Harry Binswanger is a rare breed of man—he’s both a philosopher and an Objectivist!
Qua philosopher, he wrote his doctoral dissertation in the philosophy of biology, later published as The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts.
Qua Objectivist, he takes credit for compiling the Ayn Rand Lexicon.
His latest piece on the current gun control debate in the U.S. is a gem. His point is a simple one, viz., With Gun Control, Cost Benefit Analysis Is Amoral.
Here’s a key excerpt.
The government may use force only against an objective threat of force. Only that constitutes retaliation.
In particular, the government may not descend to the evil of preventive law. The government cannot treat men as guilty until they have proven themselves to be, for the moment, innocent. No law can require the individual to prove that he won’t violate another’s rights, in the absence of evidence that he is going to.
But this is precisely what gun control laws do. Gun control laws use force against the individual in the absence of any specific evidence that he is about to commit a crime.
But he’s recently reported as saying this on his private list.
one thing that the law should return to doing is locking away the dangerously insane. The libertarian Thomas Szaz was instrumental in the movement begun in the late 60s to dump crazies back on the streets. He bears heavy guilt for many of these Newtown-type atrocities.
Isn’t locking away people deemed to be insane the very same evil of preventive law that Binswanger rails against in his Forbes article published only a week later? It seems that Binswanger has arrived at a contradiction.
To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality.
Binswanger’s gone insane. He should be locked up, for the public good.
[Cross-posted to SOLO.]