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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12581/can-society-be-organized-like-a-camping-trip/

Can Society Be Organized Like a Camping Trip?

April 28, 2010 by

The issue between the socialist and the supporter of the free market is whether you should be forced to regard everyone else as your “friend,” with a claim on your resources, even if you do not value so extended and demanding a community. FULL ARTICLE by David Gordon

{ 6 comments }

bgreen April 28, 2010 at 9:20 am

“The issue between the socialist and the supporter of the free market is whether you should be forced to regard everyone else as your “friend,” with a claim on your resources, even if you do not value so extended and demanding a community.”Right. In fact, I’ve never been on a socialist camping trip myself. On another thread, someone asked why Cohen didn’t just use the example of a family. Perhaps because it would make his error clearer.

I’d like to read the book. I wonder how he justifies his value of egalitarianism. Most stuff I’ve read from the left assumes egalitarianism, rather than justifying it. I see know reason to value it. In fact, egalitarianism does not seem fair to me.

Allen Weingarten April 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm

As you say, a clear model would be that of a family, wherein the parents bestow benefits in terms of need. Thus the socialist wants a government to be the parents (where the citizens are the children) with a moral mission to do what is right. There are many things wrong with the family model. First of all, each individual family has had parents who were successful enough to start a family. Next, by that definition, when the child matures, he becomes the government. More significant is that the herd mentality operates for animals, while humanity prospers by the free individual. Also, morality is in the realm of the individual, rather than the collective which has no moral compass. Even if one thinks that the government can obtain a moral position by democracy, it relies on the individuals. Yet no family would have parents whose moral position was obtained by a majority vote of the children.

There is a role for family, but families presuppose an ethos, and we may note that in dictatorial societies, family practices are corrupted. So even before we consider the flaws in an economic model based on the family, it fails as a moral or societal model. Nonetheless, the view of society as a family has a great hold on people, for they have generally experienced the support of parents, so they are willing to relinquish their liberties.

bgreen April 29, 2010 at 8:16 am

Even in a family, “socialism” doesn’t work so well after the children have come of age. Positive incentives are neccessry to increase productivity. If it works at all it is only because of the close genetic ties between children, parents and siblings.

PirateRothbard April 28, 2010 at 9:55 am

I like the rose on the cover. Like it’s portraying socialism as some elusive lover.

Hairnet April 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Why do socialists always have the same lame ass status quo moralities?

I find it interesting that the political arrangement is is supposed to be the outcome of societies morals. Socialists keep trying to argue for a different political system on the basis of a the same morals that produce our current arrangements. That doesn’t make very much sense.

I would be more interested in their arguments if they came out with a better defense of socialist morals other than egalitarianism/altruism and all of those other cliche’ beliefs spewed by public schools.

Ondrej Moravec April 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Well, the answer to this 80-pages pamphlet is in Mises’ 600-pages 90-year old masterwork. “It is unfortunate that one of the foremost political philosophers of our time remained”… uneducated.

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