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[...] lacking the experimental method, economists are not strictly enough compelled to reduce metaphysical concepts to falsifiable terms and cannot compel each other to agree as to what has been falsified. So economics limps along with one foot in untested hypotheses and the other in untestable slogans.
Joan Robinson, "Economic Philosophy" , 1962, pp. 26-28.
Austrian Economics, Business Cycle, Chicago Economics, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Economic Philosophy, Economics 101, Free Market, Joan Robinson, Quotations, Refutation of Dogmas by Empirical Economics
[...] here in America "libertarianism" is a Frankenstein's monster that got its lightning-bolt juice from massive resistance to the Civil Rights Movement. Dismantling the New Deal and rolling back the social insurance state were not ideas that had much potential political-economy juice back in the 1950s and 1960s. But if the economic libertarian cause of dismantling the New Deal could be harnessed to the cause of white supremacy—if one of the key liberties that libertarians were fighting to defend was the liberty to discriminate against and oppress the Negroes—than all of a sudden you could have a political movement that might get somewhere. And so James Buchanan and the other libertarians to the right of Milton Friedman made the freedom to discriminate—or perhaps the power to discriminate?—a key one of the liberties that they were fighting for in their fight against BIG GOVERNMENT. And this has poisoned American libertarianism ever since.
Brad DeLong, "A Lazy New Year's Eve Morn on Twitter..."
A Lazy New Year's Eve Morn on Twitter..., Brad DeLong, Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Discrimination, James Buchanan, Milton Friedman, Quotations, The New Deal
I have heard a lot of people who call themselves "libertarians" say and sagely nod at others’ saying that utility derived from satisfying a taste for discrimination is a proper thing to include in a social welfare function—and they are often the same people who are outraged at counting utility from redistribution, envy, or theft.
Brad DeLong, "A Lazy New Year's Eve Morn on Twitter..."
A Lazy New Year's Eve Morn on Twitter..., Brad DeLong, Consequentialism And Utilitarianism, Discrimination, Quotations
The actual case Brennan advances can be devastated rather quickly, since it suffers from a central logical flaw that renders the whole core argument worthless... By presenting democracy with all its warts, but giving no thought to how “epistocracies” work in practice, Brennan avoids confronting the difficult fact that his preferred system of government, if adopted, will almost certainly reinstate Jim Crow... But at least Brennan is honest in exposing the libertarian project as fundamentally opposed to the basic rights of human beings, its grand paeans to liberty being thin cover for taking the vote away from poor people.
Nathan Robinson, "Democracy: Probably a Good Thing"
Democracy, Democracy: Probably a Good Thing, Jason Brennan, Nathan Robinson, Quotations
Libertarians always insist that they are defending a philosophy of freedom, but what they are in fact defending is the freedom of a few to maintain their status privileges. The rest of us, without money or votes, always tend to remain distinctly unfree.
Nathan Robinson, "Democracy: Probably a Good Thing"
Aristocracy, Democracy: Probably a Good Thing, Freedom, Liberty, Nathan Robinson, Plutocracy, Quotations
The dread of democracy by libertarians and classical liberals is justified. Libertarianism really is incompatible with democracy. Most libertarians have made it clear which of the two they prefer. The only question that remains to be settled is why anyone should pay attention to libertarians.
Michael Lind, "Why libertarians apologize for autocracy"
Classical Liberalism, Democracy, Michael Lind, Quotations, Why libertarians apologize for autocracy
Without exception the great thinkers of classical liberalism, like Benjamin Constant, Thomas Babington Macaulay and John Stuart Mill, viewed universal suffrage democracy as a threat to property rights and capitalism.
Michael Lind, "Why libertarians apologize for autocracy"
Benjamin Constant, Classical Liberalism, Democracy, John Stuart Mill, Michael Lind, Quotations, Thomas Macaulay, Why libertarians apologize for autocracy
Theories of "natural law" and the "law of nations" are another excellent example of discussions destitute of all exactness. [...] "Natural law" is simply that law of which the person using the phrase approves[....]
Vilfredo Pareto, "The Mind and Society" p. 245.
Natural Rights, Quotations, The Mind and Society, Vilfredo Pareto
Patriarchal control of women is found in at least three paradigmatic contemporary contracts: the marriage contract, the prostitution contract, and the contract for surrogate motherhood. Each of these contracts is concerned with men's control of women, or a particular man’s control of a particular woman generalized. According to the terms of the marriage contract, in most states in the U.S., a husband is accorded the right to sexual access, prohibiting the legal category of marital rape. Prostitution is a case in point of Pateman’s claim that modern patriarchy requires equal access by men to women, in particular sexual access, access to their bodies. And surrogate motherhood can be understood as more of the same, although in terms of access to women’s reproductive capacities. All these examples demonstrate that contract is the means by which women are dominated and controlled. Contract is not the path to freedom and equality. Rather, it is one means, perhaps the most fundamental means, by which patriarchy is upheld.
Celeste Friend, "Contemporary Critiques of Social Contract Theory"
Celeste Friend, Contemporary Critiques of Social Contract Theory, Contract, Patriarchy, Quotations, Sex, Women's Issues
I know there are those who genuinely believe in privatizing everything. They are called profiteers.
John Dingell
John Dingell, Privatization, Quotations
I have long entertained a suspicion, with regard to the decisions of philosophers upon all subjects, and found in myself a greater inclination to dispute, than assent to their conclusions. There is one mistake, to which they seem liable, almost without exception; they confine too much their principles, and make no account of that vast variety, which nature has so much affected in all her operations. When a philosopher has once laid hold of a favourite principle, which perhaps accounts for many natural effects, he extends the same principle over the whole creation, and reduces to it every phænomenon, though by the most violent and absurd reasoning. Our own mind being narrow and contracted, we cannot extend our conception to the variety and extent of nature; but imagine, that she is as much bounded in her operations, as we are in our speculation.
David Hume, "Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding", "The Sceptic" pg. 163.
David Hume, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Murray Rothbard, Quotations, Richard Epstein, Robert Nozick
Libertarianism has always claimed to be scrupulously colorblind.... If the original sin of American history is slavery, then the original sin of conservatism and libertarianism is silence in the face of segregation.
Jennifer Burns, "Jennifer Burns' harsh review of Nancy MacLean's Democracy In Chains", pg. 644.
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America, Discrimination, Jennifer Burns, Jennifer Burns' harsh review of Nancy MacLean's Democracy In Chains, Quotations
Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance — where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks — the case for the state’s helping to organise a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong…. Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken.
Friedrich von Hayek, "The Road to Serfdom" p. 134.
Friedrich von Hayek, Health Care, Quotations, Social Security, Socialized Medicine, The Road to Serfdom
Though free market theorists are reluctant to admit it, capitalists are not fond of free markets, since open and fair competition forces them to invest in product development while they cut their prices. Monopoly and the destruction of competition is the ideal condition for the entrepreneur, and he will strive to achieve it unless restrained not by conscience but by an outside agency enforcing “anti-trust” laws.
Ernest Partridge, "A Dim View of Libertarianism, Part VII -- Some Concluding Questions"
A Dim View of Libertarianism, A Dim View of Libertarianism, Part VII -- Some Concluding Questions, Capitalism, Ernest Partridge, Free Market, Monopoly, Oligopoly, Market Power and AntiTrust, Quotations, Unregulated Market
There is a wearying familiarity to The Libertarian Mind; Hayek wrote all of this in The Constitution of Liberty, then Rothbard wrote it again in The Ethics of Liberty, then David Friedman in The Machinery of Freedom. Read one sentence of one libertarian book and you’ve read every sentence of every libertarian book... libertarianism ranges from people who support small governments and free market capitalism to… people who support small governments and free market capitalism.
Nathan Robinson, "Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..."
David Boaz, Diversity In Libertarianism, Nathan Robinson, Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..., Quotations, The Constitution of Liberty, The Ethics of Liberty, The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom, The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism, What Is Wrong With Libertarianism
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not just wrong but “impossible,” Boaz declares, because to declare education a human right mean that someone has to provide it, and since that’s not always possible, education cannot be a right. This weird little trick of language only works if you define a right to be a thing that can be provided at all times, instead of a moral obligation toward which all societies must aspire.
Nathan Robinson, "Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..."
David Boaz, Education, Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Nathan Robinson, Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..., Quotations, The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom
Buchanan proposed that Virginia could finesse the question of full compliance with Brown and avoid leaving the impression that the state wished to revert to crude Jim Crow standards of race privilege. Buchanan’s innovative solution was the introduction of school vouchers... On paper, at least, Buchanan was advocating a market-based, seemingly race-neutral policy solution. In effect, however, it allowed for the continued perpetuation of segregation. For example, Virginia’s Prince Edwards County shuttered its public schools in 1959 while doling out vouchers to students who attended private schools that only accepted white children. As a result, black children in Prince Edwards County went without formal education for more than five years.
Andrew Hartman, "The Master Class on the Make"
Andrew Hartman, Discrimination, James Buchanan, Public Choice Theory, Quotations, The Master Class on the Make, Vouchers
The great demon of libertarianism -- environmentalism -- is actually about making sure that our collective property (Earth) is pleasant and habitable enough that you would want to own your own slice of it. The value of your home or land is increased if everyone sticks together to keep the world a clean, habitable place.
Amanda Marcotte, "A small round of applause for decent Time Magazine writing"
A small round of applause for decent Time Magazine writing, Amanda Marcotte, Environment, Quotations
Slapping a few admirable ideas about legalizing vice crimes on top of a larger philosophy that’s about restoring “local” control—i.e. making it easier for white men to directly oppress everyone else in their community without interference—doesn’t make them pro-freedom. It just makes the cover story sound better.
Amanda Marcotte, "A small round of applause for decent Time Magazine writing"
A small round of applause for decent Time Magazine writing, Amanda Marcotte, Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Discrimination, Libertarians are neither right wing nor left wing., Liberty (propaganda), Liberty for me, but not for thee., Privatization of Power, Quotations
Without coming out and saying it, it’s easy to see how libertarianism, despite all the heavy-handed rhetoric about freedom, is fundamentally a right wing authoritarian philosophy... Getting the government out isn’t about rejecting authority, but making individuals of the proper sex (male), proper race (white), and proper socio-economic status (property owners and independent businessmen) the ruling classes of a series of small societies.
Amanda Marcotte, "A small round of applause for decent Time Magazine writing"
A small round of applause for decent Time Magazine writing, Amanda Marcotte, Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Discrimination, Libertarians are neither right wing nor left wing., Liberty (propaganda), Liberty for me, but not for thee., Privatization of Power, Quotations
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.
Lee Atwater, "Exclusive: Lee Atwater’s Infamous 1981 Interview on the Southern Strategy"
Discrimination, Lee Atwater, Quotations
[W]e have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
George Orwell, "Review of Power: A New Social Analysis by Bertrand Russell"
All Rights Are Coercive, Analyzing Libertarian Arguments, Capitalism Is Coercive, Capitalism is the best economic system ever devised. (Not!), Coercion, Expropriation, George Orwell, Historical Revisionism, Ideas Libertarians Do Not Own, Ideology, Initiation of Force, Libertarian Propaganda Terms, Libertarian Self-Delusions, Non-Aggression, Philosophical Individualism, Property Is Coercive, Quotations, Review of Power: A New Social Analysis by Bertrand Russell, Self-Ownership, Society, The Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition, There's no such thing as society… only individuals and families., There Are Important Values Besides Liberty, Voluntary, We libertarians are peaceful, statists are violent!
All models are cartoons, but the standard model is particularly cartoonish, especially as it’s taught to students in Econ 101. They’re introduced to a fantasyland where perfectly rational people with perfect information in perfectly competitive markets come together in a beautiful dance of supply and demand -- with the “invisible hand” perfectly maximizing the welfare of society... The world of the standard model is a place where the free market is so perfect, government interventions only do harm; where workers are paid their marginal product, so exploitation doesn’t exist; where everyone is so rational, people are always best left to their own devices; where culture, history, institutions, identity, norms, emotions, and morals fall to the wayside, and human beings become cold equations narrowly maximizing their own pleasure (or “utility”). To critics, it’s a cocktail of fantastical ideas profoundly divorced from the real world—and textbooks force kids to slurp it up for crude ideological reasons... The fact that the standard model not only doesn’t accurately describe the world but also supports right-wing policies has led progressives to argue that the reason it remains central to Econ 101 is ideology.
Greg Rosalsky, "Freeing Econ 101: Beyond the Grasp of the Invisible Hand"
Economics 101, Free Market, Free Market Theory, Freeing Econ 101: Beyond the Grasp of the Invisible Hand, Greg Rosalsky, Quotations
There are other reasons to think that Hayek went too far in his opposition to progressive tax rates. First, he assumed that earned income accurately measures the value of the incremental contribution to social output. But Hayek overlooked that much of earned income reflects either rents that are unnecessary to call forth the efforts required to earn that income, in which case increasing the marginal tax rate on such earnings does not diminish effort and output. We also know as a result of a classic 1971 paper by Jack Hirshleifer that earned incomes often do not correspond to net social output. For example, incomes earned by stock and commodity traders reflect only in part incremental contributions to social output; they also reflect losses incurred by other traders... Insofar as earned incomes reflect not incremental contributions to social output but income transfers from other individuals, raising taxes on those incomes can actually increase aggregate output.
David Glasner, "Neo- and Other Liberalisms"
David Glasner, Friedrich von Hayek, It's my money!, Neo- and Other Liberalisms, Progressive Taxes, Quotations, Taxes, Taxes And Growth
[Hayek] is not evaluating a mixed system, in which there is a degree of personal freedom but also a degree of imposed order. A mixed system is what we and our peer nations have, and I have not been able to figure out what help Hayek offers for evaluating such a system.
Richard Posner, "Hayek, the Mind, and Spontaneous Order: A Critique"
Central Planning, Friedrich von Hayek, Hayek, the Mind, and Spontaneous Order: A Critique, Mixed Economy, Quotations, Richard Posner, Socialist Calculation Debate, Spontaneous Order
There has been a good deal of confused controversy about the question of "value judgments" in the social sciences. Every human being has ideological, moral and political views. To pretend to have none and to be purely objective must necessarily be either self-deception or a device to deceive others. A candid writer will make his preconceptions clear and allow the reader to discount them if he does not accept them. This concerns the professional honour of the scientist.
Joan Robinson, "Freedom and Necessity" p.122.
Austrian Economics, Ayn Rand, Chicago Economics, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Freedom and Necessity, Joan Robinson, Objectivism, Quotations
Libertarians need to actively combat racial prejudice instead of relying on assumptions that the market will work it all out on its own. If libertarians are going to maintain that government answers to racism are usually inappropriate, then libertarians must be among those leading the private, society-driven remedies to injustice. It is not enough to be passively ‘not racist’—libertarians must be actively anti-racism. To do anything else is to accept the status quo and hide behind the logic of markets, despite the deeply seated, inherent illogic of racism.
Jonathan Blanks, "Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State"
Discrimination, Jonathan Blanks, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State, Quotations
[T]here is a prevalent libertarian assumption that the dearth of black libertarians is traceable to black ignorance of the benefits of free markets, perhaps enabled by poor public schools. Yet one may argue that libertarians are largely ignorant of how exclusionary American markets were when its moneyed participants were left to their own devices.
Jonathan Blanks, "Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State"
Discrimination, Jonathan Blanks, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State, Quotations
The dominant libertarian assumption that rational economic self-interest would trump racism if government just got out of the way fails to reckon with more than 200 years of evidence to the contrary. Consequently, the strident libertarian argument against positive law and government writ large flies directly in the face of the historical black experience. The federal government protected the rights of freedmen and established schools during Reconstruction, only to abandon blacks to Southern white terrorism in the name of States’ Rights. Positive law destroyed Jim Crow, breaking up both formal and informal segregation in accommodations not just in the South where it was law, but throughout other parts of the country where it was standard practice within a supposedly free market. The federal government took an active role in criminal justice because local police often did not investigate anti-black terrorism and murders -- or, if they did, sometimes testified in the murderers’ defense. And today, governments offer jobs with security and benefits in a job market that still disfavors blacks. This is not to say that blacks are particular fans of Big Government, but all of these government actions addressed problems in private society -- ranging from indifference to murderous hostility—that should test anyone’s faith in an unfettered free market.
Jonathan Blanks, "Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State"
Discrimination, Jonathan Blanks, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State, Quotations
I would venture that many, if not most libertarians -- like the general American public -- haven’t come to terms with the widespread, systemic subversion of markets and democracy American racism wreaked on its most marginalized citizens. Consequently, libertarians have concentrated rather myopically on government reform as the sole function of libertarian social critique without taking full reckoning of what markets have failed to correct throughout American history.
Jonathan Blanks, "Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State"
Discrimination, Jonathan Blanks, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State, Quotations
Barry Goldwater, generally believed to be the most libertarian major party presidential candidate of the past hundred years, famously voted against the Civil Rights Act, the most liberating piece of federal legislation since the end of Reconstruction... This sort of adherence to principle at the expense of the tangible freedom of millions of African Americans sent a clear message of whose liberty received priority. Fairly or unfairly, holding such a man up as a hero of liberty sends a mixed message, at best.
Jonathan Blanks, "Why Aren’t There More Black Libertarians?"
Barry Goldwater, Discrimination, Jonathan Blanks, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Quotations, Why Aren’t There More Black Libertarians?
But under capitalism some are more equal than others...
Iain McKay, "What it means to be libertarian (Anarchist)"
Capitalism, Iain McKay, Inequality, Quotations, What it means to be libertarian (Anarchist)
"Libertarian"... was coined in opposition to the sexism of Proudhon, to note the illogicality of attacking the hierarchies of property and State while defending that within the home.
Iain McKay, "What it means to be libertarian (Anarchist)"
Iain McKay, Libertarian (propaganda sense), Quotations, What it means to be libertarian (Anarchist)
Hayek's greatest failure is his neglect of the problem of private power. All his efforts go into the denunciation of state power, but he has little to say about private coercion.
Andrew Gamble, "Hayek: The Iron Cage Of Liberty"
Andrew Gamble, Friedrich von Hayek, Hayek: The Iron Cage Of Liberty, Private Coercion, Quotations
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty, especially as the sheep was a black one.
Abraham Lincoln, "Timely Abraham Lincoln quote: Who defines Liberty?"
Abraham Lincoln, Corporate Threats to Liberty, Crony Capitalism, Government Creates Rights, Liberty for me, but not for thee., Public Expansions Of Liberty, Quotations, Things Government Should Do, Timely Abraham Lincoln quote: Who defines Liberty?
People love calling libertarians "Idea Guys." It pays to remember that every single libertarian "Idea" is an ad campaign to peddle plutocracy to majorities it harms.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, How Libertarian Ideas And Attitudes Are Spread, Quotations, Redistribution (propaganda sense)
Initial regressive distributions of wealth are no less the product of government intervention than are subsequent progressive redistributions of wealth.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, Labor, Quotations, Redistribution (propaganda sense)
Until unemployment no longer holds out the prospect of death or dishonor every employment contract is made under duress.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Basic Income, Coercion, Contract Feudalism, Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, Labor, Private Government, Quotations, Sweatshops, The Workplace
"Let the Market Decide" Always Means "Let Rich People Decide."
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Aristocracy, Dale Carrico, Democracy, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, Inequality, Market Fundamentalism, Plutocracy, Quotations
There has never once been an outcome attributed to the Invisible Hand of the Market in which the Heavy Hand of the State did not play an indispensable part, and in which all too many are not sure to discern the Hidden Hand of Conspiracy.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, Invisible Hand, Market Fundamentalism, Quotations
To those who say they would shrink government without end, who say they would deregulate enterprise without end, who say they would cut taxes without end, it must forcefully be said, in the end, that you cannot have a civilization and eat it too.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Deregulation, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, Government, Minimal Government, Quotations, Small Government
Taxes are not, however annoying they may seem, violations of our freedom so much as indispensable enablers of freedom -- and hence they are a precondition for the constitution of the very experience of the "voluntary" on which notions of the involuntary depend in the first place.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, It's my money!, Quotations, Taxation Is Slavery, Taxes
Those who declare taxes to be theft either forget or fail to grasp that it is taxes that pay for the maintenance of those institutions on which legitimate claims of ownership or theft depend for their intelligibility and force in the first place.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, It's my money!, Quotations, Taxation Is Theft, Taxes
Those who would dismantle all democratic government and those who would demand good democratic government will point to many of the same instances of government abuse, corruption, malfeasance, and violence in making their separate cases, but it is only a fool who in noticing this would mistake them for allies.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, Ideas Libertarians Do Not Own, Quotations
[N]eoliberalism is a political strategy promoting the interests of big money that utilises the economist’s ideal of a free market to promote and extend market activity and remove all ‘interference’ in the market that conflicts with these interests.
Simon Wren-Lewis, "How Neoliberals weaponise the concept of an ideal market"
Can Neoliberalism Be Saved From Itself?, Colin Crouch, Free Market, Free Market Theory, How Neoliberals weaponise the concept of an ideal market, Quotations, Simon Wren-Lewis
If libertarians were simply to move to small-government societies, they would have to pay for the creation of their own infrastructure (ex. private roads and railroads), and would not be able to utilize the already finished, publically-funded, infrastructure of the developed countries. In this, the libertarians are trying to have things both ways -- they want to keep the infrastructure that was created by the “oppressive big-government taxation” on which to base their new libertarian paradise.
Josh Sager, "Libertarianism: A Luxury for Citizens of Developed Countries"
Infrastructure, Josh Sager, Libertarianism: A Luxury for Citizens of Developed Countries, Quotations
[T]he information revolution in economics that Hayek kicked off well over a half century ago, ended up pointing to a larger public role both in rectifying market failures and in addressing the problem of unaccountable power exercised by employers over employees.
Sam Bowles, "How Hayek’s Evolutionary Theory Disproves His Politics"
Economic Power, Friedrich von Hayek, How Hayek’s Evolutionary Theory Disproves His Politics, Market Failure, Monopoly, Oligopoly, Market Power and AntiTrust, Quotations, Real World Power, Sam Bowles
[T]he market, as Hayek says, processes information and on that basis, determines, for example, the best way to organize production. But applying this logic shows that hierarchical economic planning may not be such a bad thing at least when combined with markets. The boundary of the firm -- how big it will be -- is determined by the answer to the question, should this component be produced inhouse or purchased? But this is also the boundary between organizing things according to the market or according to the hierarchical structure of command that has led capitalist firms to be termed (ironically) as ‘mini-planned economies.” The ‘verdict of the market’ in this case is that both markets and hierarchies have a place in the economy!
Sam Bowles, "How Hayek’s Evolutionary Theory Disproves His Politics"
Friedrich von Hayek, How Hayek’s Evolutionary Theory Disproves His Politics, Markets, Quotations, Sam Bowles
In essence, the Icelanders who compiled the Grágás manuscripts were doing the same thing as libertarian scholars who hold up Iceland as proof that a society with minimal government can work. They were creating a golden age that probably bore very little resemblance to any period of Iceland’s actual history. The society reflected in Grágás and in so many of the family sagas represents thirteenth-century Icelanders’ vision of what society should be like. In an age when they were beholden to powerful chieftains and made to pay tribute to a king, some bondi thought that a free and equal society looked ideal and played up these aspects of their laws and their history... If Grágás is meant to construct a golden age that never actually existed, its usefulness to libertarian scholars as evidence for a working stateless community must be called into question.
Thomas McSweeney, "Writing Fiction as Law: The Story in Grágás"
Medieval Iceland, Quotations, Thomas McSweeney, Writing Fiction as Law: The Story in Grágás
Your tone is that of a theologian examining scripture, not a social scientist tackling existing institutions to improve them, or an open-minded analyst of partial improvements. You treat Hayek as if he didn’t understand the simple largely a priori principles of economic analysis that constitute your armory. Truth to tell, he was trying to analyze a far more complex reality than you are prepared to admit exists. There are indeed market failures, externalities, conflicts of “ultimate” values, ruled out by logic but not by imperfect human understanding. Every question does not have a simple logical answer.
Milton Friedman on Walter Block, "Fanatical, Not Reasonable: A Short Correspondence Between Walter E. Block and Milton Friedman (on Friedrich Hayek ’s Road to Serfdom)"
Fanatical, Not Reasonable: A Short Correspondence Between Walter E. Block and Milton Friedman (on Friedrich Hayek ’s Road to Serfdom), Friedrich von Hayek, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Milton Friedman, Quotations, Walter Block
Bitcoin is Beanie Babies for Libertarian Nerds
Anonymous
Anonymous, Bitcoin, Quotations
[S]ocial relations abhor a power vacuum. When state authority contracts, private parties fill the gap. That power can feel just as oppressive, and have effects just as pervasive, as garden variety administrative agency enforcement of civil law. As Robert Lee Hale stated, “There is government whenever one person or group can tell others what they must do and when those others have to obey or suffer a penalty.”
