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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/16670/how-to-reach-the-left/

How to Reach the Left

April 28, 2011 by

How can Austrolibertarians reach the Left? Well, it depends which Left.

FULL ARTICLE by Roderick T. Long

{ 86 comments }

Beefcake the Mighty April 28, 2011 at 9:14 am

Roderick Long is still using his silly Dilbert examples, I see.

Drigan April 28, 2011 at 10:02 am

This is somewhat off-topic, but the article made me think of this:

How hard would it be to get a mayor to implement some choice among government provided services? Basically, all we need is a slightly less expensive version of The Point, and a database of who signs up for what . . . Here’s how I envision it working:

Everyone in a community is defaulted to the current trash (or insert some other service) service provider, but you allow other service providers to sign up and say “If you get X citizens, we’ll provide this price.” At that point, every citizen in the town would have the option of provider A (the default) or B. The same could be done for other government services.

I think this would allow capitalism to creep into government and slowly take over many of the governments’ current set of responsibilities.

Anecdotally, my parents were just annexed into the city, and one of the big “bonuses” the city provided was “cheaper trash pickup.” My parents’ neighborhood had already contracted with a removal service that was cheaper than what the city could provide, so they actually had an increase in price.

Any thoughts?
Drigan

Colin Phillips April 28, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Doesn’t have to be this complicated, just have an opt-out of the city’s rulers’ chosen plan for any one particular service. If people want to get out and find their own solutions (via ThePoint/Groupon or not) then they can. This avoids the problem of the city rulers only offering the services of A or B, the two service providers who bribed their way on to the “registered suppliers list”. You need to have a way for people to completely drop out if they want to, and have no trash pickup. Unfortunately, the scaremongering that would ensue by the current service providers would have you believe that nobody would then pay for trash removal, meaning the city will not try it.

I like the idea, but for it to be a solid plan for transition, it would need to somehow reduce the effectiveness of the tactics that those currently benefiting from state inefficiencies would use to undermine any such plan.

fundamentalist April 28, 2011 at 11:40 am

Very interesting article! I agree. Conflation of the existing market with a free market is our number one problem.

While I don’t oppose reaching the left, doesn’t it make a little more sense to concentrate on flipping conservatives? After all, if you placed everyone on a continuum from left to right, with libertarians being on the far right, conservatives would lie on the line between libertarians and the antiprivilege left. It’s easier to flip those closest to you.

Conservatives need to be convinced to give up their love of war and big business. They are as naïve as the left when it comes to their trust in government. But we have a lot more in common with them.

If our goal is to grow the libertarian movement in order to have more influence, wouldn’t we get more bang for the buck if we focused on conservatives?

Besides, the antiprivilege left may have more layers of belief than you recognize. Antiprivilege may be the outermost layer because it carries the greatest emotional thrust and is the easiest to defend. It appeals to everyone’s sense of fairness. But once you take away that layer of defense as you do in your article, you may discover many more layers.

A deep layer that the left often doesn’t talk about is human nature. They believe that mankind is born innocent and turns evil only because of oppression, and private property is the greatest oppressor. Also, they tend to be firmly committed to the idea that all people are hopelessly stupid and need a messiah to save them.

Beefcake the Mighty April 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Although I don’t particularly disagree with what you say here, you need to understand that, for people like Roderick Long, libertarians aren’t situated on the “far right” (leaving aside the negative connotations that term carries in current political discourse). To the extent that he would accept a right-left dichotomy (in truth there are reasons to reject such a dichotomy), he would place libertarians on the “far left.” Hence to him, reaching out to conservatives is the waste of time or resources. He’s not likely going to be persuaded by what you write here.

Anthony April 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm

fundamentalist,

I have to disagree with your characterization of libertarians as “far right” (they are not “far left” either). While there are many people who you accurately describe with your comment on layers, but I would suggest that there are just as many on the right who, beneath their outermost objections, have a deep seated belief that the government needs to enforce (usually Christian) morality and that there should be laws against personal actions that they find disagreeable. Surely restricting the actions people can take with their own bodies is just as contrary to libertarianism as is restricting actions they can take with their property… if not more so.

As someone who came to libertarianism from the left (and who brought a few with me), I can say that I certainly did not pass through (or even close to) a “conservative” phase, as one might expect if the left/right dichotomy were accurate.

Slightly better then the simple one dimensional left/right models of political thought are the two dimensional models that differentiate between social and economic freedoms, with libertarians being those who support both.

Treating libertarianism as an extension of conservatism is not really tenable… libertarianism is a separate beast and it should be viewed as such.

Dagnytg April 28, 2011 at 7:02 pm

fundamentalist,

I think the mistake or misperception many make is looking at the paradigm in terms of liberal and conservative when in fact, the paradigm is between freedom and equality.

The most revealing thing about this paradigm is it forces one to recognize that freedom and equality are juxtapositions, opposites that can not be reconciled.

Therefore, in terms of ethics, you have two choices in life- you either believe in a society of freedom or one of equality. (Anything in between is undefined, convoluted, and a contradiction.)

So conservative and liberal are just pragmatic blips along that paradigm.

Note:
If I was to summarize Mr. Long’s article (and he might disagree)…

In an extreme sense, the anarcho-libertarian movement has more in common with the anarcho-communist movement and that we should try to convert those who already lean towards dismantling the state.

The softer version-many on the left are against power structures (institutions) and so are libertarians- conservatives not so much.

Beefcake the Mighty April 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm

“The most revealing thing about this paradigm is it forces one to recognize that freedom and equality are juxtapositions, opposites that can not be reconciled.”

I agree, but I think Roderick Long would not:

http://mises.org/daily/804

Alexander S. Peak April 28, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Dagnytg writes, “The most revealing thing about this paradigm is it forces one to recognize that freedom and equality are juxtapositions, opposites that can not be reconciled.”

I reject this claim. In fact, I would say that true equality (as opposed to the perverted conception of equality promoted by state socialists) can only be achieved though freedom.

Regards,
Alex Peak

Beefcake the Mighty April 28, 2011 at 8:57 pm

What do you mean by “true” equality here? I wonder if it’s akin to socialists complaining that the Soviet Union wasn’t “truly” socialist?

Alexander S. Peak April 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Dear Beefcake,

My idea of true equality is fairly similar to the ideal promoted by Long in his essay, “Equality: An Unknown Ideal.” I assume that’s the link you posted, although I did not click it to verify.

Best,
Alex Peak

Beefcake the Mighty April 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm

It is indeed that essay. Long advocates an “equality of power,” which I find extremely puzzling, as I understand Long to be an anarcho-capitalist like myself. It makes no sense to speak of equality “with” various agents of the state if the ideal is to eliminate the state altogether (and I get no impression that he is discussing temporary, transitional matters here). But under anarcho-capitalism there will of course always be discrepancies of power (unless you wish to deny human nature), as private property means the right to exclude, i.e. hold power over the wishes of others to access that property, and there will always be those owners whose property is deemed superior to the property of others, yet who can legitimately exclude those others from his own. Perhaps Long just means in a very bland and generic sense that in this system, we are all private property owners of some sort or another, and therefore “equal” in the regard of being able to legitimately refuse or grant entry. But then, equality is not a particularly enlightening notion.

Beefcake the Mighty April 28, 2011 at 9:20 pm

And I should add: Long is doing there exactly what anti-Communist socialists of old did: label that form of equality he regards to be bad as “not really” equality, and characterize the things he regards as good to be “equality.”

Alexander S. Peak April 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Dear Beefcake,

If I recall correctly, Long discusses an equality of authority, not an equality of “power.” Since authority can come in three forms, it’s worth naming them: rights (a form of authority that is innate and irrevokable), privilege (which can be granted and revoked), and usurpation (which is stolen, essentially). Rights are always legitimate; privileges are legitimate only when they are granted by a rights-holder, and are not legitimate when they are granted by usurpers; and usurpations are never legitimate.

My understanding is that an equality of authority is, essentially, a recognition that all humans possess the same innate, inalienable rights. As long as people are required to respect the bodies and justly-acquired physical things of another, no one can be said to be a lord over another person. Even a boss at a business, in a truly free market, has no greater power than the employers, despite the claims of socialists. True, the boss may fire the employee, i.e., refuse to continue doing business with the employee; but, likewise, the employee has the power to “fire” the employer, by simply saying, “I quit.” Neither party has the power, under a truly free market, to compel the other party to continue being in any sort of relationship with the other, so in a very real sense, bosses and employees have an equality of authority in a stateless society, in a free market.

A system that respects every individuals natural right to not have her or his person or legitimately-acquired property aggressed against is the only system, therefore, that respects true equality. If a socialist state usurps the legitimately-acquired property of John in order to redistribute it to Mary, this state is actually promoting inequality; it is placing Mary on a higher level than John.

State socialists make the mistake of seeing equality in solely economic terms. If John has more nominal money than Mary, the state socialist believes this indicates inequality. But this is not a comprehensive view of what equality means. Maybe Mary only works three days a week because she highly values being with her friends. She’s trading potential income, therefore, for something she values more highly. John, on the other hand, subjectively views the opportunity costs in a different light than Mary. For John, working six days a week and gaining lots of extra money is more important than leisure.

Since value is subjective, it stands to reason that real net wealth is also subjective. Sure, Mary doesn’t have as many dollars as John, but I would argue that she is equally wealthy as John (assuming both live in a truly free market, unlike us). John and Mary are equally wealthy in a truly free market because they are free to pursue lives that they subjectively value most highly. Thus, when a state socialist steps in and forces John to give up a portion of his income to Mary, the state socialist is promoting not only an inequality of rights, but also an inequality of real net wealth. Now, Mary has not only the leisure she values, but also some of John’s income, while John is forced to sacrifice both.

