Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Wrong Kind of Radicalism

 

Let’s talk about marijuana. On second thought, let’s not. Instead, let’s talk about counterproductive political movements and how they turn people off from otherwise worthwhile messages. The protest this past Saturday outside the White House at which proponents of legalized marijuana decided to light up at 4:20 PM present the worst kind of stupidity. Honestly, grow-up, people. If a bunch of home distilling enthusiasts decided to get drunk in public outside the White House, they would have been arrested. The same should have happened to these yahoos.

Reason Magazine — for my money, the world’s greatest political magazine — covered the protests and posted the above video through their youtube channel. This was unbelievably stupid. The way to win an argument for liberty is to show that freedom will be matched with responsibility; the way to lose the same argument is to demonstrate that the freedom will be enjoyed solely by libertine scofflaws.

A reggae music and hippie-themed vibe sure is fun — and I’m all for letting one’s freak flag fly on occasion — but Reason and the liberty movement are just consigning themselves to a losing argument when they behave this way. Congratulations on setting back liberty by acting like myopic children.

The public will not buy a message of radical liberty unless it is coupled with one of radical responsibility.

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  1. ctlaw Coolidge

    Like!

    • #1
    • April 4, 2016, at 11:50 AM PDT
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  2. Could Be Anyone Member

    But, but, but bruh, it was totally sweeeeyyyyyy. We were like protesting the evil establishment. That whole virtue thing just kills my vibes ya know, its a total downer mannnnnnn…….

    • #2
    • April 4, 2016, at 11:52 AM PDT
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  3. Richard Fulmer Member

    NR opposes drug laws because of the damage the laws have done and are still doing. My take from reading Reason articles is that they oppose drug laws because they like drugs.

    • #3
    • April 4, 2016, at 11:53 AM PDT
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  4. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk andJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The rule is that the FDA has a system for classifying the legality of pharmaceutical substances.

    Why should marijuana be an exception to this rule? If the FDA’s classification of marijuana is incorrect, why should we have any faith in the FDA’s competence to classify the myriad other pharmaceutical substances that are out there?

    I’m not against the legalization of marijuana. I’m against treating marijuana as a special exception.

    • #4
    • April 4, 2016, at 11:56 AM PDT
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  5. PHenry Member

    This ‘protest’ appears especially pointless now, since pot is essentially legal in DC. So they find one of the few spots that it is banned, and protest there… Yes, it seems counter productive and stupid.

    But, it worked for the same sex marriage movement, the single motherhood movement, slut shaming and free the breast, you name it. Offensively in your face seems to be a productive strategy somehow?

    • #5
    • April 4, 2016, at 12:12 PM PDT
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  6. PHenry Member

    Misthiocracy: legality of pharmaceutical substances

    is a plant a pharmaceutical substance? Are any other plants, as taken from the ground, considered such? ( I am asking, I don’t know the answer.)

    • #6
    • April 4, 2016, at 12:15 PM PDT
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  7. Larry3435 Member

    Misthiocracy: If the FDA’s classification of marijuana is incorrect, why should we have any faith in the FDA’s competence to classify the myriad other pharmaceutical substances that are out there?

    Is there someone who has any faith in the FDA’s competence? Interesting. I’d like to play poker with this unusual person.

    • #7
    • April 4, 2016, at 12:33 PM PDT
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  8. Larry3435 Member

    PHenry:

    Misthiocracy: legality of pharmaceutical substances

    is a plant a pharmaceutical substance? Are any other plants, as taken from the ground, considered such? ( I am asking, I don’t know the answer.)

    The FDA has been trying to get their grubby little jurisdictional hands on tobacco for decades.

    • #8
    • April 4, 2016, at 12:34 PM PDT
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  9. Titus Techera Contributor

    Radical responsibility–what a hoot. Reason is your favorite publication? To get something with a more outrageously funny title, you’d have to like The nation!

    Sure, this is a ridiculous thing to do, but what are you gonna do? I’d like you better if you faced the possibility that libertarians & their magazine really do think about marijuana the way these actions suggest–well, shout out loud, I should say.

