Oct 31

Armed children

The Bear of Considerable Brain, writes:
“This does not mean every man, woman and child should roam the streets
packing heat, much as some of my more rabid hoplophile colleagues in
the Blogosphere might enjoy the sight.”

N.Z. was probably thinking of me as one of his “rabid hoplophile
colleagues.”; I’d be rather disappointed if he weren’t, actually. I
endorse all his good sense about citizen miltias and the necessity of
a decentralized response to decentralized threats; in fact, I wrote an
essay
on that topic the day of the WTC attack. Establishing it as normal
custom that adults go armed strikes me as an excellent idea, and
not merely as a tactic against terrorism and crime either. “The possession
of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave.”

I was originally going to respond to His Ursinity’s remark by
tossing off some denial that I contemplate universally arming children
as a response to terrorism. But I’ve decided it would be more
interesting to attack the question from the opposite side: under what
circumstances should children be armed?

If your answer is “Never!” than consider that this is actually
quite a radical position. In large parts of the U.S., rather young
children have and use BB rifles. In much of rural America,
including most of my own state of Pennsylvania, boys learn to hunt
early, and to accept both the weapons and responsibilities of men
when barely into their teens.

The bloody slaughters nervous urban liberals would expect from this
policy somehow never materialize. Kliebold and Harris, the Columbine
shooters, were the exception that demonstrates the rule; they were
not taught to use firearms within approved contexts by their
parents and other adults, but instead devedloped a pathological,
isolated relationship to weapons that mirrored their pathological,
isolated lives. Their victims were not killed by the rural gun
culture, but by its absence.

So part of our answer is this: children should be armed, at least
part of the time when in company with responsible adults, in order
to prepare them for the responsibility of arming themselves as adults
and participating in civilian defense against terrorism and crime.

The next logical question is: under what circumstances should
children be trusted to carry weapons for self-defense without
direct adult supervision? Again, “Never!” would be a radical and
historically exceptional answer. It would also be unfair to the
children, especially poor children who live in areas where the chance
of encountering criminal or terrorist predators is significant.

It’s worth bearing in mind that most decisions about using a
firearm in self-defense are pretty simple. They don’t tend to involve
complicated ethical abstractions — the relevant question is
usually “Am I or a defenseless person I am responsible for in imminent
danger of being assaulted, abducted or killed?” If the answer is no,
you don’t even draw your weapon.

Of course, the capacity to make those judgments varies from child
to child. I have known intelligent, precocious children as young as
eight years old who I would sooner trust with my .45 than, say, an
adult alcoholic with an impulse-control problem. In fact, I wouldn’t
consider most adult pro-gun-control voters as trustworthy as the
children I have in mind; people who project fear of their own behavior
with weapons onto others make that spot between my shoulderblades
itch.

At the other extreme, it’s pretty obvious that pre-verbal children
don’t have the apparatus to make even the simplest ethical decisions
about lethal force. They don’t know enough about the world yet. The
standard models of childhood development tell me the same thing as my
experience of real kids; the on average, possibility of ethical
competence sufficient for self-defense decisions opens up at around
twelve years old. It is not invariably present at that age, but the
possibility deserves to be taken seriously.

I can say this. If a person who is legally a minor but twelve or
over shows signs of continuing responsibility (including either
holding down a job or applying him/herself to make steady grades in
school), and does not have a history of substance abuse or other
self-destructive or criminal behavior, and wants to accept
the responsibility of going armed — then I think custom should
support that.

Finally, I want to point out that we may be doing children no favor
by `protecting’ them from the decisions that go with bearing arms.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote to his teenage nephew as follows:

“As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives [only]
moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence
to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too
violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun,
therefore, be the constant companion to your walks.”

This was no aberration. I have developed elsewhere
the theme that the practice of bearing arms was not important to the
Founding Fathers merely as a counter against crime and overweening
government, but as a school of moral character in the individual
citizen.

The retreat of American gun culture from our cities and suburbs has
coincided with the the fetishization of adolescence and
the infantilization of our entire society. To reverse that trend, we
need to remember the ways we used to use to encourage people to
acquire self-discipline, character, and maturity. One of those ways
was — and in large parts of the U.S., still is — the
healthy use of lethal weapons.

Blogspot comments

Oct 20

Draft for an Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto (version 5)

Changes are deliberately not marked. Read the whole thing, this is
a final pre-publication draft. Most of the changes from version 4
are deletions of excess verbiage.

Counting email, this now reflects approximately 200 comments from
across the blogosphere. Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.
Since this process has to close sometime, I’m declaring that there
wuill be at most one pre-publication draft.

I will post a fair copy of the final version. For legal purposes,
this work is ©2002 by Eric S. Raymond. Email me for distribution
terms — I’m not especially interested in making money from it, but I
want some artistic control of how it’s used.

However, this may not happen for a week, as I am about to go on
the Linux Lunacy Caribbean cruise.

Brian O’Connell has supplied this excellent button for
JavaScript-aware browsers:
src="http://www.catb.org/~esr/graphics/aim-off.png"
onmouseover="swtchon('aim')" onmouseout="swtchoff('aim')"
alt="Click to Read" title="Click to Read"/>

And Erica from Sperari has suppiled a very tasteful static button:
src="http://www.catb.org/~esr/graphics/aim-button-thumb.jpg" alt='AIM button' />

These buttons will be included with the final version.


