyond, all of them pre-dating Winston Peters tabling Peron’s Unbound in the NZ Parliament.

I've got news for the conspiracy theorists. NZ First (Peters' party) has access to the internet and employs full time researchers and secretaries who know how to use internet search engines. And believe it or not, Peron makes enemies outside of Libertarian circles. Oh yes, there are people out there who don’t like gay American bookshop owners! Shocking but true!

Not only it is entirely possible that Winston Peters used google and came up with the whole thing without any help from Libertarianz, it’s also the way Winston Peters tells the story! (As Linz attests in one of the discussions that Adam hyperlinked). Why would Peters lie? He has no love for a white middle-class gay Objectivist news reporter like Linz. Peters is an opportunistic, xenophobic (probably homophobic), wealth-envying, short little muck-raker who hates reporters (mainly because they like to point out his shortcomings... and man is he short!)

Compare this to Adam's (and possbily Jim's?) hypothesis:

That Peron’s secrets were safe on the internet and a US University Library [I believe that is where the copy of Unbound was unearthed by a Christian couple who’d already felt the rough side of Jim’s tongue – but that had nothing to do with their zeal to bury the bastard in his own lies. They're Christians, they love everybody, even those who tresspass against them! No! Jim is such a nice bloke, it’s only those evil Libertarianz who have it in for him].

Those secrets were so safe that the only way Peters could have found them was if somebody in Libertarianz had waived the story under Peters nose [Because Libertarianz control the internet in NZ, that’s why we are all rich beyond our wildest dreams! Muhahahahahahahahahahahahaha!].

Even then it must have taken the personal intervention of someone in the NZ Libertarianz to have Peron barred [BEWARE! A political party that has 500 members and got less than 2% of the votes in the last general election has ~that~ much power in NZ – Libertarianz is watching YOU!].

And as everybody knows, Immigration Officers don’t read the newspapers and don’t form their own independent evaluations about the people in those newspapers. They certainly don't know how to use Google and all their computers are steam-powered. It's impossible that they could have concluded that Peron was an untrustworthy piece of NAMBLA supporting shit on their own!

So you see it has to have been some emotionally deluded Libertarianz member. And it’s all understandable really:

 

According to Adam, if Linz, [who by the way is the most famous objectivist and Ayn Rand fan in New Zealand. He was a founding member of SOLO, the Libertarianz and fronted NZ’s short-lived Radio Liberty. He also mentions Ayn Rand and Objectivism and its principles every chance he gets, a fact you can confirm by listening to the archived radio broadcasts on ~this~ site.] had only mixed Objectivism into the political agitation he undertakes then Libertarianism in New Zealand would be more robust [just go to DarntonvsClark.org and see how Lillie-livered the current leader of Libertarianz is!]

 

Adam's hypothesis is total BOLLOCKS! Adam has heard hoof-beats and without looking up, has decided that they are being made by a Zebra. The only question that remains is what is possessing Adam to keep flogging his dead "Zebra" every chance he gets?

That by the way is a rhetorical question. I've got no interest in what motivates Adam to post his evidence-free thought experiments on this matter. And I shall be silent on this matter until Adam brings up concrete evidence for his suspicions. That will mean that I won't speak of it again because no such evidence exists!

Adam

Chris Cathcart's picture

I for one am not swayed by the undefined "smear" as you call it, precisely because -- by Linz's own admission -- it's uncorroborated (whatever it is), and precisely because it has no cognitive content for me. Yes, it's arbitrary. Someone saying, "I have it from some unnamed source that so and so did some unnamed evil, but I can't divulge any more and it's uncorroborated anyway" amounts to . . . well, to nothing. Unless anything more is forthcoming, there's no smear to stick to you, Adam. (If there were even any contentful claim to it, it might be called a smear, but it's nothing, and you can't even be smeared with nothing.) It may well have been some farting in the wind.

Linz has some kind of, uh, discomfort at your posting on the Peron affair. Emotions not being tools of cognition, however, he's trying to make some kind of explanation that would make sense to the rest of us explaining his source of discomfort. About the only thing that we've been given any evidence for is that Linz is discomforted, by some publicly unnamed and undefined cause. What bearing any of this has on the substance of what you've written, I'm at a loss. What bearing it has on whether you should be posting anything about this subject, I'm again at a loss. As far as anyone knows publicly, Linz has discomfort from something he himself as third party can't even corroborate, from some unnamed source that only Linz is in a position to know the reliability of. Uh, okay. But I don't see what anyone is supposed to make of it. Linz posts about his discomfort, and cognitively speaking the thread moves on as it were. If there's anything else to Linz's discomfort, and can't divulge anything publicly, then it's best to take this to private email. Otherwise, I for one am not interested, and take away exactly zero as far as any negative aspersions on your character go.

I'm interested in what the thread subject is about; at least there, there's some content to assess. This other stuff is not relevant to the thread.

Linz - The moral hole

AdamReed's picture

Linz,

The whole point of such a smear is that, without knowing what your allegation is, I have no access to justice. To win in court, I would need to prove that the allegation is false. But there is no way of proving that, not without knowing what the hell the allegation is.

Your claim that I have been given "due process" is a lesser, ordinary lie. I have not received any personal communication from you, by e-mail or any other medium, since the beginning of 2006. Nor have I received a communication from any party on your behalf. Nor have I had any notice of anything resembling this allegation in prior years. Your posting here was the very first notice I ever received of this smear.

Lest someone congratulate you on your invention, I should mention that this particular moral black hole has been known for over two thousand years. I know about it because back when I lived in Israel I had occasion to study some Talmud. In Hebrew it is called lashon harah, and it is mentioned because it is, along with murder, one of only two moral crimes that cannot be mitigated after the fact. If a person is maimed but not killed, a financial settlement may be used to hire a person to assist the victim. An ordinary lie can be proven false. But an accusation of some undefined evil, whose details the defamator has sworn an oath not to disclose, cannot be mitigated. Not only is there no way to publicly prove it false, but a public retraction will be suspect - for example, the speaker may be protecting the prior oath if its details could be reveled by insisting otherwise - and the doubt, uncertainty and fear smeared on the victim will continue anyway. So, Linz, your moral black hole is not even an original invention of yours. And, in the absence of any possibility of mitigation, you are beyond sanction.

Of course I still hope for an admission that you were wrong - not because it could undo the smear - it cannot - but because you were a moral hero, and any remnant of your past integrity would be welcome.

Adam

Lindsay Perigo's picture

If you truly believe all that, then sue me.

I shan't communicate with you further, publicly or privately, unless & until you retract it.

Linz

Linz

AdamReed's picture

Linz,

You write, "I suggest, if you are agreeable, that we take this off-list—though let me make clear that I am not going to betray any confidences or set anyone up for a witch-hunt by you."

You are, and have always been, free to send me electronic mail with whatever content you please. But so far, your behavior has been far worse than an outright lie. A lie, to the extent that it is a meaningful proposition, can be disconfirmed by evidence. But a claim that I have been reported, "by a credible source, which I agreed to keep to myself in the interests of all concerned, you included" to be so dangerous that fearless Linz has been made anxious - but that you are "not going to betray any confidences" - which damn you, you already have betrayed by posting your baseless allegation here - so that there is no possibility of refutation by facts, only a smear backed by the authority of your reputation - leaves me wishing that I knew a word that might accurately describe the moral hole it amounts to.

As for due process, I did not receive any. Due process comes before the suspect is harmed. Right now, you have already smeared me - with an unnamed smear that you have given me no opportunity even to know, much less to refute, before posting it here - with a smear that, even when proven false, will stick forever because you, Linz, have chosen to believe it to the point of posting about it, without having bothered to confront me first.

I am awaiting your explanation by e-mail. It had better be a good one.

Adam

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I haven't posted it, which is fortunate for you. I reported to you, here in public since that's where you've made your allegations of betrayal of principle by me & my colleagues, the fact that I received allegations, from a credible source, which I agreed to keep to myself in the interests of all concerned, you included. I was/am not under any obligation not to so report. Adam, I am trying, evidently without success, to explain to you why my alarm bells ring when, in conjunction with those allegations you appear to go to bat for Peron ... in the case of whose ilk, let me repeat, once bitten, twice shy. Doesn't mean I'm not "fearless," & I would encourage you not to test me on this. It does mean that I'm trying to ensure that I observe due process without setting myself, or SOLO, up for being duped or manipulated. I suggest, if you are agreeable, that we take this off-list—though let me make clear that I am not going to betray any confidences or set anyone up for a witch-hunt by you.

Linz

Linz

AdamReed's picture

In this case, it is you who is not listening. You have said that you you chose to "overlook it," whatever the damned fabrication is, and that claim of yours is flatly contradicted by the fact that you chose to post it - only without telling me exactly what the damned lie about me actually is, on the excuse that you took an oath not to disclose it. Which oath you broke already by posting about it on SOLO, with no identifying information except that it is something so frightening that even fearless Linz is "made anxious" by it.

And, if you are half the Man that I always took you for, and that I still hope you are, then if anybody else posted such a thing here, that person would not be permitted to post on SOLO again.