Of course, even this analysis is too symplistic. One does not merely have to choose between leisure and work, but also what sort of career one will educate oneself for, &c. All of these things affect a person’s nominal monetary wealth, but the point remains that, given the subjective nature of value, the free market is the only system that yields an egalitarian distribution of real net wealth.

While you’re right that property rights give Frank the power to exclude Susan from Frank’s property, they likewise give Susan the power to exclude Frank from Susan’s property. Both Susan and Frank invariably have equal authority. Now, one might say, “But what if Frank has not opted to purchase any property?” This wouldn’t mean that Susan has any more authority than Frank, because while Frank may lack property, he still has the authority to noncoercively acquire it, just as does Susan, and the authority to dispose of it how he wishes when he does. Thus, I see no inequality arising as a result of defending property rights. Indeed, I would argue to the contrary that equality is destroyed by abridging or ignoring property rights. If Susan has laboured to grow crops, and Frank simply takes her corn, claiming “Property is theft, what is thine is mine,” Frank actually places himself in a position of master over Susan, who has been retroactively enslaved by Frank.

Beefcake, you write, “there will always be those owners whose property is deemed superior to the property of others.”

Be deemed superior by whom? I contend that anyone making such a claim is merely expressing her or his subjective views, and that neither property is inherently more valuable than the other.

Finally, you write, “And I should add: Long is doing there exactly what anti-Communist socialists of old did: label that form of equality he regards to be bad as ‘not really’ equality, and characterize the things he regards as good to be ‘equality.’”

Perhaps. But so what?

Best,
Alex Peak

Beefcake the Mighty April 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm

“Perhaps. But so what?”

So what? Seriously? You don’t see anything wrong with conflating and obscuring different ideas, and creating false distinctions where none exist?

As an example, if you really mean that “equality of authority is, essentially, a recognition that all humans possess the same innate, inalienable rights,” then why don’t you just talk in terms of those rights to begin with? What is the purpose of even bringing equality into it? It is usually understood to mean something quite different. All this concern with “equality” by Left-Libertarians sounds like pandering, to be quite charitable.

Alexander S. Peak April 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Dear Beefcake,

I don’t see how one can be said to be “obscuring ideas” when one is saying, “The word equality has been perverted to mean a forced equalisation of nominal income. True equality is rather different from what the state socialists have been calling ‘equality.’”

If anything, I would say that that is taking an idea that others have obscured and demystifying it.

Does anyone really think that, when the average Joe talks about equality, he intends to refer to anything other than the absence of power-established-through-aggression? He doesn’t intend to, but because of the perversion of the term, he invariably does.

Unfortunately, because state socialists have perverted the concept of equality, the term has bundled some very contradictory concepts. This allows for people to engage in doublethink, to mean one thing and to also mean something very different.

(Similarly, Marx conflated a free market with what we would call state capitalism, whereas prior to Marx, the term capitalism simply referred to what we would call state capitalism. Thanks to Marx, we have to explain that there are two different and contrary concepts bundled together in the word capitalism, something good and noble (the free market) and something destructive and hierarchical (state capitalism).)

Surely you would agree, no?, that there is nothing wrong in explaining this, in pointing out that these terms bundles contrary concepts, and in defending one definition as being more appropriate than another, all the while being very careful to explain the differences and not re-conflate them?

Yours,
Alex Peak

newson April 30, 2011 at 4:32 am

birobidzhan gave the lie to socialist egalitarianism.

Dagnytg April 28, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Alexander,

I’m not sure what definition of equality you’re using but if I use the dictionary.com version:

the state or quality of being equal; correspondence in quantity, degree, value, rank, or ability.

As you can see words like value, rank, or ability run into problems because these things cannot be equal in a free society.

I think what you’re talking about is not equality but opportunity (and I don’t mean equal opportunity).

In a free society there is greater opportunity… greater opportunity to goods, services, jobs, etc. and thus society appears more equal.

If we look at the paradigm I suggested above, freedom and equality are a contradiction. To have one is to have less of the other. There is no way around this. It’s not just a matter of semantics but of ethics.

(This is the conclusion I came to when I was a freshman in college and my Poli Sci professor placed this diagram/paradigm on the board. I doubt he would have approved of my conclusion, and I never shared it with him, but it was the beginning of my libertarian journey.)

PS>cool website

Alexander S. Peak April 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Dear Dagnytg,

(1) Thanks for your comment about my site. (Unfortunately, having just downloaded Google Chrome, it seems my site doesn’t look as good in it as it does in Explorer or Firefox. Hopefully I’ll be able to do something about that.)

(2) It is true that I was not using the definition of equality provided in your dictionary. I tend to think that equality, as the term is applied to social interaction, tends to be a very different thing from, say, equality in amounts of liquid in a graduated cylinder. Unfortunately, the definition of equality that I apply to the realm of social interaction does not appear to be represented in your dictionary’s definition.

But I will agree with you in this regard: Freedom is not compatible with a forced equalisation of nominal wealth, and it is even less compatible with the sort of so-called “equality” described in Vonnegut’s classic short story, “Harrison Bergeron.”

Cheers,
Alex Peak

RTB April 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Equality of what?

Alexander S. Peak April 28, 2011 at 7:19 pm

fundamentalist writes,

“While I don’t oppose reaching the left, doesn’t it make a little more sense to concentrate on flipping conservatives? After all, if you placed everyone on a continuum from left to right, with libertarians being on the far right, conservatives would lie on the line between libertarians and the antiprivilege left. It’s easier to flip those closest to you.”

I disagree with the premise that conservatives are closer to libertarians than the so-called “liberals.” I also disagree with the idea that libertarians should be placed on the far right.

The left/right spectrum arose a couple hundred years ago, and when it did, classical liberals were on the left while those dedicated to statism, monarchy, collusion of church and state, burdensome taxation, militarism, mercantilism, &c. were on the right. If we view the spectrum correctly, we are the real leftists, and the free market is an inherently left-wing ideal.

But more importantly, I don’t see why we should regard the conservative as being closer to us than the so-called “liberal.” Sure, conservatives have stolen our rhetoric, but have they adopted any of our policies? When you find a self-described “conservative” who does adopt our policies, you can be sure that he is not actually a conservative, or at least, is not entirely conservative.

Contrariwise, the so-called liberals agree with us on pretty much everything except for guns and taxation. We regard taxation as an example of theft, and we regard gun “control” to be an inherently violent policy. So-called “liberals” (or at least the antiprivilege ones Long speaks of) already tend to agree with us on drugs (particularly marijuana), war (particularly when a Republican is in the White House), gay marriage, racial equality, abortion (although, admittedly, this can be a somewhat complicated issue), the right to die, censorship, immigration, and many others.

It might seem that we have many economic differences with the so-called “liberal,” since we reject Social Security, welfare, so-called public schools, Medicare, Medicaid, &c.–but when you think about it, we only reject these things because they are funded through force. If a nonaggressive business or organisation wanted to provide something akin to Medicare, we would have no objection. Even if this business or organisation decided to incorrectly call itself a “state,” we still would have no objection to its provision of something akin to Medicare, so long as the business or organisation continued to operate without employing aggression, that is to say, continued to not actually be a state.

Almost all of the economic disagreements libertarians and so-called “liberals” have is a product of the fact that they, as of yet, do not recognise that taxation is theft. In fact, at the moment, the only economic disagreement I can think of between libertarians and so-called “liberals” that does not come down to taxation is antitrust–but it’s not like conservatives are any more likely than the so-called “liberals” to oppose antitrust laws.

Perhaps I have a biased view as to which camp is easier to convert because of my background. I used to be a liberal when I was young, and heard of libertarianism some time in the previous decade. When I first looked into it, I looked up the Libertarian Party website, and found that I agreed whole-heartedly with the Libertarian Party position on social issues. My disagreements tended to be economic, but this is not to say I disagreed with every economic position the party had. I also started reading Harry Browne’s website and listening to his radio show archive in 2004. I would say that that’s the year I became a libertarian, although I had been moving in this direction steadily since 2003. In 2006, after reading some Rothbard, I came to support the abolition of taxation, and in 2007, I became a full-blown anarchist. Since then, I have remained a Rothbardian.

So, if I am biased, it is only because my experience demonstrates to me that a person can go from so-called “liberal” to classical liberal, from classical liberal to libertarian minarchist, and from libertarian minarchist to libertarian anarchist. I can easily imagine many so-called “liberals” following the same path, and I want to help them do so.

What is hard for me is to imagine a conservative making a similar conversion. “Liberals” get the exoteric stuff, like gay marriage; what they don’t get is simply the esoteric stuff, like economics. But, conservatives don’t even get the exoteric stuff, it often seems. (Again, that might just be my bias.) Thus, I don’t even know where to start with a conservative. And, I guess that’s why I think it would be much easier to convert the so-called “liberal” than the conservative.

fundamentalist comments, “They believe that mankind is born innocent and turns evil only because of oppression, and private property is the greatest oppressor.”

Most so-called “liberals” aren’t opposed to property rights. I wasn’t. As for those antipropertarians who are on the so-called “left,” we can (1) point out that Proudhon was referring to property obtained through statism when he said that property is theft, and (2) explain the negative repercussion of antipropertarianism through thought experiments. Finally, we can (3) continue to point out that no libertarian is ethically opposed to the idea of antipropertarians coming together and establishing their own antipropertarian communes, so long as they do not force people to join or to stay, and so long as they do not try to make war with or take the property of those who do not wish to participate in their communist experiments.

fundamentalist also writes, “Also, they tend to be firmly committed to the idea that all people are hopelessly stupid and need a messiah to save them.”

All we have to do is point out that the messiah tends to be just as hopelessly stupid. ;)

Respectfully yours,
Alex Peak

RightKlik April 30, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Good points. Reaching out to the left by casting aspersions on conservatives is a strategic mistake.

To the author of this piece, I would advise caution in equating the “conservative agenda” with the Republican agenda. In reference to the comments on the failure of the right to promote free-market health care solutions, I would submit that the failure is a failure of the Republican Party, not of conservatives.

On the issue of health care reform, Long might believe he has his finger on the pulse of the conservative movement, but the pulse he’s describing is that of the GOP.

Conservatives are vehemently opposed to the individual mandate and they have no love for the various health care cartels — the insurance companies, Obama’s friends in the pharmaceutical industry or the AMA. This is doubly true of conservative physicians. (Put “percentage of physicians in AMA” in your favorite search engine.)

crossofcrimson April 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm

“After all, if you placed everyone on a continuum from left to right, with libertarians being on the far right…”

I think using a two-dimensional political dichotomy between conservatives and liberals (and, even then, putting libertarians to the right of conservatives) is generally a big mistake. If you’re using that political spectrum as a metric then you have to break it down to the individual issues to make much sense of it.

Harold Kyriazi April 28, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Excellent speech. Had Dr. Long been addressing a group other than the Austrian economists at the Von Mises Institute, I assume he’d have talked about the left-libertarian (geo-libertarian) ideal of sharing the unimproved value of the earth and its resources equally among all citizens as a great way to reach out to the anti-privilege left.

In any case, I very much like the use of the phrase “freed market” rather than “free market.”

The Anti-Gnostic April 28, 2011 at 2:06 pm

What is the “unimproved value of the earth and its resources?”

And if this value, once extracted and realized, is to be distributed equally among 7 billion people, haven’t you destroyed any incentive for resource extraction by the far-less-than 7 billion people with the skills and capital to do so?

And who enforces this “sharing?” The Red Guard?

Michael Orlowski April 29, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Well,I was at this Mises Circle, while most of the audience was probably libertarian, there was a somewhat long debate between the panelists on open borders and others. With the panelists supporting it.

Beefcake the Mighty April 30, 2011 at 8:33 am

Can you tell us specifically which panelists supported open borders? And which opposed?

Barry Loberfeld April 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm

“Thus when left-wingers complain that employment decisions are too often driven by prejudice rather than by merit, they’re complaining about a situation created and sustained by government …”

What “left-wingers” condemn as “prejudice” is any situation where the demographics involved fail to match that of the wider society. There is no reason to believe that each and every instance is a “situation created and sustained by government.” Does Long suggest that we would have racial proportionality in a free society? That, under unregulated capitalism, every business — and every prison system — would be 50% male and 50% female?

Demographic Diversity: Left vs. Right vs. Reality

Contemplationist April 29, 2011 at 10:12 pm

This is the real crux of the dividing line. There is absolutely no reason to assume that an identical pattern will emerge among various ethnicities or the two sexes among occupations, criminal behavior, wages, etc etc. This is the ludicrous reasoning behind the “discrimination” racket in the 21st century. Can any libertarian seriously repeat the feminist BS about women making 77c/$ of women to be about discrimination? What is your model? How is this massively large equilibrium maintained among the aggregate of a million industries? What private behavior is driving this disparity? In short, DO YOUR DAMN WORK Mr analyst. Submit your model to rigorous analysis. Quit the hand-waving

Anonymous April 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Long writes the following howler:

“they see institutions and social practices rigged against blacks, women, gays, immigrants, and other oppressed groups ”

There is nothing “oppressed” about these groups, which are objectively recipients of privilege through “affirmative action” (discrimination against straight white men) and other government programs. If all “left-libertarianism” is about is promoting more discrimination against me because I am a white male and if the “left-libertarians” were to take over the libertarian movement, then I would rather be a conservative than a libertarian (although the conservatives are basically useless and merely interested in preventing any additional discriminatory legislation from being passed). There is some genuine discrimination against gays (although relatively minor) and against immigrants (primarily against Muslims and illegal immigrants).

I know this will fall on deaf ears with Long, who is so delusional that he actually believes the discredited feminist rape lies and other similar falsehoods (he co-authored that disgusting essay with some “Charles Johnson” guy where he actually favorably cited the most fanatical man-hating feminists). When Long attacks us for “conflating” the current system with a “free market,” what he is actually saying is that we don’t have a “free market” because we have corporations and corporations are evil.

The complaining about “social practices” is silly. In most cases, the “social practices” that the left hates are biological facts. Unfortunately, left-wing idiocy such as human nature denial has been growing in the libertarian movement in recent years.

The biggest delusion many libertarians have is this delusion that we somehow aren’t on the right. In fact, a genuine libertarian society would be a place that leftists would hate. It would primarily be culturally conservative, would not grant any special privileges to so-called “oppressed” groups, and there would be a free market that is absolutely unhampered. If the conservatives could get over their blind nationalism and their fatal conceit that government can and should enforce morality, they would be libertarians. If the conservatives understood that most of the immorality they detest is the result of governmental social engineering, they would be less likely to favor government enforcement of morality (if the conservatives were to somehow get government out of the education business, that would be the most important victory that the right-wing could win because the left has to replace itself by indoctrinating schoolchildren). For the leftists to become libertarians, they would have to completely reject just about their entire world view. The leftists support civil liberties for themselves (do you ever see them speaking out against their fellow leftists who plot to censor “right-wing” speech or against the violent leftist thugs that disrupt speeches on college campuses?) and are “anti-war,” except for when wars help advance politically correct and/or altruistic purposes (this is why they mostly don’t care about the Afghan or Libya wars). What really concerns the left is protecting special privileges for their client groups (unions, blacks, latinos, feminists, gays etc.). This is why they protested against very small steps to reduce the political power of government employee unions (the union issue is the 2nd most important issue to defeat the left, after the education issue).

I wish people would stop quoting Rothbard from the 1960s and ignoring everything he wrote during the rest of his lifetime. It seems clear from the evidence that Rothbard regretted his 1960s alliance with the hard-left and considered it a mistake.

Anthony April 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Anonymous,

“he is actually saying is that we don’t have a “free market” because we have corporations and corporations are evil.”

Are you implying that we DO have a free market? Where exactly do you live?

Whatever you might have to say about Long’s writings elsewhere, he gave a cognizant, reasonable, explanation for his assertion that firms would likely be smaller in a free market… if you have problems with that argument then by all means point them out. In the mean time you should confine your arguments to things that he actually said, rather than what you say he secretly meant by what he said.

You said “If the conservatives could get over their blind nationalism and their fatal conceit that government can and should enforce morality, they would be libertarians” I agree. But the paucity of libertarians indicated that this is a much harder step then we would like it to be.

We could use help from wherever we can get it… I made the transition from (medium)left to libertarian myself, so I can attest that it is certainly possible.

As I said above, libertarianism does not fall on the spectrum of left/right spectrum…

Beefcake the Mighty April 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm

“Whatever you might have to say about Long’s writings elsewhere, he gave a cognizant, reasonable, explanation for his assertion that firms would likely be smaller in a free market…”

Did he? All I can see is that he observed that there are both economies of scale and diseconomies of scale. That is true, but irrelevant to the question of what size firms are likely to be absent State support (which unquestionably exists under the current system). I don’t have the link handy, but I know that Peter Klein has critiqued Carson’s attempted use of Rothbard’s extension of Mises’ calculation argument. Long is essentially echoing Carson here on that point.

newson April 28, 2011 at 8:22 pm
Anthony April 28, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Beefcake,

I should have been more clear… I don’t necessarily agree with Long, I was just trying to focus the conversation on what Long actually said.

As for the effect of a free market on firm size, I would suspect that it would vary immensely by sector and with technology… I don’t particularly care either way, though, as long as people are free to form whichever non-aggressive associations they want.

Beefcake the Mighty April 28, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Fair enough. I agree with you overall assessment: under a truly free market, some firms would be smaller than they are now, some would be larger (and some wouldn’t exist at all).

Alexander S. Peak April 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I am inclined to think that H&R Block is one of the firms that wouldn’t exist at all. :)

Cheers,
Alex Peak

Alexander S. Peak April 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

P.S.

Not to imply, of course, that I think H&R Block is committing some sort of unethical act by offering its services. It would only be committing an unethical act if it actually promoted or petitioned for taxes, just as the drug dealer who benefits from the war on drugs is only acting unethically if she or he promotes or petitions for the war on drugs.

Beefcake the Mighty April 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Peter Klein:

“Just for clarification, Rothbard’s argument is meant to define an upper bound on the size of the firm, not to explain the benefits and costs of incremental changes in firm size short of that upper bound. One can construct a Hayekian “knowledge problem” argument for decentralized management and small firms, but this is not quite the same thing. In Rothbard’s One Big Cartel analysis, as long as the cartel is not so large that all external markets cease to exist, economic calculation is possible. That leaves a wide range of possible firm sizes, and organizational types, that could survive and prosper short of this threshold.”

At

http://aaeblog.com/2007/03/25/islands-of-chaos/

James April 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Anonymous:
You make far too many unqualified assumptions in your reply to Long’s article for me to take it very seriously.

Alexander S. Peak April 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Anonymous claims, “There is nothing ‘oppressed’ about these groups [i.e., blacks, women, gays, and immigrants], which are objectively recipients of privilege through ‘affirmative action’ (discrimination against straight white men) and other government programs.”

RESPONSE ONE:

You’re saying there is “nothing” oppressed about immigrants? Immigrants are told that if they don’t get the right “paperwork” from a criminal band calling itself the state, that they are not “legally” here, and that they can be forced from their homes, forced from their justly-acquired property, and made to go elsewhere.

You’re saying there is “nothing” oppressed about gays? Gays are told that, because they are gay, a criminal band calling itself the state has the power to prevent them from consenting to form a private union with one another. Given that this union is one that is often described as a religious union or sacrament, we can go further and say that this criminal band is dictating what sort of religious engagements and beliefs are to be considered valid.

I could no on, but I think I’ve made by point, viz., that nothing was not an appropriate word to use.

RESPONSE TWO:

Affirmative action is objectively racist against blacks and other so-called “privileged” groups. Affirmative action is essentially the government saying, “You are too stupid, lazy, or treacherous to get or retain this job, position, or membership on your own. You need the helping hand of Big Brother.”

Anonymous goes on to write, “If all ‘left-libertarianism’ is about is promoting more discrimination against me because I am a white male and if the ‘left-libertarians’ were to take over the libertarian movement, then I would rather be a conservative than a libertarian (although the conservatives are basically useless and merely interested in preventing any additional discriminatory legislation from being passed).”

(1) Left-libertarianism is just another word for libertarianism in my book. There is no such thing as “right-libertarianism.” And while I’m on the subject, I might as well say now that, as far as I’m concerned, Stalin, Marx, and Mao were all right-wingers. This is an important theme that runs throughout the rest of my response.

(2) Left-libertarianism (which is just another way of saying libertarianism) is not “all about” promoting more discrimination. Left-libertarianism (which is just another way of saying libertarianism) is all about eliminating aggression (i.e., the initiation of force or fraud against the person or the justly-acquired property of others) in all human interactions.

(3) Left-libertarianism (which is just another way of saying libertarianism) is not even “about” promoting more discrimination. All left-libertarians (which is just another way of saying all libertarians), in fact, want to do away with affirmative action. Left-libertarians (which is just another way of saying libertarians) want to see a colour-blind society, where people are judged, not by the colour of their skins, but by the content of their characters.

(4) Conservatives are not “merely” interested in preventing any additional discriminatory legislation from being passed. They are interested in many things. For example, they are interested in banning salvia, which is currently legal in most states.

(5) Conservatives are not even “interested” in preventing any additional discriminatory legislation from being passed. Look at how they clamour for stricter government regulation over marriage.

Anonymous writes, “When Long attacks us for ‘conflating’ the current system with a ‘free market,’ what he is actually saying is that we don’t have a ‘free market’ because we have corporations and corporations are evil.”

No. He’s not.

(1) Whether “corporations” would exist in a free market depends upon how one chooses to define “corporation.” If we define it merely as a business, then it seems almost inconceivable that businesses would cease to exist on a free market. If you define it as a business owned by someone other than the workers, I again think it is quite possible that we would have them on the free market. (With that said, I do also think that worker-owned firms would be a lot more prevalent in a free market than they are under the present neomercantilist system.) If you define it as a business that is owned through a system of shares, once again, I suspect highly that such a thing would continue to exist on a free market. (In fact, I think most worker-owned firms would probably emerge with workers owning the firm in the form of shares.) If you define a corporation as a business that has limited liability with those with whom it contracts to do business, I would, again, suspect that such a thing would continue to exist on a free market. But, if you define a corporation as a business that has limited liability with everyone–even with those with whom it has no contractual agreements–then and only then would I say that the corporation (as thus defined) cannot exist in a truly free market.

While I cannot say with total certainty whether Long would agree with me in the above paragraph, I suspect he would.

(2) In any event, one could as easily take what you write and twist it. For example, I could say that you are saying (a) ‘corporations are not evil,’ (b) ‘because corporations are not evil, they would exist on the free market,’ (c) ‘they do exist,’ (d) ‘we therefore have a free market now,’ and (e) ‘because this is the free market, this is the ideal society, and no change is necessary to make the human condition better.’ Of course, you’re probably not actually saying this, but then, Long isn’t saying the things you’re putting into his mouth, either.

Anonymous writes, “The biggest delusion many libertarians have is this delusion that we somehow aren’t on the right.”

We’re not. The right loves big government. The right believes the individual is worthless except insofar as she or he benefits the state. The right advocates a command economy. Right-wing regimes include such horrors as Nazi Germany, Communist China, Fascist Italy, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Just because some of these regimes called themselves “leftist” didn’t make it true. If they had truly been leftist, they would have promoted a free market, free trade, international peace, free speech, drug legalisation, freedom of religion, open borders, and all the other things that a truly leftist (i.e., libertarian) society would embrace.

Anonymous writes, “In fact, a genuine libertarian society would be a place that leftists would hate.”

A genuinely libertarian society is not a place that libertarians would hate. Not at all. Sure, some people who incorrectly regard themselves as “leftists” might hate it, but I think even a lot of the people who incorrectly regard themselves as “leftists” would be pleasantly shocked by the results.

Anonymous claims, “[A genuine libertarian society] would primarily be culturally conservative.”

Really? A genuine libertarian society would hate gays, want to ban immigration, want a government to take over any business caught hiring immigrants, want the government to regulate drugs, want to dictate what sort of nonviolent sexual encounters (e.g., prostitution) are to be regarded as deviant or deserving of regulation, and want to dictate what sort of clothing is regarded as “appropriate”?

I think not.

Or, are you defining “culturally conservative” in a manner that is totally foreign to me, in the same way that I’m defining “leftist” in a manner that is totally foreign to you?

Anonymous writes, “[A genuine libertarian society] would not grant any special privileges to [any] groups, and there would be a free market that is absolutely unhampered.”

And why would a true leftist (i.e., libertarian) have a problem with this? :)

Anonymous writes, “If the conservatives could get over their blind nationalism and their fatal conceit that government can and should enforce morality, they would be libertarians.”

They would also have to start supporting free market and free trade, not just rhetorically.

Anonymous writes, “if the conservatives were to somehow get government out of the education business, that would be the most important victory that the right-wing could win.”

And I would call that a victory for the left, and a defeat for the right. :)

Anonymous writes, “For the leftists to become libertarians, they would have to completely reject just about their entire world view.”

Or, perhaps they would only have to change their view on taxation and on gun control, as I wrote above in response to ‘fundamentalist.’

Anonymous writes, “The leftists support civil liberties for themselves (do you ever see them speaking out against their fellow leftists who plot to censor ‘right-wing’ speech or against the violent leftist thugs that disrupt speeches on college campuses?)…”

Sure. But, the leftists who speak out against plots to censor conservative radio (&c.) typically call themselves “libertarians.”

Anonymous writes, “…and are ‘anti-war,’ except for when wars help advance politically correct and/or altruistic purposes (this is why they mostly don’t care about the Afghan or Libya wars).”

Or, perhaps those people aren’t actually leftists, which would make sense if you define leftist the same way I do. :)

Anonymous writes, “This is why they protested against very small steps to reduce the political power of government employee unions.”

But what if those weren’t leftists? What if they were actually right-wing socialists, and they only thought they were leftists?

Finally, Anonymous writes, “I wish people would stop quoting Rothbard from the 1960s and ignoring everything he wrote during the rest of his lifetime. It seems clear from the evidence that Rothbard regretted his 1960s alliance with the hard-left and considered it a mistake.”

Rothbard did make a few mistakes in his life that I can think of.

(1) He had kind words to say about Che, once.
(2) He had kind words to say about David Duke, once.
(3) He supported copyrights.
(4) During the early ’90s, he actually thought of himself as a right-winger, oddly enough.
(5) He wrote an essay attacking egalitarianism when what he should have been attacking was the perversion of the concept of egalitarianism by statists. Egalitarianism itself needs not be forced upon people at the point of a gun, nor need it entail any sort of “equalising” of income. In fact, I would argue that a forced equality of income is inherently anti-egalitarian, and that under true egalitarianism, some people will choose to pursue money at the expense of other pleasures while others will choose to pursue other pleasures at the expense of monetary wealth.

But other than that, I don’t think I have any major disagreements with the Rothbardian world-view, regardless of what decade we’re dealing with.

Respectfully yours,
Alex Peak

Beefcake the Mighty April 28, 2011 at 8:55 pm

“Affirmative action is essentially the government saying, “You are too stupid, lazy, or treacherous to get or retain this job, position, or membership on your own. You need the helping hand of Big Brother.””

I suppose it’s never crossed your mind that the beneficiaries of affirmative action and such *are* in fact incapable of getting these positions, at least in competition with other groups (whites, Asians)?

Alexander S. Peak April 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Dear Beefcake,

It must be noted, when agreeing with you, that there is no way to ascertain objectively who these beneficiaries are, as there is no way to objectively ascertain exactly who is getting a job (or position or membership) who wouldn’t in the absence of the statist regulation.

Perhaps I should have been more clear, and said that affirmative action is essentially the government saying, “People of your class, race, gender, ethnicity, &c., are too stupid, lazy, weak, or treacherous to get or retain this job, position, or membership on their own. People of your class, race, gender, ethnicity, &c. need the helping hand of Big Brother.”

Since the individual has no way of knowing positively that she or he got the job (or position or membership) on her or his own merits, she or he will invariably consider the possibility that she or he is inferior–even if she or he got the job (or position or membership) on her or his own merits.

Moreover, the claim that people of any class, race, gender, ethnicity, &c. need the helping hand of Big Brother is false. Individuals may be incapable of getting a certain job (or position or membership) on their own merits, but when we (or the state) ascribe this inability to an entire class, race, gender, ethnicity, &c., we (or the state) is promoting a collectivist mentality.

Yours,
Alex Peak

Michael Orlowski April 29, 2011 at 11:32 pm

“Gays are told that, because they are gay, a criminal band calling itself the state has the power to prevent them from consenting to form a private union with one another. Given that this union is one that is often described as a religious union or sacrament, we can go further and say that this criminal band is dictating what sort of religious engagements and beliefs are to be considered valid.”

Just a quibble, but I suspect that many of these gays might want to apply for certain “social services” because of their “marriage.” Also, not to defend the state, but they aren’t preventing gays from forming a union. That’s totally different.

Alexander S. Peak May 1, 2011 at 11:01 pm

By “union,” I was referring to the union of marriage.

rdc75 April 28, 2011 at 2:40 pm

What libertarians have to understand is that those who benefit from affirmative action and handouts have a very strong incentive to perpetuate the current system. They can never be our allies. They are dependent on us and they will suck us dry if we let them.

Franklin April 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm

The current system of which you speak has many beneficiaries.
Suburban property owners with pretty pastoral views underwritten by zoning ordinances.
Tax-crediting mortgagees.
Married couples.
Licensed barbers.
Rec centers paid for by old ladies who couldn’t decipher between a baseball bat and lacrosse stick.
Every direct and indirect beneficiary has the incentive to perpetuate the current system.
So who’s going to give up their bennie first? That’s the tricky part.

Beefcake the Mighty April 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Right, because if I say something critical of licensed barbers, great wrath falls upon me, just like if I criticise affirmative action. Some beneficiaries are more equal than others, in case you hadn’t noticed.

Contemplationist April 29, 2011 at 10:14 pm

+1

The Anti-Gnostic April 28, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I’ll place my bet with the people who pay mortgages, live in suburbs, marry the opposite sex and own and operate barbershops (hugely lucrative barbershop licenses and all–I mean seriously, have you seen how filthy rich barbers are?). For the most part, these people know that regardless of the government, they still have to maintain their households, do remunerative work, etc.

By contrast, the Left’s community activists, corporate diversity directors, gender studies professors, civil rights lawyers, MBE-contractors, etc., know full well that their existence is wholly dependent on the central state and its ability to enforce political correctness and multiculturalism at gunpoint.

Jim P. April 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I agree that we should always resist being sucked dry by the leeches, I’ve got reservations about the “allies” bit. Almost everybody is in some way dependent on our current system. For example, you might own your own business, but your customers come from the military base or the defense contractor. You homeschool your kids, but you still are made to support your public school. Beyond your driveway, it’s hard not to patronize the government roads or sidewalks or bus lines. You use the Post Office instead of Fed Ex (which is a government contractor anyway) for mailing letters. If you go to the stadium to watch a football game or see the Super Bowl on television, you are a beneficiary of theft too. You can’t turn your head without bumping your nose into the government. It’s very hard to be completely separate from it now. You can barely be human without encountering the machinery.

So I disagree that all happy beneficiaries of graft are therefore enemies. Friends of mine that are school teachers, or work for companies that are mainly government contractors, or even those that are local/state politicians, are often not really fond of the situation they find themselves in. They often wish they had better alternatives. My teacher friends can’t reconcile their good intentions with reality, and would prefer to teach privately – but the option is rare and they keep hurting kids. My friend at the engine plant doesn’t give a damn about fighter planes or the union, or murdering the Arabs, but he knows what it’s like to be unemployed too so he makes the jets. Even some local politicians think we’re better off with a guy tossing sand into the gears now and then, instead of the other guy who would be in office who would be even worse. It’s not even close to perfect, and it’s not entirely respectable, and hardly libertarian, but that’s the shit we stepped in the day that we were born.

The struggle for liberty is a tough fight. You can’t really reasonably expect dependent people to dive off the Statist ship without at least a raft waiting down below. If the State is ever to be made obsolete, the alternatives must be developed first, and they must be the superior option. And not just for ideological or moral reasons, but for practical ones. Freedom loving entrepreneurs and activists will win in the end by making the State useless, thus removing popular support by offering the world a better idea.

rdc75 April 29, 2011 at 1:11 am

I agree with you about the small-time beneficiaries.

But those that truly depend with their livelihoods on handouts and AA will never be our allies, because quite simply, threatening handouts and AA is threatening their livelihoods. What do you think a 3rd generation illiterate welfare-mother will do, when the money runs dry? Find a job? Please.

I can understand very well why they hate us for being libertarians – and why practically all libertarians are white. Libertarianism is a “white thing” and they hate it first because they hate everything that is white and second because it threatens their income. Like it or not, but that’s the truth. You can indulge yourself in anti-white self-hatred as much as you want, but they will never come to your side, they will never stop hating you.

Basically those people are just human pets (in the sense that they cannot survive on their own) and we will not be able to afford them much longer. Since I never wanted or requested such a pet, I don’t feel responsible for them and I object being enslaved for their upkeep.

Libertarians can not run away forever and pretend that a free society is better for everybody. A free society is better for the honest, intelligent, hard-working and virtuous. It is certainly worse for quite a lot of dependents of the state and there is quite a “disparate impact” on the various demographic groups.

integral April 29, 2011 at 3:25 am

I’d rather indulge myself in love of life and maintain that once these people get a taste of the sweet honey of freedom they’ll come around.

Dagnytg April 29, 2011 at 4:36 am

rdc75,

Libertarianism is a “white thing”

I could point to some statistics, that in aggregate, there are more whites on welfare than any other race but that is beside the point.

Your statement above reveals many things (mostly a psychological pathology) but intellectually speaking it tells me you’re not a libertarian. You’re a want-to-be libertarian or a troll pretending to be a libertarian, but I am afraid you do not have the ethical foundation necessary to be called a libertarian.

The essence of libertarianism is individualism. And you are not speaking as an individualist but as a collectivist and in many ways are reflective of the type of conservative thinking that Mr. Long describes in the article.

Collectivism is divisive. Individualism is not.

Everything in your comment(s) reveals a monolithic approach to understanding the world and indicates you believe that there is us and them but you are wrong…there are only individuals. Each individual is unique and each wants to contribute when given the chance.

And last, contrary to your last paragraph, a free society is better for everybody not only for the hardworking and virtuous but even those who wish not to participate. In a free society, abundance in all things abound.

If you were truly a libertarian you would know that.

Beefcake the Mighty April 29, 2011 at 5:46 am

“I could point to some statistics, that in aggregate, there are more whites on welfare than any other race but that is beside the point.”

Er, that’s because whites are (still) a majority in the US. What happens when you look at statistics in terms of % of population? Are not blacks disproprotionately welfare users? It doesn’t make one a collectivist to note racial differences here.

rdc75 April 29, 2011 at 7:19 am

Beefcake, why do you believe it when Dagnytg tells you something? You just needlessly shot yourself into the foot.

The anti-whites always “could” point to statistics, but they rarely do, as these are either hopelessly outdated (for example when they critizise IQ-tests they usually use arguments and studies from the beginning of the 20th century), made up (for example the claim that more burglars kill the homeowner with his own gun than burglaries are prevented with a gun) or severly distorted (for example the hate-crime statistics where Mexicans are “white” when they commit a hate crime, but “hispanic” when they are the victim).

So when an anti-white sais he “could” point to some statistics, please don’t assume that those statistics are true, honest, scientifically correct or even exist at all.

Just for kicks, I made a small Google-search (you know, the Internet, the friend of the bourgeous troublemaker):

http://www.arthurhu.com/index/awelfare.htm
TREND OF AFDC/TANF RECIPIENTS CHARACTERISTICS
FY 1990 – FY 1999
FY 1990 FY 1992 FY 1994 FY 1996 FY 1998 FY 1999
FAMILIES

TOTAL 3,976,000 4,769,000 5,046,000 4,553,000 3,176,000 2,648,000
CHILD-ONLY 459,000 707,000 869,000 978,000 743,000 770,000
PERCENT 11.6 14.8 17.2 21.5 23.4 29.1
RACE (PERCENT OF ALL FAMILIES)
WHITE 38.1 38.9 37.4 35.9 32.7 30.5
BLACK 39.7 37.2 36.4 36.9 39.0 38.3
HISPANIC 16.6 17.8 19.9 20.8 22.2 24.5
ASIAN 2.8 2.8 2.9 3.0 3.4 3.6
AMERICAN 1.3 1.4 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.5
NATIVE
OTHER – – – – 0.6 0.6
UNKNOWN 1.5 2.0 2.1 2.0 0.7 1.0

Of course current data seems to be very hard to come by.
Given the demographic changes, it’s possible that Whites are now on 3rd place behind Hispanics.

The lefties are used to dominate society and the media. They are used to get away with “I could point to …” arguments, personal attacks and bold lies. They lie so casually and routinely that they no longer feel any shame when they do it. They are used to not having to cite sources.

Never believe anything they say, it is usually either distorted or made up. At least let them cite their sources.

Beefcake the Mighty April 29, 2011 at 8:16 am

rdc75, I generally like dagnytg’s comments, but he is indeed squeamish on this issue. Let me add that apart from whether or not overall differential in various measures (character, ability, etc) render it very difficult for close social interaction between blacks and whites (I believe such interaction would be unlikely absent state-enforced integration, as opposed to voluntary separation and trade from a distance), the larger point is that, as a voting bloc in a democratic society, blacks are going to be disproportionately more likely to support such programs that they disproportionately benefit from. Left-libertarians have not really come to grips with this simple point, prefering instead (like left-liberals) to attribute blame on whites.

Dagnytg April 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Beefcake,

Look, rdc75 presents a view (and I paraphrase) where white people are virtuous (and are the only people capable of understanding libertarian principles and benefiting from such a society) and everybody else (in this case non-whites) he describes as “pets”.

I only point out the aggregate welfare number to enlighten him to the fact, as a constituency, whites have a greater need for welfare. (The majority of the “pets” are white.)