WHEREAS, the year since the terrible events of 9/11 has exposed
the vacuity and moral confusion of all too many of the thinkers,
politicians, and activists operating within conventional political
categories;

WHEREAS, the Left has failed us by succumbing to reflexive
anti-Americanism; by apologizing for terrorist acts; by propounding
squalid theories of moral equivalence; and by blaming the victims of
evil for the act of evil;

WHEREAS, the Right has failed us by pushing `anti-terrorist’
measures which bid fair to be both ineffective and prejudicial to the
central liberties of a free society; and in some cases by rhetorically
descending to almost the same level of bigotry as our enemies;

WHEREAS, even many of the Libertarians from whom we expected more
intelligence have retreated into a petulant isolationism, refusing to
recognize that, at this time, using the state to carry the war back to
the aggressors is our only practical instrument
of self-defense;

WE THEREFORE ASSERT the following convictions as the premises of
the anti-idiotarian position:

  1. THAT Western civilization is threatened with the specter of mass death
    perpetrated by nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons placed in the
    hands of terrorists by rogue states;

  2. THAT the terrorists and their state sponsors have declared and
    are pursuing a war not against the vices of Western civilization but
    against its core virtues: against the freedom of thought and speech
    and conscience, against the life of reason; against the equality of
    women, against pluralism and tolerance; against, indeed, all the
    qualities which separate civilized human beings from savagery,
    slavery, and fanaticism;

  3. THAT no adjustments of American or Western foreign policy, or
    concessions to the Palestinians, or actions taken against
    globalization, or efforts to alleviate world poverty,
    are of more than incidental interest to these terrorists;

  4. THAT, upon their own representation, they will not by dissuaded from
    their violence by any surrender less extreme than the imposition of Islam
    and shari’a law on the kaffir West;

  5. THAT, as said terrorists have demonstrated the willingness to use
    civilian airliners as flying bombs to kill thousands of innocent
    people, we would commit a vast crime of moral negligence if we
    underestimated the scope of their future malice even
    without weapons of mass destruction;

  6. THAT they have sought, and on plausible evidence found,
    alliance with rogue states such as Iraq, Iran, and North Korea;
    states that are known to have active programs working towards the
    development and delivery of weapons of that would multiply the
    terrorists’ ability to commit atrocities by a thousandfold;

  7. THAT Saddam Hussein poses a particularly clear and present
    danger in combination with them, a danger demonstrated by his known
    efforts to develop nuclear weapons, his use of chemical weapons even
    on his own population, his demonstrated willingness to commit
    aggression against peaceful neighbors, and his known links to the
    Islamist terror network in Palestine and elsewhere.

RE DECLARE that both the terrorists and their state
sponsors have made themselves outlaws from the moral community of mankind,
to be dealt with as rabid dogs are.

WE FURTHER AFFIRM that the `root cause’ of Islamo-fascist terrorism
lies in the animating politico-religious ideas of fundamentalist Islam
and not in any signicant respect elsewhere, and that a central aim of
the war against terror must be to displace and discredit those
animating ideas.

WE REJECT, as a self-serving power grab by the least trustworthy
elements of our own side, the theory that terrorist depredations can
be effectively prevented by further restrictions on the right of free
speech, or the right of peacable assembly, or the right to bear
arms in self-defense; and we strenuously oppose police-state measures
such as the imposition of national ID cards or airport-level
surveillance of public areas;

IN GRAVE KNOWLEDGE that the state of war brings out the worst in
both individual human beings and societies, we reject the alternative
of ceding to the world’s barbarians the exclusive privilege of
force;

WE SUPPORT the efforts of the United States of America, its allies,
and the West to hunt down and capture or kill individual members
of the Islamo-fascist terror network;

WE SUPPORT speedy American and allied military action against the
rogue states that support terrorism, both as a means of alleviating
the immediate threat and of deterring future state sponsorship of
terrorism by the threat of war to the knife.

WE SUPPORT, in recognition of the fact that the military and police
cannot be everywhere, efforts to meet the distributed threat with a
distributed response; to arm airline pilots, and to recognize as well
the ordinary citizen’s right and duty to respond to terrorist
aggression with effective force.

WE SUPPORT, as an alternative greatly preferable to future
nuclear/chemical/biological blackmail of the West, the forcible
overthrow of the governments of Iraq and of other nations that combine
sponsorship of terrorism with the possession of weapons of mass
destruction; and the occupation of those nations until such time as
the root causes of terrorism have been eradicated from their
societies.

WE DEFINE IDIOTARIANISM as the species of delusion
within the moral community of mankind that gives
aid and comfort to terrorists and tyrants operating outside it.

WE REJECT the idiotarianism of the Left — the moral blindness that
refuses to recognize that free markets, individual liberty, and
experimental science have made the West a fundamentally better place
than any culture in which jihad, ‘honor killings’, and female genital
mutilation are daily practices approved by a stultifying religion.

WE REJECT the idiotarianism of the Right — whether it manifests as
head-in-the-sand isolationism or as a a Christian-chauvinist political
agenda that echoes the religious absolutism of our enemies.