For some reason I wanted you to be the one saying that.

Adam

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You have not listened to my previous post.

Well, Linz

AdamReed's picture

You have NOT chosen to "overlook" it - you posted an adverse assertion about me on SOLO, with nothing but an appeal to your own authority for your implicature that it is something so bad that even fearless Linz is "made anxious" by it. But you can't give me so much as an opportunity to prove that it is false, if it is the malicious fabrication that it appears to be, because you are "bound by oath" not to.

And then you pretend to be puzzled when I ask you what you would do if anyone else had posted such a thing on SOLO.

Well, Adam ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

It was, & I am.

I have chosen to overlook it, because it's not corroborated.

But every time you went to bat for Peron, I would wonder. Anxiously. That's not to give cognitive efficacy to anxiety. But your initial willingness to be used & manipulated by Barbara, who clearly has no scruples whatsoever in the matter of defending a promoter of pedophilia, rang circumstantial alarm bells. Please try to understand that. It requires listening & overcoming your monologuer tendencies!

Linz - Huh?

AdamReed's picture

"...other information that was presented to me out of the blue which I'm oath-bound not to divulge..."

Adam—Huh?

Lindsay Perigo's picture

But please read your last post again, and tell me what you would do if someone else had posted such a thing on SOLO.

Excuse me?

Warning

Peter Cresswell's picture

Adam, not for the first time you don't know the first thing about that which you're talking, which would be funny if you weren't flinging around so much odious stuff with such abandon.

You're either a flake, an idiot or someone with an agenda that I want no part of. Either way, can I just warn others here not to take seriously any word that you say, or any so-called facts you claim to raise, since nothing of what you say is reliable.

Peter Cresswell

Linz

AdamReed's picture

Linz - I already apologized for harping on the Peron case. As for making you anxious, please check your premises.

Yes, I've had an unpleasant times with a persons who thought that "makes me anxious" had cognitive significance. I have had the experience of being defamed, and falsely arrested, by religious jerks guided by a Wittgensteinian pseudo-epistemology of cognition by "family resemblance." Maybe that was the only "epistemology" they had learned in college. Or maybe their reasons had a measure of "family resemblance" with Capill's reasons back when he was a police prosecutor. I didn't particularly wish to bring that up, but for me to remain silent in the face of your last posting would have been subject to misinterpretation.

I am more than willing to close my book on the Peron Affair. In my judgement, it was your premature libertarian activism that had put you at risk of having one jerk reduce your libertarian activism to a matter of damage control. For me now, it is lesson learned, case closed. But please read your last post again, and tell me what you would do if someone else had posted such a thing on SOLO.

Robert - thanks for the clarification.

AdamReed's picture

Robert: "I know of no Libertarianz, including Linz, PC and myself who wanted Peron forcibly exiled from NZ."

OK, so Bill Dwyer had been mistaken when he responded to PC in those terms. Thanks for the clarification, but why didn't PC ever say so himself, now or then?

As for the Flannigans, they were closely associated with Capill, and their cognition, like his, was too compromised by faith for me to consider them credible. You, Linz, and PC may have had first-hand knowledge that the Flannigans' corroborated. I didn't and don't.

Peter - yes, a fascist

AdamReed's picture

Peter - I apologized for stating that she was a fascist in her old age, when the import of that fact might have been mitigated by senility. It turned out, on checking, that she was still quite far from her old age when she was a card-carrying member of the Fascist Party and a high official, Inspector of Schools, in the Fascist State. Then she was buddies with Catalonian Syndicalists. Then, in her actual old age, with Hindu mystics. So she was a genius, and also a flake. Many other geniuses were flakes too. When on Earth did I ever say anything false enough for you to have any justification for calling me a "hater of the good?"

"Peron was repetedly

Robert's picture

"Peron was repetedly investigated by FBI agents who were on mission to put everyone associated with Nambla behind bars"

And you know the scope of the FBI investigation? Amazing! The fact that Peron was investigated by the FBI is news to me, as far as I knew, his bookstore was raided by the SFPD.

"But as a reason to want him forcibly exiled "

I know of no Libertarianz, including Linz, PC and myself who wanted Peron forcibly exiled from NZ. I didn't lift a finger to help or hinder Peron's immigration case. That is a false charge that you have invented.

Peron's principal antagonists were Winston Peters (who was after a stick to beat Rodney Hide with) and the Flannigans who dredged up the evidence to counter Peron's lies.  

