Most people are immune to “reason”: they act on emotion or conviction and use their logical faculties afterwards to rationalize their decision-making. In an economics sense, they are nevertheless acting rationally: roughly put, they are maximizing their utility no matter what. It just pleases some people to act “stupid”. Why not?

Those Iraqis who don’t cheer at Kusai’s or whatshisname’s stitched-up body displayed in much detail alongside his sibling’s, well, those Iraqis are “irrational”, aren’t they? They must be thinking, “They were SOBs for sure, but they were our own SOBs!” Indeed. I think I can understand them. Us vs. them is an omnipresent antagonism, and I don’t see how Americans can write themselves into the “us” in this opposition.

Or take Mark Ames, one of the aforementioned masterminds behind The eXile. His review of a book by a (the author takes full responsibility for the insertion of the indefinite article) Jacob Sullum tltled Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use has resulted in blogosphere-wide da(i)mnation. Partially because of this passage: “…I thought, ‘Is Sullum fucking nuts? He’s debating Christians!'” But it’s no big deal; extend this to the maximum possible set of humans, and you get, “Is he nuts? He’s debating!” Use physical or emotional force if you want to drive your point home; reason will follow!

Aside from that fine point, though, Ames got trashed quite rightfully. Why in the world need we suppress one class of arguments against drug laws and promote another? If you care about the legalization cause, everything should do. I kind of care, though I’m one of those endangered bipeds who’ve never ever tried —

(Source: Alan K. Henderson.)

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