Eric Raymond came out of his blogging hiatus to add his two cents (three cents, in Eric’s case — he’s just that good) to the Great Libertarian Debate of ’04.
UPDATE: Now that I’ve finally finished reading the thing (inbetween bouts of tinkering with the venison chili I’m making), here’s the choice bit:
…Having conceded the present necessity of state action makes it more necessary, not less, that we listen to the most contrary, ornery, anti-statist libertarians we have, and to hold harder than ever to our intentions for a libertarian future. Otherwise we risk becoming too comfortable with that concession, and letting the statists seduce us further down that road to serfdom.
Does this mean we can’t slam the LP for its attribution of the 9/11 attacks to American foreign policy? No, you’re right; that position is not just wrong, it bespeaks a lack of moral seriousness and a kind of blinkered parochialism that cannot actually see anything outside of U.S. politics as having causal force.
But there is a big difference between observing that the LP is contingently wrong about the liberation of Iraq (true) and suggesting that our only course is to abandon our longer-term commitment to the abolition of drastic shrinking of the state (false). Beware of throwing out that baby with the bathwater.
As the InstaMan would say, “Indeed.”