Capone

Chris Cathcart's picture

I know it's a side issue, but I'm curious about the justification for nailing Capone on tax evasion. What was MSK's argument on this? I can see how it would be an act of justice in some sense to get a dangerous criminal behind bars, by nailing him on whatever law one can. It doesn't justify the existence of unjust laws, though as long as such laws are on the books, one is engaging in due procedural justice to prosecute him under those laws. That's not even an argument for expending resources to prosecute anyone else that isn't otherwise engaging in criminal activities. To be sure, in a system of objective jurisprudence, a prosecutor wouldn't be able to pursue Capone on the basis of such laws and would (as a matter of professional obligations and considerations of procedural justice) have to pursue due process on the basis of proper, right, and just laws. Now, it would be (so-called?) substantive (as distinct from procedural) justice to frame someone that one knows is a dangerous criminal, but that's not good policy to pursue, given that one could be found out for the framing and that in an objective criminal justice system one needs to go on the basis of what one can prove, not what one might even privately know.

Now, I haven't any idea if these things were properly taken into consideration by MSK in his defense of Capone's prosecution for tax evasion. If it were me, no one would be prosecuted under such laws because such laws wouldn't exist at all. And there are all kinds of people unjustly prosecuted under these laws because these laws themselves are unjust. In Capone's case, however, what's the injustice? Like any murderous criminal, the only "rights" he claims in a legal system is a right of due process. On top of that, Capone knows the tax laws of his country, and takes his risks accordingly. And so he got put behind bars by disobeying the laws. In the case of a murderous criminal, I don't see the problem; I'd say that a justice-minded prosecutor should want to get someone like him put behind bars by whatever legal means necessary.

Adam

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I wouldn't want you giving me credit when by your lights it's not due. All things being equal, it would be an inconsistency to advocate freedom of speech & then support the deportation of someone simply because of ideas he'd expressed. But all things were not equal in the case of Peron. By the time Peron, who was not a NZ citizen, was "deported" (actually, refused re-entry) it was known that he had lied about his abetting of a group of practising force-initiators (pedophiles), NAMBLA, about his publishing of a magazine endorsing such force-initiation, and that he'd defamed anyone who raised questions about this. Would a hypothetical libertarian government be obligated to re-admit such a person? Was our actual government? As I said in a more recent post, I genuinely think one can plausibly argue the toss either way, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over our actual government's actual decision (not to re-admit him). You charged in with accusations of betrayal of principle not just by me but by any number of local freedom fighters who, unlike you, had full knowledge of the specifics of the case—knowledge uncompromised by what you now, thankfully, acknowledge to be Barbara Branden's lying manipulation of you on Peron's behalf through this episode. That's what pissed me off.

My being pissed off was subsequently compounded by a suspicion, based on your own brush with the law and other information that was presented to me out of the blue which I'm oath-bound not to divulge, that you might have an agenda here that had nothing to do with the philosophically consistent advocacy of freedom. To this day I wonder why you are like a dog with a bone on this matter, which it's surely time to put to rest?

Now, you've subsequently seen fit to explain publicly that you've been in strife on occasion because of your being attracted to adults who look like teenagers. In which case, none of it is anyone else's business. But understand, having been bitten once helping Peron get into the country, I'm twice shy about having SOLO used as a forum for an alien agenda under an Objectivist guise, and that your harping on about the Peron case makes me anxious.

Linz

Dishonest again.

Peter Cresswell's picture

ADAM: "Not long ago, I mentioned some well-known facts from Maria Montessori's life - and Peter Cresswell was was all upset because those facts evoked in him the wrong emotions. So I was called "hater of the Good" and all that by Peter and several others."

You are again dishonest.

The fact is that quite out of the blue you called Dr Montessori a fascist, which as was pointed out at length was not just very far from a well-known fact, it was wrong, which after much arguing you eventually conceded and apologised for.

It's now clear that an apology from you is about as meaningful as your analysis, which in this thread at least takes the form more of confessional than it does of serious analysis.

Your absurd claims do not merit any serious response.

Peter Cresswell

Robert - many points...

AdamReed's picture

Robert -

a. "Care to name names?"

No, I don't keep lists. And there are too many. Not long ago, I mentioned some well-known facts from Maria Montessori's life - and Peter Cresswell was was all upset because those facts evoked in him the wrong emotions. So I was called "hater of the Good" and all that by Peter and several others. If you want a list, look up that thread.

b. "Material support"

Peron was repetedly investigated by FBI agents who were on mission to put everyone associated with Nambla behind bars. If they had found so much as an unpaid parking ticket, or a wrongly checked box on one of thousands of pages of mandatory tax forms, he would be a convicted felon or a fugitive from justice. Same thing, and likely worse, if there had been evidence that he had ever given actual material support to a criminal, for which California and the federal government of the United States have the free world's broadest and most far-reaching conspiracy laws. "Material support" is an imaginative metaphor for some forms of constitutionally protected association and speech. But mistaking the metaphorical for the actual is a symptom of emotionalism.

c. "Perhaps, it was the realisation that Peron was the very thing you accuse Barbara Brandon to be, a liar and a manipulator in addition to -- at the very least -- being an advocate for fucking kids."

