Getting Ready For The Immediate Future

I would suggest that anyone who wants to understand the path we’re on should read this classic book.

[Wednesday morning update]

Jonah Goldberg has some thoughts on “liberaltarianism,” and why it was always a pipe dream to think that the Democrats could pick up true libertarians. As Hayek makes clear, if we don’t defend the free market, the other freedoms will vanish as well.

[Update mid morning]

John Hood has further comments:

Cato’s own political analysis suggests that small-l libertarian voters were overwhelmingly Republican (like three-quarters) until 2006, when they became just a majority-Republican bloc. This seems primarily to be a consequence of disaffection with GOP spending profligacy, along with various other boneheaded policies and at least the conduct, if not the instigation, of the Iraq campaign. Republicans suffered when they lost these votes, some of which went to Dems and some of which simply went poof.

But that’s not the same as suggesting that there is at least as much of a natural affinity between libertarians and modern-day liberals as there is between libertarians and modern-day conservatives, if not more. This statement just isn’t true. The principles of liberty and virtue are certainly in tension within the broadly construed Right, but the principles of liberty and egalitarianism would be perpetually at war within a reconstructed Left. The current struggle against bailout/stimulus mania has been a clarifying moment, it seems to me. In the social-democrat future that the American Left wants, the private sphere must give way as costs are socialized and power is centralized. Virtually everything becomes the government’s business—including what you eat, drink, or smoke, not just where you bank.

Finally, Democratic flirtations with liberaltarianism were always about dividing their opponents and seizing power in Washington, not evidence of self-reflection about first principles or proof of interest in innovative applications. Don’t be so gullible, McFly.

I always thought it absurd for (example) Kos to claim he was a libertarian. And even more so for that moron Bill Maher.

8 thoughts on “Getting Ready For The Immediate Future”

  1. Particularly noteworthy is Chapter 10, “Why the Worst Get On Top” — I think of that a lot these days. This book should be required reading in all high schools (and at all newspaper copydesks). Maybe it would mitigate our headlong rush to socialism.


  2. Pretty much, Andrea.

    People of one race owned by people of another = BAD.

    People of all races owned collectively by everybody else regardless of race = GOOD.

  3. I’ll weigh in with a moderate of libertarianism and liberaltarianism.

    First, I think libertarians on the right are being a little bit tto skeptical of the libertarianism of the left. Sure, it’s oriented more to social issues (e.g., the drug war) than economic matters. It is still real, though. You should hear some of the attacks I’ve received from Democrats because I sometimes take any sort of libertarian positions — even on the drug war. Some of these propolice Democrats — at least the local ones I know — are starting to come around after hearing about some of the abuses (Google Cheye Calvo Berwyn Heights Maryland for one notorious example).

    What bothers me about right libertarians is that they discount the power of corporate elites over our lives too much. For example, telling ordinary workers to leave if they don’t like their employer is not all that practical today. This is especially true when all the managers — whatever their firm — adhere to some fairly authoritarian stuff coming out of our business schools. Choosing between ABC Corporation and XYZ Corporation when the problems are the same in both is not exactly a desirable position to be in. Yet that is all too often the position of too many workers.

    I myself favor limiting authority to the norms and practices of free democratic societies, whether it be governmental, corporate, academic, religious or whatever to be the clearest statement of my principles.

  4. > What bothers me about right libertarians is that they discount the power of corporate elites over our lives too much. For example, telling ordinary workers to leave if they don’t like their employer is not all that practical today.

    It’s far more practical than it is to tell them to elect different politicians if they don’t like govt, something that the left proposes as a cure to corporate control.

    And then there’s the fact that Exxon can’t throw me in jail while govt pays folks to find opportunities to do so.

    It’s not enough to suggest a problem. It has to be real AND your solution has to be better. The left consistently fails on the latter and often fails on the former.

    I note that the left is pushing the corporate state, again. El Duce actually praised FDR’s plans along these lines. (To be fair, many people in the 1930s thought that the corporate state was a good idea. The left still does.)

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