Sunday, 11 November 2007

Bloggertarians!

It's not exactly news that free-market libertarians and socialists do not usually get along swimmingly. But at least in the UK blogosphere each side has tended to stick to its own, firing only the occasional verbal salvo at those peculiar types at the opposite end of the political spectrum*

Not this week. And it's the lefties at Drink Soaked Trotskyite Popinjays for War that have gone on the offensive. Paulie, whose main blog can be found at Never Trust a Hippy and whose linked post of 5 November began the skirmish, has targeted two of the individualist right's best-known blogs, infamous for their creative swearing and hatred of all politicians - Devil's Kitchen and Mr Eugenides, along with that tenacious defender of civil liberties who was such a good source for Select Privacy posts, Longrider.

I'm not about to strip down and jump in the mudbath with them, but I'm certainly going to keep watching with interest - this has potential! Highlights of the battle so far include Paulie's imitation of a typical DK post1, including the unforgettable "OK, you jackmanape's scourings of a lock-hospital piss-pot" and his getting personal while completely missing the point of a writing style2 "You should get some sort of help. Going off on these tantrums can’t be doing you any good.".

Hak Mao delights in calling opponents "political illiterates"3,4 which perhaps illustrates better than anything else this past week why the far left blogosphere struggles to gain a "remotely similar audience share"5 to those representing other political schools of thought including libertarianism.

The idea of learning from successful bloggers and attempting to interest potential readers outside the memberships and ex-memberships of the various far-left parties seems to be lost on a lot of the earnest, worthy lefty bloggers. Now, a lefty equivalent of the Devil's Kitchen with posts about Fremantle Trust6, BAE Systems7 and Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust8 that contain a liberal sprinking of four letter words and finish up with a lurid description of untimely death involving sharpened cockroaches9 might be taking things a little far...

...But distasteful as some of DK's more colourful rantings can be, it's clear (I hope) that it is hyperbole for effect. It is equally clear that it works! For a blog that only began in January 2005 and is a one-man effort that is almost entirely non-party political (only a small fraction of posts are primarily about UKIP) to be voted #6 political blog in the country10 is an inarguably impressive achievement.

It's probably worth mentioning at this point that one of the few bloggers I have met and had a pint with away from the keyboard is indeed Chris Mounsey11, the man behind the Devil's mask, and I found him to be a fine and amiable guy. Somewhat opinionated, yes (but then what political blogger isn't); firm in his (very real) libertarian convictions; but not the sort of foul-mouthed oaf you might assume from a cursory glance at the blog - which is exactly what 'Paulie' appears to have done.


10. http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2007/09/top-500-political-blogs-in-uk-voted-for.html
11. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/04/20/nblog20.xml

* This debate is somewhat more entrenched in the US, where free-market libertarians and 'objectivists' are much more numerous, especially online.

1 comment:

Paulie said...

I've answered your points here:

http://nevertrustahippy.blogspot.com/2007/11/bloggertarians-update.html