More importantly, he and others (especially true of minarchists) presume that there is a body politic that influences the policies of our government. Nothing could be further from the truth- especially when it comes to the poor.

To say that poor people rose up as a collective and voted for welfare is a fantasy. Poor people, by and large, don’t vote. Government created the welfare system via white politicians.

Therefore, why would we speak disparagingly of anyone (or group) who is offered something for free and takes it?

Perhaps they’re just smarter than the rest of us.

Conclusion:

rdc75 is misguided. He isn’t attacking gov’t. He is attacking people who benefit from gov’t. In the socialist society we live, we all directly or indirectly have received benefits from gov’t. Who is he to throw the first stone? (Biblical reference)

rdc75-Government is the problem…not people.

rdc75 May 2, 2011 at 5:21 am

Dagnytg said:
“rdc75 is misguided. He isn’t attacking gov’t. He is attacking people who benefit from gov’t. ”

Where did I “attack” them? I pointed out that non-whites are unlikely to become allies for Libertarianism. Is that an attack?
This is only an attack insofar as Libertarianism itself endangers the livelihoods of many non-whites (except Asians). So Libertarianism could (and often is) be seen as an attack on non-whites.

rdc75 April 29, 2011 at 6:30 am

Nonsense. One of the basic human rights is the freedom of association, in other words it is not only healthy human behaviour to take care of your own family and people, it is also a fundamental human right that is also a foundation of libertarianism. When you call that “psychological pathology” it just shows how you parrot the media instead of understanding what human rights really mean.

And of course freedom of association is only a freedom when you are allowed NOT to associate with some people, NOT to give some people lucrative jobs, NOT to give some people welfare.

“Collectivism is divisive. Individualism is not.”

What are you going to say next? War is peace, freedom is slavery or diversity is strength?

Individualism *IS* divisiveness. Individualism is basically another expression of the freedom of association, in other words the PERMISSION to join or not to join any group, no matter how “divisive” it may be. Individualism allows all this divisiveness, because individualism does not need to “equalize” the whole world.

On the other hand, the constant critizism “XY is divisive” is a hallmark of collectivism. A true individualist can only respond to that: “That is divisive, so what?”

To cast off the burden of “not being divisive” is exactly what freedom of association is.

“And last, contrary to your last paragraph, a free society is better for everybody not only for the hardworking and virtuous but even those who wish not to participate. In a free society, abundance in all things abound.
If you were truly a libertarian you would know that.”

Actually Rothbard has critisized exactly this point from Mises. (And although I usually agree more with Mises than Rothbard, I am with Rothbard on this one)
Mises argued that in a free market everything is better in the long run for everybody, even those who want the government intervenes.

http://mises.org/journals/scholar/blockvalue.pdf
Rothbard has made these arguments:
- Some people prefer the short run, therefore the “long-run” argumentation is invalid.
- Some people profit personally from the government interventions and some may not be honest about what their motivations.

Rothbard: “But how does Mises know that some advocates of price control do not want shortages? They may, for example, be socialists, anxious to use the controls as a step toward full collectivism. Some may be egalitarians who prefer shortages because the rich will not be able to use their money to buy more of the product than poorer people. Some may be nihilists, eager to see shortages of goods. Others may be one of the numerous legion of contemporary intellectuals who are eternally complaining about the ‘excessive affluence’ of our society, or about the great ‘waste’ of energy; they may all delight in
the shortages of goods. Still others may favor price control, even after learning of the shortages, because they, or their political allies, will enjoy well-paying jobs or power in the price control bureaucracy.”

Of course a return to laissez-faire would cause those people to lose.

Alexander S. Peak April 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm

rdc75 writes, “One of the basic human rights is the freedom of association, in other words it is not only healthy human behaviour to take care of your own family and people, it is also a fundamental human right that is also a foundation of libertarianism.”

Who are my “people”? I am quite convinced that the only “people” I have are fellow libertarians, regardless of skin-colour, eye-colour, hair-colour, gender, age, ethnicity, religion, or class.

Freedom of association allows you to only associate with whites if you like, but it doesn’t make the proclivity to only associate with whites somehow “healthy.”

While I will defend your right to hang out only with whites (or only with blacks), I reserve the right to ridicule you for this choice. While I will defend your right to open a business that only serves whites (or only serves blacks), I will boycott any such establishment and encourage others to likewise boycott.

Freedom of choice doesn’t make racism rational.

You claim, “Individualism *IS* divisiveness. Individualism is basically another expression of the freedom of association, in other words the PERMISSION to join or not to join any group, no matter how ‘divisive’ it may be.”

Individualism is the judgement of individuals individually. Insofar as individualism is linked to freedom of association, it is not the freedom to “join or not to join” groups (although that freedom definitely is part and parcel with freedom-of-association generally), but is rather the freedom to associate or to not associate with other individuals.

Now, you may, being the type of person you seem to be, choose to associate with many individuals who all happen to share some common characteristic. But, insofar as freedom-of-association is connected to individualism, you are thus only associating with these other individuals qua individuals.

I fear that what I have said may be a bit confusing, so I’ll try to clarify in this summary:

Freedom of association, something all libertarians promote, allows you to associate with any person or any group, and to disassociate from any person or any group, you like. But, you can employ your freedom of association individualistically or collectivistically. Thus, if you are judging whom to associate and whom to disassociate with based on individual character, then you are engaging in freedom of association individualistically. Contrariwise, if you are judging people based on some sort of aggregate “character” that you manufacture and apply to large groups of people based on irrelevant physical characteristics, and choosing associations based on this aggregate “character,” then you are engaging in freedom of association collectivistically.

Sincerely yours,
Alex Peak

rdc75 May 2, 2011 at 4:37 am

“Who are my “people”? I am quite convinced that the only “people” I have are fellow libertarians, regardless of skin-colour, eye-colour, hair-colour, gender, age, ethnicity, religion, or class.”

Since practically all libertarians are white, Whites are “your people”. And it’s completely natural.

“Freedom of association allows you to only associate with whites if you like, but it doesn’t make the proclivity to only associate with whites somehow “healthy.””

Look, you are a White who is posting on a website that is run by Whites, where almost all if not all major articles, books, speeches, etc. were made by Whites and where apart from some rare exceptions even the blog commenters are exclusively White. And very, very likely you live in a White neighbourhood.

Why do you do that? You are not a RACIST, aren’t you?

Obviously because you feel at home here, you find people who think similar, who behave according to similar norms, etc.

mises.org is an excellent example of self-segregation. And that’s not some evil conspiracy or something that ought to be “fixed” – it’s just healthy human behaviour.

And that was EXACTLY what I meant. I want to go to places where I feel comfortable and those places (both in the Internet and in the real world) are white. And that is my (and your) human right. And there is absolutely no duty for “outreach” which is just a modern form of self-hatred.

“Now, you may, being the type of person you seem to be, choose to associate with many individuals who all happen to share some common characteristic.”

Funny that we both are that “type of person”, all major and almost all minor contributors to mises.org “happen” to be white. What a coincidence!

“if you are judging people based on some sort of aggregate “character” that you manufacture and apply to large groups of people based on irrelevant physical characteristics, and choosing associations based on this aggregate “character,” then you are engaging in freedom of association collectivistically.”

So? Are you trying to say that “collectivistically engaging in freedom of association” should be illegal?

Maybe I can explain it to you:

There are various breeds of dogs and those breeds have different physical characteristics. So I have to admit that I have some very deep prejudices against Pitbulls because this breed has a reputation of being aggressive and unpredictable.

Are there individual Pitbulls who are not aggressive? Almost certainly yes. Just because of that fact, should I feel guilty about ignoring all Pitbulls? Maybe that individual Pitbull has the most marvelous character in the world, yet I keep a distance to it. No, it’s not my duty to make a background-check on every Pitbull that I might see in the street, so it is my human right to “harbor prejudices” which is of course just another word for common sense.

And of course there are different breeds of people. Blacks commit 10 times as many violent crime as whites do, so it is just common sense to keep a distance to Blacks as a group. Are there individual blacks who are not violent? Of course there are. But that does not change the fact that it’s a matter of common sense and self-preservation to avoid black neighborhoods (and I guess you act just like me in that matter).

And of course the same goes for all human groups. I harbor deep prejudices against government employees, even though I know one individual government employee who is almost libertarian and is the exception to the rule that government employees are lazy and useless.

What you are trying is to live contrary to human nature (actually you PREACH to live contrary to human nature – you wouldn’t be on this site if you would really live it) and that is unhealthy.

Alexander S. Peak April 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm

rdc75 writes, “Libertarianism is a ‘white thing.’”

There are nonwhite libertarians. Not only is libertarianism not a “white thing,” it is a thing that advocates a colour-blind society, and that rejects all racism as being inherently collectivist. See Ayn Rand’s classic essay on this subject.

Sincerely,
Alex Peak

rdc75 April 30, 2011 at 2:07 am

“There are nonwhite libertarians.”

Name one who has contributed to Mises.org in this year.

Sione April 30, 2011 at 8:44 am

Sione Vatu

Alexander S. Peak May 1, 2011 at 11:11 pm

One? Easy. I can confirm that the person who posts here under the name “Black Bloke” is indeed black. He’s also an anarchist, and a fan of Dr. Long, coincidentally. The most recent post of his I could find on Mises.org was made March 30th. Moreover, he has been posting here for years.

rdc75 May 2, 2011 at 3:38 am

Come on, of course by “contribution” I was referring to more than just blog comments: A daily article, a speech, a seminar, a book, etc. And of course by contribution I mean an unpaid contribution.

