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"Libertarians are actually serious about reducing the size of government."
Posted by Laura Ebke on 01/30/2013 at 07:55 PM | Permalink
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I agree with much of what Browne says. I disagree with some of what he does not say (awkward way of putting it, but I think you get me).
Number one, more and more libertarians become rigidly binary and incapable of seeing that government does much to keep us free, while it also does much that undermines liberty.
It does make a huge difference whether you live in Mali or the USA, and the difference is to a considerable extent that government in the USA supports personal rights and property rights and institutions of liberty much more effectively than government in Mali; to deny this is, in my opinion, to be disrespectful of liberty.
Grotesquely, it has become politically incorrect for libertarians to acknowledge the ways in which government is protective of liberty. I get routinely berated by libertarians when I dare make this point.
I should say anarchist-leaning-libertarians (a-l-l), but most libertarians seem to be of that kind nowadays.
The inability to see that liberty is happening in our countries destroys the liberty movement, as it gets alienated from the reality of our society, from the political processes and the struggle for a better state. Libertarians drop out and become morbidly moping anarchists.
Second point: I noted this already in Bob Higgs (who is an excellent economic historian and a poor philosopher),
anarchists, being inebriated with wishful thinking and therefore little concerned with reality, show a propensity to adopt rhetorical devices of the left, such as a higher Galbraithian vantage point, from which it is possible to discover that most individuals are incapable of self-responsible judgements.
In Galbraith the individual is incapable of judging his interests in the market; according to anarchism, the individual is incapable of self-responsible views and actions (manipulated, brainwashed, a cerebral puppet) if these deviate from anarchist prescriptions.
The right of people to think for themselves is only of value if they are free to make the decisions and errors they choose to make. This may be a highly unsatisfactory state of affairs, but it certainly can't be improved by an intellectual dictatorship.
Georg Thomas |
01/31/2013 at 12:20 PM
I guess, this is what I wanted say in the first sentence of my above comment:
"I agree with much of what Browne says. But I also want to add aspects that he might be omitting."
Georg Thomas |
01/31/2013 at 12:31 PM
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