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August 16, 2008



I just stopped reading EconLog cuz they've now taken the stance that any pejoratives applied to any external group is grounds for a ban. I had in passing called NY and LA real-estate investors dimwits in one comment and statists dimbulbs in another and even though those mild pejoratives were not addressed to any other commenters, only at those external groups generally, I was told this wasn't acceptable. I argued against such an extreme comment moderation policy with the editor, Lauren, and Arnold, but they didn't care. It's funny that a libertarian blog would choose such a censorious policy, and like other blogs that have chopped or excised my comments, I won't be reading EconLog as a result.


Libertarians view blogs as private property that may be run however the owner sees fit. Having been banned there myself and running a blog whose comment section is open to Stalinists, fascists and holocaust-deniers, I am sympatico.

I recall someone saying that Nozick's clever examples were more "libertarian" because they didn't demand agreement than Rothbard's deductive natural-law in Ethics of Liberty and whatnot. I haven't read either though and think all that stuff is bunk.


I agree that it's their private property to do with as they will, that's not the issue. The issue is whether they as libertarians are following the open principles that they espouse, or whether they're simply nannies of another stripe. I wouldn't necessarily have a problem with them if they moderated comments where people made ad hominem attacks against other commenters or if they even removed comments from holocaust-deniers because they found them too extreme or hateful or whatever, though I wouldn't do the same. What I find hilarious is that they're taking their censoriousness to such an extreme that they don't allow the pejoratives that I used to be applied to ANY external group as their editor says that it's "at best a bad habit and at worst a kind of bigotry." I see, so making honest but negative statements about certain real-estate investors and statists is either a bad habit or bigotry? Even though I pointed out to the editor that it's laughable to suggest bigotry against such groups since they're not easily identifiable? An open comment policy is indicative of open minds, clearly EconLog isn't so I choose not to frequent such a blog. btw, what were your infractions that got you banned from EconLog, TGGP? I remember that you used to comment there and then didn't. I assumed it was because you were one of the people who commented so much that they told you to get your own blog, wasn't that it?


I started my own blog in September 2007. I was banned in June of 2008.

Some people like to maintain a certain atmosphere with the right kind of guests and behavior at their blog. If you violate a rule like "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" is a perfectly understandable rule that a person could be kicked out for violating. There are some (mostly on the left) who say that libertarianism should be linked to other things on "thickness grounds" and you can read more about that here:
I, personally, promote an extremely "thin" variety that may not even qualify as libertarianism. I've argued about this at places like Distributed Republic, though I don't feel like looking for links now.


Wow, that is ridiculous that they banned you for that comment, guess they've been doing this for awhile. The niceness rule that you state is only understandable in the sense that it's clear what it means, it's not at all understandable to have an open forum where criticism is banned. Not sure why you link and talk about that thick vs thin libertarian argument, unless you're implying that EconLog can still be libertarian and have an extremely censorious comment policy? First off, the thick libertarian argument brings in advocacy for all kinds of other issues, like gay rights, so it's extremely tenuous to link it to blog comment policy. Even so, I agree that they can run the blog the way they like, I just think it's inconsistent of them to trumpet the values of freedom and openness and then not practice that with their comment policy. I think the only solution is to vote with your feet and that's what I'm doing.


lung is glad that you let small atomic creatures like lung post here,

even though you are evil.



Ajay, it is "thick" libertarians who claim libertarian policy preferences should be supplemented with support for certain cultural values. In this sense, you are a somewhat "thick" libertarian with regard to EconLog's comment policies. I don't quite agree because I am so "thin".


TGGP, I advocate no such cultural agenda, as I already specifically stated, I'm simply talking about logical consistency. If EconLog is going to gripe about authoritarian practices elsewhere, it would behoove them to not mimic the same practices on their blog. By doing so, they trash their own principles with their contrary actions, clearly they're not serious about liberty. I don't really see the connection to the "thick" cultural values camp, because those people worry about silly stuff like income inequality or traditional left issues like supporting unions. I suppose you're trying to say that only the govt matters and that authoritarian practices by anybody else don't matter or are not your concern. Like I said before, they can run their blog the way they like, I'm just pointing out their hypocrisy and I've voted with my feet by not reading it for the last year.

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have been busting to introduce these two new softies but i had to wait. so without further ado i present topsy turvy tabitha (named after a aaspecial little frasdfiend of ours - her mummy reads my blog!) tabitha is wide awake and ready for action.

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