Saturday, July 29, 2006

Links, science fiction, and a short tirade

Great post at Lowercase Liberty about one of my pet peeves: idiots who try to demonstrate their superior intelligence by making mistaken "corrections" to perfectly grammatical sentences.

Excellent article by Sheldon Richman about the role of business in promoting interventionism. (Hat tip to Mutualist Blog.) The only thing I have to add (building on something I posted earlier) is to comment on one great irony-namely, that "anti-corporate" liberals and leftists are usually the most vocal advocates of the very interventionist state that makes the manipulation and exploitation that Richman describes possible. They probably do more than anyone else to provide the necessary ideological support for the state powers that the rich and powerful use for their own ends.

I have not forgotten how large segments of the liberal/leftist commentariat, both online and off- Matthew Yglesias and the Daily Kos crowd being perhaps the most prominent online examples- leaped to defend the Kelo decision. (Not on federalist grounds, where there's arguably a legitimate case for the decision, but on the grounds that there was nothing objectionable about the government having the power to do what New London was doing.) They were the most passionate defenders of the state's right to forcibly transfer land from one private party to another, because such a power is supposedly necessary for the "common good." If that allows politically connected corporations to rob people of their homes, well, that's a small price to pay for the blessings of "progressive" rule. And they'll continue to bemoan the concentrated wealth and power of those same corporations, even as they cheer on the institutions that make such concentrations possible.

This is why I'm pleased by the emergence of the whole "libertarian left" thing, even though I don't consider myself a part of it. The harder the real effects of state economic intervention are hammered on, the more chance we have that at least some people on the statist left will wake up to the contradictions of their ideology.

Over at Unqualified Offerings, Jim Henley tears quasi-repentant war hawk Brink Lindsey a new one for his recent pseudo-apology for being wrong about the war. Choice quote:

Lindsey’s rhetorical sleights (and slights!) would be merely unpleasant if they didn’t indicate that Lindsey may not have learned much after all. Specifically, he does not seem to have learned the true usefulness of libertarian theory to foreign policy. You can boil it as far down as a single sentence:

National security may indeed be a legitimate function of the state, but it is still the state when it does this.

On a more fun note, my next science fiction review will be Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds. That should be up pretty soon. In the meantime, check out this Alastair Reynolds interview.

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1 comment:

Kevin Carson said...

Thanks for the link, John. Great blog, too. I've bookmarked you and got you in the hopper with the rest of the new links I intend to add when I update my sidebar.