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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8383/the-struggle-over-egalitarianism-continues/

The Struggle Over Egalitarianism Continues

August 8, 2008 by

As unlikely as it would have seemed twenty years ago, writes Murray Rothbard, I am even more hostile to socialism, egalitarianism, and Romanticism, far more critical of the British classical and modern neoclassical tradition, and even more appreciative of Mises’s great insights than ever before. Indeed, for someone who thought that he had absorbed all of Mises’s work many years ago, it is a constant source of surprise how rereading Mises continues to provide a source of fresh insights and of new ways of looking at seemingly trite situations.

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{ 5 comments }

MatthewWilliam August 8, 2008 at 6:09 am

Looks like the Vonnegut scenario will come true soon enough. I have already heard people advocating a “beauty tax” to compensate for the advantages of good looks.

fundamentalist August 8, 2008 at 8:55 am

I have a couple of unrelated thoughts. One is that the justification for modern egalitarianism is the idea that self-esteem is all that matters. If a person’s self-esteem is high, then that person will be all that he can be. By eliminating differences, self-esteem should be enhanced.

There are two problems with the worship of self-esteem as the silver bullet to kill all of society’s ills. Egalitarianism does not enhance self-esteem. It only increases envy while emphasizing the differences that naturally occur. All that it takes to enhance one’s self-esteem is to be good at something.

The other problem is that self-esteem can be too high. Modern egalitarians don’t recognize this. They don’t think that’s possible. But research has shown that high self-esteem mixed with low skills lead some young people into crime. Their high self-esteem tells them they deserve better treatment and better things, so they have a right to take what they want from others.

The other unrelated thought is about Mises. I have to agree with Rothbard that the more I read of his writings the more I appreciate his amazing wisdom. One way God punishes a rebellious mankind is to take such wise people from us.

Inquisitor August 8, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Yes, modern “progressives” are idiots who reify and over-emphasize the notion of “autonomy” and related aspects such as “self-esteem”. It’s all about feelings and subjective experiences &c.

Rose Ellen August 8, 2008 at 7:04 pm

The Left also feels it occupies the “moral high ground” of environmentalism or “sustainability” (a redefined term that always means we humans are using too many resources; the U.S. is the worst consumer; to comply with “sustainability” is to agree that we have exceeded the ecological means of the biosphere . . . )
The plan is for (1) government to determine the scope of the market (what, how much and where production will happen; and then (2) be sure that what is produced is distributed equitably. “Smart growth” land use planning will herd ordinary people into high density while the landed enjoy their privacy at the expense of everyone else. Land use law is underappreciated–we can’t live, work or travel without land. I’m experiencing these restrictions where I live. Young adults will be hurt the most.

Bruce Koerber August 8, 2008 at 9:41 pm

One word, easily understood by everyone because it is personally relevant and obvious, shatters egalitarianism and all of its offshoots.

That word and that human reality is subjectivism!

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