    You seem to be saying, we libertarians have a messaging problem! I know many conservatives who say that about our own troubles. Yours might actually be close to a messaging problem, come to think of it. America might turn around to legalize marijuana. But that will have nothing to do with responsibility–more or less radical.

    At any rate, consider that these people are possibly being honest: That they really think liberty means liberty from responsibility. & that that is why this kind of libertarianism will be the more popular version & far more amenable to the liberal view of managing irresponsibility.

    • #9
    • April 4, 2016, at 1:27 PM PDT
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  10. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Titus Techera: I’d like you better if you faced the possibility that libertarians & their magazine really do think about marijuana the way these actions suggest–well, shout out loud, I should say.

    While I think Reason runs some decent articles, especially investigative stuff on how an overweening state helps to keep the little man down, and what the alternatives to that might be, I doubt all libertarians are obligated to think of Reason as “their magazine”.

    • #10
    • April 4, 2016, at 1:32 PM PDT
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  11. Titus Techera Contributor

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Titus Techera: I’d like you better if you faced the possibility that libertarians & their magazine really do think about marijuana the way these actions suggest–well, shout out loud, I should say.

    While I think Reason runs some decent articles, especially investigative stuff on how an overweening state helps to keep the little man down, and what the alternatives to that might be, I doubt all libertarians are obligated to think of Reason as “their magazine”.

    I’d agree that people like Mr. Radley Balko do good work, despite opinions that raise my eyebrow at least. As for the other matter–all movements move predominantly in one direction or they’re not movements. It’s gonna go the way Mr. Locket would prefer or, as I believe, another way.

    Mr. Kevin Williamson recently noted–on the flagship podcast–they should call it the yellow submarine edition, methinks–that he thinks my opinion is right–the future is what he likes to call national socialism. I, of course, do not think of it that way; I also do not think his way of thinking is helpful or productive, as Mr. Lockett might say.

    But of course, each one of us has to try to give reasons & evidence as to the turn of events. I was merely surprised that the man failed to notice the most obvious possibility he described!

    • #11
    • April 4, 2016, at 1:44 PM PDT
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  12. Hammer, The Member

    Agreed.

    As a political matter, I don’t care all that much about pot. I started to turn anti-pro-pot based pretty much solely on my pot-head friends. It’s one thing to want to do something, and even to push for laws that allow you to do what you want. But listening to these people rant about medical marijuana – and knowing how ridiculously insincere it all was – turned me off almost completely to any legitimate arguments that existed.

    • #12
    • April 4, 2016, at 2:36 PM PDT
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  13. Paul Dougherty Member

    RyanM:Agreed.

    As a political matter, I don’t care all that much about pot. I started to turn anti-pro-pot based pretty much solely on my pot-head friends. It’s one thing to want to do something, and even to push for laws that allow you to do what you want. But listening to these people rant about medical marijuana – and knowing how ridiculously insincere it all was – turned me off almost completely to any legitimate arguments that existed.

    Sad thing is that they (pro-legalization potheads) don’t shut up about it even after it gets legalized, against all hope. They will always and forever be annoying.

    • #13
    • April 4, 2016, at 2:46 PM PDT
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  14. Carey J. Inactive

    I don’t agree with Jamie very often, but this was … really dumb.

    • #14
    • April 4, 2016, at 6:17 PM PDT
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  15. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy WeivodaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jamie Lockett: The recent protests outside the White House in which proponents of legalized marijuana decided to light up at 4:20 PM are the worst kind of stupidity. Honestly, grow-up, people. If a bunch of home distilling enthusiasts decided to get drunk in public outside the White House they would have been arrested.

    Good point. If you are trying to persuade the public that gun owners are largely normal, non-threatening people who should be given more legal latitude, you don’t hold a rally where people are encouraged to wear camo fatigues and black face paint, looking like a bunch of Rambo wannabes.