Frank Pasquale, "From Territorial to Functional Sovereignty: The Case of Amazon"
Corporate Threats to Liberty, Frank Pasquale, From Territorial to Functional Sovereignty: The Case of Amazon, Law, Liberty, Liberty (propaganda), Private Limitations Of Liberty, Quotations, Real World Power
Put another way, public choice theory turned the Marxist theory of the state on its head. As opposed to wishing to free the masses from a state controlled by the capitalist elite, Buchanan wished to free the capitalist elite from a state controlled by the unruly masses.
Andrew Hartman, "The Master Class on the Make"
Andrew Hartman, James Buchanan, Public Choice Theory, Quotations, The Master Class on the Make
The absurdity of public-choice theory is captured by Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen in the following little scenario: "Can you direct me to the railway station?" asks the stranger. "Certainly," says the local, pointing in the opposite direction, towards the post office, "and would you post this letter for me on your way?" "Certainly," says the stranger, resolving to open it to see if it contains anything worth stealing.
Linda McQuaig, "All You Can Eat"
All You Can Eat, Amartya Sen, Linda McQuaig, Public Choice Theory, Quotations
Lin [Elinor Ostrom] is emphatically clear on a number of key points:
  1. Self interested behaviour in perfect markets can be highly destructive.
  2. Appropriate norms and rules will not rely on pure self interest, but instead build on the capacity of (many) actors for conditional cooperation and reciprocity.
  3. Norms rely on collectively mandated sanctioning mechanisms if they are to work properly.
These are not, as I understand Hayek, Hayekian claims.
Henry Farrell, "The Ostrom Nobel"
Elinor Ostrom, Henry Farrell, Local Commons, Non-Libertarians Supposedly Supporting Libertarian Viewpoints, Quotations, The Ostrom Nobel
We live in the richest societies in history. We produce so many times more than past societies that we could abolish almost all poverty, as has been done in so many Scandinavian nations. We are at the point where we can ask what ALL people should have. All people should have the Four Freedoms. All people should have education, medical care, food, clothing, housing. Who should be excepted and why? Libertarians have no answer here: their obsession with property above all other values produces Procrustean solutions at best. Libertarians have no ideological guidelines for balancing property with other values, no way to go beyond "I've got mine."
Mike Huben, "Libertarianism Has Unbalanced Values"
Capability Approach, Four Freedoms, Ideology, Libertarianism Has Unbalanced Values, Mike Huben, Quotations, There Are Important Values Besides Liberty
Critics often point out that this emphasis on economics debases and sacrifices other important values such as equality, social inclusion, democratic deliberation, and justice. Those political and social objectives obviously matter enormously, and in some contexts they matter the most. They cannot always, or even often, be achieved by means of technocratic economic policies; politics must play a central role.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Dani Rodrik, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Quotations, Refutation of Dogmas by Empirical Economics, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism, There Are Important Values Besides Liberty, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
Chile's neoliberal experiment eventually produced the worst economic crisis in all of Latin America.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Chile, Dani Rodrik, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Quotations, Refutation of Dogmas by Empirical Economics, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
A journalist calls an economics professor for his view on whether free trade is a good idea. The professor responds enthusiastically in the affirmative. The journalist then goes undercover as a student in the professor's advanced graduate seminar on international trade. He poses the same question: Is free trade good? This time the professor is stymied. "What do you mean by 'good?'" he responds. "And good for whom?" The professor then launches into an extensive exegesis that will ultimately culminate in a heavily hedged statement: "So if the long list of conditions I have just described are satisfied, and assuming we can tax the beneficiaries to compensate the losers, freer trade has the potential to increase everyone's well being." If he is in an expansive mood, the professor might add that the effect of free trade on an economy's long-term growth rate is not clear either and would depend on an altogether different set of requirements.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Common Fallacies Of Economics, Dani Rodrik, Economics 101, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Mercantilism And Industrial Policy Works, Parables, Quotations, Refutation of Dogmas by Empirical Economics, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism
The basic competitive-markets model dating back to Adam Smith has been modified over time by the inclusion, in rough historical order, of monopoly, externalities, scale economies, incomplete and asymmetric information, irrational behavior, and many other real world features.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Adam Smith, Capitalism, Dani Rodrik, Economics 101, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Markets, Quotations, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
Neoliberalism and its customary remedies -- always more markets, always less government -- are in fact a perversion of mainstream economics. Good economists know that the correct answer to any question in economics is: it depends.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Capitalism, Dani Rodrik, Economics 101, Fallacies Of Ideology, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Markets, Quotations, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
There is nothing wrong with markets, private entrepreneurship, or incentives -- when deployed appropriately. Their creative use lies behind the most significant economic achievements of our time. As we heap scorn on neoliberalism, we risk throwing out some of neoliberalism's useful ideas. The real trouble is that mainstream economics shades too easily into ideology, constraining the choices that we appear to have and providing cookie-cutter solutions.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Capitalism, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Dani Rodrik, Fallacies Of Ideology, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, How Libertarian Ideas And Attitudes Are Spread, Ideas Libertarians Do Not Own, Ideology, Markets, Quotations, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
The fatal flaw of neoliberalism is that it does not even get the economics right. It must be rejected on its own terms for the simple reason that it is bad economics.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Common Fallacies Of Economics, Dani Rodrik, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Mercantilism And Industrial Policy Works, Quotations, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
Right. If your slave gets sick, then it's in your financial self-interest to hire a doctor to protect your investment. But if your wage employee gets sick, you can leave him to die and hire someone else. Apparently libertarians oppose slavery because it was too humane.
LRonPaul2012 (pseudonym), in comments of "Capitalism defeats racism. Government maintains it."
Capitalism defeats racism. Government maintains it., Historical Revisionism, LRonPaul2012 (pseudonym), Quotations, Slavery
It's interesting how libertarians believe that racism can get enough public support to win a local election, but somehow not enough to maintain a local restaurant.
LRonPaul2012 (pseudonym), in comments of "Capitalism defeats racism. Government maintains it."
Capitalism defeats racism. Government maintains it., Discrimination, Historical Revisionism, LRonPaul2012 (pseudonym), Quotations
The essential unifying idea in this core of libertarian ideology is that the existence of rights and the propriety of liberty are either obvious, or matters of faith, or sufficiently explained by the word “natural”; accordingly, deeper moral or philosophic arguments in support of them are unnecessary. Why provide philosophic arguments for that which people can know by just opening their eyes, or closing their eyes, or waving their hands and saying “natural”? The fact is that people do not and cannot know anything about the nature of rights or the propriety of liberty by such means.
Craig Biddle, "Libertarianism vs. Radical Capitalism"
Craig Biddle, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Fallacies Of Ideology, Fallacies Of Philosophy, Ideology, Libertarianism vs. Radical Capitalism, Natural Rights, Objectivist Critiques Of Libertarianism, Quotations, Rights
The only self-evident fact about rights is that rights are not self-evident.
Craig Biddle, "Libertarianism vs. Radical Capitalism"
Craig Biddle, Fallacies Of Ideology, Ideology, Libertarianism vs. Radical Capitalism, Natural Rights, Objectivist Critiques Of Libertarianism, Quotations, Rights
Ideology is the curse of public affairs because it converts politics into a branch of theology and sacrifices human beings on the thoughts of abstractions.
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., "Foreign Policy and The American Character"
Analyzing Libertarian Arguments, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Fallacies Of Ideology, Foreign Policy and The American Character, Ideology, Quotations
The ideology of radical libertarianism is both mistaken and harmful -- not least, to legitimate free expression in the service of truth. The error lies in exalting freedom "to such an extent that it becomes an absolute, which would then be the source of values.... In this way the inescapable claims of truth disappear, yielding their place to a criterion of sincerity, authenticity and 'being at peace with oneself'" There is no room for authentic community, the common good, and solidarity in this way of thinking.
Pontifical Council for Social Communications, "Ethics in Internet"
Analyzing Libertarian Arguments, Ethics in Internet, Fallacies Of Ideology, Ideology, Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Quotations
Ideology means taking some idea -- often legitimate in its own sphere -- to the extreme... Ideology offers certainty -- clear cut choices between good and evil, truth and falsehood. It pretends to have scientific answers to complex problems and holds out one easy standard to judge all cases. It thus relieves thinkers of the tedium involved in making difficult distinctions. In Procrustean fashion, ideologues cut facts to fit their ideas, rather than ideas to fit the facts. More often than not, their claims to science turn out to be little more than manipulative quackery.
Walter Adams and James Brock, "The Bigness Complex: Industry, Labor, and Government in the American Economy, Second Edition"
Analyzing Libertarian Arguments, Fallacies Of Ideology, Ideology, James Brock, Quotations, The Bigness Complex: Industry, Labor, and Government in the American Economy, Second Edition, Walter Adams
Libertarian capitalism... is a curious ideology in many ways... On the one hand, the sanctity of private property and private contracts is held to be a matter of inalienable natural right, guaranteed by the fundamental facts of morality, if not a basic part of Objective Reality; capitalism is the Right Thing to Do. On the other hand, much effort is devoted to arguing that unfettered laissez-faire capitalism is also the economic system which will produce the greatest benefit for the greatest number, indeed for all, if only people would just see it. Natural right therefore coincides exactly with personal interest. A clearer example of wishful thinking could hardly be asked for.
Cosima Shalizi, "Liberty! What Fallacies Are Committed in Thy Name!"
Analyzing Libertarian Arguments, Capitalism, Cosima Shalizi, Fallacies Of Ideology, Ideology, Liberty! What Fallacies Are Committed in Thy Name!, Natural Rights, Objectivism, Quotations
To solve the problem that few Americans are interested in small government, Rothbard argued that libertarians needed to align themselves with people they might not like much in order to expand their numbers. “Outreach to the Rednecks” was needed to make common cause with far-right Christian conservatives who hated the federal government, disliked drugs and wanted to crack down on crime.
Matthew Sheffield, "Where did Donald Trump get his racialized rhetoric? From libertarians."
Confederacy, Discrimination, Matthew Sheffield, Murray Rothbard, Paleolibertarianism, Quotations, Racists, Theocratic Libertarians, Where did Donald Trump get his racialized rhetoric? From libertarians.
… Economic doctrines always come to us propaganda. This is bound up with the very nature of the subject and to pretend that it is not so in the name of ‘pure science’ is a very unscientific refusal to accept the facts.
Joan Robinson, in Marx, Marshall And Keynes
Economics, Fallacies Of Ideology, Joan Robinson, Marx, Marshall And Keynes, Propaganda, Quotations
I have always aimed to make my own prejudices sufficiently obvious to allow a reader, while studying the argument, to discount them as he thinks fit, though of course, this generally leads a reader of opposite prejudices to reject the argument in advance …
Joan Robinson, in Marx, Marshall And Keynes
Critiques Of Libertarianism, Economics, Fallacies Of Ideology, Joan Robinson, Marx, Marshall And Keynes, Opposing Libertarianism, Quotations
All forms of society grant freedoms to, and impose unfreedoms on, people, and no society, therefore, can be condemned just because certain people lack certain freedoms in it. But societies have structurally different ways of inducing distributions of freedom, and, in a society like ours, where freedom is to a massive extent granted and withheld through the distribution of money, that fact, that money structures freedom, is often not appreciated in its full significance, and an illusion develops that freedom in a society like ours is not restricted by the distribution of money. This lecture exposes that illusion.
G. A. Cohen, "Freedom and Money"
Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Freedom and Money, G. A. Cohen, Libertarians Misunderstand Liberty, Liberty, Private Limitations Of Liberty, Property, Quotations
It is not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger.
David Hume, "A Treatise of Human Nature". (T II.3.3)
A Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume, Quotations, Rational
Our property is nothing but those goods, whose constant possession is established by the laws of society; that is, by the laws of justice.
David Hume, "A Treatise of Human Nature". (T III.2.2)
A Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume, Property, Quotations
Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.
David Hume, "A Treatise of Human Nature". (T II.3.3 415)
A Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume, Quotations, Rational
No one ever considers the Carnegie libraries steeped in the blood of the Homestead Steel workers, but they are. We do not remember that the Rockefeller Foundation is founded on the dead miners of the Colorado Fuel Company and a dozen other performances. We worship Mammon....
Senator Harry Truman, speech to senate, December 20, 1937.
