The general rule when it comes to responding to critics is: shoot up, not down.
That is, if someone of prominence attacks you, then respond. If someone nobody has heard of attacks you, continue as if nothing happened.
The most famous violation of this rule in my lifetime was committed by Rudy Giuliani, when he attacked Ron Paul in that GOP presidential debate. Ron’s numbers were in the low single digits at the time. Rudy should have left well enough alone.
Instead, he propelled Ron into the spotlight, and the Ron Paul Revolution was born.
When I released The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History back in 2004, I had leftist bloggers all over cyberspace saying horrifying things about me. For good measure, one added that Columbia University should revoke my Ph.D. (even though my dissertation had been published as a book by Columbia University Press, to rave reviews in the academic journals).
I was so caught off guard that I went from one blog to another, trying to defend my good name.
Only later did I realize: no one cares.
No one has ever heard of any of these bloggers. Let them continue in their well-deserved obscurity.
Now when you’re attacked by the big boys, then you come out swinging.
When the New York Times and the Boston Globe (the latter a hit piece by the hapless Cathy Young of Reason magazine) attacked the book, I hit back hard on heavily trafficked sites.
And incidentally, I learned something else: even if I hadn’t been able to defend myself on such big sites, (1) people inclined to like my book will already know not to trust the b.s. coming out of those papers, and (2) people inclined to hate me will have forgotten my name by the next day and will never think about me again.
As it turns out, the week after the New York Times attacked me, the book cracked the top 10 on the NYT bestseller list. Hahahahaha!
Why do I bring this up?
I was attacked by a libertarian punk yesterday, and everyone wants me to respond.
The kid is trying to direct traffic to his site. You think I’m going to oblige him?
The article is so ridiculous, he actually refers to Murray Rothbard as a “KKK member.” This is not a normal kid.
This is the same kid who argued last month that “Murray Rothbard wasn’t a libertarian.”
He says Austrian economics has been a failure because Chicago and Keynesian economists are more numerous, and because the ruling classes seem more open to their ideas.
By the same measure, he himself is a laughable failure, worse even than Austrian economics!
He also thinks Ron Paul is a loser, but deeply admires Gary Johnson.
But, my child, since Trump and Clinton are so much more popular, by your own standards doesn’t that make Johnson a terrible failure, too?
Libertarians are fighting against every ruling class everywhere in the world, and we are up against a population that has been educated in schools built by that class and staffed by its partisans. The fact that we have gone from a couple dozen of us 50 years ago to millions today, under these constraints, is a veritable miracle.
Now I can’t resist this particular pitch, because it will make the punk’s day. In my government course for the Ron Paul (there’s that awful guy again!) Curriculum, I have a lecture on Murray Rothbard (eek!) and his argument for the stateless society.
That’s right: my government course contains material arguing for the privatization of everything, Rothbard style.
Twenty years of learning on my part is stuffed into this single-semester course that you can listen to at your leisure.
Save yourself 19 1/2 years. And stop losing debates to all those opponents you know you should be crushing.
Plus, tick off the punk: