Exploring the libertarian/conservative divide. Will is always a pleasure, and as he terms it, a Henry Clay/Abraham Lincoln Whig from Illinois.
He puts his finger on a lot of things in the video, but this stuck out. The regulators and the regulated:
“We have produced an enormous number of people who think they’re entitled to rule, who are trained to rule, which is to say, trained to administer the regulatory State, and arguably, absent the New Deal, we wouldn’t have had the regulatory state, which gave rise to this class…“
I’m sure there can be philosophical disagreement, especially about that last part, but with an anemic 1-2% economic growth and many young people living at home, we’re pretty much arguing more about less at the moment.
This reminded me of Charles Kesler’s Four Waves Of Liberalism theory, a deep conservative political philosophy.
Addition: Another quote from Will, which highlights something I think many libertarians and conservatives can usually agree upon, and where the divide between libertarians/conservatives and liberals can be striking (he obviously doesn’t mean that percentage accurately):
“98% percent of the what the government does is for factions, or what the founders called factions, which are those who are not public-spirited, but private spirited, who are trying to bend public power to private advantage.”
The refrain I hear most often from frustrated libertarians/conservatives is that ideologically, progressives pursue aims which naturally lead to an enormous public sector and State. Individual “rights” are not there to be safeguarded, but rather conferred by membership in a group of activists and ‘community’ members, the better of whom will lead the government.
This puts progressive interests in charge of the public power while they pursue their private interests. There are good and smart people among them, of course, but this model came with many unelected czars, an army of rent-seeking bureaucrats (focusing on the environment, health-care & education especially), union cartels potentially free-riding on the public good and various other hangers-on looking for money, power, and influence.
Whatever your views on your moral obligations to others, and what kind of society you’d like to live in, this is a particularly inefficient and often corruptible way to go about it.
Considering the fact that we’ve had a steadily growing government for awhile now, with ever more questionable and complex legislation coming from both sides of the aisle, along with a public making conflicting and sometimes incompatible demands upon elected officials, it’s no wonder there’s such frustration all around.
Of course, we can all be guilty of overlooking our own interests and justifying our actions with noble purpose and lofty ideals. but that’s one of the beauties of our system: Many of our founders knew this all too well.
Addition: The American Conservative Blog isn’t convinced by Will’s libertarian bent:
If you substitute “pointy heads” for big government, Will’s intellectual evolution begins to make perfect sense. His newfound libertarianism isn’t theoretical so much as it’s personal. He’s basically the same George Will—just older and crankier.
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The NY Times op-ed writer and a practicing Catholic? William Saletan and Ross Douthat At Slate: ‘Liberalism Is Stuck Halfway Between Heaven And Earth’…Douthat’s The Grand New Party…Ross Douthat At First Principles: ‘The Quest for Community in the Age of Obama: Nisbet’s Prescience’
Once you take apart the old structure, you have to criticize the meritocracy you’ve helped create: David Brooks At The NY Times: ‘Why Our Elites Stink’
The Hoover Institution Via Youtube: Charles Murray On ‘Coming Apart’
Charles Murray At The New Criterion: ‘Belmont & Fishtown’…Charles Murray Lecture At AEI: The Happiness Of People…Can you maintain the virtues of religion without the church…of England?: From The City Journal: Roger Scruton On “Forgiveness And Irony”…
Robert Nozick merged elements of Kant and Locke into a strong, libertarian defense of the individual, and also responded to Rawls distributive justice: A Few Thoughts On Robert Nozick’s “Anarchy, State and Utopia”…liberals attack: From Slate: ‘The Liberty Scam-Why Even Robert Nozick, The Philosophical Father Of Libertarianism, Gave Up On The Movement He Inspired.’
LIbertarianism at high tide against a particularly liberal administration?…Anarcho-capitalism: Pro-market, anti-state, anti-war…paleo-libertarian: Link To Lew Rockwell Via A Reader…Anarcho-syndicalist, libertarian socialist and sometime blind supporter of lefty causes: Via Youtube: (1 of 3) Kant, Chomsky and the Problem of Knowledge…Two Sunday Quotations By Albert Jay Nock in ‘Anarchist’s Progress’…new liberty away from Hobbes?: Repost-From Public Reason: A Discussion Of Gerald Gaus’s Book ‘The Order of Public Reason: A Theory of Freedom And Morality In A Diverse And Bounded World’
Updated: Clink on this link to explore the ideas of David Friedman, and his brand of libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism for yourself. Many of his positions are well-reasoned and should be considered on their merits. Few people make such a compelling and clear argument for private property: Youtube Via Libertarianism.Org-David Friedman: ‘The Machinery Of Freedom’.
…Some Friday Quotations: (On) Kant, Locke, and Pierce