Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The Marxist Streak in Libertarianism
Prompted by a recently-posted precis of Brink Lindsay's The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America's Politics and Culture, Noumenal Self takes a look at some similarities between Libertarianism and Marxism:
[Lindsay] does not mean to suggest that libertarian liberty must win in the end. So he faces the same problem the communists did: how to motivate an ideological movement in the face of alleged historical necessity. He opts for the same solution: to say that history is on his side, and that we'd better join up if we want to be on the winning side. But I daresay that it is hard to claim that history is on your side when it's unclear what exactly your side is. Libertarians praise a vague "liberty" from an even vaguer "authority." It is no wonder that their ends are vague, given their lack of any basic philosophical foundations. In this respect, they've got even less going for them than the Marxists did.Individual rights, being a sophisticated political concept to begin with, will require much more than vague fandom to win the day, as the vast majority of man's history should indicate.
Sidelining potential advocates of freedom by sowing complacency seems to be the "best" that Libertarians have offer to offer for those of us who truly value our individual rights. Otherwise, they're busy actively harming the cause of freedom by fostering confusion about what freedom is and what steps must be taken to secure it.
Leitmotif turned three years old recently.
Private Medicine in the United States
The Software Nerd has an interesting post about how tax policy in the United States has affected costs in the medical sector.
In this type of system, the individual has little incentive to save. Since, the premiums cover all the routine expenses, this works like a buffet: you've paid, now it's all-you-can-eat. If your tires will last another month, but insurance will pay for new ones today, you have a string incentive to get new tires.Although many of the points will not exactly shock those familiar with capitalism, the part of our system that most people do not think of as "broken" really is, and it is worth looking at it to understand exactly why.
Texas is #1!
According to this chart, Texas is the most productive state in the union (and tenth, per capita), as measured by delivery of carbon into the Earth's atmosphere! Hip, hip, hooray! (HT: Rule of Reason)