    • #15
    • April 4, 2016, at 6:19 PM PDT
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  16. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett

    Randy Weivoda:

    Jamie Lockett: The recent protests outside the White House in which proponents of legalized marijuana decided to light up at 4:20 PM are the worst kind of stupidity. Honestly, grow-up, people. If a bunch of home distilling enthusiasts decided to get drunk in public outside the White House they would have been arrested.

    Good point. If you are trying to persuade the public that gun owners are largely normal, non-threatening people who should be given more legal latitude, you don’t hold a rally where people are encouraged to wear camo fatigues and black face paint, looking like a bunch of Rambo wannabes.

    That’s a much better metaphor and I’m sad I didn’t think of it first.

    • #16
    • April 4, 2016, at 6:32 PM PDT
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  17. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy WeivodaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jamie Lockett:

    Randy Weivoda:

    Jamie Lockett: The recent protests outside the White House in which proponents of legalized marijuana decided to light up at 4:20 PM are the worst kind of stupidity. Honestly, grow-up, people. If a bunch of home distilling enthusiasts decided to get drunk in public outside the White House they would have been arrested.

    Good point. If you are trying to persuade the public that gun owners are largely normal, non-threatening people who should be given more legal latitude, you don’t hold a rally where people are encouraged to wear camo fatigues and black face paint, looking like a bunch of Rambo wannabes.

    That’s a much better metaphor and I’m sad I didn’t think of it first.

    Oh, I like your analogy, too, probably because I think people ought to be able to distill their own spirits if they want to. If you’re mass producing it for sale, I can understand having some regulation but if it’s for your own consumption, why should the law stop you from making homemade hooch?

    • #17
    • April 4, 2016, at 6:40 PM PDT
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  18. Zafar Member

    Jamie Lockett:The recent protests outside the White House in which proponents of legalized marijuana decided to light up at 4:20 PM are the worst kind of stupidity.

    I see your point wrt political optics, but it does have the virtue of honesty. People want to legalise marijuana so that they [or someone else] can smoke it, right? That, specifically, is the freedom they’re demanding.

    The public will not buy a message of radical liberty until we can show that it will be coupled with radical responsibility.

    But people are starting to buy this “legalise pot because it’s your business what you put in your body if you’re an adult and don’t hurt other people” thing. Baby steps.

    Imho that’s why the police didn’t make any arrests. Those protesters were clearly no danger to anybody, arresting them would have been ridiculous in the eyes of the public – illustrating that the law, as it currently stands, is ridiculous. Like Prohibition was.

    • #18
    • April 4, 2016, at 6:52 PM PDT
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  19. Zafar Member

    Randy Weivoda:

    Good point. If you are trying to persuade the public that gun owners are largely normal, non-threatening people who should be given more legal latitude, you don’t hold a rally where people are encouraged to wear camo fatigues and black face paint, looking like a bunch of Rambo wannabes.

    If you are arguing from the position that gun ownership is a right, then while that approach is attractive I think it’s a mistake – because it cedes the point that this right isn’t intrinsic but is contingent on how the majority perceives an individual or group on the basis of externalities like clothing or appearance.

    Same thing (no, really) happened with Gay Liberation. There was a crowd that thought that acting like everybody else was the non-threatening way to gain the right to be different without censure – but that was contradictory, and in the end it was extreme outlyers (eg drag queens) who created (and still create) the boundaries of that space and that right for everybody else.

    • #19
    • April 4, 2016, at 7:01 PM PDT
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  20. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy WeivodaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Zafar:

    Randy Weivoda:

    Good point. If you are trying to persuade the public that gun owners are largely normal, non-threatening people who should be given more legal latitude, you don’t hold a rally where people are encouraged to wear camo fatigues and black face paint, looking like a bunch of Rambo wannabes.

    If you are arguing from the position that gun ownership is a right, then while that approach is attractive I think it’s a mistake – because it cedes the point that this right isn’t intrinsic but is contingent on how the majority perceives an individual or group on the basis of externalities like clothing or appearance.

