Quick Roundup 218

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.

Happy Blogiversary!

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)

-- CAV


Sid said...

re your last topic: You don't need to look too far to witness how environmentalism destroys human thought and civilisation. Today I came across a Facebook web application called "I Am Green", which recommends things to do to become "green", like "recycle even when inconvenient" and... listen to this... "get off the pill"!

Some more suggestions there:
1. Governments should enact laws to cut power for an hour or two a week, to reduce energy usage. Ask us how we suffer during power cuts in India.
2. Do not use tissue to dry your hands, use time instead, have them dry "naturally". Reminds me of that recommendation to use one square of toilet paper.
3. Flush "selectively" (barf) and make sure that the others in the house are willing to accept it (I'd chase them out of mine).
4. Become vegan (never mind the health hazards).
5. Have one child (the aim is to reduce world population)

And finally, here's a typical post there on the discussion board:
I totally agree with trying to do everything that we can [...] I stopped spending time with certain friends, wouldn't take plane trips to visit my parents while they were living overseas... I have since loosened up and was just hoping I might be able to offset the guilt a bit!! [...] Any organisations worth supporting in my attempt to feel a bit less full of vice??

I'm sick.

Gus Van Horn said...

Hmmm. "Get off the pill," AND "have one child".

Between the complete lack of regard for the Law of Contradiction and the willingness to cut off friends for the silliest of reasons, the Greens remind me more and more of Moslems every day.

Adrian Hester said...

Yo, Gus, you write: "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!" "Hip, hip, hooray?" Whatever happened to "Yee-haw!" or "Yippee-ki-yay!"? Show some sense of occasion!

Inspector said...

Gus, you're not kidding about Libertarians resembling Marxists. Check out this gem from the debate section of Captialist Paradise. The poster, Zhwazi, is a self-described libertarian anarchist. To listen to him, you'd think he was an old-school Marxist.

Gus Van Horn said...


Point taken, but I do believe I have earned some slack here!


I often thank commenters such as he for saving me the trouble of illustrating certain points.