Sunday, July 14, 2002

Whatever it is that's been plaguing blogger since Wednesday, it's obviously affecting my page. I can update, but I get error messages and (as one can note by heading down to the bottom of the page) my counters aren't working.

(Just in case you're wondering why updates have been sparse lately)

Edit: and perhaps it was a poor time for sparse updating, considering the furor that the discussion with Musil has provoked on behalf of some people, including Musil himself. To be honest, the entire field of International Relations (I.R.) is like this in some respect, which is why rather disquieting insights into the nature of power and legitimacy, such as Machiavelli's and Hobbes' usually carry the day. (It's also the best argument I've seen against anarchism of any stripe, but especially the radical-individualist kind as opposed to the radical-democratic kind. Musil continues to mistake the one for the other, by the way.)

I'll respond in more depth later to the various charges, but I'd like to reiterate one point: an empirical observation is not a normative claim. In other words, describing things as they are doesn't necessarily imply that these are morally right, justifiable, or fair, or that methods don't and shouldn't exist to ameliorate the drawbacks of the situation as it exists. A naked man cannot kill a tiger, and any man that doesn't understand that will end up tiger spoor- but a tiger cannot hope to kill a group of armed men, and any man that remembers and applies that knowledge can live without fear.

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