The Right Stuff Argumentative Style: Addendum

The previous article does well to point out that, at the end of the day, the state does not choose to argue. It chooses a gun and so Hoppe’s whining about the logical implications of an argument are irrelevant. It is also good to point out that all dogmas try to defend themselves by attempting to delegitimize the very act of disagreement.

However, I disagree with the article when it states “Yes, Argumentation Ethics effectively shows that it is contradictory to argue for the initiation of force.”

Hoppe’s argument, when put in plain English, is, I think, astoundingly stupid. It is this: when two people disagree they can choose to solve their disagreement through violence or argument. Choosing to argue means that they chose not to use violence and that means that they think that aggression, as defined within the context of Neo-Lockean property rights, is a universally immoral act.

Yeah, U MAD.
When stated so clearly, it is almost not worth explaining why Hoppe’s argument is retarded. People could choose to argue for many other reasons: maybe they like arguing, maybe they think they would lose in a violent confrontation, maybe they think that violence is too much trouble, ect. And even if it does imply that they think violence is wrong (which it doesn’t) it still doesn’t imply that they are defining aggression in a libertarian, Neo-Lockean way.

There is also a more technical point which is that he is equivocating between a logical and behavioral contradiction. We all know that a logical contradiction is when someone states two things which cannot both be true. And we all know that the problem is therefore that what they are saying is wrong. Hoppe tries to exploit these connotations around the term contradiction when talking about a behavioral contradiction.

But the two are totally different. Behaviors aren’t true or false. They seem to occur when people have one stated aim but act in a way that is unexpected given that aim, or that indicates a different aim. And it isn’t clear that this is always bad the way a logical contradiction is always “wrong” (false). Behavioral contradictions are, in fact, fairly useful in various parts of life. They can also be happy accidents that stop someone from obtaining a stupid goal. Perhaps most importantly, according to Hoppe’s shitty argument, they evidently allow people to argue while still advocating key societal institutions. And there’s nothing wrong, logically speaking, with that.

It is also fairly absurd to propose that most people make a real choice between violence and argument. How often in your personal life have you decided to engage in an argument only after considering the prospects of assault?