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The Adjective "ultimate"

Chomsky.jpg

In the Facebook group "anarcho-capitalism," one participant asked this: "Hypothetical: If I ran for political office on the platform that I ma an anarchist and that my ultimate goal is to end the government would you vote for me?"

Among anarcho-caps there is of course a lot of distrust of the institution of voting as such, whoever is eliciting votes. So this is a natural question for the group. My own answer:

No. I distrust the adjective "ultimate." Everybody is for all nice things "ultimately" even people who are doing quite nasty things now. Or especially them. All warriors are for "ultimate" peace, etc. And every Lenin or Chomsky will tell you he is for a stronger state but that since it will "ultimately" wither away, not to worry.

Now, that was more concise than complete. There are contexts in which I don't distrust the word. There is some value to metaphysical/eschatological discussion of ultimates. But one isn't an "anarchist" if one is so patient. One is either confused or a poseur.

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