In praise of treason (was: Nobel prizes and economics data)


  I certainly agree with you about the worthlessness of the Nobel Peace Prize (at least judged by some of the people who have won it). But I noticed that in your list of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yasser Arafat, Le Duc Tho, and Jimmy Carter, you call Carter a traitor while attaching no similar description to the others. My question is, why would you list someone you consider a traitor among such unsavory company? After all, treason is a crime against the state, not against any individual, and if libertarians are against state power, shouldn't we generally *welcome* crimes against the state -- at least when they are committed in a relatively humane fashion? Boris Yeltsin was a traitor against the Soviet state, and I found his treason highly inspirational (especially compared with his lackluster terms as Russian president which followed). Trying to undermine the U.S. government by refusing to pay taxes is also treasonous, isn't it? Or maybe "traitor" and "treason" are such stigmatized terms that we shouldn't attempt to make positive terms of them, and instead we should stop applying them to actions against the state, and only apply them to crimes against the libertarian movement or against freedom. What do you think? Of course some of this paragraph is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I hope you recognize that I am also making a serious point.

Yours in liberty,
        <<< Starchild >>>


No problem. Many people think my old professor - Eugene Fama - won
the Nobel as well, although it hasn't happened yet. With the recent
trend toward awarding the prize to behavioralists and social
economists, I think Fama's time may have passed. My old physics
professor at Harvard - Roy Glauber - just won it this year though.

Personally, such things as the Nobel are irrelevant to me, especially
the Peace Prize. Just look at Gorbachev (who won it right before he
rolled the tanks into Lithuania), Arafat, Le Duc Tho, and that
traitor Jimmy Carter.

You might find this attached US weekly economics briefing of some interest.


> Derek, Thanks for correction. Gosh, I
> really got that fact wrong. I guess there
> was some talk of it when I was at wash
> u in the seventies and it gelled as fact
> over the sweep of time. As they say on
> snl, better to look good than to think
> good.
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