Follow up to a Libertarian future
Reader Jazzbumpa suggests taking a look at Yves Smith’s Journey into a Libertarian Future series as part of Mike’s thought experiment on the subject here. A very good read.
He also offers one of his own posts on the matter at Retirement Blues
Brute economics of slavery.
And opines at the end of his e-mail “It really makes me think about the 13th century”.
In comments at Mike’s post is an interesting discussion in real terms using the development of the electricity industry as an example of interaction of government and private enterprise.
If europe unwinds then there is hope that the USA will do as well, and that we will have some chance of restoring our freedoms – our ‘rights as englishmen’. If europe integrates further, it will be the end of the 4500 year old european project – sovereignty.
What separtes the west from the rest is blanace of small powers.
when that dies. the west finally dies with it.
It’s really difficult to have any sort of intelligent look at libertarianism with so many strawmen and non sequiturs strewn about. I try to always make good faith efforts to understand the progressive/”slightly-left-of-center” perspective, but I’ve not really seen such efforts coming from the other direction. I think that’s very telling.
Such is the schizophrenic nature of the world economic system that US Bank credit ratings are falling while the Dow is on a holiday tear. The system looks good on the outside, but it’s hiding a cancer: http://djia.tv/press-tv/top-us-banks-credit-ratings-fall/
I found that piece over at Naked Capitalism too funny. It really does give a real look at what libertarianism is. Take a look at my analysis of it
What’s interesting is that I just learned of Hoppe too, through reading about George Selgin-who is where Sumner got a lot of his ideas from. Turns out Selgin and Hoppe both come from Austrian circles though they disagree over fractional reveserve banking-Hoppe thinks they’re the work of the devil. In this he’s like Rothbard.
As long as there are more than 120M guns in the US I can see a libertarian future.
What the US fed and the other banks “said” yesterday: they will provide liquidity to prevent another Lehman collapse, at least until the whole world is insolvent.
Why don’t the fed say: “a fed micro line of credit is facilitated for (insolvent) underwater mortgagees” so the mortgagees can solve the MBS/ODC insolvency of the fraudulent MBS/CDO tranches from the bottom up?
Oops the 1% wants all that land, and prefer to make money on the frauds from the central banks pouring liquidity into their insolvent banks for them to arbitrage to good profit.
CRA is bad to them because it was meant to prevent them from taking property in underserved usually minority neighborhoods in the US, while they were preparing to do it in the better areas around the US especuially in Arizona, Nevada, Ca and Florida.
CRA and the GSE did not make them create all those phoney tranches.
I go for the anarchist nature of libertarian ideology.
I am sorry, but your complaint sounds like, “If only people would read the Tao Teh Ching.” Libertarianism sounds utopian. There is nothing particularly wrong with that. But I think that the history of the U. S. in the 19th century raises serious questions. Why would libertarianism not devolve into something like feudalism? Make the case.
I readily cede that libertarianism isn’t perfect, because every political system is imperfect. However, your assertion that libertarianism sounds utopian betrays an unfamiliarity with the careful philosophical, academic and economic wrestling that has led to the current ideas of libertarianism.
I wouldn’t critique Keynesianism without having first read the General Theory, and having familiarity with the views of Samuelson, Krugman, et al. Yet I would be very surprised if many Angry Bear regulars had read The Market for Liberty, or Man, Economy and State, or The Machinery of Freedom, or had read many Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics articles. It has nothing to do with some inherent evangelizing magic pixie dust in these texts, it’s simply a matter of familiarity with what is being critiqued so the conversation can move beyond strawmen.
You’re assuming that the 19th century U.S. was libertarian. I (and many, many others) define libertarianism as anarchy, in keeping with its historical definition (anarchists basically started calling themselves libertarians to fly under the radar of persecution in the 19th century). I think minarchism can’t help but turn into cronyism over time, so I too think that the 19th century U.S. raises serious questions.
Regarding anarchy not turning into feudalism, though, my case is quite simple: feudalism requires aggressive force to sustain, and anarchy, based on the non-agression principle, doesn’t allow for this. A sustained feudal system requires barriers to entry for competition which are necessarily non-voluntary.
I am going to assume that these are not the same 19th century anarchists who went around assasinating world leaders. 🙂
One of the most interesting takes on libertarianism I have seen takes head on the idea that modern western property rights are “natural”. Other schemes are reasonable and workable – such as the use or improvement of property trumping title to property.
“anarchy, based on the non aggression principle, doesn’t allow for this…:
and that’s why it’s a fairy tale. i don’t have the patience to read all those books you recommend. just reading your comments tells me that i am unlikely to find anything in them that has more than a fourteen year old’s fantasy understanding of how the world works.
you won’t establish your libertarian paradise without aggression. but that doesn’t mean some very nasty and aggressive people won’t use your naivete and sing you songs of liberty and non aggression while they are sewing you up for another five thousand years of slavery.
If Libertarianism is anarchy, I think I prefer the anarchy of the Hippies. 🙂 Peace and love, bro!
“you won’t establish your libertarian paradise without aggression”
You’re right, social change never happens without guns a blazin’… except India’s independence… and the end of slavery in the British Empire… and the civil rights movement in the U.S…. and, and, and…
“that doesn’t mean some very nasty and aggressive people won’t use your naivete and sing you songs of liberty and non aggression while they are sewing you up for another five thousand years of slavery”
Is that your sophisticated vision of how the world works that I’m just too naive to understand? That sounds almost exactly like the arguments right wing hawks use to justify bombing civilians in far away lands.
naive. and ill informed. and not real good at making distinctions between different things.
but i’m not justifying bombing anyone.
i serously don’t recommend you go to Afghanistan and tell them you are going to start a non violent libertarian republic there.
In fact I don’t recommend you tell that to the guards at the White House.