Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Statists distort libertarianism, Episode 4,367

Excellent post by Will Wilkinson on this embarrassing screed about libertarianism in The Weekly Standard.

The Weekly Standard article is a useful reminder of how little neocons have strayed from their roots- neoconservatism is still liberalism’s thuggish little brother. (Which would, I suppose, make “national greatness conservatism” liberalism’s juvenile delinquent nephew.) Despite appearing in a conservative publication, the article is an outstanding distillation of what standard liberal commentary on the subject of libertarianism is like: The idiotic oversimplifications and distortions of what economists believe, the insistence that having good-willed people in office is all that matters, the ridiculous pretense of having no ideology, the belief that depriving people of economic freedom is a purely technocratic question with no moral content, and underlying it all, the contempt for the idea of people seeking individual success and fulfillment instead of gloriously dissolving themselves in some collective moral crusade. Make the language a little more gender-inclusive, replace “McCain” with “Obama,” remove the disapproving reference to pornography, and throw in the word “compassion” a few times and you’ve got something your average Democrat would whole-heartedly endorse.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's a very good observation. I went to school with the authors. I'm often amazed at the way the Dept. of Social Thought convinces people from middle, possibly upper middle class backgrounds that if they just start talking about excellence a lot, they'll shed their all-American upbringing, turn into mini Napoleons and bring back glory. I'm really shocked they spelled Milton Friedman's name wrong, too.