As Bill wrote in the post I cited, a good reason to shun him. But as a reason to want him forcibly exiled I agree with Linz: an incosistency in the application of political principles, and a mistake in logic.

1. "Is a country under a moral obligation to expend vast quantities of money and effort to clarify factual waters that the applicant himself is furiously muddying?"

No. But it is under moral obligation to refrain from promulgating non-objective laws - and therfore bears sole moral responsibility for all the consequences of having non-objective laws, including this one.

2. "Is it beyond the scope of Police powers to ask "what the hell else is Peron trying to hide?"

Of cause it isn't - and I support their asking the FBI for Peron's file. What I don't support is forcibly exiling him even though that file contained no evidence of anything criminal.

3. "Should a legitimate function of government be hamstrung because another branch of the government is exerting its power illegitimately?"

Yes. "I'm just obeying orders from another branch of government" is not even a coherent excuse, much less a valid principle of politics.

4. See 1.

d. "What comes first, the philosophy or the political activism? ... That argument has been done to death."

Not to death, because my article concerns specific additional evidence about how the principle at issue works in the real world. If one is inconsistent in the application of political philosophy, then one's political activism will hinder, rather than help, the cause of promoting reason - and thus set back, instead of advancing, the cause of liberty.

Adam

Robert's picture

"The most persistent vestige of the Jim Peron affair is that some activists have come to think that the primacy of emotion over cognition is a badge of moral virtue"

Care to name names?

"To criminalize the advocacy of a crime..."

I agree that mere advocacy of a crime is not a vice worthy of criminal punishment (moral condemnation is a different matter). But in your example, PC wasn't accusing Peron of mere advocacy. Peron stood accused of providing material support to an organisation long suspected of providing material support to pederasts and pedophiles, some of whom have been convicted while holding high offices within its ranks. Adam, do you have an objection to going after those who fund and lend moral "Go Bin Laden, behead those cartoon-drawing infidels" type support to terrorists?

Additionally, I submit that if the applicant lies to people as much as Peron did about his NAMBLA affiliations, that that would automatically rule him out for consideration for citizenship. Some rhetorical questions to clarify my point:

(1) Is a country under a moral obligation to expend vast quantities of money and effort to clarify factual waters that the applicant himself is furiously muddying?

(2) Is it beyond the scope of Police powers to ask "what the hell else is Peron trying to hide?"

(3) Suppose the Police say "Mr Peron you've been lying through your teeth about serious matters. We don't trust you. We are going to exclude you from this country until the truth comes out." Are the Police abusing their powers or are they judiciously performing their sworn duty to protect the citizens of NZ from nasty foriegners? Does NZ have the moral right to exclude nasty foriegners? Should NZ give foreigners the benefit of the doubt when they are caught in a lie, in case they were lying about a victimless crime? In other words, should a legitimate function of government be hamstrung because another branch of the government is exerting its power illegitimately?

(4) And is not the wasting Police/Immigration Service time, by lying and obfuscating, a legitimate crime? Should we forget that taxation is theft and ignore how much stolen money is wasted in such an instance?

As for your charges of emotionalism:

Peron was initially knocked back for a work VISA out of political bias. That decision was rightly reversed with the help of the Libertarianz you accuse of being deluded. Some of those same Libertarianz (myself included) then decided to wash their hands with Peron after they'd determined that the man had been lying to them on other matters (the NAMBLA thing had yet to surface fully). You dismiss their reluctance to go to bat for Peron a second time, when the NAMBLA thing had surfaced, as emotionalism.

May I offer an alternate hypothesis? Perhaps, it was the realisation that Peron was the very thing you accuse Barbara Brandon to be, a liar and a manipulator in addition to -- at the very least -- being an advocate for fucking kids. The latter being one more straw added to the camel's already broken back. Tell me Adam, is it logical to lend aid to a man whom you know to be a liar?

I'm not my brother's keeper and just as the USA isn't under a moral obligation to liberate every slave pen in the world, I'm under no moral obligation to defend every creep who crosses my path.

The rest of your complaints boil down to the "chicken vs egg" argument. What comes first, the philosophy or the political activism? I believe in giving 'em both barrels at the same time. But that argument has been done to death before .

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