Saturday, December 19, 2009
"[...] Rothbard makes abundantly clear here, very important differences exist between the fallibilistic, utilitarian, small-government thinking of Hayek (and Friedman, and to a great degree Mises) and the rights-based anarchism of Rothbard and many of his followers, both of which coexist uneasily under the label libertarian.Die Ironie der Geschichte allerdings ist, daß heute Hayek (und Milton Friedman) immer häufiger in der Mainstream-Presse mit dem Begriff "Anarcho-Kapitalismus" identifiziert werden und dieses Etikett wiederum synonym mit "neoliberal" gebraucht wird. Da ist die Verwirrung der Geister dann wirklich komplett.
In words that he never made or intended to make public in his lifetime, Rothbard calls Hayek’s most monumental statement about liberty and the political order “surprisingly and distressingly, an extremely bad, and, I would even say, evil book.” The “evil” part comes from the blow he thinks it will strike the libertarian movement, with Hayek then and even more later seen as libertarianism's most respectable and brilliant exponent.
Since Hayek supported political liberty only for instrumental reasons, and not nearly as far as the anarchist Rothbard, Rothbard felt Hayek's position would create a rhetorical “Even Hayek admits…” problem for more radical libertarians (which has been true, to some extent.) Rothbard's arguments against Hayek are not strictly pragmatic; he maintains that Hayek misunderstands the rational arguments for liberty and misstates the importance of rights arguments in classical liberal history. In a later, more conciliatory but still negative memo, Rothbard lists at many pages' length the various concessions Hayek makes to state power that Rothbard thinks are unnecessary and rights-violating, from government subsidies for public goods to government enterprises competing in the market to compulsory unemployment and old age insurance to aid to the indigent."
"In fact, Hayek is so associated with his beliefs in the failures of central planning, the powers of a free-market price system, and his demolition of “social justice” that many people familiar with him are surprised to find out that Hayek believes most of the bad things (from an anarcho-capitalist perspective) that Rothbard slams him for."
Eine Ironie der Geschichte ist es auf jeden Fall, wenn auch bei uns hier als Kollateralnutzen der fortschreitenden allgemeinen Verblödung die bis zur Selbstverleugnung anpaßlerischen "Nur-ja-nicht-anecken-Liberalen" (die sich sogar für manche "zu radikale" Idee Hayeks entschuldigen und auf Distanz gehen, und das bei der Stiftung, die seinen Namen trägt!) für einen Mut und eine intellektuelle Kompromißlosigkeit geprügelt werden, die sie gar nicht besitzen. Dann hat sich ihr serviles Kriechertum vor den herrschenden etatistischen Auffassungen wenigstens nicht ausgezahlt.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
"I am a left-libertarian. This is a position that seems contradictory to many, both libertarian and not; libertarianism is traditionally seen as being a movement of the Right, or even the farthest extreme of the Right, existing as an apologetic philosophy for corporatism and elitism. I believe that this is fundamentally mistaken. The Right, I think, is properly seen today as being the status quo of state-capitalism, dominated by an elite of bureaucrats and plutocrats, whose ends are power and authority at the expense of everyone else. Even modern day “liberals” and social democrats are rightist in this sense; merely reforming a fundamentally evil system is not enough, and the state-socialist means of compulsion and centralization contradict their declared “leftist” ends. Thus, the Left is properly conceived as being those whose ends are peace, justice, and prosperity, and whose means don’t conflict with those ends.
For libertarians reading this, it will probably help if I explain why I am a “thick” libertarian first, as opposed to “thin” libertarianism. Thin libertarianism is the position that politics is the ethics of the use of force; nothing more and nothing less. Political philosophy doesn’t and can’t have anything to say about society, other than that aggression is wrong. Any set of social and cultural norms is seen as being compatible with the political philosophy of liberty, as long as they are non-coercive. Thick libertarianism, on the other hand, is the position that liberty is fundamentally intertwined with other concerns. Politics is broader than statements about the permissible use of force, and justice is more than non-aggression. Note that left-libertarians are not the only thick libertarians; paleolibertarian conservatives and Objectivists also hold thick views on political philosophy.
I am a left-libertarian, because I am a thick libertarian who sees that the “leftist” values of anti-authoritarianism, mutuality, and equality are fundamentally entailed by the same principles that make me anti-statist. A society built on authority and hierarchy, where social evils such as patriarchy and xenophobia are widely accepted cultural norms, is not a just society, even if it is non-coercive. A just society is one where every individual’s flourishing is not subject to the arbitrary whims of others, one where people are not held back by society, but instead encouraged to become the best person that they can be."