Harry Truman, Historical Revisionism, Inequality, Plutocracy, Private Charity, Quotations, Robber Barons, Speech to senate, December 20, 1937
Boaz has fully mastered Patronizing Libertarian Voice, with which (male) libertarians use highly irrational arguments to dismiss every other politics as the beliefs of a child, while loudly insisting on their faultless rationality.
Nathan Robinson, "Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..."
David Boaz, False Claims to Rationality and Logic, Nathan Robinson, Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..., Quotations, The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom, We libertarians are rational, they are not., Women's Issues
The jump from the right to self-ownership to the right of property ownership always occurs hastily, as if the libertarian knows full well he’s fudging one of the most dubious steps of his proof. Boaz makes the unfortunate decision to choose John Locke’s theory of “labor mixing” as his preferred means of papering over the leap. This is the theory, dating from 1689, that when a person “mixes” her labor with a thing (say by turning a tree into a chair), she develops a property right in it. Why this should be so, nobody knows. What “mixing” even is, nobody knows either. Boaz doesn’t attempt to define it; its function is simply to jury-rig a rickety theoretical bridge that will suffice until the next deduction is made. So long as the reader blinks, she will fail to notice that the entire natural rights justification for property is built upon flashy prestidigitation.
Nathan Robinson, "Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..."
David Boaz, John Locke, Nathan Robinson, Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..., Quotations, The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom, The Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition
Nobody agrees about what natural rights are any more than they agree on which gods to believe in. Because they are just made-up claims. Real rights require enforcement by society: we put our money where our mouths are.
Mike Huben, in comments for "Taxation Is Not Theft"
Mike Huben, Natural Rights, Quotations, Taxation Is Not Theft
Non-initiation of force is a phrase which is used to hide the entire baggage of libertarian theory of entitlement. Since every culture has different theories of entitlement, using the same phrase just conceals the basic question of entitlements.
Mike Huben, in comments for "Taxation Is Not Theft"
Initiation of Force, Mike Huben, Non-Aggression, Quotations, Taxation Is Not Theft
You NAP idea is entirely vapid: EVERY political/moral system says "defensive force and properly-justified retaliatory force is not considered immoral": they just differ on what "defensive" and "properly justified" is. For libertarians, this bafflegab protects assertions that absolute property is the only morality.
Mike Huben, in comments for "Taxation Is Not Theft"
Mike Huben, Non-Aggression, Quotations, Taxation Is Not Theft
[M]ost libertarians would say that we have a non-voluntary responsibility to respect property, and would enforce that with violence. That’s the basic hypocrisy of voluntaristic ideas of libertarianism: everything is supposed to be voluntary and non-coercive BUT the basic principles of your ideology such as property are obviously not.
Mike Huben, in comments for "Taxation Is Not Theft"
Mike Huben, Quotations, Taxation Is Not Theft, Voluntaryism
As for whether I’m ideological, I don’t need ideology to rebut your arguments. Your ideology is YOUR weakness. It provides you with a bountiful supply of ready-made errors to spare you the pain of rubbing your own two brain cells together to come up with an original idea. Your ideology necessarily makes stuff up and ignores the real world where it is inconvenient. I don’t need ideology to spot such lies and omissions.
Mike Huben, in comments for "Taxation Is Not Theft"
Fallacies Of Ideology, Ideology, Mike Huben, Quotations, Taxation Is Not Theft
Hayek made the slipperiest of slippery slope arguments: the smallest move toward the expansion of government would lead to a cascade of bad consequences that would result in full-blown authoritarian socialism. If anything, however, the history of the past 50 years shows us that the slippery slope has all sorts of ledges and handholds by which we can brake our descent into serfdom and indeed climb back up.
Francis Fukuyama, "Friedrich A. Hayek, Big-Government Skeptic"
Francis Fukuyama, Friedrich A. Hayek, Big-Government Skeptic, Friedrich Hayek, Quotations, The Constitution of Liberty
In the end, there is a deep contradiction in Hayek’s thought. His great insight is that individual human beings muddle along, making progress by planning, experimenting, trying, failing and trying again. They never have as much clarity about the future as they think they do. But Hayek somehow knows with great certainty that when governments, as opposed to individuals, engage in a similar process of innovation and discovery, they will fail. He insists that the dividing line between state and society must be drawn according to a strict abstract principle rather than through empirical adaptation. In so doing, he proves himself to be far more of a hubristic Cartesian than a true Hayekian.
Francis Fukuyama, "Friedrich A. Hayek, Big-Government Skeptic"
Francis Fukuyama, Friedrich A. Hayek, Big-Government Skeptic, Friedrich Hayek, Quotations, The Constitution of Liberty
The key to understanding this, and to understanding Libertarianism itself, is to realize that their concept of individual freedom is the "whopper" of "right to have the State back up business". That's a wild definition of freedom.
Seth Finkelstein, "Libertarianism Makes You Stupid"
Derp, Economic Freedom (propaganda), Fallacies Of Ideology, Framing, Freedom, Freedom (propaganda), Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Liberal Criticisms Of Libertarianism, Libertarian Propaganda Terms, Libertarianism Makes You Stupid, Plutocracy, Quotations, Seth Finkelstein
Libertarians are for "individual rights", and against "force" and "fraud" - just as THEY define it. Their use of these words, however, when examined in detail, is not likely to accord with the common meanings of these terms.
Seth Finkelstein, "Libertarianism Makes You Stupid"
Derp, Fallacies Of Ideology, Framing, Liberal Criticisms Of Libertarianism, Libertarian Propaganda Terms, Libertarianism Makes You Stupid, Quotations, Seth Finkelstein
Against nature man can claim no right, but once society is established, poverty immediately takes the form of a wrong done to one class by another.
Hegel, "Outlines of the Philosophy of Right", 1820, paragraph 244.
Class War, Hegel, Outlines of the Philosophy of Right, Poverty, Quotations
Security of property! Behold, in a few words, the definition of English liberty. And to this selfish principle every nobler one is sacrificed... But softly -- it is only the property of the rich that is secure; the man who lives by the sweat of his brow has no asylum from oppression...
Mary Wollstonecraft, "A Vindication of the Rights of Men", 1790.
A Vindication of the Rights of Men, Mary Wollstonecraft, Private Property Is Not The Only Liberty, Property, Quotations
Libertarian idea of freedom: Be born with nothing. In order to survive, work in whatever way the property owners command. Die with nothing.
Corey Mohler, "Existential Comics on Twitter"
Corey Mohler, Existential Comics on Twitter, Freedom, Libertarians Misunderstand Freedom, Quotations, Reclaiming the Politics of Freedom
... in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.
Bertrand Russell, "The Triumph of Stupidity", 1933.
Bertrand Russell, Ideology, Quotations, Rational, The Triumph of Stupidity, We libertarians are rational, they are not.
There isn’t some a priori theory that tells us whether we are more at risk, relatively, of being busybodied by our neighbor or excessively nose-counted by the state. Or killed by a soldier of the state, or lynched by a voluntary local association of neighbors wearing pillowcases on their heads.
John Holbo, "Thinking About Groups"
Jacob Levy, John Holbo, Private, Private Limitations Of Liberty, Quotations, Rationalism, Pluralism, and Freedom, Thinking About Groups, Voluntary
Most workplace governments in the United States are dictatorships, in which bosses govern in ways that are largely unaccountable to those who are governed. They don't merely govern workers; they dominate them. This is what I call private government.
Elizabeth Anderson, "Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives", p. xxii.
Elizabeth Anderson, Private Government, Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives, Private Limitations Of Liberty, Private Tyranny, Quotations, The Workplace
Propertarians hate freedom. They like private tyrannies.
Robert Vienneau, comment at "Are libertarians ready to embrace a broader notion of freedom?"
Are libertarians ready to embrace a broader notion of freedom?, Freedom, Quotations, Robert Vienneau
... the entire modern American libertarian movement -- in principle, advocating a broad range of freedoms, but in practice focusing almost entirely on freedom from taxation and regulation. This is a shame. There are many more kinds of freedom than the narrow set embraced by the modern libertarian movement.
Noah Smith, "Are libertarians ready to embrace a broader notion of freedom?"
Are libertarians ready to embrace a broader notion of freedom?, Freedom, Noah Smith, Quotations
Libertarianism is not an intellectual movement, it is a cultural movement. Libertarianism is essentially: individualism, good; property, good; commerce, good; government, bad. It’s a historically/sociologically related set of sentiments.
Keith Ellis, "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?", Keith Ellis, Quotations
See, Cato Institute types that have huge blindspots when it comes to things such as the limited liability corporation (a creation of government), “intellectual property” (ditto), absentee land ownership (impossible without government enforcement), the range of voluntary exchange and cooperation (they assume that it begins and ends with for-profit business) and labor (they seem to think only one side of the labor/capital equation can organize for its self-interest) are wonderful for right-wingers to point at when they need a wonkish sounding justification for the status quo.
'b-psycho', "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
Cato Institute, Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?", Quotations
"What was the worst libertarian outcome?" The Irish Potato Famine. Medieval Feudalism. That’s why libertarianism hasn’t been taken seriously. It’s not that it has been tried and only found to need a few adjustments at the edges. It’s that no one wants to live like that unless, of course, they’re the one who just happens to the wealthy person in the scenario, in the same way that everyone fantasizes that living in a monarchy would be great because they envision themselves as being part of the royalty.
'Tyro', "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?", Quotations
More to the point, the Randians/Paulites and the vast number of people who casually call themselves “libertarians” form almost the totality of libertarianism -- Cowan’s utilitarian academic economist version, or Chomsky’s s-called “Left-Libertarianism”, or any number of idiosyncratic micro political philosophies which self-identify as libertarian or libertarian influenced are, well, inconsequential.
Keith Ellis, "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?", Introduction To Libertarianism, Keith Ellis, Political Libertarianism, Quotations
People have, and will, construct elaborate intellectual edifies rationalizing their favored political philosophy but, in practice, the larger group of people who hold that philosophy will adopt beliefs and positions largely independent of that rationalization and, more to the point, they will be quite often inconsistent beliefs and positions. Coherent theory has utility at some rarified level where the intellectuals and the powerful intersect—occasionally at pivotal moments—but, generally, comprehension of the politics of the matter is more greatly limited by ignorance of the sociological context of the political philosophy than by its theory. Those who write and talk about libertarianism (as distinct, I think, from those who merely adopt libertarianism as a felicitous set of political beliefs) are the type of people who have a great fondness for simplifying abstract theory and naturally expect the world to conform to it. In this they are quite like, say, Marxists. I am not like this. I have a great love for, and facility with, theory of all kinds but I see the world as a messy, complex place with theory as only the best approximation for something we probably don’t understand very well, anyway.
Keith Ellis, "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?", Keith Ellis, Quotations
The “liberal” solution to the depredations of the wealthy and powerful is to seek redress through the law and the government. The libertarian will argue that the wealthy and powerful will just twist the law and government to their own ends. Maybe so, but the libertarian then doesn’t offer any solution to how to maintain human freedoms that the liberal offers.
'Tyro', "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?", Quotations
The supposed intellectual underpinnings of libertarianism are ex post facto rationalizations of a cultural ethos that is in every sense, pure Americana.
Keith Ellis, "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?", Keith Ellis, Quotations
Libertarians believe that the universe ought to reward and promote individual liberty and property rights as a first principle. The fact that it does no such thing changes nothing.
'Christopher', "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?", Quotations
Most libertarians have benefited enormously from the modern liberal democracy and it’s institutions, but it hurts their pride too much to admit that to themselves. Their program is not only to pull the ladder up behind themselves, but to deny that the ladder ever existed in the first place. The true philosophy of most libertarians is that they should be the last people ever to benefit from the institutions of modern government, now that it’s time for them to chip in a few coins to help the next generation along.
'Craig', "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?", Quotations
The problem with libertarianism is that they tend to conflate liberty with possession of property. This made sense 200 years ago, when owning a small farm or business meant that you were secure in the means of your livelihood. This enabled you to be yourself. Longfellow’s village smithy, standing tall under the spreading chestnut tree, looking every man in the eye because he owes not a cent to any one, exemplifies this ideal. ( Contrast this with today’s world, where employer’s conduct drug tests; creditors demand credit reports, and everyone generally must be yes-man to the boss and conform to the PC opinion. ) This doctrine was encapsuled in Locke’s “Life, Liberty, and Property. However, due to economic shifts since then, owning property does not mean you therefore are secure in the means to your livelihood. Indeed, large property holders such as medical insurers are very much in the business of interfering with others’ means to their livelihood. This means that libertarianism now is, in practice, a misguided and often cranky ideal.