    Same thing (no, really) happened with Gay Liberation. There was a crowd that thought that acting like everybody else was the non-threatening way to gain the right to be different without censure – but that was contradictory, and in the end it was extreme outlyers (eg drag queens) who created (and still create) the boundaries of that space and that right for everybody else.

    I’m a little skeptical, Zafar. I think when many people see a gay pride parade featuring floats with men in ass-less leather chaps being spanked by other men dressed as nuns, it makes it easier to think of gay people as being just a bunch of freaks, rather than regular people with just one variation.

    While I may think of gun ownership as a right, a lot of Americans are going to base their judgement of whether or not something is a right on how uncomfortable said right makes them feel. Ask a bunch of Americans if they support freedom of the press and they’ll say Sure! Then show them some printed materials that they find deeply objectionable and they are not so sure.

    • #20
    • April 4, 2016, at 7:27 PM PDT
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  21. Zafar Member

    Randy Weivoda:

    I’m a little skeptical, Zafar. I think when many people see a gay pride parade featuring floats with men in ass-less leather chaps being spanked by other men dressed as nuns, it makes it easier to think of gay people as being just a bunch of freaks, rather than regular people with just one variation.

    Sure, but the freedom of freaks to be themselves establishes the right of everybody to be themselves far more comprehensively than the freedom of “regular people who just happen to be homosexual why you really could hardly tell” to be themselves does.

    While I may think of gun ownership as a right, a lot of Americans are going to base their judgement of whether or not something is a right on how uncomfortable said right makes them feel.

    In the end appeasement, and that’s what marketing a group as mainstream and unobjectionable is, does not work – because once you give other people’s [subjective] discomfort a formal gatekeeper role their demands for reassurance will never end – because that role gives them power, and power is never ceded willingly.

    If a right is dependent on making other people feel comfortable [subjective], rather than on some objective criteria, it’s moved from being a right to being something else. (I don’t know what.)

    Also – I hope that Americans are a bit more committed to freedom of speech, and freedom of belief and expression, than that.

    • #21
    • April 4, 2016, at 8:23 PM PDT
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  22. TKC1101 Inactive

    Apparently the problem of chronic unemployment and surplus people has been found. Next step is mandatory inhalation…

    • #22
    • April 4, 2016, at 9:17 PM PDT
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  23. Titus Techera Contributor

    Randy Weivoda:

    Jamie Lockett: The recent protests outside the White House in which proponents of legalized marijuana decided to light up at 4:20 PM are the worst kind of stupidity. Honestly, grow-up, people. If a bunch of home distilling enthusiasts decided to get drunk in public outside the White House they would have been arrested.

    Good point. If you are trying to persuade the public that gun owners are largely normal, non-threatening people who should be given more legal latitude, you don’t hold a rally where people are encouraged to wear camo fatigues and black face paint, looking like a bunch of Rambo wannabes.

    Metaphor police! Metaphor police! That is not a metaphor. I think people today use the word analogy. That is sufferable. Let us, however, return to likeness or simile. He’s saying this is like that. It’s an image–call it a good image. We have a war to wage on metaphor in politics…

    • #23
    • April 4, 2016, at 11:06 PM PDT
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  24. Titus Techera Contributor

    Zafar:In the end appeasement, and that’s what marketing a group as mainstream and unobjectionable is, does not work – because once you give other people’s [subjective] discomfort a formal gatekeeper role their demands for reassurance will never end – because that role gives them power, and power is never ceded willingly.

    If a right is dependent on making other people feel comfortable [subjective], rather than on some objective criteria, it’s moved from being a right to being something else. (I don’t know what.)

    Also – I hope that Americans are a bit more committed to freedom of speech, and freedom of belief and expression, than that.

    Well, Britain used to be committed to freedom of speech, too, but now other freedoms are being touted while people are arrested for their speeches, to teach others not to do likewise.

    I’d love to hear your explanations about that–& I hope they acknowledge that destroying or dismantling the freedom to speak about the most important things–justice & divine justice!–started by people claiming a right just like the people in your example.

