It's really late, so this will just be a stop gap. As alluded to earlier
, anonymous thinks I'm "delu[ded] about [my] own subtlety and fairness," devote my YDN columns to "coerc[ing] and re-hash[ing] the same position over and over again," "interpret and judge politics in terms of a single criterion, individual rights," "seem more interested in styling yourself a public intellectual than in cultivating genuine debate."
What prompted this---and I'll get to a response in due time; for now let's just say that I apologize for my seemings, and that anonymous should apologize to me for either not reading or not competently reading my YDN columns---was my fairly obviously light-hearted criticism
of Peter Johnston for rushing into print his pet interpretation of the current subject of his DS course. (That this post was a joke seems, or better yet, let us say, is
irrelevant to anonymous, who incredibly thinks that "This is ridiculous" would
constitute a potential counterargument to Johnston that avoids the pitfalls of coercion and repetition.)
In any case, in what was, according to anonymous, my "suggest[ion] that the author lacks intellectual poise," and what was, on planet earth, a reflection on the tendency of DSers to get absorbed in their curriculum to the point of losing their bearings, I expressed the worry that old Peter, if he's not careful with the devotion to Plato, will soon find himself a member of one of the Yale Political Union's right-wing parties, and therefore severely handicapped in his prospects for getting laid. Well, Johnston is back in print today
, with an attack on, you guessed it, political individualism, and his op-ed is about as clear a giveaway as there can be that he's joined a conservative YPU party.
In closing, if anonymous is reading this, I'd appreciate it if he'd 1) give an exhaustive presentation of the multiplicity of criteria by which he judges politics, as well as a non-arbitrary account of why they are not expressable as maximization principles, and 2) use his name if he has any desire to continue this dispute.
HARMONIOUS CONVERGENCE SIDENOTE: One point I was hoping to get to in my supplement to Julian Sanchez's critique
of maggiegallagherism concerned the following passage in Gallagher's farewell post
on the Volokh Conspiracy:
....the reality that humanity comes in two halves, male and female, who are called to join together in love, not only as a private satisfaction, but in order to make the future actually happen....
One of the Volokh commenters describes this as "quasi-Catholic mysticism." I think it would be more accurate to call it Catholic quasi-mysticism. Quasi-Catholic mysticism is better exemplified, no bullshit, by Peter Johnston, who writes:
The declaration [of Independence], however, also includes elements of the prescriptive Judeo-Christian tradition inherited by the founders. This tradition emphasizes the concepts of divine providence, natural hierarchy and a respect for authority.
Yes indeed, "natural hierarchy." Now you know whence the famous "telos of man" clause of the 14th Amendment originates.