Friday, December 31, 2004

Libertarian brawl breaks out

Instapundit savages Reason's Tim Cavanaugh for savaging a nonchalant tourist who is now looking for a good time on the beaches of Malaysia.

Cavanaugh's original commentary was short and vague ("Western civilization is in a state of terminal decadence"). And, true, he deviated from the Libertarian line that assigns no value to emotions and intent -- only to the results on a balance sheet.

I don't think anyone at Reason would wish away the few tourists South Asia still attracts, as Instapundit suggests. Cavanaugh was simply appalled at the tourist's indifference to the suffering all around him. When he walks down the empty corridors of his hotel, past the silent restaurants and shops, won't he feel a little . . . strange?


Adam Scavone said...

The dude got off the plane with a gin and tonic in hand. It seemed a little callous to me. That's all from here - back to the bowl games.

Adam Scavone said...

I don't think my comment got posted so I'll post it again:

The dude got off the plane with a gin and tonic in his hand. The first thought that came to my mind was Thurston Howell, the millionaire from Gilligan's Island. It just seemed a little callous.

Clara said...

Though, when you think about it, there's tragedy all around us--and yet, life goes on. Every day, people die in New York City. A car accident kills a cute 2-year-old on the Upper West Side, and you wouldn't even know about it.
And if someone in your family dies, it's more painful than the awareness that 100,000 lives were snuffed out halfway across the world.
I don't know where I'm going with this.... except to say: appreciate your loved ones this year. They may not be around in 2006.

marco said...

I don't understand what is un-libertarians about the comment. He wasn't saying that vacationing should not be allowed there now. He was just making a judgment, a judgement that he is very much entitled to. And honestly i agree, i have nothing against people going to Thailand to take advantage of the deals and what not; however, i do think that one could do it in a more respectable manner.

Clara said...

Surprisingly enough, that happy-go-lucky tourist is doing more for the surviving Malaysians than everyone else shaking their heads and feeling sorry from far away.

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