    The notion that claiming rights is the way to go or that people should only consider their own opinions in a political disagreement, & turn every disagreement into a constitutional matter–if you can call it a right, you can win the fight!–in defiance of civil peace or public order is foolish.

    As for rights, of course they have some relation to the community & are therefore not absolute!

    • #24
    • April 4, 2016, at 11:13 PM PDT
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  25. Titus Techera Contributor

    The end result of people thinking every thing they like should be a right & that no authority should stand against their desire is, of course, the destruction of all community.

    Where to stop along that way–what desires should be criminalized & which should not be–apparently, thinking about this is impossible, especially to the advocates of change. It takes one constitutional revelation after another to figure out where the public finds policing & the laws ridiculous–& where, therefore, more individual rights should be declared. The thoughtlessness of the process is apparently an argument in its favor, if an implied, rather than a stated argument, which, after all, is fitting.

    Presumably, there are some things democracy will not legalize. At some point–who knows where?–the quest for rights will have to end. There will be some common authority left & therefore some community. The people will not collapse into mere people. I’m not sure what the strength of this assumption is or on what ground it stands–it is certainly an abandonment of all previously known grounds. The gospel of freedom has no knowledge or nor no respect for the freedom to form a community together, which is declared in the old instruments of freedom–the organic laws of the US.

    • #25
    • April 4, 2016, at 11:26 PM PDT
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  26. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Jamie, thank you for your lucid, clear post. I’ll quibble that you rather directly make my point that libertarianism, such that it differs from conservatism, is progressivism.

    Your disagreement with those in the streets and your preference for more refined measures are of course laudable, but lay bare the flaw. Your system only works properly with a better class of people. Yours is, by evidence of this post, an ivory tower yearning for libertarianism, in the way that Mona Charen argues for conservatism.

    Liberty is good — liberty is great! But libertarianism, while commendable for many things, cannot come close to its lofty goals — cannot even begin moving in that direction — without much straightening of crooked timber, and that’s the job of the progressive.

    • #26
    • April 5, 2016, at 2:49 AM PDT
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  27. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    PHenry:

    Misthiocracy: legality of pharmaceutical substances

    is a plant a pharmaceutical substance? Are any other plants, as taken from the ground, considered such? ( I am asking, I don’t know the answer.)

    You mean like tobacco, or mushrooms? Or hemlock?

    • #27
    • April 5, 2016, at 5:36 AM PDT
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  28. Titus Techera Contributor

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    PHenry:

    Misthiocracy: legality of pharmaceutical substances

    is a plant a pharmaceutical substance? Are any other plants, as taken from the ground, considered such? ( I am asking, I don’t know the answer.)

    You mean like tobacco, or mushrooms? Or hemlock?

    Let’s add curare & opium, for color, so to speak…

    • #28
    • April 5, 2016, at 5:43 AM PDT
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  29. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Randy Weivoda:

    Jamie Lockett: The recent protests outside the White House in which proponents of legalized marijuana decided to light up at 4:20 PM are the worst kind of stupidity. Honestly, grow-up, people. If a bunch of home distilling enthusiasts decided to get drunk in public outside the White House they would have been arrested.

    Good point. If you are trying to persuade the public that gun owners are largely normal, non-threatening people who should be given more legal latitude, you don’t hold a rally where people are encouraged to wear camo fatigues and black face paint, looking like a bunch of Rambo wannabes.

    And there are of course the morons who go toting long arms into Starbucks. I’ll dig some of that up with links to some of the angry commentary.

    Don’t get me wrong — Jamie is completely correct that this is counterproductive. I’ll argue that in the case of pot, it is also baked into the brownie, as it were. Guns don’t turn your brain to mush, and for every high-functioning (!) Mr. Hooper out there, there’s a dozen of those wrecked idiots I recall from their one and a half years in college.

    • #29
    • April 5, 2016, at 5:44 AM PDT
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  30. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Jamie Lockett: The public will not buy a message of radical liberty until we can show that it will be coupled with radical responsibility.

    Word.

    • #30
    • April 5, 2016, at 5:56 AM PDT
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