Wednesday, December 26, 2007

No good deed goes unpunished.

There is a saying that no good deed goes unpunished. Apparently this is true.

This blog broke the story of Laissez Faire Books announcing it was closing and announced that there were negotiations to keep this well known libertarian institution alive. Last month it was announced that Laissez Faire was going to shut the doors forever and that it was selling off its entire inventory.

The good people at the International Society for Individual Liberty approached LFB and began negotiating to keep Laissez Faire alive. You would think this was a good thing. But apparently some “libertarians” don’t think so. This blog can report that some individuals, instead of being glad that LFB is staying open, have simply become abusive and insulting.

Since much of the inventory was sold off prior to the transfer it has to be rebuilt. Yet some customers, when this was explained to them, demanded to know when specific titles would be in stock again. And they meant precise dates. Expansion, of course, relies upon sales which fund the new inventory. And there are always questions of supplies from the publisher and other issues as well. So precise answers are often not possible. Good sales in January could mean faster rebuilding of inventory while poor sales could slow it down. Attempts to explain this to some abusive customers apparently was impossible and only brought forth more abuse from them.

The one that takes the cake was an email we saw from Daniel C. who attacked ISIL for stopping Laissez Faire from closing down. He claimed that they were destroying Laissez Faire. How that is possible is confusing to this blog. If they wanted Laissez Faire destroyed they only needed to do nothing. Pouring in thousands and thousands of dollars to purchase it, in order to destroy it, when it was already scheduled for closure, is one of the most absurd accusations we’ve run across in a long time.

He floated the idea that it could look as if George Soros bought LFB in order to derail libertarianism. He claimed ISIL “has completely ruined” Laissez Faire and “should be ashamed for what you have done” and that “I hope you realize you are doing more bad than good by purchasing LFB” -- apparently Mr. C. preferred that it close down instead. How keeping it open is worse than closing it he does not explain.

He then wrote: “I will never buy another book from LFB and I hope your pathetic organization fails miserably. Fuck YOU!”.

There is a saying that no good deed goes unpunished. The stories that ISIL has received abusive phone calls from some so-called libertarians is difficult to understand. The email which we saw from this “long time” customer attacking them confirms that this was the case. Why some libertarians seems to find it necessary to be abusive is something I don’t understand. And to say that ISIL ruined LFB by preventing its closure is just so irrational a claim that I have to wonder if Mr. C. was compos mentas when he wrote his attack. I was actually tempted to print the full name of the person who sent this rather bizarre attack. But maybe Daniel C. will come to his senses. I wouldn’t have believed this sort of thing if I didn’t see the email myself.

As I see it George Soros doesn't need to undermine the libertarian movement as long as there are libertarians like Mr. C. attacking people for doing good things. It is this sort of abuse that actually does harm the libertarian idea.

Note: Since this was written the head of ISIL, Vince Miller, passed away. In January 2010 a new Chairman of the Board, Mary Ruwart, was elected. Even though LFB had double total income for ISIL she sold it off, perhaps looking for a quick buck. It appears to us that LFB is effectively dead because of this. It will limp along for sometime and its nature will be changed by the new owners, who have already changed the line up of titles. We understand another new book service is about to open and applaud that move. This blogger can not support LFB or ISIL any longer.