I’ve decided to set before this "community" an interesting proposition. Buried deep among the record 108 comments on my lengthy March 26 column is the following, from fellow Unpartian (I think) Paul DeMarco:
Thanks for trying to keep the debate civil. Personal attacks simply
demonstate that the attacker’s argument won’t stand on its own merit.
Mary’s "worthless piece of garbage" routine is tiresome and mitigates
any impact the substance of her message might have. If I were Brad, I
wouldn’t stand for it. I’d warn her and her like and then ban them from
the site if they continued. If not, I predict, the ugliness will only
As you can see, the Unparty — assuming I’m right about Paul’s affiliation — is not for libertarians. We believe in the rule of law.
The thing is, the shifting community that has formed on this blog has no laws as yet. And we are still small enough that we have not formed a republic, therefore to the extent that we deliberate, we must do so through the "town-meeting" sort of direct democracy.
But now Citizen DeMarco has proposed not only a law, but presented its first test. He says that Mary Rosh‘s behavior is unacceptable in these virtual parts. He proposes a community standard, and a means of enforcement — a warning, followed if necessary by excommunication.
This is fascinating. We are present at the birth of a society, however rudimentary it may be. I’d like to see where the group will take this. I expect a wide variety of viewpoints to be expressed, but I’m curious to see whether we can nevertheless move toward a consensus — one way or the other, or in between somewhere.
Since I have a rather unique role in this society — you might say I’m sort of a unitary executive in a very liberal (in the classic sense) democracy — I’m not going to say what I think about Mary’s case at this point.
Anyway, we have the bill before us. Let’s debate it.