I would estimate that there have been about 250 daily articles in 2011 so far. How many were written by Whites? Maybe it’s not 100% and only 99-point-something and a handful were written by Asians, but I’m pretty sure that not even one was written by a non-asian minority.

So yes, maybe some Asians will like Libertarianism – And that is not a contradiction of Libertarianism being a “white thing”, they like European classical music and White culture in general, sometimes even more than Europeans themselves.

But the tropical people will never join us. Of course there might be some rare exceptions, but not nearly enough to make illusions about a “rainbow coalition” a reality.

Alexander S. Peak April 28, 2011 at 8:59 pm

The only people who benefit from affirmative action are white males. Because of affirmative action, blacks and others are made to feel inferior, as though they are incapable of getting jobs or memberships without it. Even a highly skilled and intelligent black man will, invariably, wonder, “Did I get this job or position because of my skill and intelligence, or because of the government regulations?” Affirmative action is a way to make blacks and others doubt their own self-worth, to drive down their self-esteem, and thereby slowly destroy the black (and other) community(-ies). Affirmative action is also a way to make whites feel superior, to drive up their self-esteem. The result of affirmative action is that it subtly increases the ‘us v. them’ mentality, which in turn prevents society from truly becoming colour-blind.

Regretfully yours,
Alex Peak

Beefcake the Mighty April 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm

newson posted this the other day:

http://is.gd/YJ1xZZ

Yes, white males are making out like bandits under AA. Surprising they don’t clamor for more of it at the ballot box.

Alexander S. Peak April 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Beefcake writes, “Yes, white males are making out like bandits under AA. Surprising they don’t clamor for more of it at the ballot box.”

If they were to clamour for it, it would cease to benefit them. It only benefits them insofar as other groups clamour for it.

Actually, scratch that. White “liberals” who do clamour for it benefit from it, also, through getting the opportunity to feel like they’re somehow “supporting” those the state regards as inferior. So, upon further reflection, all persons who recognise themselves as white benefit emotionally or psychically from Affirmative Action; although, I’m still inclined to say that racist whites benefit emotionally or psychically from it to a far greater extent than non- or anti-racist whites.

Of course, libertarians tend not to benefit from it, because libertarians recognise that racism is inherently collectivist and irrational. Libertarians probably derive almost as much detriment from it as blacks (&c.), since libertarians tend to consciously recognise that Affirmative Action is a barrier to the colour-blind society. Striving to live in a colour-blind society, a society in which people are judged by the content of their characters rather than the colour of their skins, libertarians probably suffer some modicum of emotional distress just knowing that this barrier exists.

Ultimately, of course, the only way to abolish racism, to ascend into a colour-blind society, is to abolish the concept of race, to recognise that “race” is a social construct that has no usefulness to society. (It is, in fact, for this reason that I wrote “human” on my census.) Sure, some people have lighter skin tones than others, and sure, this skin tone is a genetic trait, but there is no reason for anyone to assume that “good character” is genetically associated with paler skin. Nor is there any reason to assume that having a “good work ethic” is genetically associated with paler skin. As long as Affirmative Action continues to exist, the concept of race will continue to exist, and as long as the concept of race exists, racism will exist. Therefore, in the final analysis, Affirmative Action is an enemy of the anti-racist.

Regards,
Alex Peak

Beefcake the Mighty April 29, 2011 at 4:21 pm

“If they were to clamour for it, it would cease to benefit them. It only benefits them insofar as other groups clamour for it.”

I’m at a loss for words.

rdc75 May 2, 2011 at 4:59 am

“Ultimately, of course, the only way to abolish racism, to ascend into a colour-blind society, is to abolish the concept of race, to recognise that “race” is a social construct that has no usefulness to society.”

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/DS00100/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
“Beta blockers. These medications reduce the workload on your heart and open your blood vessels, causing your heart to beat slower and with less force. When prescribed alone, beta blockers don’t work as well in blacks or in the elderly — but they’re effective when combined with a thiazide diuretic.”

If we “abolish the concept of race” as you say, what kind of wording would you suggets if you were chief of thought police? “beta blockers don’t work as well in humans?” “beta blockers don’t work as well in some humans but we won’t tell which ones because that would be racist?” oh no, that word again, maybe: “beta blockers don’t work as well in some humans but we won’t tell which ones because that would be social-constructivist?”

Please tell me what you would do. Give blacks medicine that won’t work for them so that we can avoid this embarrassing sentence? Seems RACIST to me. I’m out of ideas, maybe you can come up with some…

“Therefore, in the final analysis, Affirmative Action is an enemy of the anti-racist.”

Anti-racist is just a code-word for anti-white. There are hundreds if not thousands of “racist” institutions for non-whites, yet the anti-whites only attack Whites.

Beefcake the Mighty April 28, 2011 at 9:44 pm
Stefano April 28, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Alex,

Without commenting on your all that you’ve written, I do want to point out two consistent errors.

1) Several times you defined a term in a non-conventional way, and then use that definition to prove your assertion. (e.g. Leftism is true libertarianism, therefore Stalin, Hitler and whoever else are actually Right wingers. This then proves that it is somehow impossible for a conservative to move toward libertarian thought or see libertarianism as consistent with his belief system. At best, that’s tautology.)

2) You confuse results with intent, and then overgeneralize the resultant conclusions. This is the case in your astronomically wrong-headed assessment of Affirmative Action. I agree with you that much of the welfare system was intended to keep the dependent class subservient-how else do you explain the rapid conversion of the same people who favored legally-sanctioned segregation into the party of welfare within a decade? But to argue that all affirmative action laws are some kind of conspiracy to aid white males is nonsensical. One effect may be, and doubtless is, that AA hurts its intended targets; but this in no way proves that it was the intent. Furthermore, it is an unfounded assumption to argue that this somehow “benefits” white males in any legitimate way. I wholeheartedly agree that the result of such legislation has been the destruction of the communities where it was aimed, but everyone suffers for this result; unlike capitalism, the welfare state truly is a zero sum game. We all suffer when a man is judged by color, rather than character. We all suffer when a kid’s life is ruined because of the “war on drugs,” “war on terror” or the “war on poverty.”

But thank you for pointing out the deleterious effects of these social programs.

Alexander S. Peak April 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Dear Stefano,

(1.1)

I didn’t “prove” anything. I was merely providing my definition.

I define libertarianism as being on the left, with libertarian anarchism being on the absolute left and libertarian minarchism slightly to the right of that. I define classical liberalism as something that overlaps with libertarian minarchism. (Jefferson was a classical liberal but, because he was also a slave-holder, he falls just outside of the libertarian movement, ever so slightly to the right of it.) In the middle, I place the mass of humanity, people who believe in rights, but who do not understand them, or who understand them in a very confused, often contradictory manner. On the right I put ethical nihilists, those who believe it is legitimate for a person to initiate force or fraud against the person or the justly-acquired property of others.

Hitler and Stalin are both extremely close to one another on my spectrum, needless to say. Reagan, Bush, Obama, and Clinton are all on the right, although not as far right as Hitler or Stalin, because while Reagan, Bush, Obama, and Clinton do (or did) employ aggression to achieve their goals, they tend also to think that something called ‘rights’ exist. Thus, they are fundamentally confused. Jefferson, again, is on the left, but not the far left. Harry Browne and Tibor Machan are both on the far left, but not the absolute left, while Rothbard and I would be, for all practical purposes, on the absolute left.

This spectrum is superior to the conventional left/right spectrum because this spectrum takes into account one’s means for achieving one’s ends: voluntaryists on the left, ethical nihilists on the right.

But, my spectrum also has a second dimension, which I did not address previously. On the y-axis, the further up you go, the more individualist you are; the further down, the more collectivist.

Thus, Hitler and Stalin are both in the bottom right corner, since they are both collectivists, while the fictional character The Joker would be in the top-right. Anomie, thus, is in the top right, while totalitarianism is in the bottom right.

Of course, this would mean Rothbard would be in the top left, while true anarcho-communists (as opposed to violent “anarcho”-communists) would be in the bottom left. To be a true anarcho-communist, one must be willing to not aggress against property owners; one must be willing to try to get people to join her or his commune through persuasion rather than force.

That’s the spectrum as I conceive of it.

(1.2)

You write, “This then proves that it is somehow impossible for a conservative to move toward libertarian thought or see libertarianism as consistent with his belief system.”

I don’t see how you extrapolate that from my comments. It’s certainly not “impossible,” and in fact I know many conservatives have moved in a libertarian direction.

My point, I believe, was that I don’t know where to even begin with personally concerting what we call a conservative in America, since I’ve never been one, and do not know how they think. I do not understand how a conservative can fail to grasp the exoteric things, such as gay marriage, and yet somehow grasp the esoteric things, such as inflation. In fact, I tend to think most conservatives grasp neither, given how conservatives tend to be against free trade and in favour of protectionism. I, thus, suspect that the conservative has merely adopted classically-liberal rhetoric when it comes to economic issues while adopting very little from the classical-liberal policy-wise. (This would mean that the modern American “conservative” is not all that totally different from the classical European conservative, except in rhetoric, of course.) But, of course, this is a generalisation, and may be less true of some conservatives than others. Either way, however, my point is that I do not know how to go about converting conservatives, while I do, having been a former “liberal” (in the American sense of the word), have some general idea of the concerns “liberals” have and how to address them.

(2)

You write, “You confuse results with intent, and then overgeneralize the resultant conclusions.”

This may be true. Certainly, it is not the intent of the political class to use Affirmative Action to subjugate minorities. Nevertheless, it is the very fact that the political class intends to “help” minorities that minorities are thereby subjudgated.

If a person offers help to another, or even a voluntary organisation offers to help a person, the person can accept it or reject it as she sees fit. Thus, there is no harm done in making the offer.

