Honesty cannot exist without consistency. This statement may be obvious or it may be obscure, but the truth of this statement is unwavering. Honesty is based on consistently embracing truth and applying it to your every action, whether it is to your advantage or not. Sometimes honesty stings. Sometimes it hurts almost more that a person can endure. But if you are committed to the truth you have to be committed to consistent honesty, no matter the consequences.
An example of this can be found in Walter Block’s great book Defending the Undefendable where Block simply applies libertarian principles to everyday situations. He shows in his book that you can’t own your reputation, since it exists only in the minds of other people. Taking this principle further should lead the consistent libertarian to conclude that it would be immoral to use the aggression of government to punish someone for smearing your reputation. On a personal level, I have been attacked numerous times by a wide variety of internet trolls, internet tough-guys, internet geniuses, and internet celebrities. None of these individuals has had the guts to say squat to me in real life, but over the internet they are amazingly brave, even to the point of pretending to be me, copying my web site, and even attempting to scare me with physical threats. On several occasions, “laws” were broken and I could have taken “legal” action to have these people dealt with according to the standards of the government. In each case I chose to be honest by consistently embracing the core principles that I am bound to by my own honor.
I should note here; I use words like “principles” “honest” “consistent” and “honor” very carefully. Every day I look in the mirror and the face I see looks back at me. I cannot lie to that face, neither can I escape its stare. If I violate what I preach, the eyes in that mirror will never look at me the same again. I hold myself accountable by looking in those eyes every day.
Unfortunately I expect the same standard of behavior from friends, family, acquaintances, peers, and everyone else I encounter. When they fail that test, I move them to a separate category; not trust worthy. Think about that; not worthy of my trust. Such is the case with Stefan Molyneux, as has been documented in excess of late, but now I have to add Walter Block to that list. I have complained about Block’s inconsistencies before, but now, after seeing him attempt to wiggle a justification in this article, I am forced to categorize him as just another inconsistent statist.
After all, anyone can talk the talk. It only matters when we walk the walk. Unlike a Hollywood actor, I live the things I preach.
September 5, 2014