Two Links With Great Comments-A Libertarian Focus

From The Library Of Economics & Liberty-My SImplistic Theory Of Left And Right

Bryan Caplan chooses to frame the debate thusly:

1. Leftists are anti-market.  On an emotional level, they’re critical of market outcomes.  No matter how good market outcomes are, they can’t bear to say, “Markets have done a great job, who could ask for more?” 

2. Rightists are anti-leftist.  On an emotional level, they’re critical of leftists.  No matter how much they agree with leftists on an issue, they can’t bear to say, “The left is totally right, it would be churlish to criticize them.” 

Arnold Kling axes as previously posted, which he proposed to better understand political philosophies and/or ideologies, which I’ve copied/pasted from elsewhere:

‘Conservatives use a civilization vs barbarism axis.

Libertarians use a coercion vs freedom axis.

Liberals use an oppression axis to view the world – oppressed vs oppressor.’

Walter Russell Mead’s theory, in part, posits that liberalism 4.0 needs to become 5.0 and start to creatively solve the problems we’re faced with, including globalization and global labor markets and competition, the decline of American of manufacturing and industry, and the rise of technology and automated workplaces.  The ‘blue’ model is behind the times, but the same sentiment for equality, fairness, collectivism, unions, labor, anti-capitalism and regulated markets on the way the ‘great society’, are obviously still there, to say nothing of 60’s Civil Rights activism being used as the moral leverage for all sorts of constant change.

Speaking of which, Megan McArdle takes a look at the gig economy, and the comments are well worth a read

‘I think there are real concerns about what has happened to the wages of American workers. But so far, I don’t see much evidence that Uber or Airbnb is the cause. Most of it seems to come from automation of low- to medium-skilled work in the manufacturing and clerical sectors, or the outsourcing of those jobs abroad.’

From Public Reason: ‘Symposium on Gaus’s Public Reason Liberalism’,,,Repost-Quotation From Charles Kesler And A Few Thoughts on Conservatism

4 thoughts on “Two Links With Great Comments-A Libertarian Focus

  1. Leftism is opposed to markets. The original reason for this opposition was intellectual: the first socialists were unable to conceive that free markets could be efficient. They thought state control would work better. Rightism is everything that’s not leftism, so there are no reliable generalisations that can be made about the right.

    1. Thank you for the comment!

      I think there is definitely moral reasoning, emotion, belonging, self-interest, identity, ideology, different theories of history (what WILL supposedly happen in the future) etc going on on for people on the Left: a whole mental framework and worldview that looks at even the industrial revolution as suspicious, but especially as you note: ‘capitalism’

      At the moment, I tend to see much communitarian thinking (socialist lite) as an amalgam of post-Enlightenment doctrines bundled together, doctrines which tap petty deeply into human nature and just as profound metaphysical doctrines tend to do, they offer a semi-coherent way to answer questions of ‘why’ ‘what’ ‘how’ etc.

      Once such principles tend to be established as valid knowledge and truth for a person, much of the ‘we’ virtue thinking follows, and it’s usually anti-capitalist, anti-market, politically activist etc.

      People so often define themselves as what they’re against as much as what they’re for.

      Thus, such reasoning from principles also has profound consequences for rest of us…and for the freedom of individuals being eroded through such ‘virtuous’ communitarianism, collectivist Statism…bureaucratic authoritarianism, regulated market ethnic nativism and of course, even fascism, totalitarianism, etc.

      All this talking about ‘the Left’ would tend to put us somewhere on ‘the Right’ I’m guessing, within this little model, trying to figure out what we’re against and some of what we’re for!

      1. “People so often define themselves as what they’re against as much as what they’re for.” Yes. Indeed, it’s much easier to be passionately against something than passionately for something.We instinctively care more about threats than opportunities.

        In any movement or faction that endures, there develops over time an emotional attachment to its doctrines, and an emotional antipathy to its opponents, even if the original basis of the doctrines was entirely a product of cold reason. Eventually, emotion is apt to overwhelm reason to the extent that debate is replaced by shouting, name-calling, calumny, and attempts to silence those who disagree, or even eliminate them altogether. The human tendency to divide into groups of “us” and “them” is impossible to completely suppress, but the way politics is organize encourages demagoguery, and makes matters worse. Certain types of religion and ideology especially promote to this, because they are built around stark dichotomies such as heaven versus hell, utopia versus dystopia, oppressors versus oppressed, and civilization versus barbarism.

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