But the state, obviously, provides “help” through the barrel of a gun, and it cannot be turned down. There is definitely a different result on the party receiving help, for in the first instance, the ball is in the “helpee’s” court, while in the second, it is in the “helper’s.” The implication in the second instance is that the “helpee” is inferior, and should accept her or his inferior station, while no such implication is made in the first instance because the “helpee” has the power to accept or reject assistance as she/he sees reasonable and unobjectionable.

You write, “But to argue that all affirmative action laws are some kind of conspiracy to aid white males is nonsensical.”

I certainly did not intend to imply that the intent of the programme was to aid white people. Thank you for assisting me in clarifying this, and for bringing to my attention that people might mis-infer my message.

You write, “Furthermore, it is an unfounded assumption to argue that this somehow ‘benefits’ white males in any legitimate way.”

I would say it benefits white males emotionally or psychically.

You write, “[U]nlike capitalism, the welfare state truly is a zero sum game.”

Or, perhaps even a negative-sum game.

It is probably legitimate to say that it affects everyone, including whites, negatively, but that it also affords an emotional or psychic benefit to whites which offsets, to some degree, the negative effects.

(3)

Thank you, Stefano, for your level-headed reply. I think it has helped to refine and improve my view, which I appreciate.

Cheers,
Alex Peak

rdc75 April 29, 2011 at 12:37 am

With blacks, you just can’t win, right?

When they rape, rob and kill us, it’s only because we are such evil people.
When they don’t get enough protection money (AA), we are racists.
When they do get the protection money, we are evil people who destroy their fragile self esteem.

Maybe segregation wasn’t such a bad idea after all, at least those poor darlings are then protected from the evil white racists who destroy their self-esteem and those evil white women who constantly trick them into raping them.

Alexander S. Peak April 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Dear rdc75,

You write, “When they do get the protection money, we are evil people who destroy their fragile self esteem.”

Are you the state?

If you are, then yes, you are evil. If you are not, then you are not responsible for Affirmative Action, regardless of what benefits you, as a white person, derive from it.

Allow me to use an analogy. Drug dealers benefit from the war on drugs, just as white people benefit from Affirmative Action. But drug dealers are not “evil,” nor are white people. Why not? Because drug dealers are not responsible for the war on drugs; the state is. Likewise, white people are not responsible for Affirmative Action; the state is.

In any event, from your comments, you sound like a racist, which would mean you’re a collectivist, which would mean you’re not a libertarian. You’re actually accusing blacks (as a group) of thinking whites (as a group) are deserving of being raped, robbed, and murdered, completely ignoring that every black and every white person is first and foremost an individual, with different views, ideals, goals, and beliefs. Then, you go about accusing blacks (as a group) of thinking that whites (or at least those whites who are opposed to Affirmative Action) are inherently racist, again ignoring that every black person is first and foremost an individual, with different views, ideals, goals, and beliefs. You are judging these people, not by their individual characters, but by some aggregate “character” that you’ve constructed. Since collectivism is irrational, you are, therefore, irrational. I say this not to insult you, of course, but rather with the hope that you will, in the future, attempt to view this and other matters through a more individualistic lens.

Sincerely yours,
Alex Peak

rdc75 May 2, 2011 at 3:50 am

Dear Alex,

You say: “You’re actually accusing blacks (as a group) of thinking whites (as a group) are deserving of being raped, robbed, and murdered, completely ignoring that every black and every white person is first and foremost an individual, with different views, ideals, goals, and beliefs.”

Actually I did not make that accusation, I pointed out that whites are being raped robbed and murdered by blacks.

But look here:
http://articles.philly.com/1995-10-01/news/25697504_1_simpson-trial-whites-nicole-brown-simpson
“A poll released Thursday by ABC News found that 77 percent of whites think Simpson is guilty, while 72 percent of blacks think he’s innocent.”

Yes, Blacks AS A GROUP think very different than we Whites do. Do they think that Whites should be raped, robbed and murdered? Quite a lot sure do, wether that is a majority of them I don’t know.

Everyday Anarchist April 29, 2011 at 1:56 pm

The parasites benefit from their welfare dependency like drug addicts benefit from their crack dependency.

Alexander S. Peak April 29, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Everyday Anarchist writes, “The parasites benefit from their welfare dependency like drug addicts benefit from their crack dependency.”

I find this to be a fairly apt analogy.

Martin OB April 28, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Here’s a summary of what I got from reading Rothbard and others on this subject.

The left-right divide made sense during the 18th century, when left-wing people, also called progressives and liberals, were calling for all for rethinking all economic and social relations, with an emphasis on individual liberty and equality of rights, and away from the worship of tradition. They were for freedom in all its forms, including economic freedom. In contrast, right-wing conservatives defended tradition and ancient wisdom against the dangers of ignoring human nature; they were for authoritarian government and mercantilism.

Then the liberals discovered socialism and never looked back. They shifted their focus from negative freedom (freedom from coercion) to positive freedom (freedom to have what one wants). They said they wanted a society where no one has power over a fellow citizen, and money is power. Also, with Marx, they learned that bosses don’t work, they are just leeches.

So, the classical liberals who were unimpressed by socialism and kept favoring free markets had to seek an alliance with the disgruntled conservatives. The short-lived free markets were seen as the traditional framework to preserve. Religion and traditional social norms, which had been often in tune with the State before the revolution (or rather, the revolutions) , repositioned themselves as grassroots movements, bulwarks against the Statist hubris. Some classical liberals started to think that maybe the old customs and social norms were not so wrong after all. In America, they called themselves libertarians (while in Europe “liberatarian” was another name for social-anarchists, and “liberal” often kept its meaning of “classical liberal”).

So what are the odds for libetarians to reach out to lefties? Well, I think the main obstacle is the left-liberal mentality that the rich are guilty by definition, and that bosses don’t really work. Also, the new left, with its cultural Marxism and hate of all traditional Western values, is hopeless.

On the other hand, middle class workers with a work ethic and a sense of fair play, who were lured by lefties into thinking they need the State to protect them, can be persuaded to reconsider their views. For instance, when they complain that under a free market they could be fired without notice for no reason at all, I point out that the reason being fired is such a big deal is because of high unemployment caused by State intervention. There’s no reason to think that in a free market being fired would be, on average, a more dreadful prospect than being denied bread by your local baker. When they say I want to eliminate welfare for the poor I say no, I just want to put it back in private hands, where it belongs. When they compain that privatization puts public companies in the hands of some friends of the government, I propose to distribute the ownership evenly among all citizens whenever it makes sense (which is largely irrelevant in the long run, but they like the idea). When they complain about the bailouts to bankers I just have to say I agree.

Brett in Manhattan April 28, 2011 at 11:47 pm

“For instance, when they complain that under a free market they could be fired without notice for no reason at all, I point out that the reason being fired is such a big deal is because of high unemployment caused by State intervention.”

While this is an excellent example to those of us who have read some Mises, most haven’t and wouldn’t understand the effect of State intervention on the free market.

______

Here’s one I made up as an argument against Mininum Wage.

Say you had three slices of Pizza you wanted to give to four hungry people. Wouldn’t the fairest way of doing so be to give each person 3/4 of a slice?

But, what if the State said that the minimum amount of Pizza you can give away is one slice per person?

Three people would get one slice each and one person would go hungry.

That’s minimum wage.

Everyday Anarchist April 29, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Conservatives want order. Liberals want equality. We would have more of both in a freed market.

Contemplationist April 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm

What kind of equality is the question. Leftists are EGALITARIANS. That means they object to equalities of opportunity and outcome. Thats why despite having no coherent model of the economy where the aggregate transactions of hundreds of millions can still result in women earning less than men on AVERAGE, they cry “discrimination.” Pray, tell, where the fuck is the discrimination here? Furthermore, it is simply asserted and taken for granted as if no explanation is necessary. Leftists are not simply content with any kind of equality the libertarians can provide. Its as simple as that.

Alexander S. Peak May 1, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Contemplationist writes, “Leftists are not simply content with any kind of equality the libertarians can provide.”

It’s as though you’re trying to accuse me of not being a leftist. And, yet, I insist that I am.

Contemplationist also writes, “Thats why despite having no coherent model of the economy where the aggregate transactions of hundreds of millions can still result in women earning less than men on AVERAGE, [leftists] cry ‘discrimination.’”

Whether one has or does not have a coherent model of the economy is entirely irrelevant to the question of why the pay gap exists. The pay gap doesn’t exist because of the way the economy as a whole functions, but rather because, as Dr. Walter Block has pointed out, married men and married women do not, on average, share household chores equally. There is no pay gap, according to Block, between never-married men and never-married women; thus, it would seem reasonable to conclude that never-married men and never-married women (1) are equally good workers and (2) give relatively the same focus to being successful in business. But when men and women marry, something happens: the men tend to slack off when it comes to running the household, and the wives pick up their slack. The result is what one would expect. Thus, if one is truly dedicated to getting rid of the pay gap, the solution isn’t to try to change the economy somehow, but rather to encourage husbands to do more around the house.

Sincerely,
Alex Peak

newson April 30, 2011 at 2:25 am

a.a. mission statement: divide et impera.

Anonymouse May 2, 2011 at 3:05 am

I’m currently active in the Republican Party and trying to convert conservatives due to one reason: Conservatives at least have the necessary vocabulary to describe liberty. Certainly they twist that vocabulary to oftentimes mean the opposite, but at least they have the vocabulary.

That’s not to say I ignore the Democrats or liberals, but it can be so frustrating as they seem unable to comprehend the idea that problems can be solved without the government. Even when they understand that the government caused the problem, they still want more government to solve it.

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