Duncan Kinder, "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?", Duncan Kinder, Quotations
BTW, libertarianism and Objecvtivism deeply intersect because they are two sides of a brightly-colored cereal box (with a prize inside!): epistemology on one side, political philosophy on the other. They’re intellectualism for bright twelve year-olds.
Keith Ellis, "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?", Keith Ellis, Quotations
A more accurate version of libertarian theory is that it is based upon an idiosyncratic view of inherent (and arguably metaphysical) individual human rights that is strongly oriented to property rights and is extremely American in historical origin and flavor. Sitting atop this view of individual rights—which itself is sufficient and requires no utilitarian elaboration—is a whole bunch of utilitarian justification for a libertarian sociopolitical organization built around the notions that said organization results in the greatest overall material and psychological benefit. This theoretical basis has three great weaknesses: first, the notion of inherent individual rights is eminently contestable. Second, the almost exclusive emphasis on individual property rights is idiosyncratic and myopic. Third, the utilitarian arguments for the benefits of the resulting sociopolitical organization are extraordinarily simplistic and are as often as not disproved by empirical fact. In practice, libertarianism is a political philosophy which emphasizes the notion of virtue in selfishness and has as its historical genesis the exceptional American experience. As such, it appeals mostly to white American males who are moderately above-average in intelligence, economically secure, independently-minded, and prefer simplistic theoretical constructs for making political and moral decisions. It validates their own affluence/privilege not by group affiliation, but by inherent individual merit; and it likewise superficially validates the poverty and lack of privilege of others not on the basis of group affiliation, but inherent fault. In this it mimics a meritocratic view, which allows the libertarian to congratulate himself on his lack of bigotry; but, in fact, it is a facade behind which his true bigotry hides. In my opinion, sociologically it functions the same way that class-based theories of self-justifying privilege have functioned outside the US. It appropriates the American ideal of egalitarianism—indeed, that egalitarianism is so deeply buried in the American psyche is exactly the reason why libertarianism, and not a class-based theory of privilege, is dominant—as an integral portion of its self-rationalization of privilege. And, of course, it appropriates the American notion of individual human rights for the same purposes and then builds from this a theory that argues that the accumulation of wealth through commerce is the ultimate expression of human nature. It is the apotheosis of middle-class merchant political philosophy. It is, therefore, aggressively and without self-awareness deeply middlebrow and so very, very American in all the worst senses.
Keith Ellis, "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?", Keith Ellis, Quotations
My summation: free-markets, free love, and the underpants gnomes will take care of the poor.
'David', "Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?""
Comments at Matt Yglesias' "What Is Libertarianism?", Quotations
Libertarians have been Chicken Littling us about the road to serfdom for at least seventy years. It is about time we stop taking them seriously.
John Jackson, "Frank Chodorov: Scrappy Libertarian, Crappy Oracle"
Frank Chodorov: Scrappy Libertarian, Crappy Oracle, John Jackson, Predictions That Never Come True, Quotations, The Road to Serfdom
… Libertarians’ delight in considering themselves rough-and-tumble, independent thinkers. I can’t help noticing however, that their fierce independent thinking often matches perfectly with powerful business and corporate interests.
John Jackson, "Frank Chodorov: Scrappy Libertarian, Crappy Oracle"
Frank Chodorov: Scrappy Libertarian, Crappy Oracle, John Jackson, Plutocracy, Political Libertarianism, Quotations, Vast, Right-Wing Conspiracy, We libertarians are rational, they are not.
Libertarians are a strange bunch. They are the most predictable of political thinkers since the answer to every social problem is the exact same thing: The cause of the problem is government and the solution is less government. Full stop.
John Jackson, "Frank Chodorov: Scrappy Libertarian, Crappy Oracle"
Analyzing Libertarian Arguments, Frank Chodorov: Scrappy Libertarian, Crappy Oracle, Government, John Jackson, Quotations, We libertarians are rational, they are not.
Libertarianism’s veneer of rational detachment cannot conceal its reactionary results: an expanded sphere of private domination, facilitated by a contracting sphere of public authority and public oversight.
Rob Hunter, "A Philosophy for the Propertied"
A Philosophy for the Propertied, Capitalism Is Coercive, Property Is Coercive, Quotations, Rob Hunter
Far from denouncing coercion, libertarians celebrate it -- provided that it is deployed for the benefit of the possessors of property.
Rob Hunter, "A Philosophy for the Propertied"
A Philosophy for the Propertied, Coercion, Property, Property Is Coercive, Quotations, Rob Hunter
John Stuart Mill spoke eloquently of liberty, but when it came down to it, he believed that some people are "more or less unfit for liberty" even if they "prefer a free government," and are incapable and undeserving of one due to their "indolence, or carelessness, or cowardice." Mill said that in the case of those people, "a civilized government... will require to be in a considerable degree despotic [and impose] a great amount of forcible restraint upon their actions." Mill deemed some "unfit for more than a limited and qualified freedom," giving as an example "the Hindoos, [who] will perjure themselves to screen the man who has robbed them." Probably best not to give much credence to Mill, then, on the subject of when to withhold democracy.
Nathan Robinson, "Democracy: Probably a Good Thing"
Democracy: Probably a Good Thing, Discrimination, John Stuart Mill, Nathan Robinson, Quotations
But at least Brennan [in Against Democracy] is honest in exposing the libertarian project as fundamentally opposed to the basic rights of human beings, its grand paeans to liberty being thin cover for taking the vote away from poor people.
Nathan Robinson, "Democracy: Probably a Good Thing"
Against Democracy, Democracy: Probably a Good Thing, Epistocracy, Inequality, Jason Brennan, Nathan Robinson, Poverty, Quotations
The actual case Brennan advances [in Against Democracy] can be devastated rather quickly, since it suffers from a central logical flaw that renders the whole core argument worthless. Brennan makes his case against democracy by pointing out all the ways in which people are stupid and fail to govern themselves well. Then, he makes the case for epistocracy by thinking through how smart people might make better decisions. All of this is very persuasive, until we remember that he is comparing “democracy as it actually exists” with “epistocracy as an abstract theory.” By comparing real democracy to hypothetical epistocracy (instead of epistocracy as it would actually be implemented), Brennan’s book doesn’t address a single one of the important questions around restricted suffrage: in practice, wouldn’t voting tests probably be used (as they have for their entire history) to disenfranchise the socially powerless? Wouldn’t such a system inevitably be abused, and wouldn’t “knowledge” just become a stand-in for “things powerful people believe”? (Brennan admits that wealthy white men will probably be considered the most “knowledgable,” but does not appear to have a problem with this.) By presenting democracy with all its warts, but giving no thought to how “epistocracies” work in practice, Brennan avoids confronting the difficult fact that his preferred system of government, if adopted, will almost certainly reinstate Jim Crow. Thus Brennan’s book is ultimately morally disgusting, since it amounts to a manifesto in favor of seizing a right from African Americans that took them centuries of bloodshed to win.
Nathan Robinson, "Democracy: Probably a Good Thing"
Against Democracy, Democracy: Probably a Good Thing, Discrimination, Epistocracy, Inequality, Jason Brennan, Nathan Robinson, Quotations
Jason Brennan’s Against Democracy makes the most spirited and comprehensive attempt at a philosophically coherent justification of despotic rule. Brennan’s book also offers a useful insight into libertarianism: Against Democracy is a good illustration of how supposedly “libertarian” philosophy is often just a defense of oligarchy. Libertarians always insist that they are defending a philosophy of freedom, but what they are in fact defending is the freedom of a few to maintain their status privileges. The rest of us, without money or votes, always tend to remain distinctly unfree.
Nathan Robinson, "Democracy: Probably a Good Thing"
Against Democracy, Democracy: Probably a Good Thing, Epistocracy, Jason Brennan, Nathan Robinson, Quotations
The term "libertarianism"is distasteful to people who think seriously about politics. Both Dr. F.A. Hayek and your servant have gone out of their way, from time to time, to declare that they refuse to be tagged with this label.
Russell Kirk, "A Dispassionate Assessment of Libertarians"
A Dispassionate Assessment of Libertarians, Conservative Criticisms Of Libertarianism, Friedrich von Hayek, Quotations, Russell Kirk
The worst enemies of enduring freedom for all may be certain folk who demand incessantly more liberty for themselves. This is true of a country's economy, as of other matters. America's economic success is based upon an old foundation of moral habits, social customs and convictions, much historical experience, and commonsensical political understanding. Our structure of free enterprise owes much to the conservative understanding of property and production expounded by Alexander Hamilton -- the adversary of the libertarians of his day. But our structure of free enterprise owes nothing at all to the destructive concept of liberty that devastated Europe during the era of the French Revolution -- that is, to the ruinous impossible freedom preached by Jean Jacques Rousseau.
Russell Kirk, "A Dispassionate Assessment of Libertarians"
A Dispassionate Assessment of Libertarians, Alexander Hamilton, Conservative Criticisms Of Libertarianism, Economics, Liberty, Quotations, Radicalism, Russell Kirk
Of society's old institutions, they would retain only private property. They seek an abstract Liberty that never has existed in any civilization -- nor, for that matter, among any barbarous people, or any savage. They would sweep away political government; in this, they subscribe to Marx's notion of the withering away of the state .
Russell Kirk, "A Dispassionate Assessment of Libertarians"
A Dispassionate Assessment of Libertarians, Conservative Criticisms Of Libertarianism, Liberty, Politics, Quotations, Radicalism, Russell Kirk
The cost of diversity is really just the cost of intolerance framed differently.
Unknown author, in comments to "The siren song of homogeneity"
Discrimination, Quotations, The siren song of homogeneity
For my part I think that capitalism, wisely managed, can probably be made more efficient for attaining economic ends than any alternative system yet in sight, but that in itself it is in many ways extremely objectionable. Our problem is to work out a social organisation which shall be as efficient as possible without offending our notions of a satisfactory way of life.
John Maynard Keynes, "The end of laissez-faire"
Alternatives To Current Capitalism, Capitalism, Capitalism, Markets and Laissez-Faire, Capitalists are not your friends., John Maynard Keynes, Quotations, The end of laissez-faire
To suggest social action for the public good to the City of London is like discussing the Origin of Species with a bishop sixty years ago. The first reaction is not intellectual, but moral. An orthodoxy is in question, and the more persuasive the arguments the graver the offence.
John Maynard Keynes, "The end of laissez-faire"
City of London, John Maynard Keynes, Quotations, The end of laissez-faire
Clayton Coppin, who taught history at George Mason and compiled the confidential study of Charles’s political activities for Bill Koch, describes Mercatus outright in his report as “ a lobbying group disguised as a disinterested academic program.”
Jane Mayer, "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right" pg. 150.
Clayton Coppin, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, Jane Mayer, Mercatus Center, Quotations
Libertarianism is supposed to be all about principles, but what it’s really about is political expedience. It’s basically a corporate front, masked as a philosophy.
Thomas Frank in Jane Mayer, "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right" pg. 123.
Capitalism, Markets and Laissez-Faire, Charles and David Koch, Critiques Of Libertarianism, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, Jane Mayer, Kochtopus, Libertarian Hypocrisy, Liberty, Philosophy, Quotations, Thomas Frank, Vast, Right-Wing Conspiracy
This is why books entitled Economics in One Lesson must evoke from us the advice: 'Go back for the second lesson.'
Paul Samuelson, "A Modern Post-Mortem on Bohm's Capital Theory", Journal of the History of Economic Thought. V. 23, N. 3. 2001.
A Modern Post-Mortem on Bohm's Capital Theory, Economics in One Lesson, Paul Samuelson, Quotations
My concern is that we’re dealing with an industry -- exemplified by creationism and climate change denial -- that has built up a body of well-funded propaganda which allows their believers to rear up and say, "Well, we are citizen scientists who have our own facts, and we say that the Earth is 6000 years old and global warming is just a natural cycle." They aren’t going to be impressed by published, verified facts about the natural world when they have something even more significant to them: validation of their biases, consilience with their holy book, resentment and paranoia about those damned ivory tower eggheads.
PZ Myers, "Science in America"
Critiques Of Libertarianism, Denialism, How Libertarian Ideas And Attitudes Are Spread, PZ Myers, Quotations, Science Denialists, Science in America
The notion of right and wrong is a human device, a utilitarian precept designed to make social cooperation under the division of labor possible. All moral rules and human laws are means for the realization of definite ends. There is no method available for the appreciation of their goodness or badness other than to scrutinize their usefulness for the attainment of the ends chosen and aimed at
Ludwig von Mises, "Human Action: The Scholar's Edition" p. 716.
