Monday, September 12, 2011

The truthers are out there!

9/11 came and went, I don't really care that much about it. It was a tragedy that was wholly preventable, if the US had not decided they needed to be the world's policeman, then they would not be the target of the worlds criminals.

There seems to be a small segment of the population that are obsessed with “getting to the bottom” of the 9/11 story. They spend hours and hours researching the events of 9/11, they try and figure out how hot the fire would have had to be in order to bring the towers down, they look into ideas like a sonic ray device turning the buildings into dust, controlled demolition, etc. I don't get the point. I have had libertarians try and convince me that 9/11 is a gateway to libertarian thought and this is what makes it useful. The idea being that if someone accepts 9/11 was perpetrated by the government then it will create a distrust of the government as a whole and open people to libertarianism. I think this is folly and a waste of time, even if this has been the case and some libertarians have came from the truther movement, it is not the best approach.

At least for me, I don't really take a side on the 9/11 thing. I don't know if it was an "inside" job or not. I already accept that the government is evil, so it really doesn't make much of a difference to my position. The problem I have with arguing about 9/11 is that I don't like to deal with these arguments where both sides make good points, and I feel like this is what makes getting my position across more difficult than it is worth. I think the conspiracy crowd makes some interesting observations, but seems to be missing pieces of the puzzle and so are the main liners.

Why waste time on something like 9/11 which even if the smoking gun comes out that proves the conspiracy crowd right, what is that going to change? It changed nothing when the Tonkin incident came out. There have been new revelations about FDR's prior knowledge about Pearl Harbor, I don't think anyone believes the JFK story presented by the government, we know the government infected Guatemalan's with syphilis, and yet none of that matters to most people, it has not changed a damn thing. Why not stick with causes and arguments where we have a solid case, not based on conjecture, but solid evidence or at least solid moral grounding? I mean trying to convince a person that 9/11 was an inside job and this is why they should oppose government is going to be a difficult task, trying to convince them that the cops can get away with murder and this is why they should oppose the system is much easier. Trying to convince them that the politicians are in the pockets of the corporations is easy compared to a murky conspiracy about 9/11, and these types of arguments are cumulative. I think these are more useful arguments, I plant an idea like “the politicians are taking their marching orders from the banksters” which is initially met with resistance and then over time I bring more and more stories to my co-workers or friends attention until eventually they see my side. Whereas 9/11 I have to convince them on this one event and there are not a dozen new cases a year where the government is taking down new skyscrapers to help build my case. If it was an inside job, then I guess we just have to accept that it accomplished its goals for the government and they have not felt a need to take anymore actions in the last 10 years.

I am not sure about anyone else, but I am pretty good at discussing libertarian ideas, even so I am lucky if I get 5 minutes with someone to pitch some libertarian concept before they lose interest. Is my best bet in 5 minutes time to try to convince them of 9/11 and then try and use this as leverage for opposing the state as a whole? I simply don't think so. If I spend hours upon hours researching 9/11 truth, that is time I could have spent developing more timely arguments that have a more direct impact on peoples current lives and can be presented much more quickly and easily and have a better chance of convincing others at least about one topic. If I convince a statist that 9/11 was an inside job orchestrated by Dick Cheney or something and I am so successful the whole world agrees with me, then what happens? They put old Dick on trial along with one or two people in the CIA and call it over and then the statist goes back to their support of big government, now that the evildoers have been punished. Rosie O'Donnell is a 9/11 truther, but it doesn't seem to have moved her towards an anarchist position, she just seems to use it to help prove that republicans are evil. It doesn't strike at the root. If instead I convince a person that they own their body and the government should not be able to tell them what they can or cannot put into their body, that has lasting ramifications no matter who is in charge and once that person has accepted that concept as truth, then they see why everything from drug laws to trans fat bans are to be opposed and it becomes less about who is to blame, who did it, and more about principle, even if they remain statist in general they have moved more towards a libertarian position on many issues from this one seemingly simple change in perspective.

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