WE ARE MEMBERS OF A CIVILIZATION, and we hold that civilization
to be worth defending. We have not sought war, but we will fight it
to the end. We will fight for our civilization in our thoughts, in
our words, and in our deeds.

WE HAVE AWAKENED; we have seen the face of evil in the acts of the
Bin Ladens and Husseins and Arafats of the world; we have seen through
the lies and self-delusions of the idiotarians who did so much to
enable and excuse their evil. We shall not flinch from our duty to
confront that evil.

WE SHALL DEMAND as citizens and voters that those we delegate to
lead pursue the war against terror with an unflagging will to victory
and all means necessary — while remaining always mindful that we
must not become what we fight;

WE SHALL REMEMBER that the West’s keenest weapons are reason and the
truth; that we must shine a pitiless light on the lies from which
terrorist hatred is built; and that we must also be vigilant against
the expedient lie from our own side, lest our victories become tainted
and hollow, sowing trouble for the future.

WE HAVE FAITH that we are equal to these challenges; we shall not
be paralyzed by fear of the enemy, nor yet by fear of ourselves;

WE SHALL SHED the moral cowards and the appeasers and the
apologists; and we shall fight the barbarians and fanatics, and we
shall defeat them. We shall defeat them in war, crushing
their dream of dominion; and we shall defeat them in peace, using our
wealth and freedoms to win their women and children to civilized ways,
and ultimately wiping their diseased and virulent ideologies from the
face of the Earth.

THIS WE SWEAR, on the graves of those who died at the World Trade
Center; and those who died in the Sari Club in Bali; and those who
died on U.S.S. Cole; and indeed on the graves of all the nameless
victims in the Middle East itself who have been slaughtered by
terrorism and rogue states:

YOU SHALL NOT HAVE DIED IN VAIN.

			Eric S. Raymond
			17 October 2002

			____________________
			(your signature here)

Blogspot comments

Oct 18

A request to web artists

I am planning on publishing the Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto soon, via
petitiononline.com and possibly other channels. My hope is that
enough bloggers will sign it and talk about it to get the position it
describes some notice in the more blog-friendly of the mainstream
media.

Towards this end, I’m seeking volunteers to design a web button for
the Manifesto. Use your imagination — but I’m thinking a design
using the letters A I M in red, white and blue might be
appropriate.

Blogspot comments

Oct 18

Draft for an Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto (version 4)

Substantive changes from version 1 to 2 are marked in red; changes from 2 to 3 are marked in blue; changes from 3 to 4 are marked in purple.

Counting email, this now reflects approximately 200 comments from
across the blogosphere. Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.
Since this process has to close sometime, I’m declaring that there
will be at most one more pre-publication draft.

I will post a fair copy of the final version. For legal purposes,
this work is ©2002 by Eric S. Raymond. Email me for distribution
terms — I’m not especially interested in making money from it, but I
want some artistic control of how it’s used.


WHEREAS, the year since the terrible events of 9/11 has exposed
the vacuity and moral confusion of all too many of the thinkers,
politicians, and activists operating within conventional political
categories;

WHEREAS, the Left has failed us by succumbing to reflexive
anti-Americanism; by apologizing for terrorist acts; by propounding
squalid theories of moral equivalence; and by blaming the victims of
evil for the act of evil;

WHEREAS, the Right has failed us by pushing `anti-terrorist’
measures which bid fair to be both ineffective and prejudicial to the
central liberties of a free society; and in some cases by rhetorically
descending to almost the same level of bigotry as our enemies;

WHEREAS, even many of the Libertarians from whom we expected more
intelligence have retreated into a petulant isolationism, refusing to
recognize that, at this time, using the state to carry the war back to the aggressors is
our only practical instrument of self-defense;

WE THEREFORE ASSERT the following convictions as the basis of
the anti-idiotarian position:

  1. THAT Western civilization is threatened with the specter of mass death
    perpetrated by nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons placed in the
    hands of terrorists by rogue states;

  2. THAT the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attack, and its lesser
    sequels, are motivated by a combination of religious fanaticism and
    a smoldering resentment of the West’s success and by their own culture’s failures;

  3. THAT the terrorists have declared and are
    pursuing a war not against the vices of Western civilization but
    against its core virtues; against the freedom of thought and speech
    and conscience, against the life of reason; against the equality of
    women, against pluralism and tolerance; against, indeed, all the
    qualities which separate civilized human beings from
    savagery, slavery, and
    fanaticism;

  4. THAT no adjustments of American or Western foreign policy, or
    concessions to the Palestinians, or actions taken against
    globalization, or efforts to alleviate world poverty,
    are of more than incidental interest to these terrorists;

  5. THAT, upon their own representation, they will not by dissuaded from
    their violence by any surrender less extreme than the imposition of Islam
    and shari’a law on the kaffir West;

  6. THAT, as said terrorists have demonstrated the willingness to use
    civilian airliners as flying bombs to kill thousands of innocent
    people, we would commit a vast crime of moral negligence if we
    underestimated their future malice even
    without weapons of mass destruction;

  7. THAT they have sought, and on plausible evidence found, alliance
    with rogue states such as Iraq, Iran, and
    North Korea; states that are known to have active programs working
    towards the development and delivery of weapons of mass destruction
    that would multiply the terrorists’ ability to commit atrocities by a
    thousandfold;

  8. THAT Saddam Hussein poses a particularly clear and present
    danger in combination with them, a danger
    demonstrated by his known efforts to develop nuclear weapons, his use
    of chemical weapons even on his own population, his demonstrated
    willingness to commit aggression against peaceful neighbors, and his
    known links to the Islamic terror network in Palestine and
    elsewhere.

WE THEREFORE AFFIRM that both the terrorists and their state
sponsors have made themselves outlaws from the moral community of man,
to be dealt with as rabid dogs are.

WE FURTHER AFFIRM that the `root cause’ of Islamo-fascist terrorism
lies in the animating politico-religious ideas of fundamentalist Islam
and not in any signicant respect elsewhere, and that a central aim of
the war against terror must be to displace, discredit, and destroy
those animating ideas.

WE REJECT, as a self-serving power grab by the least trustworthy
elements of our own side, the theory that terrorist depredations can
be effectively prevented by further restrictions on the right of free
speech, or the right of peacible assembly, or the right to bear
arms in self-defense; and we strenuously oppose police-state measures
such as the imposition of national ID cards or airport-level
surveillance of public areas;

IN GRAVE KNOWLEDGE that the state of war brings
out the worst in both individual human beings and societies, we reject
the alternative of ceding to the world’s barbarians the exclusive
privilege of force;

WE SUPPORT the efforts of the United States of America, its allies,
and the West to hunt down and capture or kill individual members
of the Islamo-fascist terror network;

WE SUPPORT speedy American and allied military action against the
rogue states that support terrorism, both as a means of alleviating
the immediate threat and of deterring future state sponsorship of
terrorism by the threat of war to the knife.

WE SUPPORT, in recognition of the fact that the
military and police cannot be everywhere, efforts to meet the
distributed threat with a distributed response;
to arm airline pilots, and to recognize as well the
ordinary citizen’s right and obligation to respond to terrorist
aggression with effective force.

WE SUPPORT, as an alternative greatly preferable to future
nuclear/chemical/biological blackmail of the West, the forcible overthrowing of the governments of Iraq and of other
nations that combine sponsorship of terrorism with the possession of
weapons of mass destruction; and the occupation of those
nations
until such time as the root causes of terrorism have
been eradicated from their societies.

WE DEFINE IDIOTARIANISM as the species of delusion
within the moral community of mankind that gives
aid and comfort to terrorists and dictators operating outside it.

WE REJECT the idiotarianism of the Left — the moral blindness that
refuses to recognize that free markets, individual liberty, and
experimental science have made the West a fundamentally better place
than any culture in which jihad, ‘honor killings’, and female genital
mutilation are daily practices approved by a stultifying religion.

WE REJECT the idiotarianism of the Right — whether it manifests as
head-in-the-sand isolationism or as a a
Christian-chauvinist political agenda that echoes the religious
absolutism of our enemies.

WE ARE MEMBERS OF A CIVILIZATION, and we hold that civilization
to be worth defending. We have not sought war, but we will fight it
to the end. We will fight for our civilization in our thoughts, in
our words, and in our deeds.

WE HAVE AWAKENED. We have seen the face of evil in the acts of the
Bin Ladens and Husseins and Arafats of the world; we have seen through
the lies and self-delusions of the idiotarians, who did so much both to
make their evil possible before the fact and to deny and excuse it
afterwards. We shall not flinch from our duty to confront that
evil.

WE SHALL DEMAND as citizens and voters that
those we delegate to lead pursue the war against terror with an
unflagging will to victory and all means necessary — while
remaining always mindful that in the process of fighting the enemy we
must not stoop to the enemy’s level of contempt for human rights and
dignity, must not become what we fight;

WE SHALL REMEMBER that in this struggle more
than previous conventional wars, the West’s keenest weapons are reason
and the truth; that it is our obligation as citizens to insist on
reason and the truth; that we must shine a pitiless light on the lies
from which terrorist hatred is built; and that we must also be
vigilant against the expedient lie from our own side, lest our
victories become tainted and hollow, leaving root causes unaddressed
and sowing trouble for the future.

WE HAVE FAITH that we are equal to these
challenges; we shall not be paralyzed by fear of the enemy, nor
yet by fear of ourselves;

WE SHALL SHED the moral cowards and the appeasers and the
apologists; and we shall fight the barbarians and fanatics, and we
shall defeat them. We shall defeat them in war, crushing
their dream of dominion; and we shall defeat them in peace, using our
wealth and freedoms to win their women and
children to civilized ways, and ultimately wiping their diseased and
virulent ideologies from the face of the
Earth.

THIS WE SWEAR, on the graves of those who died at the World Trade
Center; and those who died in the Sari Club in Bali; and those who
died on U.S.S. Cole; and indeed on the graves of all the nameless
victims in the Middle East itself who have been slaughtered by
terrorism and rogue states:

YOU SHALL NOT HAVE DIED IN VAIN.

			Eric S. Raymond
			17 October 2002

			____________________
			(your signature here)

Blogspot comments

Oct 17

Draft for an Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto (version 3)

Substantive changes from version 1 to 2 are marked in red; changes from 2 to 3 are marked in blue. I think the changes largely
speak for themselves. I will say that I think some of the criticisms
I received reflect a conservative bias in the blogosphere population,
and that for appeal to a wider audience it is necessary to
excoriate the Right a little harder than a lot of people here will be
completely comfortable with.

I have removed the paragraph about profiling, not out of political
correctness but because I have been presented with good arguments that
profiling is easy for terrorists to game against (and apparently they
have often done so in Israel).

It has been suggested that I should add the heroes of Flight 93 to
the list of those we swear shall not have died in vain. But they
had already achieved that; they saved many lives and provided a
moral example which shall not be forgotten.

Congratulations to the trivia spotters who identified “to be dealt
with as wolves are” as a quote from H. Beam Piper’s Lord Kalvan
of Otherwhen
. Jerry Pournelle did, I believe, quote it in
Prince Of Sparta. I had always assumed Piper
was referring to the Viking sentence of outlawry, in which the outlaw
was declared a “wolf’s head”. Apparently there is a 1703 historical
cite from the US as well.


WHEREAS, the year since the terrible events of 9/11 has exposed
the vacuity and moral confusion of all too many of the thinkers,
politicians, and activists operating within conventional political
categories;

WHEREAS, the Left has failed us by succumbing to reflexive
anti-Americanism; by apologizing for terrorist acts; by propounding
squalid theories of moral equivalence; and by blaming the victims of
evil for the act of evil;

WHEREAS, the Right has failed us by pushing `anti-terrorist’
measures which bid fair to be both ineffective and prejudicial to the
central liberties of a free society; and in some cases by rhetorically
descending to almost the same level of bigotry as our enemies;

WHEREAS, even many of the Libertarians from whom we expected more
intelligence have retreated into a petulant isolationism, refusing to
recognize that, at this time, using the state to carry the war to
the enemy is our only practical instrument of
self-defense;

WE THEREFORE ASSERT the following convictions as the basis of
the anti-idiotarian position:

  1. THAT Western civilization is threatened with the specter of mass death
    perpetrated by nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons placed in the
    hands of terrorists by rogue states;

  2. THAT the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attack, and its lesser
    sequels, are motivated by a combination of religious fanaticism and
    a smoldering resentment of the West’s success and Islam’s failures;

  3. THAT the terrorists have declared and are
    pursuing a war not against the vices of Western civilization but
    against its core virtues; against the freedom of thought and speech
    and conscience, against the life of reason; against the equality of
    women, against pluralism and tolerance; against, indeed, all the
    qualities which separate civilized human beings from bestiality,
    slavery, and fanaticism;

    THAT no adjustments of American or Western foreign policy, or
    concessions to the Palestinians, or actions taken against
    globalization, or efforts to alleviate world poverty,
    are of more than incidental interest to these terrorists;

  4. THAT, upon their own representation, they will not by dissuaded from
    their violence by any surrender less extreme than the imposition of Islam
    and shari’a law on the kaffir West;

  5. THAT, as said terrorists have demonstrated the willingness to use
    civilian airliners as flying bombs to kill thousands of innocent
    people, we would commit a vast crime of moral negligence if we
    underestimated their future malice even
    without weapons of mass destruction;

  6. THAT they have sought, and on plausible evidence found, alliance
    with rogue states such as Iraq, Iran, and
    North Korea; states that are known to have active programs working
    towards the development and delivery of weapons of mass destruction
    that would multiply the terrorists’ ability to commit atrocities by a
    thousandfold;

  7. THAT Saddam Hussein poses a particularly clear and present danger
    in combination with them, a danger demonstrated by his known efforts
    to develop nuclear weapons, his use of chemical weapons even on his
    own population, his demonstrated willingness to commit aggression
    against peaceful neighbors, and his known links to the Islamic terror
    network in Palestine and elsewhere.

RE AFFIRM that both the terrorists and their state
sponsors have made themselves outlaws from the moral community of man,
to be dealt with as feral beasts are.

WE FURTHER AFFIRM that the `root cause’ of Islamo-fascist terrorism
lies in the animating politico-religious ideas of fundamentalist Islam
and not in any signicant respect elsewhere, and that a central aim of
the war against terror must be to displace, discredit, and destroy
those animating ideas.

WE REJECT, as a self-serving power grab by the least trustworthy
elements of our own side, the theory that terrorist depredations can
be effectively prevented by further restrictions on the right of free
speech, or the right of peacible assembly, or the right to bear
arms in self-defense; and we strenuously oppose police-state measures
such as the imposition of national ID cards or airport-level
surveillance of public areas;

IN GRAVE KNOWLEDGE that the state of war brings
out the worst in both individual human beings and societies, we reject
the alternative of ceding to the world’s barbarians the exclusive
privilege of force.

WE SUPPORT the efforts of the United States of America, its allies,
and the West to hunt down and capture or kill individual members
of the Islamo-fascist terror network;

WE SUPPORT speedy American and allied military action against the
rogue states that support terrorism, both as a means of alleviating
the immediate threat and of deterring future state sponsorship of
terrorism by the threat of war to the knife.

WE SUPPORT, in recognition of the fact that the
military and police cannot be everywhere, efforts to meet the
distributed threat with a distributed response;
to arm airline pilots, and to recognize as well the
ordinary citizen’s right and obligation to respond to terrorist
aggression with effective force.

WE SUPPORT, as an alternative greatly preferable to future
nuclear/chemical/biological blackmail of the West, the forcible overthrowing of the governments of Iraq and of other
nations that combine sponsorship of terrorism with the possession of
weapons of mass destruction; and the occupation of those
nations
until such time as the root causes of terrorism have
been eradicated from their societies.

WE DEFINE IDIOTARIANISM as the species of delusion
within the moral community of mankind that gives
aid and comfort to terrorists and dictators operating outside it.

WE REJECT the idiotarianism of the Left — the moral blindness that
refuses to recognize that free markets, individual liberty, and
experimental science have made the West a fundamentally better place
than any culture in which jihad, ‘honor killings’, and female genital
mutilation are daily practices approved by a stultifying religion.

WE REJECT the idiotarianism of the Right — whether it manifests as
head-in-the-sand isolationism or as a Christian-identity chauvinism that all but mirrors the
Islamo-fascist fanaticism of our enemies.

WE ARE MEMBERS OF A CIVILIZATION, and we hold that civilization
to be worth defending. We have not sought war, but we will fight it
to the end. We will fight for our civilization in our thoughts, in
our words, and in our deeds.

WE HAVE AWAKENED. We have seen the face of evil in the acts of the
Bin Ladens and Husseins and Arafats of the world; we have seen through
the lies and self-delusions of the idiotarians, who did so much both to
make their evil possible before the fact and to deny and excuse it
afterwards. We shall not flinch from our duty to confront that
evil.

WE SHALL SHED the moral cowards and the appeasers and the
apologists; and we shall fight the barbarians and fanatics, and we
shall defeat them. We shall defeat them in war, crushing
their dream of dominion; and we shall defeat them in peace, using our
wealth and freedoms to win their women and
children to civilized ways, and ultimately wiping their diseased and
virulent ideologies from the face of the
Earth.

THIS WE SWEAR, on the graves of those who died at the World Trade
Center; and those who died in the Sari Club in Bali; and those who
died on U.S.S. Cole; and indeed on the graves of all the nameless
victims in the Middle East itself who have been slaughtered by
terrorism and rogue states;

YOU SHALL NOT HAVE DIED IN VAIN.

			Eric S. Raymond
			16 October 2002

			____________________
			(your signature here)

Blogspot
comments

Oct 16

Draft for an Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto (version 2)

Substantive changes from version 1 are marked in
red
. I think the changes largely speak for themselves. I will
say that I think some of the criticisms I received reflect a
conservative bias in the blogosphere population, and that for appeal
to a wider audience it is necessary to excoriate the Right a
little harder than a lot of people here will be completely comfortable
with.

Major trivia points to anyone who can identify the source of the
phrase I was quoting in my first draft, the longer form of which reads
“we declare them the enemies of all men, to be dealt with as wolves
are”. And no, a Web search won’t do it.


WHEREAS, the year since the terrible events of 9/11 has exposed
the vacuity and moral confusion of all too many of the thinkers,
politicians, and activists operating within conventional political
categories;

WHEREAS, the Left has failed us by succumbing to reflexive
anti-Americanism; by apologizing for terrorist acts; by propounding
squalid theories of moral equivalence; and by blaming the victims of
evil for the act of evil;

WHEREAS, the Right has failed us by pushing `anti-terrorist’
measures which bid fair to be both ineffective and prejudicial to the
central liberties of a free society; and in some cases by rhetorically
descending to almost the same level of bigotry as our enemies;

WHEREAS, even many of the Libertarians from whom we expected more
intelligence have retreated into a petulant isolationism, refusing to
recognize that, at this time, using the state to carry the war to
the enemy is our only practical instrument of
self-defense;

WE THEREFORE ASSERT the following convictions as the basis of
the anti-idiotarian position:

  1. THAT Western civilization is threatened with the specter of mass death
    perpetrated by nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons placed in the
    hands of terrorists by rogue states;
  2. THAT the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attack, and its lesser
    sequels, are motivated by a combination of religious fanaticism and
    a smoldering resentment of the West’s success and Islam’s failures;
  3. THAT no adjustments of American or Western foreign policy, or
    concessions to the Palestinians, or actions taken against
    globalization, or otherwise worthy efforts to alleviate world poverty,
    are of more than incidental interest to these terrorists;
  4. THAT, upon their own representation, they will not by dissuaded from
    their violence by any surrender less extreme than the imposition of Islam
    and shari’a law on the kaffir West;
  5. THAT, as said terrorists have demonstrated the willingness to use
    civilian airliners as flying bombs to kill thousands of innocent
    people, we would commit a vast crime of moral negligence if we
    underestimated their future malice even
    without weapons of mass destruction
    ;
  6. THAT they have sought, and on plausible evidence found, alliance
    with rogue states such as Iraq, Iran, and
    North Korea; states that are known to have active programs working
    towards the development and delivery of weapons of mass destruction
    that would multiply the terrorists’ ability to commit atrocities by a
    thousandfold;
  7. THAT Saddam Hussein poses a particularly clear and present danger
    through his known efforts to develop nuclear weapons, his use of
    chemical weapons even on his own population, his demonstrated
    willingness to commit aggression against peaceful neighbors, and
    his known links to the Islamic terror network in Palestine and
    elsewhere.