Human Action: The Scholar's Edition, Ludwig von Mises, Objectivism, Quotations, Relativism
There is, however, no such thing as natural law and a perennial standard of what is just and what is unjust. Nature is alien to the idea of right and wrong. “Thou shalt not kill” is certainly not part of natural law.
Ludwig von Mises, "Human Action: The Scholar's Edition" p. 716.
Human Action: The Scholar's Edition, Ludwig von Mises, Natural Rights, Quotations
Freedom for the wolves has often meant death to the sheep.
Isaiah Berlin, "Four Essays on Liberty" p.xlv.
Arbitration, Capitalism, Four Essays on Liberty, Freedom, Freedom (propaganda), Freedom for the wolves has often meant death to the sheep., Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Isaiah Berlin, Laissez Faire, Quotations
The pride of man makes him love to domineer, and nothing mortifies him so much as to be obliged to condescend to persuade his inferiors. Wherever the law allows it, and the nature of the work can afford it, therefore, he will generally prefer the service of slaves to that of freemen.
Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations" III.2.10
Adam Smith, Capitalism Is Coercive, Capitalist Crime, Capitalist Harms, Capitalists are not your friends., Corporate Threats to Liberty, Quotations, Slavery, The Wealth of Nations
We are willing to pay hefty premiums to private HMOs, but not the taxes to finance a national healthcare system[...] We tolerate the hardball nastiness of the private collection agency but work ourselves into a rage at the very idea that the IRS will get serious about tax evasion.
Robin Einhorn, "Tax Aversion and the Legacy of Slavery"
Capitalists are not your friends., Health Care, Quotations, Robin Einhorn, Tax Aversion and the Legacy of Slavery, Taxes
For all this vast and sparkling intellectual production, though, we hear surprisingly little about what it’s like to be managed. Perhaps the reason for this is because, when viewed from below, all the glittering, dazzling theories of management seem to come down to the same ugly thing. This is the lesson that Barbara Ehrenreich learns from the series of low-wage jobs that she works and then describes in all their bitter detail in her new book, Nickel and Dimed. Pious chatter about “free agents” and “empowered workers” may illuminate the covers of Fast Company and Business 2.0, but what strikes one most forcefully about the world of waitresses, maids, and Wal-Mart workers that Ehrenreich enters is the overwhelming power of management, the intimidating array of advantages it holds in its endless war on wages. This is a place where even jobs like housecleaning have been Taylorized to extract maximum output from workers (“You know, all this was figured out with a stopwatch,” Ehrenreich is told by a proud manager at a maid service), where omnipresent personality and drug tests screen out those of assertive nature, where even the lowliest of employees are overseen by professional-grade hierarchs who crack the whip without remorse or relent, where workers are cautioned against “stealing time” from their employer by thinking about anything other than their immediate task, and where every bit of legal, moral, psychological, and anthropological guile available to advanced civilization is deployed to prevent the problem of pay from ever impeding the upward curve of profitability. This is the real story of life under markets.
Thomas Frank, "The God That Sucked"
Capitalism, Markets and Laissez-Faire, Capitalists are not your friends., Class War, Labor, Private Limitations Of Liberty, Quotations, The God That Sucked, The Workplace, Thomas Frank, Unions, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
The market is a god that sucks. Yes, it cashed a few out at the tippy top, piled up the loot of the world at their feet, delivered shiny Lexuses into the driveways of their ten-bedroom suburban chateaux. But for the rest of us, the very principles that make the market the object of D’Souza’s worship, of Gilder’s awestruck piety, are the forces that conspire to make life shitty in a million ways great and small. The market is the reason our housing is so expensive. It is the reason our public transportation is lousy. It is the reason our cities sprawl idiotically all across the map. It is the reason our word processing programs stink and our prescription drugs cost more than anywhere else. In order that a fortunate few might enjoy a kind of prosperity unequaled in human history, the rest of us have had to abandon ourselves to a lifetime of casual employment, to unquestioning obedience within an ever more arbitrary and despotic corporate regime, to medical care available on a maybe/maybe-not basis, to a housing market interested in catering only to the fortunate.
Thomas Frank, "The God That Sucked"
Capitalism, Markets and Laissez-Faire, Capitalists are not your friends., Class War, Market Fundamentalism, Quotations, The God That Sucked, Thomas Frank, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
All Power to the Markets has never been too persuasive as a rallying cry.
Thomas Frank, "The God That Sucked"
Capitalism, Markets and Laissez-Faire, Class War, Market Fundamentalism, Propaganda, Quotations, The God That Sucked, Thomas Frank, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
Over the past two and a half decades, the poor in privatized urban schools have been successfully harnessed to the delivery of reliable profits to investors and munificent salaries to executives.
Alex Molnar, "Dismantling Public Education: Turning Ideology into Gold"
Alex Molnar, Dismantling Public Education: Turning Ideology into Gold, Education, Privatization, Quotations, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
Economists claim that their work should be evaluated based on predictive success. Von Hayek was made a Nobel Laureate in 1974, three decades after his prediction that democratic states were headed to tyranny and mass murder of their own citizens. In those three decades of experience in the nations he focused on (Western Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) – and the forty years since his award – this happened in zero nations. He is batting zero for 70 years in roughly 30 nations with, collectively, thousands of elections. What he claimed was inevitable has never occurred.
Bill Black, "Why the Worst Get on Top -- in Economics and as CEOs"
Bill Black, Democracy, Friedrich von Hayek, Libertarianism Is Undemocratic, Quotations, The Road to Serfdom, Why the Worst Get on Top -- in Economics and as CEOs
Hayek’s critique of democratic government has proven to be the most monstrous blood libel of the post-World War II era -- falsely declaring that democratic government must end in tyranny and the mass murder of its own people.
Bill Black, "Why the Worst Get on Top -- in Economics and as CEOs"
Bill Black, Critiques Of Libertarianism, Democracy, Friedrich von Hayek, Libertarianism Is Undemocratic, Quotations, The Road to Serfdom, Why the Worst Get on Top -- in Economics and as CEOs
It will be implausible to view improving an object as giving full ownership to it, if the stock of unowned objects that might be improved is limited. For an object’s coming under one person's ownership changes the situation of all others. Whereas previous they were at liberty (in Hohfeld’s sense) to use the object, they now no longer are.
Robert Nozick, "Anarchy, State, and Utopia"
All Rights Are Coercive, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Libertarians Misunderstand Property, Property, Property Is Coercive, Quotations, Robert Nozick, The Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition, The worthless Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition
The more sophisticated libertarian philosophers -- Robert Nozick for example -- tend to build their libertarianism on extremely vague statements that command a high degree of acceptance in our society: for example, “individuals own their own bodies.” Now it is worth noting that, while this is a pretty uncontroversial claim in any Western democracy [...] Large numbers of people through history have believed, and still believe, that women, children, black people, kulaks, slaves and so on did not own their own bodies.
James Boyle, "Foucault in cyberspace -- Chapter 2: Libertarianism, Property and Harm" pg. 21.
Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Foucault in cyberspace -- Chapter 2: Libertarianism, Property and Harm, James Boyle, Quotations, Self-Ownership, Slavery
Odes of praise to the common law, and mistrust of legislative modifications of it, allow libertarians to say that the true benchmark of rights is provided by the older rules, not the newer ones. Judged against this standard, of course, the rules that benefit employers, landlords and manufacturers simply define liberty and property rights whereas the rules that benefit workers, tenants and consumers are interferences with liberty. The rules one likes are the foundations of sacred property rights, those one does not like are meddlesome regulation. This is a nice trick...
James Boyle, "Foucault in cyberspace -- Chapter 2: Libertarianism, Property and Harm" pg. 19.
Common Law, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Foucault in cyberspace -- Chapter 2: Libertarianism, Property and Harm, James Boyle, Labor, Law, Property, Quotations, The Workplace, Unions
We cannot simply say “Well, individuals have a right to do anything that does not harm another” because that answer simply dissolves into another value-laden debate about what counts as “a harm” in the first place.
James Boyle, "Foucault in cyberspace -- Chapter 2: Libertarianism, Property and Harm" pg. 16.
Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Foucault in cyberspace -- Chapter 2: Libertarianism, Property and Harm, James Boyle, Non-Aggression, Quotations
The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy, that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
John Kenneth Galbraith, "John Kenneth Galbraith on Conservatism."
Critiques Of Libertarianism, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, John Kenneth Galbraith, John Kenneth Galbraith on Conservatism., Liberal Criticisms Of Libertarianism, Libertarians are neither right wing nor left wing., Quotations
[H]umans are, at a very deep and basic level, gift-exchange animals. We create and reinforce our social bonds by establishing patterns of “owing” other people and by “being owed”. We want to enter into reciprocal gift-exchange relationships. We create and reinforce social bonds by giving each other presents. We like to give. We like to receive. We like neither to feel like cheaters nor to feel cheated. We like, instead, to feel embedded in networks of mutual reciprocal obligation. We don’t like being too much on the downside of the gift exchange: to have received much more than we have given in return makes us feel very small. We don’t like being too much on the upside of the gift exchange either: to give and give and give and never receive makes us feel like suckers. We want to be neither cheaters nor saps.
Brad DeLong, "Regional Policy and Distributional Policy in a World Where People Want to Ignore the Value and Contribution of Knowledge and Network-Based Increasing Returns"
Anthropology and Scientific Psychology, Brad DeLong, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Desert, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Libertarian Self-Delusions, Positive Alternatives To Libertarian Ideas, Quotations, Regional Policy and Distributional Policy in a World Where People Want to Ignore the Value and Contribution of Knowledge and Network-Based Increasing Returns, Social Capital, Social Justice, Social Welfare
This wish to believe that you are not a moocher is what keeps people from seeing issues of distribution and allocation clearly -- and generates hostility to social insurance and to wage supplement policies, for they rip the veil off of the idea that you deserve to be highly paid because you are worth it. You aren’t.
Brad DeLong, "Regional Policy and Distributional Policy in a World Where People Want to Ignore the Value and Contribution of Knowledge and Network-Based Increasing Returns"
Anthropology and Scientific Psychology, Brad DeLong, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Desert, Economic Power, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Inequality, Libertarian Self-Delusions, Positive Alternatives To Libertarian Ideas, Quotations, Regional Policy and Distributional Policy in a World Where People Want to Ignore the Value and Contribution of Knowledge and Network-Based Increasing Returns, Social Capital, Social Justice, Social Welfare
It really looks from the anthropologists that Adam Smith was wrong--that we are not animals that like to "truck, barter, and exchange" with strangers but rather gift-exchange pack animals--that we manufacture social solidarity by gift networks, and those who give the most valuable gifts acquire status hereby.
Brad DeLong, "Economic Anthropology: David Graeber Meets the Noise Machine..."
Adam Smith, Anthropology and Scientific Psychology, Brad DeLong, Common Fallacies Of Economics, David Graeber, Economic Anthropology: David Graeber Meets the Noise Machine..., Quotations, Real Markets
The key economic story of the last 70 years is the triumph of the mixed economy in growing both economic output and living standards. Only an anti-empirical approach to economics could lead to the conclusion that ideological libertarians want: that drastically small governments are better for the human condition than mid-size ones of the sort that exist throughout the advanced world.
Josh Barro, "Where I Learned All About Austrian Economics"
Austrian Economics, Empiricism, Josh Barro, Mixed Economy, Quotations, Where I Learned All About Austrian Economics
Despite the intelligence of many of its supporters, libertarianism is an instance of the simplest (and therefore silliest) type of politics: the single-villain ideology. Everything is blamed on the government.
Mark Rosenfelder, "What's wrong with libertarianism (Rosenfelder)"
Critiques Of Libertarianism, Fallacies Of Ideology, Ideology, Liberal Criticisms Of Libertarianism, Mark Rosenfelder, Quotations, What's wrong with libertarianism (Rosenfelder)
Working people are far, far freer than slaves or indentured servants, but they are not as free as their bosses and not nearly as free as they might be. [...] In a society that is forever boasting of its dedication to democratic ideals, employees are, however affluent they may have become, members of a subordinate, unmistakably lower, class.
Richard Cornuelle, "The Power and Poverty of Libertarian Thought", Cato Policy Report Volume XIV Number 1, pp. 12-13.
Class War, Labor, Libertarian Dismissals Of Inequality, Liberty, Equality, Efficiency, Quotations, Richard Cornuelle, The Power and Poverty of Libertarian Thought, The Workplace
As the dust settles on the ruins of the socialist epoch, a second crippling deficiency of libertarian thought is becoming more visible and embarrassing. The economic methodology that the Russians have lately found unworkable still governs the internal affairs of capitalist and socialist countries alike. An economy presumably works best if it is not administered from the top; a factory presumably works best if it is.
Richard Cornuelle, "The Power and Poverty of Libertarian Thought", Cato Policy Report Volume XIV Number 1, pg. 12.
Labor, Libertarian Hypocrisy, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Quotations, Richard Cornuelle, The Power and Poverty of Libertarian Thought, The Workplace
Libertarian thought is wonderfully sound as far as it goes, but there are two gaping holes in it that that are now taking on a decisive importance. For one thing, there is no very distinct libertarian vision of community -- of social as distinct from economic process -- outside the state; the alluring libertarian contention that society would work better if the state could somehow be limited to keeping the peace and enforcing contracts has to be largely taken on faith. Nor have libertarians confronted the disabling hypocrisy of the capitalist rationale, which insists that while capitalists must have extensive freedom of action, their employees may have much less. Their analysis of how an invisible hand arranges economic resources rationally without authoritarian direction stopped abruptly at the factory gate. Inside factories and offices, the heavy, visible hand of management continues to rule with only token opposition.
Richard Cornuelle, "The Power and Poverty of Libertarian Thought", Cato Policy Report Volume XIV Number 1, pg. 10.
Community Rights, Labor, Libertarian Hypocrisy, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Quotations, Richard Cornuelle, The Power and Poverty of Libertarian Thought, The Workplace
To my knowledge, all libertarian philosophers (except Conway), from Hayek to Nozick to James Buchanan to lesser-known writers such as Antony Flew and Tibor Machan, reject the positive-libertarian alternative, preferring to rely on the claim that only negative liberty is “real” liberty. It may be surprising that, 700 years after the collapse of Scholasticism, there should still be philosophers who assume that there are “correct” and “incorrect” definitions of words. But it would be a mistake to underestimate how important to libertarian philosophy is the conviction that only negative liberty captures the “essence” of the word liberty. Even if negative liberty is “true” liberty (and even if liberty is intrinsically valuable), however, this cannot constitute an argument for libertarianism without the further assumption that negative liberty is either uniquely or relatively embodied in libertarianism. The assumption that liberty is embodied in libertarianism relatively more than in other systems is necessarily false, however -- unless we are speaking of positive liberty -- since, as we have seen, there is no difference in the amount of negative liberty afforded people by libertarianism and by competing systems of property law.
Jeffrey Friedman, "What's Wrong With Libertarianism" pg. 431.
Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Fallacies Of Ideology, Jeffrey Friedman, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Libertarians Misunderstand Liberty, Liberty, Liberty (propaganda), Positive and Negative Liberty, Property, Quotations, Scholasticism, What's Wrong With Libertarianism
...every discipline, as long as it used the Aristotelian method of definition, has remained arrested in a state of empty verbiage and barren scholasticism....
Karl Popper, "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1950, p. 206.
Austrian Economics, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Fallacies Of Philosophy, Karl Popper, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Praxeology, Quotations, Scholasticism
If there were any methodological justice in the world, neo-classical economics should have been relegated to the scrap-yard of theories long ago. True, the Arrow-Debreu model is, as Stephen Maturin would say, the elegant mathematical theory of the world, but as a description of how economies work it is incredible in the worst sense. The most telling criticisms, all valid, fall into three clusters. The first, and to my mind the most compelling, has been urged with great force by Herbert Simon (among others): people simply are not perfectly rational, perfectly prescient utility maximizers, and they couldn't be even if they wanted to. Second, the kind of economy assumed by neo-classical theory is a very special and recent phenomenon, originating in particular countries in particular epochs, and while it has since spread from there and seems likely to conquer the globe, the neo-classical theory is restricted to the places where economic life is conducted in markets with unrestricted, alienable private property, so it is not a general theory of economic behavior, something deeply desirable. Third, even in the countries with the appropriate legal-institutional framework, perfect competition is exceedingly rare, very important parts of the economy are manifestly oligopolies, and certain kinds of competition are even legally prohibited by e.g. intellectual property laws.
Cosma Shalizi, "Homo economicus on the Grand Tour, or, When Is a Lizard a Good Enough Dragon for Government Work?"
Cosma Shalizi, Economics 101, Economics Alternatives, Homo economicus, Homo economicus on the Grand Tour, or, When Is a Lizard a Good Enough Dragon for Government Work?, Quotations
The fact is that the foundations of standard microeconomic models envisage people as hedonistic sociopaths, and theorists prevent mayhem from breaking out in their models by the simple expedient of ignoring the possibility[...] Arrow, Debreu and co. rule out by hypothesis any interaction between agents other than impersonal market exchange, but the specification of the agents shows that they'd have no objection to pillage, or any preference for obtaining their consumption basket by peaceful truck, barter and commerce rather than fire, sword and fear.
Cosma Shalizi, "Brad DeLong Makes a Wishful Mistake"
Brad DeLong, Brad DeLong Makes a Wishful Mistake, Cosma Shalizi, Homo economicus, Quotations
You call it cancer, I call it freedom loving cells, throwing off the shackles of collectivism and trying to reach their full potential of growth. If every cell in the body just started looking out for itself and its offspring, the outcome for the whole body could only be the best one imaginable.
WKorsakow (Reddit pseudonym), "How do I bootstrap myself out of cancer?"
Critiques Of Libertarianism, How do I bootstrap myself out of cancer?, Individualism, Liberty, Quotations, WKorsakow (Reddit pseudonym)
A Libertarian is someone who wants everyone else to lift themselves up by their bootstraps just like they didn't.
mrb (Twitter pseudonym, 7:27 PM - 9 Jul 2016)
Bootstraps, Critiques Of Libertarianism, Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Mrb (Twitter pseudonym), Quotations, Twitter
Many of us hold onto beliefs simply because we lack contrary information, and then when it is given, we hold on because we don’t want to admit we were wrong about something. I think, though, that this is one of the biggest reasons we don’t change: We don’t want to explain why to friends or family who were ideologically similar. It’s tough to change directions, and let’s face it, when we do change we’re not often equipped to defend these new ideals against a barrage of criticism coming from our former ideological cohorts.
Matti Frost, "I used to be a libertarian. I'm sorry."
I used to be a libertarian. I'm sorry., Matti Frost, Quotations, Testimonials By Former Libertarians And Objectivists
I don't like Narveson's "teutonic" approach (of purporting to build up a logically rigorous philosophical structure from fundamentals) because once the author makes a logical error in the exegesis (and every author I've ever read makes many) everything that follows is suspect... a teetering pillar which can too easily become a monument to folly.
Paul Birch, "A Critique of Narveson's The Libertarian Idea"
A Critique of Narveson's The Libertarian Idea, Jan Narveson, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Paul Birch, Quotations, The Libertarian Idea
In most of economic theory, a job isn't treated as something inherently valuable -- it's just a conduit through which money flows from employer to employee... To most people, the idea that jobs give people dignity and a sense of self-worth seems laughably obvious... But among economists, there remains a relentless unwillingness to consider the importance of dignity and social respect.
Noah Smith, "A Job Is More Than a Paycheck"
A Job Is More Than a Paycheck, Homo economicus, Labor, Noah Smith, Quotations, The Workplace, There Are Important Values Besides Liberty
Between the strong and the weak, between the rich and the poor, between master and servant, it is liberty that is oppressive and the law that sets free.
Henri-Dominique Lacordaire, speech given at the 52nd Conférence de Notre-Dame, Paris, 1848.
Critiques Of Libertarianism, Henri-Dominique Lacordaire, Liberty, Quotations, Regulation
We have to start by decoding a whole system of intellectual distortion before you can even talk.
Noam Chomsky, "Libertarianism vs. American Libertarianism @5:00"
Critiques Of Libertarianism, Ideology, Left-Libertarian and Anarchist Criticism, Libertarian Propaganda Terms, Libertarianism vs. American Libertarianism, Noam Chomsky, Quotations
Anarcho-capitalism, in my opinion, is a doctrinal system which, if ever implemented, would lead to forms of tyranny and oppression that have few counterparts in human history. There isn’t the slightest possibility that its (in my view, horrendous) ideas would be implemented, because they would quickly destroy any society that made this colossal error. The idea of “free contract” between the potentate and his starving subject is a sick joke, perhaps worth some moments in an academic seminar exploring the consequences of (in my view, absurd) ideas, but nowhere else.
Noam Chomsky, "On Anarchism: Noam Chomsky interviewed by Tom Lane, December 23, 1996"
Anarcho-capitalism, Noam Chomsky, On Anarchism: Noam Chomsky interviewed by Tom Lane, Quotations
It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency[...]
George Washington, "George Washington, Sentiments on a Peace Establishment"
George Washington, Militias, Quotations, Taxes, The Draft, The Founding Fathers Of The USA
[A blind spot]... a simply weird refusal to acknowledge the huge role played by money and monetary incentives promoting bad ideas.
Paul Krugman, "Conservative Intellectuals: Follow the Money"
Capitalism, Markets and Laissez-Faire, Conservative Intellectuals: Follow the Money, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Fallacies Of Ideology, How Libertarian Ideas And Attitudes Are Spread, Ideology, Kochtopus, Paul Krugman, Political Libertarianism, Quotations, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats, Wingnut Welfare
[...] the central analytical failure of libertarianism as a worldview: a total and disqualifying inability to measure or account for power as it exists in the real world.
Freddie deBoer, "Brief insights into the libertarian mind"
Brief insights into the libertarian mind, Critiques Of Libertarianism, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Fallacies Of Ideology, Freddie deBoer, Ideology, Minorities, Philosophy, Privilege, Quotations, Real World Power
To tell a poor man that he has property because he has arms and legs -- that the hunger from which he suffers, and his power to sleep in the open air are his property, -- is to play upon words, and to add insult to injury.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, "What Is Property? An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government", pg 61.
Left-Libertarian and Anarchist Criticism, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Quotations, Self-Ownership, What Is Property?, What Is Property? An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government
Those who forget history are doomed to become anarcho-capitalists.
Lurgi (pseudonym), "Anything private enterprise can do, government should be able to do too."
Anarcho-capitalism, Anything private enterprise can do, government should be able to do too., Historical Revisionism, Lurgi (pseudonym), Quotations
So much for the idea that so-called libertarians are uncompromising champions of freedom. In truth, they're tireless defenders of the idea that the people with the most wealth and power in our society deserve to keep it. This, of course, is hardly the subversive, counter-cultural brew that libertarians seem to think they're peddling--this is exactly what bought-off establishment politicians in Washington already think.
Tyler Zimmer, "Gary Johnson and the libertarian swindle"
Critiques Of Libertarianism, Freedom (propaganda), Gary Johnson, Gary Johnson and the libertarian swindle, Libertarian Party, Quotations, Tyler Zimmer
[The Native Americans] didn't have any rights to the land and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using.... What was it they were fighting for, if they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence, their "right" to keep part of the earth untouched, unused and not even as property, just keep everybody out so that you will live practically like an animal, or maybe a few caves above it. Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent.
Ayn Rand, "Q and A session following her Address To The Graduating Class Of The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, March 6, 1974"
Ayn Rand, Discrimination, Historical Revisionism, Make Or Break Views Of Libertarianism, Minorities, Privilege, Q and A session following her Address To The Graduating Class Of The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, March 6, 1974, Quotations, Racists, The Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition, What Is Wrong With Libertarianism
Here are some not-standardly-libertarian things I believe: Non-coercion fails to capture all, maybe even most, of what it means to be free. Taxation is often necessary and legitimate. The modern nation-state has been, on the whole, good for humanity. (See Steven Pinker’s new book.) Democracy is about as good as it gets. The institutions of modern capitalism are contingent arrangements that cannot be justified by an appeal to the value of liberty construed as non-interference. The specification of the legal rights that structure real-world markets have profound distributive consequences, and those are far from irrelevant to the justification of those rights. I could go on.
Will Wikinson, "Why I’m Not a Bleeding-Heart Libertarian"
Bleeding Heart Libertarians, Quotations, Why I’m Not a Bleeding-Heart Libertarian, Will Wikinson
[...] Bleeding Heart Libertarians (BHL) -- a group of free-market apologists who have built a brand out of applying lipstick to the libertarian pig.
Jonah Walters, "Bleeding Heart Bullshit"
Against Democracy, Bleeding Heart Bullshit, Bleeding Heart Libertarians, Democracy, Jason Brennan, Jonah Walters, Quotations
Contra Locke, property is not made by mixing labor: it is made by mixing coercion.
Mike Huben, "Interview With Mike Huben, Creator Of Critiques Of Libertarianism"
Coercion, Critiques Of Libertarianism, Expropriation, Homesteading, Interview With Mike Huben, Creator Of Critiques Of Libertarianism, John Locke, Mike Huben, Property, Property Is Coercive, Quotations, Slavery, The Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition
[Libertarians] are pulling some very thick conclusions out of some very thin premises, giving them the attitude to find in "self-ownership" whatever they were looking for.
Barbara Fried, "Left-Libertarianism: A Review Essay"
Barbara Fried, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Left-Libertarianism, Left-Libertarianism: A Review Essay, Quotations, Self-Ownership
All property rights necessarily infringe the liberties of others, as all entail reciprocal burdens on others, and in a world of scarcity, such burdens are often substantial.
Barbara Fried, "Left-Libertarianism: A Review Essay"
All Rights Are Coercive, Barbara Fried, Critiques Of Libertarianism, Left-Libertarian and Anarchist Criticism, Left-Libertarianism, Left-Libertarianism: A Review Essay, Libertarians Misunderstand Property, Property, Property Is Theft, Quotations, Rights
The true liberal tradition is represented not by Locke, but by John Stuart Mill, whose wholehearted commitment to political freedom was consistent with his eventual adoption of socialism (admittedly in a rather refined and abstract form). Mill wasn’t perfect, as is evidenced by his support of British imperialism, for which he worked as an official of the East India Company, and more generally by his support for limitations on democratic majorities. But Mill’s version of liberalism became more democratic as experience showed that fears about dictatorial majorities were unfounded.
John Quiggin, "John Locke Against Freedom"
Historical Revisionism, John Locke, John Locke Against Freedom, John Quiggin, John Stuart Mill, Libertarianism Is Not Liberalism, Quotations
Yet reason tells us that there is no property in durable objects, such as lands or houses, when carefully examined in passing from hand to hand, but must, in some period, have been founded on fraud and injustice.
David Hume, "Of The Original Contract"
David Hume, Expropriation, Of The Original Contract, Property, Quotations
They tried that back in the day. We got a lot of wonderful Charles Dickens novels out of it.
Katamariguy (pseudonym), "Did you notice the the people who seem to believe in the efficiency of voluntary charity alone to the needy tend to be the ones who don't need it by themselves?"
Critiques Of Libertarianism, Did you notice the the people who seem to believe in the efficiency of voluntary charity alone to the needy tend to be the ones who don't need it by themselves?, Katamariguy (pseudonym), Private Charity, Quotations
In editing a journal that has received manuscripts from virtually every libertarian scholar, famous and unknown alike, I have long been struck by the consistent juxtaposition of what another observer delicately calls the “intermingling of positive statements and normative pleadings”: the coincidence of libertarian philosophical sentiments with weak empirical research, leaps of logic, and contempt for nonlibertarian points of view (of which the authors usually appear ignorant). The polemical tone and deficient evidence, however, and the tarnishing of often-good ideas by doctrinaire rhetoric and low scholarly standards, are only the least of it. The worst thing is not the waste of effort that goes into producing propaganda barely veiled by the robes of scholarship. The greater tragedy is what libertarians could produce, but do not.
Jeffrey Friedman, "What's Wrong With Libertarianism"
Bleeding Heart Libertarians, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Jeffrey Friedman, Libertarian Admissions, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Quotations, What's Wrong With Libertarianism, What Is Wrong With Libertarianism
... all legal systems, including libertarianism, coercively enforce rules that assign the “ownership” of all persons and all bits of the world. Every legal system throws a net of coercion over the entire society it covers, prohibiting by force any deviations from its definitions of rights. Inasmuch as there is just as much of the world to be parcelled out under each system’s set of property rules, and the rights governing all of this property are just as coercively enforced in all systems, there is no difference in the “amount” of coercion -- or, conversely, the amount of (negative) freedom -- under different legal systems, including libertarianism... So, strictly in terms of negative liberty -- freedom from physical coercion -- libertarianism has no edge over any other system
Jeffrey Friedman, "What's Wrong With Libertarianism"
Coercion, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Jeffrey Friedman, Libertarian Admissions, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Quotations, What's Wrong With Libertarianism, What Is Wrong With Libertarianism
Amartya Sen has pointed out that all contemporary moral theories, including libertarianism, are essentially egalitarian; we can press on from this observation to ask why, if (as Boaz maintains) the liberty of a human being to own another should be trumped by equal human rights, the liberty to own large amounts of property should not also be trumped by equal human rights. This alone would seem definitively to lay to rest the philosophical case for libertarianism.
Jeffrey Friedman, "What's Wrong With Libertarianism"
David Boaz, Equality, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Jeffrey Friedman, Libertarian Admissions, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Property, Quotations, What's Wrong With Libertarianism, What Is Wrong With Libertarianism
... libertarianism would simply be liberalism if not for its equation of “liberty” with private property.
Jeffrey Friedman, "What's Wrong With Libertarianism"
Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Jeffrey Friedman, Libertarian Admissions, Liberty, Liberty for me, but not for thee., Property, Quotations, What's Wrong With Libertarianism, What Is Wrong With Libertarianism
The environment is the libertarian Waterloo: it reveals the flaws of the doctrine in a way that seems to ensure that no "answer" is forthcoming. Rather than hoping for a miracle that would preserve their fundamentally political self-conception, perhaps the best thing libertarians can now do is put their dreams of changing the world on hold while they attempt simply to understand it.
Jeffrey Friedman, "Politics or Scholarship?"
Environment, Jeffrey Friedman, Politics or Scholarship?, Quotations
The pricing of environmental goods that is generated by free-market environmentalist devices relies on an initial political determination of how much a given pollutant should be reduced. A government must first decide which pollutants to control, then by what amount, before it can know how many emissions permits to issue. The market in such permits does not replace politics; it supplements it by providing the most efficient means for achieving politically determined ends... free-market environmentalism is statist at its core.
Jeffrey Friedman, "Politics or Scholarship?"
Environment, Free Market Environmentalism, Jeffrey Friedman, Politics or Scholarship?, Pollution, Quotations
The evolution of government from its medieval, Mafia-like character to that embodying modern legal institutions and instruments is a major part of the history of freedom. It is a part that tends to be obscured or ignored because of the myopic vision of many economists, who persist in modeling government as nothing more than a gigantic form of theft and income redistribution.
Douglas North, "Institutions and economic growth: An historical introduction"
Austrian Economics, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Critiques Of Libertarianism, Douglas North, Government, Governments are just the biggest mafias., Institutions and economic growth: An historical introduction, Organized Crime, Quotations
It is a true slight that a man who occupies himself dissecting ten thousand mites gets the same pleasure of libertarians.
William Westmiller, email.
Mike Huben, Mike Huben's Criticisms, Quotations, William Westmiller
Austin Petersen said that it shouldn’t be possible for someone to sell a 5-year-old heroin. He got booed. [2016 Libertarian Party USA Convention]
Grant Thompson, "Drugs, wizards, and trolls: The Libertarian Party"
Critiques Of Libertarianism, Drug Legalization, Drugs, Gambling and Sex, Drugs, wizards, and trolls: The Libertarian Party, Grant Thompson, Libertarian Party, Quotations
I don't believe Rand is a racist; I think he is a fool who is suffering from the foolish consistency syndrome that affects all libertarians. They believe that freedom consists of one thing and one thing only--freedom from governmental constraint. Therefore, it is illogical to them that any increase in government power could ever expand freedom. Yet it is clear that African Americans were far from free in 1964 and that the Civil Rights Act greatly expanded their freedom while diminishing that of racists.
Bruce Bartlett, "Rand Paul is No Barry Goldwater on Civil Rights"
Bruce Bartlett, Discrimination, Quotations, Rand Paul, Rand Paul is No Barry Goldwater on Civil Rights
People smoke in large part because they have been persuaded to. Persuaded by a tobacco culture carefully nurtured by the tobacco industry. Persuaded by an industry that suppressed hazards of smoking for decades after they were known. Persuaded by an industry that knew its product was addictive, and knew it had to addict juveniles to maintain the smoking population. This history is well known from internal tobacco company documents. You can pretend that the word "choose" absolves those corporations from all responsibility: but even libertarians shouldn't accept that. Otherwise, there would be no prohibition against fraud. People must make choices to be defrauded. The folks who invested with Bernard Madoff chose their investments, but that does not absolve Madoff. Nor are tobacco companies absolved because people chose to smoke. Those people were persuaded by an industry that spent enormous amounts on advertising, promotion, and disinformation. The amount they spent shows how critical they felt that persuasion was: that shows their responsibility.
Mike Huben, email July 26, 2009
Capitalist Harms, Capitalists are not your friends., Free To Choose, Individual Choice, Mike Huben, Milton Friedman, Quotations, The Tobacco Industry
There are some men -- it’s almost always men -- who become enraged at any suggestion that they must give up something they want for the common good. Often, the rage is disproportionate to the sacrifice: for example, prominent conservatives suggesting violence against government officials because they don’t like the performance of phosphate-free detergent. But polluter’s rage isn’t about rational thought.
Paul Krugman, "The Id That Ate the Planet"
Environment, Paul Krugman, Quotations, Responsibility, The Id That Ate the Planet, We libertarians are rational, they are not.
Free-market fundamentalists prefer rejecting science to admitting that there are ever cases when government regulation is necessary.
Paul Krugman, "The Id That Ate the Planet"
Critiques Of Libertarianism, Environment, Free Market, Global Warming, Market Fundamentalism, Paul Krugman, Quotations, Responsibility, Science Denialists, The Id That Ate the Planet
There are no rich countries with small governments -- governments that spend and regulate little, governments that eschew public investment and keep the public sector’s reach to a minimum. (Okay, there are a few that are sitting on huge pools of oil.) A big government isn’t a guarantee of prosperity, but where we find prosperity, we find big government, too.
Jacob Hacker, "American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper"
American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper, Big Government, Jacob Hacker, Mixed Economy, Paul Pierson, Quotations
Class conflict is essential if freedom is to be preserved, because it is the only barrier against class domination.
Arthur Schlesinger, "The Vital Center: The Politics of Freedom" p. 173.
Arthur Schlesinger, Class War, Freedom, Quotations, The Vital Center: The Politics of Freedom
The more fundamental change that is needed is a revision of assumptions that are taken for granted, throughout the political process, that corporations are a natural feature of market economies, while unions are an alien intrusion[...] corporations, like unions, are social constructions, which could not exist except as a result of conscious policy decisions to change the rules of a market economy.
John Quiggin, "Predistribution: wages and unions (extract from Economics in Two Lessons)"
Corporations, Economic Power, Economics in One Lesson, Henry Hazlitt, John Quiggin, Predistribution: wages and unions (extract from Economics in Two Lessons), Quotations, Unions
All the English were free men and most of them were serfs. All the English were self-governing in counties run by sheriffs appointed by kings, the descendants of foreign conquerors. England alone enjoyed the Common Law, handed down from Sinai by Moses, and dating from 1215 A.D. Secured by the Common Law, all men's property was inviolable, and all of it belonged to the king. The Common Law, also known as Natural Law and God's Law, only restricted conduct which harmed the person or property of another, such as swearing, fornicating, possessing weapons in the royal forests, converting to Judaism, or dreaming that the king had died. There was complete religious freedom, i.e., Roman Catholicism was the state church, attendance at services was compulsory, and heretics were executed. As perfect, as unchangeable as the Common Law always was, it got even better when free and prosperous Englishmen fleeing persecution and poverty brought it to America. They repaired there, as Garrison Keilor quipped, to enjoy less freedom than they had in England.
Bob Black, ""Constitutionalism": The White Man's Ghost Dance"
"Constitutionalism": The White Man's Ghost Dance, Bob Black, Common Law, Constitutionalism, Quotations, Tax Protestors And Other Pseudolaw Cranks
This is a point that Hayek and his libertarian followers fail to see: the Common Law may be a work of dispersed judges, but it would not have come into being in te first place, or been enforced, without a strong centralized state.
Francis Fukuyama, "The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution", p. 260.
Common Law, Francis Fukuyama, Friedrich von Hayek, Quotations, The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution
David Hume, the Scottish philosopher, liked to point out that private property is a monopoly granted and maintained by public authority at the public's expense.
Stephen Holmes & Cass Sunstein, "The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes", p. 61.
Cass Sunstein, Property, Quotations, Stephen Holmes, The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes