I had planned on taking Sarcastro to dinner, sitting in the back corner of some mostly empty restaurant, some place where I could ask him probing questions about libertarianism and study his face for flickers of fear or whatever, and throw butter knives at him until he answered.
But I realized last night that such a plan would be ill-advised at best, because the dude can make himself utterly unreadable. You're sitting there, some topic comes up, you look over at him to see what his take is on it, he sees you looking to see what he thinks and--fwoosh (if fwoosh is a word)--his face goes utterly blank. He doesn't even give himself away with the corners of his eyes, the ways some folks do. Nothing*.
So, dear readers, I'm turning to you. Here's what I want to know:
1. What do you think is the fundamental nature of human beings? I know this can be construed as a religious question, so religious answers are welcome, but will not be privileged--unless, of course, you work old Norse gods into your answer, then you are probably right.
2. Do you think the state has a right to coerce its citizens into behaving? If so, why doesn't the state have a right to coerce its citizens into behaving well?
3. Is the government an extension of the will of the people or something different?
4. What ties you to me? Do you have a vested interest in my well-being? Why?
5. What does it mean to govern? To be governed? Do we make a fundamental philosophical mistake when we lump together "leader" and "politician"? Or are those two things, for all practical purposes, the same thing?
Ha, it just occurred to me that Sarcastro, if he's made it this far, is probably thanking his lucky stars I didn't try to force him answer these questions.
Anyway, I'm just curious about what y'all think, especially the libertarians.
And, in case it's necessary, let's all keep in mind the wise words of A.C. Kleinheider
, the smartest person I know who's consistently wrong (though, not in this case):
Here at home we can afford to be a bit Utopian because, more or less, we are all friends here. There is margin for error and room to act a bit silly.
*This has also made me vow never to play poker with him. As you can imagine.