RE AFFIRM that both the terrorists and their state
sponsors have made themselves outlaws from the moral community of man,
to be dealt with as feral beasts are.

WE FURTHER AFFIRM that the `root cause’ of Islamo-fascist terrorism
lies in the animating politico-religious ideas of fundamentalist Islam
and not in any signicant respect elsewhere, and that a central aim of
the war against terror must be to displace, discredit, and destroy
those animating ideas.

WE REJECT, as a self-serving power grab by the least trustworthy
elements of our own side, the theory that terrorist depredations can
be effectively prevented by further restrictions on the right of free
speech, or the right of peacible assembly, or the right to bear
arms in self-defense; and we strenuously oppose police-state measures
such as the imposition of national ID cards or airport-level
surveillance of public areas;

WE REJECT the theory that `fairness’ requires us not to notice the
dominant gender, age range, ethnic character and religion of our
terrorist enemies; and we urge the systematic use of such profiling to
both make anti-terrorist screening more effective and reduce the
overall intrusiveness of anti-terror measures on the majority of the
population.

IN GRAVE KNOWLEDGE that the state of war brings
out the worst in both individual human beings and societies, we reject
the alternative of ceding to the world’s barbarians the exclusive
privilege of force.

WE SUPPORT the efforts of the United States of America, its allies,
and the West to hunt down and and capture or kill individual members
of the Islamo-fascist terror network;

WE SUPPORT speedy American and allied military action against the
rogue states that support terrorism, both as a means of alleviating
the immediate threat and of deterring future state sponsorship of
terrorism by the threat of war to the knife.

WE SUPPORT, in recognition of the fact that the
military and police cannot be everywhere, efforts to meet the
distributed threat with a distributed response; to arm not merely
airline pilots but ordinary citizens, and to recognize the citizen’s
right and obligation to respond to terrorist aggression with effective
force.

WE SUPPORT, as an alternative greatly preferable to future
nuclear/chemical/biological blackmail of the West, the conquest and
occupation of Iraq and other nations that combine sponsorship of
terrorism with the possession of weapons of mass destruction, until
such time as the root causes of terrorism have been eradicated from
their societies.

WE DEFINE IDIOTARIANISM as the species of delusion
within the moral community of mankind that gives
aid and comfort to terrorists and dictators operating outside it.

WE REJECT the idiotarianism of the Left — the moral blindness that
refuses to recognize that free markets, individual liberty, and
experimental science have made the West a fundamentally better place
than any culture in which jihad, ‘honor killings’, and female genital
mutilation are daily practices approved by a stultifying religion.

WE REJECT the idiotarianism of the Right — whether it manifests as
head-in-the-sand isolationism or as a Christian-identity chauvinism that all but mirrors the
Islamo-fascist fanaticism of our enemies.

WE ARE MEMBERS OF A CIVILIZATION, and we hold that civilization
to be worth defending. We have not sought war, but we will fight it
to the end. We will fight for our civilization in our thoughts, in
our words, and in our deeds.

WE HAVE AWAKENED. We have seen the face of evil in the acts of the
Bin Ladens and Husseins and Arafats of the world; we have seen through
the lies and self-delusions of the idiotarians who did so much both to
make their evil possible before the fact and to deny and excuse it
afterwards. We shall not flinch from our duty to confront that
evil.

WE SHALL SHED the moral cowards and the appeasers and the
apologists; and we shall fight the barbarians and fanatics, and we
shall defeat them. We shall defeat them in war, crushing
their dream of dominion; and we shall defeat them in peace, using our
wealth and freedoms to seduce their women and children to civilized
ways, and ultimately wiping their diseased and virulent ideologies from the face of the Earth.

THIS WE SWEAR, on the graves of those who died at the World
Trade Center; and those who died in the Sari Club in Bali; and those
who died on the U.S.S. Cole; and indeed on the graves of all the
nameless victims in the Middle East itself who have been slaughtered
by terrorism and rogue states;

YOU SHALL NOT HAVE DIED IN VAIN.

			Eric S. Raymond
			16 October 2002

			____________________
			(your signature here)

Blogspot comments

Oct 16

Draft for an Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto (version 1)

WHEREAS, the year since the terrible events of 9/11 has exposed
the vacuity and moral confusion of all too many of the thinkers,
politicians, and activists operating within conventional political
categories;

WHEREAS, the Left has failed us by succumbing to reflexive
anti-Americanism; by apologizing for terrorist acts; by propounding
squalid theories of moral equivalence; and by blaming the victims of
evil for the act of evil;

WHEREAS, the Right has failed us by pushing `anti-terrorist’
measures which bid fair to be both ineffective and prejudicial to the
central liberties of a free society; and in some cases by rhetorically
descending to almost the same level of religious jihad as our
enemies;

WHEREAS, even many of the Libertarians from whom we expected more
intelligence have retreated into a petulant isolationism, refusing to
recognize that, at this time, using the state to carry the war to
the enemy is our only practical instrument of
self-defense;

WE THEREFORE ASSERT the following convictions as the basis of
the anti-idiotarian position:

  1. THAT Western civilization is threatened with the specter of mass death
    perpetrated by nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons placed in the
    hands of terrorists by rogue states;
  2. THAT the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attack, and its lesser
    sequels, are motivated by a combination of religious fanaticism and
    a smoldering resentment of the West’s success and Islam’s failures;
  3. THAT no adjustments of American or Western foreign policy, or
    concessions to the Palestinians, or actions taken against
    globalization, or otherwise worthy efforts to alleviate world poverty,
    are of more than incidental interest to these terrorists;
  4. THAT, upon their own representation, they will not by dissuaded from
    their violence by any surrender less extreme than the imposition of Islam
    and shari’a law on the kaffir West;
  5. THAT, as said terrorists have demonstrated the willingness to use
    civilian airliners as flying bombs to kill thousands of innocent
    people, we would commit a vast crime of moral negligence if we
    underestimated their future malice;
  6. THAT they have sought, and on plausible evidence found, alliance
    with rogue states such as Iraq and North Korea; states that are known
    to have active programs working towards the development and delivery
    of weapons that would multiply the terrorists’ ability to commit
    atrocities by a thousandfold;
  7. THAT Saddam Hussein poses a particularly clear and present danger
    through his known efforts to develop nuclear weapons, his use of
    chemical weapons even on his own population, his demonstrated
    willingness to commit aggression against peaceful neighbors, and
    his known links to the Islamic terror network in Palestine and
    elsewhere.

RE AFFIRM that both the terrorists and their state
sponsors have made themselves outlaws from the moral community of man,
to be dealt with as wolves are.

WE FURTHER AFFIRM that the `root cause’ of Islamo-fascist terrorism
lies in the animating politico-religious ideas of fundamentalist Islam
and not in any significant respect elsewhere, and that a central aim of
the war against terror must be to displace, discredit, and destroy
those animating ideas.

WE REJECT, as a self-serving power grab by the least trustworthy
elements of our own side, the theory that terrorist depredations can
be effectively prevented by further restrictions on the right of free
speech, or the right of peacible assembly, or the right to bear
arms in self-defense; and we strenuously oppose police-state measures
such as the imposition of national ID cards or airport-level
surveillance of public areas;

WE REJECT the theory that `fairness’ requires us not to notice and
use the dominant gender, age range, ethnic character and religion of
our terrorist enemies; and we urge the systematic use of such profiling to
both make anti-terrorist screening more effective and reduce the
overall intrusiveness of anti-terror measures on the majority of
the population.

WE SUPPORT the efforts of the United States of America, its allies,
and the West to hunt down and and capture or kill individual members
of the Islamic terror network;

WE SUPPORT speedy American and allied military action against the
rogue states that support terrorism, both as a means of alleviating
the immediate threat and of deterring future state sponsorship of
terrorism by the threat of war to the knife.

WE SUPPORT, as an alternative greatly preferable to future nuclear
blackmail of the West, the conquest and occupation of Iraq and other
nations that combine sponsorship of terrorism with the possession
of weapons of mass destruction, until such time as the root causes of
terrorism have been eradicated from their societies.

WE DEFINE IDIOTARIANISM as the species of delusion
within the moral community of mankind that gives
aid and comfort to terrorists and dictators operating outside it.

ism of the Left — the moral blindness that
refuses to recognize that free markets, individual liberty, and
experimental science have made the West a fundamentally better place
than any culture in which jihad, ‘honor killings’, and female genital
mutilation are daily practices approved by a stultifying religion.

WE REJECT the idiotarianism of the Right — whether it manifests as
head-in-the-sand isolationism or as a Christian religious chauvinism
and bigotry that all but mirrors the Islamo-fascist fanaticism of our
self-declared enemies.

WE ARE MEMBERS OF A CIVILIZATION, and we hold that civilization
to be worth defending. We have not sought war, but we will fight it
to the end. We will fight for our civilization in our thoughts, in
our words, and in our deeds.

WE HAVE AWAKENED. We have seen the face of evil in the acts of the
Bin Ladens and Husseins and Arafats of the world; we have seen through
the lies and self-delusions of the idiotarians who did so much both to
make their evil possible before the fact and to deny and excuse it
afterwards. We shall not flinch from our duty to confront that
evil.

WE SHALL SHED the moral cowards and the appeasers and the
apologists; and we shall fight the barbarians and fanatics, and we
shall defeat them. We shall defeat them in war, crushing
their dream of dominion; and we shall defeat them in peace, using our
wealth and freedoms to seduce their women and children to civilized
ways, and ultimately wiping their diseased and virulent culture from
the face of the Earth.

THIS WE SWEAR, on the graves of those who died at the World
Trade Center; and those who died in the Sari Club in Bali; and those
who died on the U.S.S. Cole; and indeed on the graves of all the
nameless victims in the Middle East itself who have been slaughtered
by terrorism and rogue states;

YOU SHALL NOT HAVE DIED IN VAIN.

					Eric S. Raymond
					16 October 2002

					____________________
					(your signature here)

Blogspot comments