I dunno...the following excerpt is from Will Grigg of the John Birch Society. JBS is hardly what you would call liberal. Grigg is talking about the reactions on FR to comments bill orielly made about his interview with Jeremy Glick:
Hey mister, who gave you that shiner? Nobody gave it to me, son I fought for it.
Like nearly all the heroes brought to life by the pen of the incomparable Louis L'Amour, Conagher was an unpretentious man who fought when he had to, but only to defend the innocent and vindicate the claims of honor never to gratify his ego or in search of illicit gain. He had better things to do with his time than fighting, particularly when killing was involved.
Immortalized in the documentary Outfoxed, the Jeremy Glick segment clearly shows a bully getting the worst of a scrap he did everything to provoke. That's not how O'Reilly sees the episode when he replays it in the theater of his mind, of course.
I am glad I gave him what-for, he boasted to his Fox cohorts on The Lineup. I did give him what-for, you might remember that. I'm glad I did.
Imagine a High School senior boasting about fighting his eight-year-old sister to a draw, emerging from the tussle with a shiner while leaving the little girl's face unmarked, and you'd have a fair approximation of the repulsive spectacle O'Reilly offers.
Of course, from O'Reilly's perspective (which, to be fair, in his derangement is probably the version he really recalls), it was Glick who was out of control, a rampaging bully intimidating everybody on the set, and O'Reilly was ready really! -- to unload on him: If I could have whacked him, I would have.
At the time of the interview, O'Reilly's fan-boys at at Freerepublic.com sort of an on-line opium den for people hopelessly addicted to vicarious machismo were eager to play the part of schoolyard sycophants to the class bully.
I'd like to punch out the little POS! exclaimed one heroic Freeper. That Glick punk should be slapped silly, agreed a second. That kids needs a good punch! chimed a third. The best part was when they were going to commercial and the O'Reilly music came on -- Bill O'Reilly motioned to one of his guys off camera to throw the kid out! swooned yet another.
Yes, few things scream tough guy louder than gesturing to hired goons to deal with a small, well-mannered pacifist.
Few things better capture the Freeper syndrome better than this comment from the thread about the O'Reilly-Glick fracas: I was watching it. I could never do live TV. I would have been in a fistfight, and I would have won. I would have whupped his a--.
Conn Conagher a fictional character drawn faithfully on the model of thousands of real-life Americans wasn't inclined to boast about battle scars honorably won in single combat. Heroism as defined by O'Reilly and Freeper-style conservatives is a little less demanding.
But isn't that just another way of saying that "natural rights" are really just a social construct?
You're getting into the would "man in a state of nature" have or need rights argument. Good question but I'm too tired to head that way.
...man, as often as not, is not a rational being.
That coupled with man's apparently natural lust for power and posessions is the root of our problem. Can't forget laziness. As A.J. Nock pointed out there are two ways to make a living: (1) the economic means (working for what you have) and (2) the political means (taking from others what they have earned). The state is a parasite.
What is the source of these "inalienable rights"? Why is it "wrong" for one man to enslave another? Or kill him? Or take his belongings?
Man is a social animal. Recognizing natural rights and not initiating force is the only rational way for men to coexist.
History would suggest suggest that such a concept of individualism is not the natural order, most of it having consisted of assorted monarchies, serfdoms, dictatorships...
True. But only because the law of the jungle has prevailed over reason. As to the question of whether a state based on individual liberty has ever existed, some claim Iceland was once as close as a state ever came. I have not studied the claim.
I share your pessimism. I have come to believe the state and true individual liberty cannot coexist. And I am not an anarcho-capitalist.