Friday, September 2, 2011

David Gordon as the Libertarian Movements Go To Man

In the movie Syriana, there is a great scene where the senior partner of a law firm is telling a mild mannered member (played by Jeffery Wright) something along the lines:
You know there are a lot of people running around here pretending to be wolves, who are really lambs. You are dressed like a lamb but you are the real wolf here.
Then the senior partner in just a few short words tells Wright what needs to be fixed and the mild mannered lawyer goes about gets the job done. Wright is the firms go to man.

When I read David Gordon, this scene comes to mind. Gordon's obvious brilliance, when meeting him in person, comes through immediately, but so does the fact that he is a mild-mannered true gentleman. But don't let the politeness of Gordon fool you into thinking he isn't going to hatchet you to pieces if you make errors when discussing libertarianism.

You have to read carefully because he does lull you with his politeness:
Matt Welch has been kind enough to respond to my review of his and Nick Gillespie’s recent book...
But the man should be registered as a lethal weapon, because once he is done with pleasantries, he can write stuff  like this:
In 1980, Murray Rothbard memorably criticized the Libertarian party campaign of Ed Clark for offering "low-tax liberalism" in place of libertarian principle. As a result he earned the enmity of the Kochtopus, an enmity that his death by no means has brought to an end. It is not hard to imagine what his opinion would have been of the pseudo-libertarian concoction we have here on offer.
For a solid example Gordon's totally devastating polite kung fu, check this out and his reply.


  1. You missed a link to David Gordon's reply:

  2. I love David Gordon! I would highly recommend his upcoming class from the Mises Academy, Economic Reasoning:

    You should never pass up the chance to study under a true genius!

  3. Yippee, more internecine libertarian wankery.

    My taxes are still too high.

  4. karen and walter block also have great artikles on reason magazine over at LRC. scumbags if you ask me.

  5. I caught David watching pro-wrestling on YouTube one morning at the Mises Institute. He's a fun and wonderful person.

  6. Wenzel,

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. David is very polite, but he is also fierce at the same time. Some time back I said that David was a softy, and he responded very politely and instructed me to read some of his book reviews (which are awesome by the way). I think that he knew exactly what I was saying, but that I chose the wrong word to express the thought. He was right and I feel embarrassed that I made such a mistake.

    It is as if the man can give you the worst intellectual beating of your life, but you won't feel beaten. Sure, you'll know that you are wrong, but you won't have that heavy feeling inside. Instead, you feel honored for having been corrected.

    I don't think that he necessarily cares about winning the argument per se, rather he wants people to really understand a particular viewpoint and give it due consideration. You don't make friends by punching them in the mouth (generally), you make them by cooperation and mutual benefit.