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A day that got us thinking

It was twelve years ago now, so it is no particular surprise that nobody here, as September 11th 2013 comes to its end, had much to say about September 11th 2001. But Simon Clarke of Libertarian Home does say something of significance about this tumultuous day. In a posting entitled Libertarian Home started 12 years ago today, he says this:

To say that Libertarian Home is a result of 9/11 sounds like some random happenstance, but it was not. 9/11 woke me up, and got me thinking.

9/11 woke up a lot of people. It got a lot of people thinking. A great many blogs started up soon after that day. It wasn’t merely because, at around that time, they could. In the aftermath of 9/11 people found themselves wanting to say things that the regular media were not saying, and to criticise a lot of the things that the regular media were saying.

Simon did not immediately start writing blog postings, but he did start reading blogs, including this one, which is most gratifying to know.

18 comments to A day that got us thinking

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    My ‘moment’ of pro-civilisation came when I read a book called ‘Sold’, about two teenage girls who had been raised in Britain, but their father sold them to strangers in his homeland of Yemen as brides. One of them escaped back to Britain, and that book was based on her adventures. Reading it gives you a vivid contrast between true civilisation, and the rest. I gave up on multiculturalism when I finished that book.

  • Laird

    9/11 did get a lot of people thinking. Unfortunately, not all of those thoughts were good ones. The Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security were both direct results of 9/11, and are excellent illustrations of Rahm Emanuel’s maxim of never letting a crisis go to waste. 9/11 was a watershed moment in this country: it was when the statists really moved to the fore.

  • I’m pleased you took the liberty of quoting me Mr Doherty. It’s an honour to be mixing things up around here.

    I find myself dwelling more on the last paragraph though.

  • Mr Ed

    My main recollections were that in the aftermath of that day it seemed as if the statists had had atoy box opened which justified any number of assaults on liberty, as if there was almost a feeling of glee that so many actions against liberty could be taken, as Laird said about Mr Emmanuel’s quote, and out of nowhere came the Patriot Act, as if it was waiting in a drawer to be presented to the Congress.

    The odd thing that I recall was that there was nothing shown on the media that I saw in the UK re interviews of eyewitnesses to the Pentagon attack, nor CCTV of a low-flying aircraft coming in over DC, perhaps it is on Youtube somewhere.

  • It certainly got me thinking. It made me look for stuff on the internet, and that’s how I discovered that new phenomenon called ‘blogs’ (I remember the first one being Andrew Sullivan’s, via Slate – and from there all the rest, including this one).

  • Tedd

    My brief blogging fling had already ended when 9/11 happened. But 9/11 and its aftermath was definitely the catalyst that led me to spend who knows how many thousands of hours reading and commenting on other people’s blogs over the last twelve years. And I think that experience also gave some extra impetus to my shift toward libertarianism.

    Before blogs, I had much less appreciation for how widely divergent people’s political views actually are. It’s not that I wasn’t aware of all the points of view, they just weren’t as real to me because I rarely, if ever, interacted with people who held them. Now I do, much more often. Part of what I’ve taken away from that is that the scope of government is itself one of the root causes of the culture wars. There are very view isms or political viewpoints that didn’t also exist a century ago, but a century ago there was much less reason to care what cockamamie things other people believed.

  • Sam Duncan

    Good link, TomJ. I thought I was in for some kind of it’s-all-in-the-past dismissal of the thing, but while obviously a “liberal”, that guy Gets It. Even his veiled attack on the Tea Party ends with:

    Not that I can mock them for being paranoid, because above all, what the last 12 years have taught us is …

    #1. Sometimes the Alarmist Tinfoil Hat Crowd Is Right

    Which is turning out to be worryingly true.

  • Scooby


    The Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security were both direct results of 9/11, and are excellent illustrations of Rahm Emanuel’s maxim of never letting a crisis go to waste.

    The passage of the PATRIOT Act was a direct result of the 9/11 attack. The content was all ready to go as the wish lists of various fascists just waiting for the opportunity to get it passed. That was evident when the first bits of legislation that went into the final act were filed while the rubble was still smoking.

  • That is indeed an excellent essay, TomJ.

  • To the music world? What about humanity?

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    #1. Sometimes the Alarmist Tinfoil Hat Crowd Is Right
    Yes, sometimes. But mostly they’re wrong. Cf: tinfoil hats do not work.

    Mr Ed, you have made many sensible comments. I do hope you are not going down with conspiracism. Why fewer witnesses to a plane hitting the Pentagon than to planes hitting the World Trade Center? Er, because the Pentagon is not full of tourists rubbernecking and pointing cameras everywhere? There were, in fact, several witnesses to the plane hitting, although they mostly didn’t see much because it happened so fast. There were witnesses aboard the aircraft who called their families to say the aircraft had been hijacked. There were also witnesses among first responders who saw and handled plane debris.

    The internet is not short of debate on these topics so that’s probably all from me on this subject.

  • Mr Ed

    @ Natalie, I was simply reporting what I noticed at the time, there was endless coverage of the ‘planes hitting New York, and virtually nothing of the Washington incident, which was arguably more significant strategically as a strike at the heart of the US Military, and the sort of thing that might be part of a pre-emptive strike. You have extrapolated from that, and fear not, any inference you might wish to draw is unwarranted and unsupported.

    I did not suggest that there were fewer witnesses to the Pentagon attack, but in the normal course if events, one might surmise that that would be so. I was referring to the media coverage in the UK. The Pentagon might not be full of tourists, but there are typically plenty of people in Washington (or a neighbouring State) who might have seen something of the aircraft’s approach, and at the time it struck me as odd how little was reported of it, given how 24 hour news tends to wheel out all but the most gormless or inarticulate witnesses to recount what they saw so as to fill airtime.

    It might be that the lack of media coverage of that incident has led to many drawing unwarranted inferences, although how you would hide an aircraft and those on board if the ‘plane did not hit the Pentagon is perhaps a point some might beneficially contemplate.

  • Could someone please delete my last comment here? It belongs in a different thread – sorry about that…

  • Paul Marks

    Before 9/11 there was a person in the United States who kept going on (and on) about the threat of Osama Bin Laden and his Islamic Comrades.

    But as that man was (by his own admission) a former drunk and a drug abuser and “all round scum bag”, it was not logical to assume that anyone would take his radio warnings seriously.

    By the way – this person now opposes both the Patriot Act and the policy of “nation building” wars.

  • Laird

    @Scooby: Undoubtedly true. My only point was that 9/11 was the catalyst which permitted it to be introduced and passed in Congress (with near unanimity). Otherwise that bill would have remained safely under the rock where it had been lurking for who knows how long. That’s what I meant with the Rahm Emanuel reference.

    @Natalie: How do you know that tinfoil hats do not work?

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Mr Ed, this is one time when I’m happy to be justly accused of drawing unwarranted influences 🙂

    I’d imagine that reflexive instincts of official secrecy was one reason the Pentagon attack was less reported. And, of course, it simply not killing as many as the WTC attack.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Inferences, even.