Hospersian Hysteria


John Hospers, professor emeritus of philosophy at UCLA and the first presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, has apparently committed intellectual suicide by urging those of a libertarian persuasion to vote for George W. Bush. Hospers, once a clear-thinking philosopher with strong Objectivist tendencies, has accepted several key myths promulgated by anti-intellectual American nationalists and therefore has abdicated completely the field of ideas; among those myths:

  1. This election is a turning point in American history, "an important electoral crossroads for the future of liberty", a fulcrum on which turns the very fate of Western civilization.
  2. A vast left-wing conspiracy is poised to take over America and foment an international leftist revolution as soon as a Democrat is elected to the presidency.
  3. Creeping socialism is such a clear and present danger that we must sacrifice our liberties and assent to creeping fascism in order to protect the American way of life.
  4. American patriotism requires continuous war, relentless intervention in foreign nations, and the building of an American empire rather than peaceful trade with all and entangling alliances with none.

Services are planned for November 2, 2004. Hospers is survived by reason and freedom, which outlast all fair-weather friends. In lieu of flowers, well-wishers are encouraged to redouble their commitment to clear thinking and the principles of liberty.

Peter Saint-Andre > Journal